Saturday, September 30, 2017

October 1 Radio History

➦In Everett Sloane  was born in New York City. From the mid-1930’s to the 1960’s, for 20 years on radio & 15 on TV, Sloane was a prominent part of New York’s drama broadcast scene.  He won raves for a supporting role in the movie classic Citizen Kane.  Reportedly depressed over the onset of blindness, Sloane committed suicide in 1965 at age 55.

➦In 1922...the first daily news program on radio, “The Radio Digest,” debuted on WBAY in New York City.

➦In 1942…Art Linkletter took over from Art Baker as the host of NBC Radio's "People Are Funny." Linkletter remained with the show on radio until 1960 and hosted a television version of the program on CBS from 1954 to 1960.

➦In 1952...Ralph Edwards  began a new TV program on NBC called This is Your Life. Each show began with Edwards surprising some unsuspecting victim, er, lucky person. The surprisee would then be presented with the story of his or her life, complete with friends and relatives who had been brought in for the big occasion. The popular show, which had debuted on NBC Radio in 1948, ran for the next nine years on TV.

➦In 1975...Seattle radio station KOL changed its call letters to KMPS,surrendering forever the three-letter call that had served the Puget Sound well for nearly 50 years. While the modern incarnation of 1300 AM uses KOL as its ID, the official call sign is KKOL.

➦In 1979...the RKO Radio Network began operation.

The newscasts, aimed at a young adult audience, had a conversational, high-energy style developed by co-founders Vice President and News Director Dave Cooke, and Vice President of Programming Jo Interrante.

RKO was popular from the start, signing up hundreds of affiliates coast to coast. Its base was the RKO General-owned radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other large markets. RKO initially purchased downlink satellite dishes for its affiliates, creating the nation's first satellite-delivered commercial radio network.

The original network, which fed newscasts at :50 repeated at :00, became known as RKO 1 when RKO 2 debuted on September 1, 1981. RKO 2 fed newscasts at :20 repeated at :30 and was aimed at an older audience. Both networks offered sportscasts, music, public affairs programming and closed-circuit affiliate feeds of news and sports correspondent reports and news-maker actualities.

The networks were home to three groundbreaking long-form programs. NightTime America with Bob Dearborn was the first live, daily, satellite-delivered music show in radio history. Dearborn produced and hosted the five-hour adult contemporary show from January 9, 1981 until 1984.

January 9, 1981 was also the premier of America Overnight, a six-hour interview and call-in show hosted by Eric Tracey in Los Angeles and Ed Busch from Dallas. It was the first national talk show delivered by satellite. It also marked the first time a network offered simultaneous overnight programs.

Dick Bartley created, produced and hosted the first live national oldies radio show, Solid Gold Saturday Night.

➦In 1977...The hot 100...1977:  Meco flew up from #8 to #1 with "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band". K.C. and the Sunshine Band were next with "Keep It Comin' Love", amazingly jumping over Fleetwood Mac and "Don't Stop".  The Emotions' former #1 "Best Of My Love" was fourth followed by "Strawberry Letter 23" from the Brothers Johnson.

The rest of the Top 10:  Carly Simon scored her fourth Top 10 song and 12th hit with "Nobody Does It Better", ELO was on hold with "Telephone Line", Shaun Cassidy had #8--"That's Rock 'N' Roll", Foreigner's second hit "Cold As Ice" was #9 and Andy Gibb's former #1 "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" closed out the list

Early Sony CD Player
➦In 1982...First CD players are sold in Japan

➦In 1983...The Album Charts...The Police topped the Album chart for the tenth week with Synchronicity.  Thriller by Michael Jackson had 20 weeks at #1 and needed 11 more to tie Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.  It would get them.  The Soundtrack to "Flashdance" was a distant third, followed by Pyromania from Def Leppard and An Innocent Man from Billy Joel.

The rest of the Top 10:  Asia had Alpha at #6, Metal Health by Quiet Riot was #7, Bonnie Tyler shot up from 17 to 8 with Faster Than the Speed of Night, the Fixx and Reach the Beach and Robert Plant's solo album The Principle of Moments was #10

➦In 1983...The Hot 100...Bonnie Tyler reached #1 with the biggest hit of her career--"Total Eclipse of the Heart".  Billy Joel relinquished the spot with "Tell Her About It".  Men Without Hats had one of the top #3 songs of the Rock Era--"The Safety Dance".  Air Supply's 10th career hit "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" was #4 with the Stray Cats moving up with "(She's) Sexy + 17".

The rest of the Top 10:  The Police with "King Of Pain", Spandau Ballet moved from 13-7 with their only Top 10 song "True", Michael Sembello's former #1 "Maniac", Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton had a huge hit with "Islands In The Stream", which moved from 17 to 9 and Sylvester Stallone's brother Frank made the Top 10 with "Far From Over".

➦In 1991...Howard Stern added Baltimore to his radio network (WJFK-AM).

➦In 2003...Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN after comments about black quarterback, Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles) caused controversy.

Report: Cumulus Wrestles With Debt Load

Cumulus Media Inc. recently started talks with two separate groups of creditors who own big chunks of the company’s $2.4 billion in debt, according to people familiar with the matter. The radio broadcaster faces key deadlines when most of its debt matures in early 2019.

