Saturday, March 31, 2018

April 1 Radio History

➦In 1932...Actor Gordon Jump, WKRP in Cincinnati's Arthur Carlson, was born. He died Sept. 22, 2003 at 71.

➦In 1935...the first radio tube to be made of metal was produced in Schenectady, New York.

➦In 1936...a future superstar of “Boss Radio” The Real Don Steele was born in Hollywood as Donald Steele Revert.

Steele graduated from Hollywood High School, served in the United States Air Force and then studied at a local radio school, the Don Martin School of Broadcasting, where he also taught for a short time. Shortly thereafter, Steele began his radio career working outside of L.A. at a small station, KBUC in Corona, CA then moving on to KEPR Kennewick, KIMA Yakima and KXLY Spokane, all in Washington; KOIL Omaha, Nebraska; KISN Portland, Oregon, and KEWB San Francisco before returning to Los Angeles to help kick off what would become one of the most influential radio stations in the country, 93/KHJ, Boss Radio, in April 1965.

A poll seeking the top 10 disc jockeys in Los Angeles from 1957 to 1997 rated Steele second (behind Gary Owens) among the 232 personalities nominated.

Steele died of lung cancer on August 5, 1997, at the age of 61.

➦In 1951…"Paul Harvey News and Comment" debuted on the ABC Radio Network, where it continued until his death Feb. 28, 2009 at 90-years-of-age.

In 1956...Chet Huntley began his career with NBC News. Years earlier Huntley began his radio career at Seattle’s KIRO AM, later working  at stations in Spokane and Portland, before landing a job at LA’s KFI in 1937. He moved to CBS Radio from 1939–51, then ABC Radio from 1951-55. After NBC successfully teamed him with David Brinkley for 1956 election coverage the duo became coanchors of the nightly Huntley-Brinkley Report. Huntley (in New York) and Brinkley (in Washington) closed each broadcast with the trademark, “Good night Chet. Good night David. And good night from NBC News.”

➦In 1958...WMCA debuts Top40 format. Among its deejay staff were future legends Scott Muni, Frankie Crocker, Harry Harrison and Murray "the K" Kaufman.

In the 1960s, WMCA's great competition was with rival WABC. Despite WMCA's superior ratings performance and its historic link to the Beatles, some radio historians have treated WMCA as a 1960s radio stepchild–the proverbial David going up against the Goliath that was corporate-owned, stronger-signaled WABC.

For four consecutive years (1963 through 1966) WMCA had the highest ratings share of all radio stations in New York City, according to Arbitron–in spite of its directional, 5,000-watt signal which geographically reached about one-third of the audience ratings area of non-directional, 50,000-watt WABC. WMCA's ratings strength was concentrated within New York City itself, along with the suburban areas immediately north and east. However, WABC proved more popular in outlying areas where WMCA's signal didn't come in as well on standard 1960s-era AM radio receivers. The areas where WMCA did not have a strong signal were southwest, west, and northwest of its transmitter in Kearny, New Jersey. By 1967 and 1968, WMCA still demonstrated a strong showing in total audience surveys, and as late as February 1969, Pulse ratings surveys showed that WMCA continued to best WABC in New York City.

➦In 1966...The radio comedy serial Chickenman debuted during the Jim Runyon Show on Top40 WCFL 1000 AM. (Exact start date is unknown, but the first episodes aired during Spring '66.)

Dick Orkin conceived and wrote the Chickenman radio series.  Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1933, Orkin was 16 when he began his radio career as a fill-in announcer at WKOK 1070 AM  in Sunbury.

After college he attended the Yale School of Drama, then returned to Pennsylvania to become the news director at WLAN 1390 Lancaster in 1959. Later he joined the staff of KYW 1200 AM in Cleveland.

In 1967 Orkin moved to WCFL and created Chickenman, which chronicled the exploits of a crime-fighting “white-winged warrior” and his secret identity as mildmannered shoe salesman Benton Harbor. Chickenman’s 250-plus episodes have been syndicated around the world and can still be heard on Internet radio, making it the longest-running radio serial of all time. At WCFL Orkin also produced more than 300 episodes of another popular serial, The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy.

Inspired by the commercial parodies on Stan Freberg and Bob & Ray’s radio shows, Orkin created the Famous Radio Ranch in 1973 to produce his own comedic radio spots. Stationed in California since ’78, the Radio Ranch, currently helmed by Orkin and his daughter Lisa, has produced hundreds of memorable ads for a variety of clients, ranging from Time magazine to First American Bank to the Gap, and garnered more than 200 awards in the process.  Dick Orkin was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.

Orkin died December 24, 2017 at age 84.

Here are two espisodes to enjoy.

➦In 1970…U.S. President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, that required a stronger health warning on cigarette packages, and banned cigarette advertisements on radio and television, to be effective on January 1, 1971.

➦In 1971...In anticipation of April Fool's Day, Super CFL Chicago published a special edition of its music survey.  If you're of a certain age, you'll appreciate the humor.

➦In 1974...WWDJ switched from Top40 to religious.

WJRZ 970 AM had been sold to Pacific and Southern Broadcasting (which merged with Combined Communications Corporation in 1974) on January 6, 1971.  The call letters were changed on May 16 of that year to WWDJ (known on the air as "97-DJ"), and the station attempted to take on WABC and replace WMCA as the New York market's second Top 40 outlet.

