Monday, June 1, 2020

NYC Radio: The Breakfast Club Airs It Out With Rush Limbaugh

Premiere Networks syndicated host Rush Limbaugh on Monday called George Floyd’s murder “sickening,” and said the “suffering” associated with his death prompted him to reach out to a left-leaning talk radio host for a special pre-recorded discussion.

“George didn’t lose his life. It was taken from him,” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “He was murdered for no possible, explicable, justifiable reason. It was just sickening, sickening to watch. And you look at the face of the cop involved in the video, and the three who stood around and weren’t doing anything, and you just wonder, how stupid can you be? Do you not realize what you’re doing?”

Limbaugh said that uprisings associated with his death came at a bad time for the country, and that he had been inspired to contact iHeartMedia's Charlamagne tha God at WWPR 105.1 FM to engage in a pre-recorded segment on race issues.

Conservative Talk Could Be In CNBC's Future

New NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is reportedly considering turning CNBC’s prime-time hours over to right-wing talk shows.

Shell has suggested that strategy in private conversation, two NBCU executives told The New York Times’ Ben Smith.

The idea was also floated two years ago, when a development executive met with “talk-radio flamethrower” Mark Levin, Smith reports, adding that such a move could allow NBCU parent Comcast “to extend an olive branch” to President Trump “and his avid supporters.”

Currently, the network's prime-time programming is dedicated to business-focused fare such as "The Profit" and "Shark Tank" reruns.

Meanwhile Mediapost reports, executives including NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and Senior Vice President Rashida Jones, and MSNBC President Phil Griffin, are awaiting a plan for the NBCU News Group from its new chairman, Cesar Conde, who "hasn't described his vision for news," per Smith.

Louisville Cop Reassigned After Firing At TV Crew

WAVE reports Kaitlan Rust
A Louisville cop has been reassigned for firing pepper balls at a TV crew covering George Floyd demonstrations.

Louisville Metro Police Assistant Chief Lavita Chavous said the unidentified officer was placed on reassignment pending an investigation into the incident Friday during an on-air segment on WAVE 3 News, according to the news station.

“Officers do have orders not to fire pepper balls at media but I’m sure you hopefully understand that sometimes when the media are involved inside the crowd or inside the area where there are protesters,” Chavous told the outlet.

“And those protesters are doing something unlawful or something they are not supposed to do it’s sometimes an unintended consequence when we fire the pepper balls into the crowd.”

The pepper-spray projectile struck reporter Kaitlin Rust, along with cameraman James Dobson, while she was on live television, the outlet reported.

Rust squealed in pain from what she believed at the time were rubber bullets, saying “I’m getting shot,” video shows.

WAVE 3 General Manager Ken Selvaggi said both were following officer orders at the time and standing behind the police line.

“There is simply no justification for the Louisville police to wantonly open fire, even with pepper balls, on any journalists under any circumstances.”

The Rundown: Protestors Take To the Street For Sixth Day

Protesters took to the streets for a sixth day Sunday after the death of George Floyd, and as in previous days, the largely peaceful demonstrations against police brutality across the country took a dark turn in some places, particularly as night fell, with looting, vandalism, fires set, and confrontations with police. This despite curfews being put in place in many cities and thousands of National Guard soldiers deployed in 15 states, including in Minneapolis, where Floyd died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades into a crowd of chanting protesters last night in Lafayette Park across from the White House. After that, some set a fire in the street, which engulfed a building that has a maintenance office and bathrooms. A fire was also set in the basement of nearby historic St. John's Episcopal Church, but it was quickly put out by firefighters. National Guard soldiers were deployed to help deal with the situation. Meanwhile, AP reported that as people also demonstrated in Lafayette Park on Friday night, Secret Service agents briefly rushed President Trump to an underground bunker at the White House. He, his wife Melania and their son Barron were reportedly there for about an hour.

Extremist Infiltrators: Federal and state officials are looking into evidence that far-left and far-right groups may be infiltrating the protests with the aim of turning peaceful demonstrations violent. Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr over the weekend blamed anarchists and members of antifa, an umbrella name for far-left militant groups that turn out to resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations. Barr said the FBI would use its regional joint terrorism task forces to identify what he called "criminal organizers," and Trump threatened to name antifa a terrorist group. However, experts on extremist groups are also seeing evidence of members of the far-right involved, such as white supremacists, members of the Proud Boys, and of the "Boogaloo movement, who want a second civil war.

Special Prosecutor Named: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said Sunday that he's named state Attorney General Keith Ellison as a special prosecutor to look into Floyd's death. Walz acted at the urging of Floyd's family members and leaders in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, attorney Benjamin Crump, who's representing Floyd's family, said Derek Chauvin, the officer who had his knee on Floyd's neck, said Chauvin may have known Floyd since they apparently both worked as security at the same nightclub, and called for him to be charged with first-degree murder. Chauvin and the three officers who'd been with him were fired the day after Floyd's death last Monday, and Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Trump, Biden Respond: ABC News reported Sunday that there's a growing divide in the White House over whether Trump should address the nation from the Oval Office. The report said some, including his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, think there's no political benefit to it since when Trump has done it a few times in the past it hasn't turned out that well. But others, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, believe it's a chance for Trump to show he's a strong leader and unifier. Trump did not appear publicly yesterday, but tweeted during the day, including accusing the media of, quote, "doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy," and urging Democratic mayors and governors to, quote, "get tough," saying, "The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe."

(NY Times graphic)

➤PEOPLE PROTESTING IN OTHER COUNTRIES AFTER FLOYD'S DEATH: After seeing the video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck before he died and the protests that have been going on for days across the U.S., people in some other countries have now also been demonstrating in support. Thousands protested in London Sunday at Trafalgar Square, and then marched to the U.S. Embassy, chanting "No justice, no peace!" and other slogans. Demonstrators also gathered at the U.S. Embassy in Denmark, and on Saturday at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Also in Germany, a player in the Bundesliga soccer league, Jadon Sancho, removed his jersey after scoring a goal to show the message "Justice for George Floyd." His teammate, Achraf Hakimi, also raised his jersey to show a similar message after scoring later in the game. In another Bundesliga match, Marcus Thurman took a knee after scoring his first goal in support of the U.S. protests, a reference to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's controversial kneeling protests of police brutality during the national anthem.