The Wall Street Jounral reports the talks could lead to a bankruptcy filing, according to people familiar with the matter.

Cumulus, the second-biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S. by revenue, has been grappling with how to restructure its debt load for a couple of years as advertising revenue and audience numbers have slid.

Cumulus is holding talks with a group of holders of its $1.8 billion in term loans as well as with a group of bondholders.

While Cumulus and its advisers are in talks with lenders and bondholders, the situation remains fluid and an out-of-court debt restructuring remains possible, the people added.

Cumulus’s financial performance has improved lately, with the company reporting higher revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the first time in years. In the second quarter, Cumulus reported a 6.7% increase in Ebitda and a 1.2% increase in revenue. By contrast, in 2016, the company’s revenue fell 2.3% to $1.4 billion and its Ebitda fell 20.6% to $205 million.

Nashville Radio: WRVW Extends Woody & Jim Contract

iHeartMedia/Nashville announced Friday that Woody Wood and Jim Chandler have signed a new 3-year agreement to continue as morning hosts of the Woody And Jim Show for Top40 WRVW 107.5 The River. Woody and Jim will continue to broadcast weekdays 5 – 10 a.m.

“Woody and Jim are synonymous with Nashville,” said Jonathan Shuford, Program Director for 107.5 The River. “Not only do they continue to be premiere radio personalities in the market, they are a part of the fabric of the city. From their charitable partnerships to their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to make their listeners feel like family, they have proven time and time why they have such a successful and long-standing relationship with Nashville.”

The Woody And Jim Show has been a fixture in Nashville for over twenty years and maintains its position as the top-rated morning show in the market.

“We’re proud and honored to continue our partnership with iHeartMedia and 107.5 The River”, remarked Wood. “This will take us through our 20th anniversary here, a rare privilege in our industry.” Chandler added, “We are blessed to be able to continue waking up Nashville, the most exciting city in America.”

NH Radio: Brokered Talker Fined $274.5M In Defamation Case

Michael Gill
A New Hampshire County jury awarded three Manchester-area businessmen $274.5 million in their lawsuit against mortgage broker Michael Gill, who accused them of drug dealing and other crimes on prominent electronic billboards, radio WTPL 107.7 FM and social media viewed by millions.

Steve Gordon, an attorney who represented AutoFair owner Andy Crews, Manchester developer Dick Anagnost and Primary Bank founder William Greiner, said it is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in New Hampshire.

“The bully has finally been punched in the mouth, which is what we wanted to do for a long time,” Crews said at a press conference outside the Merrimack County Superior Courthouse.

The verdict ended a week-long trial that started with Gill, the founder of Mortgage Specialists Inc., dramatically walking out of the courthouse and calling the trial a criminal enterprise.

According to The Union-Leader, Judge Brian Tucker had already ruled that defamation took place. The only issue for the jury was the size of the award.

During the trial, each of the three victims took the stand and detailed the effects of being accused of crimes such as drug dealing, money laundering and gun running. Gill played out the accusations on a radio show, electronic billboards in high traffic areas and social media that logged views in the thousands, sometimes millions.

The jury awarded each $35 million in special damages, which encompasses harm to reputation and emotional distress. And it awarded $50 million to each in compensatory damages, which means they found Gill acted with hatred, hostility or evil motive.

All three said most of the money they collect will go to charity.

Both Anagnost and Crews said the verdict could have far-reaching effects in the world of social media. Crews hopes the allegations will change the social media habits of someone who accuses people of crimes.

A judge has already ordered that the electricity be cut to Gill’s electronic billboards, and radio station WTPL has halted Gill’s paid program. Next up, Anagnost said, Gordon will seek an injunction ordering Facebook and Twitter to close Gill’s accounts.

Report: Megyn Kelly Already Has 'Likability’ Problem

Megyn Kelly doesn't seem too concerned by the poor reviews of her new morning talk show.

According to TheNYDailyNews, the TV host — who launched her program "Megyn Kelly Today" on Monday — closed out the final episode of her tumultuous first week by thanking her viewers, while brushing off her critics with a not-so-subtle joke.

"I just want to take a moment to thank all of you so much for watching this week," Kelly said Friday. "It's been very exciting. It has been educational. I've just been so delighted that the media response, which has really — no."

The comment earned a laugh from the studio audience, prompting a smile from Kelly. She then wrapped up by praising the viewers for giving her a chance.

Meanhile, TheNYPost reports insider whisper that Kelly’s “likability” was already faltering.

A survey found that even before “Megyn Kelly Today” went on the air on Monday, Kelly was less popular with viewers than Matt Lauer was right after Ann Curry was publicly canned.

We’re told that in a report being passed around the industry, market research firm E-Poll found that Kelly had a “dislike” score of 45. Lauer’s was 22 a month after the 2012 Curry debacle. E-Poll declined to confirm its findings.

Meanwhile, Kelly’s ratings were down compared to when Al Roker and Tamron Hall hosted the hour. “There are big drops versus last week and last year,” said a source. “Early indications are [that] the rest of the week is headed in the wrong direction.”

