Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 29 Radio History

In Harry Bartell was born in New Orleans. With his rather youthful sounding voice, Bartell was one of the busiest West Coast character actors from the early 1940s until the final end of network radio drama in the 1960s.

He was the Petri Wines announcer who interacted with “Dr. Watson” on 1940’s episodes of “The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” and in the ’60’s was the announcer on CBS Radio’s “Dear Abby.”  His TV acting credits include Gunsmoke and Dragnet plus Get Smart, I Love Lucy, Wild Wild West, and The Twilight Zone.

He died Feb. 26 2004 at age 90.

In 1917...announcer George Walsh was born in Cleveland. He became known as the voice of “Gunsmoke” after he introduced the western series on CBS radio for nearly a decade, then followed the show to television as its announcer.  He was a newscaster at KNX-AM (1070) from 1952 to 1986.   Walsh was the voice of “Music ‘Til Dawn,” featuring mainly classical music which aired overnight from 1952 until about 1970.

He died of congestive heart failure Dec. 5 2005 at age 88.

In singer/songwriter Merle Travis was born in Rosewood Kentucky.  He was first heard regularly on WLW radio Cincinnati as a member of The Drifting Pioneers.  His writing successes include 16 Tons, Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette, & Petal from a Faded Rose.  His big singing hit was the Re-enlistment Blues in From Here to Eternity.

Merle suffered a fatal heart attack Oct 20, 1983 and died at age 65.

In host & humourist Herb Shriner was born in Toledo. He hosted Herb Shriner Time, a quarter-hour daily on CBS Radio in the late 40’s.  He found TV success as host of the 50’s quiz show Two for the Money. He died (as did his wife) in an car accident April 23 1970 when the brakes on his vintage Studebaker failed. Shriner was 51.

In 1927...legendary sportscaster Vin Scully was born in the Bronx NY.

His 60-plus-year tenure with the Brooklyn & LA Dodgers is the longest of any broadcaster with a single club in professional sports history. Scully has called six World Series championships and 14 National League pennants for the club.

Vin Scully cica 50s
After serving in the United States Navy for two years, Scully began his career as a student broadcaster and journalist at Fordham University. While at Fordham, he helped found its FM radio station WFUV (which now presents a Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award each year), was assistant sports editor for Volume 28 of The Fordham Ram his senior year, sang in a barbershop quartet, played center field for the Fordham Rams baseball team, called radio broadcasts for Rams baseball, football, and basketball, earned a degree, and sent about 150 letters to stations along the Eastern seaboard. He received only one response, from CBS Radio affiliate WTOP in Washington, which made him a fill-in.

Scully was then recruited by Red Barber, the sports director of the CBS Radio Network, for its college football coverage. Scully impressed his boss with his coverage of a November 1949 University of Maryland versus Boston University football game from frigid Fenway Park in Boston, despite having to do so from the stadium roof. Expecting an enclosed press box, Scully had left his coat and gloves at his hotel, but never mentioned his discomfort on the air.  Barber mentored Scully and told him that if he wanted to be a successful sports announcer he should never be a "homer", never listen to other announcers, and keep his opinions to himself.

In 1950, Scully joined Barber and Connie Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers radio and television booths. When Barber got into a salary dispute with World Series sponsor Gillette in 1953, Scully took Barber's spot for the 1953 World Series. At the age of 25, Scully became the youngest man to broadcast a World Series game. Barber left the Dodgers after the 1953 season to work for the New York Yankees. Scully eventually became the team's principal announcer. Scully announced the Dodgers' games in Brooklyn until 1957, after which the club moved to Los Angeles.

In 1929...NBC begins use of the chimes.

The NBC chimes came to their familiar configuration and sound after several years of on-air development. They were first broadcast over NBC's Red and Blue networks on November 29, 1929. However, there are disagreements about the original source of the idea. One story is that they came from WSB in Atlanta, Georgia, which allegedly used it for its own purposes until one day someone at NBC's headquarters in New York City heard the WSB version of the notes during a networked broadcast of a Georgia Tech football game and asked permission to use it on the national network.

NBC Xylophone circa 1930
The company tested the chimes during 1927 and 1928, when it experimented with several possible combinations of notes. The first sequence consisted of the seven notes G-C-G-E-G-C-E. However, since the original NBC chime was an actual set of four-note chimes made by the J.C. Deagan Company, which the announcer would play 30 seconds before the end of every half-hour to signal the end of a program, it was left to the announcers to play this trademark sequence without error, which was unavoidable with such a lengthy cue. The chime sequence was shortened to G-C-G-E and then, on November 29, 1929, the cue was shortened for the final time, and the three well-known notes G-E-C were heard on NBC radio for the first time.

Despite the relative simplicity and efficiency of the new, shorter chime sequence, problems still existed in other musical aspects of the sequence, such as the tempo, rhythm, and volume at which it was played, as well as the musical tone of the set chimes. Therefore the NBC chimes were mechanized in 1932 with a unit that could play the sequence perfectly and consistently. Richard H. Ranger, a former Radio Corporation of America (RCA) engineer who also invented an early form of the modern fax machine, invented the NBC chime machine that generated the notes by means of finely tuned metal reeds that were plucked by fingers on a revolving drum, much like a music box.

