Saturday, February 23, 2019

February 24 Radio History


➦In 1924...WPOW NYC signs-on as WBBR. Judge Franklin Rutherford, successor to the Jehovah Witness founder, Charles Taze Russell, dedicated WBBR, at Rossville in southwestern Staten Island.

Franklin Rutherford
WBBR's programming schedule included programs in several languages, including Yiddish and Arabic.

Judge Rutherford later expanded the radio operations into ownership of at least 7 stations in the United States and Canada, including outlets in the Chicago, Toronto, and Oakland areas.

On August 5, 1928, Rutherford broadcast on a chain of  96 stations, the largest radio network organized till that time, according to New York Radio History.  But, Rutherford's attacks on other religions led many stations to drop his programs, sometimes cutting him off before he was finished.

WBBR started off on a frequency of 1230 AM in 1924, then moved to 1100 later that year. In 1925, the station moved to 720 AM, unauthorized. In 1927, WBBR moved again to 1170, and in 1928 to 1300 - in both instances, sharing time with other stations.

In 1941, WBBR's license was transferred to the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society, the religion's publishing arm, and in March of that year, WBBR (and its share-time partners) moved to 1330 AM. In 1946, power was increased to 5000 watts.

In 1957 the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society sold its station to H. Scott Killgore's Tele-Broadcasters Of New York Inc. for $133,000.  Call letters were changed to WPOW on May 1, 1957, the religious talks and placid string and organ music disappeared, and the new station embarked on a series of changes that would repeatedly make it something of a pioneer in New York area radio.

On the morning of September 5, 1957, WPOW became the first New York station to play a form of rock music during most of its daily schedule.

The remainder of WPOW's schedule was filled with easy-listening music, paid religious programs including "Glad Tidings Tabernacle" and "The Hebrew Christian Hour".

Under its share-time arrangements, WPOW often broadcast at unusual times, occasionally signing on at 3a and then leaving the air while the morning drive-time audience was at its peak.

In February 1958, the station moved to foreign-language programming, mostly Spanish but also including some Polish, French, Armenian and Byelorussian.

In July 1959, Killgore sold WPOW for $250,000 to John M. Camp, an Illinois-based advertising agent and broker of religious broadcast time.  In 1973, Camp purchased share-time station WHAZ in Troy NY and starting operating it as a daytimer, opening up Monday nights for WPOW.

In 1979, WPOW's other share-time station on 1330 AM, WEVD, was sold to Salem Media, and became WNYM.  In the early 1980's, Salem bought out WPOW for $4 million, most of that sum simply for the Staten Island real estate.

On December 31, 1984, WPOW signed off without ceremony, and the last time-sharing arrangement in New York AM radio came to an end.

Today, the WBBR call letters are being used by Bloomberg on 1130 AM. The WPOW calls are being used by Beasley Broadcasting for one of its FM's in Miami. And WPOW's 1330 AM frequency in NYC is occupied by religious WWRV, 1330 is a Spanish Christian music and teaching station and serves the New York area. It is owned by Radio Vision Cristiana Management

➦In 1942...the Voice of America (VOA) began broadcasting.

Voice of America (VOA) is a U.S. government-funded international multimedia Agency which serves as the United States federal government's official institution for non-military, external broadcasting, the largest U.S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in more than 40 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its leaders.

VOA was established in 1942, and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415) was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. The charter contains its mission "to broadcast accurate, balanced, and comprehensive news and information to an international audience", and it defines the legally mandated standards in the VOA journalistic code.

VOA uses shortwave transmitters (many located in Greenville North Carolina).

➦In 1987...Radio, TV host/personality Larry King suffered a major heart attack and then had quintuple-bypass surgery. Since then, King has written two books about living with heart disease. Mr. King, You're Having a Heart Attack and How a Heart Attack and Bypass Surgery Changed My Life.

➦In 1987...Radio Personality Jim Connors died at age 47.  He was killed in a car crash on I-95 in Greensville County, Virginia

Jim Connors
Jim Connors earned thirteen Gold records for discovering artists during his career including Harry Chapin and his hit song "Taxi". Chapin later went on to write "W*O*L*D," a song inspired by Connors' life. This song was based on a phone call Harry overheard while in studio with JC at WMEX-Boston. The men began discussing what life as a "jock" is like, which was Harry's inspiration for the hit song.

Connors also earned gold with Chuck Berry for "My Ding-a-ling," Wayne Newton for "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast," Joe Simon for "Power of Love," and Mouth & MacNeal for "How Do You Do," along with many others, for exposing the songs to the mainstream audience.

Connors was well known amongst radio programmers of the 1960s and 1970s for his programming and promotional abilities along with his Think Sheet. The 'Think Sheet' was a monthly publication he wrote and distributed to fellow radio programmers making recommendations on airplay for new artists, along with jock jokes and trend analysis based on market research.

WJET Erie, Pennsylvania was his first official radio job outside of duties performed while serving in the U.S. Air Force. At WJET, he held the title of Production Director for WJET Radio & WJET Television channel 24. Initially, he was the midday host for WJET and was rated #1 in the market ahead of the morning drive team. It wasn't long before JC was promoted to the AM drive shift.

After a long run at WJET, Connors was hired at WMEX in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was the Music Director and AM drive host. His daily program was consistently rated #1 in the New England marketplace in the early 1970s.

After having great success in Boston, and becoming nationally renowned by many record executives for his programming and promotional abilities, JC moved towards Erie, Pennsylvania to be closer to his children from his first marriage. The impact of Chapin's song "W*O*L*D" hit his ex-wife hard, as the local 'Jocks' in Erie would often take their shots at him and his life on air.



Soon he found an opening at WYSL in Buffalo, New York, where he could be closer to his children while working through some family concerns. Connors was the AM Drive host in Buffalo, NY.  JC had great success in Western New York, and on WYSL he frequently featured many of the well-known performers with whom he had connections.

