Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Rundown: U-S Passes 3M Coronavirus Cases

TRUMP THREATENS TO CUT FUNDS FROM SCHOOLS IF DON'T OPEN: The U.S. passed three million confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, which also reported just under 133,000 deaths. But even as the country reached that milestone, health officials have said the real number of cases is some 10 times higher, which would be almost 10 percent of the U.S. population. As cases have been surging in recent weeks in many states, particularly in the South and West, testing has ramped up, but many Americans are finding it hard to get tested, particularly in new hot spot states. People trying to get tested are waiting in line for hours in their cars, some sites are running out of test kits, and labs are taking longer to process tests as they are reporting shortages of necessary materials and workers to process them.

WSJ Graphic 7/9/2020
Meanwhile, President Trump for a second day pushed for schools to reopen in the fall, threatening to withhold federal funds from school districts that don't have students in classrooms, tweeting, "May cut off funding if not open!" He also complained about guidelines for schools to reopen issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, portraying them as too impractical and expensive. Soon after, Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the coronavirus task force, said the CDC would issue new guidance next week, saying they'll keep students safe, but, quote, "the president said today we just don’t want the guidance to be too tough." The original guidelines included students and teachers wearing masks, spreading out desks, staggering schedules, eating meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria, and adding physical barriers between bathroom sinks. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield emphasized yesterday that the guidelines are only recommendations, saying, "I want to make it very clear that what is not the intent of CDC’s guidelines is to be used as a rationale to keep schools closed."

But some governors pushed back against Trump's pressure, saying he has no authority over what schools will do in the fall. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "School reopenings are a state decision, period."

Chicago Tribune 7/9/20

➤AS FLOYD SAID COULDN'T BREATHE, OFFICER SAID 'TAKES A HECK OF A LOT OF OXYGEN TO TALK': Transcripts of police body camera recordings released publicly yesterday showed that as George Floyd told Minneapolis police officers more than 20 times that he couldn't breathe before he died, the officer who had his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes told him, "Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk."

Among what Floyd said while Officer Derek Chauvin's knee was on his neck was, "You're going to kill me, man," and "They'll kill me. They'll kill me. I can't breathe. I can't breathe." The transcripts were made public as part of former Officer Thomas Lane's request to have the aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter case against him dismissed, with his attorney, Earl Gray, contending there isn't probable cause to charge him. Lane was one of three other officers involved in the May 25th incident. Gray said Lane had asked twice if they should roll Floyd, who was on his stomach handcuffed, on his side and Chauvin said no.

 Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other two former officers, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, are also charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired.

➤SUPREME COURT: EMPLOYERS CAN BLOCK FREE BIRTH CONTROL COVERAGE BASED ON RELIGIOUS, MORAL OBJECTIONS: The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that employers can be exempt from the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance to cover birth control free of charge if the employer has a religious or moral objection. Two of the court's liberals -- Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer -- joined the five conservatives in the 7-2 decision. The ruling upheld the administration saying in 2017 that it would allow the birth control exemption, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing in the decision that the administration had the authority to make the change and followed appropriate procedures to do so. The ACA had initially exempted churches, synagogues and mosques from the birth control coverage requirement, and created a way to allow religiously-affiliated organizations like hospitals, universities and charities to opt out too. But the Trump administration expanded the exemption beyond religious and religiously-affiliated organizations.

➤DRIVER WHO KILLED SEATTLE PROTESTER, INJURED ANOTHER CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE: A 27-year-old man who hit two Black Lives Matter protesters with his car on a Seattle highway early Saturday morning, killing one of them and injuring the other, was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving. Dawit Kelete remains in custody on $1.2 million bail. Kelete, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from the African nation of Eritrea, drove around vehicles that were parked on the highway to protect the protesters and hit two people. Summer Taylor, who was 24, died hours later, and Diaz Love was hospitalized with internal injuries and multiple fractures. Kelete's attorney, John Henry Brown, said his client didn't intentionally hit the protesters, calling it a "horrible, horrible accident," and saying, "My client is in tears. He’s very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt."

➤VINDMAN, WHO TESTIFIED IN IMPEACHMENT CASE, RETIRES FROM ARMY; ATTORNEY BLAMES TRUMP: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified in President Trump's impeachment inquiry, announced yesterday that he's retiring from the Army, with his attorney, David Pressman, accusing Trump of carrying out a, quote, "campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation" against Vindman.

Pressman's statement said the 45-year-old was retiring after it had been made clear that, quote, "his future within the institution he has dutifully served will forever be limited." He stated, "LTC Vindman's patriotism has cost him his career." Vindman had been on a promotion list to sent to Defense Secretary Mark Esper earlier this year, but the list was delayed for weeks because the White House asked for an investigation of Vindman, AP cited an official as saying. A review was done and no misconduct was found, but the list was again delayed. A senior defense official told CNN Esper got the final list Monday and approved it and it was expected to be sent to the White House this week. It's not clear whether the White House would have signed off on it, or if Esper knew of Vindman's plans to retire when he approved the list.

Trump removed Vindman from his National Security Council job in February, two days after the president was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial. Vindman had testified before House impeachment investigators about Trump's phone call last July that sparked the impeachment probe in which he pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his then-potential 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, using approved congressional aid and a desired White House visit as leverage. During his testimony, he spoke about his father, who brought the family to the U.S. from the Soviet Union when Vindman was a child, and how he'd reassured his father about him testifying, saying that he'd be fine because he was telling the truth and that his father shouldn't worry, quote, "because this is America. . . . Here right matters."

➤MLS RETURNS WITH 2-1 ORLANDO WIN OVER MIAMI: Major League Soccer returned from its coronavirus shutdown last night with a 2-1 Orlando City win over Inter Miami in the opening game of the MLS is Back tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. There were no fans in attendance. Before the game, nearly 200 players went on the field for an eight-minute, 46-minute moment of silence to protest racial injustice, representing the length of time George Floyd was on the ground with a police officer's knee on his neck. Some players raised their right arms, wore black face masks that said "Black Lives Matter," black gloves, and black T-shirts with messages that included, "Black And Proud," "Silence Is Violence" and "Black All The Time." Several players also took a knee.

