Thursday, April 15, 2021

And The 2021 ACM Radio Winners Are...

The Academy of Country Music® revealed today the full list of Radio Award winners for the 56TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™, including first-time National On-Air Personality of the Year winner Kix Brooks with American Country Countdown. Additionally, KNIX-FM received two awards for Major Market On-Air Personality of the Year and Major Market Station of the Year.
The special announcement was revealed on the Academy of Country Music’s® official social media pages, with a series of heartfelt videos capturing winners receiving surprise gifts from the Academy. To see the full video, watch here.

This is the seventh overall win for KNIX-FM for ACM Major Market Station of the Year and the fourth overall win for KUZZ-AM/FM for ACM Medium Market Station of the Year. Additionally, WQDR-FM received their third win for ACM Large Market Station of the Year. KKNU-FM and Buzz Jackson each received their second wins for Small Market Station of the year and Medium Market Personality of the Year, respectively. Additional first-time winners for On-Air Personality of the Year categories include Lexi & Banks, Lois Lewis and Steve, Ben & Nikki.

“Congratulations to all of our 56th ACM Awards radio winners. Country radio is a vital part of the Country Music industry and artists’ success and we are grateful for the contributions they make to the industry every day,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “For the first time, the Academy was able to showcase our appreciation to these winners with a special package reveal to each of them, along with an iconic ACM trophy. We hope the memory of their win is one they cherish throughout their careers.”

Below is a complete list of the Radio Award winners for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards:

  • NATIONAL – American Country Countdown – Kix Brooks
  • MAJOR MARKET – Double L – Lois Lewis – KNIX-FM – Phoenix, AZ
  • LARGE MARKET – Lexi & Banks – Lexi Papadopoulos, Jared Banks – KUBL-FM – Salt Lake City, UT
  • MEDIUM MARKET – Buzz Jackson – KIIM-FM – Tucson, AZ
  • SMALL MARKET – Steve, Ben & Nikki – Steve Stroud, Ben Walker, Nikki Thomas – WXBQ-FM – Bristol, VA
  • MAJOR MARKET – KNIX-FM – Phoenix, AZ
  • LARGE MARKET – WQDR-FM – Raleigh, NC
  • MEDIUM MARKET – KUZZ-AM/FM – Bakersfield, CA

The 56th ACM Awards®, honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music, will feature exciting performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more to be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards™ is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will broadcast LIVE on Sunday, April 18, 2021 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

L-A Radio: KAMP Reboots Line-Up, Branding

Audacy announced an updated weekday programming lineup for KAMP 97.1 NOW! in Los Angeles, effective immediately. The station, formerly known as 97.1 AMP Radio, rebranded on April 15.

Weekday programming will kick off with “The Morning Mess” featuring Joey Boy, Aneesh, Jeana and Karla from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT. Julia, who was previously heard on weekends, will now be heard middays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT. Josh Brubaker, who joined the station in March 2021, will be heard from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT. Yesi Ortiz will move from middays to evenings and now be heard from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. PT.

“As more and more Americans receive their COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time for us to safely get back on our feet and get moving with the daily habits we love and miss,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Audacy Southern California. “This rebrand not only embodies the spirit of our return to normalcy, but also the dynamic state of today’s music industry and we’re excited to usher in this new era with our consumers. As LA’s party station, our programming will spotlight the biggest stars in music and deliver a fresh listening experience to our audience no matter the time of day.”

Listeners can tune in to 97.1 NOW! (KAMP-FM) in Los Angeles on air, as well as nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tribune Publishing Sticking With Alden Offer

The special committee of Tribune Publishing’s board of directors continues to recommend shareholders approve a buyout of the company by a New York hedge fund even as it considers a higher offer from a Maryland businessman and a Swiss billionaire, The Chicago Tribune reports.

In an updated filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Chicago-based newspaper group cited a number of factors in the reasoning to endorse Alden Global Capital’s deal, valued at about $630 million, over a tentative $680 million offer by Maryland hotel executive Stewart Bainum Jr. and his business partner Hansjörg Wyss.

The filing cited the nonbinding nature of Bainum/Wyss’ $18.50 a share bid, its proposed use of more of Tribune Publishing’s cash on hand, Bainum’s expressed interest in just owning The Baltimore Sun, and not all of Tribune Publishing, and the likelihood that the Alden deal for $17.25 a share could close more quickly.

The filing, however, remained preliminary. No shareholders meeting has been scheduled yet. The document states that lawyers for Bainum and Wyss only sent a draft of a merger agreement to Tribune Publishing’s lawyers Friday.

The Bainum/Wyss entity, known as Newslight LLC, continues to conduct due diligence, reviewing Tribune Publishing’s books, and expects to quickly conclude an agreement, according to the SEC filing.

The filing disclosed that Wyss, who made his fortune in medical device manufacturing, is financing the bulk of Newslight’s bid. Wyss is putting up $505 million in equity, while Bainum, whose background is in developing hotels and nursing homes and who remains the chairman of Rockville-based Choice Hotels International, is putting up $100 million.

The filing also disclosed that Bainum is no longer negotiating the originally proposed acquisition of The Baltimore Sun and its Maryland affiliates, including the Capital Gazette newspapers and the Carroll County Times, with Alden. He originally sought to acquire Baltimore Sun Media for $65 million as Alden purchased the rest of Tribune Publishing, which includes such newspapers as the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and Orlando Sentinel.

Alden, meanwhile, has said it would not vote its 32% stake in Tribune Publishing for any deal other than its own, according to the filing. That means any alternative deal must have the broad support of other shareholders, particularly Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the Los Angeles Times who holds a 24.6% stake in Tribune Publishing.

Spotify Launches 'Car Thing' Smart Music Player

Spotify Premium subscribers will soon be able to take easier navigation of their tunes to their cars, thanks to Spotify's new "Car Thing."

AppleInsider reports Car Thing connects to a user's car via Bluetooth, AUX, or USB cable and enables them to play music and podcasts from Spotify Premium through their vehicle's speakers. It's powered by a car's 12V power outlet and can be mounted on the vehicle's dashboard, in a vent, or the CD player via the three included mounts.

The device features a "Hey Spotify" hands-free control system, similar to Apple's "Hey Siri." It also boasts a touch screen and a tactile dial that users can use to navigate through music. Four preset buttons allow users to access favorite artists, playlists, stations, and podcasts.

