Thursday, July 19, 2018

Philly Radio: John DeBella Settles Harrassment Lawsuit

A former WMGK 102.9 FM on-air personality has settled a lawsuit against longtime Philadelphia radio star John DeBella that alleged the host sexually harassed her during her time at the station.

According to, Terms of the settlement were not announced. Jennifer Neill’s lawyer, Caren Gurmankin, and DeBella’s lawyer, Chad Flores, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Neill, who worked as a cohost on the John DeBella Show between 2010 and 2016, detailed about 30 instances of alleged harassment in the suit, which she filed in February. Among the various claims, Neill said DeBella requested sex from her, grabbed her breasts, and made inappropriate comments when she worked with him at WMGK.

According to the suit, DeBella described the alleged instances as “jokes” that were “mutual” between himself and Neill following an investigation into her claims by WMGK.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone dismissed Neill’s suit with prejudice, according to court records. A notice indicates Beetlestone’s decision was “pursuant to local rule 41.1(b),” a directive that allows judges to dismiss civil cases in the event that “issues between parties have been settled.”

Known on the air as “Jen Posner,” Neill joined WMGK in 2002 as a traffic reporter before becoming an on-air personality on the John DeBella Show in 2010. According to the suit, she faced “degrading sex-based harassment” at the station.

Sinclair Broadcasting Tries to Appease FCC

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest local television operator in the United States, tried to placate federal regulators on Wednesday regarding its proposal to buy a rival TV group. However, The NYTimes reports the FCC still voted unanimously to have a judge review aspects of the deal, a potentially ominous sign for the merger.

The company, known for amplifying the Trump administration’s talking points in commentary segments that air on numerous local newscasts, is seeking to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. The deal would put Sinclair, based in Maryland, in control of broadcasters reaching seven in 10 households across the country, including in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

To satisfy rules that forbid a single company to own airwaves on such a dominant scale, Sinclair previously proposed selling 23 TV stations after the deal was completed. But several of those stations would still effectively fall within its operational control.

Chairman, Ajit Pai, said on Monday that he had “serious concerns” with those planned divestitures. Mr. Pai asked the agency’s four commissioners to hand off its review of the merger to an administrative law judge to determine the legality of Sinclair’s original proposal.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it would now sell off two of the stations in question, one in Dallas and another in Houston, through an independent trust after the closing of the deal with Tribune. A third station, WGN in Chicago, which Tribune owns, would be sold outright to Sinclair to make who controls the station more transparent.

Sinclair is trying to create a conservative-leaning news operation to rival Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News. If the company succeeds in buying Tribune, it will control more than 200 stations reaching 62 percent of households.

Sinclair’s divestiture plan came under scrutiny because several of the stations it planned to sell would effectively remain within Sinclair’s control through contractual agreements known as “sidecars.”

Amazon's Smart Speakers Top Prime Day Demand

Prime Day has become a major shopping event in the annual calendar for retailers, rivaling the Thanksgiving holiday’s Black Friday as a driver of sales and most retailers now run their own special promotions to coincide with the 36-hour sale.

Reuters reports Amazon said its sales topped those for the Prime event a year ago as well as those for Cyber Monday and Black Friday, but it gave no breakdown of the value of sales or of the scale of discounts it had applied.

Having touched a record high that valued the company at $900 billion, almost double than a year ago, shares in Amazon fell back to trade marginally lower on Wednesday.

“Given Amazon’s prodigious spending, it is safe to say that any day compared to the prior year should be much better from a sales perspective,” Moody’s analyst Charles O’Shea said.

“The continuing challenge for the company (is) driving margin and profitability in its retail business.”

The world’s largest online retailer said it recorded the largest daily sales for its Echo range of smart speakers, helped by heavy discounts. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot were the best-selling devices.

Other top-selling products around the world included table salt in India, Coke Zero and Kleenex tissues in Singapore and electric toothbrushes in China.

Cliff Richard Wins Privacy Case Against BBC Over Police Raid

Cliff Richard
British singer Cliff Richard won substantial damages on Wednesday after London’s High Court ruled the BBC had breached his privacy by televising a police raid on his house which he said had left him feeling violated, Reuters is reporting.

The BBC said the “dramatic” ruling would have a huge impact on the media’s ability to report police inquiries and scrutinize their conduct.

The broadcaster used helicopters to film detectives searching the home of Richard, 77, one of Britain’s best known entertainers, when he was away on holiday in August 2014 as part of an investigation into allegations of historical child sex offences.

Prosecutors later said Richard, who maintained his innocence throughout, would face no charges due to lack of evidence.

Handing down his judgment and awarding the singer $273,700 in damages, Justice Anthony Mann said the BBC had infringed Richard’s privacy rights “without a legal justification” and “in a somewhat sensationalist way”.

“I have rejected the BBC’s case that it was justified in reporting as it did under its rights to freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” he said.

