Saturday, April 9, 2016

April 10 Radio History

In 1915...superb supporting actor Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit.

His broadcast career began on NBC radio in 1947 as the announcer/host of Mystery Theatre starring Peter Lorre.  He went on to feature acting work in TV on the sitcoms December Bride, Pete & Gladys and (perhaps most memorably) MASH.  He also teamed with Jack Webb in the 1967 revival of Dragnet.

Harry reached the advanced age of 93 before passing in his sleep in the early hours of Dec. 7 2011.

In 1922...WBT Charlotte, NC began broadcasting.

The station actually dates back  to December 1920, when Fred Laxton, Earle Gluck and Frank Bunker set up an amateur radio station in Laxton's home. Four months later, the station received an experimental license as 4XD. The trio decided to go commercial in 1922, and incorporated as the Southern Radio Corporation.

On April 10, the station signed on as the first fully licensed radio station south of Washington, D.C. WSB in Atlanta was the first station in the Southeast to actually broadcast, a month before WBT. However, the Commerce Department only authorized WSB to broadcast weather reports until it received its license a few months after WBT.

In 1925, the original owners sold WBT to Charlotte Buick dealer C.C. Coddington, who promoted both the radio station and his auto dealership with the slogan "Watch Buicks Travel." Coddington built a transmitter at a farm property he owned on Nations Ford Road in south Charlotte, where it remains today. He sold WBT to the two-year-old CBS network in 1929; CBS wanted to make WBBM in Chicago full time on 780 AM, which was a shared frequency with KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska and in order to do that they moved KFAB to 1110 AM. That was accomplished by directionalizing the signal of WBT. A series of power increases brought WBT to its current 50,000 watts.

New Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations forced CBS to sell the station to Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, forerunner of Jefferson-Pilot, in 1945, though it remained a CBS affiliate.

For much of its history, WBT aired a variety of programming including news, sports, soap operas, and musical programs such as "Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks." Smith, best known for writing the song that became the Deliverance theme "Dueling Banjos", went to work at WBT at age 20 at the invitation of station manager Charles Crutchfield. He played guitar and fiddle for musical programs on WBT before getting his own show. Crutchfield believed that Charlotte, not Nashville, could have ended up being the country music capital because of the station's early "Briarhoppers" and "Carolina Hayride" shows, which may have inspired The Grand Ole Opry.

WBT's Grady Cole
Grady Cole was WBT morning host for 32 years, replaced in 1961 by Ty Boyd, who hosted the morning show until 1973, playing such artists as Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee and Petula Clark. Then he moved to WBTV. He returned to WBT in 2008 to co-host the morning show while its regular hosts took time off.

WBT was the number one station in Charlotte for many years; among its employees were Charles Kuralt and Nelson Benton. But by 1970, WBT was down to number nine, and national advertising representative Blair Radio Network wanted ratings to improve. Jefferson Standard did not like the idea of change, but Blair enlisted Mel Goldberg to research what programming Charlotte needed. Even Crutchfield gave in, and WBT let go 28 staffers and spent $200,000 on changes that included new studios. It also canceled many programs that advertisers supported but which didn't attract enough listeners.

WBT's H.A. Thompson
Henry Boggan
On March 15, 1971, WBT switched to adult contemporary music during the day; Rob Hunter and H. A. Thompson were new DJs. Bob Lacey started at WBT in 1972 with a nighttime talk show "Lacey Listens". Two years later, WBT had reached number one again, reaching the highest Arbitron numbers on record to this day. Around the same time, the station dropped its longtime affiliation with CBS Radio and joined ABC. WBT won Billboard adult contemporary station of the year in 1976 and 1978. In 1979, "Hello Henry" Boggan began his nighttime talk show.

WBT made changes to its format on December 10, 1990, hoping to attract more women. The station dropped James K. Flynn, Thompson and Tom Desio, generating numerous protests.

John Hancock
Don Russell had hosted "Russell & Flynn" in the morning; the show was renamed "Russell & Friends." John Hancock became midday host, and WBTV personalities Mike and Barbara McKay began an afternoon program. Boggan, whose show had run in the afternoon, returned to his evening slot, replacing Desio, but was sometimes pre-empted by sports programs.

Lincoln Financial Group bought Jefferson-Pilot in 2006. The merged company retained Jefferson-Pilot's broadcasting division, renaming it Lincoln Financial Media. In January 2008, Lincoln Financial sold WBT-AM-FM and WLNK to Greater Media of Braintree, Massachusetts. It sold its three television stations, including WBTV, to Raycom Media--thus breaking up Charlotte's last heritage radio/television cluster. Greater Media had long wanted to expand into the fast-growing Charlotte market; its owner had wanted to buy WBT after hearing its signal at night on Cape Cod.

In 1942...“People Are Funny,” with first host Art Baker, debuted on NBC Radio. Art Linkletter took over as emcee 18 months later and kept the job for 17 years, the last 6 years of which were also on television.

In 1943...the mystery/detective radio series The Falcon started its decade-long run, beginning with the Blue Network.

