Monday, January 16, 2017

Fox News Brings Bob Beckel Back To 'The Five'

Bob Beckel
Bob Beckel, who offers a liberal counterpoint on the network’s late-afternoon panel show “The Five,” will return Monday evening as a co-host of the 5 p.m. program, which he left in June of 2015.

“Bob was missed by many fans of ‘The Five’ and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News Channel and its corporate parent, 21st Century Fox, in a prepared statement.

According to Variety, Beckel, who in the past served as a political consultant as well as a campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, was one of the original co-hosts of the program. He left in 2015 while recuperating from back surgery in a split that was seen as less an amicable.

Beckel’s re-hire continues to put a spotlight on Rupert Murdoch’s influence at the cable-news outlet, which had been run for years by Roger Ailes. Murdoch was also said to be instrumental in the move of conservative journalist Tucker Carlson to a one-hour program. Carlson’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” launched in November on Fox News and has since been moved to the network’s 9 p.m. slot – a berth previously occupied by Megyn Kelly.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to go home again and join my television family around the table of ‘The Five’,” said Beckel, in a prepared statement. “I have no doubt it will be a vigorous yet entertaining debate.”

“The Five” has been the most-watched cable-news program in its timeslot for 66 consecutive months, according to data from Nielsen.

Monica Crowley To Forego Post In Trump Administration

Monica Crowley
(Reuters) -- Monica Crowley, the foreign policy adviser tapped for a White House job under President-elect Donald Trump, will relinquish the post, a transition official told Reuters on Monday.

Crowley had been chosen to serve as senior director of strategic communications at the National Security Council. Her appointment had been shadowed by reports of plagiarism in news outlets including CNN and Politico.

“After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” she said in a statement quoted by the Washington Times.

“I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”

A CNN review found this month that Crowley plagiarized thousands of words of her 2000 dissertation for her Columbia University Ph.D.

In addition, Politico reported that it found more than a dozen examples of plagiarism in Crowley's Ph.D. dissertation.

She had been hired to work for Trump's national security adviser, retired General Michael Flynn, who said in a statement quoted by The Times that he will miss the opportunity to have Crowley on his team.

Report: Trump Team Embraces FCC Remake Blueprint

The incoming Donald Trump Administration is said to have signed off on an approach to remaking the Federal Communications Commission offered by the FCC transition team majority, one that squares with the deregulatory philosophies of FCC Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, who will be two of the three Republican votes on the commission, and one of them possibly the chair.

According to Multi-Channel News, that approach would be to restructure FCC bureaus to better reflect the convergence of the digital age as a first step, and, eventually, move functions deemed "duplicative," like, say, competition and consumer protection, to other agencies, particularly the Federal Trade Commission.

While some have described the plan as one to eliminate the FCC, and certainly many if not most of its functions could be reapportioned, landing team members Jeff Eisenach and Rosyln Layton have argued that what remains would be "a more coherent and streamlined " agency that "would more effectively serve the goals of consumers, competitors, and Congress."

According to sources familiar with the meeting, Trump officials got together with the FCC transition team Friday to vet their regulatory/deregulatory blueprint for the agency.

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FCC's Wheeler: Don't Mess With Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler
That was the message from departing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler Friday in his last speech as head of the agency.

According to c/net, Wheeler warned the incoming Republican administration against a hasty repeal of the controversial open internet rules. He said getting rid of the rules and taking a "hands-off approach" to regulating broadband and wireless networks would be a mistake and a move backward. He added that changing the rules would threaten innovation.

"The open internet is currently the law of the land," he said. "Tampering with the rules means taking away protections consumers and the online world enjoy today."

Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally.

Whether you're checking Facebook, posting pictures to Instagram, shopping on Amazon, streaming Netflix movies or watching cat videos on YouTube, all the information traveling across the Internet to you and from you should be treated the same. This means that your Internet service provider -- whether that's a broadband company like Comcast or a wireless carrier like AT&T or Verizon -- can't block or slow down your access to that content. And it means that these companies shouldn't favor their own content and services over their competitors' offerings.

Wheeler's warnings are likely falling on deaf ears. There's not a lot that Wheeler or other Democrats can do to stop Republicans from striking down the foundation of the net neutrality rules. Once Wheeler steps down on January 20, the Republicans will hold a 2-1 majority. Commissioners Mike O'Rielly and Ajit Pai, who will remain at the FCC, have already indicated they want to dismantle net neutrality. And Trump's transition team is also full of opponents to the rules.

Trump Team Considering Removing Reporters From TWH


(Reuters) -- President-elect Donald Trump's team could move the White House press briefing room from the West Wing to another location that accommodates more media from around the country, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday.

Esquire magazine reported on Saturday that the Trump administration planned to relocate White House reporters from the press room to the White House Conference Center or the Old Executive Office Building next door.

Reince Priebus
Speaking on ABC's "This Week", Priebus said the team discussed moving news conferences out of the small West Wing briefing room to the Old Executive Office, which is part of the White House complex. He said no decision had been made.

"I know that some of the folks in the press are uptight about this, and I understand," Priebus said. "The only thing that's been discussed is whether or not the initial press conferences are going to be in that small press ... the press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny."

"So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the number of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more coverage from all over the country ... That's what we're talking about."

Such a move would mark a potential change in access for reporters as the current briefing room is only steps from the Oval Office. The White House Conference Center had been used as a temporary press room during the George W. Bush administration.

