Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best Wishes For The New Year

from Media Confidential

January 1 Radio History

In 1923...the very first radio broadcast of the Rose Bowl was beamed in Los Angeles over KHJ radio — some 42 years before 93/KHJ became Boss Radio.

In 1925...Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack of the famous Metropolitan Opera made their singing debuts on radio. The broadcast over New York’s WEAF Radio soon to be the NBC flagship.

In 1927...The Rose Bowl football game was aired for the first time, coast-to-coast, on network radio.

First local broadcast of the New Years Day Rose Bowl Football Game from Pasadena by KHJ, Los Angeles aired in 1923. (USC played Penn State. The broadcast of the game, which was then called the East vs West Football game.)

In 1930..."The Cuckoo Hour" was broadcast for the first time on the NBC-Blue Network (it later became the ABC Radio Network).

In 1934...the classic radio horror show Light’s Out was heard for the first time on WENR Chicago. The show became an ‘almost midnight’ NBC thriller 16 months later.

In 1940…Broadcasting from the Empire State Building in New York City, radio station W2XDG, the first FM station licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, became the first to broadcast with the new Frequency Modulation technology.

In 1941...Lorne Greene was appointed first announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new national radio news service. Years before his emergence as Pa Cartwright on the TV western series "Bonanza," Greene's stentorian tones in nightly wartime broadcasts earned him the nickname, "The Voice of Doom."

In 1950...Twenty-six-year-old disc jockey Sam Phillips opened his Memphis Recording Service where, in July of 1953, Elvis Presley spent $3.98 to make his first recording.

In 1953...legendary Hank Williams died at the young age of 29 from a drug/alcohol-related heart attack.  You may recall or even be able to sing along with some of the songs Hank wrote or co-wrote: “Cold, Cold Heart”, “Half as Much”, “Jambalaya”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Hey, Good Lookin”, & “I’m So Lonesome I Could Die.” Indisputedly the biggest star in the history of country music, Williams’ legacy is being carried on by his son, Hank Williams, Jr.

In 1961...106.7 FM In NYC went on the air as WRVR, a religious station owned by Riverside Church that also played some jazz. A remnant of this period is a 5 A.M. Sunday morning sermon from the church that airs on the station. As time went on, WRVR was a full-time jazz station with a strong following, but low ratings.

In 1976 WRVR was purchased by Sonderling Broadcasting, owner of WWRL, with the hope that it could move to an urban format and compete against WBLS, which had cut into WWRL's ratings. However, community opposition prevented the format change and WRVR remained a jazz station under Sonderling ownership. At that time it developed the precursor to what would later become known as the "smooth jazz" format.

In 1980 Viacom bought the Sonderling chain, and the station adopted a country music format as "Kick" WKHK. The station was known as "Kick 106.7 FM." The format change, from jazz to country, took place in the middle of the night. The change brought many protests from New York jazz fans, and a petition to the FCC to deny the station's license renewal, which was denied.  The WRVR calls were then moved to Memphis, TN.

However, ratings were low, as they were unable to compete with WHN, which also had a country music format at the time. In 1988, a new jazz station appeared on the New York airwaves, with the call letters WQCD "CD101.9" later changing calls to WEMP, then back to WRXP, and now WFAN-FM.

On January 23, 1984, Viacom dropped country and changed the calls to WLTW. The station became an MOR station known as "Lite FM 106.7 WLTW".

In 1968...the ABC Radio Network split into 4 networks: the Information, Entertainment, Contemporary and FM networks.

ABC Radio originally began after the split of NBC Red and NBC Blue (later Blue Network) networks with ABC taking over operations from RCA in 1943 before adopting its name 2 years later.

ABC Radio was known to broadcast the first nationwide report of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas at 18:30 UTC on November 22, 1963 and ABC Radio's Don Gardiner anchored the network's initial bulletin at 1:36:50 EST, minutes before any other radio or television network followed suit.

Despite a number of different owners (Capital Cities Communications and later Disney), the radio division remained under ABC's wing until June 12, 2007 when it was sold to Citadel Broadcasting as well as its O&O stations (not including Radio Disney and ESPN Radio nor its affiliates) in a restructuring effort. The radio division has kept the ABC name for about 2 years until Citadel renamed it Citadel Media. Then sometime in September 2011, Cumulus Media has absorbed the now-defunct Citadel Broadcasting and rebranded it to the current Cumulus Media Networks. In 2013, Cumulus Media Networks merged with Dial Global Radio Networks to form Westwood One.

ABC Radio Networks Tribute Website: Click Here

On August 7, 2014, the Walt Disney Company announced that ABC will relaunch its radio network division on January 1, 2015. When its current distribution deal with Cumulus comes to an end, ABC will revamp its radio programming services under a new deal with Skyview Networks. ABC will continue to make its radio news programming via ABC News Radio.

Alison Steele
In 1968...Alison Steele started at AOR WNEW 102.7 FM.

Steele was born in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1950s while running errands for a local television station at the beginning of her career, at the age of nineteen, she met and married orchestra leader Ted Steele, who was twenty years her senior. They eventually went their separate ways.

Steele achieved her greatest following as a disc jockey on WNEW-FM, where she hosted the night shift in a new format when contemporary rock music began to be featured on FM radio. FM stations broadcast in high fidelity and, typically, had featured classical or instrumental music in the New York market. This all changed in the 1960s when this station led the switch to FM stations for the musical preferences of the counter culture of the 1960s and 1970s. After a major change in station programming from a briefly instituted all-female middle of the road (MOR) music format to what was becoming known as progressive rock radio occurred at WNEW-FM, she took the new late night position.

Steele acknowledged that she did not know much about progressive rock when she started the program, and apparently, neither did the management of the station, but the new programming was being extended to the growing market. Steele was given complete freedom to plan and present her program. In the process, she developed her persona as The Nightbird, and acquired a massive, loyal audience. Her audience was estimated in 1971 at approximately 78,000 nightly, with the majority of listeners being men between the ages of 18 and 34.

Steele began her show by reciting poetry over Andean flute music, before introducing her show in her well-known sultry, smoky voice with,
“The flutter of wings, the shadow across the moon, the sounds of the night, as the Nightbird spreads her wings and soars, above the earth, into another level of comprehension, where we exist only to feel. Come, fly with me, Alison Steele, the Nightbird, at WNEW-FM, until dawn.”
She then made a transition to recordings of some of the more exceptional and experimental music being recorded at the time, as well as featuring the best of the familiar favorites of her audience.

Her show became an instant hit and did much to push WNEW 102.7 FM into the forefront of progressive rock radio. At one point, she also served as the music director of the station. Steele became the first woman named as Billboard Magazine FM Personality of the Year.

