Saturday, April 8, 2017

April 9 Radio History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report: iHM Working On 'Guidelines' For Talk Hosts

iHeartMedia is working on a code of on-air conduct for its talk show hosts and DJs in the wake of on-air jokes about Chicago murder victims, reports The Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Urban League says it was given by the company's executives this week.

Despite owning major black Chicago radio stations including WVON and WGCI, the San Antonio-based company has repeatedly declined to comment on the furor over Michael Berry's regular segment mocking African-American murder victims on his nationally syndicated show, according to The Tribune.

Berry, a white conservative who is iHeartMedia's "talk personality of the year," last month apologized on air for the segment that included crude racial stereotypes, a bingo game in which listeners had to guess where in the body victims had been shot, and Berry mocking the name of a blameless black teen killed by a stray bullet. Berry said in his apology that he would end the segment, only to suggest two weeks later that he missed doing it.

But Chicago Urban League's senior vice president, Paula Thornton Greear, said that during a conference call this week with the Rev. Michael Pfleger and Rufus Williams of BFF Family Services and iHeartMedia executive Greg Ashlock, Ashlock said that Berry was a "good man" and that "they are working on some guidelines that their on-air hosts would follow."

Angie's List Joins 'Factor' Boycott

Things have gone from bad to worse for embattled host Bill O’Reilly after the NYTimes revealed he paid out millions to settle claims made by former Fox News employees and personalities accusing him of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct.

According to Rob Tornoe at, it took less than a week for a backlash again The O’Reilly Factor consisting of two advertisers to swell into a full boycott of the show, with over 60 companies now saying that won’t advertise on the network’s most popular programs.

In fact, Friday night’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor had just 10 national advertisers. That’s down from 55 advertisers on Monday night, according to, the TV ad analytics firm.

The boycott hasn't yet hurt the bottom line at Fox News, which has said most companies have shifted their advertisements to other programs on the network. But the growing list of companies refusing to advertise on The O'Reilly Factor have created a public relations nightmare for executives at the network.

Angie’s List, which advertised on Wednesday and said earlier in the week it didn’t plan to pull its commercials from O’Reilly’s show, has decided to join the growing boycott and will no longer place ads on the popular Fox News program.

"We are no longer advertising on the program,” a spokeswoman for Angie’s List said on Friday night.

Tomi Sues Glenn For Wrongful Termination

Tomi Lahren, a fiery, fast-talking rising star in conservative media, on Friday sued her employer and its founder, the right-wing media personality Glenn Beck, claiming they fired her to retaliate after she revealed her support for abortion rights. according to The NY Times.

In a March 17 appearance on the ABC show “The View,” the 24-year-old Lahren told the hosts that she believed in limited government in all aspects and that she supported the right to have an abortion. “I’m for limited government,” she said, “so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”

With a flair for making inflammatory comments, Lahren has charted a steady rise in conservative media and gained more than 5 million followers on social media, where some of her video commentaries have been viewed millions of times. Her confrontational style and tendency to say shocking things — she claimed President Barack Obama cared more about appeasing Muslims than caring for fallen Marines — made her a star of conservative commentary.

But her remarks on “The View” did not sit well with executives at The Blaze — a website, TV station and subscription service — and its founder Beck. Her appearance on “The View” aired on a Friday, and on that Sunday, The Blaze said her nightly television show, “Tomi,” would be suspended.

The Blaze said in a statement on Friday that Ms. Lahren was still employed and questioned how she could sue for wrongful termination. A lawyer representing her said that she was still being paid but that The Blaze had told her she no longer had a job. They are asking in the lawsuit for The Blaze to allow her to pursue employment elsewhere.

Lahren alleges in her lawsuit, filed in Dallas County Civil Court, that the company’s human resources director told her a few days after the suspension that she was now terminated. Her corporate email was turned off, yellow caution tape was stretched over her office and she was urged to “go dark” on social media. In addition, the suit claims that Mr. Beck and others at The Blaze were trying to sabotage her reputation and career. They have “embarked on a public smear campaign,” it says.

Moonves Banks Almost $70M In Compensation

(Reuters photo)
CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves made a cool $69.6 million last year, up almost 23 percent from 2016.

In 2015, the boss hauled in $56.8 million. While his salary remained steady at $3.5 million annually, Moonves nabbed an extra $13 million in bonuses across 2016.

This time around, reports The Wrap,  his stock awards grew by almost $6.5 million, year over year. That said, those were offset by a complete lack of options — that category accounted for $7.2 million in 2015.

Moonves’ total take was more than $20 million above the combined compensation of the next four highest-paid senior executives at CBS. Plus, his trajectory was much better than the last time around.

Moonves earned his money in 2016 because he made dough for shareholders as well: CBS stock closed 2015 at $47.13; it finished the following year at $63.62.

The information was disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday.

Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello’s pay rose to $29 million, including a $12.5 million bonus, and senior executive vice president Lawrence Tu was paid nearly $8.6 million, including a $3.8 million bonus.

Twitter CEO Refuses Compensation

(Reuters) -- Twitter Inc's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, continued to forego direct compensation and Peter Fenton, a board member since 2009, will leave after the company's annual meet in May, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.

Fenton, who is a partner at venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, will not seek re-election after his term expires, the microblogging site said in the filing.

