Saturday, January 2, 2016

January 3 Radio History

In 1929...William Paley incorporated the Columbia Broadcast System.

The origins of CBS date back to January 27, 1927, with the creation of the "United Independent Broadcasters" network in Chicago by New York talent-agent Arthur Judson. The fledgling network soon needed additional investors though, and the Columbia Phonograph Company, manufacturers of Columbia Records, rescued it in April 1927; as a result, the network was renamed "Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System." Columbia Phonographic went on the air on September 18, 1927, with a presentation by the Howard Barlow Orchestra from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, and fifteen affiliates.

Operational costs were steep, particularly the payments to AT&T for use of its land lines, and by the end of 1927, Columbia Phonograph wanted out.  In early 1928, Judson sold the network to brothers Isaac and Leon Levy, owners of the network's Philadelphia affiliate WCAU, and their partner Jerome Louchenheim. None of the three were interested in assuming day-to-day management of the network, so they installed wealthy 26-year-old William S. Paley, son of a Philadelphia cigar family and in-law of the Levys, as president. With the record company out of the picture, Paley quickly streamlined the corporate name to "Columbia Broadcasting System".  He believed in the power of radio advertising since his family's "La Palina" cigars had doubled their sales after young William convinced his elders to advertise on radio.  By September 1928, Paley bought out the Louchenheim share of CBS and became its majority owner with 51% of the business.

During Louchenheim's brief regime, Columbia paid $410,000 to A.H. Grebe's Atlantic Broadcasting Company for a small Brooklyn station, WABC (no relation to the current WABC), which would become the network's flagship station. WABC was quickly upgraded, and the signal relocated to a stronger frequency, 860 kHz.  The physical plant was relocated also – to Steinway Hall on West 57th Street in Manhattan. It was where much of CBS's programming originated. Other owned-and-operated stations were KNX in Los Angeles, KCBS in San Francisco (originally KQW), WBBM in Chicago, WCAU in Philadelphia, WJSV in Washington, D.C. (later WTOP, which moved to the FM dial in 2005; the AM facility today is WFED, also a secondary CBS affiliate), KMOX in St. Louis, and WCCO in Minneapolis. These remain the core affiliates of the CBS Radio Network today, with WCBS (the original WABC) still the flagship, and all except WTOP and WFED (both Hubbard Broadcasting properties) owned by CBS Radio. By the turn of 1929, the network could boast to sponsors of having 47 affiliates.

Paley moved right away to put his network on a firmer financial footing. In the fall of 1928, he entered into talks with Adolph Zukor of Paramount Pictures who planned to move into radio in response to RCA's forays into motion pictures with the advent of talkies.  The deal came to fruition in September 1929: Paramount got 49 percent of CBS in return for a block of its stock worth $3,800,000 at the time.   The agreement specified that Paramount would buy that same stock back by March 1, 1932 for a flat $5,000,000, provided CBS had earned $2,000,000 during 1931 and 1932. For a brief time there was talk that the network might be renamed "Paramount Radio", but it only lasted a month – the 1929 stock market crash sent all stock value tumbling. It galvanized Paley and his troops, who "had no alternative but to turn the network around and earn the $2,000,000 in two years.... This is the atmosphere in which the CBS of today was born."  The near-bankrupt movie studio sold its CBS shares back to CBS in 1932.   In the first year of Paley's watch, CBS's gross earnings more than tripled, going from $1,400,000 to $4,700,000.

The extraordinary potential of radio news showed itself in 1930, when CBS suddenly found itself with a live telephone connection to a prisoner called "The Deacon" who described, from the inside and in real time, a riot and conflagration at the Ohio Penitentiary; for CBS, it was "a shocking journalistic coup".   Yet as late as 1934, there was still no regularly scheduled newscast on network radio: "Most sponsors did not want network news programming; those that did were inclined to expect veto rights over it."  There had been a longstanding wariness between radio and the newspapers as well; the papers had rightly concluded that the upstart radio business would compete with them on two counts – advertising dollars and news coverage. By 1933, they fought back, many no longer publishing radio schedules for readers' convenience, or allowing "their" news to be read on the air for radio's profit.   Radio, in turn, pushed back when urban department stores, newspapers' largest advertisers and themselves owners of many radio stations, threatened to withhold their ads from print.   A short-lived attempted truce in 1933 even saw the papers proposing that radio be forbidden from running news before 9:30 a.m., and then only after 9:00 p.m. – and that no news story could air until it was twelve hours old.

In the fall of 1934, CBS launched its independent news division, shaped in its first years by Paley's vice-president, former New York Times man Ed Klauber, and news director Paul White. Since there was no blueprint or precedent for real-time news coverage, early efforts of the new division used the shortwave link-up CBS had been using for five years to bring live feeds of European events to its American air.

A key early hire was Edward R. Murrow in 1935; his first corporate title was Director of Talks. He was mentored in microphone technique by Robert Trout, the lone full-timer of the News Division, and quickly found himself in a growing rivalry with boss White.  Murrow was glad to "leave the hothouse atmosphere of the New York office behind" when he was dispatched to London as CBS's European Director in 1937, a time when the growing Hitler menace underscored the need for a robust European Bureau. Halberstam described Murrow in London as "the right man in the right place in the right era".

Edward R. Murrow pictured with CBS' London-based D-Day team. Front row (left to right): Bill Downs, Charles Collingwood, Gene Ryder, Charles Shaw. Back row (from left): Larry LeSueur, Edward R. Murrow, Richard C. Hottelet, Bill Shadel.

