Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 22 Radio History

In 1900...In New York City, the Associated Press was incorporated as a non-profit news cooperative.

In 1922..WGR in Buffalo, NY signed-on...

The history of one of Buffalo's earliest radio stations has its roots at sea. On April 1, 1921 the Governor, a passenger ship, sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean after collision with a freighter, the West Hartland.

The passenger ship’s assigned radio call letters were WGR. Due to maritime superstition, the call sign was never reissued to another ship and reverted to a pool of available call signs for new radio stations.

That same year, the Federal Telephone & Telegraph Company (FTTC), headquartered in a sprawling manufacturing complex in North Buffalo, began marketing its first, completely assembled radio sets. To fill a radio void in the city, and to stimulate sales of their new "high-tech" products, the FTTC applied for (and received) a commercial radio license from the Department of Commerce. The station was named "WGR" after George Rand (founder of Remington Rand), a key investor in the FTTC.

WGR Transmitter Equipment Early '20s
On May 22, 1922, WGR's broadcast operations commenced, beginning nine decades of continuous service to Western New York and Southern Ontario. It is the oldest continuously operating station in Buffalo.

1738 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo - Birthplace of WGR Radio
Published reports say that the first programs on WGR were: a clergyman’s lecture; a concert from Victor’s Furniture Store showroom; and a presentation on the advantages of a college education by Dr. Julian Park, from the University at Buffalo.

In the late 1940s, the station was bought by a consortium of Western New York families known as the WGR Corporation, which signed on WGR-TV (channel 2) in 1953. WGR Corporation bought several other television and radio stations in the 1950s, and eventually became known as Transcontinent Broadcasting. Transcontinent merged with Taft Broadcasting in 1964. Taft sold off WGR-TV in 1983 (it is now WGRZ-TV), but kept the radio station until 1987.

During its days as a full service radio station, its roster of personalities included "Buffalo Bob" Smith, later famous for TV's Howdy Doody children's show, and popular national TV and nightclub comedian Foster Brooks.

The station's longtime music format combining Adult Top 40 hits and rock oldies and featured some of Buffalo's top radio personalities, talk hosts and news reporters including Stan Roberts, Frank Benny, Tom Donahue, Randy Michaels, Jim Scott, Jerry Reo, Shane, Joe Galuski, Tom Langmyer, George Hamberger, Tom Shannon, John Otto, Chuck Lakefield, Don Dussias, Lauri Githens, Wayne Smith, Sandy Kozel, Jane Tomczak, Craig Matthews and Tom Bauerle. WGR gradually evolved to news/talk during the late 1980s.

In 1987, Taft sold the station to Rich Communications, which was part of the Robert Rich family's business holdings, which also included a major processed-food company and a venture applying for a National League expansion baseball franchise (for which WGR was projected to be flagship station of the team's projected network). Although the Rich interests were the National League's choice for the new franchise they dropped out of the competition for an expansion team (which ultimately went to Denver, Colorado (Colorado Rockies) for cost reasons. Soon after, WGR was eventually spun off to new owners.

Today,  WGR 550 AM airs Sports.

In 1922…Singer Ada Jones, the most popular female vocalist of the early 20th century, died of kidney failure at age 48. Between 1905 and 1922, she had an astounding 108 Top 10 singles, seven of which went to #1.

In 1955…Jack Benny's broadcast run of live network radio programs ended after 23 years. His TV show aired from 1952-1965.

In 1972...Dave Herman starts at WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC.  Herman interviews Elton John from 1976..

In 1998…Los Angeles radio disc jockey (KHJ, KMPC, KRTH) Robert W. Morgan died of lung cancer at age 60.

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

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

On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status when they joined the staff of KHJ 930 AM, Los Angeles almost overnight. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station. It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973. Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery.

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

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

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

In 1973, Morgan and Steele walked out of KHJ and joined Bill Drake six months later at KIQQ-FM, Los Angeles. The ratings were sub-par, though, causing Morgan to leave the morning slot a year and a half later for weekends and fill-in slots at the prestigious KMPC Los Angeles. He did that for four years before legendary morning man Dick Whittinghill retired in 1980, allowing Morgan to go back to mornings. He stayed at KMPC until 1984. After a short stint at KMGG, Morgan returned to KMPC.

Morgan was heard in 1973 on Saturday night segments of the long-running NBC Radio program Monitor, an attempt to freshen that program's image. While with KMGG, he was at one time heard as a substitute host of American Top 40. During the mid to late 70s, Morgan also did his own one hour radio weekly special highlighting one artist or group per show. "Robert W. Morgan's Special of the Week" was often played on radio stations that also carried Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as the same company, Watermark, distributed both.

The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as the morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101 where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer.

According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two packs a day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years." In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.

On January 9, 1998, K-EARTH 101 held a retirement tribute for Morgan at the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills. The tribute included a re-dedication of his Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, and a three-hour broadcast from the museum’s theater, hosted by Gary Owens and Morgan's KRTH co-host, Joni Caryl. It concluded with a thirty minute retrospective on Morgan’s career, narrated by Dick Clark.

Morgan died on May 22, 1998. He was 60 years old. Morgan was married twice and was survived by a daughter.

Redstone Ousts Viacom CEO From Trust

Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) -- Media mogul Sumner Redstone has removed Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the seven-person trust that will determine the fate of both Viacom and CBS in the event of his incapacitation or death, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters Friday.

