Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 31 Radio History


In 1912...columnist & TV personality Irv Kupcinet was born in Chicago.  Kup’s Show, for some years called At Random, was a 27 year Saturday night fixture on Chicago TV.  For a time he was paired with Jack Brickhouse on Chicago Cub radio broadcasts.   He died of complications from pneumonia Nov. 10 2003 at age 91.

Curt Gowdy

In 1916...game show producer Bill Todman was born in New York City.  He first teamed with longtime partner Mark Goodson to produce radio shows, then moved seamlessly into game shows for TV.   Their hits include The Price is Right, To Tell the Truth, Beat the Clock, I’ve Got a Secret, & What’s My Line. Todman diversified the partnership into newspapers & real estate which earned them many more millions than the TV shows. He died from a heart condition July 29 1979, two days short of his 63rd birthday.


In 1919...sportscaster Curt Gowdy was born in Green River Wyoming.  Before emerging on the national scene he was a baseball broadcaster for first the Yankees & then the Red Sox.  Later, for ABC, CBS, NBC & HBO, he would do TV play-by-play on the World Series, All Star Games, Rose Bowls, Super Bowls & the Olympics.  He was 1970 recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award for achievement in radio and TV.  When most other assignments dropped off he continued as the host of ABC’s American Sportsman.  He died of leukemia Feb 20, 2006 at age 86.





In 1933...listeners turned up the radio to hear the announcer introduce for the first time  ‘Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy!’  The show was one of the longest-running adventure programs on radio, continuing until 1951. Armstrong was Hudson High School’s football hero and the hero who saved the day from dastardly villains. Somehow, these adventures would take Jack and his cousins, Betty and Bill Fairfield, to exotic locales where they would make use of industrialist Uncle Jim’s yacht and a hydroplane they referred to as the Silver Albatross.


In 1938...Jake Powell was suspended by the New York Yankees after saying on Chicago radio he'd "hit every colored person in Chicago over the head with a club".  After a surge of public outrage, including calls that Powell be banned for life, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Powell for ten games. Powell also went on a walking tour of Harlem to apologize personally to fans of the Yankees.

Powell played in 31 games in 1939 and 12 games in 1940 before the Yankees sold him to the minor leagues.

Jim Reeves
In 1964...country Music Hall of Famer Jim Reeves was killed just 3 weeks short of his 41st birthday, when his single-engine Beechcraft crashed near Nashville. Gentleman Jim started as a DJ, first at KGRI in Henderson, Texas; then at KWKH in Shreveport, LA (the home of the Louisiana Hayride in the early 1950s). Hits include Four Walls, He’ll Have to Go, I’m Getting Better, Am I Losing You, Welcome to My World and I Guess I’m Crazy. Reeves became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955.   He had his own TV series on ABC in 1957.


In 1970…Newsman Chet Huntley retired from NBC-TV, ending the 14-year run of the popular "Huntley-Brinkley Report." The network renamed the program the "NBC Nightly News." Huntley died in 1974. Brinkley worked as co-anchor or commentator on "Nightly News" before leaving NBC for ABC in 1981. He died in 2003.


In 1977...Johnny Dark did his last show on WRKO, Boston

Johnny Dark
Johnny grew up in South Florida and went on to become one of radio’s many jocks named Johnny Dark. This one, however, started out along Florida’s west coast and was Program Director, Music Director, and jock at Sarasota’s WYND, Surf Row Radio, in 1966. After a couple years there, he wanted to get closer to home, so he took at job on the air at Top 40 WSRF 1580 AM in Ft. Lauderdale and handled the music for its then-sister station, Easy Listening/AC WSHE.

Johnny moved to another Miami outlet, WMYQ 96.3 FM, in 1972 and then on to Bartel’s legendary WOKY, The Mighty 92, in Milwaukee in 1974 as combo Music Director and afternoon drive jock. The next year he really hit the big time when he landed at Boston’s WRKO where he survived five PD’s in three and a half years before leaving for WNBC in New York in 1978.

In 1985 it was back to Beantown as Johnny segued to CBS-owned WHTT 103.3 FM. (1985 Aircheck) He also made the dream of owning his own station a reality with WHQO Oldies 108 in Skowhegan, Maine. By 1990 it was time to move back home to South Florida so he began what turned out to be 12 years doing afternoon drive for Miami’s 97.3 WFLC, South Florida’s Coast.

In 2002, Johnny's last known stop was WKIS 99.9 FM Kiss Country, in Boca Raton-Miami.


In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM adopts the “Kiss” format.


In 1995…Disney announced the $19-billion acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC, including the entire ABC television network, key affiliates, ABC radio networks, and publishing enterprises.


In 2010...the Coluimbia Records executive who nurtured the early careers of Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney, Mitch Miller died at the age of 99.  He also hosted a Sunday evening CBS Radio interview show in the late 1950’s, headed up the early 60’s NBC TV show ‘Sing Along with Mitch’, and became controversial over his famous dislike of, and resistance to, rock & roll.

AT&T, Trade Groups Urge Court To Reverse 'Net Neutrality'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Trade associations representing wireless, cable and broadband operators on Friday urged the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a ruling upholding the Obama administration's landmark rules barring internet service providers from obstructing or slowing consumer access to web content.

A three-judge panel in June, in a 2-1 decision, backed the Federal Communications Commission's so-called net neutrality rules put in place last year to make internet service providers treat all internet traffic equally.

Wireless trade association CTIA said in a court filing on Friday seeking a rehearing that "few final rules of any federal administrative agency have ever had so much potential to affect the lives of so many Americans."

AT&T also urged the court to reverse the ruling. And in a separate petition, US Telecom and CenturyLink Inc asked the court to reconsider the ruling, as did the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and American Cable Association.

The cable groups said the court should correct "serious errors" in a decision "that radically reshapes federal law governing a massive sector of the economy, which flourished due to hundreds of billions of dollars of investment made in reliance on the policy the order throws overboard."

The FCC rules prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet - essentially a "fast lane" on the web's information superhighway - to certain internet services over others.

