Saturday, July 28, 2018

July 29 Radio History


Florence Freeman
➦In 1911...radio ‘soap opera queen’ Florence Freeman was born in New York City.

She starred for more than a decade in the title role of two longrunning daytime dramas, NBC’s Young Widder Brown and CBS’s Wendy Warren & the News, and was a prominent cast member of Pepper Young’s Family, John’s Other Wife and Valiant Lady. She was also a regular on Maxwell House Show Boat and Abie’s Irish Rose.

She died April 25 2000 at age 88.

➦In 1914...transcontinental telephone service began in the US with the first test phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.

➦In 1936...despite the very few TV sets in existence, in New York RCA showed the first real TV program, comprised of dancing, a film on locomotives, a Bonwit Teller fashion show, some comedy, and a monologue from the play Tobacco Road.  It would be more than a decade, after WWII, before commercial television really took hold.

➦In 1938...Reporter/anchor Peter Jennings was born in Toronto.  His father, Charles, was a CBC announcer and executive, and at age 9, Peter hosted a half-hour weekly children’s show on the network.

After dropping out of Trinity College School, he joined the CBC as host of a public-affairs program, then in 1962 co-anchored the CTV News. In 1964, he moved to New York and became a correspondent for ABC, then anchor of ABC Nightly News (1965-67). He returned to reporting in 1968, served as ABC’s chief foreign correspondent in London. He was appointed sole ABC anchor when the show moved to New York City in 1983.

He died of cancer Aug 7 2005 at age 67.

Clint Buehlmann
➦In 1977...Clint Buehlmann did his last show on WBEN 930 AM, Buffalo, New York. He had been a highly-rated morning personality for about 40 years.

➦In 1984...orchestra & chorale leader Fred Waring, who emceed the longrunning radio show Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, and continued the program for 6 years in early TV, died suddenly following a stroke at age 84.




➦In 1995...bandleader Les Elgart died of heart failure at age 76. Elgart’s recording of Bandstand Boogie was adopted by Dick Clark as the theme for American Bandstand. Elgart also had two top-selling albums in the 50’s: The Elgart Touch and For Dancers Also. He often jointly led a band with his brother Larry in the 1950s and 60s.

➦In 2005...the single-named society singer Hildegarde, one of the most popular vocalists on North American radio in the 1940’s, died at the age of 99.

Tom Snyder
➦In 2007...Newscater/Talk Host Tom Snyder died.

Snyder had loved radio since he was a child and at some point changed his field of study from pre-med to journalism. He once told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tim Cuprisin that broadcasting became more important to him than attending classes, and he skipped a lot of them.  Snyder began his career as a radio reporter at WRIT (unrelated to the present-day FM station) in Milwaukee and at WKZO in Kalamazoo (where he was fired by John Fetzer) in the 1950s. For a time he worked at Savannah, Georgia, AM station WSAV (now WBMQ).

Snyder at WRIT
After moving to television in the 1960s, he was a news anchor for KYW-TV in Cleveland (now WKYC-TV) and, after a 1965 station switch, Philadelphia, and WNBC-TV and WABC-TV in New York City.

He talked about driving cross country in an early Corvair from Atlanta to Los Angeles around 1963, where he landed a news job at KTLA, then on to KNBC-TV, also in Los Angeles, where from 1970 to 1974 he was an anchor for the 6 p.m. newscast working with KNBC broadcaster Kelly Lange, who was then a weather reporter before serving as a long-time KNBC news anchor.

Lange later became Snyder's regular substitute guest host on the Tomorrow program, prior to the hiring of co-host Rona Barrett in the program's last year. Even after attaining fame as host of Tomorrow, Snyder kept his hand in news anchoring with the Sunday broadcasts of NBC Nightly News during 1975 and 1976.

Report: CBS CEO Leslie Moonves Accused Of Misconduct


CBS stock plunged Friday on rumors that a bombshell report would be published that alleged CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves sexually harassed multiple women more than a decade ago, according to The LA Times.

The article, published Friday afternoon by the New Yorker magazine, said six women had accused Moonves of sexually harassing them and that their careers suffered after they rebuffed his advances.

Even before the story came out, CBS’ independent directors announced the company had launched an investigation of any inappropriate behavior. The directors said they plan to support Moonves and his management team as the investigation proceeds.

“All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously,” CBS’ independent directors said in the statement, which didn’t specifically mention the 68-year-old Moonves or the report. “The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the company’s clear policies.”

“If the claims turn out to have merit, then we would expect that Moonves would almost certainly be forced to step down from the CEO role and the board,” media analyst Doug Creutz wrote in a note to investors. “This puts Moonves, the company, and the stock in a very difficult position.”

Moonves was on a tightrope even before the claims surfaced. Since May, Moonves and other members of CBS’ board have been locked in a bitter dispute with CBS’ controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, who has agitated for big changes at CBS and has pressed for a merger with Viacom Inc., which her family also controls.

