Monday, December 31, 2018

Chris Burrous Autopsy Performed

An autopsy has been completed on KTLA5 weekend anchor Chris Burrous, who was found unconscious in a Glendale motel room Thursday afternoon and later pronounced dead at a hospital, but a cause of death has not yet been determined, according to KCBS-TV.

“A cause of death was deferred pending further investigation,” Sarah Ardalani of the coroner’s office said Friday. It often takes several weeks to get the results of toxicology tests.

Saturday’s KTLA’s morning newscast marked the first weekend without Burrous and was dedicated to his memory as his tearful co-anchors shared clips and memories.

Early on, a representative of the Torrance Rose Float Association announced plans to include a remembrance of the veteran anchor on its float during the New Year’s Day parade, an event Burrous was scheduled to help cover.

Richard Stellar, a guest blogger for entertainment news website was among those who continue to post tributes, photos and other commemorations online.

“He would bond with people – returning military veterans, parents of ill children, immigrants,” Stellar wrote under the headline “Why I’ll Miss KTLA’s Citizen Journalist.” “His microphone, when angled in the direction of his subject, was like a bridge of tolerance and understanding.”

Police were contacted at 1:15 p.m. Thursday by a caller who said a man he was with at the Days Inn, 450 Pioneer Drive, had passed out and was possibly not breathing, according to Sgt. Dan Suttles of the Glendale Police Department.

A dispatcher gave the man instructions on how to perform CPR and he was attempting to administer emergency aid when firefighters arrived, Suttles said.

Glendale firefighters found Burrous, 43, inside the motel room, not breathing, Suttles said. They administered CPR and he was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The original call to police stated Burrous may have overdosed, but detectives will await the Los Angeles County coroner’s office final report for a determination of the cause of death, Suttles said.

Reporters To Cheer-In New Years In Times Square

Reporters will be the guests of honor at the New Year’s Eve party in New York’s Times Square on Monday, in what organizers said was a celebration of press freedom after an unusually deadly year for journalists at U.S. news outlets.

According to Reuters, two attacks in particular weighed on organizers as they discussed in autumn whom to give the honor of initiating the ceremonial ball drop just before midnight, according to Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance.

One was the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for the Washington Post and U.S. resident, inside a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. The other was the mass shooting in June in the newsroom of The Capital, a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, in which five employees were killed.

Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said the Times Square Alliance approached his group because of “the perception that the journalism and journalists in particular are under threat and their role is being questioned.”

Simon, who said he usually spends New Year’s Eve playing Scrabble with his wife in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, will be in the spotlight at the Times Square festivities, joining Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch the ball drop a minute before midnight.

Simon will be joined onstage by journalists from U-S and international news outlets, including NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC anchor Lester Holt, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, and Karen Attiah, global opinions editor at The Washington Post.

Snoop Dogg, Sting and Christina Aguilera will welcome 2019 in a packed Times Square Monday along with revelers from around the world who come to see the traditional crystal ball drop, fireworks and a blizzard of confetti.

According to the A-P, spectators are expected to start assembling in early afternoon for the made-for-TV extravaganza. As has been the case for years, the celebration will take place under tight security, with partygoers checked for weapons and then herded into pens, ringed by metal barricades, where they wait for the stroke of midnight.  Last year’s event was one of the coldest on record at 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Forecasters say Monday’s party will take place amid mild temperatures but possibly rain. Umbrellas are banned for security reasons.

Bloomberg Tracks Its 'Market Moving' News Stories

Bloomberg News has an unusual practice of paying some of its reporters explicitly for publishing "market-moving" stories, according to BusinessInsider.

This is one of many metrics that is factored into reporters' annual bonuses.

This practice is not widespread in the financial news industry, and journalists BI spoke to from other outlets were not aware that it is used at Bloomberg. BI also canvassed traders, bankers and public relations professionals. None of them had heard this before, either.

Most of the people BI spoke to, especially traders, were startled to hear about this practice, worrying that it might create an incentive for Bloomberg reporters to "push" or stretch stories with the specific aim of moving markets. Traders react instantly to headlines and news stories, and the decisions they make often make or lose significant amounts of money.

A former Bloomberg News employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to Business Insider that Bloomberg News does track market-moving stories reporters publish and that these types of stories do factor into reporters' bonuses.

Not surprisingly, given this compensation structure, the reporters at Bloomberg definitely care about moving the market.

"Anyone who moves the markets gets a bonus. Your team gets awards. If you don't move the market [it's] like there's something wrong with you. You don't get a full bonus."

Bloomberg News reporters get a compensation report each year, the former Bloomberg employee says. The bonuses are calculated based mostly on the reporter's team's performance as well as market moving stories. A percentage of the bonus is also based on personal performance, and it's all weighted.

TV Antennas Gaining Popularity

The TV antenna is a piece of 20th century technology that evokes memories of rabbit ears placed atop the mahogany cabinet of the old Zenith in your grandparents’ living room. But a growing number of consumers are turning to over-the-air digital antennas — a one-time investment of as little as $20 — as a way to slash their monthly video subscription costs.

The L-A Times reports research firms and electronics manufacturers say cord-cutting consumers have driven up TV antenna sales and usage in recent years. These “value-conscious streamers,” as they are known in the industry, are willing to cobble together a mosaic of video sources to replace the traditional pay TV bundle, which now costs an average of $107 a month, according to a recent study by the Leichtman Research Group.

This year, 8.1 million over-the-air TV antennas will be delivered to retailers in the U.S., up 2% from last year and 8% over 2016, according to the Consumer Technology Assn.

Nielsen estimates that 13.8% of U.S. homes depend on antennas to get their TV, up from 10.3% in 2014. Research firm GfK North America puts the number of over-the-air TV homes at 16.4 million.

