Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 15 Radio History

Robert Trout
➦In & TV newsman Robert Trout was born in rural North Carolina.  While with CBS before & after World War 2 Trout became known as the “Iron Man of Radio” for his incredible ability to ad lib, as well as his stamina, composure, and elocution.  He died Nov 14, 2000 at age 91.

➦In 1914...ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) was founded which ultimately led to nightmares in paperwork for radio board ops midway through the 20th Century!

➦In 1929...broadcaster/actor Art James was born in Dearborn Michigan. He hosted a series of TV game shows including Concentration, Say When, Pay Cards, Matches ‘N’ Mates, Catch Phrase and Blank Check. He died March 28 2004 at age 75.

➦In 1935...In Seattle, radio station KCPB became KIRO, as new owner Saul Haas increased the power to 500 watts on 650 kc.  Now with 50,000 watts at 710 kHz, and with sister stations on the FM and TV spectrums, the KIRO call letters are among the best known and most revered on the West Coast.

➦In 1957…Elvis Presley released "Elvis' Christmas Album," his fourth long-play disc for RCA Victor and the top-selling holiday album of all time with more than 9 million in sales. After hearing Presley's version of "White Christmas," Irving Berlin, the song's composer, called it a "profane parody of his cherished yuletide standard," and instructed his staff to phone radio stations across the U.S. demanding airplay of the song be discontinued. While most stations ignored Berlin's request, at least one disc jockey was fired for playing a song from the album, and most Canadian stations refused to air any part of the disc.

➦In 1960...While in Hamburg, The Beatles back Wally Eymond, the guitarist for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, on his version of George Gershwin's "Summertime." As Beatles drummer Pete Best is absent from the session, the band plays with Rory Storm's drummer, Ringo Starr. This is the first known recording of the group together, though the master is lost to history; two years later, the group would hire Ringo permanently.

➦In 1971...singer Rick Nelson was booed off the stage when he didn’t stick to all oldies at the seventh Annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival show at Madison Square Garden, New York. He tried to slip in some of his new material and the crowd did not approve. The negative reaction inspired Nelson to write his last top-40 entry, Garden Party, which, ironically, was his biggest hit in years.

Circa 1966
➦In 1975...the Music stopped on Pittsburgh's KQV 1410!  Whether they knew it as “14-K”, “14-KQV”, or “Groovy QV” many considered it was one of the great Top40 stations in the country. It was 40 years ago today that the music stopped in favor of an all-news format.

George Hart and Billy Soule did their final music show together. Taft executives were monitoring from Cincinnati, and the decision was made to pull the plug on the show –post haste– at 10:30 p.m. Their final song was “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” by Neil Diamond. Bob Harvey finished the night with “Those Were the Days My Friend” by Mary Hopkin.

For more on KQV: Click Here and Click Here.

➦In 1968...The former New Yardbirds, now known as Led Zeppelin, perform their first gig under that name at England's Surrey University.

➦In 1971...Rick Nelson (formerly Ricky) is invited to perform at the Seventh Annual Rock 'n' Roll Revival Show, an oldies concert held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Debuting some of his newer, country-rock material with his Stone Canyon Band, Nelson is booed by the audience; the experience so unnerves the former teen idol that he goes home and pens a song about the experience, puckishly entitled "Garden Party." Ironically, in 1972 it will become his first US Top Ten hit since 1963's "For You."

➦In 1973...The US Supreme Court upholds, by a 7-2 vote, the 1971 FCC directive that bans radio DJs from playing songs that glorify drugs.

➦In 1985...NYC WMCA 570 AM personality Ted Steele died. At one time, he also worked at KMPC 710 AM in Los Angeles.

Ted Steele's Bandstand first popularized music on television during the 1950s.

It is hosted by 40s bandleader and conductor, Ted Steele, who was also a mentor to famous singers in the likes of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

The show is a teen-oriented music program promoting young talents. One of the episodes features rock and roll legend Bill Haley singing his hit, Rock Around the Clock.

Ted Steele's Bandstand is the precursor of Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and shown on New York's WOR-TV (Channel 9).

In age 19, future WNEW-FM NYC personality Alison Steele married Steele,  who was twenty years her senior.

In 1967, Ted Steele took over Saturday night Monitor from Henry Morgan.  Click Here and listen on a Saturday night in November of that year. Features "Abe Weatherwise," a feature on Wilt Chamberlain & more.

➦In 1990...NRSC-3, recommendations for AM receiver specifications, was adopted

➦In 2001...Jay Stone NYC personality at WXLO, WNBC died in a car crash in Hawaii.  Stone was raised in Los Angeles and worked at radio stations across the country in the '70s and '80s before moving to Hawaii, where he most recently was morning show host for Oldies KGMZ 107.9 FM.

➦In 2012...NYC Radio personality Dick Shepard personality died at age 90.

Shepard is strongly associated with WNEW, he also had stints are WABC, WMGM and WPAT.

Better known to his legion of listeners on WNEW at different times in the 50s, 60s and 70s as Shepard Richard A.

He also worked at WABC Radio, before the Top 40 era, as an air personality in the late 50s and  during part of 1960, appeared as a commercial, on-camera announcer on some ABC Television game shows in the early 50s, and was a busy voice-over talent  during parts of his five decades in New York.  Shep also did air work at WMGM and WPAT.

Tampa Radio: Rich Fields Joins WRBQ-FM For PM Drive

Rich Fields
Beasley Broadcast Group has announced Rich Fields has been named as the new Afternoon Drive Host at WRBQ 104.7 FM Q105 in Tampa. He will begin his new position on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Fields most recently served as a Meteorologist at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. The broadcasting veteran has also worked at KCBS-FM (Los Angeles), WCOF (Tampa), KODJ (Los Angeles), WFJO (Tampa), KNX-FM (Los Angeles), WYUU (Tampa), WSUN (Tampa), K-EARTH 101 (Los Angeles) and WRBQ (Tampa).