➤PROTESTS RAISE FEARS OF SPREADING CORONAVIRUS: As protesters have been taking to the streets for days across the country after the death of George Floyd, it's raised fears that they could be spreading the coronavirus and lead to new outbreaks. Although many protesters are wearing face coverings, many others aren't, and social distancing was widely not being practiced. Additionally, protesters are shouting, chanting and singing, which experts have said helps spread the virus even more. The protests are also coming as states are continuing to reopen, which already was raising the risk of an increase in Covid-19 cases.

There have been more than 104,300 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. as of last night (May 31st), according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and more than 1,789,000 confirmed cases.

➤MLB PLAYERS PROPOSE 114-GAME SEASON, NO MORE PAY CUTS: MLB players have proposed a 114-game regular season, 32 more than the 82 in the league's proposal, with no additional pay cuts beyond what they agreed to in March, according to media reports last night (May 31st). The regular season, which has been delayed by the coronavirus, would start on June 30th under the players' proposal and end on October 31st, nearly five weeks later than September 27th, which is in the league's. Both would increase the number of postseason teams to 14 from 10. Players would get about 70 percent of their salary under their proposal, while the league's offer has a sliding scale under which star players would get less than 23 percent of their salary and those making the MLB minimum would get about 47 percent.

➤NASCAR'S KESELOWSKI GETS SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON: NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski got his second win of the season Sunday, coming in first at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee after leaders Chase Elliott and Joey Logano collided in front of him with one lap to go. As with all of NASCAR's races since it returned from its 10-week coronavirus shutdown two weeks earlier, there were no fans in the stands.

➤NHL TO TEST DAILY WHEN PLAY RETURNS: The NHL plans to test players every day for the coronavirus if and when play resumes. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said daily, league-wide testing would allow an infected player, coach or staffer to be immediately isolated, and may not necessarily mean that play would have to be suspended again. The NHL announced last week that it won't play the 189 games that were left in the regular season, but will instead go straight to the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16. Play could resume in late July or early August, with the Stanley Cup Final in September or possibly later.

Journalists Attacked Covering Weekend Unrest

Patrol Car On Fire in Madison
As protests across the USA raged over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, police forces aimed to disperse demonstrators.  In some incidents, members of the news media appeared to be targeted, by police and protesters alike, USAToday reports.

“Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.  The CPJ said it is investigating reports of attacks and arrests in Louisville, Kentucky,  Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington.

Branden Hunter, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, part of the USAToday Network, went to an emergency room in Detroit on Saturday night after police administered tear gas during a protest. A cellphone, which was livestreaming the event, was  knocked from a Free Press photographer's hand. Free Press reporter JC Reindl was taken to an emergency room after he was pepper sprayed, though he showed a badge identifying himself as a member of the media.

Last thing I saw before I got sprayed. I was even holding up “media” badge

Molly Beck and Lawrence Andrea, USAToday Network reporters for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, were tear gassed and pepper sprayed  early Sunday morning in Madison, Wisconsin.

Late Saturday night, Paul Woolverton, a reporter for the Fayetteville Observer, also part of the USAToday Network, was attacked while shooting video at a looting of a J.C. Penney in the area and was treated for a concussion at a hospital.

Tyler J. Davis, a Des Moines Register reporter, was in Minneapolis Thursday, detailing the night of demonstrations when he observed police using chemical irritants to subdue protesters.

"I pulled out my camera to record the incident while being sure not to walk toward officers or have any other items in my hand," Davis wrote in an essay for USAToday. "The officer redirected his chemical spray from the fleeing duo toward me."

Davis said the officer "laid on the trigger for a few seconds" as Davis told him he was a journalist.

"My eyes refused to open, and my face and arm felt as if they were dipped in a deep-fryer," he wrote.

Protesters pummeled and chased Fox News journalist Leland Vittert outside the White House early Saturday.  Vittert said the attack clearly targeted his news organization. "We took a good thumping," he told The Associated Press.

Friday in Minneapolis, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested while covering protests.

Jimenez and his crew were arrested on air by members of the Minnesota State Patrol after identifying themselves and showing their press credentials. After getting identification information from himself and his crew, he said, "they eventually came back with our belongings … unclipped our handcuffs" and led the crew out.

CNN's headquarters in Atlanta was damaged Friday by a group of protesters who fought with police and set cars afire. While police tried to keep them away from the CNN Center, demonstrators broke windows and scrawled obscene graffiti on the network's logo.

Saturday night, MSNBC journalist Ali Velshi wrote on Twitter that he was "hit in the leg by a rubber bullet" in Minneapolis but was fine. "State Police supported by National guard fired unprovoked into an entirely peaceful rally," he said.

Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske said Saturday evening that she was at the 5th Precinct in Minneapolis with "at least a dozen" journalists when members of the Minnesota State Patrol advanced toward the group. She said the journalists identified themselves, but officers "fired tear gas canisters on us at point-blank range."

Hennessy-Fiske said they asked officers where they should go to avoid dispersal tactics. "They did not tell us where to go," she said. "They did not direct us. They just fired on us."

She said she "got hit with a rubber bullet ... maybe two."

Reuters producer Julio César Chávez said early Sunday morning he "was shot in the arm and the back of my neck with rubber bullets" and his security adviser "was shot in the face," though a gas mask protected him.

Vice News correspondent and producer Michael Anthony Adams shared video of Minneapolis troopers approaching him and several other journalists Sunday morning at a gas station where they had taken shelter. Though he shouted "press" multiple times, one officer ordered him on the ground before another came and pepper sprayed him.

Police just raided the gas station we were sheltering at. After shouting press multiple times and raising my press card in the air, I was thrown to the ground. Then another cop came up and peppered sprayed me in the face while I was being held down.

Freelance photographer Linda Tirado wrote on Twitter early Saturday morning that she was struck by a rubber bullet  on her left eye in Minneapolis and went to a hospital to have emergency surgery. In an update a few hours later, she reported that she became "permanently blind" in her left eye but that she would continue to work.

The Denver Post said photographer Hyoung Chang was covering a protest Thursday night in downtown Denver when police fired two pepper balls directly at him.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Saturday, photographer Ellen Schmidt and freelance photographer and former Review-Journal employee Bridget Bennett were arrested while covering protests on the Strip.

In Louisville early Saturday morning, protesters vandalized a car with the logo of  news station WLKY on the driver side door. According to one of the station's reporters, Deni Kamper, chief photographer Paul Ahmann was attacked by a mob of protesters and thrown to the ground. Kamper posted on Twitter that Ahmann was "being treated but is also ok."

The previous day in Louisville, WAVE 3 News reporter Kaitlin Rust and photojournalist James Dobson were struck by pepper balls fired at them by a Louisville Metro Police Department officer. WAVE 3 news issued a statement to "strongly condemn the actions of the LMPD officer."