Reuters reported Tuesday that Redstone, who turns 93 next week, had the power to remove certain members of the trust, including Dauman.

The move by Sumner Redstone, gives his daughter, Shari Redstone, who is also on the trust and vice chair of CBS and Viacom, a victory and more certain control to determine the fate of her father's $40 billion media empire.

According to documents faxed to Dauman and Abrams, Redstone also removed Abrams and Dauman from the board of National Amusements Inc, the privately held movie company which owns 80 percent voting stake in CBS and Viacom, one of the sources said.

Shari Redstone, Philippe Dauman
Both sources wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.

CBS and Viacom also received faxed notifications, according to Fortune, which first reported Sumner Redstone's move.

A spokesman for Dauman called the steps "illegal and invalid" in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"They are a shameful effort by Shari Redstone to seize control by unlawfully using‎ her ailing father Sumner Redstone's name and signature. As she knows and as court proceedings and other facts have demonstrated, Sumner Redstone now lacks the capacity to have taken these steps," the spokesman said.

"Sumner Redstone would never have summarily dismissed Philippe Dauman and George Abrams, his trusted friends and advisors for decades."

Abrams did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. A spokeswoman for Shari Redstone had no immediate comment.

Sumner Redstone and Dauman have worked together for more than 30 years, and Redstone has called Dauman "a great friend." Shari Redstone voted against Dauman's elevation to executive chairman of Viacom in February.

This month, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by a former girlfriend who argued Redstone was not mentally competent to remove her from his advance healthcare directive last October. The case shined a spotlight on Redstone's health.

The mogul struggled to speak when questioned by the ex-girlfriend's attorneys, a transcript of his testimony showed.

The Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Inc Trust owns about 80 percent of Redstone's privately held movie theater company, National Amusements Inc, which in turn owns 80 percent of the voting rights in both Viacom and CBS.

After Sumner Redstone dies or is incapacitated, the trust will determine all matters that come to a shareholder vote at both companies, including potential mergers or acquisitions.

With the removal of Abrams and Dauman, Shari Redstone will have majority support among the trust's members, who include Shari's son, lawyer Tyler Korff, and David Andelman, another lawyer who is on the CBS board.

The trust's other members are Norman Jacobs, Sumner's divorce lawyer, and Leonard Lewin, an attorney who represented Redstone's first wife, Phyllis, in her divorce from Sumner.

Dauman Challenging Removal From Trust

Philippe Dauman
Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Philippe Dauman is challenging the validity of a move by Sumner Redstone’s lawyers to remove him from the trust that will eventually control Mr. Redstone’s media empire, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams were informed that they have been removed from the trust by a law firm claiming to represent Mr. Redstone, according to a spokesman for Mr. Dauman.

“These steps are invalid and illegal,” the spokesman said late Friday. “As court proceedings and other facts have demonstrated, Sumner Redstone now lacks the capacity to have taken these steps. Sumner Redstone would never have summarily dismissed Philippe Dauman and George Abrams, his trusted friends and advisers for decades.”

The two men were also removed from the board of National Amusements Inc., the holding company that owns the controlling shares of Viacom and CBS.

Removing Mr. Dauman would be a big victory for Shari Redstone, Mr. Redstone’s daughter and the vice chairman of Viacom and CBS Corp., who has clashed in the past with the executive and was the lone Viacom board member not to vote for his recent promotion to executive chairman.

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Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson Beef Over Facebook Meeting

Glenn Beck
Radio/TV Host Glenn Beck is criticizing his fellow conservatives after a group of them met with top Facebook executives to discuss how the company could be more diverse and include right-wing voices, according to CBS News.

"I sat through a meeting that, to me, felt like I was attending a Rainbow Coalition meeting, that people (not me) had come with a list of demands," Beck wrote in a blog post on Medium Thursday. "It was like affirmative action for conservatives."

The highly-scrutinized Wednesday meeting, hosted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's headquarters, involved more than a dozen conservative media leaders, including Beck, who broadcasts a TV show, a radio show and owns TheBlaze. The gathering was a response to the Senate Commerce Committee's recent investigation into allegations of liberal bias in Facebook's "trending topics" website feature.

Facebook's CEO denied the accusations of liberal bias in a post on the social media site, saying they found "no evidence" that the report was true.

But after meeting with Zuckerberg to assess how the company could improve its product to be more conservative-friendly, Beck left the Facebook meeting with his beliefs about the social media company intact -- "that it was a good, if not perfect actor."

Tucker Carlson
"Walking out of the meeting, I was convinced that Facebook is behaving appropriately and trying to do the right thing," the radio and television host wrote. "[I]n my opinion, there is no evidence of a top-down initiative to silence conservative voices."

Also attending was Tucker Carlson, Daily Caller editor-in-chief and Fox News contributor. Carlson was not happy with how Glenn Beck acted at the Facebook meeting for conservatives, according to Politico.

In an interview, Carlson blasted the radio and television host, saying he was sucking up to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"I went to that meeting expecting Beck to cry, rend his garments while quoting James Madison, but that's not at all what happened. He began the most extended assiduous suck-up I think I've ever seen a grown man commit. He acted like he was auditioning to be Mark Zuckerberg's manservant — it was awe-inspiring,' Carlson said.

"I don't know what his agenda is; it's either he's looking to put his tanking Web properties up for sale or he just can't help himself. There's a billionaire there, so he sniffs the throne."