Jeff Mason
The current press room has about 49 seats. Trump has long had contentious relations with what he refers to derisively as the "mainstream media," banning some news outlets during the presidential campaign and publicly criticizing individual reporters.

Those tensions escalated last week after some news organizations reported unsubstantiated allegations that suggested the president-elect could be blackmailed by Russia.

The White House Correspondents' Association objected in a statement to "any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps," and said that it would fight to keep the briefing room and access to senior administration officials open. Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent, is president of the WHCA.

On CBS' "Face the Nation," Vice President-elect Mike Pence said there was a "tremendous" amount of interest in the incoming administration.

"The interest of the team is to make sure that we accommodate the broadest number of people who are interested and media from around the country and around the world," Pence said.

Pence's comments start at the 14;10 Times Mark:


The briefing room was built in 1970 by Richard Nixon over an old swimming pool installed by Franklin Roosevelt that was used regularly by John F. Kennedy but underutilized by later administrations. But the presence of reporters at the White House dates back even farther.

In addition to theater-style seats where the White House press secretary conducts daily briefings, the press area of the White House includes workspace for television, radio, print and online news organizations that cover the administration on a daily basis.

Bocelli, Holliday Won't Perform At Inauguration

Opera star Andrea Bocelli has backed out of singing at Donald Trump's inauguration after receiving death threats - joining the list of celebrities to decline or cancel on the president-elect.

Andrea Bocelli
The Daily Mail is reporting the revelation of death threats came as another singer - Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday - pulled out of Trump's festivities on Saturday after being threatened and branded an 'Uncle Tom'.

When blind tenor Bocelli announced he would not sing at this Friday's celebration, it was widely reported it was because fans had said they would boycott his concerts and records.

But a source said the 58-year-old had been determined to 'press ahead' and sing but had pulled out on the advice of his security team after receiving threats to his life.

Jennifer Holiday
A source close to Bocelli, a friend of Trump's, said: 'Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk.'

Toby Keith
The president-elect's inaugural committee had announced Friday that Holliday - a Tony award winner who is black - would perform in a concert at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve of the tycoon's inauguration, joining a lineup featuring country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood.

She pulled out after disgruntled fans - including many from the LGBT community, where she has developed a loyal following - took to Twitter to denounce her slated participation.

Country star Toby Keith responded to critics of his decision to perform at Trump's inauguration.  In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the 55-year-old country singer defended his choice: 'I don't apologize for performing for our country or military.'

Toby also said continued: 'I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.'

NYC Radio: Gov. Christie Hints At Radio Career

Chris Christie
In a 20-minute phone call to Mike Francesa's sports-talk radio show Friday, NJ Gov. Chris Christie sounded open to the idea of taking over Francesa's program next year -- or at least to launching some kind of broadcasting career once his final term is up.

The New Jersey governor said he "can't imagine" ever running for elected office of any kind again.

The Republican governor, who hasn't held a news conference in 129 days, ended up chatting about a number of topics -- including the rumor that he might fill Francesa's seat after the host leaves his program on WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM in December after 30 years.

Francesca's departure nearly coincides with the end of Christie's second and final term on Jan. 18, 2018. And speculation about what Christie will do next has been rampant.


Christie, a major sports fan who has often guest-hosted on another WFAN show, "Boomer & Carton," told Francesa he has three criteria for his next job: "One, I want to have fun. Two, I want to make money. And three, I want to be able to spend more time with my kids."

Francesa responded: "I can think of a job that fills all those -- the one that I'm going to vacate on the 15th of December. You have been mentioned as a candidate."

"I can tell you this: You and I are speculated about what we're going to do next as much or more than anyone in this New York metropolitan area," Christie replied. "And only you and I know what we're willing to do and what we're not willing to do."

"But I'm gonna have wide-open ears," he added. "It's the first time I'm a free agent."

NY Radio: 'Lack of Content' Dooms Progressive Talk WNYY

Beginning on February 1 WNYY 1470 AM, the progressive talk station owned by Cayuga Radio Group will be changing format to oldies.

For more than a dozen years, the progressive talk format featuring the likes of Jon Grayson, Leslie Marshall and the Car Doctor, Ron Annanian, has aired in Ithaca at 1470 AM and at W249CD 97.7 FM.

When news broke, listeners of the station began calling in and, because of the election season, some began to cry conspiracy. However, this is not the case, reports ithaca.com.

"We're losing so many shows on that station we can't cover a full schedule anymore," WHCU News Director Kyle Robertson said in a Facebook message. "So we're getting rid of progressive talk entirely and changing it to a music station. WHCU (the conservative talk) will be staying the same, and that's made some people upset."

WNYY 1470 AM (5 Kw, 1 Kw-N)
Cayuga Radio Group President Chet Osadchey provided a fuller explanation of what's happening.
We always had a good following of listeners and advertisers on WNYY. Our Progressive Talk format was comprised of the traditional “syndicated” shows, meaning these shows are contracted with local radio stations (affiliates).  The business models is that the syndicator retains some of the commercial inventory to sell to national advertisers, and the local radio station also has commercial inventory to sell the remaining to local businesses.  Even today that model can work well on terrestrial radio.   
What has happened to WNYY in the last couple years is that for various reasons many of the shows we carry from the syndicators have gone away from syndication (no longer available to a local station):  Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Ring of Fire, Ed Shultz, and now Bill Press and Jon Grayson (and Leslie Marshall going from 3 hours daily to 1).  When I say “gone away”, that means these shows are no longer available for a local station like WNYY radio…so when that happens, we have no product to put on the airwaves..  So without product to air… you don’t have a station.

