Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 3 Radio History

➦In Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs Arkansas.  His career began in radio in 1935 and he went on to star in films, of which Shane was the highlight.  When his short stature caused his movie career to wind down he returned to radio, and starred in the mystery series Box 13, while guest starring in other Hollywood productions.  Depression and alcoholism contributed to his early death Jan. 29 1964 at age 50.

➦In 1939…In a radio broadcast, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that Britain and France had declared war on Germany. Germany had invaded Poland two days earlier.

➦In 1954...Last new episode of “The Lone Ranger” aired on ABC. Repeat episodes were aired by ABC in 1955 and by NBC in 1956.

Gary Owens
➦In 1965... Los Angeles DJ Gary Owens KMPC 710 AM was signed to the voice for the title role in Roger Ramjet, humorous super hero of a new animated TV series. Owens performs several other voices on the show in addition to the leading character. Roger Ramjet is a super astronaut who fights assorted evildoers with the help of a high- powered “proton” energy pill.

➦In 1966...the final “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” TV show (co-starring son Rick Nelson) aired on ABC.  It had begun on radio 22 years earlier, and moved to TV in 1952.

➦In 1969...The hit song "I've Got You Under My Skin" by The Four Seasons was released to radio

➦In 1970... WMCA in New York City announced the hiring of Los Angeles talk host Bob Grant to do a daily show beginning September 22. The station recently announced it was going full-time (two-way) talk radio ending a long run of playing popular music. The station was the most popular “pop” music station in the country from 1963 through 1967.

➦In 1971...Paul McCartney decided to name his new band "Wings."

➦In 1972...DJ Mike Kelly of Cleveland's WIXY 1260 AM spends 21 days, 3-hours and 58-minutes on a Ferris wheel at nearby Cedar Point Amusement park.

Don Burden

➦In 1976...The FCC orders radio station KOIL 1290 and sister KEFM in Omaha off the air. Licenses for the two stations, plus WIFE-AM in Indianapolis and KISN in Vancouver Washington were revoked by the FCC on grounds of misconduct by operator Don Burden – board chairman and majority stockholder of Star Broadcasting. It’s the FCC’s most severe action to date. Revoking the license means he can’t sell.

Burden was charged with a long list of violations, including running phony contests on the air, billing advertisers twice, slanting news broadcasts and giving free airtime to some political candidates.

➦In 1977..."Best of My Love" by the Emotions was the #1 song again for the third week.  Andy Gibb's former #1 "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" refused to fall further and that meant Rita Coolidge couldn't advance with "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher".  The Commodores ("Easy) and James Taylor ("Handy Man") were stuck as well.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Floaters and "Float On", Crosby, Stills & Nash with "Just a Song Before I Go" at #7, Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop", the Brothers Johnson edged up with "Strawberry Letter 23" and ELO landed their 11th hit and second Top 10 with "Telephone Line".

➦In 1977...Rumours by Fleetwood Mac spent its 17th week at #1 on the album chart, one shy of the all-time Rock Era record by More of the Monkees.  CSN, the solid release from Crosby, Stills & Nash, was #2 followed by the Soundtrack to "Star Wars".  JT from James Taylor was fourth and Moody Blue by Elvis Presley moved from 24 to 5 following his passing on August 16. 

➦In 1979...Don Imus returned to WNBC 660 AM from his Cleveland Exile.

After a stint at WGAR  1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC 660 AM in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label.

Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK, making the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on his first day back in town. During that year, Imus commuted between Cleveland and New York to tape a TV talk show, Imus Plus at WNEW-TV.

In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show.

➦In 1979...Anti disco - WLUP Chicago DJ Steve Dahl’s “Do Ya Think I’m Disco” has sold more than 200,000 copies nationwide in two weeks and many radio stations are playing the anti-disco record. In Detroit  - WWWW morning DJ’s have organized a Death to Disco Ducks society, In Los Angeles, KROQ’s own insane Daryll Wayne is burying disco albums at the beach.  In Kansas City – KYYS DJ Max Floyd is recruiting listeners for an antidisco “Rock ‘n’ Roll Army. Some pop stations are featuring “no disco” music sweeps.