Les Moonves
CBS said there have been no reports of sexual harassment during Moonves’ long tenure. Moonves quickly offered his own statement:
“Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company,” Moonves said. “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
CBS stock fell 6% to $54.01. CBS stock is down 8% this year, in part due to frequent rumors that journalists, including New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow, were looking into allegations of Moonves’ alleged conduct.

The New Yorker report, written by Farrow, detailed accounts of four of the women who described “forcible touching or kissing during business meetings.” The incidents allegedly occurred in the 1980s, 1990s and in 2006. Two of the women alleged that Moonves “physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.” The women said Moonves became “cold or hostile” after they rejected his advances and that they believed their careers were damaged.

“He has gotten away with it for decades,” writer Janet Jones was quoted in the article. She alleged that she had to push Moonves away after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting in 1985. “And it’s just not O.K.”

Actress Illeana Douglas, 53, who has appeared in HBO's "Six Feet Under" and such films as "Goodfellas," alleged that Moonves pinned her on a couch and began "violently kissing her" during a meeting in his office in 1997 when she was cast in a network pilot. She lost her job on the show, and said Moonves told her she would "never work at this network again."

CBS said that Moonves acknowledged trying to kiss the actress, but denied assaulting her.

Moonves has been married to Julie Chen, who hosts the CBS’ daytime show “The Talk,” since 2004. He married her shortly after his divorce from Nancy Wiesenfeld, his wife of more than 25 years, had been finalized.



The controversy comes amid a particularly bitter public fight between Moonves and Redstone. She has overseen the family’s voting stake in CBS and Viacom since 2016, when her father, Sumner, became ill.

The board members seemed to suggest — but did not state — that they believed Redstone was planning to use the report to discredit Moonves. Some within CBS believe that Redstone might have played a role in the article by contributing information.

“The timing of this report comes in the midst of the company’s very public legal dispute,” the CBS directors said.

Redstone flatly denied that she was involved.

CBS Corporation is the parent company of CBS News.

In a statement before The New Yorker story was published, CBS Corporation's Independent Directors said they would investigate the claims. "All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously," said the statement. "The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company's clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action."

Actress Makes Accusations Against Moonves


CBS chief Les Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women — including actress Illeana Douglas — in a new bombshell report that claims the toxic culture is widespread through the network.

According to The NY Post, the “Six Feet Under” star told the New Yorker she was called into a meeting with the TV titan while working on a pilot in 1997, where he pinned her down on the couch, kissed her “violently,” then pulled up her skirt while thrusting his aroused groin into her.

“It’ll just be between you and me. Come on, you’re not some nubile virgin,” the married 68-year-old allegedly told Douglas.

When she tried to escape, she says, he blocked her path and said menacingly: “We’re going to keep this between you and me, right?”

The following week, she says, she was fired, with Moonves telling her she wouldn’t “get a f–king dime” and would “never work at this network again.”

“What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” Douglas told writer Ronan Farrow.

When she told then-boyfriend Martin Scorsese, the famed filmmaker, and threatened to sue, she was offered a role in a miniseries.

In a statement, Moonves acknowledged trying to kiss Douglas, but denied “any characterization of ‘sexual assault,’ intimidation, or retaliatory action.”

But four other women claim they were also forcibly kissed or touched by the longtime CBS honcho in business meetings from the 1980s through the late 2000s — and all said their careers suffered after rejecting him.

Accusations Raise Questions About Julie Chen’s Future


The Leslie Moonves’ misconduct allegations could potentially be problematic for news personality Julie Chen, who is both married to Moonves and serves as the host of CBS’ “The Talk” and “Big Brother.”

Until now, the wives of powerful men whose careers have ended as a result of the #MeToo movement have largely been able to stay private and away from the spotlight.

At CBS, some have already started to wonder about the ripple effects the Moonves allegations will have for Chen. A CBS spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request by Variety for additional comments.

Sources say that Chen’s relationship as both an employee and wife of Moonves could make the coming days awkward for her. She’s scheduled to resume as a co-host on “The Talk” on Monday. Many viewers will be tuning in to see how she reacts, what she has to say and if she continues to stand by her husband, especially if more victims come forward or he is fired by then.

“If Les resigns, what will happen to Julie?” asked one source at a different network, who asked not to be identified speculating about personnel issues. The terms of her contract are not known.

Moonves and Chen have always kept a low profile as a couple, only making making appearances together at major industry events like the Golden Globes and the Vanity Fair Oscars party. They often don’t speak about each other in interviews.

Portland OR Radio: Toni-Marie Joins KWJJ As MD, Host

Toni-Marie
Entercom has named Toni-Marie as Assistant Program Director for Country KWJJ 99.5 The Wolf in Portland. In addition, Toni-Marie will also host the midday drive from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m..