In Phoenix, a protester charged and made contact with CBS 5 and 3TV reporter Briana Whitney Saturday night outside Police Department headquarters.

The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department said Sunday that three journalists were injured by protesters. KDKA photojournalist Ian Smith tweeted Saturday evening that he “was attacked by protestors downtown” and that he was “bruised and bloody but alive.” He said his camera was destroyed, but “another group of protesters” pulled him to safety.

On Sunday, treatment of media prompted an apology from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

“It is unacceptable. ... I take full responsibility for that and won’t equivocate no matter how difficult the environment,” he said at a news conference Sunday.

The State Patrol is also reviewing the incidents and its training protocols to prevent similar interactions, and the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists condemned the violence. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety issued new guidance to journalists to wear visible credentials that can be seen from 4 feet away.

Coronavirus Updates: Still Necessary?

NuVoodoo Research has been tracking concern about the coronavirus for nearly three months.

They’ve watched extreme concern dip below 40% since the start of the Memorial Day weekend – and hope it will be able to continue to ease back. Looking at data from 7 days ending May 27, NuVoodoo sees overall concern across the nation at 38%, driven by concern in the Northeast U.S. – where nearly half remain extremely concerned.

With the level of concern gradually decreasing in much of the country, it would be easy to conclude that interest in on-going updates about the local coronavirus situation is also easing. And, in fact, the demand for at-least-hourly updates backed off across the month of May from 66% at the beginning and down to 61% at the end of the month.

Again, there are regional variations, so it’s important to know your local market situation. Regionally, the demand for at-least-hourly updates ranges from a high of 64% in the Northeast to a low of 56% in the Midwest. The content interest data we’d published last week showed keen interest remaining in local coronavirus hotspots and advice from local medical experts – which in many places can include comparatively good news about reductions in new cases.

In most cases, NuVoodoo believes the prescription remains short (maybe as short as 30 seconds), well-curated hourly updates of local coronavirus information (maybe focused on a different part of your metro each time). Knowing your audience will help guide you on whether the updates are more attuned to reporting local cases (especially if they’re growing sharply or steadily decreasing) or local businesses re-opening. But, retaining the franchise of being where to go for local information remains important while listeners deal with restoring their lives – and especially while they navigate these next months of uncertainty.

Nielsen Diary Surprises Dispel Coronavirus Radio Myths

Nielsen held client webinars Friday to present an April 2020 listening analysis of 44 diary markets. According to Pierre Bouvard in the latest Westwood One blog, this was the first report of listening in markets ranked 50 to 100 reflecting the impact of COVID-19.

For the last two months, the only AM/FM radio listening data issued by Nielsen was from their Portable People Meter data from America’s top 50 cities, the markets most impacted by the Coronavirus.

April 2020 was the month when Americans significantly restricted their movements and sheltered at home. Nielsen compared April listening levels in these 44 diary markets to the pre-COVID-19 February. The key finding?

New Nielsen diary data reveals there was no audience impact from COVID-19

AM/FM radio retained 97% of prior listening volumes in markets 50-100. In short, there was only a -3% reduction in listening from February to April in markets ranked 50-100!

Myth #1: These findings dispel the current myth heard from New York City-based media planners and strategists:

“No one is driving now, so no one is listening to AM/FM radio. That’s why I’m buying Pandora and Spotify.”

Are the barren streets of New York City, America’s capital of media planning, representative of America?  Let’s examine the facts of actual audience data:

Geopath: Outside of America’s largest cities, miles traveled match or exceed prior year volumes

Geopath is the audience measurement service for the American outdoor advertising industry. They amass consumer movement data from millions of cell phones to produce miles-traveled data for every market in America.
  • Americans are on the road and clocking miles in their car: Total U.S. miles traveled for the week of May 11-May 17, 2020 are down only -10% versus the prior year. So much for, “No one is driving.”
  • The relationship between market size and driving volumes: Miles traveled in the top 25 markets is -25% lower than the prior year. Outside the top 26 markets, miles traveled volumes match or exceed the prior year. The top ten markets are not representative of America.
  • Sharp recovery for miles traveled since early April: Geopath data shows a significant drop in miles traveled in late March and early April. Since then, traffic volumes have recovered significantly
  • While total U.S. driving volumes have returned to prior levels indexed to January, New York City is at 77% pre-COVID-19 norms. Once again, New York City is not comparable to the total U.S.
American AM/FM radio retains 93% of pre-COVID-19 audience

Combining the just-released April diary data with recent May PPM audiences to form a national perspective, American AM/FM radio has retained 93% of pre-COVID-19 reach levels and 86% of pre-COVID-19 average quarter-hour audiences.

Myth #2:  These Nielsen facts upend the myth, “No one is listening to AM/FM radio.” Let’s now turn to assessing the feasibility of shifting budget from AM/FM radio to Pandora and Spotify.

Pandora and Spotify are reach challenged: 91%+ of Americans do not listen

In a typical day in America, 91% are not reached by ad-supported Pandora and 96% of Americans are not reached by ad-supported Spotify.

In their book How Not To Plan: 66 Ways to Screw It Up, Les Binet and Sarah Carter remind agencies and brands, “We’re marketing and communication people, we’re different from the majority. In the US and UK, we’re less than 1% of the population. We tend to be younger. … And we live in a handful of big cities. So it’s all too easy for us overlook how different our lifestyles and perceptions are from the people we talk to.”

Acknowledging this, Colin Kinsella, the CEO of Havas Media North America, says, “The biggest risk for AM/FM radio is the 26-year-old planner who lives in New York or Chicago and does not commute by car and does not listen to AM/FM radio and thus does not think anyone else listens to AM/FM radio.”

Key takeaways:
  • Projecting New York City’s COVID-19 experiences and media habits to the rest of America constitutes marketing malpractice
  • The is no evidence to support the myth: “No one is driving and no one is listening to AM/FM radio”
  • U.S. driving and miles traveled have experienced a sharp recovery
  • Driving in the largest markets has recovered but is still about -25% below pre-COVID-19 norms
  • Traffic volumes match or exceed the prior year in markets outside the top 25
  • U.S. AM/FM radio has retained 93% of pre-COVID-19 reach levels and 86% of pre-COVID-19 AQH
  • Pandora and Spotify are reach challenged as 91%+ of Americans are not reached by the two streaming services
  • An AM/FM radio buy reaches large portions of Pandora and Spotify audiences for free

Forecast: Podcasting’s Audience To Top 105 Million

The U-S podcast audience grew tremendously in 2019, as significant investments from major audio streaming services made podcast content more accessible. eMarketer now estimates that there were 92 million monthly US podcast listeners in 2019, up more than 15 million from our previous estimate of 76.4 million.