While Spotify claims that Car Thing leaves your phone free to do "phone things," that isn't entirely true — the device does not have a built-in WiFi plan. This means that Car Thing will still need to connect to the Spotify app on your smartphone to play music and draw from your mobile data plan. It also requires a Spotify Premium plan, which costs $9.99 a month or $4.99 a month for students.

Spotify's Car Thing isn't out yet, but users can sign up to be notified when it goes on sale. Spotify will initially make the device available for those in the United States, with the device priced at $6.99 or $14.99 for those in Hawaii and Alaska. Spotify will raise the price to $79.99 after the initial purchase period.

In order to use the Car Thing, you need two things: a connection from your phone to your car's audio system, such as with a Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord, and a data connection for your phone. Once your phone is connected to the audio system, the Car Thing takes it from there, controlling what Spotify content you stream to your car from your phone. While using Spotify, the Car Thing displays what you’re listening to and lets you choose other content available on the platform through a streamlined interface intended to be used in a car.

Car & Driver reports the Car Thing is fairly simple: an oversize knob allows a user to scroll through content and select songs, while a single button below it acts as a back button. Four buttons sit on the top of the Car Thing, which are shortcuts to pre-saved favorites for easy access to playlists, podcasts, or other content available on Spotify. It can also be controlled via your voice: a simply "Hey Spotify" lets users skip songs, go to new playlists, search podcasts, and so on.

Wake-Up Call: Potter Charged With Manslaughter

A former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer who resigned after fatally shooting a 20-year-old Black driver during a traffic stop on Sunday, setting off days of protests, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter. 

Kim Potter, a 26-year police veteran who is white, was arrested and later freed after posting a $100,000 bond. Former Police Chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned after the shooting, had said before he did that Potter appeared to have mistakenly fired her gun instead of her Taser as Daunte Wright tried to struggle out of the grasp of police and get away when they tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. The outstanding warrant was discovered after police pulled Wright over for having expired tags on his car. 

Protesters clashed with police for a fourth straight night at the Brooklyn Center police station. An order was given to disperse about an hour before curfew, with police saying objects were being thrown at officers and people were trying to take down a fence put up to protect the station. Police fired gas canisters in return.

 ➤EXPERT TESTIFIES GEORGE FLOYD DIED DUE TO HEART DISEASE: A forensic pathologist testified yesterday in the murder and manslaughter trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin that George Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm disturbance due to heart disease. The testimony from defense witness Dr. David Fowler, a former Maryland chief medical examiner, contradicted prosecution experts who testified last week that Floyd died due to a lack of oxygen from the way he was pinned down on the ground with Chauvin's knee on his neck. Fowler further stated that the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system, and possibly also carbon monoxide from car exhaust were contributing factors in his death. However, he acknowledged under examination that Floyd's blood wasn't tested for carbon monoxide, so there was data to support that suggestion.

Fowler also stated that Chauvin’s knee was, quote, "nowhere close" to Floyd's "airway," and that the fact that Floyd was speaking and groaning showed his airway was open. He said that Floyd didn't complain about vision changes or other symptoms of insufficient oxygen to the brain, and that he was coherent until shortly before he stopped moving, stating, "The bottom line is, moving air in and out, and speaking and making noise is very good evidence that the airway was not closed."

➤BIDEN SAYS WILL REMOVE ALL TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN: President Biden announced yesterday that he will withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that led the U.S. to go into that country. There are about 2,500 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan. Speaking from the White House Treaty Room, the same place where then-President George W. Bush announced the start of the war in Afghanistan, Biden said, "It is time to end America’s longest war," stating, "We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result." He added, "I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth."

➤ADMINISTRATION TO ANNOUNCE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA: The Biden administration will be announcing sanctions on Russia in response to the large-scale SolarWinds hacking campaign last year that got into federal agencies, as well as for its 2020 election interference efforts, AP reported last night, citing a senior administration official. The sanctions are set to be announced today.

➤CDC ADVISERS POSTPONE RECOMMENDATION ON JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices decided Wednesday not to make a recommendation yet on whether to continue the pause that began a day earlier on Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine because of concerns about rare blood clots. The panel, which is expected to reconvene in seven to 10 days, said it wants to gather more information before coming to a decision.

➤CALLS INCREASE FOR GAY SEASON OF 'THE BACHELOR': In the wake of former 'Bachelor' Colton Underwood coming out as gay yesterday, some fans of the show are calling for a same-sex season of 'The Bachelor,' with at least one tweeting that it's, quote, "long overdue." There have been calls before for a same-sex season of the show, which only just had its first season with a Black Bachelor. Some of those calling for gay Bachelor yesterday were suggesting it should be Underwood. But others said it shouldn't be him, after he allegedly stalked Cassie Randolph, who he'd chosen, after they broke up, and she took out a restraining order against him last year. She later dropped it.

Bachelor alum Colton Underwood is ready to speak his truth. On ABC’s Good Morning America, he said he’s the “happiest and healthiest” he’s ever been, and credits the pandemic to giving him the time to really discover his true self.

"Obviously, this year has been a lot for a lot of people, and it's probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they've been running from or what they've been putting off in their lives. For me, I've ran from myself for a long time; I've hated myself for a long time. And, I'm gay," he said during an exclusive sitdown with Robin Roberts for ABC News' GMA. "I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. I'm still nervous."

He does have some regrets, and addressed what many people might be feeling after his time as The Bachelor: "Do I regret being the Bachelor and do I regret handling it the way I did? I do. I do think I could have handled it better. I just wish I wouldn't have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was. I genuinely mean that."

Underwood said he always knew on some level that things were different for him. "I've known that I've been different since the age of 6, and I couldn't process it and I couldn't put my finger on what it was until high school of my freshman year when I knew I was gay." Growing up in the Catholic church, he said, "I learned in the Bible that gay is a sin" and he recalled how, as an athlete, the word "gay" was used in a negative connotation. "There are a lot of things where I look back and say, 'No wonder I held it in.'"

➤BERNARD MADOFF, MASTERMIND OF MASSIVE PONZI SCHEME, DEAD AT 82: Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of a massive Ponzi scheme for which he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, died behind bars yesterday. He was 82. An attorney for Madoff, who pled guilty to securities fraud and other charges in 2009, said it's believed he died from natural causes related to failing health. Madoff, who was a former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, swindled both celebrities and charities of huge amounts of money in what's believed to have been the largest fraud in Wall Street’s history. A judge stripped Madoff of all his personal property and $80 million in assets his wife, Ruth Madoff, had claimed were hers. Court-appointed trustees have over the years recovered more than $14 billion of an estimated $17.5 billion investors had given to Madoff.

