Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 23 Radio History

➦In 1912 Jackson Beck was born in New York City.

Jackson Beck
Beck's early radio experience included work at WINS and WHN, both in New York City. Beginning in 1931, he worked with Myrt and Marge, among other roles. In 1934, he was the announcer for The Adventures of Babe Ruth on the radio. In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's The Adventures of Superman; it was Beck who intoned the familiar prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." He also had recurring roles, voicing an occasional tough guy and also portraying Beany Martin, the Daily Planet's teenage copy boy. On Superman episodes featuring Batman, he played Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for The March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942 to 1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948 to 1950, starred in the dramatic anthology Brownstone Theater on Mutual, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet

Beck also co-starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. He died July 28 2004, two days after his 92nd birthday.

➦In 1937...legendary Top 40 Personality Robert W. Morgan was born.

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

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

On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programmer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status almost overnight when they joined the staff of KHJ-AM, Los Angeles. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station.

It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973.

Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery. It was also during this time that Morgan co-produced and narrated the 48-hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969, a definitive on-air encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. It was the first-ever "rock-umentary" aired worldwide as a definitive history of the Rock & Roll genre—a "rockumentary," as producers Drake and Gene Chenault would call it—that would stretch from the early 1950s to 1989.

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

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

In 1973, Morgan and Steele walked out of KHJ and joined Bill Drake six months later at KIQQ-FM, Los Angeles. The ratings were sub-par, though, causing Morgan to leave the morning slot a year and a half later for weekends and fill-in slots at the prestigious KMPC Los Angeles. He stayed at KMPC until 1984. After a short stint at KMGG, Morgan returned to KMPC.

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

The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101, where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer. According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two-packs-a-day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years."

In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.

He died from cancer May 22, 1998 at age 60. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame the following year.

➦In 1940..Don Imus born.

Imus - 1970
Imus was born in Riverside, California, the son of Frances E. and John Donald Imus, Sr., and the older brother of former talk show host Fred Imus.

He served in the Marine Corps as a bugler from 1957 to 1960.

Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis. After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.

After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California. His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.

After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC 660 AM, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label (This Honky's Nuts, an album of his stand up comedy act at the Manhattan nightclub "Jimmy's".  There was also a 1973 RCA Victor single, "Son of Checkers," issued by Imus. The single reached #123 in the Record World survey.

"Imus...In The Morning...In The Evening" aired nationally in the fall of 1973, part of NBC Radio's attempt to revive "Monitor", it's long-running weekend magazine. The Saturday night segment rotated popular hosts Imus, Wolfman Jack, and Robert W. Morgan

Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK.

In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good." Although Stern's show aired later in the day, Imus and Stern often made brief appearances on each other's shows, giving the audience an occasional glimpse of an on-and-off-air rivalry that continued for many years.

During this period, Imus was best known for character Billy Sol Hargis, a radio evangelist whose name was a cross between infamous real-life radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and real-life Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes. As Hargis, Imus touted on-air the merits of the "First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship".

Imus was also the utility announcer for Geraldo Rivera's monthly TV series Good Night, America, which aired as a recurring segment of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment program, and he was one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of the VH-1 cable network in 1985.

In 1988, WNBC radio was sold to Emmis Broadcasting; on October 7, 1988, WNBC permanently signed off the air and Emmis' WFAN was moved from 1050 AM to WNBC's former spot, 660 AM. Imus in the Morning remained at 660 AM among WFAN's sports programs with his music and comedy bits as the staples of the program and the beginnings of a political forum.

The radio show became nationally syndicated in 1993, and began simulcasting on MSNBC in 1996. He wore his signature cowboy hat during his broadcasts.

Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year 1990, 1992 and 1997 and one for Network Syndicated Personality (1994).

Dick Biondi
➦In 1963...Former Chicago nighttime DJ Dick Biondi ends his self-imposed exile from radio and joins KRLA 1110 AM in Pasadena, Calif. Both KRLA and KFWB are neck and neck in the overall radio ratings in Los Angeles.

The KRLA line-up is Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quillin and Bob Hudson.

➦In 1963...New York City is the nation’s largest radio market and competitionis fierce. Most of the larger stations are owned by corporations - WOR - RKO, WABC-ABC, WNBC-NBC, WCBS-CBS, WINS-Group W (Westinghouse), WHN-Storer, WNEW-Metropolitan. Each is 50,000 watts and all have rather goodsignals. There’s another competitor - this one’s only 5,000 watts and is family owned and operated - WMCA 570 AM  - which is owned by the Straus family.

The ratings are in and for the first time ever, WMCA is on top. The station has adopted adifferent concept to their DJ lineup - personality and team togetherness and itshows on the air and in person - more than any other station in the United States.

Thanks to program director Ruth Meyer,the WMCA Goodguys are taking NewYork by storm. The WMCA Goodguys show up at events together, as many as possible - all with their sweatshirts and black pants.  WMCA’s music policy is to play the hits and be the first to jump on music trends. It considers itself a very competitive radio station.

