Friday, October 30, 2020

The AM Rundown: Presidential Candidates Stump In 3 States Each

➤TRUMP RALLYING IN MICHIGAN, WISCONSIN AND MINNESOTA, BIDEN STUMPING IN IOWA, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA: As the presidential election moves into its final weekend with just four days left until Election Day, President Trump will be holding rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota today, and former Vice President Joe Biden will also be on the stump in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as in Iowa, a Republican-leaning state he's trying to flip. Both were in Florida yesterday, appearing in the Tampa area within hours of each other. Trump's closing weekend will include three stops in Pennsylvania Saturday and nearly a dozen events in the last 48 hours of the campaign. Among Biden's events, he will be in Michigan Saturday for a joint rally with former President Barack Obama. 

➤AMERICANS WORRIED ABOUT ELECTION-RELATED V IOLENCE: When it comes to the presidential election that's now just four days away, Americans aren't only stressed about the outcome, a new poll finds they're also concerned about potential election-related violence. An astonishing three in four said in a new USA Today/Suffolk University Poll that they're concerned about the possibility of violence on Election Day and afterward, with more than one-third saying they're "very concerned" about it. Similarly, just 23 percent said they're "very confident" there will be a peaceful transfer of power if Joe Biden beats President Trump, and nearly 40 percent have little confidence in it. These concerns of significant majorities of Americans reflect the divisions in the country, with 69 percent saying they believe the divisions are deeper than they've been in the past, and only three percent saying they're less than they've been.

➤U.S. SETS NEW RECORD FOR MOST DAILY CORONAVIRUS CASES: The U.S. reported 87,164 new coronavirus cases yesterday, according to Johns Hopkins University's data, the most new cases in a single day in the country since the pandemic began. The previous high came just six days ago, when there were 83,731 new cases, the new records taking place amid a fall surge of the coronavirus. The Johns Hopkins data showed that 41 states had at least 10 percent more new Covid-19 cases this past week compared to the previous week. Deaths are also rising again, with the death toll now more than 228,000 people. At least 13 states reported highs in hospitalizations, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

➤HURRICANE ZETA LEAVES SIX DEAD: Hurricane Zeta left six dead after coming ashore in Cocodrie, Louisiana, as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday and then quickly moving through parts of the Southeast. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday called the damage on the barrier island community of Grand Isle "catastrophic," and ordered the Louisiana National Guard to assist with search and rescue. Four were killed in Alabama and Georgia when trees fell on their homes, one man was electrocuted in New Orleans, and a man drowned in Mississippi in rising seawater.

➤THOSE SEEKING UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS TO LOWEST SINCE MARCH, STILL HISTORICALLY HIGH: Labor Department figures out yesterday showed that the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims fell last week to 751,000, the lowest since March. But it's still a historically high number, with AP saying it indicates employers are being forced to cut jobs amid the pandemic. The government also said yesterday that the economy expanded at a record 33 percent annual rate in the quarter from July to September quarter, a sharp rebound after the pandemic-driven collapse in the spring's second quarter, when the economy shrank at a 31.4 percent annual rate. However, the increase has only recovered about two-thirds of what was lost to the pandemic.

🏈FALCONS DEFEAT PANTHERS 25-17: The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Carolina Panthers 25-17 last night in North Carolina, holding off a late rally when Blidi Wreh-Wilson intercepted Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater near the Falcons' 10-yard line with just over one minute remaining. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 281 yards and ran for a touchdown, and Younghoe Koo kicked four field goals.

🏈CLEMSON QUARTERBACK LAWRENCE TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for the coronavirus, with coach Dabo Swinney saying in a statement last night that Lawrence is in isolation with mild symptoms. The quarterback tweeted that he's had, quote, "relatively mild" symptoms, and said, "The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love." Lawrence will miss Clemson's game this weekend against Boston College. The junior is a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy and potentially the top overall pick in next year’s NFL draft.

⚾WHITE SOX HIRE HALL OF FAMER LA RUSSA AS MANAGER: Hall of Famer Tony La Russa is returning to baseball, hired by the Chicago White Sox to be their manager. The 76-year-old began his managing career with the White Sox more than four decades ago, and is now returning with them to manage for the first time since he led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title in 2011. He also won championships with the Oakland A's in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006. Over his 33 seasons, La Russa won Manager of the Year four times.

🏀TIMBERWOLVES BEASLEY CHARGED WITH THREATENING FAMILY WITH RIFLE: Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley was charged yesterday with using a rifle to threaten a family that was house hunting in his suburban Minneapolis neighborhood last month. A couple and their 13-year-old child were on a Parade of Homes tour last month when they drove up to the home being rented by Beasley and his wife, but saw it was roped off. Beasley tapped on the window of the family's SUV, pointed a rifle at them and told them to get off his property. He also continued to hold the rifle aimed on the SUV as it drove off. The Timberwolves said in a statement, "[W]e take these allegations seriously and will let the legal process run its course."

Radio Hall of Fame Goes Virtual

Radio was celebrated across audio channels as the Radio Hall of Fame presented the 2020 Class of Inductees on radio, iHeartRadio, and SiriusXM. From talk to hip hop, celebrity presenters joined the industry to honor some of radio’s most listened to personalities. Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, this year’s ceremony was not the usual in-person gala and instead was broadcast and streamed from multiple locations.

Elvis Duran, popular morning show personality heard on Z100 in New York and nationally syndicated by Premiere Networks, hosted the virtual gala and started the festivities by pointing out the unique power of radio in the listener’s mind and imagination, and transformed everyone to a virtual ballroom. Nationally syndicated Westwood One radio host and 2003 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Jim Bohannon reprised his annual role as the Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony’s announcer. The Radio Hall of Fame is part of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, located in Chicago, IL since 1991.

During his acceptance speech, Donnie Simpson observed, “The Hall has recognized the right side of the dial, now, a lot of people of color are going in this class, and I want to tell the Hall that I respect that.”

Charlamagne Tha God noted, “Back in 2009, I gave the introduction Hall of Fame speech for Wendy Williams, and almost 11 years later, I am being inducted as part of The Breakfast Club. I read all the legendary names on that Wall at the Broadcast Museum, I felt inspired and said to myself, ‘I’m going to be on that Wall one day.’”