In 1967…The 13-day strike by the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists (AFTRA) ended, less than two hours before the 39th Academy Awards presentation was to go on the air.

In 1970…Paul McCartney made public the Beatles' secret breakup by issuing a press release to announce that he had left the group.

It was done in the form of a fake interview: "Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones? PAUL: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know." John Lennon was furious, especially since the breakup was announced a week prior to the UK release of McCartney's first solo album. When a reporter tracked down Lennon for his thoughts, he replied, "Paul hasn't left. I sacked him."

In 1978...NYC Radio personality Long John Nebel WNBC died.

Long John Nebel
In the mid-1950s, radio throughout the United States was floundering and trying to redefine itself after the explosive popularity of television. Over several years, Nebel had become friends with many people at various New York radio stations when he bought commercial time to advertise his auction house. WOR, one of New York's leading stations, faced poor ratings in 1954 when Nebel proposed an interview show. The format "would be devoted to discussing strange and unexplained topics".

WOR's management was not especially impressed by Nebel's idea. However, deciding they had little to lose, WOR offered him a midnight to 5:30 am time slot, the poorest-rated hours. Building on the modest fame of his auction house (and also hoping to generate more business), he used the same name, Long John, when he went on radio.

To the surprise of WOR's management, Nebel's show was a quick success among New York's night-owls and early risers. Unidentified flying objects were discussed almost daily, alongside topics such as voodoo, witchcraft, parapsychology, hypnotism, conspiracy theories, and ghosts. Perhaps fittingly for an overnight show, one of Nebel's sponsors was No-Doz caffeine pills.

Within a few months Nebel was getting not only high ratings, but press attention from throughout the United States for his distinctive and in many ways unprecedented program (WOR's powerful signal assured that Nebel's show was broadcast to over half of the United States' population).

In 1987...Newsman Dick Smythe ended an 18-year run at CHUM-FM and walked across the street to CFTR-FM.  Earlier in his career, Smythe was news director at The Big 8 CKLW.

In 1998...NYC Radio Personality Eddie O’Jay, WLIB, WWRL died.

Eddie O'Jay
O'Jay was from the old fast-talking school, and the signature phrase most cited Tuesday was the famous "Don't lose your head. You need your head. Your brain is in it. You hear?

His career began in 1951 as a Disc Jockey at WOKY in Milwaukee. From there, he went to WABQ in Cleveland, and WUFO in Buffalo, finally working my way to the "Soul at Sunrise" show on WWRL, WBLS and WLIB in New York City. After a distinguished 27 year career in radio in the United States, he expanded to include an internationally syndicated radio program on "Swazi Music Radio," in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1980.

He's been inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame.

While at WABQ, O'Jay discovered a group of five young beginners in the business called The Mascots from Canton and Masilon, Ohio.  O'Jay was asked to manage and direct the group which took hi name, The O'Jays. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 2013…Radio programmer (WOKY and WRIT-Milwaukee)/manager (WDRQ-Detroit)/broadcasting executive (Bartell executive VP) George Wilson died of complications from an earlier heart attack at age 83.

Jubilant Rappers N.W.A. join R&R Hall of Fame With Attitude

(Reuters) -- California rappers N.W.A. finally took their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday, jubilant about their transformation from one of the most hated bands in America to music's mainstream.

N.W.A., formed in the 1980s in the troubled Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles and enjoying new fame through the 2015 biopic "Straight Outta Compton," were only the fifth hip hop act ever to be voted into the Hall of Fame. They had been nominated three times before.

The group made waves for their often inflammatory songs that reflected the violence, crime and anti-police sentiments of their neighborhood, but went on to sell more than 100 million records.

Founding member Ice Cube said the group had earned their place in the Hall of Fame, just as the pioneers of jazz, blues, punk, rock and pop before them.

"We have come a long way from being so hated in the industry to making it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," Ice Cube said. "Are we rock and roll? You're goddam right we're rock and roll. Rock and roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life."

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick

British metal band Deep Purple, soft rock-pop group Chicago, singer Steve Miller, and 1970s rock band Cheap Trick rounded out the 2016 inductees, who were chosen by fans and more than 800 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Artists are eligible for inclusion 25 years after the release of their first recording.

Miller, who moved from blues to pop and back again to produce 1970s hits such as "The Joker" and "Fly Like an Eagle," lashed out backstage at the induction process.

He criticized restrictions over music and video licensing for the show and complained about being offered only two tickets for family and friends for the ceremony.

"This came so close to not happening," Miller said of his appearance at Friday's ceremony. "They make it so unpleasant."

The NY Times reports, backstage, he unleashed more of his feelings.

Asked to expand on his criticisms of the organization, which was founded by industry heavyweights like Jann S. Wenner of Rolling Stone and has its museum in Cleveland, Mr. Miller said, “The whole process is unpleasant,” suggesting that it be “changed from the top to the bottom.”

“They need to respect the artists they say they’re honoring, which they don’t,” the singer continued, making references to issues like licensing agreements between the show and its honorees. (Friday’s ceremony will be broadcast by HBO on April 30.)