While in Buffalo, JC met his second wife, and the couple would find out they were pregnant with their first of two children shortly before moving to Rochester, New York for a job at WROC as Operations Manager & AM Drive Host.

After the passing of his father, JC wanted to be back in New England with the rest of his family. He was offered a position with WCIB in Falmouth, Massachusetts and Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he was appointed Vice President of Operations and AM Drive Host, with multiple levels of on-air production responsibility.

 His career in the northeastern United States soon came to an end, as he packed up and headed for another new beginning, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. While living in the Bay Area of Tampa, Florida JC frequently recorded commercials and appeared in numerous local spots.


➦In 1991…Radio, TV newsman and host John Daly died of cardiac arrest at 77, four days after his birthday.

➦In 1994...Dinah Shore died just shy of her 78th birthday. Born Fannye Rose Shore on  February 29, 1916, she was an American singer, actress, and television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She rose to prominence as a recording artist during the Big Band era, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.


After failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman, and both Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Shore struck out on her own to become the first singer of her era to achieve huge solo success. She had a string of 80 charted popular hits, spanning 1940–1957, and after appearing in a handful of feature films, she went on to a four-decade career in American television, starring in her own music and variety shows from 1951 through 1963 and hosting two talk shows in the 1970s. TV Guide ranked her at number 16 on their list of the top 50 television stars of all time. Stylistically, Shore was compared to two singers who followed her in the mid-to-late 1940s and early 1950s, Doris Day and Patti Page.

In March 1939, Shore debuted on national radio on the Sunday-afternoon CBS radio program, Ben Bernie's Orchestra. In February 1940, she became a featured vocalist on the NBC Radio program The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, a showcase for traditional Dixieland and Blues songs. With Shore, the program became so popular, it was moved from 4:30 Sunday afternoon to a 9:00 Monday night time slot in September. In her primetime debut for "the music of the Three Bs, Barrelhouse, Boogie-Woogie, and the Blues", she was introduced as "Mademoiselle Dinah 'Diva' Shore, who starts a fire by rubbing two notes together!" She recorded with the two Basin Street bands for RCA Victor; one of her records was the eponymous "Dinah's Blues".

Shore's singing came to the attention of Eddie Cantor. He signed her as a regular on his radio show, Time to Smile, in 1940. Shore credits him for teaching her self-confidence, comedic timing, and the ways of connecting with an audience.

Shore soon became a successful singing star with her own radio show, Call to Music, which was broadcast on CBS February 13, 1948 – April 16, 1948, and on NBC April 20, 1948 – June 29, 1948. Also in 1943, she appeared in her first movie, Thank Your Lucky Stars, starring Cantor. She soon went to another radio show, Paul Whiteman Presents. During this time, the United States was involved in World War II and Shore became a favorite with the troops. She had hits, including "Blues In the Night", "Jim", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", and "I'll Walk Alone", the first of her number-one hits. "Blues In the Night" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

To support the troops overseas, she participated in USO tours to Europe. She appeared in person, on radio, and on record with a number of British and American stars, including Major Glenn Miller and his large Army Air Force Band. She met George Montgomery, a young actor ready to go into military service. They married on December 3, 1943, shortly before he went into service.



Shore continued appearing in radio shows throughout the 1940s, including Bird's Eye-Open House and Ford Radio Show. In early 1946, she moved to a new label, the CBS-owned Columbia Records. At Columbia, Shore enjoyed the greatest commercial success of her recording career, starting with her first Columbia single release, "Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy", and peaking with the most popular song of 1948, "Buttons and Bows", (with Henri René & Orchestra) which was number one for ten weeks. Other number-one hits at Columbia included "The Gypsy" and "The Anniversary Song".

One of her most popular recordings was the holiday perennial "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Buddy Clark from 1949.


➦In 2004...Clear Channel Communications fired syndicated radio host Bubba (Clem) The Love Sponge. He was based in Tampa.

Bubba Clem
On February 27, 2001, while on the air at WXTB in Tampa, Florida, Clem slaughtered and barbecued a wild Florida boar that had been captured by a professional hunter.

In February 2002, Clem was faced with animal cruelty charges. The show involved the on-air castration and killing of a feral hog that had been captured by a hunter in the station's parking lot, and sound effects of hogs feeding were broadcast to have listeners believe it was being harassed and aggravated. The hog was then cooked and eaten by the crowd present. Clem, his executive producer Brent Hatley, and two others present were charged with felony animal cruelty. The three were acquitted by a jury in March.

In January 2004, the FCC issued a $755,000 fine to Clear Channel Communications for objectionable comments from a boradcast on July 19, 2001. The fine consisted of the maximum $27,500 fine for each of the 26 stations that aired the syndicated segments, plus $40,000 for record-keeping violations. The segment involved sexual discussions among the cartoon characters Alvin and the Chipmunks, George Jetson, and Scooby-Doo. Clem was fired on February 23, who at the time had the number one show in the Tampa area in the 18–54 year old male demographic.

L-A News Anchor Chris Burrous Died Of Meth Overdose


KTLA News anchor Chris Burrous, who was found unresponsive in a Glendale motel room in December, died from methamphetamine toxicity, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Friday.

The coroner said hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were also factors in his death, according to the L-A Times.

Chris Burrows
The coroner’s investigative report said Burrous was taking methamphetamine during a sexual encounter at the motel, including inserting the drug into his rectum.

The other person in the motel room, a man the coroner said Burrous met on a dating site, performed CPR on him before paramedics arrived, the report said.

On Dec. 27, police were called to a room at the Days Inn, where they found Burrous, 43, not breathing, the Glendale Police Department said. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died.

His death stunned fans and colleagues at KTLA.

Burrous earned a broadcast journalism degree from Chapman University, and joined KTLA in 2011 after 14 years as a reporter and anchor.

Facing 10 Counts Of Sexual Abuse, Singer R Kelly In Custody

R Kelly
Embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday in Cook County, Ill.