In siding with the FCC, the court treated the internet like a public utility and opened the door to further internet regulations.

"It comes as no surprise that the big dogs have challenged the three-judge panel’s decision," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. He said he was confident the full court would agree with the panel's decision.

Broadband providers such as Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T and Comcast Corp. fear the rules may make it harder to manage internet traffic and also make investment in additional capacity less likely.

In its filing on Friday, the CTIA said it was illegal to subject broadband internet access to "public-utility style, common carrier regulation" and illegal to impose "common-carrier status on mobile broadband."

The FCC decided in 2015 to reclassify internet service providers as common carriers under a 1996 law.

Judge: Trial To Settle Viacom Board Changes

Sumner Redstone
Billionaire Sumner Redstone can’t avoid a lawsuit challenging his removal of directors from the board of Viacom Inc. At least not yet, a judge ruled.

According to Bloomberg, the decision by Delaware Chancery Court Judge Andre Bouchard allows the case by ousted Viacom director Fred Salerno to go forward, with a trial scheduled for October.

“What’s at stake here is nothing less than the governance of a multibillion-dollar company,” Bouchard said. “My focus is whether a 90-year-old man in a rapidly declining state of health had the mental capacity” to take the actions attributed to him.

Fred Salerno
It’s one of two lawsuits brought by former members of Redstone’s inner circle since May as the billionaire seeks to reassert control over his $40 billion empire by rearranging Viacom’s management and removing two trustees from a family trust that will control the company.

Philippe Dauman
In a separate case, a judge in Massachusetts on Thursday set an October trial date to determine whether Viacom Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman was wrongfully ousted from the trust. Dauman claims Redstone was incapacitated when he made the decision.

Redstone is facing accusations that his mental health has declined to a point where he’s being influenced by his daughter, Shari Redstone, upsetting years of careful estate and succession planning. The fight over the billionaire’s holdings has overshadowed Viacom for months, delaying deals and leaving many questioning what’s next for the company, which owns Paramount Pictures, MTV and CBS Corp.

Redstone controls about 80 percent of the voting stock at Viacom and has a similar stake in CBS through his holding company National Amusements Inc.

Read More Now

Report: Many Reasons Why People Love Radio

NextRadio®, the smartphone app that provides free, portable FM radio listening, has introduced a blog series aimed at advertisers and broadcasters. “For the Love of Radio” uses data and insights garnered from the app, original research and the industry. These findings will be highlighted through social media, blog posts and articles in the coming months.

The first blog is focused on data from a study the company conducted with Edison Research. The survey examined 2,094 NextRadio online respondents*, and the data pointed to three key roles radio plays in the consumer marketplace today: radio portability, radio’s role in the community, and its fostering of musical connections. While these topics will be covered in-depth on a NextRadio blog over the next few weeks, here are key findings:


Love of Radio Portability: According to the NextRadio-Edison Research survey, 90% of audio-listening respondents said they listen to traditional FM radio in the car, and 91% of FM radio listener respondents said they stayed in the car longer to continue listening to a show or program. While the future of radio portability is rooted in the smartphone, consumers have concerns about the strain streaming places on batteries and data plans.


Love of Radio’s Community Roots: Half (50%) of the NextRadio-Edison Research survey respondents who are FM listeners say they tune in for community news. Thirty-five percent attend local events by an FM station frequently or sometimes. Further, radio is essential during times of local emergencies.


Love of Music on the Radio: The survey found that more than half of FM listener respondents say they listen to hear their favorite songs. Forty-two percent want to discover new songs.


“Radio listeners are evolving, but their reasons for loving radio have remained constant,” said Paul Brenner, President, TagStation. “Advertisers have benefitted from the consumer’s love of radio for decades, and these key attributes serve as an important backdrop to radio’s new ability to deliver digital metrics that measure advertiser impact – features that brands like Starwood’s Aloft and Disney are already using to inform their radio campaigns.”

Follow NextRadio’s “For the Love of Radio” blog series to obtain more insights from the NextRadio-Edison study, as well as other key NextRadio and radio industry research.

* Respondents were smartphone users recruited though the NextRadio database who opted into receiving updates on NextRadio phone compatibility, contests or the blog.

SOURCE: NextRadio 2016. The data is derived from a NextRadio-Edison online survey of 2,094 adult smartphone users recruited through NextRadio’s database. Survey dates: 4/22/16-5/2/16. Sample base is made up of people who opted into receiving updates on NextRadio phone compatibility, contests, or blogs.

West Palm Beach: Country WIRK To Import Brooke & Jubal Show

Chelsea, Jubal, Joe
Alpha Media/West Palm Beach signs Brooke & Jubal show to Mornings starting August 1st on its Country WIRK 103.1 FM. Current WIRK Morning host, Chelsea Taylor, will stay on with Brooke & Jubal and provide hourly local content.

Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming, Scott Mahalick commented on the announcement, “We are honored to have them join our Palm Beach cluster of amazing talent and excited to be the pioneers of introducing Brooke & Jubal to the Country format.”

Alpha Media SVP/Market Manager, Elizabeth Hamma added, “We are delighted to break new ground with Brooke & Jubal as they join WIRK’s hometown sweetheart, Chelsea Taylor in the morning and introduce them to the country life-group in West Palm Beach.”

“The success of this show around the country is profound. Adding Brooke & Jubal to America’s first-ever FM country station with its rich history of entertaining morning shows is a perfect fit,” remarked Leo Baldwin, Operations Manager.

Jubal Flagg is a standup comedian, radio host, television personality and comedy writer. Known for his quick wit and keen and often strange observations, Jubal has been entertaining audiences on-stage and on the radio for over 10 years. Jubal currently hosts “Brooke & Jubal in the Morning” and can be seen throughout the country as a regular on FOX TV’s Dish Nation. Jubal also writes and produces comedy bits and daily topical jokes that are used by radio stations nationwide. In other words; he loves the craft of comedy so much that he even writes jokes for his “competition”. The son of two ministers, Jubal attributes his quirky sense of humor to, well, growing up with the name Jubal.

