Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 18 Radio History

In 1890...Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City. He was an early radio pioneer and also the inventor of FM, Frequency Modulation. A motorcycle visit to the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ, the world's first FM radio tower.

Rather than varying ("modulating") the amplitude of a radio wave to encode an audio signal, the new method varied the frequency FM enabled the transmission and reception of a wider range of audio frequencies, as well as audio free of "static", a common problem in AM radio. (Armstrong received a patent on wide-band FM on December 26, 1933.

Edwin H. Armstrong
In 1934 Armstrong began working for RCA at the request of the president of RCA, David Sarnoff. Sarnoff and Armstrong first met at a boxing match involving Jack Dempsey in 1920. At the time Sarnoff was a young executive with an interest in new technologies, including radio broadcasting. In the early 1920s Armstrong drove off with Sarnoff's secretary, Marion MacInnes, in a French sports car. Armstrong and MacInnes were married in 1923. While Sarnoff was understandably impressed with Armstrong's FM system, he also understood that it was not compatible with his own AM empire. Sarnoff came to regard FM as a threat and refused to support it any further.

From May 1934 until October 1935, Armstrong conducted the first large scale field tests of his FM radio technology from a laboratory constructed by RCA on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building. An antenna attached to the spire of the building fired radio waves at receivers about 80 miles away.  However RCA had its eye on television broadcasting, and chose not to buy the patents for the FM technology.  A June 17, 1936, presentation at FCC headquarters made headlines nationwide. He played a jazz record over conventional AM radio, then switched to an FM broadcast. "[I]f the audience of 50 engineers had shut their eyes they would have believed the jazz band was in the same room. There were no extraneous sounds," noted one reporter. He added that several engineers described the invention "as one of the most important radio developments since the first earphone crystal sets were introduced."

In 1937, Armstrong financed construction of the first FM radio station, W2XMN, a 40 kilowatt broadcaster in Alpine, New Jersey. The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.

In 1920...broadcaster Willis Conover was born in Buffalo. He was known as the man who “fought the Cold War with cool music.”  For 40 years he presented American jazz heard round the world on The Voice of America.  He died May 17 1996 at age 75.

In 1956...Phil Rizzuto contracted to be a New York Yankee radio-TV announcer. He held the position for 40-years.

In 1958...U.S. launches SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment) to transmit radio message from President Eisenhower, effectively becoming the first communications satellite

In 1967...Radio Personality Scott Muni started at WNEW 102.7 FM.

Born Donald Allen Muñoz in Wichita, Kansas, Muni grew up in New Orleans. He joined the United States Marine Corps and began broadcasting there in 1950, reading "Dear John" letters over Radio Guam. After leaving the Corps and having considered acting as a career, he began working as a disc jockey; in 1953 he began working at WSMB in New Orleans. His mentor was Marshall Pearce. In 1955 he began broadcasting at station WAKR in Akron, Ohio, and after that worked in Kankakee, Illinois.

Muni then spent almost 50 years at stations in New York City. He became a Top 40 broadcaster at WMCA in the late 1950s, just before the start of their "Good Guys" era, and did a number of record hops in the New York area. In 1960, he moved to rival Top 40 station WABC. There he did an early evening show called "Scotland's Yard" and was the first WABC DJ to capture the attention of the teenage audience the station would become famous for. He also participated in the competition to cover The Beatles on their first visits to the United States, and thus began a long association with them.

In 1965, Muni left WABC and ran the Rolling Stone Night Club while doing occasional fill-in work for WMCA. Muni had explored some opportunities beyond radio: he had recently co-hosted a local weekly television show on WABC-TV with Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow.

In 1966, Muni joined WOR-FM, one of the earliest pioneers of freeform-based progressive rock radio. The notion did not last at that station, but in 1967 Muni moved to legendary rock station WNEW-FM, where the format really took hold. Muni stayed there for three decades as the afternoon DJ and sometimes program director. Muni was described by fellow WNEW-FM DJ Dennis Elsas as "the heart and soul of the place". Under assorted management changes during the 1990s WNEW-FM lost its way, and in 1998 Muni ended up as a one-hour noontime classic rock personality at WAXQ "Q104.3", where he worked until suffering a stroke in early 2004.

In 1971...the CBS Radio network cancelled Saturday morning band concerts.

In 1993...WNCN changes to rock WAXQ in NYC

In 2010...NYC Radio/TV Personality Clay Cole died from a heart attack at age 72

In 2012…Two global audience-measurement giants announced plans to join forces as Nielsen, the dominant source of TV ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billion to expand into radio measurement.

In 2013...longtime Chicago ‘superjock’ Larry Lujack, who early in his career had a stint at KJR Seattle, succumbed to esophageal cancer at age 73.

Larry Lujack
Lujack initially came to Chicago to work for WCFL-AM. He spent a few months there before being hired at WLS. While at WCFL, Lujack drew the air studio curtains during public visiting hours.

"Animal Stories" came about because WLS was still receiving farm magazines long after they went into Rock and Roll in 1960. Lujack started reading some of them and began airing stories from them instead of reading the grain reports connected with the Farm Report. When the Farm Report was officially discontinued, the feature became Animal Stories.  A perfectionist about his work, Lujack would review every word he said on the air after each broadcast by listening to an audio cassette "skimmer" tape.

First at WCFL-AM and later at WLS-AM, a clear-channel station that could be heard far beyond Chicago, Mr. Lujack — known on the air as Uncle Lar’ or Superjock — spent 20 years spinning records and spouting opinions.

He became famous for regular features including “Klunk Letter of the Day” and “Cheap and Trashy Showbiz Report.” His best-known feature, done in collaboration with his longtime on-air partner Tommy Edwards (“Li’l Snot-Nose Tommy,” Mr. Lujack fondly called him), was “Animal Stories.”

Growing directly from the farm reports Mr. Lujack had to give early in his career, the feature involved his reading comic news reports about animals — among them the tale of a chicken who lived on despite having parted company with his head days before — to an astonished Mr. Edwards.

Lujack’s style, which also included strategic pauses, audible paper-shuffling and grandiloquent references to himself in the third person, demonstrably shaped that of Mr. Limbaugh, who in 1990 told The New York Times Magazine that Mr. Lujack was “the only person I ever copied.”

According to The NY Times, Larry Lee Blankenburg was born in 1940 in Quasqueton, Iowa, and reared in Caldwell, Idaho. At 18 he joined KCID-AM in Caldwell, adopting the surname of his idol, the Chicago Bears quarterback Johnny Lujack.