🛫STUDY: EMPTY MIDDLE SEATS ON PLANES REDUCE COVID TRANSMISSION RISK: New study results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that keeping the middle seats empty on planes reduces the risk of coronavirus transmission by 23 percent to 57 percent compared to full planes. However, while many airlines stopped selling middle seats after the pandemic began, all major U.S. airlines have gone back to selling all seats except for Delta. But it will also begin selling middle seats again on May 1st.

➤BUSH: NOT PASSING IMMIGRATION REFORM ONE OF BIGGEST REGRETS: Former President George W. Bush said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell that's set to air on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend that not passing immigration reform is one of his biggest regrets. The 74-year-old Bush, who has a new book out called, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants, was asked by O'Donnell of immigration, "Is it one of the biggest disappointments of your presidency . . . " and answered, "Yes, it really is. I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do." Bush also said he's ready to re-enter the immigration debate, including lobbying his own party on the issue.

➤EXPOSURE TO SMELLS IN EARLY INFANCY CAN MODULATE ADULT BEHAVIOR: It turns out the things we smell as infants can impact our behavior later in life. Researchers from Japan looked at mice, and found that during the critical period, when a newborn mouse pup is exposed to an odor (within the first week of life), the body released the hormone oxytocin which helps bond them to the memory of the odor and make them have good associations with it. Researchers note that even if a mouse pup is exposed to an odor with normally negative associations during that first week of life, they will still have a positive response when they encounter the odor later in life. The researchers say when it comes to humans, the results suggest that improper sensory inputs may cause neuro-developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attachment disorders (AD). They also add that the result opens many research questions about the functioning of the human brain and behavior.

➤DIETARY COCOA IMPROVES HEALTH OF OBESE MICE; LIKELY HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMANS:  Feeding mice that normally ate high-fat diets cocoa powder was found to improve their health. Penn State researchers say cocoa powder is rich in fiber, iron and phytochemicals that are reported to have positive health benefits. Study leader Joshua Lambert says, “While it is typically considered an indulgence food because of its high sugar and fat content, epidemiological and human-intervention studies have suggested that chocolate consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardo-metabolic diseases including stroke, coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.” He adds that the dose of cocoa given to mice was the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of cocoa powder per day for a human. It’s considered an important finding because a significant proportion of the world’s population has preexisting obesity, and this could potentially be an effective dietary intervention, which is something that is much needed.

⚾WHITE SOX'S RODON THROWS NO-HITTER, HIT BATTER IN 9TH INNING BLOWS PERFECT GAME: Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians last night (April 14th), and had a perfect game going in the 8-0 win until it was blown with one out in the ninth inning when his pitch hit Roberto Perez on the foot. That was the only runner Rodon allowed, getting out the final two batters. A crowd of just over 7,000 in Chicago, limited because of Covid-19 restrictions, saw the 28-year-old's gem, as he threw 75 of his 114 pitches for strikes, striking out seven.
⚾FIVE ASTROS PLAYERS PUT ON COVID LIST: Five Houston Astros players were put on the Covid-19 injured list yesterday, but it's not known if any had tested positive for the coronavirus or if they were out because of contact tracing. They are: second baseman Jose Altuve; third baseman Alex Bregman; designated hitter Yordan Alvarez; catcher Martín Maldonado; and infielder Robel Garcia.

⚾MLB TO CELEBRATE JACKIE ROBINSON DAY: Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day today, with all players, managers, coaches and umpires to wear Robinson's Number 42. The date marks the anniversary of when the Hall of Famer debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, breaking baseball's color line. A video called, "Thank You, Jackie" will be shown at all ballparks, and more than 100 players will donate either all of part of their game-day salaries to support The Players Alliance, an organization of current and former MLB players advocating for Black representation in baseball.

🏈RAMS' AARON DONALD ACCUSED OF ASSAULT: Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald was accused of assault yesterday by a 26-year-old man who told police Donald attacked him at a Pittsburgh nightclub last weekend. Todd J. Hollis, an attorney for De'Vincent Spriggs, said Spriggs had a broken orbital bone in his head, a broken nose, a sprained or broken arm, and needed 16 stitches. He said, "We believe there was a misunderstanding that Mr. Spriggs bumped into Mr. Donald and Mr. Donald escalated the matter, leading to my client’s assault moments later." Police said they will consult with prosecutors, who will decide if charges against Donald are warranted. The Rams said they were aware of the reports and were gathering more information.

🏈CLOWNEY SIGNS WITH BROWNS: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Cleveland Browns yesterday. The 28-year-old was the Number 1 overall pick in 2014, spending five seasons with the Houston Texans before being with the Seattle Seahawks for one year and then the Tennessee Titans last season. He season was cut short last year by a knee injury after eight games.

🏒SABRES CAPTAIN EICHEL OUT FOR REST OF SEASON WITH INJURY: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel will be out for the rest of the season with a neck injury. The NHL team said yesterday that the 24-year-old center, who hasn't played since March 7th, has a herniated disk. He's expected to be healthy for next season.

Televisa-Univision Aims For Global Spanish Streaming Service

Television Univision, a newly formed Spanish media venture, will launch its planned streaming platform in the United States and Mexico next year before expanding elsewhere in Latin America and in Europe, its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

The service, which will take on established rivals including Netflix Inc and Disney Plus, will be a product of a move to combine the content of Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa and U.S. peer Univision, announced on Tuesday.

Televisa shares surged by as much as a third before closing with a gain of 22.8% on the day, as investors bet on the growth potential of the venture. Less than 10% of the global population of 600 million Spanish speakers uses digital video platforms, versus nearly 70% of the English language market, according to data shared by Televisa, Mexico's largest broadcaster.

"You can almost think of Mexico as a soft launch for the rest of Latin American countries. ... We will then think about the European Spanish market," Univision Chief Executive Wade Davis, who will also lead the new venture, said in a phone interview.

Content that is already popular with the companies' audience may be featured on the streaming platform, including soap operas known as "telenovelas," and sports and reality programs, Davis said.

It will scale up content production, focusing on higher quality and more hours, according to Emilio Azcarraga, Televisa's chairman of the board.

"The combination of Televisa (and) Univision will allow a substantial increase in investment in content," Azcarraga told Reuters. "And of course, the resources and technological insights of Google and SoftBank will be invaluable in the future."

