Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

May 28 Radio History

➦In 1955…Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the "Big D Jamboree" radio program, broadcast from the Dallas Sportatorium by local radio station KRLD.

➦In 1957....The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) is established, leading to the creation of the annual Grammy Awards.

➦In 1958….Top40 1010 WINS pranked rival  WMGM with a Charles DeGaulle phone call..

Before the era of radio shock jocks and tv prank-yankers, there was the infamous Charles de Gaulle Hoax of 1958, when DeGaulle was President of France.

It was the first truly great prank call in the history of radio--a doozy of a sting. Broadcast live throughout the Northeast, the faux phone call left one station supremely humiliated, leaving the other--the perpetrator of this mad hoax--basking in smug glory.

According to an aerticle Ken Brooks which appeared in Plus! magazine, in the spring of 1958, New York City radio stations were waging a fierce war for listeners. The combination of rock-and-roll and the transistor radio had made Elvis the King, and AM radio stations--at least those with their ears to the asphalt--were hastily switching formats.

One of the first stations to make the switch--in 1956, in fact--was WINS. By 1958, WINS had assembled a legendary line-up of disc jockeys that including Alan Freed, the former Cleveland jock credited with coining the term "rock and roll."

WINS's large news department was impressive as well; indeed, station call letters stood for International News Service, a division of the powerful Hearst Corporation.

Struggling in the shadow of WINS was low-rated WMGM. The station had once been the proud home of Brooklyn Dodger broadcasts, but the team was gone now, transplanted to Los Angeles that very spring. WMGM's tepid music format combined a bit of rock with easy-listening.

The station was not exactly a strong news-gathering force, either. Without a large news staff, WMGM execs outfitted an old panel truck and assigned two reporters to cruise the streets looking for "scoops." The reporters were dubbed the Minute Men; presumably they would be on the scene of a breaking story in a matter of minutes.

Headlines on the morning of Tuesday, May 28, 1958, concerned big news overseas: The imminent collapse of the French government, and the possibility that Gen. Charles De Gaulle--the popular World War II hero--would seize control of the republic.In the WMGM newsroom, executives decided on a bold move that would prove to New Yorkers that WMGM could be taken seriously as a news-gathering operation.

At 10:30 am, newscaster Bill Edmunds interrupted with this announcement: 
"French President Coty is conferring with political leaders after receiving the resignation of Premier Pflimlin. A new government may be created today with General de Gaulle at the helm. WMGM has a call in, long-distance, overseas to General De Gaulle to bring you a direct interview...As soon as that call is completed, we'll put that call right on the air."
 Monitoring rival stations' broadcasts is standard practice in the radio business. WMGM's plan to call de Gaulle caused no panic in the WINS newsroom, where it was seen as a desperate act on the part of WMGM. The idea that General de Gaulle would actually return a call to a local New York City radio station was outlandish.


At noon the phone rang at WMGM studios. On the line was an overseas operator--or so she claimed. "Your trans- atlantic call is ready, sir," she said.

Bill Edmunds hustled to a mic."General? General de Gaulle?"

"Yas?" The response sounded static-y and far-away.

"General de Gaulle, this is WMGM in New York City." One could feel the adrenaline in Edmund's voice; they gave out awards for scoops like this. "I would like to know if you would care to make a statement to the American people at this time."

"Yas, I certainly would," said de Gaulle in a heavily French-accented English. "Are we on zee air now?" he asked.

"No sir, we are making a tape to play later, throughout the day and on our newscasts," Edmunds said.

"Well..." There was a pause as the General mulled this over. "No," he said finally, "I would not like to be recorded, as I have not yet granted the French press any of thees informay-shee-own. But I will agree to be broadcast."

"Will you hold, please, and we'll put you directly on the air? Can you do that?" Edmunds was practically begging.

"Yas, but make it very fast as I must go to ze Na-shee-a-nal Assem-blee."

"Just as soon as they give me the go-ahead, General..." In the thirteen seconds of dead-air that followed--an eternity in radio-time--one could hear the engineers scrambling to punch the right buttons.

Then, live, in stentorian tones, Edmunds announced: "I am on the phone with General Charles De Gaulle in France. General de Gaulle, would you care to make a statement about the crisis in France?"

"Thank you Mr. Edmunds," the General began. "I would like to make clear that when I assume pow-air I weel not do so by any dictatorial means. I am too much of an old soldier...and I weel give to the pee-pull of France the government they should have had ever since the war."

Edmunds wasn't about to let the General go just yet. A few more questions. Then de Gaulle broke in: "...Monseuir, can you tell me again whom I am speaking to?"

"Bill Edmunds, General. I'm one of the WMGM Minute Men." Surprisingly, de Gaulle sounded not the least bit impressed.

"WMGM?" the General repeated. "Why, everybody knows the best radio station in New York is WINS." Then he screamed: "Viva la France!"

In the second-and-a-half before the line went dead, in the background, one could hear the unmistakable sounds of hysterical laughter.

Poor Bill Edmunds: Totally nonplussed, unsure what had transpired, unwilling to let go of that award he'd surely have received.

Here's what he said next: "Uh...ladies and gentlemen...we've, uh, been talking to, uh..."--Edmunds drew a blank..."General Charles de Gaulle!"

Mercifully, someone at the studio had the presence to kill Edmunds' mike.

By the time New York's afternoon newspapers hit the streets, the incident was front page news. The World-Telegram headline read: "WHO HAD DE GALL TO CALL WMGM?"