The technical purpose of the mechanical chimes was to send a low level audio signal of constant amplitude that would be heard by the various switching stations manned by NBC and AT&T engineers, but not disturb the listening audience. This would serve as the system cue for switching the myriad local stations between the NBC Red Network and NBC Blue Network feeds as scheduled, as well as signalling the pause for local station identification immediately thereafter. In essence, it was the audio equivalent of a traffic signal. Because of fears of offending commercial sponsors by cutting their live network programs off mid-sentence, the mechanized chimes were always rung by an announcer pushing a button in conjunction with the program’s conclusion; they were never set to an automatic timer, although heavy discussions on the subject were held between the Engineering and Programming departments throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

On November 20, 1947, NBC filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make the chimes a registered service mark for identification of radio broadcasting services, the first such audible service mark to be filed with that office. Registration was granted on April 4, 1950; the registration number was 0523616, serial number 71541873. This registration expired on November 3, 1992, as NBC Radio became part of broadcasting history. However a separate service mark registration was made in 1971 for identification of television broadcasting services (serial 72349496, registration 0916522). While this registration is still active, the chime was heard for the final time on the NBC television channel in 1976, the 50-year anniversary of the chime; the chime is now used only for various smaller purposes on the network.

The Fourth Chime

The variant sequence B - D + G = G, based on a G-major arpeggio in second inversion, was known as "the fourth chime". An NBC Interdepartment Correspondence memo, dated April 7, 1933, documents the conception and initial purpose of the fourth chime.

The memo states "In anticipation of the Spring and Summer months, when many in key positions will not always be available at home telephones, the following Emergency Call System will go into effect on Monday morning, April 16."

The memo goes on to say that whenever a fourth tone is heard on the network chimes rung at 15-minute intervals, it will indicate that someone on an attached list is wanted. Upon hearing this fourth chime, all personnel on the list are instructed to call in to the PBX operator to ascertain whether or not the Emergency Call is for them. The chime would continue at 15-minute intervals over stations WEAF and WJZ until the wanted person communicated with the PBX operator. The list contained the names of the following NBC executives:

The "fourth chime" was also used to notify affiliates and their employees of pending urgent programming. This variant saw such use during wartime (especially in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor) and other disasters, most notably the Hindenburg disaster in 1937. According to NBC historians, the last official use of the "fourth chime" was in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II. However, according to a handwritten note appended to an NBC internal memo originally dated 1964 on the history and usage of the standard chime, this chime variant was used one final time in 1985 to symbolize the merger with GE.

John Gary
In 1932...singer John Gary was born in Watertown NY.  He got his start singing on Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club on ABC Radio. Gary had his own TV variety show, starting as a summer replacement for Danny Kaye.  He produced 23 albums for RCA. As an inventor he secured two patents on underwater propulsion devices.

John Gary died Jan 4 1998 at age 65.

In of the earliest police ‘true crime’ radio dramas Calling All Cars debuted on the CBS West Coast network.  The writer was William N. Robson, who later would be the celebrated producer of Suspense.

In 1941...the passenger ship, "Lurline", sent a radio signal after sighting a Japanese war fleet in the Pacific.

In 1964...Dean "Dino On Your Radio" Anthony debuted on Top40 WMCA 570 AM, New York.  Anthony was one of the famous WMCA jocks from the 1960s, but he spent even more years building WHLI into a fine popular-standards station. He was a host there right up until his death.

In 1969...the Beatles' "Come Together," single went to #1 on Radio.

In 1985...voice actor Bill Scott (Bullwinkle J. Moose, Dudley Do-Right) suffered a fatal  heart attack at age 65. Scott never received an on-screen credit for his voice acting on any of the Ward series

Gene Rayburn
In 1999...Gene Rayburn, host of the TV game show Match Game and a host on the NBC Radio Weekend Show 'Monitor', died at 81.

Before appearing in television, Rayburn was a very successful actor and radio performer. He had a popular morning drive time radio show in New York City, first with Jack Lescoulie (Anything Goes) and later with Dee Finch (Rayburn & Finch) on WNEW (now WBBR). Radio history pegs Rayburn's pairings with Lescoulie and Finch as the first two-man teams in morning radio.  When Rayburn left WNEW, Dee Finch continued the format with Gene Klavan.

Rayburn later landed the lead in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie when Dick Van Dyke left the production to star in his eponymous classic sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Listen to an aircheck from 1964 with Rayburn hosting NBC Radio Network's weekend Monitor Show. Click Here.


2001...Singer/songwriter Beatle George Harrison died of lung cancer at the age of 58. Speaking outside his home northwest of London, Paul McCartney said, "I am devastated and very, very sad." Ringo Starr, speaking from Vancouver, British Columbia said, "We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter."

In 2008...legendary "Boss Radio" programmer, Bill Drake, died of lung cancer. He was 71.

Bill Drake
Born Phillip Yarbrough, he chose his last name from among his relatives' surnames, because it rhymed with "WAKE", the station in Atlanta, where he worked as a programmer and disc-jockey in the late 1950s.  Later, Bartell Broadcasting, who owned WAKE that he had programmed to number one, transferred him to KYA in San Francisco, which also became number one.

It was later at KYNO in Fresno, California that he met Gene Chenault, who became his business partner. Together, the pair developed highly influential radio programming strategies and tactics, as well as working with future "Boss Jocks".

Drake-Chenault perfected the Top 40 radio format, which had been created by Todd Storz, Gordon McLendon and other radio programmers in the late 1950s, which took a set list of popular songs and repeated them all day long, ensuring the widest possible audience for the station's music. Jingles, news updates, traffic, and other features were designed to make Top 40 radio particularly attractive to car listeners. By early 1964, the era of the British Invasion, Top 40 radio had become the dominant radio format for North American listeners.

Drake streamlined the Top 40 format, using modern methods, such as market research and ratings demographics, to maximize the number of listeners. He believed in forward momentum, limiting the amount of disc jockey chatter, the number of advertisements and playing only the top hits, as opposed to less-organized programming methods of the past. Drake created concepts such as 20/20 News and counter programming, by playing music sweeps, while his competitors aired news. Drake-Chenault controlled everything from the specific DJs that were hired, to radio contests, visual logos, promotions and commercial policy. Drake essentially put radio back into the hands of programming, instead of sales. Drake hired the Johnny Mann Singers to produce the Boss Radio jingles, ensuring a bright, high-energy sound that engaged the listener, while providing a bridge from song to song.

