Thursday, July 23, 2015

We're Taking A Break...

New postings resume Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July 23 Radio History

In 1937…"Les Miserables" was broadcast, the first radio drama produced by Orson Welles and the fledgling Mercury Theatre group.

In 1937...legendary Top 40 DJ, Robert W. Morgan was born.

Robert Wilbur Morgan is best known for his work at several stations in Los Angeles, California, in particular KHJ 930 AM.

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

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

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

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

It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973. Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career.

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

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

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

In 1940...Radio personality/talk show host Don Imus, was born.

Before radio, Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad in the '60s. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis. After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.

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

After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM radio in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis.

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

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

In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good."

During this period, Imus was best known for character Billy Sol Hargis, a radio evangelist whose name was a cross between infamous real-life radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and real-life Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes. As Hargis, Imus touted on-air the merits of the "First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship". Imus published the 1981 best-selling novel God's Other Son that further depicted Hargis' adventures. The novel was republished in 1994 by popular demand and spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.  Other regular Imus characters included the supposed general manager "Geraldo Santana Banana" (played by doo-wop singer Larry Chance), and "Moby Worm", a monstrous creature who devoured local schools (which was reported on the show's "breaking news updates").

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

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

In 1948…"My Favorite Husband," a sitcom starring Lucille Ball and Richard Denning, began its three-year run on CBS Radio. It was the basis for what evolved into the TV sitcom "I Love Lucy."

In 1982...FCC approves AM stereo radio, KTSA San Antonio goes stereo

In 1985…Bandleader Kay Kaiser, a popular radio personality in the 1930s and 1940s, died of heart failure at age 80.

July 24 Radio History

In 1933…The soap opera "The Romance of Helen Trent" began its 27-year run on CBS Radio. Virginia Clark played Helen for the first 11 years, then Julie Stevens took the role for the next 16 years.

In 1965...Bob Dylan released "Like A Rolling Stone" to Radio

In 1978...WKTU 92.3 FM changed to disco at 6pm.

In June 1975, 92.3FM was, owned by the San Juan (Puerto Rico) Racing Association flipped to Soft Rock and became known as Mellow 92 WKTU. That station had very low ratings and had no effect on Top Rate Musicradio 77 WABC.   But on July 24, 1978, at 6 PM, WKTU abruptly dropped its Soft Rock format in favor of a disco-based top 40 format known as "Disco 92". By December of that year, WABC was unseated, as WKTU became the No. 1 station in New York City. The first "disco" ratings saw WKTU with 11 percent of the listening audience—a huge number anywhere, let alone in a market the size of New York City—and WABC dropping from 4.1 million listeners to 3 million, losing 25 percent of its audience practically overnight.

After this initial ratings tumble, WABC panicked and began mixing in several extended disco mixes per hour and sometimes played two back-to-back. Some of the disco songs ran in excess of eight minutes. What regular listeners heard was a major change in sound. While the station continued playing non-disco and rock songs about a third of the time, familiar format had seemed to disappear and as a result, WABC began to lose its identity. In late spring 1979, Billboard magazine reported that Rick Sklar had demoted program director Glenn Morgan to "moving carts" instead of making programming decisions. WABC's numbers dropped for four consecutive ratings periods. WABC evenutally dropped music for talk in May 1982.

In 2000…Singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson began a two-year stint as an evening radio host on KCMG in Los Angeles. "Intimate With Smokey Robinson," aired from 8-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

In 2005...NYC Personality Joe O’Brien died in a car accident at age 90.

Joe O'Brien
Joe O'Brien was one of the WMCA Good Guys on WMCA Radio in New York City.  O'Brien began his career in 1935 when he got his first radio job with WMCA 570 AM in New York City. He worked at the station for 34 years.

The Good Guys had the same clean-cut hairstyles, wore matching suits and worked together at record hops and personal appearances. They also sang as a group and released an album. During that time, Mr. O'Brien was the No. 1 morning man in New York City.

In 1970 he left for WNBC 660 AM, where he handled morning duties until he was replaced by Don Imus in 1972. Mr. O'Brien then went to WHUD in Peekskill, N.Y. He retired in 1986, but continued to do weekend specials for WHUD until 2000.

July 25 Radio History

In 1925…In Schenectady, New York, WGY-AM (then at 790 AM) became the first radio station in the U.S. to broadcast with a 50,000-watt transmitter. Click Here for more on the WGY Transmitter site.

In 1944...New York Times takes ownership of WQXR AM & FM.

WQXR-AM was the first in New York to experiment with stereo broadcasting, beginning in 1952.  It used two microphones positioned six feet apart.  One fed the AM station, the other was broadcast over FM.  A home listener could position two radios six feet apart, one tuned to WQXR 1560 AM, the other to WQXR 96.3 FM, and listen in stereo.

In 1965, the FCC required commonly owned AM and FM stations to broadcast separate programming for at least part of the day.  The New York Times tried to sell the radio stations in 1971, but later got an FCC waiver of the simulcasting rules.  WQXR-AM/FM continued their simulcast until 1992.