"Switchboards at WMGM and WINS were as hot as the French crisis today," the paper declared, " and General Charles de Gaulle was at least partially responsible..." Executives at WMGM, the paper reported, are demanding an immediate investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.

When asked by the World-Telegram for comment, WINS general manager Herb Fearnhead responded blankly, "I don't know a thing about it." Not that WINS was adverse to rubbing it in: The rest of Tuesday afternoon their announcers broadcast the time in French.

Then, on Wednesday morning, a final insult. A telegram arrived at WMGM. Sent from Paris, it read: "I was cut off. What happened? --Charles de Gaulle."

Twenty-six years would pass before anyone fessed up. That's when an assistant program director for WINS admitted that the entire episode, complete with pre-recorded "transatlantic static," was the brainchild of WINS news director Tom O'Brien. And it was O'Brien's fiancee--a stewardess for British Overseas Airlines, stationed in Paris--who authored the bogus telegram.

➦In 1962…"Wide World of Sports with Chris Schenkel" debuted on the CBS Radio Network.

➦In 1998…actor/comedian, Phil Hartman, was shot to death while asleep by his wife. He was 49. Hartman starred in the TV sitcom, "NewsRadio"

May 27 Radio History

➦In 1933
...Future media mogul Ted Rogers Jr. was born in Toronto.  He founded his company in 1960 with Toronto radio station CHFI and built it into Canada’s largest wireless, cable and media company. He died from congestive heart failure Dec. 2 2008 at age 75.

➦In 1951…"Wild Bill Hickock" began on the Mutual Radio network. Guy Madison and Andy Devine starred on both the radio and syndicated TV versions of the western series.

➦In 1957...1050 CHUM-AM became Canada's first Top 40 formatted radio station.

The CHUM at 1331 Yonge St., Toronto was the home of 1050 CHUM from 1959 until 2009
Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66).

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario.

By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes".
Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored.

Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY. He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came from rival Toronto rocker CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).

(Courtesy of the Rock Radio Scrapbook, Click Here for  an early aircheck of 1050 CHUM from July 17, 1957.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele, Mike Holland and Roger Ashby. Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM for a time in 1977, eventually becoming known across North America as White House correspondent for CBS News, then the co-anchor of CNN's morning program American Morning. Rick Moranis, later famous for his work on SCTV and Ghostbusters, was briefly a late-night CHUM DJ in the mid-seventies under the name "Rick Allan".

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950's and '60's, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

The CHUM Chart was, for many years, the most influential weekly Top 40 chart in Canada and has been hailed as the longest-running continuously published radio station record survey in North America. The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.

1050 CHUM aired Top 40 from 1957 to 1986.  Today, 1050 CHUM airs Sports Talk.

➦In 1994...famed talk-show host, Larry King, did his last Westwood One show, leaving radio to concentrate on his nightly CNN hour.

➦In 1994...Radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, married Marta Fitzgerald. He was 43, she was 35. They divorced in 2004.

Keith Olbermann Boomerangs To Larger Role At ESPN

Keith Olbermann
It's Back to The Future as Keith Olbermann expands his existing ESPN role by making additional appearances across ESPN platforms and programs in 2018 as part of a new agreement, it was announced by Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Managing Editor.

Olbermann, who has contributed to various ESPN shows since January, will combine select studio assignments with on-site opportunities, including calling the radio play-by-play with analyst Jim Bowden for Astros at Yankees on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN Radio.

Among the planned contributions that Olbermann will make as part the new ESPN agreement are:
  • SportsCenter: He will continue to develop regular features on timely and historical topics (he has been doing SportsCenter pieces since January such as the Jordan/LeBron debate and how the sports world responded to MLK’s assassination). Olbermann will also guest anchor approximately 20 special editions of the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter throughout the year.
  • MLB: Olbermann will take on select studio and game assignments, including play-by-play for a few games as well as a handful of studio hosting responsibilities on Baseball Tonight and cut-ins/highlights within game telecasts. Additionally, he will be on site at the MLB All-Star Game,  hosting segments for SportsCenter. He will also host SportsCenter segments during the MLB post-season, including the World Series.
  • Additional studio shows: As he has done in recent weeks, Olbermann will co-host a handful of editions of PTI and will make guest appearances on Outside the Lines with host Bob Ley. A couple recent examples include Olbermann on PTI & Olbermann on OTL.
  • ESPN Audio: Olbermann is expected to make appearances as both a guest host and a call-in guest on various ESPN Audio programs.
“Keith’s smart, creative perspective on the world of sports always informs and entertains fans,” Williamson said. “His varied collection of ESPN appearances over the last several months has provided a great model for utilizing his distinctive voice and this new agreement will extend his contributions even further.”

Olbermann added, “Since we started this, my 6th separate tenure with ESPN, in January, I’ve found the variety of assignments to be most the fun and energizing of all my stints. Adding stuff like being a rookie 59-year old play-by-play guy, plus the Rip Van Winkle of SportsCenter, only adds to the smorgasbord. Can’t wait, and at my age, I shouldn’t.”

Prior to his latest ESPN role, which began in January, Olbermann hosted ESPN2’s daily series Olbermann from 2013 to 2015. He had other stints working for ESPN over the years, most notably as SportsCenter anchor from 1992 to 1997. Olbermann’s sportscasting resume dates back more than 40 years, and begins with Chris Berman selecting him as his assistant at their high school radio station in Tarrytown, N.Y. In 1979, Olbermann would move directly from Cornell to network radio and, at the age of 22, to CNN Sports.