After working at stations in Idaho and Washington State, Mr. Lujack joined WCFL in 1967 and moved to WLS four months later. Except for a four-year stint back at WCFL, he remained with WLS for the next two decades.

In 1984 WLS gave Lujack a 12-year, $6 million contract, making him one of the country’s highest-paid radio personalities. (“I am not the least bit excited,” he was reported to have said.) But in 1987, amid declining ratings, the station’s corporate parent, Capital Cities-ABC, bought out his contract.

His honors include membership in the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (“It’s not Mount Rushmore,” he said on learning of his induction) and the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Obama Rips Press Over Election Coverage

President Obama rebuked the media on Friday for its coverage of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying she was not "treated fairly." reports The Hill.

“I’ve said before that I couldn’t be prouder of Secretary Clinton, her outstanding service,” the president said during his year-end press conference at the White House. “I think she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, and I don’t think she was treated fairly during the election. I think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling.”

Earlier in the briefing, Obama addressed the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Clinton campaign's manager. Those emails were released by WikiLeaks and received heavy media coverage during the campaign.
The president chided the press for not covering the publication of the stolen emails as an assault on national security, given the intelligence community's assessment that Russia carried out those hacks.

The CIA and FBI reportedly agree that Russia hacked Democratic computer systems in an attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump.

According to Variety, Obama spent a good deal of his press conference lamenting the “dysfunctional” state of political discourse, including the hyper-partisanship that has seen many accept even fake news at face value as long as it validates their beliefs.

He criticized Republicans who accepted Trump’s praise of Russian president Vladimir Putin even though the party has traditionally supported sanctions because of Putin’s actions. His point was that partisanship had gotten to a point where people are willing to abandon principles if that means their preferred party is in power.

Facebook Gets Heat Over 'Liberal' Fact-Checkers

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is taking heat from the right for Facebook’s new “fact-checking” initiative to police fake news.

The NY Post reports conservative pundits and publications are charging that most of the third-party organizations recruited this week to filter fake news stories from Facebook have a track record of liberal bias.

Snopes, ABC News, Politifact and all “have records of left-wing partisanship — particularly throughout the 2016 election,” Breitbart News reported Thursday.

For example, the alt-right news site noted, Politifact had reported it was “mostly false” when Donald Trump claimed in a presidential debate that Hillary Clinton wanted “open borders.”

“PolitiFact made this ruling despite Clinton being on the record at a paid speech saying ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders,’” according to Breitbart.

That’s despite Zuckerberg’s insistence this week that Facebook will “resist the path of becoming arbiters of truth ourselves,” as he scrambles to avoid accusations of censorship.

Elsewhere, the right-leaning Daily Caller reported that Snopes’ “main political fact checker,” Kim Lacapria, has described herself as “openly left-leaning” and trashed the Tea Party as “teahadists.”

Brent Bozell, president of the right-leaning Media Research Center, said in a Friday blog post that he had “expressed grave concern” in a conversation with Zuckerberg this week about “the liberal ‘fact-checking’ organizations Facebook has chosen.”

Facebookers Tired Of Dealing With Fake News

Facebook has a fake news problem. And some of its users are fed up with it.  According to USAToday, they're not sure if the solution is to let the social network, with its own biases, decide what's true. Or whether they themselves should become better fact-checkers.

"I find myself wasting my day verifying stories," says Kristen Stanley, a 49-year-old homemaker from Morgan City, LA, who used to work in the ship building industry. "I didn't used to do that. It's all new and it's all started with the election."

It turns out that by creating the world's most popular place to share, Facebook also created the world's most efficient delivery system for fake news.

Some 170 million people in North America use Facebook every day. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. say they get their news from Facebook. Fake news creates significant public confusion about current events, with nearly one-fourth of Americans saying they have shared a fake news story, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

And that ticks off Stanley. She wishes her friends would do some research before sharing "nonsense."

"Some of it makes me wonder if my friends have brains," says Stanley, whose News Feed during the election was rife with "things on both sides that were completely false."

Facebook has taken a lot of heat since the election for not doing enough to remove fake news reports.

Read More Now

MN Radio: Derek Falter to Manage Two Hubbard Clusters

Derek Falter
Hubbard Broadcasting-Minnesota VP/Regional Manager Dan Seeman announces that Derek Falter is named GM for the Hubbard cluster in Alexandria and Wadena, MN.

Starting January 17, Falter will oversee Country KIKV 100.7 FM and Classic Hits KULO 94.7 FM in Alexandria and Country KKWS 105.9 FM, Classic Country KWAD 920 AM and simulcast KNSP1430 AM in Wadena. In 2015 Hubbard Broadcasting acquired 16 radio stations in northern Minnesota from Omni Broadcasting.

Falter will replace retiring GM Dave Vagle, who successfully managed the Alexandria market for 27 years.

"I can’t tell you how excited we are to bring Derek into Hubbard Broadcasting," said Seeman.

"Derek's success in Duluth speaks for itself and he will bring experience, passion and creativity to the Alexandria and Wadena markets. He has big shoes to fill. Dave Vagle has been an outstanding leader in the market for 27 years."

Falter comes to Hubbard from Townsquare Media-Duluth, MN where he has been serving as GM/DOS for the past five years. Derek has been in Duluth since 2007 and also served as a Senior Account Manager for RedRock Radio.

"I’m extremely honored by this unique opportunity to join Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. and help them to continue to evolve and grow," commented Falter. "They are dedicated to helping local and regional businesses with their needs today, tomorrow and in the future and that truly resonates with me. HBI is a proven leader in the industry and I think with my natural skill set and experience I’ll be able to help make an impact immediately."

Nick Pinto Named VP/IT For Beasley Media

Nick Pinto
Beasley Media Group, Inc has promoted Nick Pinto to VP of Information Technology.

Pinto had been serving Beasley as Information Technology Director in Charlotte since 2014, and had worked in the Charlotte market, overseeing Charlotte cluster’s IT infrastructure since 2004.

"I’m honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team," Said Nick. "I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards, and this promotion is one of them! I thank Chief Technology Officer Mike Cooney, for his faith in my abilities, and Market Manager Bill Schoening, for his constant support for more than a decade. I look forward to what the future holds for myself and for the Beasley Media Group."

"Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition," added Cooney. "Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT Managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position."

December 17 Radio History

Katherine Raht, House Jameson
In House Jameson was born in Austin, Texas.

Success on Broadway led to a starring role in CBS radio’s Renfrew of the Mounted, and the part for which he is beloved, playing father over the 14 year run of NBC’s The Aldrich Family.  When the family comedy went to TV in 1949 he was the only radio cast member to move with it.  His many guest appearances on TV through the 1960’s were highlighted by recurring roles on the soaps The Edge of Night and Another World.

