Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Rundown: Biden Picks Harris

Former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen U.S. Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate from an all-female list of frontrunners for the vice presidential slot. In these peculiar times, Biden made his announcement via email and tweet, calling his vice presidential pick “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

Harris, who is 55 years old, is a U.S. senator from California. She was twice elected the state’s attorney general. She had a reputation for being tough on crime as the state’s attorney general and, earlier, as a prosecutor. A daughter of two immigrants, her father is an emeritus professor at Berkeley who was born in Jamaica and her mother was a scientist who was born in India.

That makes Senator Harris the first Black woman and the first person of Asian descent to be named to a major national party’s ticket.

Asked for his reaction to Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick, President Donald Trump praised his own vice president, Mike Pence, and dissed Kamala Harris. He said she was “the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful” senator present at the contention hearings into the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanagh to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

➤NEW POLL SHOWS BIDEN WITH A 10-POINT LEAD: A Monmouth University poll released yesterday shows Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 10 points. That shows some slippage from late June, when the former vice president had a 13-point lead in the same poll. The new results show him leading by a margin of 51% to 41%. President Trump’s unfavorable rating stands at 54% in the poll compared with 40% who say they have a favorable opinion of the president.

➤RECORD NUMBERS MAY VOTE BY MAIL THIS FALL: An estimated 76% of all American voters will be eligible to mail in their ballots in this fall’s presidential elections, according to The New York Times. A record number is expected to take advantage of that right, given the coronavirus. In fact, some states are taking step to make voting by mail easier this year because of the pandemic. Those measures include mailing ballots or ballot applications to all voters. President Trump vigorously opposes voting by mail because, he says, it facilitates election fraud.

➤TRUMP ADDS NEW HEALTH ADVISER TO TEAM: President Trump has named another expert to his team of advisers on the coronavirus. Dr. Scott Atlas is a healthcare policy expert at the conservative Hoover Institution, and his views are closer to the president’s than those of Dr. Anthony Fauci. In June, Atlas said that the idea that schools could not reopen this fall was “hysteria” and “ludicrous.” He also advocates the resumption of college football games. Early this week, Dr. Atlas told Fox News that “young people that age without a co-morbidity have virtually a zero risk from this.”

North Georgia Students Stuck in Quarantine: The Cherokee County School District opened its schools only last week but now 826 students have been ordered into quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus. About 40 children have tested positive. The school district north of Atlanta has about 42,000 students in its elementary, middle and high schools. School officials recommended but did not require that students and teachers wear masks at school.

Dubious News from Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that his country has developed the world’s first coronavirus vaccine and, he said, “it works effectively enough.” He said his own daughter had taken it. There is little to no chance that this vaccine will be approved for use outside Russia. It was not tested for safety or effectiveness in large-scale clinical trials, as is required for drugs approved in the U.S. and most other nations.

Latest Statistics: Yesterday, there were 49,536 new cases of coronavirus identified in the U.S. and 525 deaths, according to statistics tracked by Johns Hopkins. Globally, only India had more new cases. The total number of cases in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic stands at 5,044,864. More than 163,000 have died.

NY Post 8/12/20
➤BIG 10 MAKES IT OFFICIAL: Football’s Big Ten just made it official: Their 2020 games are postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The 14-team league hopes to play the postponed games in the spring. “The Big Ten will always put the mental and physical health and safety and wellness of our student-athletes at the center,” Commissioner Kevin Warren told the Big Ten Network. The move sidelines big names including Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin. It also makes it more likely that few or no college football games will be played this fall.

➤PAC-12 CONFERENCE IS OFF, TOO: Hours after the Big Ten opted out, the Pac-12 Conference announced that it would postpone all sports competitions through the end of 2020. It hopes to return after January 1st. The decision was not unexpected. Half of the Pac-12 teams are in California or Arizona, which are particularly hard hit by the coronavirus. They include UCLA, Stanford, Berkeley and Arizona State.

As of last night, the Big 12 was reported to be “leaning towards trying to play” in the fall as usual. That's Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas State, among others.

➤NEWS FROM INSIDE THE BUBBLE: The NBA is sticking with tradition by naming an MVP even while it’s stuck inside a bubble. The league announced it will honor a Player of the Seeding Games. That’s basically an MVP for the eight games played at Walt Disney World. An All-Seeding Games Team also will be named. The winners will be selected by a panel of sports reporters and broadcasters who are on site in Florida. The final seeding games will be played on Friday, with playoffs scheduled to start Monday.

➤ASTROS COACH SUSPENDED: Houston Astros coach Alex Cintron has been slapped with a 20-game suspension for instigating a brawl between the Astros and the Oakland Athletics at Sunday’s game. Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was suspended for six games for his role in the melee. Cintron apologized for his role in the incident while continuing to deny that he ever made a reference, profane or otherwise, to Laureano’s mother.

➤DEION SANDERS TO LEAVE NFL NETWORK: Hall of Famer Deion Sanders will leave the NFL Network at the end of his current contract, according to multiple news reports. The immediate cause was a dispute over contract terms, but Sanders is said to be pursuing a new role as a college football coach. He has been with the network since 2006.

NYC Radio: Cuz Says WABC Could Expand Music On Weekends

Cousin Brucie Morrow revealed Tuesday that he will return to his roots hosting “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party” on 770 WABC.

“It’s part of one of the most amazing moves I’ve ever made in my life,” Morrow tells Variety. “I was with SiriusXM for 15 years, and they were good years, but I was getting the feeling that I should make a move. I should do something to finish my career circle. Not that I’m finishing — I’ve got plenty to go.”