“Toni-Marie brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to these roles and I’m looking forward to seeing her connect with our audience in the Northwest,” said Bill Ashenden, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Portland. “We’re excited to have her on The Wolf.”

“I am stoked to join The Wolf team,” added Toni-Marie. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best program directors in the industry and the opportunity to work with and learn from a well-respected PD like Mike Moore is not something I take lightly.”

KWJJ 99.5 FM (52 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Prior to joining Entercom, Toni-Marie worked for Buck Owens Production Company, holding the roles of Music Director and on-air host at KUZZ and The Bull 97.3 (KRJK) in Bakersfield, CA. She previously also held Assistant Program Director and Music Director positions at KWNR in Las Vegas.

NJ Radio: Scotty B Goes Rockturnal On WDHA


Beasley Media Group has announced Scotty B has been named as the new 7pm-Midnight personality on WDHA 105.5 FM in Dover NJ

Scotty most recently served as a part-time talent and worked in production at Beasley Media Group New Jersey ‘s 95.9 WRAT-FM for the past five years. He started his career in Florida with stints at Hot 104.9 in Tallahassee and WIMV-FM.

WDHA 105.5 FM (1 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
According to WDHA-FM Program Director Terrie Carr, “Rockturnal with Scotty B,” which airs weeknights from 7p-Midnight, will focus on his strengths – interacting with rock fans, getting out in the community and being host of the party! I am thrilled to have Scotty’s energy, attitude and huge presence on our airwaves and as part of our family,” said Carr.

“He is the perfect fit for DHA and our passionate, loyal listening family and sponsors. Scotty and Rockturnal will give people a reason to tune in for sure!”

Denver Radio: KQKS Adds Toshamakia Avecedo To Evenings

Toshamakia Acevedo
Entercom has announced the appointment of Toshamakia Acevedo to the role of Music Director for Rhythmic Top 40 KQKS KS107.5 in Denver.

In addition, Acevedo will also host the station’s afternoon drive from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. MT. Acevedo was previously an on-air personality for sister station WJMH 102 Jamz in Greensboro, NC.

“We are excited to welcome Toshamakia to the Denver team,” said John Fullam, SVP/Market Manager, Entercom Denver. “We believe her energy on-air and passion for being involved in the community will resonate a great deal with Denver music fans.”

“I’m very excited to continue my career within the Entercom family,” added Acevedo. “I’m looking forward to getting to know Denver and its listeners.”

Acevedo started her career in 2001 at WZMX (Hot 93.7) in Hartford, CT, as an on-air personality. Prior to joining Entercom, Acevedo held on-air roles at Sirius XM Radio and Radio One’s WRNB in Philadelphia.

KQKS 107.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Acevedo succeeds former Assistant Program Director, Music Director and afternoon drive host Michael Buhrman, who recently transitioned to Entercom’s KSFM (102.5 KSFM) in Sacramento as Program Director and afternoon drive host.

Miami Radio: Paul Castronovo To Be Honored With 'Kraddick Award'


The Morning Show Bootcamp has announced that Miami radio mainstay, Paul Castronovo, of The Paul Castronovo Morning show on iHeartMedia'sWBGG 105.9 FM, has been selected to receive the 2018 'Kraddick Award' during next month in Chicago.

Paul Castronovo
The award, named in honor of the late Kidd Kraddick, recognizes one host each year that embodies excellence both on and off the air. Each year's recipient is charged with choosing the following year's honoree.w

In selecting this year's recipient, last year's honoree Greg Dwyer, of the Quad Citie's 97X's Dwyer & Michaels Show commented, "When we were first introduced to Paul, we knew right away that we wanted to emulate what he was doing in is market.  He wasn't just a popular show, his show meant more to his audience. His show is big time, yet he remains as approachable as we would all like to think we are. Generous with his ideas, and his time, he also has remained a force in his changing market.  We have learned volumes from Paul about radio. And even so, he would say he is the one still learning.  That just one of the qualities that makes him deserving of the Kidd Kraddick award."

“I am humbled. Kidd Kraddick was my mentor," said Castronovo. "I learned more about how to do this from Kidd, than anybody, ever. I’ll never forget his advice, 'One day they’ll be getting their music on their phones, you want them to tune in for you, quit playing music, trust me'. He was so right, Thanks Kidd, and thanks to Dwyer and Michaels, my radio brothers, I’m buying”.

S-F To Consider Banning Free Lunch for Techies

Free food, that classic tech company perk, may soon be off the menu in San Francisco.

According to USAToday, two city supervisors have introduced legislation that would nix the installation of non-retail cafeterias in office buildings, a measure aimed at encouraging legions of workers to patronize often struggling neighborhood eateries.

If the proposal gains traction this fall, it would not retroactively affect San Francisco-based companies such as Twitter and Uber that already offer employees free chef-prepared chow.

Nor would the measure prevent future startups from setting up in-house kitchens, although they would have to charge employees for meals, which in turn may encourage them to sometimes spend that money with local merchants.