The rapid acceleration of cord-cutting has put heavy pressure on the cable industry and media companies that own pay TV channels that depend on the steady revenue stream that subscribers provide. The number of consumers who’ve canceled traditional pay TV service is expected to climb 33% to nearly 25 million this year, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer.

Though worrisome for Hollywood, the trend has been a boon to antenna manufacturers like Channel Master. Although it does not disclose sale figures, the Chandler, Ariz.-based manufacturer has recently doubled the size of its facilities to meet demand for its products, said Joe Bingochea, the company’s president.

The market plummeted in the mid-1980s as consumers moved to cable and satellite to get better picture quality and then-new channels such as HBO, MTV and ESPN. This hurt Channel Master, which went through several ownership changes and a bankruptcy in the decades that followed.

But the brand name is still recognizable to older consumers, which prompted a group of private investors to acquire the company in 2012 and focus on the emerging cord-cutting market.

Computer Virus Stops The Presses

A computer virus hit newspaper printing plants in Los Angeles and at Tribune Publishing newspapers across the country, according to USAToday.

Tribune Publishing said a computer virus disrupted production of the Chicago Tribune and its other newspapers, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The print edition of the Chicago Tribune was published Saturday without paid death notices and classified ads, while in other markets a similarly slimmed-down version of the Saturday newspaper will be delivered on Sunday, the company said.

“This issue has affected the timeliness and in some cases the completeness of our printed newspapers. Our websites and mobile applications however, have not been impacted,” Tribune Publishing spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said in a statement.

Tribune Publishing also reported the attack to the FBI on Friday, the Chicago Tribune said.

The virus that hit Los Angeles prevented it from printing and delivering Saturday editions of the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and other papers to some subscribers.

The Los Angeles Times, which runs the facility, said the computer virus infected systems that are associated with the printing process.

Spokeswoman Hillary Manning said the paper has been working to fix the issues but added that Sunday deliveries may be affected as well.

Biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong bought both the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this year for $500 million.

D-C Radio: NBC Sports Launching Radio Gambling Show

Michael Jenkins and Tim Murray are hosts of a sports gambling show on NBC Sports Radio
NBC Sports is launching a daily national radio show focused on sports gambling, the latest media company to push forward on betting coverage as legalized wagering continues to expand.

The Washington Post reports “The Daily Line,” will debuts Jan. 2.

It will be broadcast out of NBC Washington’s studio in Bethesda and hosted by longtime local anchor Michael Jenkins, currently the host of “D.C. Sports Live” on NBC Sports Washington, and Tim Murray, a host for SB Nation Radio and the studio host for Navy football, who previously hosted and produced shows for WTEM The Team 980.

The new show will touch on the biggest daily sports topics but will focus on their gambling angles, from point spreads to line movements. The hosts will have oddsmakers and sharps as guests, and recap betting results — focusing on noteworthy winning and losing bets.

The show, which will be produced in conjunction with Westwood One, will air from 3-7 Eastern every weekday and will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Radio app, as well as a group of radio affiliates around the country. At some point next year, “The Daily Line” is expected to be simulcast on some of NBC’s sports networks.

In May, the Supreme Court overturned a decades-old law that limited most sports wagering to Nevada and states have since rushed to enact legislation. Earlier this month the D.C. Council voted to legalize sports gambling. In the fall, Rhode Island became the eighth state to accept sports wagers and a report found that nearly $600 million was wagered in New Jersey in the first four-plus months of legalized sports gambling. More states are expected to consider bills next year.

The Action Network was founded in 2017 to and recently hired sports business reporter Darren Rovell away from ESPN. The Vegas Sports & Information Network broadcasts live from a Las Vegas Casino every day, while Fox Sports 1 airs a 30 minute gambling show every afternoon.

Survey: 1 In 4 Adults Check Phone Less Than A Minute After Waking Up

How long do you wait after waking up before you pick up your smartphone and check your texts, notifications, or social media apps? Many Americans don’t even give themselves enough time to stretch. According to Study Finds, a new survey finds that nearly one in four people grab their phones less than a minute after getting up each morning.

Researchers say that, not surprisingly, millennials led the way when it came to smartphone obsession.

Thirty-one percent of the young adult segment said they check their devices almost immediately after waking, compared to just 9 percent of baby boomers. Men were also more likely to look at their phones before anything else, with 27 percent checking right away, compared to 20 percent of females.
The findings are part of RootMetrics’ Lifestyles of Mobile Consumers survey, which polled 1,200 adults across the U.S. to probe the impact of smartphones and other digital devices on the daily lives of consumers.

While 23 percent of survey participants overall check their phones in less than than 60 seconds after waking up, another 34 percent wait five to 10 minutes. Conversely, about six percent wait at least two hours.

“Smartphones play an integral role in our daily lives, meaning that consumers must ensure they have a network that supports their increasing mobile needs,” says Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics by IHS Markit. “Whether they mostly use their smartphones to share on social media, play mobile games or binge-watch Netflix, a fast and reliable mobile network is key to getting and staying connected. Luckily, the carriers in the U.S. are working hard to align with subscribers’ growing demands.”

As for other takeaways from the survey, researchers found that a third of smartphone users spend most of their time texting, while nearly a third (32 percent) use their devices mostly for social media. About one in 10 primarily listen to music or podcasts, and 11 percent watch streaming videos.

Interestingly, more than half of baby boomers (54 percent) say they spend the majority of their phone time texting, compared to just a quarter of millennials. Conversely, far more millennials (40 percent) use their phones to check social media than the older generation (19 percent).

The survey was conducted October 24, 2018 by Pollfish.

R.I.P.. James Eiseman, Rochester Radio's 'The Iceman'

James Eiseman
James Eiseman, known to Rochester, NY radio listeners of the 1980s as "The Iceman," has died. He was 61, according to The Democrat & Chronicle.