After turning around the fortunes of Fresno's KYNO, Drake applied similar tactics to take KGB, from 14th to 1st in San Diego. KGB's owner, Willett Brown, suggested to his fellow RKO board members, that Drake could turn KHJ around.

In the Spring of 1965, Drake-Chenault were hired to turn KHJ in Los Angeles, from a financial and ratings loser into a success. Drake hired Ron Jacobs as program director, Robert W. Morgan in the mornings and "The Real Don Steele" in the afternoons. KHJ quickly jumped from near-obscurity, to the number one radio station in Los Angeles. Although it was criticized, "Boss Radio" moved faster and sounded more innovative than the competition, making it the #1 choice over competitors in Southern California.

Bill Drake also programmed KFRC in San Francisco, WOR-FM in New York, KAKC in Tulsa, WHBQ in Memphis, WUBE (AM) in Cincinnati, WRKO in Boston and 50,000 watt CKLW, in Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River from the city of Detroit.

Disney Falls on ESPN Decline, Dragging Down Media Stocks

Shares of Walt Disney Co. dropped the most in three months Friday after thecompany reported that its ESPN sports network lost 3 million subscribers in a year, reviving concerns about shrinking demand for traditional pay-TV packages and dragging down U.S. media stocks.

Subscriptions to the ESPN sports network, Disney’s most profitable channel, fell 3.2 percent to 92 million at end of October, according to a filing Wednesday after the market closed. ESPN’s subscriber totals had hovered around 100 million for years.

According to Bloomberg News, the report put a number on the extent of ESPN’s declines, after Disney chief executive Bob Iger told investors in August that the channel had experienced “some modest” subscriber losses. Those comments, and Disney’s darkened outlook about its cable TV businesses, sparked a sell-off in media stocks at the time. They highlighted the impact of cord cutting — Americans who drop traditional pay-TV packages for cheaper online alternatives such as Netflix and Hulu — on the entire television industry.

The “filing simply confirmed media investors’ fears that the big cable bundle, which has been good to all in the media ecosystem, may be under threat,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

The decline equates to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue and helps explain why ESPN has made cost-cutting personnel moves over the past year, letting go high-priced talent such as Colin Cowherd, Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons. The network also is hamstrung by signing a nine-year, $24 billion deal to carry the NBA.

Friday’s declines show investors’ nervousness about the media industry since the August meltdown, which erased $60 billion in market capitalization in two days. While Disney reassured investors this month by posting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, media stocks tanked on Nov. 4 after Time Warner lowered its 2016 earnings outlook.

Murdoch: Tribune Papers Likely To Be Sold

By Dan Levine

(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch, co-chairman of Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp, on Friday said he had "strong word" that the Tribune Publishing Co's newspaper group will be bought by a Wall Street firm, while the Los Angeles Times will be split off and purchased by local investors including philanthropist Eli Broad.

Rupert Mrudoch
Murdoch, who is also co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, the entertainment and broadcast group, made his comments on Twitter.

In September Tribune's board said the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune were "a cornerstone of our company's portfolio and a key component to our success in the future."

Murdoch did not say on his verified Twitter account which firm would acquire the newspaper group or the timing of any deal. Murdoch tweeted that he did not bid and had no interest.

A Los Angeles Times representative referred questions to a Tribune Co spokesman, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for Broad, who has previously expressed an interest in the Los Angeles Times, declined to comment.

The Tribune Co in September reduced its financial guidance for the year, which it attributed to challenges in Southern California. It replaced the Los Angeles Times publisher around the same time.

Other newspapers published by the Tribune Co include the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, SunSentinel and Orlando Sentinel.

Tribune shares closed at $9.29 on Friday, down nearly 25 percent from $12.24 on Aug. 31.

November 28 Radio History

George Hay
In 1925..."The Grand Ole Opry" debuted on WSM, Nashville under the name "Barn Dance". The first artist to perform on the show was fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson.

It didn't settle on a name until June 1928. The Opry got its name by an unusual coincidence: Soon after Program Director George D. Hay started his show, WSM radio joined the NBC radio network. Since the program followed a performance on the network called the Metropolitan Grand Opera. So, Hay decided to call his program the Grand Ole Opry.

Hay was born in Attica, Indiana. In Memphis, Tennessee, after World War I, he was a reporter for the Commercial Appeal, and when the newspaper launched its own radio station, WMC, in January 1923, he became a late-night announcer at the station. His popularity increased and in May 1924 he left for WLS in Chicago, where he served as the announcer on a program that became National Barn Dance.

On November 9, 1925 he moved on to WSM in Nashville. Getting a strong listener reaction to 78-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Hay announced the following month that WSM would feature "an hour or two" of old-time music every Saturday night. He promoted the music and formed a booking agency.

In the 1930s the show began hiring professionals and expanded to four hours; and WSM, broadcasting by then with 50,000 watts, made the program a Saturday night musical tradition in nearly 30 states. In 1939, it debuted nationally on NBC Radio. The Opry moved to a permanent home, the Ryman Auditorium, in 1943. As it developed in importance, so did the city of Nashville, which became America's "country music capital". The Grand Ole Opry holds such significance in Nashville that its name is included on the city/county line signs on all major roadways. The signs read "Music City | Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County | Home of the Grand Ole Opry".

Membership in the Opry remains one of country music's crowning achievements. Such country music legends as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Roy Acuff, the Carter family, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells and Minnie Pearl became regulars on the Opry's stage. In recent decades, the Opry has hosted such contemporary country stars as Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton and the Dixie Chicks. Since 1974, the show has been broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry House east of downtown Nashville, with an annual three-month winter foray back to the Ryman since 1999.

The Grand Ole Opry is broadcast live on WSM-AM at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday nights.

