Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 19 Radio History

In Martin Gabel was born in Philadelphia.

His signature work was on May 8, 1945 as narrator on the CBS radio broadcast of Norman Corwin’s epic poem On a Note of Triumph, a commemoration of the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany and the end of WW II in Europe. The broadcast was so popular that the CBS, NBC, Blue and Mutual networks aired a second live production five days later.  He was the most frequent guest on TV’s Sunday night fixture What’s My Line, because he was married to regular panelist Arlene Francis.

He died after a heart attack May 22 1986 at age 73.

In 1934...Communications Act of 1934 created Federal Communications Commission

In 1962...WMCA 570 began using “The Good Guys”.   Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

In 1964...KDKA 1020 AM, Pittsburgh banned the song “Beans In My Ears” by the Serendipity Singers. The ban follows complaints from listeners and area doctors who claim that children have been putting foreign objects into their ears at an increased rate since the single was released.

In 1965...Since WINS went all-news in April, New York’s remaining rockershave been going at it - head to head. It’s the WMCA Goodguys vs. the WABC All-Americans. They’re the only two places on the New York dial to hear Top40.

The post-WINS Pulse ratings showed the stations neck-in-neck - WABC at a 16 and WMCA at a 16.3 rating. But WMCA has about one-third the signal of WABC, so it performs better with no WMCA competition - in the outlying suburbs.

WMCA was running a “Good Guy Derby” contest where you have the guess the WMCA Good Guy who will win his race “in the sport of kings.” Go-Go radio, WABC is doing a “prize of the day” A prize a day goes into the “Go Go Grab Bag” for end-week awarding.

Both stations were battling airplay of the new Beatles album -“Beatles VI” - and both stations were saying they had the exclusive on the album.  Actually, WABC had the album three hours before WMCA did - a rarity. WMCA usually scoops WABC on most records, including the Beatles.

In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM said it will drop duplicating talk WOR 710 AM on June 30 and go rock ‘n’ roll - the first FM station to go full-time rock . Robert S. Smith, vice president of both WOR AM/FMsays - “We will not have shouting disk jockeys on FM, but if there can be a quality rock station, that is, what we will be. We’re going after the WABC and WMCA audience.” The change in policy is a result of a recent FCC rule that FM stations in major cities may no longer duplicate more than 50% of their AM affiliates.

In 1966...comedian Ed Wynn, star of his own pioneering shows on radio & early TV, died of throat cancer at age 79.

In 1973...Wolfman Jack, heard on KDAY Los Angles announced he's going to WNBC, New York.

In 1973...Watermark has produced a three-hour special called “the 40 Greatest Disappearing Acts of the Rock Era.” Hosted by Casey Kasem, it will replace American Top-40 July 7-8.

In 1973...93 KHJ AM program director Paul Drew confirmed that the Real Don Steele and Mark Eliot have left the station.

Billboard 1973
In 1973...89 WLS  program director Tommy Edwards said the station is expanding its playlist and is cutting back on the use of jingles from 40 to five key jingles. Plus, - elimination of meaningless chatter by jocks, dayparting of music (more rock at night for example). WCFL was giving WLS a run in the ratings.

In 1973...KSFX 103.7 FM San Francisco launched a complete sound-alike format of WABC, New York, whose program director (Rick Sklar) is consulting the station. The first “Music Radio KSFX” playlists have been distributed to record stores.

Dixon's Wrecked Auto 
In 2005...legendary southern DJ, Mason Dixon, was injured in an auto accident which practically split his car apart.

Dixon suffered a collapsed lung, 2 broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. Dixon has been affiliated with legendary stations including Tampa's WRBQ-FM, where he was still employed at the time of his accident.

When his wife finally showed him pictures of his prized 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible, split in half in a crash over the weekend, there were more tears.

"There were angels watching out for me," he told reporters huddled around his bed at St. Joseph's Hospital. "They wanted me to learn something, and I have. Now, I've got to go back out there and do their work. And I'll be happy to."

Dixon, 55, whose real name is Jimmie Crawford, was critically injured after leaving a Father's Day promotional event.

In 2009…Radio/TV announcer Ken Roberts died of pneumonia following a stroke at age 99. In 1935, he was one of the founders of the broadcast performers' union now known as AFTRA.

Nielsen: Today's Dad Likes His Radio

Over the past year, 73% of dads have shopped at an electronic store, according to Nielsen-Scarborough.

Interestingly, when it comes to purchasing electronics, dads are not bound to a particular type of store. During the past 12 months, roughly a third of dads have shopped for electronics at either an online, electronic or discount store.

While dads are heavy users of technology devices with 96% owning a smartphone and 75% owning a tablet, they also enjoy watching television. On average, dads with children in the home spend more than four hours per day watching TV (live TV, time-shifted viewing and connected devices).  News, Sporting Events, Comedies and General Variety, which includes late night talk shows and reality shows, are the top program genres to reach dads.

In a sweeping new statistical analysis that defines the modern dad, Nielsen-Scarborough found that on a weekly basis, men 18+ with children 12 and under spend nearly 14 hours per week listening to the radio. This comes according to Nielsen Audio data from fall 2015.

With more than three-fourths of the dads working, it’s not surprising that they prefer to listen during morning drive, and nearly 80% of their listening occurs outside of the home.

Viacom To Pay CEO's Legal Bills In Redstone Spat

Viacom Inc disclosed on Friday it would foot the bill for embattled Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman's legal fight against controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, even as Wall Street cheers the executive's potential departure.

The disconnect demonstrates the complicated corporate governance challenge Viacom's board is facing in the battle for control of Redstone's $40 billion media empire, which includes CBS Corp and Viacom, investors and corporate governance experts said.

"I don't think it's appropriate to use shareholder money for the suit," said Ben Strubel, a principal with Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based wealth manager Strubel Investment Management, which owns non-voting shares of Viacom. "I don't think it's appropriate to use shareholder money toward his compensation given the company's performance."

Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and Paramount, has been struggling to turn around its ratings. Reflecting some of that weakness, the company's stock is down nearly 50 percent over the past two years.

On Friday, Viacom said its third-quarter profit would fall well short of Wall Street expectations, citing a disappointing domestic box office haul from its latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and disruption stemming from all the controversy.

Viacom's stock has risen about 15 percent since May 20, when Redstone removed Dauman and board member George Abrams from the seven-person trust that will ultimately control Redstone's media empire. About half of that rally came on Thursday when Redstone ousted Dauman and four others from the Viacom board.

Viacom shares fell 1.4 percent to close at $44.42 on Friday.

If a judge affirms the new slate of directors, they have the authority to overhaul Viacom management, which may include Dauman. If he is removed, he could potentially receive nearly $90 million in severance, according to compensation consultant Equilar.

Still, Viacom's board, led by lead independent director Fred Salerno, has argued that 93-year-old Redstone, who they believe is being manipulated by his daughter Shari, is not the one making decisions in the best interest of all shareholders.

“On the very day that Mr. Redstone’s representatives acted to remove Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams, they made it clear the issue was about control of Viacom. It is clearly in the interests of all of Viacom’s stockholders that the Massachusetts actions be pursued in order to preserve the independence of Viacom’s board."

The fight over control between Dauman and Redstone is playing out in courtrooms in Delaware, Massachusetts and California.

In a May 23 lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, Dauman and Abrams are contesting their removal from Redstone's family trust and the board of National Amusements Inc, the holding company for Redstone's voting shares. The trust will control Redstone's stake after he dies or is declared mentally incompetent.

National Amusements, in a statement on Friday, said there was "no justification" for Viacom's funding of the legal fight against Sumner Redstone. "The need for strong, independent oversight of Viacom could not be more apparent," the statement said.

The fact that the company is funding a lawsuit from its CEO against its controlling shareholder points to the complexities of having a family run a multi-billion dollar company, said corporate governance consultant Francis Byrd.

"It does appear to be unseemly but these are the sorts of complications you find with a controlled company where the family drama can easily bleed into the corporate operations," Byrd said.

Naveen Sarma, a credit analyst with Standard & Poor's, said he would have preferred the board stay out of the power struggle.

"We would rather they would have remained an observer but they have chosen to take sides," he said. The ratings agency last month lowered its corporate governance rating of Viacom from satisfactory to fair, due to the uncertainty engulfing the company.

Standard & Poor's is watching whether the power struggle affects the company's operations, Sarma said.

The company itself now acknowledges that the legal drama is hurting its bottom line.

On Friday, Viacom said its third-quarter earnings will miss Wall Street estimates, marking the first time since October 2008 that it has put out such guidance.

The company cited the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and a delay in completing an agreement with an unnamed streaming video provider. It also blamed the latter on "the recent and highly public governance controversy."

The media company also said it expects domestic ad sales to decline about 4 percent in the third quarter ending June 30, an improvement from last quarter's decline of 5 percent.

Viacom said it expects adjusted earnings of about $1.00 to $1.05 per share in the quarter. Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of $1.38 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Testimony: 'Stairway' Made $58.5M For Plant, Page

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page in Federal court
(Reuters) -- Led Zeppelin musician John Paul Jones testified on Friday that his former bandmate Jimmy Page had never mentioned American band Spirit, whose song Led Zeppelin is being accused of stealing a riff from its 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven."

Jones, 70, appeared in federal court in Los Angeles on Friday in a copyright infringement trial in which the British rock band is accused of copying the opening riff to "Stairway to Heaven" from the 1967 instrumental "Taurus" by Spirit.

When asked if guitarist Page, the co-writer of "Stairway," had ever mentioned Spirit, Jones said no.

Jones also said that he himself had never heard of Spirit until the current lawsuit that was brought in 2014 by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for Randy Wolfe, the late guitarist of Spirit and composer of "Taurus."

The lawsuit seeks a writing credit for Wolfe on the song and damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

Lawyers for Skidmore on Friday called Michael Einhorn, an expert on music royalties, to testify about damages related to the case. Einhorn said Plant and Page have made $58.5 million in total as composers of "Stairway to Heaven."

Michael Skidmore (left) depicted in Federal court
The trial has been closely watched this week as Page, 72, and Plant, 67, attended court, both wearing suits with their long silver hair tied into ponytails.

Page took the witness stand on Wednesday and Thursday and was questioned on whether there were any similarities between "Stairway to Heaven" and "Taurus."

The British musician said he did not recall hearing "Taurus" until recently, after he had been made aware of comparisons being made between the two songs.

He also testified that the descending chromatic structure of the guitar riff at the center of the lawsuit is heard in numerous other songs, including "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from the 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins."

Led Zeppelin's attorneys on Friday brought in music expert Lawrence Ferrara, who testified that the only similarity between "Taurus" and "Stairway to Heaven" was a "descending chromatic minor line progression."

Ferrara said that musical element was used 300 years ago, as well as in many pop songs since then.

Earlier in the trial, Skidmore's lawyers simultaneously showed the jury two video clips of expert Kevin Hanson playing the openings of both songs. Hanson said the two clips "play together as one piece of music. It is not discordant."

Houston Radio: HOT 95.7 FM Announces New Line-Up

CoCo Dominquez
CBS RADIO’s KKHH HOT 95.7 FM has announced CoCo Dominguez  officially took over afternoon drive on Monday, June 13 (weekdays, 3:00 – 7:00 PM).  Coco, who held the position of Evenings since 2015, has been filling in the role since April 1.  HOT 95.7 can be heard on-air, online at or via the app for mobile devices.

"I'm beyond thrilled to be in this moment with HOT 95.7. I thank Charese Fruge and Sarah Frazier for giving me this amazing opportunity to host Afternoons in a city where I live and grew up in,” said Dominguez. “It gets me excited to have Charese here and to see her passion and drive with the station. I love the music and radio and I'm ready to have some fun with Houston and be a part of HOT 95.7's destiny to greatness!"

