Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 3 Radio History

➦In 1940...WPG-AM, Atlantic City, New Jersey, consolidated with WBIL-AM and WOV-AM to become the "New" WOV-AM.

WPG, "The Voice Of The World's Play Ground", signed on January 3, 1925.

Owned by the municipality of Atlantic City, they had no trouble finding public property to house the station.

WPG cost the city $13,000, but since it promised millions of dollars in publicity, the management felt comfortable exaggerating the figure to $50,000.

During the summer of 1927, WPG hired popular announcer Norman Brokenshire, who quickly became a local celebrity tooling around the "World's Play Ground" in a blue-and-orange Packard.

He broadcast from the glass-enclosed "Marine Studio" at the Steel Pier and once lowered a mike from the booth to allow the world to hear the ocean waves.

Almost every club and hotel provided a venue for WPG's broadcasts, and in 1929, the station was granted permission to sell commercial time.

In May 1929, the facilities were moved to the newly opened Convention Hall, with the "Neptune" and "Marine" studios, and a listening room, open to the public.

In 1931, under economic difficulties associated with the Depression, WPG joined the Columbia Network. The network leased the station, assumed the operating costs and shared the profits with Atlantic City. The affiliation lasted until 1935 and yielded no profit.

Starting in 1928, WPG shared time with WLWL (later WBIL) from Kearney on 1100 (see below). However, by 1935, WLWL was seeking full-time hours on the frequency.

The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) cited both stations on a failure to reach an agreement on their time-sharing and granted only a temporary license renewal to both of them.

By July 1938, WPG had become a burden to the city government, with the station adding $10,000 to its annual debt.

Despite protests from the Atlantic City business community, the station was sold for $275,000, and 1100 AM was taken over by WBIL.   

Programming on WBIL consisted mainly of Italian language shows.

On January 3, 1940, WBIL was dissolved into WOV.  WOV would eventually become WADO 1280 AM.

Today, Talk WPGG 1450 AM brands itself as WPG.

➦In 1946...Mutual Radio debuted “The Casebook of Gregory Hood” starring Gale Gordon, as a summer replacement series for Sherlock Holmes. ‘Hood’ was popular enough to win its own time slot in the fall, and continued for three years.  A variety of other radio veterans played musical chairs with the title role, including George Petrie, Elliott Lewis, Jackson Beck and Martin Gabel.

➦In 1949...singer/songwriter Hank Williams made his last appearance on Shreveport’s “Louisiana Hayride” radio show before moving to Nashville.

➦In 1949...the last episode of “The Admiral Broadway Revue” was broadcast. The first comedy variety program on television ran only 7 episodes, and starred Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca. The program had aired Friday nights simultaneously on NBC TV & Dumont.

➦In 1949…Dragnet (with Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday) was first broadcast on radio (KFI in Los Angeles).  It went national on NBC Radio a month later and continued through 1957; it began on TV in December 1951.

➦In 1975...bandleader/actor/producer Ozzie Nelson lost his battle with liver cancer at age 69. After leading his own dance band & being musical director for radio’s Red Skelton Show, he got his own radio sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet in 1944, which he transferred successfully to TV in 1952.

➦In 1987...the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first female artist, Aretha Franklin.

➦In 1993...Bob Fitzsimmons, NY radio DJ (WNEW AM/WABC AM/WHN AM), died at 53.

He was the morning man on WNEW-AM from 1989 until the station's demise in late 1992.  He began his broadcasting career in 1962 as an assistant to Ted Brown and William B. Williams at WNEW.

He appeared as the character Trevor Traffic with the team of Gene Klavin and Bob Finch.  Bob later appeared on WRKL in Rockland County, NY, WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio, and WPEN in Philadelphia.  From 1970-73 he was a talk show host for WHN in New  York before returning to WNEW.  Before returing to WNEW in 1989 he was a talk show host and announcer for WABC.

➦In 2005...Infinity Broadcasting changed formats of two of the country's most notable Oldies-formatted stations: WCBS 101.1 FM in New York and WJMK 104.3 FM in Chicago. 

Both stations adopted the "Jack" format while the former Oldies FM stations were moved to online versions. In New York WCBS-FM was renamed "101.1 Jack FM" and in Chicago, WJMK-FM became "104.3 Jack FM.

The "Jack" format experiment at WCBS-FM is widely regarded, inside and outside the industry, as one of the greatest failures in modern New York radio history, as the station fell to the very bottom of the ratings of full-market-coverage FM stations in the New York market.

CBS Radio dropped the Jack Format on HD1 on July 9, 2007 and resumed ‘oldies’ under a Classic Hits umbrella.

On March 9, 2011, CBS announced that on March 14, beginning at 1:04 p.m., WJMK would switch to a classic hits format known as "K-Hits", dropping the Jack FM format and brand. The change marked the station's return to an updated version of the oldies format it dropped in 2005.

➦In 2016…Veteran radio personality (XM Satellite Radio, WBCN, WCOZ and WRKO in Boston, WABX and WKNR in Detroit, WORC-Worcester) Mark Parenteau died at the age of 66.

