Saturday, May 27, 2017

America Honors Its Fallen...

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

May 29 Radio History

Bob Hope - circa the '40s
➦In 1903...comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in London England. He debuted on NBC radio in 1935, and was heard on a weekly basis for the next 23 years, though the last 4 years were repeats.  His TV show debuted in 1952, and his final special aired in 1996 when he was 93.  He died July 27, 2003 at the remarkable age of 100.

➦In 1918...humourist/radio-TV host Herb Shriner was born in Toledo.  He had his own CBS radio show in the late 40’s, and later scored on TV as quizmaster (a la Groucho) on Two for the Money.  Homespun humour (a la Will Rogers) was a feature of all his appearances.  He died in an auto accident April 23 1970 at age 51.

➦In 1939…The radio serial "When a Girl Marries" began its 18-year run, first on CBS, then on NBC starting in 1941, and switching to ABC in 1951.

➦In 1941...Robert David “Bob” Simon was born in the Bronx New York.  During his 48-years as reporter and correspondent for CBS News, he covered crises, war, and unrest in 67 countries.During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, he and four of his TV crew were captured and imprisoned by Iraq for 40 days. He became a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes in 1996, and continued providing compelling stories to that program until his untimely death in a New York City traffic accident Feb. 11 2015 at age 73.

Bing Crosby
➦In 1942…Bing Crosby, backed by the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, recorded Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," which became the biggest-selling single of all time until Elton John surpassed it with "Candle In The Wind (Princess Diana Tribute)" in 1997. Crosby re-recorded "White Christmas" in 1947 and the re-recording is the version heard most often on the radio at Christmastime.

➦In 1961...Jack Spector began working as a disk jockey in New York in 1961 at radio station WMCA 570 AM, where he was a member of a group of broadcasting personalities called the Good Guys. He labeled himself Your Main Man Jake and usually closed his shows saying, "Look out street, here I come!"

He switched to WHN 1050 AM in 1972, then for nine years was the host of the "Saturday Night Sock Hop" on WCBS 101.1 FM. He also worked for a brief period as the host of a sports talk show for WNBC 660 AM.

Mr. Spector broke into broadcasting in Martinsburg, W.Va., in 1955, then worked for stations in Albany, Providence, R.I., and Chicago before returning to New York. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he attended Brooklyn College and had a brief tryout as a minor-league baseball player with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. He served in the United States Army in Korea.

➦In 1963…Del Shannon's cover of the Beatles' "From Me to You" became the first song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney to appear on the American record charts.

➦In 1977...the NBC News & Information Service, which was a 24-hour-a-day news service, came to an end.

NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS) in 1975.  According to Faded Signals, it allowed local radio stations to launch all-news formats, providing affiliates with up to 55 minutes of news per hour.

NBC aired the service on its Washington station, WRC.  It also added the all-news format on its network-owned FM stations in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.

Many stations signed on with the service, but by 1976, NBC was not sure if its network would ever become profitable.

➦In 1978...former disc jockey and actor Bob Crane (Donna Reed Show, Hogan in Hogan’s Heroes), died at age 49, the victim of a brutal murder.

➦In 1979..."The Source", considered Radio's first rock news network, debuted.

George Fenneman with Groucho Marx
➦In 1997...announcer George Fenneman, who was best known for his work on radio’s Dragnet and You Bet Your Life on both radio & TV, died of emphysema at age 77.

➦In 2012…Radio actor Dick Beals, for many years the voice of "Speedy" in Alka-Seltzer TV commercials, died at the age of 85.

In January 1949, as a senior at MSU, Beals got a call to do a radio commercial for WXYZ, Detroit. After the show, the director asked him to be on call for all the children's voices as well as those of small, talking animals on all three network radio shows produced by WXYZ - The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and Challenge of the Yukon.

In 1952, after performing in an episode of The Green Hornet, WXYZ station manager Jack McCarthy referred Beals to Forrest Owen of Wade Advertising. Owen showed Beals a rendering of a proposed product spokesman for their client, Alka-Seltzer and had him record a voice audition. Four months later, Beals was notified that he had been selected as the voice for Speedy Alka-Seltzer as well as the voice of Sticky, the Vaseline mascot.

Standing just 4'7" tall due to a glandular problem that also gave him his youthful voice, Beals provided the voices of 10-year-old boys well into his 70s.

➦In 2014…Former WNEW 102.7 FM NYC personality Dave Herman died of an aneurysm at 78 while in federal custody awaiting trial on charges of attempting to transport a 7-year-old girl from New Jersey to the Virgin Islands for a sexual liaison.

➦In 2014…Longtime KOMO-TV, KOMO-AM Seattle news reporter/commentator Ken Schram died of kidney, liver, and heart failures while fighting an infection at age 66.

May 28 Radio History

➦In 1955…Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the "Big D Jamboree" radio program, broadcast from the Dallas Sportatorium by local radio station KRLD.

➦In 1957....The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) is established, leading to the creation of the annual Grammy Awards.

➦In 1958….Top40 1010 WINS pranked rival  WMGM with a Charles DeGaulle phone call..

Before the era of radio shock jocks and tv prank-yankers, there was the infamous Charles de Gaulle Hoax of 1958, when DeGaulle was President of France.