Eiseman hit the Rochester radio scene in January 1984 when he was hired to host a weekend show at WPXY (now Sports WHTK) 1280 AM following part-time gigs at WABC in New York, and as a producer and music director at WHDH in Boston.

He left the big cities because, as he told the Democrat and Chronicle in 1985, "I was at a dead end, spinning my wheels," and relocated to Rochester because his wife was from nearby Penfield.

Eiseman landed his weekend program at WPXY. In the fall of 1984, he was "The Iceman" hosting a 7 p.m.-to-midnight show Mondays through Fridays on WPXY's FM sister station, 98 PXY.

"I have a following of sorts," he said at the time. "They're nice folks, they call themselves the Icicles. I try to give them more than the basic 'card-reading jock.' I try to inject a little personality."

After his time in radio, Eiseman managed the hearing aid dispensary at Costco, a career his relatives said he found spiritually rewarding.

Facebook Apologizes For Banning Evangelist Franklin Graham

Facebook is apologizing to evangelist Franklin Graham for banning him from posting on the site for 24 hours last week, a Facebook spokesperson told The Charlotte Observer on Saturday.

It was a mistake to ban Graham over a 2016 post he made on the site, and a mistake to have taken down the post, the spokesperson said.

Facebook has restored the 2016 post and will apologize in a note to the administrator of Graham’s Facebook page, according to the Facebook spokesperson, who agreed to speak only on background, meaning without the spokesperson’s name.

A member of Facebook’s content review team -- the team has 15,000 members -- had mistakenly decided the post violated Facebook’s policy that bans “dehumanizing language” and excluding people based on sexual orientation, race and other factors, according to the spokesperson and Facebook’s written policy.

“Why?” Graham asked in a Facebook post on Friday after he said he was banned from posting anything on the site for 24 hours last week. “Because of a post from back in 2016 about North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (the bathroom bill). Facebook said the post went against their ‘community standards on hate speech.’ Facebook is trying to define truth.”

In his post, Graham said the social media giant is “making the rules and changing the rules. Truth is truth. God made the rules and His Word is truth. Actually, Facebook is censoring free speech. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.”

Graham’s 2016 post focused on singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen canceling a North Carolina concert because of House Bill 2.  “He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going ‘backwards instead of forwards,’” Graham said in his 2016 post, referring to Springsteen. “Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands.”

In March 2016, the General Assembly passed HB2, also known as the “bathroom bill.”

MTP Chuck Todd Denies Climate Deniers

NBC's Chuck Todd at the beginning of "Meet the Press" on Sunday said that his show is "not going to give time to climate deniers" before hosting an hourlong panel with lawmakers and experts about the consequences of climate change, according to The Hill.

"This morning, we’re going to do something that we don’t often get to do: dive in on one topic,” Todd said after showing video clips of dramatic weather incidents in the last year. He continued that climate change is “a literally earth-changing subject that doesn’t get talked about this thoroughly, at least on television news."

"Just as important as what we are going to do is what we’re not going to do," Todd said. "We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause, period."

"We’re not going to give time to climate deniers," Todd added. "The science is settled even if political opinion is not."

Todd on Sunday said that his show would not not "confuse weather with climate."

The climate panel included multiple scientists and experts, as well as potential presidential contender Michael Bloomberg, climate activist California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).

A federal report released last month concluded that climate change is poised to slash the U.S. economy and substantially diminish the day-to-day lives of all Americans if leaders do not confront the issue of climate change head-on. The report concluded that around 92 percent of climate change stems from human activity.

Compilation: Worst of CNN In 2018

The Daily Caller has compiled the most insane moments that happened on CNN airwaves in 2018.

Among the highlights:
  • CNN kicked off the year in style by having anchors Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon get wasted in a New Orleans bar on New Year’s Eve. Fellow reporter Randi Kaye, meanwhile, was in Colorado worrying about getting a “contact high” on a party bus filled with pot-smokers.
  • Viewers demanded an apology from the network in November after anchor Don Lemon called white men the “biggest terror threat” in the country and pondered why there isn’t a travel ban on white guys.
  • No one was safe from CNN’s divisive rhetoric about Trump supporters, not even superstar rapper Kanye West. He was maligned as a “token negro” and a panel of CNN guests laughed as they mocked his intellect and offered to “trade” him in the “racial draft.”
  • While that panel was free to lob insults at a celebrity who spoke openly about mental illness, guests not dare utter “the m-word” on CNN’s airwaves. Anchors Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon repeatedly chided guests who said that chasing people out of restaurants and trying to knock down the doors to the Supreme Court is “mob-like behavior.”

Remembering 2018: The People We Lost and Top Stories

From George and Barbara Bush to Sen. John McCain, Aretha Franklin and Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter to television evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, it was a horrible year for tearful goodbyes.

The mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school — which killed 17 students and staff, and sparked nationwide student-led marches for gun control — was the top news story of 2018, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors.

The No. 2 story was the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into whether Donald Trump’s election campaign coordinated with Russia. It was one of several major stories — in a year jam-packed with dramatic developments — in which the U.S. president played a role.

A year ago, the surge of #MeToo sexual misconduct allegations that toppled many powerful men was voted the top news story of 2017. The continuing momentum of #MeToo in 2018 was this year’s No. 3 story.

Here are 2018′s top five stories, in order:

1. Parkland school shooting: It happened on Valentine’s Day — an act of senseless hate by a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle who killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Previous mass shootings had prompted passionate calls for tighter gun-control laws, but this time was different. A group of student survivors at the school, soon joined by allies nationwide, launched the March for Our Lives movement that organized massive walkouts and peaceful protests at schools across the country. The movement remains active, and has helped energize the broader campaign for tougher gun laws.

2. Trump-Russia probe: Throughout 2018, Mueller’s team investigated whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia ahead of the 2016 election and whether the president obstructed the investigation. The evidence so far shows a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the campaign and transition period; some former Trump aides have been indicted for lying. In a separate case in New York, prosecutors say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush money payments to two women in a bid to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign.