The 2020 Class of Radio Hall of Fame Inductees are:
  • Mark & Brian - KLOS-FM..Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)
  • Cokie Roberts - Political Reporter, NPR .. Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)
  • Angie Martinez - WWPR-FM New York City .. Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)
  • The Breakfast Club - Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy, Premiere Networks ...WWPR -FM, Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more)
  • Sway Calloway - SiriusXM Shade 45 Channel.. Public Vote Music Format On-Air Personality
  • Glenn Beck - The Glenn Beck Show, Premiere Networks.. Public Vote Spoken Word On-Air Personality
  • Donnie Simpson - WMMJ-FM Washington D.C. .. Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee inductee
The evening featured an impressive lineup of presenters, including:
  • Grammy Award-winning Smokey Robinson - Donnie Simpson
  • TV star and singer Donny Osmond – Mark & Brian
  • DJ, VJ, and B-Boy King Tech - Sway Calloway
  • Radio programmer Dom Theodore - Glenn Beck
  • National recording artist Ray J - The Breakfast Club
  • Music Producer Salaam Remi - Angie Martinez
The ceremony concluded with an audio journey that highlighted 100 years of radio’s role in listeners’ lives -- from comedy to tragedy, the montage demonstrated how audio informs, entertains, and engages Americans every day.

Sponsors of the 2020 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony included The Mix Group, Premiere Networks, and The Weiss Agency. The Radio Hall of Fame is housed at and a project of the Museum of Broadcast Communication, a 501(c)(3) organization.

NYC Radio: Tony Orlando To Host Music On 77 WABC

Tony Orlando, Superstar singer/songwriter and pop icon of the 1960s and 1970s, will be joining 77 WABC MUSICRADIO, hosting his own weekend music radio program. The station announced that Orlando will spin the greatest hits from the 60s and 70s every Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight, joining fellow-icon “Cousin Brucie” Morrow who launched his own Saturday evening program earlier this year. 

Orlando’s critical acclaim has placed him atop the list of the most transformational artists of his generation. In 1973, Orlando achieved the top spot on the Billboard “Top 100” for “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree,” a worldwide hit and number one seller in both the United States and United Kingdom. The anthem was ranked number 37 on the “Biggest Songs of All Time” list announced by Billboard on the 50th Anniversary of the “Hot 100,” and has been considered an anthem of hope and homecoming.

Tony Orlando’s Show on MUSICRADIO will also stream live worldwide on and on the network’s Long Island’s sister station, WLIR-FM 107.1.

“I am thrilled to be back on the radio on 77 WABC to play the greatest hits of an iconic generation: the sixties and seventies,” said Orlando. “I can’t wait to be on the airwaves with my fans who are looking forward to the greatest hits – we are going to have a lot of fun,” Orlando continued.

“Tony is one of the country’s most endearing and beloved entertainers with his energy, warmth, humor, and we are excited to bring this back on Saturday nights in New York!” said John Catsimatidis, Owner of Red Apple Media. “Orlando is an iconic musician who holds a place in the hearts of everyone who lived through the sixties and seventies – we could not be more pleased to bring him aboard for what we all love on Saturday nights: fun and music. My motto is make music, not war.” he continued.

His other #1 Hits are “Knock Three Times,” “Candida,” “My Sweet Gypsy Rose,” and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).” Tony and Dawn also had an enormously popular TV variety program, The Tony Orlando and Dawn Show on CBS from 1973 to 1977.

A big supporter of veterans, Orlando has performed for America’s armed services around the globe and raised millions of dollars for veterans’ organizations. His tireless work on behalf of veterans led to his being named Honorary Chairman at the 40th Anniversary of the NAM-POW’s Homecoming Celebration in 2014. Among his many awards and accolades, Orlando is the recipient of three American Music Awards and two People’s Choice Awards for Best Male Entertainer. 

NYC Radio: Craig Carton Back On Air At WFAN

In his first time on WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM since being arrested three years ago, Craig Carton was a combination of apologetic and his old, obnoxious, entertaining self, reports The NY Post.

After the official announcement on Thursday morning, Carton took the mic at 5 p.m. and spent a little more than an hour displaying the energy that fueled “Boomer & Carton” for a decade.

Later, his old partner, Boomer Esiason, called in and the two joked about who would be in charge of the FAN’s softball team.

For the final portion of his return, Carton’s new partner, Evan Roberts, joined him.

After the radio shenanigans, Carton honored his wife, Kim, “the most amazing person I know on the planet,” for sticking with him through prison.

After apologizing to the listeners for his mistakes and his subsequent exile, Carton sounded a lot like the old Carton.

He also said he called crosstown rival Michael Kay on Thursday to say, “My job is to beat you, good luck.” Kay airs daily on WEPN ESPN 98.7 FM

Coronavirus-Driven Downturn Hits Newspapers Hard as TV News Thrives

The coronavirus outbreak has had a major impact on the U.S. economy, and while loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program may have provided some relief, the news media industry has responded to these financial pressures with closings and layoffs. According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of change in revenue between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020, not all sectors of the news media have been affected by the coronavirus downturn equally.

Newspaper companies have been hit especially hard. Among the six publicly traded newspaper companies studied – major chains that together own over 300 daily papers – advertising revenue fell by a median of 42% between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020.  By contrast, total ad revenue across the three major cable news networks (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC) was steady overall, though there were sharp differences among the networks. While ad revenue for MSNBC and CNN declined by double digits, Fox News Channel’s revenue rose by 41%.

For the five local TV news companies studied (which together own or operate at least 600 individual stations), ad revenue was down in the second quarter of this year, but increases in retransmission fees more than made up for this. Meanwhile, ad revenue for nightly network TV news at the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) increased over the same period, as audiences have been turning to TV in record numbers for news about the outbreak.

Among the report’s other key findings:
  • Digital ads, a newer source of revenue for the newspaper industry, offered little relief in the early days of the pandemic. Digital ad revenue fell by a median of 32% between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020 – even though digital ads reach not only digital subscribers, but visitors to the free offerings on a newspaper’s website as well.
  • Newspaper circulation revenue, which had been steady in recent years, also declined in the second quarter of 2020, by a median of 8%. As a result, three of the six newspaper companies studied now have more revenue coming from circulation than from ads.
  • In percentage terms, newspaper companies that reported revenue in both periods seemed to fare worse financially in the second quarter of 2020 than they did during the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Ad revenue for newspaper companies also dipped sharply during the Great Recession, with median declines of 11% and 30%, respectively, in the second quarters of 2008 and 2009 among these companies. Still, this does not match the dramatic year-over-year median fall of 42% in 2020. And circulation revenue was roughly steady in 2008 and 2009, compared with the 8% median year-over-year decline in the second quarter of 2020.
  • As revenue fell, newspaper companies cut labor expenses. Of the four newspaper companies that reported compensation expenses in the second quarter of 2020, all showed a double-digit percentage decline year over year, with a median decline across the four of 20 percentage points. For most of these companies, labor expenses have been falling steadily over the past decade or more, reflecting the 51% decline in newspaper newsroom jobs between 2008 and 2019.
  • Turning to cable news, total ad revenue across the three major networks was roughly steady, up 2% year over year at $422 million. But the story was different depending on the network. Fox News Channel, driven by surging ratings, experienced its sharpest year-over-year second-quarter ad revenue increase going back to 2007, rising 41%. CNN and MSNBC both saw their ad revenue decline, with CNN’s falling 14% and MSNBC’s falling 27% – despite the fact that both networks grew their audiences as well, with CNN more than doubling its total prime-time audience over 2019.
  • Political ad revenue – which is predictably cyclical, with even-numbered election years seeing a surge in political ad dollars – was up dramatically from 2019 for all five local TV companies in the second quarter of 2020. But when comparing this year with the midterm election year of 2018, political ad revenue was down for most of these companies – including by margins of more than 30% between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2020 for Nexstar, Sinclair and Tegna. Looking further back, however, the data shows that political ad revenue for local TV companies is up across the board when compared with the 2016 presidential election year.
  • Retransmission fees, revenue paid by cable providers for the right to carry local TV stations in their home markets, were up sharply in the second quarter of 2020. In fact, retransmission fee revenue at publicly traded local TV companies saw a median year-over-year increase of 37%, possibly driven by spikes in viewership. In real dollars, this equates to a jump of $87.3 million in median revenue, more than making up for the fall in median advertising revenue among these companies ($67.9 million).
  • For nightly news programs at the three major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, total ad revenue rose 11% year over year this spring, outpacing its performance in the comparable presidential election years of 2016 (up 5% year over year) and 2012 (up 5%). This was largely driven by ABC’s 21% rise, though CBS (3%) and NBC (7%) also rose.
  • In contrast, total ad revenue fell 4% year over year for these three networks’ morning news shows, which is somewhat unusual compared with the presidential election years of 2016 (up 2% year over year) and 2012 (up 4%). ABC’s morning news ad revenue was roughly unchanged, while CBS and NBC experienced modest declines in the second quarter of 2020.
This report is based on an analysis of financial data from Securities and Exchange Commission filings of publicly traded media companies as well as data obtained from Kantar under contract.