WQXR-AM dropped classical music and adopted a format of adult standards, becoming WQEW-AM.  In 1998, the Times leased the AM station to Radio Disney.  Disney purchased WQEW in 2007.

WQXR-FM continued its classical music format. In 2009, it traded the 96.3 frequency to Univision Radio in exchange for Univision’s 105.9 FM frequency, which broadcast WCAA-FM.  WNYC-FM, a municipally-owned station, then bought WQXR from the New York Times, converting the station to a non-commercial education station.

The new frequency has a smaller broadcast range than the 96.3 FM facility.  The station uses two translator frequencies to increase its reach.  It also broadcasts over cable television and the Internet.

In 1964...WCBS does last broadcast from 485 Madison Ave. moving to 51 W. 52nd Street. nicknamed 'The Black Rock'.

In 2002...WNNY 1380 AM switches format to “Regional Mexican Music”

In 2008...WWDJ 970 AM Newark, NJ changes calls to WHTT.

Back in the '70s, WWDJ was Top40 challenging WABC.  Courtesy of

There were many excellent DJ’s who passed through the 97 DJ doors. They include Al Brady, (went on to become Program Director at WABC), Ronnie Grant, Howard Clark, George Taylor Morris, Sean Casey (who was the last Program Director WWDJ, had), Joe Conway, Steve Clark (who was for a short time a WMCA Good Guy in 1967, plus on WOR-FM & CBS-FM), Mark Driscoll (also of WOR-FM and WNBC), Bob Lockwood, Don Cannon (he can be heard on the radio in the original Rocky movie), Bob Savage, Bobby Finck (aka Robert K. Oliver, or Rokko from 99X) and many more.

Sean Casey worked at WOR FM and WPLJ before DJ, and then went on to work for a while at CBS FM. Steve O'Brien of ABC and YNY fame worked afternoons for a period of time as well as Jim King of 99X fame. During the summer of 1971, Dean Anthony left the station and was replaced by a DJ named Chuck Cooper (ala Radio City Bill, Bill Rock who has worked at WYNY and WNBC among other stations).

Bwana Johnny (aircheck starts at the 1:36-mark) had two separate tours with the station. So did Gary Russell, who worked mornings and weekends in separate tours. That was a real no-no in those days.) He was also the last DJ on the air before WWDJ’s music format changed to inspiration on April 1, 1974.  

In 2012...WEMP changes call letters back to WRXP

July 26 Radio History

On the 26th in 1969...Pete Fornatale started at WNEW 102.7 FM.

Pete Fornatale
Fornatale is considered a "pioneer of FM rock."  He played an important role in the progressive rock era of FM broadcasting. He was the first person to host a rock music show on New York City's FM band, commencing November 21, 1964 on WFUV. By broadcasting progressive rock and long album tracks, he was noted for introducing a musical alternative to Top 40 AM radio in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Billboard called his station "a legend, affecting and inspiring people throughout the industry."

He gave early exposure to country-rock bands like Buffalo Springfield and Poco, and did one of the first American interviews with Elton John.  In 1991 he was co-host of "Paul Simon Live in Central Park" and was often called to be an expert guest commentator on PBS specials, including those featuring Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Orbison, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and others.

From 2011..

Fornatale wrote several books, including The Rock Music Source Book, Radio in the Television Age, The Story of Rock 'n' Roll, and All You Need Is Love. He was also helped write The Elvis Collection trading card series. In addition, he has written many feature shows for radio and television about Rock, including the syndicated Rock Calendar, episodes of MTV's "Rock Influences," and the international television series Deja View. His latest book is Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock.

He died at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City at age 66 on April 26, 2012. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage April 15, 2012.

In 2011…Ford Motor Co. became the first major car maker to announce its intention to replace the CD player in its automobiles with a USB port to plug in digital music players. A company spokesperson said "The in-car CD player - much like the pay telephone - is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology."

July 27 Radio History

In 1940...Billboard published first recorded music sales chart

In 2003...Bob Hope, (born Leslie Townes Hope) died at age 100.

Jerry Colonna, Bob Hope
Hope was an English-born American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, author, and athlete who appeared on Broadway, in vaudeville, movies, television, and on the radio. He was noted for his numerous United Service Organizations (USO) shows entertaining American military personnel—he made 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991. Throughout his long career, he was honored for this work. In 1997, the U.S. Congress declared him the "first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces."

With a career spanning over 60 years, Hope appeared in over 70 films and shorts, including a series of "Road" movies co-starring Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. In addition to hosting the Academy Awards fourteen times (the most of any host), he appeared in many stage productions and television roles, and was the author of fourteen books. He participated in the sports of golf and boxing, and owned a small stake in his hometown baseball team, the Cleveland Indians. He was married to performer Dolores Hope for 69 years.

In 2005... Progressive talk-formatted KNRC 1150 AM, Denver, went silent. 22 people lost jobs and the station went up for sale. Syndicated conservative host Bill O'Reilly's was the last voice heard on KNRC, which went silent at 10:12 a.m.

Today the frequency is home to Spanish KNRV.

