Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 13 Radio History

➦In 1919...Alpha Rex Emmanuel Humbard born (Died at age 88 – September 21, 2007). He was a pioneering radio and TV evangelist whose Cathedral of Tomorrow show was aired on over 600 stations at the peak of its popularity.

➦In 1952...the original version of Hound Dog was recorded by Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. It was the first hit for songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also wrote Kansas City for Wilbert Harrison, On Broadway for The Drifters, and Stand By Me for Ben E. King.  Four years later, Hound Dog got the attention of the world when it was recorded by Elvis Presley.

➦In 1966…The controversy over John Lennon's "more popular than Jesus" comments had been growing since late July. A public bonfire was on this day organised by the radio station KLUE in Longview, Texas.

The following day, the KLUE broadcast tower was struck by lightning, damaging much of their equipment and sending the news director to the hospital.

➦In 1959...Daniel Bonaduce. The son of veteran TV writer/producer Joseph Bonaduce (The Dick Van Dyke Show, One Day at a Time, and others), he became famous as a child actor of the 1970s on the TV sitcom The Partridge Family. He co-starred as Danny Partridge, the wisecracking, redheaded middle son of the singing family band (headed by Shirley Jones), and he was the fictional pop group's bass guitar player.

Bonaduce 2007
Since then, Bonaduce has starred in several other TV series, including the VH1 reality show Breaking Bonaduce in 2005, radio shows in Los Angeles and Philadelphia and has been hosting a morning talk/music show at Seattle radio station KZOK-FM since November 14, 2011.

In the late 1980s, Bonaduce had become an on-air radio personality. He worked an overnight shift at Philadelphia's WEGX-FM. From 1994 to 1996, Bonaduce hosted his own radio show, The Danny Bonaduce Show on The Loop WLUP in Chicago. Between 1996 and 1998, Bonaduce hosted a morning radio show in Detroit on WKQI with comedian and Last Comic Standing winner John Heffron.

Bonaduce was part of The Adam Carolla Show in 2007. In 2008 he was given a daily one-hour solo spot known as Broadcasting Bonaduce, which was broadcast locally on the L.A.-based KLSX station. In February 2009, it was announced that the station had changed its format from talk to Top 40, and the removal of Broadcasting Bonaduce from the KLSX schedule was confirmed.

On October 31, 2011, it was announced by Seattle radio station 102.5 KZOK that Bonaduce would be co-hosting their morning-drive show beginning on November 14, 2011. Bonaduce came to Seattle from a radio stint at 94 WYSP in Philadelphia, following a format change from classic rock to all sports radio in September 2011.

Bonaduce is an ordained minister; he was ordained online in order to perform a wedding ceremony as part of a 94WYSP radio promotion in early 2011.

➦In 1986...KRE-AM in Berkeley CA changes call letters to KBLX (now KVTO). The station began in Berkeley in 1922 as KRE, the former call-sign of a marine radio station aboard a World War I merchant marine steamship, Florence H., destroyed in an April 17, 1918, explosion at Quiberon Bay, France.  Later programming was simulcast on KRE-FM and there were occasional AM/FM stereo broadcasts, including some classical music programming. KRE's call letters changed to KPAT in 1963, then back to KRE in 1972. The call letters KBLX were adopted in 1986, then changed to KBFN in 1989 and back to KBLX in 1990. The current call letters, KVTO, were adopted in 1994.

The station is currently owned by Phuong Pham, through licensee Pham Radio Communication LLC and air a Chinese fromat.

➦In 1986...NYC TV Personality (Officer) Joe Bolton died. He started his broadcast career in 1927 as a staff announcer for WOR in Newark, NJ. He was the announcer for DuMont Television Network's talent show Doorway to Fame in 1947, but he left DuMont for WPIX on May 15, 1948 to be a news announcer and weatherman.

Joe Bolton
On January 17, 1955, he appeared as "Officer Joe" and hosted The Clubhouse Gang, which featured the Little Rascals and the theme song "The Whistler and his Dog". WPIX lost the rights to The Little Rascals, and in September 1958, he switched to hosting The Three Stooges Funhouse, a showcase of The Three Stooges shorts which aired on WPIX weekdays until May 7, 1970, mostly weekdays at 5:30 pm. At one time, he was host of WPIX's The Dick Tracy Show as "Police Chief Joe".

Bolton also had cameos in two Three Stooges films: Stop! Look! and Laugh (1960), as a customer in a cafe; and in The Outlaws Is Coming (1965), the last feature film by The Three Stooges, which featured him and eight other local children television show hosts, all cast as villains.

Bolton appeared at many New York area venues, including Freedomland U.S.A. in The Bronx, to meet and entertain children. At Freedomland, he hosted appearances by The Three Stooges at the park's Moon Bowl entertainment venue. Bolton and The Three Stooges are featured in the book Freedomland U.S.A.: The Definitive History (Theme Park Press, 2019).

Bolton retired in 1975 to Santa Monica, California, and died in 1986 at Santa Monica Hospital of a heart attack.

Terry Steele
➦In 1993...Radio personality Terry Steele died after a fall in his bathtub. He was 46. One of the smoothest-sounding of all the CHUM jocks, Steele was born James Stromberg on July 19, 1947 in Chester, PA. His first radio job was in Carlisle at $60 a week. Steele jocked at WINX Rockville, Maryland, and WNOR Norfolk, Virginia, before arriving at CHUM in 1972. He spent 15 years at CHUM, establishing himself as one of Toronto's top jocks while voicing many of the station's specials.

Steele was part of one of CHUM's most memorable promotions when he wrestled Sweet Daddy Siki in 1974. He had the honor of signing off CHUM's Top 40 era on June 6, 1986 and continued at the station during the short-lived "Favorites of Yesterday and Today" format. After leaving CHUM in 1987, Steele jocked at CKEY, CKFM and CJEZ in Toronto. For CKEY aircheck: Click Here.

➦In 2007...In 2007..Phil Rizzuto, NY Yankees player and announcer died in his sleep, three days short of the 51st anniversary of his last game as a Yankee, exactly twelve years after the death of Mickey Mantle, and just over one month shy of his 90th birthday. He had been in declining health for several years and was living at a nursing home in West Orange, New Jersey for the last months of his life. At the time of his death, at age 89, Rizzuto was the oldest living member of Baseball's Hall of Fame.

Phil Rizzuto
After a long Hall of Fame career as a player, Rizzuto broadcast Yankee games on radio and television for the 40 years. His popular catchphrase was "Holy Cow." Rizzuto also became known for saying "Unbelievable!" or "Did you see that?" to describe a great play, and would call somebody a "huckleberry" if he did something Rizzuto did not like.