➦In 1966...Coca-Cola launched the biggest radio spot campaign in its history, featuring top recording artists in an all-out drive for the teen market. Each artist is spotlighted in a different version of the “ Things Go Better With Coke ” jingle. Coke was the seventh largest radio time buyer last year, will now vault to the number one buyer of national radio commercials. Artists signed by ad agency McCann-Erickson for showcasing include Petula Clark, the Coasters, the Four Seasons, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mind Benders, Jan and Dean, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, the Shirelles, the Supremes and Sue Thompson.

The jingle was written by William Backer of McCann-Erickson. Backer says each commercial will strive to retain the artist’s individuality in the recording of each version of “Things Go Better With Coca-Cola.” In that way, the artist’s unique singing style and basis for his appeal is harnessed to capture the listener’s attention.

➦In 1966...KBLA 1500 AM in Burbank, Calif, fires its staff of DJ’s in order to give listeners more music. According to general manager Mel Leeds, the Top-40station would now be able to play more music than those stations with air personalities. The policy now for KBLA will be to play two-three or more records without DJ interruptions. This is unheard of in top-40 radio. Released by the station were DJ’s Chet Douglas, Larry Tyler, Jim Wood, and Tom Clay.  Leedssays that by eliminating talk, the commercial messages are showcased moredramatically and effectively.

➦In 1966...Both WMCA and WABC, NewYork pull ‘They’re Coming To Take MeAway” by Napoleon XIV off the air. WMCA says they have received various complaints about the record, which lampoons mental illness. Even though the record is #1 on theWMCA Goodguy survey, they’re not playing it! Teens picketed WMCA carrying such signs as “We’re coming to take WMCA Away! Unfair to Napoleon in Everyway.” Aplane flying a banner over popular JonesBeach over the weekend, protested WMCA’s banning of the record. WABCProgram Director Rick Sklar said his station had letters from doctors and institutions saying the record hurt their image.

➦In 1982...KTSA 550 AM San Antonio goes stereo

➦In 2010…Newsman/commentator (CNN, CBS, NPR) Daniel Schorr, the first on-camera employee hired at CNN, died at the age of 93.

Scaramucci Makes Conciliatory Debut With Media

If President Donald Trump, who refers to the media as "fake news," wants his staff to use a more conciliatory approach with journalists, new communications director Anthony Scaramucci may be implementing such a shift - for now.

According to Reuters, the Wall Street financier and Republican fundraiser walked into the White House briefing room on Friday and immediately did what Sean Spicer, the outgoing press secretary, did not do on his first day in January: engage, in a friendly manner, with reporters.

Scaramucci bantered with correspondents, pledged to be transparent and even made respectful remarks about CNN, the cable network with which Trump and Spicer have sparred repeatedly.

He made fun of himself, joking about his short stature and apologizing to Trump from the podium for having called the New York businessman a hack politician in 2015.

"He brings it up every 15 seconds, all right?" Scaramucci said to laughter, referring to the president. "I should have never said that about him. So, Mr. President, if you're listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that."

Trump was probably listening.

Reporters peppered Scaramucci with questions on press-related issues that have dogged the relationship between the Trump presidency and the journalists that cover it.

Did he support having briefings televised? "I obviously am committed to being transparent because I’m standing here. But I’d like to talk that over with the president," he said.

He noted that CNN had apologized when it reported something false about him and that he had accepted the apology.

"There feels like there’s a little bit of media bias, and so what we hope we can do is de-escalate that and turn that around. And let’s let the message from the president get out there to the American people," he said.

He announced the new press secretary to take over from Spicer, who resigned earlier on Friday, would be Sarah Sanders.

Spicer's debut at the White House podium in January featured a long scolding of reporters for their portrayal of Trump's Inauguration Day crowd numbers.

Sean Spicer Slams Media's 'Clickbait Mentality'

Outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer trashed the media on the same day he resigned his position, and said most White House reporters are more interested in getting clicks than writing about the truth and facts, reports The Washington Examiner.

"I was increasingly disappointed in how so many members of the media do their job, or rather don't do their job," Spicer said in an interview on Fox News. "The bias which they come from, it has become a clickbait mentality with the reporters where they are concerned with their clip or their click more than they are with the truth and the facts."

Asked by host Sean Hannity whether the media is biased, Spicer said: "I think you are right. There is a bias but there is also a Washington mentality."

The White House announced Spicer's resignation Friday, a move that came the same day that Wall Street financier and President Trump loyalist Anthony Scaramucci was named communications director.

In his six-month tenure, Spicer said, he became frustrated with how the media has covered the White House and its pursuit of the Russia investigations.

"I don't want to paint everybody with the same brush, but the majority of folks who are in the briefing room, they are not in there for the pursuit of truth," Spicer said. "Rather they are trying to figure out, how do I get on TV? How do I become a YouTube star, and that is disappointing. There are some good reporters that spend time getting to know, to learn the facts, to get the story out. They should be rewarded. They should be praised for their journalism. There are some reporters that do that. By and large we are seeing more and more about that clip or the click."

Report: Millennials Only Have A 5-second Attention Span For Ads

Advertisers who wants to market a product to millennials, you're going to have to make it quick.

A new study by comScore revealed online ads targeted toward millennials have to be around 5 to 6 seconds to be effective, a sharp contrast from the traditional 30-second commercial seen on TV.