Richmond Radio: Greg Henson To Program N/T WRVA

Greg Henson
Entercom announced Friday the appointment of Gregg Henson to the role of Program Director for Entercom Richmond overseeing News Radio WRVA  1140 AM / W241AP 96.1 FM, and sports talk station Fox Sports WRNL 910 AM.

“We are very excited about the addition of Gregg to the Richmond team,” said Bennett Zier, Senior Vice President, Entercom Virginia. “Entercom is the leader in news and sports radio and we’re confident Gregg’s extensive industry experience will ensure that we continue to bring the most engaging content to our listeners.”

“I’m looking forward to joining these top-notch teams in Richmond and continue to deliver the news and sports coverage the community relies on to stay informed,” said Gregg.

WRVA 1140 AM (50 Kw, DA)
Henson is a seasoned radio executive who has held roles in Dallas, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He also hosted a morning show at KFOR in Lincoln.

Network Morning Shows Losing Viewers

The three network morning shows have losing viewers for years. With the May sweeps numbers just out that downward trend continued, reports TVNewser.

ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today show, and CBS This Morning averaged a combined 11.502 million viewers each day for the month of May. That’s down 1.8 million, or -14 percent, from the 13.332 million average of May 2016.

In the advertiser-friendly A25-54 demo, the three shows drew a combined average of 3.505 million daily viewers, down from 4.480 million, or -22 percent, since May 2016.

In the last 6 months, all three shows have seen anchor shake-ups. NBC and CBS split with their male anchors, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, respectively, following sexual harassment claims. GMA is paring down its anchor team, focusing on Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Michael Strahan as Amy Robach moves to 20/20 and Lara Spencer cuts back her time on the show.

The averages for the May, 2018 sweep:
  • Total Viewers: ABC: 4.164M / NBC: 4.062M / CBS: 3.276M
  • A25-54 Viewers: ABC: 1.246M / NBC: 1.392M / CBS: 867,000

MI Radio: Grand Haven Changes Formats On Two Stations

Grand Haven’s radio broadcasting group has flipped formats and radio hosts.

According to the Grand Haven Tribune, the company's Sports Radio WGHN 1370 AM and W235CM 94.9 FM has flipped to “Good Time Oldies”.  The station will continue to air sporting events.

The company’s WMPA 93.1 FM is changing format from country to classic rock. Longtime WGHN personality Jesse Bruce will be heard on 93.1 from 3-7 p.m.

The station has hired 19-year radio veteran Mary Ellen Murphy. Murphy began her career in the Detroit market in the 1990s, and has more recently worked for WOOD-FM and WLAV-FM in Grand Rapids and WHTC-AM in Holland.

“She is an iconic voice in West Michigan radio and, more importantly, a wonderful person,” Bruce said. “What she brings to this radio station will not only enlighten your day, but improve this community. ... For this station to land the talent and character of Mary Ellen Murphy is one of the highlights of this organization's 60-plus year history.”

WMPA 931. FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Bruce said he's also happy to be continuing the partnership with Program Director Jeff Rose.

“He is a tremendous talent and the backbone down here,” Bruce said. “We've worked together for several years successfully producing high school sports broadcasts and we will be successful at 93.1 WMPA.”

“Jeff Rose and I are music nerds and can give listeners a unique perspective on the music,” he said. “Plus, it's like we are making a new history at 93.1 WMPA. This place is a blank canvas and we think we can paint some unique pictures here.”

Investor Urges Murdoch To Consider Comcast Bid

Warning of conflicts of interest within the Murdoch family, a U.K. hedge fund with $5.3 billion in 21st Century Fox stock told 87-year-old Rupert Murdoch to disregard huge personal tax issues in the sale of Fox assets and consider Comcast Corp.’s potential cash offer, reports

“The personal tax position of the Murdoch family must be an irrelevant consideration for the board, in order for the board to comply with their fiduciary duties,” wrote Sir Christopher Hohn, managing director of the Children’s Investment Fund, or TCI, in a May 23 “Dear Rupert” letter obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News.

TCI owns 137 million Fox shares.

Hohn’s letter signals a looming takeover battle that could pit those who like the Walt Disney Co.’s tax-free stock deal — the Murdoch family and other long-term shareholders — against institutional investors such as pension funds and charities that would like to see a higher deal and cash from Comcast. These institutions may not face the same tax liability.

Fox had no comment on Friday. A company spokesman cited a comment by Lachlan Murdoch, Fox’s executive chairman and Rupert’s son, who in a recent conference call with analysts said that Fox’s board of directors was aware of their “fiduciary duties on behalf of all shareholders.” The Murdoch family trusts own 306 million Fox shares.

Rupert Murdoch, who built up 21st Century Fox for decades, agreed in late 2017 to sell a portfolio of Fox’s entertainment businesses, including its movie studio, regional sports networks, and Sky satellite-TV business, to Disney for $52.4 billion in stock.

NJ Radio: Governor Abruptly Cancels Appearance

Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy abruptly canceled his call-in radio show Thursday night after a last-minute dispute with the stations, according to

Murphy was scheduled to appear on "Ask the Governor" on public radio stations WBGO in Newark, WNYC in New York City, and WHYY in Philadelphia at 8 p.m.

But the Democratic governor announced he was pulling out a little more than an hour before the broadcast was slated to begin.

He and the stations could not agree on the format of the hour-long program.