R.I.P.: Tulsa Radio, TV Personality Bill Hyden


Bill Hyden, a pioneering Tulsa radio and television personality, died last week. He was 93, according to the Tulsa World.

For Tulsans who woke up with Bill Hyden in the 1960s, no two mornings were ever the same.
“It was so zany. It really brought out his childlike side,” said Hyden’s daughter, Becky Hyden, recalling KOTV’s “Sun Up” variety show, which her father hosted from 1960 to ‘64.

Bill Hyden
One show would find him donning makeup with a clown, another doing floor exercises with Jack LaLanne.

A familiar face to Tulsans in the 1950s and ’60s, Hyden enjoyed on-air roles with KOTV and what is now KJRH, and for years was a popular emcee at pageants and events.

Hyden’s media career began in radio.

At the University of Tulsa, he was an original announcer with TU-based KWGS, the state’s first FM radio station. He would go on to announce for KRMG, KVOO and radio stations in Oklahoma City and Muskogee.

Expanding into the new medium of television, Hyden became the first weatherman on KVOO-TV (now KJRH) in 1954 when the station first went on the air. He held that position for several years.
After a couple of years in New York City, Hyden returned to Tulsa to become host of “Sun Up,” and he would later anchor the station’s 10 p.m. news.

In 1971, he launched KTBA-FM in Broken Arrow and was manager and part owner.

R.I.P.: Guitarist Tommy Allsup Has Died At 85

Buddy Holly, Tommy Allsup
Tommy Allsup, guitarist who became a renowned backup player for Bob Wills, Kenny Rogers and hundreds of other entertainers on thousands of recording sessions — and who owed his long career to a fateful coin toss in 1959 — died Jan. 11 in Springfield, Mo.

He was 85-years-of-age, according to The Washington Post.

Allsup was touring the Midwest with rock sensation Buddy Holly on Feb. 2, 1959, when Holly, tired of riding through the snow in an unheated tour bus, chartered a four-seat Beechcraft airplane for him and the band.

The bus had been so cold that Holly’s drummer, Carl Bunch, left the tour because of a frostbitten foot. Holly and fellow headliner Ritchie Valens were taking turns on drums during each other’s sets. Holly had planned to fly his band from Clear Lake, Iowa, to a stopover in Fargo, N.D., before the next show in Moorhead, Minn.

In the dressing room after the Clear Lake show, Mr. Allsup agreed to flip a coin for the seat with singer Valens. He took out a half-dollar piece, and Valens called heads. Ben Franklin came up.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever won anything in my life,” Valens reportedly said.

Holly’s bassist, Waylon Jennings, voluntarily gave up his seat to another headliner, J.P. Richardson, better known as The Big Bopper. Richardson had the flu.

Tommy Allsup
But Holly, Valens and Richardson never made it to their next gig. The plane crashed into a cornfield about five miles north of the airport around 1 a.m. on Feb. 3, and their bodies were ejected from the plane. They died on impact.

The tour didn’t stop. Mr. Allsup, Jennings and Bunch, all of whom rode the bus, soldiered on for two more weeks with Jennings singing Holly’s songs. Dion and the Belmonts were brought in as headliners.

Allsup’s recordings behind Holly in 1958, included “It’s So Easy,” credited to the Crickets and later covered by Linda Ronstadt, and “Heartbeat.”

Mr. Allsup’s career neither began nor ended with Holly. Fresh out of high school, Mr. Allsup was hired by western swing bandleader Johnnie Lee Wills, the bandleader at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Okla.

Throughout the 1940s, Cain’s had served as the house gig for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, the group often credited with creating western swing, the Southwestern synthesis of big band jazz, hillbilly and mariachi music.  His rhythm guitar graced such recordings as the Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown,” Rogers’s “The Gambler” and Charlie Rich’s “Behind Closed Doors.” He also recorded the sci-fi folk novelty number “In the Year 2525,” by the duo Zager and Evans, a No. 1 pop recording in 1969.

January 16 Radio History


 In 1910...one of the great announcers of bigtime radio Dwight Weist was born in Palo Alto Calif.  As well as being the commercial announcer on Inner Sanctum Mysteries & host of We the People, among many announcing assignments, he also had acting roles as the very first Mr. District Attorney, one of several Commissioner Westons on The Shadow, and one of the male actors to play Burton on the soap The Second Mrs. Burton. He suffered a fatal heart attack July 16 1991 at age 81.



FLASHBACK...













Click Here to Flashback to Radio January 16, 1926. How's this for an astounding headline?














In 1939....the shrill siren call of radio’s “I Love a Mystery” was heard for the first time as the show debuted on NBC’s West Coast outlets. Creator Carleton E. Morse already had an established hit in a completely different genre, ‘One Man’s Family.’

In 1944...the family sitcom ‘The Life of Riley‘ began a 7 year run on radio, the first 18 months on the Blue Network, thereafter on NBC. A blue-collar William Bendix starred as Chester A. Riley.





In 1947...Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Schlessinger's first appearance on radio was in 1975 when she called in to a KABC show hosted by Bill Ballance. Impressed by her quick wit and sense of humor, Ballance began featuring her in a weekly segment. Schlessinger's stint on Ballance's show led to her own shows on a series of small radio stations. By 1979 she was on the air Sunday evenings from 9:00 to midnight on KWIZ in Santa Ana, California. That year, the Los Angeles Times described her show as dealing with all types of emotional problems, "though sex therapy is the show's major focus".