He would frequently wish listeners a happy birthday or anniversary, send get-well wishes to fans in hospitals, and speak well of restaurants he liked, or of the cannoli he ate between innings. He also joked about leaving the game early, saying to his wife, "I'll be home soon, Cora!" and "I gotta get over that bridge", referring to the nearby George Washington Bridge, which he would use to get back to his home in Hillside. In later years, Rizzuto would announce the first six innings of Yankee games; the TV director would sometimes puckishly show a shot of the bridge (which can be seen from the top of Yankee Stadium) after Rizzuto had departed. Rizzuto was also very phobic about lightning, and sometimes left the booth following violent thunderclaps.

Rizzuto started his broadcasting career working alongside Mel Allen and Red Barber in 1957. Among a number of announcers that Rizzuto worked with over the course of his career, Frank Messer (1968-1985) and Bill White (1971-1988) were the two most memorable. Rizzuto, Messer, and White were the main broadcast trio that presided over an important time period for the Yankees, which spanned from the non-winning CBS years through the championship seasons and other years of struggle during the Steinbrenner era. On television, for example, the Yankees broadcast team went unchanged from 1972-82.

➦In 2010...Edwin Harold Newman died at age 91 (Born - January 25, 1919). He was anewscaster, journalist, and author. After beginning his career with the wire services and serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Newman worked in radio for CBS News. He is known for a 23-year career in television news with the National Broadcasting Company, from 1961 to 1984.

Newman - 1975
Newman initially worked for the wire services: first for the International News Service as a copy boy, mostly in the Senate, and then United Press. On Sunday, December 7, 1941, the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he heard the news during a radio concert. When he rang the office asking if he should come in, the reply was "Hell yes!" Newman took dictation for 12 hours as United Press reporters phoned in their stories.

He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1945 as a signal officer, stationed first in Trinidad and then at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Following the war Newman worked as a reporter for United Press (1945–1946, primarily reporting about the State Department), before moving to the CBS News radio division (1947–1949) as assistant to Eric Sevareid.

Between 1949 and 1952 Newman worked as a freelancer, primarily for NBC News. He wrote for a number of publications and, in 1951. In 1952, Newman began to work full-time for NBC. Between 1961 and 1984, Newman participated in a wide variety of NBC programs, primarily for NBC News. He was a regular on the Today show and was its news anchor from July 24 to December 22, 1961, then a contributor and guest host. On Meet the Press, he was a frequent panelist and moderator.

Kathryn Fiore is 41
  • Actor Kevin Toghe (“Emergency,” ″Murder One”) is 76. 
  • Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 72. 
  • Actor Danny Bonaduce (“The Partridge Family”) is 61. 
  • Actor Dawnn Lewis (“A Different World,” ″Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”) is 59. 
  • Actor John Slattery (“Mad Men,” ″Desperate Housewives”) is 58. 
  • Actor Debi Mazar is 56. 
  • Actor Quinn Cummings (“Family”) is 53. 
  • Actor Seana Kofoed (“Men in Trees”) is 50. 
  • Country singer Andy Griggs is 47. 
  • Drummer Mike Melancon of Emerson Drive is 42. 
  • Actor Kathryn Fiore (“Reno 911!”) is 41. 
  • Actor Sebastian Stan (“Captain America”) is 38. 
  • Actor Eme Ikwuakor (“Marvel’s Inhumans”) is 36. 
  • Singer James Morrison is 36. 
  • Actor Lennon Stella (“Nashville”) is 21.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

BIA Advisory Trims Local Ad Market Estimates

Examining the continuing economic fallout from the coronavirus in recent months, BIA Advisory Services has adjusted its estimate for the total local advertising market for 2020 to $140.4 billion, down from $144.3 billion in April. BIA’s updated forecast estimate represents a 6.1 percent decline from 2019, even with strong political advertising anticipated this year and a few business verticals showing advertising strength.

“To update our post-COVID forecast from April, we analyzed the continuing impact on local advertising by the weakened economy, continuing job loss reports, and the downturn in some key business verticals,” said Mark Fratrik, SVP and Chief Economist, BIA Advisory Services. “Right now, we believe a realistic view of the economy overall and the advertising marketplace is that after a dramatic decrease in the second-quarter and a bumpy start to the third, the remainder of the year will turn positive but end up with an overall decline in local advertising for the year.”

Local political ad spend continues to be one positive area. As campaigns continue to migrate to online rallies and events, both presidential and down ballot candidates are spending significant dollars in local broadcast and digital advertising. Since its April forecast, BIA increased the expected political ad spend from $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion. Of the $209 million increase, the distributed share to different media include $138 million to TV OTA, $40 million to Cable, $26 million to Online/Digital, and $5 million to Radio OTA.

Mark Fratrik
The verticals showing some COVID resilience include healthcare and finance & insurance. While both are down in terms of overall ad revenue spend, these industries have solid areas of steady and even slightly increasing ad spend.

Within healthcare, health and personal care stores are estimated to spend $97.6 million in 2020 and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers are forecast to spend $658.3 million to promote wellness products and services. In terms of finance & insurance, as people want help rebuilding their savings, college funds and retirement accounts, companies in consumer & lending stores are forecast to spend $1.6 billion while investment & retirement stores are projected to spend $3.0 billion in local advertising this year.

As for overall media ad spend, when comparing ad revenue estimates of both pre- and post-COVID, all media, except over-the-top (OTT), are experiencing a decline in ad revenue, as shown in the chart below.

“The economic situation caused by the pandemic continues to create a difficult local advertising market,” said Tom Buono, CEO and Founder BIA Advisory Services. “It’s critical to examine where the advertising dollars are flowing and what your particular business can go after. As ad budgets shift, an understanding of what is happening in your local market represents a real opportunity to expand your share of wallet.”

BIA will join SalesFuel to present local advertising data and analysis during the webinar, Accelerating 4th Quarter Revenue: Planning for 2021, on Tuesday, August 18 at 11 am eastern. The webinar will help executives organize their sales plans and prepare revenue assessments.

R.I.P.: Media Mogul Sumner Redstone Dead At 97

Sumner Redstone (born Sumner Murray Rothstein; May 27, 1923 - August 12, 2020)
Sumner Redstone, who turned his family’s movie-theater company into a global media empire spanning television, movies, radio and books, and who famously proclaimed that “content is king,” has died.

Redstone died Tuesday. He was 97 years old, reports The Wall street Journal.

Redstone achieved fame in the entertainment industry late in life, assembling a sprawling set of assets through a mix of savvy investing, creative litigation and all-around ruthlessness. He was among a now-shrinking group of moguls like John Malone and Rupert Murdoch who have shaped the media landscape through gutsy mergers.

The companies he controlled, CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., delivered an array of programming into American living rooms and onto the big screen, from CBS prime-time shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and irreverent cable programs on MTV and Comedy Central to film hits from the Paramount Pictures studio such as “Titanic” and “Top Gun.”