CEO Jack Dorsey's 2016 total compensation, which excluded salary, bonus and stock and option awards, was $56,551 in 2016, compared with $68,506 in 2015, according to the filing.

Anthony Noto, who took over as chief operating officer from Adam Bain in November, received total compensation of $23.8 million in 2016, compared with $401,281 in 2015.

Noto is also the company's chief financial officer.

Twitter has been struggling to return to profitability and in the fourth quarter posted the slowest revenue growth since it went public four years ago.

Net Neutrality Advocates Blast Pai Effort

By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON

(Reuters) -- Advocates of landmark net neutrality rules on Friday blasted Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai's plans to roll back the Obama era legal framework.

Reuters and other outlets reported late Thursday that Pai told major telecommunications trade groups of his plans Tuesday to replace 2015 net neutrality rules with voluntary agreements to adopt open internet principles.

The 2015 rules prevented broadband providers from giving or selling speedy or so-called fastlane access to some internet services over others.

Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, opposes the rules approved by the FCC which gave the agency strong legal control over broadband providers, treating them much like utilities.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, said if the reports are accurate "we are gearing up for a battle that could eviscerate the widely supported open Internet protections."

The rules "were built on a record of more than four million comments, and demonstrated that a free and open internet is at the very heart of our American democracy," she added.

Chris Lewis, vice president at Public Knowledge said Pai could "give dominant cable and telecommunications companies what their DC lobbyists have dreamed of for years: voluntary net neutrality ‘rules’ where consumer protection is no more than ‘trust your cable or internet provider.'"

The FCC declined to comment.

Pai wants to introduce new regulations under which internet providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc would voluntarily agree in their terms of service to not obstruct or slow consumer access to web content. The move would allow the Federal Trade Commission to enforce compliance with the new rules.

Internet providers do not oppose net neutrality principles, but opposed the decision to reclassify internet service under a law that subjects them to potential utility style regulation.

Pai is expected to unveil his proposal as early as April 27, with an initial vote planned for either May or June, sources told Reuters. The proposal would be open for public comment before the FCC could finalize it.

The Internet Association, the trade group that represents major internet companies like Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Netflix Inc and Microsoft Crop, and strongly supports net neutrality, will meet with Pai on Tuesday, a person briefed on the matter said. The group declined to comment.

Politics Pierces Nostalgia At Rock Hall Induction

By Jill Serjeant | NEW YORK

(Reuters) -- Late rapper Tupac Shakur and 1960s protest singer Joan Baez were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday on a night where nostalgia was mixed with calls to political action.

Former Journey frontman Steve Perry reunited on stage with his "Don't Stop Believin'" bandmates for the first time in 25 years to screams and hugs of joy, while Roy Wood of Electric Light Orchestra turned up for the New York ceremony 45 years after leaving the English band.

But one of the strongest moments came from Baez, 76, who linked her lifelong record of social activism and non-violence with a rallying call for resistance today.

"Let us together repeal and replace brutality and make compassion a priority. Let us build a great bridge, a beautiful bridge, to welcome the tired and the poor," Baez told the Hall of Fame audience.

Baez then played an acoustic version of the traditional spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and ended with the hope that the song's band of angels were "coming for to carry me, you, us, even Donald Trump, home."

Emotions ran high for the induction of Shakur, the Harlem-born rapper who was gunned down at age 25 in a 1996 drive-by shooting in Las Vegas that has never been resolved.

Shakur, whose songs about social and racial injustice still resonate today, was only the 6th rap act to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its 30-year history.

Fellow rapper Snoop Dogg recalled he and Shakur in the early 1990s as "two black boys struggling to become men."

"Tupac's a part of history for a reason - because he made history. He's hip hop history. He's American history," Snoop said.

"Tupac, we love you. You will always be right with us. They can't take this away from you homie," he said, accepting the statuette on Shakur's behalf.

British progressive rock group Yes, and Seattle-based grunge band Pearl Jam were also among the 2017 inductees, who were chosen by more than 900 voters drawn from the music industry.

Disco producer Nile Rodgers, the man behind 1970s hits like "Le Freak" and "We Are Family," was presented with a special award for musical excellence.

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

Tributes were also paid on Friday to Chuck Berry, who died last month at age 90 and who was the first person ever to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and Prince, who died of an accidental painkiller overdose in April 2016.

The 2017 induction ceremony will be broadcast on cable channel HBO on April 29.

According to The NY Post, here's the Best and The Worst of the night:

➦BEST Pearl Jam

From the moment Rolling Stone and Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner mentioned them in his opening speech (bringing a sustained cheer out of the crowd), it was always going to be Pearl Jam’s night. After a renewed call for environmental awareness in singer Eddie Vedder’s acceptance speech, the Seattle group dished out the only performance of the night that truly got the blood flowing. Versions of “Alive” (with original drummer Dave Krusen), “Better Man,” and an all-star cover version of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” featuring members of Rush and Journey.

➦WORST Rick Wakeman’s speech

The Yes keyboardist decided to use his speech to try his hand at stand-up comedy. He landed a couple of self-deprecating zingers, dropped in a description about a prostate exam, but stunk up the air with a nakedly sexist wife joke. “When I left her this morning, I think she was in a coma… the sex was still the same but the washing was piling up.” The fact that at least half of the crowd laughed along uproariously shows the mentality of a good number of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame attendees and dignitaries. With dinosaur rockers, come prehistoric attitudes; send them all back to the Stone Age where they belong.