Geoffrey Starks Nominated To Be FCC Commissioner

Geoffrey Starks
President Donald Trump has nominated Geoffrey Starks to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission for the remainder of a five-year term ending June 30, 2022, the White House said on Friday.

Starks, who currently serves as assistant bureau chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, also served as senior counsel at the U.S. Justice Department, the White House said in a statement.

His nomination, which is subject to Senate confirmation, was backed by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, according to Reuters.

Starks is set to fill the seat now occupied by Democrat Mignon Clyburn, whose term nominally ended on June 30, 2017, but who can remain on the commission until her successor is confirmed.

Starks’ nomination is expected to be considered in the coming months along with a new term for Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr.

D-C Radio: WMZQ Adds Corey Calhoun As MD, Host

Corey Calhoun
iHeartMedia/Washington DC has announced Corey Calhoun as Music Director and evening air personality for Country WMZQ 98.7 FM.

He joins the iHM outlet from WAMZ-FM/Louisville, where he most recently served as morning host for the past two years. Prior to that, Calhoun was the afternoon host and Assistant Program Director for WAMZ before moving to mornings. He has also served as PD/afternoon host for WQGA, midday host for WYNR where he got his first taste in Country Music, and later went to Lexington, KY, as PD/afternoon host for WLTO.

"What an amazing opportunity it is to be able to work in the Nation's Capital alongside Jeff Kapugi and Ty Bailey," said Calhoun. "The WMZQ team is extremely talented and I can't wait to do big things with them!"

He will report to Jeff Kapugi, RVP of Programming for iHeartMedia DC-Baltimore. "Corey completes the WMZQ team," added Kapugi. "He brings a fresh new energy to the station and some great experience spanning multiple markets and formats."

WMZQ 98.7 FM (50 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Calhoun began his career as an intern at WWWQ in Atlanta for the Adam Bomb Night Show, and was later hired as a full-time night talent for WFIZ. He graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Media Studies.

S-F Radio: KNBR, MLB Giants To Stream Games

As part of its new multi-year agreement with broadcast partner KNBR 680 AM, the Giants will become the first team in Major League Baseball to offer free, in-market live streaming of its radio broadcasts. 

“KNBR has been part of our Giants family for most of our 60 years in San Francisco. We are thrilled to continue our partnership and to provide fans with additional access to our radio broadcasts and the best play-by-play announcers in all of baseball through live streaming,” said Giants President & CEO Larry Baer.

The live stream started Friday, June 1.  The live streams will be delivered by TuneIn and can be accessed through or by downloading the TuneIn app.

“KNBR and Cumulus Media are proud to continue our 40 year partnership with the San Francisco Giants. At the same time, we're extremely excited to announce that KNBR, in partnership with TuneIn, will be the first radio station in Major League Baseball to offer Giants fans the ability to stream the games, live and free of charge in Northern California,” said Dave Milner, Executive Vice President, Operations, Cumulus Media. “Now every Giants game broadcast over the air on KNBR 680, will also be heard online at, or the KNBR channel on TuneIn’s mobile app."

Earlier this year, the Giants and KNBR 680 finalized a multi-year extension to broadcast Giants games on the Sports Leader into the next decade.

NYC Radio Jayde Donovan To Host Annual iPad Giveaway

Cumulus Media’s 95.5 PLJ in New York is supporting morning show co-host Jayde Donovan’s Apple-A-Day Foundation to spread joy to pediatric cancer patients by honoring the memory of her friend Brittany, who passed away from bone cancer.

Jayde, co-host of the station's "Todd & Jayde In the Morning," launched the program on what would have been Brittany’s birthday, April 22, 2011. Since that time, she and her team of volunteers have surprised 600+ pediatric cancer patients with new iPads.

Every weekday in the month of May, Jayde has surprised a pediatric cancer patient with their very own iPad! 95.5 PLJ listeners got to hear the stories of patients battling pediatric cancer and how much they will benefit from receiving their own iPad. The station’s efforts to support this cause will culminate in the giving of iPads to 20 brave kids from the tri-state area at the “iPad Party” hosted by Jayde and the crew at 95.5 PLJ this Sunday, June 3rd. The iPad recipients will get to bring their families along for a day of fun at the radio station at Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17. 

The Apple-A-Day Foundation motto is: “Helping Kids Stay Connected While Fighting Cancer," providing pediatric cancer patients (ages 2-17) with devices (tablets, smart phones) so that they may experience simple joys such as listening to music, FaceTime, taking pictures, and watching movies, enabling them to stay in contact with family, friends, and the outside world.

Chad Lopez, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-New York, said: “Congratulations to Jayde and Apple-A-Day! I look forward to this event year and seeing the joy this brings to these families and children makes it all worthwhile.”

Donovan said: "Kids should be outside playing and having fun. When they get sick, it can get very lonely in the hospital. The gift of an iPad allows them to connect with friends and family when they would otherwise be limited. Technology becomes a bridge to a world they temporarily can’t be a part of. That’s what Apple a Day is all about.”