The mercurial Mr. Redstone was famously hot tempered in both his business and family dealings. Known to his own grandchildren as “Grumpy,” over the years he sparred with and dismissed several top executives, feuded with nearly all of his closest family members and was so hard on wait staff that he was barred from some restaurants.

Having survived several brushes with death—once by fire and later by cancer—he loved to boast that he would never die. On the rare occasion that he would admit to being mortal, he assured investors in his $27 billion media empire that his meticulous estate planning would ensure that he would control his assets from beyond the grave.

But as his health began to falter in his later years, a series of battles unfolded over who would control his empire. A question at the center of those fights was whether he had the mental capacity to continue as the controlling shareholder.

When the dust settled by the fall of 2018, his once-estranged daughter, Shari Redstone, was calling the shots at both CBS and Viacom, as the de facto leader of National Amusements Inc., the family holding company that owns 80% of the voting shares in each company. The two former chief executives with whom she had sparred, Viacom’s Philippe Dauman and CBS’s Leslie Moonves, had been forced out. On her watch, CBS and Viacom agreed to merge in 2019.

As a student at Harvard University, Mr. Redstone participated in a special intelligence group that worked to break Japanese military and diplomatic codes during World War II. He attended Harvard Law School and, upon graduation, went to work in the government. He was a special assistant to the attorney general when the Justice Department was pursuing U.S. v. Paramount, an antitrust case that broke up the traditional Hollywood studio system.

In 1954, he joined the family’s drive-in theater company, later renamed National Amusements, and over time took control, aggressively expanding around the East Coast and Midwest. Drawing on his Justice Department experience, he successfully sued the major studios in 1958 to force them to give his theaters top movies at the same time they were made available to bigger theater chains.

He pioneered the development of theaters with more than one screen and even trademarked the term “multiplex” for the concept, now commonplace.

The Rundown: Biden Picks Harris

Former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen U.S. Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate from an all-female list of frontrunners for the vice presidential slot. In these peculiar times, Biden made his announcement via email and tweet, calling his vice presidential pick “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

Harris, who is 55 years old, is a U.S. senator from California. She was twice elected the state’s attorney general. She had a reputation for being tough on crime as the state’s attorney general and, earlier, as a prosecutor. A daughter of two immigrants, her father is an emeritus professor at Berkeley who was born in Jamaica and her mother was a scientist who was born in India.

That makes Senator Harris the first Black woman and the first person of Asian descent to be named to a major national party’s ticket.

Asked for his reaction to Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick, President Donald Trump praised his own vice president, Mike Pence, and dissed Kamala Harris. He said she was “the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful” senator present at the contention hearings into the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanagh to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

➤NEW POLL SHOWS BIDEN WITH A 10-POINT LEAD: A Monmouth University poll released yesterday shows Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 10 points. That shows some slippage from late June, when the former vice president had a 13-point lead in the same poll. The new results show him leading by a margin of 51% to 41%. President Trump’s unfavorable rating stands at 54% in the poll compared with 40% who say they have a favorable opinion of the president.

➤RECORD NUMBERS MAY VOTE BY MAIL THIS FALL: An estimated 76% of all American voters will be eligible to mail in their ballots in this fall’s presidential elections, according to The New York Times. A record number is expected to take advantage of that right, given the coronavirus. In fact, some states are taking step to make voting by mail easier this year because of the pandemic. Those measures include mailing ballots or ballot applications to all voters. President Trump vigorously opposes voting by mail because, he says, it facilitates election fraud.

➤TRUMP ADDS NEW HEALTH ADVISER TO TEAM: President Trump has named another expert to his team of advisers on the coronavirus. Dr. Scott Atlas is a healthcare policy expert at the conservative Hoover Institution, and his views are closer to the president’s than those of Dr. Anthony Fauci. In June, Atlas said that the idea that schools could not reopen this fall was “hysteria” and “ludicrous.” He also advocates the resumption of college football games. Early this week, Dr. Atlas told Fox News that “young people that age without a co-morbidity have virtually a zero risk from this.”

North Georgia Students Stuck in Quarantine: The Cherokee County School District opened its schools only last week but now 826 students have been ordered into quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus. About 40 children have tested positive. The school district north of Atlanta has about 42,000 students in its elementary, middle and high schools. School officials recommended but did not require that students and teachers wear masks at school.

Dubious News from Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that his country has developed the world’s first coronavirus vaccine and, he said, “it works effectively enough.” He said his own daughter had taken it. There is little to no chance that this vaccine will be approved for use outside Russia. It was not tested for safety or effectiveness in large-scale clinical trials, as is required for drugs approved in the U.S. and most other nations.

Latest Statistics: Yesterday, there were 49,536 new cases of coronavirus identified in the U.S. and 525 deaths, according to statistics tracked by Johns Hopkins. Globally, only India had more new cases. The total number of cases in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic stands at 5,044,864. More than 163,000 have died.

NY Post 8/12/20
➤BIG 10 MAKES IT OFFICIAL: Football’s Big Ten just made it official: Their 2020 games are postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The 14-team league hopes to play the postponed games in the spring. “The Big Ten will always put the mental and physical health and safety and wellness of our student-athletes at the center,” Commissioner Kevin Warren told the Big Ten Network. The move sidelines big names including Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin. It also makes it more likely that few or no college football games will be played this fall.

➤PAC-12 CONFERENCE IS OFF, TOO: Hours after the Big Ten opted out, the Pac-12 Conference announced that it would postpone all sports competitions through the end of 2020. It hopes to return after January 1st. The decision was not unexpected. Half of the Pac-12 teams are in California or Arizona, which are particularly hard hit by the coronavirus. They include UCLA, Stanford, Berkeley and Arizona State.

As of last night, the Big 12 was reported to be “leaning towards trying to play” in the fall as usual. That's Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas State, among others.

➤NEWS FROM INSIDE THE BUBBLE: The NBA is sticking with tradition by naming an MVP even while it’s stuck inside a bubble. The league announced it will honor a Player of the Seeding Games. That’s basically an MVP for the eight games played at Walt Disney World. An All-Seeding Games Team also will be named. The winners will be selected by a panel of sports reporters and broadcasters who are on site in Florida. The final seeding games will be played on Friday, with playoffs scheduled to start Monday.

➤ASTROS COACH SUSPENDED: Houston Astros coach Alex Cintron has been slapped with a 20-game suspension for instigating a brawl between the Astros and the Oakland Athletics at Sunday’s game. Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was suspended for six games for his role in the melee. Cintron apologized for his role in the incident while continuing to deny that he ever made a reference, profane or otherwise, to Laureano’s mother.