NYC Radio: FCC Fines WSKQ For Indecency

The FCC has ruled that a radio broadcast over a decade ago qualified as indecent and has reached a consent decree with WSKQ 97.9 FM New York in which it will pay $10,000. That was the word from Ajit Pai’s acting Media Bureau Chief Michelle Carey.

At issue was a Spanish-language broadcast March 8, 2005. The complainants said it used indecent language to describe “how a man desired to have perverse sexual relations.”

According to RadioWorld, no tape or transcript was supplied and the licensee argued about what words had been used and, while conceding the song was racy, said it did not believe it was “in any way indecent.”

The FCC disagreed.

USA Radio Signs Wayne Allyn Root For Show

USA Radio Network has announced they have entered into a national radio syndication deal with Wayne Allyn Root, capitalist evangelist and nonstop champion and defender of Donald Trump. Root is a national media personality, best-selling conservative author and columnist, TV host and producer, and former 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee.

USA Radio Network will debut Root's daily radio show “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” starting on Monday April 10th. It will air from 6 PM to 9 PM ET/3 PM to 6 PM PT around the country.

Root’s unique and dramatic radio rise began only a year ago with his debut of a one hour show on KBET in Las Vegas at 6 PM. Root quickly moved to 3 PM to 6 PM afternoon drive time. Now Root takes his act onto the national radio stage with USA Radio.

USA Radio also provides syndicated top of the hour news for hundreds of stations across the USA, as well as syndication for a variety of talk hosts.

Root is one of the leading conservative media personalities in the nation, a regular guest on Fox News Channel, Newsmax TV and hundreds of conservative talk radio stations across the USA. He is a weekly columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal and his columns appear regularly at many of the leading conservative web sites in America.

Chris Simms Apologizes To CBS Sports

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms criticized CBS on his podcast after the network demoted his father, Phil Simms, in favor of Tony Romo. But Simms now says he didn’t have all the facts when he leveled that criticism, according to

Specifically, Chris Simms said, “I had to tell my dad first, before CBS or anybody. . . . I mean, that’s just not what you do to a good, hard-working employee for 20 years.”

But Friday afternoon, Chris Simms took to Twitter and said that he didn’t realize CBS actually had reached out to his father’s agent to explain the situation.

“I would like to set the record straight that I was not aware that [CBS Sports Chairman] Sean McManus had called my father’s agent, Steve Rosner, the day before the news broke to let him know that CBS was pursuing Tony Romo for the role of the lead color analyst for their NFL coverage,” Chris Simms wrote on Twitter. “I’d like to apologize to CBS for this misunderstanding.”

April 8 Radio History

➦In 1961…Britain's BBC Radio banned the song "100 Pounds of Clay" by Gene McDaniels because it has a reference to women being created from building materials, which the network considered to be blasphemous.

➦In 1964…In Studio A at Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, the Supremes recorded "Where Did Our Love Go," which became their first #1 single, and the first of their five consecutive chart-topping singles. The songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland had originally composed the song and prepared the instrumental track for the Marvelettes to record, but they rejected the song thinking it was childish.

➦In 1981...Larry "Snortin" Norton from WGRQ-FM, Buffalo, found a place in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most consecutive hours on-the-air. He went 20 days, four hours.

➦In 1985…Composer J. Fred Coots died at age 87. Coots offered "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show in November 1934 and it became an instant hit. The morning after the show there were orders for 100,000 copies of the song's sheet music, and by Christmas, sales had exceeded 400,000.

➦In 1987...WFIL-AM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ended it's run as "Famous 56".

Capturing The True Sound Of Famous 56! Click Here To Listen.

In February 1964, Triangle moved the WFIL stations to a new state-of-the-art broadcast center at the corner of City Line and Monument Avenues in Philadelphia, from which WPVI continued to broadcast.

Starting on September 18, 1966, WFIL began playing "Top 40" rock and roll. It quickly became the most successful non-RKO "Boss Radio" formatted station, known locally as "The Pop Music Explosion".

The original line up of air personalities, or "Boss Jocks" were scheduled as follows:
  • 6-10am: Chuck Browning
  • 10am-2pm: Jay Cook ("Captain Jay Cook")
  • 2-6pm: Jim Nettleton ("Diamond Jim" Nettleton)
  • 6-10pm: George Michael ("King George" Michael)
  • 10pm-2am: Long John Wade
  • 2-6am: Dave Parks ("Dave the Rave" Parks)
  • Weekends: Frank Kingston Smith

WFIL announcers heard in later years of the Top 40 era included Dr. Don Rose, Jim O'Brien(who later also became a WPVI-TV reporter and station personality), Dan Donovan, J. J. Jeffrey, Dick Heatherton, Tom Dooley, "Tiny" Tom Tyler, Mitch "K.C." Hill, "Big" Ron O'Brien, Kris Chandler, Geoff Richards, Joel Denver, Brother Lee Love (Alan Smith), and Banana Joe Montione.