Murrow began assembling the staff of broadcast journalists – including William L. Shirer, Charles Collingwood and Eric Sevareid – who would become known as "Murrow's Boys". They were "in [Murrow's] own image, sartorially impeccable, literate, often liberal, and prima donnas all". They covered history in the making, and sometimes made it themselves: on March 12, 1938, Hitler boldly annexed nearby Austria and Murrow and Boys quickly assembled coverage with Shirer in London, Edgar Ansel Mowrer in Paris, Pierre Huss in Berlin, Frank Gervasi in Rome and Trout in New York. The News Round-Up format was born and is still ubiquitous today in broadcast news.

In 1938...the NBC Red Network first broadcast the "Woman in White", which ran for 10 years.

In 1940...WPG-AM in Atlantic City NJ consolidated with WBIL & WOV as "new" WOV.

WPG had been in operation since 1923 operating on one of the cleared national channels of the first zone on a frequency of 1100 kilocycles.

WPG in Atlantic City share time on 1100, with WBIL in NYC. The cumbersome arrangement ended in 1940 in a complicated series of events when Arde Bulova's Greater New York Broadcasting Corporation bought WPG and absorbed it into WOV, shut down both WOV and WPG on January 3, 1940 because they interferred with WBIL, asked the FCC to cancel WOV's license and move WBIL to 1130 (today is WBBR) , and immediately changed WBIL's calls to WOV, which today is WADO 1280 AM.

WPG was unique in radio. Approximately, fifteen million visitors come to the resort in a year. They are all interested in Atlantic City and it's happenings when in their homes wherever that may be. Atlantic City is an all year round resort.

WPG, due to its location on the Atlantic Seaboard, has overspill service area from Maine to Florida, daytime or night. During the winter months, when radio is at its best, we are especially strong into all of New England. and in several popularity contests for radio stations, we have finished among the first few.

Today, the WPG calls are used for branding by Townsquare Media's WPGG 1450 AM in Atlantic City, NJ.  Since October 22, 2012, the station broadcasts a talk radio format under the branding "WPG Talk Radio 1450".

Cast from the Gunsmoke radio show. Howard McNear as Doc, William Conrad as Matt Dillon, Georgia Ellis as Kitty and Parley Baer as Chester.

In Howard McNear, “Doc” on radio’s Gunsmoke, and “Floyd the Barber” on TV’s Andy Griffith Show, died after a long illness at age 63.

In 1970...The Beatles (without John who was in Denmark on vacation) recorded "I Me Mine," the last song they recorded together under the band's name until 1995.

In 1973...The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) sold the New York Yankees to a 17-person syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner for $10 million.

In 1975...Radio announcer (hosted Saturday afternoon broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera for 43 years) Milton Cross died following a heart attack at 87.

In 1977...Apple Computers was incorporated.

In 1986...Capital Cities acquired ABC-TV for $3.5 billion. In 1991, Disney purchased Capital Cities/ABC Inc. for $19 billion.

In 1987...Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1993...Sportscaster Johnny Most, 37-year radio voice of the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics, died following a heart attack at age 69.

In 1995...Windsor-Detroit radio-TV newsman (CKLW, WWJ, WKBD-TV)/recording artist (narrated Americans, a #1 Billboard single in 1974) Byron MacGregor died from pneumonia-related complications at 46.

Byron MacGregor
Born Gary Lachlan Mack in Calgary, Alberta, by the age of nineteen he became the youngest news director at the AM radio station, CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, which also served Detroit, Michigan as well as Toledo and Cleveland in Ohio and covered twenty eight states and six provinces. This was during its "Big 8/20·20 News" period, and also around the time RKO General was forced to sell the station, due to a change in Canadian ownership rules that prohibited foreign firms from controlling Canadian licensed stations.

In 1973, he read a Toronto newspaper editorial written by Gordon Sinclair of CFRB in Toronto, a commentary about America. MacGregor then read the patriotic commentary on CKLW Radio as part of a public affairs program; and, due to the huge response he was asked to record "The Americans" with "America the Beautiful" performed by The Detroit Symphony Orchestra as the background music. Both MacGregor and Sinclair released recorded versions of the commentary. MacGregor's version of the record (released on Westbound Records) became a bigger hit than Sinclair's in the United States, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of February 9, 1974.

MacGregor was known for his deep voice and high-energy announcing style at CKLW; and for writing copy in a manner that was compared to that of sensational tabloid newspapers.

He later made the transition to a more traditional anchoring and interviewing style when he moved to WWJ Newsradio 950, the CBS Radio all-news station in Detroit, where he served as both morning and afternoon drive anchor during his thirteen-year occupancy. MacGregor also became the first newsman in Detroit to simultaneously anchor prime-time newscasts on both radio (WWJ) and television (WKBD-TV 50).

By the mid 1980s MacGregor held dual citizenships in Canada and the United States. His wife of nineteen years, Jo-Jo Shutty-MacGregor. She was the first female helicopter news and traffic reporter in North America, and today works for WWJ and WOMC and the Metro News Networks.

In 2005...Adam Carolla returned to morning drive-time radio with the premiere of "The Adam Carolla Show" on several CBS Radio stations including 97.1 FREE FM in Los Angeles (KLSX-FM), KIFR-FM San Francisco, KSCF-FM San Diego, KZON-FM Phoenix, KUFO-FM Portland and KXTE-FM Las Vegas.