Davis said the combined power of Televisa and Univision's ad sales businesses will give the new company an edge to compete globally in the streaming video space.

"The fact that we have by far the largest ad sales force on the planet selling Spanish language media, the largest relationships with global advertisers and their agencies, will provide us huge advantages relative to global media companies," Davis said.

Staffer: CNN Played Up COVID-19 Deaths For Ratings

The CNN staffer who was secretly recorded admitting the network used “propaganda” to help get Joe Biden elected president also said they played up the COVID-19 death toll for ratings — and that the order came down directly from top brass, reports The NY Post.

Charlie Chester, a technical Director at the cable network, was filmed by Project Veritas during a series of fake Tinder dates as he explained how “Fear really drives numbers.”

“COVID? Gangbusters with ratings,” Chester told the unidentified PV staffer.

“Which is why we constantly have the death toll on the side,” he continued, making reference to the coronavirus death tracker that would appear on the screen. “It would make our point better if [the COVID death toll] was higher.”

The Project Veritas employee, who was not identified and claimed to be a nurse, went on five dates with the CNN staffer, including the final one at a coffee shop in Chester’s neighborhood. It’s unclear when the dates took place.

On one of the meet-ups, Chester explained to the PV employee why the network went so heavy on COVID coverage, saying, “Fear is the thing that really keeps you tuned in.”

Going on to reference the death toll, Chester then said he had “a major problem with how we’re tallying how many people die every day, because I’ve even looked at it and been like, look at it and be like, ‘Let’s make it higher.’ Like, why isn’t high enough, you know, today?”

“And I’m like, what am I f–king rallying for? That’s a problem that we’re doing that,” he conceded.

Chester claimed there was a “red phone” that network president Jeff Zucker would use to call the control room to order producers to play up the Covid death count on screen.

He also told his date that there is “no such thing as unbiased news,” and explained how that manifests at CNN.

“Any reporter on CNN, what they’re actually doing is they’re telling the person what to say. It’s always, like, leading them in a direction before they even open their mouths,” he said.

Study: Americans Want More From Journalists

 A study of the public’s attitude toward the press reveals that distrust goes deeper than partisanship and down to how journalists define their very mission, The Associated Press reports.

The study, released Wednesday by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, suggests ways that news organizations can reach people they may be turning off now.

“In some ways, this study suggests that our job is broader and bigger than we’ve defined it,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute.

The study defines five core principles or beliefs that drive most journalists: keep watch on public officials and the powerful; amplify voices that often go unheard; society works better with information out in the open; the more facts people have the closer they will get to the truth; and it’s necessary to spotlight a community’s problems to solve them.

Yet the survey, which asked non-journalists a series of questions designed to measure support for each of those ideas, found unqualified majority support for only one of them. Two-thirds of those surveyed fully supported the fact-finding mission.

Half of the public embraced the principle that it’s important for the media to give a voice to the less powerful, according to the survey, and slightly less than half fully supported the roles of oversight and promoting transparency.

Less than a third of the respondents agreed completely with the idea that it’s important to aggressively point out problems. Only 11% of the public, most of them liberals, offered full support to all five ideas.

Polls show how the public’s attitude toward the press has soured over the past 50 years and, in this century, how it has become much more partisan. In 2000, a Gallup poll found 53% of Democrats said they trusted the media, compared with 47% of Republicans. In the last full year of the Trump presidency, Gallup found trust went up to 73% among Democrats and plunged to 10% among Republicans.

The survey’s findings point to some ways news organizations can combat the negativity.

Half a century ago, when newspapers were flourishing and before the internet and cable television led to an explosion in opinionated news, the public’s view of the role of journalists was more compatible to how journalists viewed the job themselves, Rosenstiel said.

“We were the tough guys, we were the cops,” he said.

The study indicates now that consumers are interested in news that highlights potential solutions to problems and want to hear about things that are working, he said.

“We tend to think that stories that celebrate the good things in society are soft stories, kind of wimpy,” he said. “But they may be more important than we think in providing a full and accurate picture of the world.”

People who put greater emphasis on loyalty and authority tend to be more skeptical of the core values that journalists try to uphold, as opposed to those who give greater weight to fairness, the study found. Changes in the way a story is framed can make it more widely appealing to different audiences.

The study found that majorities of Americans believe that the media doesn’t care about them and tries to cover up its mistakes. Despite the negativity, Rosenstiel said he believes there’s room for both sides to come to a better understanding of each other.

Poll: Half of Canadians Say Journalists Mislead

A new poll suggests that half of Canadians believe the media is purposefully misleading the public to support their own agenda, reports True North News.

The study released by consultancy firm Edelman found that 49% of Canadians believe journalists are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”

“Not one information source – traditional media (55%), search engines (47%), owned (32%) or social media (22%) – is trusted in Canada and the latter three are distrusted. All four information sources have witnessed a decline in trust compared to last year,” Edelman wrote.

A total of 52% surveyed also believe most news outlets are more concerned promoting their own ideology than telling the truth.

Recently, there have been various instances of journalists promoting their own opinions rather than reporting factual information. 

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, legacy media outlets have targeted anyone who opposes strict lockdowns in the past year.

Canadian journalists have also gone out of their way to fawn over the Biden administration in the United States.

In January, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) found that a CTV National News program violated the code of ethics for Canadian broadcasters by lying about former President Donald Trump.

Edelman notes that the media, along with the government and other institutions, enjoyed a brief period of increasing trust during the beginning of the pandemic which has since evaporated.

Philly Radio: Gregg Murphy Returns To Call MLB Phillies

Gregg Murphy has returned to broadcasting Phillies games, switching from television to radio, reports The Philadelphia Business Journal.

The veteran broadcaster made an impromptu appearance in between games of the team’s doubleheader against the New York Mets on Tuesday. A Phillies spokeswoman said Murphy will have a part-time role most weekends on the Phillies Radio Network as host of the pre-game and postgame shows for Friday, Saturday and Sunday games.

Play-by-play man Scott Franzke and rotating color commentators Larry Andersen and Kevin Frandsen will continue in those roles, as well as handle pre-game and postgame duties during the week.

The Phillies have not replaced Jim Jackson, who said in October that he was dropped from the team’s radio broadcasts after a 14-year run due to financial constraints. When his duties as Flyers television play-by-play announcer did not conflict, Jackson took on Phillies pre-game and postgame responsibilities and filled in for Franzke during the middle innings of home games.