He died April 23 1971 at age 68.

In 1926...WCBS signed-on (as ABC)

The station's history traces back to 1924, when Alfred H. Grebe started WAHG at 920 AM. WAHG was a pioneering station in New York, and was one of the first commercial radio stations to broadcast from remote locations including horse races and yachting events. Two years later, in 1926, Alfred Grebe changed the station's call sign to WABC (for his Atlantic Broadcasting Company) after concluding a business arrangement with the Ashland Battery Company (which had owned the call sign for a station in Asheville, North Carolina) and moved his studios to West 57th Street, which would not be the last time the station would operate from 57th Street.

In 1928, General Order 40 moved the station's frequency to 970 AM, and the station became a part-time affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System, which was looking for a full-time radio presence in New York City (CBS's first flagship was WOR). After a short time broadcasting CBS programming three days a week, CBS president William S. Paley purchased WABC and it became a subsidiary of CBS.

Soon after this purchase the station moved to a new frequency, this time to 860 AM, and would eventually increase its transmitting power from 5,000 to its present 50,000 watts. The station also moved its studios into the CBS headquarters at 485 Madison Avenue (on the corner of 52nd Street). The station, still operating as WABC, featured a mix of local interest programming, ethnic content and music programs from CBS's national feed. As time went by, WABC turned more and more to the national programming provided by CBS and its affiliates, and its broadcast day was influenced by CBS's growing interest in news programming. In 1939, the broadcasting operations were moved across 52nd Street from the headquarters to the new CBS Studio Building. In 1941, WABC moved to the frequency it currently occupies, 880 AM, and changed its call letters to WCBS on November 2, 1946, to identify more closely with its parent network, the Columbia Broadcasting System or CBS, and avoid possible confusion with the rival network of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), which had begun operation in 1943.

As a result, this station has no relation to the longtime ABC radio flagship station on 770 AM that began in 1921 as WJZ, and has operated as WABC since 1953.

In 1926...KYA San Francisco, California was licensed.  It signed-on 12/18/1926.

KYA went on the air on 18 December 1926, with 500 watts on 970 kHz from the Clift Hotel in San Francisco. The owners were Vincent I. Kraft of Seattle, who had started KJR (AM) there; and Frederick C. Clift of San Francisco. It got a license for 1000 watts on 850 kHz in November 1927. Its studios moved to the Warfield Theatre Building at 988 Market Street, but the transmitter stayed at the Clift Hotel.

In November 1928 moved to 1230 kHz as part of a nationwide frequency reshuffling, and joined the Columbia Broadcasting System. By May 1929 its transmitter was reported to be at 680 Geary Street at Taylor Street. The station licensee went bankrupt in August, and KYA was transferred to a new corporation by the end of 1929. The transmitter facility was moved again, on 25 June 1930, to the Whitcomb Hotel.  Having moved to various locations around the radio dial during the chaotic early days of broadcasting, KYA was assigned permanently to 1260 kHz as a result of NARBA in 1941.

"The Boss of the Bay" - KYA as a Top 40 Rock Station

In the mid-1950s, KYA made its mark as a rock and roll station. KYA was for many years the leading Top 40 music radio station in the Bay Area, until the stronger-signalled KFRC switched to the format in 1966. From time to time, up through 1970, KYA would again beat KFRC in the Arbitron ratings, but KYA's dominance was truly over after the mid-60's.  Former KYA morning man and legendary radio programmer Bill Drake went on to consult KFRC to its ratings success; it was at KYA that Drake first made his mark as program director. KYA was also instrumental in the careers of future sportscaster Johnny Holliday, audio and electronics store pitchman Tom Campbell, Hall of Fame disc jockey and underground radio pioneer Tom Donahue (a/k/a "Big Daddy"), and Tommy Saunders, who retired from KYA's successor, KOIT, in 2006.

Other notable disc jockeys who plied their trade on KYA's airwaves in the 1960s included Les Crane, (air name Johnny Raven), Casey Kasem, Jim Stagg, Bobby Mitchell, Norman Davis, "Emperor" Gene Nelson, Peter Tripp, Tony Bigg, Russ "The Moose" Syracuse, Chris Edwards, Ed Hider, Johnny Holliday, Bill Holley (a cousin of Buddy Holly), Bwana Johnny, and Gary Shaffer. The 1970's saw a staff that included Christopher Cain, Roger W. Morgan, Jay Stone, Scott Thomas, Steve Jordan, Jimmy "Jet" Powers, Gary Mora, and Michael Rivers.

In December 1979, KYA AM & FM flipped to a light album rock format under the title "Easy Rock 93." Within months the AM station would flip again, this time to an oldies format while the FM station would continue the light album rock format as KLHT (K-LITE). Morgan, Mora, and Syracuse would be brought back to revive the station from its heyday. This format would hold until the station was sold in 1983.

KYA's dominance was basically over by the late 1960s when FM stations began playing rock 'n' Roll and gained large chunks of the audiences.

In mid-2007, Bonneville reached an agreement to sell the 1260 AM frequency to IHR Educational Broadcasting. IHR took over the station's operations in December of that year under a time-brokerage agreement, and officially closed on the station on February 1, 2008.

In 2007, KOIT-AM, the former 1260/KYA, became KSFB, a Catholic-oriented station owned by Immaculate Heart Radio. Ironically, KYA's chief Top 40 rival in the 1960s and 1970s, KFRC (610 AM), is now the Christian-oriented KEAR (the KFRC call letters would return in January 2009, this time at 1550 AM replacing KYCY and the station is owned by CBS Radio).

On December 10, 2007, a religious format came to 1260 AM; the call sign was changed to KSFB. KSFB is part of one of the largest Catholic radio network in America, and its daily broadcasts include daily mass and rosary.

In 1936...Edgar Bergen became the first ventriloquist to successfully perform on national radio as he and Charlie McCarthy appeared on NBC's "The Royal Gelatin Hour," hosted by singer/bandleader Rudy Vallée.

In 1955...Carl Perkins wrote "Blue Suede Shoes." Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Records studio in Memphis.

Carroll James
In 1963...Carroll James Jr. became the first American Disc-Jockey to air a Beatles record on radio station WWDC in Washington, DC. That was two months before the Beatles were on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” Carroll played ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, which he’d obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from the UK.