The new proposal is part of a growing pushback against some of the less popular byproducts of the technology juggernaut that has invaded the San Francisco Bay Area over the past decade.

The unpopular side effects include skyrocketing housing prices, fleets of giant commuter buses clogging city streets, and, most recently, an electric-scooter invasion that caused city officials to temporarily yank them off the streets.

While cafeterias at tech companies in sprawling suburban areas might make sense, that approach is incongruous with operating in an urban environment, says city supervisor Ahsha Safai, who co-sponsored the legislation with supervisor Aaron Peskin.

‘The Daily’ Host Splits From His Husband, Dating Female Producer

Michael Barbaro
Michael Barbaro — the rising-star host of the New York Times’ hit podcast “The Daily” — has split with his husband and is now dating the show’s executive producer, Lisa Tobin, Page Six at The NY Post is reporting.

Media insiders have been buzzing behind the scenes over Barbaro and Tobin’s relationship — which the couple has revealed to their Times bosses, sources said.

Lisa Tobin
Political correspondent-turned-podcast star Barbaro married fellow Yale grad Timothy Levin in 2014 and has reportedly been known to make references to his husband on “The Daily.” New York state Supreme Court records reveal that the couple have filed for an uncontested divorce, and that the proceedings are ongoing.

Page Six cited sources who insisted that Barbaro and Tobin’s relationship did not begin until Barbaro and Levin had already parted ways.

A source added of Barbaro and Tobin: “They work very closely together … part of the show’s success is this team’s close work.” The source said there is “nothing inappropriate” about the relationship.

Tobin was hired in 2016 by the Times as its first executive producer for audio, arriving from Boston’s WBUR.

Barbaro’s worked at the Times since 2005, but has more recently shot to stardom as host of “The Daily,” with 5 million listeners a month.

Country Fan Fests Going Cruising

The Marshall Tucker Band participates in Q&A with fans aboard the Southern Rock Cruise in 2018. (Photo by Don Grubbs)
When the decline of CD sales forced artists to re-evaluate their business structure more than a decade ago, many doubled down on touring as the surest way to stabilize cash flow. That, combined with America’s deepening love of music festivals, sparked a new cross-genre trend — music festivals at sea.

"Music festivals have experienced such amazing growth in the U.S.," said Anthony Diaz, chief executive officer of Sixthman, a company that specializes in themed cruise experiences. "If people open their mind to the idea of a music festival at sea, it’s just a far more comfortable way to experience music.”

According to The Tennessean, companies including StarVista Live and Sixthman built their businesses on the concept of creating luxury, intimate festival experiences aboard cruise ships. Depending on the cruise company, there are genre-centric, themed multi-artist festivals, including the Country Music Cruise, the Flower Power Cruise, the Southern Rock Cruise, the Malt Shop Memories Cruise and the Soul Train Cruise, which are among those presented by StarVista. Sixthman often builds its themed vacations around personalities, with offerings including cruises with Kesha, Brantley Gilbert, Melissa Etheridge and 311.

The cruising experience varies by theme. StarVista’s Country Music Cruise is described as a floating Fan Fair — with nicer bathrooms, better food and seriously upgraded accommodations. Country music’s beloved Fan Fair moved from Nashville’s fairgrounds to downtown in 2001 and started its transition to CMA Music Festival. Over time, the festival shifted its focus from its famous autograph sessions to a more performance-driven event. Fans mourned the loss of the personal artist interaction they had come to treasure. Now that artist-fan connection can be found on the Country Music Cruise, which is packed with performances and interactive events with classic and traditional country singers.

"You’re running into the artists at the gym and buffet lines and all that stuff that is going to break the wall down between the artists and the guests,” said Mike Jason, a senior vice president at StarVista LIVE/Time Life. “It’s very different from a normal cruise that’s kind of leisurely, a slower pace. This is filled with activities. You wouldn’t want to go on the cruise if you didn’t like the music.”

Country cruises

StarVista’s Country Music Cruise sails Jan. 27- Feb. 3. Remaining cabins start at $2,499.
StarVista’s Southern Rock Cruise sails Jan. 6-12. Remaining cabins start at $1,449.

For more information on StarVista's themed cruises, visit countrymusiccruise.com or call 866-476-2879.

For more information on Sixthman's cruises, including the Kiss Kruise and Kesha's Weird and Wonderful Rainbow Ride, visit www.sixthman.net or call 877-749-8462.

July 28 Radio History


Rudy Vallee
➦In 1901...singer/bandleader Rudy Vallee was born in rural Vermont.

In the 1920’s and 30’s he was host of radio’s first big variety show, The Fleischmann’s Yeast  Hour, which introduced to the American public the likes of Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor & Kate Smith. Both The Aldrich Family & We The People originated as sketches on the Vallee show before becoming radio hits on their own.

He died July 3, 1986 at age 84.