The Brooklyn-born Morrow, 84, will launch the next phase of his radio career with his first show on Sept. 5, with a special repeat broadcast two days later on Labor Day, he shared. The show will be heard on 77WABC and sister station WLIR-FM 107.1 in Hampton Bays, New York. Both stations are owned by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, which will also make the show available to fans through its digital media platforms for streaming on phones, smart speakers and computers.

In an interview with Variety shortly after the news hit, Morrow shared his thoughts:

VARIETY: Making this move from SiriusXM back to 770 WABC where it all began is major… the biggest radio personality news of the summer, for many people.
MORROW: I felt that I should get back into (terrestrial) radio. I missed the audience — the people who couldn’t pay the subscription. If you looked at my Facebook page, you’ll see. I think every other mention was WABC radio. Rock ‘n’ roll music in my career really started at WABC.

How did John Catsimatidis orchestrate your return to AM?
John is the gentleman who purchased WABC. He always listened to me on Saturday nights. He would drive in the car with his wife and listen to me. He used to request songs. So he and I became very friendly on the phone. A very major part of live radio is telephone… that is my connection to the audience. One thing led to the other, and eventually the son of a gun bought the station. And we started talking about “what if?” And then sure enough, one day we signed on the dotted line. So I’m very about this change. I’m going to rebuild my audience, and they’re very excited. It also has a national footprint; the radio station streams all over. So that’ll be a very important part of retaining what I’ve built over 50 years, and this audience in the tri-state area is going to be treated to radio on WABC, which has been all-talk. Now on Saturday night, it becomes music radio.

If this goes well, could that open it up to other music in dayparts on the weekend?
Absolutely. It would be an important decision for them to make, and they are doing pretty well with their talk format. But the music format will bring them a whole new audience. They will keep a lot of their audience, but there could be a crossover, and the idea of opening up the weekend to music would be a brilliant idea.

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Los Alamos NM Radio: KRSN AM-FM Scheduled To Sign-Off

KRSN 1490 AM and 107.1 FM will be going dark after Sunday, Aug. 30.

“With the cancellation of high school sports, events, the closure of small businesses and the struggles of those remaining (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), KRSN can no longer raise the advertising revenues it takes to run your free to you community radio station. We appreciate all our loyal listeners over the years, and we say farewell,” Co-owners David and Gillian Sutton said.

The Suttons have owned and operated the community radio station for the last 15 years, broadcasting local news, weather, sports and a variety of programming for your enjoyment.

David and Gillian both grew up in Los Alamos listening to KRSN, and when the station was in bankruptcy and for sale, they felt it was important to keep the community station broadcasting. Gillian had worked at KRSN when she was in high school, and with David’s skills as an engineer, they took a leap of faith and embarked on a career as radio broadcasters.

KRSN broadcast high school sports, and relatives of local athletes tuned in from all around the country.

KRSN won numerous broadcasting awards through the years, including Radio Station of the Year, National Crystal Radio Award finalist, Broadcaster of the Year and New Mexico Press Women’s Association awards. KRSN show hosts have won awards of excellence, and sportscaster Gene Mortenson is in the New Mexico Broadcasters Hall of Fame. KRSN mentored DJ’s into their careers in broadcasting.

“We are negotiating with other parties to purchase the station in hopes it remains a community radio station. We are still fulfilling all FCC and FAA requirements in maintaining all of KRSN’s assets.” the Suttons said.

TV Ratings: NBC's AGT Is Tops

“America’s Got Talent” topped the ratings last week, reports The Associated Press citing Nielsen figures, but it faces the absence of Simon Cowell, seriously injured in an electric bicycle accident.

Cowell, the NBC talent contest’s creator and linchpin of its judging panel, underwent surgery for a broken back last Saturday, just before the show kicked off its live episodes this week.

Kelly Clarkson, who came to fame as the first “American Idol” winner when Cowell judged the singing contest, was to step in as his temporary replacement.

Fox News Channel continued its summer ratings romp, with Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity’s shows combining to hold nine of the top 20 prime-time slots among all viewers.

In prime-time for Broadcast networks last week, CBS topped broadcasters with an average of 3.7 million viewers. NBC had 2.7 million viewers, ABC had 2.3 million, Fox and Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 930,000.

Top 20 Prime-Times Shows (Total viewers):
  1. “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 6.16 million.
  2. “NCIS,” CBS, 4.91 million.
  3. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.41 million.
  4. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.4 million.
  5. “60 Minutes Presents,” CBS, 4.14 million.
  6. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.08 million.
  7. “FBI,” CBS, 4.06 million.
  8. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News, 4.01 million.
  9. “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.98 million.
  10. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.97 million.
  11. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.96 million.
  12. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 3.95 million.
  13. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.89 million.
  14. “Yellowstone,” Paramount, 3.83 million.
  15. “Hannity” (Thursday), Fox News, 3.81 million.
  16. “World of Dance,” NBC, 3.81 million.
  17. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 3.73 million.
  18. “Great #AtHome Videos,” CBS, 3.71 million.
  19. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 3.71 million.
  20. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 3.66 million.
  21. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.66 million
ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts, averaging 8.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.5 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

Fox News Channel led among cable networks, averaging 3.09 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.97 million, CNN had 1.34 million, HGTV had 1.27 million and TLC had 1.22 million.

Chicago Radio: WMVP-AM ESPN 1000 Tweaks Line-Up

With ESPN Radio overhauling its national lineup, WMVP ESPN 1000 AM in Chicago is seizing the opportunity to do the same thing.

Barrett Media Sports reports the station is rolling out a new lineup on August 17 that will see two of ESPN’s new national shows airing in the Windy City and local sports talk starting earlier in the day.

Keyshawn, JWill, and Zubin will start the day at 5 am. ESPN 1000 will then switch to local programming at 7 am with a new show featuring David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood. At 10 am, Carmen & Jurko take over for two hours before ceding the floor to Mike Greenberg’s new show Greeny. After that, Waddle & Silvy will handle afternoon drive from 2 until 6 pm. Bleck & Abdalla keep local sports talk going until 8.