James won a place in Beatles mythology as the first disk jockey to play the group's records on American radio. But D. L. MacLaughlan, a Beatles researcher at UCLA, has found playlists and top-40 charts from radio stations around the country that predate Mr. James's broadcast by as much as 10 months. The earliest was WLS in Chicago, which began playing ''Please Please Me'' in February 1963. Nevertheless, the Beatles and Capitol considered Mr. James's advocacy helpful, and invited him to be the master of ceremonies at the group's first American concert, at the Washington Coliseum.

James died from cancer in 1997.

In 1976...Ted Turner's WTCG-TV in Atlanta changed call letters to WTBS and its signal was sent via satellite to cable systems all over the U.S. – the first commercial TV station to cover the entire country – making it the first TV "Super Station."

In 1986...Wayne Newton won a $19.2 million suit against NBC News. The network had aired reports claiming a link between Newton and mob figures, reports later proven to be false.

In 1987...WPLJ NYC calls were changed to WWPR ("World Wide Power Radio") and 95.5 became "Power 95." However, a year later - December 21, 1988 - calls were changed back to WPLJ and "Power 95" was dropped.

Richard C. Hottelet 1944
In 2014…Richard C. Hottelett, who spent more than four decades reporting news for CBS and was the last of the original "Murrow's Boys," wartime journalists hired in the 1940s by Edward R. Murrow, died at the age of 97.

Friday, December 16, 2016

San Jose Radio: Sam & Lissa EXIT AC KBAY-FM

Sam Van Zandt and Lissa Kreisler wrapped up their morning show Friday on AC KBAY 94.5 FM for the last time after 12 years as a team.

Van Zandt, who is 70 years old, decided earlier this year to retire after a 52-year career because of health reasons. But Kreisler’s departure wasn’t planned. KBAY management informed her Dec. 7 that she wouldn’t be staying on with the station, either, rather unceremoniously ending her 29-year tenure there. While conceding working alongside Van Zandt has been “magic”  that would be difficult to replicate, she says she’s not ready to retire.

According to the Mercury News, Friday morning at the 94.5-FM studio was a bittersweet one, with fan after fan calling in to say goodbye — and Sam and Lissa consoling the callers as much as they were consoling the hosts. KRTY morning hosts Gary Scott Thomas and Julie Stevens called in, as did KDFC’s Hoyt Smith. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo stopped by with a bouquet of tulips for Kreisler and a proclamation declaring Dec. 16, 2016 as “Sam & Lissa in the Morning Show Day.” Off the air, there were a few tears between breaks, but on the air there were a lot of laughs and memories being shared.

“This is a tough day for everyone,” KBAY General Manager John Levitt said. “But I’ve been saying to everyone that these guys are bigger than this station.”

Both Van Zandt and Kreisler have been mainstays at nonprofit events throughout the years, whether acting as emcees — with those radio voices, they’re perfect choices — or helping raise money or bring in donations.

For Van Zandt, Friday’s broadcast was an bittersweet end to a great career. A San Jose native and Lincoln High grad, he got a job at a Gilroy radio station KPER in 1964 while attending San Jose State and has been at it ever since, with stints at San Francisco stations K-101, KFRC and KYA. Van Zandt observed that he’s come full circle: The call letters are different, but KBAY’s radio license is the same one that belonged to the station where he got his first job.

But this partnership with Lissa will be one that he’ll treasure. “I will miss this a lot,” he said. “I can be feeling really low in the morning, and she and I start bantering and I’m cheerful. It’s a great start for the rest of the day.”

Sumner Redstone To Step Down From Viacom Board

Sumner Redstone
(Reuters) --- Controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone will step down from the Viacom (VIAB.O) board of directors after the company's annual meeting in February, according to a company filing on Friday.

The ailing, 93-year old Redstone, who has not attended an annual investor meeting since 2014, will continue to participate in meetings in a "non-voting" role, according to the filing.

It was Redstone's decision to step down, according to a source familiar with the situation, who did not want to be named because discussions were private.

Redstone's decision marks the end of an era for the elder media mogul, who once considered Viacom his crown jewel. He bought Viacom through a hostile takeover in 1987, and later added Paramount Pictures and CBS. He split Viacom from CBS in 2006.

However, Redstone's health and mental capacity has been a point of inquiry as of late. The media mogul has trouble speaking and needs around-the-clock care, according to court documents filed in a suit by his former girlfriend questioning his mental capacity.

Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone control Viacom, which owns cable networks including Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, and CBS Corp (CBS.N), home to HBO and shows like "The Big Bang Theory," through their privately held movie theater company National Amusements Inc.

The announcement that Redstone is stepping down from the board came just days after he and Shari Redstone withdrew a proposal for CBS and Viacom to explore a merger.

Redstone resigned as executive chair of the board last February to become chairman emeritus. He was replaced by then-Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman, who departed in August after losing a fight for control of the company to the Redstones.

Redstone stepped down as executive chair of CBS when he became chairman emeritus at Viacom. A CBS spokesman declined to comment if Redstone would step down from the CBS board. CBS' proxy comes out in the spring because it operates on a different fiscal calendar than Viacom.

Viacom is working to turn itself around as it has suffered from declining ratings and advertising revenue.

Shares of Viacom rose 2.5 percent to $35.77 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.

Mark Gross Named Chief Judge For Radio Mercury Awards

Mark Gross
The Radio Mercury Awards has announced Mark Gross, Founder, Creative Director at Highdive Advertising, as the 2017 Chief Judge for the 26th Annual Radio Mercury Awards Competition.

Gross is a highly regarded advertising executive and DDB Chicago alumnus, where he led creative on some of the agency’s biggest accounts including Capital One,, Bud Light and Mars-Wrigley. He’s probably best known for the late ’90s “Real Men of Genius” campaign for Bud Light, the most awarded campaign in advertising history.

He’s won three Best in Show Radio Mercury Awards, two Cannes Radio Grand Prix Lions, a Radio Grand Andy and a Radio Grand Clio. Mark has also served as President of the inaugural Cannes Radio Jury, and President of the Clio Radio Jury.

This past fall, Gross, along with fellow DDB Chicago colleague and Radio Mercury Award winner Chad Broude, founded Highdive Advertising, a new boutique agency in Chicago.

 “Captivating movies, engaging books, powerful stage plays, sticky songs, memorable radio advertising — they all share one thing: great storytelling,” noted Mark. “The panel of judges and I will be looking for the campaigns and spots that draw us in with unforgettable and fascinating stories that you can only tell on the radio.”

 “Mark Gross has been a part of so many Radio Mercury Award-winning spots and campaigns that we’ve lost count.  His roster of work could be a curriculum of how to create award-winning radio advertising,” said Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau and chair of the Radio Creative Fund. “We are thrilled he will lead this year’s judging and ensure that the best of the best are awarded in June.”