Miami Radio: Sports WMEN Launching New Morning Show

Sports WMEN 640 AM has teamed Joe Raineri — formerly the station’s afternoon drive host — and Steve Zemach — formerly the producer of “The Sid Rosenberg Show” — as co-hosts of a new show airing Monday-Friday from 6-10 a.m.

The first “Raineri and Zemach In the Morning” will air Monday.

Host Sid Rosenberg had been let go from WMEN.  He joined the station in August 2012 after stints at crosstown WAXY 790 AM "The Ticket" and WQAM 560 AM.

WMEN 640 AM (7500 watts-D, 460 watts-N)
The new “Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach Show” will strictly focus on sports.

Joe Raineri
Raineri moved to the 3-6 p.m. timeslot in August after co-hosting a show on WRMF 97.9 FM with Jennifer Ross and Deena Lang. He is a former All-American baseball player at Oklahoma State and was drafted by the Texas Rangers.

Zemach, who was in charge of scheduling most of Rosenberg’s guests, booked political and entertainment guests, but also sports analysts Brian Baldinger, Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network and Mike Ditka and Linda Cohn of ESPN.

Report: NYE Football Ratings Down

A lot of people watched the College Football Playoff semifinals on ESPN Thursday — but not nearly as many as watched them last season.

The Clemson-Oklahoma matchup in the Orange Bowl drew a 9.7 rating in the overnight metered markets. The prime-time Cotton Bowl telecast (Alabama-Michigan State) fared a little better with a 9.9.

Both games are down significantly from last season’s inagurual playoff semis, which averaged a 15.3 and a 15.5.

According to, a number of factors could have contributed to the drop: it being the second year of the playoff rather than the first; the games airing on New Year’s Eve rather than the traditional college football bonanza of New Year’s Day; and the fact that both games were one-sided (Clemson won 37-17, and Alabama shut out Michigan State 38-0).

ESPN notes that both games drew more than a million viewers on WatchESPN. Both posted huge gains over the comparable games last season, suggesting that football may have been a second-screen option to New Year’s Eve programming (which was fairly steady) in a number of homes.

The College Football Playoff didn’t do any damage to the New Year’s Eve institution that is “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC. The primetime portion of the celebration averaged a 2.2 in adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. and a 3.9 from 10-11, both up a tenth from last year’s fast nationals (which adjusted up in the finals).

NBC’s year-end programming — “A Toast to 2015” and “New Year’s Eve Game Night with Andy Cohen” — took second in primetime, while the early portion of “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” (0.9) was up over last year’s 0.7 for FOX.

Thursday Evening's Numbers

January 2 Radio History

Bernadine Flynn
In actress Bernardine Flynn was born in Wisconsin.

She is revered by all Vic & Sade fans for for her portrayal of Sade Gook in the unique daily domestic smilefest from its beginnings in 1932 until its final broadcast in the mid-1940’s.  She recreated the role for several TV incarnations of Vic & Sade as late as 1957.  She also had the lead role in the first US TV soap opera, Hawkins Falls, Population 6200, which ran on NBC from 1951 to 1955.

She died March 20 1977 at age 73.

In 1904...operatic tenor James Melton was born in Moultrie Georgia.  By the 1930’s he was starring on radio in The Ziegfield Follies of the Air and The Intimate Review, the show that introduced us to Bob Hope. By the 40’s he was featured on the Bell Telephone Hour, the Harvest of Stars, & The Texaco Star Theatre. On TV he sang 4 times on The Ed Sullivan Show, and was host of The Ford Festival. Melton died of pneumonia April 21 1961 at age 56.

Ben Grauer circa early '40s
In 1908...announcer Ben Grauer was born in New York City.

He began as a child actor in the 20’s, and started his more than 40 year announcing career with NBC in 1932.  He covered Olympic Games, presidential inaugurations, international events, and hosted on radio and TV the annual New Year’s Eve broadcasts live from Times Square. He emceed over half a dozen TV programs including game shows, quiz shows, concerts and news programs, before leaving NBC when he turned 65 in 1973.

Grauer suffered a heart attack & died May 31 1977 at the age of 68.

Courtesy of
In 1921...KDKA 1020 AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania broadcast the first religious program on radio. Dr. E.J. Van Etten from the Calvary Episcopal Church appeared and preached.  Two months after KDKA's first broadcast, KDKA aired the first religious service in the history of radio.

It was a remote broadcast far from a radio studio held by Westinghouse form Pittsburgh's Calvary Episcopal Church. The junior pastor, Rev. Lewis B. Whittemore, preached. After that broadcast, KDKA soon presented a regular Sunday evening service from Calvary Episcopal Church. The senior pastor, Rev. Edwin Van Ettin, become the regular speaker. The program continued until 1962.

In 1936...Bing Crosby began a 10-year tenure as host of the NBC Radio program "Kraft Music Hall."

In 1944...WJZ 770 AM (later WABC) transmitter moved to Lodi, NJ.

WABC made its first broadcast as a federally-licensed commercial radio station on October 1, 1921, as WJZ, owned by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation and was originally based in Newark, New Jersey. The call letters stood for their original home state, New Jer(Z)sey.

WJZ Studio - date unknown
In July 1926, WEAF also became an RCA station and on November 15, 1926, both WJZ (then on 660 kHz) and WEAF (then on 610 kHz) were under the umbrella of the newly formed National Broadcasting Company.