To make a donation to Apple-A-Day, please visit

Report: Joe Ianniello In Crossfire of CBS Feud

Les Moonves and Joe Ianniello
Until just a few weeks ago, Joe Ianniello, the chief operating officer of CBS seemed poised to succeed his mentor, Les Moonves, as CEO of the media giant.

Not only had Moonves and the CBS board been heaping praise on Ianniello — the company said it would be able to hit its financial targets through 2020 in large part because of Ianniello-developed projects like CBS All Access and Showtime’s streaming app — together the duo had made the tiffany network the most-watched broadcast outlet for the past several years.

And of course, Moonves, faced with a possible merger with Viacom, famously insisted Ianniello continue as the COO of the proposed combined company — a gutsy call that would basically kick Viacom Chief Executive Bob Bakish to the curb.

The Moonves-Ianniello team, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this month, seemed to be on top of the world, according to The NYPost.

But then May 14 happened.

On that day, members of the CBS board, with Moonves’ backing, went nuclear and sued controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and the family’s National Amusements Inc. — which controls 80 percent of the voting power at CBS.

Redstone, the board members claimed, violated her fiduciary responsibilities by insisting CBS merge with Viacom — a company the Redstone family also controls — and no one else.

A Delaware judge will now decide (on June 12) whether CBS will be able to dilute Redstone control of the media company to about 20 percent. If the judge rules against CBS, Moonves could be toast — and Ianniello, 50, could very well be collateral damage.

“Time is of the essence whether or not Moonves believes it,” said BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield. “Ultimately, we believe it is hard to imagine Moonves having a role in the combined company,” Greenfield told The Post.

The analyst turned to Moonves and Ianniello: “Honestly they both just need to be terminated. The media industry house is on fire. They need to get even bigger than merged.”

With big media deals beginning to crystallize with Disney and Comcast vying for Fox and Comcast trying to buy Sky — not to mention AT&T and Time Warner looking to merge — many experts believe that time is of the essence for CBS and Viacom to combine and then hunt for a larger suitor.

MSNBC Still Publicly Supports Joy Reid

MSNBC on Friday broke two days of silence and issued a statement in support of Reid. People at the network said she will host her program as scheduled on Saturday, according to The Washington Post.

In her statement, Reid said, "There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by (in her blog), things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed. Today I'm sincerely apologizing again."

She added, "I'm sorry for the collateral damage and pain this is causing individuals and communities caught in the crossfire. ... I've also spoken openly about my evolution on many issues and know that I'm a better person today than I was over a decade ago."

In particular, Reid repudiated comments she made in 2006 that echoed a discredited conspiracy theory that the federal government was behind the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington.

In another post in 2005, she appeared to agree with then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Jews should be forced to move from Israel to a colony in Europe. "God is not a real estate broker," Reid wrote in reference to Israel. "He can't just give you land 1,000 years ago that you can come back and claim today."

However, Reid said on Friday, "There is no question in my mind that al-Qaida perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or about Israel's right to its sovereignty."

As criticism of Reid mounted this week, MSNBC faced a delicate decision - whether to fire the only African-American woman to host her own show or to stand by her as controversies over Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee swirled at other networks.

After two days of internal deliberations, the network's executives chose to side with Reid.

Reid's apology was the third one she has issued for comments on her blog, written while she was a TV host in Florida starting in 2005. She apologized in December for old posts suggesting that then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was secretly gay and had gotten married as a cover. She also apologized to conservative commentator Ann Coulter for suggesting she was a man.

Meanwhile, The Hill reports Fox News host Sean Hannity defended MSNBC's Joy Reid on Friday amid scrutiny over newly surfaced blog posts of hers promoting conspiracy theories and offensive content, arguing that she should not be fired and that she be "given a chance to make it right."

"It's good to see Joy (who is no fan of mine) starting to take responsibility for her past remarks," Hannity said in a statement. "My suggestion is that she follows up with the groups and people who she offended, and learn from all of this. Her apology should be accepted, and she should be given a chance to make it right and not fired."

Hannity said he was trying to set an example by forgiving the "AM Joy" host.

Reid Hacking Claim Goes Unanswered

MSNBC‘s failure to address that dubious hacking claim has irked some inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Several employees who spoke to The Daily Beast—on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize their employment—said they were largely unimpressed with the statements, noting that many questions remain conspicuously unanswered.

“Everyone in the building is laughing at the idea that it was a hacker,” one MSNBC staffer told The Daily Beast.

“It’s just a joke,” said another employee.

According to several NBC insiders, however, some staffers on Reid’s show believed she was hacked—a sentiment shared by several of her friends in the media who first defended her in April.

Other staffers expressed a growing sense of alarm about how this ongoing saga may damage MSNBC’s reputation as a news outlet.

While Reid is well-liked and respected by colleagues, said one staffer, they are waiting for Reid and MSNBC management to demonstrate a sense of accountability for her inconvenient past writing beyond boilerplate apologies. “It’s very problematic,” said an MSNBC insider.

Particularly, several LGBT staffers at the network expressed feeling insulted by how Reid seemingly suffered no consequences for her old homophobic blog posts or transphobic tweets.

“How many apologies do we need?” another staffer asked.