He eventually went on to become Bob Barker’s announcer on The Price Is Right (TPIR) in 2004. Fields was awarded “Best Announcer of the Year” by the Game Show Hall of Fame in 2009 for his work on TPIR, where he spent nearly a decade.

In addition, Fields is the record holder for announcing the most network televised game shows in a single season (7 different shows total). Throughout his career, he has lent his voice to 9 different TV game shows including The Price is Right, Wheel Of Fortune, Family Feud, Press Your Luck, Let’s Make A Deal, Card Sharks, Match Game, Beat The Clock and the Florida Lottery’s Flamingo Fortune.

WRBQ 104.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area

“I’m extremely proud to welcome Rich to the Beasley family,” said Program Director Ted Cannarozzi. “Rich’s energy, both on and off the mic, is a perfect fit for Q105.”

“I grew up listening to Q105,” said Fields. “It’s the radio station that inspired me to get into broadcasting. To be able to return home to where it all started for me is a blessing. I thank Beasley Media Group for their confidence in me and for the opportunity to liven up Tampa Bay radio.”

Q105-FM’s Personality Dave “Flash” Morgan will move to weeknights beginning on Monday, October 16th.

NYTimes Issues Social Media Guidelines

Think before you tweet, New York Times reporters have been told by their editors — and lay off the partisan opinions about President Trump.

“If our journalists are perceived as biased or if they engage in editorializing on social media, that can undercut the credibility of the entire newsroom,” Executive Editor Dean Baquet told the staff in guidelines issued Friday.
To the newsroom: 
The New York Times has been a dominant force on social media for years. Our newsroom accounts have tens of millions of followers. Many of our journalists are influential voices on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. The voices of our readers, listeners and viewers inform and improve our reporting. 
We believe that to remain the world’s best news organization, we have to maintain a vibrant presence on social media. 
But we also need to make sure that we are engaging responsibly on social media, in line with the values of our newsroom. 
That’s why we’re issuing updated and expanded social media guidelines. 
The guidelines were developed in a collaborative way by Cliff Levy, Phil Corbett and Cynthia Collins, and are rooted in the very experiences of our journalists.
Please read them closely, and take them to heart.
— Dean Baquet, Executive Editor
The memo comes after Baquet said during a panel discussion about covering the Trump administration at George Washington University that his journalists need to be consistent in their writing platforms to social media.

“I feel pretty strongly that New York Times journalists should not be able to say anything on social media that they cannot say either in the pages or in any of the platforms of The New York Times,” Baquet said.

Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker advised: “It’s important to remember that tweets about President Trump by our reporters and editors are taken as a statement from The New York Times as an institution, even if posted by those who do not cover him.

“The White House doesn’t make a distinction,” Baker adds.

According to The NYPost, among the editors’ social media directives are:
  • No political endorsements
  • Be mindful of appearing to take sides on issues The Times seeks to cover objectively
  • Avoid making customer service complaints, so as not to invite special treatment as a Times staffer.
  • Always treat others with respect.

Big Name Guests Avoiding Megyn Kelly Today

Megyn Kelly
In addition to widespread criticism and sluggish ratings, Megyn Kelly is facing another impending crisis. After three weeks on TV, celebrities aren’t rushing to sit down with her.

A number of publicists who spoke to Variety expressed discomfort with the idea of booking their clients in the third hour of “Today,” which has now been retitled “Megyn Kelly Today.” These publicists, however, said they are still eager to take their talent to other blocs of the morning show. “I’m not booking anyone on her show,” says a high-powered publicist, with a roster of big names, who asked for anonymity due to her overall relationship with “Today.” “I literally haven’t pitched anyone even from right out the gate. The buzz that is out there is so bad.”

Another well-known publicist, who represents one of the celebrities who has appeared on Kelly’s show, wasn’t pleased with the interview. “I won’t plan to have others go on,” the publicist said. “None specifically have been offered or asked to, but it’ll be my preference not to.”

Over the summer, sources tell Variety that producers from Kelly’s show made a trip to Los Angeles to sell the big publicity firms on the new hour of “Today,” promising a lighter, more inspirational Kelly that viewers hadn’t seen before. However, according to an insider who attended one of the meetings, the team didn’t seem to have a clear direction of the show they were pitching. Kelly didn’t fit into a box like Ellen DeGeneres or Dr. Oz. And as a result, not too many celebrities jumped onboard.

Nelly Rape Accuser Won't Help Investigation

The attorney for the woman who accused rapper Nelly of rape last weekend in Auburn, Washington has asked the police to halt the criminal investigation.

According to USAToday, police spokesman Commander Steve Stocker said that Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was booked Saturday morning after being arrested at about 4:37 a.m. in his tour bus at a Walmart.

According to the jail's inmate database, he was arrested on suspicion of second-degree rape, indicating force was used, or the victim was incapable of consent due.

Through a letter from Attorney Karen Koehler on Friday, the accuser asked for the investigation to be halted.

“Today she is telling the Auburn Police Department and the King County Prosecutor’s Office to put a halt to the criminal investigation of Cornell Haynes, Jr. (aka “Nelly”). She will not testify further in a criminal proceeding against him.

“She never wanted notoriety. She never wanted a dime from that man," the statement added.

“She wants to go back to school and to graduate. And this she cannot do if she remains hidden in her room, crying her heart out.”

