Thursday, June 27, 2019

#June 27 Radio History

➦In 1907...John McIntire was born in Spokane.

John McIntire - 1941
He was best known for replacing Ward Bond, upon Bond’s sudden death, as the star of NBC-TV’s western Wagon Train from early 1961 to the series’ end in 1965. He also replaced Charles Bickford, upon Bickford’s death in 1967, as ranch owner Clay Grainger on NBC-TV’s The Virginian for four seasons.  A graduate of USC, McIntire began acting in radio in the early 30’s on the syndicated Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher, where he met his future wife, Jeanette Nolan. McIntire worked on countless Suspense CBS radio programs from the early 1940s, as well as scores of other shows. He was a key announce voice on the CBS program The March of Time.

He died on January 30, 1991 from emphysema and lung cancer, at age 83.

➦In 1949…Gene Autry recorded "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The record sold 2.5 million copies the first year and eventually sold a total of 9 million.
Gene Autry

➦In 1956...Clarence Henry released "Ain't Got No Home" to Radio. It became his first hit song.

➦In 1995...Former WMMS engineer William Alford is sentenced to 10 days & $1,000 fine for cutting feed during Howard Stern's broadcast on WNCX  from Cleveland.

Among the most notorious broadcasts of The Howard Stern Show occurred on June 10, 1994.  Stern had arrived on the Cleveland airwaves less than two years earlier, and in that time took his syndicated program on rival WNCX from an Arbitron ranking of thirteen to number one.  As promised, Stern held a party for his fans on the streets of Cleveland – a "Funeral" for his local rivals, much like similar events held in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia – and broadcast it nationwide.

During the now infamous broadcast, WMMS engineer William Alford snipped a broadcast wire used for the Stern show's satellite feed.  Stern continued on with the program over a phone line as engineers worked to quickly patch together the severed broadcast wire. Alford was subsequently caught, arrested and later sentenced to ten days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Station management initially claimed that Alford acted alone, however WMMS Promotions Director Heidi Klosterman – working under the name Heidi Kramer – later pled guilty to a felony charge of attempted disruption of a public service and a misdemeanor of receiving stolen property; Greg Smith, a former Klosterman colleague, pled guilty to a misdemeanor of breaking and entering.

➦In 2005...WRAL 101.5 FM became the first commercial station in North Carolina and only the second commercial station in the nation to utilize the "multicasting" cababilities of HD Radio technology to broadcast multiple high definition digital channels.

➦In 2017...Pandora Media’s co-founder and chief executive, Tim Westergren, announced his resignation from the company as the internet radio service contended with the rise of subscription music platforms.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

ESPN's Bob Ley Announces Retirement

Bob Ley, after a 40-year career at ESPN, announced his retirement from the network Wednesday.

Ley, who had taken a leave of absence in October, said in a statement that he will be retiring at the end of this month. He was ESPN's longest-tenured anchor.

Bob Ley’s Statement:
Across 40 years I have enjoyed a professional journey unimaginable when I joined ESPN on its first weekend of existence in 1979. Each day since has been a unique adventure, one I embraced for the challenge and unequaled fun of a job like no other.Now, it is time for change. 
I will be retiring from ESPN, as of the end of the month. 
To be clear, this is entirely my decision. I enjoy the best of health, and the many blessings of friends and family, and it is in that context that I’m making this change. 
To Jimmy Pitaro and his senior leadership team, my sincere personal thanks for their understanding and patience over the past months. 
Through the decades, and my innumerable experiences at ESPN, I have built many deep and fulfilling friendships. You know who you are. I hope you also know how much you mean to me. We have shared an American story unlike any other. And we will continue to do so in the years ahead. 
I have been gifted by our viewers and consumers with a precious commodity – your trust. To be invited into your homes was a privilege I never took for granted, one I worked each day to uphold. Thank you for that.
In September, I signed off my last show saying, “I’ll catch you on the flip side.” Now it’s time to take that vinyl off the turntable (ask your folks), flip it over, and drop the needle on the B-side. There are always great cuts, and hidden gems on the B-side. 
Thank you for a great run.  
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro on Bob Ley:
“The standard of excellence that has become a hallmark of ESPN began in the early days when we were a start-up with a bold vision. Bob was there for all of it and, over the years, his unwavering commitment and unparalleled work ethic drove our journalistic ambitions. The best way we can thank Bob for what he’s meant to ESPN and to sports fans is to continue to uphold the journalistic integrity and principles he’s instilled in ESPN for nearly 40 years.”
Ley joined ESPN on September 9, 1979, two days after the fledgling network first came on the air.

Originally a SportsCenter anchor and the leading host of ESPN’s NCAA basketball coverage, Ley quickly became the face of ESPN’s aggressive coverage of breaking news and issues. He established himself as a respected voice for ESPN’s industry-leading reporting on the most important and sometimes controversial topics in sports. From topics like doping in the Olympics and steroid use in major sports to stories about domestic violence and sexual abuse, Ley has always known how to present stories in a way that was professional, objective and smart, while serving fans in a responsible, factual manner.

