Saturday, July 24, 2021

NBC Sports Adds Maria Taylor To Olympic Coverage

Maria Taylor at the NBA Finals

Maria Taylor, a sports reporter who recently left ESPN after failing to reach a contract extension, is joining NBC Sports, the company announced Friday.

Taylor's first assignment will be covering the Olympics, the network said. She was welcomed on air during NBC's Olympics coverage.

Taylor left ESPN this week after her contract expired and after she and the network were unable to reach an agreement on an extension, they said in a statement from the company on Wednesday.

She will have host roles in coverage of the Olympics and the NFL, including becoming a host and contributor for "Football Night in America" and Super Bowls, NBC Sports said.

Taylor left ESPN weeks after The New York Times reported that colleague Rachel Nichols in a recorded phone call suggested that Taylor was picked to host last year's NBA Finals because the network was under pressure to address its "crappy longtime record on diversity."

Taylor is Black, and Nichols is white. Nichols apologized to Taylor. The comments were made last year in a leaked phone call and the newspaper published excerpts.

NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement that Taylor "has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team."

"We are always looking to improve, and Maria is going to make us better. We are very excited for her to join us right away in Tokyo,” Bevacqua said.

"Literally, hosting the Olympics, Football Night in America, and the Super Bowl is what I dreamed of when I started in television — and this would not be possible without standing on the shoulders of all of those who came before me and made this path possible. And I plan to pay it forward," Taylor said.

China Not Happy With NBCUniversal

China lashed out at Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal for displaying an “incomplete” map of the country during its broadcast of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony when Chinese athletes appeared, saying the games shouldn’t be politicized, reports Bloomberg.

“The map is an expression of the national territory, symbolizing national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a spokesperson for the Chinese consulate in New York said in a statement. “We urge the NBC to recognize the serious nature of this problem and take measures to correct the error.”

Multinationals operating in China have previously found themselves apologizing for the usage of maps that sometimes don’t include Taiwan, Tibet or disputed islands in the South China Sea.

“Attempts to use the Olympic Games to play political ‘tricks’ and self-promotion to achieve ulterior motives will never succeed,” according to the statement.

Ties between China and the U.S. have been strained over a series of issues including Hong Kong, human rights in Xinjiang and renewed probes into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. Beijing on Friday said it’s sanctioning seven people and entities, including former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation for a Biden administration warning to businesses about working in Hong Kong.

Tropical Storm Making Beeline For Tokyo

The Tokyo Olympics, already struggling with an outbreak of Covid-19 among athletes, may face another kind of disaster next week -- a tropical storm.

Bloomberg reports Tropical Storm Nepartak has formed southeast of Japan and could make landfall north of Tokyo early next week with winds of at least 46 miles (74 kilometers) per hour on U.S. wind scales, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a U.S. Navy and Air Force forecasting operation in Hawaii.

“That is really all they need,” said Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist with the Energy Weather Group. “A tropical storm coming right toward Tokyo.”

Tokyo is grappling with a surge of coronavirus cases that prompted the government to declare a fourth state of emergency in the capital earlier this month. At least 110 infections linked to the Games have been reported. While the number of cases is small compared to the total number of athletes and staff, it has added to public concern about the safety of the events.Nepartak was about 945 miles southeast of Yokosuka, Japan, and is moving northeastward, the Joint Typhoon Center said. There are currently no warnings or watches issued in Japan. The U.S. uses a different system to measure tropical winds than most other countries.

Tencent Ordered To End Exclusive Music Contracts

Tencent Holdings Ltd. was ordered to give up exclusive music streaming rights and pay half a million yuan in fines, becoming the latest Chinese internet giant to be brought to heel by regulators.

Bloomberg reports an official investigation found Tencent’s 2016 acquisition of China Music Corp.’s stakes violated regulations partly because of a lack of reporting to authorities, according to a statement by the anti-trust watchdog on Saturday. The State Administration for Market Regulation required Tencent and its affiliates to waive exclusive music rights within 30 days and handed down a fine of 500,000 yuan ($77,145).

That deal had help create Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which was formed after the merger of QQ Music and China Music Corp.

Tencent will make rectification plans with its affiliates including Tencent Music Entertainment within the time limit designated and “faithfully” carry out the SAMR’s order to ensure all requirements are met, the company said in a statement on its official WeChat account.

The penalty levied on Tencent marks the most-direct hit to Asia’s most valuable corporation from Beijing’s escalating campaign against its tech giants. Fellow internet behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. was fined a record $2.8 billion in April for antitrust violations, while its affiliate Ant Group Co. had to scrap an initial public offering and restructure into a financial holding company. Firms backed by Tencent have also come under scrutiny: food-delivery leader Meituan is facing an anti-monopoly probe while Didi Global Inc., operator of the country’s largest ride-hailing service, was this month ordered off Chinese app stores by cyberspace regulators.

Beijing has sought to curtail the growing influence of China’s powerful internet corporations over every aspect of Chinese life from online shopping to chatting and ride-hailing.

Tencent Music has long held a commanding lead in Chinese music through exclusive rights to a major chunk of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group Corp.’s catalogs, which it then sublicenses to smaller platforms including those operated by NetEase Inc., Alibaba and Xiaomi Corp. That dominance was weakened when NetEase struck deals to directly license songs from Universal and Sony.

July 24 Radio History

Raymond Edward Johnson
➦In 1911...Raymond Edward Johnson born in Kenosha, WI (Died at age 90 – August 15, 2001). He was a radio and stage actor best remembered for his work on Inner Sanctum Mysteries.

Johnson began his career in Chicago, some of his earliest work including a regular role on Edgar A. Guest's dramatic serial Welcome Valley (1932–1937) as Bill Sutter, and was featured on The National Farm and Home Hour in dramatic sketches as the Forest Ranger (a role also played by Don Ameche).

While in Chicago, Johnson began working with writer/director Arch Oboler, with roles on his Lights Out series. When both Oboler and Johnson relocated to New York City, the actor was featured in many episodes of Arch Oboler's Plays, notably as the title role in "The Ugliest Man in the World" (repeated five times) and as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in "This Lonely Heart" both from 1939.

While in New York, Johnson landed his most famous role when Himan Brown hired him for Inner Sanctum. From the first broadcast in 1941, Johnson was heard as the series host/narrator, introducing himself as "Your host, Raymond." The "Raymond" character became known for his chilling introductions and morbid puns, and his typical closing, an elongated and ironic "Pleasant dreaaaams, hmmmmmmm?" Johnson departed the series in 1945, when he joined the Army; although replaced for the remainder of the run by Paul McGrath as host, Johnson took the "Raymond" name with him. Johnson later hosted the radio version of the science fiction series Tales of Tomorrow.

He also became a staple on many soap operas, playing romantic leads on Big Sister,  The Guiding Light, Brave Tomorrow and Valiant Lady.