Mr. Miller, 72, then turned to the ceremony itself. “When they told me I was inducted they said, ‘You have two tickets — one for your wife and one for yourself. Want another one? It’s $10,000. Sorry, that’s the way it goes,’ ” he said, adding, “What about my band? What about their wives?”

Steve Miller Band performs

British band Deep Purple, formed in 1968, performed their signature hit "Smoke on the Water." Introducing the band, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, called them timeless, pioneering and mesmerizing.

Chicago performs

Chicago, which fused jazz and rock, performed their upbeat hit "25 or 6 to 4," but left out what was arguably their best-known song, the 1976 romantic ballad "If You Leave Me Now."

The ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on April 30.

Sacto Radio: iHM Brings Curtiss Johnson Back To Market

Curtiss Johnson
iHeartMedia/Scaramento has announced the return of programming veteran Curtiss Johnson as SVP/Programming its six-station cluster.

Most recently Johnson was PD of Hubbard Broadcasting’s WDRV 97.1 FM The Drive in Chicago. He exited in January 2016 due to internal disagreements with Hubbard upper programming management, according to Chicagoland Radio&Media.

However, he has spent some 20 years in the Sacramento market serving as station manager and program director for KSEG, KRXQ and KWOD.

Johnson was the Brand Manager/Director of Programming and Operations for Entercom in Sacramento, CA. After 18 years with the same company in the same market, his position was eliminated in July 2013.

iHeartMedia market president Sara McClure states, “I’m thrilled to bring Curtiss Johnson back to Sacramento as our SVP of programming.  Curtiss’ experience and relationships in Sacramento are perfectly suited for our programming and client needs.  I look forward to partnering with him to take iHeartMedia Sacramento to new heights.”

"Curtiss is not only an experienced programmer, but his leadership and strategic skillset are a perfect fit for this role," said Steve Geofferies, Executive Vice President, iHeartMedia West Division. "I'm looking forward to working with him and watching his growth at iHeartMedia."

The Sacramento clusts includes Country KBEB B92.5FM, Adult Hits KQJK 93.7 JackFM, Classic Hip Hop/R&B KHYL V101.1 FM,  Talk KSTE 650 AM, N/T KFBK 93.1 FM /1530 AM, and Classic Rock K296GB 107.1 FM The Brew.

"I'm excited and honored by the opportunity to become Senior VP of Programming for iHeartMedia Sacramento," said Johnson. "iHeartMedia has a tremendous portfolio of legendary media brands and talent in the Sacramento market. The iHeartMedia Sacramento team already feels like family. The building is full of people I have immense respect for and consider friends. I can't wait to start working with the entire team."

Johnson began his radio career at KPRI in his hometown of San Diego and served over a decade as Program Director and afternoon personality at KUPD-FM in Phoenix. During his career, Johnson has won a Marconi Radio Award and a Crystal Radio Award for Major Market Station of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters, as well as multiple Program Director and Station of the Year honors from Billboard, Radio & Records and the Gavin Report.

Tom Wheeler Mum On Stepping Down Post-Obama

Tom Wheeler
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says it is still too early to make a firm commitment to step down at the end of President Obama's term, according to The Hill.

During a C-SPAN interview recorded Thursday, the chairman was asked multiple times whether he would step down and why he had so far declined to make a firm commitment. He brushed off a question on whether he fears the commitment would make him a "lame duck."

"I just think it's early," he said during a taping of "The Communicators" series. "We're 10 months away from a new inauguration. Okay. We'll deal with things as we get closer to that."

Wheeler said the FCC still has a number of unfinished items for the year, from the spectrum incentive auction to new Internet privacy rules and a cable set-top box proposal.

The issue of the chairman's tenure came into the spotlight during testimony at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last month. It was the first question he was asked by senators at the hearing, and he has been pressed a number of times since then.

Decades of tradition dictate that the chairman of the independent agency steps down when a member of the opposite party is elected or when asked under a new president.

DC Radio: ESPN 980 To Launch New LineUp

Red Zebra Brodcasting is calling it the biggest change to DC Sports Radio in several decades – and it all happens May 2nd on ESPN 980/Redskins Radio!

Red Zebra Broadcasting has announced a new programming schedule for ESPN 980, featuring 17 hours of live daily local sports talk! The new all-day local schedule will showcase the debut of “Cooley and Kevin” in the morning at 7 a.m. plus the return of “The Sports Reporters” at 4 p.m.

The new ESPN 980/Redskins Radio lineup will feature the following Monday-Friday shows airing on WTEM 980 AM, WWXT 92.7 FM and WWXX 94.3 FM as well as globally to a worldwide audience on the ESPN 980 and Redskins mobile apps:

“We are very excited about the new lineup at ESPN 980, including the debut of ‘Cooley and Kevin’ in the morning,” said Terry Bateman, Chairman of Red Zebra Broadcasting. “We have an extremely talented group of hosts that will provide our listeners with the best sports talk in the Washington, D.C. market.”