Week One: Hannity Beats Maddow At 9 PM

In the first week of the head-to-head battle between Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow, the conservative heavyweight drew significantly higher ratings than his liberal counterpart.

Fox News moved Hannity’s show from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. as part of a broader shakeup of its prime-time line-up, designed in part to counter a dramatic ratings surge by rival MSNBC, led by Maddow, the biggest ratings winner of the Trump era.

Politico reports Hannity pulled out all the stops, bringing in Steve Bannon, Bill O’Reilly, Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh to boost his numbers. It appears to have worked: The Fox News pundit pulled in an average of 3,498,000 viewers from Monday through Thursday, with 713,000 in the key adult 25-54 demographic, according to early Nielsen figures.

Maddow averaged 2,649,000 viewers, with 599,000 adults 25-54. CNN’s 9 p.m. hour — which usually features Anderson Cooper’s “AC360,” but this week had two special town halls — finished third, with 1,173,000 viewers and 416,000 in the key demographic.

'Idol' Inks Judges For Reboot

Lionel Richie has finalized a deal to join American Idol as a judge.

According to Variety, the move to secure Richie rounds out the revived singing competition’s on-camera talent roster for its upcoming first season on ABC, with Richie joining fellow judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry as well host Ryan Seacrest. It also puts “Idol” back on schedule. With shooting on live auditions slated to begin Tuesday, ABC and producer FremantleMedia faced the possibility of having to delay the start of production if the judges table had not been set.

ABC also on Friday confirmed that Bryan is joining the show. Variety broke news of his involvement last weekend.

A legendary R&B musician, Richie was said by sources to be a favorite choice of Perry, and had for months been in engaged in on-again, off-again talks. But the “Hello” singer had backed away from discussions after fielding a lowball offer from ABC.

“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage.”

The network and producers had trouble filling out the show’s talent roster after signing Perry in May to a deal that gives her $25 million for one season. Ryan Seacrest later struck a deal that gave him $15 million to host this season. The Perry and Seacrest agreements left fewer than $10 million in the initial talent budget ABC laid out for the show. But Richie and ABC were finally able to come to terms aster a search that saw names such as Charlie Puth, Keith Urban, Scooter Braun, Dolly Parton, Common, and Troy Carter rumored and considered.

Nearly 2M Watch NFL Stream On Amazon

Nearly 2 million people logged onto for the online retailer’s first livestream of Thursday Night Football, the U.S. National Football League said on Friday.

Reuters reports some 1.9 million people tuned in to Amazon’s kickoff show and game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, according to the NFL. That compares to 2.3 million for the first digitally streamed game last year on Twitter Inc
, which had the online rights at the time.

But viewers watched the broadcast for longer on average on Amazon. Its average worldwide audience for at least 30 seconds was 372,000 people, compared with 243,000 on Twitter for the first game last year, the NFL said.

Streaming live sports is a new, integral part of Amazon’s strategy to encourage more people to sign up to its Prime shopping club and spend more on retail goods.

September 30 Radio History

➦In 1912...singer Kenny Baker was born in Monrovia Calif.  He broke into bigtime radio with Jack Benny in 1935, and appeared in movies & radio for the next 20 years, including his own daytime radio variety show “Glamor Manor” in the mid-1940’s.  Baker died Aug. 10 1985 at age 72 after a heart attack.

➦In Lamont Johnson was born in Stockton Calif. He became an active member of the Los Angeles radio acting pool.  As well as playing scores of supporting roles he starred as Tarzan in the 1951 syndicated half-hour series, and was one of several actors to play Archie Goodwin in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe, opposite Sydney Greenstreet on NBC Radio. He had a key continuing role on the daytime drama Wendy Warren and the News on CBS Radio. A director in TV he was nominated for eleven Emmys, winning twice, and for eight Directors Guild Awards, winning four times, for Profiles in Courage (1965), My Sweet Charlie (1971), That Certain Summer (1972), and Lincoln (1988), which also won him an Emmy. He died of heart failure Oct. 24 2010 at age 88.

➦In 1929… “The National Farm and Home Hour,” a rustic variety series which first aired locally for a year on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, made its national debut on the NBC Blue network (later known as ABC), sponsored by the Montgomery Ward department stores. Don Ameche and Raymond Edward Johnson were featured, along with music and entertainment by The Cadets male quartet, Jack Baus and The Cornbusters and Mirandy of Persimmons Holler.  In 1945 the “Hour” moved to NBC Radio where it continued until early 1958.

➦In 1930…The radio anthology series "Death Valley Days," stories based on actual events, began its 15-year run on the NBC Blue network. The television version of the program, hosted by Stanley Andrews as "The Old Ranger," then Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, and Dale Robertson, aired from 1952 to 1975.

➦In 1933...WLS (then 870 AM)  radio in Chicago's popular program The National Barn Dance, one of the first country music radio programs, goes national with a move to NBC radio.

➦In 1935…The police drama series "The Adventures of Dick Tracy" made its debut on the Mutual Radio Network after being heard on CBS four times a week earlier that year. The serial had a long run on radio, starting in 1934 on NBC's New England stations and ending on the ABC Network in 1948.