Big Tech Companies Reap Gains

Five technology giants reported strong earnings but mixed outlooks Thursday, a sign of varying fortunes as they work to rebound from a pandemic-related economic slowdown earlier this year, according to The Associated Press.

While all five — Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Facebook, Apple and Twitter — exceeded analyst expectations, gloomy forecasts and other uncertainties led to share-price declines for all but Alphabet in after-market trading.


Apple didn’t get its usual late-September surge in sales from its latest iPhone models, but still managed to eke out a slight increase in revenue during the July-September quarter, although profits fell.

Production problems lingering from factory shutdowns during the onset of the pandemic led to the iPhone delay, although analysts expect it will bounce back with a huge quarter during the October-December quarter that includes the holiday shopping season.

Apple’s revenue rose to $64.7 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had braced for a dip to $63.6 billion. Profit, meanwhile, dropped 7% from the year-ago quarter to $12.7 billion. But earnings per share amounted to 73 cents, above the average estimate of 70 cents among analysts polled by FactSet.


Google’s corporate parent Alphabet returned to robust financial growth during the summer. In the previous quarter, it suffered its first-ever quarterly decline in revenue amid the economic slowdown stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s revenue for the July-September period rose 14% from the same time last year to $46.2 billion. Its profit soared 59% to $11.2 billion, or $16.40 per share. Both figures easily surpassed analyst estimates, lifting Alphabet’s stock price by more than 7% in Thursday’s extended trading after the numbers came out.

The rebound, as usual, was propelled by the ad spending that has established Google as one of the world’s most proficient moneymaking machines. But the U.S. Justice Department could throw a monkey wrench into Google’s financial gears with a recent lawsuit that accuses the company of abusing its search dominance to boost its profits and stifle competition.


Facebook’s already-massive profit and revenue continued to grow along with its worldwide user base, but looking ahead to 2021 the company predicted a “significant amount of uncertainty.”

Facebook earned $7.85 billion, or $2.71 per share, in the July-September period, well above the $2.18 that analysts expected and up 29% from a year earlier. Revenue grew 22% to $21.22 billion, higher than the $19.8 billion analysts were predicting.

The social media giant’s average monthly user base was 2.74 billion as of Sept. 30, up 12% from a year earlier.


Amazon continued to benefit from shopping trends during the pandemic, reporting record profit and revenue during the third quarter. The company reported net income of $6.3 billion in the three months ending Sept. 30, nearly tripling from the previous-year period.

Earnings per share came to $12.37, about $5 more than Wall Street analysts expected. Revenue soared 37% to $96.1 billion, also beating expectations. Shares nevertheless fell 1.3% in aftermarket trading.

The online shopping giant is also expecting a big end to the year as the holiday shopping season picks up. Amazon said Thursday that it expects fourth-quarter sales to rise between 28% and 38% from a year ago to between $112 billion and $121 billion.

The last three months of the year are always Amazon’s biggest, due to the holidays. But this year, Amazon also held its Prime Day sales event during the quarter for the first time after postponing it from July to October due to the pandemic. Prime Day has become one of the company’s busiest shopping events of the year.


Twitter posted much stronger than expected third-quarter results thanks to surging advertiser demand. But while its user base continued to grow, Wall Street grumbled and shares plunged after hours.

The San Francisco company earned $28.66 million, or 4 cents per share, in the July-September period. That’s down 22% from a year earlier, due to higher expenses in part related to COVID-19. Excluding one-time items, earnings were 19 cents per share. Revenue grew 14% to $936.2 million from $823.7 million.

Twitter had 187 million daily users, on average, in the third quarter. That’s up 29% from a year earlier, thanks to people signing up to follow U.S. politics and current events worldwide, but below analysts’ expectations of 195.6 million. The company no longer discloses monthly user figures.

Netflix Raises Price Of Popular Plans

Netflix Inc. raised the monthly price of its most popular plan for the first time since early 2019, a move that comes as the streaming service competes with a growing number of cheaper alternatives, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Netflix said Thursday its standard streaming plan will now cost $13.99 a month, up from $12.99. Its $8.99-a-month basic plan will remain unchanged, while the cost of its premium plan will rise to $17.99 from $15.99. The changes go into effect for new subscribers immediately, and current subscribers will see their fees go up within the next two months.

The price increase comes in the wake of Netflix missing its third-quarter subscriber projections amid growing competition and the continuing effects of the coronavirus on the economy. While Netflix enjoyed strong growth in the first and second quarters of this year as people stayed at home, new subscriptions slowed in the third quarter.

In a statement, Netflix attributed the price increases to the costs of creating original programming. “We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films—in addition to our great fall line up,” the company said.

Netflix is spending heavily on original fare as it faces greater competition from newer rivals, including Walt Disney Co. ’s Disney+, AT&T Inc. ’s HBO Max and Comcast Corp. ’s Peacock as well as older services that are spending more on content such as Inc. ’s Prime Video.

This is Netflix’s first price increase since January 2019. That increase was steeper, with the monthly price of the most popular standard plan jumping by $2 to $13.99. The basic plan increased its monthly fee by $1.

Last week, Netflix said it added 2.2 million subscribers in the third quarter on a net basis, which missed its forecast of 2.5 million subscribers.