➦In 1910...announcer Bill Goodwin was born in San Francisco. He was for years the announcer on The Burns & Allen Show, and as well was incorporated into the script playing a ladies man.  He was spokesman for Swan Soap and Maxwell House Coffee, among others, on radio; Carnation Evaporated Milk on television.  His last job was on The Bob Hope Radio Show (1953-55.)  He died following a heart attack May 9 1958 at age 47.

Judy Garland
➦In 1914...bandleader Carmen Dragon was born in Antioch Calif. He conducted the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra on NBC Radio’s “Standard Oil Hour”  broadcast for elementary schools in the late 1940s. On a less cultural level he conducted the orchestra on Maxwell House Coffee Time, for the Bickersons, and The Railroad Hour starring Gordon Macrae. His son Daryl continues the family’s musical tradition as the Captain of The Captain & Tennille. Carmen died Mar 28, 1984 at age 69.

➦In 1939...Judy Garland recorded one of the most famous songs of the century with the Victor Young Orchestra. The tune became her signature song and will forever be associated with the singer-actress. Garland recorded “Over the Rainbow” for Decca Records. It was the musical highlight of the film, “The Wizard of Oz”.

➦In 1954…The first newspaper story about Elvis Presley was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Elvis had signed with Sun Records and just released his first single, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" b/w "That's All Right, Mama," and the songs were beginning to get airplay on Memphis radio stations. The story noted that both sides of the record were being equally well received "on popular, folk, and race record programs. This boy seems to have something that appeals to everybody."

Billboard 7/2/62

➦In 1962...Westinghouse purchased then-Top40 WINS 1010 AM for $10 Million.

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

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

Crosley sold the station to J. Elroy McCaw's Gotham Broadcasting Corporation in 1953, and soon after WINS became one of the first stations in the United States to play rock and roll music. Alan Freed was WINS earliest famous personality as disc jockey. Freed was followed years later by Murray "the K" Kaufman. Sports broadcaster Les Keiter, a latter-day member of the first generation of legends in that field, served as sports director for a period in the 1950s. Keiter is perhaps best remembered for his recreations of San Francisco (formerly New York) Giants baseball games, which WINS carried in 1958 to keep disconnected Giants fans in touch with their team, who moved west along with the Brooklyn Dodgers the previous year.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, as the transistor radio became popular rock and roll solidified as a genre, thanks in large measure to what became known as top 40 radio. In New York, four stations battled in the category: WMCA, WMGM, and WABC and WINS. While WMCA was only 5000 watts, it was at the bottom end of the dial, which advantages coverage. The other three were all 50,000 watts, but only WABC was both non-directional and a clear channel station. Being lower on the dial than the others, it also had more coverage. Of those three, WINS was the most directional (aimed straight at New York's inner boroughs), with a weaker signal than the others toward the New Jersey suburbs and the Jersey Shore. In 1962, WMGM defected to a beautiful music format under its previous call letters, WHN, while WINS was purchased by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. WMCA became the top-rated top 40 station in the New York area by 1963, then WABC became the dominant Top 40 station in the whole market by 1965. WINS bowed out of Top 40 competition with the song "Out in the Streets", by The Shangri-Las, on April 18, 1965, at around 8 PM.

➦In 1974...announcer Truman Bradley, who in radio’s “golden era” was the golden voice of Roma Wines on CBS Radio’s ‘Suspense,’ died at age 69.  His long career took him from baseball play-by-play to soap operas, from Lady Esther Cosmetics to Raleigh Cigarettes.

Jackson Beck
➦In 1979...actor/director/screenwriter George Seaton, who invented the cry ‘Hi-yo Silver’ as the first actor to play The Lone Ranger on radio, died of cancer at age 68.  Later he would also win Oscars for writing Miracle on 34th Street and The Country Girl.

➦In 2004...Jackson Beck, the man who introduced the Superman radio show with, “Faster than a speeding bullet!”, died at age 92. He also starred in the title roles of radio’s Cisco Kid and Philo Vance, and impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series.

➦In 2004…Actor (Twelve O'Clock High, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Escape to Witch Mountain, Operation Pacific, Captain Midnight, East Side Kids) Sam Edwards, who began his career on radio (One Man's Family, Meet Corliss Archer, Father Knows Best, Gunsmoke, Dragnet, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Suspense) and provided the voice of the adult Thumper in the Disney animated feature "Bambi," died at the age of 89.

➦In 2014...radio reporter Margot Adler, one of the signature voices on NPR for more than three decades, lost her battle with cancer at age 68.  Beginning in 1979 she covered everything from the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic to confrontations involving the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C., to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More recently, she had reported on cultural affairs and the arts.

Friday, July 27, 2018

CBS Board To Investigate Allegations Against Les Moonves

Les Moonves
The CBS Corp. board of directors will investigate allegations of sexual misconduct that are to be raised against CEO Leslie Moonves in a report in the New Yorker expected to be published today. Moonves status as CEO is unchanged and independent members of CBS’ board voiced their “full support” at present for Moonves and the rest of his management team.