➦In 1985...songwriter Johnny Marks, who wrote the Christmas classics Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and A Holly Jolly Christmas, died at age 75.

Bob Sievers
➦In 2007...long time Fort Wayne, Indiana, radio personality, Bob Sievers, died at age 90.

Sievers worked for WOWO 1190 AM for more than 50 years.

Sievers, 90, retired from his morning show on WO-WO radio in 1987 after more than 50 years at the station.

During his five decades with WOWO, he earned the title of “Mr. WOWO” as host on the popular morning show “Little Red Barn Show” that aired from 5 to 7 a.m., and the Bob Sievers show that aired from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Saturdays.

“I can’t think of anyone more influential in this town, and I’ve been here 35 years,” said Ron Gregory, a close friend and former WOWO radio announcer. “I can’t think of anybody who comes close to the impact that Bob Sievers had. It’s definitely the end of an era.”

Bob Sievers at age 90
In the days when the station’s 50,000-watt signal was not competing with the number of stations it does today, Sievers’ voice – and popularity – stretched across the country and around the world.

WOWO listeners could be found in 28 states and even overseas, and Sievers would often receive letters from devoted listeners across oceans, like missionaries in Africa, Gregory said. In addition to his time on the radio, Sievers also made public appearances for organizations, churches and clubs on his personal time.

➦In 2017...Steely Dan guitarist and co-founder Walter Becker died just four months after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer at age 67.  Together with Donald Fagan in 1971 he formed Steely Dan  and introduced a unique sound in rock, with hits such as “Do it Again” and “Reeling’ in the Years.”

September 2 Radio History

➦In 1896...singer/musician/actress Amanda Randolph was born in Louisville Ky.

She is best remembered as Kingfish’s mother-in-law in Amos & Andy, both radio & TV. In the late 1930’s she had been featured on the radio soaps Young Dr. Malone, Romance of Helen Trent and Big Sister.  She was one of several actresses to play Beulah on TV, and was a cast member on The Danny Thomas Show.

She suffered a fatal stroke August 24, 1967, a week short of her 71st birthday.

➦In 1906...writer/comedienne Barbara Jo Allen was born in New York City.

She created the inimitable radio character Vera Vague in the late 1930’s, and played the wise-cracking man-chasing spinster to the hilt in her regular spots on Bob Hope’s Pepsodent radio programs. She was part of his USO troupe during WWII. In addition to an extensive radio resume she appeared in some 60 films, and hosted (as Vera) the CBS TV audience participation show Follow the Leader in 1953. She died Sept. 14 1974, just 12 days after turning 68.

➦In 1931...the radio show, "15 Minutes with Bing Crosby", debuted on CBS.

In 1923, Crosby had been invited to join a new band composed of high school students a few years younger than himself. Al Rinker, Miles Rinker, James Heaton, Claire Pritchard and Robert Pritchard, along with drummer Crosby, formed the Musicaladers, who performed at dances both for high school students and club-goers. The group did perform on Spokane radio station KHQ, but disbanded after two years.

By 1925, Crosby had formed a vocal duo with partner Al Rinker, brother of singer Mildred Bailey. Bailey introduced Rinker and Crosby to Paul Whiteman, who was at that time America's most famous bandleader. Hired for $150 a week in 1926, they made their debut on December 6 at the Tivoli Theatre in Chicago. Their first recording was "I've Got The Girl", with Don Clark's Orchestra, but the Columbia-issued record did them no vocal favors, as it was inadvertently recorded at a speed slower than it should have been, which increased the singers' pitch when played at 78 rpm. Throughout his career, Crosby often credited Mildred Bailey for getting him his first important job in the entertainment business.

Even as the Crosby and Rinker duo was increasing in popularity, Whiteman added a third member to the group. The threesome, now including pianist and aspiring songwriter Harry Barris, were dubbed "The Rhythm Boys". They joined the Whiteman touring act, performing and recording with musicians Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Lang and Hoagy Carmichael, also appearing together in a Whiteman movie.