In April, Beck's company The Blaze laid off about 40 employees and announced that it was relocating its operations almost entirely to Texas, where it is headquartered.

HBO Programming Chief Exiting

Michael Lombardo
HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo is leaving the company after more than three decades, the latest executive shakeup at the pioneering cable television network.

The LA Times reports the decision to resign was made by Lombardo, said a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment. His final day is not known.

A replacement has not been named. Lombardo is expected to segue to a production deal with HBO.

During his tenure, Lombardo has overseen the launches of the popular series "True Blood," "Boardwalk Empire," "Game of Thrones," and "Veep." The latter two won for both drama and comedy series at last year's Emmys.

But his departure comes as HBO has faced some programming struggles in the past year or so.

Its  blockbuster series “Game of Thrones” continues to be a mega hit. But as the fantasy epic winds down, the network’s search for a strong slate of dramas has faced some challenges.

HBO's expensive rock drama “Vinyl,” executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, fared poorly. Other big-budget projects in development also have faced troubles.  The TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's futuristic "Westworld" halted production in December and still has an undetermined air date.

The TV industry has changed dramatically during Lombardo's tenure. HBO remains a top destination for high caliber projects, but faces more competition than ever. Rivals such as Netflix, Amazon, Showtime, AMC and FX have grabbed a larger share of business, attracting talent with high budgets and creative freedom.

Tampa Radio: iHM Names Brian Donovan Digital Director

Brian Donovan
iHeartMedia/Tampa has announced that Brian “Munchie” Donovan has been named Director of Digital, as of  July 1, 2016.

As Director of Digital for the Tampa region, Donovan will work closely with the programming staff and talent for the region’s 10 brands to deliver a seamless experience for listeners to easily access content across mobile, social, and Web platforms, as an extension of on-air programming.

Donovan has more than 20 years of experience in the radio industry, most recently serving as Director of Digital for iHM/Hartford and afternoon drive time on-air personality for WKSS KISS 95.7 FM.

“This is a welcome return to Tampa for Brian — he has 93.3 FLZ in his blood,” said Sam Nein, President of the Tampa Bay Region. “He has a proven track record across multiple cities, and we’re excited for Brian’s expertise to make a positive impact on our digital strategy.”

The Tampa clusters includes: Country WFUS 103.5 , Top40 WFLZ 93.3 , Dance WFLZ 93.3 FM HD2, UrbanAC WBTP 95.7 FM, Active Rock WXTB 97.9 FM, HotAC WMTX 100.7 FM, Classic Rock WMTX 100.7 FM HD2, Sports WDAE 620 AM, News/Talk WFLA 970 AM , and Talk WHNZ 1250 AM.

IN Radio: WBAA Backs Down On 'This American Life"

A day after news went wide that WBAA, Purdue University’s public radio station, planned to pull “This American Life” from its lineup over a dispute over the show’s use of the commercial streaming service Pandora, WBAA posted a programming note that the show of essays and memoirs would continue on the West Lafayette station.

In a note to listeners, posted Thursday at, the station said that after “considerable listener feedback,” WBAA officials had decided to keep the program.

Last week, Mike Savage, WBAA general manager, announced on social media site LinkedIn that the station would drop “This American Life” after host Ira Glass started putting the show out on Pandora as well as through 500 public radio stations and podcasts. Savage’s argument: Distributing the show via a commercial site undercut the mission of public radio.

Mike Savage
Glass disagreed in a series of responses in the LinkedIn conversation, telling Savage that the deal with Pandora meant more resources for the show and more listeners for public radio fare. Glass said he hoped the station manager would reconsider.

The LinkedIn post became a hot topic among public radio and media insiders, who debated WBAA's stand.

Savage's decision, though, was met with objections on social media over the past few days from Greater Lafayette fans of "This American Life," who threatened to hold back donations to WBAA.

WBAA 920 AM is the longest continuously-operating radio station in Indiana, having been licensed on April 4, 1922.  WBAA-FM began broadcasting in 1993. It is one of the few NPR stations located on a commercial frequency.

WBAA-FM, simulcasts its AM sister station in the morning and late afternoon to broadcast popular NPR talk programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Marketplace. Classical music can be heard at other times.

MA Radio: Rick Bletaire Signs-Off At WBRK

Rick Beltaire
Radio lost another veteran Berkshire voice on Friday when Rick Beltaire signed off at WBRK 1340 AM in Pittsfield, MA for the last time.

According to The Berkshire Eagle, Beltaire began his broadcasting career at WBEC 42 years ago after graduating from Williams College.

Beltaire, who grew up in Cleveland as a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan, joined WBRK in 1984 as a member of the ownership group that purchased the station. Beltaire became WBRK's vice president of programming.

"It is easy to throw the word great around, but in Rick's case it's an accurate statement," said WBRK's President Willard "Chip" Hodgkins III, "He's truly been an icon of Berkshire County radio and an iron man as well."

"His 30 plus years in the morning drive slot keeping us all informed and entertained is an incredible accomplishment," said Hodgkins, whose father, Willard H. "Huck" Hodgkins, headed the ownership group that bought WBRK for $625,000 in 1984.

After spending three years at WBEC in the mid-1970s, Beltaire left the Berkshires in 1977 for a job at WCOD-FM in Hyannis. But Beltaire missed this area, and returned to Pittsfield in 1980, where he replaced longtime local radio personality Bob Cudmore as the host of WBEC's morning show.