DJ Riddler
Additionally, Rich Pangilinan “DJ Riddler” joins the station as Music Director/Assistant Program Director.  Riddler has been part of HOT 95.7 as a Mix Show DJ since the station launched almost a decade ago. He was named Best Mix Show DJ at the Promo Only Summer Seassons/DJ Times Convention in Atlantic City in 2011 and 2013. He was also named one of the Top Ten Acts of All Time with the most entries on the Dance/Electronic Albums Chart.

“I’ve been excited about HOT 95.7 since it launched in 2008, so being given the opportunity to join programming team is such an honor,” said Pangilinan.  “Growing up listening to Houston radio along with my life experiences in the city makes it that much more special being in the programming department at KKHH.  I’m looking forward to being a part of this new chapter at HOT 95.7.”

KKHH 95.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Charese Fruge, Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO Houston added, “CoCo is a Star. She’s already made a name for herself in the market. She has amazing work ethic and great energy. We’ve already seen ratings growth in PM drive since she’s been filling in. I am so proud of her and thrilled to have her on the team as well.”

“Rich has already proven to be a ‘secret weapon.’  I cannot say enough about him and how excited I am to have him on the team,” continued Fruge.  “His knowledge and history of the market and the industry are a HUGE plus!”

Portland ME Radio: Matthwew Gagnon New AM CoHost At WGAN

Matthew Gagnon
A new co-host of the morning program on N/T WGAN 560 AM , replacing Mark Violette, who has left the show after 12 years, has been announced

The new co-host, Matthew Gagnon, was announced in a statement by WGAN owner Portland Radio Group. WGAN broadcasts on 560 and 1400 AM, and 105.5 FM.

Gagnon has been a frequent guest host for WGAN’s morning show and has been a conservative voice and political analyst for the weekly “Eye on Politics” segment.

The new show, which will begin broadcasting Monday, will feature longtime WGAN radio personality Ken Altshuler, Gagnon and morning show executive producer Olivia Gunn. The show will be called “Mornings with Ken, Matt and Olivia.”

Altshuler has been on the morning show for 13 years.

Gagnon, of Yarmouth, will continue as CEO of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative public policy center.

WGAN 560 AM (5 Kw-DA2) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Matt’s career is based in and revolves around politics,” said Bob Adams, vice president and general manager of the Portland Radio Group, in a news release. “It’s what he does and it’s what he knows. He is the perfect counterpart to Ken and offers intellectual, level-headed responses to the hottest topics of the day.”

Cable Industry Proposes Scrapping Set-Top Boxes

(Reuters) -- The U.S. pay-TV industry proposed a plan to allow more than 50 million subscribers to ditch costly set-top boxes to get television and video programs to try and convince federal regulators to abandon more far-reaching reforms.

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, proposed in January opening the $20 billion cable and satellite TV set-top box market to new competitors and allow consumers to access multiple content providers from a single app or device.

Under the industry proposal unveiled in meetings with the FCC this week, the pay-TV industry would commit to creating apps to allow consumers to watch programs without needing to lease a box and the FCC could implement regulations enforcing the commitment.

Kim Hart, a spokeswoman for Wheeler, said on Friday that he was pleased the "industry has adopted the primary goal of our proposal, to promote greater competition and choice for consumers, and agree it is achievable."

FCC's Tom Wheeler
Wheeler wants to see additional details to "determine whether their proposal fully meets all of the goals of our proceeding," Hart said.

Wheeler's proposal has faced criticism from companies like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, CBS Corp, Walt Disney Co, Viacom and others, along with more than 150 members of Congress. They have raised copyright, content licensing and other issues.

Opponents fear rivals like Alphabet Inc or Apple Inc could create devices or apps and insert their own content or advertising in cable content.

Wheeler's proposal would create a framework for device manufacturers and software developers to allow consumers to access content from providers such as Netflix,, Hulu, YouTube and a pay-TV company on a single device or app.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, praised Wheeler for proposing reforms, but told Reuters "it has become clear the original proposal has real flaws. ... We need to find another way forward. So I’m glad that efforts are underway to hash out alternatives."

The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines in February to advance its plan. A final vote could come as early as August.

Americans spend $20 billion a year to lease pay-TV boxes, or an average of $231 annually, the FCC says. Set-top box rental fees have jumped 185 percent since 1994, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones have dropped by 90 percent.

In April, President Barack Obama backed Wheeler's proposal, saying the cable industry is "ripe for change."

R.I.P.: Memphis Sports Icon George Lapides

George Lapides
George Lapides, whose career as a sports journalist and sports executive spanned five decades and whose knowledge of the city's sport's history was unparalleled, died Friday morning after a three-year battle with a lung disease for which there is no cure.

According to The Commercial-Appeal, Lapides, 76, became sports editor and columnist of the old Memphis Press-Scimitar at age 27 and remained in the position until the former afternoon newspaper's closing in October 1983. He also served as athletic director at Rhodes College for a year and general manager of the Memphis Chicks, the minor league baseball team and Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He spent 10 years as the station's sports editor for WREG-TV Channel 3, which announced his death.

He was most known as a longtime sports talk show host, beginning on WHER in the early 1970s, and maintaining a presence on the air until announcing his retirement from his show on WHBQ 560 AM May 31. When he signed off, he ended a 45-year run and the distinction of being the longest-running daily radio show in the country.

Shortly after being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis — the same illness that struck actor Marlon Brando and former University of Alabama athletic director Mal Moore — Lapides told Geoff Calkins, a former radio co-host and sports columnist at The Commercial Appeal, that "sometimes I have a hard time believing it; I was the person who wanted to be the one exception and live forever."

Glenn Carver, sports director at WREG, said Lapides used his knowledge of the area and his network of contacts to enhance the station's coverage.

"He was a great man, a great journalist," Carver said. "I learned so much from him. I loved it when George came in to work with us (in 1995). It was a chance to work with a legend. I'm going to miss him. I'm going to miss being able to talk to him."