The format evolved into an adult contemporary sound in the fall of 1977. At some point after that, the WFIL studios were relocated to Domino Lane in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia; they moved into the building of FM station WUSL, which WFIL owner LIN Broadcasting had acquired in late 1976. Growing competition from FM stations in this period did serious damage to WFIL's ratings. In September 1981 country music was tried, but this failed to reverse the downward trend. The station switched to an "oldies" format in September 1983, called "The Boss is Back," with a new line up of "Boss Jocks," playing the hits of 1955 through 1973.

This format lasted until April 8, 1987, when new owner WEAZ Inc. discontinued locally originated music programming in favor of Transtar's "Oldies Channel," a satellite-delivered service. The end of live programming was marked by a production piece consisting of a portion of the song American City Suite by Terry Cashman and Tommy West interspersed with old WFIL airchecks. The "Epilogue to WFIL" was produced by Charlie Mills, who at the time was working cross-town at WPEN, and had been an avid fan of WFIL during his teen years.

Its 5000-watt transmitter enabled its signal to be heard as far away at times as Staten Island, the southernmost borough of New York City. During its top 40 years, WFIL also consistently showed strongly in the ratings books in nearby Wilmington, Delaware, where it has an excellent signal. In addition, WFIL was a popular listening choice in Reading and Allentown, both in Pennsylvania.

Today, WFIL is locally co-owned with Salem's WNTP (990 AM). Interestingly, WNTP is the former WIBG. WIBG was WFIL's main rock 'n roll rival in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The studios, offices and transmitters of both stations are located at the former WIBG complex on Ridge Pike in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania.

➦In 1989…After 33 years on ABC, the legendary TV dance show "American Bandstand" moved to the USA network on cable, with David Hirsch replacing Dick Clark as host. The show was cancelled six months later.

➦In 2004...Clear Channel Communications fired Howard Stern from their stations after FCC regulators proposed fining the company $495,000 for airing the shock jock’s sexually explicit broadcasts.   Since he was syndicated by Infinity Broadcasting his programs continued uninterrupted.

➦In 2004...New York Radio personality, Gene Klavan, died at the age of 79. Klavan was best known for being one-half of the succesful morning show, "Klavan & Finch". The program ran for many years on WNEW 1130 AM.

Gene Klavan and Dee Finch
Gene Klavan was first as half of the radio show “Klavan and Finch” and then as a solo performer, brought slicing wit, a knack for voices and peppery irreverence to New York morning radio audiences for 25 years.

From 1952 to 1968, Mr. Klavan was the comic half of Klavan and Finch, heard on WNEW, then one of the leading AM radio stations in New York. With Dee Finch as straight man, Mr. Klavan changed into the voices of wacky characters like Trevor Traffic, Mr. Nat, Sy Kology, Victor Verse and Emilio Percolator. The sound of a slamming door signaled a character’s arrival.

Finch retired in 1968 and Mr. Klavan continued the show alone as “Klavan in the Morning.” In 1977 he moved to WOR-AM and left radio in 1980. Finch died in 1983.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Twitter Drops Lawsuit Over Unmasking Trump Critic

(Reuters) -- Twitter Inc on Friday dropped a lawsuit it filed the previous day against the U.S. Homeland Security Department, saying the government had withdrawn a summons for records about who was behind an account critical of President Donald Trump.

A lawyer for the social media company, Mark Flanagan, wrote in court papers that a U.S. Justice Department lawyer told Twitter about the withdrawal of the summons on Friday and that the demand "no longer has any force or effect."

It was not immediately clear why the government had withdrawn the summons, or whether it had closed an investigation it said it was conducting. The Justice Department, which defends federal agencies in court, declined to comment. The Homeland Security Department, which issued the summons, had no immediate comment.

The abrupt end to the dispute may indicate that Justice Department lawyers did not like their chances of succeeding in a fight about speech rights, said Jamie Lee Williams, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for digital rights.

"It seemed like a blatant attempt to censor or chill the people behind this account, or to retaliate against people who are speaking out against this administration," Williams said.

"This could have been a huge loss for the administration in court," she added.

Twitter cited freedom of speech as a basis for not turning over records about the account, @ALT_uscis. The people behind the account have not disclosed their identities, but the use of "ALT" with a government agency acronym has led many to assume government employees are behind such tweets.

The lawsuit said the account "claims to be" the work of at least one federal immigration employee.

The acronym U.S. CIS refers to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the account describes itself as "immigration resistance." Trump has vowed to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and has promised to deport millions of illegal immigrants.

Following Trump's inauguration in January, anonymous Twitter feeds that borrowed the names and logos of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies appeared to challenge the president's views on climate change and other issues. They called themselves "ALT" accounts.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment beyond the court papers, and the company has declined to say whether it has received demands about other anti-Trump accounts.

Social media companies frequently receive requests from governments under seal, though the requests are typically about a criminal proceeding or national security matter.

This summons came from an office that investigates employee corruption, misconduct and mismanagement.

On Thursday, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said in a statement that the summons to try to uncover an anonymous critic was a waste of resources, and he called on the Homeland Security inspector general to investigate who directed the "witch hunt."

The lawsuit gave Twitter a chance to assume a favorite role as a defender of free speech, offering a respite for a company that has struggled recently to expand its audience, excite investors or attract new revenue streams.

Providence Radio: Andy Gresh Returning To N/T WPRO

Cumulus Media announces the return of Andy Gresh to the Providence airwaves as the new 6pm-9pm host on Providence heritage talker WPRO-AM.