R.I.P.: Actor, Broadcaster Alan Young Has Died

Alan Young, Mister Ed
Emmy award-winning actor Alan Young, who rode to enduring TV fame alongside a talking horse on the popular 1960s sitcom "Mister Ed" and co-starred in the classic sci-fi film "The Time Machine," has died at age 96, his manager said on Friday.

Young, who also provided the voice of cartoon characters including Disney's Scrooge McDuck, died from natural causes this week at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, a Los Angeles retirement facility for those in the movie and TV industry, according to his manager, Gene Yusem.

The English-born actor was best known for his role as Wilbur Post, an amiable architect with a loquacious palomino living in his backyard barn, during six seasons on "Mister Ed," which still airs in reruns a half century after its original run on CBS ended.

Fans of the show also fondly remember its theme song, starting with the lyrics: "A horse is a horse, of course, of course. And no one can talk to a horse, of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed."

Young won an Emmy Award, honoring the best in U.S. television, in 1951 as best actor for "The Alan Young Show," beating out Sid Caesar, one of the biggest names in television at the time. "The Alan Young Show" won an Emmy for best variety show that year and ran from 1950 to 1953.

Young appeared in films as well, most notably director George Pal's "The Time Machine," a 1960 adaptation of the novel by H.G. Wells, starring a time-traveling Rod Taylor.

Young's other films included "Chicken Every Sunday" (1949) with a young Natalie Wood, "Mr. Belvedere Goes to College" (1949) with Shirley Temple and "Androcles and the Lion" (1952) with another animal co-star.

As a voice actor, Young performed as the grumpy Scrooge McDuck and worked on such programs as "The Smurfs" and "Scooby-Doo."

He was born as Angus Young in England on Nov. 19, 1919, and his family moved to Canada when he was 6. He worked in radio in Canada before moving to Los Angeles and changing his name to Alan. He was a naturalized American citizen.

Young came to love radio when bedridden as a child because of severe asthma.

By the time he was in high school, Young had his own comedy radio series on the CBC network, but left during World War II to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy. After leaving the service, Young moved to Toronto and resumed his Canadian radio career, where he was discovered by an American agent who brought him to New York City in 1944 to appear on American radio.

Young's first American radio appearances were on the Philco Radio Hall of Fame. This led to his own show, The Alan Young Show, NBC's summer replacement for Eddie Cantor's series. He switched to ABC two years later, then returned to NBC.

Data curated by PrettyFamous

May 21 Radio History

Dennis Day
In 1916...comic actor/singer Dennis Day was born in New York City. He came to stardom as the longtime singing fixture.. and character .. on radio’s Jack Benny Show. He went on to star in his own NBC radio sitcom (Dennis Day Show.) On TV he appeared in 237 episodes of the Benny Show, plus about a dozen guest acting gigs. He died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease June 22 1988 at age 72.

In 1931...WOR radio in New York City premiered The Witch’s Tale. Beginning in 1934 the pioneering horror show was broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System (of which WOR was the flagship station) where it aired until 1938.

In 1955...Comedian Ernie Kovacs begins a daily morning radio show (6-9a) over WABC 770 AM NYC.

In 1960...KFAX 1100 AM in San Francisco debuts a news and information format. It’s the first new radio format without a single record. No music anywhere. The format consists of a 15-minute newscast on the hour, a five-minute summary onthe half-hour, plus news analysis commentary, editorial and features to fill-outeach hour. (KFAX is still on-air, owened by Salem Media, and airs Christian teachnig programs.)

In 1961...Capital Cities Broadcasting Corp. purchased easy listening WPAT 930 AM  in Patterson, NJ for $5 million. It's  the first company purchase of a station outside a “capital city.” They own WTEN-TV/WROW-AM - Albany, WPRO-TV/Radio -Providence and WTVD-TV/Raleigh-Durham. WPAT is a successful stationserving the New York area.  In 1986, following the Cap Cities purchase of ABC, WPAT was sold to Park Communications.

In 1963... MGM Records was promoting a deejay-listener contest, tied to Connie Francis’ new single - “If My Pillow CouldTalk.” Participating deejays are asking their listeners “If Your Pillow Could Talk, WhatWould It Say?”

Writer of the winning lettergets a $100 U.S. Savings Bond, a phone call from Connie Francis and a complete library of her albums.

The deejay that receives the winning letter gets a week’s vacation at the Americana Hotel in Puerto Rico

Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Bob Crane
In 1963...It was announced that Los Angeles Disc Jockey Bob Crane will be a regular on the “Donna Reed Show” in the Fall. Bob has slowly built his acting career ever since he began doing mornings on KNX 1070 AM in 1956.

Barry Gray
In 1966..."two-way talk radio" is making a name for itself and is a viable format on some stations. On the East Coast, Barry Gray is one of the best-known two-way radio hosts. He conducts his show on music station WMCA 570 AM from 11p to 1a.

This week, Barry Gray signs a new contract with WMCA, which will take him into1970. The new arrangement is expected to give Gray $150,000 annually - a 50% raise!

WMCA was anxious to keep the high-rated talker. One reason, WCBS-AM made a bid for his services. Gray will actually split the show’s profits - 50/50. Atthe going rate (and his show is sold-out between 11p and 1a).

WMCA has been riding higher than high in the New York ratings. The musicstation topped all its competitors again in the recent Hooper and Pulse ratings.

