Monday, December 11, 2023

Seattle Radio: KZOK's Danny Bonaduce Retiring Friday

iHeartMedia Seattle and 102.5 KZOK, Seattle’s Classic Rock, announce today the retirement of Danny Bonaduce from “The Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show.” Danny’s last day on-air will be December 15. Bonaduce has recently been battling health issues.

Bonaduce, best known for his charismatic presence and distinctive voice, leaves behind a legacy that made a significant impact on the radio landscape not just in Seattle but across the country. Danny’s career in the limelight began at an early age, starting with appearances on “Bewitched” in 1969 that landed him the role of Danny Partridge on the “Partridge Show” from 1970 to 1974. Later, Danny would appear in “Corvette Summer” with Mark Hamill and many cameo appearances on TV and movies over the years.

In the late 1980s, Danny became a radio personality with “The Stop” in Los Angeles then became a major personality in every major market including Chicago, Philadelphia and New York before coming to Seattle with 102.5 KZOK in 2011.

“I am the luckiest guy in entertainment. I joined the actors union at age three and with little interruption, I have worked in the industry I love for 60 years. I loved almost every minute of it,” said Danny. “I want to thank the loyal fans who have followed me throughout my career, including the last 12 based in Seattle. Thank you to iHeartRadio for believing in me, to my on-air partner Sarah for putting up with me. My thanks to Paul Anderson, my agent for decades who has been my steady guide and business partner.”

“And most importantly, to the love of my life, Amy, who is my rock. Retirement is just a word, I expect to visit my friends and family at KZOK as I pop back on the air from time to time to say hello. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for six decades and this is the best time I’ve ever had. Thank you all,” Danny added.

“Besides the great show that Danny has helped guide all these years, getting to know Danny and working beside him has been a pleasure. He’s a down to earth guy who always enjoys the simple things, and we’re going to miss him and his energy around here,” Chris Sargent, Program Director for 102.5 KZOK.

“Danny’s retirement marks the end of an era in radio. His unique talent, charisma and dedication made a lasting impact on the industry, and he will be missed greatly by both listeners and our team at iHeartMedia Seattle,” Mark Glynn, President, iHeartMedia Seattle.

Moving forward, Sarah will stay on the morning show and her new co-host will be announced in the coming weeks.

Redstone Puts Out 'For Sale' Sign On National Amusements

The media mogul Shari Redstone is in talks to sell a controlling stake in National Amusements, the parent company of the sprawling news and entertainment empire that includes the Paramount movie studio, CBS and MTV, The NY Times is reporting today citing three people familiar with the talks.

Shari Redstone
In recent weeks, National Amusements has held talks with Skydance, the media and entertainment company founded by David Ellison, who is the son of the billionaire founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison. It’s unclear whether a deal will be reached, and the value the talks place on Ms. Redstone’s stake couldn’t be determined.

A deal for Paramount, if it came to fruition, could be a starting gun for a far-reaching reordering of the media industry over the next year. Comcast, the TV and cable giant that owns NBCUniversal, is on the prowl for deals. Warner Bros. Discovery, the owner of HBO and CNN, in effect, comes on the market next year because of arcane tax reasons.

Redstone, 69, who waged a bitter battle with her onetime allies to retain control of the company, now appears to be seriously considering relinquishing it. She has held out for years amid broader headwinds facing the traditional media industry, but is exploring her options now that a serious suitor has expressed interest, two of the people said. Ms. Redstone’s holdings are facing some economic pressures, including long-term debt obligations and the unreliable advertising market for media companies like Paramount.

Paramount Global Stock Jumps on Report of Possible Buyout

Paramount Global’s stock jumped more than 12% in Friday morning trading amid reports of a possible takeover bid for the media company.

Multiple reports have said that Skydance Media and RedBird Capital Partners have been kicking the tires on Paramount, which is controlled Shari Redstone and the Redstone family holding company National Amusements.

National Amusement’s controlling shares in Paramount are worth about $1 billion, according to Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall.

“We see a decent possibility a deal gets done,” said Cahall, who expects new ownership to begin divesting parts of the company.