➦In 1933...the first broadcast of “The Romance of Helen Trent” was heard on midwest regional radio before becoming a CBS network staple three months later. The radio soap opera aired on CBS from October 30, 1933 to June 24, 1960 for a total of 7,222 episodes. The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who were among the most prolific producers during the radio soap era.  Helen Trent was played by just two actresses over the years …Virginia Clark (for 11 years) and Julie Stevens (for 16 years).

➦In 1933...during his fourth Fireside Chat, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed why the homey, warm, comfortable discussion was, indeed, a fireside chat. The President stopped the discussion on the air (remember, this was radio) and asked for a glass of water, which he then sipped. The fireside chats were a series of evening radio addresses given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944. Roosevelt spoke with familiarity to millions of Americans about the promulgation of the Emergency Banking Act in response to the banking crisis, the recession, New Deal initiatives, and the course of World War II.

On radio, he was able to quell rumors and explain his policies. His tone and demeanor communicated self-assurance during times of despair and uncertainty. Roosevelt was regarded as an effective communicator on radio, and the fireside chats kept him in high public regard throughout his presidency.

➦In 1943...the radio program "Foreign Assignment", was first heard.  It was broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System from July 24, 1943, to January 8, 1944.

With World War II as background, Foreign Assignment related the activities of journalist Barry Brian and his assistant, Carol Manning, who were stationed in France, working for the American Press (a fictitious entity). The program's introduction came with the sound of a teletype printer in the background as the announcer intoned, "... that machine is beating out a story written especially for you; a story unfolded against the screen of actual events that are making the news."   Journalism, however, was a cover, for Brian and Manning were really spies who worked against the Gestapo, leading the way for other radio series in which spies posed as reporters.

➦In 1978...WKTU 92.3 FM NYC changed to disco.

92.3 FM was originally the home of WMCA-FM. But since FM radio was a money-loser in the early days, WMCA sold the station and by 1951 it had become WHOM-FM, owned by Progress Broadcasting Corporation. By the summer of 1975, it experimented with a mellow-rock format and featured Murray the K, Stan Martin, Scott McClennan, Larry Miller and Steve White during the week and with Randy Place, Joe Guarisco, Johnny Michaels and Bruce Fox on weekends. Burkhart-Abrams were later hired as consultants and brought in a tightly formatted AOR that was very short-lived.

But 92.3 hit the big time  when it became a Disco station and was probably one of the major reasons for the demise of "music radio" WABC. The format originally featured such jocks as Paul Robinson, David Mallow, Kenn Hayes, Joe Guarisco and Paco Navarro and eventually included Rosko in the night slot, Maria Milito evenings and Dan Ingram even did an afternoon shift there during 1985, just before another format change.

In July of 1985, WKTU changed call letters to WXRK and became an AOR station with Jay Thomas in mornings, but Howard Stern took over in February of 1986 and Meg Griffin joined around that time as well. By the Fall of 1989, Pete Fornatale followed Stern and the station also featured Flo & Eddie (of Turtles fame) and Alison Steele in overnights. Vin Scelsa also had a weekend show. By late 1991, Dave Herman replaced Flo & Eddie and John Zacherley joined in late '92. But in January of 1996, the station switched to an alternative rock format and hired all new jocks. In 2006, it became "Free FM-WFNY" before returning to the WXRK call letters in 2007 with a CHR format. In late 2012, it became NOW-FM and by 2015 it had become WBMP-FM "Amp Radio".  Today, 92.3 is owned and operated by Audacy Communications, using the call letters WNYL-FM.  It airs an Alternative music format. (H/T to NY Radio Archive)

➦In 1982... KHJ (LA) & KFRC (San Francisco) become 2nd & 3rd stereo AM stations

➦In 2005... Personality Joe O'Brien, who was one of the WMCA Good Guys on WMCA Radio in New York City, was killed at age 90 in a car crash in the Berkshire Hills, NY.

O'Brien began his career in 1935 when he got his first radio job with WMCA-AM. The Good Guys had the same clean-cut hairstyles, wore matching suits and worked together at record hops and personal appearances. They also sang as a group and released an album. During that time, Mr. O'Brien was the No. 1 morning man in New York City.

In 1970 he left for WNBC-AM, where he handled morning duties until he was replaced by Don Imus in 1972.

O'Brien then went to WHUD in Peekskill, N.Y. He retired in 1986, but continued to do weekend specials for WHUD until 2000.

Lynda Carter is 70

  • Actor John Aniston (“Days of Our Lives”) is 88. 
  • Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 85. 
  • Actor Mark Goddard (“Lost In Space”) is 85. 
  • Actor Chris Sarandon is 79. 
  • Comedian Gallagher is 75. 
  • Actor Robert Hays (“Airplane!”) is 74. 
  • Actor Michael Richards (“Seinfeld”) is 72. 
  • Actor Lynda Carter is 70. 
  • Director Gus Van Sant is 69. 
  • Country singer Pam Tillis is 64. 
  • Actor Kadeem Hardison (“A Different World”) is 56. 
  • Actor-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 53. 
  • Actor Laura Leighton (“Melrose Place”) is 53. 
  • Actor John P. Navin Jr. is 53. 
  • NBA player-turned-actor Rick Fox (“Greenleaf,” “Oz”) is 52. 
  • Actor-singer Jennifer Lopez is 52. 
  • Director Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”) is 50. 
  • Kristen Chenoweth is 53
    Actor Jamie Denbo (“Orange Is the New Black”) is 48. 
  • Actor Eric Szmanda (“CSI”) is 46. 
  • Actor Rose Byrne is 42. 
  • Country singer Jerrod Neimann is 42. 
  • Actor Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is 40. 
  • Actor Sheaun McKinney (“The Neighborhood”) is 40. 
  • Actor Elisabeth Moss is 39. 
  • Actor Anna Paquin is 39. 
  • Actor Megan Park (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) is 35. 
  • Actor Mara Wilson (“Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Matilda”) is 34. 
  • Actor Sarah Steele (“The Good Fight,” “The Good Wife”) is 33. 
  • Singer Jay McGuiness of The Wanted is 31. 
  • Actor Emily Bett Rickards (TV’s “Arrow”) is 30. 
  • TV personality Bindi Irwin (“Bindi: The Jungle Girl” and “Crikey! It’s the Irwins”) is 23.

    Friday, July 23, 2021

    Darren Davis To Exit iHeartMedia

    Darren Davis, who has been  president of iHeartRadio for nearly eight years, has announced his intention to exit the company after a nearly 30-year run. His current four year contract expires in August 2021.

    Davis started his radio iHM (formerly Clear Channel) career in 1992 at WASH-FM in Washington DC. He became SVP of National Programming starting in 2008, and EVP/GM starting in 2011. He became President of iHeartRadio in 2014. Davis managed iHeartRadio through years of dramatic growth and innovation.

    Darren Davis
    In February 2021, iHM reorganized with the formation of two reporting units: the Multiplatform Group and the Digital Audio Group. In the new structure, Davis was repositioned as Chief Operating Officer of the Digital Audio Group. Conal Byrne, head of the acquired Stuff Media Group and subsequently named President of the iHeartPodcast Network, was named CEO.