Bob Grant
In 1971...Los Angeles radio talk transplant Bob Grant now does an afternoon talk show over WMCA 570 NYC. Grant says that New York is not like Los Angeles, where he spent many a year doing telephone talk radio over KABC and KLAC.

“L.A. radio is really hip compared to New York. Here the scene is very provincial and ethnic and liberal. Being a conservative, I am referred to by most of my callers as the house right-winger or fascist. Actually, it gets pretty funny because they do more yelling at me than engaging in useful debate. The audience in Los Angeles was much more sophisticated. Since WMCA started Dialog Radio, it’s really shot up in the ratings, we’ve gone from around 12th to third in the market.  One of the things WMCA is big on, though, is newsmaker calls and I do a lot of them."

In 1973...singer and bandleader Vaughn Monroe died shortly after stomach surgery at age 61. An immensely popular performer on radio and records, Monroe had more than 50 hits on the Billboard charts in the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era. Among his number-one records were 1945′s “There I’ve Said It Again” — revived by Bobby Vinton in 1963 — and 1949′s “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

In 1975...More than ever, disco music is spilling over to top-40.

The influence of the Discotheque – big in New York, is spreading. Disco records have been breaking into the top-40 more and more because of the initial play at discos. The so-called discotheque came to the U.S. from France during the early 1960’s, but the current trend came from gay clubs. Tom Moulton, who writes about the disco scene for Billboard – summed it up by saying New York is the hub of America’s disco scene. “The disco scene has doubled in New York in the last two years. New discos are opening all the time. In the New York area there are about 600 discos and about 30 key discos that you can look at to find out what songs are popular.”

In 1980...FCC realigns AM Clear Channel Stations.

The FCC votes to limit the coverage of so-called “clear channel” AM stations to 750 miles. The restriction covers 25 clear channel stations including KFI, Los Angeles, WCBS, WABC, WNBC in New York City, WLS, WBBM and WMAQ, Chicago and WSM - the home of the Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville. These stations are “protected” so that their nighttime signals can be heard in outlying areas, providing radio service to rural communities at night where there was no radio service. The FCC modified the rules in the mid-40’s, to allow new nighttime stations to operate on some of the channels, but the distance between stations was far away (WABC- KOB, Albuquerque) and only two operated (at the most) on one channel at night in the continental USA. Some channels still remain clear, such as WCCO in Minneapolis and WSM, which can still be picked-up thousands of miles away from Nashville on a clear channel.

The new rules will allow smaller stations to broadcast at night, thereby “interfering” with the distant broadcasts. The FCC says it will make room for 125 more nighttime AM stations.

Other stations with clear channel status - WSB - Atlanta, WBAP - Ft Worth, WLW  - Cincinnati, WJR - Detroit, KDKA - Pittsburgh, KMOX - St Louis, WWWE - Cleveland, WHAM, Rochester, WCAU - Philadelphia, WOAI - San Antonio, WHO - Des Moines, WOR - New York, WWL - New Orleans, KSL - Salt Lake City, WBZ - Boston.

Certain mediumwave frequencies were set aside under the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) for nighttime use by only one or two specific AM stations, covering a wide area via skywave propagation; these frequencies were known as the clear channels, and the stations on them are thus clear-channel stations. Where only one station was assigned to a clear channel, the treaty provides that it must operate with a nominal power of 50 kilowatts or more; stations on the other clear channels, with two or more stations, must use between 10 kW and 50 kW, and most often use a directional antenna so as not to interfere with each other. In addition to the frequencies, the treaty also specified the specific locations where stations on this second kind of channel (known as class I-B) could be built.

Some of the original NARBA signatories, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, have implemented bilateral agreements that supersede its terms, eliminating among other things the distinction between the two kinds of clear channel: the original "I-A", "I-B", and "I-N" station classes are now all included in class A.

Clear-channel stations, unlike all other AM stations in North America, have a secondary service area—that is, they are entitled to protection from interference to their nighttime skywave signals. Other stations are entitled, at most, to protection from nighttime interference in their primary service area — that which is covered by their groundwave signal.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Yahoo! Bids Expected To Be Below Past Indications

Verizon Communications Inc. and others are expected to bid around $2 billion to $3 billion in the auction for Yahoo Inc.’s core business, less than what the troubled Internet pioneer was expected to fetch, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As recently as April, people close to the process said Yahoo’s core business would likely go for between $4 billion and $8 billion.

Some offers could still be above the $2 billion-to-$3 billion range, other people said, and it is generally in the interest of bidders to play down their enthusiasm in an auction.

Yahoo has set a deadline in the first week of June for the next round of bids, some of the people said. It isn’t clear whether that will be the final round or if another one will follow, they said.

Bidders have lowered their expected prices following weeks of sale presentations by Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer at the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters and its disclosure of data that detailed the company’s flagging prospects.

Chicago Radio: Pohlman Expects CBS Radio Spin-Off in Early 2017

Tim Pohlman
Tim Pohlman is really happy about one accomplishment since he became market manager in January of the seven-station CBS Radio Chicago cluster. "I made my first quarter numbers," said Pohlman, exhaling a big sigh of relief and satisfaction in an interview in his office today.

Like many other radio stations nationwide, several of CBS Radio's Chicago stations experienced ad revenue slumps in recent years. But in Pohlman's years with CBS Radio, including his most recent stint running CBS Radio's three-station cluster in Phoenix, the radio veteran revealed a knack for making his ad sales numbers, according to the Chicago Business Journal.