“We are extremely excited to provide Chicago sports fans a place to voice their opinion each weekday morning, beginning with Kap & J. Hood at 7 a.m., followed by Carmen & Jurko at their earlier time of 10 a.m. to noon,” ESPN Chicago market manager, Mike Thomas, said in a press release. “We are also looking forward to the ESPN Network addition of Keyshawn, Jay Williams and Zubin, and welcoming back Mike Greenberg to Chicago! Bleck & Abdalla will be heard more often as the new hosts of evenings, including The Baseball Show.”

Boise Radio: KQBL Wins Big During Pandemic

Even if more Boiseans are working from home and not listening during a morning commute, plenty are still cranking up their radios, reports The Idaho Statesman.

Based on newly released ratings, tons are dialing to a specific FM frequency: KQBL 101.9 The Bull.

“Boise’s Best Country” dominated the “12-plus” category in the recently released Nielsen Audio ratings, which measure listener share twice a year in Boise. In spring 2020, The Bull earned a gigantic 8.7 share in 12-plus — people 12 and older tuned to radio between 6 a.m. and midnight. That’s the largest 12-plus number in this market in years. (How many years? Not sure. Going back through 2017, at least.)

The Bull’s win came by a country mile, too. The next-closest finishers? News-talk station KBOI-670 AM — more than 2 full points behind — and Boise State Public Radio (aka KBSX 91.5 FM), almost 4 points back.

“There is no question about it. It was a weird book, given the pandemic,” said Darrell Calton, CEO of Iliad Media Group, which owns The Bull and six other Treasure Valley stations.

Country radio seems to be weathering the COVID storm fairly well, he said, based on conjecture and hourly analysis of the top two country finishers, The Bull and Wow 104.3 (which had a modest 3.3).

Certain other formats appear to be feeling some pain.

“Listening habits changed because of the commute,” Calton explained via email. “In our cluster, two of our biggest commuter stations and at work are KZMG (My 102.7) and KSRV (96.1 Bob). They were affected hard Monday through Friday.”

Unusual radio environment or not, this was the second straight ratings period that The Bull finished No. 1. It also won 12-plus in the fall 2019 Nielsen book.

As for morning shows this spring? The Bull was No. 1 there, too. The top three finishers in the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekday time slot were locals “Mee in the Morning” (aka Kevin and Brenda Mee), followed by the syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” on 96.9 The Eagle, and “Morning Edition” on Boise State Public Radio, which is a blend of NPR programming, local host George Prentice and KBSX-FM’s news department.

FOX News Goes Global With New Streaming Service

Fox News is rolling out a new service that will stream programming from its cable-news channels to audiences overseas.

The Wall Street Journal reports the network said Tuesday that Fox News International would offer viewers a live-stream of Fox News Channel, as well as Fox Business, and make its debut later this month in Mexico.

The service will launch in Spain, Germany and the U.K. in September, and will be available in 20 countries by the end of the year. Fox News will charge subscribers $6.99 a month for the service.

Media companies have pushed to develop new streaming services, as consumers increasingly turn to viewing shows and content online instead of on television.

The Fox international streaming platform will allow “our devoted audience overseas access to their trusted source for news and insightful analysis,” said Suzanne Scott, chief executive of the Fox News media business.

In the U.S., Fox launched Fox Nation, which features content from a range of Fox News hosts and other shows. That streaming option costs $5.99 a month after a lower-price first-month trial, according to its website.

Executives at Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News, said earlier this month that Fox Nation had more than doubled its subscriber base during the company’s most recent fiscal year.

Crossover Media To Rep 'The Bubba Army Podcast'

Crossover Media Group Sales (CMGS), a cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm with offices in New York City and Los Angeles, has added “The Bubba Army Podcast,” the newly launched show from legendary radio host Bubba Clem, to its growing content roster.

A multimedia content creator, Bubba also hosts a nationally syndicated morning radio show, which, like the new podcast, is produced from Tampa, Florida, and which is the #1 radio show on Twitch.

Recent guests on Bubba’s various platforms have included entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban; sports stars such as Tony Dungy, Deion Sanders, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart; celebrities including Joe Rogan, Mark Wahlberg and Chris Rock; musicians including Guns ‘n Roses’ Slash and Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee; TV and radio personalities including Brian Kilmeade, Bill O’Reilly and Howard Stern; and topical guests such as political consultant Roger Stone.

“We’re looking forward to delivering a guest-driven podcast that is fresh, current, relevant and that will become a daily destination for folks who want to have a little fun,” Bubba said.   “The Crossover Media team has a great track record; they know the advertising marketplace and they’ve assembled a powerful portfolio of programs.  It’s great to be working with them.”

“Over his decades on air, Bubba has regularly shaken up the audio landscape and, along the way, he has attracted a massive and loyal listenership and high-profile celebrity guests who understand the power of his platforms,” said Sue Freund, Crossover Media Group Sales managing member.   “And now Bubba brings that loyal audience to an entirely new, highly polished and potentially game-changing podcast that promises to take him to new heights.  Whether they’re fans or not, people are talking about Bubba – and we expect they’ll be talking about him even more once they hear the new podcast.

“The addition of ‘The Bubba Army Podcast’ will substantially round out our offering to advertisers of popular content, including multiple sports podcasts, serving a male audience, and will further expand our wide variety of content spanning the spectrum of genres and audience demographics,” Freund noted.

Boston Radio: Beasley Survey Finds Consumer Optimism

The majority of Boston-area consumers are optimistic and a large percentage feel their spending is or will soon be back to normal. Those are among the findings of research commissioned by Beasley Media Group in Boston and conducted by Strategic Solutions Research.