The stations released a statement saying Murphy withdrew after the stations "declined a request to remove a reporter from a panel that would be asking the governor questions during one segment."

The last time Murphy appeared on "Ask the Governor" on the stations, in March, an NJ Advance Media reporter asked Murphy questions in between calls from listeners.

This time, the station planned to bring on an education reporter from Politico New Jersey to ask Murphy questions on school funding.

But spokesmen for Murphy's office said the problem wasn't the reporter chosen -- they wanted the focus to be on callers instead. They said they told the stations this earlier in the week.

The Boston Globe Announces More Downsizing

As if there weren’t enough turmoil at The Boston Globe, president Vinay Mehra and editor Brian McGrory earlier today announced another round of budget cuts.

On his blog, Media Watcher Dan Kennedy reports Mehra and McGrory say they hope to find the savings they need through buyouts, but they won’t rule out layoffs. No word on how many people they are hoping will exit the building. The memos were obtained from a newsroom source.

In addition, the last vestiges of the Sunday zoned editions for local news are being all but eliminated, as Globe North, Globe South and Globe West are being combined into a Sunday section to be called Globe Local.

Both Mehra and McGrory claim the effect on the Globe’s journalism will be minimal. Obviously, though, this is a perilous route to take at a time when the paper is trying to offset an industry-wide decline in ad revenues with high-priced digital subscriptions. McGrory has previously said the Globe is on track to hit 100,000 digital subscriptions by the end of June, and that the paper may approach sustainability if that number can be doubled during the next few years. It’s encouraging that readers are willing to pay — but it remains to be seen if they will pay more for less.

May 26 Radio History

Al Jolson - 1938
➦In 1886..iconic performer Al Jolson was born Asa Yoelson in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“The World’s Greatest Entertainer” (a billing he gave himself), ushered in the era of sound movies with The Jazz Singer in 1927.  He had his own high budget radio shows (Shell Chateau in the 30’s, Kraft Music Hall in the 40’s) and was a frequent guest on other radio variety shows.

He died near the start of the TV era Oct 23, 1950 after a heart attack at age 64.

➦In 1903...Canadian radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden was granted a patent for the liquid barretter microphone.

Ben Alexander, Jack Webb
➦In Ben Alexander was born Nicholas Benton Alexander in Goldfield Nevada. A child actor in the silent era, he moved into radio announcing, and was virtually retired when Jack Webb chose him to be his Dragnet partner, officer Frank Smith, first on radio & then TV. He later starred in a second police TV series, Felony Squad. He died July 5, 1969 at age 58.

➦In 1920...singer Peggy Lee, whose real name is Norma Delores Egstrom, was born in Jamestown, North Dakota.

She was among the few singers who can handle any type of song — pop, ballad, country, rhythm-and-blues or jazz. Benny Goodman gave her her stage name when she performed with his band from 1941 to ’43. Lee went out on her own after marrying Goodman’s guitarist, Dave Barbour. Her hit records included “Manana (mahn-YAH’-nah),” ”Fever” — a cover of Little Willie John’s r-and-b song — and ”Is That All There Is?” Peggy Lee died of a heart attack January 21st, 2002. She was 81.

Jimmie Rodgers
➦In 1933...Jimmie Rodgers, the “Father of Country Music,” died of tuberculosis in New York City at age 35, just two days after making his final recording.

He was so ill during his final recording sessions that he had to rest between takes on a cot.  Jimmie Rodgers recorded his first million-seller “T for Texas,” also known as “Blue Yodel,” in 1927, becoming country music’s first superstar. He never appeared on any major radio show or played the Grand Ole Opry. But he, Hank Williams and songwriter-publisher Fred Rose were the first to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961.

➦In 1940...CBS Radio first presented “Invitation to Learning”.  The 30-minute Sunday morning program that featured a discussion of great books, with Lyman Bryson as host, continued for 15 years.

➦In 1959...Chicago-based radio host Joe Kelly, who MC’d the WLS National Barn Dance & NBC’s Quiz Kids (1940-53), died at age 57.

➦In 1962...the original version of “Twist and Shout,” by the Isley Brothers, was released. The song was revived two years later by the Beatles.

➦In 1971...Don McLean was in New York to record his soon-to-be iconic signature song “American Pie.”

➦In 1989...Radio stations staged 30 seconds of silence at 7:42 AM (EST), to honor Radio.

➦In 1993...Radio dramatist, Carleton Morse, best known for "One Man's Family", died at age 91.

"One Man's Family" centered on a family in the well-to-do Sea Cliff area of San Francisco, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. The tribulations of its main characters, Fanny, Henry and Jack Barbour, dominated the national airwaves from the time the show began in 1932 until it went off the air in 1959 after 3,256 episodes.
He covered radio and police news for The Sacramento Union before moving to San Francisco, where he worked for several newspapers, including The Call, The Bulletin and The Chronicle. He took a writing job at NBC in 1929 and went on to became a legendary radio pioneer.

At its peak, "One Man's Family" rivaled "Amos 'n' Andy" in popularity.

Dan Daniel - WCBS-FM
➦In 1996...Dan Daniel starts at WCBS FM.

He started as a disc jockey at age seventeen on Armed Forces Radio with the US Navy. His first commercial job was at KXYZ in Houston in 1955 and he then worked at WDGY in Minneapolis before moving to WMCA in 1961.