In the late 1980s, Schlessinger was filling in for Barbara De Angelis' noon-time relationship-oriented talk show in Los Angeles on KFI, while working weekends at KGIL in San Fernando. Her big break came when Sally Jessy Raphael began working at ABC Radio, and Maurice Tunick, former Vice-President of Talk Programming for the ABC Radio Networks, needed a regular sub for Raphael's evening personal advice show. Tunick chose Schlessinger to fill in for Raphael.

Ultimately, Schlessinger began broadcasting a daily show on KFI which was nationally syndicated in 1994 by Synergy, a company owned by Schlessinger and her husband. In 1997, Synergy sold its rights to the show to Jacor Communications, Inc., for $71.5 million. Later, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications and a company co-owned by Schlessinger, Take On The Day, LLC, acquired the production rights. The show became a joint effort between Take On The Day, which produced it, Talk Radio Network, which syndicated and marketed it to radio stations, and Premiere Radio Networks, (a subsidiary of Clear Channel), which provided satellite facilities and handled advertising sales. As of September 2009, Schlessinger broadcast from her home in Santa Barbara, California with KFWB as her flagship station.[24] Podcasts and live streams of the show have been available on her website for a monthly fee, and the show was also on XM Satellite Radio.

At its peak, The Dr. Laura Program was the second-highest-rated radio show after The Rush Limbaugh Show, and was heard on more than 450 radio stations.

In May 2002, the show still had an audience of more than 10 million, but had lost several million listeners in the previous two years as it was dropped by WABC and other affiliates, and was moved from day to night in cities such as Seattle and Boston. These losses were attributed in part to Schlessinger's shift from giving relationship advice to lecturing on morality and conservative politics. Pressure from gay rights groups caused dozens of sponsors to drop the radio show as well.  In 2006, Schlessinger's show was being aired on approximately 200 stations. As of 2009, it was tied for third place along with The Glenn Beck Program and The Savage Nation.

On August 17, 2010, during an appearance on Larry King Live, Schlessinger announced the end of her radio show saying that her motivation was to "regain her First Amendment rights", and that she wanted to be able to say what is on her mind without "some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent."  Several of her affiliates and major sponsors had dropped her show after her on air use of a racial epithet on August 10.

On January 3, 2011, Schlessinger's show moved exclusively to Sirius XM Radio.


In 1972....David Seville died of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, just days short of his 53rd birthday.  Born Ross Bagdasarian, the musician was the force, and artist, behind the Alvin and the Chipmunks novelty songs of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.  Seville first claimed fame, not through the novelty impact of the hit, “The Chipmunk Song” (it sold 3.5 million copies in five weeks); but by writing Rosemary Clooney’s biggest hit, “Come on-a My House”, in the early 1950s and the number one hit, “Witch Doctor”, in 1958.


In 1986...evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and longtime leader of the Worldwide Church of God, and original voice of the longtime radio/TV religious broadcast, “The World Tomorrow,” died at the age of 93.  His son and fellow preacher,Garner Ted Armstrong, succeeded him on the air in 1957 and became much more well-known.


In 2016…Former Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens head coach/Colts radio color commentator/Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Cardinals quarterback Ted Marchibroda died at age 84.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January 15 Radio History


In 1899...Goodman Ace was born. He was a Radio/TV actor/writer/columnist/humorist.

Goodman, Jane Ace 1938
In 1930, Ace took on a job reading the Sunday comics on radio station KMBC in Kansas City and hosting a Friday night film review and gossip program called Ace Goes to the Movies. Ace was not initially a volunteer for the job. An editor at the Kansas City Journal-Post had the idea that having an employee read the newspaper's comics on the air for children would increase circulation for the paper. Taking the job meant an extra $10 per week in one's paycheck, but none of the newsroom staff was interested.

One night the recorded fifteen-minute show scheduled to air after Ace's timeslot failed to feed. With an immediate need to fill fifteen minutes' more airtime and his wife having accompanied him to the station that night, Ace slipped into an impromptu chat about a bridge game the couple played the previous weekend and invited Jane to join the chat which soon enough included discussion of a local murder case in which a wife murdered her husband over an argument about bridge. Loaded with Goodman's wry wit and Jane's knack for malaprops, the couple's surprise improvisation provoked a response enthusiastic enough to convince KMBC to hand them a regular fifteen-minute slot, creating and performing a "domestic comedy" of their own.

At first, the show that became known as Easy Aces centered around the couple's bridge playing, according to John Dunning in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998): "Ace was not wild about Jane's bridge game, on the air or off, and he kept picking at her until she lost her temper and threatened to quit. The show settled into a new niche, a more universally based domestic comedy revolving around Jane's improbable situations and her impossible turns of phrase."

Written by Goodman Ace, who cast himself as a harried real estate salesman and the exasperated but loving husband of deceptively scatterbrained, malaprop-prone Jane ("You've got to take the bitter with the better"; "Time wounds all heels"), Easy Aces became a long-running serial comedy (1930–1945) and a low-keyed legend of old-time radio for its literate, unobtrusive, conversational style and the malaprops of the female half of the team.

While writing Easy Aces, Ace also wrote for other radio shows, earning $3,000 per week.


In 1945..."House Party" with Art Linkletter debuted on CBS Radio. The daily radio program aired for a total of 22 years. A television version of the show began in 1952 and ran for 17 years.


In 1953...Harry S. Truman became the first U.S. President to use Radio and TV to deliver his farewell upon leaving office.