 Award categories for the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards will be announced later this month, along with Call for Entry guidelines and deadlines.  For more information, log on to

SiriusXM To Air 34 Live College Bowl Games

SiriusXM will offer a schedule of 34 live bowl games this college football postseason, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship, giving subscribers nationwide access to live play-by-play on their satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

The schedule begins this Saturday, December 17, with a lineup of five games that kicks off with Grambling State vs. North Carolina Central in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at 12:00 pm ET.  A complete schedule of games and their SiriusXM channel assignments can be found at

On New Year's Eve, subscribers can tune in for both College Football Playoff Semifinal games – the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl featuring #1 Alabama vs. #4 Washington (3:00 pm ET), followed by #2 Clemson vs. #3 Ohio State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Nine days later listeners will get live play-by-play as the winners of those two games face off for the College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL (Jan. 9 at 8:00 pm ET). All three CFP games air on ESPN Radio, SiriusXM channel 80.

In addition to the College Football Playoff games, listeners will also get access to the six other bowl games that feature matchups between Top 25-ranked teams. These include: #10 Colorado vs. #12 Oklahoma St. in the Valero Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29); #11 Florida State vs. #6 Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl (Dec. 30); #13 Louisville vs. #20 LSU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (Dec. 31); #8 Wisconsin vs. #15 Western Michigan in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Jan. 2); #5 Penn State vs. #9 USC in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual (Jan. 2) and #7 Oklahoma vs. #14 Auburn in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2).

SiriusXM also offers fans the most in-depth radio coverage of the college game with daily talk, up-to-the-moment news and expert analysis on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 84 on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app.

SiriusXM College Sports Nation features an unparalleled team of expert hosts that includes Heisman Trophy winners, National Champions, and former players and coaches. Greg McElroy, Rick Neuheisel, Matt Leinart, Robert Smith, Lou Holtz, Gino Torretta, Butch Davis, Phil Savage, Tim Brown, Eddie George, Kirk Morrison, Brad Hopkins, Charles Arbuckle and Eric LeGrand are among the analysts joining hosts Taylor Zarzour, Chris Childers, Mark Packer, Andy Staples, Braden Gall, Mark Morgan, Chris Spatola, and Rachel Baribeau throughout the season.

Twenty-seven of the bowl game broadcasts – including the College Football Playoff Semifinals and College Football Playoff National Championship – are produced and provided by ESPN Radio. Other broadcast providers are Touchdown Radio and RedVoice LLC.

Facebook To Roll Out New Tools To Tackle Fake News

By Dustin Volz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it will introduce tools to prevent fake news stories from spreading on its platform, an about-face in response to rising criticism that it did not do enough to combat the problem during the U.S. presidential campaign.

The social network company stressed that the new features are part of an ongoing process to refine and test how it deals with fake news. It has faced complaints this year involving how it monitors and polices content produced by its 1.8 billion users.

Facebook said users will find it easier to flag fake articles on their News Feed as a hoax, and it will work with organizations such as fact-checking website Snopes, ABC News and the Associated Press to check the authenticity of stories.

If such organizations identify a story as fake, Facebook said, it will get flagged as "disputed" and be linked to the corresponding article explaining why.

The company said disputed stories may appear lower in its news feed, adding that once a story is flagged, it cannot be promoted.

A few weeks ago, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said it was a "crazy idea" that fake or misleading news on Facebook helped swing the election in favor of Republican Donald Trump. But criticism persisted amid reports that people in the United States and other countries have fabricated sensational hoaxes meant to appeal to conservatives.

Critics said fake news often was more widely read than news reported by major media organizations.

Ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Facebook users saw fake news reports saying Pope Francis endorsed Trump and that a federal agent who had been investigating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was found dead.

The effort by Facebook is intended to focus on the “worst of the worst” of clear hoaxes created by “spammers for their own gain,” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president in charge of its News Feed, said in a blog post.

Some far-right conservative writers quickly pounced on the announcement, decrying it as a covert attempt to muzzle their legitimate content.

“Translation: A group of incredibly biased left-wing fake news outlets will bury dissenting opinions,” Paul Joseph Watson, editor-at-large of the far-right website Infowars, which routinely peddles unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, said on Twitter.

Facebook has struggled throughout the year to mollify conservatives who fear the company may be censoring them. The company fired contractors who managed the site’s trending news sidebar after a report by Gizmodo in May quoted an anonymous employee claiming the site routinely suppressed conservative news.

On Thursday, Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for U.S. public policy, met with President-elect Trump at his Manhattan tower.

Survey: Many Believe Fake News Is Confusing

According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, most Americans suspect that made-up news is having an impact.

About two-in-three U.S. adults (64%) say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues and events. This sense is shared widely across incomes, education levels, partisan affiliations and most other demographic characteristics. These results come from a survey of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted from Dec. 1 to 4, 2016.1

Though they sense these stories are spreading confusion, Americans express a fair amount of confidence in their own ability to detect fake news, with about four-in-ten (39%) feeling very confident that they can recognize news that is fabricated and another 45% feeling somewhat confident. Overall, about a third (32%) of Americans say they often see political news stories online that are made up. While it is difficult to measure the precise extent to which people actually see news that has been completely fabricated – given that news consumers could see but not recognize made-up news stories as well as mistake factual stories for false ones — these figures provide a high-level sense of the public’s perception of this kind of content.

And some Americans say they themselves have shared fake news. Overall, 23% say they have ever shared a made-up news story, with 14% saying they shared a story they knew was fake at the time and 16% having shared a story they later realized was fake.

When it comes to how to prevent the spread of fake news, many Americans expect social networking sites, politicians and the public itself to do their share.

Yahoo Under Scrutiny, Verizon Seeks New Deal Terms

By Greg Roumeliotis and Jessica Toonkel

NEW YORK (Reuters) --Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) came under renewed scrutiny by federal investigators and lawmakers on Thursday after disclosing the largest known data breach in history, prompting Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) to demand better terms for its planned purchase of Yahoo's internet business.

Shares of the Sunnyvale, California-based internet pioneer fell more than 6 percent after it announced the breach of data belonging to more than 1 billion users late on Wednesday, following another large hack reported in September.

Verizon, which agreed to buy Yahoo's core internet business in July for $4.8 billion, is now trying to persuade Yahoo to amend the terms of the acquisition agreement to reflect the economic damage from the two hacks, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. No. 1 wireless carrier still expects to go through with the deal, but is looking for “major concessions” in light of the most recent breach, according to another person familiar with the situation.