    Davis relocated from New York to Nashville last year to oversee the buildout of a new digital headquarters for the company.   Permiere Radio's  The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show and The Bobby Bones Show originate from Music City.

    iHM CEO Bob Pittman and President/COO Rich Bressler made the announcement in a staff memo issued today: 


    We want to share some news with you about Darren Davis, Chief Operating Officer of our Digital Audio Group. Darren, who is a longtime and valued member of iHeart senior management, has decided to step down from his role after nearly three decades with our company, effective January 1, 2022.

    Anyone who knows Darren knows he has a deep love for iHeart and a true passion for our business and our success, and he’ll be continuing with the company as an advisor when he steps down as Chief Operating Officer next January.

    Darren first joined our WASH-FM in Washington, DC as a programming team intern in 1992, and in essence has grown up through our organization – continually taking on new roles and more responsibility and becoming a critically important contributor as part of our senior team. Now, after almost 30 years with iHeart, Darren is looking forward to spending more time on a variety of other projects he’s passionate about, including real estate development, local community projects and traveling with his family. Although his day-to-day operating expertise will be missed, we appreciate all he’s done for our company and are very pleased that he will continue his association with us, albeit on a more limited basis.

    Darren will remain active in his role through the end of the year, and he will be working closely with Conal Byrne, CEO of our Digital Audio Group, through the balance of 2021 to continue our momentum and to effectively organize the Digital Audio Group for the future.

    We know you will join us in thanking Darren for his many contributions to building iHeart, and in wishing him the best of luck on this new path!

    Bob and Rich

    Morgan Wallen Tells Michael Strahan ‘I Was Just Ignorant’

    Morgan Wallen

    Morgan Wallen sat down with Michael Strahan on Friday’s “Good Morning America” to discuss at length his use of the N-word in a video that leaked in February, saying the reason he used the racial slur was ignorance, reports The Wrap.

    “I’m not sure. I think I was just ignorant about it,” the country singer told “GMA” host Strahan. “I don’t think I ever sat down and was like, hey, is this right or is this wrong?”

    The interview comes months after the country music star was recorded using a racial slur. After Wallen and his friends returned home from a night out in Nashville, Wallen’s neighbor was alerted by the noise and began recording, eventually capturing a video of the event.

    Following the video’s release, Wallen apologized in a statement provided to TMZ, saying, “I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”

    Big Loud Records also suspended Wallen’s recording contract “indefinitely” for his actions. “In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s contract indefinitely,” the company said. “Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”

    Wallen was set to be the musical guest last year on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” hosted by Bill Burr. He was uninvited from the show after he was seen in social media videos partying in Alabama without a mask on — in violation of the pandemic protocols expected of “SNL” performers.

    Influencer Ad Spending Expected to Grow 30 Percent

    Personality-read or Influencer marketing spending in the US is set to grow more than 30% this year and surpass a key milestone. According to eMarkter's inaugural forecast on US influencer marketing spending, the category will exceed $3 billion in 2021 and will surpass $4 billion next year.

    eMarketer defines influencer marketing spending as payments made to influencers or their representatives to promote products and services primarily on social media and other platforms featuring user-generated content. It excludes non-cash payments such as free products or trips and paid media.

    Growth of influencer marketing spend was more modest in 2020 than in recent years. The category grew 14.4% last year, as the pandemic put a strain on many marketers’ budgets. In 2021, we expect influencer marketing spend in the US to grow 33.6% to reach $3.69 billion in 2021. 

    “In the early part of the pandemic, many marketers temporarily paused their influencer marketing campaigns,” said Jasmine Enberg, eMarketer senior analyst at Insider Intelligence. “But as the pandemic also accelerated many new creator-driven social trends, including short video and social commerce, marketers quickly resumed and are now increasing their spending on influencer marketing, as they realize that influencers are their ticket to reach those audiences.”

    The return of travel is another key element to this year’s strong growth, as it’s a category that invests heavily in influencer marketing.

    Media Monitors' POD Rank Shows Strong 2Q For iHM

    The iHeartPodcast Network had a strong Q2, surging to the highest total number of podcasts for a publisher since Media Monitors began measurement of podcasts in 2020. 

    Likely due to their multi-pronged approach of releasing new podcasts like Drama Queens (#11) and The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner (#170), new seasons for old-staples like The Ron Burgundy Podcast (#46), and podcast versions of their radio programs including The Bobby Bones Show (#66) and The Breakfast Club (#32).

    NPR remained consistent this quarter with 12 podcasts in the Top 200 including Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! (#53), and Throughline (#81). Spotify owned Parcast Network also had a strong quarter primarily due to their slate of True Crime podcasts including: Medical Murders (#138), Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories (#58), and International Infamy with Ashley Flowers (#194).

    The Media Monitors Podcast Listener survey was fielded between June 14th and 30th, 2021. Participants aged 18+ were screened on whether they had listened to a podcast in the last 7 days, then asked to list the podcast titles. Participants were encouraged to consult their podcast app of choice during the survey. These unassisted responses were then individually matched back to unique RSS feeds which were polled to collect information about genre and publisher.

    Talker Dan Bongino Passes Affiliate Milestone

    CUMULUS MEDIA’s The Dan Bongino Show has surpassed the 300-station milestone after just two months on the air. 

    Syndicated by CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One, The Dan Bongino Show has quickly become one of the most influential radio programs and appointment listening for conservative audiences.

    The radio program counts top-market stations including KABC-AM (Los Angeles), WLS-AM (Chicago), WBAP-AM (Dallas), KSFO-AM (San Francisco), KSEV-AM (Houston), WMAL-FM (Washington, DC), KTTH-AM (Seattle), and WJR-AM (Detroit) as well as CUMULUS MEDIA’S new, all-digital station WFAS-AM in the New York metropolitan area among its affiliate base.

    The Dan Bongino Show is a live, daily broadcast hosted by former Secret Service Agent, best-selling author, television commentator, and podcast powerhouse Dan Bongino that debuted on March 24, 2021. With live guests and listener calls, the program showcases Bongino’s natural ability to forge connections and communicate as never before. The program airs live Monday-Friday from 12 to 3 p.m. ET.

    CA Recall: Tide Turning Against Newsom, Talker Larry Elder Leading

    A new Inside California Politics/Emerson College poll released on Thursday reports that Governor Gavin Newsom is rapidly losing ground in the recall election, while radio host Larry Elder has taken a commanding lead among all recall candidates, reports The California Globe.

    According to the poll, which was conducted based on a sampling of 1,000 registered voters in California on a 2.9% margin of error, Governor Newsom now only has about 48% of voters wanting to keep him in office, as compared to 43% of voters willing to vote for his recall. 9% of voters remain undecided.

    Larry Elder
    Contrasted with the May UC Berkeley survey that found that 49% of voters wanted to keep him in office versus 36% wanting to recall him, the new Emerson poll has shown that not only has Newsom lost ground to recall supporters during late Spring and early Summer, but he has also lost a little support.