"The length of time of an episode or a viewing period is really important and has got to be short, otherwise you just won't keep the attention of millennials," comScore CEO Gian Fulgoni told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

The format of advertising may have to be radically changed to reach millennials, he suggested.

"You're going to have to make your case literally in a matter of seconds and make sure you grab somebody's attention, Fulgoni said.

Millennials are spending the majority of their online time on mobile, according to the new study. Millennials said they spent 61 percent in smartphone apps and 8 percent on the mobile web. A quarter of their time was on desktop, and just 5 percent was spent on tablets.

As many other studies have shown, Snapchat was found to be extremely popular. Two out of 3 millennials were using the app, with 80 percent of the youngest millennials surveyed on Snapchat. It was also growing in popularity among older millennials.

Still, Facebook was the leader, with 95 percent of millennials surveyed on the platform.

"It's going to be interesting to see what happens over time, especially as these millennials age into the older segment," Fulgoni said.

Newsmax Wants FCC to Delay Sinclair's Deal for Tribune

Newsmax Media wants federal regulators to slow their review of Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media, saying the deal raises concerns about media concentration.

"I am calling for delay," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, a conservative outlet with a 24-hour cable news channel, said in an interview with AdAge. "I think it needs more vetting."

Ruddy, a friend of President Donald Trump, adds a conservative voice to liberal critics of the deal who are wary of Sinclair building a network of local stations featuring the company's pro-Trump commentary.

Newsmax said in a filing that "it simply makes no sense" for the FCC to take comments on the deal when the agency may soon alter media ownership rules.

The deal as proposed would exceed FCC ownership limits in 11 markets, according to Sinclair's filing seeking deal approval at the agency.

"This is raising so many serious concerns about the concentration of media power," Ruddy said.

NYTimes graphic

The FCC called for comments by Aug. 22. In its filing, Newsmax said it supported a request for more time from Dish Network, the American Cable Association trade group and the Public Knowledge policy group.

The deal would bring Sinclair stations in 42 cities, including New York and Chicago. The combined company would have 233 stations and affiliation with all four major networks. Without divestitures, the combined company would also have an audience reach that is about 6.5 percent above the limit of 39 percent of the national audience, according to the company's June application for approval.

D/FW Radio: The Oasis Freshens Sound With More Currents

Last week, HD Radio smooth jazz station (KVIL) 103.7-HD2 The Oasis had been running a countdown on its Facebook page, leading up to a big announcement.

This led to some speculation — in some cases, call it hope — that CBS Radio-owned station would return to traditional FM, where, according to Mike Shannon’s Dallas-Fort Worth Radio & Television History, it lasted from 1987 to 2006, first at 106.1 FM and then at 107.5 FM.

According to The Star-Telegram, that isn’t the case, but the station is making some big changes without alternating its format.

“We’re putting a fresh coat of paint on ‘103.7-HD2, The Oasis,’ ” Jay Creswell, program director for The Oasis and several other CBS Radio Dallas stations (traditional as well as HD), says in an email. “We’re re-branding the station as

“The biggest difference is we’ll be playing roughly 50 per-cent new music, as opposed to the 1-2 current songs per hour that we’re playing. We’ll include multiple album cuts from new releases, and all different genres of jazz, for flavor.”

The music has already been changing, with a soft launch that began last Thursday (and, as was the case with the “traditional” version of the Oasis, it’s not all smooth jazz: One of the cuts that played Friday morning was Stevie Wonder’s 1974 hit “Boogie on Reggae Woman,” and the Nathan East cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Serpentine Fire.”

Part of the announcement is that the station will be adding announcers beginning Monday — not coincidentally, including smooth-jazz saxophonist Koz, whose syndicated “Dave Koz Show” airs 10 p.m. to midnight Saturdays and 2-4 p.m. Sundays.

Local announcers will include Andy Brooks, 6-9 a.m.; Cameron Smith, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Ian Miller, 5-10 p.m.

Fox Wants Radio Reporter's Lawsuit Tossed

Fox News Radio says a Jerusalem-based correspondent shouldn't be allowed to pursue discrimination claims under New York state laws, according to a motion to dismiss filed Thursday.

Jessica Golloher sued the radio network and its parent company 21st Century Fox in May, claiming that she marginalized because of her gender and was notified her contract wouldn't be renewed within 24 hours of requesting an opportunity to speak with the network's independent investigator.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox is asking the court to either dismiss Golloher's suit or compel arbitration, claiming the correspondent's claims of employment discrimination and retaliation under the New York State Human Rights Law are meritless and also procedurally barred because she's not a resident of the state.

Jessica Golloher
"Plaintiff alleges that, while she was living and working in Russia and Israel, she experienced gender discrimination," writes attorney Linda Goldstein. "She also alleges that — while still living and working in Israel — her employment was terminated. Nowhere does she claim that the alleged discrimination had the required impact in New York."

Fox says Golloher points to only one incident that happened in a New York newsroom. She says she felt mortified after Fox News Radio vp Mitch Davis announced to the room that "he had added a new setting to Ms. Golloher's audio equipment that would lower the pitch of her voice." The network says Golloher's claim is merely a petty slight that doesn't support a discrimination claim and she's given no basis "to conclude that the remark had anything to do with Plaintiff’s gender as opposed to the sound of her voice."