On January 1, 1927, the NBC Blue Network debuted, with WJZ as the originating station. WJZ and the Blue Network presented many of America's most popular programs, such as Lowell Thomas and the News, Amos 'n' Andy, Little Orphan Annie, America's Town Meeting of the Air, and Death Valley Days. Each midday, The National Farm and Home Hour brought news and entertainment to rural listeners. Ted Malone read poetry and Milton Cross conveyed children "Coast To Coast on a Bus," as well as bringing opera lovers the Saturday matinée Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts.

In 1942, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that no broadcaster could own more than one AM, one FM and one television station in a single market. On January 23, 1942, the FCC approved the transfer of WJZ's operating license from Radio Corporation of America to the Blue Network, Inc.  A year later, on October 12, 1943, WJZ and the NBC Blue Network were sold to Edward J. Noble, then the owner of WMCA. Technically, this spun off network was simply called "The Blue Network" for little over a year.

On June 15, 1945, "The Blue Network" was officially rechristened the American Broadcasting Company, when negotiations were completed with George B. Storer, who had owned the defunct American Broadcasting System and still owned the name.

In November 1948, WJZ and the ABC network finally got a home of their own when studios were moved to a renovated building at 7 West 66th Street. On March 1, 1953, WJZ changed its call letters to WABC, after the FCC approved ABC's merger with United Paramount Theatres, the movie theater chain owned by Paramount Pictures which, like the Blue Network, was divested under government order.  The WABC call letters were once used previously on CBS Radio's New York City outlet, before adopting their current WCBS identity in 1946.

After acquiring Channel 13 WAAM in Baltimore, Maryland in 1957, Westinghouse applied to change the calls to WJZ-TV in honor of its pioneer radio station.  The FCC granted the unusual request (perhaps because Westinghouse was highly regarded as a licensee by both the industry and the FCC at that time), and the Baltimore TV station, now owned and operated by CBS, retains the call letters to this day, along with sister radio stations WJZ 1300 AM and WJZ 105.7 FM.

William Bendix
In 1953...After ten years on radio starring William Bendix, and a one-year television version with Jackie Gleason as the title character, "The Life of Riley" with William Bendix began a six-season run on NBC-TV.  Life of Riley radio show aired from January 16, 1944 - June 8, 1945 on the Blue Network/ABC and aired September 8, 1945 - June 29, 1951 on NBC.

In 1959...the CBS Radio Network discontinued the broadcast of four soap operas: "Our Gal Sunday", "This is Nora Drake", "Backstage Wife" and "Road of Life".

Courtesy of Bob Dearborn

In 1981..."Night Time America," a groundbreaking five-hour music and call-in show originating in New York City, debuted on the RKO Radio Network. Hosted by Bob Dearborn, it was the first live, daily, satellite-delivered music show in radio history. Eventually,  the program was heard on 154 affiliate radio stations throughout the U.S., from Bangor to Hilo, from West Palm Beach to Fairbanks, and in major cities including Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, San Diego, Memphis, Cincinnati, Sacramento, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Buffalo, and New Orleans. (Airchecks, Click Here)

In 1997...the Howard Stern Radio Show premiered in Columbus, Ohio on WBZX 99.7 FM.

In 2004..legendary agriculture broadcaster Orion Samuelson at age 69, did his last farm report on WGN 720 AM, concluding a 43 year run. However he continued to co-host TV’s US Farm Report for another year, and has since been hosting a similar weekly show on cable’s RFD-TV.

Margot Stevenson
In 2011...longtime stage actress Margot Stevenson died at age 98. In 1938 she had played the female lead Margo Lane on radio’s The Shadow, opposite Orson Welles.

In 2007...WNEW-FM NYC adopted a soft contemporary format called "Fresh" and 7-days later changed call letters to WWFS.

The 102.7 FM frequency was first assigned in the mid-1940s as WNJR-FM from Newark, New Jersey. Intended to be a simulcasting sister to WNJR (1430 AM, now WNSW), the FM station never made it to the air despite being granted several extensions of its construction permit. WNJR gave up and turned in the FM license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1953.

In 1955 the FCC awarded a new permit for 102.7 FM to a group called Fidelity Radio Corporation, based in West Paterson, New Jersey. The station was later granted the call sign WHFI, and a year later the community of license was moved back to Newark from West Paterson. Once again, the owners failed to put the station on the air.

In November 1957, the WHFI construction permit was purchased by the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation, which already owned WABD (later WNEW-TV) and earlier in the year bought WNEW radio.  In January 1958, WHFI was renamed WNEW-FM and DuMont completed its build-out, moving the license to New York City. The station finally came on the air on August 25, 1958, partially simulcasting WNEW 1130 AM with a separate popular music format.  DuMont Broadcasting, meanwhile, would change its corporate name twice within the next three years before settling on Metromedia in 1961.

WNEW-FM's early programming also included an automated middle-of-the-road format, followed quickly by a ten-month-long period (July 4, 1966, to September 1967) playing pop music—with an all-female air staff. The gimmick was unique and had not before been attempted anywhere in American radio. The lineup of disc jockeys during this stunt included Margaret Draper, Alison Steele (who stayed on to become the "Night Bird" on the AOR format), Rita Sands, Ann Clements, Arlene Kieta, Pam McKissick, and Nell Bassett. The music format, however, was a pale copy of WNEW (AM)'s adult standards format and only Steele, Sands, and Bassett had broadcast radio experience. The all-female disc jockey lineup endured for more than a year, changing in September 1967 to a mixed-gender staff.

Billboard - December 1967

On October 30, 1967, WNEW-FM adopted a progressive rock radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry.