The Opry can also be heard live on Willie's Roadhouse on channel 59 on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. A condensed radio program, America's Opry Weekend, is syndicated to stations around the United States. The program is also streamed on WSM's website.

ABC broadcast the Grand Old Opry as a monthly series from 1955–56. PBS televised annual live performances from 1978 to 1981.  In 1985, The Nashville Network began airing an edited half-hour version of the program as Grand Ole Opry Live; the show moved to Country Music Television (expanding to an hour in the process), and then to the Great American Country (GAC) cable network with its Opry Live show currently on hiatus.

In 1932...Groucho Marx performed on radio for the first time.

In 1960...The CBS Radio Network expanded its hourly news coverage from 5 to 10 minutes.

In 1960..."Are You Lonesome Tonight" by Elvis Presley peaked at number one on the pop singles chart.

In 1987...Pat St. John debuted on WNEW-FM, New York City. He was previously at WPLJ.

In & TV host Garry Moore died of emphysema at age 78.  He successfully combined genial humor with a pleasant personality and relaxed style that made him a favorite with audiences, both radio & TV, whether in a variety format or on panel shows. (I’ve Got a Secret, To Tell the Truth.)

In 2011...Comedian/Radio personality (Opie and Anthony) Patrice O'Neal died of complications from a stroke suffered the previous month at the age of 41.

Friday, November 27, 2015

NYC Radio: Geraldo Rivera Leaving WABC Radio

Talk Show host Geraldo Rivera believes he's on the way out at WABC 770 AM.  Rivera today posted a message on Facebook which stated he has been informed that current Cumulus suits are not going to honor a handshake deal he said made with former corporate programming chief John Dickey. The handshake deal was meant to continue his local radio deal with Cumulus for another year without a formal contract, according to Rivera.

Rivera said he found out about it Wednesday and stated, "On the eve of Thanksgiving is especially (the news is) upsetting."

There has been no confirmation or statement from Cumulus Corporate.

To fans of my #77WABCradio show this may be goodbye. I’ve just been informed by the new...
Posted by Geraldo Rivera on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rivera is also a pundit for the Fox News Channel.

Analysts: Turkey Day Shopping A "Bust", Friday Fizzles

Target had its biggest online shopping day ever on Thanksgiving, according to Business Insider.

"Demand outpaced 2014's record Thanksgiving performance, making it Target's biggest day for online sales yet," the retailer said in a release.

The record-breaking sales online were driven by three items: the Apple iPad, the Apple Watch, and the Wii U gaming console, the company said.

Target sold nearly all of its Black Friday doorbusters online beginning Thanksgiving morning. Because of the promotion, the brand saw a 35% increase in customers picking up items in stores.

Reuters report crowds were thin at U.S. stores and shopping malls in the early hours of Black Friday and on Thanksgiving evening as shoppers responded to early holiday discounts with caution and bad weather hurt turnout.

Bargain hunters found relatively little competition compared with previous years. Some on Friday morning said they had already shopped online or visited the mall the night before. That reflects the new normal of U.S. holiday shopping, where stores open up with deals on Thanksgiving Thursday itself, rather than waiting until Black Friday.

In an effort to attract the most eager holiday shoppers and fend off competition from Inc, U.S. retailers have increasingly extended their holiday deals by opening stores on the evening of Thanksgiving.

That has hurt Black Friday sales in previous years, a trend analysts expect will continue this year.

"We believe Thanksgiving shopping was a bust," analysts at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey said in a research note. "Members of our team who went to the malls first had no problem finding parking or navigating stores."

Scott Tuhy, vice-president at Moody's who tracks companies like Macy's Inc (M.N), said crowds on Thursday evening in New Jersey were steady but not busy. He said some stores saw a fair amount of activity around orders that were placed online and picked up in stores.

The Macy's store at Water Tower Place mall on a rainy Chicago morning saw thin crowds in the early hours of Friday after a fairly busy Thanksgiving evening, store associates said.


Shoppers in the United States spent more than $1 billion online, 22-percent more than last year, between midnight and 5 pm ET on Thursday, according to the Adobe Digital Index, which tracked 100 million visits to 4,500 U.S. retail sites.

Many stores around the country were full on Thanksgiving evening. Local media reported brawling shoppers at a packed Kentucky mall on Thursday, forcing a police officer to intervene and break up the fight.

Early Black Friday discounts included $700 off a 60-inch Samsung television at Best Buy for $799.99, 20 percent off a $75 purchase at Target, and a Kindle for $49.99 on

As much as 20 percent of holiday shopping is expected to be done over the Thanksgiving weekend this year, analysts said. The four-day shopping burst will help set the tone for the rest of the season, signaling to retailers whether they need to drop prices or change promotions.

ESPN Losing Subscribers By The Millions

Confirming what some on Wall Street have been suspecting for a while, Walt Disney Co. has revealed that it lost three million subscribers to its sports network ESPN within one year.

According to Marketwatch, the ESPN faithful are down to 92 million as of the fiscal year ended Oct. 3., Disney said in a regulatory filing dated Wednesday. That compares with 95 million for fiscal year 2014, and 99 million for 2013. It also brings customer numbers back to where they were 10 years ago, a level of 92 million for 2006.

In August, Chief Executive Robert Iger revealed the sports powerhouse channel had experienced “some subscriber losses.” Wall Street punished Disney shares after the media giant said its cable business — which is largely driven by ESPN — would see operating income growth in the “mid-single digits”. That was a step down from a previous forecast, which saw “high single digit” income growth between fiscal 2013 and 2016.

Nielsen data has revealed that subscription growth for ESPN has been waning since 2011. Disney pays around $2 billion a year for NFL football games and will pay $1.4 billion to the NBA starting in 2016. Both of these deals have raised analyst concerns about whether the company is paying too much.