Strategic Solutions Research, a global research firm with an office in the Boston area, conducted the survey among 1,532 listeners of the five Beasley Boston radio stations between July 6-16, 2020 as the state was continuing to open up.

Mary Menna, Vice President and Market Manager for Beasley Media in Boston, said, “The company’s study is meant to help their team guide their marketing partners on how to craft the most effective messaging with their advertising and give Boston area businesses critical data as to local consumers’ current state of mind and planned future behaviors."

“It was important for us to conduct this research to get a pulse on Boston consumers for our clients,” said Menna. “People in Boston are optimistic that we will make it through the pandemic. That optimism shows that true Boston Strong grit and determination. They also understand the seriousness of the situation: The great majority of listeners (9 out of 10) support wearing a mask and expect others to do so as well.”

According to Hal Rood, partner at Strategic Solutions Research, while shopping patterns have had to shift online, it does not spell the end of brick-and-mortar establishments. “The overwhelming majority of listeners still plan on making in-person shopping part of their mix, and that includes people under 35.”

To view highlights from the research study and receive additional information, please visit

Tim McGraw To Host Westwood One Music Special

CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One Nashville will wind down the summer with its annual Labor Day weekend holiday special "Workin' Hard Country." The four-hour show will be hosted by GRAMMY-award-winning superstar Tim McGraw. 

Tim McGraw
The show will feature work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits along with Tim’s most recent single, “I Called Mama.” He will also feature songs from his new album “Here on Earth,” which is due August 21st. 

Tim has rounded up many of his A-list friends – Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini, and more – to share stories about the jobs they had before they became successful playing music for a living. 

The four-hour special will be available for stations to air via XDS receiver or web download from Saturday, September 5th to Monday, September 7th between 6:00 a.m. -12 midnight ET.

For more information, contact

BFA Cancels Golf Fundraiser

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has cancelled the Celebrity Golf Tournament Fundraiser due to safety concerns because of Coronavirus.

The cancellation comes just a few months after the charity for broadcasters in need cancelled the Philip J. Lombardo Golf Tournament, another of its big fundraisers, which traditionally is held in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The two fundraisers, along with smaller events, generate over $450,000 a year. To counter the losses, the Broadcasters Foundation has launched a plea for donations.

“Our colleagues who find themselves in acute need due to a debilitating illness or accident need our help,” stated Broadcasters Foundation Chair Scott Herman. “This year, we are helping more broadcasters than ever before, and it’s imperative that we continue to do so. We cannot turn our backs on our colleagues.”

“We have three major fundraisers a year, and the golf tournaments are two of them,” explained Jim Thompson, President of the Broadcasters Foundation. “Our grant recipients worked in radio or television stations in markets across America. I ask everyone whose career is built on broadcasting to consider donating to help offset the losses of our cancelled fundraising events.”

Broadcasters interested in making a donation or in learning more about the Broadcasters Foundation of America can visit, or contact the Broadcasters Foundation directly at 212-373-8250.

The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy. Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

R.I.P.: Trini Lopez, '60s Pop Singer

Trini Lopez (May 13, 1937 – August 11, 2020)
Trini Lopez, who had worldwide hit records in the early 1960s by creating a unique mix of American folk, Latin and rockabilly music, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

He was 83, according to the NY Times. The cause was complications of Covid-19.

Lopez’s two biggest records — “If I Had a Hammer” and “Lemon Tree” — had both been hits as well for the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary several years earlier. But Mr. Lopez’s versions soared even higher on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

His “Hammer” reached No. 3 (Peter, Paul and Mary’s had gotten as high as No. 10), and his “Lemon Tree” got to No. 10 (theirs had peaked at No. 35). They also had more international impact.

Lopez’s version of “If I Had a Hammer” shot to No. 1 in 36 countries and sold more than a million copies. His stylistic advantage? Arrangements that listeners could dance to.

His interpretations bridged two prominent trends of the day. At a commercially rich time for folk music, Mr. Lopez drew on the beauty of the genre’s tunes while souping them up with the sharp rockabilly beats employed by hitmakers like Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins.

For yet another draw, Lopez punctuated many of his songs with joyous hoots and trills drawn from Mexican folk, emphasizing his ethnic heritage at a time when many Latin performers kept theirs hidden. “I’m proud to be a Mexicano,” he told The Seattle Times in 2017.

His groundbreaking mix of sounds connected with listeners right from the start, with his debut album, “Live at PJ’s,” recorded at a popular Los Angeles nightclub and released in 1963. The disc went gold, fueled by the success of “If I Had a Hammer.” The album also featured a version of “La Bamba,” the traditional Mexican song that another pioneering Latin rocker, Ritchie Valens, had turned into a Top 40 hit five years earlier.

He racked up other Top 40 hits with “Kansas City” and “I’m Coming Home, Cindy.” He made Billboard magazine’s adult contemporary Top 40 15 times.

August 12 Radio History

➦In 1877...Thomas A Edison invented the phonograph.

The phonograph, also called gramophone,  is a device introduced in 1877 for the recording and reproduction of sound recordings. The sound vibration waveforms are preserved in the form of a groove engraved into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc. As the recorded surface rotates, a playback stylus traces the waveforms and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves.

While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison's phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds. Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory made several improvements in the 1880s, including the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders, and a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a "zig zag" pattern across the record.

In the 1890s, Emile Berliner initiated the transition from phonograph cylinders to flat discs with a spiral groove running from the periphery to near the center. Other improvements were made throughout the years, including modifications to the turntable and its drive system, the stylus or needle, and the sound and equalization systems.