Others pointed out that this ordeal makes it difficult for Reid to freely comment on the news without viewers calling out some hypocrisy. Multiple staffers pointed to how Reid was roundly mocked online when—amid outrage over Roseanne Barr’s racist tirade—daytime host Andrea Mitchell asked Reid, without irony, “What do you have to do on social media to get fired from a top rated show on an American broadcast network?”

Stingrays Threaten Cellphone Privacy

The Department of Homeland Security last year found evidence of devices that can secretly catch cell phone communications around the White House and other "potentially sensitive" areas of Washington, D.C., according to CNBC citing a letter made public Friday reveals.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said that the letter, written to him by Homeland Security official Christopher Krebs, is "more evidence" that Americans are "being spied on, tracked, or scammed," possibly by foreign spy agencies in some cases.

Wyden said phone companies and the Federal Communications Commission should be taking action to strengthen cell phone security on the heels of the letter.

Homeland Security said sensors it deployed from January 2017 through November spotted activity that appeared consistent with the devices, which can monitor individual cellphone calls and texts. Known formally as International Mobile Security Identity devices, they are commonly known as StingRays.

And Homeland Security said the evidence of cell phone tracking it detected in some cases apparently resulted from "legitimate cell towers."

The Washington Post on Friday noted that Homeland Security's findings support independent research that has concluded that foreign spies have used such technology to conduct surveillance on U.S. officials in D.C.

Wyden said in a prepared statement, "The cavalier attitude toward our national security appears to be coming from the top down. It is high time for the FCC and this administration to act immediately to protect American national security."

Some 'Hate Conduct' Seems OK With Spotify

Variety reports Spotify has swiftly reversed course on its recently introduced policy to ban artists who have engaged in “hate conduct” from promoted playlists, announcing Friday that it was dropping the plan.

“[W]hile we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines,” the company said in a statement.

However, Spotify said it was keeping the ban against “hate content” in place.

Daniel Ek
“Spotify does not permit content whose principal purpose is to incite hatred or violence against people because of their race, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” the company said. “As we’ve done before, we will remove content that violates that standard. We’re not talking about offensive, explicit, or vulgar content – we’re talking about hate speech.”

On May 11, Spotify announced the new two-part policy against “hate content” and “hateful conduct” regarding the artists it chooses to promote — and was met with an immediate backlash in the music biz. Last week, reports emerged that Spotify was rethinking the decision to ban certain artists from playlists based on their “hateful conduct.” The company reinstated rapper XXXTentacion, but not another artist, R. Kelly.

CEO Daniel Ek, speaking at an industry conference this week, admitted Spotify botched the rollout of the new policy. “We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Ek said Wednesday night, speaking at the Code Conference in a keynote Q&A.

In explaining the move Friday, Spotify said the “hate conduct” provision applied only to “rare cases of the most extreme artist controversies.”

June 2 Radio History

➦In 1896...Marconi files full specs for first (radio) wireless patent. He had succeeded the previous year in sending long-wave radio signals over a distance of about two kilometres. And in 1897, Marconi formed a wireless telegraphy company to develop its commercial applications. In 1901, he sent the letter ”S” across the Atlantic from Cornwall, England to a receiving station in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Ben Grauer
➦In & TV announcer Ben Grauer was born in Staten Island NY.

Starting in 1932 on NBC Radio, Grauer covered the Olympic Games, presidential inaugurations, and international events. He is best remembered as the NBC radio and TV host of the annual New Year’s Eve broadcasts live from Times Square. During his 40-year broadcast career, he hosted over half a dozen TV programs on NBC including game shows, quiz shows, concerts and news programs.

His career at NBC ended in 1973, and he died after a heart attack May 31, 1977 at age 68.

➦In Walter Tetley was born in New York City.  At age 23 he moved to Hollywood where his radio career as a series of brash teenagers blossomed and lasted more than 25 years, by which time he was in his late 40’s.  His best remembered roles are as Gildy’s nephew Leroy on NBC radio’s The Great Gildersleeve, and as Julius Abbruzio on The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.  He also voiced many popular cartoon characters.  He died at age 60 Sept. 4 1975, four years after a serious MVA had left him confined to a wheelchair.

Charles Farrell, Gil Stratton Jr. "Freddie", and Gale Storm
➦In Gill Stratton Jr. was born in Brooklyn.  While appearing in supporting roles in film in the late 40’s he began working as a radio actor in such shows as Lux Radio Theater, The Great Gildersleeve, and My Little Margie. He worked opposite Judy Garland in the 1950 radio version of The Wizard of Oz, and opposite Shirley Temple in an audio adaptation of The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. In the 1954 television season, Stratton was a regular on the CBS situation comedy That’s My Boy.  That same year he began a 16 year run as sportscaster on KNXT Los Angeles, and over time also covered sports for KNX radio and KTTV.

He died of congestive heart failure Oct. 11 2008 at age 86.

➦In 1933...WNJ 1450 AM, Newark, New Jersey went off the air.