Steele left WNEW-FM 102.7 in 1979 and worked as a writer, producer, and correspondent for Limelight on CNN until 1985. Steele held several positions that overlapped during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. She worked as a disc jockey on New York's WNEW from 1980–1981. She served as the announcer for the daytime soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, from 1981 to 1984, after replacing Dwight Weist; Her announcing jobs on SFT started in the final months on CBS and the first few years on NBC. In late 1984/early 1985 she left Search and was replaced by The Edge Of Night's announcer Hal Simms. For a number of years, Steele was also the "disc jockey" for the pop/rock in-flight audio entertainment channel on board Trans World Airlines.

From 1989 to 1995, she was on WXRK along with some work for VH1.

Steele died of stomach cancer on September 27, 1995, aged 58.

In 1968…Albums were outselling 45-RPM singles for the first time, according to Billboard magazine.

In 1971...the tobacco industry was banned from buying advertisements on television and radio.

In 1975...the NBC Radio Network began on-the-hour news, 24 hours-a-day.

NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS) in 1975.  It allowed local radio stations to launch all-news formats, providing affiliates with up to 55 minutes of news per hour.

NBC aired the service on its Washington station, WRC.  It also added the all-news format on its network-owned FM stations in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.

Many stations signed on with the service, but by 1976, NBC was not sure if its network would ever become profitable.  Affiliates got a six-month notice that the service would end.  NIS closed in 1977.

In 1992...The ESPN Radio Network debuted.

Keith Olbermann
ESPN Radio launched on January 1, 1992. Keith Olbermann hosted the first program. The top story that night was that Danny Tartabull signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent.

At first, ESPN Radio broadcast only on weekends. By 1996, it expanded to weekdays with a show hosted by The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nancy Donnellan. One hour of that show was simulcast on ESPN2 (1-2 p.m. Eastern time). Two years later, Tony Bruno and Mike Golic were brought together for a new morning show, the "Bruno & Golic Morning Show" which aired until Bruno left the network in 2000. Mike Greenberg was named as Bruno's replacement, and the morning show became "Mike & Mike", which still airs today (and is also simulcast on ESPN2). In January, 2010, Mike & Mike celebrated their 10 year anniversary on ESPN Radio. Dan Patrick was a mainstay in afternoons until his departure from ESPN in 2007.

Gradually, ESPN added more dayparts and became a 24-hour service.

In 1997...EAS Rules go in effect

In 2006...former Chicago radio personality, Alan Stagg, died of complications from pneumonia.

A classic rock disc jockey with a deep, booming voice--"He had the voice of God, if God was a cowboy," said his onetime boss Bill Gamble-- Stagg was on the air in Chicago for most of the 1990s on stations that included WCKG-FM and WDRV-FM.

"Sanctuary" aired in the late 1990s on WXCD-FM, where Gamble was program director. A re-creation of the early days of FM radio, "Sanctuary" was a free-form melange of rock from the 1960s and 1970s, audio clips from movies and other sources, and Mr. Stagg's sometimes skewered take on life. Wind chimes tinkled in the background.

Alan Stagg
"He did radio like actors do theater; it wasn't just time and temp," said Gamble, now program director at 92.5 "The Wolf" in Denver. "He created theater of the mind."

The show later migrated to WCKG-FM, where Mr. Stagg was hired by former station executive Jeff Schwartz.

"To me, `Sanctuary' is exactly what radio is all about," said Schwartz, now a radio and media consultant. "It was like the hippier version of [former Chicago rock jock] Ron Britain's `Subterranean Circus.'"

Allan Stagg was the longest-running of several names Mr. Stagg used professionally, but he also used the name in everyday life, his wife said. Born Juris H. Josts, Mr. Stagg grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., and started as an intern at a local radio station while in high school.

He knew he wanted to get into radio ever since having listened to the far-reaching signal of Chicago's WLS-AM as a boy. "He loved Dick Biondi," his wife said.

In Memoriam 2016: Remembering Those We Lost

The world lost superstar musicians, stars of stage and screen, some of the greatest athletes of all time and larger-than-life political figures in 2016.

Cumulus Media Makes Discounted PrePayment On Debt

Cumulus Media Inc. announced Friday that it has completed a discounted prepayment of a portion of its $1.8 billion senior secured term loan facility due December 2020.

The Company successfully purchased $28.7 million of face value of its senior secured term loan for $20.0 million, a discount to par value of 30%. The transaction closed on December 30, 2016.

The Company will recognize a one-time non-operating gain of approximately $8.7 million in its fourth quarter and full year 2016 earnings as a result of this transaction, and the Company's annual interest expense will be reduced as a result of the completion of this transaction.

Reports: Greta Could Be Headed For MSNBC

Greta Van Susteren
An announcement may be coming soon from MSNBC that former Fox News and CNN host Greta Van Susteren will be joining the network, according to The Hill.

Van Susteren, 62, parted ways with Fox News in September after contract renegotiation talks following former Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes' departure reportedly broke down quickly.

For the former criminal defense and trial lawyer, signing with MSNBC to take its vacant 6:00 pm ET slot is the only and best option for someone with her resume: Fox News: 12 years. CNN: eight years. More than 1.1 million followers on Twitter. In terms of free agents, she arguably brings the most to the table, at least in terms of being an established brand.

The obvious question around MSNBC taking on Greta is this: Is she progressive enough to mesh with the rest of MSNBC's opinion lineup of Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell?

Another way the question is posed is this way: Is she too Trump-friendly for MSNBC's audience?

Gretchen Carlson To CoHost 'Today' Tuesday

Gretchen Carlson
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who famously filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes this summer, will guest host the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Carlson made the announcement Friday on her Twitter, tweeting that she is “excited to be guest hosting.” She also teased that she will be making “announcements.”

An insider tells Variety that Carlson is guest hosting just this one time and is not in talks for a larger role at “Today.” Her announcements, which she teased on Twitter, are not NBC-related, according to our source.

Carlson filed her lawsuit against Ailes this past July, which set off a domino effect of allegations from multiple woman against the embattled Fox News chief, ultimately forcing him to resign from the company. Carlson reportedly received a $20 million settlement, plus a public apology from the cable news network.

The 9 a.m. hour of “Today” has been in flux ever since the departure of Billy Bush, who came under widespread scrutiny for the now-infamous leaked audio tapes with President-Elect Donald Trump, in which Bush and Trump were heard making vulgar comments about women.

Next week’s “Today” will also see another familiar face on the anchor desk: former “Today” host Katie Couric is back reuniting with Matt Lauer for the week of Jan. 2, filing in for Savannah Guthrie, who is on maternity leave.