His first broadcast at WMCA was on 18 August 1961. He started on the graveyard shift overnight but from 1962 to 1968 he played the top 40 hits from 4 pm to 7 pm. The station produced a survey of the current sales in New York record stores and Dandy Dan gave the countdown of the week's best sellers every Wednesday in this late afternoon slot.

From 1968 to 1970, he did the early morning drive-to-work slot before leaving WMCA after nearly nine years; his final broadcast was on 11 July 1970.

Dan was heard coast-to-coast on NBC Radio's "Monitor" in the summer of 1973.

He subsequently worked on WYNY-FM where he hosted the mid-day slot and later morning and afternoon drives. He then did a stint at WHN playing country music before returning to WYNY-FM. Finally, he moved to WCBS-FM in 1996. He retired from WCBS on December 31, 2002.

Daniel died on June 21, 2016 after falling in his home the previous day. He was 81

➦In 2010...Radio and TV host (House Party, People Are Funny) Art Linkletter died at the age of 97.

Art Linkletter
Although he earned a degree in teaching, Linkletter worked as a radio announcer at KGB in San Diego. Radio paid better than teaching, and Linkletter directed radio programs for fairs and expositions in the mid-1930s. In the 1940s Linkletter lived in San Francisco and worked in radio.  In the 1940s, Linkletter worked in Hollywood with John Guedel on their pioneering radio show, People Are Funny, which employed audience participation, contests and gags. The series served as a prototype for future radio and television game shows. People Are Funny became a television show in 1954 and ran until 1961.

Other early television shows Linkletter worked on included Life With Linkletter with his son Jack (1969–1970) and Hollywood Talent Scouts (1965–1966). He acted in two movies, People Are Funny (1946) and Champagne for Caesar (1950).

Linkletter declined the opportunity offered by his friend Walt Disney to build and operate the Disneyland Hotel due to Linkletter's doubts about the park's prospects. But, out of friendship for Disney, Linkletter volunteered his experience as a live program broadcaster to help organize ABC's coverage of the Disneyland opening in 1955.

with Walt Disney
Besides being an on-air host, he recruited his two co-hosts: Ronald Reagan and Bob Cummings. The park opening experience convinced Linkletter Disneyland was going to be a huge success. When Disney asked what he could do to show his gratitude for the broadcast's role in the successful launching of the park, Linkletter asked for Disneyland's camera and film concession for its first ten years, to which Disney readily agreed. This turned out to be very lucrative.  He appeared for two stints of two weeks each, as a guest host of The Tonight Show in 1962 between Jack Paar's departure and Johnny Carson's arrival as its new host.

In the 1950s, Linkletter became a major investor in and promoter of the hula hoop.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Entercom Announces Senior Management Moves

Entercom Thursday announced nine promotions for senior management across digital, programming, events, sales, ad sales marketing, legal, and traffic.

“We are fortunate to have such a talented team of leaders at Entercom and it is a pleasure to be able to promote several of them today in recognition of their increasing roles and responsibilities,” said David Field, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entercom.  “These are exciting times at the company and as we roll ahead with our investments and execute our transformational plans, we will continue to offer meaningful professional growth opportunities for our top performers.”

“This is a strategic move to position ourselves for success in the long-term,” said Weezie Kramer, Chief Operating Officer, Entercom. “We are making great progress and we are excited about where we are headed. With this new, elevated leadership structure, we are poised to maximize our capabilities and scale as one of the best radio broadcast operators in the industry.”

The management promotions include the following:
  • Fred Bennett, Senior Vice President, Traffic Weather Information Network
  • JD Crowley, Chief Digital Officer
  • Mike Dash, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
  • Liana Huth, Senior Vice President, Programming Innovation
  • Jen Morelli, Senior Vice President, Events and Experiences
  • Jenny Nelson, Senior Vice President, Ad Sales Marketing
  • John Pacino, Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering
  • Sam Rogers, Senior Vice President, National Sales
  • Jeff Sottolano, Senior Vice President, Radio and Programming

Saga Names Chris Forgy SVP/Operations

Chris Forgy
Saga Communications, Inc. Thursday reported that Chris Forgy is being promoted to the new position of Senior Vice President/Operations.

Forgy joined the Company in 1995 and served as Director of Sales for the Company's radio stations in Columbus, OH until 2006. He left the Company from 2006 to 2011 to serve as General Manager of radio clusters for other broadcast companies. Mr. Forgy rejoined the Company as President and General Manager of our Columbus market where he has served until being promoted to his new position.

Edward K. Christian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saga Communications, Inc. said, "Chris is a world class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office."                                                                                           
Chris Forgy said, "I have always dreamed of having this opportunity and am looking forward to working directly with Ed as well as with Saga's great team of broadcasters who I have had the honor to work with and alongside of for the past 20 years."

NOLA Radio: Mark Boudreaux To Manage iHM Cluster

Mark Boudreaux
iHeartMedia New Orleans announced Thursday that Mark Boudreaux has been named Market President, effective June 11.

As Market President, Boudreaux will work with the programming, marketing and sales teams for radio station brands in New Orleans to oversee on-air and digital programming as well as create new business and revenue opportunities. He will report to Michael Hudson, Area President for iHeartMedia Baton Rouge/New Orleans.

“We’re thrilled to have Mark as our new leader at iHeartMedia New Orleans,” said Hudson. “His incredible skill set and passion for people make him the perfect person to take the stations in our New Orleans market to amazing ratings and revenue thresholds.”

“Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market, than a native New Orleanian?” said Eddie Martiny, President of iHeartMedia’s Houston Region. “Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, Sales Manager and Vice President of Sales. We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Boudreaux joins iHeartMedia New Orleans from South Central AV, where he most recently served as the Business Development Manager. His over 25 years of sales experience includes leadership positions at Entercom New Orleans, Midwest Communications, Inc. and Knoxville at South Central Media. In addition, Boudreaux has worked as an Executive Producer, Director and co-host for Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Football Round-up and a co-host of The Red Zone on the FPTV channel. He began his career as a Sales Manager for Stereo Village and is a graduate of the University of New Orleans.

“I’m fired up to work with iHeartMedia, especially in a great market like New Orleans that truly understands the power, reach and ROI of radio,” said Boudreaux. “I’ve known many on the iHeartMedia New Orleans team for years and the chance to play in the same sandbox with such a talented group is amazing.”

Woman Says Alexa Sent Recorded Private Conversation

A Portland, Oregon woman named Danielle said she feels like Amazon Echo invaded her family's privacy after the voice-controlled device sent audio recordings of her private conversation to one of her husband's employees, who was in the family's address book.

According to Buzzfeed News, the recipient of the recordings called her family and warned them, "unplug your Alexa devices right now," she told Seattle-based news station KIRO 7. "You're being hacked."

According to Amazon, however, Danielle, who has an Echo device in every room of her home, was not hacked — one of her Echo devices simply misinterpreted the family's conversation for a "wake word" and voice commands. The Amazon Echo has a microphone that's constantly listening for a wake word, which users can set as "Alexa," "Echo," or "Computer." When the Echo hears the wake word, a blue ring light will appear.

In an emailed statement, an Amazon spokesperson explained, “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like 'Alexa,' and the next conversation was heard as 'send message.' Then, when Alexa said out loud, 'To whom?,' the device interpreted the background conversation as a name in the customer's contact list. Alexa then responded, '[Contact name], right?;' Alexa again interpreted the background conversation as, 'Right.'"

"As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement to KIRO 7, an Amazon spokesperson wrote, "Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future."

KIRO 7 reported that Amazon offered to "de-provision" Danielle's calling and messaging feature, so she could continue using the device as a smart-home hub. She said all of her home's Echo devices are unplugged, and is seeking a refund from Amazon.

Townsquare Media Sells-Off Money Losing NAME

Townsquare Media, Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed the sale of North American Midway Entertainment LLC to North American Fairs, LLC, an entity owned by Danny Huston, for $23.5 million plus a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale of NAME in the next ten years.

Townsquare purchased NAME in 2015 for $75.5 million.

NAME is North America's largest mobile amusement company, entertaining approximately 16 million people on an annual basis as the owner and operator of amusement attractions at approximately 150 fairs per year across the United States and Canada.  NAME has been a subsidiary of the Company since it was acquired in 2015.  In 2017, the Company announced that it was initiating a strategic review of its Entertainment segment, which included NAME.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, North American Fairs, LLC will acquire all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of NAME's parent company, Heartland Group, LLC, from the Company for total cash consideration of $23.5 million. In addition, Townsquare will have the right to receive 15% of any sale proceeds if NAME is sold, in whole or in part, in the next ten years.  The Company expects to hold the net cash proceeds from the sale on its balance sheet, pending reinvestment.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, NAME generated net revenue, net loss, Adjusted EBITDA and capital expenditures of $92.2 million, $33.7 million, $7.3 million and $6.3 million, respectively. Pro forma for the divestiture of NAME, Townsquare's 2017 net revenue, net income, Adjusted EBITDA and capital expenditures were $415.2 million,  $23.4 million, $89.9 million and $16.5 million, respectively.

Sexual Harassment Accusations Target Morgan Freeman

Actor/Narrator Morgan Freeman has issued an apology for making women feel “uneasy,” following a CNN report in which eight women alleged that he sexually harassed them or made inappropriate remarks.

“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” Freeman said in a statement obtained by Variety. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

CNN reported that two women alleged Freeman, 80, touched them inappropriately. One of them, a production assistant, said the actor repeatedly tried to lift her skirt.

In total, 16 people spoke to CNN about Freeman. Eight claimed to be the subjects of either sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, and eight said they witnessed Freeman’s alleged misconduct. The months-long investigation was sparked by comments made by Freeman to one of the CNN journalists who co-wrote the report over a year ago. During a press junket for “Going in Style,” CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas said Freeman shook her hand, not letting go while he looked her up and down and said, “You are ripe.”

It was after this experience that Melas began inquiring whether other women had experienced similar treatment. CNN also spoke to other entertainment reporters who said Freeman had similarly made suggestive remarks during interviews promoting his films. Chicago’s WGN-TV Tyra Martin said she grew accustomed to Freeman’s remarks and recalled one instance where a comment by the veteran actor gave her pause.

The women who shared about their experiences with Freeman have worked with the Oscar-winning actor on movie sets and at his production company, Revelations Entertainment. Over time, the women said they dressed conservatively when they knew Freeman would be around in hopes it would prevent inappropriate comments about their bodies or outfits. The women told CNN that they didn’t report him out of fear for their jobs, and taking on a powerful and towering figure in Hollywood.

Harassment Allegations Force Resignation Of Michigan Radio Analyst

Jack Lessenberry
Wayne State University professor Jack Lessenberry has resigned from his role as senior political analyst at Michigan Radio after being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women

A growing number of women accuse him of sexual harassment and other questionable behavior. 