Facebook Atty: ‘Fake News’ Fight A Tough Balancing Act

Facebook’s deputy general counsel told an audience at the Ninth Circuit’s judicial conference in San Francisco on Thursday that his company’s efforts to limit the spread of viral misinformation known as “fake news” required a careful balance of corporate responsibility and First Amendment concerns.

Acxcording to, the remarks came during a panel discussion on fake news, which moderator Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, defined as false news stories that sources posing as legitimate media outlets disseminate knowing they aren’t true.

Paul Singh Grewal, who left his post as a U.S. magistrate judge to join Facebook last year, noted the social media giant’s March rollout of a label warning users if a link includes false or disputed content. Those warnings are fueled by partnerships with the Associated Press, Politifact and other fact-checking watchdogs, Grewal said.

“It's not just Facebook that is deemed the arbiter of truth, and I think that's important,” he said.

But he added that the First Amendment protects inaccurate speech as well, and that Facebook has to walk a line between truth and censorship.

“I don't think in most instances the answer is just to shut down the speech," he said. "When you attempt to share the link, you are warned that what you are about to share is false. But if people still want to share it, they can. We want to preserve a space around that speech.”

The panel was part of a four-day conference meant to address improvements and new issues within the circuit that’s home to Silicon Valley. This year’s event was themed “Law, Society, and Technology: The Challenges and Opportunities Ahead.” The fake news panel touched on several legal issues that stem from the rise of viral misinformation in the internet age, with panelists representing new and traditional information outlets.

Hugh Hewitt
Salem commentator Hugh Hewitt commended NBC on Thursday for its commitment to objectivity, saying that when the network recently hired him, he had to disclose any ties to government agencies. But he noted that such an approach was hard to come by and difficult to bankroll.

NBC Universal Group General Counsel Susan Weiner described the careful way that journalists at NBC analyzed purportedly leaked National Security Administration documents to determine whether they were fake, by comparing them to other leaked documents and doing a “forensic analysis” of the formatting and even the spelling. She said standards lawyers at the networks shared in these responsibilities.

“It’s critical for respected news organizations to fight this and not be caught in the trap,” she said. “You have to take the time to get it right.”

The panel also anticipated more regulation around fake news, referencing recently passed legislation in Germany that fines social media outlets if they don’t respond to fake news and hate speech on their platforms within 24 hours. Grewal said such regulations created “absolute incentives,” but that it was in Facebook’s interest to address misinformation anyway, since “user trust in the platform is paramount.”

R.I.P.: Former Detroit Rock DJ Bob Bauer

Bob Bauer
Radio personality Bob Bauer, whose voice was familiar to decades of Detroit rock listeners, has died at his home in Pinckney.

He was 63, according to The Detroit Free Press.

His death was confirmed Friday by the Livingston County Medical Examiner's Office.

Bauer, a 1979 graduate of the Specs Howard broadcast school, was best known for his tenure at Detroit stations WLLZ-FM ("Wheels"), WABX-FM, WCSX-FM and others. During the last decade, he embraced online radio, including a pair of programs webcast from the UDetroit studio in Detroit's Harmonie Park district.

Most recently, he hosted a show that spotlighted local music at

Doug Podell, now of WCSX, was program director at WLLZ when he hired Bauer for the afternoon-drive shift in 1984.

It was there that Bauer became known for hosting annual charitable food drives, a station promotion then known as Wheels for Meals. Setting up base at a prominent metro Detroit street corner, Bauer would live in a rented house trailer for several weeks during the holiday season, collecting food items from listeners and others.

"He donated his time energy and effort to do that, and it turned out to be a lifetime thing for him," said Podell.

R.I.P.: L-A Radio, TV Newsman Bill Smith

Bill Smith, a veteran Los Angeles radio and television newsman whose face and voice were long familiar to KTLA viewers as well as fans of KTTV’s irreverent “Metro News-Metro News,” died July 9 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

He was 74-years-of-age, according to The LA Times.

“Metro News-Metro News,” which Smith co-wrote, produced and co-anchored, followed the satirical soap opera “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” on Channel 11’s evening lineup in the late 1970s. A nontraditional news program, the fast-moving show was aimed at people who were either weary of or just not interested in a formulaic run-through of the day’s breaking news.

The program was a departure for Smith, who began his journalism career as a reporter for the Sunland-Tujunga Record Ledger before becoming a fixture on drive-time talk radio with Wink Martindale and then as a field reporter, midday anchor and even a weatherman, first with KTTV and then KTLA.

“Bill could just walk up to anybody, camera rolling, and he could get them to loosen up instantly,” cameraman Greg Theroux recalled in a KTLA tribute. “It was magic.”

He began his broadcast career as a disc jockey and news reporter at KVFM in Panorama City and then shifted to KGIL, where he produced the popular “Dick Whittington Show.”

Smith eventually became a constant on KABC radio — filling in on the “Ken and Bob” morning show, Michael Jackson’s midday broadcast and Martindale’s highly-rated afternoon talk show.

July 22 Radio History

➦In 1932...'The Father of AM" Reginald Fessenden died at age 65. The broadcasting inventor, engineer, had 300 radio patents.  He broadcast the world’s first program of voice and music to ships at sea Christmas Eve, 1906.

