Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 23 Radio History

In 1904...pioneering NBC radio announcer Ford Bond was born in Louisville, Kentucky.

For more than twenty years in the 1930s and ’40s, he was the announcer for soap operas (Backstage Wife, Stella Dallas, David Harum, Easy Aces, etc), the American Album of Familiar music and other shows, including the advertising voice for a product called Bab-O.  He also was one of the NBC radio announcers of the 1934 World Series and the 1934 Baseball All-Star Game.  Later he served as radio consultant on Thomas E. Dewey‘s 1948 campaign for president.

He died at St. Croix, Virgin Islands on August 15, 1962 at age 57.

In 1928…RCA announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company, more commonly known as RKO, with David Sarnoff (general manager of RCA) as its chairman of the board.

In 1932...the "Fred Allen Show" premiered on radio.  Allen's radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio.

His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it was only part of his appeal; radio historian John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote that Allen was radio's most admired comedian and most frequently censored.

A master ad libber, Allen often tangled with his network's executives (and often barbed them on the air over the battles), while developing routines whose style and substance influenced fellow comic talents, including Groucho Marx, Stan Freberg, Henry Morgan and Johnny Carson; his avowed fans also included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and novelists William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Herman Wouk (who began his career writing for Allen).

In 1940...Ellie Greenwich, songwriter with Jeff Barry on "Leader Of The Pack" by the Shangri-Las, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, "River Deep, Mountain High" for the Supremes & Four Tops and many others, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Ellie Greenwich
Joining forces with legendary producer Phil Spector, a string of legendary hits were created, including: "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Chapel Of Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High." With Barry, this trend continued with number one smashes, such as "Hanky Panky," "Do Wah Diddy" and the epic "Leader Of The Pack," co-written with Shadow Morton.

Also, during these years, Greenwich reigned as one of New York's top demo/session singers and vocal arrangers, working with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. One of her most exciting sessions was re-arranging the background vocals on Aretha Franklin's "Chain Of Fools" and working with Cissy Houston and the 'Sweet Inspirations.'

During one of her many demo sessions, Greenwich met and "discovered" Neil Diamond and went on to co-produce all his early hits such as "Cherry, Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman," doing background vocals as well.

She died of a heart attack in New York City August 26, 2009.

In 1963...Bob Dylan began to record "The Times They Are A-Changin'" at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City.

In 1971...The Hot 100..One of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era "Maggie May" remained king on this day for Rod Stewart.  It had to be a pretty good song to keep "Superstar" by the Carpenters away from #1.  The Osmonds were singing about a "Yo-Yo" while Cher made her move (10-4) with "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves".  Joan Baez, meanwhile, took a more serious tone with "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Lee Michaels with his only hit "Do You Know What I Mean", Donny Osmond ventured off for a solo hit with his remake of the Steve Lawrence song "Go Away, Little Girl", the Stampeders' great song "Sweet City Woman" was at #8, Isaac Hayes moved from 50 to 9 (how's that for a hot song?) with "Theme From 'Shaft'" and Stevie Wonder's 27th career hit "If You Really Love Me" was at #10.

In 1972...WOR 98.7 FM becomes WXLO. (Now WEPN 98.7 FM/ESPN)

In 1976...The Hot 100..Although it was their 22nd hit and 11th Top 10, supergroup Chicago scored their first #1 on this date with "If You Leave Me Now".  Rick Dees had to surrender with "Disco Duck".  What a shame.  Otherwise, a pretty dynamite Top 10 with Walter Murphy's "A Fifth Of Beethoven" still in the list after 22 weeks, the great Boz Scaggs song "Lowdown", Orleans with "Still The One" and Wild Cherry's former #1 "Play That Funky Music".

The rest of the Top 10:  "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Hall & Oates were up with "She's Gone" and two great new entries--"Love So Right" from the Bee Gees, which moved from 16-9 and "Rock 'N Me" by Steve Miller.

In 2001...Apple introduces iPod.

Bill Mazer (undated)
In 2013…Longtime New York City Radio/TV sportcaster/program host (WNEW-TV, WNBC-AM, WOR-AM, WFAN-AM, WEVD-AM, WVOX-AM) "the Amazin'" Bill Mazer, who earlier in his career worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Buffalo, died at the age of 92.