R.I.P.: Former Indy Radio GM Chris Wheat

Chris Wheat
UPDATED 10/16/17 4:30pm:  One of Indiana’s most recognizable names in the radio industry died late Thursday night.

Chris Wheat had been a general manager for over 30 years in the Indianapolis market as well as with radio groups in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Wheat, a radio executive for more than 40 years, was the general manager at Q95 from 1984 to 2006. The station, powered largely by the Bob & Tom Show, was the market’s top revenue generator through much of his stint.

In addition to WFBQ, Wheat also managed sports-talk station WNDE-AM 1260 and alternative rock station WOLT-FM 103.3 (formerly WRZX-FM) as market manager for Clear Channel Communications, which changed its name to iHeart Media in 2014.

After leaving Clear Channel, Wheat ran Entercom Communications' Norfolk, Virginia, radio cluster for about a year, but returned to Indianapolis in fall 2007 as general manager of Cumulus Media Inc.’s local operations, overseeing adult-hits station WJJK-FM 104.5 and country stalwart WFMS-FM 95.5.

In 2012, Wheat departed Cumulus and became general manager for the Saga Communications station cluster in Asheville, North Carolina. He retired in 2015.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati.

October 14 Radio History

➦In 1934..."Lux Radio Theater" premiered.

Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS Radio (1935-54), and NBC Radio (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.

Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934, on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922–24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show's fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors. Anthony appeared as Garrick from the premiere 1934 episode until June 30, 1935. Garrick was portrayed by Albert Hayes from July 29, 1935 to May 25, 1936, when the show moved to the West Coast.

Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.

Lux Radio Theatre strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie's stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.

➦In 1943...RCA (Radio Corporation of America) sold the NBC Blue Radio Network to Edward Noble for $8 million dollars. It was renamed ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.

Although RCA was identified as the creator of the network, NBC was actually owned 50% by RCA, 30% by General Electric, and 20% by Westinghouse. The network officially was launched at 8:00 Eastern time on the evening of Monday, November 15, 1926. "The most pretentious broadcasting program ever presented, featuring among others, world famed stars never before heard on the air, will mark the Introduction of the National Broadcasting Company to the public Monday night," the press noted, with "a four hour radio performance by noted stars of opera, stage and concert hall". Carl Schlagel of the Metropolitan Opera opened the inaugural broadcast, which also featured Will Rogers and Mary Garden.  The broadcast was made simultaneously on WEAF and WJZ. Some of NBC's programming was broadcast that evening on WEEI (Boston) WLIT (Philadelphia), WRC (Washington), WDAF (Kansas City), and WWJ (Detroit)., noted by the different background color. NBC Blue would utilize this logo until their 1943 sale.

On January 1, 1927, NBC formally divided the its programming along two networks. The two NBC networks did not have distinct identities or "formats." The NBC Red Network, with WEAF as its flagship station and a stronger line-up of affiliated stations, often carried the more popular, "big budget" sponsored programs. The Blue Network and WJZ carried with a somewhat smaller line-up of often lower powered stations sold program time to advertisers at a lower cost. It often carried newer, untried programs (which, if successful, often moved "up" to the Red Network), lower cost programs and un-sponsored or "sustaining" programs (which were often news, cultural and educational programs). In many cities in addition to New York, the two NBC affiliated stations (Red and Blue) were operated as duopolies, having the same owners and sharing the same staff and facilities.

Legend has it that the color designations originated from the color of the push-pins early engineers used to designate affiliates of WEAF (red pins) and WJZ (blue pins), or from the use of double-ended red and blue colored pencils. A similar two-part/two-color strategy appeared in the recording industry, dividing the market between classical and popular offerings.

On April 5, 1927 NBC reached the West Coast with the launching of the NBC Orange Network, which rebroadcast Red Network programming to the Pacific states and had as its flagship station KGO in San Francisco. NBC Red then extended its reach into the midwest by acquiring two 50,000 watt clear-channel signals, Cleveland station WTAM on October 16, 1930 and Chicago station WMAQ (coincidenally, a CBS Radio Network charter affiliate) by 1931. On October 18, 1931, Blue Network programming was introduced along the NBC Gold Network, which broadcast from San Francisco's KPO. In 1936 the Orange Network name was dropped and affiliate stations became part of the Red Network. The Gold Network adopted the Blue Network name.

In 1939 the FCC ordered RCA to divest itself of one of the two networks. RCA fought the divestiture order, but divided NBC into two companies in 1940 in case an appeal was lost.

The Blue network became the "NBC Blue Network, Inc." (now known as ABC) and the NBC Red became "NBC Red Network, Inc."

➦In 1971...Flashback with WCFL Music Survey..

➦In 1977... Bing Crosby suffered a fatal heart attack while playing golf at a course near Madrid, Spain. The 73-year-old Crosby  (with some 36 #1 records) had just completed a tour of England that included a sold-out engagement at the London Palladium.