➤IVY LEAGUE CANCELS FALL SPORTS: The Ivy League canceled all fall sports, including football, on Wednesday (July 8th) due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first Division I conference to do so. Also affected are soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cross country, and the fall part of winter sports like basketball. However, the league left open the possibility of moving some seasons to the spring if the pandemic is better controlled in the U.S. by then.

Radio Hall Unveils 2020 Nominees

The Radio Hall of Fame has announced this year’s 24 nominees in a total of six categories. Industry voting in four of those categories begins next Monday, July 13. Listener voting in the other two categories begins on July 20. Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, the 2020 induction ceremony will be a live radio broadcast from multiple locations this October. The exact date and additional details will be announced along with the inductees later this summer.

“2020 marks 100 years of radio and, while we regret that we cannot hold an in-person event this year, we’re looking forward to the excitement of a live, multi-location radio broadcast,” stated Kraig Kitchin, Chair of the Radio Hall of Fame. “I want to thank Dennis Green, Chair of this year’s Nominating Committee, and all the radio professionals who are volunteering their time and expertise to the difficult task of selecting inductees from such an impressive list.”

Green, Chief Revenue Officer of Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks, added, “I look forward to working with the Committee and to honoring the 2020 Radio Hall of Fame inductees during the special live radio broadcast.”

Nominees were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee, following suggestions from radio professionals across the industry. The nominees in the four industry-voted categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of 600 industry professionals, who will receive confidential ballots from online voting service Votem. The winners in the two listener-voted categories will be determined by the public, who will also vote via Votem, and the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. The outcome of the listener vote will count as one vote among the committee votes. The votes will be monitored by certified public accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase, LLP. Inductees will be announced on August 17. Premiere Networks has signed on as this year’s first sponsor of the live broadcast.


➤Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)
  • Mark & Brian - KLOS-FM
  • Bobby Rich-KFMB-FM San Diego & KMXZ-FM Tucson
  • Bob Rivers-KJR-FM Seattle
  • Donnie Simpson-WMMJ-FM Washington D.C.
➤Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)
  • Angie Martinez-WWPR-FM New York City
  • Matt Siegel-WXKS-FM Boston
  • Elliot Segal-WWDC-FM Washington D.C.
  • Bob Stroud-WDRV-FM Chicago
➤Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)
  • Sid Mark-Host, Sounds of Sinatra
  • Joey Reynolds-Host, WOR Radio Network
  • Cokie Roberts-Political Reporter, NPR
  • Suzyn Waldman-New York Yankees Radio Network
➤Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more)
  • The Breakfast Club-Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy, Premiere Networks
  • Larry Elder-Salem Radio Network
  • Jaime Jarrin-Los Angeles Dodgers Network
  • Kim Komando-Host, Kim Komando Show, Westar Radio Network


➤Music Format On-Air Personality
  • Whitney Allen-The Big Time with Whitney Allen, Westwood One
  • Bob & Sheri-The Bob and Sheri Show, Westwood One
  • Sway Calloway-Sirius XM Shade 45 Channel
  • John Boy & Billy-The John Boy & Billy Show, Premiere Networks
➤Spoken Word On-Air Personality
  • Glenn Beck-The Glenn Beck Show, Premiere Networks
  • John & Ken-The John & Ken Show, KFI-AM Los Angeles
  • Stephanie Miller-The Stephanie Miller Show, WYD Media
  • Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me-NPR
The Radio Hall of Fame honors notable radio personalities and showcases their accomplishments in the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications. Each year, 24 nominations in six categories are determined by the organization’s nominating committee, which is comprised of industry leaders.

Rock Hall Cancels Live Induction Event

Celebrating the newest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees will look a different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers announced they will replace the annual live ceremony with an exclusive special honoring this year’s inductees.

The program will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max on November 7, replacing the 35th annual live ceremony originally scheduled for May 2 of this year.

“To protect the health and safety of our Inductees, their families, crews, and our attendees, we’ve made the decision that the scheduled live event is not possible,” said John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in a statement. “Together with HBO and executive producer Joel Gallen, we will still create an exciting program honoring our 2020 inductees, by telling the stories of their incredible contributions to music and impact on a generation of artists that followed them.”

The 2020 Inductee class includes Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., T-Rex, and Ahmet Ertegun Award honorees Jon Landau and Irving Azoff.

Former FOX Host Shepard Smith Gets CNBC Gig

Shepard Smith
CNBC has signed former Fox News journalist Shepard Smith to anchor a new one-hour evening news program, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“The News with Shepard Smith” will debut this fall in the 7-8 p.m. time slot on the cable news business channel. The Monday through Friday newscast marks a significant shift in the evening programming strategy for CNBC, which currently relies on light, unscripted fare.

CNBC Chairman Mark Hoffman said Smith’s show will try to be a counter to news and commentary programming.

“Information is coming at us from every direction,” Mr. Hoffman said in a statement. “If we’re not careful life-altering decisions will be made based on half-truth, rumor, misdirection or worse. We aim to deliver a nightly program that, in some small way, looks for the signal in all the noise.”

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Shell has previously indicated a desire to see CNBC experiment with more news and commentary programming in prime time to offer a counter to the right-leaning Fox News and the left-leaning CNBC sister channel MSNBC. CNBC and NBCUniversal are units of Comcast Corp.

In announcing Smith’s hiring, Mr. Hoffman suggested there would be no other changes coming to the rest of CNBC’s prime-time lineup anytime soon. The Smith newscast will “serve as the perfect bridge between CNBC’s daytime investor-focused news programming and the network’s aspirational business-oriented entertainment programs in prime time.”

Other CNBC prime-time shows include “The Profit,” featuring businessman Marcus Lemonis on the hunt for businesses to invest in, and “Jay Leno’s Garage.” The repeats of “Shark Tank” will also continue to be part of the network’s evening lineup.

Smith said in a statement that he is “honored to continue to pursue the truth, both for CNBC’s loyal viewers and for those who have been following my reporting for decades in good times and in bad.” CNBC, he said, has a “vision for a fact-based, hourlong evening news program with the mission to cut through the static to deliver facts, in context and with perspective.”