    The July poll also found that Newsom’s popularity has gone down significantly since May, dipping below the 50% mark for the first time since February. Newsom currently sits at a 49% approval rating, down from 52% two months ago. His disapproval rating has also gone up to 42%, closely mirroring the recall poll percentages.

    When asked about rating the Governor on a wide range of topics from his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to homelessness, the highest percentage chosen for each one by voters was “poor,” the lowest rating possible. In particular, his handling of the homelessness crisis was met with the strongest response, with a whopping 52% of voters ranking his performance as poor, and only 25% saying fair, 16% good and only 7% excellent.

    As for recall candidates, radio personality Larry Elder stormed ahead of the polling with 16%, beating out second-place finishers, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and 2018 Gubernatorial candidate John Cox, who both scored a respective 6% of the vote, both down from higher percentages scored in the May Berkeley poll when there were fewer candidates to choose from. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R- Rocklin) and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner came in a distant 3rd, tied with 4% each.

    Elder, who had a brief court battle with Secretary of State Shirley Weber this week over being allowed on the ballot, is now widely seen as the frontrunner.

    Wake-Up Call: 3 States Have 40 Percent Of New COVID Cases

    Just three states -- Florida, Texas and Missouri -- accounted for 40 percent of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. this week, White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters Thursday, with Florida alone accounting for 20 percent of cases. Zients also said that 97 percent of hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people, stating, "The threat is now predominantly only to the unvaccinated." At the same time, Zients shared the good news that the five states that have had the most significant rise in infections -- Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and Missouri -- are seeing vaccinations rates go up, beating the national average for a second week in a row.

    ➤GARLAND SAYS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WILL CRACK DOWN ON GUN TRAFFICKING: Amid a surge in gun violence in the country, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday (July 22nd) that the Justice Department will crack down on gun trafficking. He said that will be part of a broader effort against gun violence, including funding community intervention programs. The Justice Department has launched strike forces against gun violence in Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. Experts say there are a number of potential causes for this year's spike in crime, including the pandemic, economic worries, and large gatherings taking place after the many months of lockdowns.

    ➤BIDEN CONDEMNS CRACKDOWN ON CUBAN PROTESTERS, NEW SANCTIONS IMPOSED: President Biden yesterday condemned the crackdown in Cuba on protesters who mounted recent rare demonstrations against the government, and his administration announced new sanctions. Biden said in a statement, "I unequivocally condemn the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence." The new sanctions were imposed on a Cuban government special brigade that the U.S. charges was involved in human rights abuses during the Cuban government crackdown on protests as well as on Cuban military and political leader Alvaro Lopez Miera. Cuba’s Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which is led to by Lopez Miera, has attacked protesters and arrested or disappeared over 100 of them, according to the U.S. This comes after the White House said earlier this week that Biden had ordered several steps to increase pressure on the Cuban government.

    ➤U-S CARRIED OUT AIRSTRIKES IN SUPPORT OF AFGHAN FORCES: The U.S. has carried out several airstrikes this week in support of Afghan forces who are fighting Taliban insurgents, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Thursday. The strikes show the U.S. intends to continue supporting Afghan forces, at least until the end of the U.S. military withdrawal on August 31st, according to AP. The administration hasn't said whether that support will continue after the U.S. pullout is complete. Meanwhile, the House voted overwhelmingly, 407-16, yesterday to allow thousands more Afghans into the U.S. who worked with Americans in the Afghanistan war, such as translators. The U.S. is allowing those Afghans and their immediate families into the U.S. to protect them from Taliban retaliation. The Biden administration says there are 20,000 applicants so far, but half of them haven't yet completed the initial stages of review for the visas.

    ➤SOFTWARE COMPANY KASEYA GET DECRYPTION KEY IN RANSOMWARE ATTACK: Florida software company Kaseya said yesterday (July 22nd) that it had gotten a universal decryption key that will work for all of the more than 1,000 businesses and public organizations that were hit in a ransomware attack over the Fourth of July weekend that exploited Kaseya's software. The company wouldn't say how they got the key or whether they paid a ransom for it, with a spokesperson saying only that it came from a, quote, "trusted third party." The Russian-linked ransomware group REvil that was behind the attack disappeared from the internet on July 13th, and it's not known why.

    ➤LEGISLATION WOULD REMOVE TECH COMPANIES' LEGAL PROTECTION IN MISINFORMATION CASES: Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation yesterday that would remove tech companies' Section 230 legal protection in cases in which they allow health misinformation to spread on their platforms, such as vaccine misinformation. 

    Section 230 protects companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google from being sued for content posted on their platforms. The exception under Klobuchar's bill would be when a social media platform’s algorithm promotes health misinformation related to a, quote, "existing public health emergency." In those situations, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would define health misinformation. The law wouldn't apply if posts are shown via what it calls a "neutral mechanism," such as posts ranked chronologically, instead of an algorithm ranking what people see. Klobuchar said, "These are some of the biggest, richest companies in the world, and they must do more to prevent the spread of deadly vaccine misinformation."

    ➤DISAGREEMENT MAY BE A WAY TO MAKE ONLINE CONTENT SPREAD FASTER, FURTHER: If you want a post to spread on social media you’ll want to post something controversial. University of Central Florida researchers analyzed thousands of Reddit posts, and found those labeled controversial by a Reddit algorithm got viewed by nearly twice the number of people and traveled nearly twice as fast when compared to posts not labeled controversial. Researchers say the finding is important as it shows that disagreement may be a powerful way to get people to pay attention to messages. Study co-author Ivan Garibay adds, “There may be an incentive in terms of influence and audience size for a social media user to consistently include controversial and provocative topics on their posts. This benefits the person posting the messages. However, controversial comments can be divisive, which could contribute to a polarized audience and society.”

    ➤WIDESPREAD INTERNET OUTAGES YESTERDAY: There was a widespread internet disruption for about an hour yesterday that caused outages for the some of the world's biggest sites. The outages started to appear around 11:40 a.m. ET, and Akamai, which operates one of the world's largest and most important content delivery networks, reported a problem with its service at about 12:10 p.m. ET. Akamai tweeted at 12:47 p.m. ET that it had fixed the problem and that systems were returning to normal. The company said the issue was due to a bad software update that disrupted the DNS system, which directs users to websites.

    ➤NEW CHIEF FOR U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Officials announced yesterday that J. Thomas Manger, a former police chief in Maryland and Virginia, had been appointed the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police. The Capitol Police Board, which oversees the force, said Manger had been chosen after a nationwide search. Manger is taking over a force on which morale has plummeted as it deals with the aftermath of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Manger was police chief in Montgomery County, Maryland, for 15 years, and before that led the Fairfax County, Virginia, police department. He's taking over from Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman, who was elevated after former Chief Steven Sund was forced out immediately after January 6th.

    ➤VIDEO GAME GIANT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SUED BY CALIFORNIA OVER 'FRAT BOY' CULTURE: Video game giant Activision Blizzard has been sued by California labor regulators, who charge the company has a, quote, "pervasive 'frat boy' workplace culture." The suit says female employees at the company that created Call of Duty and World of Warcraft faced sexual harassment, unequal pay, being passed over for promotions, and retaliation for raising concerns. It charges that male employees would, quote, "engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and joke about rape." Activision Blizzard called the claims in the lawsuit "distorted, and in many cases false."