In 1955...At the "Louisiana Hayride" in Shreveport, "Colonel" Tom Parker got his first look at a young singer named Elvis Presley singing "Hearts Of Stone," "That's All Right," and "Tweedle Dee."


In 1955...Billboard magazine reports that "music with an R&B beat is not longer regarded as a passing phase by major recording firms," citing the recent success of white pop covers of R&B hits.



In 1961...Motown Records signed the Primettes – Barbara Martin, Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Diana Ross – to a recording contract, on condition that they change the group's name. From several possibilities, they settled on the suggestion by Florence Ballard: the Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962.



In 1967...The Rolling Stones appeared on a live broadcast of CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show" to sing both sides of their new single, "Ruby Tuesday" and "Let’s Spend The Night Together."

Sullivan, however, instructed them to change the chorus of "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's spend some time together." Lead singer Mick Jagger complied, but deliberately called attention to the censorship by rolling his eyes and mugging when he uttered the new words.

After the performance, the Stones went backstage, then came back out dressed in Nazi uniforms with swastikas, which caused an angry Sullivan to tell them to return to their dressing rooms and change back into their performing outfits. Instead the Stones left the studio and Sullivan banned the group from ever appearing on his show again.



In 1974...The nostalgia sitcom Happy Days premieres on ABC.

In 1994...Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep at age 52. Nilsson never fully recovered from a heart attack the previous February. He had his first hit with the No. 6 song “Everybody’s Talkin’ ” from the 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy.” His biggest hit was the million-selling 1971 song “Without You,” which topped Billboard’s singles chart for four weeks.


In 1996...orchestra leader/arranger Les Baxter died of heart and kidney failure at age 73.  On radio he was musical director for “The Halls of Ivy, ” and the Bob Hope & Abbott and Costello Shows.

As leader & arranger for Capitol records in the ’50’s he arranged many of Nat Cole’s hits, and produced his own instrumental successes “Ruby”, “Unchained Melody” and “The Poor People Of Paris”.  Early in his career he sang with Mel Torme’s Meltones.

San Antonio Radio: KONO-AM Drops Sports For Oldies

Cox Media Group San Antonio plans to pull the plug on its CBS Sports Radio programming and launch a new format on KONO 860 AM that will be familiar to listeners.

In the 60s and 70s, KONO and KTSA 550 AM battled in the top-40 format. Although KONO's more recurrent-based style frequently played second-fiddle to the more current-oriented KTSA, it continued to do well.

“Our rational is pretty simple,” said Roger Allen, director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group San Antonio told the San Antonio Business Journal. “We know San Antonio has an appetite for this brand and the music it will play.”

Allen said Cox Media Group’s KONO 101.1 FM property performs well with listeners and the company wanted to complement its classic-hits format with the older chart toppers.

KONO 860 am (5 Kw, 900w DA-N)
As a result of the change, fans of nationally syndicated sports talk host Jim Rome will have to look elsewhere for his weekday show. Another casualty of Cox Media’s decision is Walter Pasacrita, who has hosted one of the few San Antonio-centric sports shows available in the local market.

Cox Media made the change immediately after Pasacrita’s afternoon show concluded at 6 p.m. on Friday.

PEOTUS Trump Meets With Steve Harvey

President-elect Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson reached out Friday for help battling the problems facing Chicago and other inner cities — enlisting Radio/TV Personality Steve Harvey.

“We’re gonna team up and see if we can bring about some positive change in the inner cities, which I felt was my only agenda,” Harvey told reporters.

“He agreed, and he wants to do something. And he realizes that he needs some allies in that department. He seemed really sincere about it.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Trump met with Harvey at the Trump Tower in New York on Friday, but offered no details on the meeting.

“He’s a great friend of ours,” the president-elect told reporters. “Everybody knows Steve Harvey. Everyone having fun? Steve just came up to say hello.”

After Trump walked away, Harvey told reporters that he came to meet with the newly elected president at the request of Trump’s and Obama’s “transition teams.”

Harvey, who turns 60 on Tuesday, endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton last year and came under fire over allegations his staff provided her advance questions before a February interview on his radio show.

The entertainer said Trump introduced him to Carson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development. And they discussed help for the inner cities.

Harvey himself laughed when a reporter asked if he’s hoping to get the president-elect’s family on “Family Feud.”

“The Trumps being on ‘Family Feud’?” Harvey said.

“Yeah, against the Obamas. That’d be good. Or how about the Clintons? If I could set it up, it’d be skyrocketing for the ratings.”

Charlie Sykes Returning To Air On National Show

Charlie Sykes
For WTMJ 620 AM Milwaukee talk radio show host Charlie Sykes is returning to the airwaves as a co-host of a national public radio show produced by non-com WNYC, according to Politico.

Skyes, who in October announced that he would step down from his daily talk radio show after 23 years, will join longtime WNYC radio personality Brian Lehrer, Minnesota Public Radio’s Kerri Miller and Kai Wright, formerly of The Nation, to serve as a co-host of "Indivisible," a weeknight call-in radio show. Wright, who had been co-host of two WNYC podcasts, will join WNYC full-time for the new show.

"Indivisible" will premiere on Jan. 23..

The show, co-produced by WNYC and Minnesota Public Radio, will center on the concerns of listeners who call into the show from around the country. Sykes’ segment of the show will be on Wednesday nights, when he will “interview policy makers and engage listeners in conversation that weighs developments in the new administration’s first 100 days against American values and conservative principles,” WNYC said in a release. Lehrer’s segment will air on Tuesdays.