June 18 Radio History

In 1905
....bandleader Kay Kyser was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Kay Kyser
He brought his novel idea for a musical quiz to Mutual Radio in Feb. 1938, then to NBC Radio on March 30 1938. The show was called Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge and was a great hit. He starred as “The Ol’ Perfessor,” with his catchphrases “That’s right. you’re wrong,”  “Evenin’ folks,” and “Yess-dance! Yess-dance!” “Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge” ran on radio until 1949, then on TV for a year after that.

The band scored more than two dozen top 10 hits, including “Three Little Fishes”, “Jingle, Jangle, Jingle”, “The Old Lamplighter”, “There Goes that Song Again”, “Ole Buttermilk Sky”, “Managua Nicaragua”, “On a Slow Boat to China” & “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” One of his singers, Mike Douglas, went on to be a star of daytime TV. Kyser died after a heart attack July 23, 1985 at age 80.

In 1908...announcer/host/actor Clayton ‘Bud’ Collyer was born in New York City.

Bud Collier
He was the voice of Superman on radio & in cartoons, and the long running host of TV game shows Beat the Clock and To Tell the Truth. He also hosted Goodson-Todman’s first game show on radio, Winner Take All.  He died of a circulatory ailment Sep 8, 1969 at age 61.

In 1914, actor E.G. (Everett Gunnar) Marshall (below) was born in Owatonna Minnesota. Two of his better known TV roles are those of lawyer, Lawrence Preston on The Defenders in the 1960s, and as neurosurgeon, Dr. David Craig on The Bold Ones: The New Doctors in the 1970s. He also played a doctor on Chicago Hope in the 90’s. He was the original host of the popular nightly radio drama The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, which ran on stations across the U. S. between 1974 and 1982.

He died of lung cancer Aug 24, 1998 at age 84.

In 1939… the CBS radio network debuted The Adventures of Ellery Queen as a 60 minute show for the first six months. The detective drama was cut to a half hour for the following 8 years. An interesting twist came near the end of each program when the action was paused to allow a panel of experts to guess the solution of the night’s mystery.  The radio detective series starring Hugh Marlowe, began its nine-year run, with two stints on both CBS and NBC before its final season on ABC.

In 1948…In New York City, Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing phonograph record that turned at 33 1/3-RPM rather than the standard 78. Unlike 78-RPM discs, which held only three minutes of music on each side, the LP could hold a full 23 minutes per side.

Dave Garroway
In 1955...NBC’s Monitor program expands to 8 AM Saturday to Midnight Sunday.  According to the Monitor tribute site,  it had everything -- news, sports, comedy, interviews, remote pick-ups from around the world, music -- a true magazine of the air. Listeners could tune in or out at any time during the weekend, wherever they were -- at home or in their cars. During any "Monitor" hour, dozens of different people, places and things were presented -- all presided over, live, by hosts Weaver called "communicators" in mammoth New York studios NBC named "Radio Central."

If "Monitor" had failed, NBC Radio would have disappeared decades before it did. But it worked -- indeed, it was a smash hit with listeners, advertisers and critics. It quickly became NBC Radio's biggest moneymaker and almost single-handedly kept NBC in the radio business. Simply put, "Monitor" became the biggest thing in radio.

In 1961…CBS Radio aired the final episode of "Gunsmoke," starring William Conrad as the voice of Marshal Matt Dillon, after a nine-year run. The supporting cast included Howard McNear as Doc Charles Adams, Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell, and Parley Baer as Dillon's assistant Chester Proudfoot.

In 1965...The call letters of KYW-AM, Cleveland, Ohio returned to Philadelphia.

In June, 1955, Westinghouse agreed to trade KYW and WPTZ to NBC in exchange for the network's Cleveland properties, WNBK-TV and WTAM-AM/FM, as well as $3 million in cash. After clearing regulatory hurdles, the swap went into effect on February 13, 1956. According to, NBC changed the 1060 call letters to WRCV and Westinghouse moved the KYW call letters to Cleveland.

NBC had been interested in acquiring a VHF TV station in Philadelphia for years, the largest market in which it did not own one.  After being rebuffed more than once, NBC (according to Westinghouse) threatened to drop its network affiliation (and programming) from WPTZ and Westinghouse's Boston TV station unless they agreed to the trade.

Not long after the station swap in 1955, the government started an investigation into the transfer that ultimately led to a bitter and complex 10 year skirmish for control of the stations. The battle involved a large list of government and corporate players including the FCC, Congress, Department of Justice, RCA, Philco, Westinghouse and RKO-General. Ultimately, the swap was reversed, and Westinghouse regained control of the stations, renaming them KYW TV and KYW AM.

 In September 1965, KYW 1060 AM became an all-news station.

In 1974...Will Lewis - General Manager of Pacifica’s KPFK in Los Angeles is jailed for contempt of court after he failed to turn over to a federal grand jury the original tape-recorded message the station received from fugitive newspaper heiress Patty Hearst. The tape was received by the station last week from Miss Hearst and Emily and William Harris - and contained references to the May 17 South Central Los Angeles shootout in which six SLA members were killed.

In 1975...WNBC FM becomes WNWS

In 1975...NBC News & Information Service debuts.

NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (also referred to as "NIS"), which provided up to 55 minutes of news per hour around the clock to local stations that wanted to adopt an all-news format. Not surprisingly, NIS achieved clearances on NBC's FM stations in New York (WNBC-FM, which became WNWS), Chicago (WJOI, the former WMAQ-FM which was renamed WNIS) and San Francisco (KNAI, the former KNBR-FM). WRC in Washington also picked it up, migrating their Top 40 format onto FM sister station WKYS (which would be blown up weeks later in favor of disco music). Other major affiliates for the NIS service included WBAL-FM in Baltimore, KHVH in Honolulu, and KQV in Pittsburgh.

The NIS service attracted several dozen subscribers, but not enough to allow NBC to project that it would ever become profitable, and it was discontinued after two years.   After the demise of NIS, NBC installed a talk radio format at WRC and went with music on the FMs in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, respectively renaming them as WYNY, WKQX, and KYUU.