This station originally went on the air as WRAZ in June 1923, located at 1290 AM.
It was owned by former naval radio operator Herman Lubinsky, who established the Radio Shop of Newark at 58 Market St., for the home of WRAZ. In April 1924, calls were changed to WCBX.

Then, on October 15, 1924, Lubinsky requested the calls WNJ, which he said stood for "Wireless New Jersey," and received his third set of call letters in 16 months.

In 1925, Lubinsky built a studio in the Paradise Ballroom in Newark and operated a shortwave transmitter for local remote pick-ups.

In July of that year, WNJ moved to 1190 AM and shared time briefly with New York station WGCP.
In July 1926, WNJ broadcasted "unauthorized" on 850 and 860 AM.

In April 1927, the station moved to 1070 AM and shared time with WGCP and Newark station WDWM.

Later that year, WNJ moved to 1120 AM and finally in November 1928, the station settled on 1450 AM, sharing time with Fort Lee station WBMS, Elizabeth staation WIBS and Jersey City station WKBO.

WNJ, "The Voice Of Newark", presented programming in Polish and Lithuanian and featured some of the earliest Italian programming in the New York metropolitan area, featuring Ben D'Avella.

In November 1932, the FRC (Federal Radio Commission) denied WNJ's request for license renewal. Lubinsky fought the action in the federal courts, but lost and was ordered off the air.

➦In 1937...The Fabulous Dr. Tweedy was broadcast on NBC radio for the first time, the summer replacement for Jack Benny. Frank Morgan starred as the absent-minded Dr. Tweedy.

➦In 1937...CBS radio presented the first broadcast of Second Husband. The show continued on the air until 1946.

➦In 1959...DJ Alan Freed did his first show on WABC 770 AM, New York after being fired from WINS 1010-AM, New York. He left WABC in November of that same year.

Friday, June 1, 2018

MSNBC Stands By Joy Reid Over Blog Posts

UPDATE 6/1/18 2:30PM:   MSNBC is backing Joy Reid, even as more of her controversial, offensive blog posts have been resurfaced.

The cable network issued a statement of support for Joy Reid on Friday, coupled with a new apology from the host about her past blog posts. However, she did not take ownership of a new set of posts allegedly written by her more than a decade ago.

"Some of the things written by Joy on her old blog are obviously hateful and hurtful," the network said Friday. "They are not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years. Joy has apologized publicly and privately and said she has grown and evolved in the many years since, and we know this to be true."

In her own, lengthy statement, Reid said she's "sincerely apologizing again" for her past writings, which are alleged  to include homophobic blog posts.

Earlier Posting.....

MSNBC host Joy Reid’s now-defunct blog published an image of Sen. John McCain’s head photoshopped onto the body of Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, according to a newly discovered post reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

The October 2007 post, titled “Baghdad John Strikes Again,” discusses the infamous claim from McCain, then the GOP presidential nominee, that he would “follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell.” The image appears at the end of the post, which was apparently penned by Reid.

The McCain post is the latest in a series of archived items from Reid’s blog that have embarrassed the AM Joy host and her network. Though Reid apologized for several anti-gay posts last December, she later attributed others to a hacker. Reid subsequently admitted that she could not substantiate this claim after news reports knocked down the evidence her private cybersecurity expert provided.

Joy Reid
Reid and MSNBC have both pointed to an ongoing FBI investigation into the alleged breach.

Friday morning even more controversial posts surfaced, adding to pressure on MSNBC and Reid To offer an explanation.

One post includes sharp criticism of CNN's Wolf Blitzer for being "a former flak for American Israeli Public Affairs Committee" (AIPAC) while accusing the veteran anchor of not hiding "his affinity for his Israeli guests, or his partisanship for their cause."

The Blitzer post, which was discovered by The Federalist on Thursday, a conservative online publication.

"With the Israeli ambassador, Blitzer was solicitous, even posing the incredible question of ‘what can we do’ about the deteriorating situation," reads the Reid blog post from 2005.

The National Review reports the other blog post from 2006 that denounces illegal immigration and insecure borders.

Mike Novak To Retire as CEO of Educational Media Foundation

Mike Novak, the chief executive of the largest non-commercial contemporary Christian radio organization in the U.S., announced today he will retire as CEO of the ministry that operates the popular K-LOVE and Air1 radio networks in the coming months.

Novak and Educational Media Foundation’s (EMF’s) Board of Directors have been working closely the past couple of years on the timing of his retirement. Mr. Novak will continue to serve as CEO, while working with the Board of Directors in their search for his successor.

Mike Novak
Mr. Novak, 68, joined EMF in 1998 and became CEO in 2007. He led dramatic growth of the networks, now heard on more than 800 stations in all 50 states and streamed around the world online. When he began as CEO, K-LOVE and Air1 were heard on more than 600 stations in 45 states.

“It has been a great honor to be a part of God’s plan to use this radio ministry to connect people to Jesus Christ,” Mr. Novak said. “I know there is a season for everything and my season for leading this organization is coming to an end. I am looking forward to serving EMF in an emeritus role, staying involved in the broadcasting world, and spending more time with my amazing wife, Cheri, and my family.”