The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the Five Boroughs and was virtually nonexistent on Long Island and western New Jersey. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WEPN-FM), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings. In November 1973 it was ranked 15th in the Arbitron ratings.

By 1974, the station was losing money and unable to sell enough advertising, and the studios had been moved to the transmitter site. As a result, WWDJ dropped the top 40 format on April 1, 1974, and switched to a religious format. Because the change took place on April Fool's Day, many listeners thought the switch was some sort of joke. Initially, WWDJ sold two-thirds of its daily airtime to outside ministries and played traditional Christian music the rest of the time, with the exception of a few hours on Saturdays devoted to a then-new genre, contemporary Christian music. Prior to Combined Communications' merger into the Gannett Company in 1979, WWDJ was sold to Communicom Corporation of America in April 1978.

Today 970 is owned by Salem Media and airs talk programming as WNYM.

➦From 1986...FLASHBACK to the April 4 Edition of Radio&Records

Fall '85 Arbitron Ratings

➦In 1988
...the man who played the Radio character, "Fibber McGee", Jim Jordan, died at age 91.

''Fibber McGee and Molly'' was on the air on the NBC radio network from 1935 to 1957. For seven years, it was the top-rated show in the country. Among the show's familiar routines was McGee's overstuffed closet, the contents of which tumbled out on him whenever he opened the door.

The McGees' home at, Wistful Vista, became a place on the American cultural road map, and Molly's gentle rejoinder to her husband - ''Tain't funny, McGee'' - became a national catch phrase.

➦In 1996...the Howard Stern Radio program debuted on WBCN-FM, Boston, Massachusetts.

➦In 2007…Radio play-by-play baseball broadcaster Herb Carneal, voice of the Minnesota Twins for 44 years after four years with the Baltimore Orioles, died of congestive heart failure at age 83. In the 1960s, he also called NFL football games for NBC and the Minnesota Vikings.

San Diego Radio: Report...Kevin Klein Debuts Monday On KEGY

KEGY's Kevin Klein
Two days after his new show was scheduled to debut, new KEGY 97.3 FM Morning host Kevin Klein remains off the air.

The controversial DJ had been hired to host a morning show on 97.3 The Machine, which is transitioning into a new talk format and the radio home of the Padres baseball team.

But Klein seems to have thrown his job and the Padres contract into question after he posted a tweet earlier in the week that caused furious backlash online.

The tweet, sent out by a Twitter account known as “Kevin Klein LIVE," was a photo of the Coronado Bridge with the text “JUMP*....*to a new morning show.”

“Mental illness and suicide are not joking matters,” said San Diego Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler.

Klein later apologized but his show has yet to debut. An operator who answered a call at 97.3 said the show is now scheduled to air on Monday.

But sources tell 10News the Padres are now demanding that 97.3 change their programming to “family friendly” content. Padres management is reportedly waiting for a plan from Entercom, the owner of 97.3, that should be presented next week.

“I think it’s very complex,” said Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, a long-time figure in San Diego sports broadcasting.

“It’s very complex for that radio station to say, ‘we’re going to blow this up before we ever launched and rethink it.’ I think it's very hard for the Padres to exit and go find a business partner.”

'Roseanne' Ratings Swell to 21.9M

Three days removed from its blockbuster premiere, ABC said on Friday that it would bring back the revived sitcom for another season, reports The NYTimes.

After “Roseanne” drew 18.2 million viewers and a mighty 5.1 rating among adults under 50 on Tuesday, a renewal was all but inevitable. Roseanne Barr, the show’s co-creator and star, had previously said she wanted to do another season.

And when networks find something that works these days, they are quick to lock it down. NBC renewed its reboot of “Will & Grace” to a second season before the show premiered in September. This month, it renewed the old sitcom for a third go-round, keeping the show alive until 2020.

“Will & Grace” drew more than 10 million viewers in its return in September. “Roseanne” has been something else altogether.

With one day of delayed viewing factored in, the audience for the “Roseanne” premiere is now up to 21.9 million viewers. Among adults under 50, the rating went up 22 percent, to a 6.2 rating. Those numbers will continue to creep upward as more people catch up on their DVRs or through on-demand viewing.

The current “Roseanne” season, technically the show’s 10th, comprises nine episodes, seven of which have yet to air. The next season of “Roseanne,” which will be shown as part of ABC’s 2018-19 lineup, is currently planned at 13 episodes.

Laura Ingraham: Time For A Few Days Off

Fox News Channel show host Laura Ingraham announced on her show late Friday that she is taking next week off, after almost a dozen advertisers dropped her show after the conservative pundit mocked a teenage survivor of the Florida school massacre on Twitter.

According to Reuters, eleven companies so far have pulled their ads after a pushback by Parkland student David Hogg, 17, who called for a boycott of her advertisers.

Hogg took aim at the host’s show, “Ingraham Angle”, after she taunted him on Twitter on Wednesday, accusing him of whining about being rejected by four colleges to which he had applied.

Hogg is a survivor of the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Parkland suburb of Fort Lauderdale. He and other classmates have become the faces of a new youth-led movement calling for tighter restrictions on firearms.

Hogg tweeted a list of a dozen companies that advertise on “The Ingraham Angle” and urged his supporters to demand that they cancel their ads.