In 1984...KHJ AM Los Angeles is gearing to go what it calls “Car Radio.” Look for a lot of traffic along with music.

In 1984...Alan Berg, a combative radio talk show host at KOA radio in Denver dies of multiple gunshot wounds after being ambushed outside his condominium. Berg (50) had reported death threats to police several times.

Alan Berg once worked at a shoe store and later opened a clothing store in Denver where he met KGMC-AM talk show host Laurence Gross. Impressed with Berg, Gross made him a guest on several occasions. When Gross left KGMC to take a job in San Diego, California, he requested that Alan Berg be named his successor.

From KGMC, which changed its call sign to KWBZ, Berg moved to KHOW, also in Denver. After being fired from KHOW, Berg went back to KWBZ before it changed to an all-music format and he again lost his job. The unemployed Berg was courted by both KTOK in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Detroit, Michigan. He was lastly hired by KOA and debuted on February 23, 1981. He worked at KOA until his death.

At about 9:30 p.m. on June 18, 1984, Alan Berg returned to his Adams Street townhouse after dinner. Berg stepped out of his black Volkswagen Beetle and gunfire erupted. He was struck twelve times. The murder weapon, a semi-automatic Ingram MAC-10, which had been illegally converted to an automatic weapon, was later traced to the home of one of The Order's members by the FBI.

Berg was on a death list according to a former producer because he was Jewish and he challenged on the air the beliefs of an author who wrote that Jews were from the family line of the devil.

Four members of The Order were ultimately indicted on federal charges: Jean Craig, David Lane, Bruce Pierce, and Richard Scutari. However, only Lane and Pierce were convicted, though neither of homicide (which is a state crime).  Rather, they were convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, and violating Alan Berg's civil rights (which are federal crimes). Both were sentenced to what were, for all practical purposes, life terms; Lane's sentence was 190 years; Pierce's was 252 years. 

In 1988...WWKB 1520 AM, Buffalo, New York switched to a satelllite oldies format, finishing 30 years of Top 40 and oldies.

WKBW was founded in 1922 as a religious station, operating at the frequency of 1380 kHz. As the story goes, founder Clinton Churchill applied to the Department of Commerce for a license to operate under the call signs WAY. That call sign, however, was being used for a ship at sea, so instead, Churchill chose the letters "WKBW," which were next in the random assignment pool. Churchill proclaimed the call letters to stand for "Well Known Bible Witness"; later usage referred to the middle letters "KB" standing for King of Buffalo (alluding to its 50,000 watt broadcast power).

On July 4, 1958, WKBW radio abandoned its adult approach and was converted into a personality-driven full service Top 40 music radio station, featuring foreground personalities, a tight playlist of current hits and an aggressive local news department, which it continued to program with great success for over 20 years. It was one of the first stations to present traffic reports in cooperation with police and state and local authorities. Capital Cities Communications, then known as Capital Cities Broadcasting, purchased the WKBW stations from Clinton Churchill in 1961.

During the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, WKBW became a major force in pop radio over the East Coast. KB had a 50,000 watt transmitter at their transmitter site in Hamburg. This high power with a direction signal caused WKBW to blanket the entire eastern U.S. with top 40 music every night, and the station actually had a better signal at night in the western Boston suburbs than Boston's own top 40 station, WMEX, located at 1510, right next door to WKBW.

From 1970...

Disk jockeys included future Price is Right announcer Rod Roddy, Dick Biondi, Danny Neaverth, Jack Armstrong, Joey Reynolds, Steve Mitchell, Bud Ballou, Norm Marshall, Tom Shannon, and the Amazin' Jim Quinn. Irv Weinstein, later Buffalo's most popular television news anchor, served as news director.

In 2002…Sportscaster (CBS-TV, CBS Radio Network, KMOX-St. Louis) Jack Buck, longtime voice of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals and father of sportscaster Joe Buck, died of multiple illnesses including lung cancer and Parkinson's disease at age 77.

In 2014…Composer/arranger/musical director (The Joey Bishop Show, Alvin and the Chipmunks)/TV host (Stand Up and Cheer)/radio station jingle producer Johnny Mann died at age 85.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sumner Redstone Cleans House

CEO Philippe Dauman, Sumner Redstone
By Jessica Toonkel and Dan Levine

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Sumner Redstone removed five of Viacom Inc's directors, including Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, from the board of the media company he controls on Thursday, a big step toward a potential management shake-up of the almost $20 billion company.

Dauman remains CEO for now and he and the other four will stay on the board until a Delaware court affirms the changes, but the move could be a prelude to the 93-year-old media mogul forcing Dauman out of the company entirely.

Fred Salerno
Viacom's independent lead director Fred Salerno, one of the board members Redstone removed, shot back with his own lawsuit on Thursday in the same Delaware court to block the move, calling it "invalid" and the result of Redstone's daughter Shari Redstone manipulating her father.

The latest developments ratchet up the wrangling for control over Redstone's $40 billion empire, amid questions over whether the magnate is making his own decisions or is even of sound enough mind to do so.

Salerno's lawsuit asserts that Redstone's daughter, Shari Redstone, is behind the latest move. "Shari now seeks to become Mr. Redstone’s puppet master, pulling his strings behind the scenes to improperly seize control of Viacom," it states.

The lawsuit also alleges that Shari Redstone told Salerno in a phone call of her plan to remove members of the Viacom board that she thought did not support her, but would be willing to keep Salerno in place if he supported her.

Salerno, according to the lawsuit, "promptly informed Viacom’s Governance and Nominating Committee about Shari’s threat." Shari Redstone declined to comment.


Redstone's privately held movie holding company, National Amusements Inc, owns 80 percent of voting shares of Viacom as well as of CBS, and some investors said they hope a board shakeup could point to an eventual a merger between the two media companies.

Viacom's shares jumped after Reuters first reported Redstone's move, ending the session up 6.7 percent. Shares of CBS Corp <CBS.N> closed up 2.4 percent. Viacom owns Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and other networks as well as movie studio Paramount.