When he stepped down from his show in October, Sykes wrote that the conservative movement had been "badly damaged" and that the conservative media was "broken."

"I'm immensely flattered to be asked to participate in this ongoing conversation that I hope can help some us break out of our ideological bubbles," Sykes said in a statement.

JSonline.com reports the show won't be airing in Milwaukee, however. In an email, Dave Edwards, WUWM 897 FM director and general manager, said the Milwaukee public radio station had been interested in carrying "Indivisible," and "even volunteered to produce the show at WUWM at no cost." But Edwards said, the station was informed that, under the terms of Sykes' retirement from WTMJ, any program he hosts can't be broadcast over the air in Wisconsin.

SiriusXM To Launch Daily "Hits 1 in Hollywood"


SiriusXM announced Friday the launch of a new daily show on SiriusXM Hits 1 starring comedian/television host Michael Yo, radio personality Tony Fly and singer Symon.

Hits 1 in Hollywood, broadcasting live from the SiriusXM studios in Los Angeles, will officially expand the channel's live broadcasts from coast to coast, as SiriusXM Hits 1's The Morning Mash Up will continue to air live from New York City weekday mornings.

Michael Yo
Hits 1 in Hollywood will launch on Tuesday, January 17 on SiriusXM Hits 1 live from the landmark Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood. The new daily show will feature today's biggest hits in contemporary music, along with pop culture news, artist and celebrity interviews, and fast-paced fun during West Coast drive time.

"We are excited to add more live daily programming on our preeminent pop music channel Hits 1, the most influential pop channel in radio today. Hits 1 in Hollywood live from our L.A. studios will become a must listen for our audience from coast to coast and allow us even more access to the biggest celebrities and music stars," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.

Tony Fly
"I am so excited to be part of such an amazing company and to be heard nationally. Bringing the heart of Hollywood to Hits 1 on SiriusXM is a dream come true," said Michael Yo.

The daily three hour show will premiere on Tuesday, January 17 at 4:00 pm PT on SiriusXM Hits 1, via satellite on channel 2 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com.  Hits 1 in Hollywood will air Monday—Friday, from 4:00 pm —7:00 pm PT.

Michael Yo is a stand-up comedian and entertainment and pop culture expert. Michael can be seen on CBS' The Insider, covering the latest in celebrity news; as well as guest co-hosting CBS' The Talk, and appearing regularly as a hot topic talker on The Wendy Williams Show.

Tony Fly, a veteran radio and TV host, has appeared on highly-rated radio programs in Austin, New Orleans, New York City and Minneapolis. He is the former host of late night Fox TV in Minneapolis.

Sony Entertainment CEO Exiting For A Top Role At Snap

Michael Lynton
By Lisa Richwine | LOS ANGELES

(Reuters) --Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton will step down to become chairman of the board of messaging app owner Snap Inc, a move that puts an experienced Hollywood executive in a prominent role as the technology company prepares for an initial public offering.

Lynton will give up his current position at Sony's movie and television unit on Feb. 2 but remain as co-CEO for six months to help find a successor, Japanese conglomerate Sony Corp said in a statement on Friday.

Snap, the owner of the popular Snapchat app, is expected to go public early this year, vying for a $25 billion valuation. Lynton was an early investor in the company co-founded by 26-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel, and has served on its board for nearly four years.

The Venice, California-based company has made a push into news and entertainment content, a strategy that heightened competition with social networks such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc. In 2015, it began sharing video and articles from TV networks such as CNN and ESPN on a feature called Snapchat Discover.

It also signed deals in 2016 with media companies such as Walt Disney Co and Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal to have them produce original shows for Snapchat.

Lynton, in a 13-year career at Sony, oversaw hit movies including the "The Social Network" and James Bond film "Skyfall," but the studio has lagged behind competitors in box office share and big hits over the past year.

The TV studio under Lynton also produced successful shows such as "Breaking Bad" and "The Blacklist."

Lynton's tenure at Sony Entertainment was also marked by a devastating computer hack in 2014 that exposed a trove of embarrassing e-mails and employee data. The cyber attack, which the United States blamed on North Korea, crippled the studio for months and prompted an executive shuffle.

Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai will take on a larger role at the entertainment division, adding the position of co-CEO and chairman of the unit, the company said. The Tokyo-based Hirai will add a second office in Culver City, California, where the film studio is based.

"As we look ahead, we see our entertainment businesses as essential parts of Sony," Hirai said.

In November, Sony Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida said a turnaround of the movie division was "progressing, but it takes time for the benefit to be realized."

Hearst Corp. Reports Record Profit

Hearst Corp. saw only a 1 percent revenue increase in 2016 — but reported another year of record profits nevertheless, according to The NY Post.

The privately held media empire of magazines, newspapers, TV stations — which also owns a 20-percent piece of ESPN — also made about $2 billion in acquisitions.

That’s slightly behind its pace of a year ago. Deals are financed entirely out of cash flow and reserves. The company is believed to carry no debt.

“For the sixth consecutive year, Hearst achieved record profits, this time on relatively modest revenue growth to $10.8 billion,” said CEO Steve Swartz in his annual state of the corporation memo to employees on Jan. 13.

A year ago, revenue stood at $10.7 billion, suggesting that without acquisitions in the mix for 2016, the corporation could have had an off year.

“Our 30 Hearst television stations, aided by a strong performance in political advertising thanks to our best in class political coverage and Hearst Health, our five health care data and software platform companies, led the way with outstanding revenue and profit growth,” Swartz said.