On Thursday, Ingraham tweeted an apology “in the spirit of Holy Week,” saying she was sorry for any hurt or upset she had caused Hogg or any of the “brave victims” of Parkland.

But her apology did not stop companies from departing. Hogg wrote on Twitter that an apology just to mollify advertisers was insufficient.

The companies announcing that they are cancelling their ads are: Nutrish, the pet food line created by celebrity chef Rachael Ray, travel website TripAdvisor Inc, online home furnishings seller Wayfair Inc (W.N), the world’s largest packaged food company, Nestle SA, online streaming service Hulu, travel website Expedia Group Inc and online personal shopping service Stitch Fix.

According to CBS News, four other companies joined the list Friday: the home office supply store Office Depot, the dieting company Jenny Craig, the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort and Johnson & Johnson which produces pharmaceuticals as well as consumer products such as Band-Aids, Neutrogena beauty products and Tylenol.

Many of the advertisers are making arrangements with Fox to air their commercials in other time periods.

Thursday’s “Ingraham Angle” drew 2.152 million total viewers, with 432,000 of them coming from the key 25-54 demographic. That’s down from her prior night’s haul, when the Fox News Channel personality averaged 2.289 million total viewers at 10 p.m., with 474,000 qualifying for the demo.

That Wednesday to Thursday demo drop comes out to minus 9 percent. In terms of overall audience members, Ingraham’s night-to-night decline rounds to minus 6 percent.

Since it started in October 2017, “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News Channel has pulled in $75.3 million in national TV advertising, according to MediaPost citing figures from

The top five advertisers during that time, according to, include: Xarelto, $3.0 million (39 airings of its commercials); Symbicort, $2.2 million (42 airings); My Pillow, $1.8 million (153 airings); Wayfair, $1.4 million (54 airings); and Otelza, $1.3 million (33 airings).

The next five are: Liberty Mutual, $1.2 million (136 airings of its commercials); Hulu, $1.2 million (86 airings); GEICO, $1.1 million (125 airings); Honda, $1.0 million (44 airings); and Nutrisystem, $964,000, (36 airings).

CNN Host To David Hogg: 'What Dumbass Colleges Don't Want You'

CNN host Alisyn Camerota expressed surprise during a Friday interview that any colleges turned down David Hogg, the Parkland, Fla., high school student who has become a major figure in the nation's gun violence debate.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized to Hogg and lost advertisers after she mocked him on Twitter for being rejected by four colleges.

“I am stunned that four colleges rejected you,” Camerota said on Friday. “What kind of dumbass colleges don’t want you? You have taken the country by storm. How do you explain this? Did they reject you before the Parkland massacre?”

Hogg said that his rejection letters came after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But he said he wasn’t worried about it because “you can still change the world” regardless of what colleges accept you.

Asked if he is still planning on going to college in September, Hogg said he might take a year off to hit the campaign trail working for candidates.

Boston Radio: News Anchor Rod Fritz OUT At iHM's N/T WBZ

Rod Fritz
Longtime WBZ 1030 AM news anchor Rod Fritz has exited the building.  And it wasn't his choice.

Fritz was told Thursday his conteact wasn;t being renwaed by iHeartMedia, which is going through the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

The station sent a memo to employees letting them know Fritz was done.

“Rod Fritz is moving on and will no longer anchor here at WBZ,” read the memo from WBZ New Radio’s Jon MacLean. “We thank Rod for his years of service and wish him all the best.”

Fritz started at WBZ in 2007 and oreviously spent 10-years aas News Director at WRKO 680 AM, now also a iHM property.

He's also a former Fox News radio anchor.

Opinion: CNN Has Lost Its Way

by Jeff McCall

This is an excerpt from an opinion article McCall wrote for The Hill. McCall (@Prof_McCall) is a professor of communication at DePauw University.

Even with the occasional ratings bump created by frenzied coverage of President Trump's adulterous romps, CNN struggles to find an audience.

Anderson Cooper normally gathers just over a million viewers per night for his two-hour prime time show. That’s almost a half million viewers fewer than disgraced anchor Brian Williams can generate for his 11 p.m. newscast on location from Siberia on MSNBC.

CNN wants to be “the most trusted name in news,” and likes to suggest it is on the objective, high road compared to more partisan competitors at MSNBC and Fox News Channel. News consumers who are political moderates or right-leaning, however, have a hard time buying that promotional line.

CNN President Jeff Zucker blasted FNC recently at a journalism conference in New York, calling his cable nemesis “a pure propaganda machine.” FNC’s prime time programming is no doubt opinion driven and broadly defends the White House, but Zucker’s ratings envy rant overlooks solid journalism being done at FNC by anchor/reporters such as Bret Baier, Shannon Bream, Shepherd Smith and others. Zucker would make better use of his time focusing on the content of his own channel.

CNN’s new strategy to boost its lagging prime time is to slot ratings-challenged morning show host Chris Cuomo to take over the 9 p.m. hour of Cooper’s current two-hour show. Once that switch is made, CNN will have back-to-back evening anchors representing elite, east coast, powerful families. Yet, CNN will still wonder why working class viewers and people in the heartland can’t relate to its on-air talent.