Smith will be joining a network with a much smaller audience. At Fox News, Mr. Smith’s afternoon newscast averaged 1.3 million viewers during his last quarter. The 7 p.m. time slot he is taking over at CNBC has averaged fewer than 250,000 viewers so far this year, according to Nielsen.

TV Ratings: 'Hamilton' Audience Size 'A Mystery'

Disney+’s streaming of “Hamilton” was surely the biggest event on television screens over the holiday weekend. Just how big, however, remains a mystery, The Associated Press reports.

Disney knows, but it’s not telling. Data is coming in to the Nielsen company, too, but won’t be released until Disney gives the go-ahead. “Hamilton” is the poster boy for how the science of measurement is not keeping up with how entertainment content is being consumed.

Disney+, which announced in May that it had signed up 54.5 million paid subscribers worldwide, will not release information on how many people subscribed in time to get “Hamilton” or how many watched until its next quarterly earnings report, a spokeswoman said.

Nielsen said it is repeating what it did in the early days of cable television by letting networks and their corporate owners dictate how much information about how many people are watching is released. Nascent networks figured it was a buzzkill if people learned that the audiences for heavily-promoted shows were small.

The same is true for the streaming services. They’re also nervous about how viewing patterns will be depicted — a new streamed show will often get a big audience when it is first released, but quickly drop off.

The combination of “America’s Got Talent,” “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” and auto racing gave NBC its first weekly prime-time ratings victory since December, The LA Times reports.

“America’s Got Talent” was the most-watched prime-time program for the sixth time in the six full weeks of television’s summer season, averaging 8.441 million viewers, its least of the season.

The week’s only other prime-time program to average more than 6 million viewers was the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes,” which averaged 6.09 million viewers. All three segments were previously broadcast and updated for Sunday’s broadcast.

“Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” was fifth for the week, averaging 4.761 million viewers. Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 was eighth for the week, averaging 4.343 million viewers.

NBC was the most popular network in prime time last week, averaging 3.8 million viewers. CBS had 3.3 million, ABC had 2.3 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Fox had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1 million and Telemundo had 820,000.

20 most popular prime time programs (Total Viewers):

1. “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 8.44 million.
2. “60 Minutes” (Sunday, 7 p.m.), CBS, 6.09 million.
3. “The Ingraham Angle” (Friday), Fox News, 5.7 million
4. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.21 million.
5. “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks,” NBC, 4.76 million.
6. “FBI,” CBS, 4.57 million.
7. “Hannity” (Friday), Fox News, 4.41 million.
8. “NASCAR Cup Series,” NBC, 4.34 million.
9. “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.33 million.
10. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.29 million.

11. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.27 million.
12. “60 Minutes” (Sunday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 4.262 million.
13. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 4.26 million.
14. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.22 million.
15. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 4.161 million.
16. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 4.156 million.
17. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.13 million.
18. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 4.08 million.
19. “The Wall,” NBC, 4.06 million.
20. “World of Dance,” NBC, 4 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts with an average of 8.9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” 5.3 million.

Fox News Channel led the cable networks, with an average of 3.35 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.93 million, CNN had 1.56 million, HGTV had 1.26 million and TLC had 1.14 million.

CableTV Top Channels (Total Viewers)
CableTV Top Channels (Persons 25-54)

Philly Radio: Philly Union Games To Air On The Gambler

Philadelphia Union games will be airing on local radio for the first time in almost a decade after the team signed a broadcast partnership with iHeartMedia’s new sports station FOX Sports Radio The Gambler.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports the team’s season — suspended in March after only two games due to the coronavirus — resumes Thursday morning at 9 a.m. as the Union square off against New York City FC as a part of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida. The first live broadcast will feature be play-by-play announcer Dave Leno and Union alumni S├ębastien Le Toux. Coverage will be led by The Gambler reporter Joe Tansey and program director Sean Brace, who have co-hosted a Union podcast for the past four years.

“Before The Gambler even went live in August 2019, the strong desire to become the Philadelphia Union’s broadcast partner was always on our mind,” Brace said in a statement. “It gives us all great joy to be able to provide one of Philly’s most passionate fanbases a place to hear every Union game this season.”

Union games will be available via The Gambler WRFY 102.5 FM, AM sister station WDAS 1480 AM, WDAS 105.3 FM HD2 and the iHeart App.

The Union’s games were last broadcast on the radio in 2012, when the team signed a radio broadcast deal with SportsRadio 610 WIP and its parent company CBS Radio, which has since been acquired by Entercom Communications Corp. The team was founded in 2010.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The partnership with The Gambler for 2020 comes a few months after the team renewed its television broadcast partnership with 6ABC and PHL17. For the first time in the team’s 11-year history, local fans will also be able to stream games on at no cost. After being partnered for seven seasons with NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Union originally signed a deal with PHL17 and 6ABC before the 2018 season.

As for The Gambler, this is its first broadcast partnership deal with one of the professional sports teams. The Eagles and Phillies have deals with Entercom’s SportsRadio 94 WIP and the Flyers and 76ers with Beasley Media Group’s 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM).

The Gambler became the region’s third sports talk radio station last August as iHeart looked to capitalize on the fast growth of legalized sports betting in the tri-state area. It airs a mix of syndicated programming from FOX Sports Radio and local content hosted by Brace and Eytan Shander.

CA-AZ Radio: Chris Flemming To Manage El Dorado Cluster

Chris Flemming
El Dorado Broadcasters, owners of market-leading radio stations in Victor Valley, California (DMA #114) and Yuma, Arizona, has appointed Chris Fleming as the Executive Vice President for the company and general manager for the Victor Valley stations.

Fleming spent the past three years as Executive Vice President of Neuhoff Media, based in Lafayette, Indiana. Previously, Mr. Fleming spent ten years as Chief Revenue Officer/General Manager at Ramar Communications radio stations in Lubbock, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“Chris Fleming has a long history of building products and growing revenues in markets of all sizes” said Jason Wolff, President of El Dorado Broadcasters. “I’ve watched from a distance as Chris built tremendous value for Brad Moran at Ramar. Now I’m excited to give Chris the reins and see him guide El Dorado into a successful integrated marketing company with strong radio brands at its core.”