The charges come a week after the surfacing of a video that allegedly shows the singer sexually assaulting an underage girl, reports The L-A Times.

The 52-year-old performer is accused of sexually abusing four victims, according to court records.

Nine of the counts specify that the victim was 13 to 16 years old. In another count that did not specify the victim’s age, the singer is accused of sexual contact by the use or threat of force.

A no-bail arrest warrant was issued Friday on the charges, which are Class 2 felonies. A bond hearing was set for Saturday.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Kelly turned himself in at a Chicago police precinct late Friday, and was to remain in custody until his hearing on Saturday afternoon.

Chicago’s top prosecutor, Cook County State’s Atty. Kim Foxx, said the sentencing range for aggravated sexual assault is up to seven years in prison. If Kelly is convicted on all 10 counts, he could face up to 70 years in prison. Probation is also an option under statute.

For two decades, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been trailed by lurid allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls — which he has vehemently denied.

He was acquitted of child pornography charges at a 2008 trial. The dates of the alleged abuse from Friday’s charges span from 1998 to 2003. Illinois has no statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges.

Last week, it was reported that prosecutors in Illinois were moving to indict the singer on charges related to a 45-minute video allegedly showing the singer performing multiple sex acts with an underage girl — both the man and the girl in the video referred to her genitalia in graphic terms as being 14 years old. The video was given to the Cook County state’s attorney office by celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti.

Kraft Among Many 'Names' Believed Involved In Prostitution Ring


New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing charges of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.

The 77-year-old Kraft was one of 25 people involved in the alleged solicitation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, reports ESPN.

Michael Edmondson, spokesman for the state attorney's office in Palm Beach County, told ESPN that the nature of any charges that the 25 people face will not be released until next week.

Kraft has denied wrongdoing.

The potential charges come amid a widespread crackdown on sex trafficking in Florida from Palm Beach to Orlando. Hundreds of arrest warrants have been issued in recent days as result of a six-month investigation, and more are expected. Ten spas have been closed, and several people charged with sex trafficking have been taken into custody.

Police said they secretly planted undercover cameras in targeted massage parlors and recorded the interactions between men and the female employees.

Although Kraft has been named as one of those involved in a prostitution sting in Florida, but he’s far from the only one involved, and he may not be the most famous person involved.

There’s no word on who the biggest name is, and it’s unclear why the authorities in Florida would name Kraft publicly but not name this bigger name. But it appears that this story is going to get significant traction, and not go away quietly as Kraft would surely prefer.

Report: Entercom Breathes Sigh Of Relief

Entercom Communications, which had a nightmarish few months in early 2018 after swallowing CBS Radio, saw revenues jump 4 percent in the fourth quarter and now expects more gains through early 2019, the Philadelphia-based company said Friday.

The fourth quarter was the first since Entercom closed on CBS Radio in late 2017 that revenues rose instead of fell.

According to philly.com, Entercom chief executive David Field forecast a 3 percent revenue gain for the current quarter with the help of initiatives such as the Entercom Audio Network -- which stitches together the company’s stations in big cities such as Philadelphia, New York, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Houston as a national advertising platform. Another example is the Radio.com app, which expands the reach of Entercom radio stations through streaming and enables the company to tap digital advertising.

David Field
Entercom shares had lost about half of their value since the CBS Radio deal was first announced in early 2017.

“Local [advertising] still lags,” Field said on the call, adding that there are “some fundamental issues” with advertisers shifting from radio to targeted digital ads. Field also said local companies that advertised on radio are stressed by the growth of giant retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

Tempering the enthusiasm was a no-cash $465 million impairment charge to devalue Entercom’s radio broadcast licenses because of the sustained decline in the Entercom share price. But Entercom said that one important measure of profits, or EBITDA, rose 27 percent.

Because of so many moving parts related to the CBS Radio deal, it’s difficult for a clean analysis of the company’s financial performance. Entercom reported $411.4 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, compared with $246.6 million in the year-ago period -- the big difference mostly being the addition of CBS Radio.

Entercom lost $386.6 million on continuing operations in the fourth quarter -- because of the impairment charge -- compared with net income available to common stock holders of $231.8 million, a measure tracked by analysts.

Entercom chief financial officer Richard Schmaeling said in an interview that the company views the fourth quarter “like an inflection point. We are making significant improvements.” He added that “we are excited because this is the first quarter we are posting improved results."

Radio.com To Stream Cox, Bonneville Stations

Entercom has announced content distribution partnerships with Cox Radio and Bonneville.

As part of the agreements will launch live channels for all Cox Radio and Bonneville radio stations nationwide, and will also add premium on-demand audio and podcasts from both companies in the coming weeks. This announcement follows RADIO.COM’s recent content distribution agreements with CNN and Bloomberg Media.

“We are pleased to welcome Cox Media Group’s radio stations and Bonneville and their great content to the RADIO.COM platform as we continue to expand our premium content offerings to super-serve our large and rapidly growing audience of listeners across hundreds of devices,” said J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer, Entercom. “Great partnerships like these further strengthen RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”

“We are thrilled to expand the distribution of our award-winning Cox Radio brands to RADIO.COM. There has never been a more exciting time for audio content and we are excited to partner with Entercom in building the next great audio platform,” said Tim Clarke, Vice President, Audience and Content, Cox Media Group.

“We are pleased to have Bonneville content on RADIO.COM,” said Darrell Brown, President, Bonneville. “We believe RADIO.COM addresses the shortcomings of other national platforms.”

Cox content to be available on RADIO.COM includes live-stream broadcasts from 55 stations in 11 markets, including heritage stations such as WSB in Atlanta and 93Q in Houston, in addition to leading podcasts like “The Von Haessler Doctrine,” and “The Mark Kaye Show.”

Bonneville content to be available on the digital platform includes live-streams from 22 local radio stations in 6 markets, as well as leading podcasts such as “Above & Beyond: The Intersection of Faith and Sports,” “Your Last Meal,” “Mindfulness, Wellness & You,” and “Stuff Your Dad Knows.”