    ➤STUDY..WATCHING TOO MUCH TV INCREASES YOUR RISK OF SLEEP APNEA:  Spending more than four hours a day in front of the TV increases your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Harvard Medical School researchers monitored the health and physical activity levels of over 130,000 people for 10 to 18 years. They found that increased levels of sedentary behavior, and corresponding low levels pf physical activity increased the risk of developing OSA. The researchers say people who spend all day sitting down, such as in office jobs, should compensate by getting more exercise during their leisure time. One researcher says, “People who followed the current World Health Organization physical activity guidelines of getting at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week and spent less than four hours per day sitting watching TV, had substantially lower OSA risk.”

    ➤WHEN TO VIEW JULY’S FULL BUCK MOON:  If you want to see the next full moon you’ll want to look up tonight. Called the buck moon and the thunder moon, July’s full moon will appear opposite the sun in Earth-based longitude at 10:37 p.m ET, according to NASA. The moon will appear full now through Sunday morning. The Maine Farmer’s Almanac says this full moon was named by Algonquin tribes in the Northeast for the period when new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads. It’s also known as the thunder moon due to the season’s frequent thunderstorms.

    🏈NFL TEAMS TOLD COULD FACE FORFEITS FOR COVID OUTBREAKS AMONG UNVACCINATED: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned all teams in a memo yesterday that teams that have Covid-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players next season could forfeit games, according to media reports. The memo said no games would be rescheduled in those cases and forfeits could happen instead, with players not getting paid. The memo said, "If a game can’t be rescheduled and is canceled due to a Covid outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc." If there's a Covid outbreak because of cases in vaccinated players, the memo said, "we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams." The NFL hasn't made vaccinations mandatory, but the league and the players associations are strongly urging them, and the memo ramps up the pressure.

    🏀PARADE HELD IN MILWAUKEE FOR NBA CHAMPION BUCKS: A parade was held in downtown Milwaukee Thursday for the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, with thousands of fans lining the street to celebrate the city's first NBA title in 50 years. Open-air buses and flatbed trucks carried the Bucks players, including NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. He spoke to cheering fans in the Deer District, which is the area outside the Bucks' Fiserv Forum, declaring, "Milwaukee, we did it baby! We did it!"

    ⚾RAYS GET CRUZ IN TRADE WITH TWINS: The Tampa Bay Rays acquired Nelson Cruz in a four-player trade with the Minnesota Twins last night. The Rays obtained the 41-year-old Cruz, a seven-time All-Star, and minor league player Calvin Faucher from the Twins in exchange for minor leaguer pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman. Cruz's 19 home runs are tied for the second most among designated hitters this season.

    The NBA's New Orleans Pelicans have hired Phoenix Suns assistant Willie Green as their new head coach. This will be the first head coaching position for Green, a former 12-year NBA player who's been an assistant coach for the past five years with the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix, which just lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals.

    🏒CANADIENS GM SAYS CAPTAIN WEBER TO MISS NEXT SEASON, CAREER MAY BE OVER: Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a video conference yesterday that team captain Shea Weber won't play at all next season because of a number of injuries, and that the 35-year-old's career may be over. Weber has played 16 seasons with the Nashville Predators and Montreal, including this past season, when the Canadiens lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    🏀NBA LEGEND BILL RUSSELL TO AUCTION MOST OF HIS MEMORABILIA: NBA legend Bill Russell announced yesterday (July 22nd) that he will be auctioning off most of his memorabilia from his Hall of Fame career. Hundreds of items from Russell's personal collection will be sold, including trophies, rings, basketballs, jerseys and more. Among them are the first and last of the NBA-record 11 championship rings he won with the Boston Celtics, four of his five NBA Most Valuable Player trophies, and his 1956 U.S. men’s basketball Olympic gold medal.

    ViacomCBS Ousts Station Managers In L-A and Chicago

    Jay Howell, general manager of KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles; and Derek Dalton, the head of WBBM-TV Channel 2 in Chicago, were ousted Thursday after a six-month investigation into alleged wrongdoing within CBS’ stations group, The L-A Times reports

    The moves extend a dramatic management makeover at CBS News and the network’s stations division after a Los Angeles Times investigation uncovered alleged misconduct, racism and misogyny at a handful of CBS-owned stations.

    In April, CBS tossed out Peter Dunn, the head of its flagship New York station, who also had led the group of 28 CBS-owned TV stations for more than a decade. The company also ended the employment of one of Dunn’s top lieutenants, David Friend, who was responsible for the chain’s news operations. Both men have denied wrongdoing.

    CBS on Thursday did not disclose the reasons behind Howell’s and Dalton’s departures but acknowledged the moves were related to an external investigation that has been underway since The Times’ report in late January.

    “The investigation cited painful revelations about experiences that we cannot tolerate today or in the future,” CBS Chief Executive George Cheeks wrote in an email to staff members Thursday, announcing the end of the review and leadership changes in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

    The Times’ series shined a harsh light on an often overlooked corner of the company that lacks the prestige of the CBS television network but remains a vital source of local news for millions of Americans.

    CBS’ stations in Los Angeles have been beset by turnover for years. Current and former employees have long complained about the harsh workplace culture, which they allege has been rife with sexual harassment, favoritism, pay discrimination and ageism.

    CBS manages KCBS and KCAL jointly, and the stations’ audience lags in size behind market leaders KABC-TV Channel 7, KNBC-TV Channel 4 and Spanish-language stations KMEX-TV Channel 34 and KVEA-TV Channel 52.

    Despite their ratings woes, KCBS and KCAL have been an important source of revenue for the company, particularly during last year’s election, according to internal documents shared with The Times.

    The articles also focused on conditions at CBS’ station in Philadelphia. Former executives at KYW-TV Channel 3 alleged that Dunn made racist comments about Ukee Washington, the station’s beloved Black anchor, calling him “just a jive guy.”

    TV Ratings: CNN Event With Biden Struggled For Viewers

    What you don't see on TV: Small Audience for CNN Town Hall

    CNN struggled to attract an audience for its exclusive town-hall event with President Joe Biden on Wednesday night, with the event trailing Fox News’ regular programming in ratings.

    Bloomberg reports the cable news network averaged fewer than 1.5 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Eastern, with 306,000 in the 25-54 demographic most sought by advertisers. That compared with 2.7 million for Fox News, with 464,000 in the key demographic, according to Nielsen data shared by the network.

    CNN has seen ratings slide following the 2020 election and its aftermath, which riveted viewers. These days, even booking the president is no guarantee that a large audience will tune in. In total viewers, CNN trailed both Fox News and MSNBC.

    At the event, broadcast from Cincinnati, Biden addressed inflation concerns, saying the problem was unlikely to get out of hand.

    He also alluded to Fox News, saying, “One of those other networks is not a big fan of mine” but that it had recently shifted its stance and was promoting vaccines as a way to curb Covid-19.