With his truly unique brand of sports talk, Andy will talk all things sports including Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins as well as college and high school. He’ll entertain sports fans who have yearned for local sports in the market for nearly a decade. The Gresh Show will debut on Monday, April 17th at 6pm.

Andy Gresh
Gresh started his career at WPRO-AM in Providence in 1997 working behind the scenes and in October of that year he became co-host of the morning drive show on 790 The Score- WPRO’s sister station. He left in 2008 to join WFAN & ESPN Radio, as well as Sirius/XM radio. After spending most of 2008 at ESPN Radio, he joined the original staff of Mad Dog Radio at Sirius/XM in 2009. Gresh left Sirius/XM in 2010 to join 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston where he teamed up with Providence radio partner Scott Zolak, where they soared to massive ratings in middays. Gresh left the Sports Hub in 2015 and was most recently co-hosting afternoon drive at WTIC-AM in Hartford, CT.

From 2005-2014, Gresh was the pre-game, halftime, and post-game analyst on the New England Patriots radio network. He has been a part of 3 Super Bowl broadcasts and has covered 3 World Series, one Stanley Cup Final, and numerous NBA playoff series with an NBA Finals in 2007. Gresh has also been a college football color analyst for various networks since 2007, and has provided sports commentary and analysis since the early 2000’s for television entities like CSNNE & SNY. Gresh graduated (allegedly) with a degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island in 1997. He was a 2-year letterman, and starting offensive lineman on the URI football team.

“I’m excited to come back to where it all started for me 20 years ago. It’s time to turn nights at WPRO on its ear and let Rhode Island take back its sports talk,” said Gresh. WPRO Program Director Tony Mascaro added, “This market has waited almost 10 years to bring back local sports to the airwaves. I am so thrilled to welcome Andy home. The combination of our heritage talk team and The Gresh Show with sports at night and his unique style will give Rhode Islanders that perfect mix of local talk and local sports.”

As of April 17th, the WPRO live and local lineup weekday schedule is as follows:

6-9am: Gene Valicenti
9-Noon: Tara Granahan
Noon-3pm: Matt Allen
3-6pm: Dan Yorke
6-9pm: The Gresh Show

Fresno Radio: KBOS Adds Monisha Mann For Evenings

Monisha Mann
iHeartMedia Fresno announced today that Monisha Mann has been named nighttime host for KBOS 95.5 FM B95, Fresno’s Hip Hop and Hits, effective immediately. Mann will broadcast weeknights 7 p.m. – midnight.

Mann will build on B95 night show’s rich legacy of bringing the latest in new and upcoming music to the Central California listeners.

“I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to do nights in my hometown at B95,” said Mann. “I look forward to bringing new music to our listeners and I thank the team here in Fresno for believing in me to uphold the standards and ratings of this heritage station.”

Mann, a Central California native, is a 15-year radio veteran who began her career as an intern at B95. She returned to the station from holding similar on-air positions in Bakersfield, CA.

KBOS 95.5 FM (16.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“Mo is an engaging talent, a social media warrior, and a fierce competitor,” said Steve Weed, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Fresno. “She’s immediately elevated the excitement level for B95 and our No. 1 rated night show.”

Rachel's Fans Upset Over Thursday's Pre-emption

Fans of Rachel Maddow have expressed their disgust at 'sexist' NBC after the anchor was replaced on the show by Brian Williams who referred to the US missiles against Syria as 'beautiful'.

According to the Daily Mail, Williams, the breaking news anchor for MSNBC, appeared during Maddow's 9pm slot when news broke that the US military fired more than 50 missiles at the al-Shayrat base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Furious viewers accused the network of 'sexism' and said Maddow was more than competent to cover the news without any help from Williams.

The news was covered by Williams as he is the breaking news anchor for the network, meaning that during major events he takes over the airwaves at MSNBC no matter who may be hosting at that time.

All the other major networks did the same last night as well.

25-54: Rachel Tops Bill Wednesday Night

“The Rachel Maddow Show” beat Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” on Wednesday night to become the most-watched show in cable news among the key news demographic of adults age 25-54.

According to The Wrap, Maddow averaged 607,000 viewers among the demo, compared to 561,000 for O’Reilly as advertisers continue to distance themselves from the Fox News star amid sexual harassment claims.

O’Reilly still won in total viewers, averaging 3.6 million compared to 2.6 million for Maddow. The shows don’t go head-to head, as Maddow starts at 9 p.m. ET while O’Reilly starts at 8 p.m. ET, but they are the ratings heavyweight of their respective networks.

Maddow also beat her direct Fox News competition, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in the demo but lost in total viewers. Carlson averaged 2.8 million viewers and 549,000 among the demo.

O’Reilly has seen his show lose advertisers, but not necessarily viewers, since a New York Times report on Saturday detailed payouts totaling about $13 million to five women to settle claims of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior. O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing.

Despite the demo loss to Maddow on Wednesday, “The O’Reilly Factor” has averaged 3.7 million viewers this week, which is up 24 percent compared to the same days in 2016 and up 10 percent compared to last week. O’Reilly is up 32 percent in the demo compared to last year.