ESPN subscribers paid just over $6 each on average a month for the service in 2014. Based on that, the loss of 3 million subscribers in one year would be taking around $216 million away from Disney’s coffers.

Disney Channel, Disney XD and ABC Family, all Disney-owned, each had 4-5 million lost subscribers over the two year period, according to the company’s annual 10K report.

Portland OR Radio: John Canzano Re-Ups with KXTG

KXTG 750 AM (50 Kw-D, 20 Kw-N)
Sports radio host John Canzano have agreed to extend the successful run of Bald Faced Truth sports radio show on Alpha Media's KXTG 750 AM and K275CH 102.9-FM The Game.

Alpha signed Canzano to a long-term extension this week that will keep The Game’s longest running sports talk show on the company’s flagship Portland-based station. Bald Faced Truth airs 12:00pm-3:00pm weekdays.

Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming, Scott Mahalick commented on the announcement, “Renewing a seasoned professional varsity multimedia broadcast talent like John Canzano is the perfect centerpiece to The Game’s talent roster.

Canzano has been with The Game since its launch in 2008 and also serves as the lead sports columnist at The Oregonian and a sports commentator at KGW-TV, Portland’s NBC affiliate. Canzano’s social media following includes more than 65,000 followers.

His show guests have ranged from national figures such as President Obama to Mike Tyson and regular spirited exchanges with the local sports athletes and coaches.

“John Canzano is a multi-media Portland sports brand that Alpha Media is thrilled to extend to 750/102.9 The Game for many years to come,” remarked Alpha Media Senior Vice President/Market Manager, Milt McConnell. “John’s ability to get big name sports personalities and unique insights on our local sports franchises provide some of the most compelling content on local radio.”

Canzano is a seven-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner in column writing and investigative reporting.

K275CH 102.9 FM (99 watts)
In 2008, he was named America’s No. 1 sports columnist by the APSE. Talkers magazine named The Bald Faced Truth one of the Top 20 local radio shows in the country in 2014. Also, Canzano is a five-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year.

“Today’s sports talk listener wants great local talk; unbiased and truthful,” added Canzano.

“It’s why my show and The Game connect so deeply with listeners. I’m proud to sign a long-term contract to be part of a sports station that is surging forward, offering the audience rich programming and big ideas while so many others are shrinking.”

The Game current airs the Dan Patrick show (6-9a), Jim Rome (9a-12p) followed by Canzano’s show from noon to 3 p.m. The Game’s afternoon drive show is “Afternoons with Fletch and Chop” from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Trump Denies Mocking NY Times Reporter

(Reuters) --Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump denied on Thursday he was mocking the physical disability of a New York Times reporter during a campaign speech in which he flailed his arms and distorted his speech in an imitation of the journalist.

The latest uproar over Trump's behavior on the campaign trail was ignited by remarks the billionaire real-estate tycoon and former reality-TV star made during a South Carolina rally on Tuesday about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York's World Trade Center.

Trump, front-runner for his party's nomination for the November, 2016 election, was defending his unsubstantiated assertions that thousands of Muslims were seen in New Jersey cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers. During the speech, he singled out Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for a story he wrote a few days after the attacks while he was then a Washington Post correspondent.

That article reported authorities had detained "a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river." Those accounts have never been authenticated.

Kovaleski himself said in a recent CNN interview that he did "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds of people celebrating. That was not the case, as best I can remember."

While not referring to Kovaleski by name in his speech, Trump accused the reporter of backing down from his own story.

"Now, the poor guy - you've got to see this guy. 'Ah, I don't know what I said. I don't remember,'" Trump said at the microphone, jerking his arms in front of his body and slurring his words in a crude impression of the reporter.

Kovaleski suffers from a congenital condition called arthrogryposis, which limits mobility and muscle development in the joints.

The New York Times issued a statement on Thursday rebuking Trump, saying, "We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters."

Trump fired back on social media, denying he had made fun of Kovaleski's disability or would even recognize him.

"I merely mimicked what I thought would be a flustered reporter trying to get out of a statement he made long ago," Trump wrote. "If Mr. Kovaleski is handicapped, I would not know because I do not know what he looks like. If I did know, I would definitely not say anything about his appearance."

He also accused Kovaleski of "using his disability to grandstand."

In an interview for the Times, Kovaleski said he was certain Trump remembers him from his days covering the real estate developer for the New York Daily News in the 1980s, and that the two were "on a first-name basis for years."

"The sad part about it is, it didn't in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record," the Washington Post quoted him saying in a separate interview.

Report: HLN To Get Revamped

After veering from trial coverage to viral videos, HLN, formerly Headline News, will look more like sister news network CNN and less like a social media experiment.

The NY Post reports CNN boss Jeff Zucker as saying HLN would become more closely allied with CNN’s own content, likely running its library of documentaries, according to a memo to staffers that announced the exit of HLN chief Albie Hecht.

While Hecht had held meetings with programming suppliers on the West Coast as recently as this month, his exit came as little surprise to some of the network’s partners, who say it was clear that seizing on social media buzz wasn’t working for the network.

Jeff Zucker
“They realized the millennial strategy was nonsense,” said one source.

Zucker hasn’t started a search to replace Hecht, according to sources, who added that other staff may exit as the network’s schedule gets revamped.

One source said Hecht had not been a Zucker hire and that Zucker knew six months ago that he wanted to make a change.

Hecht joined in September 2013 as vice president and general manager at HLN, but was never a traditional choice. He had success in launching Viacom’s male-skewing Spike network, but little traditional news experience.

This time last year, Time Warner had been in talks with Vice co-founder Shane Smith about transforming HLN into a Vice-branded TV channel. Those talks foundered over valuation among other issues.

Ex-Producer Accused of Threatening Opie

Greg Hughes
A disgruntled ex-producer for​​ “Opie and Anthony” has been busted for allegedly harassing and stalking the cohost of the former talk radio show.