“The Morning Blitz” with Al Galdi
ESPN 980 listeners will wake up at 5am to the debut of “The Morning Blitz”, hosted by Al Galdi (@AlGaldi). He’ll quickly catch you up on the latest sports headlines and breaking news from overnight. Galdi is a Rockville native who graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1997 and the University of Maryland in 2001. In addition to “The Morning Blitz,” he also hosts “The Official Redskins Postgame Show” on ESPN 980, along with “Monday Morning Quarterback” and “Friday Morning Quarterback” throughout the Redskins’ season.

“Cooley and Kevin” With Chris Cooley and Kevin Sheehan
Morning drive-time’s newest voice is one of the region’s most beloved recent athletes. Former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley (@TheCooleyZone) will bring his colorful personality and hard-hitting opinions to “Cooley and Kevin” Monday-Friday at 7 a.m. This look into the life and thoughts of Cooley will be co-hosted by Kevin Sheehan (@KevinS980), a versatile radio professional whose own broadcasting résumé at ESPN 980 includes hosting the Washington Redskins Pregame Show and co-hosting “Monday Morning Quarterback” after every Redskins game.

Tony Kornheiser
Washington, D.C. broadcasting favorite Tony Kornheiser and his immensely popular “Tony Kornheiser Show” will now shift to an 11 a.m. start. The show – which was recently named as the top local sports midday show in America by Barrett Sports Media’s poll of 35 radio executives – has cultivated a national following since launching on WTEM in 1992. Mr. Tony will be available 11am-1pm on-air, online at, and via the ESPN 980 App and the Redskins App.

As always, the daily Tony Kornheiser Podcast will be available immediately following the show, at 1pm EST on’s AudioVault, iTunes and the ESPN 980 App for iPhone and Android.

Inside the Locker Room
“Inside the Locker Room” has been a fan-favorite on ESPN 980 for years, and now listeners will be treated to an extra hour of breaking news, interviews, and game analysis from 1-4 p.m. Former Washington Redskins Super Bowl champions Brian Mitchell (@BMitchLiveCSN) and Rick “Doc” Walker (@RickDocWalker) team up with co-host Scott Jackson (@JacksonSports) to bring you expert analysis on the Washington Redskins, Nationals, Capitals and more.

The Sports Reporters
Afternoon drive-time will feature the return of one of Washington, D.C.’s most storied sports-talk programs, as Steve Czaban (@Czabe) and Andy Pollin (@AndyPollin1) reunite for the rebirth of “The Sports Reporters”. The show, which aired on WTEM from 2000-13, features two of the region’s most accomplished sports radio personalities.

DMV Game Time
At 7 p.m., area natives Tim Murray (@1TimMurray) and Nick Ashooh (@NickAshooh) will stay connected to local listeners as the night’s action gets underway on “DMV Game Time”.

In addition to these daily shows, ESPN 980 remains the long-time flagship home of the Washington Redskins Radio Network. Burgundy and gold fans will join Larry Michael, Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen, Cooley and Walker for all of the action during live game broadcasts all season long.

Recently debuted Redskins programming on the station includes Redskins Saturday with Andy Pollin, airing each Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon, and daily Redskins 365 reports. More Redskins-related programming, including expanded offseason and training camp coverage, will also be announced in the near future.

In addition to serving as the home of live Redskins programming, the station remains committed to its diverse offering of live game broadcasts. The station is Washington, D.C.’s radio home for the Maryland Terrapins as well as the NBA Finals, World Series, College Football Playoff and NCAA Tournament.

WTEM 980 AM (50 Kw-D, 5 Kw-N, DA2

NY Media In Frenzy Covering State Primary

If you're the New York Daily News, it's not every day you get to tell Ted Cruz to "TAKE THE F U TRAIN" on your front page.

So, reports Politico,  News editor Jim Rich must have been particularly giddy when that headline rolled off his tongue following the candidate's arctic reception during an April 6 campaign stop at a self-described Chinese-Dominican eatery under the rumbling, elevated 6 train tracks in the Parkchester Section of the Bronx, to a crowd of just 50 supporters-and a handful of loud hecklers who said he had no business being there.

"It's truly a New York presidential campaign this year," Rich told POLITICO, evoking an inevitable baseball metaphor to describe what's sure to be a bacchanal of media coverage between now and the Empire State's April 19 primary contest: "It's very similar to when the Yankees are in the World Series."

For New York's local press gang, the days leading up to the primary are shaping up like the Twelve Days of Christmas. That's because for the first time in a long, long time, New York is going to have a primary that actually matters-and not just because it involves Donald Trump.

"I've been a morning anchor since 1997," said Pat Kiernan, a host for the Time Warner Cable network NY1 who obsessively follows local media, "and I don't remember a time when we were anything more than a rubber stamp.

And yet here we are in the surreal campaign season of 2016, with Brooklyn-born Bernie Sanders and carpetbagging Hillary Clinton battling to be the face of progressivism for the Democratic party; an evangelical Texan nipping around the edges at the delegate count of the Big Apple's bawdiest power broker, who symbolizes that which is anathema to his opponent-"New York values."