During the "Golden Age of Radio", performers had to create their shows live, sometimes even redoing the program a second time for the west coast time zone. Crosby's radio career took a significant turn in 1945, when he clashed with NBC over his insistence that he be allowed to pre-record his radio shows. The live production of radio shows was also reinforced by the musicians' union and ASCAP, which wanted to ensure continued work for their members. In On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, historian John Dunning wrote about German engineers having developed a tape recorder with a near-professional broadcast quality standard:
[Crosby saw] an enormous advantage in prerecording his radio shows. The scheduling could now be done at the star's convenience. He could do four shows a week, if he chose, and then take a month off. But the networks and sponsors were adamantly opposed. The public wouldn't stand for 'canned' radio, the networks argued. There was something magic for listeners in the fact that what they were hearing was being performed and heard everywhere, at that precise instant. Some of the best moments in comedy came when a line was blown and the star had to rely on wit to rescue a bad situation. Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Phil Harris, and also Crosby were masters at this, and the networks weren't about to give it up easily.
Crosby's insistence eventually factored into the further development of magnetic tape sound recording and the radio industry's widespread adoption of it.  He used his clout, both professional and financial, to innovate new methods of reproducing audio of his performances. But NBC (and competitor CBS) were also insistent, refusing to air prerecorded radio programs. Crosby walked away from the network and stayed off the air for seven months, creating a legal battle with Kraft, his sponsor, that was settled out of court. Crosby returned to the air for the last 13 weeks of the 1945–1946 season.

➦In 1978...The Album Chart..The "Grease" Soundtrack returned to #1 on the album chart for the third time and 10th week total.  Boston's Don't Look Back was #2 with Foreigner's Double Vision and Who Are You by the Who trailing.

The rest of the Top 10:  Some Girls from the Rolling Stones, A Taste of Honey with their self-titled release, Nightwatch by Kenny Loggins, Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg moved from 10-8 with Twin Sons of Different Mothers, Donna Summer's Live and More entered the Top 10 and Linda Ronstadt moved from 30 to 10 in her second week with Living in the U.S.A.

➦In 1978...The Hot 100..Exile remained locked into the #1 position with their great song "Kiss You All Over".  Nick Gilder remained second with "Hot Child in the City" and A Taste of Honey's former #1 "Boogie Oogie Oogie" was still hanging around.  Little River Band was up with "Reminiscing" and Anne Murray edged up with "You Needed Me".

The rest an excellent Top 10:  "Whenever I Call You Friend" by Kenny Loggins, John Paul Young's "Love Is in the Air", Donna Summer had her 10th hit and fourth Top 10 with "MacArthur Park", Boston was on the way down with "Don't Look Back" and Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta had song #10--"Summer Nights".

➦In 2000..composer/broadcaster Zeke Manners passed away at the age of 89.

He composed “The Pennsylvania Polka” for the Andrews Sisters, and led the popular band “The Beverly Hillbillies.” which inspired the TV show of the same name.  Zeke had his own radio shows in the 1940′s & 50′s in Los Angeles & New York, and a 15 -minute network show in which his live keyboard playing blended seamlessly with recordings.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fox' Carlson: NBC News Chief Should Step Down

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday night called for NBC News president Noah Oppenheim to step down or "be fired" in the wake of the network's decision not to air Ronan Farrow's bombshell report containing explosive allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

"Noah Oppenheim ought to resign immediately, and if he doesn't, he ought to be fired immediately by NBC's parent company Comcast," Carlson said on his show, "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

"News executives are not allowed to tell lies. They're not allowed to participate in coverups. They ought to answer straight-forward questions straight forwardly. When they don't, you know they're corrupt, and that's exactly what NBC News is," the Fox host continued.

According to The Hill, Carlson's comments come a day after Oppenheim defended the network's past decision not to move forward with Farrow's story, which was published in The New Yorker earlier this week.

The New Yorker story detailed allegations from three women who accused Weinstein of rape, and came a week after The New York Times published a story detailing sexual harassment allegations against the veteran Hollywood producer stretching back decades.

The NBC News chief defended the network after Farrow told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that she'd "have to ask NBC and NBC executives" on why he decided to take his story to The New Yorker.

“I walked into the door at the New Yorker with an explosive reportable piece that should have been public earlier,” said Farrow, who used to have a show on MSNBC.

Farrow also suggested that the threat of lawsuits could have played a role in the network's decision not to run with the story.

New Yorker editor David Remnick told The Washington Post this week that Farrow "had a lot of material" when he approached the magazine about publishing the Weinstein story, and defended the journalist as "an honest person who has worked extremely hard."

Cord Cutting, Storms Lead AT&T Video Loses

AT&T Inc. fell the most in almost a year after saying it lost 90,000 video subscribers in the third quarter because of heavy competition and weather-related disruptions.

AT&T provides phone, TV and internet service in the Houston area, which was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey in August, and in parts of Florida, hit by Hurricane Irma not long after. Higher credit standards contributed to the subscriber loss, the company said Wednesday in a filing. Without the 300,000 customers who signed up for AT&T’s new online service, the subscriber loss would have been 390,000.

“No one should have expected AT&T’s video subscriber results to be good,” Craig Moffett, an analyst and founding partner of MoffettNathanson LLC told Bloomberg. “But we doubt anyone expected them to be this bad.”

Cable and satellite providers are battling a horde of new rivals, such as streaming provider Netflix Inc. Last month, Comcast Corp. forecast subscriber losses of as much as 150,000 for the third quarter, also citing the storms and heavier competition.

Bloomberg reports they’re also having to offer their own low-cost, low-margin online packages. AT&T itself has introduced DirecTV Now, an online, cable-like service that has increased to 791,000 subscribers. The growth suggests AT&T is gaining traction with the service after a slow start. Market leader Sling TV, owned by Dish Network Corp., had about 1.7 million subscribers as of July.

The shift to deliver TV over the internet by AT&T and its TV-network partners, such as Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, thus far hasn’t happened quickly enough to make up for losses of traditional video customers.

Damage to AT&T’s network from the storms, along with earthquakes in Mexico, reduced earnings by about 2 cents a share and sales by about $90 million in the quarter, the company said, without providing its full financial results. Analysts estimate the company will report earnings of 75 cents a share excluding items on sales of $40.2 billion.