O'Reilly's No-Ad Zone

Before he cut to his first commercial break of the night on Thursday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly teased a series of segments that would come, he said, "after these messages." But after only a one minute-long ad, O'Reilly was back on the screen, according to CNN.

The lone commercial to air during that break -- from the life insurance company Coventry Direct -- was one of only seven spots to run during Thursday's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," providing tangible evidence that a widening advertising boycott against the top-rated program has taken effect.

Nearly 60 companies have dropped ads on the "Factor." This follows a New York Times report last week revealing that O'Reilly and his employer had reached settlements totaling $13 million with five different women who accused the host of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The hour-long show typically runs as many as 40 different ads.   "The Factor" generated more than $178 million in ad revenue in 2015, according to Kantar Media.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not respond to CNN for a request for comment. Paul Rittenberg, the network's executive vice president of advertising sales, said earlier this week that the ad buys of the clients to raise concerns about "The O'Reilly Factor" "have been re-expressed into other FNC programs."

Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality Planned

By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is moving quickly to replace the Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules and wants internet service providers to voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet, three sources briefed on the meeting said Thursday.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday with major telecommunications trade groups to discuss his preliminary plan to reverse the rules, the sources said.

The FCC declined to comment but Pai previously said he is committed to ensuring an open internet but feels net neutrality was a mistake.

The rules approved by the FCC under Democratic President Barack Obama in early 2015 prohibited broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a "fast lane", to certain internet services over others. As part of that change, the FCC reclassified internet service providers much like utilities.

Pai wants to overturn that reclassification, but wants internet providers to voluntarily agree to not obstruct or slow consumer access to web content, two officials said late Tuesday.

The officials briefed on the meeting said Pai suggested companies commit in writing to open internet principles and including them in their terms of service, which would make them binding.

Ajit Pai
It is unclear if regulators could legally compel internet providers to adopt open internet principles without existing net neutrality rules.

As part of that move, the Federal Trade Commission would assume oversight of ensuring compliance.

Three sources said Pai plans to unveil his proposal to overturn the rules as early as late April and it could face an initial vote in May or June.

Internet providers like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp have argued net neutrality rules would make it harder to manage internet traffic and investment in additional capacity less likely. Websites worry that without the rules they might lose access to customers.

AT&T and major trade groups sued the FCC in 2015 over the net neutrality rules.

Democrats and privacy advocates say net neutrality is crucial to keeping the internet open.

Pai in December predicted that net neutrality's days were numbered. He told Reuters in February he believes "in a free and open internet and the only question is what regulatory framework best secures that."

Pai and congressional Republicans have moved quickly to dismantle Obama-era telecommunications rules.

Trump on Monday signed a repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules a victory for internet service providers and a blow to privacy advocates.

Politico Pro reported some details of the meeting with trade groups on Thursday.

Report: Simms Got Bad News From His Son

Phil Simms
CBS reportedly blindsided Phil Simms so badly with his demotion this week that Simms found out first from his son, before hearing from the network itself, according to The NY Daily News.

And Chris Simms said on Bleacher Report’s Simms & Lefkoe Podcast that this is probably what “disappointed” his father most: The manner in which he was kept in the dark about Tony Romo’s hiring to replace him in CBS’s No. 1 NFL analyst seat alongside Jim Nantz.

“I had to tell my dad first, before CBS or anybody, because I found out from an NFL insider,” Chris Simms said. “I forwarded the text message that I was sent and it basically said, ‘Hey, listen, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Romo’s being offered your dad’s job on CBS, that sucks, I’m sorry.' And my dad was in Barbados, and I had to forward the text message to him to let him know.

“I think if there’s anything he’s probably a little disappointed (about),” Simms continued, “is in that in general, just that I don’t think he feels like they talked to him right away (or) at least warned him to let him know that this was happening. That’s just not what you do to a good, hard-working employee that’s been for 20 years been kind of the face of your football station. I think from that it probably does hurt.”

Said a CBS spokesman, "Both Phil and his agent knew in advance of the announcement and CBS had been in regular communication with his agent prior to that."

ESPN's Skipper Backs Sage Steele

Sage Steele
In the two days since ESPN announced Sage Steele would be supplanted as host of NBA Countdown by Michelle Beadle, Steele has been subjected to a fair amount of ridicule on social media.

Apparently, ESPN President John Skipper had seen enough and defended Steele in a statement to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.

"Sage has done a wonderful job for us in a number of important roles," Skipper said. “As previously announced, her SportsCenter presence has grown and this week alone she has led our coverage from the men’s Final Four and the Masters. Sage definitively has a bright and long-term future at ESPN and my complete support."

Skipper and others at ESPN appear to be particularly irked by the fact that many  celebrated the move as a firing. While nobody at ESPN has publicly stated why the network made the decision so late in the NBA season to change hosts of NBA Countdown, Steele has appeared prominently on the network’s Masters coverage this week and also as the lead host of SportsCenter on the Road.

Abilene Radio: Jeff Lyon To Manage Cumulus Cluster

Jeff Lyon
Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed veteran radio broadcasting professional Jeff Lyon as Vice President/Market Manager for its four-station group in Abilene, TX.

The cluster consists of:  Country KBCY 99.7 FM, Top40 KCDD 103.7 FM, Classics Rock KHXS 102.7 FM and Sports KTLT 98.1 FM.