➤DEION SANDERS TO LEAVE NFL NETWORK: Hall of Famer Deion Sanders will leave the NFL Network at the end of his current contract, according to multiple news reports. The immediate cause was a dispute over contract terms, but Sanders is said to be pursuing a new role as a college football coach. He has been with the network since 2006.

NYC Radio: Cuz Says WABC Could Expand Music On Weekends

Cousin Brucie Morrow revealed Tuesday that he will return to his roots hosting “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party” on 770 WABC.

“It’s part of one of the most amazing moves I’ve ever made in my life,” Morrow tells Variety. “I was with SiriusXM for 15 years, and they were good years, but I was getting the feeling that I should make a move. I should do something to finish my career circle. Not that I’m finishing — I’ve got plenty to go.”

The Brooklyn-born Morrow, 84, will launch the next phase of his radio career with his first show on Sept. 5, with a special repeat broadcast two days later on Labor Day, he shared. The show will be heard on 77WABC and sister station WLIR-FM 107.1 in Hampton Bays, New York. Both stations are owned by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, which will also make the show available to fans through its digital media platforms for streaming on phones, smart speakers and computers.

In an interview with Variety shortly after the news hit, Morrow shared his thoughts:

VARIETY: Making this move from SiriusXM back to 770 WABC where it all began is major… the biggest radio personality news of the summer, for many people.
MORROW: I felt that I should get back into (terrestrial) radio. I missed the audience — the people who couldn’t pay the subscription. If you looked at my Facebook page, you’ll see. I think every other mention was WABC radio. Rock ‘n’ roll music in my career really started at WABC.

How did John Catsimatidis orchestrate your return to AM?
John is the gentleman who purchased WABC. He always listened to me on Saturday nights. He would drive in the car with his wife and listen to me. He used to request songs. So he and I became very friendly on the phone. A very major part of live radio is telephone… that is my connection to the audience. One thing led to the other, and eventually the son of a gun bought the station. And we started talking about “what if?” And then sure enough, one day we signed on the dotted line. So I’m very about this change. I’m going to rebuild my audience, and they’re very excited. It also has a national footprint; the radio station streams all over. So that’ll be a very important part of retaining what I’ve built over 50 years, and this audience in the tri-state area is going to be treated to radio on WABC, which has been all-talk. Now on Saturday night, it becomes music radio.

If this goes well, could that open it up to other music in dayparts on the weekend?
Absolutely. It would be an important decision for them to make, and they are doing pretty well with their talk format. But the music format will bring them a whole new audience. They will keep a lot of their audience, but there could be a crossover, and the idea of opening up the weekend to music would be a brilliant idea.

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Los Alamos NM Radio: KRSN AM-FM Scheduled To Sign-Off

KRSN 1490 AM and 107.1 FM will be going dark after Sunday, Aug. 30.

“With the cancellation of high school sports, events, the closure of small businesses and the struggles of those remaining (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), KRSN can no longer raise the advertising revenues it takes to run your free to you community radio station. We appreciate all our loyal listeners over the years, and we say farewell,” Co-owners David and Gillian Sutton said.

The Suttons have owned and operated the community radio station for the last 15 years, broadcasting local news, weather, sports and a variety of programming for your enjoyment.

David and Gillian both grew up in Los Alamos listening to KRSN, and when the station was in bankruptcy and for sale, they felt it was important to keep the community station broadcasting. Gillian had worked at KRSN when she was in high school, and with David’s skills as an engineer, they took a leap of faith and embarked on a career as radio broadcasters.

KRSN broadcast high school sports, and relatives of local athletes tuned in from all around the country.

KRSN won numerous broadcasting awards through the years, including Radio Station of the Year, National Crystal Radio Award finalist, Broadcaster of the Year and New Mexico Press Women’s Association awards. KRSN show hosts have won awards of excellence, and sportscaster Gene Mortenson is in the New Mexico Broadcasters Hall of Fame. KRSN mentored DJ’s into their careers in broadcasting.

“We are negotiating with other parties to purchase the station in hopes it remains a community radio station. We are still fulfilling all FCC and FAA requirements in maintaining all of KRSN’s assets.” the Suttons said.

TV Ratings: NBC's AGT Is Tops

“America’s Got Talent” topped the ratings last week, reports The Associated Press citing Nielsen figures, but it faces the absence of Simon Cowell, seriously injured in an electric bicycle accident.

Cowell, the NBC talent contest’s creator and linchpin of its judging panel, underwent surgery for a broken back last Saturday, just before the show kicked off its live episodes this week.

Kelly Clarkson, who came to fame as the first “American Idol” winner when Cowell judged the singing contest, was to step in as his temporary replacement.

Fox News Channel continued its summer ratings romp, with Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity’s shows combining to hold nine of the top 20 prime-time slots among all viewers.

In prime-time for Broadcast networks last week, CBS topped broadcasters with an average of 3.7 million viewers. NBC had 2.7 million viewers, ABC had 2.3 million, Fox and Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 930,000.

Top 20 Prime-Times Shows (Total viewers):
  1. “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 6.16 million.
  2. “NCIS,” CBS, 4.91 million.
  3. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.41 million.
  4. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.4 million.
  5. “60 Minutes Presents,” CBS, 4.14 million.
  6. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.08 million.
  7. “FBI,” CBS, 4.06 million.
  8. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News, 4.01 million.
  9. “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.98 million.
  10. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.97 million.
  11. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.96 million.
  12. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 3.95 million.
  13. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.89 million.
  14. “Yellowstone,” Paramount, 3.83 million.
  15. “Hannity” (Thursday), Fox News, 3.81 million.
  16. “World of Dance,” NBC, 3.81 million.
  17. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 3.73 million.
  18. “Great #AtHome Videos,” CBS, 3.71 million.
  19. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 3.71 million.
  20. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 3.66 million.
  21. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.66 million
ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts, averaging 8.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.5 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

Fox News Channel led among cable networks, averaging 3.09 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.97 million, CNN had 1.34 million, HGTV had 1.27 million and TLC had 1.22 million.

Chicago Radio: WMVP-AM ESPN 1000 Tweaks Line-Up

With ESPN Radio overhauling its national lineup, WMVP ESPN 1000 AM in Chicago is seizing the opportunity to do the same thing.

Barrett Media Sports reports the station is rolling out a new lineup on August 17 that will see two of ESPN’s new national shows airing in the Windy City and local sports talk starting earlier in the day.

Keyshawn, JWill, and Zubin will start the day at 5 am. ESPN 1000 will then switch to local programming at 7 am with a new show featuring David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood. At 10 am, Carmen & Jurko take over for two hours before ceding the floor to Mike Greenberg’s new show Greeny. After that, Waddle & Silvy will handle afternoon drive from 2 until 6 pm. Bleck & Abdalla keep local sports talk going until 8.