Survey: Security Concerns Not Inhibiting Use of Smart Speakers

New research in The Smart Audio Report series reveals how smart speaker user behavior and perceptions are evolving as owners ‘settle in’ with their devices and the market matures out of its introductory phase.

According to the Spring 2019 survey, seven-in-ten smart speaker owners use their device daily despite common concerns around security and privacy, while those same factors are leading reasons non-owners have not acquired a device. The Smart Audio Report Spring 2019, part of the industry’s longest-running public research series about smart speaker consumer behavior in the U.S., is available now at

“We are starting to see more pragmatic usage of these devices,” said Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research. “The longer people have these devices, the less experimentation they do with them — but the more ingrained into everyday life these devices become.”

Among the 53M+ smart speaker owners A18+ in the U.S.:
  • 69% of smart speaker owners use their device daily, and households with children are even more likely to use them daily
  • Smart speaker owners who have owned the device for 2+ years use an average seven (7) skills per week, compared to an average 12 skills per week among those who have owned the device for less than three (3) months
  • 66% of those who own a smart speaker with a screen say the screen has made it easier to discover new content, and the same number say having a screen makes the smart speaker “easier to use”
“We continue to see those that have voice assistant devices love them, using them every day to get the news, listen to podcasts, live stream radio stations and more,” said Joel Sucherman, NPR Vice President, New Platform Partnerships. “The latest data suggest we’ve moved into a maturation phase in this space, in which earning and maintaining the trust of potential smart speaker buyers, while also demonstrating new functionality, may be a key to continuing dynamic growth,”

While almost half of smart speaker owners are planning to acquire another device, the Report also finds a slowing interest among non-owners in acquiring their first smart speaker. Among people who do not own a smart speaker and are interested in acquiring one, the top two (2) reasons they have not are:
  • 63% are concerned that hackers could use a smart speaker to gain access to their home or personal information
  • 55% are bothered that smart speakers are always listening
 Security remains a concern around these devices among current users as well. Almost 60% of smart speaker owners worry about hackers, and more than half indicated it bothers them that their smart speaker is always listening.

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, is a recurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior.

Detroit Radio: Cheron Sanders Promoted To PD At WMXD

Cheron Sanders
iHeartMedia Detroit’s WMXD Mix 92.3 announced today that Cheron Sanders has been promoted to Program Director. She will report to Bill Black, Director of Urban Programming for iHeartMedia Detroit’s 97.9 WJLB and Mix 92.3.

As Program Director for Mix 92.3, Sanders will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the station’s music, on-air personalities, programming, promotions and digital operations.

Sanders is a media veteran and has a proven track record of success. She previously served as Assistant Program Director for iHeartMedia Detroit’s 97.9 WJLB and Mix 92.3. She joined iHeartMedia in 2001 and has since held various positions while working for 97.9 WJLB and Mix 92.3 including traffic reporter and midday host. She began her career at WQHH-FM.

Buffalo Radio: WBEN's David Bellavai Awarded Medal of Honor

President Trump and David Bellavai
President Donald Trump has awarded the nation's highest military honor to Iraq veteran and WBEN 930 AM Buffalo talk show host David Bellavai, who cleared an insurgent strongpoint and allowed members of his platoon to move to safety.

The president presented the Medal of Honor to Bellavia in an emotional ceremony at the White House Tuesday. 

Bellavia was leading a squad in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in November 2004. The White House says that after Bellavia helped his platoon escape fire, he entered a house and killed at least four insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades. 

Bellavia, who left the Army in 2005, has been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. 

He is the first living Iraq veteran to receive the Medal of Honor.

"I want to say how overwhelming this experience has been," said Bellavia after the ceremony. "I served with some of the greatest men I've ever met in my entire life." He says the entire night of Fallujah is impossible to think about without remembering those lost in that firefight.

Bellavia says he's proud to be an Iraq War veteran. "This entire thing is something I can't comprehend, but I want to thank my army for giving me purpose and meaning and direction," says Bellavia.

Bellavia co-hosts PM Drive on Entercom's N/T WBEN.

K-C Radio: Sports Talker Suspended After Coach Comments

Kevin Kietsman
Kansas City radio host Kevin Kietzman has been pulled off the air indefinitely after he tied Chiefs coach Andy Reid's family life to the Tyreek Hill situation in a Monday segment, reports USAToday.

Speaking on WHB 810 AM, Kietzman suggested that Reid's ability as a father played a role in the Chiefs' handling of Hill. The Chiefs wide receiver has been suspended due to allegations of child abuse and is meeting with NFL investigators this week. Reid's son Garrett died of a heroin overdose in 2012.

“The thing is, (the Chiefs) probably think (Reid) can fix (Hill), but they thought they could fix him before and they failed," Kietzman said. "Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players. He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing. It did not work out particularly well in his family life, and that needs to be added to this, as we’re talking about the Chiefs. He wasn’t real great at that either. He’s had a lot of things go bad on him, family and players."