In 2013...Former radio/television news reporter Herbert Kaplow, who was a correspondent for ABC and NBC between 1951 and 1994, died following a stroke at the age of 86.

July 28 Radio History

In 1954…The first newspaper story about Elvis Presley was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar.

Elvis had signed with Sun Records and just released his first single, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" b/w "That's All Right, Mama," and the songs were beginning to get airplay on Memphis radio stations. The story noted that both sides of the record were being equally well received "on popular, folk, and race record programs. This boy seems to have something that appeals to everybody.

In 1962...Westinghouse purchased WINS 1010 AM for $10 Million

Before 1010 WINS in New York City was “All News, All the Time,” it was one of the country’s first rock-and-roll stations.

From 1960...

WGBS signed on in 1924, owned by Gimbel’s Department Store.  William Randolph Hearst bought it in 1932, changing the call letters to WINS, which referred to Hearst’s “International News Service.”

Crosley bought WINS in 1945, then sold it in 1953 to Gotham Broadcasting Corporation.  WINS started playing rock music.  Legendary broadcasters like Alan Freed and Murray “the K” Kaufman were some of the early WINS disc jockeys.

Westinghouse bought WINS in 1962.  By that time, WINS was fending off three other stations for New York City’s rock audience.  WMCA, WMGM and WABC all were airing Top 40 and rock music.  WMGM bailed on Top 40/rock in 1962 and flipped to a beautiful music format under its former WHN call letters.

By 1963, WMCA became New York’s No. 1 Top 40 station.  WINS’ ratings slid below WMCA and WABC.

On April 19, 1965, Westinghouse pulled the plug on the Top 40 format at WINS.  The final song was “Out in the Streets” by The Shangri-Las.  WINS became the nation’s third all-news radio station.

In 2004...Jackson Beck, the man who introduced the Superman radio show with, "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!", died at age 92.

Jackson Beck

Beck had a career in radio, television, and animation dating from 1931 with Myrt and Marge, among other roles. In 1934, he was the announcer for The Adventures of Babe Ruth on the radio. In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's The Adventures of Superman; it was Beck who intoned the familiar prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." Decades later, he portrayed Perry White, Clark Kent's boss in Filmation's The New Adventures of Superman animated series and was narrator as well. He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942 to 1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948 to 1950, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

In 1969, Beck used his deep, dramatic, modulated voice as the narrator of Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. Three years earlier, he dubbed the English voice of the judge listing Tuco's many crimes before sentencing him to death by hanging in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Beck was one of the players in National Lampoon's first comedy album Radio Dinner in 1972. He was prominent as well in Allen's 1987 film Radio Days, dubbing the voice of the on-the-spot newsman. Beck also co-starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

July 29 Radio History

In 1977...Clint Buehlmann did his last show on WBEN 930 AM, Buffalo, New York. He had been a highly-rated morning personality for about 40 years.

In 2002...Tex McCrary - WEAF/WRCA/WNBC, WOR - 2003, died at age 92 in Manhattan.

Tex McCrary
He a legendary New York public relations man and political strategist who with his wife, the actress and model Jinx Falkenburg, helped create and popularize the talk-show format on radio and television in the 1940's and 50's, died yesterday in Manhattan.

In their prime in the 1950's, ''Tex and Jinx,'' as they were widely known, had two radio shows, a five-day-a-week television show, a syndicated column in The New York Herald Tribune and still found time to make many personal appearances. They broadcast some of their shows from Peacock Alley in the Waldorf-Astoria where they interviewed guests as glamorous as they were.

In 2007…Newsman/radio-TV talk show host (Tomorrow, The Late Late Show, The Tom Snyder Show) Tom Snyder died from complications of leukemia at 71.

July 30 Radio History

In 1964...station WNEW 1130 AM in New York - a top-rated adult music station, bans all comedy records that “ridicule the United States Government, its processes, institutions, officials, lawmakers and political candidates.” The station said the new policy was triggered by a new album entitled “I’d rather Be Far RightThan President.” - an album that spoofs Republican Presidential nominee BarryGoldwater.

Says John Sullivan, vice president and general manager of WNEW -“I would say the situation came to a head because of national conventions andan election year. But the taste level of some of these comedy recordings hasgrown progressively worse and there is a lot of cheap, badly done stuff in thefield. What I resent is that anyone can put something on a record and it is passedoff as entertainment. The radio industry should take a look at what it plays.”WNEW plays music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Steve andEydie, Dean Martin and other popular non-rock artists

In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM, New York changed it's programming to a Rock format.

The original WOR-FM disc jockeys were Scott Muni (formerly of WABC and WMCA), Murray “the K” Kaufman (formerly of WINS), Rosko (Bill Mercer) and Johnny Michaels.

According to, WOR-FM became extremely popular on college campuses.  It began to carve out an audience that had not been served by radio up until then.  It was achieving decent ratings (for an FM station) without taking audience away from the AM stations by appealing to new listeners.  This was significant.  A Columbia University survey of its undergraduates found that 93% listened to FM as well as AM and that they listened to WOR-FM for 3 1/2 hours daily as compared with AM stations WMCA (1 1/2 hours) and WABC (1 hour). WOR-FM grossed anywhere from $500 to $1000 a week from record company commercials because of its reach into the college campuses.