Crosby soon became the star attraction of the Rhythm Boys, and in 1928 he had his first number one hit with the Whiteman orchestra, a jazz-influenced rendition of "Ol' Man River". However, Crosby's reported taste for alcohol and his growing dissatisfaction with Whiteman led to his quitting the Rhythm Boys to join the Gus Arnheim Orchestra. During his time with Arnheim, the other two Rhythm Boys were increasingly pushed to the background as the emphasis was on Crosby. Harry Barris wrote several of Crosby's subsequent hits including "At Your Command", "I Surrender Dear", and "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams". But the members of the band had a falling out and split, setting the stage for Crosby's solo career.

From 1942...

On September 2, 1931, Crosby made his solo radio debut.  Before the end of the year, he signed with both Brunswick Records and CBS Radio. Doing a weekly 15-minute radio broadcast, Crosby quickly became a huge hit.  His songs "Out of Nowhere", "Just One More Chance", "At Your Command" and "I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)" were all among the best selling songs of 1931.

➦In 1945…Aboard the USS Missouri, Japan formally surrendered to the United States, ending World War II, six years and one day after it began.

➦In 1963..."The CBS Evening News," anchored by Walter Cronkite, became network television's first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, lengthened from its original 15 minutes.


➦In 1968...Music Directors at radio stations across the country received a new 45 from a new group called Creedence Clearwater Revival.  They didn't know much about them other than their first single was called "Suzie Q".  They played it, and the rest is history.

➦In 1973...Some of The Top Albums of 1973* were out on this date.  Chicago VI remained at #1, Pink Floyd moved back up to #2 with The Dark Side of the Moon, Foreigner from Cat Stevens was fourth while the Allman Brothers Band moved from 13 to 4 with the biggest album they would ever have--Brothers and Sisters.  The rest of the Top 10:  Touch Me in the Morning from Diana Ross, A Passion Play from Jethro Tull dropped from 2, Machine Head by Deep Purple had been out a year and was moving up to #7, We're An American Band from Grand Funk moved from 15 to 8, Made in Japan by Deep Purple was #9 and Fresh by Sly & the Family Stone completed the list.

➦In 1974...Reunion released "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)" on this date. Many custom versions were made for Top40 stations across the country. WCFL 1000 AM in Chicago had one. Here is the version for crosstown rival WLS 890 AM...

➦In 1986...WAPP changed to WQHT 103.5 FM.

CA Passes Net Neutrality Proposal

Nearly nine months after federal regulators voted to do away with net neutrality rules instituted under the Obama administration, state lawmakers are on the verge of bringing them back to California.

According to The L-A Times, the state Senate on Friday sent a broad proposal to Gov. Jerry Brown that would prevent broadband and wireless companies from favoring some websites over others by charging for faster speeds and from blocking, throttling or otherwise hindering access to content.

lawmakers said California should be setting the national standard on internet policy and vowed to persuade the governor to sign the legislation, calling it vital to the state’s resistance to the Trump administration. 

Scott Wiener
Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who introduced the bill, said this was not “a battle of the titans,” or Facebook versus AT&T, as characterized by the telecom industry. It was a battle to level the playing field for small and mid-sized businesses, activists and others who couldn’t pay their way out of internet “slow lanes,” he said.

“Fundamentally, net neutrality is that we as individuals get to decide where to go on the internet as opposed to being told,” Wiener said, echoing his comments on the Senate floor.

The legislation moved out with a 27-12 vote and little debate, capping months of aggressive feuding between tech advocates and telecom industry lobbyists.

Legislators clashed on the Assembly floor a day earlier over whether the state should step in to fill a role some said was best left to the federal government. To opponents, the rules represented burdensome, harsh regulations on companies; for proponents, they were strong and necessary protections for consumers.

On Friday, tech activists and advocacy groups hailed the passage as a landmark move toward fair and free access to the internet, saying other states were sure to follow.

Telecom industry groups and lobbyists warned the bill would be challenged in federal court.

California is one of 29 states to consider net neutrality protections since the Federal Communications Commission voted late last year to reverse the Obama-era internet regulations. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Trump, and Republicans have called for an end to the utility-like oversight of internet service providers.

Meteorologist Allegedly Fractures News Anchor's Skull

A meteorologist at a West Virginia TV station is accused of shoving a news anchor and fracturing her skull.