Born Morris Mazer, he was raised in Brooklyn and a fan of the Dodgers, spent 60 years in broadcasting before he retired in 2009. After 16 years covering sports in Buffalo, N.Y., he returned to New York when he was hired by WNBC-AM in 1964 to host a groundbreaking sports talk show in the afternoon.

“The first call was a kid, and he said, ‘I just want to ask you one question,’” Mazer told New York Newsday in a 2011 interview. “I said, ‘OK, go ahead.’ He said, ‘Who’s better: Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?’”

Mazer later worked for New York’s WFAN, the first full-time sports talk station, which debuted in 1987.

Mazer served as an analyst for NHL games on CBS and did commentary for the Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Islanders before he joined WNEW-TV in 1971 to anchor its nightly sports coverage. On Channel 5’s Sports Extra, he often teamed and argued with former New York Jets defensive back John Dockery.

$85B: AT&T Agrees In Principle To Acquire Time Warner

(Reuters) -- AT&T Inc (T.N) has reached an agreement in principle to buy Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) for about $85 billion, sources said on Friday, paving the way for what would be the biggest deal in the world this year, giving the telecom company control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros and other coveted media assets.

The deal, which has been agreed on most terms and could be announced as early as Sunday, would be one of the largest in recent years in the sector as telecommunications companies look to combine content and distribution to capture customers replacing traditional pay-TV packages with more streamlined offerings and online delivery.

AT&T, which sells wireless phone and broadband services, has already made moves to turn itself into a media powerhouse, buying satellite TV provider DirecTV last year for $48.5 billion.

It also in 2014 entered a joint venture, Otter Media, with the Chernin Group to invest in media businesses, and has rolled out video streaming services.

AT&T will pay $110 per Time Warner share in cash and stock, or about $85 billion overall, sources told Reuters. It will need to line up financing to pay for the deal, since it only has $7.2 billion in cash on hand. This could put pressure on its credit rating as it already has $120 billion in net debt as of June 30, according to Moody's.

Time Warner's shares rose almost 8 percent in regular trading, and a further 3.4 percent after hours, to $92.50, giving it a market value of about $73 billion. AT&T closed down 3 percent at $37.49.

Time Warner is a major force in movies, TV and video games. Its assets include the HBO, CNN, TBS and TNT networks as well as the Warner Bros film studio, producer of the “Batman” and “Harry Potter” film franchises. The company also owns a 10 percent stake in video streaming site Hulu.

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes rejected an $80 billion offer from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) in 2014, but sources said on Friday that the former suitor had no plans to renew its bid.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) approached Time Warner a few months ago about a possible merger.


Owning more content gives cable and telecom companies bargaining leverage with other content companies as customers demand smaller, hand-picked cable offerings or switch to watching online. And new mobile technology including next-generation 5G networks could make a content tie-up especially attractive for wireless providers.

"We think 5G mobile is coming, we think 5G mobile is an epic game-changer," Rich Tullo, director of research at Albert Fried & Company, said in a note, adding that mobile providers would be in position to disrupt traditional pay-TV services.

A previous Time Warner blockbuster deal, its 2000 merger with AOL, is now considered one of the most ill-advised corporate marriages on record.

Dallas-based AT&T and New York-based Time Warner declined to comment.

Cowen and Co analyst Doug Creutz questioned the strategy of buying content instead of licensing it.

"What does it get them that they can't get by licensing Time Warner content and at a much cheaper price than buying the whole company?" Creutz asked, noting it was unclear what savings could be gained "from stapling distribution and content together. It's been tried. It never works."

AT&T would likely be able to win U.S. antitrust approval for the deal, some experts said, but regulators likely would put conditions on approval, some experts said.

Andre Barlow, an antitrust lawyer at the law firm Doyle, Barlow and Mazard, said the government may worry about whether other cable and internet companies would continue to have access to Time Warner content like HBO and CNN.

The U.S. Justice Department "will look at it but they won't stop it," said Darren Bush, who teaches antitrust issues at the University of Houston. Bush predicted regulators as a matter of course would make a second request for information, meaning the review would last several months.

The media industry has been seen as ripe for consolidation, and several stocks rose on the news, including Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), which closed up about 3.4 percent, and Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA.O), which ended up 3.6 percent.

Cyber Attacks Disrupt PayPal, Twitter, Other Sites

(Reuters) -- Hackers unleashed a complex attack on the internet through common devices like webcams and digital recorders and cut access to some of the world's best known websites on Friday, a stunning breach of global internet stability.