“We are extremely excited to provide Chicago sports fans a place to voice their opinion each weekday morning, beginning with Kap & J. Hood at 7 a.m., followed by Carmen & Jurko at their earlier time of 10 a.m. to noon,” ESPN Chicago market manager, Mike Thomas, said in a press release. “We are also looking forward to the ESPN Network addition of Keyshawn, Jay Williams and Zubin, and welcoming back Mike Greenberg to Chicago! Bleck & Abdalla will be heard more often as the new hosts of evenings, including The Baseball Show.”

Boise Radio: KQBL Wins Big During Pandemic

Even if more Boiseans are working from home and not listening during a morning commute, plenty are still cranking up their radios, reports The Idaho Statesman.

Based on newly released ratings, tons are dialing to a specific FM frequency: KQBL 101.9 The Bull.

“Boise’s Best Country” dominated the “12-plus” category in the recently released Nielsen Audio ratings, which measure listener share twice a year in Boise. In spring 2020, The Bull earned a gigantic 8.7 share in 12-plus — people 12 and older tuned to radio between 6 a.m. and midnight. That’s the largest 12-plus number in this market in years. (How many years? Not sure. Going back through 2017, at least.)

The Bull’s win came by a country mile, too. The next-closest finishers? News-talk station KBOI-670 AM — more than 2 full points behind — and Boise State Public Radio (aka KBSX 91.5 FM), almost 4 points back.

“There is no question about it. It was a weird book, given the pandemic,” said Darrell Calton, CEO of Iliad Media Group, which owns The Bull and six other Treasure Valley stations.

Country radio seems to be weathering the COVID storm fairly well, he said, based on conjecture and hourly analysis of the top two country finishers, The Bull and Wow 104.3 (which had a modest 3.3).

Certain other formats appear to be feeling some pain.

“Listening habits changed because of the commute,” Calton explained via email. “In our cluster, two of our biggest commuter stations and at work are KZMG (My 102.7) and KSRV (96.1 Bob). They were affected hard Monday through Friday.”

Unusual radio environment or not, this was the second straight ratings period that The Bull finished No. 1. It also won 12-plus in the fall 2019 Nielsen book.

As for morning shows this spring? The Bull was No. 1 there, too. The top three finishers in the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekday time slot were locals “Mee in the Morning” (aka Kevin and Brenda Mee), followed by the syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” on 96.9 The Eagle, and “Morning Edition” on Boise State Public Radio, which is a blend of NPR programming, local host George Prentice and KBSX-FM’s news department.

FOX News Goes Global With New Streaming Service

Fox News is rolling out a new service that will stream programming from its cable-news channels to audiences overseas.

The Wall Street Journal reports the network said Tuesday that Fox News International would offer viewers a live-stream of Fox News Channel, as well as Fox Business, and make its debut later this month in Mexico.

The service will launch in Spain, Germany and the U.K. in September, and will be available in 20 countries by the end of the year. Fox News will charge subscribers $6.99 a month for the service.

Media companies have pushed to develop new streaming services, as consumers increasingly turn to viewing shows and content online instead of on television.

The Fox international streaming platform will allow “our devoted audience overseas access to their trusted source for news and insightful analysis,” said Suzanne Scott, chief executive of the Fox News media business.

In the U.S., Fox launched Fox Nation, which features content from a range of Fox News hosts and other shows. That streaming option costs $5.99 a month after a lower-price first-month trial, according to its website.

Executives at Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News, said earlier this month that Fox Nation had more than doubled its subscriber base during the company’s most recent fiscal year.

Crossover Media To Rep 'The Bubba Army Podcast'

Crossover Media Group Sales (CMGS), a cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm with offices in New York City and Los Angeles, has added “The Bubba Army Podcast,” the newly launched show from legendary radio host Bubba Clem, to its growing content roster.

A multimedia content creator, Bubba also hosts a nationally syndicated morning radio show, which, like the new podcast, is produced from Tampa, Florida, and which is the #1 radio show on Twitch.

Recent guests on Bubba’s various platforms have included entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban; sports stars such as Tony Dungy, Deion Sanders, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart; celebrities including Joe Rogan, Mark Wahlberg and Chris Rock; musicians including Guns ‘n Roses’ Slash and Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee; TV and radio personalities including Brian Kilmeade, Bill O’Reilly and Howard Stern; and topical guests such as political consultant Roger Stone.

“We’re looking forward to delivering a guest-driven podcast that is fresh, current, relevant and that will become a daily destination for folks who want to have a little fun,” Bubba said.   “The Crossover Media team has a great track record; they know the advertising marketplace and they’ve assembled a powerful portfolio of programs.  It’s great to be working with them.”

“Over his decades on air, Bubba has regularly shaken up the audio landscape and, along the way, he has attracted a massive and loyal listenership and high-profile celebrity guests who understand the power of his platforms,” said Sue Freund, Crossover Media Group Sales managing member.   “And now Bubba brings that loyal audience to an entirely new, highly polished and potentially game-changing podcast that promises to take him to new heights.  Whether they’re fans or not, people are talking about Bubba – and we expect they’ll be talking about him even more once they hear the new podcast.

“The addition of ‘The Bubba Army Podcast’ will substantially round out our offering to advertisers of popular content, including multiple sports podcasts, serving a male audience, and will further expand our wide variety of content spanning the spectrum of genres and audience demographics,” Freund noted.

Boston Radio: Beasley Survey Finds Consumer Optimism

The majority of Boston-area consumers are optimistic and a large percentage feel their spending is or will soon be back to normal. Those are among the findings of research commissioned by Beasley Media Group in Boston and conducted by Strategic Solutions Research.

Strategic Solutions Research, a global research firm with an office in the Boston area, conducted the survey among 1,532 listeners of the five Beasley Boston radio stations between July 6-16, 2020 as the state was continuing to open up.

Mary Menna, Vice President and Market Manager for Beasley Media in Boston, said, “The company’s study is meant to help their team guide their marketing partners on how to craft the most effective messaging with their advertising and give Boston area businesses critical data as to local consumers’ current state of mind and planned future behaviors."

“It was important for us to conduct this research to get a pulse on Boston consumers for our clients,” said Menna. “People in Boston are optimistic that we will make it through the pandemic. That optimism shows that true Boston Strong grit and determination. They also understand the seriousness of the situation: The great majority of listeners (9 out of 10) support wearing a mask and expect others to do so as well.”

According to Hal Rood, partner at Strategic Solutions Research, while shopping patterns have had to shift online, it does not spell the end of brick-and-mortar establishments. “The overwhelming majority of listeners still plan on making in-person shopping part of their mix, and that includes people under 35.”

To view highlights from the research study and receive additional information, please visit

Tim McGraw To Host Westwood One Music Special

CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One Nashville will wind down the summer with its annual Labor Day weekend holiday special "Workin' Hard Country." The four-hour show will be hosted by GRAMMY-award-winning superstar Tim McGraw. 