The BBC said it was considering an appeal, saying the case would have a serious impact on all media reporting because the judge had ruled that even naming Richard as a suspect was unlawful.

“This judgment creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom and the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations,” said Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs.

“It means police investigations, and searches of people’s homes, could go unreported and unscrutinized.”

Richard, born Harry Webb in 1940 and who was often called Britain’s Elvis Presley early in his career, cried as the verdict was delivered and hugged supporters in the courtroom.

After 51-Years, Seymour Stein OUT At Warner Music

Seymour Stein
Legendary and beloved music man Seymour Stein is out at Warner Music after 51 years.

ShowBiz411 reports Seymour is a record business legend, still working as an international talent scout for Warner and their ADA collection of indie labels. He’s always been there. He started Sire Records 51 years ago, and brought the world Madonna, The Ramones, Pretenders, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Seal and so many others.

The news that he’s leaving comes as a shock since Stein was just honored two nights ago in Los Angeles for his Special Merit Grammy Award. He’s also just published a bestselling memoir called, “Siren Song: My Life in Music.” It’s full of juicy tidbits from his earliest days, like when he ran the charts at Billboard magazine.

Like Clive Davis, Seymour Stein is the last of the great record execs, music mavens of all time. He carved out a place for himself when he launched Sire, one of the few dependable labels within the shaky Warner Music Group. He survived the 1995-96 flip when Warner was sold to business killer Edgar Bronfman, Jr. And he survived again when Bronfman finally cashed out and sold to Len Blavatnik’s ACCESS Group.

Stein said in his exit statement today that he was eager to get back to his “indie roots.”

He said: “I was very fortunate during my youth to learn from so many great indie label people, like Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun and Jerry Wexler at Atlantic, and my greatest mentor, Syd Nathan at King Records,” said Stein in his announcement. “I went on to work with so many other great indies around the world as Sire grew to become the legendary brand it is today. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the amazing artists — far too many to name — who have called Sire home over the years.”

Stein has also been one of the few stabilizing voices at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, especially since the death of Ahmet Ertegun. Seymour has constantly stood up for early influencers, side man, R&B acts that Jann Wenner has ignored.

July 19 Radio History

WRC in the Trans Lux Building
First Home Riggs Bank
➦In 1923...WRC-AM, Washington, DC  began broadcasting.  WRC started out in the Riggs Bank building at 14th. And Park Road.The entire operation was self contained there with offices, studio, transmitter, and an antenna on the roof.

WRC started at 640 AM and share the frequency with WCAP.

WRC was owned and oeprated by RCA.  By the 1930, 500 watt WRC moved to 950 AM and was part of the NBC's Red Network. The station moved to 980 AM in the lates 1940s.

The two stations WRC and now WMAL were located in the Trans Lux Building at 14th & New York Ave.

In 1972,  NBC made the decision to take the MOR station to a Top 40 format and challenge DC champ WPGC in the ratings game.

The birth of The Great 98 had a lot of help from some Philly radio vets.  Lee Sherwood was brought in as PD and Bob Gross was Promotions Director.  Both were from WFIL.  The original on air team consisted of Johnny Andrews, Bobby McGee, Simon Trane, James Michael Wilson and Ron Starr.

Being an NBC O&O had its drawbacks:  NBC Hourly News, NBC Monitor on weekends, special features (Graham Kerr, Gene Shalit, etc) had to be carried.

Eve Arden, Dick Crenna and Gloria McMillian at CBS Mic
➦In 1948...Our Miss Brooks, starring Eve Arden and Gale Gordon, debuted on CBS radio. Arden played the role of Connie Brooks. The program stayed on radio until 1957, running simultaneously on TV from 1952 to 1956. Miss Brooks taught English at Madison High School. Her pal, the bashful, biology teacher Philip Boynton, was played first by Jeff Chandler and then by Robert Rockwell. The crusty, blustery principal of Madison High, Osgood Conklin, was none other than Gale Gordon. Also supporting Eve Arden was Jane Morgan as Miss Brooks’ landlady, Mrs. Davis. The main problem child in the classroom, the somewhat dimwitted Walter Denton was played by Richard Crenna.

➦In singer Barry Wood, who headlined radio’s Your Hit Parade just before Sinatra took over in 1943, and who hosted/emceed several shows in the early days of TV, died at age 61.

➦In 2012…Radio programmer/manager (KHJ and KIIS in Los Angeles, KFRC-San Francisco, CKLW-Detroit, WOL-Washington, WTAE, WWSW, WXMP in Pittsburgh, KROY-Sacramento, KLAK, KIMN, KBTR, KDAB in Denver, KUDL, WHB in Kansas City) Ted J. Atkins died of pancreatic cancer at age 72.

Ted began in radio in Denver at KLAK in 1957.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Winnipeg Radio: Rogers Media Fires Dave Wheeler

UPDATE 7/18 1PM: Rogers Media says it has fired 92.1 CITI FM radio host Dave Wheeler following controversial comments about transgender people that he made on his Winnipeg program Wheeler in the Morning this week.