Brooke has worked in morning radio for over 12 years and has hosted Top 40 radio’s first all-female morning drive show and has most recently found her radio match with Jubal Flagg. Brooke and the crew can also be seen on FOX TV’s “Dish Nation”, a nationally syndicated entertainment news program. In addition, she is humbled to serve as a spokesperson for the Komen Foundation and the American Heart Association.

WIRK 103.1 FM (90 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Jose is known for his crazy stunts, and high energy. He has an arsenal of impressions and characters and has a very unique laugh and positive attitude. Eventually, he crossed paths with Jubal Flagg. Jose opened a few comedy shows for Jubal and quickly developed a friendship. Once a position came open on the radio show, Jubal asked Jose if he wanted to audition, and Jose has been on the show ever since! He now travels the country doing comedy. Jose says, “When your dreams start coming true, no one can bring you down!! Except Jubal…”

L-A Radio: Victim Of Mather's Posting May Be Able To Cash-In


A recently introduced “revenge porn” statute could be a powerful tool for the woman who was photographed nude in a gym by Playboy Playmate

Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers’ Snapchat indiscretion could end up costing her big-time, if the subject of the body-shaming post she published earlier this month decides to file suit.

Mathers — who took a photo of an unwitting nude woman at her gym and posted it on Snapchat with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either” — has already lost her gig with Los Angeles Rock KLOS 95.5 FM over the post, and the Los Angeles Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

Mathers (center) with Heidi & Frank
But, Devin McRae, an entertainment litigator with Early, Sullivan, Wright, Gizer & McRae, told TheWrap that a civil suit could yield significant damages.

“It could go into the seven figures, it would seem,” McRae said.

In addition to well-established claims of invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, McRae said, the woman in the photo could also benefit from a newer “revenge porn” statute that was introduced to the California civil code in July 2015.

That statute forbids, in part, the intentional distribution of an image of a person without that person’s consent, if the distributor of the image knew that the subject had a “reasonable expectation that the material would remain private,” and if the image “exposes an intimate body part of the other person.”

The woman depicted in Mathers’ post was shot from the side, and media outlets that have reproduced the image have censored it to various degrees, making it unclear if a body part described in the statute was captured in the image, or if the exposure was limited to the woman’s buttocks.

Media Whispers: Megyn Kelly Visits CNN Grill During DNC

Dana Perino, Megyn Kelly vist the ice cream bar
The invitation-only CNN Grill is the Democratic convention’s unofficial clubhouse for striving media types to see and be seen.

But, reports The NYTimes,  nobody was expecting to see Megyn Kelly.

A midnight cameo on Wednesday by Kelly, the star Fox News anchor at the center of a harassment scandal roiling her network, caught even the most jaded journalists off-guard.

Nobody had spotted Kelly outside the secure Fox compound here all week. And she has made clear that she is open to changing networks after her contract runs out next year.

So the conspicuous sight of Ms. Kelly hobnobbing with CNN honchos like Anderson Cooper and Jeff Zucker, the network’s president, seemed calculated to set a certain class of tongues wagging.

On Twitter, Ms. Kelly, who was accompanied by burly bodyguards, laughed it all off. “@donlemon dared some of us Fox Newsers to swing by the CNN Grill,” she wrote, posting a selfie with Mr. Lemon, the CNN anchor. “Thx Don!”

Perino, Don Lemon, Kelly
In a way, the appearance of Ms. Kelly, who was joined by her fellow Fox host Dana Perino, signaled how much has changed at Fox since its chairman, Roger Ailes, was deposed. Fox personalities rarely fraternized with rival networks.

Miami Radio: Jason Taylor Joins Dolphins' Preseason Broadcast Team

Jason Taylor
The Miami Dolphins Friday announced former Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor has joined the preseason radio broadcast team on WQAM 560 AM.

Taylor will serve as an analyst alongside Joe Rose with Jimmy Cefalo handling the play-by-play duties. The news was announced on “The Audible,” the team’s new 30-minute produced show live streamed on Dolphins.com, the Dolphins app, Facebook Live and Periscope that features unique perspectives on the team with long-form conversations, interviews and social media interaction where fans will have the ability to ask questions and take part in the discussion.

Taylor served as an analyst on ESPN throughout the 2012 season, appearing on NFL Live, SportsCenter, NFL32 and Sunday and Monday NFL Countdown. In 2014, he served as a regular on Pro Football Talk, the NBC Sports Network show hosted by Mike Florio. In 2015, he was an analyst on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s weekly NFL show. Taylor made his broadcast booth debut as a game analyst on Oct. 31, 2015, covering the University of Georgia-University of Florida game for Westwood One Sports.

Taylor played 15 seasons in the NFL, including 13 years with the Dolphins (1997-2007, 2009 and 2011). He ranks sixth all-time in NFL history for most career sacks with 139.5 and is the all-time NFL leader in fumble return touchdowns with six. He won numerous awards throughout his career, including the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and the 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the only league honor that recognizes both on-field achievements and off-the-field contributions. Taylor also was a six-time Pro Bowl selection (2000, 2002, 2004–2007), a four-time first or second team All-Pro (2000–2002, 2006), a two-time NFL Alumni Association Defensive Lineman of the Year (2005, 2006) and the NFL Alumni Association Pass Rusher of the Year (2000).

All Dolphins games can be heard on WQAM and WKIS KISS 99.9FM , the flagship stations of the Miami Dolphins Radio Network, Dolphins.com and throughout South and Central Florida on the more than 12 stations that make up The Miami Dolphins Radio Network.

Louisville Radio: 99.7 DJX Morning Show Voted "Best For Humor"

Ben Davis & Kelly K
Alpha Media/Louisville has announced that WDJX 99.7 FM's Ben Davis and Kelly K where honored with “Best Morning Show for Humor” at the Best of Louisville Awards.

The Best of Louisville Awards Ceremony and Bash was held on July 7th. The ceremony also raised funds for the local chapter of the MS society.