3. MeToo: The #MeToo movement, which surfaced late in 2017, maintained its momentum throughout 2018 as many more powerful men were forced to account for past instances of sexual assault and misconduct. Once-revered comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison; so was Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics sports doctor convicted of molesting hundreds of young women. Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape. And Les Moonves was ousted as top executive at CBS after a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct.

4. Mass shootings: When a Marine combat veteran shot dead 12 people at a country music bar in California in November, it was a grim “Not again” moment for many Americans — the fifth mass shooting of the year in the U.S. that produced nationwide shock and sorrow. In May, two months after the Parkland shooting, eight students and two teachers were killed at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. In June, a gunman shot dead five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. And in October, 11 people were killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during Shabbat morning services.

5. U.S. midterm elections: With Donald Trump on the minds of many voters, Democrats managed to flip about 40 seats in the House of Representatives to seize control of that chamber from Republicans. Democrats also flipped several governorships around the country. But the GOP boosted its slim majority in the Senate and will have a 53-47 edge in the next session of Congress.

December 31 Radio History

➦In Dick Kollmar was born in Rigewood NJ.

He starred as Boston Blackie in the long-running radio show, and co-hosted a WOR New York chat show with his wife, gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen.  On TV he hosted the series Broadway Spotlight & Guess What.

He died Jan. 7 1971 from an overdose of pills, an apparent suicide at age 60.

➦In 1914...Roy Rogers’ sidekick Pat Brady was born in Toledo Ohio.

He appeared in more than 100 episodes of TV’s Roy Rogers Show, after hooking up with Roy in films & on radio.   He also sang with the western group Sons of the Pioneers.

He died in a motor vehicle accident Feb. 27 1972 at age 57.

➦In 1920...cowboy actor & narrator Rex Allen was born on a ranch in Arizona. Although he sang on radio’s WLS National Barn Dance, published over 300 songs, and starred in 19 Republic western movies, he is best remembered today for his distinctive narration of dozens of Disney films & TV shows.  He died Dec 17, 1999 just days short of his 79th birthday, after being accidently run over in his own driveway.

➦In 1923...In London, the BBC first aired the chimes of Big Ben.

➦In 1923...the first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice occurred between Pittsburgh and Manchester, England.

➦In station KOMO signed on the air in Seattle at AM 980.  Today the longtime Fisher Broadcasting outlet has an all-news format at AM 1000.

KOMO Control circa 1948 (Photos courtesy of

In July 1926, KOMO was founded on Harbor Island as KGFA 980 by two owners: Birt F. Fisher, whose lease on Seattle radio station KTCL was about to run out, and the Fisher brothers of Fisher Flouring Mills, who had been on the island since 1911. (The Fisher Brothers and Birt Fisher were not related.) In preparation for the switch to the new station, Birt Fisher changed KTCL's call sign to KOMO.

In December, his lease ended, and he took the call letters with him to KGFA. KOMO 980's first broadcast was December 31, 1926. The studios moved to Downtown Seattle in 1927. The station also began a long-running affiliation with NBC Radio that year as well, primarily with the Red Network, but also with the short-lived West Coast NBC Orange Network from 1931 to 1933. Over the following years, KOMO's frequency would go from 980 to 1080, back to 980, down to 920, up to 970, then back to 920, and settled at 950 after the NARBA frequency shakeup in 1941.

Circa 1948

Fisher's Blend Station, owner of KOMO, bought NBC Blue Network affiliate KJR from NBC in 1941. In 1944, KOMO switched frequencies with KJR (then at 1000 kHz) and sold KJR off two years later. At its new frequency, KOMO began broadcasting with 50,000 watts of power from its current transmitter site on Vashon Island in 1948. New studios at the corner of Fourth and Denny, near what is now the Seattle Center, were dedicated in February 1948.

➦In 1929...Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time during their first annual New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Roosevelt Grill in New York. The show was broadcast on the CBS Radio network and became the longest-running annual special program in radio history.

➦In 1940...ASCAP prevented the radio industry from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months. It was in reaction to a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers and Publishers.

➦In 1943...Country singer John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf. He died in a crash of an experimental plane he was piloting on Oct. 12, 1997 at 53.

➦In 1948...Disco diva Donna Summer was born. She died on May 17, 2012 at 63

➦In 1951...The "Wild Bill Hickok" TV series was replicated on radio following its success on television.

➦In 1961...for $300, LA radio station KFWB hired the Beach Boys, appearing under that name for the first time, to perform at their Ritchie Valen’s Memorial Dance in Long Beach.   Previously the group had played California nightclubs as The Pendletones, as Kenny and the Cadets, and as Carl and the Passions.

➦In 1963...the "Dear Abby Show" premiered on the CBS Radio network. It ran eleven years. On this day in 1966, "Pirate Radio 390" (Radio Invicata)an off-shore station near England, resumed broadcasting.

➦In 1967...Radio stations across the nation had to comply with an FCC mandate that AM/FM outlets in major cities had to air non-duplicated programming.  The limit was 50 percent for simulcasts. Here's a NY Times story dated December 31, 1966 concerning NYC stations...

➦In 1970...Paul McCartney sued the other members of the Beatles for a legal dissolution of their "partnership." On the same day, the British magazine Melody Maker announced that the Beatles were looking for a new bass player. Four years to the day later, the four of them came to terms and made the separation final.

➦In 1972...TV producer Dick Clark initiated a new holiday tradition with "Three Dog Night's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on NBC. The headliners, along with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy, and Al Green, appeared in performances that had been pre-taped in the Grand Ballroom of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. Clark himself did not appear on the initial program. In 1973, he began hosting the special, its name shortened to "New Year's Rockin' Eve." The show moved to ABC-TV in 1974.