Lyon joins Cumulus from Townsquare Media, where he was President/Chief Revenue Officer for its four stations in Victoria, TX, for 21 years. Prior to that, he was Vice President/General Manager for Sierra Industries, Inc. radio stations KSNM-FM and KXDC-FM in Las Cruces, NM.

Mark Sullivan, Regional Vice President, Cumulus Media, said: “We’re thrilled to have a manager of Jeff’s caliber joining our team in Abilene. Jeff brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that provides him with a strong foundation for success. We’re excited about what the future brings for him, our team in Abilene, our listeners and our advertisers.”

Lyon said: “I’m very excited to be part of the Cumulus family and look forward to relocating to the Abilene area. It’s great to with a group committed to the industry and its future.”

Teens Can't Get Enough of Mobile Video

According to a Think with Google survey conducted by Ipsos, roughly seven in 10 teen smartphone users spend at least three hours per day watching video on their phones.

According to eMarketer, that’s a higher percentage of respondents than any other smartphone activity mentioned, including social networking.

Over half (51%) of teens said they spend three or more hours a day on social networks, and another 52% said the same about messaging apps.

Meanwhile, roughly four in 10 respondents said they spent 3 or more hours each day playing games.

Smartphone ownership, which often bolsters video viewing, is high among teens.

A December 2016 report from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization supporting children and media, revealed that nearly eight in 10 respondents ages 13 to 18 owned a smartphone. In fact, teens were more likely to own a smartphone than a tablet, video game console or laptop.

But looking beyond smartphone usage, this demographic generally watches a lot of video content—on mobile, cable TV or streaming services.

Chicago Radio: CBS Taking Stations To Ballpark

On Monday, April 10, coinciding with the Chicago Cubs home opener, CBS RADIO Chicago will broadcast live from Wrigley Field with on-air personalities on-site and conduct a series of live events for fans of the 2016 World Series Champions to enjoy.

From 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM, just before the opening pitch, 670 The Score (WSCR-AM), B96 (WBBM-FM), 93XRT (WXRT-FM), US99 (WUSN-FM) and 104.3 K-HITS (WJMK-FM) will be entertaining game attendees and fans. Additionally, 670 The Score’s Ron Coomer will be reporting on-field during the opening ceremonies and for the raising of the 2016 World Series Championship Banner.

“We’re looking forward to incorporating our five radio stations at the Cubs home opener where we will host a day of fun and engaging live broadcasts and events for our collective fans and listeners,” said Tim Pohlman, Senior Vice President/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Chicago. “We value our continued relationship with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of this amazing team, providing our audience the ability to join us on what we hope is the road to another World Series Championship!”

CBS RADIO Chicago’s full schedule of events (All events are free and open to the public except where noted):
  • 5:00 AM-6:00 PM: 670 The Score will have live updates with Mike Esposito (5:00 AM-9:00 AM), Julie DiCaro (9:00 AM-1:00 PM), and Matt Abbatacola (1:00 PM-6:00 PM) from the Park at Wrigley*
  • 5:00 AM-9:00 AM: 670 The Score Live Broadcast with The Mully and Hanley Show from The BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage, with a live cooking segment inside the CBS RADIO Culinary Kitchen; open to on-air winners and guests
  • 5:00 AM-10:00 AM: K-Hits Live Broadcast with Dave Fogel from the Wrigley Field press box; by invitation only
  • 5:30 AM-10:00 AM: B96 Live Broadcast with The J Show from the Park at Wrigley*
  • 9:00 AM-1:00 PM: 670 The Score Live Broadcast with The Spiegel and Parkins Show from Yard House inside New City located at 1457 N. Halsted Street
  • 10:00 AM-3:00 PM: US99 will have live updates with Kasper from the Park at Wrigley*
  • 1:00 PM-6:30 PM: 670 The Score Live Broadcast with Jason Goff, Joe Ostrowski and Barry Rozner (1:00 PM-5:00 PM), a special pre-game show with Laurence Holmes and Mark Grote (5:00PM-6:00PM) and Mark Grote doing a solo pre-game show (6:00 PM-6:30 PM) at Houndstooth Saloon located at 3369 N. Clark Street
  • 1:00-7:00 PM: 93XRT Live Broadcast and Webcast with Jason Thomas (1:00-3:00 PM), Marty Lennartz (3:00-5:00 PM), Marty Lennartz and Lin Brehmer (5:00-7:00 PM) from Yak-Zies located at 3710 N. Clark Street. Live performances include Waco Brothers, Split Single, The Shelters, Toronzo Cannon and Tributosaurus, plus a special guest appearance from 93XRT's A Regular Guy
  • 3:00-7:00 PM: B96 will have live updates with Tyler from Casey Moran’s located at 3660 N. Clark Street
  • 3:00-7:00 PM: US99 Live Broadcast with Stylz & Roman from John Barleycorn located at 3524 N. Clark Street with a live acoustic concert from Trent Harmon (5:30-6:00 PM)
  • 6:30-7:00 PM: 670 The Score Live Broadcast with Pat Hughes and Len Kasper from the 670 the Score Broadcast Booth at Wrigley Field; by invitation only
*Live updates will occur on the south end of the Park at Wrigley located between Clark Street and Waveland Avenue and is open to the public. At 3:00 PM, only ticketed patrons will be allowed in the Park at Wrigley.
All Cubs Radio games can be heard on 670 The Score with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer over-the-air, online at, or through the app for mobile devices.