Nexttv reports Paramount stock has been under pressure because of its shrinking broadcast and cable networks and its lack of scale in the streaming business.

Cahall said he doesn’t think strategic buyers like Warner Bros. Discovery or Comcast would be interested in Paramount as a whole.

But Skydance or RedBird might try to create value by selling Pluto TV, which could fetch $1.7 billion or its linear networks, worth about $16 billion. They might also shut down the streaming service Paramount Plus, according to Cahall.

“Over the years we've witnessed Skydance grow from a co-producer on the Paramount lot focused on sci-fi/action to a diversified studio incl. animation, sports and a portfolio of big-budget films and original series. We think founder David Ellison has the gravitas to court NAI alongside the deal-making expertise of Redbird,” Cahall said.

Cahall said making a deal will be up to Redstone, whose father media mogul Sumner Redstone built the company.

“We think the probability of a deal is decent given Skydance is a credible buyer, Paramount recently announced senior exec change of control packages and Ms. Redstone may have grown tired of Wall Street's drumbeat of media negativity and familial intrigue,” Cahall said.

ESPN Unveils Broadcast Teams For Bowl Season

ESPN’s industry-leading coverage of the 2023 college football postseason will feature a 40-game bowl schedule, culminating with the exclusive presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T (7:30 p.m. ET) at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8.

The CFP begins on Monday, Jan. 1 with the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential featuring No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama (5 p.m.) from Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif., followed by the CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl between No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Texas (8:45 p.m.) from Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Both CFP semifinals and the National Championship will air on ESPN, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes, with alternate presentations available across ESPN platforms.

ESPN’s overall Bowl Season slate commences Saturday, Dec. 16, and completes the extensive 1,000+ game schedule carried across ESPN platforms this year. All December bowl games will be simulcast on ESPN+ and additional production details for both the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six will be announced in the coming days.

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit Call The Granddaddy of Them All; Sean McDonough, Greg McElroy Pair Up in The Big Easy
In the broadcast booth, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential, while Sean McDonough and Greg McElroy team up for the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Fowler and Herbstreit have called a CFP Semifinal together all 10 years of the system. McDonough is calling his sixth consecutive CFP Semifinal, while McElroy will commentate on his first CFP Semifinal on ESPN following several semifinal assignments on ESPN Radio.

Veteran CFP Reporters Holly Rowe, Laura Rutledge and Molly McGrath Set for Semifinal Sidelines; Katie George Makes CFP Semifinal Debut
ESPN will utilize reporters Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge at the Rose Bowl Game, Rowe’s 10th CFP Semifinal on either TV or radio and Rutledge’s sixth. At the Sugar Bowl, Molly McGrath and Katie George will report, McGrath’s third TV appearance in the CFP Semifinals and George’s first CFP assignment. Not a newcomer to the New Year’s Six, however, George was a sideline reporter for last year’s Capital One Orange Bowl.

New Year’s Six Takes Center Stage

ESPN’s presentation of the New Year’s Six will kick off Friday, Dec. 29 with the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Missouri and Ohio State. Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek and Tom Luginbill are set for the SEC-Big Ten tussle from Arlington.

On Saturday, Dec. 30, Ole Miss and Penn State start things off at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl with Mark Jones, Louis Riddick and Quint Kessenich on the call from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Capital One Orange Bowl follows featuring Joe Tessitore, Jesse Palmer and Katie George announcing the SEC-ACC action between Georgia and Florida State from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla.

On New Year’s Day, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl begins NY6 play with Liberty and Oregon facing off from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Bob Wischusen, Robert Griffin III and Kris Budden team up for the TV commentary.

ESPN Radio Covers the CFP Semifinals
Joe Tessitore, Dusty Dvoracek and Quint Kessenich will call the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential from Pasadena, while in New Orleans, ESPN Radio’s top team of Marc Kestecher, Kelly Stouffer and Ian Fitzsimmons will announce the Allstate Sugar Bowl for ESPN Radio. Anchoring the pre/half/post coverage from the Bristol studios will be Kevin Winter and Trevor Matich. ESPN Radio will broadcast all New Year’s Six games, with all assignments included below.