Philly Radio: Nicole Siberry Named Digital PD at WMGK-FM, WXTU-FM

Nicole Siberry
Beasley Media Group, has announced Nicole Siberry has been named Digital Program Director at Classic Rock WMGK 102.9 FM and Country WXTU 92.5 FM in Philadelphia. She officially began her new position on Monday, February 18, 2019.

Siberry most recently worked at Entercom Communications, where she served as the Promotions and Programming Coordinator. In that capacity, she was responsible for creating content and video for WTDY-FM and WOGL-FM’s social media platforms. In addition, Siberry was involved with on-site promotions as well as had numerous responsibilities in the programming department. Previously, she spent several years working at Townsquare Media in Atlantic City, where Siberry focused on digital content, programming and promotions.

“Nicole brings a unique combination of digital, on-air and on-site experience to her new position as Digital PD for WMGK and WXTU,” said Beasley Media Group Philadelphia Vice President and Market Manager Joe Bell. “Her passion for both the Classic Rock and Country formats combined with her skill set makes her a natural for this position.”

She is a graduate of Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications, where Siberry majored in Broadcast Journalism.

iHR Music Awards to Honor Garth, Alicia, Halsey

Composite photo courtesy of  Jockline Daily
iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) announced Friday that the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Alicia Keys with the iHeartRadio Innovator Award; Garth Brooks with the Artist of the Decade Award; and Halsey with the iHeartRadio Fangirls Award presented by L'Oréal Paris. 

The two-hour event airs live Thursday, March 14 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX from Microsoft Theater. 

The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards also will broadcast live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and live-streaming radio service.

iHeartRadio will honor 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys with the coveted 2019 iHeartRadio Innovator Award for her unparalleled contributions to pop culture and social causes as an artist, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and activist. She has released six critically acclaimed studio albums, including her game-changing debut, Songs in A Minor.

In addition, Garth Brooks will receive the first-ever iHeartRadio Artist of the Decade Award for his impact on the music industry as one of the world’s most successful and beloved artists. Brooks is the first recipient of this award, created to honor his outstanding achievements. He is the #1 selling solo artist in U.S. history, with more than 148 million albums sold. He also is the first-ever artist to be awarded seven diamonds by the RIAA for having seven albums certified with more than 10 million sales each.

At this year's awards, L'Oréal Paris and iHeartRadio also will present Halsey with the 2019 Fangirls Award, which recognizes a female artist who has pushed boundaries with her music and message while inspiring her fans around the globe.

Nominees for the iHeartRadio Music Awards were announced on January 9. Artists receiving multiple nominations include Cardi B, Drake, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. For a full list of categories visit iHeartRadio.com/awards.

Utah Radio: Redrock Broadcasting Adds Radio Pros

Redrock Broadcasting adds veteran broadcaster Brandon Young as Program Director of KURR MIX 103.1 FM serving the St. George Market area.

Young joins Redrock from Alpha s KYKX, Tyler-Longview Texas. In addition to his programming duties, Brandon will host afternoons on MIX 103.1 and will also host evenings on Redrock’s Country  KUTQ 102.3 FM.

Redrock President Craig Hanson said “We are pleased to have Brandon join us in St. George and add his expertise to our organization. We recognize Brandon’s talent from our years working together during the Simmons Media days in Salt Lake City and also previously in St. George.

Redrock Broadcasting also announced the addition of veteran media professionals Jan Bagley and Jacquie Louie as Senior Marketing Executives with the company.  Bagley, formerly with Capital Broadcasting, Salt Lake City and Ms. Louie, formerly of Cumulus Media and Simmons Media, have moved to St. George to assume their new positions with Redrock.

Craig Hanson, Redrock owner said,  “We are very fortunate to have professionals with the experience and stature of Jan and Jacquie join us. Their reputation in media, marketing, and advertising is unparalleled in Utah. We have great respect and admiration for what they have achieved and look forward to what they will contribute to Redrock Broadcasting.”

Redrock Broadcasting owns and operates KURR (MIX 103.1), KRQX (KOOL 98.9), KUTQ (Coyote 102.3) and KZYN (ZION 104.1) in the St. George, Utah market.

Orlando Radio: iHM Stations To Air MLS Soccer


Orlando City SC has announced its television, streaming and radio broadcast talent for the 2019 Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign.

The broadcast lineup on the television side includes newcomer Evan Weston on play-by-play, with returners Paul Shaw and Miguel Gallardo as color analysts, and Jenny Chiu as the sideline reporter. Sergio Ruiz Torres and Israel Heredia will continue to call radio matches in Spanish, with Bruce Silverman and Robbie Aristodemo calling matches in English, and Scott Harris returning on the sideline.

On the heels of a newly-announced multi-year partnership with WOFL/FOX35, WRBW/My65 will serve as the flagship station for all City’s locally-televised games, while YouTube TV, Orlando’s exclusive streaming partner, will broadcast all of the Lions’ nationally and locally televised MLS regular season matches. In 2019, 30 of Orlando's 34 regular-season matches will air within the FOX family, including FOX35, My65, FOX and FS1.

Radio coverage for City will be provided in both English and Spanish during the 2019 season. La Nueva 990 AM will serve as the home for Orlando City Spanish radio, while WYGM 96.9 The Game or WTKS Real Radio 104.1 FM will have English coverage all season long. 

Barstool Sports Thriving In P-C Climate

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and CEO Erika Nardini
refuse to let advertisers dictate content
Barstool Sports is flourishing as media’s raunchy bad boy in today's politically correct climate, and CEO Erika Nardini says their secret formula is simple: Not “giving a f---.”

Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, known by fans as “El Presidente,” says his company is essentially a comedy empire camouflaged as a sports website that never sought its anti-PC reputation.

“That’s just who we are,” Portnoy told Fox News during a candid side-by-side conversation with Nardini at Barstool’s New York City headquarters. “We create content at Barstool Sports for people who like Barstool Sports. We’re not trying to appease people who don’t like us. Everyone is just so sensitive now about everything."