The Best of Louisville Awards were created 31 years ago by Louisville Magazine to recognize the people and companies that make Louisville a great city. The nominees and winners are solely determined by submissions from the readers in a myriad of categories ranging from entertainment, nightlife, restaurants/food, coaches, high schools, council members and media. Ben and Kelly have been consistently nominated for years. 99.7 DJX also has wins in past years for “Best Radio Station for Music” and was runner-up this year.

Alpha Media Program Director, Otis Maher commented on the announcement, “It’s so great to have a morning team who makes it feel effortless with humor, chemistry, and connection to their fans. Ben, Kelly and Alex have become a landmark in the city of Louisville and in the hearts of fans.”

“The best part about this award is that we were chosen by the fans. It’s an honor to be recognized by the community. I think that makes us #squadgoals” Kelly remarked.

Orlando Radio: Country WOTW To Fete BBQ 4 Blue


JVC Media of Florida and its Country station WOTW 103.1 FM The Wolf  have announced BBQ 4 The Blue, a FREE family-style picnic for Central Florida law enforcement officers and their families.

This non-profit event features BBQ and food from the best local restaurants, music, and family fun!

BBQ 4 The Blue will be held at Ocoee’s Lakeshore Center Park on Saturday August 27th, 2016 from 11a-2p and is open to any local law enforcement officers and their families.

“103.1 The Wolf proudly supports the brave men and women in law enforcement locally and across this great country who protect us day in and day out”, says WOTW Program Director Len Shackelford.  “BBQ 4 The Blue is a wonderful way to bring together our local heroes and families for a down-home backyard picnic.”

WOTW General Manager Chris Ganoudis adds, “We have to thank the City of Ocoee and Mayor Rusty Johnson for helping us host BBQ 4 The Blue – they are great partners and immediately offered the use of Lakeshore Center Park for this non-profit event.”  Ganoudis continues, “We know our community will wrap their arms around law enforcement and come together to show support for all they do for us.”

JVC’s Executive Vice President Shane Reeve adds his remarks, “Community involvement is one of the hallmarks of JVC Media.  Law enforcement officers and their families are true heroes and deserve a day to relax, eat, socialize, and have fun… for FREE!”  Reeve wraps up, “Our partners have stepped up to donate food, supplies, and more to make BBQ 4 The Blue a success.  Invite any heroes you know to this event.  They deserve it!”

July 30 Radio History



Vladimir Zworykin
In 1889...Vladimir Zworykin, called the “Father of Television” was born in Russia. He invented the iconoscope in 1931 while in the employ of RCA, the parent company of NBC.  He died July 29 1982 on the eve of his 93rd birthday.


In 1914...radio/TV writer John Meston was born in Pueblo Colorado.  He is best remembered as the co-creator and main screenwriter for both the radio & TV versions of the iconic western series ‘Gunsmoke.’  He supplied 183 half-hour scripts for the CBS radio show, and 196 mostly-hour-long scripts for the -CBS-TV version, which ran for 20 years.  He died of a cerebral hemorrhage March 24 1979 at age 64.


In 

1930...the long-running radio crime drama The Shadow aired for the first time on CBS.  It would be a radio favorite for the next 24 years, mostly on Sunday afternoons on Mutual.


In 1937...the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was organized. It was part of the American Federation of Labor. The union was for all radio performers except musicians. The union later became The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to include TV folk, as well.



In 1942...Stage Door Canteen began its three-year run on CBS Radio. Bert Lytell MC’d the weekly show aired live from Times Square in New York City; 500 servicemen were entertained each week by celebrities who freely donated their time for the war (WWII) effort.


In 1942...crooner Frank Sinatra waxed the last of his 90 recordings with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on RCA Victor. His last side was There are Such Things, which became #1 the following January. Sinatra moved on to the Columbia label (1943-1952) as a solo singing sensation.


Arthur Peterson, Mercedes McCambridge, Helen Behmiller, Henrietta Ledro
In 1952...the popular radio soap opera, The Guiding Light, was seen for the first time on CBS television. It debuted on NBC radio Jan. 25 1937.  The daytime drama aired its final telecast Sept. 18 2009.


In 1954...Elvis Presley made his professional concert debut in two shows at Memphis.  He was one of several acts opening both afternoon and evening performances by country star Slim Whitman.  His leg-hip gyrations drove the female part of the crowds wild.


In 1964...station WNEW 1130 AM in New York - a top-rated adult music station, bans all comedy records that “ridicule the United States Government, its processes, institutions, officials, lawmakers and political candidates.” The station said the new policy was triggered by a new album entitled “I’d rather Be Far RightThan President.” - an album that spoofs Republican Presidential nominee BarryGoldwater.

Says John Sullivan, vice president and general manager of WNEW -“I would say the situation came to a head because of national conventions andan election year. But the taste level of some of these comedy recordings hasgrown progressively worse and there is a lot of cheap, badly done stuff in thefield. What I resent is that anyone can put something on a record and it is passedoff as entertainment. The radio industry should take a look at what it plays.”WNEW plays music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Steve andEydie, Dean Martin and other popular non-rock artists



In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM, New York changed it's programming to a Rock format.

The original WOR-FM disc jockeys were Scott Muni (formerly of WABC and WMCA), Murray “the K” Kaufman (formerly of WINS), Rosko (Bill Mercer) and Johnny Michaels.

According to musicradio77.com, WOR-FM became extremely popular on college campuses.  It began to carve out an audience that had not been served by radio up until then.  It was achieving decent ratings (for an FM station) without taking audience away from the AM stations by appealing to new listeners.  This was significant.  A Columbia University survey of its undergraduates found that 93% listened to FM as well as AM and that they listened to WOR-FM for 3 1/2 hours daily as compared with AM stations WMCA (1 1/2 hours) and WABC (1 hour). WOR-FM grossed anywhere from $500 to $1000 a week from record company commercials because of its reach into the college campuses.