Nashville Radio: Bobby Bones Inks Development Deal With BBC Studios

WSIX 97.9 The Big 98
, syndicated radio host, TV personality and best-selling author Bobby Bones has signed an exclusive overall television development deal with BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm, according to iHeartRadio.  

Based on this new development deal, he will work exclusively with BBC Studios across all television media as an executive producer to develop and potentially host original unscripted series, along with scripted projects, reflecting his wide range of diverse interests.  

Bobby Bones is currently working with BBC Studios filming the unscripted series Breaking Bobby Bones slated to debut on National Geographic. In the action packed series, Bobby Bones travels across America to meet hard working hometown heroes with unique jobs, skills and abilities who put him to the test to see if he has what it takes to keep up with them.  

Bobby Bones first worked with BBC Studios' Los Angeles production arm when he became the mirrorball champion on Dancing with the Stars, the successful global format it brought to the U.S. and produces as a hit series for ABC, now going strong in its 29th season. 

"I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with the team at BBC Studios on this new venture," said Bobby Bones. "From working with them on Dancing with the Stars, and now Breaking Bobby Bones, I know first-hand the incredible creativity and integrity they bring to every project."

“Bobby Bones’ life story is a testament to his strong work ethic and perseverance. The way in which he overcame adversity to achieve his own version of the American dream is an inspiration. His ability to connect with audiences is powerful, as he proved on Dancing with the Stars. Bobby Bones is a creative force in his own right, and I am thrilled to officially welcome him to our team to jointly develop bespoke projects that reflect his unique brand and personality,” said Valerie Bruce, General Manager of BBC Studios, Los Angeles Productions.

October 30 Radio History

➦In 1745...Invention of the Leyden jar (the first capacitor) by Dean Ewald Jurgen von Kleist of the Cathedral of Cammin.

➦In 1907...Actor and songwriter Renzo Cesana was born in Rome Italy.  He is best remembered as The Continental, the suave debonair “latin lover” host of his own early TV series. He is also credited with creating the radio programs “Art Linkletter’s House Party”, “Stop That Villain”, and the “Radio Hall of Fame.” Cesana succumbed to lung cancer November 8 1970 at age 63.

Fred W. Friendly with Edward R. Murrow
➦In 1915...Broadcaster Fred W. Friendly was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in NYC (Died from a series of strokes at age 82 – March 3, 1998). He was a president of CBS News and the creator, along with Edward R. Murrow, of the documentary television program 'See It Now'.  He originated the concept of public-access television cable TV channels.

He entered radio broadcasting in 1937 at WEAN in Providence, Rhode Island, where he reversed the order of his middle and last names, and began using Friendly as his last name. In World War II, he served as an instructor in the Army Signal Corps and reported for an Army newspaper in the Pacific Theater (The CBI Roundup) before mustering out as a master sergeant in 1945.

By the late 1940s, Friendly was an experienced radio producer. It was in this role that Friendly first worked with Murrow on the Columbia Records historical albums, I Can Hear It Now. The first entry in the series, released on Thanksgiving Day 1948, covered the crisis and war years 1933–1945. It was a ground-breaker in that it used clips of radio news coverage and speeches of the major events from that twelve-year time span. Friendly created the concept after noticing the new use of audiotape in regular radio news coverage, as opposed to wire or disc recordings that had been an industry standard. Periodically, Friendly created recordings of news events when such recordings didn't exist or, recreated ones that were considered too chaotic to use on an album.

Although Murrow was an established CBS name and at the time Columbia Records was owned by CBS, Friendly's next full-time work came as a news producer at NBC. It was there that Friendly originated the idea for the news-oriented quiz show Who Said That?, first hosted by NBC newsman Robert Trout, followed by Walter Kiernan, and John Charles Daly. The program, which Friendly edited, ran irregularly on NBC and then ABC between 1948 and 1955.

Friendly later wrote, directed, and produced the NBC Radio series The Quick and the Dead during the Summer of 1950. It was about the development of the atomic bomb. It featured Trout, Bob Hope, and New York Times writer Bill Laurence, who had won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Manhattan Project.

➦In 1925...KUT-AM in Austin Texas began broadcasting.

The actual beginning date of radio broadcasting on the UT-Austin campus has never been fully substantiated. There is an unofficial reference to an on-campus radio operation as early as 1912. But the most reliable information indicates that the first broadcast license — bearing the call letters 5XY — was issued to the University on March 22, 1921.

A year later, a new license was issued, bearing new call letters WCM, which the station used to identify itself until 1925.

In these first years, the station was used for a number of purposes, beginning as a demonstration project in the Physics Department, whose Professor Simpson L. Brown had persuaded the administration to let him build the station in the first place.

Beginning in 1923, though, funding concerns prompted a transfer of operational control to the University's Extension Division for extension teaching. One of the stipulations of the transfer agreement was that funds would be provided for operations and maintenance to put the station in a "first-class" condition. The funds, however, did not materialize and broadcasting suffered until a state agriculture official needed a means to broadcast daily crop and weather reports.

A deal between the official and UT's Extension Division allowed agriculture broadcasts for one hour per day in exchange for equipment maintenance. At other times of the day, the University would broadcast items of interest from the campus, including a number of faculty lecture series.

But by the end of 1924, the Physics Department decided it wanted the station back, and with the approval of the Board of Regents, the Physics Department regained control in the summer of 1925. They had a new license granted on October 30 and it bore, for the first time, the call letters KUT.

KUT's early years were ambitious but, by 1927, ambition had outrun the funding. The expense of operating and maintaining the station had simply become too great for the Physics Department to sustain. University President Harry Benedict appointed a committee to study the matter, and the committee recommended that the project be discontinued. The station was dismantled and the equipment returned to the Physics labs for experimentation.

KUT would not re-emerge for 30 years.

➦In 1931...NBC began installing a TV transmitter on top of New York’s Empire State Building. The first experimental TV broadcast from the building was on December 22, 1931.

➦In 1938...Orson Welles's radio adaptation of HG Wells's War Of The Worlds caused panic in the US by convincing many listeners that Martians had really landed in New Jersey.

During the '30s, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.  Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air.

Welles reflected in February 1983:
"Radio is what I love most of all. The wonderful excitement of what could happen in live radio, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was making a couple of thousand a week, scampering in ambulances from studio to studio, and committing much of what I made to support the Mercury. I wouldn't want to return to those frenetic 20-hour working day years, but I miss them because they are so irredeemably gone."
In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio's Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series' April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish's verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.

In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables, which he did with great success. Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio.  Les Misérables was one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements on radio, and marked the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre.

That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.

After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited the 23-year-old Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

The Mercury Theatre's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame.

When the show began at 8 p.m., a voice announced, “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells."  In 1938, Sunday evenings were prime time in the golden age of radio and millions of Americans had their radios turned on.