"We’re not trying to appease people who don’t like us. Everyone is just so sensitive now about everything."

Barstool employees have been accused of everything from encouraging online harassment by its fans to using derogatory language about women. The site’s content is often vulgar, alleged marital infidelity of one of the brand’s biggest stars has become tabloid fodder, and Portnoy was physically removed from the Super Bowl earlier this month amid an on-going feud with the National Football League -- but fans seem to embrace it all.

“We have an audience, we have a point of view, we do things differently and we’re investing in that,” Nardini said. “It’s not that we’re controversial. We’re unafraid."

Portnoy started Barstool as a “gambling and sports” newspaper he distributed around Boston back in 2003 and things exploded from there. He sold a majority stake of Barstool to The Chernin Group in early 2016, moving the company’s headquarters from Boston to New York City in the process. Portnoy stuck around to oversee content and hired Nardini as the company's first CEO.

Since then, Barstool has added roughly 130 employees and partnered with social media brands like Snapchat and Facebook. The company’s podcasts bring in 25 million live streams per month and all together, over 1 billion minutes of Barstool content is consumed annually.

Barstool also runs a Sirius XM station, created a pizza review app, promotes amateur boxing matches, wants to invest in younger brands and sells a ton of merchandise. Commerce makes up roughly half of Barstool’s revenue and a company spokesperson said it sold over $1 million worth of gear during the 2018 World Series alone.

R.I.P: Drew Mello, WQCS Fort Pierce FL Morning Host

Drew Mello
Drew Mello, host of  non-com WQCS 88.9 FM's local broadcast of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition", had died  from congestive heart failure at age 65. The station's signal goes throughout the Treasure Coast and into southern Brevard County.

"He had to be up before sunrise, and he drove here (to Fort Pierce) from Sebastian," said Jill Roberts, news manager at the station told tcpalm.com. "But you wouldn't know that when he was on the air. He had a lot of important information to give to people. He was helping people start their days."

Mello had worked at stations in Miami and Fort Myers before arriving at WQCS in 2005, just before Hurricane Wilma rolled through the Treasure Coast.

"Whenever it was a serious story, he could let you know what was important without frightening you," Roberts said. "He had a good voice and good delivery."

Mello also hosted "Treasure Coast Happenings," a weekly public affairs show.

"Drew was a true original," said Stuart public relations consultant Pat Williams. "He had the news chops and gravitas for NPR, with a little added dash from his rock radio days. Nonprofits could count on Drew for solid, entertaining interviews.

R.I.P.: 'Uncle Charlie' VanderMeer, Children's Bible Hour Host

Uncle Charlie VanderMeer
A well-known Christian radio personality who started with the syndicated Children’s Bible Hour in 1943 has died at age 84.

“Uncle Charlie” VanderMeer died Friday, according to mlive.com.

VanderMeer started at Children’s Bible Hour as a story boy when he was just 9. He added voices to a script and read poems, lessons and Scripture.

Later, after finishing college, he joined the the organization full-time. The Children’s Bible Hour was heard worldwide for decades. It later became CBH Ministries and then Keys for Kids Ministries.

He took on the “Uncle Charlie” persona in 1972 and became the fourth director of the Children’s Bible Hour ministry. He served in that position until March 1999.

He worked as the voice of Keys for Kids until December 2015. The program involved syndicated short children’s shows.

February 23 Radio History


➦In 1904...Print journalist and CBS Radio correspondent William Lawrence Shirer was born (Died – December 28, 1993 at age 89).  He was was an American journalist and war correspondent. He wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a history of Nazi Germany that has been read by many and cited in scholarly works for more than 50 years.



Originally a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the International News Service, Shirer was the first reporter hired by Edward R. Murrow for what would become a CBS radio team of journalists known as "Murrow's Boys". He became known for his broadcasts from Berlin, from the rise of the Nazi dictatorship through the first year of World War II (1940). With Murrow, he organized the first broadcast world news roundup, a format still followed by news broadcasts.

➦In 1927...The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) was created when President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill that created to regulatory body into law.  The FRC regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934.

The Commission was created to regulate radio use "as the public interest, convenience, or necessity" requires. The Radio Act of 1927 superseded the Radio Act of 1912, which had given regulatory powers over radio communication to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The Radio Act of 1912 did not mention broadcasting and limited all private radio communications to what is now the AM band.



➦In 1970...Jay Reynolds, who generated  huge ratings in PM Drive at WIFE 1310 AM, the market leader at that time in Indianapolis, started at 77 WABC in NYC.

Reynolds did the all-night show for six years - not only the longest consecutive tenure during the station's 21 and a half years with a music format, but nine months longer than the combined time that Charlie Greer spent on the all-night show during his two stints.  He died in March, 1996.


Abbey Road Studios 2005
➦In 2010...The British culture ministry declared the recording facility a historic site.  The action came a week after EMI Records announced its intention to sell the building to property developers.  Abbey Road Studios is most notable as being the 1960s' venue for innovative recording techniques adopted by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Hollies, as well as others.  The building "acts as a modern day monument to the history of recorded sound and music," English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley said in a statement.


With its new designation, changes can still be made to the villa's interior, but the government said "care must be taken to ensure that any alterations with respect to its character and interest are fully considered."



➦In 2010...Gene Chenault died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma at age 90.

Chenault, who with his business partner, Bill Drake, reshaped rock radio in the 1960s with prepackaged programming that delivered more music and fewer commercials to hundreds of stations, creating an automated format.

The programming, using reel-to-reel tapes of Top 40 hits, was primarily designed by Drake and marketed and syndicated by Chenault. It raised ratings at station after station and brought a certain big-city sound to many small towns.

The new format gave rise to the stock phrases “boss jock” and “boss radio,” which first took hold at KHJ in Los Angeles in 1965. (The word boss was derived from California surfer slang for good, as in “That’s a boss wave.”) Within a year KHJ leapt from 12th to first place in the Los Angeles ratings. Its slogan: “Much More Music.”