“Mike Novak has provided outstanding leadership to our organization for these last 11 years as CEO,” said Dan Antonelli, Chairman of the Board of EMF. “Mike has used his deep knowledge of the broadcasting industry and his passion and commitment to our ministry to create an organization that today reaches more than 20 million people each week.”

Mr. Novak’s involvement with K-LOVE goes back to 1982 when he served as the voice of the station and then joined EMF full time in 1998 as an air talent and later program director, network program director, vice president of programming, and senior vice president, before being tapped to be President/CEO in 2007. Prior to joining EMF, he held a number of positions at for-profit radio stations in major markets in California for many years.

Facebook To Discontinue 'Trending'

Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products for Facebook today the Trending section would soon make way for 'future news' experiences on Facebook.

Trending was introduced in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community. However, it was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average. From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful. Facebook will remove Trending next week and we will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.

According to Hardiman, "We’ve seen that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing to be primarily on mobile and increasingly through news video. So we’re exploring new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources.

For example:
  • Breaking News Label: A test we’re running with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia lets publishers put a “breaking news” indicator on their posts in News Feed. We’re also testing breaking news notifications.
  • Today In: We’re testing a dedicated section on Facebook called Today In that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
  • News Video in Watch: We will soon have a dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the US where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Watch.
Hardiman added, "People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them. We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality, and we’re investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most."

And The 2018 Radio Mercury Awards Winners Are...

McCann NY Co-Chief Creative Officer, Sean Bryan; John Bleeden, FCB Chicago, and Erica Farber, RAB President-CEO

Winners for the 2018 Radio Mercury Awards were announced Thursday evening at the 27th annual awards presentation held at The Cutting Room in New York.

This year’s $50,000 Best of Show award was split between FCB Chicago for their "Tours" Radio Flyer Campaign and Fitzco//Casanova McCann for their "Share A Coke 1,000 Name Celebration" Campaign.

"We were really torn over this classic incredibly creative storytelling for Radio Flyer and then this innovative and exciting use of the medium for Coke," noted Sean Bryan, chief judge and co-chief creative officer, McCann NY. "Splitting the Best of Show award is the best option with a nod to the heart of the medium, and a wink to the future."

"This was a fantastic year for radio creative. Our two Best of Show winners, along with all of tonight’s winners, showcase radio’s ability to share creative stories that encapsulate a brand’s message, and use the medium in a multi-platform environment, much like how consumers digest media and advertising today," said Erica Farber, president and CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau and chair of the Radio Creative Fund.

Sean Bryan with Alejandro Ortiz Casanova McCann; Mitch Bennett,Michael Groenwald, Bowen Mendelson, Fitzco and Farber

This year’s Radio Marketer of the Year Award was presented to Comcast’s Xfinity. Drew Horowitz, president and chief operating officer of Hubbard Radio presented this year’s award to Eileen Diskin, senior vice president, marketing communications at Comcast. Erica Farber noted that "Xfinity’s brand efforts activated during the past year consistently demonstrate how to leverage radio’s multi-platform capabilities. They created significant programs to support their suite of video, broadband, mobile, phone and home security products and services that showcase the very best of radio."

The lively ceremony was hosted by the radio team of Sherman & Tingle from Hubbard Radio’s 97.1 The Drive WDRV in Chicago and included the following presenters: Chuck Meehan, Doner Detroit; New York radio personalities – Rita Cosby, WABC; Shelley Rome, Z100; Shalia, WBLS, Omar Torres, Alt 92.3; and Garrett Vogel, Z100. DJ Whutever from iHeartMedia’s Power 105.1 served as the guest DJ for the night.

Numerous leaders from the creative and advertising community including the aforementioned Sean Bryan, Chuck Meehan,Ciro Sarmiento, Dieste, along with Sal DeVito and Ellis Verdi, co-founders of DeVito/Verdi, and SVP, executive creative director from Fitzco, Mitch Bennett were in attendance. Also in attendance were creative teams from barrettSF, BBDO NY, JWT Puerto Rico, Publicis NY, PureRed, and W+K.

Spanish-Language Stations Call Nielsen Foul

The Spanish Broadcasting System says it was informed this week by Nielsen of what its calls 'sweeping, retroactive changes' to the radio measurement of Hispanic households.  The company alleges the changes are 'attacks' on Hispanics.

Richard D. Lara, General Counsel for Spanish Broadcasting Systemissued the following statement:
“Earlier this week, Spanish Broadcasting System, the owner and operator of 17 radio stations serving the top Hispanic markets throughout the United States for over 30 years, received disconcerting news from The Nielsen Company.  
Nielsen announced its intention to make sweeping, retroactive changes to its audience measurement service based on an internal decision to remove a number of Hispanic households from its ratings sampling pool. SBS, and other Spanish-language broadcasters, vehemently object and protest such unilateral, and seemingly, discriminatory actions taken by Nielsen, which unfairly and disproportionally exclude Hispanic-listener households from the ratings methodology.  
The restated ratings and rankings reports are, in SBS’s view unreliable, and inaccurately suggest that Spanish-language stations have dropped from top 5 rankings to number 15 or lower. This cannot stand. SBS will continue to faithfully serve its Hispanic-listener communities and will not tolerate unfair and discriminatory attacks on Spanish language broadcasters. We will not stop until Nielson’s prejudicial and discriminatory attacks on U.S.-based Hispanics ceases.”
The statement was issued after removed four households from its L.A. PPM ratings sample and began to reissue seven surveys of ratings. SBS calls “unreliable” the reissued ratings, which caused its “La Raza” KLAX-FM to drop a full share,  and says Nielsen’s actions “unfairly and disproportionately exclude Hispanic-listener households.”