It is hard to imagine that Cuomo can lure viewers who just want real news, given the anti-administration tone he has generated during his morning show. And let’s face it, the real Trump haters will be watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC at 9 p.m. Thus, CNN builds its own case for the old adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

R.I.P.: Pioneering MN Broadcaster Herb Hoppe

Herb Hoppe
Longtime central Minnesota radio station owner Herbert Hoppe, known for constructing the only directional AM quadplex radio tower field in the U.S., has died.

Hoppe died Wednesday at the age of 83.

Herb’s pursuits of wireless communication began with his education at DeVry Technical School in Chicago and then his career as a TV repair man.  Herb founded Tri-County Broadcasting in Sauk Rapids, MN. The first of the five radio stations which comprise Tri-County today, AM 800 WVAL, was launched in August of 1963. Herb named the station after his wife Val. WVAL would be the first “Country and Western” station in Central Minnesota, bringing upstarts like Dolly Parton to the stage of Sauk Rapids High School.

Herb Hoppe continued to guide Tri-County Broadcasting for the next 55 years, adding FM 101.7 WHMH in 1979 and eventually adding 3 additional radio stations into the first in the US, AM directional quadplex radio tower field.

In 2004 Tri-County Broadcasting also launched the nation’s first satellite-networked NCAA D3 Sports Network, supporting and promoting St. John’s University athletics.

As other local broadcast owners sold out during the consolidation of radio, Herb remained independent. He relied on his farm-raised work ethic, the unwavering support of his wife and the next Hoppe generation, and his belief in the craft of local radio.

Cedar Rapids Radio: Station Owner 'Buzzed' Not Legally Drunk in Fatal

Rob Norton
A crash report obtained by KCRG-TV9 confirms Rob Norton, the driver in a wrong-way crash on I-380 that killed two people had a blood alcohol level of .06.

Cedar Rapids police this week said it may never know what caused Rob Norton, 69 of Iowa City, to drive the wrong-way on I-380 this past January. Norton drove south in the northbound lanes for about 3 miles before crashing into another car. Jennifer Koenighain, 28 of Cedar Rapids, was driving home from a yoga class in that other car. Norton and Koenighain died in that crash.

Rob Norton Jr. was the owner and CEO of KZIA, inc. in Cedar Rapids, which operates KZIA Z102.9 FM, Sports KGYM ESPN Radio and ROB 102.9 FM-HD2. Norton also founded KRNA radio before selling it in 1998.

Police this week could only say Norton had alcohol in his system but that he was not legally drunk. The details of his autopsy report are confidential records. Because Norton was not legally drunk along with other unknown factors, police say they cannot know for sure why Norton was driving the wrong-way on I-380 for so long.

Experts tell KCRG-TV9 even though .06 is below the legal limit for drunk driving, it is still dangerous to drive at the level and could lead to an arrest or worse.

Trooper Bob Conrad with Iowa State Patrol says, "We obviously use the law and the .08 but if things are so dramatic that you can't drive a car, just because you're barely under the legal limit doesn't mean you can go home scot-free.”

His best advice for ‘buzzed drivers,’ don’t drive.

March 31 Radio History

Arthur Godfrey
➦In 1903...legendary broadcaster Arthur Godfrey was born in New York City.

From the late 40’s into the 1970’s Godfrey was a unique force in daytime radio, at his peak occupying three hours of CBS network time daily. (90 minutes simulcast on CBS TV.)  He also hosted TV’s Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, plus another weekly TV variety show. He espoused & successfully pioneered the concept of talking to just one listener, which was particularly effective in his commercial delivery.

He died of emphysema March 16 1983, just two weeks short of his 80th birthday.

➦In Les Damon was born in Providence, Rhode Island.

He is best remembered for his nearly 30 years performing on radio; for his roles as Nick Charles on The Adventures of the Thin Man from 1941-1943 and again from 1946-1947, and as Michael Waring on The Falcon from 1950-1953.  He had lead roles in the daytime dramas Lone Journey and Portia Faces Life, and in the fine CBS police series 21st Precinct.  In television he garnered recurring roles on such soap operas as The Guiding Light, As The World Turns, Kitty Foyle, and The Edge of Night.

He died after a massive heart attack July 21st 1962 at the young age of 54.

Henry Morgan
➦In 1915...comedian/broadcaster Henry Morgan was born Henry Lerner Von Ost, Jr. in New York City.

He started in radio as a page, until he was offered his own 15 minute nightly show on WOR-Mutual.  His familiar opening, “Hello anybody, here’s Morgan” was his answer to big radio star Kate Smith, who opened “Hello everybody.”  Part of his then-novel satirical schtick was to insult his sponsors. He got a weekly half-hour on ABC Radio with a professional cast & a studio audience, but the sponsor insults kept him from achieving greater commercial success.  When TV arrived he became the resident curmudgeon on the I’ve Got a Secret panel.

He died May 19 1994 at age 79.

Earle C. Anthony
➦In 1922...KFI-AM, Los Angeles, California, began broadcasting.

In 1922 Earle C. Anthony was the founder and owner of what eventually became 50,000 watt KFI- AM 640 radio, a station he controlled until his death in 1961.

From 1929 to 1944, he also owned KECA-AM 790, now KABC. The E.C.A. in KECA stood, of course, for Earle C. Anthony.