In a statement on the WHB website Tuesday, Union Broadcasting wrote:
"We are aware of the controversial comments made by Kevin Kietzman during yesterday’s broadcast of Between the Lines. We have decided to take the immediate step to take Kevin off the air until further notice as we review this matter. 
We take Kevin’s comments and those of all on-air staff seriously.  Kevin’s comments were clearly not to his or our standards. Please know that we will take necessary appropriate actions. 
We sincerely apologize to Andy Reid and his family, the Kansas City Chiefs organization and our loyal listeners and share their concerns."
Kietzman is also vice president and sports director of the radio station, according to the WHB 810 website.

Many assumed Kietzman was referencing the death of Reid’s oldest son, Garrett, who died of a heroin overdose in 2012. But Kietzman said in an email to Awful Announcing that he actually was talking about Reid’s history of choosing to work with people, including his sons, who have troubled pasts.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Amy Fadool Kane called Kietzman's words “lower than low" and CBS reporter Will Brinson tabbed the remarks “absolutely repugnant." Many social media users called for Kietzman's firing.

Reid is set to begin his seventh season with the Chiefs, where he is 65-31 and has won the AFC West the last three seasons. Reid and his wife, Tammy, had five children. His other son, Britt, has been on the Chiefs' coaching staff for the past six seasons after spending five months in jail in 2007.

Stephanie Grisham To Succeed Sanders as WH Press Secretary

Stephanie Grisham
Stephanie Grisham, communications director for first lady Melania Trump and a longtime aide to President Donald Trump, will succeed Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary, Mrs. Trump announced on Tuesday.

Reuters reports Melania Trump announced the development in a tweet to conclude the president’s search for a press secretary after Sanders decided to resign and go back home to Arkansas earlier this month.

Grisham, 42, a fixture in the Arizona Republican Party, was one of Trump’s first hires for his presidential campaign - as a press aide in 2015.

She served as a deputy press secretary in the White House when he took office in January 2017 and eventually moved over to the first lady’s operation, and she has been fiercely loyal to the Trumps.

The fact that Mrs. Trump announced the appointment, instead of the president himself, showed that the first lady was willing to part with Grisham.

Grisham will have the dual role of press secretary and communications director. Sanders had essentially been doing both roles as well, without the communications director title.

TV Ratings: Trump Rally Bonanza For Fox News Channel

Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson enjoyed a ratings surge from the channel’s solo extended coverage of President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign kickoff.

Viewers watching last week’s rally in Orlando, helped cable star “Hannity” earn a rare top 10 showing among both broadcast and cable programs with 5 million viewers.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” landed at No. 14 with 4.5 million viewers, according to The Associated Press citing Nielsen figures released Tuesday.

By comparison, the prior week’s top-rated shows for Hannity and Carlson drew 2.6 million and 2.2 million viewers, respectively.

While Fox News covered the hour-plus June 18 rally live and in full, the event got relatively limited attention from competitors MSNBC and CNN. The latter covered about six minutes at the start and aired clips later in the evening.

“Hannity,” which regularly ranks as the No. 1 cable show, and Carlson’s show also benefited from the summer TV doldrums. While NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the most-watched show with 10 million viewers, the generally lackluster ratings of network reruns and game shows provided an opening for the cable hosts.

⏩According to Nielsen, the 10 most-watched basic cable networks for the week in total day and prime time:
  1. Fox News Channel (2,566,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,519,000)
  3. ESPN (1,301,000)
  4. HGTV (1,249,000)
  5. A&E (1,184,000)
  6. USA (1,078,000)
  7. History (1,012,000)
  8. Hallmark (916,000)
  9. TLC (915,000)
  10. Investigation Discovery (889,000)

CBS and NBC tied as the most-watched networks overall, with each averaging 3.67 million prime-time viewers. ABC was next with 3.38 million, followed by Fox Broadcasting with 2 million; ION with 1.38 million; Univision with 1.34 million; Telemundo with 1.21 million and CW with 690,000.

The Top 20 Primetime...compiled by Nielsen for June 17-23:

1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 10 million.
2. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.1 million.
3. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.2 million.
4. “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 5.6 million.
5. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.5 million.
6. “Highwire Live in Times Square,” ABC, 5.3 million.
7. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News Channel, 5 million.
8. “Holey Moley,” ABC, 4.87 million.
9. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 4.86 million.
10. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 4.79 million.

11. “Amazing Race,” CBS, 4.75 million.
12. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 4.6 million.
13. “Songland,” NBC, 4.53 million.
14. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News Channel, 4.52 million.
15. “Press Your Luck,” ABC, 4.5 million.
16. “FBI,” CBS, 4.4 million.
17. “Bluebloods,” CBS, 4.14 million.
18. “Life in Pieces,” CBS, 4.12 million.
19. “Dateline NBC” (Monday), NBC, 3.99 million.
20. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 3.91 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.97 million viewers, NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.1 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

Rogers Sportsnet ‘Repositioning’ For The Future

Rogers Media Toronto is cutting an unspecified number of off-air jobs across its Sportsnet organization after letting go of star broadcaster Bob McCown last week after 30 years as host of the afternoon program “Prime Time Sports.”