“This is a great time to be in the radio business, especially in smaller markets where radio is an integral part of the daily routine,” Fleming stated. “Radio listening remains strong, and audiences are making purchasing decisions every day based on what they hear on their favorite radio stations. This is especially true in the Victor Valley, where El Dorado owns virtually all of the radio stations and there is no local television; and in Yuma, where there are only four FM stations serving a metro area with nearly 200,000 listeners, and El Dorado owns the top-rated cluster of radio stations.”

“For me, it was very important to find a company with a solid vision for the future,” said Fleming, “El Dorado Broadcasters is a private, family-owned company with no debt and plenty of cash available for acquisitions. As we grow our businesses, we will continue to seek out the most talented people to join our team. Even though we have the dominant stations in each market, I still believe that our people are the company’s most valuable assets.”

The Group Formally Known As Lady Antebellum Sues Lady A

Attorneys for Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, have filed a suit against blues singer Anita White who goes by the name Lady A, Billboard reports.

According to the suit, filed Wednesday in Nashville’s U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the case arises from White’s “attempt to enforce purported trademark rights in a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade.”

The suit also alleges that after conversations broke down between the band -- whose members are Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and David Haywood -- and the singer and their respective attorneys, White’s new counsel “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand.” While the dollar figure is not mentioned in the suit, a statement concurrently issued by the band says the amount is $10 million.

On June 11, the band announced via Instagram that it was dropping the name Antebellum from its name after reflecting on the Black Lives Matter movement and in an effort to be more inclusive.

The next day, June 12, Seattle-based White, who says she has been performing under the name Lady A for more than two decades, told Rolling Stone she was blindsided when she heard the news. “This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.... They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time.... It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.”

In the suit, the trio says the group has used Lady Antebellum and Lady A interchangeably as early as 2006-2007, and includes a page from its website in 2008 that cites the band by the nickname, as well as several other references to the band as Lady A through the years.

In May 2010, according to the suit and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings reviewed by Billboard, the band applied to register Lady A for entertainment purposes, including live musical performances and streaming musical programming. After there was no opposition filed by any person or entity, the application was registered on July 26, 2011. Further applications to register the name for musical recordings and clothing were also granted after there was no opposition.

The suit acknowledges that the solo artist Lady A has performed under the name and has used the name while touring and to identify herself on recorded music released as far back as 2010 and on streaming services, but adds that “based on information and belief,” White has never used Lady A as a trademark and if she did, she applied after Lady Antebellum had secured its trademarks a decade ago.

IN Radio: WGTO Flips To MeTV-FM

Sun Broadcast Group is happy to announce that MeTV-FM has a brand-new home on WGTO 910 AM / FM97.1 in South Bend, IN, who started airing the format this past Sunday.

"WGTO AM910 and FM97.1 has been a classic hits station for many years, but we found ourselves competing with higher power stations playing the same tight playlist and voice tracked DJ's. We needed to try something different,” said Larry Langford, WGTO Station Owner and GM. “MeTV FM pulls it off in a way that allows you to enjoy the music flow with creative and entertaining drop ins about the times and the music. We are looking forward to a long relationship in the South Bend, Indiana market!"

For more information on securing MeTV-FM in your market, call Rich O’Brien at 212-380-9338

Report: Twitter Exploring Subscription Service

Jack Dorsey
Twitter Inc. said it was developing a subscription service that could give the social-media company a new revenue source at a time when it is under pressure to boost earnings, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The San Francisco company said in a job posting for a senior software engineer that it was “building a subscription platform” under a team code-named Gryphon and seeking someone to lead payment and subscription client work. Gryphon appears to be software that would be accessible to Twitter’s internal teams looking to add subscription options to their products, according to the job description. “This is a first for Twitter!,” the company said in the posting.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey is under pressure to boost results after a battle with Elliott Management Corp. The activist investor sought to remove the part-time chief executive, who splits his time with financial technology company Square Inc. The sides agreed to a truce with Twitter pledging to seek stronger revenue growth.

The job description offered few details on the subscription project, but said the hire would be working closely with the company’s payments team and the web-based group. The job would be based in New York, where Twitter already has an office.

A person familiar with Twitter’s plans said the company was exploring a variety of revenue-generating initiatives. No product decision has been made, the person said.

Twitter shares rose more than 7% Wednesday, the day the job posting got wide public notice.

U.S. Hispanic Population Growth Has Slowed

The U.S. Hispanic population reached a record 60.6 million in 2019, up 930,000 over the previous year and up from 50.7 million in 2010, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Over the past decade, however, population growth among Hispanics has slowed as the annual number of births to Hispanic women has declined and immigration has decreased, particularly from Mexico.

Even so, Latinos remain an important part of the nation’s overall demographic story. Between 2010 and 2019, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16% to 18%.

The data also revealed that the “Latino share” of the population is now 18% and that they accounted for 52% of the U.S. population growth, a period that saw flat white population growth and a dip in black population growth.

The Latino population grew faster in the South than in any other U.S. region since 2010. It increased by 26% from 2010 to 2019, rising from 18.3 million to 23.1 million. States in the Northeast (18% increase), Midwest (18%) and West (14%) also experienced growth in the number of Latinos from 2010 to 2019. Nationally, the Latino population has grown 19% since 2010, by 9.8 million people.

July 9 Radio History

➦In 1879…Bell Telephone Company founded.

➦In 1933...Radio producer/voice actor  Dick Orkin was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Orkin was 16 when he began his radio career as a fill-in announcer at WKOK 1070 AM Sunbury PA . After earning his BA in speech and theater from Franklin & Marshall College he attended the Yale School of Drama, then returned to Pennsylvania to become the news director at WLAN 1390 AM Lancaster in 1959. Later he joined the staff of KYW Cleveland. In 1967 Orkin moved to WCFL Chicago and created 'Chickenman', a Batman parody which chronicled the exploits of a crime-fighting “white-winged warrior” and his secret identity as mild-mannered shoe salesman Benton Harbor.

Chickenman’s 250-plus episodes have been syndicated around the world and can still be heard on internet, making it the longest-running radio serial of all time. At WCFL Orkin also produced more than 300 episodes of another popular serial, 'The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy'.