➦In 1982...the "CBS Mystery Theater" aired its final episode after 8 years on radio.

➦In 1982...the NBC Radio network cancelled practically all of it's daily features.

➦In 1985...Singer/actor Ricky Nelson, his fiancĂ© Helen Blair, and five members of the Stone Canyon Band, died in the crash of his private DC-3 airplane (which was previously owned by Jerry Lee Lewis) near DeKalb, Texas, while en route to a concert appearance in Dallas. The pilot was attempting an emergency landing after a fire, caused by a malfunctioning gas heater, broke out on the plane.

Nelson was 45.

➦In 1989...the final edit was added to the annual WLS Music Montage.

Every New Year's Eve, the "Top 89" songs of the year were counted down on WLS-AM (and FM). After the #1 song was played at about 4 minutes before Midnight, the radio station wished listeners a Happy New Year!

Then...this wonderful montage was played. Each year added about a minute of the previous top songs in Chicago. The montage originally started short, as you can guess, and ultimately ended up as this 27+ minute marathon.

After WLS-AM changed to all-talk in 1989, this montage was no longer heard in Chicago. But thanks to Scott Childers, this "rebuild" version can be heard exactly as it was played every year. Kudos to Scott for putting this together!

This is an appreciation to the production work that Scott, Tommy Edwards (the originator) and the production staff created over the years.

Thanks to Scott Childers for the permission to post this. Check out his site at

➦In 2013...Veteran talk radio personality (WOR, WABC, WMCA in New York, KABC, KNX in Los Angeles, WBBM-Chicago, WWDB-Philadelphia) Bob Grant died at the age of 84.

Grant graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism. He began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM (AM) in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX (AM) in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War, he served in the Naval Reserve.

He later became sports director at KABC (AM) in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of early controversialist Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC (AM) in 1964 titled, "Open Line," "Night Line," and "Sunday Line."

Grant was approached to come to New York by executives at WMCA when WMCA was going to become a talk station. He was recommended to them by Jack Thayer, who had been the station manager of KLAC. Grant was opposed to the move, as he hated what he knew about New York i.e. the subways, crime, and congestion. He also had four children and a home in Los Angeles.

Grant was convinced to come to New York when an executive said to him at the end of a meeting, "It's just too bad that the number-one talk-show host in America doesn't want to come to the number-one market in America."  Grant came to New York and did his first show on WMCA on September 21, 1970, where he worked for station manager R. Peter Strauss.

 After being in New York for a short time, Grant wanted to go back to Los Angeles. He was contacted by the former news director at KLAC, who was now a program director at another station to join his station, but Grant declined, because he had signed a two-year contract with WMCA.  Grant's unhappiness being in New York led to him becoming angry with the callers. He hoped to get fired by R. Peter Strauss, however his ratings soared as he got angrier.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

December 30 Radio History

➦In 1911..actress Jeanette Nolan was born in Los Angeles.

She made her radio debut in 1932 in “Omar Khayyam”, the first transcontinental broadcast from station KHJ.  She was a regular on the cream of the west coast radio dramas, including “One Man’s Family,” “Escape,” “Suspense,” “Cavalcade of America,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Adventures of Sam Spade” and “The Whistler.” She appeared in more than 300 television shows, including episode roles in “Perry Mason”, “I Spy”, “MacGyver”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, and as a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” and “The Virginian”. She received four Emmy nominations.

Nolan died following a stroke June 5 1998 at age 86.

Bert Parks
➦In & TV host Bert Parks was born in Atlanta.  As well as the Miss America pageant, he hosted the  game shows Break the Bank & Stop the Music on radio & TV, and for television alone, The Big Payoff, Double or Nothing, Hold that Note, and Party Line.  He did a series of cameos on TV sitcoms (he was Herb Tarlek’s Dad on WKRP.)

Parks died of lung cancer Feb. 2 1992 at age 77.

➦In 1917...actress Nancy Coleman was born in Everett Washington.  She started in radio & the stage in New York, then was brought to Hollywood to make movies for Warner Bros.  In the 50’s she switched to guest spots in TV shows such as Tales of Tomorrow, Star Tonight & the Adams Chronicles, and became a regular on soaps Valiant Lady & Edge of Night.

Nancy died Jan. 18 2000 at age 82.

➦In 1936...The famous radio feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen began. After a 10-year-old performer finished a violin solo on "The Fred Allen Show," Allen said, "A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing." It didn't take long for Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted ten weeks on both comedian's radio shows, and gave them material they continued using over the next 20 years.

➦In 1942...the radio program, "Mr. and Mrs. North", began it's run on the NBC Radio network.

➦In 1942...Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a four-week engagement, but turned into eight weeks because of its popularity. Police were called to help curb the excitement among the screaming teenage girls known as bobbysoxers -- a phenomenon not seen before for a pop singer

➦In 1943...Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was born.

➦In 1945...Singer Davy Jones, "the cute one" on TV's The Monkees, was born. He died February 29, 2012 at 66.

➦In 1950...At the National Studios in New York City, the Dominoes, a group that included Billy Ward and Clyde McPhatter, recorded the sexually suggestive novelty song "Sixty Minute Man," with Bill Brown taking the lead vocal. In the spring of 1951, despite being banned by many U.S. radio stations, the record rose to #1 on the R&B charts, where it remained for 14 weeks.

➦In 1962...Radio/TV talker Sean Hannity was born.

➦In 2005...Longtime Seattle radio disc jockey (KOL, KJR) Lan Roberts died of lung cancer at 69.