Even so, owner RKO wasn’t satisfied.  Bill Drake had been consulting RKO’s two West Coast stations; KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco.  These were both extremely successful AM Top 40 stations built around the “Drake-Chenault” philosophy of playing just the hits while minimizing almost everything else.  In July of 1967 RKO hired Drake to consult its remaining radio properties which consisted of CKLW, Detroit; WRKO, Boston; WGMS, Washington DC; WHBQ, Memphis and, of course, WOR-FM.

The first sense of change came when memos appeared from management dictating to the air staff not to play certain cuts. Next the disc jockeys were removed from the new record listening sessions and not allowed to have input on the playlist. Next the playlist became all singles with only an occasional new record and it had to be from an established artist.

Murray the K had the highest rated FM show in New York; a 4 share on one ratings survey, a 3 on the next. This was higher than many AM shows and a terrific FM rating for New York.  He would have no part of these changes and his protests cost him his job.  He was fired by the station in September 1967.  His parting comment about the changes at WOR-FM was “Who can live with that?  Music has reached a maturity... people in radio are still treating it as if it is for teenie boppers."

Murray had a point. WOR-FM was different from the other RKO properties in that it was FM stereo as opposed to AM.  It had built a solid audience by attracting a different group of people.  Giving up on it after only a year seemed premature. Record companies had found the station highly valuable at influencing sales of rock albums especially of new artists and groups like Cream, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  The format was noted for playing new records first, often playing new artists that the local AM stations wouldn't play.

In 1984...The FCC raises the number of radio and television stations that a company may own from a total of 14 radio stations and 7 TV stations to a new ceiling of 24 radio stations and 12 TV stations.

In 2004...Shock duo Opie and Anthony announced they are joining XM Satellite Radio beginning Oct. 4. They were yanked of the air back in August of 2002 after broadcasting a live account of a couple having sex inside St. patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.

In 2012...Al Brady Law - WOR FM, WWDJ, WXLO, WNBC, WABC (PD) died at age 67.

Al Brady-Law
Al first came to New York as Al Brady late in 1969 as the night jock at WOR FM. Late in 1970 he left for WINZ in Miami but promptly turned back up in New York as the night jock at WWDJ. He eventually moved to afternoons and then left again for Denver. But he returned once more, this time as program director at WWDJ. In 1973 he moved over to WXLO as program director.

In March of 1974, Al would move on to WNBC where did some weekend shows and was also the station's assistant program director. In September of 1974, he became the station's program manager, but only for a month. He would go back to weekends and the APD spot. In 1976, it was off to Boston and in 1978 he took over as program director of the NBC Owned and Operated stations. After a brief sojour down to Washington, DC, Al returned to New York, yet again, this time as program director of WABC. In 1979, WABC was still reeling from the "disco inferno" of the October/November, 1978 book where WKTU rocketed to the top. They were, in essence, trying to right the ship. Brady did what he had to do. In fact, he came under a lot of criticism when three of his moves involved letting go Harry Harrison, George Michael and Chuck Leonard. Al always defended his moves and always insisted it was the right thing to do. He always said he never regretted any of it.

From WABC, Al returned to Boston and then one more time to New York where he was to assume the position of Vice President and General Manager of WYNY. Under Al's guidance, WYNY became a major presence in the New York market, finally cracking the ratings top 10 in the Summer, 1981 book.

From WYNY, al took over as Vice President of Programming of NBC Radio. After leaving this post, Al moved around the country working at various radio stations. His most recent being the operations manager at KABC in Los Angeles.

Al was a very important part of New York radio history. From disc jockey to management, he was always top-notch. Al Brady was one of those disc jockeys that I always listened to in awe. He was great.

Terry Lee
In 2013…Longtime Pittsburgh radio and TV personality (WIXZ, WMCK, WIIC-TV, KDKA-TV, WPGH-TV) Terry Lee died of lung cancer at 70.

He started working as a DJ at teen dances at 16. That launched his radio career at the former WESA-AM in Charleroi, which was followed by stints at stations in Carnegie and Canonsburg. At 21, he joined the former WMCK-AM in McKeesport, which later became WIXZ (1360). That little station was the place where Mr. Lee really began shaking up the airwaves. His evening show was one of the most popular in the city throughout the '60s.

In the late '60s throughout the '70s, Mr. Lee hosted dance shows on TV: "Come Alive" on the former WIIC (now WPXI) and "The Terry Lee Show" on WPGH and later on KDKA.

July 31 Radio History

In 1938...Jake Powell was suspended by the New York Yankees after saying on Chicago radio he'd "hit every colored person in Chicago over the head with a club".  After a surge of public outrage, including calls that Powell be banned for life, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Powell for ten games. Powell also went on a walking tour of Harlem to apologize personally to fans of the Yankees.

Powell played in 31 games in 1939 and 12 games in 1940 before the Yankees sold him to the minor leagues.