Disney Buying Netflix Could Be Practical Magic

(Reuters) - Walt Disney may be looking for a bit of two-for-one magic. The $160 billion entertainment conglomerate is on the hunt for technology to connect consumers directly with its movies and TV shows. It's also in need of a successor to Chief Executive Bob Iger. A Netflix acquisition including founder Reed Hastings might just answer both dreams - though it would be pricey.

The Magic Kingdom lost some of its zip in 2015, when Iger indicated that fewer people were paying for its cable sports network and profit engine ESPN. Shares of Disney are off about 20 percent since then.

All the same, the company has been one of the forward thinkers in its business when it comes to bypassing traditional cable boxes. ESPN is part of new packages like Dish Network's Sling TV. Iger splashed out $1 billion for a one-third stake in Major League Baseball's streaming technology, with the option to buy it out.

Disney could, however, think much bigger. Netflix could provide more streaming know-how and 87 million subscribers worldwide. Hastings, meanwhile, has defied the odds in developing his 20-year-old creation from mail-in DVDs to an online leader and content producer. He could be a candidate to replace Iger, who is slated to step down in 2018.

Netflix would be expensive, though. It trades at well over 100 times next year's estimated earnings, compared with Disney's 16 times multiple. Assuming a standard 30 percent premium, the purchase would cost $65 billion. To match the $15 billion uplift from the market price in present-value terms, Iger would need to find over $2 billion in annual cost savings. That's a big chunk, but Disney could plausibly substitute a third of the content Hastings plans to spend more than $6 billion a year to make and buy.

Netflix would still offer Disney an inadequate financial return. Sometimes, though, there's more at stake, like leap-frogging into the latest technology and securing the right leader. The House of Mouse paid nearly 50 times earnings for Pixar in 2006, but the purchase solved strategic problems and reinvigorated its animation studio.

Asked recently about acquisitions including Netflix, Iger didn't get specific but didn't rule anything out either. Lots could go awry with a big, bold purchase, from a shareholder backlash to culture battles. Still, the storyboard is something Disney might want to sketch out.

R.I.P.: Philly Radio Personality John Stevens Dies at 66

John Stevens
Former longtime WMMR 93.3 FM and WMGK 102.9 FM radio host John Laboranti — better known to the listening public as Bubba John Stevens — died this week at 66 after a long battle with cancer, according to

WMGK announced Mr. Laboranti's death Thursday night via a blog post, calling him “one of the most knowledgable DJs on the airwaves.”

“I will never forget hearing the crazy rock-and-roll stories I used to pry out of him,” says WMGK host Andre Gardner. “He was one of the sweetest guys I ever met in the business.”

Laboranti worked at various radio stations, including WGOE-AM and WRXL-FM in Richmond, Va., WOWI-FM in Norfolk, Va., and WMYK-FM in Moyock, N.C.

He began his Philadelphia radio career working weekends at WYSP 94.1 FM in the late 1970s. Before long, he moved on to WMMR, where he worked afternoons and nights throughout the 1980s and '90s.

Mr. Laboranti’s time at WMMR ended in January 1998, after the Greater Philadelphia Radio Group acquired the station in 1997. After being laid off,  Mr. Laboranti spent several years out of radio.

He made his return to the airwaves in early 2005, when he took up weekend hosting on WMGK,

December 31 Radio History

In Dick Kollmar was born in Rigewood NJ.

He starred as Boston Blackie in the long-running radio show, and co-hosted a WOR New York chat show with his wife, gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen.  On TV he hosted the series Broadway Spotlight & Guess What.

He died Jan. 7 1971 from an overdose of pills, an apparent suicide at age 60.

In 1914...Roy Rogers’ sidekick Pat Brady was born in Toledo Ohio.

He appeared in more than 100 episodes of TV’s Roy Rogers Show, after hooking up with Roy in films & on radio.   He also sang with the western group Sons of the Pioneers.

He died in a motor vehicle accident Feb. 27 1972 at age 57.

In 1923...In London, the BBC first aired the chimes of Big Ben.

In 1923...the first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice occurred between Pittsburgh and Manchester, England.

In station KOMO signed on the air in Seattle at AM 980.  Today the longtime Fisher Broadcasting outlet has an all-news format at AM 1000.

KOMO Control circa 1948 (Photos courtesy of

In July 1926, KOMO was founded on Harbor Island as KGFA 980 by two owners: Birt F. Fisher, whose lease on Seattle radio station KTCL was about to run out, and the Fisher brothers of Fisher Flouring Mills, who had been on the island since 1911. (The Fisher Brothers and Birt Fisher were not related.) In preparation for the switch to the new station, Birt Fisher changed KTCL's call sign to KOMO.

In December, his lease ended, and he took the call letters with him to KGFA. KOMO 980's first broadcast was December 31, 1926. The studios moved to Downtown Seattle in 1927. The station also began a long-running affiliation with NBC Radio that year as well, primarily with the Red Network, but also with the short-lived West Coast NBC Orange Network from 1931 to 1933. Over the following years, KOMO's frequency would go from 980 to 1080, back to 980, down to 920, up to 970, then back to 920, and settled at 950 after the NARBA frequency shakeup in 1941.

Circa 1948

Fisher's Blend Station, owner of KOMO, bought NBC Blue Network affiliate KJR from NBC in 1941. In 1944, KOMO switched frequencies with KJR (then at 1000 kHz) and sold KJR off two years later. At its new frequency, KOMO began broadcasting with 50,000 watts of power from its current transmitter site on Vashon Island in 1948. New studios at the corner of Fourth and Denny, near what is now the Seattle Center, were dedicated in February 1948.

In 1929...Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time during their first annual New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Roosevelt Grill in New York. The show was broadcast on the CBS Radio network and became the longest-running annual special program in radio history.

In 1940...ASCAP prevented the radio industry from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months. It was in reaction to a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers and Publishers.

In 1943...Country singer John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf. He died in a crash of an experimental plane he was piloting on Oct. 12, 1997 at 53.

In 1948...Disco diva Donna Summer was born. She died on May 17, 2012 at 63

In 1951...The "Wild Bill Hickok" TV series was replicated on radio following its success on television.

In 1961...for $300, LA radio station KFWB hired the Beach Boys, appearing under that name for the first time, to perform at their Ritchie Valen’s Memorial Dance in Long Beach.   Previously the group had played California nightclubs as The Pendletones, as Kenny and the Cadets, and as Carl and the Passions.

In 1963...the "Dear Abby Show" premiered on the CBS Radio network. It ran eleven years. On this day in 1966, "Pirate Radio 390" (Radio Invicata)an off-shore station near England, resumed broadcasting.

In 1967...Radio stations across the nation had to comply with an FCC mandate that AM/FM outlets in major cities had to air non-duplicated programming.  The limit was 50 percent for simulcasts. Here's a NY Times story dated January 31, 1966 concerning NYC stations...