On Sunday nights in 1938, most Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the audience had missed the introduction and the story of the Martian invasion was well underway.

Welles introduced his radio play with a spoken introduction, followed by an announcer reading a weather report. Then, seemingly abandoning the story-line, the announcer took listeners to “the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Amon Raquello and his orchestra.” Dance music played for some time, and then the scare began.

An announcer broke in to report that “Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory” had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the dance music came back on, followed by another interruption in which listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grover’s Mills, New Jersey.

The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question.  Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion.

When news of the real-life panic leaked into the CBS studio, Welles went on the air as himself to remind listeners that it was just fiction. There were rumors that the show caused suicides, but none were ever confirmed.

The Federal Communications Commission investigated the program but found no law was broken. Networks did agree to be more cautious in their programming in the future.

Welles's growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.

➦In 1943...WINS switched to 1010 AM.

The station began broadcasting first during 1924 on 950 kHz as WGBS, named after and broadcasting from its owner, Gimbel's department store. It moved to 860 kHz sometime around 1927, and to 600 around 1930, settling on 1180 around 1931. The station was bought by William Randolph Hearst in 1932, and it adopted its present callsign (named after Hearst's International News Service) the same year, effective January 15.

WINS relocated from the Hotel Lincoln to the WINS Building, 114 East 58th Street, June 19, 1932.

It changed its frequency from 1180 to 1000 on March 29, 1941 as part of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement and then eventually to 1010 on October 30, 1943. The Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation announced its purchase of the station from Hearst in 1945, though it would be over a year before Crosley would take control of WINS, in July 1946

➦In 1967...WNEW-FM adopted a 'progressive rock' radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry.

The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

Disc jockeys would broadcast in ways that bore out their personalities:
  • morning fixture Dave Herman was not afraid to mix Erik Satie or Donna Summer into the playlist;
  • noontime stalwart Pete Fornatale promoted the Beach Boys when it was not fashionable and later started his eclectic weekend Mixed Bag program;
  • afternoon legend Muni would use his gravelly voice to introduce largely unknown British artists on his "Things from England" segments;
  • nighttime host Schwartz was a raconteur who would sneak in the Sinatra pop standards that he not-so-secretly liked better than rock;
  • overnight presence Steele would play space rock groups in between readings of her equally spacey poems;
  • weekend personality Vin Scelsa started his idiosyncratic Idiots' Delight program, which soon gained a devoted following.
Other well-known disc jockeys who worked at the station included Dennis Elsas, Pete Larkin, brothers Dan Neer and Richard Neer, Jim Monaghan, Pam Merly, Thom Morrera, Meg Griffin, and John Zacherle.

WNEW-FM was among the first stations to give Bruce Springsteen significant airplay, and conducted live broadcasts of key Springsteen concerts in 1975 and 1978; Springsteen would sometimes call up the DJs during records. Later, Dave Herman featured a "Bruce Juice" segment each morning. John Lennon once stopped by to guest-DJ along with Dennis Elsas and appeared on-air several other times during his friend Scott Muni's afternoon slot. Members of the Grateful Dead and other groups would hang out in the studio; Emerson, Lake & Palmer's visit to Muni's show is often credited for popularizing the group in America.

➦In 1996...Leon Lewis, a radio talk show host for WMCA-AM, New York, died at age 81.

Lewis was the nighttime voice of WMCA from 1970 to 1980. On ''The Leon Lewis Talk Show,'' he took calls from listeners, debated public issues, offered advice to the troubled or merely provided a sympathetic ear, greeting each caller with a soothing ''Hello, my friend.''

Before he joined WMCA, Mr. Lewis was the moderator of ''Community Opinion,'' a call-in show on WLIB in Harlem. In 1967, the station won a George Foster Peabody award for the show, which was credited with helping to defuse racial tension.

Lewis, who was born in Bloomington, Ind., began his radio career at WABY in Albany. After working as a disk jockey and in advertising sales, he moved to New York City in 1954 and became circulation manager for The Amsterdam News. He left the paper in 1957 and joined radio station WWRL as news director before moving to WLIB.

➦In 2000...Radio/TV personality Steve Allen died of a heart attack resulting from a minor automobile accident earlier in the day. Autopsy results concluded that the accident had caused a blood vessel in his chest to rupture, causing blood to leak into the sac surrounding his heart. He was 78.

Allen's first radio job was on station KOY in Phoenix, Arizona, after he left Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University) in Tempe, while still a sophomore. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was trained as an infantryman. He spent his service time at Camp Roberts, California, and did not serve overseas.

Steve Allen 1977
Allen became an announcer for KFAC in Los Angeles and then moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1946, talking the station into airing a five-nights-a-week comedy show, Smile Time, co-starring Wendell Noble. After Allen moved to CBS Radio's KNX in Los Angeles, his music-and-talk half-hour format gradually changed to include more talk on a full-hour, late-night show, boosting his popularity and creating standing-room-only studio audiences. During one episode of the show reserved primarily for an interview with Doris Day, his guest star failed to appear, so Allen picked up a microphone and went into the audience to ad lib for the first time.  His radio show attracted a huge local following, and in 1950 it replaced Our Miss Brooks, exposing Allen to a national audience for the first time.

Allen's first television experience had come in 1949 when he answered an ad for a TV announcer for professional wrestling. He knew nothing about wrestling, so he watched some shows and discovered that the announcers did not have well-defined names for the holds. When he got the job, he created names for many of the holds, some of which are still used today.

After CBS radio gave Allen a weekly prime time show, CBS television believed it could groom him for national small-screen stardom and gave Allen his first network television show. The Steve Allen Show premiered at 11 am on Christmas Day, 1950, and was later moved into a thirty-minute, early evening slot. This new show required him to uproot his family and move from LA to New York, since at that time a coast to coast program could not originate from LA. The show was canceled in 1952, after which CBS tried several shows to showcase Allen's talent.

Allen achieved national attention when he was pressed into service at the last minute to host Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts because Godfrey was unable to appear. Allen turned one of Godfrey's live Lipton commercials upside down, preparing tea and instant soup on camera and then pouring both into Godfrey's ukulele. With the audience (including Godfrey, watching from Miami) uproariously and thoroughly entertained, Allen gained major recognition as a comedian and host.

Leaving CBS, he created a late-night New York talk-variety TV program in 1953 for what is now WNBC-TV. The following year, on September 27, 1954, the show went on the full NBC network as The Tonight Show, with fellow radio personality Gene Rayburn (who later went on to host hit game shows such as Match Game, 1962–1982) as the original announcer. The show ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the East Coast.

While Today developer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver is often credited as the Tonight creator, Allen often pointed out that he had previously created it as a local New York show. Allen told his nationwide audience that first evening: "This is Tonight, and I can't think of too much to tell you about it except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever... you think you're tired now. Wait until you see one o'clock roll around!"