Rogers Media spokesperson Andrea Goldstein confirmed the firing in an emailed statement Wednesday morning.

"There have been multiple disciplinary incidents, and in spite of numerous conversations, he has continued to offend our audiences," Goldstein wrote.

"As a result, we have ended our relationship with him and he is no longer with the company, effective immediately."

The decision was made yesterday.

Earlier Posting...

A Winnipeg morning radio personality has been suspended just a day after making some politically-incorrect comments about “the whole transgender community” that offended listeners.

Dave Wheeler
Dave Wheeler, who hosts 92 CITI FM’s Wheeler in the Morning, was discussing on Monday the controversy over Scarlett Johansson signing on to play a real-life criminal who rose to power in the 1970s dressing as a man. LGBT activists accused her of “appropriating” a role that should have gone to a trans actor, and Johansson has since dropped out of the film. 

“I am so confused! I am so confused by the whole transgender community. I mean literally, there is nothing you can do to make them happy,” Wheeler said, according to CBC News. “People act and pretend to be different things. Kinda like what you're doing! Really! In the grand scheme of things.”

His co-hosts expressed mild discomfort with the analogy, with Dave Turnbull saying he “wouldn’t go that far” and Rena Jae suggesting “maybe take that back,” but both agreed that, in the latter’s words, “people just like to complain to complain nowadays.”

“What a bunch of snowflakes,” Wheeler concluded.

According to Lifesite News, that was enough to spark outrage on social media, with self-described transgender individuals claiming his words were “creating a culture of hate and creating a culture of fear in Winnipeg,” and that “[y]ou could hear the hate in his voice.”

One Facebook user also posted screenshots of a text correspondence between Wheeler and LGBT “ally” Kara Fraser, in which the host wrote that he does “not hate anyone that is trans, or anyone who is in a marginalized group,” but he does “have an issue with the hypocrisy where the trans community bullied someone who is not trans to the point where she left her job.”

He continued that it was anyone’s prerogative to change genders, but he considered the “grey area that’s been created for someone who is a woman, or man, who has not made the full transition surgically” to be “just playing pretend to their genetic make-up.” Wheeler concluded that “male” and “female” were objective realities, and that until someone physically makes the change, “trans” is a “made up word to defend people’s dysphoria and make it acceptable.”

The station’s parent company Rogers Media took Wheeler off the air Tuesday morning, and said he was suspended pending further, unidentified actions.

Transgender advocates tell the press that nothing short of firing Wheeler will satisfy them. “You can't support us one month of the year,” transgender “man” Theo DeSilva said. “He” also called for sensitivity training and a public apology, while declaring the former insufficient and the latter unlikely.

Tulsa Radio: Starting July 30 Griffin To LMA Scripps' Stations

Griffin Communications will begin operating E.W. Scripps’ five radio stations in Tulsa on July 30 ahead of a $12.5 million deal to buy the cluster that’s expected to close in the fourth quarter.

InsideRadio reports that even before the LMA begins, Griffin is taking advantage of resource sharing opportunities that come with having a radio-TV combo.

Meteorologists Travis Meyer and Alan Crone from Griffin’s CBS-affiliate KOTV-TV in Tulsa are providing weather updates and severe weather coverage on the stations, which include talk KFAQ 1170 AM, CHR KHTT 106.9 FM, classic hits kbez  92.9 The Drive, classic country  KXBL Big Country 99.5 and country KVOO 98.5 FM. “For many of us, our livelihood and sometimes lives, depend on accurate weather information,” News On 6 chief meteorologist Travis Meyer said. “Our family at News On 6 is proud to offer our friends across the state another way to stay weather aware.”

The Oklahoma-based media company sees a strong upside to owning radio and TV stations in the same market.

Report: Ad Agency Says Schnatter Claim Not True

In an internal memo obtained by Ad Age, Laundry Service says "disparaging and outrageous comments about Wasserman and Laundry Service" made in the media regarding its relationship with Papa John's are "completely false" and that it will be going on the record with a response.

John Schnatter
Last Fridsy, Papa John's founder John Schnatter accused the pizza chain's former agency of trying to extort him out of $6 million after he used the "n"-word on a conference call with the shop in May. He made the extortion accusation in an interview with Kentucky's WLKY-TV.

Schnatter stepped down as chairman last week after acknowledging that he used the term during a training exercise. He claimed his former agency wanted $6 million to "make it go away."

"They made it pretty clear, the words were, 'If I don' t get my f-ing money, I'm going to bury the founder,' said one of the executives," Schnatter said in the WLKY interview.

According to the internal email sent to Laundry Service employees Tuesday afternoon, Laundry Service plans to go on the record and refute comments made about itself and its parent company, Wasserman.

Trump Expresses 'Complete Faith' In U-S Intelligence

U.S. President Donald Trump tried on Tuesday to calm a storm over his failure to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, saying he misspoke in a joint news conference in Helsinki.