Report: Crisis Mode For Pay-TV Companies

Investors in traditional TV providers are reeling as companies from AT&T Inc. to Viacom Inc. fail to stop the desertion of customers lured away by cheaper entertainment options such as Netflix and Snapchat, according to Bloomberg.

AT&T, whose ownership of the DirecTV satellite service makes it the biggest U.S. pay-television provider, reported a third-quarter loss of 390,000 satellite and cable customers Thursday, echoing a similar warning weeks earlier from Comcast Corp. Also, Viacom cautions that its distribution deal with Charter Communications Inc., the second-biggest cable U.S. company, may lead to a blackout, potentially testing whether millions of viewers are willing to go without MTV and Nickelodeon.

Shares of both companies retreated Thursday, contributing to a broader selloff in the sector. The S&P 500 Media Index, which includes Comcast and ESPN owner Walt Disney Co., slid 2.3 percent to the lowest level since December.

After decades of steadily increasing bills and ever-bigger packages of channels, the pay-TV ecosystem is in full-blown crisis mode. AT&T, Dish Network Inc. and others are offering cheaper, online-only versions of cable to lure customers back, but that means having to accept thinner profit margins.

Barring a major fourth-quarter comeback, 2017 is on course to be the worst year for conventional pay-TV subscriber losses in history, surpassing last year’s 1.7 million, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. That figure doesn’t include online services like DirecTV Now. Even including those digital plans, the five biggest TV providers are projected to have lost 469,000 customers in the third quarter.

NFL's Cratering Ratings Starting To Hit Fox

Declining football game television ratings will cut into Twenty-First Century Fox's earnings, according to one Wall Street firm.

CNBC reports Credit Suisse lowered its price target and earnings per share forecasts for the media company, citing Fox's poor Sunday NFL ratings.

"We trim our 2018/19 EPS forecasts … ahead of Q1 earnings," analyst Omar Sheikh wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "The key near term headwinds are soft NFL ratings and the risk that the Sky transaction is blocked by UK regulators."

Fox is seeking to acquire the 61 percent of European pay-TV company Sky it does not already own.

Sheikh maintained his outperform rating on Twenty-First Century Fox shares, but reduced his price target to $35 from $37. The new forecast represents 34 percent upside to Wednesday's close.

The analyst said Fox's Sunday NFL game TV ratings declined 7 percent year over year during the first five weeks of the season.

NFL's anthem protests may be starting to hit Fox's bottom line from CNBC.

"NFL ratings [are] weak so far," he wrote. "This was negatively impacted during the first 2 weeks by hurricane disruption, but is disappointing given the soft comps – if ratings do not improve materially, we see a potential headwind to domestic advertising revenues in Q2/Q3 '18.".

President Donald Trump has claimed on social media that NFL television ratings are declining due to the controversy over players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

Disney-ABC TV Begins Layoffs, Restructuring

Disney/ABC Television Group has begun laying off employees, part of a long-anticipated restructuring and reallocation of resources at the Walt Disney Company’s non-sports broadcast and cable television arm.

A source tells Variety that the company began notifying affected employees Thursday morning. The volume of employees impacted is said to be significantly lower than the 10% workforce cut that had been speculated when news broke of the layoff plan six weeks ago.

Cuts are impacting all the group’s entertainment units, including ABC Entertainment  ABC Studios, Disney Channel, DisneyXD, Disney Junior, and Freeform — but impact is expected to be minimal on production and programming. The majority of jobs being eliminated hail from non-content related or operational sectors.

The move is in part a cost-cutting measure, in part a reallocation of resources as the company shifts toward newer forms of content distribution and greater automation in some operational areas. The company is expected to be posting job opening for several new positions in the weeks ahead.

FCC's Rosenworcel Concerned Over Trib-Sinclair Deal

A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission raised questions Thursday about actions the agency has taken under its Republican leadership to facilitate the $3.9 Sinclair-Tribune merger of the nation’s two largest TV broadcasters,according to InsideSources.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says she has serious concerns about the transaction that would see Sinclair Broadcast Group, with its reputation for disseminating hard-right news packages to local stations across the U.S., take control of Tribune Media. The merger would let Sinclair control over 130 stations affiliated with the four biggest broadcast networks in the U.S. — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. The stations stretch across more than 100 markets, including 40 of the top 50 in places like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and political battleground states such as North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Jessica Rosenworcel
“I am concerned the commission is gearing up to approve a transaction that will hand a single broadcast company the unprecedented ability to reach more than 70 percent of American households,” Rosenworcel told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington Thursday. “It hasn’t happened yet. But there are disconcerting signs.”

According to Rosenworcel, those signs include FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to resurrect the ultra-high frequency (UHF) discount — an FCC loophole in Congress’s national broadcasting cap limiting any one company from reaching more than 39 percent of the national audience. The discount allows broadcasters to count only 50 percent of the audience reached by stations broadcasting in UHF, a format considered weak and unreliable when the discount was enacted in the 1980s. The evolution of digital TV technology has eliminated the technological difference, and the Obama administration closed the loophole last year.

Sinclair, the largest owner of broadcast stations in the country, hovered near the cap when rumors swirled in March it may buy Tribune, the second-largest broadcaster. The FCC reinstated the UHF discount a month later, lowering Sinclair’s audience reach on paper to 24 percent and setting the stage for it to buy Tribune. Two weeks later the deal was announced, and if approved, will take Sinclair from 173 stations to 215 and allow it to reach 72 percent of American households.

TWH Chief-of-Staff Astounded By Misreporting

White House chief of staff John Kelly attended the daily press briefing on Thursday, and over the course of 20 minutes of questions, the retired Marine general offered a master class in how to win friends and influence countries.