Lan Roberts
During the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts was a high-profile presenter with KJR in Seattle. Like many of the local DJs of the time, he left KJR for rival top 40 station KOL in a late 60s talent raid and returned to KJR in the early 70s.   He was known primarily for comedic skits and gags, working the coveted morning drive shift from 6:00am until 10:00am on weekdays. Lan Roberts was a master of voices and surrounded the top 40 hits of KJR with odd characters with names like Phil Dirt and The Hollywood Reporter. Roberts would carry on spirited conversations between his regular on-air voice and the characters. The Hollywood Reporter (no other name was given) would always begin a report on celebrity gossip in a lisping, snide, mocking voice "This is The Hollywood Reporter," and then continue with a totally bogus report. His career also included spells in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Taipei and San Francisco.

Later in life, Roberts returned to live in his old home town and worked as a radio consultant. He gained a new following by sharing his Liberal political views on his website. In the last ten years of his life he suffered from lung cancer, and urged visitors to his site not to smoke.  In addition, he used his internet presence to chastize the corporate mentality and lack of creativity in the modern broadcast industry.

➦In 2014...Scotty Rhodarmer did his last show on WWNC 570 AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Rhodarmer did the morning show for 50 years beginning in 1954.

R.I.P.: KTLA L-A News Anchor Chris Burrous Dead

Chris Burrous
UPDATED 4:00 AM 12/29/18: Chris Burrous, an anchor on KTLA 5’s “Morning News,” died Thursday after Glendale police found him unresponsive in a motel room. He was 43, according to The L-A Times.

Police were called to a room at the Days Inn about 1:15 p.m. Thursday, where they found Burrous not breathing, the Glendale Police Department said. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died.

Detectives are investigating the incident and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials will determine a cause of death.

In a statement, Don Corsini, president and general manager of KTLA, and Jason Ball, the station’s news director, remembered the anchor as a “great journalist and a wonderful friend to many.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burrous family. Chris loved sharing the stories of Southern California and connecting with our viewers,” the statement said. “He brought a kindness to his work and will be deeply missed by the entire KTLA family.”

Burrous was found unresponsive at a Glendale Days Inn on Thursday afternoon after a man he was with called police to report that he was passed out and possibly not breathing, Glendale police Sgt. Dan Suttles said in a news briefing.

First responders found Burrous inside a room suffering from a medical emergency — and the other man, who Suttles said “appears to be a friend,” was already administering aid, the station reported.

The man stayed at the scene and “quite honestly did a good job of trying to render aid,” he added.

The friend had indicated Burrous had possibly overdosed.

During his time at KTLA, he helped extend its Morning News segment to seven days a week, anchoring weekends and covering breaking news on weekday mornings. He also highlighted Southern California’s best hole-in-the-wall eateries in his weekend Burrous’ Bites segments.

Burrous helped lead coverage on the region’s devastating wildfires, as well as the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, the station said.

He was married to Mai Do Burrous, a fellow journalist, and the couple shares a 9-year-old daughter, Isabella.

Burrous had been a regular on KTLA’s air since 2011, according to Variety. He was co-anchor of the weekend edition of “KTLA Morning News” and also served as a news correspondent for other KTLA telecasts. Burrous was recently part of the KTLA team that covered the state’s devastating wildfires last month and the mass shooting at Thousand Oaks’ Borderline Bar & Grill.

Burrous was also known for his “Burrous Bites” segment spotlighting local eateries, and for his “Made in California” series of reports on local businesses.

Burrous came to Tribune Media’s KTLA after serving as an anchor for Tribune’s WPIX-TV New York. He began his broadcasting career while attending Chapman University in Orange County. He worked for radio stations in San Bernardino and San Jose before seguing to TV as an evening anchor on KEVN-TV, the Fox affiliate in Rapid City, South Dakota.

From South Dakota Burrous returned to California in 1999 as an anchor for KGET-TV in Bakersfield and later worked for KGPE-TV in Fresno. He then spent six years in the Golden State’s capital as anchor for KMAX-TV’s “Good Day Sacramento.”

R.I.P.: Bob Shields, Former Radio-TV Sportscaster In Columbia SC

After an 18-month battle with cancer, longtime WLTX-TV19, Columbia, SC anchor and sports broadcaster Bob Shields has died.  He was 59-years-of-age.

Shields served as WLTX’s sports director for 30 years covering high school sports, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and more. One of his enduring contributions was founding the high school Player of the Week series, a series that is still running today, according to a previous article from The State.

“Bob is one of the most loved people who have worked here at WLTX. Not just here, but in the community,” WLTX general manager and president Rich O’Dell told The State last week after Shields was placed in hospice care. “He would do shows. He would bring in marching bands and players. It really was the thing to watch.”

Shields retired from WLTX in 2010 to spend more time with his family, he told reporters at the time. After leaving WLTX, he worked in a career management firm, Life Careers. Later, he became the director of Caughman-Harman Funeral Home.

For a number of years Shields was also a co-host of “The Early Game” on WNTK 107.5 The Game.

Shields was often regarded as one of the Midlands’ premier sports authorities. He won the South Carolina Broadcasting Association’s award for Sportscaster of the Year three years in a row, from 1995 to 1997, according to a 2010 news release from WLTX.

R.I.P.: Rod Kittleman, KADI Springfield MO Radio Broadcaster

Springfield, MO radio broadcaster Rod Kittleman, 58, passed away at a Springfield hospital Friday

He was 58-years-of-age, according to KY3 News.

Kittleman, who was a 40-year broadcast veteran, hosted the morning show on KADI,99.5 FM a contemporary Christian radio station.

His daughter, Shannon Kittleman-Aguirre, said that he had been in intensive care for the last several days and that he had suffered several strokes.

Kittleman was dedicated to his job. Back in June, KY3's Joe Hickman did a news report on Kittleman for hosting his radio show from his room at Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, where he was recovering from a leg amputation.

99.5 FM KADI posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

R.I.P.: Norman Gimbel, Award-Winning Lyricist, Dead At 91

Norman Gimbel (November 16, 1927 – December 19, 2018)
Norman Gimbel, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist, has died at the age of 91, his family has announced.