The entertainment and syndication group, which includes Hearst’s minority share in joint-venture cable networks including ESPN, A&E, and Lifetime, remained the largest of the company’s six operating groups.

A spokesman confirmed this but said the company does not quantify the individual group revenues.

January 14 Radio History




In 1907...Dr. Lee DeForest patented the Audion tube. De Forest is generally thought of as the "Father of Radio". The Audion tube allowed amplification which made Radio transmission more practical for voice and music.

The Audion was the fastest electronic switching element of the time, and was later used in early digital electronics (such as computers). The triode was vital in the development of transcontinental telephone communications, radio, and radar until the 1948 invention of the transistor.



In 1927…Jack Benny married Sadye Marks. Five years later, Marks started playing Mary Livingstone, a character on Benny's radio show, and became so identified with the part that she legally changed her name to Mary Livingstone.


In 1939..."Honolulu Bound" first aired on the CBS Radio Network.


In 1949...The detective series "Yours Truly Johnny Dollar," starring Charles Russell, then Edmond O'Brien and later John Lund, began its 12-year run on CBS Radio. The show was revived as a nightly radio serial in 1955 with Bob Bailey as the lead actor and continued in various forms until 1962.


In 1955...disc jockey Alan Freed held his first Rock `n’ Roll Party stage show in New York. Acts included the Clovers, Fats Domino and the Drifters.


In 1957...actor Humphrey Bogart, the major Hollywood star who co-starred with his wife Lauren Bacall in the wildly successful syndicated radio show “Bold Venture,” succumbed to cancer of the esophagus at age 57.


In 1966...Singer David Jones changed his last name to Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees.



In 1973...Elvis Presley drew the largest single television audience ever for his "Aloha From Hawaii" concert, broadcast live via satellite from Honolulu's International Center Arena to more than one billion people in 40 countries. Viewers in North America didn't get to see the show live, or at all, until April 4 when it was aired by NBC-TV. The audio from the concert was released as a double-album later that year.


In 1981...The Federal Communications Commission freed U.S. broadcasting stations to air as many commercials per hour as they wish.




In 1985...Dan Ingram started at WKTU 92.3 FM in NYC. Station is now WBMP and is owned by CBS Radio.


In 2013...WFME 94.7 FM In the NYC market changed call letters to WRXP.


In 2016…Radio news veteran Al Hart, the morning news anchor at KCBS-San Francisco for 24 years until his retirement in 2000, died of corticobasal degeneration, a rare, progressive brain disease, at age 88.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Killing FM Radio: Could It Happen Here?

As Norway switches off its FM radio network this week, other nations have abandoned similar plans, leaving the Scandinavian country a lonely beacon of digital-only broadcasting in a world that’s rapidly moving on to music streaming and podcasts.

According to Bloomberg, the switch to digital audio broadcasting, a first for any country, will be watched closely by other European nations, which are starting to question the benefits of shutting down analog networks. Success in Norway may be the last hope for enthusiasts and electronics retailers to revive digital-radio plans that have largely ground to a halt in the rest of the world.

Norway’s blueprint to replace FM has been in place for years, originating with its first digital broadcasts back in 1995. The technology offers better sound than analog FM, is easier to tune and more affordable for broadcasters because it uses spectrum more efficiently. But in the intervening decades, a different technology took hold: internet radio and music streaming from companies such as Spotify Ltd. and Apple Inc., and Pandora Media Inc. in the U.S.

The trend isn’t likely to reverse. New cars are routinely equipped with dashboards that connect to the internet and smartphones through services such as Android Auto and Apple Carplay. At last count, Spotify had 40 million paying users worldwide and Apple Music counted 20 million. There are dozens more services -- streaming lets consumers create their own playlists, and they can pay to avoid commercials. Traditional radio stations have also gone online.


Norwegian radio hosts Berith Olderskog and Geir Schau shut down the northern part of Norway’s FM radio network in favor of digital radio at a ceremony in Bodo, Norway this week.

Could It Happen Here?

According to the National Association of Broadcasters, the answer is No.  A thousand times – No.

The NAB's Christopher Ornelas writes this development is much ado about nothing. The difference between Norway radio and American radio is as stark as the Northern Lights versus fireworks on the Capitol Mall on the Fourth of July.

In a blog post, he lists why:
  • Norway has 5 million radio listeners; there are 268 million listeners in the U.S. every week;
  • Many of Norway’s radio stations are state-owned; in the U.S., commercial radio listening dominates the charts in most places.
  • Norway is converting to digital radio using a completely different technology than we are in the U.S.
That last bullet point is especially important. Norway (along with much of the rest of Europe) long ago adopted a digital radio transition plan completely at odds with the plan adopted in the U.S.

Norway requires two separate swaths of spectrum for radio – one for its FM stations and another for its digital radio channels. It costs the government (and broadcasters) extra money to run both services to deliver the same content. Turning off analog FM is apparently seen by the Norwegian parliament as a cost-saving efficiency – even though actual radio listeners in Norway are quite unhappy about losing this service.

By contrast, we in the U.S. chose a different path to digital radio. Our system, “in-band, on channel digital” – better known now as HD Radio – uses identical spectrum and the same channels for both analog and digital services. Thus, there’s no cost-saving advantage to shutting down analog FM services in America. More than 2,300 radio stations in the U.S. have converted to HD Radio, which improves the radio listening experience and affords American radio stations a remarkable array of advanced capabilities.

Ornelas' Bottom line: No way will America go Norway’s route and “turn off” FM radio. It’s just not going to happen, in my lifetime or yours.