Murphy will essentially take on part of Jackson’s old role. Quietly, though, Rob Brooks, the Phillies broadcasting manager, has handled middle innings play-by-play during home games this season, thus filling the other part of Jackson's duties.

Murphy served as the on-field reporter for NBC Sports Philadelphia on Phillies telecasts for 12 years. In his role, he reported from the field, dugouts, and elsewhere throughout the ballpark during games. He also took on occasional play-by-play duties with Tom McCarthy was called away to national basketball or football duties by CBS.

In August, Murphy was one of 17 NBC Sports Philadelphia employees laid off by the regional sports network as part of broader cuts by parent company NBCUniversal. NBCU did away with sideline reporter roles at all of its regional sports networks, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic eliminating their ability to have access to players and coaches.

Murphy, a 1993 St. Joseph's University graduate who lives in South Jersey, also sells residential real estate through The Murphy Group, which is affiliated with Weichert Realtors. But last month he dipped his toe back into the broadcasting world by starting a weekly podcast called Glove Stories with Murph, where he has so far conducted interviews with Mike Schmidt, Charlie Manuel, Larry Bowa, Mickey Morandini, Brett Myers as well as several journalists and broadcasters who cover the team.

Radio broadcasters are Phillies employees while television broadcasters are technically employees of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Liberty Media's Greg Maffei Sees Total Comp Jump

Greg Maffei
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei saw his total compensation rise to $47 million last year from $44 million in 2019 on large option and stock grants, reports Deadline.

Maffei’s base pay was $871,880 but he received an option award worth nearly $25 million and a stock award of $8.3 million, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the SEC Wednesday. He was also granted non-equity incentive compensation – a cash payment – of $11.7 million.

Liberty Media, founder John Malone’s complex holding company based in Denver, owns interests in a range of media, communications assets through three tracking stocks: the Liberty SiriusXM Group, the Braves Group and the Formula One Group. Maffei signed a new five year employment agreement with Liberty in December of 2019 that called for stock and option grants in Dec. 2019 and Dec. 2020.

Liberty SiriusXM Group includes Liberty’s stakes in SiriusXM and Live Nation Entertainment; Braves Group includes the Braves Holdings, which indirectly owns the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball club, the Atlanta Braves’ stadium and associated real estate projects; Formula One Group consists of Liberty Media’s subsidiary F1 and other minority investments, including Liberty Media Acquisition Corporation (a SPAC), AT&T and an inter-group interest in the Braves Group.

Malone, who is the chairman of Liberty’s board of directors, saw his total compensation dip slightly to $1.1 million from $1.4 million.

La Vegas Radio: Real 103.9 FM Adds Bootleg Kev

K260DD/KYMT HD2 REAL 103.9, Las Vegas’ REAL Hip Hop N’ R&B, has announced the debut of “The Bootleg Kev Show,” effective April 19. “The Bootleg Kev Show” will broadcast weekdays from 3 – 7 p.m. PT.

“The Bootleg Kev Show” will focus on Hip Hop music and culture. Listeners will hear the newest and best in Hip Hop music as well as conversations about culture and lifestyle news in the Las Vegas area. Bootleg Kev has more than 15 years of broadcasting experience in top markets including Tampa, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he served as an on-air personality for KVEG-FM. He most recently served as an on-air personality at iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ REAL 92.3.

“We are excited to welcome Bootleg Kev and team to REAL 103.9,” said DJ A-Oh, Program Director for REAL 103.9. “Kev brings an extensive knowledge of Las Vegas radio and authentic content that will be available every afternoon. Kev is a Hip Hop radio vet, and joining the REAL team is big win for everyone.”

“I am so excited to bless the Las Vegas airwaves again and, more importantly, to be working with iHeartMedia again in Las Vegas,” said Bootleg Kev. “DJ A-Oh is one of the most forward-thinking programmers in the country, and for us to reunite to make history in Vegas at REAL 103.9 is only right!”

April 15 Radio History

➦In 1898...Marian Irene Driscoll Jordan was born (Died from cancer at age 62 – April 7, 1961). She was an actress and radio personality. She was most remembered for portraying the role of Molly McGee, the patient, common sense, honey-natured wife of Fibber McGee on the NBC radio series Fibber McGee and Molly from 1935–1959. She starred on this series opposite her real-life husband Jim Jordan.
Jim and Marian Jordan
Jordan was first heard on radio with her husband Jim in 1924 after a bet that Jim made with his brother. The couple's performance was a success. They began performing at WIBO, a radio station in Chicago where they earned $10 a week.

Newspaper ad -circa he '30s
In 1927, Marian and Jim began their second radio show, The Smith Family which aired on WENR radio in Chicago. The show was a great boost to their career, ending in 1930.On April 16, 1935, Marian Jordan, her husband Jim, and writer Don Quinn, began broadcasting Fibber McGee and Molly, on the NBC Blue Network Chicago radio affiliate WMAQ. 

The series was a big hit. Marian played the role of Molly McGee, the patient and intelligent wife who supports husband Fibber McGee through various get rich quick schemes and misadventures.In 1938, the show and Jordan would both suffer major changes. During this time, Marian was drinking excessively. She entered a rehabilitation center in suburban Chicago and tried to get sober. "Molly" was written out of the radio show, and the program was renamed Fibber McGee and Company.

 Those who knew Marian doubted that she would ever return to radio, especially after the show moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1939. However, Marian astonished everyone by travelling alone from Joliet, Illinois to Pasadena, California in March 1939. She was able to return to the character of "Molly," and some listeners considered her better than before. The show received high ratings, from season three in 1938 until the end of its run. 

It also gave birth to a spin-off. In 1941, a recurring character, Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, (played by Harold Peary), began a new show called The Great Gildersleeve. The radio and television series Beulah was also a spin-off of Fibber McGee and Molly.

Marian Jordan's health began to deteriorate in the 1950s. This was the beginning of the end both for the show and for Jordan. The program officially ended in 1956 but the Jordans continued their roles as Fibber McGee and Molly in short skits on the NBC radio program Monitor until October 2, 1959, when her poor health made her unable to continue.

➦In 1912…After midnight, two wireless radio operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland heard the last of the RMS Titanic's distress calls.

At 2:27 a.m., the "unsinkable" ocean liner sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg the evening before.

There were 711 survivors. A total of 1,517 people died, of which 328 bodies were recovered. Those too badly damaged or deteriorated were buried at sea, and the remaining 209 were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they were claimed from the morgues or buried over an 11-day period starting May 3.