Tim McGraw
The show will feature work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits along with Tim’s most recent single, “I Called Mama.” He will also feature songs from his new album “Here on Earth,” which is due August 21st. 

Tim has rounded up many of his A-list friends – Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini, and more – to share stories about the jobs they had before they became successful playing music for a living. 

The four-hour special will be available for stations to air via XDS receiver or web download from Saturday, September 5th to Monday, September 7th between 6:00 a.m. -12 midnight ET.

For more information, contact

BFA Cancels Golf Fundraiser

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has cancelled the Celebrity Golf Tournament Fundraiser due to safety concerns because of Coronavirus.

The cancellation comes just a few months after the charity for broadcasters in need cancelled the Philip J. Lombardo Golf Tournament, another of its big fundraisers, which traditionally is held in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The two fundraisers, along with smaller events, generate over $450,000 a year. To counter the losses, the Broadcasters Foundation has launched a plea for donations.

“Our colleagues who find themselves in acute need due to a debilitating illness or accident need our help,” stated Broadcasters Foundation Chair Scott Herman. “This year, we are helping more broadcasters than ever before, and it’s imperative that we continue to do so. We cannot turn our backs on our colleagues.”

“We have three major fundraisers a year, and the golf tournaments are two of them,” explained Jim Thompson, President of the Broadcasters Foundation. “Our grant recipients worked in radio or television stations in markets across America. I ask everyone whose career is built on broadcasting to consider donating to help offset the losses of our cancelled fundraising events.”

Broadcasters interested in making a donation or in learning more about the Broadcasters Foundation of America can visit, or contact the Broadcasters Foundation directly at 212-373-8250.

The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy. Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

R.I.P.: Trini Lopez, '60s Pop Singer

Trini Lopez (May 13, 1937 – August 11, 2020)
Trini Lopez, who had worldwide hit records in the early 1960s by creating a unique mix of American folk, Latin and rockabilly music, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

He was 83, according to the NY Times. The cause was complications of Covid-19.

Lopez’s two biggest records — “If I Had a Hammer” and “Lemon Tree” — had both been hits as well for the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary several years earlier. But Mr. Lopez’s versions soared even higher on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

His “Hammer” reached No. 3 (Peter, Paul and Mary’s had gotten as high as No. 10), and his “Lemon Tree” got to No. 10 (theirs had peaked at No. 35). They also had more international impact.

Lopez’s version of “If I Had a Hammer” shot to No. 1 in 36 countries and sold more than a million copies. His stylistic advantage? Arrangements that listeners could dance to.

His interpretations bridged two prominent trends of the day. At a commercially rich time for folk music, Mr. Lopez drew on the beauty of the genre’s tunes while souping them up with the sharp rockabilly beats employed by hitmakers like Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins.

For yet another draw, Lopez punctuated many of his songs with joyous hoots and trills drawn from Mexican folk, emphasizing his ethnic heritage at a time when many Latin performers kept theirs hidden. “I’m proud to be a Mexicano,” he told The Seattle Times in 2017.

His groundbreaking mix of sounds connected with listeners right from the start, with his debut album, “Live at PJ’s,” recorded at a popular Los Angeles nightclub and released in 1963. The disc went gold, fueled by the success of “If I Had a Hammer.” The album also featured a version of “La Bamba,” the traditional Mexican song that another pioneering Latin rocker, Ritchie Valens, had turned into a Top 40 hit five years earlier.

He racked up other Top 40 hits with “Kansas City” and “I’m Coming Home, Cindy.” He made Billboard magazine’s adult contemporary Top 40 15 times.

August 12 Radio History

➦In 1877...Thomas A Edison invented the phonograph.

The phonograph, also called gramophone,  is a device introduced in 1877 for the recording and reproduction of sound recordings. The sound vibration waveforms are preserved in the form of a groove engraved into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc. As the recorded surface rotates, a playback stylus traces the waveforms and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves.

While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison's phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds. Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory made several improvements in the 1880s, including the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders, and a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a "zig zag" pattern across the record.

In the 1890s, Emile Berliner initiated the transition from phonograph cylinders to flat discs with a spiral groove running from the periphery to near the center. Other improvements were made throughout the years, including modifications to the turntable and its drive system, the stylus or needle, and the sound and equalization systems.

The disc phonograph record was the dominant audio recording format throughout most of the 20th century. From the mid-1980s, phonograph use declined sharply because of the rise of the compact disc and other digital recording formats. While no longer mass-market items, modest numbers of phonographs and phonograph records continue to be produced in the second decade of the 21st century.

In 1925...KMA-AM in Shenandoah IA begins radio transmissions

The station was founded by seed salesman Earl May.  May and Henry A. Field of Shenandoah were rivals in the seed business. In 1925 Field of Field's Nursery founded radio station KFNF while May founded KMA. While both stations offered farm news; the two were to become most competitive by offering live productions of hillbilly music. According to KMA's website more than a million people traveled to small town Shenandoah to hear the music.

May built the station headquarters and Mayfair Auditorium (demolished in 1964 due to its being declared structurally unsafe by the Iowa State Fire Marshal) across the street from the nursery business. Between music sets, May would pitch his seeds and tell nostalgic stories. In 1926 May won the third annual Radio Digest Gold Cup Award, after being voted the "World's Most Popular Radio Announcer" by over 452,000 people throughout the United States.

The KMA shows which were broadcast in the afternoons were called the "KMA Country School" and according to the format emanated from the fictional KMA District No. 9 school with the shows beginning with the ringing of a school bell.

The most famous celebrities in KMA's history were the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil. In their early teen years, the brothers and their parents would appear on KMA to sing as "The Everly Family", but by 1952, they were discovered by a talent agent, and made their way to fame in Hollywood with such hit songs as "Wake Up, Little Susie".

With the high visibility KMA operated on a slogan of "Keep Millions Advised", which was adopted in early 1926, after sorting through a reported 4,000 suggestions.  KFNF was to operate on "Keep Friendly, Never Frown."

The county school shows were discontinued in the 1950s and the station continued to offer its farm show and farm housewife shows until the late 1990s; the current format revolves around ABC Radio news at the top of each hour, with some agricultural news, regional high school sports and their "Elephant Shop" where listeners can buy, sell, trade or give away personal property on the air.

The 920 AM frequency formerly occupied by KFNF is now KYFR, a Christian radio station owned by Family Radio.

➦In 1937…Comedian Red Skelton made his radio debut on NBC Radio Network's "Rudy Vallee Show."

➦In 1977...Cousin Brucie did last show at WNBC 660 AM NYC (now WFAN).

➦In 2001..XM Satellite Radio began broadcasting program content.