It was the first truly great prank call in the history of radio--a doozy of a sting. Broadcast live throughout the Northeast, the faux phone call left one station supremely humiliated, leaving the other--the perpetrator of this mad hoax--basking in smug glory.

According to an aerticle Ken Brooks which appeared in Plus! magazine, in the spring of 1958, New York City radio stations were waging a fierce war for listeners. The combination of rock-and-roll and the transistor radio had made Elvis the King, and AM radio stations--at least those with their ears to the asphalt--were hastily switching formats.

One of the first stations to make the switch--in 1956, in fact--was WINS. By 1958, WINS had assembled a legendary line-up of disc jockeys that including Alan Freed, the former Cleveland jock credited with coining the term "rock and roll."

WINS's large news department was impressive as well; indeed, station call letters stood for International News Service, a division of the powerful Hearst Corporation.

Struggling in the shadow of WINS was low-rated WMGM. The station had once been the proud home of Brooklyn Dodger broadcasts, but the team was gone now, transplanted to Los Angeles that very spring. WMGM's tepid music format combined a bit of rock with easy-listening.

The station was not exactly a strong news-gathering force, either. Without a large news staff, WMGM execs outfitted an old panel truck and assigned two reporters to cruise the streets looking for "scoops." The reporters were dubbed the Minute Men; presumably they would be on the scene of a breaking story in a matter of minutes.

Headlines on the morning of Tuesday, May 28, 1958, concerned big news overseas: The imminent collapse of the French government, and the possibility that Gen. Charles De Gaulle--the popular World War II hero--would seize control of the republic.In the WMGM newsroom, executives decided on a bold move that would prove to New Yorkers that WMGM could be taken seriously as a news-gathering operation.

At 10:30 am, newscaster Bill Edmunds interrupted with this announcement: 
"French President Coty is conferring with political leaders after receiving the resignation of Premier Pflimlin. A new government may be created today with General de Gaulle at the helm. WMGM has a call in, long-distance, overseas to General De Gaulle to bring you a direct interview...As soon as that call is completed, we'll put that call right on the air."
 Monitoring rival stations' broadcasts is standard practice in the radio business. WMGM's plan to call de Gaulle caused no panic in the WINS newsroom, where it was seen as a desperate act on the part of WMGM. The idea that General de Gaulle would actually return a call to a local New York City radio station was outlandish.


At noon the phone rang at WMGM studios. On the line was an overseas operator--or so she claimed. "Your trans- atlantic call is ready, sir," she said.

Bill Edmunds hustled to a mic."General? General de Gaulle?"

"Yas?" The response sounded static-y and far-away.

"General de Gaulle, this is WMGM in New York City." One could feel the adrenaline in Edmund's voice; they gave out awards for scoops like this. "I would like to know if you would care to make a statement to the American people at this time."

"Yas, I certainly would," said de Gaulle in a heavily French-accented English. "Are we on zee air now?" he asked.

"No sir, we are making a tape to play later, throughout the day and on our newscasts," Edmunds said.

"Well..." There was a pause as the General mulled this over. "No," he said finally, "I would not like to be recorded, as I have not yet granted the French press any of thees informay-shee-own. But I will agree to be broadcast."

"Will you hold, please, and we'll put you directly on the air? Can you do that?" Edmunds was practically begging.

"Yas, but make it very fast as I must go to ze Na-shee-a-nal Assem-blee."

"Just as soon as they give me the go-ahead, General..." In the thirteen seconds of dead-air that followed--an eternity in radio-time--one could hear the engineers scrambling to punch the right buttons.

Then, live, in stentorian tones, Edmunds announced: "I am on the phone with General Charles De Gaulle in France. General de Gaulle, would you care to make a statement about the crisis in France?"

"Thank you Mr. Edmunds," the General began. "I would like to make clear that when I assume pow-air I weel not do so by any dictatorial means. I am too much of an old soldier...and I weel give to the pee-pull of France the government they should have had ever since the war."

Edmunds wasn't about to let the General go just yet. A few more questions. Then de Gaulle broke in: "...Monseuir, can you tell me again whom I am speaking to?"

"Bill Edmunds, General. I'm one of the WMGM Minute Men." Surprisingly, de Gaulle sounded not the least bit impressed.

"WMGM?" the General repeated. "Why, everybody knows the best radio station in New York is WINS." Then he screamed: "Viva la France!"

In the second-and-a-half before the line went dead, in the background, one could hear the unmistakable sounds of hysterical laughter.

Poor Bill Edmunds: Totally nonplussed, unsure what had transpired, unwilling to let go of that award he'd surely have received.

Here's what he said next: "Uh...ladies and gentlemen...we've, uh, been talking to, uh..."--Edmunds drew a blank..."General Charles de Gaulle!"

Mercifully, someone at the studio had the presence to kill Edmunds' mike.

By the time New York's afternoon newspapers hit the streets, the incident was front page news. The World-Telegram headline read: "WHO HAD DE GALL TO CALL WMGM?"

"Switchboards at WMGM and WINS were as hot as the French crisis today," the paper declared, " and General Charles de Gaulle was at least partially responsible..." Executives at WMGM, the paper reported, are demanding an immediate investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.