Their forecast was finalized prior to the coronavirus pandemic in the US, where quarantine measures have altered podcast listening habits. Despite the disruption, they still expect the US podcast audience will grow 14.8% this year, reaching 105.6 million listeners.

"Since mid-March, we've seen a decrease in time spent listening to podcasts," said Peter Vahle, eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. "However, we expect listening habits will return to normal in the second half of the year, so that by the end of 2020, we'll see the strong growth in podcast listeners we were anticipating."

The mainstream success of several podcasts—“Serial” in late 2014, “S-Town” in 2017 and the rise of political podcasts like “The Daily” and “Pod Save America” after the 2016 election—helped introduce the medium to a wider demographic. Today’s popular podcast content ranges from comedy and sports to news and culture, according to Edison Research.

As the medium gained popularity with listeners, consumer adoption of smart speakers and audio streaming services grew as well. In 2019, the number of US smart speaker users grew nearly 22% year over year to more than 73 million, and in the same year, US digital audio listeners surpassed 206 million. Promotions, like Spotify giving away Google Home Mini smart speakers to subscribers, aided this growth.

Report: Insiders Express Concern For 'Always On' Ryan Seacrest

Known as the hardest-working man in show business, Ryan Seacrest rarely takes a day off. So when he took an unscheduled one from co-hosting “Live” with Kelly Ripa on May 18, there was cause for alarm at the show’s network.

An ABC source told The NYPost that some members of the show’s production team were made aware of Seacrest’s absence less than 30 minutes before they were to go live on air.

“It was a last-minute thing and there was a sense of panic at ABC when we were told that Ryan couldn’t make it that morning,” the ABC source ­revealed.

Just hours earlier, the 45-year-old had prompted serious fears for his health during the “American Idol” ­finale — when, while broadcasting from his Los Angeles home, he struggled with words, seemed confused and had a visibly droopy right eye.

The next morning, when Seacrest had to bow out, Ripa’s actor-husband, Mark Consuelos, was able to quickly step in alongside his wife at their ­vacation house on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

“Live” is set to go on a weeks-long scheduled hiatus next month, and sources close to Seacrest and within ABC say the timing couldn’t be better.

Seacrest has been spread thin, by choice, for a long time. Not only does he co-host “Live” every weekday, he also has a syndicated radio show, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” which runs for five hours Monday to Friday, as well as the weekly “American Top 40” music-radio countdown program.

He hosts “American Idol” and various specials — including two recent Disney Sing-A-Longs and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” — as part of his multimillion-dollar three-year deal with ABC. He hosts E!’s awards-show red carpet coverage, as well as contributing to the same for ABC.

According to a friend, his on-air breakdown is likely a culmination of years of workaholic tendencies catching up with him.

“People underestimate just how much work Ryan puts in every day. [Right now,] he wakes up at 4 a.m., has producer meetings by 5 a.m. and has to be ready to film at 6 a.m. LA time as ‘Live’ goes on air at 9 a.m. EST. Add the radio show ­every day, in addition to hosting “Idol” and additional content for his platforms,” said the friend. “He has definitely had to adjust his body clock.

“While some of us can turn off or take a break throughout our workday, he almost always has a camera on him or a microphone in his hand. He’s always on.”

Pittsburgh Radio: 'Combative' KDKA-AM Causing Worry

Pittsburgh's KDKA Radio is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, making it the oldest commercial radio station in the U.S. Its first broadcast on Nov. 2, 1920 announced the election results between presidential candidates Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox. KDKA Radio quite literally set the standard for radio media in America.

But recent decisions by the station have caused some to question that pedigree, according to Pittsburgh City Paper. KDKA 1020 AM, has recently boosted controversial radio personalities to the detriment of public sentiment. Local officials have canceled interviews with the station and advertisers have condemned content and asked to be moved off of certain hosts’ shows.

Marty Griffin
The station has altered strategies often, but those efforts have accelerated since KDKA was purchased by radio conglomerate Entercom in 2017. Former and current employees say it's created chaos. And most recently, KDKA Radio lost one of its longtime co-hosts in John Shumway, who was forced out because he refused requests by producers to be more combative and was “too nice” for the new direction of the station, according to sources who spoke to Pittsburgh City Paper.

Wendy Bell
All of this has come during periods of lower ratings and the realities of a shrinking audience on AM radio. It makes KDKA Radio’s future difficult to predict. And it doesn’t seem to be sitting well with many Pittsburghers. A current KDKA Radio employee, who agreed to speak to CP on the condition of anonymity, says the station has been inundated with emails and letters criticizing the station’s content and controversial hosts like Wendy Bell and Marty Griffin.

The employee has noticed the station shifting to the right, and embracing more fringe conservative rhetoric. But beyond that, the employee and others in the Pittsburgh media world are worried about the station losing any sense of the community news reporting it has traditionally championed. The current employee worries the legacy of the storied radio station may already be tarnished beyond repair.

“KDKA radio has a legacy and it has a history. And all of the sudden the station that built the media in this town, doesn't hold the standard,” said the current employee. “KDKA Radio set the standard and now it doesn’t.”

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TV Ratings: For CNN's Chris Cuomo Plunge

CNN host Chris Cuomo's ratings have plunged 49 percent in the two months since he announced he'd contracted coronavirus, The Daily Mail reports citing data from Nielsen Media Research.

Since the week of March 30, Cuomo has dropped from first in his 9pm time slot among cable news hosts to bottom of the barrel, last week averaging just 440,000 daily viewers in the age demographic prized by advertisers.

Cuomo's stunning ratings nosedive came after interviews with his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in lighthearted segments that were widely panned as ratings stunts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Though all cable news saw something of a drop-off in viewership in May, as viewers seemingly grew weary of the pandemic coverage, Chris Cuomo's decline was sharper than his time slot competitors, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Chris Cuomo's ratings peak came the week of March 30 when he announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus and was isolating in his basement, beating out Maddow and Hannity with 862,000 daily viewers in the 25-54 age demographic.

Since then, his ratings have dropped 49 percent in the demo and 35 percent overall, while Maddow is down 17 percent in the demo and 7 percent overall. Hannity has dropped 38 percent in the demo and 12 percent overall.