Tronc Feud Rages Over LA Times

The feud between Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro and his onetime ally, bio-tech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong , erupted into open warfare on Thursday — with the Los Angeles Times getting caught in the middle.

According to The NYPost, Tronc is accusing Soon-Shiong of adding to his Tronc shares with unauthorized insider trading and engaging in a media campaign to “coerce” Tronc into selling him the LA Times.

Soon-Shiong’s side claims Ferro, an early investor in Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth, is trying to get Tronc to buy back Ferro’s personal shares at a premium price.

At Tronc, Soon-Shiong is said to own 26.7 percent of the shares, second only to Ferro’s stake, which the board authorized to go as high as 30 percent.

Pat Soon-Shiong
“Dr. Soon-Shiong has repeatedly traded in [T]ronc stock without first satisfying the requirements of [T]ronc’s insider trading policy,” Tronc lawyers wrote in a letter to Quinn.

At its June 2016 IPO, NantHealth — the latest bio tech company founded by Soon-Shiong — traded at $14 a share, but has since slumped, closing Thursday at $5.42.

Soon-Shiong joined the Tronc board vice chairman last May after buying his large stake — at the invitation of Ferro.

The relationship appears to have soured during Gannett’s failed Tronc takeover. Tronc’s board refused to put Soon-Shiong up for renomination at the April 18 shareholders meeting.

The dueling letters are the latest salvos in an escalating battle within the company's board. Soon-Shiong and Ferro, Tronc's largest shareholder, have substantially increased their holdings since rival newspaper chain Gannett abandoned its hostile pursuit of Tronc in November.

Michael Ferro
At issue is a recent change in the company's rules allowing Ferro to own a larger stake than Soon-Shiong, reports The Chicago Tribune, another Tronc newspapeer.  Last month, Tronc bought back Oaktree Capital Management's remaining 3.74 million shares in the company. The stock buyback also increased both Ferro's and Soon-Shiong's stakes beyond a 25 percent ownership cap imposed by their respective initial purchase agreements last year.

On March 23, the Tronc board raised the ownership cap for Ferro to 30 percent, but did not do the same for Soon-Shiong, who subsequently wrote Tronc's attorneys over what he termed the "preferential treatment" afforded Ferro, and demanded a similar amendment to his ownership agreement.

Ferro and his affiliated companies own 9.05 million shares, which represents a 27.7 percent stake in Tronc. Soon-Shiong and his affiliated companies own 8.74 million shares, or 26.7 percent of Tronc's outstanding shares.

A technology entrepreneur who previously owned the Chicago Sun-Times, Ferro became chairman of Tronc and its largest shareholder in February 2016, when his investment firm, Merrick Ventures, bought 5.22 million newly issued shares at $8.50 each, or $44.4 million. In June, Tronc sold 4.7 million newly issued shares at $15 each, or more than $70 million, to Nant Capital, a California-based technology investment firm headed by Soon-Shiong.

iHM Launches On The Move With Enrique Santos

iHeartMedia announced Thursday the launch of On the Move with Enrique Santos, its hallmark English language Hispanic targeted content initiative that complements its already successful Spanish-language Hispanic offerings.

Today, 53 percent of the Hispanic population in the U.S. are primarily Spanish-language first households and 43 percent are primary English-language households, and iHeartMedia says it will now deliver to both at scale across broadcast and digital platforms.

On the Move with Enrique Santos is the first English-language radio program to feature Hispanic broadcast powerhouse Enrique Santos, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of iHeartLatino, iHeartMedia’s new Hispanic platform.   The new two-hour music-intensive Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) weekend program features what’s hot and moving in music, entertainment, lifestyle and current events targeted to the Hispanic community.

On The Move With Enrique Santos will originate from Miami and debut the weekend of April 15 on more than 100 iHeartMedia stations nationwide, including: WKTU-FM/New York, KIIS-FM/Los Angeles, WKSC-FM/Chicago, KYLD-FM/San Francisco, KHKS-FM /Dallas-Ft. Worth, WIHT-FM/Washington, D.C., WWPW-FM/Atlanta, WIOQ-FM/Philadelphia, WXKS-FM/Boston and WHYI-FM/Miami.

The program will be available on iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one digital music, podcasting and live streaming radio service and will also be nationally- syndicated by Premiere Networks.

In September 2016, iHeartMedia joined forces with Santos to develop iHeartLatino, an unprecedented Hispanic multi-platform initiative building on Santos’ unparalleled profile within the Latino community and leveraging iHeartMedia’s reach of more than a quarter of a billion listeners monthly.  Recognizing the increased importance and size of the U.S. Hispanic populations, both Spanish- and English-speaking, the new iHeartLatino division aggregates iHeartMedia’s vast portfolio of Hispanic targeted programming and content across multiple platforms – broadcast, digital, social and live events.

“The Hispanic culture plays a critically important role in America today, and we take great pride in serving that community as well as helping our advertisers reach such an important audience,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “The addition of this new English-language program adds a new dimension and immediate scale which no other outlet can match and is unique to iHeartMedia.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with iHeartMedia to bring this exciting, first-of-its-kind, new program to audiences across the nation,” said Santos.