➦In 1963…The Beatles' first U.S. album, "Introducing The Beatles" was pressed by Vee-Jay Records. When it was released in January 1964, Capitol Records filed an injunction against Vee-Jay in an attempt to keep them from "manufacturing, distributing, advertising, or otherwise disposing of records by the Beatles." The trial that followed resulted in Vee-Jay being allowed to release Beatles records only until October 15, 1964

Jack Lescoulie
➦In 1987..WNEW 1130 AM Radio/TV personality, former Today Show host Jack Lescoulie died

On radio, he was billed as the "Grouchmaster" on The Grouch Club (1938–40), a program in which people aired their complaints about anything,  created by future TV legend Nat Hiken, creator of The Phil Silvers Show /You'll Never Get Rich and Car 54, Where Are You?. In the 1940s, he was morning-drive partner to Gene Rayburn on WNEW radio (now WBBR) in New York City, before turning over his role in the team to Dee Finch. The Lescoulie and Finch pairings with Rayburn provided what are believed to be radio's first two-man morning teams.

During World War II, Lescoulie served as a war correspondent, flying in Air Force planes on bombing missions over Italy.

Today's Frank Blair, J. Fred Muggs Dave Garroway
In the fall of 1947, Lescoulie became the "all night radio man" on the Mutual Broadcasting System's New York affiliate WOR 710 AM. On April 12, 1948, he portrayed a mysterious newscaster in "Twelve to Five," a Quiet, Please fantasy drama which recreated an all-night request radio program so convincingly that some listeners phoned in with requests. He returned to Quiet Please June 4, 1949, in the horror drama, "Tanglefoot."

On today, he was teamed with Dave Garroway for over nine years, covering sports, news and features. The tall, blond performer was called ''the saver'' by Mr. Garroway because of his ability to enliven lackluster interviews with his wit. Often characterized as a good-humored, all-American boy, his frequently lighthearted tasks for ''Today'' included wrestling a walrus, interviewing a penguin and eating six breakfasts in one sitting. He Left 'Today' in 1961.

During the 1950's, Mr. Lescoulie made commercials for Milton Berle, was an announcer for ''The Jackie Gleason Show'' on CBS and was the host of an NBC sports-interview series called ''Meet the Champions.'' He also filled in as host of NBC's ''Tonight: America After Dark,'' a show that briefly replaced the ''Tonight'' show in 1957. The next year, he was co-host of an NBC quiz show called ''Brains and Brawn.''

Friday, July 21, 2017

Boston Radio: WBOS To Import Morning Show From Detroit

Beasley Media Group announces the company’s Detroit-based WRIF-FM Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show will now be simulcast on ALT 92.9 /WBOS-FM in Boston beginning on Monday, July 24th, 2017.

The consistently rated #1 award winning morning show will be heard in both markets from 5:30am-10:30am Monday-Friday.

The Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show, known for its unique style of humor and banter, along with heavy social media interaction with fans, will provide wicked laughs and entertainment weekday mornings for Boston listeners.

Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart (along with show member Lisa Way) began working together in April of 2001 on Windsor, Canada’s 89X (CIMX 88.7 FM) until November of 2012. The show officially debuted on the WRIF-FM airwaves in May of 2013. Since then, they’ve added Cohost Andy Green, Producer James Campbell and Video Editor Jason Watson.

“We have been eager to expand Dave & Chuck’s content beyond Detroit and I couldn’t be more thrilled that it all starts in Boston,” said Beasley Media Group Executive Vice President of Programming Justin Chase. “This is a market where their genre of show has been very successful in the past and I’m certain Boston will love D&C!”

WBOS 92.1 FM (18.5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
“We are continually amazed at how far the show has progressed over the years, and are so excited to take it to the next level on ALT 92.9 in Boston,” said Dave Hunter. “We love the city and can’t wait to get some Boston folks on the air with us every morning.”

“The Dave & Chuck the Freak show is both funny and relatable, and its cast is made up of masterful storytellers with an eye for the extraordinary,” said Beasley Media Boston Director of Programming Cadillac Jack. “When you combine their natural talent, great chemistry, and impeccable work ethic, the results are unparalleled, and we’re especially excited to welcome them to ALT 92.9!”

Ad Market Sees Uptick, Digital Rises 11%, Radio Off 4%

The U.S. advertising market grew 3.8% in the second quarter of this year -- largely due to an 11% gain in digital media.

Standard Media Index says this followed a 2.8% increase in the first quarter.

National TV brought down the overall results. In the second quarter, national TV advertising revenue was virtually flat -- down 0.8%. This followed a weak 0.8% gain in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, SMI says cable networks declined 4%, with broadcast networks rising 4% -- increases that were mostly attributed to the airing of the final three games of the NCAA tournament in April on CBS. A year ago, those games aired on cable network TNT.

Although cable networks overall declined, cable news networks continued to score big results, report MediaPost.

Fox News Channel was up 11%, while CNN grew 21% and MSNBC jumped 40%. In addition, the big three broadcast networks climbed by 18%.