He was an early president of the National Association of Broadcasters and, during his term, oversaw the establishment of the organization's first paid staff.

He was also a founder of one of the earliest television stations in Los Angeles, KFI-TV, channel 9, and KFI-FM, both of which were disposed of in 1951.

The original KFI station used a 50-watt transmitter and was made out of a crank telephone. Early on, Anthony operated the station from his garage, and later from atop his Packard automobile dealership. In its early days, it was typically on the air for only four and a half hours a day.

This is the original KFI 50 kW transmitter, an RCA 50B. Installed in 1931, it served as the main until a Continental 317B was installed in 1959. 

From the time of its inception in 1926, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) operated two networks, the Red Network and the Blue Network. The Red Network carried the commercial programs, while the Blue Network carried the sustaining ones (those without commercial sponsors). The red and blue designations came from the colors of the U.S. flag.

Being an NBC affiliate, Anthony operated two radio stations to carry both networks. KFI-AM, 640 kHz, carried the Red Network, and KECA-AM, 790 kHz, carried the Blue.

KFI helped to keep the calm during the dark days of World War II by airing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats." Later, it carried "Monitor (NBC Radio)," the network's very successful weekend radio service.

As a side note to KFI's participation in World War II, there is a bullet hole in the ceiling of the transmitter building, located in La Mirada, California, where a National Guardsman accidentally discharged his rifle on December 10, 1941, three days following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The bullet hole is still there to this day, preserved as a monument to KFI's wartime service.

The "FI" segment of its call sign was an abbreviation of "farmer's information." Every winter evening between 1924 and 1956, KFI would deliver a frost report at 8 pm that would tell citrus farmers whether to turn on wind machines or light "smudge pots" to keep their orange and lemon groves from freezing. The frost warnings moved to 7 pm until the late 1970s when they were removed from the schedule.

After the end of radio’s golden age, KFI-AM moved toward a full-service format of music, sports and local news.  Cox Broadcasting purchased the station in 1973.

It moved KFI into a Top 40 format in the mid 1970s. That playlist softened in the early 1980s as KFI moved toward a more adult contemporary format.

By the mid 1980s, KFI had slipped in the ratings.  By 1988, KFI dropped music and focused on issue-oriented talk radio.  Chancellor Media acquired the station in 1999.  Clear Channel Communications assumed control in 2000. KFI continues to broadcast a news/talk format.

➦In 1925...WOWO-AM, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, began broadcasting.

Established in 1925, WOWO began broadcasting at 500 watts of power on 1320 kHz on March 31, 1925 and was owned by Chester Keen of Main Auto Supply Company; the station was originally located upstairs of the Main Auto. The station's callsign was chosen to start with the letter "W" as required by the FCC for all stations in the United States at the time.

During the 1920s, the FCC permitted either three- or four-letter callsigns, with three-letter call signs being preferred for brevity. By choosing WOWO for easy pronunciation as a two-syllable word, in some measure WOWO had a call sign that exhibited even more brevity than even the three-letter callsigns.

Despite this, disk jockeys on WOWO were prohibited from calling the station "woe-woe" on the air until the late 1960s, when a contest was introduced to identify songs in which the "woe" sound appeared. The WOWO callsign was later backfilled as a tongue-in-cheek acronym: "Wayne Offers Wonderful Opportunities". In 1927, WOWO was made a pioneer station of CBS radio network and remained a CBS affiliate until 1956.

In 1928, Keen sold WOWO to Fred Zieg. In 1929, Zieg received FCC approval to move WOWO to 1190 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts and establish WGL on WOWO's former 1320 kHz. Until WOWO's purchase by Westinghouse Broadcasting in 1936, Zieg managed the advertising sales of both WOWO and WGL through WOWO-WGL Sales Service, Inc.

On July 4, 1929, the station's studio building caught fire. No casualties were reported, and operations were moved to a nearby location.

During August 1936, WOWO was acquired by Westinghouse Broadcasting as its first owned and operated radio station. Westinghouse built new studios for WOWO at 925 South Harrison Street in Fort Wayne, which were completed on May 1, 1937. On that same date WOWO joined the NBC Blue radio network, while maintaining its CBS network affiliation, as multiple network affiliations were common for NBC-Blue affiliates. On March 29, 1941 Westinghouse completed the FCC licensing of WOWO's famous clear-channel broadcasting on 1190 kHz. During and after World War II, these clear-channel broadcasts made WOWO a popular radio super-station of sorts throughout the eastern United States.  WOWO's clear-channel license and resulting large audience permitted various owners over the years to consider WOWO their flagship station.

On April 30, 1952, WOWO's studio and offices were relocated to the upper floors of 128 West Washington Blvd. It was here that the station began its famous "fire-escape" weather forecasts, involving obtaining weather conditions from the fire escape ledge. In 1977, WOWO's studios moved to the fourth floor of the Central Building at 203 West Wayne Street in Fort Wayne, where it would remain for the next fifteen years. When the station relocated to the Central Building, the old fire escape was cut into small pieces, encapsulated in lucite and distributed as a promotional paper weight.

Programming for the station changed several times. After dropping its network affiliations in 1956, the station played modern (for the time) music. During its heyday, WOWO was one of North America's most listened-to Top 40 music stations. WOWO continued playing the hits until 1988, when the station resumed playing oldies. In 1992 the format changed to adult contemporary, and then in 1996, the station switched to a news-talk format which remains to this day.