Even so, owner RKO wasn’t satisfied.  Bill Drake had been consulting RKO’s two West Coast stations; KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco.  These were both extremely successful AM Top 40 stations built around the “Drake-Chenault” philosophy of playing just the hits while minimizing almost everything else.  In July of 1967 RKO hired Drake to consult its remaining radio properties which consisted of CKLW, Detroit; WRKO, Boston; WGMS, Washington DC; WHBQ, Memphis and, of course, WOR-FM.

The first sense of change came when memos appeared from management dictating to the air staff not to play certain cuts. Next the disc jockeys were removed from the new record listening sessions and not allowed to have input on the playlist. Next the playlist became all singles with only an occasional new record and it had to be from an established artist.



Murray the K had the highest rated FM show in New York; a 4 share on one ratings survey, a 3 on the next. This was higher than many AM shows and a terrific FM rating for New York.  He would have no part of these changes and his protests cost him his job.  He was fired by the station in September 1967.  His parting comment about the changes at WOR-FM was “Who can live with that?  Music has reached a maturity... people in radio are still treating it as if it is for teenie boppers."

Murray had a point. WOR-FM was different from the other RKO properties in that it was FM stereo as opposed to AM.  It had built a solid audience by attracting a different group of people.  Giving up on it after only a year seemed premature. Record companies had found the station highly valuable at influencing sales of rock albums especially of new artists and groups like Cream, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  The format was noted for playing new records first, often playing new artists that the local AM stations wouldn't play.


In 1984...The FCC raises the number of radio and television stations that a company may own from a total of 14 radio stations and 7 TV stations to a new ceiling of 24 radio stations and 12 TV stations.


In 1986...RCA Victor Records dropped John Denver from its roster after the release of his single, ‘What Are We Making Weapons For’. The song reportedly upset the record label’s new owner, General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the US.


In 2004...Shock duo Opie and Anthony announced they are joining XM Satellite Radio beginning Oct. 4. They were yanked of the air back in August of 2002 after broadcasting a live account of a couple having sex inside St. patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.


In 2012...Al Brady Law - WOR FM, WWDJ, WXLO, WNBC, WABC (PD) died at age 67.

Al Brady-Law
Al first came to New York as Al Brady late in 1969 as the night jock at WOR FM. Late in 1970 he left for WINZ in Miami but promptly turned back up in New York as the night jock at WWDJ. He eventually moved to afternoons and then left again for Denver. But he returned once more, this time as program director at WWDJ. In 1973 he moved over to WXLO as program director.

In March of 1974, Al would move on to WNBC where did some weekend shows and was also the station's assistant program director. In September of 1974, he became the station's program manager, but only for a month. He would go back to weekends and the APD spot. In 1976, it was off to Boston and in 1978 he took over as program director of the NBC Owned and Operated stations. After a brief sojour down to Washington, DC, Al returned to New York, yet again, this time as program director of WABC. In 1979, WABC was still reeling from the "disco inferno" of the October/November, 1978 book where WKTU rocketed to the top. They were, in essence, trying to right the ship. Brady did what he had to do. In fact, he came under a lot of criticism when three of his moves involved letting go Harry Harrison, George Michael and Chuck Leonard. Al always defended his moves and always insisted it was the right thing to do. He always said he never regretted any of it.

From WABC, Al returned to Boston and then one more time to New York where he was to assume the position of Vice President and General Manager of WYNY. Under Al's guidance, WYNY became a major presence in the New York market, finally cracking the ratings top 10 in the Summer, 1981 book.

From WYNY, al took over as Vice President of Programming of NBC Radio. After leaving this post, Al moved around the country working at various radio stations. His most recent being the operations manager at KABC in Los Angeles.

Al was a very important part of New York radio history. From disc jockey to management, he was always top-notch. Al Brady was one of those disc jockeys that I always listened to in awe. He was great.


Terry Lee
In 2013…Longtime Pittsburgh radio and TV personality (WIXZ, WMCK, WIIC-TV, KDKA-TV, WPGH-TV) Terry Lee died of lung cancer at 70.

He started working as a DJ at teen dances at 16. That launched his radio career at the former WESA-AM in Charleroi, which was followed by stints at stations in Carnegie and Canonsburg. At 21, he joined the former WMCK-AM in McKeesport, which later became WIXZ (1360). That little station was the place where Mr. Lee really began shaking up the airwaves. His evening show was one of the most popular in the city throughout the '60s.

In the late '60s throughout the '70s, Mr. Lee hosted dance shows on TV: "Come Alive" on the former WIIC (now WPXI) and "The Terry Lee Show" on WPGH and later on KDKA.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Beasley Reports Flat Net Income

Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. today announced operating results for the three month period ended June 30, 2016.


The $0.8 million, or 2.8%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2016, primarily reflects higher revenue from the Company’s Tampa-St. Petersburg and Charlotte market clusters.

Station Operating Income (SOI, a non-GAAP financial measure), declined 2.8% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the second quarter of 2015. The decline reflects a $1.0 million, or 5.3%, increase in station operating expenses at the Company’s Tampa-St. Petersburg and Charlotte market clusters, partially as a result of higher bonuses earned, cash promotions, event/concert expenses and third party costs associated with digital services, which more than offset the increase in 2016 second quarter revenue.

The $0.3 million, or 6.3%, year-over-year reduction in 2016 second quarter operating income is primarily attributable to the 4.9% increase in total operating expenses in the second quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

Net income for the 2016 second quarter declined 2.5% to $2.5 million while net income per diluted share was flat with the comparable year ago period at $0.11.

Caroline Beasley
Commenting on the results, Caroline Beasley, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, said, “During the second quarter, Beasley’s clusters again outperformed the markets that report to Miller Kaplan on a combined revenue basis and we expect this trend to continue in 2016. In particular, we saw very strong results at our Tampa-Saint Petersburg cluster though our Augusta, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Ft. Myers-Naples and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville clusters also outperformed their respective markets on a revenue basis.

