Friday, July 14, 2017

July 14 Radio History

Douglas Edwards
➦In 1917...broadcast newsman Douglas Edwards was born in Ada Oklahoma.  He became CBS radio’s premier news reader, and anchored TV’s first network newscast from 1948 to 1962 when Walter Cronkite succeeded him.  He then went back to radio, but continued with a 5 minute midday TV newscast.

He retired in 1988, and died Oct 13, 1990 at age 73.

➦In 1927...NBC newsman John Chancellor was born in Chicago. He succeeded Dave Garroway as host of Today, then became anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1970-82.  When Tom Brokaw replaced him he stayed on ‘Nightly’ doing commentaries. During the 1976 election he introduced the concept of Red and Blue states, which survives to this day.

He died of stomach cancer July 12 1996, two days shy of his 69th birthday.

➦In 1957…Master satirist Stan Freberg debuted a new weekly comedy program on CBS Radio in the time slot previously occupied by Jack Benny.

In addition to Freberg, the cast included June Foray, Peter Leeds, and Daws Butler. Billy May arranged and conducted the music. The program failed to attract sponsors and the network cancelled the series after 15 episodes. It was the last U.S. network radio show to devote itself purely to comedy.

➦In 1969...WBZ 1030 AM, Boston increased its talk programming to a full 10 1/2 hours-a-day.

Increased competition in the top 40 format — first from WMEX 1510 AM which had programmed a top 40 format since 1957, then from WRKO, which adopted the format in 1967 — led WBZ to shift its music programming to adult contemporary in 1969, playing several songs an hour between 6 and 9 a.m. (though it was not unheard of for Carl DeSuze to play only one, if any, song an hour during his show), 10 to 12 songs an hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and 4 to 6 songs an hour between 4 and 7 p.m..

At night, WBZ programmed talk shows, with such hosts as Guy Mainella, a pioneer in sports talk; Jerry Williams in the evenings; and Larry Glick's overnight show. Music was also programmed during the day on weekends.

Beginning in the late 1960s, WBZ made a major push into live play-by-play sports. From 1966 through 1979, and again from 1991 through 1994, WBZ was home to radio broadcasts of New England Patriots football.  In the fall of 1969, WBZ regained the radio rights to the Boston Bruins (which it had lost in 1951), and also began carrying Boston Celtics basketball. The Bruins stayed through the 1977-78 season.

During the 1970s, WBZ was one of a number of clear channel AM stations that petitioned to be allowed to increase their power; WBZ would have used 500,000 watts transmitting from Provincetown, Massachusetts to reach all of New England during the day. A backlash from smaller stations led to the petition being denied and station protections limited to a 750-mile radius, in effect canceling the entire clear channel service.

➦In 1984...FLASHBACK..from R&R Week of July 13, 1984:

➦In 1988…At the height of "Elvis is Alive" phenomenon, Nashville radio station WYHY offered $1 million to anyone who showed up at the studios with proof that Elvis Presley was still alive.

➦In 1990...Howard Stern debuted in the New York market on WWOR-TV in 1990 as host of a talk show featuring his trademark of outrageous humor. The program entered national syndication in January 1991 and ultimately ended on August 8, 1992 because of the growing production costs.

➦In 2009…The iTunes Music Store reached 1.5 billion Apps downloaded.

➦In 2015…Former ABC News anchor/vice president Marlene Sanders died of cancer at age 84.

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