When asked by the World-Telegram for comment, WINS general manager Herb Fearnhead responded blankly, "I don't know a thing about it." Not that WINS was adverse to rubbing it in: The rest of Tuesday afternoon their announcers broadcast the time in French.

Then, on Wednesday morning, a final insult. A telegram arrived at WMGM. Sent from Paris, it read: "I was cut off. What happened? --Charles de Gaulle."

Twenty-six years would pass before anyone fessed up. That's when an assistant program director for WINS admitted that the entire episode, complete with pre-recorded "transatlantic static," was the brainchild of WINS news director Tom O'Brien. And it was O'Brien's fiancee--a stewardess for British Overseas Airlines, stationed in Paris--who authored the bogus telegram.

➦In 1962…"Wide World of Sports with Chris Schenkel" debuted on the CBS Radio Network.

➦In 1998…actor/comedian, Phil Hartman, was shot to death while asleep by his wife. He was 49. Hartman starred in the TV sitcom, "NewsRadio"

R.I.P.: Gregg Allman Has Died

Gregg Allman, the Southern rock legend who soldiered on after his sibling’s motorcycle crash nearly derailed the Allman Brothers Band, has died. Allman battled sometimes unspecified health issues for several years, leading to a string of missed concert dates.

He was 69, according

The official cause of death is unknown as of press time.

Late in life, Allman acknowledged his own role in these mounting physical maladies. “My generation, we were all just such heavy drug takers,” he told Stuff in 2011. “We didn’t know no different. We didn’t know no other way. It was what we did. And that’s going to come back and hit ya – and it got me.”

But not before Gregg Allman helped to redraw the landscape of classic rock.

Born on Dec. 8, 1947, Gregg actually started out on the guitar, before his older brother Duane Allman‘s sweeping talent became apparent. He had an interest in dentistry, if music hadn’t worked out – and, for a very long time, it seemed as if it wouldn’t. Their first band together, called the Escorts, evolved into the Allman Joys by the mid-’60s. In short order, they moved to Los Angeles, renamed the group Hour Glass and signed with Liberty Records. The duo appeared to be on their way. Instead, however, they’d toil in relative obscurity until the early ’70s.

“I mean, a couple of times I got real discouraged and thought, ‘Man, why don’t I just go back to med school and just say it was fun while it lasted,'” Allman told Clash in 2011. “Chalk it up to experience, you know? And I just couldn’t quite bring myself to do it, because I wanted to play.”

Gregg served as principal songwriter for their first album, 1969’s The Allman Brothers Band. The project set a template for their heady mixture of rock, blues, jazz and country, but fizzled at No. 188 on the Billboard charts. Over time, however, their tireless work ethic helped build belated momentum. The group’s 1970 follow up, Idlewild South, managed to just nudge into the Top 40 – even as it introduced Betts as a songwriting force.

Judge Agrees Broadcasters Have Right to Refuse Advertisements

SiriusXM has just scored a victory that also provides a lesson in this fraught political time where refusing to run an advertisement engenders cries of censorship. According to a California federal judge, not running an ad is an exercise in free speech.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the satellite radio broadcaster got U.S. District Court judge David Carter to reject a lawsuit from InfoStream Group, which runs the dating sites and In California federal court, InfoStream complained how SiriusXM stopped running ads for the websites. SiriusXM deemed the ads as falling short of a revised policy on standards and practices. InfoStream argued the broadcaster's refusal was "pretextual," one designed to garner favor from SiriusXM's preferred customers.

In response to the lawsuit, SiriusXM brought a motion to strike the complaint pursuant to California's anti-SLAPP statute, which was designed to curtail legal efforts chilling First Amendment activity. As a result, Carter had to examine whether a broadcaster's decision to decline an advertisement was indeed protected activity.

This is a subject of greater consequence than the dispute at hand, reports THR.  For example, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC earlier this month refused to air Donald Trump commercials because of a "Fake News" banner overlaid on the faces of well-known anchors. In response, Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of the president, made a statement how "the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views."

Trump added, "This is an unprecedented act of censorship in America that should concern every freedom-loving citizen."

She has it backwards. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws abridging free speech. This essentially means the government can't interfere with the exercise of free speech. It doesn't mean that everyone always gets unfettered access to the platform of their choosing in speaking their minds.

Golic Disputes 'Poisionous' Mike & Mike Show

Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch spoke to multiple ESPN staffers who have or had a role on the network's soon-to-be-ending Mike & Mike show, and they all said the same thing - the mood on the set isn’t great.

According to, the staffers painted a picture of a fractured relationship between hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, who they say practically ignore each other on the set, creating a “poisonous atmosphere.”

The rift between the two hosts reportedly began after Deitsch first reported way back in September that ESPN was considering moving Greenberg to his own morning show, something Golic was unaware of. Greenberg also reportedly signed a huge new deal that reportedly pays $6.5 million a year.

But Golic told the South Bend Tribune that the comments made to Deitsch are not true.

“Greeny and I have talked. Greeny and I are fine,” Golic said. “In all honesty, I had more of a problem and was a little disappointed that people that work on my show would anonymously throw stuff out there. I’m not a big fan of the anonymous thing.”

“If you can’t put your name to it, I don’t know why you’d say it,” the host continued. “But Greeny and I are fine. We absolutely are.”