➦In 1970...Record Company Owner George Goldner died at age 52 (Born February 9, 1918).  He played an important role in establishing the popularity of rock and roll in the 1950s, by recording and promoting many groups and records that appealed to young people across racial boundaries. Among the acts he discovered were the Crows, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and Little Anthony and the Imperials.

He established (or helped establish) a number of record labels, including Tico, Rama, Gee, Roulette, End, Gone, and Red Bird. It was said of him that he "discovered more talent, both in front of the microphone and behind the scenes, than most producers get to record in a lifetime.. Moreover, in the decades since, much of the music that Goldner recorded and released has retained an astonishing appeal to generations of listeners".

➦In 1994...In Cleveland, WMMS-FM's Jeff & Flash and the on-air staff, were fired.

The station's veteran programmer John Gorman had changed the WMMS format to alternative rock in 1994. To emphasize this change, WMMS was re-branded and aggressively promoted as "Buzzard Radio: The Next Generation", a reference to the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its continuation of the Star Trek franchise.  Gorman brought back the original Buzzard design. He also lured popular morning personalities Brian Fowler and Joe Cronauer away from rival WENZ – then an alternative rock station known as 107.9 The END – as the successors to Jeff and Flash (Jeff Kinzbach, Ed Ferenc) on The Buzzard Morning Zoo.

  • Actor Claudia Cardinale (“Son of the Pink Panther”) is 83. 
  • Singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 78. 
  • Actor Michael Tucci (“Diagnosis Murder”) is 75. 
  • Actor Lois Chiles (“Austin Powers”) is 74. 
  • Actor Amy Wright is 71. 
  • Actor Sam McMurray (“The King of Queens,” “The Tracey Ullman Show”) is 69. 
  • Emma Watson is 31
    Actor Emma Thompson is 62. 
  • Singer Samantha Fox is 55. 
  • Guitarist Ed O’Brien of Radiohead is 53. 
  • Actor Flex Alexander (“One on One”) is 51. 
  • Actor Danny Pino (“Cold Case”) is 47. 
  • Country singer Chris Stapleton is 43. 
  • Actor Luke Evans (“The Hobbit”) is 42. 
  • Drummer Patrick Carney of The Black Keys is 41. 
  • Bassist Zach Carothers of Portugal. The Man is 40. 
  • Actor Seth Rogen is 39. 
  • Actor Alice Braga (“I Am Legend”) is 38. 
  • Singer-songwriter Margo Price is 38. 
  • Drummer De’Mar Hamilton of Plain White T’s is 37. 
  • Actor Samira Wiley (“Orange Is the New Black”) is 34. 
  • Actor Leonie Elliott (“Call the Midwife”) is 33. 
  • Actor Emma Watson (“Harry Potter” movies) is 31. 
  • Actor Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”) is 24.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Jacobs Media Strategies: Your Station Needs 'Secret Sauce'

To what degree are listeners tuning in for radio's personalities, hosts, and shows?  And in a world where Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and SiriusXM are providing music services, how is local radio competing in that highly charged subscription environment?

In a blog posting this week, Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media Stratgeies, writes the upcoming release of Techsurvey 2021 clearly reveals how habits and priorities have changed – and what they mean to radio broadcasters as we enter (hopefully) the “recovery phase” of COVID.

Jacobs' favorite chart in Techsurvey attempts to answer the question, “Why AM/FM radio?” Respondents were given a long list of potential reasons why they opt for broadcast radio (over other options) – and they were asked to identify the main driver for choosing a regular radio station.

The runner-up response in the 2021 Techsurvey, when asked for the main reason they listen, he reveals, is “DJs, hosts, shows,” favored by a robust 61% of respondents (just behind No. 1 “easiest to listen to in car,” at 65%). Responses of a similar kin include “feel a connection with radio” (52%), keeps me company (46%), and what’s going on locally (37%).

Like most research findings, there's perspective to be gained in looking at data points over time.  And fortunately, Jacobs been asking these same questions over many years.

In comparing those who say music is a main driver in listening to AM/FM radio versus those who say personalities are part of the secret sauce, an unmistakable trend has emerged:


And in the big picture, that makes a great deal of sense.  Music has become commoditized and ubiquitous, available on umpteen streaming services, as well as on satellite radio, your cable or dish system, and your Bluetooth speaker system.  It seems like in recent years, seemingly everyone has become a music radio programmer.

But it's personalities that have become highly proprietary.  Anybody can duplicate your music, but its the people behind the mic that are your “secret sauce.”

iHeartMedia Stock Spikes

Shares of the radio station titan iHeartMedia wenrt soaring Tuesday after a bullish call on the stock by BofA Securities media analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich.

Barron's reports Ehrlich upped her rating on iHeart (ticker: IHRT) by two notches, to Buy from Underperform, with a new price target of $26, up from $10. She argues that advertising will “come roaring back over the next several months,” with profits on an adjusted Ebitda basis (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) returning to 2019 levels by year end. For 2021, she now sees adjusted Ebitda of $798 million, up from a previous estimate of $744 million.

The analyst sees a surge in ad demand ahead as small and medium-size businesses reopen, along with some sectors hard hit by the pandemic, like entertainment. She thinks the radio ad business will also benefit from cumulative drive time increasing—with April 2021 drive time more than double the level in April 2020.

Ehrlich also says iHeart’s digital growth remains robust, “primarily driven by podcasting.” And she says pent-up demand for live entertainment will create a tailwind for sponsorships and events. The company, she adds, has “manageable debt maturities with significant capacity to de-lever the business, facilitating a highly favorable capital structure shift in favor of equity.”

The analyst says she expects first-quarter results “will reflect a meaningful underlying sequential improvement in advertising trends, healthy modernization initiative savings and robust digital growth.”

For full-year 2020, iHeartMedia report revenue of $2.95 billion, down 20% year over year. Digital revenue increased 26% compared with 2019, including a 91% increase in podcasting revenue. The company posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $538.7 million for 2020, a decline of 46% from the year earlier. In 2021, BofA Securities’ Ehrlich is modeling adjusted EBITDA of $798 million (vs. the analyst firm’s previous estimate of $744 million).

iHeartMedia is now organized into three segments: the Digital Audio Group, which includes digital assets including podcasting; the iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group, which includes more than 860 broadcast radio stations, networks, and sponsorships and events businesses; and Audio & Media Services Group. Starting with Q1 2021, the company will report results for each segment. According to the company the Digital Audio business represented approximately 16% of consolidated revenue and approximately 24% of its earnings for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

Univision, Grupo Televisa To Merge

Univision Communications and Grupo Televisa plan to merge their entertainment assets to create a powerful new Spanish-language media company with one foot in the United States and the other in Mexico.