In 1970...Paul McCartney sued the other members of the Beatles for a legal dissolution of their "partnership." On the same day, the British magazine Melody Maker announced that the Beatles were looking for a new bass player. Four years to the day later, the four of them came to terms and made the separation final.

In 1972...TV producer Dick Clark initiated a new holiday tradition with "Three Dog Night's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on NBC. The headliners, along with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy, and Al Green, appeared in performances that had been pre-taped in the Grand Ballroom of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. Clark himself did not appear on the initial program. In 1973, he began hosting the special, its name shortened to "New Year's Rockin' Eve." The show moved to ABC-TV in 1974.

In 1982...the "CBS Mystery Theater" aired its final episode after 8 years on radio.

In 1982...the NBC Radio network cancelled practically all of it's daily features.

In 1985...Singer/actor Ricky Nelson, his fiancé Helen Blair, and five members of the Stone Canyon Band, died in the crash of his private DC-3 airplane (which was previously owned by Jerry Lee Lewis) near DeKalb, Texas, while en route to a concert appearance in Dallas. The pilot was attempting an emergency landing after a fire, caused by a malfunctioning gas heater, broke out on the plane.

Nelson was 45.

In 1989...the final edit was added to the annual WLS Music Montage.

Every New Year's Eve, the "Top 89" songs of the year were counted down on WLS-AM (and FM). After the #1 song was played at about 4 minutes before Midnight, the radio station wished listeners a Happy New Year!

Then...this wonderful montage was played. Each year added about a minute of the previous top songs in Chicago. The montage originally started short, as you can guess, and ultimately ended up as this 27+ minute marathon.

After WLS-AM changed to all-talk in 1989, this montage was no longer heard in Chicago. But thanks to Scott Childers, this "rebuild" version can be heard exactly as it was played every year. Kudos to Scott for putting this together!

This is an appreciation to the production work that Scott, Tommy Edwards (the originator) and the production staff created over the years.

Thanks to Scott Childers for the permission to post this. Check out his site at

In 2013...Veteran talk radio personality (WOR, WABC, WMCA in New York, KABC, KNX in Los Angeles, WBBM-Chicago, WWDB-Philadelphia) Bob Grant died at the age of 84.

Grant graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism. He began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM (AM) in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX (AM) in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War, he served in the Naval Reserve.

He later became sports director at KABC (AM) in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of early controversialist Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC (AM) in 1964 titled, "Open Line," "Night Line," and "Sunday Line."

Grant was approached to come to New York by executives at WMCA when WMCA was going to become a talk station. He was recommended to them by Jack Thayer, who had been the station manager of KLAC. Grant was opposed to the move, as he hated what he knew about New York i.e. the subways, crime, and congestion. He also had four children and a home in Los Angeles.

Grant was convinced to come to New York when an executive said to him at the end of a meeting, "It's just too bad that the number-one talk-show host in America doesn't want to come to the number-one market in America."  Grant came to New York and did his first show on WMCA on September 21, 1970, where he worked for station manager R. Peter Strauss.

 After being in New York for a short time, Grant wanted to go back to Los Angeles. He was contacted by the former news director at KLAC, who was now a program director at another station to join his station, but Grant declined, because he had signed a two-year contract with WMCA.  Grant's unhappiness being in New York led to him becoming angry with the callers. He hoped to get fired by R. Peter Strauss, however his ratings soared as he got angrier.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Atlanta Radio: Morning Personality Moby Hangs-Up His Headphones

Moby during his final show
At his suburban Atlanta studio, Moby during his final show of his long radio career took dozens of farewell calls from fans wishing him good luck in retirement.

“I am surprised I am this far along on the show and haven’t felt emotional,” he told one of those callers at 9:12 a.m. “I feel good!”

According to Rodney Ho at, Moby (real name: James Carney) played some of his parody songs from the past. His final song: a parody of a George Strait song “I Hate Everything” dubbed “I Ate Everything.” “Let’s end funny!” he said.

But the emotions eventually flooded in. At about 9:48 a.m., though, as his wife Mary Beth started tearing up, so did Moby. And he brought out the Kleenex in the final moments as he thanked his fans (“I’m grateful for all of you”) and said “Yeah baby!” one more time.

“I thank you for your allegiance and the loan of your ears the last several years,” he said. “May God be good to you and your family.”

Among the stations he was on before he retired after nearly five decades doing radio, he was heard on WTSH 107.1 FM in Rome GA, plus stations in Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas and Missouri.

For many, Moby is a distant memory from his Kicks 101.5 days, going back 14 years. But for the past 12 years, the Crossville, Tenn. native has been doing his own syndicated show that has been heard over the years in small towns all over America, including Rome and Athens. He decided recently that it was time to close shop.

He said when he lost WNGC-FM in Athens in 2015, the economics no longer worked. And it didn’t help when South 107.1 reduced its signal from 100,000 watts to 6,000, reducing his reach even more.

One philosophy he always followed: be provocative, be real, be himself. He was a larger-than-life figure and he wanted people to react strongly to him, be it devotion or hatred. That was the Howard Stern approach as well. When I asked him earlier in the morning what his last song might be, he said, Frank Sinatra‘s “My Way.” It’s not a strategy many radio personalities on music stations take anymore and it’s not what management embraces.

Rockin' Eve Host Ryan Seacrest Gets Stuck In Elevator

Ryan Seacrest
A funny thing happned to Ryan Seacrest on his way to checkout the New Year's Ball to drop at midnight Saturday.

The host of “Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve” at Times Square NYC was en route with producers to "Good Morning America" when his elevator got stuck on the first floor.

Seacrest was trapped for 40 minutes before the FDNY rescued him and the crew.

"I will tell you this, if you've ever been stuck in an elevator, it's funny and cute for about 10 minutes," Seacrest joked. "And then about 20 minutes in, it's not so funny anymore. But thank you to the fire department who came and rescued us and pried those doors open."

Seacrest, 42, said he and "GMA" staffers were inside the same elevator he has to take Saturday night to ring in the New Year.

Seacrest tweeted a play-by-play of the incident in good humor.

And if the elevator fails on Dec. 31, the TV host said he has a solution: "We could always take the stairs."

“Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve” airs at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Saturday.

Houston Radio: CBS Radio Launches Adult Hits On 95.7 FM

CBS RADIO’s KKHH 95.7  FM today unveiled a fresh new format beginning promptly at 12:30 pm. as 95.7 The Spot.

The station is airing a variety of hits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.

The station is designed for listeners who need a break from the everyday stresses of life and features the most popular artists of the time, including Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Madonna, U2, Prince and many others.