    Fox has maintained that its on-air talent has consistently encouraged its viewers to get the shots.

    Twitter Beats Revenue Targets

    Twitter Inc on Thursday reported higher revenue growth than Wall Street had expected, as the social media platform rolled out ad targeting improvements to help brands reach potential customers, reports Reuters.

    Since the start of the year, Twitter has raced to introduce products in new areas like audio-only chat rooms and newsletter publishing in an effort to turn around years of business stagnation and reach its goal of doubling annual revenue by 2023.

    Advertising revenue totaled $1.05 billion, up 87% from the year-ago quarter, and beat Wall Street estimates of $909.9 million.

    Twitter has worked to improve the effectiveness of its ads, introducing 2,500 new topic categories during the quarter to help users find content they're interested in, all of which provides more ad targeting data back to Twitter, the company said on a conference call with analysts.

    Those improvements, along with higher demand from advertisers seeking to reach consumers as countries reopen from pandemic restrictions, helped propel ad revenue, Twitter said.

    Twitter reported 206 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU), its term for users who are served advertising, for the second quarter ended June 30, matching analyst targets of 205.9 million users, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

    Its U.S. user base declined by 1 million over three months from the previous quarter due to a lighter news cycle in the United States, Twitter said, with total users worldwide in line with Wall Street targets.

    Total revenue, which also includes revenue the company earns from data licensing, rose 74% year-over-year to $1.19 billion, beating analyst estimates of $1.07 billion.

    The San Francisco-based company now expects headcount and total costs and expenses to grow at least 30% for the full year, up from its previous guidance of 25%, as it invests in its engineering and product teams.

    Nashville Radio: Talker Phil Valentine Gravely Ill

    Talk show host Phil Valentine is hospitalized with COVID-19, according to his family.  In a statement released Thursday, relatives said Valentine is “in very serious condition” and is suffering from “Covid Pneumonia,” along with other side effects.

    WKRN TV reports he is in the critical care unit of a Nashville area hospital breathing with assistance, but is not on a ventilator.

    Valentine, who hosts The Phil Valentine Show on Nashville’s SuperTalk WWTN 99.7 FM, confirmed July 11 on his Facebook page that he had tested positive for COVID. He spoke about his battle with the virus on his radio show.

    “I think I’m on the other side of it,” Valentine said of the virus, as he described coughing, congestion, and fatigue that “hurts like crap.”

    Valentine had previously expressed his disagreement with mask mandates, stating that hospitals were never in danger of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. He has also been critical of the virus vaccines, voicing his concerns over their safety.

    “Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an ‘anti-vaxer’ he regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine’ and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon,” his family wrote in their statement.

    Their statement concluded, “Phil & his family would like for all of you to know that he loves y’all and appreciates your concern, thoughts & prayers more than you will ever know. Please continue to pray for his recovery and PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!”

    Philly Radio: Sue Schilling Returning To Sports WIP-FM

    Sue Schilling
    Sue Schilling, who was a host and update anchor for sports WIP 94.1 FM for more 20 years, dating back to the Fourth of July weekend in 1999, is returning to the station . She was let go in April 2020 as part of layoffs by then-parent company Entercom in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Inquirer reports Schilling will return to WIP to host the station’s overnight shift Saturday into Sunday, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. And despite the terrible hours, she’s excited to get back behind the microphone.

    “I definitely have a lot to say about the Phillies and this issue with vaccinations,” Schilling told the Inquirer, alluding to a scoop by Marcus Hayes that nearly half the team’s roster remains unvaccinated. “If they’re in the middle of the pennant race, and if you’re a fan, you have every right to get angry if players get sick.”

    Schilling has tried her best to remain busy during the pandemic. She continues to host a weekly show for families with special needs children, Everything Special Needs, which airs live on 1360-AM WNJC Mondays at 6 p.m. Shilling was inspired to launch the show in 2014 by her daughter, Jessica, who has autism and is considered nonverbal — except when she’s watching Phillies or Eagles games.

    “The other night there was a base running blunder, and she yelled out, ‘Oh no,’ just before Tom McCarthy said ‘Oh no’ on the Phillies broadcast,” Schilling said. “That’s why I love sports so much. It brings us all together.”

    The spot is just a one-off for Schilling, but she’s hoping it will lead to future hosting gigs during the summer, when schedules get tight as hosts go on vacation. She’s also not the only WIP veteran to return to the station recently — longtime host Rob Charry, whose tenure dates back to January 1989, returned as a fill-in host last month.

    “It’s great to see some of our WIP family returning to the flock,” said longtime morning show host Angelo Cataldi.

    July 23 Radio History

    ➦In 1912
    ...Jackson Beck born (Died at age 92 – July 28, 2004). He was an announcer and actor best known as the announcer on radio's The Adventures of Superman and the voice of Bluto in the Famous era Popeye theatrical shorts.

    Jackson Beck
    Beck's early radio experience included work at WINS and WHN, both in New York City. Beginning in 1931, he worked with Myrt and Marge, among other roles. In 1934, he was the announcer for The Adventures of Babe Ruth on the radio. In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's The Adventures of Superman; it was Beck who intoned the familiar prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." He also had recurring roles, voicing an occasional tough guy and also portraying Beany Martin, the Daily Planet's teenage copy boy. On Superman episodes featuring Batman, he played Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

    He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for The March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942 to 1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948 to 1950, starred in the dramatic anthology Brownstone Theater on Mutual, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

    Beck also co-starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

    ➦In 1937...Robert Wilbur Morgan born (Died  – May 22, 1998). He was a Top40 radio personality best known for his work at several stations in Los Angeles, California, in particular KHJ-AM.

    Morgan also did morning drive at KMPC-AM, KIQQ-FM and KMGG-FM, and finished his career at KRTH-FM, where he retired for health reasons in 1997. He died from lung cancer on May 22, 1998.

    As a youth growing up in Galion, Ohio, Morgan's interest was piqued while listening to his favorite DJs on Cleveland's top forty giant KYW which would eventually lead to his first on-air job was at Wooster College in 1955 on WWST & WWST-FM, for an initial salary of $1 per hour.

    In 1959 Morgan moved from college radio to KACY Port Hueneme, California where he hosted the over night show called Kegler's Spare Time with Bob Morgan live from the Wagon Wheel Bowl before moving on to a succession of brief stints beginning in 1961 at KTEE Carmel as the second half of a two-man classical music announcer on KTEE with Bob Elliott, a Marine Corps Heavyweight Champion who later went on to radio fame as "K.O. Bailey," then a short time later as the morning drive DJ and mid-day board op for the Arthur Godfrey Show at KMBY, Monterey, then a jump to KOMY Watsonville, then back to KMBY Monterey followed in 1962 at "K-MAKE", KMAK, Fresno where he first worked with program director Ron Jacobs. This was followed in 1963 by an eight-month stay at KROY Sacramento before finally landing his first major-market job in 1964 at KEWB, San Francisco. It was here that he met and worked with his lifelong friend "The Real" Don Steele.