In 1970…Newsman Chet Huntley retired from NBC-TV, ending the 14-year run of the popular "Huntley-Brinkley Report." The network renamed the program the "NBC Nightly News." Huntley died in 1974. Brinkley worked as co-anchor or commentator on "Nightly News" before leaving NBC for ABC in 1981. He died in 2003.

In 1977...Johnny Dark did his last show on WRKO, Boston

Johnny Dark
Johnny grew up in South Florida and went on to become one of radio’s many jocks named Johnny Dark. This one, however, started out along Florida’s west coast and was Program Director, Music Director, and jock at Sarasota’s WYND, Surf Row Radio, in 1966. After a couple years there, he wanted to get closer to home, so he took at job on the air at Top 40 WSRF 1580 AM in Ft. Lauderdale and handled the music for its then-sister station, Easy Listening/AC WSHE.

Johnny moved to another Miami outlet, WMYQ 96.3 FM, in 1972 and then on to Bartel’s legendary WOKY, The Mighty 92, in Milwaukee in 1974 as combo Music Director and afternoon drive jock. The next year he really hit the big time when he landed at Boston’s WRKO where he survived five PD’s in three and a half years before leaving for WNBC in New York in 1978.

In 1985 it was back to Beantown as Johnny segued to CBS-owned WHTT 103.3 FM. (1985 Aircheck) He also made the dream of owning his own station a reality with WHQO Oldies 108 in Skowhegan, Maine. By 1990 it was time to move back home to South Florida so he began what turned out to be 12 years doing afternoon drive for Miami’s 97.3 WFLC, South Florida’s Coast.

In 2002, Johnny's last known stop was WKIS 99.9 FM Kiss Country, in Boca Raton-Miami.

In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM adopts the “Kiss” format

August 1 Radio History

In 1940...WOR FM signs-on as W2XOR

In 1942…Responding to what its leaders saw as a threat from phonograph records, members of the American Federation of Musicians went on strike, but only for recording, not for live performances.

In 1960…"The average teenage girl listens to the radio two hours and thirteen minutes a day and plays records two hours and twelve minutes a day," according to a survey reported in Billboard magazine.

In 1962...NYC's WMCA 570 AM prints first “Good Guy” survey

In 1963...First stereo broadcast on WABC 95.5 FM.

In the early 1960s, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily. Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market.

In 1964...the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" goes #1 on Radio

In 1973...DJ John R. did his last show on WLAC 1510 AM, Nashville, Tennessee after refusing to go along with a format change from R&B to Top 40. He resigned.

John R
In the mid-1950s, John R. began attracting Euro-American listeners again—young people. Teenagers listened to the programs featuring blues music and "street talk", some as an act of adolescent rebellion. Richbourg became an influential figure in the fledgling black music trade by featuring ground-breaking R&B and early rock performers like Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on his program. Later John R (real last named: Richbourg) capitalized on his reputation by becoming a manager to several artists, an occasional record producer, and later entrepreneuir in Nashville's booming studio industry. Nashville has long had a national reputation for country music. It. also has always had studio facilities devoted to soul, R&B, and gospel.

Richbourg may have gained his most enduring reputation as a pitchman who used "down-home" phrasing to ad-lib copy for advertisers. One example: Now, friends, I know you got some soul. If you didn't, you wouldn't be listenin' to ol' John R., 'cause I got me some soul. I'll tell you somethin', friends. You can really tell the world you got soul with this brand-new Swinging Soul Medallion, a jewelry pendant.

John R sold exotic or unusual products, such as baby chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery, family Bibles, hot-rod mufflers, and so on. According Wes Smith's book, The Pied Pipers of Rock 'n' Roll: Radio Deejays of the 50s and 60s (Longstreet Press, 1989), many such products turned out to be defective and/or scams, but few irate customers ever sought action against the station or manufacturers. One legitimate sponsor was Ernie's Record Mart, owned by a record label entrepreneur who specialized in recording local Nashville R&B acts.

John R. featured artists such as James Brown, 'Baby' Washington, Otis Redding, and other popular soul acts of the 1960s. Despite the popularity of newer Euro-American performers such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Richbourg continued to play chiefly African-American artists. He only played mainstream pop when Ernie's Record Mart required him to do so in a commercial hour long radio show. On that nightly show titled "Ernies Record Parade", John R would announce, "now this six record special the big Blues special from Ernie's Record Mart is just two dollars ninety eight ($2.98) plus shipping and handling a total of just 3.99 from Ernie's Record Mart 179 3rd Avenue Nashville, Tennessee when you order ask for the Big Blues special or simply say offer number two, now lets dig this.." and he'd go on to the next set of offers on the Ernie's Record Parade Radio Show.

In 1981...MTV premiered. "Video Killed The Radio Star".

MTV's pre-history began in 1977, when Warner Cable (a division of Warner Communications from Warner Bros.), and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (WASEC) launched the first two-way interactive cable television system, QUBE, in Columbus, Ohio. The QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight On Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs; with the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite songs and artists.

The original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who later became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MTV Networks. Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC in the late 1970s.

Pittman's boss, WASEC Executive Vice President John Lack, had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format by the late 1970s.  The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network, Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge (few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live).