According to CNBC, Kelly openly disagreed with Republican lawmakers without insulting them, he chided the press for what he called "inaccurate" stories without alienating or singling out specific reporters, and he addressed a number of major foreign policy challenges without tearing up delicate alliances.

As Trump struggles to move beyond a series of seemingly self-inflicted political headaches, Kelly's performance at the lectern Thursday offered a different example of how Trump might approach U.S. allies, members of Congress and even the news media, and potentially advance his agenda.

Asked about Trump's recent tweets about border policy, in which the president claimed that Democrats "don't care about safety for U.S.A." Kelly began his answer by saying, "I believe that honest men and women can disagree on anything politically or otherwise.

"There are certainly people in our country that have the opinion that open borders or near-open borders are fine; people should be able to come and go. There are others, myself included -- you can bet the president -- but I think the majority of Americans, feel as though security on the borders is important. Now, how you achieve that is a different story."

Kelly also fielded questions about two of Trump's recent targets in Congress, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

But while Kelly clearly had no bone to pick with members of Congress on Thursday, there was one frustration he wanted White House reporters to know about.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: I don't think I'm being fired from CNBC.

"My only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read about things I allegedly said, or things that Mr. Trump allegedly said, or people who are going to be fired, or whatever you all think. And it's just not true."

But while Trump in recent days has repeatedly threatened to "revoke" the broadcasting licenses of news organizations, including NBC, and said it's "frankly disgusting, the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write," Kelly took a different tack.

"When I watch TV in the morning, it is astounding to me how much is misreported," Kelly told the reporters in the White House briefing room. "I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them. But I would just offer to you the advice: I would say maybe develop some better sources. Some person that works way down inside an office, or -- well, just develop some better sources," he said.

Bruno Mars Leads AMA Noms

The men of pop and hip hop led the nominations for the American Music Awards (AMA) on Thursday, while female artists were left out of most categories.

Bruno Mars led with eight nominations, including Artist of the Year, the top accolade of the night. He will face hip hop stars Drake and Kendrick Lamar, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and electro-pop DJ duo The Chainsmokers - each of whom landed five nominations - for the coveted award.

Reuters reports the women of pop music failed to land nominations in categories such as Artist of the Year, Video of the Year and Tour of the Year.

Pop star Halsey, one of the few female artists to land nominations for her collaboration with The Chainsmokers on the hit song “Closer,” tweeted on Thursday that she was “really disappointed” at the male-dominated nominees list.

Halsey landed two nominations, in the favorite pop/rock song and collaboration of the year categories for “Closer,” but did not land any solo nominations despite having had a chart-topping album earlier this year.

Notable omissions include Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lorde, Demi Lovato, Lana Del Rey and Kesha, all of whom released new songs and albums this year, as well as Taylor Swift, who released a high-concept video in August for her single “Look What You Made Me Do.”

The AMA nominees are selected through measurements on fan interactions across Billboard Magazine and, which include figures from music sales, touring, streaming and radio airplay and social activity from Sept. 9, 2016 to Sept. 14, 2017, organizers said.

The winners of the American Music Awards are voted for by fans and will be announced at a live ceremony televised on ABC on Nov. 19.

Rihanna was the only other female artist to land two nods. She will compete with Lady Gaga and newcomer Alessia Cara for favorite female pop/rock artist, and she will face Beyonce and Kehlani in the favorite female soul/R&B category.

Amazon Studios Price Suspended Following Alllegation

Amazon TV Studios chief Roy Price was put on an immediate leave of absence Thursday, the company said, following allegations that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress’s claim of a sexual assault by producer Harvey Weinstein.

Isa Hackett
The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday reported an allegation by Isa Hackett, a producer on one of Inc’s shows, that Price had lewdly propositioned her in 2015.

Amazon said in a statement: ”Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately. We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co.”

According to Reuters, Price’s removal creates uncertainty about the studio’s direction when Amazon is investing more on video content than ever before - some $4.5 billion this year.

The studio’s Chief Operating Officer Albert Cheng will step in as the interim chief, Amazon said.

Hackett is the daughter of famed science fiction author Philip K. Dick, whose book “The Man in the High Castle” served as the basis for Amazon’s eponymous show.

Fox Business Network Rides Politics To Ratings Success

The Fox Business Network , which celebrates its 10th anniversary next week, is touting robust Nielsen data showing it has won the business daytime slot  — from the time the stock market opens at 9:30 until 5 p.m. ET (an hour after its close) — beating CNBC over the past four quarters, according to a story at USAToday.

CNBC counters that it still wins across the 24-hour viewing period, the 6 a.m.-11 p.m. segment and the 8 p.m-11 p.m. period. And it also notes that Nielsen does not capture out-of-home viewers — the financial firms and Wall Street offices that play the CNBC through the business day.

CNBC may be seen in more offices, but there's no denying Fox Business Network is on the rise, says Chris Roush, professor of business journalism at the University of North Carolina.

That could be, in part, because FBN is drafting on the success of conservative-friendly Fox News. Fox Business mixes more politics into its coverage than does CNBC, Roush said. "Given that the world has become much more political, it's probably why its viewership has risen so much," he said. "The more you have stories around Trump, the better your ratings or readers."

Viewership of business networks may represent a slim slice of the overall TV viewing audience, but business news channels draw about $1 billion in annual revenue from advertising — this year an estimated $772 million for CNBC, $285 million for FBN, and $204 million for Bloomberg TV, according to Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

More than a decade after launching Fox News Channel, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes flipped the switch on the business news network. They bought into the idea of a network tackling business news differently, and the immediate financial crisis "reminded people there’s something bigger than stocks. There’s people’s homes," said 59-year-old Neil Cavuto, who migrated from CNBC in 1996. "We leapt at that and saw that for what it was and still do."