Reuters reports Trump 'stunned' the world on Monday by shying away from criticizing the Russian leader for Moscow’s actions to undermine the election and cast doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies, prompting calls by some U.S. lawmakers for tougher sanctions and other actions to punish Russia.

“I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” Trump told reporters at the White House, more than 24 hours after his appearance with Putin. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’”

Trump, who had the opportunity to publicly rebuke Putin during the news conference in Helsinki, instead praised the Russian leader for his “strong and powerful” denial of the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian state meddled in the election.

Standing alongside Putin in Helsinki, Trump told reporters he was not convinced it was Moscow. “I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said.

Although he faced pressure from critics, allied countries and even his own staff to take a tough line, Trump said not a single disparaging word in public about Moscow on any of the issues that have brought relations between the two nuclear powers to the lowest ebb since the Cold War.

Republicans and Democrats accused him of siding with an adversary rather than his own country.

Despite a televised interview and numerous postings to Twitter, Trump did not correct himself until 27 hours later. Reading mainly from a prepared statement, Trump said on Tuesday he had complete faith in U.S. intelligence agencies and accepted their conclusions.

Editor: Media Reaction To Trump 'Is Like Mob Violence'

A contributing editor for the left-leaning magazine "The Nation" described the media's reaction to President Trump's press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "mob violence" during an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson, according to The Hill.

The editor, Stephen Cohen, added that he'd "never seen anything like it" in his life.

“The reaction by most of the media, by the Democrats, by the anti-Trump people, is like mob violence,” Cohen told Carlson.

Trump was slammed by critics from the left and the right after he questioned U.S. intelligence findings confirming Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election while seemingly taking Putin's word that the Russian government wasn't involved.

During the news conference, Trump did not condemn Russian meddling in the election, opting to agree with Putin, who said "the Russia state" was not involved.

“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said in echoing Putin’s denials of involvement in the U.S. election. “I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Few in the political sphere have offered much support for Trump, who has even seen criticism come from friendly quarters such as Fox News and Drudge Report.

But he has received some defense from the left and from libertarians such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In both cases, those defending Trump have backed him for meeting with Putin in the first place while putting aside his decision to seemingly side with the Russian president over his own intelligence agencies.

"Every president since Eisenhower, Republican by the way, met with the leader of the Kremlin for one existential purpose: To avoid war of two superpowers," Cohen said.

TV Ratings: World Cup U-S Figures Fall

The World Cup soccer final where France defeated Croatia was seen by just over 16 million people in the United States on Sunday, according to The Associated Press citing Nielsen data.

While that made the Sunday morning telecast on Fox and Telemundo the most-watched program of the week, it represented a significant drop in viewership from the 2014 World Cup finale, which featured Germany and Argentina. That game had 26.5 million viewers on ABC and Univision, the Nielsen company said.

The Fox telecast of the finale reached 11.3 million, with the remainder watching the Spanish-language station.

The company Eurodata TV estimated that 163 million people in Europe and China watched the World Cup final, with China leading the way with 56 million. Even with two European teams competing, Eurodata said the World Cup final was less popular in that region than the competition four years ago. There was no worldwide estimate of viewership yet.

In France, the final game against Croatia was seen by 19.3 million people — smaller than the audience for the Euro soccer final two years ago, Eurodata TV said.

NBC was the winner for the week in U.S. prime-time viewing, averaging 4.3 million viewers. CBS had 4 million, ABC had 3.4 million, Fox had 2.1 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.13 million, Univision had 1.05 million and the CW had 900,000 viewers.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.69 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.58 million, USA had 1.48 million, HGTV had 1.4 million and TBS had 1.07 million.

According to TV Newser...Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime time (Total Viewers)
  1. Fox News (2,761,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,616,000)
  3. USA (1,459,000)
  4. HGTV (1,424,000)
  5. TBS (1,042,000)
  6. Investigation Discovery (1,003,000)
  7. History (970,000)
  8. TLC (921,000)
  9. Food Network (885,000)
  10. CNN (851,000)

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts with an average of 7.7 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.2 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

Seattle Radio: Hubbard's Marc Kaye Announces Retirement

Marc Kaye
Hubbard Radio Seattle Vice President/Market Manager Marc Kaye has announced that he will be stepping down after 45 years in the broadcast industry.

“I promised myself that when I hit the 45 year mark in the great business of radio, I was going to get a bit selfish and consider that milestone was enough to prove I have given it my all. I am looking forward to spending a whole lot more time with my wife and see what new challenges and chapters I can write as I move forward,” said Kaye.

Kaye’s radio career began in 1973 when he joined Susquehanna Broadcasting’s WGBB/Long Island, as an account executive. In his eight-year run at WGBB, Kaye was recognized for his talent and leadership, moving up the ranks from AE to Local Sales Manager and General Sales Manager. In 1979, at the age of 27, he was named General Manager.