Read More Now

NAB Announces Tightened Security For Radio Show

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced it will add additional security procedures at the 2016 NAB Show, April 16 – 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. While there are no known threats to the convention, event organizers believe these enhanced measures are important to ensure that NAB Show participants can conduct business in a safe and secure environment.

Above and beyond the NAB Show’s standard security procedures – which include multiple interior badge check points, random bag searches, and exterior perimeter security posts – NAB is increasing security and law enforcement personnel around the exterior perimeter of the Las Vegas Convention Center and will establish designated building entry and exit points.

Attendees can expect to see an increased number of uniformed police officers and search dogs as well as an increase in the number of random bag searches. All bags will be subject to search at any location.

The NAB Show security team will remain in close consultation with the Las Vegas Metro Police, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Las Vegas Convention Center and will continue to evaluate and update the security plan as necessary.

“Our priority is safety for our attendees,” said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. “In light of recent incidences, both domestic and global, we believe these steps are appropriate. We will do our best to limit any inconvenience to our attendees.”

Here's Why Earplugs Are A Good Idea At Concerts

(Reuters Health) - The next time you go see your favorite band live, you may want to wear earplugs. It might not be cool, but a new Dutch study suggests it can prevent temporary hearing loss from loud music.

Researchers studied 51 people at an outdoor music festival in Amsterdam, asking half of them to wear earplugs.

In hearing tests after the 4.5-hour show, only 8 percent of the earplug group had what’s known as a temporary threshold shift (TTS), or reduced range of hearing abilities that happens after exposure to lots of noise, compared with 42 percent of the unprotected group.

The study team also tested participants for tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and found this happened to 12 percent of the earplug group and 40 percent of the others.

“This study shows very dramatically the difference in real hearing changes … if one uses ear plugs at a typical rock concert versus not using ear plugs,” said Dr. Jennifer Derebery, a researcher at the House Ear Clinic and Institute in Los Angeles who wasn’t involved in the study.

So-called acquired hearing loss – the temporary kind people can get at concerts – is becoming much more common, lead study author Dr. Wilko Grolman of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands and colleagues note in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Repeated episodes of temporary damage like the kind that happens at a live show can eventually lead to permanent hearing loss.

Sounds louder than about 85 decibels can lead to permanent hearing loss with repeated exposure. Concert attendees are typically exposed to sounds around 100 to 110 decibels, about as loud as a chain saw. Typical conversations happen around 60 decibels.

Age-related hearing loss happens naturally over time, affecting half of adults over 65 years old. But many younger people can avoid further damage to their ears by steering clear of loud noise and wearing proper protection when they spend long periods of time exposed to noises at for work or leisure pursuits.

One limitation of the study is that researchers couldn’t test hearing loss at some frequencies, which may have led them to underestimate the number of participants who suffered from temporary hearing loss, the authors note. They also lacked data on the exact level of noise exposure at the music festival.

Even so, the findings add to a growing body of evidence from smaller studies suggesting that earplugs can reduce temporary hearing loss among concert-goers, said Colleen Le Prell, a hearing and communication researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas who wasn’t involved in the study.

The study also suggests not every person at the concert will be affected the same way, Le Prell said.

“This well-designed study documents the variability of the effects of the noise on the unprotected ear,” Le Prell added. “Not every participant in the unprotected group developed TTS.”

Unfortunately for music lovers, though, getting bad seats in addition to wearing ear plugs is the best way to safeguard hearing, Derebery said by email.

“Do not try to get seats close to the speakers or close to the stage,” Derebery added. “If they like to go to concerts a lot, it is worth the money to have custom earplugs.”

Even though this study didn’t look at long-term hearing loss, previous research in animals has shown that repeated episodes of temporary hearing loss can eventually lead to lasting problems, Grolman said by email.

“So we presume that consistent use of earplugs can prevent noise-induced hearing loss,” Grolman added.

D/FW Radio: 103.7 KVIL Foodie Stacy Fawcett Murdered

Stacy Fawcett
45-year-old Stacy Fawcett, who contributed to the Daybreak program on WFAA as “Dallas’ Favorite Foodie,” and her 17-year-old son Joisah Utu were found dead after 19-year old McCann Utu Jr. called 911, telling the call-taker, “I have committed murder,” a Plano police spokesman said.

Fawcett’s brother Justin Fawcett told WFAA that McCann Utu went on a rampage — taking knives from the kitchen and stabbing his mom and brother, a senior at Plano West High School.

According to the police report, officers responded to a stabbing call about 12:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of Communications Parkway in Plano. The officers found Fawcett and Josiah Utu dead at the scene, with McCann Utu alive with multiple self-inflicted stab wounds.

Justin Fawcett told News 8 that McCann Utu called 911 while repeatedly stabbing himself. He died later at a local hospital.