Gimbel's work included Killing Me Softly with his Song - recorded by Roberta Flack (Grammy for Song of the Year in 1973) the Fugees and others - and the theme to TV series Happy Days.

He also wrote the English lyrics to the Brazilian bossa nova melody, The Girl from Ipanema.

Gimbel and writing partner Charles Fox also collaborated on Croce's "I Got a Name," released the day after the singer's death in a plane crash Sept. 20, 1973. The song served as the theme to The Last American Hero (1973), starring Jeff Bridges.

"I've always felt that lyric was among the very best from Norman's pen," Fox wrote in his 2010 biography, Killing Me Softly: My Life in Music. He noted that he and Gimbel had written more than 150 songs together over 30 years.

"Norman's lyrics have extraordinary beauty and sensitivity and understanding of the human condition," Fox wrote. "There's never a waste or [an] excessive word."

Gimbel died on 19 December at his home in Montecito, California, his son Tony Gimbel told The Hollywood Reporter.

Norman Gimbel was born in Brooklyn and began his career with music publishers David Blum and Edwin H Morris. His early successes included the lyrics to Andy Williams's 1956 hit single Canadian Sunset.

He was best known for his work in film and television, writing the songs for popular shows such as Laverne & Shirley, Wonder Woman and HR Puffnstuff.

Gimbel formed a long-term collaboration with composer Charles Fox and the two of them won a Grammy Award in 1973 for Killing Me Softly.

He and composer David Shire shared an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1979 for It Goes Like It Goes, which was sung by Jennifer Warnes in the film Norma Rae.

In 1984 Gimbel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Steel City Media Files Re-Organization Plan

Steel City Media has filed a plan of reorganization in Federal Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis to exit chapter 11. The plan which is consensual among the company and its significant financial creditors, calls for Steel City to exit bankruptcy with a new balance sheet and with the Frischling family retaining equity control of the company.

Steel City VP Michael Frischling stated, “In an environment where equity in radio companies is being wiped out, we are gratified that we have reached a consensual agreement with our creditors that enables us to maintain equity and operational control that sets the stage for future growth and profitability. We look forward to emerging from Chapter 11 early next year and we want to thank our employees and advertisers for their continued support.”

A Form 315 filing made Dec. 28 indicates that WPNT Media Subsidiary LLC is reforming as WPNT Inc.  and  the Kansas City-based licensee controlled by the sons of Saul Frischling — MGTF Media Company is also being changed.  This new entity will see family patriarch Saul Frischling‘s voting interest and percentage of assets drop. Taking the remaining ownership interest in both entities is 54th Street Equity Holdings, a unit of New York-based Business Development Corporation of America.

WPNT Inc. is comprised of A/C WLTJ Q92.9 and Adults Hits WRRK 96.9 FM 96.9, offering Adult Hits as “BOB.”

MGTF is comprised of CHR/Pop KMXV 93.3 FM, A/C KCKC 102.1 FM, Country KFKF 94.1 FM New Hit Country KBEQ 104.3 FM.

This will also put all of Steel City’s collective debt in the hands of 54th Street.

Now, it is on track to exit Chapter 11 in early 2019.

Cleveland Plain Dealer Announces Lay-Offs

Cleveland Plain Dealer editor George Rodrigue has announced that the paper will lay off nearly half of its unionized workforce in early 2019 as it transitions to a “centralized production hub.”

According to, the announcement came only days after the Plain Dealer News Guild presented a counter proposal to the outsourcing plan that Advance Publications reportedly began to explore in October. Bargaining has been ongoing this month.

Rodrigue sent a letter to local news editors and published it on Dec. 27 before employees themselves learned that their jobs would soon be gone. He has characterized the decision as an effort to preserve quality local coverage while creating efficiencies.

Most of the employees and local observers, however, view the decision as a continuation of Advance’s union-busting efforts, which began with the strategic schism of the print (union, Plain Dealer) and digital (non-union, newsrooms.

The PD’s union was the nation’s first news guild (Local 1) and at its height represented more than 700 reporters and editors in the region. The few who remain work under a contract that expires in February, at which point all signs point to the union's final dismantling. In social media posts, the Guild has explicitly characterized the recent decision as "union busting."

The logistics of the move to a centralized production hub remain unclear, but the 29 editors and designers who assemble the paper before it’s printed — selecting stories for the print edition, writing headlines, creating graphics — will ostensibly be “outsourced” to a hub which performs similar functions for a number of papers.

Rodrigue said this centralization concept has been industry tested and proven to be effective, but local journalists have strenuously disputed the notion that an overburdened national staff, working from generic templates, can produce the same level of quality that local editors and designers can. They also question the meaning of “local editorial control,” which Rodrigue insisted the PD would retain.

December 29 Radio History

➦In 1891...Thomas A. Edison patented "transmission of signals electrically" (radio).

Wendell Niles, Marilyn Monroe 1952
➦In of the prominent announcers of bigtime radio & early TV Wendell Niles was born in Twin Valley Minnesota.

On radio he worked on The Bob Hope Show, Adventures of Philip Marlowe & The Man Called X, among many others.  He teamed with Steve Allen & June Foray on a mid-40’s Mutual quarter-hour ‘Smile Time’.  His TV credits include Truth or Consequences, Let’s Make a Deal, Colgate Comedy Hour & It Could Be You.

He died March 28 1994 at age 89.

➦In 1945...Sheb Wooley recorded four songs for Bullet Records at the studios of WSM Radio, the first commercial recordings made in Nashville.

➦In 1945...The mystery voice of "Mr. Hush" was introduced to the audience of the radio show, "Truth or Consequences", which was hosted by Ralph Edwards.

Ralph Edwards
Born in Merino, Colorado,  Edwards worked for KROW Radio in Oakland, California while he was still in high school.  Before graduating from high school in 1931, he worked his way through college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1935. While there, he worked at every job from janitor to producer at Oakland's KTAB, now KSFO. Failing to get a job as a high school teacher, he worked at KFRC and then hitchhiked across the country to New York, where, he said, "I ate ten-cent ($2 as of 2014),  meals and slept on park benches".