    On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programmer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status almost overnight when they joined the staff of 93KHJ-AM, Los Angeles. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station.

    It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973.

    Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery. It was also during this time that Morgan co-produced and narrated the 48-hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969, a definitive on-air encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. It was the first-ever "rock-umentary" aired worldwide as a definitive history of the Rock & Roll genre—a "rockumentary," as producers Drake and Gene Chenault would call it—that would stretch from the early 1950s to 1989.

    In 1970 Morgan made a surprise move from Los Angeles to WIND Radio Chicago where he remained in the morning slot until finally being enticed back to his KHJ morning show in 1972.

    Until his departure from KHJ in October 1970, Morgan had commanded unparalleled radio ratings in Los Angeles. Morgan's return to his former time slot in L.A., which saw a significant spike upward for KHJ until he departed just a year later.

    In 1973, Morgan and Steele walked out of KHJ and joined Bill Drake six months later at KIQQ-FM, Los Angeles. The ratings were sub-par, though, causing Morgan to leave the morning slot a year and a half later for weekends and fill-in slots at the prestigious KMPC Los Angeles. He stayed at KMPC until 1984. After a short stint at KMGG, Morgan returned to KMPC.

    Morgan was heard in 1973 on Saturday night segments of the long-running NBC Radio program Monitor, an attempt to freshen that program's image. While with KMGG, he was at one time heard as a substitute host of American Top 40. During the mid to late 70s, Morgan also did his own one-hour radio weekly special highlighting one artist or group per show. "Robert W. Morgan's Special of the Week" was often played on radio stations that also carried Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as the same company, Watermark, distributed both.

    The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101, where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer. According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two-packs-a-day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years."

    In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.

    He died from cancer May 22, 1998 at age 60. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame the following year.

    ➦In 1940..John Donald Imus Jr. born.  Imus was radio personality, television show host, recording artist, and author. He is known for his radio show Imus in the Morning which aired on various stations and digital platforms nationwide until 2018. A former railroad brakeman and miner, Imus attended broadcasting school in the 1960s and secured his first radio job in 1968 at KUTY in Palmdale, California. Three years later, he landed the morning spot at WNBC in New York City before his firing in 1977.

    Imus - 1970
    Imus was born in Riverside, California, the son of Frances E. and John Donald Imus, Sr., and the older brother of former talk show host Fred Imus.

    He served in the Marine Corps as a bugler from 1957 to 1960.

    Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis. In 1966, Imus enrolled at the Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood after seeing a newspaper advert; he was thrown out for being "uncooperative", but studied enough to obtain a broadcasting license as required by the FCC.

    After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.

    After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California. His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.

    After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC 660 AM, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label (This Honky's Nuts, an album of his stand up comedy act at the Manhattan nightclub "Jimmy's".  There was also a 1973 RCA Victor single, "Son of Checkers," issued by Imus. The single reached #123 in the Record World survey.

    "Imus...In The Morning...In The Evening" aired nationally in the fall of 1973, part of NBC Radio's attempt to revive "Monitor", it's long-running weekend magazine. The Saturday night segment rotated popular hosts Imus, Wolfman Jack, and Robert W. Morgan

    Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK.

    In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good." Although Stern's show aired later in the day, Imus and Stern often made brief appearances on each other's shows, giving the audience an occasional glimpse of an on-and-off-air rivalry that continued for many years.

    During this period, Imus was best known for character Billy Sol Hargis, a radio evangelist whose name was a cross between infamous real-life radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and real-life Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes. As Hargis, Imus touted on-air the merits of the "First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship".

    Imus was also the utility announcer for Geraldo Rivera's monthly TV series Good Night, America, which aired as a recurring segment of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment program, and he was one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of the VH-1 cable network in 1985.

    In 1988, WNBC radio was sold to Emmis Broadcasting; on October 7, 1988, WNBC permanently signed off the air and Emmis' WFAN was moved from 1050 AM to WNBC's former spot, 660 AM. Imus in the Morning remained at 660 AM among WFAN's sports programs with his music and comedy bits as the staples of the program and the beginnings of a political forum.

    The radio show became nationally syndicated in 1993, and began simulcasting on MSNBC in 1996. He wore his signature cowboy hat during his broadcasts.

    Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year 1990, 1992 and 1997 and one for Network Syndicated Personality (1994).

    Imus retired in March 2018 and died December 27, 2019.

    Dick Biondi
    ➦In 1963...Former Chicago personality Dick Biondi ended his self-imposed exile from radio and joined KRLA 1110 AM in Pasadena, Calif. Both KRLA and KFWB were neck and neck in the overall radio ratings in Los Angeles.

    The KRLA line-up is Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quillin and Bob Hudson.

    ➦In 1963...New York City is the nation’s largest radio market and competition is fierce. Most of the larger stations were owned by corporations - WOR - RKO, WABC-ABC, WNBC-NBC, WCBS-CBS, WINS-Group W (Westinghouse), WHN-Storer, WNEW-Metropolitan. Each is 50,000 watts and all have rather good signals. There’s another competitor - this one’s only 5,000 watts and is family owned and operated - WMCA 570 AM  - which was owned by the Straus family.

    The 1963 ratings placed WMCA on top for the first time ever. The station had adopted a different concept to their DJ lineup - personality and team togetherness and it shows on the air and in person - more than any other station in the United States.

    Thanks to program director Ruth Meyer, the WMCA Good Guys were taking New York by storm. The WMCA Goodguys show up at events together, as many as possible - all with their sweatshirts and black pants.  WMCA’s music policy was to play the hits and be the first to jump on music trends.

    ➦In 1966...Coca-Cola launched the biggest radio spot campaign in its history, featuring top recording artists in an all-out drive for the teen market. Each artist is spotlighted in a different version of the “Things Go Better With Coke” jingle. Coke was the seventh largest radio time buyer in 1965, would now vault to the number one buyer of national radio commercials.

    Artists signed by ad agency McCann-Erickson for showcasing include Petula Clark, the Coasters, the Four Seasons, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Jan and Dean, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, The Shirelles, The Supremes and Sue Thompson.

    The jingle was written by William Backer of McCann-Erickson. Backer says each commercial will strive to retain the artist’s individuality in the recording of each version of “Things Go Better With Coca-Cola.” In that way, the artist’s unique singing style and basis for his appeal is harnessed to capture the listener’s attention.

    ➦In 1966...KBLA 1500 AM in Burbank, Calif, fired its staff of DJ’s in order to give listeners more music. According to general manager Mel Leeds, the Top-40 station would now be able to play more music than those stations with air personalities. The policy now for KBLA will be to play two-three or more records without DJ interruptions. This is unheard of in top-40 radio. Released by the station were DJ’s Chet Douglas, Larry Tyler, Jim Wood, and Tom Clay.  Leeds says that by eliminating talk, the commercial messages were showcased more dramatically and effectively.  Today, KBLA is a progressive talk format.