➦In 2017…Broadcaster Alan Colmes died from cancer at age 66 (Born-September 24, 1950). He was an American radio and television host, liberal political commentator for the Fox News Channel, and blogger. He was the host of The Alan Colmes Show, a nationally syndicated talk-radio show distributed by Fox News Radio. From 1996 to 2009, Colmes served as the co-host of Hannity & Colmes, a nightly political debate show on Fox News Channel.

He developed his radio career in the Northeast, eventually working at stations such as WABC, WNBC, WHN, WMCA and WEVD in New York, WNHC in New Haven, Connecticut, and WEZE and WZLX in Boston.

His radio career took off when WABC hired him for the morning drive time slot. He was billed as "W. Alan B. Colmes," as in the station's call sign. He moved to WNBC in 1987, but his tenure there would be short when NBC announced in 1988 it would close its radio division. When WNBC went off the air for the last time on October 7, 1988, Colmes' was the last voice heard.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Entercom 4Q Net Revenue Increases, '19 Off To Good Start

Entercom Communications Corp. today reported financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2018.
  • Net revenues for the quarter were $411.4 million, compared to $246.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. On a same-station basis, net revenues for the quarter increased 4% to $411.4 million compared to $395.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017
  • Total operating expense for the quarter was $789.0 million, including a non-cash impairment charge of $465 million ($423 million net of taxes), compared to $248.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017
  • Total same-station cash expense for the quarter was $300.2 million, a decrease of 2% compared to $307.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017
  • Net (loss) income per diluted share for the quarter was ($2.80), including the non-cash impairment charge of ($3.07) per diluted share, compared to $2.62 in the fourth quarter of 2017 
  • Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $111.1 million, up 27% compared to $87.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017
David Field
David J. Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic revenue and EBITDA growth in Q4 as our performance continues to accelerate across the organization and we gain traction on our various scale-driven growth initiatives.

"2018 was a year of transformational enhancements on many fronts and we begin 2019 as a much stronger organization than we were a year ago. We are making excellent progress across our strategic focus areas, including Radio.com which is now the fastest growing digital audio app in the US, Entercom Analytics which has grown to exceed 5,000 connected customers and the Entercom Audio Network which is gaining significant momentum. 2019 is off to a good start with solid pacing growth in the first and second quarters and we are excited about the year ahead.”

In February, the Company announced a definitive agreement to acquire Country WNSH NASH FM 94.7 in New York City, and two stations in Springfield, MA from Cumulus Media Inc. in exchange for Entercom’s three-station cluster in Indianapolis. Entercom and Cumulus will begin programming the respective stations being acquired under Local Marketing Agreements on Friday, March 1, 2019. The exchange transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Peter Frampton Plans Farewell Tour

Legendary guitarist Peter Frampton has confirmed Peter Frampton Finale—The Farewell Tour presented by SiriusXM. The primarily U.S. tour, produced by Live Nation, will begin on June 18 in Tulsa, OK and continue throughout the summer and fall. The tour will feature special guest Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening, as well as Julian Frampton on the west coast stops, with additional surprise guests to appear on select dates.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning next Friday, March 1 at 10am local time at LiveNation.com (check local listings for pre-sale information). VIP packages will also be available at www.frampton.com.

Tune in tomorrow to CBS "This Morning: Saturday" for an exclusive interview on the tour.

Peter Frampton remains one of the most lauded artists in rock history. Most recently, Frampton performed as part of "I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell" concert as well as receiving the Les Paul Innovation Award at the 2019 NAMM Show's 34th annual TEC Awards. He also just celebrated the 43rd anniversary of his fifth solo album, Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live records of all time, with over 17 million copies sold worldwide.

At age 16, he was lead singer and guitarist for British band The Herd. At 18, he co-founded one of the first super-groups, seminal rock act Humble Pie. His session work includes collaborations with such legendary artists as George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam), among many others.

Frampton has toured with the likes of David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Greg Allman, Ringo Starr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller Band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings and many others. Additionally, he took Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus on the road for two years with special guests B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Vince Gill, Larry Carlton, Robert Randolph, Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles), Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray and Roger McGuinn (the Byrds).

Further details on Peter Frampton Finale—The Farewell Tour presented by SiriusXM are available at www.frampton.com.

Advertisers Bail On YouTube

Several major companies have reportedly pulled advertisements on YouTube following a report that the comment sections on the site have been used to facilitate "a soft-core pedophile ring."

Bloomberg News reports that Walt Disney Co. has joined Nestle, AT&T and video game maker Epic Games in pulling advertising from YouTube, days after a YouTube user named Matt Watson uploaded a video explaining how YouTube comment sections are used to identify and share exploitative videos of young girls.

According to The Hill, Watson said in his video that YouTube's algorithm has helped facilitate the ability of pedophiles to trade social media contacts, provide links to "actual child porn" and trade "unlisted videos in secret."

Bloomberg News cited "people with knowledge of the matter" in reporting that Disney has since withheld its advertising spending from YouTube.

A spokesperson for Nestle told CNBC that "all Nestle companies in the U.S. have paused advertising on YouTube."

A spokesperson for Epic Games told CNBC that the company has "paused all pre-roll advertising."

Day 3: More January 2019 PPMs Markets Released

Nielsen on Feb 21, 2019, released the third batch of January 2019 PPM data for the following markets.:

   22  Portland OR

   23  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC

   25  Sam Antonio

   27  Sacramento

   28  Pittsburgh

   29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo UT

   30  Las Vegas


   31  Orlando

   32  Cincinnati

   34  Cleveland


   35  Kansas City

   36  Columbus OH


Click Here to view topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

NYC Radio: 77WABC Teams Sliwa With Juliet Huddy

77 WABC Radio announces that it has debuted New York City’s newest afternoon talk radio show, Curtis and Juliet, a three-hour weekday program featuring award-winning talk personality Curtis Sliwa and journalist Juliet Huddy. Curtis and Juliet airs Monday through Friday from 12 Noon-3:00pm EST on 77 WABC Radio.