The allegations, first published in an extensive article in Deadline Detroit, date back decades. The article quoted women who worked with Lessenberry and students he taught at Wayne State University.

One accusation includes inappropriate physical contact; others cite inappropriate remarks.

“By mutual agreement, Mr. Lessenberry’s responsibilities as a contracted contributor to Michigan Radio will end immediately,” says University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald in a written statement. “Mr. Lessenberry will officially resign from Michigan Radio effective July 31.”

Since the Deadline Detroit article was published one week ago, Lessenberry stepped away from his duties at WSU while the university conducts an investigation. He also resigned as a columnist for the Metro Times.

In a statement, Lessenberry acknowledges the allegations.

“I am saddened by the events of the last several days and admit to absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever,” Lessenberry’s statement reads in part, “but (I) have decided to resign to pursue new opportunities and avoid distracting listeners from the fine work of Michigan Radio.”

Lessenberry is also the ombudsman for the Toledo Blade and the host of a public affairs program on Toledo's WGTE-TV. The paper did not immediately respond to inquiries as to his employments status.

WGTE-TV says Lessenberry works on a volunteer basis and that no one has registered any complaints about him. A spokeswoman said the station is monitoring the situation and the investigation being conducted by Wayne State University.

WWO, NBC Sports Radio To Cover 2018 Stanley Cup Final

In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One will once again present live play-by-play audio coverage of the Stanley Cup Final, starting Monday, May 28, when the Vegas Golden Knights take on the Washington Capitals in Game One of the best-of-seven series.

Both teams are looking to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, and the Golden Knights are trying to become the first expansion team in American sports history to capture a championship in their inaugural season.

Kenny Albert (play-by-play) and Joe Micheletti (analyst) return for the third straight season as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s broadcast crew for the Stanley Cup Final. Former NHL center Ray Ferraro will serve as rinkside reporter and Florida Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein hosts the pregame, intermission, and postgame reports.

Albert calls regular-season and post-season NHL games on NBC and NBCSN and has served as a hockey play-by-play commentator for NBC Sports at five Winter Olympics. He is also the radio play-by-play voice for the New York Rangers.

Micheletti serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Group’s NHL regular-season and post-season coverage, and is a TV analyst for the New York Rangers as well. He began his broadcasting career in 1985 as part of the St. Louis Blues radio team.

Ferraro scored 408 goals during an NHL playing career that spanned 18 seasons. Since his retirement in 2002, he has broadcast hockey games for many networks, including ESPN, CBC and CTV, and currently works as an analyst for both the NHL on TSN and the NHL on NBC.

Goldstein is the longtime hockey voice of the Florida Panthers. With the team since 1997, he's in his 11th season as TV play-by-play announcer on Fox Sports Florida. Prior to taking over the TV job, Steve was the radio play by play announcer, and served in the same capacity for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics on Westwood One.

All games of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final will be available on NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One affiliates throughout the United States, as well as on,, the NBC Sports Radio mobile app,, SiriusXM Radio (NHL Channel 91), and TuneIn and the free TuneIn mobile app. NHL fans can also follow the playoffs on the NBC Sports Radio station on Apple Music. The stream can also be found on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices via the Westwood One Sports Skill.

May 25 Radio History

➦In 1905...journalist Joseph C. Harsch was born in Toledo Ohio.  He was a working ‘witness to history’ over 60 years, primarily as a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor.  But he also served, and probably was better known, as a radio & TV commentator for each of the major networks … NBC, CBS & ABC.  He died June 3 1998 at age 93.

➦In 1919...sportscaster Lindsay Nelson was born in Campbellsville Tennessee.  He began as a University of Tennessee student spotter for Hall of Fame sportscaster Bill Stern, and became a premier broadcaster for CBS, NBC and WTBS over more than 3 decades. He spent seventeen years with the New York Mets, and three with the San Francisco Giants. For thirty-three years he covered college football, including twenty-six Cotton Bowls, five Sugar Bowls, four Rose Bowls and fourteen years announcing Notre Dame games.  He died June 15, 1995 at age 76.

➦In 1985...In 1985, CBS resumed weekly national play-by-play baseball on radio for the first time in 20 years as Brent Musburger called the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. The Mutual Broadcasting System was the last radio network to have offered regular-season coverage of baseball back in the 1960’s.

➦In 2013...Veteran radio talk show host (WOR-New York City, KGO-San Francisco, WRKO-Boston, WCAU-Philadelphia, WKIS-Orlando)/food critic Gene Burns died of complications from a stroke at age 72.

Gene Burns KGO
In his early twenties, Burns was hired as news director for radio station WWHG in his hometown of Hornell, New York before moving on to WSBA in York, Pennsylvania. He began his career as talk radio host at WCBM in Baltimore in the mid-1960s. While at WCBM, Burns did two major international assignments, going to Vietnam in 1968 and the Middle East in 1969.

Following a brief stint with WEEI in Boston, Burns served as a talk show host as well as program director at WKIS 740 AM in Orlando, Florida, beginning in 1971. He would remain there until 1981, when he departed for WCAU in Philadelphia in 1981. He then returned to Orlando and WKIS in the early 1980s and was named the station's operations manager in 1984. In 1985, Burns returned to Boston, hosting a talk show on WRKO for eight years.

In 1993, Burns moved to New York City and began hosting a nationally syndicated talk program from the studios of WOR.