➦In 1940...the kids’ radio serial “Captain Midnight”, already a hit locally on WGN Chicago, went coast to coast on Mutual. The Captain flew his single-engine plane all over the place fighting crime. Ovaltine dropped its sponsorship of Little Orphan Annie to climb on board with Captain Midnight.

➦In 1950...WSM Radio's "Grand Ole Opry" was first broadcast on television.

Original Home Ryman Theater
The Grand Ole Opry started as the WSM Barn Dance in the new fifth-floor radio studio of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company in downtown Nashville on November 28, 1925. On October 18, 1925, management began a program featuring "Dr. Humphrey Bate and his string quartet of old-time musicians." On November 2, WSM hired long-time announcer and program director George D. "Judge" Hay, an enterprising pioneer from the National Barn Dance program at WLS in Chicago, who was also named the most popular radio announcer in America as a result of his radio work with both WLS and WMC in Memphis, Tennessee. Hay launched the WSM Barn Dance with 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson on November 28, 1925, which is celebrated as the birth date of the Grand Ole Opry.

On December 10, 1927 the phrase 'Grand Ole Opry' was first uttered on-air. That night Barn Dance followed the NBC Red Network's Music Appreciation Hour, a program of classical music and selections from Grand Opera presented by classical conductor Walter Damrosch. That night, Damrosch remarked that “there is no place in the classics for realism,” In response, Opry presenter George Hay said:
"Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'."
Hay then introduced DeFord Bailey, the man he had dubbed the "Harmonica Wizard", saying
"For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on, we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'."
Bailey then stepped up to the mic to play "The Pan American Blues", his song inspired by the Pan American, an L&N Railroad express/passenger train.

➦In 1951...the Red Skelton Show debuted on NBC-TV (almost 10 years to the day after Red first got his own radio show). America’s “Clown Prince of Comedy” was a hit for years on radio and an even bigger one on TV.  Later, he would move to CBS-TV where he remained a television fixture for a total of 20 years.

➦In 1967...the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) began its own Pop music radio station. The first song on Radio One was “Flowers in the Rain” by The Move. Former Radio Caroline DJ Tony Blackburn was the first presenter on air. Second song was “Massachusetts” by the Bee Gees.

➦In 1978...The Hot 100...The classic "Kiss You All Over" by Exile moved to #1, tapping "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey on the shoulder to move.  Olivia Newton-John remained in the third position with "Hopelessly Devoted To You" and it had been six weeks since the Commodores were at #1 with "Three Times a Lady" but they were still at #4.

The rest of the Top 10:  "Summer Nights" by Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta, Boston's "Don't Look Back", Nick Gilder edged up with "Hot Child in the City", the Little River Band was up to 8 with "Reminiscing", John Paul Young reached the Top 10 with "Love Is in the Air" and Andy Gibb closed out the list with "An Everlasting Love".

➦In 1996...Charlie Greer, 77 WABC died.

Charlie Greer (1923-1996) was a radio personality at WAKR in Akron, Ohio before moving to  New York City's WABC on December 7, 1960, where he did middays and overnight.

Given WABC's 50 thousand watt clear channel signal, Greer became a popular all-night disc jockey heard on more than 38 states punching his way through famous tongue twister commercials for an all night clothing store called Dennison's in Union, New Jersey.

Greer also spent time with New York City's WCBS-FM in 1973, then and became part of WCBS-FM's Rock and Roll Radio Greats Weekend in the eighties and nineties.

He moved to Philadelphia's WIP in 1969 and then back to the New York area to WRKL in New City for a short while, and later worked at WHAM (AM) in Rochester, before returning to Akron. (Ted David, Moderator, New York Broadcasting History Board)

➦In 1997...Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins, WNEW, WINS passed away

The name "Jazzbo" derived from a product Collins had seen, a clip-on bowtie named Jazzbows. Just as Martin Block created the illusion that he was speaking from the Make Believe Ballroom, Collins claimed to be broadcasting from his inner sanctum, a place known as the Purple Grotto, an imaginary setting suggested by radio station WNEW's interior design, as Collins explained:

Collins grew up on Long Island, New York. In 1941, while attending the University of Miami in Florida, he substituted as the announcer on his English teacher's campus radio program, and decided he wanted to be in radio. He began his professional career as the disc jockey at a bluegrass station in Logan, West Virginia. By 1943, Collins was broadcasting at WKPA in Pittsburgh, moving in 1945 to WIND in Chicago and in 1946 to Salt Lake City's KNAK. In 1950, he relocated to New York where he joined the staff of WNEW and became one of the "communicators" on NBC's Monitor when it began in 1955. Two years later, NBC-TV installed him for five weeks as the host of the Tonight show when it was known as Tonight! America After Dark in the period between hosts Steve Allen and Jack Paar.

He officially changed the spelling of his name to Jazzbeaux when he went to Pittsburgh's WTAE in 1969. He moved to WIXZ in Pittsburgh (1973) before heading back to the West Coast three years later.