According to the NY Post, 40-year-old Benjamin Sparks sent Gregg Hughes aka Opie over 40 insulting text messages for two days beginning Sept. 18, the criminal complaint states.

Ben Sparks
“F—king law breaking piece of sh–t you are. Have fun. I got you,” Sparks allegedly texted Hughes who now hosts the Sirius Satellite Radio show “Opie with Jim Norton.”

“Everyone wants to take you down,” the irate former employee continued with his hateful barrage. “Get ready for many lawsuits. I have good lawyers. Looking forward to taking your money.”

Hughes repeatedly told Sparks, who was arrested in October, to stop contacting him but to no avail, court papers show.

November 27 Radio History

In 1901...early radio sportscaster Ted Husing was born in the Bronx NY.

For CBS he covered events as diverse as boxing, horse racing, track and field, regattas, seven World Series, tennis, golf, four Olympic Games, Indianapolis 500 motor racing, and especially college football, where he laid down much of the structure of football play-by-play that is still used today.

Husing died of a brain tumour Aug. 10 1962 at age 60.

In 1960...the CBS Radio Network canceled "Have Gun Will Travel".

In 1962...In London, the Beatles recorded their first BBC radio session, performing "Twist and Shout," "Love Me Do," and "P.S. I Love You." The tracks aired later on the BBC program "Talent Spot."

In 1975...Bill Winters WCBS 101.1 FM personality passed.

Bill Winters
Winters worked in Tampa Bay in the early to mid 1960’s, first at WALT (mid-days) in 1963-64, and then WLCY. He also went on to work at Miami’s WQAM. During his short career, he held down shifts at some pretty impressive stations, including wakeup duty beginning in early 1968 at WPOP Hartford. There, he achieved the station’s highest Pulse ratings ever and, as a pivotal member of its “BOSS”ketball team, once broke two toes during a benefit game.

During a year out to serve with Uncle Sam, Bill worked part-time at WFBS in Spring Lake, NC, and then returned to mornings at WPOP. This time, he was billed as “The Big Kahuna – World Champion Surfer and 14th Degree Black Belt with Red Strikers.”

Early in his career, Bill worked at some fairly small stations, paying his dues at WCEC, WFMA-FM, and WEED AM/FM, all in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina, WGAI Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and WHAP Hopewell, Virginia. Later stops (and bigger stations) included WKYC Cleveland, CKLW Detroit, WCAO Baltimore, WBZ Boston, WCBS-FM New York (mid-days), and WIBG Philadelphia.

Bill’s career was cut short when he died in 1975 at the age of 35.

In 1979...Chuck Leonard did his last show at WABC.

In 1981...The British Phonographic Industry, with support from musicians including Elton John, 10cc, Gary Numan, Cliff Richard, and the Boomtown Rats, placed ads in British newspapers claiming "Home taping is wiping out music."

In 1984...long time St. Louis Radio personality, Jack Carney, died. He is best remembered for his stints at WIL and KMOX.

Jack Carney
Carney took his first radio job in New Mexico and moved from job to job at small stations throughout the southwest early in his career. Carney then became a rock n’ roll disc jockey serving up the hits to teens in Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Boston.

Carney’s first job in St. Louis came on WIL Radio from 1958-1960. While at WIL, Carney came up with his alter ego character “Pookie Snackenburg.” Carney was lured away from WIL to work for a short time at WABC Radio/New York.

Carney’s second stint in St. Louis was at KMOX where he established a following and his place in the community. Taking over the morning spot from Jack Buck in 1971, Carney was an instant hit.

During his KMOX years, virtually every celebrity that passed through St. Louis stopped by to say hello to Jack Carney.Carney’s show on KMOX was a fixture in St. Louis for 13 years. Jack Carney died of a sudden heart attack at age 52.

Jack Carney was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 2006...Sportscaster (Cleveland Browns, WJW-TV)/radio sports talk host (WTAM, WERE) Kenneth "Casey" Coleman, Jr., son of play-by-play announcer Ken Coleman and a broadcaster in Cleveland for almost 30 years, died of pancreatic cancer at 55.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

We're Thankful For Our Blog Readers...

The first national Thanksgiving Day in the United States was proclaimed by President George Washington to celebrate the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

There was no annual national holiday after that until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in 1863 that a national Thanksgiving Day would be observed on the final Thursday in November.

It was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the national holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression.

Roosevelt's plan was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed the bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

WKRP's 'Turkeys Away' Episode

WKRP in Cincinnati was an American sitcom that featured the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI 790 AM in Atlanta. Many of the characters and even some of the stories (including season 1 episode 7, "Turkeys Away") are based on people and events at WQXI.

The ensemble cast consisted of Gary Sandy, Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Jan Smithers, Richard Sanders and Frank Bonner.

Like many other MTM productions, the humor came more from running gags based on the known predilections and quirks of each character, rather than from outlandish plots or racy situations,[citation needed] since the show has a realistic setting. The characters also developed somewhat over the course of the series.

The series received 10 Emmy Award nominations, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series.

WKRP premiered September 18, 1978 on the CBS television network, and aired for four seasons and 88 episodes through April 21, 1982. During the third and fourth seasons, CBS repeatedly moved the show around its schedule, contributing to lower ratings and its eventual cancellation.

Casey's Kids Sue Jean For Wrongful Death

Three of the radio personality Casey Kasem's children and his brother sued his widow on Wednesday, claiming her actions led to his death in 2014.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses Jean Kasem of elder abuse and inflicting emotional distress on Kasem's children from a previous marriage by restricting access to their father before his death.  The 28-page lawsuit gives a detailed account of Kasem's final days, including the extent of his ailments and the family infighting swirling around him.