Broadcaster, Newspaper Reporter Among Most Stressful Jobs


If you thrive on stress, working as a Firefighter, Police Officer, Newspaper Reporter, or Broadcaster might be a good fit for you. But if you want a less pressure-filled work atmosphere, you should consider professions such as Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Information Security Analyst, or University Professor, according to CareerCast's 2017 Job Stress report.

CareerCast analyzed 11 factors in identifying the most and least stressful jobs, including deadlines, hazards, public scrutiny, physical demands, competition, and career growth potential.

On-the-job stress can be caused by a variety of reasons. For professions like Firefighter, Military and Police Officer, stress results from putting their lives at risk and being responsible for the lives of others. In the cases of Newspaper Reporter and Broadcaster, working under tight deadlines, and the fear of lawsuits or layoffs may cause stress. (Broadcasters have a negative job outlook of -9% and the outlook for Newspaper Reporters is -8%.)

"Even though they may be stressful, these professions are crucial to American's safety and democracy," says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. "Firefighters, Military and Police Officers protect us, and Newspaper Reporters and Broadcasters have a big impact in showing us the truth amidst the trend of "'fake news'".

If you don't flourish in a physically demanding, hazardous or unpredictable environment, CareerCast's least stressful job -- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, (annual median income of $63,630 and growth outlook of 24%) might be good fit for you. Although it requires advanced training, Audiologist is another low-stress profession (annual median income of $74,890 and growth outlook of 29%). If you have an aptitude for math, find intrigue in the secrets of data, and have the determination to work through problems until you come up with a good solution, consider the profession of Operations Research Analyst ($78,630 salary and 30% growth outlook).

CareerCast's Most Stressful Jobs of 2017:


CareerCast's Least Stressful Jobs of 2017:



To rank the most and least stressful careers from the 200 professions on the Jobs Rated report, CareerCast evaluated 11 stress factors: travel required; growth potential; deadlines; working in the public eye; competition in the field; physical demands; environmental conditions; hazards encountered on a regular basis; own life at risk; life of others at risk; and meeting or interacting with the public at large. The methodology can be found here.

Median Annual Salary and Projected Hiring Growth by 2024 are via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Forecast: Cord Cutting To Continue Impacting Cable/Satellite Biz


BIA/Kelsey has released four of its top trends to watch in local media in 2017. These predictions are taken from the new report, What’s Next: BIA/Kelsey 2017 Analyst Predictions, which is an annual report BIA/Kelsey issues to identify and explain the developments it anticipates the year will bring in mobile, social, video, programmatic, digital and traditional advertising and promotions.

“We expect this year to be a transformative period for technology and media,” said Tom Buono, CEO BIA/Kelsey. “In our predictions report, we dive into key topics such as programmatic, mobile advertising revenue, online video, small business advertising trends, local television and radio versus competing media, local on demand business models and small business advertising and marketing trends. Our examination represents the synthesis of our forecasting and analyses to help businesses get a lead on 2017 so they can approach the market with the right combination of strategies and offerings.”

Prediction #1: National brands will outpace regional and local SMBs in total ad spend to target local audiences.

Rick Ducey, BIA/Kelsey’s Managing Director expects, “National brands will outpace regional and local small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in total ad spend growth targeting local audiences. Agencies and marketers for these national brands will increase their ad spend targeting local audiences by $17.1 billion from 2015 through 2020. Regional advertisers’ spending will be relatively flat, and local SMBs will increase their spend by $10.6 billion.”

Prediction #2: Voice search will reach 25 percent of mobile search volume.

Michael Boland, BIA/Kelsey’s Chief Analyst and VP, Content, predicts, “Voice search will reach 25 percent of mobile search volume. This will mostly happen through personal assistant apps such as Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Google will emerge as the winner in what will be known as the “personal assistant app wars.” These wars will be won with data, which Google possesses from its search index and knowledge graph. Amazon’s Alexa will shine for product and commerce applications, while Microsoft and Apple will seek to excel with vertically specific content niches where they can establish best of breed content with data partners (i.e., using weather data).”

Prediction #3: The provision of “skinny bundles” and consumers opting to “cut the cord” will negatively affect the cable/satellite business.

Mark Fratrik, BIA/Kelsey’s Chief Economist and SVP, foresees, “The provision of “skinny bundles” and consumers opting to “cut the cord” will negatively affect the cable/satellite business during the next five years, with a possible benefit accruing to local television broadcasters. Those consumers will have fewer cable networks to choose from and could easily start watching more local broadcast programming, so long as they are equipped with receivers connected to digital antennas.”

Prediction #4: Print will continue to evolve and maintain a large share of small businesses’ dollars by extending campaigns with digital media.

Celine Matthiessen, BIA/Kelsey’s Vice President, Analysis & Insights, anticipates, “Print is evolving and still holds a large share of small businesses’ ad dollars. This will continue as smart companies extend print campaigns through native and digital targeted media. In our forecast for 2017, $53 billion will be spent on local print. Newspapers, magazines and Yellow Pages are offsetting declines in print revenue with digital. These traditional digital efforts are projected to grow 4.0 percent annually from 2017 to 2021. Newspapers and Yellow Pages companies continue to extend their advertisers’ reach through large networks via programmatic ad buying beyond their owned and operated properties, which levels the playing field and helps them to retain advertisers that are shifting their share to digital.”

The full 2017 predictions report, which includes over 20 predictions, is available for clients of BIA/Kelsey’s advisory services. The report can be purchased online. For more information, contact info@biakelsey.com.