A Sportsnet representative says the company isn't saying publicly how many off-air people are affected by the broader changes or what types of work they do.

But an emailed statement says Sportsnet is repositioning for the future by changing how it delivers content to audiences.

The Sportsnet brand is used across several of Rogers Media platforms including radio, television and online.

Those platforms have faced rising competition for audience and advertisers as a result of new rivals and formats.

Rogers Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc., which generates most of its revenue and profit from its wireless, internet and cable TV services.

Spotify's Global Sales VP To EXIT

Brian Benedik, VP global head of ad sales at Spotify, is leaving the company this fall, according to Ad Age citing a person familiar with the matter. It’s unclear where he is going or who will replace him, but Spotify is actively searching for his replacement, this person said.

Brian Beneidk
Benedik joined Spotify in 2013 as the VP of North American sales and was promoted to the global role in 2015. He was instrumental in creating Spotify’s third-party measurement services with companies such as Nieslen.

His tenure coincided with strong revenue growth. Spotify reported 24 percent year-over-year ad revenue growth during the first quarter, and measurement-related revenues grew 40 percent, up from 20 percent growth when compared to the same time last year. Programmatic ad sales, meanwhile, saw a 53 percent upswing in the same period.

The company has more than 100 million paid subscribers, but needs to bolster the number of ad supported listeners to warrant its current valuation. Rival Pandora has the largest segment of such users. As a result, Spotify is betting big on podcasts, spending hundreds-of-millions of dollars in areas such as content.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year Benedik was actively promoting the company's big bet on ad supported podcasts, showing off a roster of new, exclusive shows at the event, such as the then-newly inked deal with journalist and broadcaster Jemele Hill.

NRA-TV Shutsdown New Programming

The National Rifle Association has shut down production at NRATV, reports The NYTimes.

The NRA on Tuesday also severed all business with its estranged advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRA-TV, the N.R.A.’s live broadcasting media arm, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Times.

While NRA-TV may continue to air past content, its live broadcasting will end and its on-air personalities — Ackerman employees including Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the NRA. It remained unclear whether the N.R.A. might try to hire some of those employees, but there was no indication it was negotiating to do so.

The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits and increasing acrimony that surfaced after two prominent NRA board members first criticized NRA-TV in an article in The Times in March. The separation had become inevitable: The two sides said last month that they were ending their three-decade-plus partnership.

“Many members expressed concern about the messaging on NRATV becoming too far removed from our core mission: defending the Second Amendment,” Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, wrote in a message to members that was expected to be sent out by Wednesday. “So, after careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing ‘live TV’ programming.”

Mark Levin Hits Ex-Fox News Reporter Over Criticism

Conservative radio, TV commentator Mark Levin shot back at former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron on Tuesday, tweeting Cameron was "very comfortable hobnobbing with conservatives" despite now saying that he left Fox News over “partisan misinformation.”

"Carl Cameron used to show up at conservative social gatherings when he was a reporter for Fox News," Levin wrote to his more than 1.6 million followers. "He was very comfortable hobnobbing with conservatives. His alleged disgruntlement with Fox & his new liberal site belie what I personally witnessed."

Carl Cameron
According to The Hill, Cameron, who retired from Fox News in August 2017, criticized his former employer of more than 20 years on Monday, claiming "right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation."

Cameron had not been critical of Fox News until he made the remarks for a promotional video for the liberal "Front Page Live," which he says will serve as  "antidote" to the conservative Drudge Report.

"What’s a former Fox guy doing here on Front Page Live partnering with progressives?" Cameron said in the video. "Well, it’s about facts, not partisanship."

FL News Outlets To Share Climate Change Coverage

Six Florida news outlets are partnering to create the Florida Climate Reporting Network to increase climate reporting across the state, the Miami Herald announced Monday.

“This is an opportunity to maximize our ability to cover the biggest story of our lives — the threat of climate change,” Julie Anderson, editor and chief of the South Florida Sun Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel, said in a Tuesday statement, as reported by the Herald. 

The collaboration will include the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, the Palm Beach Post, the Orlando Sentinel and WLRN Public Media. The outlets will share editorials, columns and climate change-related news stories, and journalists from the outlets will also report on climate stories together.

The reporting will cover topics like Floridians “building resilience” to deadly hurricanes and the impact of global warming on Florida’s agriculture industry.

More outlets are also expected to join the partnership, according to The Hill.

Cardi B Pleads Not Guilty In Strip Club Brawl

Cardi B
Cardi B commissioned an assault against a woman she thought was sleeping with her husband, Offset, planning the wild 2018 Queens strip club brawl on social media and discussing paying two people for the job, reports The NY Post citing new court documents.

The Bronx-born rapper and co-defendants Tawana Jackson-Morel and Jeffrey Bush used social media to coordinate the time, day and location of the brawl — with Jackson-Morel and the “I Like It” star also discussing money being exchanged for the beat down, according to the Queens grand jury indictment.

The “Bodak Yellow” rapper, 26, pleaded not guilty in Queens Supreme Court on Tuesday to two felony charges of attempted assault charges plus additional misdemeanor charges after she allegedly roughed up two bartenders at Angels Gentlemen’s Club in Flushing last August.