The attacks struck Twitter, Paypal, Spotify and other customers of an infrastructure company in New Hampshire called Dyn, which acts as a switchboard for internet traffic.

The attackers used hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices that had previously been infected with a malicious code that allowed them to cause outages that began in the Eastern United States and then spread to other parts of the country and Europe.

"The complexity of the attacks is what’s making it very challenging for us," said Dyn’s chief strategy officer, Kyle York. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they were investigating.

The disruptions come at a time of unprecedented fears about the cyber threat in the United States, where hackers have breached political organizations and election agencies.

Friday's outages were intermittent and varied by geography. Users complained they could not reach dozens of internet destinations including Mashable, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Yelp and some businesses hosted by Inc.

Dyn said attacks were coming from millions of internet addresses, making it one of the largest attacks ever seen. Security experts said it was an especially potent type of distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, in which attackers flood the targets with so much junk traffic that they freeze up.

Dyn said that at least some of the malicious traffic was coming from connected devices, including webcams and digital video recorders, that had been infected with control software named Mirai. Security researchers have previously raised concerns that such connected devices, sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things, lack proper security.

The Mirai code was dumped on the internet about a month ago, and criminal groups are now charging to employ it in cyber attacks, said Allison Nixon, director of security research at Flashpoint, which was helping Dyn analyze the attack.

Dale Drew, chief security officer at communications provider Level 3, said that other networks of compromised machines were also used in Friday's attack, suggesting that the perpetrator had rented access to several so-called botnets.

The attackers took advantage of traffic-routing services such as those offered by Alphabet Inc's Google and Cisco Systems Inc's OpenDNS to make it difficult for Dyn to root out bad traffic without also interfering with legitimate inquiries, Drew said.

"Dyn can't simply block the (Internet Protocol) addresses they are seeing, because that would be blocking Google or OpenDNS," said Matthew Prince, CEO of security and content delivery firm CloudFlare. "These are nasty attacks, some of the hardest to protect against."


Drew and Nixon both said that the makers of connected devices needed to do far more to make sure that the gadgets can be updated after security flaws are discovered.

Big businesses should also have multiple vendors for core services like routing internet traffic, and security experts said those Dyn customers with backup domain name service providers would have stayed reachable.

The Department of Homeland Security last week issued a warning about attacks from the Internet of Things, following the release of the code for Mirai.

Attacking a large domain name service provider like Dyn can create massive disruptions because such firms are responsible for forwarding large volumes of internet traffic.

Dyn said it had resolved one morning attack, which disrupted operations for about two hours, but disclosed a second a few hours later that was causing further disruptions. By Friday evening it was fighting a third.

Amazon's web services division, one of the world's biggest cloud computing companies, reported that the issue temporarily affected users in Western Europe. Twitter and some news sites could not be accessed by some users in London late on Friday evening.

PayPal Holdings Inc said that the outage prevented some customers in "certain regions" from making payments. It apologized for the inconvenience and said that its networks had not been hacked.

A month ago, security guru Bruce Schneier wrote that someone, probably a country, had been testing increasing levels of denial-of-service attacks against unnamed core internet infrastructure providers in what seemed like a test of capability.

Nixon said there was no reason to think a national government was behind Friday's assaults, but attacks carried out on a for-hire basis are famously difficult to attribute.

Radio Talk Host Alex Jones Called 'Rush On Steroids'

As the 2016 campaign draws to a close, it’s becoming plain that Austin’s Alex Jones — a right-wing broadcast personality and conspiracy theorist extraordinaire who until recently flew under the mainstream radar — might as well be the voice in Donald Trump’s head, according to

Trump might have heeded little of what he was told by a succession of campaign advisers, but, if you want to know what Trump is going to do or say tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, just tune into what Alex Jones is saying on the radio and online today.

“It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later,” Jones said in August. “It is amazing.”

Jones was still pinching himself this month, what with the Clinton campaign last Sunday releasing a new video — “This is Alex Jones” on “Donald Trump’s disturbing admiration for fringe InfoWars radio host Alex Jones” — and President Barack Obama days earlier at a rally in Greensboro, N.C., replying to Jones’ assertion that he and Hillary Clinton were both demons who, Jones said he had it on good authority, smelled like sulfur.

“Ain’t that something?” said the president, giving his hand a sniff.