Asked about the status of the deal, a Yahoo spokesperson said: "We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon."

Verizon had already said in October it was reviewing the deal after September's breach disclosure. Late on Wednesday, it said it would "review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions" about whether to proceed.

The company declined to comment beyond that statement on Thursday.

Verizon has threatened to go to court to get out of the deal if it is not repriced, citing a material adverse effect, said the people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.

No court in Delaware, where Yahoo is incorporated, has ever found that a material adverse effect has occurred that would allow companies to terminate a merger agreement.

Nevertheless, the threat of a court case on the issue has been successfully used by companies to renegotiate deals, and experts said that some concessions from Yahoo are likely, given the magnitude of the cyber security breaches.

Renegotiating the deal’s price tag would be the simplest but also least likely scenario because the impact of the data breaches will not be apparent for some time, according to Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

A more likely concession would be for Yahoo to agree to compensate Verizon after the close of the deal, based on the liabilities that occur. The two companies may also agree to extend the close of the deal to allow for more time for information to come in on the impact of the breaches, Gordon suggested.

Verizon shares rose 0.4 percent to close at $51.81, in line with the S&P 500 Index .SPX. Yahoo closed down 6.1 percent at $38.41.


Yahoo said late on Wednesday that it had uncovered a 2013 cyber attack that compromised data of more than 1 billion user accounts, the largest known breach on record.

It said the data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

The company added that some of its partners were affected. One such partner, Europe's Sky Plc (SKYB.L), said Yahoo provides email services to its 2.1 million email account holders, but it was unclear how many of those accounts were affected.

The announcement followed Yahoo's disclosure in September of a separate breach that affected over 500 million accounts, which the company said it believed was launched by different hackers.

The White House said on Thursday the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation was probing the breach. Several lawsuits seeking class-action status on behalf of Yahoo shareholders have been filed, or are in the works.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said he was looking into Yahoo's cyber security practices.

"This most-recent revelation warrants a separate follow-up and I plan to press the company on why its cyber defenses have been so weak as to have compromised over a billion users," he said in a statement.

Warner, who will become the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee next year, described the hacks as "deeply troubling."

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged anyone with a Yahoo account to change their passwords and security questions and said he is examining the breach's circumstances and the company's disclosures to law enforcement.

Germany's cyber security authority, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), advised German consumers to consider switching to safer alternatives for email, and criticized Yahoo for failing to adopt modern encryption techniques to protect users' personal data.

"Considering the repeated cases of data theft, users should look more closely at which services they want to use in the future and security should play a part in that decision," BSI President Arne Schoenbohm said in a statement.

The latest breach drew widespread criticism from security experts, several advising consumers to close their Yahoo accounts.

"Yahoo has fallen down on security in so many ways I have to recommend that if you have an active Yahoo email account, either direct with Yahoo of via a partner like AT&T, get rid of it," Stu Sjouwerman, chief executive of cyber security firm KnowBe4 Inc, said in a broadly distributed email.

A Yahoo spokesperson, in response to criticism of the company's security measures, said on Thursday: "We’re committed to keeping our users secure, both by continuously striving to stay ahead of ever-evolving online threats and to keep our users and platforms secure."

Fox News Analyst Monica Crowley Named To National Security Post

Monica Crowley
Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg and Monica Crowley, a frequent commentator on Fox News, have been named to join President-elect Donald Trump’s White House, according to the presidential transition office.

The Washington Post reports Kellogg was named chief of staff and executive secretary of the National Security Council, and Crowley will serve as the council’s senior director of strategic communications. Both will report to Trump’s national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

“The United States is an exceptional country and these are two exceptional individuals who have agreed to fulfill the President-elect’s pledge of putting America first once again,” Flynn said in a statement. “I am honored to have General Kellogg and Dr. Crowley on the National Security Council team.”

Crowley worked for former president Richard Nixon from 1990 until 1994 and later wrote several books about him. She has been a columnist in a number of newspapers and an analyst on Fox News. She is also the host of a syndicated radio show.

Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said in a statement: “Monica Crowley has been terminated. She is no longer a Fox News contributor.”

Crowley has two master’s degrees and a PhD in international affairs from Columbia University. She and Kellogg have been sharp critics of President Obama’s foreign policy.

The role Crowley is expected to fill is occupied in Obama’s White House by Ben Rhodes, who has been an influential player on foreign policy issues and a close adviser to the president. Kellogg’s position is occupied by Suzy George in the Obama White House.

Fox News Finishes Year As Most-Watched Basic Cable Net

For the first time in its 20-year history, Fox News Channel will finish 2016 as the most-watched basic cable network in primetime and total day, according to

Fueled by mostly nonstop coverage of Donald Trump’s race to the White House, FNC locked up the wins both in primetime and in total day, and every hour on the network’s lineup logged double-digit jumps compared to 2015. Fox News bagged its biggest audiences ever both in primetime and in total day with 2.4 million and 1.4 million viewers, respectively.

Adding to FNC’s victory-lap fun, the network closes out 2016 as the fifth-most-watched primetime in all of television, behind only Big Four broadcasters networks NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, in order. FNC noted in particular that it beat ESPN, which ranked sixth for the year, also besting USA — though, of course, ESPN is a “sports” network not an “entertainment” net.

It goes without saying FNC logged larger crowds than its cable news competitors in overall audience; it also bested them in the key news 25-54 demo. Maybe more surprising to some: The network’s The O’Reilly Factor is the No. 1 ranked cable news program for the year, in overall audience, among 25-54 year olds – and with 18-49 year olds.

Among cable news programs, FNC secured 14 of the top 15 programs in total viewers. Bill O’Reilly’s 3.3M viewers edged out No. 2 ranked The Kelly Factor’s 2.7M. While on her book cum contract-ending-soon tour of the media landscape, Megyn Kelly has claimed hers is the No. 1 news program on cable, explaining O’Reilly’s program is an “opinion” show. Nielsen does not make that distinction; where Nielsen comes from, The O’Reilly Factor is filed under: Megyn Kelly’s Lead-In.

NBC Has Issues With Nielsen's Total Content Ratings

The war of words between TV companies and Nielsen escalated this week when Comcast Corp.-owned NBCUniversal sent a letter to the ratings giant raising concerns about a new measurement product, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The service, called Total Content Ratings, promises to measure audiences in areas outside the traditional “linear” TV ratings system, like subscription video on demand services and on mobile devices.

The TV industry, which has seen traditional ratings fall as eyeballs shift to newer platforms, has long called for such a product, often criticizing Nielsen for failing to keep up with shifting media habits.