The disc phonograph record was the dominant audio recording format throughout most of the 20th century. From the mid-1980s, phonograph use declined sharply because of the rise of the compact disc and other digital recording formats. While no longer mass-market items, modest numbers of phonographs and phonograph records continue to be produced in the second decade of the 21st century.

In 1925...KMA-AM in Shenandoah IA begins radio transmissions

The station was founded by seed salesman Earl May.  May and Henry A. Field of Shenandoah were rivals in the seed business. In 1925 Field of Field's Nursery founded radio station KFNF while May founded KMA. While both stations offered farm news; the two were to become most competitive by offering live productions of hillbilly music. According to KMA's website more than a million people traveled to small town Shenandoah to hear the music.

May built the station headquarters and Mayfair Auditorium (demolished in 1964 due to its being declared structurally unsafe by the Iowa State Fire Marshal) across the street from the nursery business. Between music sets, May would pitch his seeds and tell nostalgic stories. In 1926 May won the third annual Radio Digest Gold Cup Award, after being voted the "World's Most Popular Radio Announcer" by over 452,000 people throughout the United States.

The KMA shows which were broadcast in the afternoons were called the "KMA Country School" and according to the format emanated from the fictional KMA District No. 9 school with the shows beginning with the ringing of a school bell.

The most famous celebrities in KMA's history were the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil. In their early teen years, the brothers and their parents would appear on KMA to sing as "The Everly Family", but by 1952, they were discovered by a talent agent, and made their way to fame in Hollywood with such hit songs as "Wake Up, Little Susie".

With the high visibility KMA operated on a slogan of "Keep Millions Advised", which was adopted in early 1926, after sorting through a reported 4,000 suggestions.  KFNF was to operate on "Keep Friendly, Never Frown."

The county school shows were discontinued in the 1950s and the station continued to offer its farm show and farm housewife shows until the late 1990s; the current format revolves around ABC Radio news at the top of each hour, with some agricultural news, regional high school sports and their "Elephant Shop" where listeners can buy, sell, trade or give away personal property on the air.

The 920 AM frequency formerly occupied by KFNF is now KYFR, a Christian radio station owned by Family Radio.

➦In 1937…Comedian Red Skelton made his radio debut on NBC Radio Network's "Rudy Vallee Show."

➦In 1977...Cousin Brucie did last show at WNBC 660 AM NYC (now WFAN).

➦In 2001..XM Satellite Radio began broadcasting program content.

➦In 2003...longtime Richmond, Virginia radio personality, Eric E. Stanley, died after a 3-year battle with cancer. He was 53. He was known for his program, "The Bebop, Boogie, and Blues Revue" heard first on WRXL, then WVGO and later on WJMO.

➦In 2004...Charles Wesley Leonard died from lung cancer at age 67 (Born - March 30, 1937).  He was a radio personality at WABC  770 AM in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s. His deep voice and smoothness resonated across 38 states for 14 years at ABC. During his over 40-year career in broadcasting, Leonard worked virtually every shift and played all styles of music at stations including WWRL, WABC, WXLO, WRKS, WBLS, WQEW, WNSW-AM and WJUX.

Chuck Leonard
He has been inducted in the Museum of Television & Radio and is known as the first African-American disc jockey to work on a mainstream radio station.

Leonard began at ABC's flagship New York radio station, Musicradio 77 WABC, under program director Rick Sklar in 1965. He broke the color barrier for all who followed — the first African-American to cross over from black R&B radio to (then-mostly white) mass-appeal radio.

Leonard began in the 11 p.m. to midnight slot, and continued working late nights and Sundays at the station until November 27, 1979. He did the 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. shift following “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and later George Michael. He also gladly handled weekend and fill-in work.

Leonard was the host of "Sneak Preview," a five-minute Monday-through-Saturday evening program on ABC's American Contemporary Radio Network, which featured newly released songs. He stayed at WABC until 1979, before moving to WXLO and WRKS.

➦In 2005...Newsradio KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles, left its studios at the CBS Columbia Square broadcast center and moved to 5670 Wilshire Blvd to join other locally owned Infinity radio stations.

KNX-AM had been housed at the CBS Columbia Square building for 67 years, in the heart of Hollywood.
Merv Griffin 1945
➦In 2007...Media Mogul (including several radio stations in the 60s/70s) Merv Griffin, creator of the TV game shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” and the host of his own popular long-running syndicated TV show, died of prostate cancer at age 82.

➦In 2009...Rock WBCN 98.5 FM in Boston closed its doors after 41 years on the air, and WBZ-FM  "The Sports Hub" debuted immediately afterwards.

➦In 2011...WEMP 101.9 FM ended an Adult Contemporary stunt and went full-time all-news as "FM News 101.9," following in the footsteps of its Chicago sister station WWWN (the former and current WKQX), which flipped to all-news on July 29.

As conceived by Merlin's then-COO, Walter Sabo, "FM News" was what Sabo considered a "redefining" of the all-news format; the on-air presentation was generally looser and conversational in tone, while an emphasis was placed on lifestyle, health, and entertainment features.The initial news staff at WEMP included those with experience in New York radio, including WINS alums Catherine Smith, Alice Stockton-Rossini, and Brett Larson, as well as former WCBS anchor Therese Crowley and WRXP holdover Paul Cavalconte.

Over time, the "FM News" approach on WEMP would be adjusted. The reliance on lifestyle and entertainment features was decreased; the station turned towards a tighter on-air presentation and hard news format. Several new features were added, including "10 minutes of non-stop news" at :00, :20 and :40 past the hour (similar to the fact that WINS delivers news headlines at these intervals), the "top 5 trending stories" leading off every hour, and hourly sports and business updates.

Coinciding with the on-air changes was a major promotional push, including TV ads and promotions that tweaked WINS' longtime "22 minutes" slogan, with WEMP proclaiming "Give us 10 minutes, we'll give you the world." (After WINS owner CBS Radio sent a cease-and-desist letter to Merlin Media, WEMP dropped the slogan, and replaced it by "non-stop news".)