Ed Goodman - KEZK
In 2015…Veteran radio personality (KEZK, KRJY and KSHE-St. Louis, WIOD-Miami) Ed Goodman, who logged almost five decades on the air in St. Louis, died of cancer.

Friday, January 1, 2016

R.I.P.: Singer Natalie Cole Dead At 65

Natalie Cole, the Grammy-winning singer who had hits with such songs as "This Will Be" and "Our Love" and recorded "Unforgettable ... With Love," a best-selling album of songs made famous by her late father, Nat King Cole, died Thursday evening.

She was 65, reports CNN.  Cole's death was confirmed by publicist Maureen O'Connor.

Born in 1950, Cole grew up among musical royalty. Her father was one of the most accomplished singers and jazz musicians of the postwar era, and her mother, Maria Hawkins Cole, was a singer for Duke Ellington. Their house, in Los Angeles' upscale Hancock Park neighborhood, was a regular spot for her parents' colleagues.

Natalie with dad Nat
"I remember meeting Peggy Lee, Danny Thomas, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and so many others at parties," she told The Wall Street Journal in 2014.

At age 6, Cole sang with her father on a Christmas album, and she was performing by the time she was 11. Nat King Cole died in 1965, when she was 15, a loss that "crushed" her, she said.

After college in Massachusetts, Cole embarked on her own career. In 1975, she had a massive hit with "This Will Be" from her album "Inseparable," which showed off her tremendous pipes -- she earned comparisons to Aretha Franklin -- and command of a range of styles. The work won her a Grammy for best new artist.

She followed that with other hits, including "I've Got Love on My Mind," "Our Love" and "Someone That I Used to Love."

But failing sales and personal problems sidetracked Cole's career. She had done heroin in the early '70s, she told the Houston Chronicle, and then got hooked on cocaine. Her mother even filed for conservatorship in 1982.

A rehab stint in 1983 turned her life around, she said.

Cole began a comeback in the late '80s that was capped by 1991's "Unforgettable ... With Love," an album that -- thanks to the wonder of technology -- included a duet with her father on one of his biggest hits, "Unforgettable." (On another song, "Route 66," she was accompanied on piano by another member of her family, her uncle Ike Cole.)

In 2008, Cole started suffering from kidney problems due to hepatitis C, which she attributed to her past drug issues. Despite chemotherapy, both kidneys failed, and in 2009, she went public with a request for a kidney donation.

She received a directed donation of a kidney from a deceased donor in May 2009.

Cole was married three times. She divorced her third husband, Kenneth Dupree, in 2004.

Miami Radio: Entercom Launches Rebranded WMXJ

Entercom  station WMXJ 102.7 FM has rebranded as 102.7 The Beach.  The relaunch started as 2016 started Friday morning under the director PD Pattie Moreno, who joined the station in November.

The formerly traditional Classic Hits station has shifted its music emphasis to the '80s and is jockless at present.

Entercom parted ways with three full-time and six part-time Magic 102.7 FM DJs in early December and announced a new direction was coming.

Among those let go: Music director Mindy Lang, a 30-year veteran of the station who hosted the 5 a.m.-10 a.m. morning drive time slot; her co-host Vance Phillips; and Joe Johnson, a long-time Magic 102.7 on-air personality and producer who also created and hosted the weekly Beatle Brunch hour, which he launched in 1992 from his home studio in Plantation and has been syndicated nationally by the Westwood One Radio Network since 2000.

Sample Hour of 102.7 The Beach playlist
Magic 102.7 was acquired in July 2015 by Entercom Communications Corp. from previous owner Lincoln Financial Media for $105 million as part of a package of 15 stations around the U.S.

WMXJ 102.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage

R.I.P.: Wayne Rogers, Trapper John on TV's 'M*A*S*H', Dies

Wayne Rogers
Wayne Rogers, the actor who played wisecracking U.S. Army surgeon "Trapper" John McIntyre in the acclaimed Korean War television series "M*A*S*H" before leaving after three seasons in a contract dispute, died on Thursday. He was 82.

Rogers, who later forged a successful career as a financial analyst, investor and businessman, died in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia his publicist, Rona Menashe, told Reuters.

An Alabama native and Princeton University graduate with a degree in history, Rogers achieved his big break after years of lesser roles by being cast to co-star with Alan Alda in "M*A*S*H," which debuted on the CBS network in 1972.

The series, which was inspired by Robert Altman's hit 1970 movie "MASH" and combined situation comedy with dramatic elements, was set in a mobile Army surgical hospital unit during the 1950-53 Korean War.

It initially focused both on Alda's character, Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce, and fellow Army captain and surgeon "Trapper" John, played by Rogers. But Rogers became frustrated as the plots began to give more attention to the increasingly popular Alda at his character's expense.

Rogers left "M*A*S*H" in a contract dispute after the third of the show's 11 seasons, departing at about the same time as McLean Stevenson, another original cast member. Rogers said he had no contract and the producers wanted to impose one that included, among other things, "an old-fashioned morals clause."

"It said that, in the eyes of the studio, if you behaved in an immoral fashion, they have the right to suspend you. Well, nobody defined an 'immoral fashion,' as it were - so it was at the whim of whoever ran the studio," Rogers said in a 2012 radio interview.

Rogers said he told them that "some of these things I'm not going to agree to," and that they responded: "We'll, we're a hit show. If you don't agree, tough, goodbye."

"M*A*S*H" ran until 1983. Rogers later said that had he realized "M*A*S*H" would last so long, he might have "kept my mouth shut and stayed put." He appeared in 74 episodes, replaced on the show by Mike Farrell as Captain B.J. Hunnicut, who became Hawkeye's new cohort and tent mate.