According to Variety, the allegations, some decades-old, are surfacing as the 68-year-old Moonves and CBS are embroiled in a legal battle with parent company National Amusements Inc. (NAI) for control of the company. Moonves and Shari Redstone, vice chairman of CBS Corp. and Viacom and president of NAI, have been at odds over the strategic direction of CBS and are set to fight it out in a Delaware courtroom in October.

Moonves is just the latest media titan to come under fire for allegations of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior and abuse of power in workplace settings. In the past two years, dozens of women have come forward with stories of harassment at the hands of powerful figures as the #MeToo movement emboldened women and raised the sensitivity in corporate America to abusive and coercive activity in the workplace.

If Moonves were to be forced out at CBS, he would not be easy to replace. One of the industry’s most powerful figures, Moonves is highly regarded for his creative skills and instincts about shows and stars with the potential to yield broad-based hits. As CEO, he also impressed investors by navigating CBS through the digital upheaval of the past decade. He took CBS into the OTT arena with the CBS All Access and Showtime standalone services, and CBS reaped the rewards of licensing its vast library of TV programs to Netflix and other digital platforms.

Moonves is known for maintaining a close-knit team of top executives who have long worked with him at CBS and some even before during his years at Lorimar and Warner Bros. TV.

CBS shares fell 5 percent Friday on the news that Moonves is accused of sexual misconduct in an upcoming Ronan Farrow expose.

NYC Radio: Elvis Duran Morning Show Adds Co-Host

Medha Gandhi
iHeartMedia announced Friday that Medha Gandhi will join the nationally-syndicated Elvis Duran and the Morning Show as its new co-host, effective September 17, 2018. Elvis Duran and the Morning Show broadcasts weekdays from 6a to 10a.

Gandhi will join the team of the top-rated Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on WHTZ 100.3 FM, New York’s Z100, which has experienced double-digit audience growth across multiple demos in the market in the past year, and is syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks on nearly 80 radio stations across the country.

The show’s programming and content is also available across various platforms including The Elvis Duran Channel on ElvisDuran.com, on iHeartRadio.com? and on iHeartRadio, making it the most-listened-to Top 40 morning show in the U.S.

“We fell in love with Gandhi within the first five minutes of meeting her,” said Duran. “When you have a show as long established as ours, it’s very important to continue to keep it fresh and in Gandhi we have found the perfect co-host to do that. I can’t wait for her to join our dysfunctional family!”

“Gandhi is a great storyteller with a dynamic personality and that’s what morning radio is all about,” said Mark Medina, Program Director for iHeartMedia’s Z100 New York. “We’re excited to welcome her to New York and the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show.”

WHTZ 100.3 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Gandhi joins Elvis Duran and the Morning Show from iHeartMedia Boston’s WXKS – KISS 108, where she served as executive producer and co-host for Matty in the Morning. Prior to that role, she served as an on-air talent and executive producer of the Dave & Jimmy show at iHeartMedia’s WNCI, a Top 40 radio station in Columbus, Ohio.

Milwaukee Radio: Scripps Sells WTMJ, WKTI

The E.W. Scripps Company has reached an agreement to sell its two radio stations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.

Wisconsin-based Good Karma Brands is purchasing News/Talk WTMJ 620 AM / 103.3 FM and Country WKTI 94.5 FM. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.  WTMJ has 50 Kw-D, 10-Kw night and is a simulcast on W277CV 103.3 FM with 250 watts. WKTI has 14 KW.

The sale is the second in what Scripps expects to be a series of radio sale transactions. In June, it announced the sale of five radio stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Tulsa-based Griffin Communications.

The company announced in January its intent to sell its portfolio of 34 radio stations in eight markets.

“Good Karma Brands’ focus on Milwaukee makes the company an ideal home for these important local radio stations,” said Adam Symson, Scripps president and CEO. “The company’s expertise in connecting audiences and advertisers, particularly with sports marketing, means these stations will be well positioned for the future.

WTMJ 620 AM (50 Kw-D, 10 Kw-N) Daytime 2 mV/m contour
“At Scripps, we are on track for the sale of our entire radio station group as a component of our enterprise-wide strategy to divest of non-core assets and focus on improving our near-term operating performance while fostering the growth ahead.”

WKTI 94.5 FM (14 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Good Karma Brands is a sports marketing company based in Milwaukee. It owns and operates six ESPN-affiliated radio stations, including WAUK 540 AM in Milwaukee and WTLX 100.5 FM in Madison, Wisconsin.

Craig Karmazin
“We’re thrilled to welcome WTMJ and WKTI to the GKB family,” said Craig Karmazin, Good Karma Brands founder and chief executive officer. “The heritage, prestige, and team at the stations, in addition to their incredible sports partnerships, fit our commitment to provide best-inclass opportunities for our teammates, content for our fans, and solutions for our marketing partners.”