The L-A Times reports the companies jointly announced the move late Tuesday, formalizing a process that began quietly after Univision came under new ownership late last year. The historic merger represents a dramatic retrenchment for media scion Emilio Azcárraga Jean, whose family has long been among Mexico’s powerbrokers due to its ownership of Televisa and its vast media holdings.

The new entity, which will be known as Televisa-Univision, will be the world’s largest Spanish-language media company. It will be managed by Univision Chief Executive Wade Davis, a former top Viacom executive who put together the investor group that purchased Univision late last year from a consortium of U.S. private equity firms. The Televisa deal is expected to close later this year.

Wade Davis
The union is designed to position Televisa-Univision as a global force in streaming.

Univision's new service provides live streams of its two over-the-air broadcast TV networks — Univision and UniMás — but not the company's popular cable TV channels.

By parlaying Televisa’s worldwide name recognition and enormous vault of Spanish-language programming, Univision hopes to turbocharge its streaming efforts in the U.S. and Mexico — and abroad.

The deal borrows from the playbook of the Walt Disney Co., which two years ago acquired much of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox entertainment holdings for $71 billion. The Burbank colossus bet big to bulk up on programming, and gain the majority stake in the Hulu streaming service, so it could take on Netflix around the world.

Alfonso de Angoita
“Combining with Univision has always been a dream for us. This has always been the ultimate goal, and we finally accomplished it,” Televisa co-CEO Alfonso de Angoitia said in an interview. “Univision and Televisa have been partners on and off for decades. It was the right moment, and the right people to do it with.”

“The merger facilitates an effective move to streaming by combining content, production facilities, substantive operational cost savings and owned distribution outlets in the two largest Spanish-speaking markets in the world,” media consultant Julio Rumbaut said. “At the same time, it reinforces the strength of the traditional media assets of both companies.”

Televisa said it would contribute its four broadcast TV channels, 27 pay-TV networks, Videocine movie studio and Blim TV subscription video-on-demand service, as well as the iconic Televisa trademark.

Univision will add its Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks, 61 television stations and 58 radio stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, along with its recently launched streaming service PrendeTV. Its management team will be in charge.

Wake-Up Call: Veteran Cop May Face Charges

The veteran police officer who shot and killed a 20-year-old Black driver during a traffic stop in the town of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday, resigned Tuesday after 26 years on the force. Kim Potter said in her brief letter of resignation, "[I] believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately." Also resigning yesterday was Police Chief Tim Gannon, who said on Monday that he believed Potter mistakenly shot Daunte Wright when she meant to use her Taser as he tried to struggle out of the grasp of police and get away when they tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. Meanwhile, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told local station WCCO that he hoped to have a decision by today on whether or not to charge Potter, who is white.

There were protests in Brooklyn Center over the shooting for a third day yesterday, with clashes between demonstrators and police again after nightfall. When the crowd was ordered to disperse some 90 minutes before a 10 p.m. curfew, it set off confrontations, including protesters launching fireworks toward a now heavily-guarded police station and throwing objects at police, who in turn set off flashbangs and gas grenades. National Guard members were also on hand. However, within the hour, only a few demonstrators remained.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday recommended a "pause" in use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine after a handful of rare blood clot cases. The federal regulators want to investigate the cases, and also let doctors know how the clots have to be treated, which is different than how clots are usually treated with the blood thinner heparin, if there are future cases, but said they hope to resolve the pause within days. The unusual blood clots have taken place in six women out of the more than 7.2 million adults who've gotten the Johnson & Johnson shot. One of them died and another is hospitalized in serious condition. President Biden and top health officials said at a White House briefing that the pause should boost confidence in the fact that the government is putting safety first.

➤DEFENSE WITNESS SAYS CHAUVIN WAS JUSTIFIED IN ACTIONS AGAINST FLOYD: The defense began presenting its side Tuesday in the murder and manslaughter trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd after the prosecution rested its case. A use-of-force expert called by the defense, former Santa Rosa, California, police officer Barry Brodd, testified that Chauvin was justified in pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck because he kept struggling, contradicting last week's testimony by the prosecution's witnesses. He said, "It’s easy to sit and judge . . . an officer’s conduct. It’s more of a challenge to, again, put yourself in the officer’s shoes to try to make an evaluation through what they’re feeling, what they’re sensing, the fear they have, and then make a determination."

The prosecution tried to push back on Brodd's contention that Chauvin acted in a way a reasonable officer would. At one point, when Brodd said Floyd kept struggling instead of just, quote, "resting comfortably" on the ground, the prosecutor incredulously asked, "Did you say 'resting comfortably'?" Brodd also said the witnesses yelling at police that Floyd couldn't breathe and to let up on him complicated the situation by making them concerned about whether the bystanders were a threat.

The defense brought up a 2019 arrest in which Floyd suffered from dangerously high blood pressure and confessed he was a heavy opioid user. Chauvin's attorney suggested he may have suffered from, quote, "excited delirium" during the fatal incident last May. Minneapolis police training officer Nicole Mackenzie testified more about the condition, a potentially lethal state of agitation. Also on the stand yesterday was Minneapolis Park Police Officer Peter Chang, who was helping at the scene that day. He spoke about the witnesses who he said were, quote, "becoming more loud and aggressive," and that it caused him "concern for the officers' safety."

➤U-S TO WITHDRAW ALL TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN BY SEPTEMBER 11TH: President Biden plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that led the U.S. to go into that country, U.S. officials said yesterday. AP cited a senior administration official as saying that's an absolute deadline that won't be affected by conditions on the ground. The date goes past a May 1st deadline for full withdrawal under a peace agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban last year. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will deliver remarks today, quote, "on the way forward in Afghanistan, including his plans and timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops."

➤BIDEN TO ADDRESS JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS ON APRIL 28TH: President Biden will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28th, for the first time, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally inviting him yesterday. New presidents give an address to a joint session of Congress soon after they take office, and though they look just like a State of the Union address, they aren't called that in the first year. Biden's is particularly late this year, as they usually take place in February. Details weren't released on plans for the address this year, with the Capitol under coronavirus social distancing and masking restrictions. Usually, all members of Congress and guests gather together in the House for the speech.