Pohlman's radio cluster in Chicago includes all-news simulcast WBBM 780 AM WCFS 105.9 FM, sports WSCR 670 AM, Top40 WBBM 96.3 FM, country-formatted WUSN 99.5 FM, classic hits-formatted WJMK 104.3 FM and adult alternative rock WXRT 93.1 FM.

Pohlman's job in Chicago was rather quickly made more complicated when CBS CEO Les Moonves revealed in March that he is considering a sale or spinoff of the vaunted media company's entire national network of more than 115 radio stations, including the seven in Chicago.

Pohlman said the most probable scenario at this juncture appears to be a spinoff of CBS's radio assets, most likely sometime early in 2017.

In the meantime, Pohlman has had to manage a staff of some 400 full and part-time employees here in Chicago and their expectations of what may be ahead. He is very much a hands-on type of manager who pays close attention to fostering a collegial culture in the office, where he likes to throw parties to get everybody together in the hope they will feel better about coming to work.

Pohlman said he is still in the midst of taking a close look at all of CBS Radio operations in Chicago before he makes any major moves regarding on-air talent. But he has given one longtime local staffer a major promotion. Tim Cavanah was upped last month to vice president of programming at CBS Radio Chicago.

Meanwhile, CBS CEO Les Moonves told the Needham Emerging Technology Conference in New York CBS is entertaining any and all offers.

“There are a lot of people looking at it (CBS Radio),” Moonves said, including some “strategic” suitors and private equity investors. The company has swung open its doors to any proposition, Moonves said, including a merger.

He talked up CBS’ digital initiatives including the CBSN news service. In a recent visit to its headquarters he saw that “at any given minute they can basically tell me everybody who’s watching.

As an aside, he observed that the “biggest mistake” CBS made — before he moved to the company — was the 1988 decision to sell its recorded music business to Sony.

Then-CEO Larry Tisch “couldn’t stand the guys in the record business. He thought there was a little too much drugs and rock ‘n roll.” But it “wasn’t a great deal. Sony Music has done very very well since then.”

Nashville Radio: WKDF Adds Heather Davis For Middays

Heather Davis
Cumulus Media announces that Country radio personality Heather Davis has joined Nash Country WKDF 103.3 FM in Nashville as Host of Middays.

Davis joins NASH FM 103.3 from Curtis Media’s Country-formatted WQDR-FM in Raleigh, NC.

Prior to that, she hosted Mornings on Country station WGNA-FM in Albany, NY, and hosted Middays for Townsquare Media’s Country 106.5 WYRK in Buffalo, NY. Davis is a graduate of North Carolina State University.

Charlie Cook, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Nashville and Vice President, Country, for Cumulus Media said: “The minute I heard Heather’s audio I knew that she was the sound we need on WKDF. I love her varied on-air experience and she is a social media monster, which is so important today. We are looking forward to Heather joining radio’s best company in one of America’s best cities.”

WKDF 103.3 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Davis said: “I am so incredibly excited to be joining the NASH 103.3 team. It's a dream come true to be living and working in the home of country music. I can't wait to experience my first CMA Music Fest and all that Nashville has to offer.”

Boston Radio: Schilling Says 'No' To Smith Debate

Former ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling told a Boston talk-radio show he was “not going to waste my time with people I don’t respect” by accepting a debate challenge from the network’s Stephen A. Smith, blasting his ex-colleague as a “racist” and “bigot.”

The former Red Sox pitcher announced his decision on WEEI 93.7 FM’s “Dennis and Callahan Show” Thursday morning.

Schilling was fired from the cable sports network in April after he posted a controversial meme to his Facebook wall which was critical of transgender individuals using restrooms which don’t correspondent to their biological gender.

Schilling maintains he was fired for his outspoken conservative beliefs, according to The Washington Times.

Smith himself is no stranger to controversy and network disciplinary action. In the summer of 2014, he was suspended for one week after making comments suggesting that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s then-fiancee Janay Palmer was partially to blame for an assault by Mr. Rice that left her unconscious.

Boston Radio: Jordan Rich To Exit Overnights On WBZ-AM

Jordan Rich
Longtime WBZ 1030 AM talk show host Jordan Rich has decided to step away from his overnight microphone. Rich has hosted the weekend overnight show on WBZ-AM ince 1996, in addition to an array of other duties at the station.

According to CBS Local, Rich will continue to host New England Weekend and Connoisseur’s Corner segments on WBZ. He also maintains a fulltime job as co-owner of Chart Productions, an audio production company. Stepping away from the weekend show will allow him to spend more time with family, after working seven days (and nights) a week for so many years.

“What an honor it’s been to serve as late night host for so many years,” he said. “Although this long fulfilling chapter in my career is coming to a close, I’m thrilled to remain with the WBZ family and look forward to many exciting adventures in and out of radio.”

During his time at WBZ, Rich has hosted countless outside charity events, raised thousands of dollars for Children’s Hospital and other worthy causes, and made a connection to WBZ listeners that will be hard to duplicate.

“There are some people we all meet in life whose personality, professionalism, compassion, and abilities are of such a high caliber I wish those attributes could be bottled and spread around for the world to enjoy,” said WBZ Program Director Peter Casey. “Jordan Rich is one of those people.”

The final “Jordan Rich Show” will air the weekend of July 2 and 3. He will also co-host WBZ’s annual broadcast of the Boston Pops Esplanade concert on July 4.