"We worked exhaustively to understand what Houston listeners were missing in the market from their local radio stations,” said Sarah Frazier, SVP/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Houston.

KKHH 95.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Listeners told us they wanted their own spot to hear their favorite music hits, a spot to relax and energize at work and a spot to feel comfy and complete. This is your Spot, Houston.”

NBC Via Charter Could Go Dark In NYC, L-A, Other Key Markets

Millions of households could be shut out of a key “Sunday Night Football” game this weekend as Charter Communications and NBCUniversal are locked in a carriage dispute.

The current deal expires Dec. 31, according to the NY Post.

Other NBCU networks, including MSNBC, Bravo, E, USA and SyFy, will also go dark if no deal is reached by midnight Saturday.

Charter acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks earlier this year and rebranded the cable service as Spectrum.

The black-out blues are a familiar problem for pay-TV viewers who are routinely informed at the end of the year they may lose services.

A potential black-out would affect some 16 million subscribers, around 1 million of those households are in the New York market, Charter’s second largest market, after Los Angeles.

Sports fans could also lose access to NHL games on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. Plus, the NBC Sports Network is about to kick off Premiere League soccer coverage.

Also, NBC is scheduled to air the Golden Globes on Jan. 5.

The channels are expected to go dark at the stroke of midnight, meaning a sharp ending to those watching NBC’s New Year’s Eve coverage.

“NBCUniversal values its partnership with Charter Spectrum, our third largest distributor,” an NBCU spokesman told The Post. “Charter Spectrum has been unyielding in its demand for terms superior to those agreed to by the rest of the industry, including larger distributors.”

The two parties are no longer negotiating but NBCU has sent an offer letter which is currently with Charter.

Cox Media Group Stations Also Face Disruption

Cox Media Group’s (CMG’s) local television stations has begun notifying their viewers of a potential service disruption involving AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV.

CMG’s retransmission consent agreements for subscribers to those services expire at 11:59 PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2016, and a new agreement has not yet been reached.

This disruption could affect AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV subscribers in Atlanta (WSBTV-2), Boston (WFXT-25), Charlotte (WSOC-9 and WAXN-64), Dayton (WHIO-7), Jacksonville (WFOX-30), Memphis (WHBQ-13), Orlando (WFTV-9 and WRDQ-27), Pittsburgh (WPXI-11), Seattle (KIRO-7) and Tulsa (KOKI-23 and KMYT-41).

CMG has successfully negotiated retransmission consent agreements with every cable and satellite programmer that carries its stations across the country with the exception of AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV. The parties continue to negotiate and CMG is committed to working around the clock to preserve service for all of its viewers. At the same time, CMG feels a responsibility to let its viewers know of the potential impending service disruption so that viewers who depend on its stations can make alternative arrangements for receiving local television service.

Jane Williams, CMG’s Executive Vice President for Television issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed that CMG and AT&T appear to be reaching an impasse that could lead to a disruption in service for AT&T U-Verse and DIRECTV subscribers. We have negotiated many of these agreements with cable and satellite operators throughout the United States and have rarely had disputes of this kind. In just the past few weeks, we have reached agreement with some of the largest video distributors in the country. We certainly hope for the same result in our negotiations with AT&T/DIRECTV.”

ESPN MNF Lost Viewers For Third Straight Year

(Reuters) -- If not for this past Monday night's highly watched NFL game, The Walt Disney Co's ESPN network would have had its smallest audience for "Monday Night Football" in 2016 since the 2006 season.

The National Football League has been plagued all season by ratings downturns, forcing its TV partners to give free extra commercial time to advertisers to compensate for lower-than-promised ratings. Advertiser demand has remained high though, as NFL games still attract more viewers than almost everything else on television, according to the Nielsen ratings service.

Monday's Dallas Cowboys-Detroit Lions game averaged 18.6 million viewers, the most ESPN has garnered for a "Monday Night Football" game since 2014. That helped ESPN post an average of 11.4 million viewers for its 17 games this season, finishing ahead of only the 2007 season, when it drew 11.2 million, according to Nielsen data provided by ESPN.

The NFL franchise moved from ABC to ESPN for the 2006 season; both companies are owned by The Walt Disney Co

This year marks the third consecutive year that ESPN's "Monday Night Football" audience has declined, and the fifth decline in the past six years.

The NFL ratings downturn was most notable in primetime. ESPN was among the hardest hit, with viewership falling nearly 12 percent from last season, according to the Nielsen data. ESPN had to contend with the contentious U.S. presidential election, often cited by league officials as a key cause for lower ratings this season.

While the election hurt NFL ratings, the three major U.S. cable news networks – 21st Century Fox's Fox News, Comcast Corp's MSNBC and Time Warner Inc's CNN – all benefited from the unpredictable race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Fox News finished 2016 as the most-watched U.S. cable network in primetime for the first time in its history, according to Nielsen data released late on Wednesday. Time Warner's CNN and Comcast Corp's MSNBC also had huge viewership gains.

Drudge Suspects US Gov't With Cyberattack On Website

A tweet from conservative media icon Matt Drudge's verified Twitter account Thursday night appeared to accuse the government of interfering with his website,, just hours after the Barack Obama administration announced new sanctions against Russia over election hacking.

"Is the US government attacking DRUDGE REPORT? Biggest DDoS since site's inception. VERY suspicious routing [and timing]," the tweet to Drudge's 457,000 followers read, according to

A large-scale distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, can cause major Internet disruptions. In the past, such attacks have shut down major websites such as Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, and Reddit. The attack sends a server many illegitimate requests to make it hard for real requests to get through, effectively shutting down the site.

Drudge Report was down briefly around 7 p.m. EST, but working hours later. Meanwhile, the conservative Washington Times wrote: "Matt Drudge suggests U.S. government cyberattack on Drudge Report website. DDoS attack comes same day Obama announced countermeasures against Russia for hacking of Democrats."

In a later tweet, Mr. Drudge said the “Attacking [was] coming from ‘thousands’ of sources. Of course none of them traceable to Fort Meade,” referring to the Maryland base that houses the headquarters of United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.

Mr. Drudge’s news-aggregation site was one of the highest-profile outlets to take a favorable tack on Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Earlier Thursday, President Obama announced sanctions against several Russian agencies and individuals over purported cyberattacks on Democratic Party institutions. Many liberals are blaming these actions for Hillary Clinton’s defeat at Mr. Trump’s hands.

Legendary Songwriters Back Gaye Family In Legal Filing

A group of Hall of Fame songwriters filed a legal brief on Wednesday opposing a judge's ruling in the controversial "Blurred Lines" lawsuit, which they say hurts copyright protections for songs recorded before 1978, according to The Tennessean.