ESPN Events Begins the Bowl Season
ESPN Events announced the matchups for its 17 owned and operated college football bowl games for the 2023-24 postseason. Bowl Season will begin Saturday, Dec. 16, with the Myrtle Beach Bowl (11 a.m., ESPN) in Conway, S.C., the first of four ESPN Events bowls that day – followed by the Cricket Celebration Bowl (noon, ABC), the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl (3:30 p.m., ABC) and the Isleta New Mexico Bowl (5:45 p.m., ESPN). Six bowls will be played the following Saturday, Dec. 23, the busiest day of the ESPN Events postseason schedule. All 17 ESPN Events bowl games will be televised on ABC or ESPN and simulcast for the first time on ESPN+, the leading sports streaming service. ESPN Deportes will offer Spanish-language presentations of at least nine games with additional Spanish-language telecasts for the Isleta New Mexico and Famous Toastery bowls available on ESPN+ and ESPN3. ESPN Radio will broadcast six ESPN Events bowl games. Full details.

Tucker Carlson Network Launches Monday

Tucker Carlson is launching his own subscription streaming service, people familiar with the matter said, the former Fox News host’s official foray into paid content after months of posting videos on X.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Tucker Carlson Network, is expected to go live on Monday, the people said. It will be home to at least five different shows by midweek, they said, including interviews, short-form videos and monologues.

Tucker Carlson Network, whose logo resembles a red pill, will cost $9 a month—or $72 a year—and will initially be solely available through Carlson’s website, they said. Some of the content will be available without a subscription and will be ad-supported, while some interviews and monologues will be available exclusively to subscribers, who will have access to that content without ads.

Tucker Carlson
Carlson launched a show on X—then known as Twitter—in the spring, shortly after his acrimonious exit from Fox News. All his shows were posted as videos on the platform and were available without a subscription, including an interview with former president and current presidential candidate Donald Trump that was released at the same time as the first Republican primary debate, which Trump had skipped. All of that content will also be available on the service, one of the people said.

Carlson will continue to post the service’s free content on X, the people said. His media company will also launch a new podcast, “The Tucker Carlson Podcast,” which will feature audio versions of that content.  

Other big stars who have left TV have built thriving digital businesses, but sometimes with smaller audiences and less influence than they had before. The new service will face a crowded field of competitors, from news personalities on YouTube and Rumble to TV networks such as Fox News and Newsmax.

Former White House adviser Neil Patel will serve as the Tucker Carlson Network’s chief executive, the people said. Carlson and Patel were roommates at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., which they graduated from in 1991, and in 2010 teamed up to found the conservative Daily Caller news site, which Patel still controls.

Carlson’s former executive producer at Fox, Justin Wells, will serve as Tucker Carlson Network’s president and oversee all programming.

Carlson remains under contract with Fox News, according to people familiar with the matter.

Philly TV: Fox Urges FCC to Relicense WTXF-TV

Fox’s lawyers have strongly pushed back against an effort to block the license renewal of its WTXF-TV station in Philadelphia with a letter urging the FCC to renew the license “without delay, ” according to TV Technology.

In a Dec. 4 letter to the FCC, lawyers for Fox, which owns the station, called the challenges to the license renewal a “misuse of a license renewal proceeding” that is designed “to air civil grievances of the type that the Commission long ago decided were not germane to its responsibilities under Sections 309(d) and (k) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.”

The letter also argues that the claims made by opponents of the license renewal are “not only incorrect, but dangerous in its disregard for the FCC’s longstanding, bipartisan record of resisting efforts to revoke licenses on political grounds.”

“Put simply, for so long as Fox 29 Philadelphia’s license renewal application remains pending, this group of individuals and associated entities will continue to use Commission processes as a forum for litigating matters well outside of the scope of the Communications Act,” the lawyers concluded. 

Following the April 3 application by Fox Television Stations, LLC to renew the license of station WTXF-TV, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Media and Democracy Project (MAD); Milo Vassallo; John McGinty; Peter Lems; Chenjerai Kumanyika; and Bill Hartman filed a petition on July 3 to deny the Application. 