Mr. Offset
If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison.

“Not guilty, sir, honor,” the Bronx performer — real name Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar — told Queens Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas while nervously fidgeting with her hair and swaying on her heels.

The rap royal’s lawyer defended her to a scrum of waiting press and fans outside the courthouse, calling her “a kind human being.”

The charges stem from a wild brawl at a Queens strip club where she allegedly hurled a hookah and bottles of champagne at bartender sisters Rachel Wattley, 21, and Sarah Wattley, 23, at the jiggle joint.

Cardi is also accused of siccing members of her crew on the women because she believed one of the women had sex with her husband, Offset.

R.I.P.: Kae Thompson, Longtime NYC Radio Voice

Kae Thompson
Kae Thompson, who was recognized as one of the most witty and authoritative voices in New York City radio, died on June 21 at age 83.

The broadcasting veteran died of a brain hemorrhage at Mountainside Hospital in Glenridge, N.J., her family confirmed to the NY Daily News.

Thompson enjoyed a 25-year career in radio, mostly as the host of WLIB talk shows “Urban Notebook” and later “Kae Thompson Payne Live,” where she became well known for bringing her wit, wisdom and compassion to cover controversial subjects that impacted New York City’s black community, including Tawana Brawley, Eleanor Bumpurs, Yusef Hawkins, the Central Park Five and the Crown Heights riots.

“Kae Thompson was a true journalist [who] asked the hard questions but always with a smile,” WBLS/WLIB assistant program director Cynthia Smith told the Daily News. “Her guests couldn’t help but answer her. Such a classy lady, teacher and true professional who I enjoyed working with on ‘The Kae Thompson Show’ on WLIB. Her smile is permanently etched in my memory! She will be missed tremendously.”

June 26 Radio History

➦In 1909...Thomas Andrew "Colonel Tom" Parker was born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk (Died from a stroke at age 87 -  January 21, 1997).  He was the  was the Dutch-born manager of Elvis Presley. Before managing Elvis, Parker handled the careers of Minnie Pearl, Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow and Tom Mix. 

At age 18, Parker had arrived in America by jumping ship, and never held a US passport, even when the 1940 Alien Registration Act would have entitled him to one. This is attributed to his uncertain legal status, possibly connected to police inquiries about a murder in his native Breda. To the puzzlement of overseas fans, he never allowed Elvis to work abroad.

Col.Tom Parker -1969
A carnival worker by background, Parker moved into music promotion, earning the courtesy rank of ‘Colonel’ from a grateful singer Jimmie Davis, who had become governor of Louisiana. After discovering the teenage Tommy Sands, Parker talent-spotted the unknown Elvis Presley, and skillfully maneuvered himself into position as his sole representative with control over much of his private life. Within months, he had won Presley a recording contract with the prestigious RCA Victor record label, made him a star with his first single Heartbreak Hotel, negotiated lucrative merchandising deals, made plans for TV appearances as well as a new career as an actor in film musicals.

When Elvis was drafted into the Army in 1958, Parker was shrewd enough to see that military service would boost his image, and made no attempt to stop his posting to Germany. He also judged correctly that public demand would be whetted by his two-year absence, and he stage-managed a triumphal homecoming rail-tour to Memphis.

But the 1960s would impact hard on Elvis's public and private life. The youth market was suddenly being taken over by The Beatles. The films were starting to look more like low-budget production-line work, however profitable. Also his bachelor live-in arrangement with the teenage Priscilla Beaulieu, against her father's wishes, threatened a possible image crisis, and Parker urged marriage. By the end of the decade, Elvis had gone back on tour, but years of binge-eating and unofficially prescribed drugs had ruined his health, and Parker saw very little of Presley before his death in 1977.

Parker continued to manage the Presley estate, but he had unwisely sold the rights to Elvis's early recordings, which would have ensured a steady income. Meanwhile, his gambling problem increasingly eroded the huge fortune he had built up by claiming between 25% and 50% of Elvis's earnings, and he died worth only $1 million.

Alex Drier
➦In 1916...Alexander M. Dreier born in Honolulu (Died at age 83 – March 11, 2000). He was a news reporter and commentator who worked with NBC Radio during the 1940s, and later with the ABC Information Radio network in the 1960s and early 1970s. As Chicago’s ‘man on the go’ he anchored first at WNBQ and then WBKB-TV’s top rated news in the late 50’s and 60. He later moved to California where he pursued a TV acting career and was a newscaster for KTTV.

➦In 1933…The Kraft Music Hsall Program debuted as a musical-variety program featuring orchestra leader Paul Whiteman and served to supplement print advertising and in-store displays promoting Kraft products.

During its first year the show went through a series of name changes, including Kraft Musical Revue, until it finally settled on Kraft Music Hall in 1934. Whiteman remained the host until December 6, 1935. Ford Bond was the announcer.

Billed as "The King of Jazz", Whiteman was arguably America's first popular music superstar. Whiteman's foresight regarding the coming of the jazz age and his decisions to hire the best jazz musicians was a powerful boost for jazz, swing and blues. Though he was prohibited from hiring black performers, he hired arrangers and composers.