In 1995, he resumed his broadcasting career at KGO-AM in San Francisco. He hosted a talk show of political and social commentary called The Gene Burns Program on weeknights, as well as a program that focused on wine and fine dining in the San Francisco Bay Area called Dining Around with Gene Burns which was broadcast weekly on Saturdays.

Talkers magazine ranked Burns #24 on its list of The 25 Greatest Radio and Television Talk Show Hosts of All Time, in 2002

Harry Birrell
➦In 2013...Harry Birrell, a Los Angeles radio news reporter and anchor at KNX for more than 30 years, died of complications from interstitial lung disease at 85.

Birrell joined KNX in 1968 and was a regular weekday anchor on the all-news station until 1993, when he retired. But  he continued to file daily reports of Ventura County news from his home in Thousand Oaks until January 1999.

The Radio and Television News Assn. of Southern California recognized Birrell with multiple Golden Mike awards for excellence in local broadcast journalism.

He was born Henry Walker Birrell in Steubenville, Ohio, on March 5, 1928, but he was known throughout his life as Harry. He attended Miami University before beginning his radio career in Beaver Falls, Pa., in 1949. He criss-crossed the country working as a broadcaster before arriving at KNX.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nielsen: April 2018 PPMs A Hit For Sports Radio

Nielsen reports people still tune in for baseball.

Nielsen’s portable people meter (PPM) radio ratings for April confirm a seasonal increase in listening to sports radio stations when the major league season gets underway. Each year, the All Sports format’s audience share peaks in the fall when football kicks off and the World Series takes place, remains strong through the end of the NFL playoffs and then spikes again in the spring around opening day.

All Sports Radio Trend for April 2018 - Persons 25-54
This year, Major League Baseball’s opening day—March 29th—was the earliest opening day ever and marked the first day of the April PPM survey (March 29-April 25). As a result, sports radio had its strongest April book since PPM measurement began in full in the beginning of 2011. This month’s 4.6% share among the total audience (ages 6 and older) is the highest April result for the format ever.

The return of baseball is not the only factor that coincides with a seasonal shift in audience on the radio. The summer season is just around the corner, and each year as habits and lifestyles change, so to do radio listening trends. For the Classic Hits and Classic Rock formats, the summer has turned into the most important time of year. Over the past four summers, these two formats have seen their audience grow more than any other and claimed the title of ‘format of the summer’ as a result. Classic Hits saw the most audience growth during the summers of 2014 and 2015, followed by Classic Rock in 2016 and 2017.

This year, Classic Hits is positioning itself strongly in the months leading up to summer; the format had its best April book on record while Classic Rock declined slightly compared to past trends. Particularly among Millennials (listeners aged 18-34), Classic Hits is on the upswing in 2018, following the strongest first-quarter results that we have seen for the format.

Chicago Radio: Dick Biondi OUT At Classic Hits WLS-FM

Dick Biondi
Radio Hall of Famer and broadcasting treasure Dick Biondi is no longer part of the line-up at Cumulus Media's Classic Hits WLS 94.7 FM.

Biondi had been hosting Saturday and Sunday mornings until April 2017,  when the 85-year-old was hospitalized for what was described as a leg ailment. Several weeks later, he released a statement that said: “My doctor has assured me they doing all they can to get me back into fighting shape and I look forward to getting back on the air as soon as they say I’m ready! I want nothing more than to get back to entertaining the greatest radio audience in the greatest city in the world!”

It’s not clear exactly when Biondi’s status as an “inactive employee” changed to “former employee,” reports Chicago Media Watcher Robert Feder.

When Dick Biondi turned 85 last September 13, WLS 94.7-FM honored the legendary radio personality with a daylong celebration that included an outpouring of on-air salutes and social media messages along with a “Happy Birthday, Dick Biondi” web page.

No one knew it at the time, but those tributes turned out to be Biondi’s farewell from the Cumulus Media classic hits station, writes Feder.

Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, confirmed Wednesday that Biondi’s employment ended months ago. He’s no longer on the WLS website, and he’s not expected to return as weekend morning host.

In any case, the move signals the end of an era in Chicago radio — and an association between Biondi and WLS that dates back six decades. At night on Top 40 powerhouse WLS 890 AM from 1960 to 1963, “The Wild I-Tralian” commanded a 60 percent share of all listeners, attracting millions of adoring teens in 38 states and Canada. After numerous stops along the way, he was reunited with the iconic call letters at WLS 94.7-FM in 2006.

Calling himself The Wild I-tralian. Biondi was one of the original "screamers," known for his screaming delivery as well as his wild antics on the air and off. In a 1988 interview, Biondi related he had been fired 23 times; both fits of temper and jokes gone wrong were part of the tally. Over many years and many frequencies, Dick's close-of-the-program line was, "God bless, bye, bye, Duke. Thanks a million for dialing our way."

Biondi gained national attention in the 1950s and 1960s as a disc jockey on leading AM radio stations in Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California. Biondi is credited as the first U.S. disc jockey to play the Beatles, on Chicago's WLS 890 AM in February 1963, with the song "Please Please Me".

Since 1984, Biondi has been a mainstay on Oldies stations in the city where he first earned his reputation, Chicago. On 2 May 2010, Dick Biondi celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first Chicago broadcast.  WLS-AM and WLS-FM presented a 5-hour simulcast special from 7 PM to midnight, featuring memorable moments in his career and special celebrity guests, with Biondi as its host.

Biondi is an inductee of the National Radio Hall of Fame.