From 1981 to 1996 Kaye led radio stations in St. Petersburg, Houston, Seattle, Tampa and Los Angeles for companies like Harte-Hanks, Westinghouse, Gannett and Jacor. In 1997, he teamed with Sandusky Radio to manage its five-station cluster in Seattle. In 2013, the stations were sold to Hubbard and he remained as VP/Market Manager.

“Marc’s broadcast career has been his dream come true,” said Hubbard Radio President and CEO Drew Horowitz. “It has been my good fortune to have had the opportunity to work with Marc as he is the consummate broadcast professional. Wishing him all the best in his next chapter.”

Hubbard Chair Ginny Morris commented, “Having the opportunity to work with Marc Kaye has been one of the great delights of my career. Marc’s positive spirit, creativity and passion for life made working with him a great joy. Marc will be very hard to replace but we are very happy that he will stay in his position through the transition and will help us find his replacement.”

Report: Brent Musburger Returning To NFL Radio Booth

The iconic voice of Brent Musburger soon will be calling games for the NFL Raiders, the Review-Journal  in Las Vegas is reporting.

Musburger has agreed to a three-year deal to be the radio play-by-play announcer for the Raiders starting this season, according to two sources familiar with the move.  Musburger, 79, and the Raiders declined to comment.

In 2020, the final year of the deal, the Raiders will relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas.

Greg Papa, the current play-by-play announcer for the Raiders, might not yet know of the switch, according to one of the sources.

Musburger, who writes a weekly sports betting column for the Review-Journal, retired from a 27-year career with ABC Sports and ESPN in January 2017 to help launch VSiN (Vegas Stats and Information Network).   VSiN was created by Musburger’s brother Todd Musburger and nephew Brian Musburger.

Brent Musburger will remain in his role as VSiN managing editor and the host of “My Guys in the Desert,” a live broadcast on video at and on satellite radio at SiriusXM 204 that airs Monday through Friday.

Musburger hosted “NFL Today” on CBS from 1975 to 1989 and was the halftime host of “Monday Night Football” on ABC from 1990 to 1995. He’s best known for his catchphrase “You are looking live …”

NYC Radio: Leonard Lopate Debuts On WBAI Amid Controversy

Leonard Lopate
Radio host Leonard Lopate has found a new home—but not all of his neighbors are happy to have him. Lopate, who was suspended and later terminated by WNYC last December after allegations of “inappropriate conduct,” launched his maiden show on the Brooklyn-based station, WBAI 99.5 FM this week,  the Columbia Journalism Review reports.

The show, “Lopate At Large,” is an hour-long format and promises to resemble his old two-hour program, “The Leonard Lopate Show.” The first episode did not mention his misconduct.

His new studio is far from glamorous. The Columbia Journalism Review reports, “The station, which is located in a small office in Brooklyn, uses four bath mats tacked to the walls to dampen the sound. A cluster of red Christmas lights serves as the signal for when shows are ‘on-air.’”

The Columbia Journalism Review interviewed several producers and hosts who objected to Lopate’s hiring.

“I felt a great sense of betrayal of what my interests are in the #MeToo movement,” Fran Luck told the Columbia Journalism Review. Luck is a producer of a multicultural feminist show on WBAI called “Joy of Resistance.”

WBAI, is a “progressive” station the Journalism Review reports, making their pitch to Lopate to return on their airwaves a bit of a political crossed signal.

The general manager of the station, Berthold Reimers defended Lopate’s hiring on the basis of reaching a larger audience. “You know at WBAI, I don’t think we have 5,000 people listening for the whole week,” he told the Columbia Journalism Review. “Once we have all these people listening to us for him, this is ultimately an easy form of marketing. There should be no question that our numbers go up for all the other shows because of their quality that no one knew about.”

However, Mimi Rosenberg, a producer at WBAI doesn’t see the appeal of Lopate for their core listeners. “I don’t believe for one second our audiences of beleaguered, impoverished, discriminated communities, who we should be representing the voices of, are crying for Mr. Lopate to come on the station,” she told CJR.

Currently producers at WBAI are not paid for their work. Lopate and his producer, who Reimers hopes will bring on more listeners to the struggling station.

Reimers noted to CJR that the WBAI and its parent company, the Pacifica Foundation, have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault.

Social Media Companies Defend Filtering Practices

Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc told a U.S. House panel on Tuesday that the social media companies are not discriminating against content for political reasons, reports Reuters.

Conservative Republicans in Congress have criticized social media companies for what they claim are politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies have rejected.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican, said that since an April hearing, Congress has “seen numerous efforts by these companies to improve transparency,” but he also pointed to anecdotes of some content being removed.

David Cicilline
Goodlatte asked if these companies are “using their market power to push the envelope on filtering decisions to favor the content the companies prefer?”

Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat, blasted the hearing and said Facebook for two years has “bent over backwards to placate and mollify conservatives,” and pointed to Facebook’s failure to remove pages promoting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

“There is no evidence that the algorithms of social networks or search results are biased against conservatives. It is a made-up narrative pushed by the conservative propaganda machine to convince voters of a conspiracy that does not exist,” Cicilline said.

Facebook said earlier this year it had retained former Republican Senator Jon Kyl to advise the company “on potential bias against conservative voices.”

Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, told the committee it wants to fairly treat all groups, in explaining why it is conducting various audits.

Mobile Devices Outpacing Computers, Laptops for News

Mobile devices have become one of the most common ways Americans get news, outpacing desktop or laptop computers.

Roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) often get news on a mobile device, 19 percentage points higher than the 39% who often get news on a desktop or laptop computer, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

The share of Americans who often get news on a mobile device is nearly triple the 21% who did so in 2013. At the same time, the portion of Americans who often get news on a desktop has remained relatively stable, with 39% of adults often getting news on a desktop or laptop computer, up just 4 percentage points from 2013.

The portion of adults who ever get news on a computer – as opposed to often get news – is about the same as those who ever do so on a mobile device – 88% of Americans ever get news on a mobile device and 84% ever get news on a computer. Overall, 96% of U.S. adults get news online – i.e., ever get news on either a mobile device or computer.

The growth in mobile news consumption has been driven by older adults and those with lower incomes, as previous analysis has shown. Young people, however, still outpace their elders. About seven-in-ten adults ages 18 to 29 (71%) often get news on a mobile device, compared with 37% of those ages 65 or older. Moreover, those 65 and older are still more likely to often get news on a desktop than on a mobile device (47% compared with 37%, respectively). This is the only age group more likely to get news on a desktop or laptop computer than on a mobile device.

July 18 Radio History

➦In 1909...singer/actress Harriet Hilliard was born in Des Moines, Iowa.

Best known by her married name, Harriet Nelson, she sang with husband Ozzie Nelson’s band, and played “Junior’s” mother & other comedic roles on radio’s Red Skelton Show.  Her best-remembered role was the more than two decades she played the matriarch on radio & TV’s Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1944-66).

She died of congestive heart failure on October 2, 1994, at the age of 85.

Red Skelton
➦In 1913...comedian/clown Red Skelton was born in Vincennes Indiana.

He was a top radio and television star from 1937 to 1971. Skelton’s show business career began in his teens as a circus clown and went on to vaudeville, Broadway, films, radio, TV, clubs and casinos, while pursuing another career as a painter.  Some of his favorite characters on radio & TV were Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader, and Junior the Mean Widdle Kid.

He died of pneumonia Sept. 17 1997 at age 84.

➦In Marvin Miller was born at St Louis Mo.

Beginning in radio in St. Louis, he used his rich, baritone voice to forge a successful career in movies, on television, on stage, and as a recording artist. He is probably best remembered for his role as Michael Anthony, the man who passed out a weekly check, on TV`s “The Millionaire”.  Fans of Old Time Radio fondly remember his Signal Oil commercials and narration on the CBS series The Whistler.

He died of a heart attack Feb. 8 1985 at age 71.

➦In 1922...WHAS-AM Louisville signed-on.

Its first broadcast was on July 18, 1922. It was originally assigned the frequency of 350 kHz.. today is airs at 840 AM.

On May 16, 1925, the first live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was originated by WHAS and was also carried by WGN in Chicago. The call of the Derby featured an announcer who watched from the windows of one of the famous twin spires of Churchill Downs.

On May 15, 1932, WHAS changed from being an NBC affiliate and joined CBS. At that time, WHAS operated on 820 kHz with 10 KW power, but the output was soon increased to 25 KW as authorized by the Federal Radio Commission.

During the 1937 Flood the station aired 115,000 messages. On March 29, 1941 the station moved to its current frequency of 840 AM and made a clear-channel station, both as a result of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, which relocated the 840 clear channel allocation to Louisville from Toronto, where it was used by CBL. On March 30, 1970 WHAS began 24-hour operation.

The station was originally part of the local media empire ruled by the Bingham family, which also published Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times (now owned by the Gannett Company and merged in 1987) and operated television station WHAS-TV (which, following several mergers and transactions in subsequent years, is now owned by Sander Media and operated by Gannett). WHAS and its FM sister station, WAMZ (the former WHAS-FM) were acquired by Clear Channel Communications (which, as iHeartMedia, continues to own the stations to this day) in 1986 as part of the breakup of the Bingham family's media properties.

➦In 1953...18 year-old Elvis Presley walked into the Memphis Recording Service (later Sun Records) studios to record two songs, My Happiness and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin, as a birthday gift for his mother. The cost was $3.98. He also asked secretary Marion Keisker if she knew of anyone who needed a singer:
MK: “What kind of singer are you?”
EP: “I sing all kinds.”
MK: “Who do you sound like?”
EP: “I don’t sound like nobody.”