Inspired by the commercial parodies on Stan Freberg and Bob & Ray’s radio shows, Orkin created the Famous Radio Ranch in 1973 to produce his own comedic radio spots. Stationed in California since ’78, the Radio Ranch, currently helmed by Orkin and his daughter Lisa, has produced hundreds of memorable ads for a variety of clients, ranging from Time magazine to First American Bank to the Gap, and garnered more than 200 awards in the process.

Dick Orkin was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.  He died December 26, 2017.

➦In 1955..."(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & The Comets peaked at Number One, where it remained for eight weeks. It was the first rock 'n roll record to hit Number One on the Billboard charts.

➦In 1956…In Philadelphia, 26-year-old Dick Clark made his debut as host of "Bandstand" on WFIL-TV following the DUI arrest of the show's former host, Bob Horn. The program's name changed to "American Bandstand" when it became a network show on ABC in 1957. Clark relinquished his hosting duties in 1989 to David Hirsch, but the program was cancelled within a matter of months.

➦In 1960…77WABC-AM, New York introduced the WABC MusicChart

➦In 1972....Johnny Donovan started at Muscradio 77 WABC.  
He grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, nicknamed "Sarge," after his father's rank in the United States Army during World War II.

A radio enthusiast from an early age (with an amateur radio station K2KOQ in a corner of the basement), he became a DJ ("Large Sarge") on WHVW in nearby Hyde Park, after helping build the station.

He went on to stations in Kingston (WBAZ) and Binghamton (WENE), New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey (WMID) before landing in New York City, first at WOR-FM, and finally at WABC.

Donovan stayed on at WABC as Production Director and staff announcer when WABC went to a talk format in 1982.

After 44 years of service at both MusicRadio and TalkRadio 77 WABC production guru Johnny Donovan retired in May 2015. However, he continues as the voice of the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Eric Sevareid
➦In 1992…CBS newsman/commentator Eric Sevareid, one of "Murrow's Boys," the elite group of World War II correspondents hired by CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, died of stomach cancer at the age of 79.

➦In 2004...longtime Cleveland deejay Bill Randle succumbed to cancer at age 81.  He had been instrumental in introducing Elvis Presley, along with the likes of Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Rosemary Clooney, Johnnie Ray, Sarah Vaughan and Fats Domino to the national music scene.

He was born William McKinley Randle Jr. on March 14, 1923, in Detroit, Michigan. He hosted a popular show on WJLB-AM radio (now WDTK) called The Interracial Goodwill Hour, featuring rhythm and blues music and hot jazz. Curiously enough, Randle almost did not survive early radio. One Thanksgiving, he played an unusual version of "Silent Night" sung by gospel and blues artist Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Many persons called in to complain and the station manager, longtime radio and television fixture Sidney Andorn fired Randle. The next morning, WERE owner Ray T. Miller, the chairman of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, rehired Randle after he learned he had so many listeners to Randle's program, and fired Andorn instead.

As a pioneering disc jockey at radio station WERE in Cleveland, Ohio he helped change the face of American music.

In the 1950s, Time Magazine called Bill Randle the top DJ in America. His popularity and huge listening audience allowed him to bolster the careers of a number of young musicians, including the Four Lads, Bobby Darin, and Fats Domino. Nicknamed "The Pied Piper of Cleveland", a 1955 musical documentary film was made about him titled The Pied Piper of Cleveland: A Day in the Life of a Famous Disc Jockey. The film includes a Cleveland concert at Brooklyn High School on October 20, 1955 featuring Pat Boone and Bill Haley & His Comets with Elvis Presley as the opening act. It is the first film footage of a Presley performance.

While working in Cleveland, Randle would travel back to Detroit for some radio programs. In the late 1950s, Randle would fly back and forth from Cleveland to New York where he produced radio shows in both markets (at WERE and WCBS-AM, respectively). He sat alongside other top DJs of the era including Carl Reese, Phil McLean and Howie Lund.

Many songs that Randle championed on-air ended up as commercial hits, the most successful of which was an edited 45 rpm single of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Battle Hymn of the Republic." That version, which Randle suggested to and arranged with Columbia Records (then owned by CBS and a sister property to WCBS-AM) was an unlikely hit in 1959; it ended up on the Billboard charts for 11 weeks and reached as high as #13 on Billboard's "Hot 100" that autumn.

Bill Randle - 1992
During the 1970s and 1980s, Randle resurfaced on several different Cleveland radio stations, even hosting a talk show on WBBG 1260 AM in 1977. In the 1990s, Randle joined the airstaff of the now-defunct WRMR 850 AM, anchoring the "Big Show" on Sunday afternoons and an late-afternoon program.

➦In 2016…Longtime New York City radio personality Vaughn Harper, died at age 71.

Vaughn Harper
As one of the deejays mentored by Frankie Crocker on WBLS, Harper entered radio in 1976. In May 1983, WBLS hired Champaine, an African American woman deejay, and together Harper and Champaine developed a quiet storm late night format patterned after the successful show which had been introduced by WHUR jock Melvin Lindsey in 1976. Others took to the format but WBLS had greater reach and more listeners. The Harper/Champaine quiet storm program became a staple that lasted thru station changeovers and garnered a following in the New York Market. With a deep, mellifluous voice, listeners said Harper sounded romantic, eliciting a peaceful respite at the end of the day.

In 1979 along with his co-horts Ken Webb, Johnny Allen, and Frankie Crocker, WBLS reached #1 in the Billboard Radio rankings as rated by Arbitron.

In 1993 Harper suffered a stroke and spent years effecting a comeback. In his absence, Champaine hosted Quiet Storm II on WBLS.  Harper left WBLS for WWRL in 1997. Reading live ads upon returning to radio in 1998 had improved his delivery to his pre-stroke professionalism and at WBGO-FM he felt the energy returning to his program. Listeners will get a certain energy from me he promised.

Harper rejoined WBLS and continued as a radio host until 2008.