From 1941 to 1995 WOWO was well-known, in both Indiana and areas to the east, as one of the clear-channel AM stations. This was due to the station broadcasting continuously at 50,000 watts of power both during daylight and nighttime hours. From sunset to sunrise, WOWO's directional antenna was configured to protect only KEX, Portland, Oregon. The nighttime broadcasts were branded as WOWO's Nighttime Skywave Service, the "voice of a thousand Main Streets". During the 1970s, the station's hourly ID (required by the FCC) stated: "50,000 watts on 1190, WOWO, Fort Wayne, Group W, Westinghouse Broadcasting." Listen to WOWO Top Of the Hour Station IDs: Click Here.

WOWO's clear-channel license permitted WOWO's radio personalities to gain some degree of fame throughout the eastern United States. Announcer Bob Sievers, Farm Director, commentator and folk-philosopher Jay Gould, News Director Dugan Fry, meteorologist Earl Finckle, the "In a Little Red Barn (on a farm down in Indiana)" de facto theme song of WOWO, the Penny Pitch charity fund raisers, sports director Bob Chase's Komet Hockey broadcasts, the weather reports from WOWO's personnel taking a smoking break out on its studio's "world-famous fire escape", and husband-wife hosts of The Little Red Barn Show, music director Sam DeVincent and wife Nancy of "Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers", all were listened to by a total of millions of people from the Great Lakes to the United States' East Coast over the years from the 1940s to the 1990s. Other memorable on-air personalities include Ron Gregory, Chris Roberts, Jack Underwood and Carol Ford.

Because WOWO's Nighttime Skywave Service caused WLIB, also 1190 kHz, in New York City to cease broadcasting at sunset each day and resume broadcasting at sunrise, Inner City Broadcasting bought WOWO in 1994 so that they could reduce WOWO's Class A clear-channel license to Class B, and WLIB, owned by Inner City Broadcasting could thereby increase its class from Class D to Class B.

This reduced WOWO's potential audience—referred to as WOWOland—from much of the eastern United States to a much smaller local region in northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, and south-central Michigan. Before the power reduction, when WLIB signed off at night, WOWO's air signal came booming through the speakers into the WLIB air studio.

➦In 1949…After nine years of development, RCA Victor introduced the first 45 rpm record, a 7-inch wonder promising better sound and easier playability than the current standard, the 10" 78 rpm record. It was also designed to compete with the Long Playing record introduced by Columbia a year earlier.

The first 45 rpm released was "Texarkana Baby" by country & western singer Eddy Arnold. The disc was made of green vinyl, part of an early plan to color-code singles according to the genre of music they featured. Others included yellow for children's songs and red for classical music.

➦In 1953...the Cavalcade of America was heard for the final time on network radio. It had been the longest-running show of its kind. For 18 years on NBC Radio the weekly Cavalcade of America presented dramatized events in U.S. history

➦In 2004...Air America Radio began broadcasting, the first US talk-radio network for liberals, led by Al Franken, comedian and author.  The ensuing five and a half years were financially troubled, and the network went out of business in January 2010, without Franken who left to run successfully for the US Senate.

➦In 2017…Radio personality Linda Lee, a 20-year veteran of Country WYCD-Detroit, died of lung cancer at 55.

Friday, March 30, 2018

DOJ Reviewing ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

Justice antitrust chief Makan Delrahim signaled this week that his division was taking a fresh look, and with a fairly critical eye, at the consent decrees under which performance royalty organizations
(PROs) collect their fees.

Makan Delrahim
According to MultiChannel News, that came in an appearance this week at Vanderbilt Law School,where he signaled some of the 1,300 consent decrees on the books had clearly outlived their usefulness, particularly those outliving the industries they were meant to circumscribe, including piano rolls and buggy whips.

Delrahim pointed particularly to the ASCAP and BMI music licensing consent decrees that also date from most of a century ago, and have also been the subject of recent litigation, which Delrahim also cited as good background on the issue.

"The way music is licensed has been governed by these consent decrees since 1941,” he said. “So, 77 years of a consent decree, rates being set by a judge in rate court as opposed to free-market competition [which he favors], and we are taking a look at that."

He referenced the recent Pandora v. ASCAP decision and recommended it to anyone interested in music or antitrust law.

He said that music has innovated from bandstands to streaming, while the licensing and ownership of music is still governed by those 77-year-old consent decrees.

He said it was incumbent upon the government to dig down. "As public agencies we need to take a look and see if those consent decrees are still relevant in the marketplace," he said, clearly signaling they are up for debate. "If they have solved the competitive problem, they could become anti-competitive tools over time; if they were not necessarily the best ideas at the time, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for them to stay."

San Diego Radio: Kevin Klein A No-Show At KEGY

The MLB Padres’ opening-day radio broadcast went on KEGY 97.3 The Machine as scheduled Thursday afternoon, although the station host who caused an uproar this week was not on the air for the scheduled debut of his new morning show.

Kevin Klein, a new radio host for 97.3, outraged people Monday when he posted a promo on social media that made light of suicide with the word “JUMP” paired with a picture of the Coronado bridge, report the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Klein’s new show was scheduled to debut in the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. time slot, but he never went on the air. There was no immediate information from the station or Klein addressing the situation.