In the time FM News was in operation, it was plagued by a variety of technical issues after management in Chicago decided to automate the news, much like some music stations automate music formats. The controversial approach led to a number of on-air gaffes, including wrong time checks and news stories misplaced. The only live elements on the air were traffic reports.

WEMP and its all-news format struggled to make gains in Arbitron ratings

Dominique Swain is 40
  • Actor George Hamilton is 81. 
  • Actor Jennifer Warren is 79. 
  • Singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is 71. 
  • Actor Jim Beaver (“Supernatural”) is 70. 
  • Singer Kid Creole is 70. 
  • Actor Sam J. Jones (“Flash Gordon”) is 66. 
  • Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny is 66. 
  • Actor Bruce Greenwood (2009′s “Star Trek,” ″Thirteen Days”) is 64. 
  • Country singer Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad is 64. 
  • Guitarist Roy Hay of Culture Club is 59. 
  • Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 57. 
  • Actor Peter Krause (“Parenthood,” ″Six Feet Under,” ″Sports Night”) is 55. 
  • Actor Brent Sexton (“The Killing,” ″Deadwood”) is 53. 
  • Actor Michael Ian Black (“Ed”) is 49. 
  • Actor Yvette Nicole Brown (new “The Odd Couple,” ″Community”) is 49. 
  • Actor Rebecca Gayheart is 49. 
  • Actor Casey Affleck is 45. 
  • Actor Maggie Lawson (“Psych”) is 40. 
  • Actor Dominique Swain (“Lolita,” “Face/Off”) is 40. 
  • Actor Leah Pipes (“The Originals”) is 32. 
  • Actor Lakeith Stanfield (“Atlanta”) is 29. 
  • Actor Cara Delevingne (“Paper Towns”) is 28. 
  • Actor Imani Hakim (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 27.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

NYC Radio: Cousin Brucie Returning to 77WABC

Legendary radio personality Bruce Morrow, known by his legions of fans worldwide as Cousin Brucie, is coming home to 77WABC, the iconic radio station where he first introduced fans to The Beatles, Motown, 60s soul, surf music, and more. 

From 6 to 9 pm ET every Saturday night, beginning September 5, Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party will return to the airwaves at the station he helped build decades ago. Cousin Brucie will be heard live on 77WABC, New York, sister station WLIR-FM 107.1, Hampton Bays, NY, and streaming across the country on the WABC App and The debut show will also be replayed on Labor Day Monday, September 7, from noon to 3 p.m. ET.

“Cousins, this is literally one of the most exciting projects of my life,” said Morrow. “It completes a circle… a career circle. It all started at WABC, and here we are all these years later, and the magic is still here. And what magic we’re going to make!”

Both radio stations and their digital platforms are owned by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media. 

“Brucie is a national treasure and talent. Listeners everywhere can now hear this radio icon and their favorite music from the early days of rock and roll on our radio stations and streaming on our digital platforms,” commented Catsimatidis. “Red Apple Media is about bringing the best in information and entertainment to New York and all of America however they want to listen… on their phone, radio, smart speaker or computer.”

“It’s an honor to be part of these two legendary brands coming together and to welcome Cousin Brucie home to 77WABC,” added Chad Lopez, President of Red Apple Media and 77WABC.

“We’re excited to bring MUSIC Radio back to 77WABC every Saturday night with Cousin Brucie, everyone across America can stream him and us at,” stated Dave LaBrozzi, Senior Vice President of Programming for Red Apple Media and 77WABC.

Brucie’s longtime attorney, Judy Tint, shared, “I grew up listening to Cousin Brucie, and I’m still one of his biggest fans. It’s an honor to have helped bring him back to WABC, and I can’t wait to listen.”

Most recently, Cousin Brucie was heard by paid subscribers on SiriusXM satellite radio, where he has hosted his Wednesday and Saturday night programs since 2005. With his return to 77WABC, Cousin Brucie’s shows will be freely accessible to his loyal listeners in the tri-state area and across the country.

Bruce Morrow at WABC
An acclaimed and beloved broadcaster for over fifty years, Cousin Brucie was born in Brooklyn and grew up a true son of New York City. While attending New York University, he founded the first NYU radio station “with a $28 grant and a couple of wires clipped together.” After early jobs in Bermuda and various other markets, he joined 77WABC in 1961, just as rock and roll music was becoming popular and a few years ahead of the British Invasion that brought The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and more. Cousin Brucie and Ed Sullivan introduced The Beatles at their famous Shea Stadium concert on August 15, 1965. For two decades, he also hosted live concerts broadcast from Palisades Amusement Park, featuring some of the biggest musical acts of the era, many of whom attribute their success to Cousin Brucie playing their songs on the radio.

In the 80s and 90s, Cousin Brucie was heard on WCBS-FM, New York’s oldies station, at the time, where he hosted the Saturday Night Dance Party, The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown, and The Yearbook. At the time, Cousin Brucie also hosted the nationally syndicated radio show, Cruisin' America. Since 2005, Morrow’s weekly Sirius/XM Satellite Radio programs, “Cruisin’ with Cousin Brucie” and “Cousin Brucie’s Rock & Roll Party” have been heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners in the US and around the globe.

Morrow has appeared in films such as Dirty Dancing and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, had featured roles on Broadway in “Grease” and “Memphis,” and has made countless television appearances in shows including PBS’s “My Music” series, featured guest spots on morning television, and more. Morrow’s philanthropic work includes the Variety Children's Charity (for which he served as President for ten years) to help fund children in need; and his longtime support of WhyHunger, thanks to his close friendship with the organization’s founder, the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin.  He is the author of several critically-acclaimed bestsellers, including Cousin Brucie: My Life in Rock & Roll Radio, and Doo Wop: The Music, the Time, the Era. 