Jason Whitlock: Cord-cutting Hurts ESPN, But So Does Its Politics

Sportswriter/personality Jason Whitlock says that, yes, cord-cutting is to blame for heavy losses in ESPN viewership. But Whitlock, a former ESPN employee now working at Fox Sports 1, also says the network’s politics are part of the blame.

According to Nielsen data, ESPN has lost more than 11 million subscribers in the past five years.

Whitlock -- who is co-host of FS1’s “Speak For Yourself” sports talk show with Colin Cowherd and Jason McIntyre -- appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on the Fox News Network Thursday. Carlson said ESPN was still the most powerful brand in sports, but he questioned whether ESPN was pushing politics too much.

“I think you’ve asked the right question,” Whitlock answered. “I think cord-cutting has a lot to do with their subscriber and the viewership loss. But the animosity and some of the viewership loss, I do think is a direct result of their lurch to the left (politically), and injecting progressive victimology into the sports conversation.

“If you really understand sports culture, and all the values taught in sports, from Little League, Pee Wee, on, you’re never a victim. There are never any excuses that are accepted. Every coach teaches every play from 5 years old on to 45 years old, we don’t tolerate excuses, we don’t tolerate victimology, and now so much of the conversation by the sports media, ESPN being the leader of this, is just filled with so-and-so is a victim, Colin Kaepernick’s a victim, everybody’s a victim. It’s turning traditional sports fans off.”

According to the Charlotte Observer, Whitlock said he has written and talked often about what he feels is a change in the sports landscape.

Report: MSNBC Resigns Phil Griffin

Phil Griffin
MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin has a new mult-year contract, according to a story at

Still no announcement on 10 PM star Lawrence O’Donnell who tweeted May 17  that his contract expires June 4, promising to let fans know “where you can watch me June 5 if it’s not msnbc,” adding, “I’m sorry this situation has become public.”

MSNBC is riding a primetime ratings wave these days as viewers flock to latest antics of President Donald Trump and his administration. The week of May 15 marked the network’s first weekday primetime win in both the news demo and in total viewers. That week was MSBNC’s second consecutive weekday primetime win in the news demo – a first for the cable news network.

MSNBC’s crowning achievement has been Rachel Maddow taking over as the top rated primetime cable news program in the demo. Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly previously sat in that throne though, on occasion, he’d get tossed by Megyn Kelly, both of whom now are gone from that network.
O’Reilly was ousted in early April after a New York Times report tallied how much he and FNC had spent settling harassment allegations which led to advertiser bailout; meanwhile, Kelly makes her NBC News debut in early June.

San Diego Radio: Robin Roth Named APD At KFMB-FM

Robin Roth
KFMB 100.7 KFM-BFM has named Robin Roth as Assistant Program Director. In addition to assisting PD, Mike V. Vasquez, she will host the night show.

Robin Roth has more than 25 years of experience as a San Diego On-Air personality. She began her career at the Urban Contemporary radio station, 92.5, and worked there for two years. She then moved on to Alternative Rock station 91X for 18 years, followed by Active Rock station Rock 105.3 for three years, then back to 91X for six years, four of those as Music Director. She is currently an on-air personality at 100.7 KFM-BFM.

Vasquez stated, “Robin Roth is synonymous with rock and roll in San Diego and having her on our programming team on a full-time basis is going to make us stronger. She brings talent, knowledge and the will to do whatever it takes to win and I’m so thrilled to have her!”

Roth added, "I'm really excited about this new chapter in my career and am looking forward to working more closely with Mike V and the rest of the KFM-BFM radio family!"

100.7 KFM-BFM’s “variety rock” format has already become the top ranked rock station in San Diego and includes San Diego’s #1 morning show Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.

Greenville SC Radio: Kix Layton New iHM SVP/Programming

iHeartMedia announced Friday that Kix Layton has been named Senior Vice President of Programming for Greenville. He will be responsible for all on-air and digital content and music programming.
Kix Layton

iHeartMedia Greenville includes:
  • Classic Rock WROO 104.9 FM 
  • Country WESC-FM 92,5 FM
  • Sports WGVL 1440 AM
  • HotAC WMYI 102.5 FM
  • Hot Country WSSL 100.5 FM
“I am so excited to have Kix take over the Senior Vice President of Programming position in Greenville,” said Bill McMartin, Area President for iHeartMedia’s Asheville Greenville and Greensboro markets. “His broad experience in the market with all of our brands, especially WSSL 100.5 and 92.5 WESC, our huge country stations, is invaluable. Everybody on our team is excited to have him.”

Layton previously worked as the Program Director for 92.5 WESC, where he oversaw all on-air content and music programming. He also served as the Program Director for WSSL 100.5 for the past 17 years.

“I consider it an honor to be at the helm of country music in the Upstate of South Carolina and in Asheville, North Carolina,” said Layton. “Working with the team and community here in Greenville is going to be fun.”

Texas Governor Draws Criticism For Joke About Shooting Journalists

(Reuters) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott joked about shooting journalists while visiting a gun range on Friday to sign a bill lowering the cost of a handgun license, drawing criticism from gun-safety and free-press advocates who called his remarks "dangerous."