The "Blurred Lines" lawsuit pitted the family of rhythm and blues legend Marvin Gaye against pop stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, who are accused of copying elements of Gaye's hit "Got To Give It Up" without permission. The Gaye family won an initial jury verdict of $7.4 million, though a federal judge reduced the total to $5.3 million.

Thicke and Williams subsequently appealed, and a tangential issue has arisen: how songs recorded prior to 1978 are protected from copyright infringement. A federal judge ruled that the only elements of "Got To Give It Up" subject to federal copyright protections are those reflected on the lead sheet - a document filed with the U.S. Copyright Office. Gaye's attorneys, including Nashville-based Richard Busch, have argued that the lead sheet was a perfunctory document filed by an unnamed person.

They say the basis for copyright theft should hinge on the borrowed elements from the sound recording of "Got To Give It Up," and not the lead sheet. Thicke and Williams' attorneys argue the opposite. They say that the two songs feel similar, but that actual copyright theft did not take place. Thicke said in media interviews that "Blurred Lines" was inspired by "Got To Give It Up," but in legal filings he denied that he stole from "Got To Give It Up."

Songwriter Hall of Fame members Brian Holland, Eddie Holland, Sylvia Moy, David Porter and Valerie Simpson argue in their brief filed on Wednesday that Judge John A. Kronstadt's ruling on the lead sheet effectively disenfranchises writers of pre-78 songs. In total, 12 songwriters signed onto the amicus brief supporting the Gaye family.

Since 1978, the policy of the Copyright Office has been to accept sound recordings when registering the copyright for a song. The Gaye family argued in a filing last week that limiting the copyright protections for older songs to the lead sheet would empower unscrupulous contemporary songwriters to sift through old lead sheets and then steal any elements not listed there when writing new songs.

WaPo Is Hiring

The Washington Post actually is hiring reporters.

Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan sent an internal memo to Post staffers this month that said the company “is profitable and growing.”

Forbes reports Ryan cited circulation increases and big jumps in website traffic; he noted that The Post sales team had been successful in monetizing those factors for the company.

Ryan added, “Our newsroom is larger this year than last year, and it will grow even more next year.”
Dear Washington Post Colleagues, 
While so much of our focus at The Washington Post has been forward-looking as we experiment and innovate in a rapidly changing media landscape, I want to take this opportunity for a brief look back at what has been a truly remarkable year.
In this unforgettable election cycle that saw many achievements across the entire newsroom, The Washington Post Politics team was the go-to source at virtually every stage of the campaign, breaking many of the biggest stories. 
Our Editorial team was at the forefront of the conversation with thoughtful editorial positions and a diverse and expanded array of OpEd contributors. The great work of our newsroom was supported by The Post’s world-class Engineering team, which developed new products to better serve our readers and launched Arc Publishing, a venture that is now powering a growing list of major media properties around the world. 
The Washington Post shattered all traffic records over the past year, passing traditional competitors and the largest digital sites. With monthly unique visitors pushing 100 million in the U.S. alone and 30 million more from around the world, our traffic has increased by nearly 50% in the past year, extending the reach of Washington Post journalism to a broader national and global audience. 
On the subscription front, we’ve more than doubled digital subscription revenue in the past 12 months with a 75% increase in new subscribers since January. 
Our Sales team has been very effective in monetizing this surge in audience, with special franchises, new products and innovations in the speed and quality of our ads. As a result, digital advertising revenue has increased by more than 40% over last year’s record performance. 
Jeff has encouraged us to seek out “positive surprises” and to experiment in multiple ways. Today, we are witnessing progress as many of those experiments are yielding strong results. 
Not to bury the lede, but thanks to the incredible work of the entire team, The Washington Post will finish this year as a profitable and growing company. 
In addition to reinforcing our belief that there is a viable business model in quality journalism, this will provide additional funding for several new initiatives that build upon the successes of this year. 
Our newsroom is larger this year than last year, and it will grow even more next year. Among the additions will be a new rapid-response investigative team, enhancing our already strong investigative unit. We will substantially expand our video journalism, which has already exceeded all projections and is becoming a key storytelling platform. 
Additional positions will be added to our breaking-news team, and we will add staff to work on alerts and newsletters. We are adding resources to the Washington Post Talent Network, which has been a very effective tool for expanding the reach of our newsroom. Additional investments will be made in podcasts, in our superb photo team and to support other newsroom initiatives. 
As exciting and successful as this year has been, the coming year presents even more opportunities to pursue our bold plans and further promote a culture of innovation. I can’t imagine a more exciting time to be at The Washington Post. 
Thank you for all you have done to contribute to this success. 

Report: Labels Spent $4.5B Promoting Artists

The music industry has often tried to downplay broadcasting’s free promotion of artists as it fights for a performance royalty from AM/FM radio. But, according to InsideRadio,  a new report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) sheds some light on the size of the cost-savings benefit from that exposure since marketing costs are the biggest expense for record labels.

The Investing in Music report shows labels spent $4.5 billion on promoting artists in 2015, including $1.7 billion on direct marketing expenses.

A&R (“Artists & Repertoire”) expenses—which cover the discovery and development of new acts—cost another $2.8 billion. Combined marketing and A&R represent 27% of all revenue brought in by the record companies.

IFPI also reports the typical cost to break worldwide artists now averages between $500,000-$2 million. That includes an average of $200,000-$700,000 on marketing expenses alone. “This is the biggest item of spending, where labels have a key impact,” the report says.

But the real expense could be $2.4 billion more each year, according to an economic analysis conducted for the National Association of Broadcasters. That’s how much it says radio provides each year in free promotion that helps drive music sales, concert tickets and merchandise sales. “Free radio airplay provides the recording industry increased popularity, visibility and sales for both established and upcoming artists,” the NAB Policy Agenda says, noting that beyond record spins, stations support acts with concert promotion, on-air interviews and social media marketing. “Recognizing the promotional value of free radio airplay, Congress has repeatedly rejected the record labels’ attempts to impose a harmful performance tax on local radio stations,” the NAB says.

2016 Again Proves TV Newscasts Can Be Entertaining

Here's two compilations of 2016's Best TV News Bloopers:

SiriusXM To Air George Michael Channel

SiriusXM has announced that it will pay tribute to the groundbreaking artist George Michael.

The limited-run channel, "Faith," will feature music from the icon's entire body of work.

SiriusXM's George Michael tribute channel, "Faith," will feature music from the legendary artist's earliest recordings with Wham!, his collaborations with Elton John, Aretha Franklin and Queen, plus his solo career starting with his 1987 album, Faith.

SiriusXM's "Faith" will launch on Wednesday, January 4 at noon ET and will air through Tuesday, January 10 via satellite on channel 13. "Faith" will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

Prior to his death, Michael was said to be working on a solo album and putting the final touches on a special documentary about his famed career. He’s currently a nominee for induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

He died of heart failure at his home in England at the age of 53.