It was as host of The Tonight Show that Allen pioneered the "man on the street" interviews and audience-participation comedy breaks that have become commonplace on late-night TV.

➦In 2007...Alberta-raised singer and actor Robert Goulet, while awaiting a lung transplant, died at age 73. His career began as an announcer at Edmonton radio station CKUA; he went on to sing frequently on CBC-TV.

His Broadway debut in Camelot launched an award-winning stage and recording career (If Ever I Would Leave You, My Love Forgive Me).  As well as starring in numerous televised musicals (Carousel, Brigadoon, Kiss Me Kate) he appeared 16 times on Ed Sullivan, and starred in a short-lived ABC WW2 series, Blue Light.

  • Songwriter Eddie Holland of Holland-Dozier-Holland is 81. 
  • Singer Grace Slick is 81. 
  • Singer Otis Williams of The Temptations is 79. 
  • Actor Henry Winkler is 75. 
  • TV journalist Andrea Mitchell is 74. 
  • Bassist Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles (and Poco) is 73. 
  • Kassidy Osborn is 44
    Actor Harry Hamlin is 69. 
  • Actor Charles Martin Smith (“American Graffiti”) is 67. 
  • Country singer T. Graham Brown is 66. 
  • Actor Kevin Pollak is 63. 
  • Singer-guitarist Jerry De Borg of Jesus Jones is 60. 
  • Actor Michael Beach (“Soul Food,” ″Third Watch”) is 57. 
  • Singer-guitarist Gavin Rossdale of Bush is 55. 
  • Actor Jack Plotnick (“Reno 911!”) is 52. 
  • “Cash Cab” host Ben Bailey is 50. 
  • Actor Billy Brown (“How To Get Away With Murder,” “Dexter”) is 50. 
  • Actor Nia Long is 50. 
  • Country singer Kassidy Osborn of SHeDAISY is 44. 
  • Actor Gael Garcia Bernal (“Babel,” ″The Motorcycle Diaries”) is 42. 
  • Actor Matthew Morrison (“Glee”) is 42. 
  • Actor Fiona Dourif (“When We Rise,” ″True Blood”) is 39. 
  • Actor Shaun Sipos (“Melrose Place”) is 39. 
  • Actor Tasso Feldman (“The Resident”) is 37. 
  • Actor Janel Parrish (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 32. 
  • Actor Tequan Richmond (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 28. 
  • Actor Kennedy McMann (TV’s “Nancy Drew”) is 24.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Entercom, FanDuel Enter Landmark Strategic Partnership

Entercom Communications Corp. and FanDuel have announced a six-year partnership designating FanDuel, the leading online sports and entertainment company, as the official sportsbook partner of Entercom across its best-in-class sports broadcast stations and RADIO.COM, the fastest growing digital audio platform in America. 

The partnership brings together America’s #1 Sportsbook with the #1 sports audio company in the United States.

Matthew King
This ground-breaking deal unites two industry titans in a shared mission to entertain, engage, and inform sports fans around all aspects of the game and represents a new model between a sports gaming operator and sports media platform. As part of the deal, Entercom listeners will have unique access to FanDuel odds, insight, and promotion via Entercom on-air stations and personalities. Entercom and FanDuel will also collaborate on in-depth integrations and co-produce content that will pioneer the industry with all-new formats.

Under the agreement, FanDuel will be the official sportsbook of Entercom, and receive preferred and increased category access to all Entercom talent in every market where Entercom and FanDuel both operate. The partnership brings FanDuel’s sports betting content, industry-leading products, and risk and trading expertise to the fingertips of Entercom sports fans via a comprehensive integration across the largest sports audio platform in the country.

David Field
“Entercom has revolutionized the audio and entertainment industries and we’re beyond excited to be their preferred partner in the sports betting and fantasy categories,” said Matthew King, Chief Executive Officer, FanDuel. “In the two years we have been doing business with Entercom, it is abundantly clear to us that their authentic connection to sports fans is one of the best ways for us to engage FanDuel customers. We will work together to offer sports fans access to information wherever, whenever, and however they consume content, providing them with the tools to learn and win.”

“We believe this is the largest advertising commitment ever made within the radio industry. We are focused on delivering the best sports betting experience for our audiences in markets where legalized sports betting will be pervasive,” said David Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entercom. “The marketplace is growing exponentially and FanDuel is an ideal partner to take full advantage of the influence and reach of Entercom’s robust sports platforms to deliver an even better, audio sports experience to our listeners.”

NYC Radio: Carton Returns To WFAN November 9

Entercom welcomes the return of on-air host Craig Carton as afternoon show co-host for WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM. Carton will rejoin the station November 9 and be heard alongside co-host Evan Roberts, weekdays from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

“Craig Carton was part of the fabric of WFAN for a decade, both on and off the air, engaging and entertaining audiences with his one of a kind personality and talent,” said Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom New York. “We all hope that this next step on his road back will not only be beneficial to Craig, but also for his audience as he shares his story and looks to make an impact through the power of his voice. WFAN welcomes him back and is excited to have him join Evan Roberts in afternoon drive.”

“I am grateful to Entercom for the chance to return home to WFAN,” said Carton. “I have dreamt about this moment every minute of every day for the last three years. I know I have work to do to regain the trust of my colleagues, listeners and advertisers and am committed to doing just that. I can't wait to get started with Evan Roberts on November 9th.”

Carton rejoins WFAN after previously serving as co-host of the station’s morning show “Boomer & Carton” from 2007 to 2017. Carton began his broadcasting career in 1991 with a brief tenure at WGR Radio in Buffalo, NY, before moving to WWWE in Cleveland in 1992, and later to Philadelphia’s Sports Radio 94WIP (then WIP-AM, now Entercom sister station) in 1993. Carton’s program soared in the ratings during his four-plus years at WIP, earning him a place on Philadelphia Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 list. He also served as a reporter covering the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1997, Carton was heard nationally on 40 stations throughout the country as he hosted a syndicated sports talk show on the Sports Fan Network. He later joined KKFN-FM in Denver as morning show host, where in his first year his show became the highest rated show in KKFN’s history. His success continued for cross-town rival KBPI-FM, and within one ratings period had the highest rated local morning show in Denver. Following a stint at WNEW-FM (now Entercom sister station New 102.7 FM) in New York, Carton joined WKXW-FM to host “The Jersey Guys” afternoon show.

Career accolades include: nominated and finalist for multiple Marconi Awards; multiple Cynopsis Sports Media Award winner; ranked as the second most important and influential sports talk show hosts in the country by Talkers Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Important and Influential Talk Show Hosts in the Country” multiple times; 9th most politically influential personality in New Jersey by (2007); and Radio and Records’ “Talk Show Host of The Year” nominee (2006). A strong advocate for children, Carton founded the TicTocStop Foundation, which donated hundreds of thousands of dollars towards research and the funding of a camp for children with Tourette syndrome. 