Abbott signed the bill at an indoor gun range in Austin, the state capital, then demonstrated his own shooting skills at an upstairs firing gallery before holding up his bullet-pocked target and quipping, "I'm gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters."

A photo of the moment, published by the Texas Tribune, showed the grinning first-term Republican governor pointing to the center of the paper target, where three rounds had pierced the bull's eye circle.

His comment drew sharp rebukes from Reporters Without Borders, headquartered in Paris, and the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Both said the incident was especially troubling as it came amid increasingly hostile rhetoric directed against the news media by Republican President Donald Trump and his supporters.

"This joke was dangerous and out of line. Because it's never just a joke to some," Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a statement. "Words matter. In a state and country where dangerous people can still so easily buy guns without a background check, leaders of every political stripe should be careful not to green light violence on their behalf."

The two groups also cited the misdemeanor assault charge filed on Wednesday against Republican Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte of Montana, accused of body-slamming a reporter who asked him about healthcare on the eve of his election.

"Politicians must condemn this dangerous rhetoric against reporters as it can quickly escalate to physical violence like we saw in Montana," Reporters Without Borders said in a Tweet.

The group's latest annual World Press Freedom Index of 180 countries ranks the United States at No. 43, one rung below the tiny West African nation of Burkino Faso.

"We're really seeing just how much America deserves that ranking right now," said Margaux Ewen, the organization's U.S. advocacy director.

Abbott's office did not respond to requests by Reuters for comment.

The bill he signed will cut fees for a first-time license to carry a handgun from $140 to $40, and lower the renewal fee from $70 to $40, starting in September. It also waives the fees for peace officers and members of the military.

"No law-abiding Texan should be priced out of the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights," Abbott said in signing the measure.

Chicago Radio: WMVP's Waddle&Silvy Celebrate In Mexico

WMVP ESPN Chicago 1000’s Waddle & Silvy will celebrate its 10th anniversary with two live shows from El Dorado Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, Memorial Day, Monday, and Tuesday, May 30, from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET. Former Chicago Bears receiver Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman will host and reminisce about some of their favorite moments alongside fans on Chicago’s number one-ranked Sports Show.

Silverman reflected on the 10th anniversary and stated, “Wow. A decade already?!  In the spring of 2007, I was young, single, and in a championship drought. In the ten years we have spent together, I have gotten married, have two wonderful young sons, and got to watch in person, my favorite team, the Cubs, win their first championship in 108 years. Talk about milestones! While Waddle and I will not be together for 108 years, he will be a lifelong friend. He's not only a former mediocre Bear and pretty good talk show host, he's like a brother I never had. It's truly a dream come true to laugh and have fun with him every day on the radio"!

Waddle also reflected on their time together and stated, “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and happier is he who finds that true friend in his radio partner. I am not that man. Just kidding. I couldn’t ask for a better radio partner, and more importantly, a better friend.”

The two-day anniversary celebration will feature Waddle & Silvy  with several on-site guests, longtime Waddle & Silvy friends, along with ESPN peers. Waddle & Silvy will reminisce about various milestones from the last 10 years on air. Attendees to this special broadcast include family, special guests, three winners and their guest from the recent Waddle & Silvy trivia contest and listeners who received the chance to purchase a “come-along” trip for a special rate.

AZ Radio: Furor Continues Over KAVV Kiddie Porn PSA

Furor over a public service announcement aired by KAVV  CAVE 97.7 FM in Benson, AZ  continues to draw ire.

At issue is an announcement which had been aired for about two years during the midnight to 4 a.m. hours. The announcement, created by station manager Paul Lotsof and which has since been pulled from the airwaves, stated in part, “Never keep paper pictures, tapes or films of naked juveniles where anyone else can find them.” The message goes on to state that owners of such images should put them on an external hard drive and hide it where it cannot be found, thereby saving taxpayers’ dollars for the impending jail sentences that would await culprits.

Lotsof has since pulled the announcement from the airwaves. The incident has drawn attention from area media outlets and those throughout the region, nationally and internationally, with the British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC] in the United Kingdom also airing reports.

Lotsof, and CAVE Radio, continue to feel the ramifications of the announcement unknown to on-air radio, according to

“I would like to emphasize that this announcement was on the air for about two years,” said Lotsof.

“I don’t know why it’s getting such a big fuss now, but I’ve taken it off the air, and it does not advocate child pornography, it does not advocate the production of child pornography, it doesn’t advocate the possession of it. All it does is it says two things: No. 1, that the penalty for possession of this stuff is crazy. It’s 10 years for every image found, and the other thing is it suggests that if a person for any reason in the world does have this stuff in their possession that they try to avoid being caught by not putting these items in places where they’re likely to be found. It doesn’t advocate perversion of any kind. It just says the penalty is terrible, know what the penalty is and it says if for some reason you have this stuff try not to spend the rest of your life in prison. That’s all it does, nothing more, nothing less. I don’t know why this is such a big deal.”

Lotsof, who has managed the station in Benson since 1983, said he does not plan to step down and likened the current situation to that of a wildfire that will eventually burn itself out.

Sheriff Mark Dannels
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels on Thursday morning reiterated the Sheriff’s Office stance on the situation. Dannels said while fully supporting one’s rights to free speech, the announcement crossed the line.