"Casey's early death occurred as a direct and proximate result of Jean's neglect and physical abuse of Casey," the lawsuit states.

The longtime "American Top 40" host had a form of dementia and a severe bedsore when he died at age 82.

Billboard reports Kerri, Julie and Michael Kasem are joined in the lawsuit by their uncle, Mouner. The lawsuit seeks more than $250,000, although a jury would have to decide any damage award.

Prosecutors earlier this year declined to charge Jean Kasem with elder abuse, a decision that Kerri Kasem said Wednesday led to her family filing the civil case.

"We would rather see her in jail than receive one dime," Kerri Kasem said. "We don't care about the money. We care about justice."

"What she did to my father is reprehensible," Kerri Kasem said. "It's disgusting. It's horrific."

Casey and Jean Kasem were married for more than 30 years.

Casey Kasem's legacy reached well beyond music. His voice was heard as the character Shaggy in the "Scooby-Doo" TV cartoons and in numerous commercials.

His "American Top 40" began July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles. In his signoff, Casey Kasem's would tell viewers: "And don't forget: Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."

Lawyer Denies Sumner Redstone's Incompentence

(Reuters) - A lawyer for Sumner Redstone denied claims made by his ex-girlfriend in a lawsuit that the executive chairman of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp was mentally impaired and unable to make decisions.

The Los Angeles Times earlier reported that Manuela Herzer, one of the billionaire media mogul's former girlfriends, filed a probate lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, demanding that Redstone receive a mental examination to determine whether he could still make decisions for himself.

The lawsuit, which asks for the 92-year-old Redstone to be submitted to a brain scan, described him as mentally vacant, "listless" and prone to uncontrollable crying spells, according to the newspaper.

"Herzer's claim that she filed this lawsuit out of concern for Mr. Redstone is preposterous," Redstone's attorney Gabrielle Vidal told Reuters.

"It is a meritless action, riddled with lies, and a despicable invasion of his privacy. It proves only that Ms. Herzer will stop at nothing to pursue her personal financial agenda." Vidal said.

New Company Brings Search Engine to Online Radio, a new company from digital music pioneer Michael Robertson, is making online radio more discoverable while enabling users on messaging apps to share music instantly. Artists in this innovative configuration are still being compensated.

The new search technology tracks free online radio stations every second and determines what songs are being played at that exact moment. This technology opens up a vast library of popular songs, all of which can be searched, found and played in real time.

"Because Google doesn't index online radio streams, radio is invisible to searchers and radio companies are missing out on more than 100 million users per day,” says Chief Executive Officer of, Michael Robertson. "Our goal at is to make it one-click easy to find any song playing on the radio and to easily share those songs with friends, this ultimately drives more listeners to the great content on radio.” introduces three significant advancements for online radio.
  • Search and Play any Song Playing Anywhere in the World on Radio: Music fans can use to find songs or artists from free stations from around the world. Mobile users can use free Android or iOS apps while desktop users can use via a browser. Searches scan about 100,000 stations in under 100ms looking for matching songs. For songs available on multiple stations, the station nearest the beginning of the song will be suggested to users first. To hear a song, users connect directly to the broadcasting station where they'll hear whatever material is broadcast.
  • Song Sharing in any Messaging App:Using music lovers can share songs in any messaging app including Snapchat, WeChat, Twitter, Gmail, WhatsApp and others. To send a song users simply construct an URL appending either a song or artist name to the URL and send it to another user. A smart algorithm detects whether the link is a song or artist name, even if it is a partial name. When the recipient clicks the received URL, the free app will open and play the desired song or artist. If the song is not immediately available anywhere on radio, the user is notified when the song is expected to play on radio. A notification will be sent to the user when the song starts and they can tune to that station if they desire. 
  • Every song now has a freely accessible web page with Listening and Statistics: A web page has been constructed for every song played on radio. These web pages make it easy to listen to the song either immediately or to be notified the next time it’s broadcast anywhere on radio. Statistics are displayed showing song popularity, the stations that play the song and when the song is expected to play on radio. Anyone can access these URLs to listen with no subscription fee, login or registration required. To listen, users are connected directly to broadcasters playing the song. 

Benefits to Radio Companies And Artists benefits radio companies and artists. Artists get paid for every radio listen of their songs. helps artists get their songs heard on radio which leads to higher royalty payments. Online radio companies can expect a significant influx of customers who will find their station and heart their songs as well as the programmed audio advertising, as expected on traditional radio. For the first time, online radio stations can receive direct search traffic to their station. This will help them garner more listeners and better compete with Pandora.

To experience users can go to from their computers or smartphone. Using mobile phones, they'll be invited to install the free app. Those on desktop computers will get a web based experience.

Judge Grills Both Sides On Daily Fantasy Sports

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel urged a New York judge on Wednesday to spare them from a potentially crippling shutdown in one of their top markets by ruling that their contests do not constitute illegal gambling.

But Assistant Attorney General Kathleen McGee, speaking in a packed courtroom, said factors outside of contestants' control including player performance proved that daily fantasy sports materially involved chance, making them illegal forms of gambling under New York law.

"Chance pervades fantasy sports," McGee said.

Eric Schneiderman
The hearing in New York Supreme Court came after the state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, went to court last week seeking to halt DraftKings and FanDuel from offering the highly popular online games in New York, which has more daily fantasy sports players than any other state, according to Eilers Research.

John Kiernan, FanDuel's lawyer, said just because factors like weather or a bad call can impact a game it does not mean the games' results are not largely influenced by the contestants' skills.

"What we have here is clearly a skills-based endeavor," he said.

New York Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez said he would rule "very soon."

The hearing comes amid nationwide scrutiny, at the state and federal level, as to whether the games amount to gambling.

Modern fantasy sports started in 1980 and surged in popularity online.