The character of "Trapper" John - originated in the "MASH" movie by Elliott Gould opposite Donald Sutherland as Hawkeye - was eager to return to his wife and daughters but still found time to canoodle with the nurses of the fictional 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.

Some of the show's best moments involved the interplay between Alda and Rogers as the mischievous but talented doctors striving to save the lives of wounded soldiers while preserving their own sanity amid the madness of war.

Their characters were the chief antagonists of gung-ho Army majors and not-so-secret lovers "Hot Lips" Houlihan, played by Loretta Swit, and Frank Burns, played by Larry Linville.


In one episode, the antics of Pierce and McIntyre drove "Hot Lips" to demand a transfer from the unit, leading Stevenson as commanding officer Henry Blake to tell them, "I want you to accord Major Houlihan the courtesy and respect accordable to someone who has achieved her high rank and sex."

She objects, saying: "I am not looking for a truce with these two shower-tent peekers!" And Rogers as Trapper retorts, "You peek into one shower and you're labeled for life!"

William Wayne McMillan Rogers III was born on April 7, 1933, in Birmingham, Alabama. At Princeton, Rogers joined a theater club and became interested in acting. He had planned on attending Harvard Law School after joining the Navy, but his ship was docked in New York for maintenance and while there Rogers caught the acting bug for good.

He took roles on stage, TV and the movies, including a minor part in "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) before landing on "M*A*S*H."

Rogers later launched a successful business career. He founded an investment strategy firm and a production company, led a wedding dress business in New York and became a financial commentator for Fox News Channel. In 2005 he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He had two children with his first wife, actress Mitzi McWhorter. After divorcing, he wed producer Amy Hirsh in 1988. Menashe said he was survived by Amy, his children, Bill and Laura, and four grandchildren.

(Reporting and writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Report: Ryan Seacrest Net Worth Is $330M

Radio, TV personality Ryan Seacrest reportedly has a net worth of $330 million net worth.

According to Forbes, Seacrest earned a quick $1M for hosting Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC last night for the fourth time.  He began solo hosting in 2012 after Clark passed away.

How else does Seacrest rake in his $65 million annual salary? According to Forbes:
  • Seacrest has been the host of American Idol since the show began in 2002, and he reportedly brings in a whopping $15 million per season.
  • In 2004, Seacrest became the successor to Casey Kasem’s weekly Top 40 radio show, American Top 40. That same year, Seacrest started his weekday radio show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest. 
  • Though On Air With Ryan Seacrest is based at at KIIS 102.7 FM in LA, the show is broadcasted to hundreds of Clear Channel radio stations across the country. Seacrest reportedly pockets $15 million per year from iHeartMedia for these two radio gigs.
On January 31, 2012, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital announced they would invest up to $300M in Ryan Seacrest Media. A consortium headed by Seacrest (with partners AEG and CAA) agreed to rebrand Mark Cuban's HDNet television network as AXS TV.

Anchorage Radio: Talker Bernadette Wilson OUT At KFQD

Bernadette Wilson
Talk show host Bernadette Wilson is out at  KFQD 750 AM, with the station deciding not to renew her contract in 2016.

Alpha Media Station manager Joe Campbell told Alaska Dispatch News in a Friday phone interview that KFQD wants to head “in a different direction” this year. Wilson hosted “Bernadette Live,” which aired weekdays from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Earlier this year, Wilson, a Republican, and Ethan Berkowitz, a Democrat who is now the mayor of Anchorage, co-hosted the popular “Bernadette and Berkowitz” program. When Berkowitz entered the race for mayor in February, Wilson became a solo host.

Campbell said that revenue and audience size haven't been the same since.

“The bottom line is always the bottom line,” Campbell said. “(‘Bernadette Live’) was not generating the revenue necessary to keep it on the air.”

Campbell said he expects the station will make an announcement next week about a new host for Wilson’s morning time slot. He said the goal is to have a new show in place by Jan. 11.

KFQD 750 AM (50 Kw)
Wilson said in an interview Friday she is “at peace” with the decision. She also said station management explained it to her as revenue-related, though she said her ratings were good.

Since word got out, Wilson said, she’s gotten supportive calls and texts from politicians and fans of the show.  Several job offers have come in too, she said.

January 1 Radio History

In 1923...the very first radio broadcast of the Rose Bowl was beamed in Los Angeles over KHJ radio — some 42 years before 93/KHJ became Boss Radio.

In 1925...Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack of the famous Metropolitan Opera made their singing debuts on radio. The broadcast over New York’s WEAF Radio soon to be the NBC flagship.

In 1927...The Rose Bowl football game was aired for the first time, coast-to-coast, on network radio.

First local broadcast of the New Years Day Rose Bowl Football Game from Pasadena by KHJ, Los Angeles aired in 1923. (USC played Penn State. The broadcast of the game, which was then called the East vs West Football game.)

In 1930..."The Cuckoo Hour" was broadcast for the first time on the NBC-Blue Network (it later became the ABC Radio Network).

In 1934...the classic radio horror show Light’s Out was heard for the first time on WENR Chicago. The show became an ‘almost midnight’ NBC thriller 16 months later.

In 1940…Broadcasting from the Empire State Building in New York City, radio station W2XDG, the first FM station licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, became the first to broadcast with the new Frequency Modulation technology.