Dannels went on to say the sheriff’s office is in the process of conferring with Cochise County Attorney’s Office. Asked about the sheriff’s comments,Lotsof implied the sheriff is merely being a “politician.”

May 27 Radio History

➦In 1933
...Future media mogul Ted Rogers Jr. was born in Toronto.  He founded his company in 1960 with Toronto radio station CHFI and built it into Canada’s largest wireless, cable and media company. He died from congestive heart failure Dec. 2 2008 at age 75.

➦In 1951…"Wild Bill Hickock" began on the Mutual Radio network. Guy Madison and Andy Devine starred on both the radio and syndicated TV versions of the western series.

➦In 1957...1050 CHUM-AM became Canada's first Top 40 formatted radio station.

The CHUM at 1331 Yonge St., Toronto was the home of 1050 CHUM from 1959 until 2009
Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66).

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario.

By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes".
Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored.

Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY. He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came from rival Toronto rocker CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).

(Courtesy of the Rock Radio Scrapbook, Click Here for  an early aircheck of 1050 CHUM from July 17, 1957.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele, Mike Holland and Roger Ashby. Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM for a time in 1977, eventually becoming known across North America as White House correspondent for CBS News, then the co-anchor of CNN's morning program American Morning. Rick Moranis, later famous for his work on SCTV and Ghostbusters, was briefly a late-night CHUM DJ in the mid-seventies under the name "Rick Allan".

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950's and '60's, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

The CHUM Chart was, for many years, the most influential weekly Top 40 chart in Canada and has been hailed as the longest-running continuously published radio station record survey in North America. The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.

1050 CHUM aired Top 40 from 1957 to 1986.  Today, 1050 CHUM airs Sports Talk.

➦In 1994...famed talk-show host, Larry King, did his last Westwood One show, leaving radio to concentrate on his nightly CNN hour.

➦In 1994...Radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, married Marta Fitzgerald. He was 43, she was 35. They divorced in 2004.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Ariana Grande To Give Benefit Concert In Manchester

(Reuters) -- Ariana Grande said on Friday that she will hold a benefit concert in Manchester for the victims of Monday's suicide bombing at her show in the English city.

Grande, 23, said in a message on her Instagram account that a date for the concert had not yet been worked out.

Monday's suicide bombing, which killed 22 people and injured more than 100, many of them young people, took place just after Grande had finished performing a concert in the northern English city. She later cancelled several future concerts scheduled in London and Europe.

"I'll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families. ... I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed," Grande wrote in an emotional message.

Grande has a large young female fan base, many of whom were caught up in Monday's attack by British-born Salman Abedi.

She said that her "Dangerous Woman" concert tour was intended to be a "space for my fans, a place for them to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves."

She said the victims would be "on my mind and in my heart everyday ... for the rest of my life."

But she added defiantly; "We will not quit or operate in fear. We won't let this divide us. We won't let hate win."

St. Louis Radio: iHM Returns Majic Brand On 103.7 FM

iHeartMedia St. Louis announced today the debut of UrbanAC Majic 103.7, W279AQ via KLOU 103.3 FM HD2 St. Louis. The station will kicked with 10,000 songs in a row commercial-free from the biggest names in R&B.

Majic 103.7 will broadcast hit music from artists such as Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Maxwell and Janet Jackson. A full programming line- up will be announced at a later date.

“The Majic brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979,” said A.J., Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia St. Louis. “With the launch of the new Majic 103.7, we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

W279AQ 103.7 FM (250 watts)
“The heritage of the Majic 103.7 radio brand is like no other and I am honored to be a part of bringing it back to the St. Louis community,” said Derrick Martin, Region President for iHeartMedia St. Louis. “It’s also a privilege to welcome back Majic’s core group of fans and advertisers, and we look forward to engaging new ones as well.”

Miami Radio: 'PK's Throwback' Debuts On iHM's 105.5 FM

iHeartMedia/Miami has debuted “PK’s Throwback 105.5,” a new classic hip-hop outlet in Miami.

The station is airing commercial free for 105 days and playing “Old Skool” music from Bel Biv DeVoe, Mary J. Blige, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Luke, Jay Z, Lauryn Hill and more.

The driving force behind the new station is Papa Keith - the PK in the station’s moniker. Keith is afternoon host at urban contemporary  WMIB 103.5 The Beat,  who has strong ties to the South Florida hip-hop and R&B communities. He first honed his skills in hip-hop and reggae clubs and built up his name on the streets, eventually landing at Miami’s notorious underground station “Mixx 96,” which set off his career in radio.

“I’m so excited to share my music memories on this new station,” Keith said. “My listeners will get to hear another side of me.”

“PK’s Throwback 105.5” originates on the WMIB 103.5 FM HD3 and broadcasts on translator W288DD at 105.5, licensed to Tamarac FL

W288DD 105.5 FM ( 85 watts)
“We’re excited to launch PK’s Throwback 105.5 and throw it back in the now with Papa Keith,” senior vice president of programming Alex Tear added. “Get ready for the ultimate Old Skool playlist!”

iHeartMedia’s Troubles Worsen

iHeartMedia Inc.’s financial troubles deepened as the company extended the deadline — for a fifth time — on a $14.6 billion distressed debt exchange offer after few investors showed interest and those who did started backing out of the deal.