➦In 2003...longtime Richmond, Virginia radio personality, Eric E. Stanley, died after a 3-year battle with cancer. He was 53. He was known for his program, "The Bebop, Boogie, and Blues Revue" heard first on WRXL, then WVGO and later on WJMO.

➦In 2004...Charles Wesley Leonard died from lung cancer at age 67 (Born - March 30, 1937).  He was a radio personality at WABC  770 AM in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s. His deep voice and smoothness resonated across 38 states for 14 years at ABC. During his over 40-year career in broadcasting, Leonard worked virtually every shift and played all styles of music at stations including WWRL, WABC, WXLO, WRKS, WBLS, WQEW, WNSW-AM and WJUX.

Chuck Leonard
He has been inducted in the Museum of Television & Radio and is known as the first African-American disc jockey to work on a mainstream radio station.

Leonard began at ABC's flagship New York radio station, Musicradio 77 WABC, under program director Rick Sklar in 1965. He broke the color barrier for all who followed — the first African-American to cross over from black R&B radio to (then-mostly white) mass-appeal radio.

Leonard began in the 11 p.m. to midnight slot, and continued working late nights and Sundays at the station until November 27, 1979. He did the 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. shift following “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and later George Michael. He also gladly handled weekend and fill-in work.

Leonard was the host of "Sneak Preview," a five-minute Monday-through-Saturday evening program on ABC's American Contemporary Radio Network, which featured newly released songs. He stayed at WABC until 1979, before moving to WXLO and WRKS.

➦In 2005...Newsradio KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles, left its studios at the CBS Columbia Square broadcast center and moved to 5670 Wilshire Blvd to join other locally owned Infinity radio stations.

KNX-AM had been housed at the CBS Columbia Square building for 67 years, in the heart of Hollywood.
Merv Griffin 1945
➦In 2007...Media Mogul (including several radio stations in the 60s/70s) Merv Griffin, creator of the TV game shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” and the host of his own popular long-running syndicated TV show, died of prostate cancer at age 82.

➦In 2009...Rock WBCN 98.5 FM in Boston closed its doors after 41 years on the air, and WBZ-FM  "The Sports Hub" debuted immediately afterwards.

➦In 2011...WEMP 101.9 FM ended an Adult Contemporary stunt and went full-time all-news as "FM News 101.9," following in the footsteps of its Chicago sister station WWWN (the former and current WKQX), which flipped to all-news on July 29.

As conceived by Merlin's then-COO, Walter Sabo, "FM News" was what Sabo considered a "redefining" of the all-news format; the on-air presentation was generally looser and conversational in tone, while an emphasis was placed on lifestyle, health, and entertainment features.The initial news staff at WEMP included those with experience in New York radio, including WINS alums Catherine Smith, Alice Stockton-Rossini, and Brett Larson, as well as former WCBS anchor Therese Crowley and WRXP holdover Paul Cavalconte.

Over time, the "FM News" approach on WEMP would be adjusted. The reliance on lifestyle and entertainment features was decreased; the station turned towards a tighter on-air presentation and hard news format. Several new features were added, including "10 minutes of non-stop news" at :00, :20 and :40 past the hour (similar to the fact that WINS delivers news headlines at these intervals), the "top 5 trending stories" leading off every hour, and hourly sports and business updates.

Coinciding with the on-air changes was a major promotional push, including TV ads and promotions that tweaked WINS' longtime "22 minutes" slogan, with WEMP proclaiming "Give us 10 minutes, we'll give you the world." (After WINS owner CBS Radio sent a cease-and-desist letter to Merlin Media, WEMP dropped the slogan, and replaced it by "non-stop news".)

In the time FM News was in operation, it was plagued by a variety of technical issues after management in Chicago decided to automate the news, much like some music stations automate music formats. The controversial approach led to a number of on-air gaffes, including wrong time checks and news stories misplaced. The only live elements on the air were traffic reports.

WEMP and its all-news format struggled to make gains in Arbitron ratings

Dominique Swain is 40
  • Actor George Hamilton is 81. 
  • Actor Jennifer Warren is 79. 
  • Singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is 71. 
  • Actor Jim Beaver (“Supernatural”) is 70. 
  • Singer Kid Creole is 70. 
  • Actor Sam J. Jones (“Flash Gordon”) is 66. 
  • Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny is 66. 
  • Actor Bruce Greenwood (2009′s “Star Trek,” ″Thirteen Days”) is 64. 
  • Country singer Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad is 64. 
  • Guitarist Roy Hay of Culture Club is 59. 
  • Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 57. 
  • Actor Peter Krause (“Parenthood,” ″Six Feet Under,” ″Sports Night”) is 55. 
  • Actor Brent Sexton (“The Killing,” ″Deadwood”) is 53. 
  • Actor Michael Ian Black (“Ed”) is 49. 
  • Actor Yvette Nicole Brown (new “The Odd Couple,” ″Community”) is 49. 
  • Actor Rebecca Gayheart is 49. 
  • Actor Casey Affleck is 45. 
  • Actor Maggie Lawson (“Psych”) is 40. 
  • Actor Dominique Swain (“Lolita,” “Face/Off”) is 40. 
  • Actor Leah Pipes (“The Originals”) is 32. 
  • Actor Lakeith Stanfield (“Atlanta”) is 29. 
  • Actor Cara Delevingne (“Paper Towns”) is 28. 
  • Actor Imani Hakim (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 27.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

NYC Radio: Cousin Brucie Returning to 77WABC

Legendary radio personality Bruce Morrow, known by his legions of fans worldwide as Cousin Brucie, is coming home to 77WABC, the iconic radio station where he first introduced fans to The Beatles, Motown, 60s soul, surf music, and more. 

From 6 to 9 pm ET every Saturday night, beginning September 5, Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party will return to the airwaves at the station he helped build decades ago. Cousin Brucie will be heard live on 77WABC, New York, sister station WLIR-FM 107.1, Hampton Bays, NY, and streaming across the country on the WABC App and The debut show will also be replayed on Labor Day Monday, September 7, from noon to 3 p.m. ET.

“Cousins, this is literally one of the most exciting projects of my life,” said Morrow. “It completes a circle… a career circle. It all started at WABC, and here we are all these years later, and the magic is still here. And what magic we’re going to make!”

Both radio stations and their digital platforms are owned by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media. 

“Brucie is a national treasure and talent. Listeners everywhere can now hear this radio icon and their favorite music from the early days of rock and roll on our radio stations and streaming on our digital platforms,” commented Catsimatidis. “Red Apple Media is about bringing the best in information and entertainment to New York and all of America however they want to listen… on their phone, radio, smart speaker or computer.”

“It’s an honor to be part of these two legendary brands coming together and to welcome Cousin Brucie home to 77WABC,” added Chad Lopez, President of Red Apple Media and 77WABC.