➦In 1964…Lots of Beatles/Radio noise. United Artists -the label which issued  the soundtrack to “A Hard Day’sNight” and Capitol Records - locked horns on the songs from the film. UA had the rights to the original soundtrack album which contains seven songs and instrumental music by George Martin. Capitol was going “all-out” to buck the soundtrack album. Capitol has the rights to issue singles off of the album.

UA rush released advance copies of the “A Hard Day’s Night” soundtrack album to radio stations and stores, after WMCA 570 AM New York got an advance copy and began playing it to their huge New York audience. Capitol issued a single disc by the Beatles, coupling the movie’s title song “A Hard Day’s Night” with “I Should Have Known Better.”

The Capitol album contained the seven picture songs and five new tunes, but will not be identified as a soundtrack album – only UA had those rights.  

WINS and WABC weren’t too happy about the “Hard Day’s Night” WMCA exclusive.

WINS got a Beatles exclusive from a special overseas source and began playing “Slowdown” by the Beatles soon after. 

The station said it was first to Millie Small’s follow-up record “Sweet William.”WINS also claimed to have “It Hurts To Be In Love” by Gene Pitney first.  WMCA, not a station to play dead,  debuted “Because” by the Dave Clark Five. WINS thought it had the record first, but with a major gaffe, saying “Because” was the newest Beatles record! (Mr. Pop Culture)

➦In 1964…Tom Clay departed from station CKLW 800 AM, serving the Detroit area. Both called it an amiable parting. Clay felt he was not doing enough on his show when not allowed to play the records himself (union rules). Clay’s nighttime slot was taken by Terry Knight from WTRX, Flint.

Knight would go on to become a recording artist with Terry Knight & The Pack . Their biggest hit was 1966’s “I Who Have Nothing.”) Knight would then go on to bigger and better things as the manager for Grand Funk Railroad .

➦In 1974…WKLS-FM in Atlanta changed to album rock this week.

➦In 1974… KNEW-AM in San Francisco changed to country. Today the station airs Progressive Talk as KKSF 910 AM.

➦In 1974…Cousin Bruce Morrow departs WABC 770 AM New York to take the spot vacated by Wolfman Jack on rival WNBC 660 AM. 

Rick Sklar, head of  programming for ABC AM stations says he has narrowed a replacement down to four or five people.

➦In 1974…Don Imus,  WNBC 660 AM personality, was booked for six consecutive weekends at Jimmy’s in New York, following a recent record breaking 10-day stint at the club. His third comedy album is due out on RCA in September.

➦In 1984…KPLZ Seattle becomes the 11th station to license Mike Joseph’s “Hot Hits” phrase.

➦In 1984…Chicago Radio Arbitron Ratings… WGN-AM leads with an 8.8...Urban WGCI-FM is up to a 6.1...News WBBM  4.6...Easy WLOO – 5.6...B-96 (WBBM-FM) dips to a 4.6 from 5.0...WLS-AM dips to a 3.2 from 3.7...WLS-FM is up to a 3.5 from 2.9...WCLR (A/C) is up to a 4.1 from 3.4...Country WMAQ scores a 4.1...WLUP up from a 3.0 to 3.4...WLAK (Nothing but love songs) is down to a 3.2 from a 3.9.

➦In 1984…Programmer Randy Kabrich resigned from Doubleday’s WAVA Washington to form his own consultancy group.

➦In 1984…Capital Cities bought Metromedia’s KLAC 570 AM in Los Angeles.

➦In 1984…WGAR 1220 AM Cleveland goes Country. Today, the station airs a religious format as WHKW.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

President Trump's Fav Fox Show Is Critical

President Donald Trump's favorite cable-news hosts directly addressed him on the morning after his widely condemned press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to publicly criticize Russian meddling in the 2016 US election after failing to do so Monday, according to Business Insider.

The cohost Abby Huntsman — whose father, Jon Huntsman, is Trump's ambassador to Russia — delivered the harshest critique of the president's performance, arguing that Putin's "ultimate goal in life is to undermine our democracy" and that Trump missed the "one moment that you had to stand up for your own country, stand up for your intelligence community."

On Monday afternoon, Huntsman accused Trump of "throwing your own people and country under the bus" by refusing to challenge Putin's claim that Russia was not involved in election meddling.

Brian Kilmeade, who very rarely issues any critique of the president, told the president to correct the record.

"When Newt Gingrich, when Gen. Jack Keane, when Matt Schlapp say the president fell short and made our intelligence apparatus look bad, I think it's time to pay attention, and it's easily correctable from the president's perspective," Kilmeade said.

The show's third host, Steve Doocy, called Trump's behavior "puzzling" and said "a lot of people are criticizing him for not being bold."

"Pretty much everyone and their brother — except for Vladimir Putin — knows that there was meddling," Doocy said.