"However, net income and diluted EPS were essentially flat year-over-year as station level promotion and other expenses, increased SG&A partially related to recently announced transaction activity, and investments to strengthen the Company’s infrastructure for the anticipated expansion of our operating base outpaced the quarterly revenue growth.

“Last week we announced an agreement to acquire Greater Media, Inc. in a cash and stock transaction that squarely meets our criteria for prudently expanding Beasley’s footprint while adhering to our core long-term strategic focus on localism. Upon closing, which is expected later this year subject to regulatory and other customary approvals, the Greater Media assets will significantly broaden our local radio broadcasting and digital platform, footprint and revenue base by adding stations that are geographically complementary to our existing operating base while presenting the opportunity for synergies with the Company’s existing operations.

“Specifically, the transaction is expected to increase our broadcast portfolio by approximately 40% and more than double our revenue and audience reach, giving us market leading stations, great brands and an opportunity to engage with brand new markets. We expect the transaction to be accretive to Beasley’s operating results immediately upon closing when taking into account expected synergies, one-time transaction costs and the planned divestiture of certain stations in Charlotte to secure FCC approval.


"As has been our practice, we expect to allocate free cash flow from our expanded base of operations to debt reduction while continuing to return capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. “In this regard, during the second quarter, we made credit facility repayments totaling $3.0 million, reducing borrowings to $83.0 million at June 30, 2016, and declared our eleventh consecutive quarterly cash dividend.

“Looking forward, our keen focus on strong core programming and targeted localism will remain the foundation of our post-transaction operating philosophy. Throughout Beasley’s 55 year history, this approach has supported strong ratings and market leadership, and we believe it will continue to support our commitment to enhancing long-term shareholder value.”

iHM Files New Lawsuit Vs. Bondholders

iHeartMedia Inc. is taking its bondholders back to court, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over a previous legal dispute that the radio and billboard giant said delayed plans to refinance its debt and cost it real money.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, iHeartMedia won a Bexar County, Texas state district court lawsuit in May against the same group of bondholders, which was threatening to force the company into technical default on roughly $6 billion of its debt.

The dispute stems from a December transaction in which iHeartMedia transferred some of its ClearChannel Holdings stock from one subsidiary to another. Investors claimed the move violated the company’s credit agreements.

The court sided with iHeartMedia in May, but the company now says that the dispute delayed its ability to refinance some of its debt and that it cost more money to restructure its bonds as a result.

Many of its bonds have fallen in value since they were originally issued as iHeartMedia’s finances weakened, allowing the company to repurchase and retire some of its old debt at a discount earlier this month.

HeartMedia subsidiary Broader Media purchased senior debt due in 2018 that carried a 10 percent interest rate and had an original face value of $383 million for $222 million. But the company said the purchase was more than $100 million higher than it would have paid in February.

“Because of the increase in price of iHeart’s debt, (the bondholders’) misconduct has cost iHeart and Broader Media additional damages of up to $375 million, and total damages between $100 (million) and $475 million,” according to iHeartMedia’s lawsuit.

“The closer to 2019, the more power senior debtholders have,” Jack Kranefuss, senior director for corporate credit rater Fitch Ratings in New York, said in late June. “It increases the chances of iHeart having to go through some sort of bankruptcy.”


iHeartMedia is trying to extend the maturity on some of its $20.8 billion in debt due over the next seven years, Kranefuss said. Almost half of the company’s notes need to be repaid by 2019, according to company securities disclosures.

At some point, even selling its 850 radio stations won’t be enough to repay the company’s crushing debt load under its current terms because the company is too highly leveraged, Kranefuss added.

Corvex Petitions To Increase Future Stake in Pandora


Corvex Management LP, the hedge fund run by Keith Meister agitating for a sale of Pandora Media Inc., petitioned U.S. regulators for permission to increase its stake in the internet radio company to as much as 14.99 percent in the future without further approval.

According to Bloomberg, the activist investor, which disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in Pandora in May, made public its petition to the Federal Communications Commission in a filing Thursday. Pandora didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Corvex said in May that the two sides had held talks over several months about Pandora’s business, including the need to explore the value it could realize in a sale and evaluating such a move against other options such as continuing to operate on a stand-alone basis.

Liberty Media Group, which controls satellite radio service Sirius XM Holdings Inc., made an informal offer to buy Pandora for roughly $15 a share, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Pandora’s board sees the company’s true value closer to around $20 a share.

In February, Pandora unveiled a five-year plan to quadruple annual sales to $4 billion by 2020. It also hired Morgan Stanley to explore a sale of the company, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

Pandora Chief Executive Officer Tim Westergren said in June there were no plans for a sale.

Mobile Video Ads Driving Alphabet-Google

(Reuters) -- Alphabet Inc, Google's parent, on Thursday revealed that efforts to push its vast advertising business toward mobile is paying off as second quarter earnings handily beat Wall Street's expectations.

The results put to rest lingering concerns about how the rise of mobile might impact Google, which has a strong mobile presence with its Android smartphone operating system but has long relied on desktop search traffic to power its profits.

Advertisers typically pay less for user clicks on mobile ads than on desktop ads, Google's traditional strength, but the strong earnings performance suggests that is beginning to change, said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners.

"They’re doing an excellent job of pulling the mobile landscape through to being more efficient," Gillis said.

Alphabet said revenue grew by 21.3 percent to $21.5 billion, while earnings jumped to $4.88 billion from $3.93 billion for the comparable period a year ago.

The company's shares rose 6.5 percent to $816 in after-hours trading on Thursday.


Robust gains in the red-hot video market also drove the company's growth, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said during a call with investors. Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter have all doubled down on video, a format where advertisers are willing to pay a premium for a few seconds of users' undivided attention.

Google has used artificial intelligence to improve video recommendations to users, driving more engagement on the site, Pichai said.

"Video is a huge component of digital content, and YouTube continues to shine," he said. "It’s a thriving home for creators."

Google and other tech players are hoping to siphon advertising dollars from traditional television, where advertisers will spend a projected $70.6 billion in the U.S. this year, according to market research firm eMarketer. YouTube is in a prime position to strike, with an audience of more than 1 billion users, including more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any U.S. cable network.