“We’re excited to bring MUSIC Radio back to 77WABC every Saturday night with Cousin Brucie, everyone across America can stream him and us at,” stated Dave LaBrozzi, Senior Vice President of Programming for Red Apple Media and 77WABC.

Brucie’s longtime attorney, Judy Tint, shared, “I grew up listening to Cousin Brucie, and I’m still one of his biggest fans. It’s an honor to have helped bring him back to WABC, and I can’t wait to listen.”

Most recently, Cousin Brucie was heard by paid subscribers on SiriusXM satellite radio, where he has hosted his Wednesday and Saturday night programs since 2005. With his return to 77WABC, Cousin Brucie’s shows will be freely accessible to his loyal listeners in the tri-state area and across the country.

Bruce Morrow at WABC
An acclaimed and beloved broadcaster for over fifty years, Cousin Brucie was born in Brooklyn and grew up a true son of New York City. While attending New York University, he founded the first NYU radio station “with a $28 grant and a couple of wires clipped together.” After early jobs in Bermuda and various other markets, he joined 77WABC in 1961, just as rock and roll music was becoming popular and a few years ahead of the British Invasion that brought The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and more. Cousin Brucie and Ed Sullivan introduced The Beatles at their famous Shea Stadium concert on August 15, 1965. For two decades, he also hosted live concerts broadcast from Palisades Amusement Park, featuring some of the biggest musical acts of the era, many of whom attribute their success to Cousin Brucie playing their songs on the radio.

In the 80s and 90s, Cousin Brucie was heard on WCBS-FM, New York’s oldies station, at the time, where he hosted the Saturday Night Dance Party, The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown, and The Yearbook. At the time, Cousin Brucie also hosted the nationally syndicated radio show, Cruisin' America. Since 2005, Morrow’s weekly Sirius/XM Satellite Radio programs, “Cruisin’ with Cousin Brucie” and “Cousin Brucie’s Rock & Roll Party” have been heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners in the US and around the globe.

Morrow has appeared in films such as Dirty Dancing and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, had featured roles on Broadway in “Grease” and “Memphis,” and has made countless television appearances in shows including PBS’s “My Music” series, featured guest spots on morning television, and more. Morrow’s philanthropic work includes the Variety Children's Charity (for which he served as President for ten years) to help fund children in need; and his longtime support of WhyHunger, thanks to his close friendship with the organization’s founder, the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin.  He is the author of several critically-acclaimed bestsellers, including Cousin Brucie: My Life in Rock & Roll Radio, and Doo Wop: The Music, the Time, the Era. 

Cousin Brucie was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2001. He is the recipient of the Bravery in Radio Award from William Paterson University for his “inspirational radio programming and lifelong commitment to radio,” the TALKERS Magazine 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Montclair State University, for excellence in broadcasting.

NYC Radio: Bill O'Reilly Talking With 77WABC About New Show

Bill O'Reilly
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is in talks with 77WABC to host a new show, reports CNBC.

O’Reilly, according to his attorney Fred Newman, is in the final stages of contract negotiations for a show that is expected to debut in the fall. That network is owned by John Catsimatidis, who also owns the Gristedes grocery chain and is a vocal advocate for the president.

“We are in the final stages of a contract and a program should be on in the fall,” Newman told CNBC through his assistant. O’Reilly’s representative also confirmed the talks were being held with 77 WABC. Catsimatidis confirmed the ongoing negotiations to CNBC.

“I will confirm that, and I think he is one common-sense American,” Catsimatidis said of O’Reilly. He declined to comment further.

The New York businessman bought the radio station from Cumulus Media in June 2019. He is currently exploring a run for mayor of New York City in 2021 and recently told the New York Post that he would be willing to spend $100 million if he decides to get into the race. Catsimatidis ran for mayor in 2013 but ended up losing in the Republican primary.

The show would mark the latest stage of O’Reilly’s attempted comeback since he left Fox News under controversial circumstances. O’Reilly, 70, has been accused by multiple former Fox News employees of sexual harassment. The network ended his show in 2017 after the revelation of several expensive settlements for the alleged harassment. Before he left the network, his show had been a major ratings driver since 1996.

Since his departure from Fox, O’Reilly called reporting of the accusations and settlements by The New York Times a “smear” and has moved on from his “O’Reilly Factor” into a show called “No Spin News.” It airs on his website, YouTube, and on a conservative OTT streaming network known as “The First.” The channel streams on several platforms, including Pluto TV, an internet television service owned by ViacomCBS.

Joe Is Number 1: Edison Research Lists Top 30 Podcasts

2020 Edison Research announces the U.S. Top 30 Podcast ranker from its subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker.The PCT is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America. The Joe Rogan Experience continues to be the number one podcast in America as it has been since the PCT was established in the summer of 2019.

The ranker lists the top thirty podcasts in America by reach -- not downloads -- among weekly podcast consumers, covering the full survey period from July 7, 2019 through June 24, 2020. Reach is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to any one of these shows in the last week.

“Even with the work and life disruptions caused by COVID-19, people did continue listening to their favorite podcasts, and we ultimately saw little to no reduction in reach among weekly podcast listeners”. noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “We’re pleased to publish the only ranker that covers the entire U.S. podcasting industry.”

The top thirty podcasts in the U.S, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, are as follows: (graphic attached)

Tencent Music Revenue Jumps 18%

China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group said on Monday its quarterly revenue leaped 18%, beating Wall Street estimates, as it put more music for streaming behind its paywall and grew its paid subscriber base by more than half.

Reuters reports the strong performance comes amid a growing rift between Beijing and Washington that has overshadowed Chinese firms in the United States. Shares rose 2.4% in extended trade after it said second-quarter revenue grew to 6.93 billion yuan ($997 million).

Asked whether TME had a plan to deal with a recommendation from President Donald Trump’s administration over auditing U.S.-listed Chinese firms, Chief Strategy Officer Tony Yip told analysts in a briefing that it was “premature” to speculate over a potential delisting.

Controlled by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, TME’s capitalisation on the New York market is about $26 billion.

For the quarter ended June 30, TME said paid users of its online music service rose 52% to 47.1 million, the fastest quarter on record according to TME. Net income attributable to shareholders rose 1.3% to 939 million yuan ($135 million) from 927 million yuan a year earlier.

The company has signed multiple partnerships with international and domestic music labels to expand its premium user base. On Monday, it also extended its multi-year licensing agreement with music company Universal Music Group (UMG), home to Taylor Swift and The Beatles, while also announcing a new joint venture music label.

In comparison, investor and peer Spotify Technology SA reported 138 million paid users in the quarter.

Unlike Spotify, TME generates only a part of its revenue from music subscription packages and relies heavily on services popular in China such as online karaoke and live streaming.