According to MediaPost, Nielsen has historically been under the microscope for its representation of minority viewers in its audience measurement samples, so the removal of some Hispanic household representation in a heavily Hispanic market like Los Angeles merits attention.

For its part, Nielsen says the move was made purely for “quality” reasons and that the households that were removed did not live up to its quality control standards, but that the result is that the representation of Hispanic persons and households in its sample continues to meet its targets.

“The integrity of our data is paramount and that is why Nielsen removed four homes from the Los Angeles PPM panel effective with the April monthly audio currency data,” a Nielsen spokesperson stated. PPM stands for “portable people meter,” which is a portable device panelists carry with them to detect what audio signals they exposed to throughout their day.

“An internal review concluded that these homes did not meet our data quality and integrity standards,” the spokesperson continued, adding, “We conducted an analysis of data from October 2017 to March 2018 and determined that the data for these months will be reissued without these homes included.”

The spokesperson said Nielsen reviewed the composition and characteristics of the balance of its Los Angeles panel and deteremined it meets its standards.

Nielsen’s sample target for Hispanic persons 6 years and older in Los Angeles is 1,192 and its average daily “in-tab” -- or the portion of its sample reporting useable data -- is 1,475.

Report:Cable News Viewing Slows Down

Cable news networks had a general overall viewing pullback in May, in part, due to NBA playoff viewing, according to Wayne Friedman at MediaPost.

Fox News Channel still leads all cable news networks.

While prime time grew 6% to 2.38 million viewers and 2% among key 25-54 viewers to 461,000, it slipped in total day (6 a.m. to 6 a.m. viewing). It was down 2% in total viewers to 1.4 million and 8% lower in 25-54 at 279,000.

Fox News Channel came in second place overall to TNT -- which had heavy NBA playoff programming.

After almost a year of nonstop growth, second-place cable news net MSNBC lost some ground. In prime time, the network was down 2% to 1.65 million and 21% lower in 25-54 viewers to 329,000. Total day viewing went south: 1% to 914,000 and 11% lower in 25-54 to 196,000.

Still, MSNBC says in looking at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., it witnessed growth -- while Fox News and CNN declined. For May, in total viewers, MSNBC was up 4% with Fox News down 9% and CNN losing 21%.

Fox Plans For Limiting Commercials Hits RoadBump

Fox Networks Group had grand ambitions to reduce commercials this season, specifically in its Sunday night block of animation and comedies. The plan was to knock off as much as 40 percent of ad time in more than 40 Sunday nights of the year.

But its plan has hit a snag, according to AdAge.

While Fox is still out selling its one-minute commercial breaks, dubbed "just a and z" pods, or Jaz for short, they're currently slated to run on only three Sunday nights next season. Those nights are Oct. 14, Oct. 21 and Nov. 11, according to people familiar with the situation, who note that the dates have changed before and could again.

Fox was out early with its idea for limited commercials, which it pitched before its upfronts presentation to advertisers this month. But the execution has changed course along the way.

The roadblocks have come both from Fox's affiliates and its programming division, buyers surmise. Fox's head of ad sales Joe Marchese had been talking with affiliates in an attempt to move local ad breaks out of many Sunday nights, but it doesn't appear that he'll have deals in place in time for this year's upfront negotiations.

(The Jaz pod gets its name from the "A" and "Z" positions in a typical commercial break, the first and last ones to run, with others in between; a Jaz pod would include only those two spots.)

While Fox's plans are more modest for next season than perhaps its initial pitch to the marketplace, most of the industry agrees the efforts are commendable, and on the nights Fox does air its shows with a reduce commercial load, viewers will see a noticeable difference.

Fox News To Expand 'America's Newsroom' Time Slot

Fox News Channel announced Thursday it will expand its signature morning news program, America’s Newsroom, to three hours, starting Monday, June 11.

The show, co-anchored by Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith, will air from 9:00am to 12:00pm ET, replacing "Happening Now," which currently airs at 11:00am ET.

"Bill and Sandra’s ability to cut through the headlines and provide hard-hitting interviews with the nation’s leaders have made it must-see television and we’re excited to add an extra hour of this informative program to the weekday lineup," Fox News president and executive editor Jay Wallace said.

"Happening Now" host Jon Scott will anchor "Fox Report Weekend" on Saturdays at 7:00pm ET and on Sundays at 6:00pm ET, kicking off on Saturday, June 16.

Scott, who has been with Fox News Channel since its October 1996 launch, will also contribute to weekend breaking news coverage.