Bing Crosby took over as master of ceremonies January 2, 1936. Crosby was host until May 9, 1946. Other entertainers who appeared regularly during Crosby's tenure included Connie Boswell, Victor Borge, and Mary Martin.

For the advertising managers at Kraft, it was imperative that advertising and entertainment be kept separate. For this reason, Kraft insisted that an announcer, not cast members, read its commercials. Additionally, Kraft commercials were single-product focused during the radio days, short and to the point in order to keep with Kraft's philosophy that quality entertainment.

The Kraft Music Hall continued on NBC radio until 1949 and then on TV for many more years ; the first year as Milton Berle Starring in the Kraft Music Hall, later it was Perry Como‘s Kraft Music Hall for four seasons. From 1967 on, TV’s Kraft Music Hall featured a variety of guest hosts. Bring on the Velveeta and the Philadelphia brand cream cheese!

➦In 1959…"Mad Daddy" Pete Myers broadcast his last show on WHK-AM, Cleveland, Ohio.

Pete Myers 1959
In January 1958, Pete "Mad Daddy" Myers joined WJW-AM  from WHKK 640 AM in Akron. His "Mad Daddy" persona later was adapted by Ernie Anderson for his "Ghoulardi" character on sister station WJW-TV in 1963.

Myers had a brief but meteoric career at WJW, lasting only until May 13, 1958, when he resigned to go to Metromedia's WHK which was establishing itself as the new Top 40 powerhouse in Cleveland.

WJW enforced a 90-day noncompete clause, and "Mad Daddy" could not be heard on WHK until August 10. To keep his name in front of the public while he was off the air, Myers concocted a publicity stunt on June 14, 1958, parachuting from a Piper Cub 2200 feet over Lake Erie, and composing a poem on his way down.

He was fished out the waters shortly thereafter, and handed out copies of the 45 record "Zorro" to hundreds of fans who greeted him when he got to shore.

"Mad Daddy" reached the peak of his popularity at WHK, hosting record hops and live after-midnight shows dressed in a Dracula costume. In July 1959 he moved to WHK's sister station in New York, WNEW 1130 AM, where "Mad Daddy" was not well received. He played it straight as Pete Myers there until 1963, when he moved to 1010 WINS and resumed the "Mad Daddy Show." This show was syndicated to other stations until WINS changed format to all-news in 1965.

As again just Pete Myers, he returned to WNEW once more. Myers lived until October 4, 1968, when he took his own life in New York City.

➦In 1971…WNEW 102.7 FM in New York City became the first radio station anywhere to play Don McLean‘s “American Pie,” in its extended playing time of 8:36.

➦In 1977…Elvis Presley's final concert took place at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Before the show Elvis was presented with a plaque commemorating the 2 billionth Presley record to come out of RCA's pressing plant. He appeared pale, weak, and overweight. He died 51 days later.

➦In 1990...8 Radio stations in Kansas and Oklahoma boycott k d lang, due to her anti-meat ad.

k d lang
LS Radio Inc., a Wichita-based company with seven stations in Kansas and one in Oklahoma, pulled k.d. lang's records Thursday. So did the Shepherd Group, which has three stations in Missouri and one in Montana.

The spot also irritated Larry Steckline, a Wichita broadcaster who owns five country stations in Kansas, the top beef state in the United States. Steckline, a farmer-rancher, said he had ''no problem with her being a vegetarian. . . . My problem is somebody with a name in this industry coming down hard on the number one industry in our state. That's not what I call ladylike.''

Great Empire Broadcasting Inc., another Kansas chain with 10 stations in five states, gathered listener reaction as it considered joining the boycott. Mike Oatman, Great Empire's chief executive officer and general manager of a station in Wichita, reported that 60 percent of the callers favored continuing to play k.d. lang's records and 40 percent favored banning them.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hubbard President/COO Drew Horowitz To Retire

After 43 years in the radio business, Hubbard Radio president and chief operating officer Drew Horowitz has announced his retirement at the end. of 2019.

Horowitz spent 19 years with Bonneville and joined Hubbard in January 2011 after it bought Bonneville's 17 radio stations in Washington DC, Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris made the announcement in a memo to staffers:
"Warm summer greetings to all of you — 
I write to you today to tell you about a change that will be coming to our company at the end of the year. 
Drew Horowitz
After 43 years of working in, owning and running radio stations and companies, Drew Horowitz, our President and COO, will be retiring from Hubbard Radio at the end of 2019. 
Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011. Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach. 
Like me, I know that each of you has appreciated working with and getting to know Drew both professionally and personally. And… I absolutely know that each of us has learned a great deal from Drew and not just about radio, business and leadership. I know that Drew has touched and helped many of us personally as well as professionally. 
Drew is a wise and generous leader and it has been an honor to be able to work alongside him for the last eight years. 
We will be celebrating Drew in the coming months and we will be in ‘business as usual’ mode until further notice. 
Please join me in sharing our heartfelt appreciation for all that Drew has done to make us the best we can be and in wishing him all good things in the future. 
Most Sincerely,
Earlier in his career, Horowitz was VP/GM for Country WUSN, 99.5 in Chicago.