In 1941...Lorne Greene was appointed first announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new national radio news service. Years before his emergence as Pa Cartwright on the TV western series "Bonanza," Greene's stentorian tones in nightly wartime broadcasts earned him the nickname, "The Voice of Doom."

In 1950...Twenty-six-year-old disc jockey Sam Phillips opened his Memphis Recording Service where, in July of 1953, Elvis Presley spent $3.98 to make his first recording.

In 1953...legendary Hank Williams died at the young age of 29 from a drug/alcohol-related heart attack.  You may recall or even be able to sing along with some of the songs Hank wrote or co-wrote: “Cold, Cold Heart”, “Half as Much”, “Jambalaya”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Hey, Good Lookin”, & “I’m So Lonesome I Could Die.” Indisputedly the biggest star in the history of country music, Williams’ legacy is being carried on by his son, Hank Williams, Jr.

In 1961...106.7 FM In NYC went on the air as WRVR, a religious station owned by Riverside Church that also played some jazz. A remnant of this period is a 5 A.M. Sunday morning sermon from the church that airs on the station. As time went on, WRVR was a full-time jazz station with a strong following, but low ratings.

In 1976 WRVR was purchased by Sonderling Broadcasting, owner of WWRL, with the hope that it could move to an urban format and compete against WBLS, which had cut into WWRL's ratings. However, community opposition prevented the format change and WRVR remained a jazz station under Sonderling ownership. At that time it developed the precursor to what would later become known as the "smooth jazz" format.

In 1980 Viacom bought the Sonderling chain, and the station adopted a country music format as "Kick" WKHK. The station was known as "Kick 106.7 FM." The format change, from jazz to country, took place in the middle of the night. The change brought many protests from New York jazz fans, and a petition to the FCC to deny the station's license renewal, which was denied.  The WRVR calls were then moved to Memphis, TN.

However, ratings were low, as they were unable to compete with WHN, which also had a country music format at the time. In 1988, a new jazz station appeared on the New York airwaves, with the call letters WQCD "CD101.9" later changing calls to WEMP, then back to WRXP, and now WFAN-FM.

On January 23, 1984, Viacom dropped country and changed the calls to WLTW. The station became an MOR station known as "Lite FM 106.7 WLTW".

In 1968...the ABC Radio Network split into 4 networks: the Information, Entertainment, Contemporary and FM networks.

ABC Radio originally began after the split of NBC Red and NBC Blue (later Blue Network) networks with ABC taking over operations from RCA in 1943 before adopting its name 2 years later.

ABC Radio was known to broadcast the first nationwide report of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas at 18:30 UTC on November 22, 1963 and ABC Radio's Don Gardiner anchored the network's initial bulletin at 1:36:50 EST, minutes before any other radio or television network followed suit.

Despite a number of different owners (Capital Cities Communications and later Disney), the radio division remained under ABC's wing until June 12, 2007 when it was sold to Citadel Broadcasting as well as its O&O stations (not including Radio Disney and ESPN Radio nor its affiliates) in a restructuring effort. The radio division has kept the ABC name for about 2 years until Citadel renamed it Citadel Media. Then sometime in September 2011, Cumulus Media has absorbed the now-defunct Citadel Broadcasting and rebranded it to the current Cumulus Media Networks. In 2013, Cumulus Media Networks merged with Dial Global Radio Networks to form Westwood One.

ABC Radio Networks Tribute Website: Click Here

On August 7, 2014, the Walt Disney Company announced that ABC will relaunch its radio network division on January 1, 2015. When its current distribution deal with Cumulus comes to an end, ABC will revamp its radio programming services under a new deal with Skyview Networks. ABC will continue to make its radio news programming via ABC News Radio.

Alison Steele
In 1968...Alison Steele started at AOR WNEW 102.7 FM.

Steele was born in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1950s while running errands for a local television station at the beginning of her career, at the age of nineteen, she met and married orchestra leader Ted Steele, who was twenty years her senior. They eventually went their separate ways.

Steele achieved her greatest following as a disc jockey on WNEW-FM, where she hosted the night shift in a new format when contemporary rock music began to be featured on FM radio. FM stations broadcast in high fidelity and, typically, had featured classical or instrumental music in the New York market. This all changed in the 1960s when this station led the switch to FM stations for the musical preferences of the counter culture of the 1960s and 1970s. After a major change in station programming from a briefly instituted all-female middle of the road (MOR) music format to what was becoming known as progressive rock radio occurred at WNEW-FM, she took the new late night position.

Steele acknowledged that she did not know much about progressive rock when she started the program, and apparently, neither did the management of the station, but the new programming was being extended to the growing market. Steele was given complete freedom to plan and present her program. In the process, she developed her persona as The Nightbird, and acquired a massive, loyal audience. Her audience was estimated in 1971 at approximately 78,000 nightly, with the majority of listeners being men between the ages of 18 and 34.

Steele began her show by reciting poetry over Andean flute music, before introducing her show in her well-known sultry, smoky voice with,
“The flutter of wings, the shadow across the moon, the sounds of the night, as the Nightbird spreads her wings and soars, above the earth, into another level of comprehension, where we exist only to feel. Come, fly with me, Alison Steele, the Nightbird, at WNEW-FM, until dawn.”
She then made a transition to recordings of some of the more exceptional and experimental music being recorded at the time, as well as featuring the best of the familiar favorites of her audience.

Her show became an instant hit and did much to push WNEW 102.7 FM into the forefront of progressive rock radio. At one point, she also served as the music director of the station. Steele became the first woman named as Billboard Magazine FM Personality of the Year.