Good Karma Brands is a sports media and entertainment company with expertise in local sports marketing activation. Its assets include a number of premium brands, including an events division that produces the Wisconsin Sports Awards, the Tundra Trio hospitality houses in Green Bay, and the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, as well as ESPN media assets in Baltimore (Digital), Cleveland (Digital/Radio), Madison (Digital/Radio), Milwaukee (Digital/Radio), Washington D.C. (Digital) and West Palm Beach (Digital/Radio).

The transaction will be filed with the FCC and upon approval, is expected to close in fourth
quarter.

Shareholders Give Thumbs-Up To Disney-Fox Deal


Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders approved the media companies’ $71 billion deal at separate meetings Friday, bringing Disney’s acquisition of Fox entertainment assets closer to completion, reports Fox News.

Disney announced an agreement to buy a large part of Fox in December, initially offering $52.4 billion for Fox’s film and television studios, among other businesses. After Comcast made a rival bid of $65 billion, Disney raised its offer to $71 billion in cash and stock. Comcast said earlier this month it would cede the bidding war to Disney.

“We’re incredibly pleased that shareholders of both companies have granted approval for us to move forward, and are confident in our ability to create significant long-term value through this acquisition of Fox’s premier assets,” Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger said in a statement.

After receiving its shareholders’ approval, Disney is awaiting regulatory reviews outside the U.S. The Department of Justice cleared the transaction last month, saying Disney must sell Fox’s regional sports networks as a condition of its approval. The European Union and others are still evaluating the proposed deal.


iHM Gets Okay To Hire Investment Banks

A bankruptcy court judge approved a settlement between iHeartMedia Inc. and the company’s largest creditor groups that will allow it to hire both Moelis & Co. and LionTree Advisors LLC as investment banks, but at a lower fee, according to court filings.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the ad hoc group of term loan and priority guarantee note holders and iHM’s unsecured creditors committee have been fighting the company on hiring both Moelis and LionTree for months, arguing that two advisers aren’t needed and that their fees are too high.

Under the settlement reached between the radio-station operator and the creditor groups, the two firms capped their total fees at $67.5 million, with at least $10 million going to LionTree and $57.5 million going to Moelis, according to court filings.

The company argued that LionTree was hired for its expertise in the media, telecommunication and technology sectors and its experience on high-profile deals in the music industry, according to court filings. Moelis has been working with iHeart since 2015, when it was hired to work on refinancing debt that was coming due within a few years, and continued to work for the company on a broad restructuring of close to $16 billion in debt since then.

The company originally hired LionTree in the fall of 2017, and LionTree worked on bringing Liberty Media Corp. to the table with a deal to invest $1.16 billion in the company. Liberty Media has since withdrawn its offer, but the deal could be revived before the company exits bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.

iHM filed for bankruptcy in March with a plan to slash $10 billion of its total $16 billion in debt at the company’s broadcast radio division. Under the plan, holders of $13 billion in priority guarantee notes and term loans are slated to receive a 94% stake in the company’s radio broadcast company, and all of the equity in the Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings billboard subsidiary. iHeart owns an 89.5% stake in Clear Channel Outdoor, which didn’t file for bankruptcy.

Atlanta Radio: “The Bert Show” Signs New Multi-Year Deal

Cumulus Media announces that it has entered into a new multi-year agreement with “The Bert Show” to produce and distribute the successful morning radio show to markets across the U.S. The deal will enable the show to continue its burgeoning growth through nationwide distribution via Westwood One, the largest audio network in America.

“The Bert Show” is a high-energy ensemble morning show featuring host Bert Weiss and a cast of engaging personalities that morning radio listeners tune in to each day for a blend of lifestyle advice, national entertainment news, celebrity interviews, humor and on-air community, including unscripted and uninhibited discussion of everything from the tough issues of the day to just shooting the breeze in a highly entertaining four-and-a-half hour program. The program’s success lies in its lack of formula and the openness of the cast members to share the most intimate details of their lives with listeners, which keeps listeners coming back for more every day. The show, which airs live weekdays from 5:30am to 10:00am on its home station, Cumulus Media-Atlanta’s WWWQ Q100, also has a robust social media presence and a popular podcast that will be distributed by Westwood One.

Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One, said: “We’re excited to welcome The Bert Show to Westwood One. His ever-evolving show has been on a steady rise for more than a decade. Bert’s professionalism and level of entertainment, combined with the strength of our network, should take him to new heights.”

Louie Diaz, Program Director, Q100, said: “Bert has been waking up Atlanta since day one of Q100 over 17 years ago. His ratings success is the reason that Bert will now be syndicated through Westwood One to cities around the country. He uses radio, social media, and streaming platforms to create an amazing one-of-a-kind connection with listeners and advertisers. We congratulate him on his continued success and are looking forward to many more years with Bert and the entire Bert Show mornings on Q100 Atlanta.”