Last week, Chris Cuomo dropped below Maddow in the demo for the first time since March 2. Maddow had 498,000 daily average viewers in the demo and Chris Cuomo had 355,000.

Chris Cuomo's sibling interview segment last week drew heated backlash over its lighthearted tone, coming as his brother Andrew Cuomo faced tough questions over a March order requiring nursing homes to accept patients recovering from coronavirus.

The virus has since raged through New York's nursing homes, killing more than 5,800 elderly and vulnerable residents.

Chicago Radio: Talk Host Joe Walsh Joins WCGO

WCGO 1590 AM / 95.9 FM in Chicago and their national platform the GAB Radio Network have announced a new addition to their weekday lineup: “The Joe Walsh Show,” making its debut Monday, June 1, 2020.

“I’m excited to be back on the radio,” Joe says. “This country is too divided. We need to get folks out of their corners and listening to each other. That’s what I’ve always done with radio, and thanks to WCGO and the GAB Radio Network, I’ll be able to keep doing it.”

WCGO and GAB Radio Network General Manager Chuck Duncan “felt that Joe’s passion and patriotism come at a critical time in our nation’s history, and it’s important for all perspectives on America’s direction be made available to every city in every state. We are honored to present this important forum to Joe at an essential time, and look forward to having Joe’s voice heard throughout Chicago on WCGO as well as making ‘The Joe Walsh Show’ available to every concerned station’s lineup through our GAB Radio Network.”

“The Joe Walsh Show” will be broadcast live over the GAB Radio Network Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to noon Central and on Chicago’s WCGO Radio from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m Central (please note that “Legal Eagles” will air in the 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. time slot through Labor Day).

The show is available to stations through GAB and can be cleared live or in delay-broadcast mode via the XDS satellite platform. To learn more, contact Chuck Duncan at 847-292-2721.

Spotify Premium Unveils New TV Commercial 'Listen Your Way'

No matter what your style is or what kind of boogieing it entails, Spotify guarantees that you can "listen your way" with Spotify Premium. Individual, Family and Student plans are all free for three months for new users.

Judge Okays Recovering World's Most Famous Radio

Location of Marconi 'Silent Room' within Bow Section
A federal judge has given the green light for an expedition team to recover the Marconi wireless telegraph from inside the wreck of the Titanic, The Boston Globe reports.

US District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith ruled this month that the telegraph could soon be lost within the rapidly deteriorating shipwreck and saving it "will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived, and those who gave their lives in the sinking.’’

David Gallo, a renowned oceanographer and Titanic expert who retired from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and now serves as a consultant to the RMS Titanic Inc., the company that plans to retrieve the telegraph from the wreck, applauded the judge’s decision.

Gallo said the ruling is significant because it gives the expedition team permission to “surgically remove” the telegraph from the ship’s hull. An expedition is planned in August.

The Marconi wireless radio system played an important role on the Titanic. After the ship struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, the system was used to send out distress signals to other ships. The messages in Morse code included: “We require immediate assistance” ... “Have struck iceberg and sinking” ... “We are putting women off in boats.”

The ship, which was heading to New York, sank about 400 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean.

Gallo said the expedition team plans to evaluate the current conditions of the Titanic wreck and “have a very close look at the present situation of the Marconi telegraph,” he said. “If we agree that the telegraph is in imminent danger of being lost forever, and if we agree that the telegraph can be extracted surgically without unnecessary damage to the Titanic, we will be prepared to do so.”

Gallo said the ultimate goal would be to restore the Marconi telegraph to a condition that it can exhibited to the public.

In the court documents, the company argued that the Marconi wireless telegraph should be salvaged because it’s only a matter of time before it will be inaccessible.

“In the next few years," the court documents state, “the overhead for the Silent Cabin is expected to collapse, potentially burying forever the remains of the world’s most famous radio.”

R.I.P.: John Hamilton, Longtime Host On KGO San Francisco

John Hamilton, the longtime “On the Go” weekend host for KGO 810 AM, has died at age 85, according to online tribute posted to KGO’s website.

John Hamilton
Hamilton’s radio career began in 1955 and, over the years, he worked on both sides of the microphone.

“John was an institution and synonymous with KGO, having hosted his very popular weekend show, ‘On The Go’ for 33 of his 65 years in radio,” said Cumulus Media Vice President and Market Manager, Doug Harvill.

“He loved coming to work every Sunday and talking with our listeners about travel. We’re going to miss him. He was a true gentleman both on and off the air.”

John’s first jobs were in Victoria and his native Vancouver, then on to Phoenix, San Diego and finally the Bay Area, where he worked at KPAT/KRE from 1965 to 1971. In 1971, he became a regular part of the KGO line up with up-to-the-minute reports directly from the slopes and other outdoor destinations. In 1987, he began hosting the beloved weekly show, John Hamilton On-the-Go on KGO Radio.

During his years with KGO, he covered major stories including Pope John Paul’s visit, the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the East Bay fire. His network reporting includes the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Lake Placid and Sarajevo, plus many World Cup and professional ski races.

John won numerous broadcasting awards during his illustrious career from professional associations including the California Outdoor Writers, Pacific Inter-Club Yachting, the Society of American Travel Writers, the US Ski Journalists, and the North America Snowsport Journalists, of which John is a past-president.

R.I.P.: Scott Beels, Radio Personality Known As Bumper Morgan

Scott Beels, aka Bumper Morgan
Radio personality Bumper Morgan died Sunday at age 59.  Death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  Morgan, whose real name was Scott Beels, fought the disease for the past year.

During a radio career that spanned more than four decades, Bumper was a producer, DJ, and production director at many radio stations across the country. His first radio gig was in 1977 in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ at KRIZ, and he was inducted into the KRIZ Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Previous stops included New Orleans, San Antonio, Louisville, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Cape Cod, MA. He is also a legendary promo and sweeper voice known worldwide.

Throughout his career he could be heard on many stations including: Power Pig - Tampa, WGCI Chicago, WMJI Cleveland, Y107 Nashville, XHTZ San Diego, HOT 102 Milwaukee, WWTN Nashville, WJLB Detroit, KEZY Anaheim, KXNT Las Vegas, KZZP Phoenix, WBLS - NYC, Alice 106 Denver, Atlantic 252, SJTV San Joaquin Valley and he produced a weekly syndicated show Retro Rewind.

June 1 Radio History

➦In 1921...Conductor & musician  Nelson Riddle was born in Oradell New Jersey.  His career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. His work for Capitol Records kept such vocalists as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith household names.