In the daily games, participants pay to compete for cash prizes against others in online leagues based on imaginary teams assembled from rosters of real players, which accumulate points based on how those players perform in actual games.

This has enabled fans to spend money on the games, including American football, baseball, basketball and hockey, with a frequency that critics say is akin to sports betting.

DraftKings and FanDuel, the privately-held industry leaders which both boast billion dollar valuations, have been aggressive in advertising at the start of the National Football League season with promised large winnings.

They have been at the center of controversy since early October when a DraftKings employee won $350,000 from a $25 entry in an American football contest on the rival FanDuel site.

The two companies subsequently banned their employees from playing.

FanDuel stopped taking new deposits from New Yorkers two weeks ago and last week blocked them from playing in the contests. DraftKings continues taking money in the state.

During Wednesday's hearing, Mendez asked few questions, but pushed McGee to address why Schneiderman's office was taking the stance that seasonal fantasy sports were legal unlike the daily version.

"What's the difference?"

McGee said the seasonal form often just involved "bragging rights" and not always entry fees or prizes.

But David Boies, DraftKings' lawyer, said the daily contests were no more reliant on chance than their seasonal counterparts, as both are dependent on how players perform on the field.

"They cannot have it both ways," he said.

(Additional reporting by Michael Erman)

November 26 Radio History

Eric Sevareid
In 1912...CBS newsman & commentator Eric Sevareid was born in Velva, North Dakota.

At the age of 18, Sevareid entered journalism as a reporter for the Minneapolis Journal, while a student at the University of Minnesota in political science. He continued his studies abroad, first in London and later in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he also worked as an editor for United Press. He then became city editor of the Paris Herald Tribune. He left that post to join CBS as a foreign correspondent, based in Paris; he broadcast the fall of Paris, and followed the French government from there to Bordeaux and then Vichy, before leaving France for London and finally Washington.

He was one of a group of elite war correspondents dubbed “Murrow’s boys” because they were hired by pioneering broadcast newsman Edward R. Murrow. Sevareid was with CBS for 38 years.

He died of stomach cancer July 9, 1992 at age 79.

In 1933...singer Robert Goulet was born Stanley Applebaum  in Lawrence, Mass,  but within months his family moved to Northern Alberta.

He worked as disk jockey on Edmonton’s CKUA for two years and was a semi-finalist on CBC TV’s “Pick the Stars” in 1952.  He spent a summer at Vancouver’s Theatre Under the Stars.  In 1955 he became a regular on CBC TV’s Cross Canada Hit Parade. He was awarded a Grammy as the best new artist of 1962.  His best-selling album was the million-selling 1964 release “My Love Forgive Me,” which reached No. 5.

Goulet died awaiting a lung transplant Oct. 30 2007 at age 73.

In 1962…At EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, the Beatles recorded "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why." "Please Please Me" was a re-recording of the song in a more uptempo style after producer George Martin told the band that their original ballad version was "too bloody boring for words."  Also on this day in 1994, the first Beatles record ever to be played on radio fetched more than $23K at an auction in London. It was a world record price for a commercially produced record. The recording of “Love Me Do” was played by Radio Luxembourg in 1963.

In 1969…At EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, John Lennon spent the afternoon mixing the Beatles songs "What's The New Mary Jane" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" with the intention of releasing them as the two sides of a Plastic Ono Band single. When this plan fell through, "Number" was released as the b-side of the Beatles' "Let It Be" single, making this the last time John Lennon was in the studio working on a Beatles song.

In 1970...George Harrison became the first Beatle to earn a #1 solo hit as "My Sweet Lord" climbed to the top.  The 5th Dimension was second with "One Less Bell to Answer".  The previous #1 "The Tears of a Clown" from Smokey Robinson & the Miracles was third, followed by Dawn's "Knock Three Times" and "Black Magic Woman" from Santana.

The rest of the Top 10:  The former #1 "I Think I Love You" from the Partridge Family, the Supremes remained at #7 with "Stoned Love", Chicago wouldn't budge with "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", Brian Hyland was still at #9 after 17 weeks with "Gypsy Woman" and Badfinger finished the list with "No Matter What".

In 1973…Elton John released the single "Step Into Christmas."

In 1979...Dan Ingram did his first morning show at 77 WABC after many years as the afternoon drive personality.

In 2003...longtime Washington, D.C. Radio broadcaster, Eddie Gallaher, died at age 89. He worked at stations including WTOP-AM, WASH-FM, and WWDC-AM.

Gallaher (dcrtv photo)
Gallaher's career in Washington began on WTOP-AM in 1947. Gallaher stayed on the air in one market for 53 years, working at two other stations before retiring in 2000.

"Eddie Gallaher was certainly one of the premier, if not the premier disc jockey, here in Washington," said Ed Walker. Walker and "Today"show weatherman Willard Scott were the "Joy Boys" on a rival morning program that ran on WRC-AM in Washington from 1955-1972.

Gallaher spent 21 years at WTOP, where celebrities passing through the  nation's capital made sure to stop by his studio.

When WTOP switched to a news and talk format in 1968, Gallaher moved to WASH-FM, then, in 1982, to WWDC-AM where he stayed until retiring in December 2000.

In 2009…Paul McCartney told a BBC interviewer that his concerts are a way of helping him "revisit" other members of the Beatles and his late wife Linda. "If I'm doing songs by the Beatles, I obviously remember the sessions when we recorded. Similarly with John and Linda - in a way you're kind of in contact with them again and it's sad, it's emotional."

Jian Ghomeshi
In 2014…After surrendering to Toronto police, former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of choking in a sexual assault investigation. The CBC had fired the 47-year-old broadcaster a month earlier amid sexual misconduct allegations against him and what the company termed  "graphic evidence" that he had physically injured a woman.

He is scheduled to appear in court on February 1, 2016 and faces a second trial on an additional sexual assault charge in June.