John Tesh is 68
  • Singer-actor Ed Ames of The Ames Brothers is 93. 
  • Actor James Hampton (“F Troop”) is 84. 
  • Actor Richard Roundtree is 78. 
  • Singer Dee Dee Kenniebrew of The Crystals is 75. 
  • Actor Chris Cooper is 69. 
  • TV personality/radio host/musician John Tesh is 68. 
  • Country singer David Ball is 67. 
  • Business leader Kevin O’Leary (“Shark Tank”) is 66. 
  • Singer Debbie Sledge of Sister Sledge is 66. 
  • Actor Jimmy Smits is 65. 
  • Actor Tom Hanks is 64. 
  • Singer Marc Almond of Soft Cell is 63. 
  • Actress Kelly McGillis is 63. 
  • Singer Jim Kerr of Simple Minds is 61. 
  • Singer Courtney Love is 56. 
  • Bassist Frank Bello of Anthrax is 55. 
  • Actor David O’Hara (“The District”) is 55. 
  • Actress Pamela Adlon (“Louie”) is 54. 
  • Actor Scott Grimes (“ER,” ″Party of Five”) is 49. 
  • Musician Jack White is 45. 
  • Singer-guitarist Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse is 45. 
  • Actor Fred Savage is 44. 
  • Singer Dan Estrin of Hoobastank is 44. 
  • Actress Linda Park (“Star Trek: Enterprise”) is 42. 
  • Singer-actress Kiely Williams of 3LW (“Cheetah Girls” films) is 34. 
  • Actor Mitchel Musso (“Phineas and Ferb,” “Hannah Montana”) is 29. 
  • Actress Georgie Henley (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) is 25.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

NYC Radio: WABC Adds Frank Morano To Talk Line-Up

Frank Morano
Talkradio 77 WABC and Red Apple Media have announced Frank Morano is the latest radio talk talent to join the radio station as part of its ever-growing commitment to quality live and local talk. Morano will host The Frank Morano Program every Sunday evening from 7-9 PM ET starting this Sunday, July 12 and will begin anchoring Morano in the Morning every M-F from 1-5 AM ET, beginning in August.

His program will feature newsmakers, insightful commentary, expert guests, lively exchanges with callers and a healthy dose of satire. In addition, Morano presently is hosting M-F 10 AM -12 Noon ET on WLIR-FM, the Long Island station recently purchased by Red Apple Media.

“Frank is one of the most entertaining young voices in talk radio today,” said Chad Lopez, President of Red Apple Media and WABC. “We’re thrilled to add Frank to our ranks as we continue to cement our place as New York’s premiere news and talk station. Now more than ever, it’s more important that we make sure New Yorkers know where to go for news and information.”

Morano boasts a long career in talk radio, having spent the last decade at AM 970 The Answer, where he produced The Joe Piscopo Show, The John Gambling Show and The Curtis Sliwa Show, in addition to being a key on-air part of all three programs. Additionally, he’s hosted “Morano in the Morning” on a weekly basis since 2011 and repeatedly served as a substitute host on the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher Show. Morano will continue to serve as a producer and on-air contributor to The Cats Roundtable, which is heard every Sunday morning from 8:30-10:00 AM ET and is hosted by John Catsimatidis, the owner of Red Apple Media. Before joining AM 970, Morano produced Curtis & Kuby, as well as a variety of other programs on 77WABC, where he was probably best-known for his on-air coverage of the four trials of John A. (Junior) Gotti.

“Joining the regular on-air lineup at 77WABC is the culmination of everything I’ve worked for since I was eight years old. I’m thrilled to work with some of the best talk talents in the country and for a radio station dedicated to quality live and local talk, at a time when it often seems in short supply,” said Morano. “I’m committed to working as hard as I possibly can to deliver to New Yorkers the information they need to get through their day, along with insights and commentary representing every point of view. This will be a talking point free show, which I hope will be entertaining and unpredictable.”

“Frank has already contributed a great deal towards furthering civic discourse in New York. To have him back on WABC is a major coup for us and we know he’ll be an essential building block in making radio fun again”, added Dave LaBrozzi, Senior Vice President of Programming for WABC. “We are incredibly honored that he is joining our team and look forward to working with him.”

A Producer of the Netflix original documentary “Get Me Roger Stone,” Morano has also been a leader in several minor parties in New York State and served as a senior aide to NYC Council Minority Whip, Joseph Borreli. A populist, who frequently criticizes both parties, Morano also served as the Managing Editor and co-host of Liquid Lunch, which formerly aired on NewsmaxTV. His opinion pieces have appeared in numerous publications including Crain’s New York and City and State.

Omnicom Plans To Spend $20M On Spotify Podcasts

Omnicom Media Group plans to spend $20 million on advertising in podcasts distributed by Spotify Technology SA under a deal covering the second half of this year, The Wall Street Journal reports citing a company release.

It isn’t the first plan for significant spending ahead of time for the fast-growing podcasting industry. iHeartMedia Inc. has been handling much of its podcast sales through upfront negotiations for almost a year, according to Conal Byrne, president of the company’s iHeartPodcast Network.

But advertisers typically sponsor individual series when it comes to podcasts, where advertising is growing rapidly but remains relatively small. Marketers are projected to spend $863.4 million on advertising in U.S. podcasts this year, up from $678.7 million in 2019, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. By comparison, ad revenue from digital video in 2019 was $21.7 billion, the IAB said.

“It’s a big deal, a very big deal versus what we’ve done in the past,” said Catherine Sullivan, chief investment officer at Omnicom Media Group North America. Clients spent several million dollars through Omnicom to advertise in podcasts in 2019, she said.

Omnicom Media Group, part of advertising-agency holding company Omnicom Group Inc., is increasing its podcast investment now partly because audiences continue to grow and partly because technology is making the ads more targetable and measurable, Ms. Sullivan said.

“We know that audio works very well at increasing consumer attitudes and driving action, but we believe that adding addressability to the podcast format may increase metrics even further,” she said.

The deal also calls for collaboration on research and a first crack at new shows for Omnicom Media Group clients, which include McDonald’s Corp., PepsiCo Inc. and AT&T Inc.

Podcasting’s rise has been slowed in part by fragmentation and the lack of digital marketing tools such as addressability, said Dawn Ostroff, the chief content and advertising business officer at Spotify. “There’s not even a unified metric by which podcasts are being looked at by advertisers,” she said.