They cited the $781 million judgement in the Dominion case against Fox Corporation, which is the parent company of Fox News and the Fox-owned stations. They argued that the election lies regarding Dominion and the 2020 election that aired on Fox News were grounds for the FCC to hold an evidentiary hearing and rule that Fox was unfit to hold the license. 

Since then others have filed informal objections, including the former president of Fox Broadcasting Jamie Kellner, Alfred Sikes, a former Republican FCC chairman, former Democratic FCC Commissioner Ervin Duggan and ex-Fox News Channel commentator Bill Kristol. 

12/11 WAKE-UP CALL: 'Beginning of The End' For Hamas

Dozens of militants have surrendered in recent days as the Israeli military intensifies its military effort to crush Hamas and kill its leadership, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. Netanyahu said the world is seeing "the beginning of the end" for Hamas and its leader, Yahya Sinwar."They lay down their weapons and surrender themselves to our heroic warriors," Netanyahu said in a video broadcast. "It will take more time, the war is in full swing, (but) I say to the Hamas terrorists it is over. Don't die for Sinwar. Surrender − now."

Hamas issued a statement saying Israel was detaining unarmed civilians and surrounding them with weapons in a "desperate and transparent ploy" to give the appearance that the resolve of the militants was fading. Netanyahu's bold prediction came two days after the U.N. Security Council's latest, historic resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire was vetoed by the U.S. Israel and its most supportive ally are finding fewer global backers as the Palestinian death toll continues to rise. On Sunday, the U.N. General Assembly scheduled an emergency meeting Tuesday to vote on a draft resolution expected to be similar to the one the U.S. vetoed. General Assembly resolutions can't be vetoed but aren't legally binding either.

TROUBLE AT ACADEMIA: University of Pennsylvania's leaders have resigned amid a controversy roiling colleges in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. President Liz Magill and Scott L. Bok, the chairman of the university's board of trustees, stepped down Satureday, capping a tumultuous week stemming from statements Magill made about antisemitism at a congressional hearing Tuesday. The resignations raise questions about the power major donors have over institutions and just where schools should draw the line on protecting free speech, generally considered a bedrock of academia. The war has also spurred fierce debate in politics—and no one has been more at the crux of the divisions it has spawned within the Democratic Party than Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress. For Tlaib, 47, the crisis has been a crucible, further alienating her from her party’s establishment while strengthening her resolve to speak for a community she believes has little other voice.

The resignations have done little to quell the desire for further change at the school, students on the campus said Sunday. "There's a realization that one step is over," said junior Akiva Berkowitz outside Steinhardt Hall, home to the campus' Jewish organization Hillel. "But the process is not, and I don't want people to think this is the end. Many things still need to happen. A lot still needs to change." Magill stepped down voluntarily Saturday after her congressional testimony about antisemitism on college campuses and that of presidents of Harvard and MIT drew fire from critics, who said the three failed to adequately denounce and prevent incidents of intimidation and hate speech at their respective institutions.

➤MR. Z GOES TO WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the White House on Tuesday to help jumpstart negotiations with Congress on providing additional aid to the war-ravaged country. A spokesman for Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said the Republican lawmaker would also meet with Zelenskyy during his visit. Zelenskyy will visit Washington on Tuesday. Lawmakers are scheduled to leave town at the end of the week until early January, and they have not been able to come to an agreement on funding for Ukraine. They also haven't reached a deal on the president's other national security priorities, leading the White House to warn that it would run out of money to help Ukraine's military combat Russia's invasion by the end of the year.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) warned Sunday that the United States cannot afford to provide financial aid to foreign countries like Ukraine, citing concerns about devaluing the U.S. dollar. Paul also cited concerns regarding securing the southern border and agreed that it needs to be addressed before helping outside countries. He added that a financial crisis in the near future could be on the way as the U.S. accumulates debt "at a trillion dollars every three months."'

"This is an extraordinary thing," Paul said on Fox News's Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. "And interest rates are now becoming the highest or one of the largest items in our budget. So really, people can talk about wanting to help other countries, we don’t have the money. It has to be printed up. It's destroying our currency, and it’s why it costs more to go to the grocery store to buy your groceries."