While broadcast network advertising revenues were up overall, this was not the case with prime time. The daypart was down 4% in the second quarter. Fox took the biggest hit, sinking 12.2% versus the second quarter of 2016. ABC slipped 3%; and CBS was down 6%. Only NBC grew -- with a 3% increase.

Digital media's 11% gain saw improvement from a relatively weaker 6% increase in the first quarter. Second-quarter results showed soaring 55% gains in its social-media category, with premium video (virtually all TV network-content) also strong, at 30% higher. In this video category, premium video site Hulu climbed 11%.

By way of comparison, non-premium video -- including YouTube and Facebook video advertising results -- sank an eye-opening 15%. Both Google’s YouTube and Facebook have had brand safety concerns, along with some measurement issues.

Magazine and newspapers showed more big declines -- down 16% and 20%, respectively. Radio was off 4%, and out-of-home lost 1%.

Fargo Radio: N/T WDAY Adds FM Simulcast

WDAY radio in Fargo is expanding its AM broadcasting to now include a new FM frequency, the station has announced.

In addition to 970 WDAY-AM, which will continue its regular broadcast, there will be an exact duplication of the programming airing on translator K261BA 93.1 FM.

"Adding an FM frequency is an exciting new way for our community to access local talk content from hosts like Jay Thomas, Mike McFeely and Sandy Buttweiler," Mike Kapel, WDAY radio's program director, said in a statement.

K261BA 100.1 FM (250 watts)
With news, weather and sports coverage, WDAY radio serves Fargo-Moorhead, west central Minnesota, northern South Dakota and the eastern half of North Dakota. Programming can also be streamed live online at, or by downloading the listen live app, "970 WDAY," for Apple or Android devices.

iHM: New Bond Deal Is Better Than Bankruptcy

A nearly two-year long battle between iHeartMedia Inc. and a bondholder group led by Franklin Resources Inc. is coming to a head in the wake of the company's proposal of a sweetened offer, reports The Wall Street Journal and Fox Business Insider.

A resolution to the standoff could allow iHeart to avoid bankruptcy.

In its battle to win over bondholders who hold the key to its fate, iHeart Communications has signed up a group of funds led by Eaton Vance Investment Management, Symphony Asset Management and OppenheimerFunds to convince holders -- especially Franklin -- that it is better to take the new deal than push the company into bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.

It is one of the last of several companies taken over in the private-equity megadeals of a decade ago that is still grappling with debt it took on in its 2006 leveraged buyout by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.

For months, iHeart had circulated an offer that hands over as much as 49% of the equity in both iHeart and its valuable Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings billboard unit to bondholders if a substantial group of them agree to extend maturities and take haircuts, or markdowns, on their debt. In that proposal, private equity owners Thomas H. Lee and Bain would hold on to a 51% stake. The proposal garnered little interest, and the holdout group, of which Franklin has the biggest slice of iHeart debt, has argued that they are entitled to more equity in both companies, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Earlier this week, the company disclosed details of talks with another group of bondholders led by Eaton Vance, Symphony and OppenheimerFunds over the new deal. In its revised proposal, iHeart is offering bondholders a number of sweeteners, chief among them an additional $500 million in debt backed by 51% of the shares in iHeart and in Clear Channel, according to public filings. The new slug of debt will effectively delay Thomas H. Lee's and Bain's ability to monetize their shares in the company until the debt is paid off, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The new proposal, like the former one, pushes out by two years the maturity of a big chunk of iHeart's debt, and bondholders must take a haircut on their debt.

GropeGate: Mueller Sanctioned For Destroying Potential Evidence

A federal judge has sanctioned a former Denver radio host, who sued Taylor Swift, for destroying multiple electronic devices containing key evidence in the case.

U.S. District Judge William Martinez ruled Wednesday that Swift’s attorneys will be allowed to question David “Jackson” Mueller about a two-hour audio recording he surreptitiously taped during an interview with his boss the day before he was fired. The recording was lost when Mueller later destroyed or threw away four electronic devices.

Mueller sued Swift in September 2015 claiming the music superstar “falsely” accused him of groping her before a June 2013 Denver concert. Swift countersued in October 2015 saying Mueller waited “unreasonably” long to file his suit and said “Mueller did not merely brush his hand against Ms. Swift while posing for the photograph: he lifted her skirt and groped her.”

The Denver Post reports Martinez said he could have leveled harsher sanctions against Mueller including striking part of the evidence, if the judge concluded that Mueller intentionally destroyed the devices or couldn’t locate them.

Martinez said the recording is critical evidence because Mueller’s KYGO 98.5 FM boss, Robert Call, claims that Mueller changed his story when he confronted him about Swift’s claim that he assaulted her. That was one of the deciding factors that Call relied on in his decision to fire Mueller on June 4, 2013.

“Call explained that one reason for Plaintiff’s termination was because Call perceived Plaintiff had ‘changed his story that it couldn’t have occurred, then that it was incidental,’” Martinez wrote.

Mueller recorded the conversation on his cellular phone and transferred it to his laptop and office computer, according to Martinez’ 16-page ruling. Mueller later gave snippets of the two-hour conversation that bolstered his claims to his attorney.

Mueller admits destroying or losing the cellular phone, laptop, iPad and computer for a variety of reasons including that he spilled coffee on his laptop’s keyboard. “It was fried,” Mueller said. But he also acknowledged the recording would have been important evidence in the case.