According to The Express-News, the deadline, which was scheduled to expire Friday, was extended to June 9 at 4 p.m.

The company said it needs more time to negotiate with investors and lenders on a debt restructuring plan. If executives cannot get an agreement, the company will likely have to file for bankruptcy, the company has previously said. iHeartMedia had $20.4 billion in outstanding debt as of March 31.

“People who tendered backed out,” said Patrice Cucinello, an analyst for Fitch Ratings in New York. “The noteholders are not receptive to the offer.”

The loss of investor interest “doesn’t give much comfort” to the possibility of a successful debt exchange, she said.

iHeartMedia recently hired Goldmans Sachs Group Inc., joining two other advisers, Moelis & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis, to help mediate negotiations, corporate debt research firm Debtwire reported.

The addition of Goldman Sachs “may help with negotiations,” said Cucinello. Fitch said in an April 25 report that iHeartMedia probably will have to file for bankrutcy.

The radio and billboard giant is trying to refinance about $8.3 billion in bonds and about $6 billion in loans. The debt-exchange terms call for various discounts on the debt and pushes out maturities by two years.

Philly Radio: CBS Radio Promotes Shelly Easton, Bobby Smith

CBS RADIO Philadelphia’s Senior Vice President and Market Manager David Yadgaroff Thursday announced the promotion of Shelly Easton to VP of Music Programming for Country WXTU-92.5 FM, HotAC WTDY Today’s 96.5 FM and Classic Hits WOGL 98.1 FM, and the promotion of Bobby Smith to Program Director of  98.1 WOGL.

Easton will remain the Program Director of WXTU in addition to her new responsibilities at WTDY and WOGL. Smith, current Program Director and on-air personality of Today’s 96.5 WTDY, will take on Program Director duties of WOGL. Both promotions are effective immediately.

“Shelly’s leadership at WXTU and across our industry makes her the ideal choice to lead the strategy and evolution of our music stations.  In his expanded role, Bobby will be managing two of Philadelphia’s top-5 cuming radio stations. These are very well deserved promotions for two of Philadelphia radio's finest,“ said Yadgaroff.

“This is an exciting opportunity and I am thrilled to work with such legendary brands and top notch talent on a daily basis,“ added Easton.

“I am elated to now be a part of the legendary brand at WOGL and excited to be joining this incredibly skilled staff,” said Smith.

In her new role, Easton will continue to program WXTU and now direct the digital, marketing and promotional strategies across WXTU, WOGL and WTDY.  Bobby will continue in his role as Program Director and morning drive host at WTDY and assume the Program Director role at 98.1 WOGL.

The appointments follow Monday’s departure of Gress from WOGL after 14 years of programming the top-rated station.  WOGL ranked first in Nielsen’s April PPM survey with a 6.9 share in persons 6+.

L-A Radio: Rodney On The ROQ Show Ends June 4

After 40 years of discovering new bands on KROQ 106.7 FM “Rodney on the Roq,” Rodney Bingenheimer announced on Facebook that he will be doing his last show from midnight to 3 a.m. PT on Monday, June 5.

“It has been an amazing run, and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week,” the trendsetting DJ wrote in a post Thursday. “I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.”

According to Variety, the rock radio show — occasionally dropping in other genres as well — has been known for playing eclectic tracks since it started in August 1976. “Rodney on the Roq” was among the first to spin music from a number of now-famous talent including Katy Perry, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Duran Duran, Sublime, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“I may be done with KROQ, but I am not retiring,” the 69-year-old said. “I hope you continue to join me on that journey. I have the greatest fans of all time and you’ve made my time at KROQ a fantastic one.”

He ended the post optimistically saying, “Here’s to rock and roll. More to come.”

SWFL Radio: Sports Vet Pete Sheppard Joins WWCN

Pete Sheppard
Beasley Media Group has named Pete Sheppard as the new afternoon drive co-host with Craig Shemon on WWCN 99.3 FM in  Fort Myers-Naples, Florida. He began his new position on May 22, 2017.

“I am so excited to be part of the ESPN SWFL 99.3FM family and to be working afternoon drive from 2-6pm with Craig Shemon,” said Sheppard. “Our show will be highly energetic, informative and entertaining!”

“Pete Sheppard lacing up with Craig Shemon has just turned a great afternoon show into a major market heavy weight afternoon show overnight,” said Operations Manager Adam Star. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this new show was syndicated a year from now. Sherman and Sheppard are the real deal!”

Celebrating his 29th year in broadcasting, Sheppard most recently worked at WEEI in Boston, where he served as a part time fill-in on air personality for various day-parts on the station. In addition, he hosted NFL Sunday’s 4 hour pre-game show for the New England Patriots, as well as provided an in depth look at the rest of the NFL.

WWCN 99.3 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Previous to that, the radio sports veteran was part of the highly rated “The Big Show” in afternoon drive at WEEI and also hosted “The Real Post Game Show” with former NFL players Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie for 11 years.

Asheville Radio: Brian Hall Named SVP/Programming At iHM

Brian Hall
iHeartMedia has announced that Brian Hall has been named SVP/Programming for its Asheville cluster.

The Asheville cluster includes: Country WKSF 99.5 FM, Top40 WQNQ Star 104.3 FM, Rock WQNS 105.1 FM. 97.7 The Brew, N/T WWNX 570 AM and Progressive Talk WPEK 880 AM.