“I have to tell you, it’s surreal to realize that Alex Jones, little ol’ me, is one of the main points of opposition against these monsters,” Jones said on a recent broadcast.

Hillary for Prison. That’s Alex Jones. Obama founded ISIS. That’s Jones. The election is rigged. Again from Jones. Hillary Clinton is at death’s doorstep. Jones. And only drugs keep her going. Jones. Bill Clinton as rapist and Hillary his enabling enforcer. Jones.

Jones boasts of his radio show now airs on more than 150 radio stations, his InfoWars website’s 40 million monthly page views and 6.5 million monthly unique visitors, his half-billion YouTube views, 5 million monthly video views and 1 million monthly podcast downloads.

“He is Rush Limbaugh on steroids,” said Roger Stone, the Trump confidant who brought Trump and Jones together, referring not just to Jones’ persona but to a multiplatform reach that now dwarfs his radio and cable rivals.

Lowell MA Radio: WCAP Hosts Walk After Spat With Owner

The two co-hosts of the WCAP 980 AM show "JMac and the Bear" abruptly quit this past Wednesday after the radio station's owner interrupted the conservative show during political talk.

According to The Lowell Sun, the hosts, John MacDonald and George Zaharoolis, quit the brokered show after station owner Sam Poulten, a Democrat, cut into a talk the duo was having with outspoken Republican activist Mary Burns about the U.S. presidential race.
WCAP 980 AM (5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Sam Poulten
MacDonald called it "an unnecessary verbal attack," and told Poulten in a resignation notice that the owner's interruption was a violation of his and Zaharoolis' freedom of speech. MacDonald also quit his Thursday evening show, "The Pulse."

Poulten came on to the show after a Republican candidate for state representative called in. Poulten cited the station's policy of not having a candidate on the air within 30 days of an election in order to be fair to all candidates.

However, The Valley Patriot reported Poulten admitted that he didn’t want candidates on talk for free on shows 30 days prior to the election because he wanted them to pay money for the airtime. The Patriot story also stated station owner Sam Poulten is a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, is campaigning for Hillary Clinton for president, and has a long history of harassing conservative on-air hosts, as well as manipulating airtime to prevent conservative discussions from taking place.

WSJ Offers All News Employees Option To Take Buyouts

News Corp's The Wall Street Journal on Friday offered all of its news employees the option to take buyouts, according to a memo reviewed by Reuters.

"We are seeking a substantial number of employees to elect this benefit, but we reserve the right to reject a volunteer based on business considerations," wrote Gerard Baker, the newspaper's editor in chief.

A spokeswoman at Dow Jones declined to comment.

In an email to staff on Friday, the Journal’s editor in chief, Gerard Baker, said it is offering “enhanced” buyouts to all newsroom employees “to limit the number of involuntary layoffs.”

“I regret of course the need for such a move, and I appreciate deeply the dedication all of you continue to show through challenging times,” he said. “I’m confident this process is the right one to set us on the right footing for renewed growth in the years ahead.”

The Wall Street Journal reports the email to employees Friday didn’t specify how many employees the company hopes would take the offer. Staff have until the end of the month to request a buyout.

Earlier this week, Dow Jones & Co Chief Executive William Lewis announced a three-year plan to cut costs in response to a decline in print advertising. Dow Jones is the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

The goal of the review, dubbed WSJ2020, is to modernize the newsroom and improve its mobile and professional information business products, Lewis wrote in a memo Wednesday outlining the plans.

Philly Radio: Ex-Anchor Alycia Lane Settes CBS, Mendte Lawsuit

Alycia Lane, Larry Mendte
After nearly eight years of litigation, former CBS3 anchor Alycia Lane's lawsuit against the network and her former co-anchor has been settled out of court, according to

Lane charged the network with negligence after her former co-anchor, Larry Mendte, hacked into her email and fed her personal details and photos to gossip columnists.

A spokesman for the First Judicial District issued a statement Friday saying: "As of yesterday, the court has been advised that the parties in this matter are working on finalizing a settlement, and the judge is awaiting a final status report from counsel. The terms of the settlement are confidential."

Mendte and Lane shared co-anchor duties at CBS3 for the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts until December 2007, when Lane was arrested after allegedly hitting a woman who turned out to be an undercover New York police officer whose car was blocking a cab occupied by Lane and some friends. CBS3 fired Lane in January 2008. The charges were dismissed and the case was expunged.