Rumors have swirled that the Padres will move their broadcasts to another station, although the club’s executive chairman, Ron Fowler, said before Thursday’s opener against the Milwaukee Brewers that nothing has been determined.

Padres are holding firm on evaluating the radio relationship by the end of next week, once the opening home stand is complete.

There’s no truth, Fowler insisted, that the Padres have pro-actively talked to other stations about a potential switch. He confirmed, however, that the team has been approached by two other stations.

Fowler has questioned the station format’s compatibility with the Padres’ brand, although voiding the contract likely would be complicated with the season already underway. Among other things, advertising would be problematic, both living up to agreements with current advertisers and/or generating advertising with a new company.

One solution could be switching to another Entercom station in San Diego. The Padres were broadcast on ALT 949 last season. The company owns three other stations in the San Diego market as well — KSON 103.7, KYXY 96.5 and SUNNY 98.1.

CBS-Viacom Merger Proposal Expected Within Days

CBS Corp. is preparing to make an initial merger proposal to Viacom Inc. within days, people with knowledge of the matter said, setting the stage for negotiations that could bring the media companies back together 12 years after they were split up.

According to  Bloomberg, The proposal, from CBS’s independent board committee to its counterpart at Viacom, is likely to include an opening suggestion on valuation as well as leadership plans for the combined entity, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. The timing of the proposal is fluid and details won’t be released publicly, they said.

While the two sides hope to announce an agreement before they each report quarterly financial results in May, discussions are ongoing and there’s no guarantee a deal will be reached, the people said.

Les Moonves
Representatives for CBS and Viacom declined to comment.

Independent board members at Viacom and CBS spent the past two months considering the merits of a merger as Shari Redstone, daughter of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, renewed her push for a deal more than a year after the companies last abandoned talks. Consolidation among media companies battling to bulk up to protect against intensifying competition from digital players has added a sense of urgency to the discussions, the people said.

Walt Disney Co., which agreed to acquire Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc.’s media businesses for $52.4 billion in December, is facing a competing bid from Comcast Corp. for the group’s U.K. pay-TV company Sky Plc. Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. is fighting the U.S. Justice Department in court to win approval for its $85 billion deal to purchase Time Warner Inc.

CBS, which owns the most-watched TV network in the U.S., is planning to propose that its chief executive officer and chairman, Leslie Moonves, lead the combined company and ask that Redstone leave management decisions to him and his team, one of the people said. The two committees will need to resolve a series of governance issues, including a CEO and second in command, the composition of the board and the level of independence from the controlling shareholder. The Redstones’ holding company, National Amusements Inc., holds 80 percent of the voting stock of both entities.

Laura Ingraham Apology Not Accepted

Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham apologized Thursday for taunting Parkland student David Hogg, one of the student leaders who've emerged after the shooting at their school last month who've been calling for tougher gun legislation, after advertisers started pulling out of her show.

Ingraham mocked Hogg with a tweet Wednesday in which she shared a story from the conservative site The Daily Wire, writing: "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates.)"

David Hogg
Hogg responded by finding out who Ingraham's show's advertisers were and tweeting out the names of 12 of them, calling for people to contact them. More than half of them said by yesterday afternoon that they were pulling their ads from the show.

After several of them began pulling out, Ingraham tweeted an apology, saying: "Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA -- incl. @DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland."

But Hogg apparently wasn't in a forgiving mood, tweeting: I 100% agree an apology in an effort to save your advertisers is not enough. I will only accept you apology if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight. It's time to love they neighbor, not mudsling at children."

Major Advertiser Pulls Spots From ABC27 Harrisburg Over Allegations

Flora Postero
Capital BlueCross is suspending its advertising on WHTM-TV (abc27) in the wake of a complaint against the station's general manager, according to Central PA Business Journal.

The Susquehanna Township-based health insurer confirmed the advertising suspension on Thursday, a week after former abc27 anchor Flora Posteraro filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission alleging harassment and discrimination by the station’s general manager, Robert Bee.

In a statement, Capital BlueCross said it is suspending advertising until the complaint is resolved.

"We take the matter of due process seriously and have not made any judgments as to fault in this matter. But we also take allegations of sexual harassment or retaliation in the workplace very seriously, leading us to this decision," read the statement. 

According to the complaint filed by Posteraro, Bee made rude comments about the appearance of the station’s female anchors, calling one a "fat pig" and another a "mean bitch." The complaint also alleges he gave preferential treatment to the station’s male anchors.

Posteraro joined other female anchors in filing a complaint in August against Bee with the human relations department of the station. The complaint notes Posteraro frequently challenged Bee on his behavior towards herself and her colleagues.

According to the complaint, the station offered to renew Posteraro’s contract in January, but only if she accepted a demotion to a weekend anchor position. The complaint alleges numerous officials at the station gave her conflicting reasons for the demotion, which she believes was in retaliation to her actions against Bee’s behavior.

Chicago Radio: Suspected Gang Activity Shuts Down WGCI Concert

The Chicago Theatre canceled a Thursday night hip-hop concert after being warned about the possibility of gang activity at the show, according to The Chicago Tribune citing law enforcement sources.