Steele left WNEW-FM 102.7 in 1979 and worked as a writer, producer, and correspondent for Limelight on CNN until 1985. Steele held several positions that overlapped during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. She worked as a disc jockey on New York's WNEW from 1980–1981. She served as the announcer for the daytime soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, from 1981 to 1984, after replacing Dwight Weist; Her announcing jobs on SFT started in the final months on CBS and the first few years on NBC. In late 1984/early 1985 she left Search and was replaced by The Edge Of Night's announcer Hal Simms. For a number of years, Steele was also the "disc jockey" for the pop/rock in-flight audio entertainment channel on board Trans World Airlines.

From 1989 to 1995, she was on WXRK along with some work for VH1.

Steele died of stomach cancer on September 27, 1995, aged 58.

In 1968…Albums were outselling 45-RPM singles for the first time, according to Billboard magazine.

In 1971...the tobacco industry was banned from buying advertisements on television and radio.

In 1975...the NBC Radio Network began on-the-hour news, 24 hours-a-day.

NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS) in 1975.  It allowed local radio stations to launch all-news formats, providing affiliates with up to 55 minutes of news per hour.

NBC aired the service on its Washington station, WRC.  It also added the all-news format on its network-owned FM stations in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.

Many stations signed on with the service, but by 1976, NBC was not sure if its network would ever become profitable.  Affiliates got a six-month notice that the service would end.  NIS closed in 1977.

In 1992...The ESPN Radio Network debuted.

Keith Olbermann
ESPN Radio launched on January 1, 1992. Keith Olbermann hosted the first program. The top story that night was that Danny Tartabull signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent.

At first, ESPN Radio broadcast only on weekends. By 1996, it expanded to weekdays with a show hosted by The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nancy Donnellan. One hour of that show was simulcast on ESPN2 (1-2 p.m. Eastern time). Two years later, Tony Bruno and Mike Golic were brought together for a new morning show, the "Bruno & Golic Morning Show" which aired until Bruno left the network in 2000. Mike Greenberg was named as Bruno's replacement, and the morning show became "Mike & Mike", which still airs today (and is also simulcast on ESPN2). In January, 2010, Mike & Mike celebrated their 10 year anniversary on ESPN Radio. Dan Patrick was a mainstay in afternoons until his departure from ESPN in 2007.

Gradually, ESPN added more dayparts and became a 24-hour service.

In 1997...EAS Rules go in effect

In 2006...former Chicago radio personality, Alan Stagg, died of complications from pneumonia.

A classic rock disc jockey with a deep, booming voice--"He had the voice of God, if God was a cowboy," said his onetime boss Bill Gamble-- Stagg was on the air in Chicago for most of the 1990s on stations that included WCKG-FM and WDRV-FM.

"Sanctuary" aired in the late 1990s on WXCD-FM, where Gamble was program director. A re-creation of the early days of FM radio, "Sanctuary" was a free-form melange of rock from the 1960s and 1970s, audio clips from movies and other sources, and Mr. Stagg's sometimes skewered take on life. Wind chimes tinkled in the background.

Alan Stagg
"He did radio like actors do theater; it wasn't just time and temp," said Gamble, now program director at 92.5 "The Wolf" in Denver. "He created theater of the mind."

The show later migrated to WCKG-FM, where Mr. Stagg was hired by former station executive Jeff Schwartz.

"To me, `Sanctuary' is exactly what radio is all about," said Schwartz, now a radio and media consultant. "It was like the hippier version of [former Chicago rock jock] Ron Britain's `Subterranean Circus.'"

Allan Stagg was the longest-running of several names Mr. Stagg used professionally, but he also used the name in everyday life, his wife said. Born Juris H. Josts, Mr. Stagg grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., and started as an intern at a local radio station while in high school.

He knew he wanted to get into radio ever since having listened to the far-reaching signal of Chicago's WLS-AM as a boy. "He loved Dick Biondi," his wife said.

Number One Hits On January 1...

1986...Say You, Say Me, Lionel Richie

1976...Saturday Night, Bay City Rollers

1966...The Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel

1956...Sixteen Tons, Tennessee Ernie Ford

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Seinfeld's 'Comedians In Cars' Takes Obama For A Ride

NEW YORK (Reuters) - They didn't leave the White House grounds and coffee was drunk in a staff dining room, but comedian Jerry Seinfeld took U.S. President Barack Obama out for short spin in the latest episode of his popular web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

In his latest pop culture venture, Obama filmed a special guest spot for the series streamed on Crackle. Each 20-minute  episode features Seinfeld chatting informally with a different comedian.

Obama has "gotten off just enough funny lines to get on this show," Seinfeld said in the episode that hit the web late on Wednesday.

The former star of the hit TV comedy series "Seinfeld" chose a silver blue 1963 Corvette Stingray for the ride.

But for security reasons the pair had to be content with a few slow turns around the White House rather than the usual spin along the freeways of Los Angeles or the streets of New York.

Amid the small talk, viewers learned that Obama blows off steam by cursing, that his underwear is all one brand and one color, that he shaves before he works out and that his guilty food pleasure is nachos.

Seinfeld and Obama also talked about the drawbacks of fame  versus anonymity, and Obama's most embarrassing moment. "This may be it," quipped the president.

The show follows Obama's appearance earlier in December on the survival adventure series "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" in Alaska to highlight the dangers of global warming, his 2014 spoof interview for online video series "Funny or Die" to promote Obamacare and numerous appearances on TV chat shows while in office including "The Tonight Show," "The Daily Show" and "The View."