He found commercial and critical success again in the 1980s with a trio of Platinum albums with Linda Ronstadt. His orchestrations earned an Academy Award and three Grammy Awards.

He died of liver ailments Oct 6, 1985 at age 64.

➦In 1936...the NBC Blue network’s Lux Radio Theater moved from New York City to Hollywood. On the first show from Tinseltown, program host and “producer” Cecil B. DeMille introduced Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich in The Legionnaire and the Lady. It attracted a remarkable (for the era) listening audience of 40 million.

➦In 1945...WLB-AM in Minneapolis Minn changes call letters to KUOM.

➦In 1961..WVNJ 100.3 FM signed-on (today it is iHeartMedia's WHTZ Z100). 100.3's origins date back to 1942 when it was WMGM, licensed to New York. The station went off the air in February 1955. During 100.3's down time, the frequency was allocated to WFHA in Red Bank. On June 1, 1961, 100.3 was resurrected as WVNJ, now licensed to Newark. WVNJ featured an easy listening/jazz format that continued until August 2, 1983, when WHTZ "Z100" was born.

➦In 1961...FM stereo began.  At 12:01 a.m., GE's WGFM 99.5 FM (now WRVE) Schenectady, NY became the first FM station in the United States to broadcast in stereo.  The station, which had been simulcasting WGY 810 AM,  started airing classical music.

The first commercial FM broadcasting stations were in the United States, but initially they were primarily used to simulcast their AM sister stations, to broadcast lush orchestral music for stores and offices, to broadcast classical music to an upmarket listenership in urban areas, or for educational programming.

By the late 1960s FM had been adopted by fans of "Alternative Rock" music ("A.O.R.—'Album Oriented Rock' Format"), but it wasn't until 1978 that listeners to FM stations exceeded those of AM stations in North America.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Top 40 music stations and later even country music stations largely abandoned AM for FM. Today AM is mainly the preserve of talk radio, news, sports, religious programming, ethnic (minority language) broadcasting and some types of minority interest music. This shift has transformed AM into the "alternative band" that FM once was.

➦In 1967...The Beatles released 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' album.

➦In 1968...'Mrs. Robinson' by Simon and Garfunkel hit Number One

Don Imus
➦In 1968...Don Imus started at KUTY in Palmdale, CA.  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, and in 1968 he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California.
Three years later, he landed the morning spot at WNBC in New York City before his firing in 1977.

In 1979, Imus returned to WNBC and stayed at the station until 1988 when the show moved to WFAN. Imus gained widespread popularity when the show entered national syndication in 1993. He was labelled a shock jock radio host throughout his later career and his programs have been popular and controversial.After nearly 50 years on the air, Imus retired from broadcasting in March 2018.

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.  The iMan died December 27, 2019.

➦In 1969...Tobacco advertising was banned on Radio and TV stations in Canada.

In the U-S, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banned the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio effective January 2, 1971.

Bob Crane had been called a genius in radio by his radio colleagues at WICC in Bridgeport, CT, and KNX and KMPC in Los Angeles. All sound effects, gimmicks, and voices are performed by Bob Crane (who was also known in radio as the Man of 1,000 Voices), either as pre-recordings or live right at the mic. Bringing all the pieces together, Bob transforms an otherwise bland commercial reading into a dazzling comedic performance.

In this commercial for Winston Cigarettes, he sounds as if he is carrying on a full conversation with his engineer. But in all actuality, it's all Crane.

➦In 1971...Ed Sullivan's final TV show on CBS

In 1980…Arthur C. Nielsen, Sr., founder of the Nielsen ratings system, died at the age of 82.

➦In 1980...CNN debuted on cable as TV's first all-news station. The Cable News Network was launched at 5:00 p.m. After an introduction by Ted Turner, the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the channel's first newscast. Burt Reinhardt, the executive vice president of CNN at its launch, hired most of the channel's first 200 employees, including the network's first news anchor, Bernard Shaw.

Since its debut, CNN has expanded its reach to a number of cable and satellite television providers, several websites, and specialized closed-circuit channels (such as CNN Airport). The company has 42 bureaus (11 domestic, 31 international), more than 900 affiliated local stations (which also receive news and features content via the video newswire service CNN Newsource), and several regional and foreign-language networks around the world. The channel's success made a bona-fide mogul of founder Ted Turner and set the stage for conglomerate Time Warner's eventual acquisition of the Turner Broadcasting System in 1996. Today, the channel is owned by WarnerMedia News & Sports, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia

A companion channel, CNN2, was launched on January 1, 1982 and featured a continuous 24-hour cycle of 30-minute news broadcasts. The channel, which later became known as CNN Headline News and is now known as simply HLN, eventually focused on live news coverage supplemented by personality-based programs during the evening and primetime hours.

➦In 1984...KWK-AM in St Louis MO changes call letters to KGLD

➦In 2014…Radio production executive Tom Rounds died.  He is best known for his association with 'American Top 40'. He died of complications following surgery at 78.

Tom Rounds
After first entering the broadcasting profession at the campus radio station of Amherst College in Massachusetts in the late 1950s, Rounds worked at 1010 WINS in New York City as a newsman in 1959 before agreeing to travel to Honolulu with the station's general manager to work at station KPOI. While in Hawaii, Rounds—hoping to gain publicity for his new position as a disc jockey—set the world record for sleeplessness. The period of 260 hours awake was attained while Rounds was sitting in a department store window display. Rounds became a regional celebrity following the stunt, and eventually rose to lead the station as program director.

Ron Jacobs had been program director at KPOI before moving to KHJ in Los Angeles under influential radio programmer Bill Drake. Drake was seeking to install his signature Boss Radio format in the Bay Area in 1964; Jacobs recommended Tom Rounds for the position at KFRC in San Francisco.

While at KFRC, Rounds began promoting large multi-act concerts to benefit charity and gain publicity for the station and the bands it featured. After holding the Beach Boys Summer Spectacular at the Cow Palace in 1966, Rounds and KFRC conceived of a large outdoor festival featuring a fair atmosphere similar to the popular Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival was held in the second weekend of June 1967 at Mount Tamalpais State Park in Marin County, California, to support the Hunters Point Child Care Center. Featuring Jefferson Airplane, The 5th Dimension, The Doors and many other acts, it drew nearly 60,000 attendees. The Fantasy Fair produced by Rounds is considered the first rock festival in history, preceding the more well-known Monterey Pop Festival by one week.