Nat'l EAS Test Reveals Areas For Improvement

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau this week released an initial overview of the nationwide EAS test results, and initial test data indicate that “the vast majority of EAS participants successfully received and retransmitted the National Periodic Test (NPT) code used for the test, reports Radio Business Report.

Additionally, improvements made to the EAS using the lessons learned from the 2011 nationwide EAS test and the implementation of the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) appear to have “significantly improved” test performance over what was observed during the 2011 test.

Among the highlights:
  • Over 21,000 radio stations, broadcast television stations, cable systems, satellite services, and other EAS Participants in all 50 states and the U.S. territories participated in the nationwide test.
  • This is a 26% increase in participation from the 2011 nationwide test (16,731 forms filed in 2011).
  • 94% of test participants successfully received the test alert. This a 12% improvement in success rate over 2011 nationwide test (82% received in 2011).
  • 85% of test participants successfully retransmitted the test alert.
  • 69% of test participants reported no complications in receiving or retransmitting the test alert.
  • Many EAS Participants reported that the test alert that they received featured the high quality audio from the CAP-based alert that FEMA distributed via IPAWS.
  • For the first time, 74 EAS Participants retransmitted the IPAWS-generated Spanish language version of the alert.
  • Reports from the PSSC proved effective for collecting feedback and should continue to be used for future EAS tests.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC and the National Weather Service (NWS), conducted a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 2:20 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 28. The nationwide test was designed to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS, with a particular emphasis on testing FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the integrated gateway through which common alerting protocol-based (CAP-based) EAS alerts are disseminated to EAS Participants.

There are some opportunities to strengthen the EAS, the FCC notes.

Of utmost concern is the poor-quality audio some EAS participants experienced, making them unable to deliver the Spanish-language alert because they received the test from an over-the-air broadcast source before their EAS equipment performed its regular check of the IPAWS Internet feed, which typically occurs every 30 seconds.

R.I.P.: Former Boston Radio Personality Lisa Lipps

Condolences to family and friends of former Boston radio personality Elizabeth 'Lisa' Tedesco.

She was 59-years-old age.

Tedesco was known professionally as Lisa Lipps and was a former personality at WKXS 107.9 FM Kiss108.

She began her career at KISS 108 along with DJ Lady D, the real Diana Steel, as the station was in its infancy, Lisa created the Soap Up-Date, reporting on the day-time soap operas and wrote a hit song in 1981 entitled 'General Hospi-Tale' on the story line of General Hospital.

R.I.P.: Paducah KY Radio Broadcaster Ed Taylor

Ed Taylor
Well known  broadcaster William Ed Taylor died Thursday evening after being struck by a vehicle near his home.

McCracken County Sheriff Deputies reports Taylor was struck Thursday evening while attempting to cross the street.

The vehicle struck Taylor in the right lane of Reidland Road. Several people reportedly stopped to render aid and perform CPR on Taylor, but he died at the scene.

Taylor had a long career in local broadcasting, and was an employee of Bristol Broadcasting Company. He was perhaps best known as the longtime voice of Paducah Tilghman sports.

Bristol Broadcasting Company General Manager Jamie Futrell released the following statement regarding Taylor's death:
"The entire Bristol Broadcasting family is grief stricken over the loss of Ed Taylor. Ed was a voice of radio for nearly 60 years. More than half of those years were spent as the voice of Paducah Tilghman high school sports. He was loved by many. It will not be the same without his legendary voice."

R.I.P.: Indiana Radio Broadcaster Ken Coe

Ken Coe
Ken Cole, president of WLOI 1540 AM and Country WCOE 96.7 FM in LaPorte IN and member of the Indiana Broadcast Hall of Fame, died early Thursday.

He was 78-years-of-age, according to

He's remembered not only for his decades as host of the popular call-in program "Sound-Off" and commitment to heavy coverage of local news and sports, but also for his jovial and warm personality.

"He was sort of like a teddy bear in lots of ways. You just couldn't help but like the guy," said former LaPorte Mayor Leigh Morris, who became good friends with Coe during his more than 20-year run as president and CEO at LaPorte Hospital.

Coe was in grade school when he'd tag along with his father, Dee, on Saturdays to his job as general manager of WIND-AM in Gary.

His dad, also a member of the Indiana Broadcast Hall of Fame, later formed a group that founded WWCA-AM, also in Gary, where Ken, then in the seventh grade, began getting coffee for staff members and running other errands.

The family later became owners of four radio stations in Gary, LaPorte and South Haven, Michigan. But after Ken's father died in 1981, only the LaPorte stations were kept to have a more reasonable workload.

After turning 70, Coe took a back seat to running the radio stations, but still remained active in some of the decision making and stopped in from time to time.

December 30 Radio History

 In 1911..actress Jeanette Nolan was born in Los Angeles.

She made her radio debut in 1932 in “Omar Khayyam”, the first transcontinental broadcast from station KHJ.  She was a regular on the cream of the west coast radio dramas, including “One Man’s Family,” “Escape,” “Suspense,” “Cavalcade of America,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Adventures of Sam Spade” and “The Whistler.” She appeared in more than 300 television shows, including episode roles in “Perry Mason”, “I Spy”, “MacGyver”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, and as a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” and “The Virginian”. She received four Emmy nominations.

Nolan died following a stroke June 5 1998 at age 86.

Bert Parks
In & TV host Bert Parks was born in Atlanta.  As well as the Miss America pageant, he hosted the  game shows Break the Bank & Stop the Music on radio & TV, and for television alone, The Big Payoff, Double or Nothing, Hold that Note, and Party Line.  He did a series of cameos on TV sitcoms (he was Herb Tarlek’s Dad on WKRP.)

Parks died of lung cancer Feb. 2 1992 at age 77.

In 1917...actress Nancy Coleman was born in Everett Washington.  She started in radio & the stage in New York, then was brought to Hollywood to make movies for Warner Bros.  In the 50’s she switched to guest spots in TV shows such as Tales of Tomorrow, Star Tonight & the Adams Chronicles, and became a regular on soaps Valiant Lady & Edge of Night.

Nancy died Jan. 18 2000 at age 82.

In 1936...The famous radio feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen began. After a 10-year-old performer finished a violin solo on "The Fred Allen Show," Allen said, "A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing." It didn't take long for Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted ten weeks on both comedian's radio shows, and gave them material they continued using over the next 20 years.

In 1942...the radio program, "Mr. and Mrs. North", began it's run on the NBC Radio network.