"This is a good as I could have ever hoped for,” Horowitz told Chicago media watcher Robert Feder, who first reported the news. “I had a career that I never could have dreamed of when I started selling in 1976. I’ve loved every minute of it. I worked with great companies and great people who respected the industry and respected the people that worked for them. I just was so lucky.”

Chicago Radio: WXRT's Terri Hemmert Plans To Cutback

Terri Hemmert (photo by: Mark Rafferty)
Chicago radio legend Terri Hemmert will be scaling back her time at WXRT 93.1 FM in the coming weeks.

“After 45 years at WXRT, I’m going to figure out how to turn the record over and see what plays on the other side,” Hemmert said in an email to colleagues published by Chicago media watcher Robert Feder.
"Doesn’t seem that long ago I was a 15-year-old kid in Piqua, Ohio trying to figure out how I could get to be a Disc Jockey and meet the Beatles.  The impossible dream for a girl in the 1960’s.  But I’ve met two out of four Beatles, a gazillion Beatles fans, and I am a D.J.  I am what I play. 
After 45 years at WXRT, I’m going to figure out how to turn the record over and see what plays on the other side.  In a few weeks, I will move from being on air 5 days a week year round to a schedule with much more flexibility while still remaining part of the station and work I love so much.  My doctor will be thrilled I’ll be getting 8 hours of sleep a night.  After all these years. 
I will continue to be part of the fabric of XRT.  I will continue hosting Breakfast with The Beatles because that teenager still lives inside me. I will continue coming into the radio station at least a couple of days a week to use the XRT Public Affairs Department that I started 45 years ago with a pair of scissors, a typewriter and reels of audio tape, to find ways to share information with our audience and inform them how to make living in Chicago better by being aware of free events and volunteer opportunities.  
I will continue to be the one that gives voice to people who are making it possible for kids to get music education, and hear from people that live in Englewood, and high school students whose lives were saved by being in the poetry club.  I will also fill in for my fellow DJ's when they get that much needed vacation, and I will thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in the amazing XRT library, and re-connecting with the most loyal audience imaginable. 
Those weeks I’ll be here five days in a row.  How can you miss me when I won’t go away?  Best of all, I will actually have time to have lunch with you.  I’ll put a sign-up sheet in the D.J. lounge. 
I will continue to be proud of being part of the XRT family.  And the past few years the family has extended to every station in this group.  Let’s do lunch, and please find me to see what socks I’m wearing.  They don’t matter if no one sees them. 
I love music.  I love radio.  I love our listeners.  And I love my radio family.  Some things change, but that never will.  
Hemmert — who hosts WXRT’s mid-day show as well as “Breakfast with The Beatles” on Saturday mornings — has taught college courses for more than 30 years on top of her four-plus decades at the radio station.

Speaking with the Sun-Times last year, Hemmert — who was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2010 — addressed the idea of retirement, saying:

“Why walk away as long as they want me here? I’m happy here. I have a million things to do that are still compelling to me, still fun. I still get to do something for someone, and if you’re not doing something for other people, you’re not living right. This gives me a lot of opportunities to do that. Teaching.”

The Smart Audio Report from NPR, Edison Research Debuts Today

With 53 million smart speaker owners in the U.S. age 18+, research around the devices has evolved from merely counting owners to exploring their usage and attitudes about the technology.

This year’s The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research continues trending data from the previous two years of the study and provides new insight into the differences between smart speaker owners and non-owners. The study specifically delves into the reasons behind their choices, concerns, usage habits, and likelihood to invest in the technology.

Edison Research Senior VP Tom Webster and NPR VP Joel Sucherman will present the latest findings from The Smart Audio Report on June 25 at 2pm ET.

Example of key findings:
  • Discovery of new smart speaker functions or skills is challenging. A majority of smart speaker owners say they don’t know enough about their device to use all its features.
  • Smart speaker owners and those who don’t own a smart speaker are equally concerned about security with the devices.Almost 60% of smart speaker owners and non-owners worry that hackers could use a smart speaker to gain access to their home or personal information.
  • Smart speakers use has become a daily habit for most who own the device. Despite their security concerns, 69% of smart speaker owners use the device daily. Only 11% of owners use the device less than once per week.
To learn more, Click Here

A downloadable copy of the presentation, as well as a viewable recording of the webinar, will be available at this link immediately following the webinar.

Jacobs Media Unveils “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” Agenda

For the third consecutive year, Jacobs Media is partnering with the organizers of Podcast Movement to host sessions designed to bring together leaders from the radio and podcast worlds to form “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters.”

Over two-and-a-half days, attendees will gain knowledge about where podcasting is heading, along with information from podcasting’s best thinkers about how to create a successful podcasting strategy.