Rounds left KFRC in the Fall of 1967; his decision to move beyond the restrictions of AM radio was documented on the front cover of the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine, with the headline "Tom Rounds Quits KFRC" on the upper right beside a large photograph of John Lennon.

In 1969, Rounds and Jacobs formed Watermark Inc., a radio production and syndication company that created a variety of programs which it then distributed to radio stations throughout North America. The most widely recognized of the programs Rounds headed at Watermark was American Top 40, which featured the team of host Casey Kasem and producer Don Bustany. The program was popular in large markets and also allowed small market stations to present a three-hour national music chart countdown show at nominal cost that nevertheless produced good ratings and helped generate advertising revenue.

The program reached audiences at over 500 radio stations in the United States by the 1980s. The show is still in syndication, hosted by Ryan Seacrest and distributed by Premiere Networks, a division of the American media conglomerate iHeartMedia.

Heidi Klum is 47

  • Singer Pat Boone is 86. 
  • Actor Morgan Freeman is 83. 
  • Actor Brian Cox (“Deadwood”) is 74. 
  • Guitarist Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones is 73. 
  • Actor Jonathan Pryce is 73. 
  • Actor John M. Jackson (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 70. 
  • Country singer Ronnie Dunn of Brooks and Dunn is 67. 
  • Actress Lisa Hartman Black is 64. 
  • Actor Tom Irwin (“Devious Maids”) is 64. 
  • Bassist Simon Gallup of The Cure is 60. 
  • Comedian Mark Curry (“Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”) is 59. 
  • Actress Teri Polo (“Meet The Parents”) is 51. 
  • Model Heidi Klum is 47. 
  • Singer Alanis Morissette is 46. 
  • Comedian Link Neal of Rhett and Link (YouTube’s “Good Mythical Morning”) is 42. 
  • TV host Damien Fahey (MTV’s “Total Request Live”) is 40. 
  • Singer Brandi Carlile is 39. 
  • Comedian Amy Schumer is 39. 
  • Actor Taylor Handley (“The O.C.”) is 36. 
  • Actress Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”) is 29. 
  • Actress Willow Shields (“The Hunger Games”) is 20.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

May 31 Radio History

➦In 1898...Author, Columnist and radio minister Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was born in Bowersville Ohio. For 54 years (from 1935 to 1989), Peale hosted the weekly radio program The Art of Living.  He was best known for the best selling book The Power of Positive Thinking.  He served as mentor to televangelist Robert Schuller. He died Dec 24, 1993 at age 95.

➦In 1908
...Entertainer Don Ameche was born Dominic Felix Amici (Died at age 85 from cancer – December 6, 1993), He was an Actor, voice artist and comedian. After playing in college shows, stock, and vaudeville, he became a major radio star in the early 1930s, which led to the offer of a movie contract from 20th Century Fox in 1935.

As a handsome, debonair leading man in 40 films over the next 14 years, he was a popular star in comedies, dramas, and musicals. In the 1950s he worked on Broadway and in television, and was the host of NBC's International Showtime from 1961 to 1965. Returning to film work in his later years, Ameche enjoyed a fruitful revival of his career beginning with his role as a villain in Trading Places (1983) and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Cocoon (1985).

➦In 1943...The comic strip Archie Andrews came to radio on the Blue Network for the first time. Archie, Veronica and the gang remained on network radio for some nine years.

➦In 19??..Longtime Philadelphia and NYC Radio Personality Ross Brittain was born.

Most recently he was working weekends and fill-in at Classic Hits WCBS-FM in NYC.  Previously, he was at morning host at then-CBS owned WOGL 98.1 FM in Philly and he's also worked in Atlanta, New Orleans, Cleveland and Hartford as well as NYC.  In 1982, Brittain was cohost of the first morning show Ross & Brittain on 77WABC as a Talk station.

In 1984, he teamed with Scott Shannon on the Z100 Morning Zoo on WHTZ 100.3 FM.

Confer RTI Ross Brittain Guest Faculty Profile from National Radio Talent System on Vimeo.

Brittain is a former Billboaard and Radio&Records "Personality of The Year".

Mary Margaret McBride
➦In 1949...a crowd of 35,000 people paid tribute to radio personality Mary Margaret McBride at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. McBride was celebrating her 15th year in radio.   Her popular radio shows spanned more than 40 years. In the 1940s the daily audience for her housewife-oriented program numbered from six to eight million listeners. She was called "The First Lady of Radio."

McBride first worked steadily in radio for WOR in New York City. In 1937, she launched on the CBS radio network the first of a series of similar and successful shows, now as Mary Margaret McBride.

She interviewed figures well known in the world of arts and entertainment, and politics, with a style recognized as original to herself. She accepted advertising only for products she was prepared to endorse from her own experience, and turned down all tobacco or alcohol products.

She followed this format in regular broadcasts on CBS until 1941,  NBC (where her audience numbered in the millions) from then until 1950,  ABC from then until 1954,  NBC again until 1960, and The New York Herald Tribune's radio broadcasts with a wider audience via syndication.

➦In 1958...guitarist Dick Dale introduced “surf music” for the first time when he played  “Let’s Go Trippin'” at a concert in Balboa Calif.   Dale died in Loma Linda, CA on March 16, 2019, at age 81.

➦In 1966...filming began on The Monkees TV sitcom. Starting on NBC in September the weekly series chronicled the misadventures of a struggling rock band.

➦In 1999...77WABC-AM, New York, presented "WABC Rewound" where the news/talk station broadcast airchecks from its glory days when it was a Top 40 formatted music station. At first, WABC's early days in the 60s as a Top 40 station were humble ones.

Top 40 1010 WINS was the No. 1 hit music station and WMCA 570 AM, which did a similar rock leaning top 40 format, was also a formidable competitor, while WABC barely ranked in the Top Ten. Fortunately for WABC, the other Top 40 outlets could not be heard as well in more distant New York and New Jersey suburbs, since WINS, WMGM 1050 AM, and WMCA were all directional stations.

WABC, with its 50,000-watt non-directional signal, had the advantage of being heard in places west, south, and northwest of New York City – a huge chunk of the growing suburban population – and this is where the station began to draw ratings.

Early in 1962, WMGM, owned by Loew's, which then owned MGM, was sold to Storer Broadcasting. Upon its sale, WMGM reverted to its original WHN call letters and switched to a middle of the road music format playing mostly non-rock artists such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Andy Williams.