In 1942...Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a four-week engagement, but turned into eight weeks because of its popularity. Police were called to help curb the excitement among the screaming teenage girls known as bobbysoxers -- a phenomenon not seen before for a pop singer

In 1943...Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was born.

In 1945...Singer Davy Jones, "the cute one" on TV's The Monkees, was born. He died February 29, 2012 at 66.

In 1950...At the National Studios in New York City, the Dominoes, a group that included Billy Ward and Clyde McPhatter, recorded the sexually suggestive novelty song "Sixty Minute Man," with Bill Brown taking the lead vocal. In the spring of 1951, despite being banned by many U.S. radio stations, the record rose to #1 on the R&B charts, where it remained for 14 weeks.

In 1962...Radio/TV talker Sean Hannity was born.

In 2005...Longtime Seattle radio disc jockey (KOL, KJR) Lan Roberts died of lung cancer at 69.

Lan Roberts
During the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts was a high-profile presenter with KJR in Seattle. Like many of the local DJs of the time, he left KJR for rival top 40 station KOL in a late 60s talent raid and returned to KJR in the early 70s.   He was known primarily for comedic skits and gags, working the coveted morning drive shift from 6:00am until 10:00am on weekdays. Lan Roberts was a master of voices and surrounded the top 40 hits of KJR with odd characters with names like Phil Dirt and The Hollywood Reporter. Roberts would carry on spirited conversations between his regular on-air voice and the characters. The Hollywood Reporter (no other name was given) would always begin a report on celebrity gossip in a lisping, snide, mocking voice "This is The Hollywood Reporter," and then continue with a totally bogus report. His career also included spells in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Taipei and San Francisco.

Later in life, Roberts returned to live in his old home town and worked as a radio consultant. He gained a new following by sharing his Liberal political views on his website. In the last ten years of his life he suffered from lung cancer, and urged visitors to his site not to smoke.  In addition, he used his internet presence to chastize the corporate mentality and lack of creativity in the modern broadcast industry.

In 2014...Scotty Rhodarmer did his last show on WWNC 570 AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Rhodarmer did the morning show for 50 years beginning in 1954.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

R.I.P.: Actress Debbie Reynolds Dies At Age 84

By Will Dunham

(Reuters) - - Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, who sang and danced her way into the hearts of millions of moviegoers around the world in musicals like "Singin' in the Rain," died on Wednesday at age 84, her son said.

Reynolds, one of the most enduring and endearing Hollywood actresses, died hours after being rushed to the hospital in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke, her son, Todd Fisher said. Her death came just one day after her daughter, the actress Carrie Fisher, died of a heart attack.

Reynolds, who rose to stardom in the film "Singin' In the Rain," appeared in dozens of films. She starred opposite  Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Donald O'Connor, Fred Astaire and Dick Van Dyke. She received a best actress Academy Award nomination for the 1964 musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

Scene From "Singin' In The Rain"
At the peak of her stardom, Reynolds was drawn into a scandal when her husband, singer Eddie Fisher, began an affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds and Fisher divorced in 1959 and he married Taylor.

Reynolds and Taylor, who eventually divorced Fisher, made peace years later and appeared together in the 2001 television movie "These Old Broads," written by Carrie Fisher.

In a 2010 interview with Rage Monthly, Reynolds reflected on her philosophy of life.

"I always go by a five-year plan," she said. "I get through today and I’m not going to get upset for five years.

"I always picture a long tunnel and at the end of the tunnel, there’s a light. I know I can make it to that light and I’ll take five years to get there. Now…I’ve gone through many tunnels. So, I just keep trying. I never give up."

Mary Frances Reynolds was born on April 1, 1932. She was 16 and in the Miss Burbank beauty contest when she was discovered by a talent scout. Warner Brothers changed her name to "Debbie," and she had a bit part that year in "June Bride."

She was signed by MGM in 1950 and that year, in "Two Weeks with Love," Reynolds performed the hit duet "Aba Daba Honeymoon" with Carleton Carpenter. She also made her feature acting debut in 1950 in "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady."

Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly
It was 1952's "Singin' in the Rain," however, that catapulted Reynolds to stardom, playing opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor and recording the original soundtrack album for the film.

Her fame grew with leading roles in "Susan Slept Here" with Dick Powell, "The Tender Trap" with Frank Sinatra, "The Catered Affair" with Bette Davis, "Bundle of Joy" with then-husband Fisher, "The Mating Game" with Tony Randall, "It Started with A Kiss" with Glenn Ford, and "The Pleasure of His Company" with Astaire.

Reynolds' song "Tammy" from her 1957 movie "Tammy and the Bachelor" hit No. 1 on the singles charts. That year, she became a regular on "The Eddie Fisher Show" broadcast by NBC.

She performed in nightclubs, hosted TV specials, and in  1968 had her first TV series, the NBC sitcom "The Debbie Reynolds Show."

Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher

The 1970 film "What's the Matter with Helen?" turned out to be the last big screen acting role she would have for some 20 years.

"I didn't stop making movies. They stopped making me," Reynolds told The New York Times in 1996.

Reynolds performed on cruise ships and in nightclubs and took to the stage in New York and London. Her 1973 revival of the musical "Irene" earned her a Tony Award nomination. The same year she gave voice to Charlotte in the animated feature "Charlotte's Web."

Her second marriage, to shoe businessman Harry Karl, ended in the early 1970s after he gambled away most of her money. Financial reasons compelled her to keep working.

In 1984 she married her third husband, real estate developer Richard Hamlett, and they bought a Las Vegas hotel and casino, where she also performed. That marriage ended amid the financial collapse of that property and Reynolds filed for bankruptcy protection in 1997.

"There are good men, including my father and my son Todd, but I happened to marry idiots, which is why I gave up years ago. I have very bad taste in men," she told the Yorkshire Post in a 2010 interview.

Reynolds' theatrical performances took her to the West Coast, then in 1981, she returned to Broadway to take over the lead in "Woman of the Year."

That year brought another TV show, the short-lived series "Aloha Paradise." By 1983, Reynolds had a recurring role in the TV series "Jennifer Slept Here, starring Ann Jillian.

The next year she created and starred in an exercise video, "Do It Debbie's Way," and four years later produced the exercise video, "Couples (Do It Debbie's Way)."

Reynolds starred in her first TV movie, "Sadie and Son," in 1987. The following year brought her written memoir, "Debbie: My Life." She then toured nationally with "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

In 1992 she made a cameo appearance in the movie "The Bodyguard" and the next year she had a supporting role in "Heaven and Earth."

The 1996 Albert Brooks comedy "Mother," brought Reynolds back to the big screen in a lead role.

The rest is history: "Halloweentown" movies for Disney, a recurring role in the sitcom "Will & Grace," more TV movies and,  in 2012, a role in the feature film "One for the Money."