➤BIDEN POLL: MANY DEMS DON'T WANT TO SUPPORT ISRAEL: President Joe Biden’s backing for Israel in its war with Hamas is alienating at least a third of Democrats, a CBS News/YouGov poll showed, as criticism of his administration’s stance grows. The share of Democrats who said Biden has shown too much support rose to 38% from 28% in October, according to the poll, which has a 5 percentage-point margin of error. In a broader sample of Americans, 34% said his approach is making a peaceful solution less likely, according to the poll. The growing civilian toll of Israel’s military operation in response to the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas has drawn increasingly pointed calls for restraint from Democratic lawmakers, US officials and protesters, adding to political risks for Biden as he campaigns for a second term.

At the same time, the Israel-Hamas war ranked well behind inflation, border security and the state of US democracy on the poll’s list of most important problems facing the country. Last year’s surge in US inflation to a four-decade high is dogging Biden even after annualized gains in the consumer price index fell from a peak of 9.1% in 2022 to 3.2% in October and inflation-adjusted wages started rising again this year. About three quarters of CBS poll respondents, or 76%, said their income isn’t keeping up with rising prices, 62% said the US economy is in bad shape and 56% blamed government spending for inflation.

➤TRUMP..'NOTHING MORE TO SAY': Former President Donald Trump changed his mind about testifying this week as the final witness for his defense in his New York civil fraud trial. In an all-caps post on his Truth Social platform, the former president declared Sunday afternoon that he had "ALREADY TESTIFIED TO EVERYTHING & HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY." He also, without evidence, called the trial election interference against his reelection bid. The former president's attorneys previously said he would testify Monday as they fight a case from the New York Attorney General's Office accusing Trump and others of engaging in various forms of fraud in his real estate empire. Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled Trump fraudulently inflated the value of his assets on financial statements, and his companies will lose state business certificates.

➤NEBRASKA PRIEST KILLED AFTER CHURCH ASSAULT; SUSPECT IS IN CUSTODY, OFFICIALS SAY: A Catholic priest died on Sunday after being assaulted at his church in Nebraska, officials said. Father Stephen Gutgsell, a priest at St. John the Baptist Church in Fort Calhoun, was assaulted at the church's rectory. He was taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries. He was 65 years old, according to local media. 

➤'UNDOCUMENTED' SUSPECT ARRESTED IN MURDER OF TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADER LIZBETH MEDINA: An "undocumented" man, Rafael Govea Romero, has been arrested in the murder of 16-year-old Texas high school cheerleader Lizbeth Medina. She was found dead in her bathtub after missing a squad event. Romero was apprehended in Schulenburg, Tx., and charged with the crime. The authorities, including the Edna Police Department and Texas Rangers, did not disclose details about the circumstances of the killing or whether Romero and Medina were acquainted.

Mariah Carey Congratulates Brenda Lee On Her No 1 Achievement

Mariah Carey may have a bit of competition for that queen of Christmas crown and her name is Brenda Lee.

Lee's holiday staple "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week overtaking Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" which usually sits comfortably at the top all season long. While Lee may have overtaken Carey to hit the top, Lee says the pop diva sent her the sweetest note.

Lee posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the songstress sent flowers to her with congratulations for hitting the #1 slot.

Lee's last #1 hit was more than 60 years ago, with her hit "I'm Sorry" in 1960.

The Tennessean takes a look at the resurgence of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and what Lee has achieved with it. Brenda Lee breaks records with 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree'

  • Getting to the top spot on the Billboard once again breaks several records — many of which were held by Carey's almost three-decade-old "All I Want for Christmas Is You".
  • Lee, who turns 79 today, beat out Louis Armstrong's record of the oldest person to top the chart. Armstrong held the record when "Hello, Dolly" hit No. 1 in 1964. He was 62 at the time.
  • "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" is only the third holiday No. 1 ever on the Hot 100.