Google faced heightened pressure to deliver after Facebook, its chief competitor in mobile advertising, reported a 63 percent increase in total advertising revenue on Wednesday, sending its shares to an all-time high.

The rivalry between the companies has intensified as advertisers shift more of their budgets toward mobile. But Google's healthy performance shows there is room for both to thrive in the burgeoning market, said analyst Bob O'Donnell of TECHnalysis Research.

"The back-to-back, stellar earnings by both Google and Facebook highlight the continued growth of online advertising and its impact on more traditional media," he said.

Revenue at Alphabet's Other Bets business rose 150 percent to $185 million, while operating losses widened to $859 million.

The division includes broadband business Google Fiber, home automation products Nest, self-driving cars and X – the research facility that works on "moon shot" ventures.

Ruth Porat
Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, widely credited with bringing a culture of greater financial discipline to the company, suggested that she will continue to scrutinize the Other Bets business.

"I’ve commented many times that our focus on long-term revenue growth does not give us a pass on managing expenses," she told investors.

Google's ad revenue rose 19.5 percent to $19.14 billion, while it notched a 29 percent rise in paid clicks, where advertisers pay the company only if a user clicks on the ad.

Google's other revenue surged 33 percent, driven by gains in the cloud computing business, in which Google competes with Microsoft and Amazon to rent computer servers to other companies. Former VMware CEO Diane Greene, who began leading Google's cloud business last year, has streamlined engineering efforts and appointed new leadership, helping the company get more traction with clients, Pichai said.

"It's a big set of changes, and it's obviously having an impact," he said.

Although Google continues to expand its advertising business, the falling cost-per-click on advertisements is cause for concern, said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.

"Advertisers aren’t willing to pay as much for Google advertising," he said.

Excluding items, Alphabet earned $8.42 per share, beating analysts average estimate of $8.04, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Amazon Posts Strong Earnings


(Reuters) -- Amazon.com Inc posted strong results across its older and newer businesses on Thursday as global Web retail sales and cloud services topped Wall Street targets and the world's largest online merchant forecast revenue would outpace expectations in the current quarter as well.

The Seattle-based company is riding a wave of retail sales moving to the internet, and its Netflix-like video streaming is bringing new customers to its subscription Prime service, which in turn drives customers to spend more on Amazon. The cloud unit, Amazon Web Services, is the company's fastest-growing business and is regarded by analysts as the next driver of growth for the company.

"They crushed estimates," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, as shares rose 2 percent after hours, in line to open on Friday at a record high. Forbes calculated this week that Chief Executive Jeff Bezos had surpassed Warren Buffett to become the world's third-richest person.

The expansion in so many areas requires substantial investment, though, and shares initially dipped after the earnings report. The company forecast relatively low operating income for the current quarter of $50 million to $650 million.

It earned $857 million in the second quarter, or $1.78 per share, compared with analysts' average estimate of $1.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“It was the largest June quarter profit in the company’s history, but we’re back to guiding barely any profitability,” BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said of the September quarter guidance.


Lower September-quarter income is routine for Amazon as it ramps up for the end-of-year holiday shopping season, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on a call with media.

“We’re adding warehouses. We’re adding workers,” he said, noting 18 new fulfillment centers for the third quarter, compared with six centers in the same period of 2015.

Amazon's work force expanded by 47 percent in the second quarter year-over-year, including part-time employees.

Costs will also rise as Amazon doubles spending on video content in the second half of the year versus the same period a year ago, aiming to attract consumers to its Prime subscription packages, Olsavsky said. At the same time, Web Services profit margins improved due to greater efficiency, he said.

The investments will likely accelerate the retailer's growth in coming quarters, Edward Jones Research analyst Josh Olson said.

Amazon forecast current-quarter net sales of between $31.0 billion and $33.5 billion, factoring in sales from its Prime Day annual shopping festival. Wall Street on average had targeted $31.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's net sales in North America, its biggest market, jumped 28.1 percent to $17.67 billion.

Revenue from Amazon Web Services surged 58.2 percent to $2.89 billion. This beat the average estimate of $2.83 billion, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Amazon stock rose to $766.50 in after-hours trade on Thursday compared with a close of $752.61.

Bezos Passes Buffett, Becomes Third-Richest Person

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jezz Bezos
(Reuters) -- Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc, has become the world's third-richest person as of the market close for the first time, Forbes magazine said, passing Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Bezos' fortune was $65.3 billion as of 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, compared with Buffett's $64.9 billion.

Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates remained the world's richest person, at $77.7 billion, while Spain's Amancio Ortega, who founded the Zara clothing chain's owner Inditex SA, was second at $72.7 billion. Facebook Inc co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was fifth, at $54 billion.

Bezos, 52, owns The Washington Post and close to 18 percent of Amazon. Its stock has risen by roughly 50 percent since early February, as the world's largest online retailer continued to upend retailing as more people took to the Web rather than the mall to shop.

Amazon's share price rose further in after-hours trading, after the Seattle-based company reported better-than-expected second-quarter results.

Buffett, 85, owns close to 18 percent of Berkshire, but his donation this month of $2.86 billion of Berkshire stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities led to his drop to fourth place. He has donated more than $24.3 billion to the Gates Foundation and family charities since 2006.

Berkshire is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and has roughly 90 business units including Geico car insurance, the BNSF railroad and Dairy Queen ice cream.

In June, Buffett called Bezos a "classic example" of how a business owner could thrive, by having focused at Amazon on how to "delight" customers, and keep them coming back, rather than simply process their orders.

Report: Gretchen Carlson Feels 'Validated'

Gretchen Carlson
After a professional life spent speaking before TV cameras, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson isn’t often at a loss for words.

But when The Washington Post asked her how she felt as she watched Roger Ailes — perhaps the most powerful media figure in America — step down as Fox News chief only two weeks after she had sued him for sexual harassment, she searched for the right description.