Mendte was fired by CBS3 in June of that year, after FBI agents searched his Chestnut Hill home and computer files, and eventually charged him with hacking Lane's emails.

The case effectively ruined the career of Mendte, who at the time was believed to be the second-highest-paid male anchor in Philadelphia after Jim Gardner. Lane went on to become a morning anchor on the NBC station in Los Angeles, where she now lives with her husband and two children. The station let her go in 2013.

Mendte, who is married to WPHT 1210 AM newscaster Dawn Stensland, has said the acts followed the end of a "flirtatious, unprofessional, and improper relationship" with Lane.   In June 2015, Mendte was hired by iHeartMedia in Delaware, as the morning talk show anchor for WILM 1450 AM in Wilmington, Delaware and WDOV 1410 AM in Dover, Delaware. The Larry Mendte show is heard from 5:30 to 9 am in both markets.

SA Radio: Tejano KXTN-FM To Air NBA Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs announced this that Univision San Antonio’s radio station KXTN 107.5 FM Tejano and Proud will serve as the franchise’s new official Spanish-language radio station.  As part of the partnership, Univision San Antonio has the rights to broadcast all Spurs games on KXTN, starting with the team’s 2016-17 NBA season opener on Oct. 25 against the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

KXTN 107.5 FM (98 Kw)
“Nothing says San Antonio better than your San Antonio Spurs and Univision’s KXTN 107.5 Tejano and Proud,” said Chris Morris, Vice President and General Manager for Univision Local Media, Inc. San Antonio.  “These brands resonate within our community and are puro San Antonio. Our partnership with the Spurs will give our listeners access to the games and the team we know they love.”

Play-by-play broadcaster Paul Castro will continue to serve as the Spanish voice of the Spurs.  Now in his 24th season with the Silver and Black, Castro has called seven NBA Finals series, including all six Spurs Finals appearances.

“We’re dedicated to providing our fans with the best experience and KXTN is the perfect partner to help deliver premium content to Spurs fans,” said Mike Kickirillo, Senior Director of Broadcasting for Spurs Sports & Entertainment.  “Our partnership with KXTN will allow us to extend the reach of our Spanish radio broadcasts and better serve our passionate fans.”

R.I.P.: San Antonio Radio Legend Ricci Ware

Ricci Ware
Legendary San Antonio broadcast voice Ricci Ware, a staple of both rock ’n’ roll and news talk radio for more than half a century, died Friday.

He was 79, according to The News-Express.

Ware was inducted into both the San Antonio and Texas radio halls of fame.

His last broadcast gig was as a talk show host on KTSA 550 AM , the station he called home for most of his radio career.

He was one of the airwaves’ most outspoken conservatives — even raising the flagging spirits of Barbara Bush during a 1992 radio hookup with the then-first lady. National polls may not have favored a George Bush win over Bill Clinton that year, but Ware informed her that a KTSA straw poll was overwhelmingly pro-Bush, adding: “Yup, there’s no doubt in my mind that George is going to whip ‘Slick Willie.’”

Between his gigs on KTSA, Ware and Jud Ashmore helmed a rowdy morning program for a decade in the ’70s and ’80s on old country station KBUC. On the duo’s infamous “Ricci and Jud Show,” they regularly raised the blood pressure of local liberals and made headlines by picketing City Hall over hot-button issues.

Ware may have cemented his reputation in talk, but he got his start as a disc jockey. He was hired out of Austin by KTSA in the late ’50s. He, along with Bruce Hathaway, quickly became household names during the station’s rock ’n’ roll heyday of the ’60s.

Ware began his radio career in the mid 1950’s in Baytown, Texas. He married his high school sweetheart, Mimi (The Moot), in 1957, and they moved to Austin, Texas, where Ricci worked for LBJ at KTBC radio and television, reports WOAI-TV4.

While passing through Austin, radio legend Gordon McLendon heard Ricci on the radio, and hired him on the spot to come to KTSA in San Antonio, where Ricci became a household name … and one of the city’s most popular and well-known DJs during the 1960s.

In the early 1970s, Ricci moved to KBUC and formed the legendary team of Ricci and Jud. Their humor and political commentary made radio history. And if being on the air every day was not enough, at this time, Ricci was the owner of Pan American Speedway, and also a weatherman on KSAT television. His plate was full!

Ricci returned to KTSA in 1983, and introduced talk radio to the legendary top-40 station.