Waseem Limbada, a friend of McCann Utu, told WFAA that his friend changed after suffering a concussion in the fall of 2013 while playing for the Plano West basketball team. He said Utu never played again because he couldn’t pass the concussion protocol test.

Fawcett, who also contributed to CBS Radio's KVIL 103.7 FM’s website as a food blogger, is identified on the Stacy Fawcett WFAA Daybreak’s Favorite Foodie Facebook page as a foodie blogger and culinary enthusiast.

KVIL posted the following on their website:
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of our dear friend, Stacy Fawcett. You know her as our awesome foodie blogger, but she was so much more than that. 
We will miss her kind, gentle spirit and her loving personality. But even as we mourn her loss, we want to celebrate her wonderful gift for – and love of – food. 
There are many incredible foodie blogs she has written for us. Please join us in keeping her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

The Star-Telegram reports Fawcett was well-known in both the Dallas media and food communities, with many in both communities posting their condolences on social media.

“We are heartbroken,” Leigh Ann Adam, co-host of the Leigh Ann And Courtney Kerr Uncorked afternoon show on KVIL, posted on Facebook. “We love you Stacy Fawcett. You were an angel on earth and now one in heaven.”

“I am in shock,” posted KDFW/Channel 4 traffic reporter Todd Caruth. “Stacy was one of the sweetest, most giving people I have ever known. My heart goes out to her friends and family.”

Many others took to Twitter to express their shock and sadness.

April 9 Radio History

In 1860...Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville invents the phonautogram to record sound.

The phonautograph is the earliest known device for recording sound. Previously, tracings had been obtained of the sound-producing vibratory motions of tuning forks and other objects by physical contact with them, but not of actual sound waves as they propagated through air or other media. It transcribed sound waves as undulations or other deviations in a line traced on smoke-blackened paper or glass. Intended solely as a laboratory instrument for the study of acoustics, it could be used to visually study and measure the amplitude envelopes and waveforms of speech and other sounds, or to determine the frequency of a given musical pitch by comparison with a simultaneously recorded reference frequency.

Apparently, it did not occur to anyone before the 1870s that the recordings, called phonautograms, contained enough information about the sound that they could, in theory, be used to recreate it. Because the phonautogram tracing was an insubstantial two-dimensional line, direct physical playback was impossible in any case.

In 1950…Bob Hope began his long association with NBC-TV, hosting the network's 90-minute musical special "Star-Spangled Review." His first appearance on television came in 1932 during a test transmission from an experimental CBS studio in New York. Hope made his network radio debut on NBC in 1937.

In 1967..."Radio New York Worldwide", a shortwave broadcaster, lost its transmitter to a fire

In 1973...Pat St. John started at WPLJ, NYC.

St. John was born in Detroit and was raised on the music of Motown. In early 1969, at the age of 18, he landed his first gig as a radio personality on Windsor's CKLW, where he also worked for CKLW's 20/20 news doing newscasts one day a week, and part-time booth announcing on CKLW-TV Channel 9. In late 1970 he moved across the border to WKNR and was then hired in early 1972 at the ABC-owned album-oriented rock (AOR) station WRIF until 1973.

In April 1973, St. John began an almost 15-year stint at New York's WPLJ. For most of his years at WPLJ he was rated by Arbitron as the most listened to afternoon radio personality in America. He survived the station's transition from AOR to top 40 in 1983, and during that era, continued his Arbitron ratings success with that same ranking.

He left WPLJ in 1987, and returned to his rock roots on WNEW-FM, which had been WPLJ's rival during its AOR years. He became the station's program director in the early 1990s while continuing his mid-day show until being asked to do morning-drive (which he did from 1994 through 1996) and then moved to afternoons where then followed Scott Muni who moved to mid-days). Pat remained with the station until it switched to a hot talk format in 1998.

Today, St. John works at SiriusXM's 60On6 channel..

In 1996...WWRL, WNEW Radio/TV personality Sandy Becker died.

Becker was born and raised in New York City.  He held local radio announcing jobs before first reaching public fame on radio as the title character of "Young Doctor Malone".

Originally a pre-medical student at New York University in the 1930s, Becker played the good doctor on radio for a decade.  Then, he started working for Channel 5 TV and became the host of a program featuring Bugs Bunny cartoons, "The Looney Tunes Show" on weeknights from 1955 to 1958. A second Friday night program called "Bugs Bunny Theater" ran from 1956 to 1957. Becker also did television announcing, such as for Wildroot Cream-Oil ads in the television series "The Adventures of Robin Hood."

In the middle of those activities, Becker found his true calling, spun in large part off his knack for entertaining his own three children with his vocal and comic versatility. This led him to his morning show beginning in 1955, and he added a noontime program "Sandy Becker's Funhouse" briefly in 1955. He hosted the syndicated "Wonderama" from 1955-56.

Becker would also host a weekday evening & afternoon children's wraparound show which had him playing comedic characters, performing puppet skits and engaging his viewers in informational segments,contests and interview guest performers and personalities in between the reruns of movie and TV cartoons."The Sandy Becker Show" was seen weekday evening and afternoons from Monday March 30, 1961 to Friday February 16, 1968.