The ever-popular 77 WABC host Sliwa is a Brooklyn native known by millions as the founder and leader of The Guardian Angels, a grassroots volunteer organization empowering individuals to assume local responsibility for the safety of their communities. Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues to flourish in over 140 cities in 14 countries. In addition to his work keeping communities safe through the Guardian Angels, Sliwa’s award-winning 25-year career in talk radio includes 23 years at 77 WABC Radio. Sliwa was named to the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2013.

Huddy’s broadcasting career began as a reporter in local television and radio in markets including Santa Barbara, CA, and Jacksonville, FL. In 1998, Huddy joined the fledgling FOX News Channel, where she spent four years as a national correspondent out of FOX’s Miami and Los Angeles bureaus, covering everything from plane crashes to politics. After the 9/11 attacks, she joined FOX News Channel headquarters in New York City, and hosted shows including: “Fox & Friends”, “DaySide” and her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet”. She left FOX News Channel in September of 2016 to launch a music website, BlondeAndCrossbones.com, covering hard rock and heavy metal – a passion project she hopes to take with her as she takes her career in a brand new direction – talk radio. 

Craig Schwalb, Program Director, 77 WABC Radio, said: “Curtis and Juliet are each widely recognized and respected New York hosts. But, what’s really exciting is to hear how their chemistry and friendship sets their show apart in the market.”

Sliwa commented: “I worked with Juliet Huddy for 4 years on Good Day Early Call NY. We were like a brother and sister arguing and discussing the issues of the day. They were not just political. We delved into cultural, social and personal issues, especially male/female issues that most people are interested in. WABC is giving us that opportunity to talk about those same issues in this age where Trump talk dominates the airwaves from a male/female perspective.”


Huddy added: “I'm genuinely so excited to host alongside Curtis. We've become more than colleagues over the years; we're friends. Going to work with this NYC icon every day -- honestly we have so much fun, so many laughs, that I feel guilty getting paid. Not that guilty. And the best thing - he can't tease me about being married so many times because, well…”

Westwood One To Launch PopCulture 'With Elaina' Show

Westwood One, the largest audio network in the U.S., has announced the launch of With Elaina, a new weekend entertainment show featuring the charming and charismatic Elaina Smith, co-host of the network’s NASH Nights Live weeknight program, host of the groundbreaking Women Want to Hear Women podcast, Westwood One Backstage red carpet host, and voice of the Academy of Country Music Awards. With Elaina debuts on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Elaina
With Elaina, a two-hour program designed for pop culture junkies, entertainment fans and Country music lovers, showcases Elaina doing what she does best – talking about life, love, movies, music, celebrity news, and of course, Country music. Elaina hosts a serious hang with guests who like to have fun, get real, and share stories – from heartfelt to heartache. Listeners can do chores with Elaina, work out with Elaina, meal prep with Elaina, even nurse a hangover with Elaina. She doesn’t judge!

“Launch day can’t come soon enough. I’ve been waiting to do a show like this for years,” said Elaina.

“We’re going to have a blast bringing my pop culture background and millennial vibe to Country music fans in a whole new way. I’m psyched to be working with one of the most talented, creative minds in the industry, who happens to be one of my best friends — super producer, Ryan Kershner. Plus, a huge thank you to Mike McVay, Suzanne Grimes, John Shomby, Bryan Switzer, Charles Steinhauer, everyone at Westwood One and CUMULUS MEDIA for believing in me.”

“Elaina is a rising star with smarts, spirit, and a little sass,“ said Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “Her success with NASH Nights Live, her innovative podcast on Westwood One Podcast Network, and her red carpet mastery has demonstrated her appeal time and again. With this new platform, she can share her passion with Country fans and listeners nationwide, every weekend.”

Elaina is a Gracie Award-winning broadcaster who also added “actress” to her resume when she appeared as herself on CMT’s Nashville. You might also recognize her voice as the newest addition to the ACM Awards announcing team on CBS along with her NASH Nights Live co-host Shawn Parr. Elaina’s Women Want to Hear Women female-focused podcast has touched a nerve and is leading the conversation within the industry about the lack of females in Country Music.

For more information on With Elaina and how you can bring this exciting new show to your market, contact Country@WestwoodOne.com.

Denver Radio: Boogie D KFCO As OM/PD

Boogie D
Max Media Denver has announce Jowcol "Boogie D” Dolby as Operations/Programming Director overseeing all programming, promotions, and digital departments of KFCO Flo 107.1 KFCO and KJHM Jammin 101.5.

Boogie D brings 20+ years of industry experience and a proven track record of success in radio programming, leadership management and promotions, which will be invaluable in taking our two radio station brands to the next level.

Prior to joining our team in Denver, he worked as operations manager/program director for Radio One in major markets such as Detroit, St Louis, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Charlotte North Carolina after starting his career in Tucson where he worked at legendary Hip-hop station, KJYK - Power 1490am.

"We are thrilled to have Boogie D on board, he'll bring a fresh prospective and approach to our programming department," said Jeff Norman, President/General Manager at Max Media. "Boogie D has demonstrated an ability to win in competitive environments and our radio stations are poised to grow to the next level under his leadership.”   

Dolby added, "I want to say thank you to Jeff Norman for welcoming me to Max Media and his awesome team! We are on our way to doing big things together.”

Dolby’s first day in the building will be Monday, March 11 but will be taking command remotely immediately.

Chicago Radio: Kenzie K Lands Middays At B96

Kenzie K
Entercom has announced Kenzie K as the new midday drive host for WBBM B96 FM in Chicago, effective February 26. Kenzie K will be on air weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT.