Carton succeeds longtime WFAN host Joe Benigno, who announced his retirement Wednesday.

The move did not come as a surprise, reports Newsday. Carton, 51, is personally and professionally close to Chris Oliviero, who is the New York market manager for Entercom and oversees WFAN.

In June, shortly before Carton was released after serving about 12 months of a 42-month sentence, Oliviero told Newsday, "If a time in the future came where Craig had gotten his life back on track, fulfilled all that was asked of him and was in a position to resume his career, of course we’d talk and discuss."

Evan Roberts
By pairing Carton with Roberts, 37, the station is counting on him bringing out another side of Roberts, who with Benigno mostly stuck to sports and showed relatively little range outside the area. That proved to be a particular problem in the spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world, writes Neil Best at Newsday.

Carton, too, presumably will seek to adapt to the different vibe of afternoons, which tend to be less freewheeling than morning.

He also will have to navigate a world in which some listeners and callers will be skeptical that they can trust him – and in which gambling ads are a critical driver of sports radio revenues.

It was Carton’s admitted addiction to gambling that led him down the path to personal and professional ruin in 2017, when he was arrested for misusing funds intended for a ticket brokerage to repay gambling debts.

Spotify Reports Longer In-Car TSL

Spotify Technology moved past a slump that hit early in the pandemic, as customers collectively spent more time listening to the service than before Covid-19 shutdowns.

The Wall Street Journal reports the music-streaming giant added more users than expected in the most recent quarter and said consumption habits have normalized, with in-car listening hours—which had fallen with time spent commuting—exceeding their pre-pandemic peak. Listening on home devices, which exploded during lockdowns, also remained high.

At the close of the quarter ended Sept. 30, Spotify had 320 million monthly active users, higher than its guidance. Paying subscribers, its most lucrative type of customer, grew to 144 million, at the high end of the company’s forecast.

During the quarter, average revenue per user for the subscription business slipped 10% to 4.19 euros, equivalent to $4.92, as Spotify brought in new subscribers via discounted plans and charged lower prices in new markets such as India and Russia. The company said it had raised the price of its family plan in seven markets this month.

Revenue from subscriptions was up 15% from a year earlier in the quarter, to €1.79 billion, equivalent to $2.1 billion. Advertising revenue returned to growth after sliding in the first half of the year, rising 9% to €185 million. Though advertising accounts for 10% or less of Spotify’s overall revenue, it has become a growth area—on a double-digit rise before the pandemic—as the company has expanded its podcast business, which led the rebound in the recent quarter.

Spotify swung to a loss of €101 million, or 58 European cents a share, in the third quarter, from a profit of €241 million, or 36 European cents a share, a year earlier. While the company has periodically reported a quarterly profit, executives have said it will continue to give priority to growth—attracting new subscribers and investing in podcasts.

For the fourth quarter, the company forecast growth in monthly active users to between 340 million and 345 million, and in premium subscribers to between 150 million and 154 million. It guided for revenue of €2 billion to €2.2 billion.

Day 3: Oct PPMs Out For San Antonio, Orlando + 10 Other Markets

Nielsen On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 released the third batch of October 2020 PPM data from the following markets:

21  Portland OR

23  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC

25   San Antonio

27   Sacramento

28  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo UT

29   Pittsburgh

30   Orlando

31  Las Vegas

33  Cincinnati

34  Kansas City

35  Cleveland

36  Columbus OH

Click Here for Topline Numbers of Subscribing Nielsen Stations. 

Comcast Reports 22M Sign-Up For Peacock

The coronavirus pandemic continued to pressure the finances of Comcast Corp., a cable and entertainment conglomerate whose theme-park business experienced an 81% revenue drop in the latest quarter, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Philadelphia-based company, owner of Xfinity-branded services, the NBCUniversal media empire and the Sky television business, said third-quarter net profit fell 37% to $2.02 billion from $3.22 billion a year earlier. Revenue slipped 4.8% to $25.53 billion from $26.83 billion.

The company’s Universal Studios theme parks have been hit hard by the pandemic. Its parks in California have been closed since March, and there is limited capacity at those opened in Florida and Japan, prompting the company to lay off a large number of employees. Theme-park revenue fell to $311 million from $1.63 billion a year earlier.

Comcast’s theme-park struggles were partly offset by its broadband business, which posted 633,000 subscriber additions, another record. As more people rely on home broadband during the coronavirus pandemic for work and school, providers have experienced a surge in customer growth in recent quarters.

The company continued to lose pay-TV customers, with 273,000 net defections in the latest quarter. Just like its peers, Comcast continues to shed pay-TV customers who are opting for streaming services. Last week AT&T Inc. reported its pay-TV division lost 627,000 customers.

Overall, Comcast’s cable unit—which includes a phone business—posted a 2.9% increase in revenue to $15 billion.

The NBCUniversal division, whose businesses include cable networks, the NBC broadcast-TV unit, the Universal Pictures movie studio and the Universal Studios theme parks, saw overall revenue fall by 19% to $6.72 billion. Beyond theme parks, the largest decliner was filmed entertainment, which continued to suffer from limited capacity in movie theaters because of the pandemic, posting a 25% revenue decline to $1.28 billion. Only the broadcast unit posted higher revenue, with a gain of 8.3% to $2.41 billion.

NBCUniversal said Peacock, its new streaming service, landed 22 million sign-ups since its official launch in July. Comcast broadband and pay-TV customers receive free ad-supported subscriptions to the premium version of the service. The company has yet to disclose how many sign-ups are from its current customer base.

NBCUniversal has been going through a period of deep cost-cutting and restructuring. Some of it is related to the coronavirus pandemic, but most of it is tied to a realignment of its TV-content-producing operations to give priority to Peacock.

Cumulus Promotes Wade Linder To VP/Classic Rock

CUMULUS MEDIA announces that it has promoted Wade Linder to Vice President, Classic Rock, for the company. 

In his new role, Linder will serve on Cumulus’ content leadership team as a key resource for the company’s 34 Classic Rock radio stations, and will report to Troy Hanson, Vice President/Corporate Programming, Rock Formats. Linder will continue in his current role as Program Director for 94.7 WLS in Chicago, IL, a position he has held since 2018, following four years as Program Director of WLUP-FM. Prior to that, Linder was Program Director for KXXR-FM in Minneapolis, MN, a station he programmed for nearly 20 years. 

Wade Linder
Brian Philips, Executive Vice President, Content & Audience, CUMULUS MEDIA, said: “Wade’s intellect, imagination and prowess across formats will serve him really well in this important new capacity.”

Troy Hanson, Vice President/Corporate Programming, Rock Formats, CUMULUS MEDIA, commented: “Wade’s track record is indisputable, and the respect he’s earned from programmers inside and outside the company is well-earned. His steady hand is a welcome addition to the content leadership team.”