"Adding Jon Scott’s extensive experience in breaking news will help ensure our weekend coverage remains unparalleled in the industry," Wallace announced.

Geared towards providing hard news and interviews with key newsmakers, "America’s Newsroom" has averaged 1.6 million total viewers, making it the number one news program in its timeslot.

Hemmer has anchored the program since its inception in 2009 and for the majority of his 10-year tenure at the network. Smith joined him as co-anchor last fall and has co-hosted "Outnumbered" since its debut in 2014.

NYC Radio: Dave LaBrozzi Named WPLJ PD

Dave LaBrozzi
Cumulus Media announces that it has named David LaBrozzi as Program Director for WPLJ 95.5 FM in New York.

LaBrozzi joins Cumulus Media from Entercom-Baltimore, where he was Vice President, Programming, for the company’s four-station cluster for 14 years. Prior to that, he was Regional Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel/iHeart Media, overseeing stations in Pittsburgh, PA; Wheeling, WV; and Johnstown, PA. LaBrozzi’s career includes programming stops in Dallas, TX; San Antonio, TX; Austin, TX; and Nashville, TN.

Chad Lopez, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media-New York, said: “We’re excited to welcome Dave LaBrozzi to the heritage brand that is WPLJ. We look forward to what he’ll bring to the Big Apple. I want to thank Mike Allan as Interim PD and the programming team at 95.5 for all of their hard work these last few months.”

WPLJ 95.5 FM (6.7 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
LaBrozzi said: “WPLJ is truly one of America’s Iconic Radio Stations. I am thrilled, honored and humbled to join Chad Lopez, Dave Milner, Mike McVay and the incredible team at 95.5 PLJ. While I can’t wait to get started in New York, I want to thank Entercom and CBS for a great experience and for being an important part of my life.”

MO Radio: Cumulus Media Silences KZJF

KZJF 104.1 FM in Jefferson City, MO went off the air last Friday, according to the News-Tribune citing documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

KSJF 104.1 FM (5.3 Kw)
Station owner Cumulus Media in November filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to a restructuring agreement to reduce its more than $1 billion in debt. As part of the restructuring process, Cumulus agreed to divest KZJF along with stations in Albany, Georgia; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Toledo, Ohio.

Cumulus discontinued operations at the KZJF on Monday, according to documents filed with the FCC.

In 2013, the station switched from a country radio format to a sports-talk-radio format and had an affiliation with CBS Sports Radio. During that period, KZJF also carried Westwood One programming including NFL broadcasts, the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In June 2015, KZJF switched its format to classic hits and Cumulus re-branded the station as Z104.1 Jefferson City’s Classic Hits.

Because of the change, Cumulus-owned KJMO 97.5 FM will switch from an oldies format and assume KZJF’s classic hits format.

Shareholder Pension Fund Backs CBS In Redstone Fight

A Pennsylvania state pension fund claims Shari Redstone’s National Amusements Inc. breached its fiduciary responsibility by interfering in a CBS board vote that diluted the heiress’ grip on the media giant.

In addition, NAI, owned by the Redstone family, violated Delaware law when it pushed through at the 11th hour a change in the CBS bylaws aimed at blocking the dilutive vote, the suit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court by the Westmoreland County Employees Retirement System, claims.

A Delaware judge is weighing whether the bylaws change is legal.

According to The NYPost, the suit by the pension fund, a shareholder in CBS, is the latest salvo in the weeks’ long warfare between the New York media giant and the Redstone family — which controls 80 percent of the voting power at CBS through coveted A shares.

CBS, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Moonves, claims in court papers that Redstone is pushing a merger only with Viacom, also controlled by the family, because it is in her best interest.

CBS shareholders would be better served if CBS merged with another company, it said in court papers. Indeed, Redstone blocked an approach by an unidentified third party interested in a possible merger, court papers claim.

Redstone, the daughter of ailing media mogul Sumner Redstone, claims through NAI lawyers that the move to amend CBS bylaws — to require a 90 percent vote on certain matters — was perfectly legal.

The CBS board in May voted 11-3 to issue a dividend of A shares to every CBS shareholder. The move would dilute the Redstone family control from 80 percent to about 20 percent.

Report: Facebook Shareholders Flirt with Revolt

Anger and frustration boiled over at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, turning the typically uneventful gathering into a chance for investors to confront company executives after a scandal-ridden year.

NBC News reports the meeting felt like a revolt at times, as investors hammered CEO Mark Zuckerberg with qestions about his leadership, control of the company and handling of the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal.

Facebook’s shareholder meetings are mostly a formality, as voting power in the company is still controlled by Zuckerberg and his inner circle. This makes it nearly impossible to pass any shareholder initiatives unless they’ve been blessed by Zuckerberg. All six shareholder initiatives put forward on Thursday were voted down.

During the election of board members, one woman interrupted and urged shareholders to vote down Zuckerberg’s re-election to the board. Despite the interruption, all eight members of the board, including Zuckerberg, were re-elected.

A shareholder proposal that would have given everyone one vote per share, stripping Zuckerberg of his special voting rights, did not pass.

Zuckerberg and board members were hit hard with concerns over the company’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.