The first images shown on MTV were a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing

On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack, and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia, which took place earlier that year, and of the launch of Apollo 11.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing various colors, textures, and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit.  Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", this was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM NYC changes call letters to WRKS

In 1988...WPIX 101.9 FM NYC changes format to jazz

In 1988…Cincinnati's WCVG-AM became the first all-Elvis radio station. The format lasted for a little more than a year.

In 1988...Rush Limbaugh goes into syndication based at flagship station 77 WABC.

Rush Limbaugh
In 1984, Limbaugh started as a regular talk show host on AM radio station KFBK in Sacramento, California, after several years of employment with the Kansas City Royals and in the music radio business, which included hosting a program at KMBZ in Kansas City. He succeeded Morton Downey, Jr. in the time slot.

Based on his work in Sacramento, Limbaugh was signed to a contract by EFM Media Management, headed by former ABC Radio executive Edward McLaughlin. Limbaugh became syndicated on August 1, 1988 through EFM and his show was drawing five million listeners after two years of syndication. Lacking a name for the network during the early years, he coined the name "EIB Network," which has remained associated with the show even after joining an actual radio network.

In 1997, EFM was acquired by Jacor Communications, a publicly traded company.  Later that year, Jacor merged with Premiere Radio Networks.  In 1999, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications.  Currently, Clear Channel Communications through its Premiere Radio Networks subsidiary is the syndicator for Limbaugh's radio show.

August 2 Radio History

In 1922...Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, died. He was 75.

In 1983...WHTZ-FM, Newark, New Jersey (serving New York City and surrounding area) - signed on as "Z100" with Scott Shannon and the "Morning Zoo". It went from "worst to first" in just a few months.

The station, which now had the callsign WHTZ, went on the air at 6:08 AM on August 2, 1983 with new program director and morning jock Michael Scott Shannon. The first two songs ever played on the station were "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, followed by "America" by Neil Diamond.

Initially, the station called themselves by their new call letters, but by late August, they began calling themselves "WHTZ Newark, New York's New Z100". The station signed on from its new and still-incomplete studio in Secaucus, transmitting from the old FM tower site in West Orange, New Jersey, as their antenna was not moved to the top of the Empire State Building until August 4 at 6 AM.

Z100 was the second station that summer to attempt to bring the Top 40 format back to New York, with rock station WPLJ having begun the evolution to top 40 in June. WHTZ was programmed to remind listeners of one-time AM powerhouse WABC, which had gone from a tight Top 40 format to leaning Disco in early 1979 to leaning adult rock later in 1979, to leaning adult contemporary in 1980 and then evolving to Adult Contemporary/Talk in 1981, before it finally flipped to an all-talk format on May 10, 1982.

Within 74 days of signing on, WHTZ had climbed from last place to first in the New York Arbitron ratings book. Over the years, Z100 stayed with a top 40 format, with WPLJ behind them in the ratings

In 1993...NYC WFAN 660 AM personality Don Imus' lung collapes

In 1993...Shamrock Broadcasting, a Disney company, officially takes ownership of Cleveland's WMMS 100.7 FM & WHK 1420 AM from Malrite.

In 2004...Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Murphy, the original voice of the New York Mets,died at age 79

August 3 Radio History

In 1922...In Schenectady, New York, WGY presented "The Wolf," written by Eugene Walter, the first full-length melodrama on radio.

In 1958...The Billboard Hot 100 is founded

In 1971...ex-Beatles member Paul McCartney formed a new band called Wings.

In 1984...legendary Dick Biondi, joined WMJK-FM, Chicago - an oldies-formatted station.

In 1986...NYC Personality William B. Williams died of acute anemia and respiratory failure.

Willie B.
In 1954, the originator of the Make Believe Ballroom program in New York, Martin Block, left WNEW 1130 AM for a new job at ABC Radio. Jerry Marshall took over the show for three years, after which Williams was tapped to host the program.

He marked the broadcast as his own, using the distinctive sign-on, "Hello, world", and occasionally identifying himself as "Guilliermo B. Guilliermos" or "Wolfgang B. Wolfgang," although to listeners and friends he was known simply as "Willie B." He combined intimate knowledge of music with his personal anecdotes to create a smooth style that captivated listeners. By 1965 Billboard reported Williams was earning $105,000 a year, tops for the station at that time but slightly less than the other famous Williams, Ted, earned at his baseball peak ($125,000).

Williams developed lasting relationships with the top singers of the Great American Songbook, including Lena Horne and Nat King Cole. Early in his career, he befriended Frank Sinatra when the crooner recorded broadcasts at WNEW. On one broadcast, Williams mused that since Benny Goodman was the "King of Swing" and Duke Ellington was a duke, then Sinatra must have a title as well, suggesting "Chairman of the Board." Sinatra learned of the comment and embraced the title.   Later, when interest in standards flagged, Williams persisted in playing Sinatra's music and is credited with a key role in keeping Sinatra's career afloat. Sinatra, to whom loyalty was a key virtue, never forgot Williams and lauded him to any and all who would listen.