Wade Linder remarked: “I'm grateful to be entrusted with this new appointment from Brian Philips and Troy Hanson. It's a privilege to work with the programming brains and pure personalities in Classic Rock at Cumulus, with so much brand knowledge already present. Add to that the daily grounding and inspiration I receive from my closest radio family here at 94.7 WLS-FM in Chicago - where Marv Nyren shows us how to win and be kind at the same time. I want to also thank Dave Milner, John Dimick, and Doug Hamand.”

The AM Rundown: Zeta Storms Ashore

Hurricane Zeta made landfall in Louisiana yesterday afternoon as a strong Category 2 storm, coming ashore in the small town of Cocodrie in the southeastern part of the state with top sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The fast-moving hurricane moved quickly across the New Orleans area and into Mississippi. Zeta brought strong winds and a storm surge as well as heavy rains as times, but because it was moving so rapidly, there wasn't much flooding from rainfall. It weakened over Alabama to a tropical storm as it headed northeast. At least one person was killed by Zeta, a New Orleans man electrocuted by a downed power line. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will today tour coastal regions hardest hit by the storm, saying in a radio interview yesterday evening that the winds had caused extensive structural damage. Much of New Orleans and the surrounding area didn't have power last night. 
Zeta set a new record as the 11th named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in one season. 

➤TRUMP AND BIDEN BOTH IN TAMPA TODAY: With just five days left before the election, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will both be in the key swing state of Florida today, and both will be speaking in Tampa just hours apart. Biden voted in his home state of Delaware yesterday and also spoke in Wilmington, speaking about the coronavirus, the handling of which has been a central part of his criticism of Trump. Biden said, "Even if I win, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic I do promise this: We will start on day one doing the right things." Trump spoke at a rally yesterday in Arizona, continuing his focus on the economy as he said, "This election is a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden depression."

➤PHILADELPHIA POLICE TO RELEASE 911 TAPES, BODY CAM FOOTAGE IN WALLACE'S FATAL SHOOTING: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw yesterday pledged to release the 911 tapes and police body camera footage in the police shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man with a history of mental health problems. Wallace's family says he was having a mental health crisis and that they'd called for an ambulance Monday afternoon when police arrived and shot him when he wouldn't put down a knife he was wielding. Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney both pledged to addressed the lack of coordinated mental health services in the city. Wallace's death led to protests both Monday and Tuesday night that led to clashes with police and looting in another part of the city. City officials announced yesterday they would enact a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. and that the Pennsylvania National Guard would be deployed to help protect property and assist the police.

➤DOW JONES FALLS 943 POINTS, MOST SINCE JUNE, AMID RISING CORONAVIRUS CASES: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 943 points on Wednesday, the biggest one-day drop since mid-June, amid concerns about rising coronavirus cases and the effect on the economy. It was the fourth straight day of declines in the Dow. Coronavirus cases have risen by a record daily average of 71,832 over the past week, and coronavirus-related hospitalizations are up five percent or more in three dozen states, while cases are also surging in Europe.

➤FBI WARNS OF RANSOMWARE THREAT TO U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: The FBI warned yesterday that cybercriminals are set to launch a wave of ransomware attacks on the U.S. healthcare system, which could hurt patient care. The attacks are aimed at locking up hospital information systems to make them inaccessible and then demanding money to release them. AP cited independent security experts as saying at least five U.S. hospitals have been attacked this week, and hundreds more could potentially be targeted in the attacks by a Russian-speaking criminal gang.

➤GIRL SCOUTS REMOVE POSTS AFTER CRITICISM: The Girl Scouts of America deleted posts from its Twitter and Facebook pages yesterday evening that congratulated Amy Coney Barrett on becoming a Supreme Court justice after they came under criticism. The post showed an image of Barrett along with the other four women who've been appointed to the nation's highest court, along with the caption: "Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789," and included an emoji of hands raised up. The post quickly drew a backlash, with critics including Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who tweeted: "What kind of patch does one earn for uplifting a woman who is the antithesis of justice?" But the post also got support, with one conservative woman tweeting: "Those of you bashing the organization, please remember there are conservatives that support Girl Scouts too. I was grateful to see the post in support of WOMEN, regardless of who they are." The Girl Scouts explained removing the post, saying that it was, quote, "quickly viewed as a political and partisan statement," which wasn't the intent. They added, "Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women."

⚾MLB: DODGERS' TURNER VIOLATED CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS WHEN RETURNED TO FIELD: Major League Baseball said Wednesday that L.A. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner violated the coronavirus protocols when he came back on the field to celebrate with his teammates after they won the World Series Tuesday night, including posing for the team photo, and refused directives from security to leave the field. Turner had been pulled after the seventh inning of the Series-winning game after his coronavirus test came back positive. MLB said it's starting a full investigation. The league said, "While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply."

🎤WORLD SERIES RATINGS 32 PERCENT BELOW PREVIOUS LOW: The six-game World Series between the champion L.A. Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays had an average TV rating 32 percent below the previous low for a World Series. The games on Fox averaged a 5.2 rating, and the previous low was 7.6 for the San Francisco Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Ratings have been lower for sports overall this fall, possibly because of lower viewership during the pandemic and competition from election-related programming.

🏈REPORT: SUPER BOWL TO HAVE FANS AT 20 PERCENT CAPACITY: The NFL is expecting to have fans at the Super Bowl on its scheduled February 7th date, but their capacity will be set at 20 percent at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, ESPN reported yesterday. The report said the fans will sit in pods six feet apart and be required to wear face masks.

🎌NASCAR PLAYOFF RACE FINALLY COMPLETED, BUSCH WINS: After being delayed for three days because of bad weather, NASCAR's playoff race at Texas was finally completed Wednesday, and won by Kyle Busch. The race was stopped Sunday after 52 laps due to weather, and no racing was able to be done Monday or Tuesday. There are still three open spots for the four-driver championship race to join Joey Logano in the season finale at Phoenix. The only race before that is on Sunday at Martinsville.

🏈WISCONSIN CANCELS NEBRASKA GAME DUE TO CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: Number 9 Wisconsin yesterday canceled its game against Nebraska and paused football activities for at least a week after six players and six staffers, including coach Paul Chryst, tested positive for the coronavirus. Wisconsin is the first Big Ten school to cancel a game due to the coronavirus since the league started its pandemic-delayed season five days ago. The news came following reports that quarterback Graham Mertz had tested positive twice, which would require him to sit out at least 21 days, and that backup quarterback Chase Wolf had tested positive at least once.

🏃2021 BOSTON MARATHON POSTPONED: Next year's Boston Marathon is being postponed, with organizers saying yesterday that it won't be run on its traditional Patriots Day date in April because of the coronavirus pandemic for a second straight year. The organizers said the marathon would be postponed at least until next fall. This year's Boston Marathon was originally postponed from April to September, but then canceled altogether two months later.