WGCI 107.5 FM’s Take Over Jam was scheduled to feature a lineup of hip-hop artists including YFN Lucci and Rich the Kid, but the radio station and the venue’s management abruptly announced the show’s cancellation Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, the Chicago Theatre’s owner, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, said: “We have been advised by Chicago law enforcement to cancel tonight’s WGCI Take Over Jam due to specific safety and security concerns for the surrounding area. As a result, we regret that the event has been canceled.”

Chicago police received information that gangs were going to show up at the event.

iHeartMedia/Chicago WGCI referred all questions to Chicago Theatre officials.

Ryan Seacrest Accuser Files Police Report

Suzie Hardy has filed a police report against Ryan Seacrest. The LAPD is investigating her sexual harassment claims against Seacrest, Deadline reports.

Hardy worked as a stylist for Seacrest at E! for several years. This latest development comes after E! launched an internal investigation that did not find sufficient evidence to substantiate her claims, which Seacrest denies.

“I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host said in his statement at the time.

“I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices.”

Seacrest is also the host of American Idol on ABC.

In a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter Thursday, Hardy said she would not be silenced. She wrote that “E! owner NBC Universal conducted an incomplete investigation of the facts and declared the results ‘inconclusive.'”

Hardy added: “NBC did not interview 10 of the witnesses I provided, including my therapist and my boyfriend at the time.”

“So much for ‘Let’s believe the women,’ right?” Hardy fumed. “Unless you’re the president of the United States or a TV cash cow, apparently. Those who work with Ryan seem to hope I will just go away. Well, I’m not going away … I recently contacted the LAPD and filed a police report so I’m guaranteed a real investigation this time.”

Hardy continued: “Ryan’s team of lawyers, who are also representing Harvey Weinstein, do not intimidate me. If Ryan is so innocent, why hasn’t he called me a liar or sued me or presented evidence of my so-called extortion plot?”

She also criticized his co-worker, Kelly Ripa: “Everyone in Hollywood who stands by Ryan now is choosing not to believe me. That includes every guest on his shows, every studio and network that does business with him, every celebrity who talks to him on a red carpet. Know that this is a choice you are making.”

WWO Syndicating Long-Form Ben Shapiro Show

Westwood One is expanding distribution of the wildly-popular The Ben Shapiro Show podcast.

Launching on April 2nd, The Ben Shapiro Show will be syndicated across major U.S. markets including legendary station WABC/New York City; plus KABC/Los Angeles, WLS/ Chicago, WMAL/Washington D.C.; WYAY/Atlanta, KTTH/Seattle, and KKAT/Salt Lake City. Weeks before the radio show launches, advertising time in The Ben Shapiro Show is completely SOLD OUT.

The Ben Shapiro Show podcast has a fiercely loyal following with 15 million downloads each month. Listeners tuning in to The Ben Shapiro Show on radio will hear a high-energy, action-packed hour as Ben covers America’s most powerful political personalities, brutally breaking down the culture, while never giving an inch.

"The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented: we're launching the first podcast-to-talk radio transition ever,” said Ben Shapiro. “And we're doing it in 5 of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself -- no show launches with this constellation of stations. We already have an enormous digital audience, and we can't wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms."

“Ben’s wildly successful podcast delivers a fresh voice to a new generation of millennial conservatives and we are excited to take this provocative narrative to syndicated radio,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “As America’s largest audio network, we are putting our full weight behind the show to connect Ben with millions of new listeners across podcast, radio, and streaming platforms.”

Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief of, and host of The Ben Shapiro Show, the top conservative podcast in the nation. He is a leading conservative speaker on college campuses, consistently defending free speech and open debate.

For more information on affiliating or advertising in The Ben Shapiro Show, please contact Stuart Greenblatt at

Cox Media Sells-Off Two More Newspapers

One of the nation’s busiest acquirers of newspapers and online media has agreed to buy The Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News in a deal announced Wednesday at $49.25 million.

Executives at New York-based New Media Investment Group Inc. said the sister papers will join a growing GateHouse Media stable of more than 140 daily newspapers. That represents more than 1 in 10 in the country.

The papers and associated websites have been owned since 1969 by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises. The sale is expected to be completed by May.

“We see Palm Beach as another attractive and growing market that fits in well with our current Florida footprint,” said Michael E. Reed, New Media’s president and CEO. He called the papers “the primary source of news in their respective communities for over 100 years” and said they have “created high digital engagement that we are excited to work to build upon.”

Kim Guthrie
“We are so grateful to the talented team in Palm Beach for their relentless execution of quality journalism and service to the community,” said Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group. “When selecting a buyer for both papers, we sought a company that would build on their role as trusted local brands. We know The Post will make GateHouse proud.”

GateHouse has had “good success, better than most” in profitability, and has come with “a pretty well-earned reputation for running lean,” said Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the nonprofit Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg.

Staff reductions have followed a number of acquisitions, he noted. GateHouse strives for efficiency by centralizing certain functions such as the layout of pages, he said. At the same time, the company has been buying larger papers lately and in a recent earnings call company officials “were talking about doing more investigative reporting and projects,” Edmonds said.

Cox announced its Palm Beach and Austin papers were for sale last fall. Privately held Cox will continue to operate newspaper businesses in Atlanta and Ohio, markets where it also owns radio and TV stations.