“The growth of ‘Broadcasters Meets Podcasters’ mirrors the explosion of the podcasting industry,” remarks Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs. “When we started our partnership with Podcast Movement in 2017, we did it all in one day. This year, we’ve got two full days of sessions lined up along with an additional speed mentoring gathering on the third day, where broadcasters will be able to interact with some of radio’s and podcasting’s biggest thinkers and ask questions one-on-one. There’s something for everyone, whether they’re a CEO, a Program Director, an air personality, or are a podcaster who is interested in learning more about radio’s increased focus on the space.”

Dan Franks, President of Podcast Movement, concurs: "When the team at Jacobs came to us with the idea of doing ‘Broadcasters Meet Podcasters’ for a third year, we were excited. It's been one of the most consistently in-demand tracks since introducing it in 2017. However, after seeing this year's lineup, we are ecstatic – the best ever. We believe that the track this year will host some of the most important conversations taking place at the entire event, and cannot wait for Podcast Movement attendees to take part in them!"

The complete agenda can be found here. It features keynote speeches from Conal Byrne, CEO of Stuff Media, recently purchased by iHeartMedia, where he will talk about the merging of a podcast and radio company, and Eric Nuzum, who was involved in the creation of NPR’s Invisibilia and other Public Radio podcasts, and most recently, heading up’s podcasting efforts.

Additional sessions will focus on branded podcasts, the radio industry’s podcast leadership and their vision for the future, what Public Radio knows that all broadcasters should know, and how broadcasters can take a local true crime news story and convert it into an award-winning podcast.

And once again, Jacobs Media will be providing a discount on the registration for individuals from the radio industry, as well as for radio companies who decide to send a group. Contact Paul Jacobs at for more information.

Additional inquiries about the agenda, about Podcast Movement, or about sponsoring “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters” should be directed to Paul Jacobs or to Seth Resler at

Philly Radio: SAG-AFTRA, Entercom Confirm KYW Contract

Newsradio KYW 1060 AM’s 70 unionized employees have reached a new four-year contract with radio giant Entercom Communications, based in Bala Cynwyd. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Entercom confirmed the new contract on Monday.

A federal mediator was brought into the talks earlier this year when they bogged down over severance and union jurisdiction over the 24-hour news station’s digital employees, according to

Stephen Leshinski, the union’s Philadelphia-area executive director, said the new contract includes annual wage hikes and continued jurisdiction over digital employees. The union and the company compromised on severance, he said.

Entercom acquired KYW and other unionized big-market radio stations in 2017 through its deal for CBS Radio. These were the first round of union talks between Entercom — which owns more than 200 radio stations — and KWY and other stations since the CBS Radio deal closed in late 2017.

Entercom and unionized stations in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles are still negotiating contracts, Leshinski said.

“We have reached an agreement that reflects how much we value our team at KYW Newsradio and our commitment to outstanding, community-focused, agenda-setting news coverage in Philadelphia,” Entercom said in a statement on Monday.

Entercom stock closed down 10 cents Monday, settling at $5.94. In early 2017, before the deal was announced, Entercom stock was trading at about $15.60.

Entercom CEO David Field has said that radio is undervalued and the company has embarked on multiple projects to grow Entercom’s revenues and consolidate operations to cut costs to boost profits. Later this year, Entercom is expected to relocate its corporate offices and local radio stations into new offices and studios in Philadelphia.

PA Radio: A Different Backyard To Acquire Backyard Cluster

Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC has announced a contract has been signed and an application is being filed with the FCC for the transfer of Pennsylvania radio stations Country WILQ 105.1 FM, WLMY 107.9 FM, WWPA 1340 AM W267BJ 101.3 FM, Williamsport; Rock WZXR 99.3 FM, South Williamsport; WCXR 103.7 FM, Lewisburg; and WBZD 93.3 FM, Muncy to Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, LLC.

The Seller, Backyard Broadcasting PA, LLC, is a Pennsylvania-based company headed by Daniel J. Farr. Backyard Broadcasting has no other broadcast interests.

The Buyer, Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, LLC, is a Pennsylvania-based company headed by Van A. Michael. Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania has no other broadcast interests.

'Front Page Live' Launches As Progressive's Drudge Report

Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron said Monday that he left the network favored by conservatives because "right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation."

The Hill reports Cameron made the remarks in a promotional video about why he joined Front Page Live, a website whose goal is, in part, to serve as an antidote to the conservative Drudge Report.

"What’s a former Fox guy doing here on Front Page Live partnering with progressives?" Cameron, who worked at Fox News for more than two decades, said in the video. "Well, it’s about facts, not partisanship."

Cameron, now Front Page Live's chief political correspondent, said he joined Fox News in its early days because the "idea of fair and balanced news appealed to me."

"But over the years, the right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation. I left," he added before noting that he has "unique insight and understanding of how the right operates and literally 30 years of covering Donald Trump."

Cameron said his job at Front Page Live will be to "inform — that's it" and touted the new website as "a powerful resource for anyone who wants real facts over partisan propaganda."

Cameron retired from Fox News in 2017 after serving for 22 years as one of its chief political correspondents. He said in an email to colleagues at the time that he was "immensely grateful for the relationships, experiences, and many lessons over the last two decades,” TVNewser reported.