Fox Business aimed to dispense with much of the jargon that accompanied business news.  "I felt a network based on that approach of speaking English and reaching beyond ... touching the intersection of Washington and Wall Street would do well," Cavuto said. "I felt that we just had to make this about average folks."

L-A Radio: Eric Davis Expands Role at ESPNLA

Former NFL cornerback Eric Davis is expanding his role on KSPN ESPNLA 710AM to include a position with Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington starting today, Thursday, Oct. 12. The newly renamed Afternoons with Marcellus, Kelvin and E.D. will air weekdays from 3 – 7 p.m. PT.

In addition to his Afternoons with Marcellus, Kelvin and E.D. role, Davis will continue as co-host alongside Travis Rodgers and Kirk Morrison of the pre-game surrounding Los Angeles Rams broadcasts.

KSPN 710 AM (50 kw-D, 10 Kw-N DA-N)
Davis played 13 years in the NFL, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers out of Jacksonville State in 1990. He played for San Francisco, Carolina, Denver and finished his career in 2002 with Detroit. He is the all-time leader in consecutive NFL playoff games—five—with at least one interception.

After his NFL career, Davis worked as an analyst for the 49ers during the preseason on KPIX-TV and also analyzed the NFL on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Davis was also the co-host of The Drive with Tierney and Davis on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. From 2012-2013, Davis co-hosted NFL AM—a weekday morning show on NFL Network– and he currently works for FS1.

iHR Unveils Jingle Ball Tour Line-Ups

iHeartRadio’s annual “Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One” returns next month, starring a shifting lineup of hitmakers that in select cities includes Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, the Chainsmokers, Sam Smith, Fall Out Boy and more, and with stops in a dozen markets. The tour launches Nov. 28 in Dallas and ends Dec. 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

According to Variety, the Los Angeles date on Dec. 1 will be carried live on over 100 iHeartRadio CHR stations and as a live video stream on and The CW app beginning at 7:30 p.m. PST across all time zones. The event will also be featured as an exclusive nationwide broadcast television special on The CW Network on Thursday, December 14, at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

“The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour has become a staple of the holiday season and one of the year’s most anticipated events, with performances from today’s most influential artists,” said Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. “With this year’s lineup, the holiday concert event will once again bring the joy of the season to fans nationwide. Can’t imagine a better way to end the year!”

For the fifth consecutive year, 11 cities of the tour will partner with The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives. In addition, 106.1 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball in Dallas will work with the Kidd’s Kids program of the Kraddick Foundation, which aims to help families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions.

Nikki Sixx EXITS Radio Syndication

MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX:A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx will step down as host of and end his nationally syndicated Premiere Networks/iHeartRadio rock radio programs "Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx", "The Side Show Countdown With Nikki Sixx" and "The Side Show Classic With Nikki Sixx" at the end of this year.

His final broadcast will be December 31, 2017.

Launched at the beginning of 2010, his flagship radio program "Sixx Sense" quickly became the biggest syndicated rock show in America, distributed to more than a hundred and thirty stations nationwide and boasting nearly three million global weekly listeners.

Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks, stated: "When we first partnered with Nikki in 2010, we set out to create a unique program from the perspective of true rock star, and that's exactly what we did. We're proud of the work we did together to make 'Sixx Sense' one of the most widely syndicated rock radio programs in the country while establishing the ultimate platforms for rock music fans, as well as new and established artists. It's been a pleasure working with Nikki, and we wish him all the best."

"I grew up discovering music on the radio," explains Sixx. "So to host my own show over the nearly eight years of 'Sixx Sense' was beyond my wildest dreams. I could not have done it without my amazing team in the studio, or the guests, musicians, and listeners that brought the show to life. It's been an inspirational journey and I'll always be a fan of the medium, but it's time to shift gears outside the realm of solely radio. I'm in the process of developing new and unique programming and ventures across multiple platforms. But I'm really gonna miss 'Sixx Sense'."

Sixx is stepping down from his hosting duties to focus on myriad new endeavors in 2018, including his blossoming photography career, television endeavors and the Broadway adaptation of his New York Times bestselling memoir "The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rockstar".

He has also joined Canadian talent show "The Launch" where he will mentor unsigned talent alongside Boy George, Shania Twain, Fergie, Alessia Cara, Julia Michaels and Jennifer Nettles as an experts in crafting a hit song on the new six-part series.

'SNL' Ad Prices Soar

Ad prices for Saturday Night Live the venerable late-night NBC mainstay have soared over the past season, making the show as expensive a buy for Madison Avenue as some of TV’s top-rated primetime programs, according to estimates from media buyers as well as data from Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending.

According to Variety, a 30-second spot in the current season of “Saturday Night Live,” its 43rd, has sold in recent weeks for between $100,000 and $300,000, according to data from SMI. A person familiar with the matter says NBC has been seeking $230,000 for a 30-second ad in TV’s scatter market, when advertisers buy commercial time closer to air date. Meanwhile, the average cost of a 30-second ad in “SNL” during TV’s recent upfront sales season was $183,730, according to estimates from ad buyers.

To put those numbers in perspective, a package of ads in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” goes for more than $400,000 while a 30-second spot in ABC’s “Modern Family” costs more than $200,000.

The average cost of a 30-second ad in the show’s 2016-2017 season was $147,000, according to Standard Media Index. In the prior season, the average cost of a 30-second spot was $89,500, and the average cost of a half-minute commercial in the 2014-2015 season came to $92,500.