In 1976 Al Collins returned to San Francisco working at KMPX, followed by a three-year all-night run at KGO which drew callers throughout the West Coast. He always opened with Count Basie's "Blues in Hoss flat". He also worked a late night shift at KKIS AM in Pittsburg, CA in 1980. After returning to New York and WNEW (1981), he was back in San Francisco at KSFO (1983) and KFRC (1986). Then came one more run at WNEW (1986–90), and then he joined KAPX (Marin County, California) in 1990, and from 1993 until his death, Jazzbeaux did a weekly jazz show at KCSM (College of San Mateo, California).

He died on September 30, 1997, at the age of 78, from pancreatic cancer.

➦In 2012...Bob Vernon 'with a V' WNBC 660 AM died at the age of 70

Vernon grew up in Ohio and dreamed of being an artist, until a trusted high school teacher told him to make it a hobby. He launched a career in radio and went on to work for WNBC in New York on the show “Vernon with a V.”

After radio, his news career carried him back to Ohio where he switched to TV, and moved around to several different newsrooms.

Vernon worked as the noon news anchor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC from 1989-1995.

Robert Vernon Cosart Jr., passed away in Parker, Colorado, after suffering blood complications.

Friday, September 29, 2017

CBS Radio Names Deborah Rodriguez Morning Drive Anchor

Deborah Rodriguez
Radio veteran Deborah Rodriguez has been named weekday morning drive-time anchor for CBS News Radio, it was announced today by Craig Swagler, General Manager, and Linda Coombs, Director of Operations of CBS News Radio.

Rodriguez begins her new assignment Monday, Oct. 2. Rodriguez's top-of-the-hour newscasts will be heard daily starting at 5:00 AM, ET on CBS News Radio affiliates around the country. She succeeds Frank Settipani, who recently retired from CBS News Radio after more than 35 years, more than a decade of that spent as the MORNING DRIVE anchor.

Rodriguez is a familiar voice to CBS News Radio listeners. Since 2014 she's served as a writer, reporter and correspondent anchoring such major news events as the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the shooting of five Dallas police officers, the presidential campaign, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, and Hurricane Harvey.

Between 1992 and 2017, Rodriguez also worked at WCBS Newsradio 880 anchoring middays and the afternoon drive for the all-news station, where she also provided original reporting on major breaking news stories around the clock. Rodriguez was also the News Director at WCBS-FM from 2008-2014.

During her twenty year career Rodriguez has worked at Mix 105, WNSR, WGBB and WHVM.

Rodriguez is a graduate of New York University. She and her husband have two children and live in New York.

iHM Names Drew Salamon Regional VP/Sales

Drew Salamon
iHeartMedia announced today that Drew Salamon has been named Region Vice President of Sales for its Virginia-Carolina Region, effective immediately.

As Region Vice President of Sales, Salamon will oversee sales efforts in the Virginia-Carolina Region, including on-air and digital sales, promotions and live event sponsorships. He will be based out of the Charlotte Market and will report to Dave Carwile, Region President for iHeartMedia’s Virginia-Carolina Region.

“Drew is a natural leader and has a proven track record of success in this role,” said Carwile. “His experience as the Region Senior Vice President of Sales in iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh Region, oversight of sales efforts with world championship teams like Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network, back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins Radio Network and his tremendous passion for helping clients grow their business makes Drew the perfect choice for this important role.”

Salamon joins the Virginia-Carolina Region from the Pittsburgh Region, where he most recently served as the Region Vice President of Sales. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Sales for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh, Director of Sales for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Gannon University.

“The Virginia Carolina team is one of the best in the country,” said Salamon. “I look forward to working with the team and helping our advertising partners connect with their communities and grow their businesses.”

Apple, Pai And FM Radio Chips

FCC chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday issued a public statement requesting that Apple activate the disabled FM radio chips within its iPhones.

According to ARSTehcnica, Pai made his appeal in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which have wreaked havoc on communities across the US and beyond in recent weeks. The FCC chief framed the activation of the FM radio chip as a boon to public safety, since FM radio signals are generally easier to receive in times of emergency when compared to Internet-based services provided over a cellular network.

Ajit Pai
Though it may not be obvious at first blush, most smartphones have the ability to stream local FM radio stations directly. Chipmakers like Qualcomm and Intel have long baked FM radio tuners into the chips that enable Wi-Fi connectivity in various handsets.

But many smartphone manufacturers and mobile carriers have either disabled or not utilized that function. Part of that, critics say, is because having a free alternative may discourage customers from using and thus paying for services that demand mobile data.

In recent years, however, manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola, and HTC have started selling more handsets with the FM tuner enabled, while the four major carriers have provided some level of support. The whole thing is still far from ubiquitous—many higher-end phones still do not allow the functionality, and Verizon generally doesn’t support as many FM-enabled devices as its peers—but there’s been some change.

Apple has responded to Pai's call for the company to enable FM radio chips in its devices. In an emailed statement, the company downplayed the need for FM radio broadcasts in times of emergency, and said its iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 devices have neither the chips nor the antennas necessary to allow FM radio reception in the first place. Here's the full statement:
"Apple cares deeply about the safety of our users, especially during times of crisis and that’s why we have engineered modern safety solutions into our products. Users can dial emergency services and access Medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable government emergency notifications, ranging from Weather Advisories to AMBER alerts. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products."