After some part-time announcing jobs, he got his big break in 1938 with a full-time job for the Columbia Broadcasting System on WABC (now WCBS), where he worked with two other young announcers who would become broadcasting fixtures - Mel Allen and Andre Baruch.

It was Edwards who introduced Major Bowes every week on the Original Amateur Hour and Fred Allen on Town Hall Tonight. Edwards perfected a chuckling delivery, sounding as though he was in the midst of telling a very funny story. This "laugh in the voice" technique served him well when 20th Century Fox hired him to narrate the coming-attractions trailers for Laurel and Hardy movies. He later used the conspiratorial chuckle frequently when surprising someone on his programs.

In 1940, Edwards created the game show Truth or Consequences, which aired for 38 years on radio and television. Contestants were asked to perform (often ridiculous) stunts for prizes of cash or merchandise.

➦In 1958...the first radio broadcast from space occurred when the voice of President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men Everywhere".

➦In 1963...WMCA 570 AM first station in New York to Play “I Want to Hold Your Hand " at 12:50 PM.  Across town, 77 WABC plays the song an hour later.

Throughout the 1960s, WMCA would continue to beat other radio stations on most Beatles' promotions, scoring firsts, causing headaches in particular for rival WABC - most notably when Capitol Records printed a photograph of the "Good Guys" line-up - on the back of a limited edition record sleeve for the single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Side 2: "I Saw Her Standing There"). WMCA's Good Guys were also featured at both of the Beatles' concerts at Shea Stadium, on August 15, 1965 and on August 23, 1966.

WMCA Good Guys: Johnny Dark, Joe O'Brien, Jack Spector, B. Mitchel Reed. Harry Harrison
➦WABC responded in different ways, scoring a success during the Beatles' second New York visit in August 1964 - when the band stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, rousing thousands of teenage fans into a frenzy - while broadcasting from one floor above the Beatles' rooms.  WABC later went against its own music policies, promising promoter Sid Bernstein that it would play a new group he was handling before any other New York City radio station - if it could get exclusive access to the Beatles. WABC never added records "out of the box" - but it did for Sid Bernstein when it played The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Going To Eat Out My Heart Anymore" - before other radio stations.

Since WABC knew WMCA already had a relationship with the Beatles, with tapes of the group promoting the station - what could WABC do to achieve the same? In August 1965, WABC came up with what it thought was a brilliant idea - issuing "medals" called "The Order of the All-Americans" - tied to its own DJs.  The strategy was to present the medals to each of the Beatles the next time they were in New York. Everything was set. The goal was to get each Beatle to comment on the "medal" - and then to get each to say the station's call letters, "W-A-B-C." These in turn could be used in station IDs and promotions, etc. - thus matching WMCA's success at getting the Beatles to promote WMCA and its Good Guys. But WABC's plan backfired. The station got its interviews, but none of the band's members would utter WABC's call letters. According to Beatles' historian Bruce Spizer, manager Brian Epstein ordered the Beatles to stop "giving away valuable promotional spots to radio stations for free."

➦In 1980...the Mutual Broadcasting Service cancelled the "Sears Radio Theater" program.

➦In 1985...Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator hosted a special program called the "Citizens’ Summit" via satellite Television.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Upon Further Review, Nielsen Recalls December 2018 PPMs

The first two days of December 2018 PPMs issued Wednesday and Thursday are going to be re-issued by NielsenAudio and the release of markets scheduled for today and Monday are being delayed.

Nielsen told clients there is an issue centering data processing issue for  Week Four, which also impacts the December 2018 PPMs.  They did not elaborate on the concerns.

Nielsen offered no timeline on the reissuing of 24 markets already released this week.  Also, no guidance has been released concerning the rest of the PPMs markets scheduled for December 2018 data.

Following are the markets where December Week 4 and Monthly ratings data will be reissued:

Delivered Wednesday December 26th: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston-Galveston, Los Angeles, Middlesex Somerset-Union, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), New York, Philadelphia, Riverside San Bernadino, San Francisco, San Jose

Delivered Thursday December 27th: Baltimore, Boston, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Miami-Ft Lauderdale Hollywood, Minneapolis-St Paul, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle-Tacoma, St. Louis, Tampa St. Petersburg Clearwater, Washington DC

And here are the markets where December Week 4 and Monthly ratings data have been postponed:

Scheduled to deliver today, December 28th: Austin, Charlotte-Gastonia Rock Hill, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus OH, Greensboro-Winston Salem High Point, Hartford-New Britain-Middletown, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Memphis, Milwaukee-Racine, Nashville, Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Orlando, Pittsburgh PA, Portland OR, Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City Ogden-Provo, San Antonio, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

Day 2: December 2018 PPMs Released for 12 Markets

ADVISORY: The first two days of December 2018 PPMs issued Wednesday and Thursday are going to be re-issued by NielsenAudio and the release of markets scheduled for today and Monday are being delayed.

Nielsen told clients there is an issue centering data processing issue for  Week Four, which also impacts the December 2018 PPMs.  They did not elaborate on the concerns.

Nielsen offered no timeline on the reissuing of 24 markets already released this week.  Also, no guidance has been released concerning the rest of the PPMs markets scheduled for December 2018 data.

Earlier Posting....

Nielsen on Thursday 12/27/18 released the second batch of  December 2018 PPMs results.  The markets released include:

   7  Washington DC

  10  Boston


  11  Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood FL

  12  Seattle-Tacoma

  13  Detroit 

  14  Phoenix

  15  Minneapolis-St. Paul

  16  San Diego

  18  Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater

  19  Denver-Boulder

  21  Baltimore

  24  St. Louis, MD

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