Cousin Brucie was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2001. He is the recipient of the Bravery in Radio Award from William Paterson University for his “inspirational radio programming and lifelong commitment to radio,” the TALKERS Magazine 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Montclair State University, for excellence in broadcasting.

NYC Radio: Bill O'Reilly Talking With 77WABC About New Show

Bill O'Reilly
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is in talks with 77WABC to host a new show, reports CNBC.

O’Reilly, according to his attorney Fred Newman, is in the final stages of contract negotiations for a show that is expected to debut in the fall. That network is owned by John Catsimatidis, who also owns the Gristedes grocery chain and is a vocal advocate for the president.

“We are in the final stages of a contract and a program should be on in the fall,” Newman told CNBC through his assistant. O’Reilly’s representative also confirmed the talks were being held with 77 WABC. Catsimatidis confirmed the ongoing negotiations to CNBC.

“I will confirm that, and I think he is one common-sense American,” Catsimatidis said of O’Reilly. He declined to comment further.

The New York businessman bought the radio station from Cumulus Media in June 2019. He is currently exploring a run for mayor of New York City in 2021 and recently told the New York Post that he would be willing to spend $100 million if he decides to get into the race. Catsimatidis ran for mayor in 2013 but ended up losing in the Republican primary.

The show would mark the latest stage of O’Reilly’s attempted comeback since he left Fox News under controversial circumstances. O’Reilly, 70, has been accused by multiple former Fox News employees of sexual harassment. The network ended his show in 2017 after the revelation of several expensive settlements for the alleged harassment. Before he left the network, his show had been a major ratings driver since 1996.

Since his departure from Fox, O’Reilly called reporting of the accusations and settlements by The New York Times a “smear” and has moved on from his “O’Reilly Factor” into a show called “No Spin News.” It airs on his website, YouTube, and on a conservative OTT streaming network known as “The First.” The channel streams on several platforms, including Pluto TV, an internet television service owned by ViacomCBS.

Joe Is Number 1: Edison Research Lists Top 30 Podcasts

2020 Edison Research announces the U.S. Top 30 Podcast ranker from its subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker.The PCT is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America. The Joe Rogan Experience continues to be the number one podcast in America as it has been since the PCT was established in the summer of 2019.

The ranker lists the top thirty podcasts in America by reach -- not downloads -- among weekly podcast consumers, covering the full survey period from July 7, 2019 through June 24, 2020. Reach is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to any one of these shows in the last week.

“Even with the work and life disruptions caused by COVID-19, people did continue listening to their favorite podcasts, and we ultimately saw little to no reduction in reach among weekly podcast listeners”. noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “We’re pleased to publish the only ranker that covers the entire U.S. podcasting industry.”

The top thirty podcasts in the U.S, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, are as follows: (graphic attached)

Tencent Music Revenue Jumps 18%

China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group said on Monday its quarterly revenue leaped 18%, beating Wall Street estimates, as it put more music for streaming behind its paywall and grew its paid subscriber base by more than half.

Reuters reports the strong performance comes amid a growing rift between Beijing and Washington that has overshadowed Chinese firms in the United States. Shares rose 2.4% in extended trade after it said second-quarter revenue grew to 6.93 billion yuan ($997 million).

Asked whether TME had a plan to deal with a recommendation from President Donald Trump’s administration over auditing U.S.-listed Chinese firms, Chief Strategy Officer Tony Yip told analysts in a briefing that it was “premature” to speculate over a potential delisting.

Controlled by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, TME’s capitalisation on the New York market is about $26 billion.

For the quarter ended June 30, TME said paid users of its online music service rose 52% to 47.1 million, the fastest quarter on record according to TME. Net income attributable to shareholders rose 1.3% to 939 million yuan ($135 million) from 927 million yuan a year earlier.

The company has signed multiple partnerships with international and domestic music labels to expand its premium user base. On Monday, it also extended its multi-year licensing agreement with music company Universal Music Group (UMG), home to Taylor Swift and The Beatles, while also announcing a new joint venture music label.

In comparison, investor and peer Spotify Technology SA reported 138 million paid users in the quarter.

Unlike Spotify, TME generates only a part of its revenue from music subscription packages and relies heavily on services popular in China such as online karaoke and live streaming.

The Rundown: U-S Citizens Could Be Banned At the Border

The Trump administration is considering a new regulation that would ban U.S. citizens and legal residents from re-entering the U.S. from abroad if a border official “reasonably believes” the person may be infected with coronavirus. Current controls at the border can stop only foreign nationals without residency permits from entering. A draft of the regulation shared with The New York Times does not specify how long a citizen or legal resident might be prevented from entering the country.

New York Schools Try a ‘Blended Format’: Most New York City school students will be returning to school part-time in a trial project that officials call a “blended format.” That is, the kids will be in school for one to three days a week and will remain home for remote education on the other days. Parents were given a choice, with about one-quarter opting for full-time remote learning, according to The New York Post.

Global Cases Near 20 Million: As of late yesterday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. was 5,044,864, with 162,938 deaths reported, according to Johns Hopkins. The global number of cases of infections will reach 20 million cases this week, with an estimated 750,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

➤WICKED WINDS BATTER MIDWEST: A series of storms with winds reaching more than 100 miles per hour battered the Midwest yesterday. More than a million homes and businesses in the Midwest lost power, including a third of Iowa’s homes, CNN reports. The storms slammed through downtown Chicago and downed trees and power lines throughout northern Illinois. Late last night the storm was moving east, and hopefully easing up.