Lawmaker Says Consumers Need FM Chips In Smartphones

In Congress, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is leading calls for mobile phone manufacturers to activate the FM radio chips embedded in nearly all smartphones. Those exhortations have been mainly directed at Apple, whose iPhone accounts for more than 40 percent of the U.S. smartphone market.

“Broadcasters are providing information on how to evacuate quickly, where flood waters are raging, how to get out of harm’s way if there’s a tornado or a hurricane,” said Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters. “The notion that Apple or anyone else would block this type of information is something that we find fairly troubling.”

Bill Nelson
According to Bloomberg, the group, which represents radio-station owners, has been lobbying the industry for several years to allow phone users access to the FM radio feature. Now, many of the major manufacturers -- including Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Motorola Solutions Inc. -- allow the use of the chip. Apple is the only major holdout, according to Wharton.

Critics say Apple doesn’t want to cannibalize its streaming service by giving iPhone owners access to free radio service. The company released a statement Thursday asserting that apart from the FM feature, there are several safety functions built into the phone for emergencies.

While surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, Nelson told WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, Florida, “There’s got to be a way we can activate the chip.” A spokesman for the senator said he was considering writing to phone manufacturers on the issue but hasn’t called for a mandate.

“The bottom line is consumers need critical information in times of emergency,” Nelson said. “If technologies, such as radio chips, exist that will help do that during times of emergencies then companies should be doing everything in their power to employ their use.”

Poll: Facebook Gets Blamed For Fake News

According to a new poll commissioned by the Factual Democracy Project, a group trying to fight the spread of intentionally fabricated news stories on social media, 73 percent of voters says Facebook should not allow foreign powers to run ads targeting Americans during an election.

It’s not just Russian-linked fake news the public is concerned about either: 78 percent of people said they want Facebook to prevent inaccurate stories from being widely shared on its platform.

According to, the poll’s findings come after reports that Russia funded ads on Facebook targeting select groups of voters in 2016, with the intent of helping Donald Trump win the presidency and sowing division in the country at large. Those reports have put the spotlight on Facebook, with critics charging the company needs to do more to combat inaccurate reporting.
➽73% of voters say Facebook should not allow foreign powers to run ads targeting Americans during an election
“Their consumers, at least in this poll, think of them as a media company,” said Melissa Ryan, founder of Factual Democracy Project. “And they want them to keep fake news off the platform.”

Ryan is a longtime Democratic political operative, an alum of EMILY's List and Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign who this year started FDP after an online fundraising campaign.

FDP used Public Policy Polling to conduct the survey. The Democratic firm interviewed 865 registered voters from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25, with a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

In an interview, Ryan emphasized that Facebook should be held to the same standard as traditional media companies that are responsible for vetting the accuracy of stories before they publish.
➽78% of polled voters said they want Facebook to prevent inaccurate stories from being widely shared on its platform
The poll, she said, shows the public feels the same way: 73 percent of voters said they think “Facebook should hold itself to the same standard as other media companies to only publish accurate stories about candidates during election season.”

Twitter Suspends Russia-Linked Accounts

Twitter said on Thursday it had suspended about 200 Russian-linked accounts as it probes online efforts to meddle with the 2016 U.S. election, but an influential Democratic senator slammed its steps as insufficient.

Reuters reports Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, summoned Twitter officials to testify behind closed doors on Thursday as part of broad investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Facebook (FB.O) faced a similar grilling earlier this month.

Lawmakers in both parties suspect social networks may have played a big role in Moscow’s attempts to spread propaganda, sow political discord in the United States and help elect President Donald Trump. Moscow denies any such activity, and Trump has denied any collusion.

Twitter also briefed the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Warner said Twitter officials had not answered many questions about Russian use of the platform and that it was still subject to foreign manipulation.

The company’s presentation to the Intelligence Committee “showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is,” Warner said. He took particular umbrage at what he said was Twitter’s decision to largely confine its review to accounts linked to fake profiles already spotted by Facebook.

Twitter said it had identified and removed 22 accounts directly linked to about 500 fake Facebook pages or profiles tied to Russia and that it unearthed an additional 179 accounts that were otherwise related.

Boise Radio: Shawnda McNeal Joins KIZN Morning Show

Shawnda McNeal
Cumulus Media announces it has tapped on-air personality Shawnda McNeal as Co-Host of Idaho’s Morning Show on Country radio station, KIZN Kissin’ 92.3 FM in Boise.

 McNeal makes her Kissin’ 92.3 debut on Monday, October 2, 2017, joining Co-Host Cory Mikhals weekdays from 5:30am-10am. McNeal will also do double time on-air, as the new Midday Host on Kissin’ 92.3, airing weekdays from 10am-2pm. Mikhals has hosted mornings on Kissin’ 92.3 since 2014.

McNeal has extensive morning show radio experience and has hosted mornings at 102.1 The Edge in Dallas, Mix 96.5 in Houston, Hot 96 Evansville, and Radio Now 93.1 in Indianapolis.

Hank Aaron, Program Director, KIZN and KQFC, said: “We did an extensive national search to find the exact right person to join Cory Mikhals for mornings at KIZN, Kissin’ 92.3. Shawnda not only brings morning show experience but the energy, creativity, and passion to win. Can’t wait for them to start this Monday!” 