“At first, satisfaction — or no, I think validation,” she told me Wednesday. And then, she said, a new round of emotion came rushing in over the sexual harassment she says she endured while working for Ailes. “I felt angry that it took so long.”

“It’s complicated — there was relief that now I would be believed — and I was happy to a certain extent over that.”

Was there any sadness or regret over Ailes’s fate, given their long working relationship? Here, Carlson expressed nothing complicated, answering in a single word: “No.”

In her first interview since Ailes, 76, left his post under pressure more than a week ago, Carlson described the “surreal experience” of life since she filed suit July 6.

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L-A Radio: KSPN, TWCable Ink Simulcast Deal

Time Warner Cable SportsNet and KSPN 710 AM ESPNLA Thursday announced that they have reached a multi-year programming agreement to simulcast the Thompson & Trudell show and Mason & Ireland show beginning Wednesday, August 3rd.  The five-hour programming block will air on TWC SportsNet and ESPNLA 710 Radio Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. PT and 3:00 p.m. PT.

The Thompson & Trudell show, co-hosted by Mychal Thompson and Mike Trudell, airs from 10:00 a.m. to noon PT, Monday through Friday.  Thompson, a member of the Los Angeles Lakers championship teams in 1987 and 1988, is entering his 14th season as the radio commentator for the Lakers on ESPNLA 710.  Thompson also serves as Sports Ambassador for his native Bahamas. A Minnesota native, Trudell also serves as the Lakers sideline reporter for both Time Warner Cable SportsNet and ESPNLA 710, and covers the Lakers as the beat reporter for Lakers.com. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Trudell played Division 1 soccer for the Wildcats.

Add caption
The Mason & Ireland show is co-hosted by Steve Mason and John Ireland. They are the longest running sports talk show team in LA and both recently signed a multi-year agreement with ESPNLA. The program airs live, from noon to 3:00 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday.  Ireland also serves as the Lakers play-by-play commentator on ESPNLA 710 and works as a pre- and post-game reporter for Time Warner Cable SportsNet.  Mason is also a regular contributor for Fox 11 KTTV/Los Angeles and broadcaster for seven Olympic Games including this year’s coverage in Rio.

Mark Shuken, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Time Warner Cable Sports, said “We’re excited to add the Thompson & Trudell and Mason & Ireland shows to our programming block.  Not only are both shows highly entertaining, but they’re also a great fit to our programming lineup, especially given our existing relationship with John Ireland, Mike Trudell, Mychal Thompson and the Lakers.”

KSPN 710 AM (50Kw-D, 10Kw-N) Red=Local Coverage
Scott McCarthy, Vice President and General Manager, ESPNLA said, “We are thrilled to work with Time Warner Cable SportsNet to increase the shows’ exposure, allowing Los Angeles sports fans to see another side of our fantastic personalities.  The synergy of our Lakers broadcast relationships makes this a natural fit and will provide fans compelling content on a daily basis.”

Dayton Radio: CMG Names Rob Rohr As Market VP

Rob Rohr
Cox Media Group/Ohio Radio has named Rob Rohr as Market Vice President, effective immediately. Rohr replaces Julia Wallace, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

“Selecting Rob for this role was an easy decision,” said Executive Vice President Mike Joseph. “He is a proven leader with experience on the sales and content side of our business. We also believe in promoting talent from within the company, so I’m proud to announce this move.”

Prior to becoming Market Vice President, he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of CMG Ohio, where he led a team responsible for producing and distributing news and information for award-winning local brands, including WHIO Channel 7, The Dayton Daily News, K99.1 and WHIO 1290 AM along with two other daily and several weekly newspapers, a variety of news and niche local web properties.

During his career with Cox, Rohr also has held a variety of posts. He led our retail, classified and digital sales strategy teams as well as a national sales force group for Cox Target Media based in Tampa Florida. Rohr is active in the local business community, playing a role in the Dayton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Leadership Dayton, the Greater Dayton Advertising Federation, and the presenting board for TEDxDayton.

“I am honored and excited to be leading our talented team of journalists and media professionals. For over a century, Cox Media Group has been a part of creating dialogues, growing businesses and keeping our community informed every day,” Rohr said. “As the Market Vice President, I will be focused on positioning Cox Media Group Ohio as a leader in this rapidly changing media environment, for the benefit of our customers and the Dayton region.”

El Paso Radio: KLAQ Sued Over Maternity Dismissal

Stephanie McMaster
The former co-host of the popular KLAQ 95.5 FM morning radio show claims that she was fired because she was pregnant and would need maternity leave, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in El Paso.

The El Paso Times reports Stephanie McMaster-Berning alleges in the lawsuit that she was fired in March, a month before the birth of her baby, because the rock radio station did not want her to be on maternity leave during the spring ratings season.

McMaster-Berning, who was known on-air as Stephanie McMaster, is suing morning show host Buzz Adams and Townsquare Media, the parent company of KLAQ. Adams is named in the lawsuit as Michael Whitt.

McMaster-Berning accuses Adams of repeatedly making comments criticizing employees who took time off to care for newborn babies before she was fired.

McMaster-Berning, Adams and representatives of KLAQ could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit alleges McMaster-Berning's firing was in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

In August 2015, McMaster-Berning joined the "Buzz Adams Morning Show," a humorous show that is a longtime staple of El Paso morning radio. Last year it expanded to markets in Midland-Odessa KBAT 99.9 FM, San Angelo KNRX 96.5 FM  and Abilene KEYJ-107.9 FM.

Before joining the morning show, McMaster-Berning worked in the radio station's corporate offices in New York City and was the known for humorous social media posts. She was nicknamed "Stephanie the Corporate Computer Babe" and would help KLAQ staff with social media efforts, the KLAQ website says.

According to the lawsuit, McMaster-Berning moved to El Paso with her two children, ages 12 and 8, when she was hired as the KLAQ morning show co-host.

After arriving in El Paso, she learned that she was pregnant and advised KLAQ Operations Manager Kevin Vargas, who allegedly told her that the maternity leave would coincide with the station's spring ratings season, the lawsuit states.