Becker created such characters as double-talking disc jockey Hambone, addled but brilliant Big Professor (who claimed to know the answer to every question in the world), rumpled Hispanic kid's show host K. Lastima, incompetent mad-scientist Dr. Gesundheit, and — showing a remarkable knack for silent comedy — simple-minded Norton Nork, whose routines of earnest bumbling were joined only by musical accompaniment and a droll Becker narration that ended, invariably, with, "That's my boy, Norton Nork — you've done it again!" He also had a real bird in a cage called "Chipper".

Sandy's show was so popular in the NY area that when he began using a version of the Hambone Theme music from an old 78 RPM record by Red Saunders which was recorded in 1952, the Okeh record company re-released the song on a 45 RPM record. Enough kids bought the record that it reached Survey position #22 on local rock radio station WMCA in March 1963. For his show's own theme music, Sandy came to use Guy Warren's "That Happy Feeling" as recorded in 1962 by Bert Kaempfert.

Becker is warmly remembered for the manner in which he handled one of America's deepest tragedies on the air. On November 22, 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Becker went on the air and, quite movingly, attempted to explain to his young viewers what had happened.

Sadly, most of Becker's programs were not preserved.

In 2013…Tampa Bay radio veteran Scott Farrell, who logged more than a dozen years as the midday music host on WFLA-AM following a stint at WTCN in Minneapolis, died at the age of 86.

In 1966, the St. Paul, Minnesota native joined 970 WFLA to fill the midday shift and went on to become the morning host, program director, and general manager of WFLA-FM before leaving to do mornings at FM101 WJYW in 1981.

He was a WWII Army vet and earned his degree in broadcasting from Macalester College, a private undergraduate liberal arts college in St. Paul, where he majored in speech and radio. Before moving to Tampa Bay, his early stops included KICD in Spencer, Iowa and WTCN in Minneapolis.

Friday, April 8, 2016

AM/FM Listeners Switch 22 Times Per Commute

Even as in‐car audio use continues to evolve, Americans remain “button punchers.”

Nearly 75% of those who consume audio in the car are likely to switch at least  occasionally over the course of their commute. The average user of AM/FM radio switches the station 22 times per commute, while those using other platforms switch an average of 9.3 times per commute.

That’s just one of the findings of Edison Research’s “Hacking the Commuter Code,” a  first‐of‐its‐kind national survey of those who commute 20 minutes or more daily, alone  in a car or truck.  New methodology from Edison allowed us to capture the actual,  second‐by‐second behavior of commuters across the country.

“Hacking the Commuter Code” finds that there is a wide variance in behavior among in‐car audio users, with results depending on age, the type of content being consumed (e.g., music vs. spoken‐word), and access to streaming or satellite radio or integrated multi‐media systems.

There are also significant differences between types of users. “Hacking the Commuter
Code” identifies three discrete groups:
  • The Restless – those who constantly switch (21%) 
  • The Seekers—those who switch occasionally (52%) 
  • The Keepers – those who mostly stick one with choice (27%) 
“Hacking the Commuter Code” looks at how in‐car audio users react to hearing commercials. But it also finds that listeners switch for a variety of reasons—not just in reaction to commercial breaks, but also an ongoing quest for a better song. “We’re very excited to be bringing new and unique information to the advertising, audio, and broadcast communities,” says Edison president Larry Rosin.

“This is an  Edison Research Hacks The Commuter Code  entirely new research design to help answer definitively what has only been speculated about until now. We’re confident that ‘Hacking the Commuter Code’ will take its place  alongside Edison’s ‘Share of Ear’ and ‘Infinite Dial’ studies.”

Contact for details on subscribing to the full report.

Pandora: Restless Finger Syndrome Caused Mostly By Commercials

Pandora was quick to comment on Edison Research’s latest data about AM/FM listeners that change stations about 22 times per commute.

In a white paper, Pandora states “by a significant margin, the top two reasons for switching AM/FM are the commercials and to skip disliked songs.”

Pandora also claims that 7 out of 10 drivers report that they change the station when they are in the car and listening to AM/FM when commercials come on.

In its white paper , Pandora says drivers know that radio stations often play 10 or more commercials in a row. “They also know they can avoid them with a simple push of a preset. Seven out of 10 commuters report they don’t listen to the full commercial break, and nearly half of them claim they don’t even last through the first commercial. But it’s not just the ads that are causing them to switch—it’s equally due to repetitive, unpersonalized playlists. And what happens when you combine repetitive playlists with a seemingly endless run of commercials? You get drivers who switch stations a lot—22 times in each direction of their daily commute. That’s 44 switches just going to and from work.”

S/WB Radio: Official! Doc Medek To Mornings On WGGY

Ken Medek
Longtime PA personality Ken 'Doc' Medek has been named new morning host at Entercom's Country WGGY 101.3 FM Froggy 103.

He'll host  "The Doc Show' with Jesse Roberts, who previously hosted middays at Froggy.