“Brian's vast experience in Asheville will really help us continue to dominate the market in every format,” said Area Pres. Bill McMartin. “We have an experienced team in Asheville who all have great respect for Brian and his ability to lead our programming efforts.”

“Brian’s expert leadership skills and market knowledge make him the perfect choice to lead the Asheville team,” said EVP/Programming-Northeast Division Meg Stevens. “We’re extremely excited to have him take the reins as our new Senior Vice President of Programming.”

"I am both honored and excited about this promotion,” said Hall. “We are one big family here at iHeartMedia/Asheville. I've been blessed to have been with the company for twenty-two years and am looking forward to our continued growth in ratings and revenue."

M-C Hot Links: What Others Are Saying..Friday

Is Fox News Cleaning Up Its Act? Or Just Trying to Make the Murdochs Richer?

Fox News’ Dueling Narratives: Journalism That Clashes With Fury

How Radio Can Survive in an Era of Podcasts and Streamers

How To Make Your Database a High Leverage Weapon

Gianforte Wins, Apologizes To Reporter

(Reuters photos)
(Reuters) -- Republican Greg Gianforte defeated a political novice to win Montana's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, barely 24 hours after he was charged with assaulting a reporter who asked him about the Republican healthcare bill.

A race that was expected to be a test of President Donald Trump's political influence ahead of next year's U.S. congressional elections was jolted by the charge against Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive who had urged voters to send him to Congress to help Trump.

Speaking to cheering supporters in Bozeman after his win, Gianforte apologized for the incident and said he was not proud of his actions.

"I should not have responded the way I did, and for that I'm sorry," Gianforte said. "I should not have treated that reporter that way."

Gianforte beat Democrat Rob Quist, a banjo player and first-time candidate who had focused his campaign on criticism of the Republican effort to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's healthcare law. CNN projected Gianforte would win. With 96 percent of the vote counted, he led Quist by 51 percent to 43 percent.

Gianforte prevailed despite being charged on Wednesday night with misdemeanor assault on Ben Jacobs, a political correspondent for the U.S. edition of the Guardian newspaper, who said the candidate "body-slammed" him during a campaign event in Bozeman.

Rob Quist
Gianforte's victory is a boost for Republicans, who are worried Trump's political stumbles and the unpopularity of the healthcare bill passed by the House will hurt their chances of holding on to a 24-seat House majority in next year's elections.

But the relatively close margin of the race in Republican-leaning Montana was encouraging to Democrats, who are already focused on next month's hotly contested special House election in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

Gianforte had been favored to win in Montana, where Republicans have held the lone House seat for two decades and where Trump won by more than 20 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

The race had grown closer in the last week, however, as Quist focused on criticism of the House healthcare bill.

Quist, wearing his signature cowboy hat, told supporters in Missoula, Montana, that the grassroots energy of his campaign would continue.

"I know that Montanans will hold Mr Gianforte accountable," Quist said.

NBC Megyn Kelly Promos Start Airing

NBC has began tonight to run promos for its new Megyn Kelly newsmag, on Nightly News with Lester Holt.

Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly debuts Sunday, June 4 at 7 PM. Sundays at 7  is, not coincidentally, longtime berth for 60 Minutes. But, according to,  the CBS juggernaut usually airs repeats between May and September, which NBC News hopes means all those Sunday newsmag junkies looking for new material will turn to Kelly.

Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly will have a limited run this summer, returning after Sunday Night Football and the Winter Olympics conclude, in early 2018.

Fox News Pokes Sleeping Advertising Bear

(Reuters) -- For the second time this year, one of the entertainment conglomerate's popular prime-time programs faces a branding boycott. Twenty-First Century Fox isn't alone, though. YouTube, the web-video site operated by Alphabet's Google, has recently been in the crosshairs, too. Madison Avenue may be slowly transforming from a passive investor to a more activist one., Peloton and others pulled their commercials from the Fox News show hosted by Sean Hannity, the President Donald Trump supporter who has been pushing a fake conspiracy theory involving the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer. The network retracted an online article it had published on the subject, but Hannity – who attracts an average 2.6 million watchers – stuck to his guns, claiming Fox News doesn’t speak for him. Several advertisers revolted this week.

A similar uprising occurred when more than 70 companies including Mercedes-Benz and T. Rowe Price abandoned Fox News host Bill O’Reilly after he faced a number of sexual-harassment allegations. He was soon booted from the Murdoch empire. YouTube also invited ire when ads were discovered next to objectionable videos. Agency group Havas and the likes of L'Oreal withheld budgets and demanded Google better police placement.

This tactic is relatively new. There has been little outcry from the mostly supine advertising community, for example, with regard to the National Football League and its concussion and spousal-abuse controversies. Likewise, the world soccer organization FIFA, mostly smoothed things over with sponsors amid a damaging bribery scandal.

The recent pushiness could partly be down to consumers swiftly mobilizing on social media to register their dissent. And it always helps to follow the money. Fox News last week experienced a drop in its prime-time ratings for the first time in 17 years. Google’s dominance also has been making advertisers increasingly nervous. They may have just handed advertisers easy excuses to fight back.