The Rundown: Florida Reports ICUs Filled to Capacity

TEXAS BECOMES THIRD STATE TO HAVE 10K CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ONE DAY; 56 FLORIDA ICUs FULL: Texas reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest daily total for the state since the pandemic began, becoming just the third state to report more than 10,000 cases in a single day, which New York did in April at the height of its outbreak, and Florida did last week. That was just one indicator of the virus surging in many states.

Among others: Florida officials said yesterday that at least 56 intensive care units in the state's hospitals were at capacity, and another 35 hospitals only had 10 percent or less of ICU bed availability; the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in California reached its highest number yet, and the state also had a record number of patients in ICUs; and Georgia passed 100,000 coronavirus cases, the ninth state to do so. There have been more than 131,400 deaths in the U.S. as of last night, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and more than 2,993,000 confirmed cases.

As cases have been surging for, the death rate has continued to go down, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said yesterday, "It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death." Speaking during a livestream with Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, he said, "There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don't get yourself into false complacency."

Newsday 7/8/20

Trump Presses for Schools to Reopen: President Trump said yesterday that he wants schools to reopen this fall and will push state and local officials to do so. Speaking at a White House roundtable attended by health and education leaders who said schools and colleges can reopen safely, Trump said, "We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools." Trump also accused without basis that Democrats want to keep schools closed because, quote, "They think it's going to be good for them politically." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Robert Redfield said they're encouraging all schools to reopen and have provided guidelines that include students and teachers wearing masks, spreading out desks, staggering schedules, eating meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria, and adding physical barriers between bathroom sinks. Meanwhile, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said plans announced some schools to have students physically in school for just some days of the week isn't acceptable, saying they must fully reopen, stating, "Anything short of that robs students, not to mention taxpayers, of their future."

➤U.S. NOTIFIES U.N. OF WITHDRAWAL FROM WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The State Department said Tuesday that it had formally notified the United Nations that the U.S. is withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO), following through on President Trump's announcement in May. Trump has criticized the WHO for its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and charged it had given in to China. However, the withdrawal won't take effect until next July, and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he will reverse the decision on his first day in office if he's elected. Under the terms of the withdrawal, the U.S., which is the WHO's largest donor, must meet its financial obligations before it can be finalized.

➤TOP U.S. GENERAL: RUSSIAN BOUNTY INTELLIGENCE NOT PROVEN, BUT 'PROVED ENOUGH TO WORRY' HIM: General Frank McKenzie, the top U.S. general overseeing operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, told reporters Tuesday that the intelligence about Russia offering Taliban militants bounties to kill U.S. troops wasn't proven, but was, quote, "very worrisome." He said, "It was proved enough to worry me. It wasn't proved enough that I'd take it to a court of law," adding, "That's often true in battlefield intelligence." McKenzie's comments were the first time a Pentagon official has answered questions about the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia had offered the cash bounties. He stated, "I sent the intelligence guys back to continue to dig on it. And I believe they're continuing to dig right now." The New York Times first reported on June 26th about the intelligence assessment, saying President Trump had been briefed months ago, which Trump has denied. Trump has since continued to downplay the intelligence, recently calling it a hoax. 

➤FBI PROBING REPORTED ASSAULT ON BLACK INDIANA MAN IN WHICH 'GET A NOOSE' SAID THREATENED: The FBI said yesterday that it's investigating the reported assault of a Black civil rights activist in Indiana by a group of white men, in which the man, Vauhxx Booker, said he was pinned against a tree, had racial slurs shouted at him, and heard one of the men threaten to, quote, "get a noose." Some of the assault on Booker, who is also a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, was caught on cellphone video by his friends. The incident took place over the Fourth of July weekend at Monroe Lake near Bloomington.

➤EAGLES' JACKSON APOLOGIZES FOR SHARING ANTI-SEMITIC POSTS: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson apologized twice yesterday after he shared anti-Semitic posts over the weekend. One was a screenshot of a quote he attributed to Adolf Hitler that says, in part, "Jews will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were," and another showed support for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has used anti-Semitic rhetoric. 

Jackson said in a video he posted on Instagram yesterday, "My post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community. I . . . just probably never should have posted anything Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person, and I know that." In a later apology, Jackson said, "I want to apologize to the Jewish community . . . for the insensitive and ill-informed posts that I shared on my social media. My intention was to uplift, unite and encourage our culture with positivity and light. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I unintentionally hurt the Jewish community in the process and for that I am sorry! . . . This apology is more than just words -- it is a promise to do better." 

The Eagles said in a statement, "Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling." The NFL also issued a statement, in which they called the comments, quote, "highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion."

➤HAMILTON BOOSTS DISNEY: When the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical Hamilton debuted on Disney of the 4th of July weekend, the app was downloaded 752,451 times globally, including 458,796 times in the U.S., from Friday to Sunday, 74% more times than the four previous weekends in June.

Meanwhile, Disney said Tuesday that it still plans to reopen Disney World from its coronavirus shutdown this coming Saturday to a limited number of guests, despite the surge in cases of the virus in Florida. Some Disney World workers have signed a petition asking that the reopening be delayed because of what's happening in Florida, where coronavirus cases have soared in the last month. Disney's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel, said in a statement yesterday that new policies that have been put in place for Disney World, including temperature checks, required face masks, and extra cleaning, will allow guests to visit the theme park "responsibly." Disney closed down in theme parks in March because of the pandemic.

ESPN Radio Replacing “Golic & Wingo” In Mornings

ESPN Radio will unveil a powerful new weekday lineup beginning Monday, Aug. 17, featuring signature, multi-platform personalities, all of whom either currently work on or previously hosted shows on ESPN Radio.

Mike Greenberg, who co-hosted one of the most successful sports talk radio shows in history for 18 years, will return to host The Mike Greenberg Show from noon-2 p.m. ET.

“In radio there is an intimacy in the relationship with the audience that is different from any other medium,” Greenberg said. “I have always enjoyed that and am really looking forward to rediscovering it.”

All hosts will also appear across ESPN’s TV and digital shows, podcasts and more to further compelling, informative and entertaining discussions on key topics for fans throughout the day. All ESPN Radio shows will feature newsmakers and topical sports and celebrity guests in addition to fan interaction via calls and on social media.