The show is enjoying a period of heightened ratings and relevance, thanks to its recent satire of the Trump administration, a rejuvenated “Weekend Update” segment and breakout performances by cast members like McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

October 13 Radio History

Cousin Brucie
➦In 1935...Bruce Morrow (born Bruce Meyerowitz) known to many listeners as Cousin Brucie was born.

Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer."

Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on powerhouse 77WABC. Morrow's returned to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the Baby Boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast at the onset of the British Invasion.

"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors like Thom McAn shoes, local clothing outlets in the New York and New Jersey areas, and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.

He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC 660 AM; after three years there, he left the airwaves to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of stations, which included WALL; WKGL, now WRRV, in Middletown, New York; WJJB, later WCZX, in Poughkeepsie, New York; WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts; WOCB in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts; WRAN (now dark) New Jersey 1510 in Randolph, New Jersey; and television station WATL Atlanta. The group later purchased WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1982, Morrow returned to the DJ role with New York's WCBS 101.1 FM. Initially, he filled in for Jack Spector every third Saturday evening for the Saturday Night Sock Hop program. Following Spector's resignation in 1985, Morrow took over the show and renamed it the Saturday Night Dance Party. The station also added his nationally syndicated show Cruisin' America. In 1986, he took on the Wednesday evening slot, where he hosted The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown. In 1991, the Wednesday show became The Yearbook, focusing on music from a year between 1955 and 1979. Cousin Brucie was also the "breakfast presenter" on Atlantic 252 from 1992 to 1996.

When Cruisin' America ended its run in December 1992, Morrow continued hosting a WCBS show called Cruising with the Cuz Monday evenings until the end of 1993. After that show ended, he hosted the Saturday night and Wednesday night shows there until the station's change to the adult hits format called Jack FM on June 3, 2005. Shortly thereafter, he signed a multi-year deal to host oldies programming and a weekly talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

➦In 1963...the term Beatlemania was coined, as The Beatles made their first major TV appearance from the London Palladium. The BBC had an audience of 15 million tuned in. Thousands of delirious fans jammed the streets outside the theatre to voice their support of the Fab Four. A few months later, Beatlemania would sweep the U.S. as well.

➦In 1965…The Who recorded "My Generation." In a later interview, Roger Daltrey said he stuttered the lyrics in an effort to fit them to the music. The BBC initially refused to allow radio airplay of the song because it did not want to offend people who stutter, but eventually reversed the decision. "My Generation" was named the 11th greatest song by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

➦In 1967...CBS radio canceled "House Party". Art Linkletter discusses his years in radio.

Sponsored by General Electric, the 25-minute House Party premiered on CBS Radio on January 15, 1945, and ran weekdays at 4 p.m., three days a week, through January 10, 1947. Following a break, it then ran weekdays at 3:30 p.m. from December 1, 1947 to December 31, 1948. It continued to be sponsored by General Electric even as it switched to ABC Radio, where it ran for 30 minutes in the same timeslot from January 3 to July 1, 1949. ABC then aired it as a 25-minute sustained-advertising program weekdays at noon from September 19 to December 30, 1949.

The show returned to CBS Radio only days later, making its longest continued run from January 2, 1950 to October 13, 1967 as a 30-minute show running weekdays at various times. Sponsors included Pillsbury from 1950 to 1952, and Lever Brothers from 1952 to 1956. During its first season, the soundtrack from the TV show was run immediately on radio following the telecast.

➦In 1971...Don McLean's 'American Pie' was released to radio.

➦In 1974...Ed Sullivan, television host of the popular show which bore his name, died from esophagal cancer at the age of 73 in New York City.  The show ran from June 20, 1948 to June 6, 1971 on CBS every Sunday night.

He introduced numerous acts to audiences and the show featuring the Beatles on February 9, 1964 is one of the milestones in popular culture, viewed by 73 million people.

➦In 1978...President Jimmy Carter answered caller questions on National Public Radio.

➦In 1979...The Hot 100..Michael Jackson had his first #1 in seven years and the second of his career with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".  Herb Alpert was a solid #2 with "Rise" while Robert John fell with "Sad Eyes" after just one week at the top.  The Commodores had a winner with "Sail On" and the former #1 smash "My Sharona" from the Knack was at #5.

The Rest of the Top 10:  Dionne Warwick's 42nd career hit was her first Top 10 in five years--"I'll Never Love This Way Again", M and "Pop Muzik" was #7, Donna Summer was up with "Dim All the Lights", Little River Band had song #9--"Lonesome Loser" and Earth, Wind & Fire closed out the list with "After the Love Has Gone".

➦In 1990...Because of the popularity of the movie Ghost which features the song, the Righteous Brothers went all the way to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Unchained Melody", 25 years after it first was a hit.

➦In newsman & first CBS TV anchor Douglas Edwards died of cancer at the age of 73.

➦In 1992...former CBS Morning News anchor Hughes Rudd, died of an aneurysm at age 71.

➦In 2010…Popular New York deejay from the pre-rock era, Jerry Marshall, who spent upwards of 30 years at WNEW, WMGM, WINS, WCBS and WNBC, died at age 91.   In 1948 he was the first radio host to play Nat King Cole’s soon-to-be #1 hit  ”Nature Boy.

➦In 2012…Radio talk show host (WOL, WRC) Bernie McCain, a Washington, DC broadcaster for all or part of six decades (1966-2011), died of renal failure at 75.

➦In 2013…Veteran radio host (WBBM and WCFL in Chicago, WMCA-New York, WISN-Milwaukee) Bob Sanders, half of the husband-and-wife broadcast duo Bob & Betty Sanders, died at the age of 89.