Bert Weiss
Bert Weiss, Host of “The Bert Show”, said: “A mentor once told me to find something you love doing then try and make a career out of it. That's exactly my experience with the Bert Show and Q100. One of the things I'm most excited about, honestly, is watching this Bert Show staff grow together. The talent is here. The team chemistry is as high as I've ever felt it and I'm really excited to continue to watch it evolve and blossom. I love coming in every morning and I love working alongside friends. I love our chemistry and our shared drive to keep the show fresh and our never-ending desire to be the best we can be while having a blast doing it. And, in Cumulus, I have a company that I trust and is eager to support us every step of the way. Cumulus has had our backs for 17 years and it's been a dream partnership and I'm so appreciative of their confidence in The Bert Show. Thanks to EVP Content & Programming Mike McVay and Q100 VP/Market Manager Sean Shannon for getting this deal across the finish line.”

For more information, contact Neal Bird at (310) 840-4207 or nbird@

NJ Radio: Dennis & Judy Apologize, Return Date Set


WKXW New Jersey 101.5 midday hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco issued an apology Thursday for comments made Wednesday regarding New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on their popular, statewide radio show.

“We offer our sincerest apologies to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as well as the Sikh and Asian communities for a series of insensitive comments we made on our show. For 21 years, the Dennis and Judi show has been unscripted and free form. We use humor and sarcasm to make a point and add color to the broadcast; in this instance, we were off the mark. It was a mistake we both deeply regret. We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers and our beloved listeners.”



New Jersey 101.5 announced that the station had suspended the pair for 10 days, and they will not return to the air until Aug. 6.

Addressing the apology and the suspension, New Jersey 101.5/WKXW-FM president Ron deCastro added, “We take these comments seriously and echo Dennis and Judi’s sincere apology to Attorney General Grewal and his family, as well as the Sikh and Asian communities. Dennis and Judi are known for their plainspoken brand of humor, but in this case, the language used was clearly demeaning and inappropriate. New Jersey is a state that is rich in diversity, and our radio station has served as the people’s voice for nearly 30 years. With Dennis and Judi’s help, we will use this incident as a learning moment to further a dialogue of inclusiveness for all residents of our great state.”

Grewal, the nation's first Sikh attorney general, was referred to as "turban man" and "the guy with the turban" as Malloy and Franco discussed Grewal's recent move telling municipal prosecutors not to pursue charges for marijuana arrests.



The station said Malloy, a New Jersey Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee who has hosted the show with Franco for more than 20 years, told her he couldn't remember Grewal's name. Malloy then said, "I'm just going to say the guy with the turban" and the hosts, after that, continued to call him "Turban Man," it added.

The hosts acknowledged the offensive nature of their remarks -- for the most part.

“If that offends you, then don’t wear the turban and maybe I’ll remember your name,” Malloy said.

Alexa, AWS: Amazon's Breadwinners


Amazon.com reported a sharp jump in Q2 earnings Thursday, thanks again to its AWS cloud computing services. But the spotlight, not surprisingly, was directed at Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. In fact, the name "Alexa" came up some 31 times in the earnings news release, according to Forbes.

“We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in the release. “There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the past year. Our partners are creating a wide variety of new Alexa-enabled devices and experiences."

So imagine the potential for Amazon when you pair Alexa with AWS, long a bread winner for Amazon.

As Alexa-powered Echo devices are increasingly used on the mass consumer level through more than 13,000 Alexa-enabled smart home devices or in vehicles from Ford to Toyota cars, Amazon is set to change and capitalize on the way corporate work is going to be done — through Alexa for Business under AWS, an initiative the Seattle company first announced in November.

Q2 revenue at AWS, representing 11% of Amazon’s total Q2 sales, surged 49% to $6.1 billion, outpacing growth in other divisions, including the largest North America unit. AWS's operating income, at $1.6 billion, represented more than half of the company's total for the quarter.

In another big contrast, AWS's operating margin, a measure of profit that looks at the percentage of sales left after operating costs, widened by 5 points, to nearly 27%, from a year earlier. The North America segment — three-fifths of Amazon's sales — posted a much smaller 5.7% rate while the operating margin for the still-money-losing international division was negative.

That alone explains why Alexa for Business could become a game changer, stoking even more growth in AWS, Amazon’s real cash cow.

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ANGLING FOR ADVERTISERS

Highly profitable ad sales were a bright spot last quarter, according to Reuters.  The company said revenue from the category and some other items grew 132 percent to $2.2 billion. Analysts were expecting $2.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company is working to automate tasks for advertisers and to help media buyers measure the results.

Key to its allure has been that advertisers’ placements result directly in sales, reaching customers on Amazon with an intent to shop. That contrasts with ads reaching users who are on industry leaders Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google for a range of purposes.