Some investors said on Thursday they did not expect Dauman to remain as CEO for much longer.

"You would have to think if Dauman isn't trusted to be on the board, he isn't trusted to be CEO," said Salvatore Muoio, a principal at New York-based S. Muoio & Co, a major owner of Viacom voting shares. "Maybe a new board with different skill sets and different perspectives will really change the direction of the company."

A Viacom spokesman declined to comment.

National Amusements asked the Delaware Court of Chancery to rule that the board changes are legal.

Viacom’s corporate charter gives National Amusements the power to remove Viacom’s board at any time under Delaware law,  which suggests the ousted directors have an uphill battle to block the move, legal experts said.


National Amusements said on Thursday it removed Dauman, George Abrams, William Schwartz, Blythe McGarvie and lead independent director Salerno.

It replaced the directors with Kenneth Lerer, a venture capitalist and co-founder of the Huffington Post and chairman of BuzzFeed; Nicole Seligman, a former Sony Corp executive; Judith McHale, the former head of Discovery Communications, who was general counsel for MTV Networks; Thomas May, the chairman of Eversource Energy utility company; and Ron Nelson, chairman and CEO of Avis Budget Group, who used to work at DreamWorks and Paramount.

Redstone said on May 27 that he was considering removing Dauman and the board, citing dissatisfaction with the struggling company's strategy that includes a sale of a minority stake in Paramount Pictures. The company has been working to reverse declines in TV ratings at many of its networks.

At that time, Viacom's independent directors characterized such a move as "legally flawed" and said they would contest their ouster.

Salerno went further on Thursday, saying the attempt to remove the directors was "a brazen and demonstrably invalid attempt" by Shari Redstone "to gain control of Viacom and its management in disregard of Sumner Redstone’s wishes."

National Amusements also filed papers in Delaware asking the court to prohibit the Viacom board from "taking any action outside of the ordinary course of business," including its planned minority stake sale of Paramount.

Viacom's six other board members, including Chief Operating Officer Thomas Dooley, remain on the board. That surprised some investors as Dooley, who has worked with Dauman for more than 30 years, is widely seen as his right-hand man.


A key question hanging over the Viacom saga is whether the elderly billionaire, who has trouble speaking and has limited mobility, is calling the shots or being manipulated by family members who want to wrest control of Viacom from Dauman.    

Redstone has already exercised his controlling interest to remove Dauman and Abrams from his family trust and the board of National Amusements. National Amusements has changed Viacom's bylaws to require unanimous approval of any sale related to Paramount.

Dauman has contested his ouster from the trust and the board of National Amusements in a Massachusetts lawsuit. He contends that Shari Redstone is manipulating her father, who is not mentally competent, according to court documents. Shari Redstone has called those claims absurd.

Over the past few weeks, Salerno has requested a face-to-face meeting with Redstone and warned of further court battles if the media tycoon remains inaccessible to the board.

On Wednesday, Redstone responded through a spokesman that he "no longer trusts" Dauman to act in the company's best interests.

National Amusements' decision to keep the current board in place until the Delaware court rules could pay off because it presents the court with a less volatile situation, said Lawrence Hamermesh, a professor at Widener University School of Law in Delaware.

“I think this was the more conservative course and honestly I’d be surprised if a judge didn’t do that (approve the changes),” he said.

Howard Stern: People Are Sheep, Wolves Are Attacking

Howard Stern
On his Wedneday radio show, Howard Stern warned against gun control, saying most people are "sheep."

"I’m so upset about Orlando and what went down, but I can’t believe these people who come out afterwards and their answer to Orlando is to take away guns from the public," Stern said. "It’s XXX mind-blowing to me."

"The military — and they don’t mean it in a derogatory way — but they look at the public as sheep," he said. "And we are sheep. Most of us sit around all day and we don’t know how to defend ourselves. We basically think everything’s OK."

"Except the wolves — the bad guys, ISIS, or terrorists, homegrown or otherwise — they're wolves. The military and police look at themselves as sheepdogs. They’re warriors, but on the good side."

"The terrorists all have AR-15s, they have glocks, they have every kind of pistol."

"Now what if I went up to the sheep and I said, ‘You wanna have a shot at the wolves? I’m going to give you a pistol. You can actually even the playing field with these wolves whose fangs are out — you can shoot them.’ There’s not a sheepdog for every citizen."

"The most gun-free zone on the planet is a plane. On 9/11, what did the wolves do? They said, 'This is great. We’ll just kill the sheep with boxcutters.' So they went on the plane with boxcutters and all the sheep went, ‘Baaaa.'"

"The wolves are always planning. They’ll use boxcutters. They’ll use an airplane and fly it right into a building. They don’t need AR-15s."

"I don’t like violence — I don’t like any of this stuff — but I consider myself a sheep. Most of your politicians have private security, so they’re OK. Those are sheep that are very well protected. You, on the other hand, are a sitting duck."

"I’m not for taking away people’s rights."

Westwood One Launches New Lite AC 24-Hour Format

  • New Format to Feature Music from the 70’s to Today
Westwood One announced today that it will launch a traditional Lite AC 24-hour format, fully hosted and featuring a wide variety of music from the 70’s through today. The new satellite-delivered format will launch on Monday, July 11.

Lite AC will feature core artists like Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Chicago, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Hall & Oates, and will also include artists like Adele, Michael BublĂ© and Whitney Houston. The format will offer personalities with warm, family-friendly presentations, bringing back a true “at work” listening experience.

Cheri Marquart
Lite AC will be offered on Westwood One’s Total platform, with a structured-break, exact-timed hour, but with numerous opportunities for station and market identification.

Kirk Sterland
Lite AC joins other current-based contemporary formats Hits Now and Hot AC on the Westwood One lineup. The new format will be programmed by Cheri Marquart, VP/Programming, Contemporary Formats, and Jonathan Steele, Director of Operations.