Medek launched the original "Doc Show" at the station in 1999.  It enjoyed a successful 11 year run and then Medek moved to 'XTU.

Medek is returning to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market after almost six years at CBS Radio's WXTU 92.5 FM in Philadelphia.

Previously,  Medek programmed WGGY and was morning host. He has also programmed Top40 WKRZ 98.5 FM Scranton and WBLI 106.1 FM Long Island NY.

The new morning show replaces the Wake-Up Call with Eric Peterson and Selena Robertson. They exited the station April 1 after 14 and 12 years with the company, respectively.

WGGY 101.1 FM  (7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
"Doc is a world class talent with local roots and an expert at his craft," said Entercom/S-WB GM Ryan Flynn. "We are very fortunate to have him re-joining our team. Froggy 101 has a long history of success in Northeast PA that is driven by our connection to our local community. Having Doc and Jessie together is a powerful way to start our programming day, and I can't wait to see them build on the great heritage of the station."

Saginaw Radio: Morning Duo vs. Cumulus Suit Headed To Fed Court

Age-discrimination lawsuits filed by fired former WHNN 96.1 FM radio personalities Johnny Burke and Blondie are headed to federal court.

Cumulus Media, the station's owner, this week had lawsuits filed against it by the longtime radio hosts moved from Saginaw County Circuit Court to U.S. District Court, according to MLive.

Saginaw attorney Victor Mastromarco Jr. on Feb. 29 filed separate lawsuits against Cumulus on behalf of Burke, 61, and Blondie, whose real name is Bonnie Belger-Holzhei, alleging the company violated Michigan's Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act when company officials fired them Jan. 15.

The firings, the lawsuits claim, were "based upon age." Cumulus replaced the hosts "with two thirty-something younger employees who were paid less money," the lawsuits state.

Cumulus, headquartered in Atlanta, filed to have the cases moved to U.S. District Court, which has the power to hear a case in which a party is requesting $75,000 or more and the plaintiff is from a different state than the defendant.

Cumulus officials in January released Burke and Belger-Holzhei, hosts for WHNN, 96.1 FM, as part of a "format evolution" for the station that saw it change from a classic hits station into one that plays more current music. The station formerly branded as "Oldies 96" became "My 96.1".

The lawsuits state they were fired without warning after completing their show that day, a Friday. A Cumulus executive notified Burke and Belger-Holzhei of the termination and explained that "they were looking for a newer music, and younger audience, and that their services were no longer needed," the lawsuits state.

The lawsuits claim, however, that the hosts tried to suggest a "younger format" to Cumulus officials.

The lawsuits claim that during an Oct. 29, 2015, meeting to discuss WHNN's strengths and weaknesses, "various employees made jokes" that Burke and Belger-Holzhei were too old to bring in younger demographics. Burke and Belger-Holzhei continued their suggestions, "but it appeared ... that their suggestions fell on deaf ears, further confirming that the true reason why his suggestions were being ignored was based on his age and the desire of Cumulus to remove (them)," the lawsuits claim.

Since then, Burke and Belger-Holzhei have begun hosting "Johnny and Blondie Live," which streams online from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at their website

Chicago Radio: Kasper Lands PM Drive On WUSN

CBS Radio has announced that (Mike) Kasper will handled PM Drive for its Country WUSN US99.5 FM in Chicago.

He succeeds Shila Nathan, following her move to WNSH Nash FM 94.7 FM  in New York in January.

He was most recently with iHeartMedia Top 40 WRVQ/Richmond, VA.  His resume also includes stops in WAKS Cleveland and WIOQ Philadelphia.

I’ve been of fan of Kasper's for many years, and I’m excited to have him join the airstaff at US99-5,” said CBS Radio VP/Country Programming and WUSN PD Jeff Kapugi.

“Kasper joins a talented on-air team of Lisa and Ray in the morning, Drew Walker in middays, and Jax at night.”

WUSN 99.5 FM (5.7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Ecstatic doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel about joining US99-5," said Kasper. “I’m beyond thrilled to work with a legendary programmer like Jeff Kapugi and join the amazing team at US99-5 and CBS Radio/Chicago.”

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, US 99.5 tied for 11th place in afternoons with a 2.9 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 486,900.

Louisville Radio: WHAS PD Kelly Carls To Retire

Kelly Carls
Kelly Carls and iHeartMedia have announced that Carls will retire in August as program director of N/T WHAS 840 AM.

Carls joined WHAS in April of 1998 as the program director and went on to serve iHeartMedia in various capacities, including operations manager of the Louisville cluster, regional senior vice president of programming and national news/talk brand manager.

Previously stops included WLAC 1510 AM Nashville and WGY 810 AM in Albany, NY

“I have been working since the age of 16. Now, I’m ready to relax and have some fun,” said Carls.

iHM Kentucky-Indiana Region President Earl Jones said Carls has a strong understanding of the broadcast industry and has helped the company through the evolving radio landscape. “We will miss him tremendously, but wish him the best in his well-earned retirement,” he said.

A search is underway for Carls’ replacement.