Prior to his work at WBZ, Rich was a morning drive host for WSSH-FM in Boston from 1982 to 1996. He also worked at WRKO-AM from 1978 to 1982, as a co-host of the morning show and a host of his own Broadway music program.

15 Percent of Country Music Listeners Called 'Top-Tier' Spenders

The Country Music Association’s latest consumer research took a deep look at top-tier music listener purchases with data revealing that spending for this audience is at $800* or more in the past 12 months – a level which applies to nearly 15 percent of overall Country Music listeners on which the study was based. These figures were released Tuesday during the final of three webinars presenting CMA’s extensive consumer research initiative.

“Across the board we saw higher levels of engagement and spending. There were very few areas where these fans were not over-indexing in terms of music consumption against the general Country Music listening audience, not just spending,” said Karen Stump, CMA Senior Director of Market Research.

This top tier of spenders, deemed the “Fan Economy,” was comprised of all ages; however, Millennials age 25-34 were significantly higher (32 percent) as a high spending group, compared to other age groups. Gen X made up the next largest segment with a share of 25 percent among the tier. Adult Millennials had the highest average music spending levels at slightly more than $1,100 (self-reported respondents).

Karen Stump
Overall, these high spenders are not only purchasing more, they are consuming more across the board and all channels, both paid and free music. Seventy-eight percent of this “Fan Economy” listen to Country Music on a daily basis, while among the general Country Music audience, about 50 percent listen on a daily basis.

The study uncovered a few notable differences, meaning significantly higher engagement among the super “Fan Economy” tier. This group reported twice the rate of daily listening across purchased digital music, satellite radio, and Spotify. Eighty-four percent spent money on concert tickets, compared to 50 percent among other Country Music listeners.

This group also yields another benefit to the format as social influencers of music. The “Fan Economy” listeners are super-users of social media and reported twice the level of everyday/constant use of Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram compared to the total audience. They use social media to influence and learn about music and artists, with 86 percent agreeing that social media is a good way to engage with music and artists.

In webinars presented exclusively to CMA members May 3 and May 11, research has shown the Country Music audience continues to gain popularity across the board with the fastest growth in listeners occurring among non-whites, Hispanics, and Millennials. Additionally, research also indicates that Country Music fans, on average, spend more on music than fans of any other genre.
The data reported in this summary is from CMA’s proprietary consumer study, which was conducted among 3,330 adult consumers across the U.S. during October 2015. The study was conducted by a third-party research partner, The Futures Company. CMA Research is conducted on behalf of and provided exclusively to CMA members.

Megyn Kelly Fires Back at Media Critics

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly got a lot of positive media coverage for her tough questioning of Donald Trump in the first Republican debate last year and her refusal to back down as he hammered her for months afterward.

But after her Tuesday night (May 17th) interview with Trump that was seen as the end of their feud, many in the media were critical of it, dismissing it as being a lightweight exchange in which she never challenged the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee -- and Kelly wasn't having it.

On her Fox News Channel show the following night, Kelly called out several of those by name who'd criticized the interview, charging they hadn't disclosed their previous criticism of Trump.

She charged, "Not surprisingly, many of these critics failed to expose their own bias against Trump, against Fox News or against the GOP."

She stated, "As I said, right from the beginning of this thing, I was never going to love him. And I was never going to hate him. And those who assumed either one assumed too much."

But Kelly didn't stop there. After The Daily Show host Trevor Noah criticized the interview Wednesday night, saying Kelly didn't ask tough questions, especially when it came to Trump's statements about women, charging, "This was sold as a bloodbath. But in the end, it just turned out to be one of those couple's baths that only exist in, like, the Cialis commercials,"

Kelly fired back on Twitter Thursday morning. She sarcastically said she was grateful to have men like Noah advise her how to deal with sexist attacks.

Don Benson to Receive National Radio Award

Don Benson
Don Benson, who served for over a decade as president and chief executive officer of Lincoln Financial Media Company, will receive the National Radio Award during the Radio Luncheon on Wednesday, September 21. The 2016 Radio Show, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), will be held September 21-23 in Nashville.

“Don Benson has advanced the radio business with his strategic and thoughtful leadership," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "This recognition is timely and fitting for Don, who is held in the highest regard for his integrity and genuine commitment and service to broadcasting.”

As president and chief executive officer of Lincoln Financial Media Company (LFMC) from 2008-2015, Benson oversaw all aspects relating to LFMC's 15 radio stations in Atlanta, Miami, San Diego and Denver. Named chief executive officer of LFMC in May, 2008, he was appointed president of the company’s radio division in January, 2005; in addition, he previously served more than 10 years as the company’s corporate senior vice-president of operations/programming. Benson has more than 40 years of media experience, including more than 30 years with Lincoln Financial Media (and previous owner Jefferson-Pilot) and seven years as a programming consultant.

Benson began his career at WMAK/Nashville, before joining Jefferson-Pilot in 1974 at WQXI AM/FM in Atlanta. He served as vice president of operations at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles and as corporate vice president of programming for Western Cities Broadcasting. He was executive vice president of operations for Burkhart/Douglas & Associates, an Atlanta-based media consulting firm, prior to rejoining Jefferson-Pilot in 1994.

Benson served multiple terms on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors and as Radio Board Chair for three consecutive terms. In addition, he also served as a multi-year member of the Board of Directors of the Radio Advertising Bureau and as Chair of the Arbitron Advisory Council, representing the top 50 continuously rated radio markets.