“Our affiliates have asked for an alternative to our Adult Contemporary format, which, in keeping with the evolution of AC, is a little more upbeat now. Lite AC will fit a nice slot between our Adult Standards, on the gold side, and our current-based AC and Hot AC formats,” commented Kirk Stirland, President of Programming at Westwood One.

For more information, a link to a sample stream and availability in your market, contact Pat Crocker, at 720-873-5170, or

SW FL Radio: Beasley Flips WJBX To News/Talk

Beasley Media Group Thursday launched WJBX News Talk and More serving South West Florida Market, covering Fort Myers, Naples and Marco Island.

The station had been airing ESPN Deportes.

The format will be available via W282BY 104.3 FM Fort Myers, W268AH 101.5 FM Bonita Springs and  WJBX 770 AM Fort Myers, and available online at

“We’re ready to deliver thought-provoking topics that inform, educate and inspire our audience,” noted SWFL Market Manager Brad Beasley “Our listeners will hear from a top selection of influential national voices. We’re excited to add WJBX to our incredible line-up of stations here in Southwest Florida!”

“Our WJBX line-up includes news, financial advice, hot topics, politics, and pop culture,” added Operations Manager Adam Star. “This is will be Southwest Florida’s new home for News Talk and More!”

WJBX 770 AM (10 Kw-D, 630 Watts-N) Red=Local Coverage Area
Listeners will start each weekday at 6 am, with “This Morning, America’s First News” with Gordon Deal, followed by Kilmeade & Friends, John Gibson, Dave Ramsey, Tom Sullivan, and Alan Colmes. Other features include CBS News at the top of every hour and the “Daily Dose” with Dr. Oz.

Page Testifies To 'Stairway' - 'Mary Poppins' Song Similarity

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page
(Reuters) -- Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said on Thursday that the riff he is accused of stealing for the band's 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven" is in fact a commonly used chord progression similar to a melody from the 1964 movie musical "Mary Poppins."

Page, with his ex-bandmate Robert Plant looking on, took the witness stand for a second day in a copyright infringement trial in a Los Angeles federal court.

The civil action, brought by a trustee for Randy Wolfe, the late guitarist for the American band Spirit, contends the British band stole the descending chromatic four-chord progression at the beginning of their signature song from Spirit's 1967 instrumental "Taurus."

Page, under questioning by an attorney for the plaintiff, repeatedly said he was not sure whether any similarity exists between "Stairway to Heaven" and "Taurus."

He was quicker to draw a comparison to "Chim Chim Cher-ee" in "Mary Poppins," when asked about a written declaration he gave for the lawsuit where he talked about "Stairway" and the more uptempo song from the Disney film.

"I may have said the chord sequences are very similar because that chord sequence has been around forever," Page said.

The testimony from Page, whom many consider one of the greatest guitarists in rock history, is in line with similar statements made by attorneys for Led Zeppelin, who argue the chord progression has long been in common use.

In 2008, the business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio estimated that "Stairway to Heaven" had generated more than $560 million in royalties.

More recently, a company to benefit members of Led Zeppelin and their heirs distributed more than 6.6 million British pounds last year, the equivalent of more than $9 million in current dollars, from royalty payments on the band's songs over the previous 12 months, Page testified.

Michael Skidmore, the trustee for Wolfe's estate, has said Page may have been inspired to write "Stairway to Heaven" after hearing California-based Spirit perform "Taurus" while the bands toured together in 1968 and 1969.

The lawsuit seeks a writing credit for Wolfe on the song and damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

Page, 72, on Wednesday testified that he did not recall hearing "Taurus" until recently, after he had been made aware of comparisons being made between the two songs.

Plant is also expected to testify in the case.

Saginaw Radio: More Testimony In Johnny & Blondie Case

Johnny and Blondie
Johnny Burke and Blondie's former boss testified in federal court this week that the ex-radio host used content segments from the former WHNN morning show, had access to customer contact and pricing information and confused listeners and advertisers about "returning home" to work at the station.

According to, Scott Stine, operations manager at WHNN 96.1 FM, owned by Cumulus, testified for more than an hour in U.S. District Court in downtown Bay City Thursday, June 16.

Cumulus Media filed suits in April against Burke and his partner Blondie, whose real name is Bonnie Belger-Holzhei, saying the duo was in violation of non-compete and non-solicitation clauses in their employment agreements they entered into with Cumulus and/or Citadel Broadcasting. Cumulus wants a federal judge to issue an injunction barring the longtime radio personalities from hosting their new internet radio show.

At a May 25 hearing, attorneys for Cumulus said they were no longer pursuing a non-compete against Burke, but were going after him for violating a non-solicitation clause in his contract.

The countersuit comes after Burke, 61, and Belger-Holzhei, 53, filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against their former employer. Burke, who was the voice of the radio station for the past 25 years, and Belger-Holzhei were fired in January when the station underwent a format change. After being fired, they launched a live-streaming show online and on social media called Johnny and Blondie Live.

Attorney Thomas Paxton, who is representing Cumulus, questioned Stine about content that Burke and Belger-Holzhei used on their internet show and whether they poached WHNN customers to advertise on the show, which broadcasts online at and on the streaming app Periscope.

Stine testified he heard content that was previously used on WHNN, including segments called "Butthead Bulletins" and "Office Joke of the Day." He said the ideas for those segments or the content for the segments came from a subscription service called Show Prep Services paid for by WHNN.

In cross examination, Saginaw attorney Victor Mastromarco Jr., who is representing Burke and Belger-Holzhei, argued Burke designed the segment "Butthead Bulletins." He also said Burke and Belger-Holzhei each used a three-month free trial for the subscription service, arguing Stine wouldn't know if the radio duo was using content from the service paid for by WHNN or through their free trials.

Stine also testified that Burke and Belger-Holzhei had access to customer contact information and advertisement pricing information through documents used for remote broadcast appearances. Additionally, Stine said Burke and Belger-Holzhei had access to a company "shared drive" that contained information about the radio station's customers.

"They would have information about WHNN prices and customer contact information," Stine said.