Media Has Field Day With Trump's Day Of Infamy

Fox News reporter John Roberts said on Monday that President’s Trump press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin will cost him “dearly politically” amid the "growing consensus" that Trump sided with Russia over the U.S., according to The Hill.

“The early indications are that this is going to cost the president dearly politically,” Roberts said of the president’s summit with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

“Now, he is taking it on the chin, not just from Democrats but Republicans as well, and from literally every state across the nation,” Roberts continued.

During the press conference, the president refuted his own intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election, saying that he doesn’t “see any reason” why Moscow would have been behind the hacking.

“I think, diplomatically, you could probably say that the president’s strategy was [that] he wanted to engage Putin,” Roberts said. “He didn’t want to say anything that was going to tick him off. But there is a growing consensus across the land that tonight the president threw the United States under the bus."

The summit came just three days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their alleged roles hacking the Democratic National Committee during the election.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Trump "must appreciate that Russia is not our ally,” and  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the press conference “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory," among multiple other critical comments from Republicans.

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC correspondents also tore into Trump for the press conference. Fox News analyst Daniel Hoffman said President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin's suggestion the U.S. may form a cybersecurity task force with Russia was like "inviting a criminal to come help you solve a crime."

Democrats ripped Trump's performance "pathetic" and "disgraceful."

Fox News host Sean Hannity praised President Trump's performance at a controversial news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, saying the U.S. leader was "very strong."

The Fox News host, a close friend of Trump and one of the president's most ardent media defenders, said that Trump was right to hone in on questions about the the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) handling of a 2016 cyberattack and the since-closed investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

"You were very strong at the end of that press conference," Hannity said in Trump's first interview following the press conference. "You said: "Where are the servers? What about what Peter Strzok says? Where are the 33,000 emails?"

Winnipeg Radio: CITI's Dave Wheeler Off Air After Comment

A Winnipeg radio personality was be off the air Tuesday morning, a day after making comments about transgender people that Rogers Media said were contrary to its "standards and core values."

Dave Wheeler, host of CITI 92.1 FM program Wheeler in the Morning, won't be on the program for the time being, the communications company said Monday evening.

Dave Wheeler
"The comments do not represent our standards and core values, and we apologize for the insensitive and hurtful remarks made by Dave Wheeler," Rogers Media spokesperson Andrea Goldstein wrote in an emailed statement to CBC News.

"We do not condone this type of behaviour, and we are taking steps to address this."

According to CBC, The statement follows Wheeler's comments Monday that likened transgender people to actors who "pretend to be different things."

"Kind of like what you're doing, really, in the grand scheme of things," Wheeler said during the program.

The conversation started with a discussion about Scarlett Johansson, who recently dropped out of playing a transgender man after facing backlash.

The host was previously suspended following controversial YouTube videos he was involved in in 2016 that were criticized as racist and sexist.

In the conversation, Wheeler said he isn't transphobic and doesn't hate transgender people. He also reiterated his statement that transgender people who have not "made the full transition surgically" are "playing pretend."

Philly Radio: Rach Viggiano Joins WIOQ-FM For Middays

Rachel Viggiano
iHeartMedia announced today that Rachel “Rach” Viggiano will host Middays for WIOQ Q102 Philly.

Viggiano will broadcast weekdays, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. She will also be an integral part of Q102 Philly social and digital team.

“On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what Q102 Philly needed!” said Jared Fallon, Q102 Philly Program Director. “Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”

“I can’t even begin to put into words how excited and honored I am to come back home to Philly and work for my dream radio station that I grew up listening to – Q102 Philly,” said Rach. “ I feel a true connection to the market and I’m genuinely excited to work with some of the most talented people in the industry.”

WIOQ 102.1 FM (27 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, in Atlantic City, New Jersey where she most recently served as the On-Air Morning Show Host. She began her career as an On-Air Morning Show Host for WKPQ-FM in Corning, New York and is a graduate of Syracuse University.

L-A Radio: Clay Travis Signs New Deal With Fox Sports Radio

Fox Sports Radio and Premiere Networks announce Clay Travis has signed a new three-year deal.

Under the expanded deal, Travis will continue to anchor “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” in morning drive. As part of the new deal, Travis gains an equity stake in the program, the host said in a blog post.

Travis' career has grown from local to regional to national in recent years, starting on Cumulus sports “104.5 The Zone” WGFX in Nashville  before switching to iHeartMedia’s  News/Talk WLAC 1510 AM.  Travis calls iHeart sports KLAC 570 AM Los Angeles his current radio flagship.

Premiere says the show has close to 300 station clearances, in addition to streaming on and FSR’s channel on iHeartRadio.

Premiere signed Travis to FSR’s weekday lineup in September 2016. He came from the on-demand side of the business with his successful podcast of the same name, which has since been adjusted to “Outkick The Show.” The outspoken and often humorous host grew his year-over-year national audience 17.2% with Adults 25-54 and 17.6% with Men 25-54 in fall 2017. Live streaming is up 30% year-over-year, per Premiere.