Benson has received numerous industry accolades, including The Media Financial Management Association's Avatar Award, its highest honor, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the communications industry and exemplary role in community service. In December 2014, he was chosen as Radio Executive of the Year by Radio Ink. In 2010, he was inducted into the Vanderbilt University Student Media Hall of Fame, and in 2009, was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

May 20 Radio History

In 1901...Fessenden applies for high-frequency dynamo patent.

Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company.

The host of the broadcast was Fessenden. After giving a resume of the program Fessenden played a recording of Handel's "Largo" on an Ediphone thus establishing two records - the first recording of the first broadcast. Fessenden then dazzled his listeners with his talent as a violinist playing appropriately for the Christmas season, "Oh Holy Night" and actually singing the last verse as he played. Mrs. Helen Fessenden and Fessenden's secretary Miss Bent, had promised to read seasonal passages from the Bible including, "Glory to God in the highest -and on earth peace to men of good will," but when the time came to perform they stood speechless, paralyzed with mike fright. Fessenden took over for them and concluded the broadcast by extending Christmas greetings to his listeners - as well as asking them to write and report to him on the broadcast wherever they were.

The mail response confirmed that Fessenden had successfully invented radio as we know it. Technically, he had invented radio telephony or what radio listeners would call "real" radio as opposed to Marconi's Morse code broadcasting. Fessenden could truly lay claim to be the inventor of radio and he fully expected the world to beat a path to his door. Instead, he never received his due recognition, lost control of his patents and the ensuing revenue which made other inventors and companies immensely wealthy. Even today the Encyclopedia Canadiana does not give him a separate listing. Mention of him is only included under the listing for his mother Clementina who established Empire Day in Canada. Reginald is mentioned as one of her four sons, "inventor of the wireless telephone, the radio compass and the visible bullet for machine guns, he also invented the first television set in North America in 1919."

In 1920…The Canadian Marconi Company's station XWA (Experimental Wireless Apparatus) in MontrĂ©al gave what it would later claim to be the first scheduled radio broadcast in North America, and quite possibly in the world. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920, and while the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest."

In 1960...WRCA in NYC becomes WNBC 660 AM...again.

WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF, owned by AT&T Western Electric. It was the first radio station in New York City.

The call are popularly thought to have stood for Western Electric AT&T Fone or Water, Earth, Air, and Fire (the 4 classical elements).   However, records suggest that the call letters were assigned from an alphabetical sequence. The first assigned call was actually WDAM; it was quickly dropped, but presumably came from the same alphabetical sequence.

In 1922, WEAF broadcast what it later claimed to be the first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line, (the IRT's Flushing-Corona line, now the number 7 line).

In 1926, WEAF was purchased by the Radio Corporation of America, making it a sister station to WJZ. RCA then formed the National Broadcasting Company, which operated two radio chains.

WEAF became the flagship station of the NBC Red Network. The other chain was the NBC Blue Network, whose programming originated at WJZ (now WABC), also owned by RCA. As a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement of 1941, WEAF became a clear channel station, and could be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night.

On November 11, 1928, WEAF moved from 610 to 660 AM. The move that solidified WEAF's position as the most pretigious of all broadcasters took place in the autumn of 1933, when NBC moved to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and became the "radio" that gave Radio City its name.

In 1943, the United States Supreme Court ordered RCA to sell off one of its radio networks, citing antitrust concerns. The company decided to keep the Red Network, and it was rebranded as the NBC Radio Network after the Blue Network was divested, along with several stations (including WJZ), to Edward J. Noble and rechristened the Blue Network as the American Broadcasting Company. WEAF's call letters were changed to WNBC in 1946, then to WRCA in 1954, and back to WNBC in 1960.

In 1985...the United States began broadcasting to Cuban citizens on "Radio Marti".

In 2011…Longtime Pittsburgh radio personality (KDKA, 1973-2001) John Cigna died following a stroke and of complications from emphysema at 75.

In 2014...Chicago radio talk show host (WGN, WCFL, WIND)/sports commentator Bill Berg died of complications from Parkinson's disease at 77.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

R.I.P.: CBS Newsman Morley Safer Has Died At Age 84

Morley Safer
Morley Safer, the CBS newsman who changed war reporting forever when he showed GIs burning the huts of Vietnamese villagers and went on to become the iconic 60 Minutes correspondent whose stylish stories on America's most-watched news program made him one of television's most enduring stars, died today in Manhattan.

He was 84, according to CBS News.

Safer was in declining health when he announced his retirement last week; CBS News broadcast a long-planned special hour to honor the occasion on Sunday May 15 that he watched in his home.
A huge presence on 60 Minutes for 46 years -- Safer enjoyed the longest run anyone ever had on primetime network television. Though he cut back a decade ago, he still appeared regularly until recently, captivating audiences with his signature stories on art, science and culture.

Data curated by PrettyFamous

"Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever," said CBS Chairman and CEO, Leslie Moonves. "He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with 60 Minutes. He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur - all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS' and journalism's greatest treasures."

"This is a very sad day for all of us at 60 Minutes and CBS News. Morley was a fixture, one of our pillars, and an inspiration in many ways. He was a master storyteller, a gentleman and a wonderful friend. We will miss him very much," said Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes and Safer's close friend and one-time 60 Minutes producer.