Although Martinez referred to Mueller’s “serial nature of (his) loss of electronic devices,” the determined the radio host didn’t do so in “bad faith.”

Quincy Jones Testifies He Was 'Cheated' By MJ Company

Grammy-award winning music producer Quincy Jones took the stand Thursday in his $30 million royalties suit against Michael Jackson’s production company, saying he was “cheated out of a lot of money” generated by the hit albums he produced for the late King of Pop.

According to Law360, Thursday was the first day the legendary producer was present at his Los Angeles trial; he has been in Switzerland in recent weeks participating in the Montreux Jazz Festival, an event he has co-produced in the past. Brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair, the 84-year-old Jones testified for several hours, frequently veering off course from questions to tell stories about his life, his musical projects and the artists he’s worked with over the years.

Jones' attorney Mike McKool asked Jones about the first time he worked with a then 20-year-old Jackson making his major movie debut as the scarecrow in "The Wiz."

“I watched him very carefully, I really wanted to produce him. He knew everybody’s dance steps, he knew everybody’s dialogues, everybody’s songs,” Jones said about Jackson. “He was so attentive and that really impressed me.”

Quincy Jones
Jackson agreed to let Jones produce his next album, “Off the Wall,” and later, “Thriller” and “Bad.”  Jones testified he chose the musicians, studio and songs for each album, even dictating the key and tempo of the music.

“After Michael died what was the first thing you saw that caused you to think that maybe you weren’t being treated fairly by the estate?” McKool asked.

Jones said when he saw the Jackson documentary, “This Is It,” which uses some of the master recordings from the albums he produced for Jackson.

“My name is nowhere in it,” Jones said. “Not on the screen, nowhere.”

Jones’ suit alleges that after Jackson died in 2009, MJJ Productions, a company controlled by Jackson's estate, wrongfully withheld $30 million in royalties as well as licensing revenues for the use of songs from the Jackson albums he produced, in such projects as the posthumous documentary and two Cirque du Soleil shows featuring videos of Jackson and his music.

On Thursday, MJJ Productions attorney Howard Weitzman of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP cross-examined Jones, pushing a defiant Jones to concede that his contracts don’t provide for licensing revenue, only song royalties, and noting that Jones has received $18 million in compensation in the years since Jackson’s death in 2009.

Milwaukee Radio: WTMJ Competitor Objects To Translator Simulcast

Michael Crute
Announced plans for WTMJ 620 AM to launch and FM simulcast on translator W277CV at 103.3 FM has drawn a complaint from the crosstown competitor.

Michael Crute, who recently acquired daytimer WRRD 1510 in Waukesha, has hired an attorney to filed an objection with the FCC. Crute claims he  had a deal with translator owner Frank McCoy to rebroadcast progressive talk Resistance Radio WRRD on the channel. The technical arrangement for that was filed at the FCC in June. Now Crute says McCoy emailed him this week to say that Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ had offered a better deal.

The WTMJ deal apparently offers more money and indicated WTMJ's parent company Scripps would pay to build the translator on the tower of their WTMJ and WKTI/94.5 – and would host it rent-free.

Crute cries foul.  He says WTMJ, “Wisconsin’s most powerful AM station, was making an unscrupulous hard-ball effort to crush my efforts to level the broadcast playing field.”

He added that WTMJ and Scripps have “picked a fight with the wrong guy and the wrong radio station.”

Crute is co-host of “The Devil’s Advocates” program syndicated by WYD Media Management and distributed by Westwood One.  After years of working on air in Madison and other markets via syndication, he purchased WRRD to launch a progressive talk station in the Milwaukee market.  His show airs on the station.

In a  press release, Crute paints this conflict as a David vs Goliath-type battle.

The Classic Act Designed To 'Restore Some Equity'

Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., on Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation that would grant copyright protection to recordings created prior to 1972, with Issa calling the bill “an important and overdue fix to the law.”

The representatives unveiled H.R. 3301 — the “Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service and Important Contributions to Society Act,” also known as the Classics Act — which would bring sound recordings created before 1972 into the federal copyright system and would ensure that digital transmission of recordings made before and after 1972 would be treated equally.

“This an important and overdue fix to the law that will help settle years of litigation and restore some equity to this inexplicable gap in our copyright system,” Issa said in a press release jointly issued by the lawmakers. “It makes no sense that some of the most iconic artists of our time are left without the same federal copyright protections afforded to their modern counterparts. This bill is the product of a great deal of work to build consensus across party lines and varying interests all over the music and entertainment landscapes on how to best resolve this long-standing problem.”

According to Law360, the bill unveiled Wednesday serves as an update to the "pre-72" provision of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, a bill that the representatives re-introduced in March. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act aims "to create a modern and uniform system of rules governing music licensing for digital and terrestrial radio broadcasts," according to a press release issued earlier this year.

The lawmakers noted that Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Tom Rooney, R-Fla., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., have joined as original co-sponsors of the bill.

Pre-1972 recordings are legally murky because when Congress created a separate copyright for sound recordings in 1971 under the Sound Recording Amendment of 1971, the law only applied to works created on or after Feb. 15, 1972. The older recordings are protected in many states by quasi-copyright systems, but streaming services and radio stations didn’t think those laws required performance royalties.