Don Morin, Regional Vice President, Cumulus Media, said: “Shawnda is going to be a tremendous addition to our staff. Her experience and talent will give us the competitive edge to continue to grow our morning show at KIZN.”

KIZN 92.3 FM (48 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
McNeal said: “I feel blessed to be presented with this opportunity to join the passionate team at Cumulus Boise.”

Jimmy Iovine Says Apple Music Has 30M Subscribers

Jimmy Iovine, the boss of Apple’s music-streaming service, revealed to Billboard magazine Thursday that it now has 30 million paid subscribers. That’s a 3 million increase since it reported numbers in June, having launched in early 2015.

Meanwhile, eight-year-old Spotify, the world’s biggest music streamer, announced in July that it has 60 million paying subscribers, up from 50 million in March.

At those rates, Apple Music appears to be limping in the race, having taken since last December to add its latest 10 million subscribers.

Sweden-based Spotify’s value in private markets reportedly reached $16 billion this week, up from $13 billion in June, as it gears up to go public next year.

The NYPost reports Spotify lately has landed a few hits at the expense of Apple Music.

In June, Taylor Swift announced that her music would be returning to Spotify, nixing her exclusive deal with Apple Music to stream her smash album “1989.”

And earlier this month, Spotify and Hulu announced a partnership that would give college students access to both of their premium services for a $5 monthly fee.

But to hear Iovine tell it, Apple Music is still taking its first steps, and he believes it will overtake Spotify in the long run because of Apple’s nearly endless resources.

“[Spotify’s] costs are extraordinary. It’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and the costs are going to get higher, not lower,” he told Billboard.

Services like Apple Music and Spotify accounted for 62 percent of the music industry’s revenue so far this year. But Iovine said simply streaming existing music catalogs isn’t enough. He thinks these companies need to help artists create more, rather than relying on their libraries of aging songs.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Discloses Cancer Diagnosis

Emmy-winning comedic actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus said on Thursday that she was battling breast cancer and highlighted the case for universal healthcare.

Louis-Dreyfus, 56, who plays foul-mouthed fictitious former U.S. President Selina Meyer on HBO’s “Veep,” said “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I‘m the one,” in a short post on her social media platforms.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality,” the actress wrote.

She did not give any further details of her health status.

Time Warner’s (TWX.N) HBO network said Louis-Dreyfus received the diagnosis a day after the Emmy Awards earlier this month, where she won a record sixth consecutive Emmy for comedy actress for her role as Meyer. The Emmys are U.S. television’s highest honor.

HBO added that her diagnosis played no part in its decision to end “Veep” after next season, and that writers would keep working on the final season while production would be adjusted around the actress.

Louis-Dreyfus achieved fame in the 1990s for her role as Elaine Benes on NBC’s “Seinfeld,” which also won her an Emmy.

Report: Meghan McCain Gets Chair On 'The View'

Meghan McCain
Former Fox News personality Meghan McCain is joining the ladies of "The View."

The daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is said to have signed on as a regular co-host of the ABC daytime talker, according to Variety. She'll replace conservative voice Jedediah Bila, who announced her exit last week.

ABC declined to confirm or comment Thursday on McCain's casting, according to The LATimes.

The new gig comes on the heels of McCain signing off of Fox News' "Outnumbered" in the wake of her father's brain cancer diagnosis. Before joining Fox News, she co-hosted the Pivot Network’s "TakePart Live" and has contributed to publications such as the Daily Beast, Newsweek and Time. Like her father, she often deviates from the GOP line on issues, including same-sex marriage and climate change.

McCain is expected to start in early October, Variety said, and will be joining panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Paula Faris and Sunny Hostin.

"The View" has had its fair share of lineup changes over the years. Executive producer and former panelist Barbara Walters retired in 2014, and the show has included Rosie O'Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symoné, Michelle Collins and Candace Cameron Bure among its panelists.

McCain will be be the latest in the revolving door of conservative voices the show has introduced since the departure of Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 2013.

Fox News Contributor Hits Back At Ginsburg Over Sexism Comments

Fox News commentator Katie Pavlich slammed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Thursday for citing sexism as a reason Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in last year's presidential election.

"Was sexism a factor when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008?" Pavlich asked during an interview on Fox's "America's Newsroom."

"Maybe she can take a look at that as well," she continued. "This old argument of sexism doesn’t add up when you look at the numbers across the board."

"Sexism isn’t why voters in Wisconsin and Michigan — blue states, we’ve been talking about this for months — went out and voted for Donald Trump. They voted for him because of his message and because Hillary Clinton wasn’t in touch with people on the ground there and what their needs were," Pavlich concluded.

"When it comes to what they thought about her, the number one word that came to mind of the majority of voters was ‘liar.’ They didn’t trust her and she was never able to gain that back."

According to The Hill, Pavlich's comments come following Ginsburg's remarks to CBS's Charlie Rose on Tuesday night, in which she said there was “no doubt” sexism played a "major" role in Clinton's stunning defeat in the 2016 election.