    ➦In 1966...Both WMCA and WABC, New York pulled ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away” by Napoleon XIV off the air. WMCA says they have received various complaints about the record, which lampooned mental illness. Even though the record is #1 on the WMCA Good Guy survey, they didn't air it! Teens picketed WMCA carrying such signs as “We’re coming to take WMCA Away! Unfair to Napoleon in Everyway.” 77 WABC Program Director Rick Sklar said his station had letters from doctors and institutions saying the record hurt their image.

    ➦In 1982...The FCC approved stereo transmission for AM Radio. KTSA 550 AM San Antonio started stereo broadcasting.

    WCAR - 1926
    The station began on September 1, 1922, as WCAR, founded by John C. Rodriguez of the Alamo Radio & Electric Company in September 1922. WCAR was the second radio station in San Antonio, taking the airwaves shortly after WJAE which only lasted a few months. WCAR originally broadcast on 1290 AM, sharing time with WFUL in Galveston. (Before 1923, radio stations in Texas were given call signs beginning with W.) The station's full-time operation was approved April 29, 1933, when the Federal Radio Commission approved WCAR's purchase of WFUL and it was taken off the air. Several years later, WCAR's call letters were changed to KTSA.

    In the 1930s, KTSA moved to 550 kHz, increasing its coverage area by going from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts. KTSA, which was owned by Southwest Broadcasting Company at that time, became an affiliate of the Southwest Network and the CBS Radio Network. KTSA carried the network's schedule of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the Golden Age of Radio.

    On October 28, 1940, KTSA played host to the first and only meeting between noted science fiction author H.G. Wells and radio dramatist Orson Welles, which occurred nearly two years after the panic created by Welles' broadcast of The War of the Worlds. An advertisement in the 1949 edition of Broadcasting Yearbook said KTSA had been a CBS affiliate for 20 years, delivering 25.1% more radio families in the daytime and 20.6% more radio families in the nighttime. The ad was aimed at advertisers who might otherwise want to buy time on NBC Red Network affiliate WOAI 1200 AM, which remains KTSA's rival to this day.

    For a time the San Antonio Express-News Corporation owned the station. In 1956, Top40 radio pioneer Gordon McLendon bought KTSA. He made it one of the first full-time Top 40 stations in America. KTSA became an overnight sensation because of the music and outrageous promotions. One included a flagpole sitter at the O. R. Mitchell Dodge used car dealership on Broadway, and the KTSA Easter Egg Hunt, which swamped San Pedro Springs Park with thousands of listeners searching for a $1000 KTSA Golden Egg.

    In 1957, KTSA got competition from AM 860 KONO 860 AM (owned today by Cox Media Group), which changed to a Top40 format and hired several of KTSA's disk jockeys. By this time, McLendon had successful stations in El Paso (KELP), Dallas (KLIF), and Houston (KILT), and used the El Paso and San Antonio stations as farm teams for his larger markets. Because KTSA was located at 550 on the dial, his station promoted on the air that it played the "Top 55 Hits." Under McLendon ownership, KTSA obtained FCC permission to use the call letters KAKI-FM on KTSA's planned FM station, reportedly to honor San Antonio's military personnel (with "KAKI" meaning "khaki", a type of fabric used in military uniforms). KTSA's call letters were also briefly switched to KAKI. After KAKI-AM-FM letterhead and promotional materials were printed, management learned that the call letters could be pronounced as slang in Spanish for baby feces. AM 550 quickly returned to its KTSA call sign. And plans to put the FM station on the air were scrapped.

    McLendon sold KTSA in 1965. The FCC had a rule at that time that a single owner could not own more than seven radio stations nationally. When McLendon bought his eighth radio station, San Antonio was one of his smallest markets. So he sold KTSA to Waterman Broadcasting, with Bernard Waterman as the president. KTSA remained one of San Antonio's most listened-to stations until contemporary music listening switched to FM radio. In 1969, KTSA signed on an FM sister station, 102.7 KTFM (now KJKK).

    In the 1980s, the Top40 format moved over to KTFM, while KTSA switched to a full service adult contemporary sound, with some talk programming at night. By 1986, the music had been eliminated and the station became a full-time talk outlet.

    In 2000, KTSA and its FM station, then with the call letters KSRX, were acquired by the Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, a division of CBS. Then in 2007, KTSA and its FM station, KJXK 102.7, were bought by Border Media Partners (BMP Radio) for $45 million. On July 27, 2009, Border Media Partners was taken over by its lenders in an "amicable manner," according to an FCC filing. Border Media had not made a debt payment in two years, according to the San Antonio Express-News. This resulted in BMP selling the station to L&L Broadcasting (now Alpha Media) in 2013.

    ➦In 2010…Daniel Louis Schorr died at age 93 (Born - August 31, 1916). He was a journalist who covered world news for more than 60 years. He was most recently a Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio (NPR). Schorr won three Emmy Awards for his television journalism. Schorr also worked for CBS and was the first on-camera employee hired at CNN.

    Woody Harrelson is 60

    • Actor Ronny Cox (“Deliverance,” “RoboCop”) is 83. 
    • Actor Larry Manetti (“Magnum, P.I.”) is 78. 
    • Singer David Essex is 74. 
    • Singer and former Congressman John Hall (Orleans) is 73. 
    • Guitarist Blair Thornton of Bachman-Turner Overdrive is 71. 
    • Actor Belinda Montgomery (“Doogie Howser, MD”) is 71. 
    • Actor Lydia Cornell (“Too Close For Comfort”) is 68. 
    • Actor Woody Harrelson is 60. 
    • Guitarist Martin Gore of Depeche Mode is 60. 
    • Actor Eriq Lasalle (“ER”) is 59. 
    • Drummer Yuval Gabay (Soul Coughing) is 58. 
    • Guitarist Slash of Velvet Revolver and of Guns N’ Roses is 56. 
    • Actor Juan Pope (formerly J. Lamont Pope) (“My Name Is Earl,” ″Family Matters”) is 54. 
    • Model Stephanie Seymour is 53. 
    • Actor Charisma Carpenter (“Veronica Mars”) is 51. 
    • Alison Krauss is 50
      Singer Sam Watters of Color Me Badd is 51. 
    • Singer Dalvin DeGrate of Jodeci is 50. 
    • Musician Alison Krauss is 50. 
    • Drummer Chad Gracey of Live is 50. 
    • Actor-comedian Marlon Wayans (“The Wayans Brothers”) is 49. 
    • Country singer Shannon Brown is 48. 
    • Actor Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent,” “Crossing Jordan”) is 48. 
    • Actor Stephanie March (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) is 47. 
    • Actor Shane McRae (“Sneaky Pete”) is 44. 
    • Fiddler David Pichette (Emerson Drive) is 44. 
    • Singer Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child) is 41. 
    • Actor Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 39. 
    • Actor Krysta Rodriguez (“Smash”) is 37. 
    • Actor Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter” movies) is 32. 
    • Drummer Neil Perry of The Band Perry is 31. 
    • Actor Lili Simmons (TV’s “The Purge”) is 28. 
    • Country singer Danielle Bradbery (“The Voice”) is 25.