In the letter NBCUniversal’s chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships, Linda Yaccarino, said that she has “deep concerns” about Total Content Ratings, calling it “incomplete” and “inconsistent.”

Yaccarino criticized the product for having limited implementation from pay-TV operators and not fully measuring over-the-top viewership. “Bottom line, it’s not ready for release,” Ms. Yaccarino said in the letter. Nielsen’s new product isn’t yet fully integrated with Hulu, the streaming site in which NBCUniversal owns a stake.

In a statement, Nielsen said it stands behind the product, which is on schedule for a March 1 release.

Read More Now (Paywall)

Jax Radio: Nick Figueredo Named PD At WOKV

Nick Figueredo
Cox Media Group (CMG) Jacksonville Radio has named Nick Figueredo as Director of Branding and Programming for News/Talk WOKV 104.5 FM.

“After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision and leadership to take News 104.5 WOKV to even greater ratings success,” said Todd Shannon, CMG Jacksonville Radio’s Director of Operations.

Figueredo has worked for CMG Orlando for the past seven years and was most recently the Assistant Director of Branding and Programming for News 96.5 WDBO.

WOKV 104.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“I’m very excited and thankful for the amazing opportunity to be the Director of Branding and Programming for News 104.5 WOKV,” said Figueredo. “From the day I was hired at News 96.5 WDBO in Orlando, I knew my future was with CMG, and now I’m taking the next step in my career. I owe a great deal of credit to Drew Anderssen for his leadership and mentoring during my time at WDBO, as well as CMG Executive VP of Radio Bill Hendrich, Regional VP of Jacksonville and Orlando Radio Susan Larkin, CMG’s VP of Radio Programming Steve Smith, WOKV’s News Director Rich Jones, and Todd Shannon for believing in me and giving me the chance to prove myself!”

ASCAP, Radio Music License Committee Reach New Deal

The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Thursday announced a new five-year agreement through 2021 that sets the rates payable by over 10,000 of America's commercial terrestrial radio stations to publicly perform more than 10.5 million musical works in the ASCAP repertory.

The RMLC represents the vast majority of the nation's radio stations and ASCAP represents 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publisher members whose songs and compositions comprise the largest catalog of music played on commercial AM/FM radio of any performing rights organization in the United States.

The agreement covers the five-year period 2017 to 2021. It provides for increases in the rates paid by radio stations to perform music by ASCAP members via terrestrial, over-the-air broadcasts as well as certain digital transmissions and, for the first time, expressly affirms the percentage share of radio performances represented by ASCAP -- at a level that reflects that ASCAP licenses more performances on broadcast radio than any other performing rights organization.

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: "We are confident that our new agreement will provide enhanced financial benefits to ASCAP songwriters, composers and music publishers at a time of tremendous disruption in the music industry. Reaching a voluntary agreement with the terrestrial radio industry enables ASCAP to stabilize and grow revenues for our members while continuing to aggressively advocate for regulatory reform to modernize the music licensing system."

RMLC Chairman Ed Christian commented: "This agreement demonstrates how the creative and music user communities can work together in good faith to produce an outcome that is positive for both sides. The increase in ASCAP fees is consistent with ASCAP's established spin share on radio. We are pleased to close this deal ensuring that there will be no interruption in ASCAP music being performed on American radio at a time when the music licensing landscape has become increasingly complex."

Houston Radio: Cox Media Stations Raise $655K+

Cox Media Group (CMG) Houston stations KKBQ 92.9 FM The New 93Q, Country Legends KTHT 97.1 FM and KGLK 106.9 / 107.5 Houston’s Eagle helped Texas Children’s Hospital reach Houstonians via the airwaves to raise $655,329.00 during the 13th annual Radiothon on Dec. 1-2, 2016.

The two-day long live broadcast from Texas Children’s Hospital raised funds to benefit patient care, education, research at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, the building of a new pediatric tower in the medical center for the most critically ill children and the opening of a community hospital in North Houston – Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

 "We have caring listeners who step up each year to support our association with Texas Children's Hospital,” said CMG Houston VP and Market Manager Mark Krieschen. “Having our radio stations participate for the 13th year shows our commitment to this great cause. Our hearts were touched again by the strength of the children and the dedication of volunteers and staff.”

Kokomo Radio: 44th Annual We Care Raises $436K+

In 1973, an on-air radio personality took a call from a laid-off worker, who couldn’t provide Christmas for his family. That’s when the on-air radio personality, known as Dick Bronson, reached into his wallet for half of its contents. Then, he encouraged his listeners on Hit Country 100.5 KI to do the same. Within moments, the Kokomo community raised enough to give the caller a Christmas he couldn’t give his children, and the organization known as We Care was founded.

Forty-four years later, We Care will celebrate a milestone year of fundraising. The organization announced Wednesday morning (12/14/16) – on Hit Country WWKI 100.5 FM – We Care raised a total of $436,192.26 for 2016. The final figure is tallied from money raised during numerous fundraisers held throughout the year, including: a 48-hour telethon, Trim-A-Tree Festival, We Care Store and a Wrap-Up auction.

For Becky Varnell, a veteran volunteer for the organization, announcing the total of We Care's 2016 efforts provokes tears of compassion for what the money will do for the community's members.

"For everyone who donated and contributed: You brought hope to those in need, for those who needed the feeling of hope for Christmas," Varnell said during Wednesday's annual check presentation -- aired live on WWKI." You made it possible for them. I thank you."

Hit Country 100.5 KI is annually honored to help give We Care a voice on its radio airwaves. John Spilman, Vice President and General Manager at Cumulus Media, says the partnership between WWKI and We Care is one that represents how radio and fundraising can work together to serve our local communities.

“We’re grateful to be part of We Care’s beginnings and our continued involvement with an organization that has such an impact on the heart of our community,” Spilman said. “We Care started Monday (12/12/16) with $436,000 in the bank, then gave it all away. That really hits home.”

We Care is unique in that all money raised goes directly to five of Kokomo's nonprofit organizations -- with no administrative costs being removed from the fundraising total. Following Wednesday’s announcement, the organization’s leaders distributed the money to the following organizations in Kokomo:  Salvation Army, The Goodfellows, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Bona Vista and Mental Health Association.

       Volunteers answer phones during the 48-hour event, broadcast on WWKI and on television on Dec. 2-4, 2016.

Van Taylor, executive director of Kokomo Rescue Mission, was emotionally moved by how the $115,000 his organization -- received from We Care -- will impact the spirits of those, who had lost hope for the holidays.