CBS Pondering Sale Of Historic Television City Studios

Broadcast giant CBS Corp. is pondering the sale of its historic studio complex in the Fairfax district, once known for its state-of-the-art television production, as the Los Angeles construction boom propels developers in search of new places to build.

According to The LATimes, CBS has not decided whether to part with the property it has owned since the early 1950s, but real estate brokers put a tempting value on it for the owners: $500 million to $750 million.

Its desirable location near Farmers Market and the popular Grove shopping center could help drive the price even higher if a bidding war erupts. One insider estimated that the 25-acre complex could fetch more than $900 million.

Television City has played an important role in CBS’ history — and in American pop culture. The broadcasting company decided in 1950 to relocate much of its entertainment operations to Los Angeles from New York. Its move west helped establish an enduring part of Los Angeles’ identity and its economy: television production.

CBS purchased the property at Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard in 1950. CBS needed more space — facilities that could accommodate live production and studio audiences — than its Columbia Square complex on Sunset Boulevard could provide. So it spent a reported $7 million to build the futuristic complex.

But now CBS’ primary studio space, where about half a dozen shows are produced, is its lot on Radford Avenue in Studio City. In 2008, CBS moved its West Coast entertainment operations  to CBS Studio Center, where CBS Entertainment, CBS Television Studios and other corporate offices of the New York company are situated.

Although some executive offices remain at Television City, CBS’ biggest business at the complex is that of landlord, leasing seven of its eight soundstages and other studio space to third parties. Currently, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” the CBS soap operas “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” are shot there. Soon, ABC’s high-profile reboot of “American Idol” will join the lineup. The game show “The Price Is Right” has been shot on the same soundstage — Stage 33 — since 1972.

Kenny Chesney CoHosts Country Countdown USA

Country superstar Kenny Chesney co-hosts Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton this week (9/30-10/1).

The two talk about Kenny's ​Love For Love City Fund, aimed at helping the residents of the US Virgin Islands, hard hit by Hurricane Irma.  Kenny describes the destruction, and what he hopes his fund will do for the people.

In addition, Kenny talks about his recent shows at Gillette Stadium, his current Top 5 hit "All The Pretty Girls," and his forthcoming album Live In No Shoes Nation.

DOJ Wants Facebook Info From Anti-Trump Activists

The ACLU-DC is trying to stop three search warrants that’d let the Department of Justice snoop around protesters’ Facebook accounts over Inauguration Day protests.

According to LawNewz, they filed in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday, saying the government’s demands violate the Fourth Amendment because they are so broad, and threatening First Amendment speech. These warrants ask for too much information not directly relevant to the federal probe, argues the ACLU. This includes information on the plaintiffs’ friends, associates, and the approximately 6000 individuals who just “liked” an anti-Donald Trump Facebook page. Requested data would go back to Nov. 1, 2016, a week before the presidential election.

“The warrants make no provision for avoiding or minimizing invasions into personal and associational/expression information, for preventing such information from being shared widely within the government, or for destroying irrelevant material when the investigation is concluded,” said the ACLU filing. In other words, this might chill First Amendment speech by giving the government means to observe anyone who were simply linked to anti-Trump protesters.

This fight stems from arrests made Jan. 20. Demonstrators came to Washington D.C. to protest President Donald Trump‘s inauguration, and over 200 ended up getting charged with felony rioting.

In investigating the alleged criminality, the federal government later got three search warrants from the D.C. Superior Court against three Facebook accounts: the disruptj20 page (now known as Resist This) owned by Emmelia Talarico, and personal accounts owned by Lacy MacAuley, and Legba Carrefour.

 In court filings, Talarico says if her account information was given to the government, officials would have access to her "personal passwords, security questions and answers, and credit card information," plus "the private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page."

The DOJ declined to comment.

R.I.P.: Iowa Radio Mad Hatter Darryl Hensley At 79

Darryl Hensley
Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and industry pioneer Darryl Hensley, 79, known as “The Mad Hatter”, died after colliding with a car while riding his bike on Wednesday, Sept. 27, according to WQAD-TV8.

Hensley was riding in rural Henderson County Illinois shortly before 6 p.m. on Wednesday when he allegedly turned in front of a car. According to police reports, Hensley was killed instantly.

Hensley, who most in the public only knew by his disc jockey name The Mad Hatter, was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Hensley, who has spent the last several decades in Burlington and still was working as an account executive at KBUR 1490 AM / 99.3 FM,  was the featured personality on radio station KZEV-FM in Clear Lake in the late 1970s when he decided a tribute was in order to commemorate the deaths of rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.

In addition to spearheading the creation of the Buddy Holly Memorial Concert, he also helped found
three rock and roll FM stations: KZEV, now KLKK in Clear Lake/Mason City, KDWD in Burlington, now 93.5 KKMI, and a station in Minnesota.

Rob Sussman, news director of KBUR, called Hensley an inspiration and beloved co-worker.

“Hatter was a dear friend and coworker to all of us at Pritchard Broadcasting,” Sussman said. “He was larger than life and had the heart to match. Not a day went without Hatter telling us a wild story from his long and legendary career in broadcasting. We will miss him dearly. All of Burlington will miss him dearly.”