In 2007...Ron Lyons died at age 69. Lyons was a San Francisco "Good Guy" on station KEWB-AM in the 1960s (aircheck: Click Here) and also worked stints at KNBR, KFBK, KNEW, and KCBS.

Lyons was born in Asheville, North Carolina. His radio career began in 1955, when he was in high school, spinning rock 'n' roll records, his KCBS. He hit the San Francisco airwaves in 1962 after the Army drafted him and assigned him to the Presidio.

The artists he interviewed over the years included Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.

In 2008...Skip Caray TV and radio broadcaster died (b. 1939)

In 2013…Classical music announcer/narrator Lloyd Moss, who entertained listeners of WQXR-New York for 33 years during two stints (1955-1971, 1989-2006) at the station, died of Parkinson’s disease at age 86.

Lloyd Moss
Moss came to WQXR in 1954 and by his retirement on Sept. 29, 2006, was one of the longest-serving classical music hosts in the United States. Like many radio personalities of the era, he worked as a voiceover artist and actor, with various credits in television and radio during the 1970s and '80s. Moss was also known for his eclectic outside pursuits: as a children's author, editorial cartoonist, classically-trained trombonist and even a one-time model.

"He was one of the first irreverent announcers. No one did that in the '50s on WQXR," said Anne Moss, referring to the somber, serious reportorial manner of the day. "Lloyd was a segue to a more relaxed and conversational style.”

WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon said Moss's subtle deadpan style could made you sit up and listen. "My favorite example is something he tossed off one day after a cheese commercial,” said Spurgeon. “The spot ended, and Lloyd opened the mic and said, 'What a friend we have in cheeses.' And then he simply gave the weather forecast and introduced whatever piece of music came next, never even winking an eye to the audience."

Moss's interest in music began as a child in Brooklyn, where his father owned a beauty shop that played WQXR on the radio.   Starting in 1946, Moss worked as a radio announcer for stations in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Long Island, as well as WNYC, before joining Voice of America. Because Moss had learned Japanese during his stint in Korea, he was able to get a job as a producer for the Japanese desk. That came to an end when the network moved to Washington, DC. Moss auditioned for WQXR, was hired a relief announcer in 1954, and joined the staff in June 1955.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

FCC Nears Okay Of ATT, DirecTV Merger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc <T.N> is close to wrapping up its deal to buy DirecTV <DTV.O> as U.S. telecom and antitrust regulators signaled a green light for the $48.5 billion merger that would create the country's largest pay-TV company.

The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Tuesday recommended that the five-member commission vote to approve the merger, and the Justice Department said the deal did not pose a significant risk to competition.

AT&T and the FCC have spent recent weeks negotiating the conditions of the deal that combines the No. 2 wireless carrier with the largest satellite-TV provider, giving DirecTV a broadband product and AT&T new avenues of growth beyond the maturing wireless service. The deal was announced in May 2014.

The proposed approval includes a requirement that AT&T build out high-speed Internet connections to 12.5 million customer locations and share with the FCC all traffic exchange agreements it strikes with content and web transit companies.

AT&T would also pledge to count its affiliated video services toward any data caps on fixed broadband connections, according to the proposed conditions.

In a first for the FCC, Wheeler is also seeking to set up an independent officer to help ensure AT&T complies with the conditions in the long run.

Wheeler's outlined conditions mark an end of negotiations between the company and the agency as the FCC sought to make sure that the merger serves the public interest. The Justice Department ensures that mergers comply with antitrust law.

Video companies Netflix Inc <NFLX.O> and Dish Network Corp <DISH.O>, traffic company Cogent Communications Holdings Inc <CCOI.O> and others had pushed for limitations to AT&T's power to slow down or charge fees for the web traffic traveling through its networks, as well as protections for rival video services.

"The commitments that the proposed FCC order includes, if adopted, will provide significant benefits to millions of subscribers," Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer said in a statement.

AT&T welcomed the Justice Department's completion of the review and said it was looking forward to the FCC approval to begin providing consumers "the benefits of this combination."

The company had earlier committed to expand access to broadband service in rural areas and to offer standalone Internet service at speeds of at least 6 Megabits per second to ensure consumers can access rival video services online.

The success of the merger in passing regulatory muster is in sharp contrast to the recently derailed rival mega-merger between cable and Internet providers Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> and Time Warner Cable Inc <TWC.N>.
That deal was rejected in April largely over the combined companies' reach into the broadband market.
Comcast's smaller competitor Charter Communications Inc <CHTR.O> has bid $56 billion for Time Warner Cable.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Additional reporting by Malathi Nayak in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler and Bernard Orr)

Apple Drops After Earnings Report

While the company beat expectations for revenue and earnings, iPhone sales were softer than expected, leading to stock falling over 7% in after hours trading, according to Business Insider.

Here are all the big numbers:
  • Revenue: $49.6 billion, up 33% annually, versus analyst expectations of $49.4 billion
  • iPhone units: 47.5 million, up 35%, versus analyst expectations of 48.8 million (the whisper number was 50 million)
  • iPad units: 10.9 million, down 18%, versus analyst expectations of 10.9 million
  • Mac units: 4.8 million versus 4.9 million
  • Cash: $203 billion
  • Revenue guidance: $49 billion-$51 billion versus $51.06 billion
Overall, the numbers are good. But, analysts were getting all geeked up for a monster iPhone number, which didn't happen.