➤100 ARRESTED AFTER CHICAGO MELEE: More than 100 people were arrested early yesterday morning after hundreds of rioters swept through Chicago’s fancy Magnificent Mile downtown shopping district. Hundreds of people charged down the shopping streets, smashing windows, looting stores and, at one point, exchanging gunfire with police. Thirteen police officers were injured and two civilians were shot during the four-hour melee. The mayhem was apparently a response to an earlier incident during which a police officer and a resident exchanged gunfire.

➤LEBANON’S PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS: Lebanon’s prime minister stepped down last night in response to massive demonstrations that followed a catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s downtown. The blast was caused by the storage of dangerous chemicals at the city’s port. A number of other government officials have already resigned.

➤STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY DRAWS A CROWD: The 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in full swing as thousands of bikers descend on the South Dakota town from all over the country. As many as 250,000 are expected to attend the 10-day event. “I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to be cooped up all my life either,” one biker told NBC News. The 7,000 residents of Sturgis have been promised free coronavirus tests after the bikers depart.

USAToday 8/11/20
➤TRANSGENDER TEEN WINS SUIT: A transgender teenager in Florida has won his fight against a Florida school district that forced him to use the girl’s bathroom. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that ordered schools in St. Johns County, Florida, to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity. Drew Adams is now 19 and has already graduated from the school. He’s been fighting his court battle for three years.

➤McDONALD’S SUES EX-CEO: McDonald’s is suing its former CEO. The company says Steve Esterbrook walked away with a $40 million severance deal plus six months’ pay after admitting an affair with an employee during a company investigation last November. It seems he concealed sexual relationships with at least two other employees. The company is now reclaiming the severance pay on the grounds that Esterbrook lied about his other extracurricular activities and destroyed evidence to conceal them.

USAToday 8/11/20
➤TRUMP WANTS COLLEGE FOOTBALL BACK: President Donald Trump wants college football back. In a tweet, he expressed his support for a group of college players who are pressing for the games to go on in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled,” the president wrote on Twitter. Some well-known names are behind the student cause, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State All-America running back Chuba Hubbard and Alabama running back Najee Harris. They’re posting on social media with the hashtags #WeWantToPlay and #WeAreUnited.

➤CARDINALS-TIGERS DOUBLEHEADER POSTPONED: The St. Louis Cardinals’ doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers has been postponed so that players can stretch out their quarantine time, according to Major League Baseball. With 13 games postponed so far, the Cardinals haven’t played since July 29. Nine players and seven staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus.

➤METS PITCHER STROMAN OPTS OUT: New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman is opting out of the 2020 baseball season, citing concerns over coronavirus. “There’s just too many uncertainties, too many unknowns right now to go out there, and truly just put the health for my family and myself first and foremost,” he said. Stroman was sidelined by a calf injury but has now recovered.

Promos For Podcasts Explode On Radio

This week’s Westwood One blog focuses on podcasting, America’s fastest growing ad-supported audio platform.

CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One conducted an analysis of U.S. podcast promotion on U.S. AM/FM radio using Media Monitors, the largest ad occurrence measurement service. AM/FM radio broadcasters are increasingly using their massive audiences to create awareness and interest in podcasts.

  • Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” reports reveal podcast audience shares have tripled in the past four years, Spotify and Pandora are stagnant, and AM/FM radio continues to dominate. 
  • American broadcasters are leveraging their massive reach to create interest and awareness in podcasts. 
  • Podcast promos on AM/FM radio have increased 3.5X over the prior year: In the first half of 2020, a stunning 1.8 million podcast promos were aired on American AM/FM radio stations, representing a 3.5X increase over the same period in the prior year. 
  • Year to date podcast promotion on U.S. AM/FM radio equates to $61 million: Extrapolating Media Monitor’s coverage of 65% of the U.S. population to the total U.S. generates an estimate of about $61 million worth of inventory devoted to podcast promotion in the first half of 2020.  
  • From January to June 2020, Media Monitors captured 601 different podcasts being promoted on U.S. AM/FM radio. 
  • In June 2020, 71% of Americans were exposed to podcast promos an average of 16.9 times, generating two billion advertising impressions. 

Buffalo Radio: Cumulus Promotes Joe Siragusa, Tiffany Bentley

Cumulus Media appoints Joe Siragusa as Program Director for WEDG 103.3 The Edge in Buffalo, NY.   The Alternative outlet also announced that it had named Tiffany Bentley as Assistant Program Director.

Joe Siragusa

Siragusa will continue to serve as Program Director for co-owned Classic Hits WHTT 104.1 FM, a post he's held for almost 19 years. A 30-year radio programming veteran, Siragusa has programmed stations including WRCL-FM Richmond VA, KGOR-FM Omaha NE and WRQN-FM Toledo OH, among others.

In addition to her new duties as Assistant Program Director, Bentley will continue to serve 103.3 The Edge as Music Director and afternoon air personality, positions she has held for over 4 years. Prior to that, she was did mornings on WLKK-FM in Buffalo. Bentley has also held programming and on-air post at stations in Bethlehem PA, and Syracuse NY.

Tiffany Bentley
Cumulus Buffalo VP/Market Manager Jim Riley said, "I'm thrilled to be able to announce that Joe Siragusa will be taking the reins at 103.3 The Edge. Joe has been part of Buffalo's programming leadership for most of The Edge's 25-year history. His understanding of the station's heritage and the Buffalo market make him the perfect choice for this opportunity. With Tiffany Bentley as APD, I think we have a formidable team."

Siragusa commented, "The Edge is a heritage brand with a tremendously talented and passionate staff. I am thrilled to expand my role at Cumulus Buffalo and be part of the future of such a remarkable radio station."

Bentley remarked, "I feel honored to work with such a great team and to be able to continue to contribute to and grow such a strong brand in this expanded role."