“Our new lineup will provide sports fans informative and engaging content throughout the week from hosts who all have radio experience,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president & executive editor, production. “They know how to connect with fans and keep them invested in the programming. Our listeners will hear diverse perspectives on key topics from some of the most talented, knowledgeable and contemporary voices in the industry.”

David Roberts, ESPN senior vice president, production, added, “This lineup and approach underscores our commitment to expanding the scope and impact of some of our industry’s most versatile voices throughout the day and night”

➤Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin: 6 – 10 a.m.

The schedule begins with the premiere of ESPN Radio’s new morning show, Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin, from 6-10 a.m. NFL Live analyst and Super Bowl Champion Keyshawn Johnson will co-host, alongside NBA and college basketball analyst Jay Williams and SportsCenter anchor Zubin Mehenti. The trio will discuss the morning’s top stories and overnight developments with their own perspective and analysis. Johnson – who has headlined a morning show for 710AM ESPN in Los Angeles since 2016 – will regularly appear on Get Up and First Take. Williams – who is regularly heard as a guest across ESPN Radio’s studio show lineup – will continue his role on NBA Countdown and appear across the network’s TV studio programming. Mehenti has been a consistent weekend voice on ESPN Radio in recent months and will also continue to host select editions of SportsCenter going forward.

➤The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz: 10 a.m. – Noon

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will follow from 10 a.m.-noon. The show has been part of the national ESPN Radio weekday lineup since 2015 and features Dan Le Batard – host of Highly Questionable and the South Beach Sessions podcast – and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner – host of the Stupodity podcast – connecting with listeners through their unique blend of self-deprecating humor, insightful guests, and thoughtful conversation. Given the show also has a very engaged digital following, Le Batard will continue to expand his reach in the podcast space through the Le Batard and Friends Network.

➤The Mike Greenberg Show: Noon – 2 p.m.
Host of ESPN’s morning show Get Up, Mike Greenberg makes his highly anticipated return to ESPN Radio. The show will regularly feature his unique take on many of the trending topics from that morning’s Get Up. Greenberg previously co-hosted Mike & Mike for almost two decades and was inducted in to the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.

➤The Max Kellerman Show: 2 – 4 p.m.

Featured commentator on ESPN’s marquee morning debate show First Take and host of Max on Boxing Max Kellerman will make his national ESPN Radio debut with The Max Kellerman Show from 2-4 p.m. Kellerman will regularly expand on the most-timely debates from that day’s edition of First Take from his point of view, further discussions on the latest boxing news and much more. Kellerman previously hosted shows for ESPN Radio in both the Los Angeles and New York markets.

➤Chiney and Golic Jr.: 4 – 7 p.m.

Two-time WNBA All-Star Chiney Ogwumike will be joined by ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Jr. from 4-7 p.m. for Chiney and Golic Jr. The duo – who regularly contribute to ESPN’s digital shows surrounding major events and the network’s additional studio programming – will engage with fans while discussing topics of the day and looking ahead at the night’s events. Ogwumike will also regularly appear on SportsCenter, Get Up, First Take, WNBA and NBA programming and provide analysis for men’s college basketball.

Ogwumike said, "I cherish this moment and opportunity, now more than ever. To co-host a daily, national platform is a reflection of ESPN's understanding that voices like mine matter. I am thrilled to represent this rising generation alongside my new teammate Golic Jr., a close friend and exceptional talent."

➤Spain and Fitz: 7 – 9 p.m.

From 7-9 p.m., award-winning writer for espnW and ESPN Radio host Sarah Spain – who also appears on the network’s Highly Questionable and Around the Horn – will be reunited with former co-host Jason Fitz – who will also continue as a leading commentator for ESPN’s digital shows and special event programming. Spain and Fitz – which the duo previously hosted together from January 2018-May 2019 – will pick up where it left off, entertaining listeners with insightful conversation on the day’s trending topics and under-the-radar stories.

➤Freddie and Fitzsimmons: 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

The weekday lineup culminates with Freddie and Fitzsimmons, led by veteran radio host Freddie Coleman and football sideline reporter and analyst Ian Fitzsimmons, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Coleman and Fitzsimmons take fans inside the sports news and events of the day with inviting conversation, strong opinions and reactions as that night’s events unfold.

ESPN Radio’s weekday lineup can be heard nationally on SiriusXM, the ESPN App and as well as via digital distributers Apple Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

NYC Radio: WFAN, WEPN Ratings Drop With No Sports

The full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York sports radio hit home on Tuesday with the release of the quarterly spring ratings, Newsday reports.

To no one’s surprise, numbers were down across the board, given the lack of sports this spring and the fact fewer people were commuting to work and listening in their cars to WFAN and ESPN New York.

In  the stations’ target demographic of men ages 25-54, WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti finished fourth among all New York-area stations from 6 to 10 a.m. with an average of 5.5% of the audience, and WEPN ESPN was a distant 20th at 1.4.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., WFAN’s Maggie Gray and Marc Malusis finished eighth at 3.4% and ESPN 10th at 3.1.

From 2 to 6 p.m., ESPN finished fourth at 5.0% and WFAN 10th at 3.6.

From 3 to 6 p.m., when ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show” competes head-to-head with WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, ESPN was fourth at 5.2% and WFAN 13th at 3.2.

The spring book covered the period March 26 through June 17.

In mid-June, Chris Oliviero, market manager for Entercom New York, said of Benigno and Roberts, "They have a long track record of ratings success [in midday], so to me it is unfair to judge them solely on the last two months.

ESPN, which long has struggled in the morning in New York with its national programming, will revamp its radio lineup effective Aug. 17, notably with former Jet Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti replacing Trey Wingo and Mike Golic in the morning.

In the winter, most of which was pre-COVID-19, WFAN finished first from 6 to 10 a.m. with an average of 6.7% of the audience in the key demo, ahead of ESPN’s 2.9.

The X-factor could be former morning WFAN co-host Craig Carton, who was released from prison in June after serving one year of a 42-month sentence for running a fraudulent business to pay off gambling debts.