“We have admired Kenzie K for quite some time and are incredibly excited to welcome this rising star to the Entercom team,” said Jimmy de Castro, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. “Her creativity and enthusiasm are a great fit for B96 and we look forward to her debut in Chicago.”

“I cannot wait to join the amazing Entercom team in the city I’ve always dreamt of,” said Kenzie. “Thank you to Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah [Vice President of Programming, Entercom Chicago] and Erik Bradley [Music Director, Entercom Chicago] for this incredible opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting to know listeners in the Windy City.”

Prior to joining Entercom, Kenzie K hosted the midday drive for WiLD 94.1 in Lakeland, FL. She also served as on-air personality for KDWB-FM and KDOG in Minneapolis, MN.

She fills the Nikki Imbracsio time-slot. She departed B96 earlier this week.

Smollett Attorneys Still Playing Victim Card


Jussie Smollett’s lawyers maintained Thursday that he has “impeccable character and integrity” and was “betrayed” by the legal system, despite mounting evidence from authorities that the actor staged a hate attack on himself.

“Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system,” Smollett’s lawyers said.

“The presumption of innocence, a bedrock, in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably on the eve of a mayoral election.”

The NY Post reports the statement goes on to say that the 36-year-old TV actor “fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”

The “Empire” star — charged with staging a hate crime and filing a false police report about it, claiming he was the victim — was released on $100,000 bond Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted Smollett and said the actor staged the Jan. 29 attack because he was not satisfied with his salary.

“This announcement today recognized ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger and racism to promote his career,” Johnson said.

Chicago's Top Cop Rips Media, Celebs


Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson called out celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates on Thursday for their decision to amplify coverage of what he said was the “phony attack” against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, reports The Wrap.

“The accusation within this phony attack received national attention for weeks,” Johnson told reporters during a press conference. “Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.

“This announcement today recognized that ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson continued, adding that the star had staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the Fox show.

“I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’ Why would anyone — especially an African American man — use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusation,” Johnson added. “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city … I’m offended by what happened and I am also angry.”



In the weeks after the attack was reported, major journalists and Hollywood figures seized on the story to suggest the incident was reflective of a broader trend.

“This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate,” Sen. Kamala Harris said at the time.

“To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime — I urge you to pay attention,” added Sen. Cory Booker.

Both are running for president in 2020.

Smollett turned himself into police early Thursday morning after being charged by authorities with filing a false police report.  The arrest capped a three week investigation during which Smollett started as a victim but later evolved into the prime suspect behind the assault.

The Chicago Tribune reports hours later, Smollett endured the wrath of another black authority figure, Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr., who said he couldn’t in good conscience release the 36-year-old actor from custody on his own recognizance. Instead he set bond at $100,000.

“The most vile and despicable part of it, if it’s true, is the noose,” said Lyke, voicing a similar theme to Johnson’s. “That symbol conjures up such evil in this country’s history.”

Shortly before 4 p.m., after a friend from California posted the necessary $10,000, a stone-faced Smollett left Cook County Jail amid a crush of reporters screaming questions.

Rush Limbaugh Praises Chicago's Top Cop


Radio host Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the Jussie Smollett controversy Thursday saying the "Empire" actor was just another example of the left trying to portray America as a country filled with hate, according to Fox News.

“He’s a typical left-wing Democrat today! By the way, he paid these guys with a check. The guy’s an idiot in addition to everything else,” Limbaugh said on his radio program. “The left is nothing but phony hate crimes, phony alleged hate crimes, phony charges, made-up stories.”

Eddie Johnson
Smollett was charged in Chicago police for planning a fake attack, accusing two white strangers of calling him racist and homophobic names, putting a noose around his neck, pouring bleach on him and using a pro-Trump slogan.

“They know these things probably aren’t true, but they want them to be, and that’s why they report them as true," Limbaugh said. “So in the mind of the American left, these crimes are happening everywhere. Even if the Smollett case isn’t real, it’s real elsewhere, and we must ‘raise consciousness.’”

Limbaugh also called out the media for their Smollett coverage and took presidential candidates Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ., to task for their initial reaction saying Sen. Harris “couldn’t wait to believe this.”

The only person that generated any praise from Limbaugh was Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson who blasted Smollet in a press conference this morning.

“This guy called out presidential candidates for piling on here without any evidence whatsoever. He called out a bunch of people being punked and fooled by an actor. He called out the actor himself as an African-American. How dare this man sully the civil rights legacy of this country by taking advantage of it for his own desire to get more money,” Limbaugh said. “This is an adult. This police superintendent in Chicago is an adult.”

Albert, Micheletti to Call NHL Hat Trick


There’s a rare hockey hat trick happening this weekend and Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio are part of the action. Popular hockey broadcasters Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti will be calling three NHL games over a 24-hour period (involving five teams) for MSG Networks, Westwood One, and NBC Sports Radio.

Kenny Albert
On Saturday at 1:00 pm ET, the New York Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Micheletti, in his 13th season as Rangers in-game analyst on MSG Networks, will be joined in the broadcast booth by play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen.

Albert, now in his 23rd season as the radio voice of the Rangers, will simultaneously call the play-by-play action on ESPN 98.7, the radio home of the Rangers, alongside analyst Dave Maloney.

Joe Micheletti
Following the game, Albert and Micheletti will go straight to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and team up to broadcast Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s national radio coverage of the NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at 8:00 pm ET. Albert and Micheletti will be joined onsite by rinkside reporter Kelly Chase and host Steve Mears.

After the game, the duo will then travel down south to Washington, D.C. for MSG Networks’ television and radio broadcast of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals game on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Capital One Arena. Micheletti will be joined again in the booth by Rosen, with Albert on the radio call with Maloney.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Albert. “If you love the sport of hockey, it will be a dream weekend. Ernie Banks would be proud. And we definitely won’t forget our scarves and gloves for the Stadium Series game in Philadelphia on Saturday night!”

Albert and Micheletti serve as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead NHL broadcast crew and will be on the call together for select playoff games this year, including their fourth straight season calling the Stanley Cup Final.