On the call, CEO Tim Cook explained, in part, why iPhone sales were below analyst expectations.

He said the company had 600,000 fewer iPhones in channel inventory. If those phones had been in the channel, then Apple would not have missed on iPhone units as badly. It would have also led to an extra $396 million in revenue, since the average selling price of the iPhone is $660.

Cook said the company tries to avoid having unnecessary inventory when possible. If he wanted to smash expectations, he would have shipped the extra 600,00 units, but he doesn't run the company to the 90 day drumbeat of earnings expectations, he said on the call..

Despite iPhone sales coming in short of expectations, it was still a strong quarter, with sales up 35% year over year.

The other thing of note from the call was information on the Apple Watch. Apple didn't provide any specific numbers, but it did say that sales were above internal expectations. It said the watch sold better in its first 9 weeks than the iPad sold in its first 9 weeks.

As For Apple Music, Cook stated “We’re thrilled by the response to Apple Music, which launched in over 100 countries on June 30.

“Millions and millions of customers are already experiencing the new service using the three-month trial period, and the numbers are growing substantially every day.”

Apple Music launched on iOS devices on June 30 offering users a three-month free trial.

Yahoo! Misses Q2 Earnings

Yahoo slightly beat top-line revenue expectations for the second quarter of 2015 — on with strong year-over-year growth in mobile, native, social and video ad sales — but posted earnings per share below Wall Street.

Variety reports the Internet-media company posted revenue of $1.04 billion and adjusted earnings of 16 cents per share. Analysts had expected Yahoo to post revenue of $1.03 billion and EPS of 18 cents.

Yahoo called out higher revenue in its “Mavens” businesses, which comprises mobile, video ads and video ad packages, native ads, and Tumblr ads and fees. Revenue in that segment was $399 million for Q2, compared with $249 million in the year-ago period.

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Peoria Radio: The Kane Show Gets Energy

Peoria’s Energy WNGY 102.3 FM has announced the addition of The Kane Show to the station’s weekday morning lineup.

The Kane Show is hosted by Kane, along with co-hosts Danni Starr and Intern John, sidekick Rose, and producers Erick and Scott. The high-energy program features music, conversations on the latest news and hot topics, Hollywood gossip, contests, call-in interaction with listeners, plus interviews with the biggest celebrities in music and pop culture.

WNGY 102.3 FM (4.1 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WNGY Program Director Chris Stewart commented on the announcement, “Being from Tampa, I’m extremely familiar with Kane and what The Kane Show brings to this brand. It’s a perfect show to help us energize Peoria.”

“I’m excited to join Energy 102.3,” shared Kane. “Thanks to the team at WNGY-FM and Chris Stewart for the opportunity to wake up Peoria – the crew and I can’t wait to get started!”

Philly Radio: Michael Tearson Departs SiriusXM

Michael Tearson
After 12 years on the air at SiriusXM, veteran Philadelphia DJ Michael Tearson has announced he has done his last show. Citing unhappiness with programming changes, Tearson made his announcement Monday morning. His last show was Sunday night.

“It’s really something that’s been brewing for several months,” Tearson said. “I got to be unhappy with the way they were evolving the channel. It was time for me to walk way from it.”

Tearson pre-recorded his weekend shifts on air on Deep Tracks, on the platform’s classic rock deep cuts channel, from his home studio. He’d made his final decision to leave the company after recording last weekend’s shows on Thursday, alluding to his departure by dropping little hints throughout his breaks — like how Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” was “uncommonly appropriate” in his life currently.

“I did the last show knowing it was the last show, but they didn’t know,” he said. reports The 48-year radio veteran got his start in Philadelphia at WXPN and then moved on to WMMR and WMGK until jumping on to SiriusXM in 2003.

Research: Minorities In Newsroom Slide, Women Gain

Women and minorities research highlights:
  • Mixed minority numbers in TV
  • Mostly down minority numbers in radio
  • Record numbers of women in TV and women in TV news leadership
The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the minority workforce in TV news slid 0.2 to 22.2%... still the third highest level ever. And the minority workforce at non-Hispanic TV stations rose this year to the third highest level ever as well.

 The minority workforce in radio fell back from last year's high. The minority workforce in radio fell by 3.2... with all minority groups dropping except Asian Americans. The biggest fall came among Hispanic/Latino. Non-commercial stations did a little better in diversity than commercial ones, but the differences weren't large. The bigger the market, the more diverse the radio news staff.

In TV, women news directors and women in the workforce both rose to the highest levels ever. The picture for women in radio news was more mixed.

Still, as far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 25 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 11.5 points; but the minority workforce in TV news is up less than half that (4.4), and the minority workforce in radio is actually down by a full point.

Women TV news directors edged up from last year's record high 30.8% to a new record of 31%.    At 42.3%, women are at the highest percentage of the TV news work force ever.

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