Sam Holman was the first WABC program director of this era. Under Holman, WABC achieved No. 1 ratings during much of 1962, after WMGM reverted to WHN. By the summer of 1963, WMCA led the pack among contemporary stations, with WABC at No. 2 and WINS slipping to third place. It has been said, but is difficult to verify, that WMCA dominated in the city proper, while WABC owned the suburbs. This would be consistent with WMCA's 5,000-watt directional signal.

GM Hal Neal hired Rick Sklar as WABC's program director. He would go on to become a member of the Radio Hall of Fame and be credited as one of the pioneering architects of the Top 40 format.

Under Sklar, the station went to the shortest playlist of any contemporary music station in history. The number one song was heard about every hour during the day and every 75 minutes or so at night. The other top 5 songs were heard nearly as often. Other current songs averaged once to twice per airshift. The station played about 9 current hits per hour and several non-current songs. The non-currents were no more than 5 years old and the station played about 70 of them in total.

Through the years, WABC was known by various slogans, "Channel 77 WABC" and later "Musicradio 77 WABC". Due to the high number of commercials each hour, WABC played no more than two songs in a row and there was frequent DJ talk and personality between every song. The station averaged 6 commercial breaks per hour but they were no more than 3 ads in a row. Often the air personalities delivered live commercials in their own humorous style, so that listeners would consider the spot part of the entertainment.

➦In 2019...After EMF acquired the station on May 31, 2019. WPLJ 95.5 NYC  joined the K-LOVE network at 7pm, and now airs Christian contemporary music. K-Love's first piece of audio was a request for listener financial support.

Lea Thompson is 59

  • Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 90. 
  • Singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary is 82. 
  • Keyboardist Augie Meyers of the Texas Tornadoes and the Sir Douglas Quintet is 80. 
  • Actress Sharon Gless (“Cagney and Lacey”) is 77. 
  • Actor Tom Berenger is 70. 
  • Actor Gregory Harrison is 70. 
  • Actor Kyle Secor (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) is 63. 
  • Actress Roma Maffia (“Nip/Tuck,” ″Profiler”) is 62. 
  • Comedian Chris Elliott is 60. 
  • Actress Lea Thompson (“Caroline in the City,” ″Back to the Future”) is 59. 
  • Singer Corey Hart is 58. 
  • Rapper DMC of Run-DMC is 56. 
  • Actress Brooke Shields is 55. 
  • Country bassist Ed Adkins of The Derailers is 53. 
  • “The Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan is 53. 
  • Jazz bassist Christian McBride is 48. 
  • Actress Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) is 48. 
  • Actress Merle Dandridge (“Greenleaf”) is 45. 
  • Actor Colin Farrell is 44. 
  • Trumpet player Scott Klopfenstein of Reel Big Fish is 43. 
  • Actor Eric Christian Olsen (“NCIS: Los Angeles” is 43. 
  • Drummer Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy is 40.
  • Actor Curtis Williams Jr. (“Parent’Hood”) is 33. 
  • Singer Normani Hamilton of Fifth Harmony is 24.

Fox News Reporter Chased While Covering Protests At TWH

The protests over George Floyd's death hit the nation's capital Friday night as angry protesters arrived at Pennsylvania Avenue, leading to a short lockdown at the White House, spokesman Judd Deere confirmed to USA TODAY.

NY Post 5/30/2020
Floyd, a black man, died in Minneapolis police custody this week after a white officer pinned him to the ground under his knee. His death has sparked demonstrations against police brutality and racial discrimination in cities across the United States.

On Friday, President Trump spoke with Floyd's family, saying he understood their pain. That call came several hours after his tweet about about rioters in Minneapolis sparked outrage, and drew a warning label from Twitter.

Fired officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with murder in Floyd's death. The Hennepin County Attorney's complaint said Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, including for 2 minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd was non-responsive.

Outside the White House on Friday, Secret Service could be seen after 7 p.m. taking at least one person into custody. Videos showed a large group of protesters gathering, with some burning flags and knocking over barricades. The protesters have moved from the White House to another part of the city.

Multiple reporters posted that they were inside the White House and that the Secret Service was not letting them leave the grounds during the lockdown.

The Secret Service frequently locks down the White House for perceived security threats, such as packages or bags left nearby. But the building is rarely locked down for protests. And while protests are a daily occurrence outside the White House, they are often small – drawing a few dozen people, at most.

Some of the protesters ran off a Fox News journalist who had been covering clashes between the Secret Service and more than 100 people early Saturday morning.

The chase happened as Fox News reporter Leland Vittert was providing updates about the situation outside the White House where Secret Service members in riot gear squared off with an angry crowd who hurled bricks, water, and verbal abuse for hours.

As Fox News went live to Vittert, the reporter said "media critics" were surrounding him before several protesters got into his face and began chanting "F--- Fox News" as he and his crew scrambled to leave the area.

Video shared on Twitter showed a massive group of people chasing Vittert and his crew into the darkness of Lafayette Park across from the front of the White House.

CNN Headquarters In Atlanta Vandalized

Hundreds of demonstrators poured into the streets near Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park on Friday night, smashing windows and clashing with police officers in a protest that grew so tense that the city’s mayor forcefully told people to go home.

( photo)

The NY Times reports not far from the park, the city’s iconic tourist destination, some people climbed atop a large red CNN sign outside the media company’s headquarters and spray-painted messages on it. Some people jumped on police cars. Others threw rocks at the glass doors of the Omni Hotel, eventually breaking the glass, and shattered windows at the College Football Hall of Fame, where people rushed in and emerged with branded fan gear.

Protestors reach CNN Headquarters Friday evening (Reuters photo)
“It’s enough,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in an evening news conference. “We are all angry. This hurts. This hurts everybody in this room. But what are you changing by tearing up a city? You’ve lost all credibility now. This is not how we change America. This is not how we change the world.”

At CNN Headquarters, protesters smashed the lobby windows and seemed prepared to go inside during a tense face-off that was broadcast live on the cable network. A line of officers in riot gear blocked the way. At one point, protesters appeared to hurl a firework that set off a loud bang.

Rapper and activist Killer Mike had an urgent plea for CNN following the vandalism its headquarters faced in Atlanta amid the George Floyd protests.

Killer Mike, an Atlanta native, was speaking at a news conference alongside Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Friday night as a violent mob defaced the CNN Center's iconic sign outside the of the building, broke windows, and threw objects inside the lobby.

During his remarks, the rapper had some choice words for the liberal network.

"I love CNN ... but what I'd like to say to CNN right now- karma's a mother..." Killer Mike said. "Stop feeding fear and anger every day. Stop making people so fearful. Give them hope!"