Twin Cities Radio: WCCO Teams Paul Douglas, Jordana Green

Paul Douglas and Jordana Green have been named the new afternoon drive hosts on WCCO 830 AM, CBS Radio Minneapolis.  The Paul & Jordana Show will premiere on August 1 from 3:00-6:00 PM, ET.

“We've been friends and colleagues for a long time. We plan to learn a lot and laugh even more, and hope our listeners will do the same,” said Paul and Jordana.

“We’re establishing a new take on afternoon drive with this show,” said Shannon Knoepke, SVP/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Minneapolis.  “You’ll learn and laugh with Paul and Jordana, exactly what Minnesotans need to end their day!”

“Our goal is to have a show that speaks to our community and brings listeners relevant and entertaining topics each day,” said WCCO Operations Manager/Program Director, Lindsey Peterson. “Paul and Jordana are passionate about speaking to our community and we are excited to have them as part of the station.”

Paul and Jordana previously teamed up when Jordana was Vice President of Programming for WeatherNation TV before moving to WCCO.

Paul Douglas is a nationally respected broadcaster and meteorologist, with 34 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience. Paul is well known to Minnesota residents as the head meteorologist for KARE-TV and WCCO-TV. He also launched the national weather channel, WeatherNation TV in 2011. Paul provides daily weather for the Star Tribune, the St. Cloud Times, Conservation Minnesota and WeatherNation, and is an author and regular contributor to TPT’s “Almanac.”  Paul has launched five weather technology companies during his career, including his current ventures, AerisWeather and Praedictix, based in Eden Prairie.  A graduate of Penn State, Paul and his wife Laurie live in Excelsior and have two sons.    

WCCO 830 AM (50 Kw)
"I'm thrilled to be joining Jordana and the rest of the WCCO Radio Team,” said Paul.  “I got my start on radio in high school and college, and this feels like coming home. Jordana and I will fine-tune a show that's fast-paced, informative and a little irreverent. We want to highlight interesting people and great storytelling, exposing listeners to new voices and the solutions that will make their lives better. We all live in our news bubbles, but radio unites us like no other medium. We need that more than ever. And if that doesn't work we'll quickly transition to an all-Doppler format."

Jordana Green has been with WCCO Radio since 2012, hosting her 9:00-11:00 PM show and co-hosting afternoon drive with John Williams. She started her career as a field producer at FOX-5 in New York, then as the medical reporter at WBRE-TV, Wilkes-Barre, PA. She moved to the Midwest to anchor the morning show at FOX-59 TV in Indianapolis. Then Minnesota called, and Jordana answered by anchoring FOX-29 TV’s primary newscast while earning an Emmy for on-camera excellence. Before coming to WCCO, Jordana helped launch WeatherNation TV. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Jordana and her husband Marc Grossfield live in St. Louis Park with her three children.

“I am so excited to be co-hosting with Paul during drive-time,” added Jordana. “He understands a lot more about the world than just weather and is one of the kindest and wittiest people I know. We are going to have a blast working together!”

NC Radio: Steve McKay To Program WGNI, WKXS

Steve McKay
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Steve McKay as Program Director for AC WGNI 102.7 FM and Classic Rock station WKXS 94.5 FM The Hawk in Wilmington, NC.

For over two decades, Steve McKay's visionary radio programming has resulted in top ratings and revenue performance from Norfolk to Philadelphia. McKay brings to Cumulus a track record of team building, personality and brand development, and unique live and local content on-air, creating audience loyalty and ratings successes.

As Program Director of WPTE Norfolk, McKay implemented and grew a new brand that achieved #1 ratings, and the second-highest revenue in the market.

WPTE was one of the top-performing Modern AC's nationally. As Program Director of WBHT, a Mainstream Top 40 in Scranton, PA, ratings doubled in less than a year. In Philadelphia, McKay crafted the sound and talent line-up at Jammin' Gold, leading the station to top 3, Adult Women. He is also a seasoned radio personality and was most recently on-air at the Jersey Shore's heritage station, WJRZ. McKay was also formerly an account executive for Max Media in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, utilizing his programming experience to create effective advertising campaigns for his clients.

Eric McCart, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-Wilmington, said: "We searched for a leader who will take 102.7 GNI and 94.5 The Hawk to the next level, and most importantly, someone who will keep the music sounding the best, while creating a great listener experience and a deeper connection with our listeners, advertisers and community. I'm ecstatic to welcome Steve to our family and we're excited to have him on board."

WGNI 1027 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Barry Fox, Operations Manager, Cumulus Media-Wilmington, said:  "We are thrilled to have someone with Steve's background join our team and look forward to achieving greatness on WGNI and WKXS under his direction".

WKXS 94.5 FM (3.8 Kw)
McKay said: "I've been watching, with keen interest, the evolution of Cumulus. This is a great company with incredible leadership. I look forward to working with our great team in Wilmington to help take 102.7 GNI and 94.5 The Hawk to new levels of success that bring value and entertainment to our clients and listeners. I thank Mike McVay, John Dimick, Emily Bolden, Eric McCart, and Barry Fox for this exceptional opportunity."