Paxton's line of questioning in the middle of Stine's testimony was aimed at his argument that Burke and Belger-Holzhei stole WHNN customers and confused them about their affiliation with the radio station.

NYC Radio: MIW To Honor WWPR's Angie Martinez

Angie Martinez
The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group has announced that Angie Martinez has been named the 2016 MIW Airblazer.

Last year, the MIW Radio Group formed an alliance with Talentmaster's Morning Show Boot Camp (MSBC) to establish the MIW Airblazer Award, an honor bestowed annually to a deserving on-air personality in radio broadcasting.

Angie Martinez, host of The Angie Martinez Show, which airs in both New York and Miami, succeeds Ellen K, recipient of the inaugural 2015 MIW Airblazer Award.

Known as “The Voice of New York,” iHeart Media’s Angie Martinez is the reigning queen of radio and quickly becoming an empire in her own right. With nearly 20 years of on-air experience in the New York City radio market, the WWPR Power 105.1 FM host is also an author, actress, television host, recording artist, brand spokesperson and activist for youth and health awareness. Starting as a station intern when she was just a teenager, Angie has grown up in the radio world alongside her mother, a program director at a smooth-jazz station. Today, Angie can additionally be seen as a celebrity correspondent on Extra TV. In May of 2016, Angie released her first memoir, My Voice where she details her story, including her climb to becoming a multimedia icon in the world of entertainment, and shares never-before-told anecdotes from her years in media.

Don Anthony, founder and host of MSBC comments, "Having gone from an intern to the reigning ‘queen of New York radio, Angie's story serves as a true inspiration to others in search of their dreams. I can't imagine a more perfect pick by last year's recipient, Ellen K, in choosing Angie for this honor, a perfect segue from trailblazer to airblazer."

MIW Radio Group Spokesperson Kay Olin adds, “Our intention with the Airblazer Award is to showcase ladies behind the microphone who lead the way as local and syndicated on-air personalities. Women honored by the MIWs have not only achieved their own success, but further understand the importance of sharing their experiences with those coming up the ranks behind them. Angie embodies this spirit and we heartily congratulate her on adding another professional accomplishment, the 2016 MIW Airblazer Award, to her collection of accolades."

Report: Trump Considering CableTV Channel

Donald Trump
If Donald Trump loses the presidential election in November, his next move might be creating his own media business and cable channel, according to a new Vanity Fair report.

After seeing how he's dominated the media since announcing his campaign last year, the report says Trump's considering trying to leverage his audience to make money with what's described as a "mini-media conglomerate," outside of his existing TV-production business.

Vanity Fair cites its source as saying that Trump's view is, quote, "win or lose, we are onto something here. We've triggered a base of the population that hasn't had a voice in a long time."

Trump has reportedly been annoyed that he's created revenue for other media organizations by boosting their ratings without being able to get a cut of the money himself.

However, the story points out that to launch his "mini-media conglomerate," Trump would need a partner to pay for it and would likely have to buy an existing cable channel from another media player.

When asked about the claim, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Vanity Fair, "While it's true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature."

Salem Talker Hugh Hewitt Reverses On Trump

Hugh Hewitt
A week after Hugh Hewitt called on the Republican National Committee to change its convention rules if Donald Trump could not change himself, the Salem radio host has signaled that he is back on-board supporting the party's presumptive nominee, according to Politico.

“Although there’s been talk in recent weeks of implementing new rules at the Republican convention in Cleveland that would allow party leaders to replace Trump — talk that I’ve entertained — the appetite for that sort of drastic measure is gone,” Hewitt wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

What changed his mind? Trump’s recent speeches on religious liberty at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference and responding to the Orlando, Florida, attack, respectively.

Hewitt wrote that Trump "has returned to a winning message and walled off the assorted ‘never Trump’ holdouts trying to upend his nomination.”

“Trump’s task now is clear: It’s time to abandon his off-the-cuff remarks, disengage from his battles with the media and methodically prosecute the case that throughout her career, [Hillary] Clinton has consistently displayed a disqualifying lack of judgment,” Hewitt continued. “He needs to develop this argument, detail it and drive it home.”

Despite his differences with Trump over the course of the primary season, Hewitt said, “the prospect of another President Clinton, especially a Clinton who is so mired in scandal, compromised on national security and is the author of so many foreign-policy meltdowns, has a way of concentrating the mind.”

Portland ME Radio: Mike Violette Exits WGAN

Mike Violette
Mike Violette, morning host on N/T WGAN 560 AM in Portland ME has left his job after 12 years.

Violette, 55, told the Press-Herald Thursday he decided to leave the station mostly because he felt it was time for a change. Working in talk radio, as he’s done for the last 20 years, can “burn you out a little,” he said. He has no specific plans yet for a new job, but said he “assumes it will be in broadcasting.”

Violette said he asked to be let out of his contract, and officials at WGAN agreed. The station gave him a “nice severance package,” he said, and he has been spending his time playing golf and riding his motorcycle. He was on a motorcycle trip in New Hampshire with friends Thursday, and had just reached the top of Mount Washington when he called to comment for this story.

“It was just time. My kids have both graduated from college. I’m not responsible for their financial well-being anymore,” Violette said. “The time has come to see what else is out there. (WGAN) treated me very well.”

Violette had been co-host of the show since 2004 with Ken Altshuler, a Portland lawyer who usually takes the liberal side in on-air debates. The show features news headlines and discussions of news of the day, along with a wide range of guests and callers. On his Facebook page, Violette describes himself as a “compassionate caveman Libertarian.”

Bob Adams, vice president and general manager of the Portland Radio Group, would not say Thursday who might replace Violette as co-host of the “WGAN Morning News.” He said changes to the station’s morning programming and morning news show will be announced on air Friday around 5 p.m. WGAN is one of the stations in the Portland Radio Group.

Violette, a Waterville native, has worked on Maine radio stations for 35 years. He began doing sports on radio in Waterville and also worked in Bangor radio and as a host on local cable television.