"This is so special, because of the energy, the heart and the compassion of We Care we can give hope back to people," Taylor said. "The looks on these young mothers' faces when we show up at the door with gifts. Tears start streaming from their faces; they really thought gifts weren’t something their families would see Christmas morning. Those gifts are possible because of We Care."

NYC Radio: WNSH Airing 'Miracle For Kids' Radiothon

Cumulus Media’s WNSH NASH FM 94.7 in New York will host its “Miracle for the Kids” Radiothon today, Friday, December 16, which will be broadcast live from NASH FM 94.7 studios in Manhattan.

Throughout the day, NASH FM 94.7 will feature live interviews with children and families who have been impacted by the lifesaving work of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, kicking off at 6 AM with America's Morning Show co-hosts Ty, Kelly, and Chuck, and continuing throughout the day with Mike Allan and Jesse Addy.

NASH Next 2016 winner Todd O’Neill will join the hosts in the studio throughout the day, and Dan + Shay will stop by prior to their show at PlayStation Theater that night, all in an effort to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network. A live auction with great items including autographed guitars, one-of-a-kind tour items, and more will be open until 7 PM. Visit to learn how to donate or bid on any items.

NASH FM 94.7’s broadcast concludes a six-week long campaign highlighting the incredible work of local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, Cohen Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla.

Throughout November, families shared their stories as part of NASH FM 94.7’s Miracle Mondays, and the national day of giving, Giving Tuesday, was dedicated to supporting this cause, as well. All money raised throughout this campaign and during Friday’s broadcast will go directly to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, raising funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.

Redstone Sexcapades: The Lawsuits Just Keep On Comin'

Sydney suing Shari
Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS, destroyed her dad’s plans to marry Sydney Holland, the former gal pal claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Redstone worked with her dad’s nurses to spy on Holland, the suit alleges.

According to the NYPost, The spying included “listening in on Sydney’s and Redstone’s sex life” and “secretly taping conversations between her dad, media mogul Sumner Redstone, Holland and their lawyers,” the suit claims.

Earlier this week, Holland sued the 93-year-old mogul after he filed suit against his former lover claiming she fleeced him out of millions.

Thursday’s suit is merely the latest chapter in a long-running Redstone family drama.

Shari, who with her dad control a $44 billion media empire, including Viacom and CBS, this month pulled the plug on a possible merger of the two companies. Shari forced the start of the talks in September.

Holland’s cross-complaint filed in a California state court also names several of Sumner Redstone’s nurses as defendants.

A raven-haired beauty, Holland alleges the nurses aided Shari in her attempts to kick Sydney out of Sumner’s $20 million Beverly Hills mansion.

R.I.P.: Craig Sager, Known For Hoops & Suits, Has Died

Sports reporting legend Craig Sager passed away on Thursday at the age of 65 after battling leukemia. A longtime employee at TNT, Sager was known for the levity of his delivery and his eye-catching suits.

After Sager passed, TNT paid tribute to their friend with a video that was both a fitting encapsulation of his work and the way that those around him cherished him as a person.

He last appeared in a game broadcast in June and canceled plans to work for NBC at the Summer Olympics in Brazil in August to continue treatment.

According to The NY Times, Sager brought deep knowledge of basketball and a fun-loving spirit to his work. He was known for working behind the scenes to find news that he could use in his on-air reports or give to announcing colleagues like Marv Albert and Reggie Miller.

“He was always hovering around the benches,” Mr. Albert said in a recent telephone interview. “And players told him things.”

But his journalism competed for attention with his psychedelic wardrobe. He strode the sideline of N.B.A. arenas in lilac, orange, banana yellow, black and lime green outfits — some in medleys of colors arrayed in stripes, plaids, swirls and other patterns that resembled Rorschach tests. He abhorred repeating any combinations.

“My clothes reflect who I am,” he wrote in “Living Out Loud: Sports, Cancer and the Things Worth Fighting For,” his autobiography, which was published in November. “I believe that life should be fun and so should your clothes.”

His ensembles set him apart from other sideline reporters, who are usually bit players on sports broadcasts, typically given no more than one or two minutes to question sweaty athletes and cranky coaches between quarters, at halftime or after games.

December 16 Radio History

In 1898...drummer/bandleader Lud Gluskin was born in Manhattan.  He became director of music at CBS in 1937, and his work was heard all over the radio dial on programs originating in Hollywood for the next 15 years.  He led the orchestra for a year or two of Amos ‘n’ Andy, Suspense, My Friend Irma, Life with Luigi, My Little Margie, Sweeney & March, The Philip Morris Playhouse, Campana Serenade, and dozens of lesser-known, lower-budget programs. He died Oct. 13 1989 at age 90.

In 1901...Guglielmo Marconi was officially notified by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company that it would take legal action against him unless he immediately ceased his wireless experiments and removed his equipment from Newfoundland.  Anglo-American had a fifty-year monopoly on electrical communications in Newfoundland, that began in 1858, and it was determined to hinder radio telegraphy, which was a serious threat to its transatlantic electric telegraph business operated by submarine cables.  Marconi soon decided to move his base of operations to Cape Breton Island, and was welcomed there on Dec. 26 with open arms.

In 1907...Well known opera performer Eugenia H. Farrar became the first person to sing on the radio. Lee De Forest transmitted her voice from the Brooklyn Naval Yard in New York during the departure of Admiral Robley Dunglison Evans on a cruise with the fleet.

In 1925..Dynamic loudspeaker is designed by Chester Rice and Edward Kellogg.

In 1951...After more than two years on radio, the TV pilot episode of "Dragnet" aired on NBC. The series, starring and created/produced by Jack Webb, ran until August 1959, then returned from 1967 to 1970. Dragnet ran on NBC radio from June 3, 1949 to September 20, 1955 with repeats lasting until February 26, 1957.

In 1990...KUSW, Salt Lake City, Utah, ended shortwave radio transmissions.

In 1993...KEZK in St. Louis became the first U.S. radio station to ban Michael Jackson records following recent allegations of Jackson's child sexual abuse.

In 2005...Howard Stern did his last terrestrial radio show for Infinity Broadcasting's WXRK-FM (changed to CBS Radio) before moving on to SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

In 2006...Paul McCartney left EMI, his record label for 45 years, saying it had become "boring" and he "dreaded going to see" its executives. McCartney told The London Times that the company's handling of his music had become "symbolic of the treadmill." He later signed with Hear Music, the Starbucks label.

In 2007...Singer/songwriter (Longer, Same Old Lang Syne, Hard To Say, Leader Of The Band, Run For The Roses) Dan Fogelberg died of prostate cancer at 56.

In 2010...Larry King ended his CNN talk show after 25 years.