➤BIDEN SPEAKS AT SERVICE AS CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER EVANS LIES IN HONOR AT ROTUNDA: President Biden tried to offer words of comfort yesterday to the family of 41-year-old U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans, who was killed in an attack earlier this month when a driver plowed into him and another officer at a barricade outside the Capitol. Biden spoke as Evans laid in honor at the Capitol Rotunda, at a service attended by congressional leaders and Evans' fellow officers. He said that Evans was, quote, "defined by his dignity, his decency, his loyalty and his courage," and as his widow and two young children looked on, said, "Losing a son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad -- it’s like losing a piece of your soul." Investigators believe that the driver of the car that killed Evans, 25-year-old Noah Green, was delusional and had been having suicidal thoughts. He was shot and killed by another officer when he came out of the car with a knife.

➤POLL FINDS 15 PERCENT OF AMERICANS WORSE OFF FINANCIALLY THAN BEFORE PANDEMIC: A new poll found that 15 percent of Americans say they are worse off financially than they were before the pandemic, while 55 percent said their financial situation is about the same and 30 percent said it's improved. The survey from Impact Genome and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that the financial troubles are worse among those of lower-income, with 29 percent of Americans who live below the poverty line saying their finances got worse in the past year. The poll also found 52 percent of Americans said they were able to save money for most of the past three months, while 37 percent broke even and 10 percent were short on paying their bills.

➤WEST VIRGINIA TO PAY REMOTE WORKERS TO MOVE-IN STATE: West Virginia is the latest state to offer people money to come live there, saying they'll give remote workers $12,000 in cash to relocate. The AscendWV program that was launched this week also offers these transplants a year's worth of free outdoor activities, including things like whitewater rafting and skiing, and free access to coworking spaces. The program is beginning with 50 spots in Morgantown, which is home to West Virginia University, and plans to expand to more cities and towns across the state, with Shepherdstown and Lewisburg to be next. Governor Jim Justice said the program was made possible by a $25 million gift from Intuit chairman Brad D. Smith and his wife. It should be noted, however, that people who relocate won't get the money all at once. Instead $10,000 of it will be paid in monthly installments in the first year and the other $2,000 in the second year.

👶DOES BIRTH ORDER REALLY DETERMINE PERSONALITY? HERE’S WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS: Does whether you’re the oldest or youngest child in your family really have an affect on your personality? The idea that birth order might affect personality goes way back to the year 1874, when Francis Galton noticed that most of the 180 prominent scientists he looked at were firstborns. This was the first in a long line of scientific and pseudoscientific publications on the birth-order effect. In 2003, researchers polled people about what they knew about birth order, and found the majority of respondents thought those born earlier had a greater chance of a prestigious career than those born later, and that those different career opportunities had to do with their specific birth-order-related character traits. The “facts” about birth order are so well-known, that in 2018 a Dutch satirical news website posted a story titled, “Study Shows Eldest Children Are Intolerable Wankers.” Critics of birth-order theories note that it’s not at all straightforward to know what you’re measuring when you try to unravel the factors that shape an individual human life. Lack of a laboratory environment means traits we might attribute to a person’s birth order may in fact have more to do with, say, socioeconomic status, the size or ethnicity of the family, or the values of a particular culture. More recently, scientists note that it might be our expectations and labels that define the roles, and certain personality traits, of our eldest and youngest children, as opposed to their birth order.

➤RISING TEMPERATURES ARE MAKING IT HARDER TO GROW THE POTATOES USED FOR FRENCH FRIES:  Global warming could be coming for your French fries. The Russet Burbank is a potato variety grown in North America which is widely used to make French Fries, and is believed to be the type of potato McDonald’s uses. But, farmers in the potato-growing state of Idaho rely on water from melting snow in the mountains to irrigate the crop, and climate change is leading to less snow which melts more quickly, affecting the growth of the potatoes. Hot, dry weather can also influence the way the potato grows and ultimately how it tastes and looks when served. Some researchers have already started working on creating hybrid potato varieties which are more resistant to climate change.

🏀⚾TIMBERWOLVES, TWINS BACK AFTER ONE-DAY PAUSE FOLLOWING POLICE KILLING OF BLACK MAN IN MINNESOTA: The NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and the MLB's Minnesota Twins were back in action Tuesday after they and the NHL's Minnesota Wild didn't play their games a day earlier following the fatal police shooting of a Black man during a traffic stop Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Both the Timberwolves and the Twins held a moment of silence before their games for 20-year-old Daunte Wright, and players on both the Timberwolves and their opponents the Brooklyn Nets wore black warmup shirts that read, "With liberty and justice for all," with the last two words in all-caps. The Wild were off yesterday, but will be playing today.

🏀NUGGETS' MURRAY TEARS ACL: The Denver Nuggets said Tuesday that point guard Jamal Murray tore the ACL in his left knee during their game the night before against the Golden State Warriors. The 24-year-old will be out indefinitely.

⚾INDIANS' CHANG SHARES THAT HE GOT RACIST TWEETS AFTER MAKING ERROR: Cleveland Indians first baseman Yu Chang on Tuesday shared anti-Asian tweets he'd gotten after he made a throwing error in the ninth inning of their game the night before that allowed the Chicago White Sox to score the winning run. The 25-year-old Chang, who is Taiwanese, posted some of the tweets on his accounts, one of which referred to the shape of his eyes and another to the coronavirus. He wrote, "Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way, I accept all comments, positive or negative but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES," and included the hashtag #StopAsianHate.

🎾SERENA WILLIAMS SIGNS CONTENT DEAL WITH AMAZON STUDIOS: Tennis star Serena Williams said yesterday that she'd signed a deal with Amazon Studios under which she will create scripted and non-scripted programming, including a docuseries that will follow her on and off the court. Williams, who shared the news during a conversation with actor Michael B. Jordan that was part of a Vanity Fair-organized charity event, said she hopes to, quote, "bring really stories to film, and to people’s homes."

🏀HALL OF FAME PACERS COACH BOBBY 'SLICK' LEONARD DEAD AT 88: The Indiana Pacers announced yesterday that Bobby "Slick" Leonard, the Hall of Fame coach who led them to three American Basketball Association (ABA) championships in 1970, 1972 and 1973, had died. He was 88. After being a star player at Indiana and having a seven-year NBA career, Leonard coached for 14 seasons, 12 of them with the Pacers, and had a 574-534 record. He went on to an announcing career on TV and radio for the Pacers, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 2014.