Taylor Swift Has No Competition On One Billboard Chart

Taylor Swift can sell music like almost no one in the music industry. That statement is true when it comes to albums, vinyl, and certainly individual songs. Forbes reports this week, the singer proves her selling power once more and demonstrates that by now, she’s not really competing with anyone on at least one Billboard chart.

On this week’s Digital Song Sales chart, Swift rules once again. The superstar debuts her new release "You're Losing Me" atop the ranking of the bestselling tunes in America. According to Luminate, the track sold 19,000 copies in the prior tracking frame.

As “You’re Losing Me” opens in first place, Swift earns her twenty-eighth No. 1 hit on the Digital Song Sales chart. She claims the most leaders by a massive margin, beating out every other bestseller in the business.

In fact, Swift’s dominance may be most easily seen on the Digital Song Sales chart, compared to any and all other Billboard rankings. While she has conquered seemingly every list published by the company, nobody is even close to matching her success when it comes to selling songs.

Coming in second place on the list of artists with the most No. 1 hits on the Digital Song Sales chart is Nicki Minaj. The rapper and singer has claimed 16 winners on the tally throughout her career. Both stars are adding to their totals regularly, but for the moment, Swift doesn’t face any real competition for the top spot–and she likely won’t have to fend anyone off for years, if ever.

“You’re Losing Me” was released as a surprise by Swift after Spotify named her the most-streamed artist in the world in 2023. The tune was first made available on a physical edition of her 2022 album Midnights, but never digitally…until recently. Fans rushed to buy the cut, which only needed two days to become the top seller in America.

Republican National Committee Pauses Primary Debates

The Republican National Committee is pausing its participation in 2024 GOP primary debates, the organization decided Friday.

Politico reports the RNC’s decision, made by a 16-member internal body, means that any forthcoming debates will be hosted by networks independently of the committee. Two outlets — ABC and CNN — have announced plans to host future debates in Iowa and New Hampshire ahead of early state voting. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis already said he will attend CNN’s planned Iowa debate before next month’s caucuses and ABC’s planned New Hampshire debate.

“We have held four successful debates across the country with the most conservative partners in the history of a Republican primary. We have no RNC debates scheduled in January and any debates currently scheduled are not affiliated with the RNC,” the RNC’s Committee on Presidential Debates said in a statement. “It is now time for Republican primary voters to decide who will be our next President and candidates are free to use any forum or format to communicate to voters as they see fit.”

The RNC-established benchmarks have helped to winnow the field. While eight candidates participated in the August debate, only four took the stage at Wednesday’s showdown in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The field is considerably smaller at this point than during the last seriously contested GOP primary in 2016, when going into January of that year there were still 12 candidates appearing in debates.

Former President Donald Trump has refused to participate in any of the RNC-sponsored debates. He has aggressively pressured RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel to forgo hosting debates, arguing that he has a wide lead in the polls and that the committee should be focused on preparing for the general election.

Alex Jones Reinstated On Social Media Platform X

Social media platform X on Sunday showed the account of U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to have been reinstated after a poll organized by owner Elon Musk backed his return after a ban of nearly five years.

"The people have spoken and so it shall be," Musk posted in reply to a poll on Saturday on whether to reinstate the Jones account. Close to 2 million votes were cast by the time the poll closed, with about 70% voting in favor of Jones' return.

X did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment asking for confirmation of the same. Reuters could not verify if X reinstated the Infowars account. Alex Jones also could not be immediately contacted.

Alex Jones account with username "@RealAlexJones" now shows his last post from Sept. 6, 2018, the same day the social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, permanently banned his account and website Infowars from its platform, saying that the accounts had violated its behavior policies.

The ban came weeks after Apple, Alphabet's YouTube, and Facebook took down podcasts and channels from Jones, citing community standards.

Alex Jones, who has promoted conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school shooting, was ordered last year to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages to relatives of the victims for falsely claiming they were actors who staged the shooting as part of a government plot to seize Americans’ guns.

L-A Radio: Audacy's KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Rocks Kia Forum

The Offspring closed out Audacy’s KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA,
on December 9, 2023. (Photo by Getty Images for Audacy)

Audacy hosted the highly anticipated 32nd annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA, on Saturday, December 9. The star-studded, sold-out event brought together an unforgettable evening of performances by The Offspring, 311, Garbage, Portugal. The Man, Bleachers, Cannons, Lovejoy, Bakar and The Beaches.

“KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas once again put an exclamation mark on the end of the year for the Alternative music community,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Audacy Southern California. “We’re also very proud to have teamed up with Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center to support the education of our local youth and underscore music’s ability to spark positive change and make a difference. Thank you to the incredible loyal fans in Southern California and beyond for making this event a success year after year.”

Dexter Holland of The Offspring
Audacy’s KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas also benefited two local organizations dedicated to supporting local youth education – Para Los Niños and Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center – as well as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in partnership with Kia America.

Audacy and Kia America presented a check to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for $87,552 onstage during the show. This marks the second straight year of Kia’s partnership with Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Kia Forum and Audacy's first partnership with St. Jude in conjunction with Kia America.

Founded in 1980 in Skid Row, Los Angeles, Para Los Niños fosters pathways to success through excellence in education, powerful families, and strong communities for children and youth to thrive.

Through free after-school and low-cost summer programs, the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center in Los Angeles revitalizes and empowers communities in crisis by providing a safe, nurturing environment committed to good citizenship and academic excellence.

Radio History: December 11

➦In 1899...The fame of radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi took a leap forward on this day when William Preece, the Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office, gave a public lecture in London called "Telegraphy without Wires", praising the Italian's ideas. Marconi had left his native Italy earlier in the year believing that his work was unappreciated by his countrymen. Aged 21, he thought he would have more success in the United Kingdom.

Preece became involved when he was alerted by a Customs officer at Dover who found electrical apparatus in Marconi's case. The Post Office man became fascinated by the Italian's experiments and they formed a friendship which led to Preece's lecture. From then on Marconi's fame grew, culminating in the first transatlantic radio communication in December 1901. It was transmitted from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, and received at St John's Newfoundland. An excited Marconi later wrote about the experience:

"I placed the single earphone to my ear and started listening. The receiver on the table before me was very crude – a few coils and condensers and a coherer; no valves, no amplifiers, not even a crystal.

➦In 1936... King Edward VIII, decided to abdicate the British throne.  He made the announcement in a worldwide radio broadcast.

He famously said, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

He added that the "decision was mine and mine alone ... The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course".

Edward departed Britain for Austria the following day; he was unable to join Simpson until her divorce became final, several months later. His brother, the Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI. George VI's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth (currently Queen), became heir presumptive.

➦In 1944..."The Chesterfield Supper Club," a 15-minute weekday program airing at 7:00 p.m. (ET), debuted on NBC Radio. Initially, Perry Como hosted all the shows. Beginning with the second season, he reduced his schedule to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Jo Stafford hosted Tuesdays and Thursdays. In 1948, Peggy Lee took over the Thursday broadcast. In September 1949, the show aired weekly and it was extended to 30-minutes.

➦In 1954...Allan Waters purchased 10-year old Toronto radio station CHUM 1050 AM from patent medicine king Jack Part, for shares Waters held in Part’s companies, and $500 a month.

CHUM was a 1000 watt daytime-only station, which Waters built into a 50,000 watt top 40 juggernaut.

Less than three years after Waters acquired the station, and soon after bringing the new full-time transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and the Beatles (1964, 1965, and 1966).

The station rose in popularity in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s; though it never supplanted perennial Toronto ratings champ CFRB at the top of the ratings chart, it was still a major broadcasting powerhouse with a particular appeal to the teen market. As the station became more successful, it also built yet another new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power once again to its current 50,000 watts around the clock.

➦In 1964...Soul and gospel singer 33-year-old Sam Cooke was shot to death. He  died at the Hacienda Motel, in Los Angeles. Answering separate reports of a shooting and of a kidnapping at the motel, police found Cooke's body, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes but no shirt, pants or underwear. He had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, which was later determined to have pierced his heart. The motel's manager, Bertha Franklin, said she had shot Cooke in self-defense after he broke into her office residence and attacked her. Her account was immediately disputed by Cooke's acquaintances.