26-year-old Chelsea Ambriz is charged with misdemeanor battery, according to The Daily Mail.

A criminal complaint says Ambriz, who works as an on-air forecaster for WSAZ-TV, shoved station anchor Erica Bivens on Sunday.

The complaint says Bivens suffered a ruptured ear drum and skull fracture in the fight.

The co-workers got into the brawl at a bar after Bivens thought Ambriz was hitting on her husband.

She confronted Ambriz, who became angry and allegedly shoved Bivens.

Ambriz is set to appear in court September 21. It's unclear if she has a lawyer that can be contacted for comment.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Ambriz could face 'up to a year in jail and/or a fine of no more than $500' if she's found guilty.

CA Radio: Bloodbath At KTIP Follows Sale Announcement

News/Talk KTIP AM 1450 in Porterville CA has parted ways with longtime station operations manager and lead on-air personality Kent Hopper, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.

Hopper was the local news and talk show host for 17 years at the Porterville-based radio station.

"I am still shell shock," Hopper said. "I am hurt."

Hopper's wife, Kathy, and his son, Kyle, were also let go from the station. Kathy Hopper was the station's traffic manager while Kyle Hopper was in charge of the station's website, and live videos.

There are more personnel moves.

Pamela Whitmire, who goes by PK the Redhead, left the station. On Friday, Brian Martinez, the station's assistant operations manager, was fired. Also on Friday, Jesus Solis, who worked on the station's IT department, quit.

The news about the station's sale and personnel moves came suddenly, she said. Nobody at the station knew KTIP was for sale or had been sold. There was a meeting with the new owner and, for a while, it looked like no charges were going to happen.

KTIP 1450 AM (1 Kw)
Kent Hopper said he is proud he helped transform KTIP from an outlet reporting lunch menus at schools and senior centers to one with hard news, featuring interviews with local officials and dignitaries.

"It got people to understand what's going on," he said. "It was more news, more news, more news."

Jose Arredondo, the owner of Tulare's KGEN 94.5 FM, 1370 AM, is acquiring the 70-year-old KTIP.  A call to KGEN seeking comment was not returned.

Kent Hopper said he does not know what's next for KTIP. Arredondo may change the format to Spanish-language programming or remain with news.

"My true hope is that he hires us back when he takes over," he said.

Football Season Kick-Off On ESPN Radio

The 2018 football season will kick off this week on ESPN Radio, which will feature a full slate of college football and NFL Sunday games, and its signature morning program Golic and Wingo will hit the road for its annual Fall Football Tour.

Comprised of six stops, hosts Mike Golic and Trey Wingo – with Mike Golic Jr. – will visit a variety of NFL and college football hotspots in advance of some of the biggest games of the year. The schedule includes a trip to Green Bay, Wisc., on September 7, in advance of the Chicago Bears-Green Bay matchup, and for an SEC showdown in Baton Rouge, La., as Alabama visits LSU on Nov 1.

Once again, ESPN Radio will broadcast out-of-market NFL games, beginning Sunday, Sept. 9, with a doubleheader – Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants (Noon ET) and Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (4 p.m.). Commentators include play-by-play announcers Adam Amin and Marc Kestecher and analysts Bill Polian, Chris Canty, Brock Huard and Shaun O’Hara. Click for full schedule: 2018 ESPN Radio NFL Schedule (additional games to be announced).

ESPN Radio’s 23-game regular-season schedule will showcase some of the preeminent rivalries in the game, including Florida-Georgia (October 27); Stanford-California (November 17); Washington-Washington State (November 23) and Michigan-Ohio State (November 24). For the full schedule, visit: 2018 ESPN Radio College Football Schedule.

In addition, ESPN Radio will tour the country with its version of College GameDay, hosted by Matt Schick with analysts Brad Edwards and Trevor Matich. The program, which airs Saturdays, Noon – 7 p.m., will make its first stop of the season in South Bend, Ind., on September 1, as Michigan visits Notre Dame. The tour will make a total of six stops, also including Tallahassee, Fla., Baton Rouge, La., and Norman, Okla.

Football Weekends on ESPN Radio:

ESPN Radio will roll out an updated 2018 fall weekend lineup with a focus on the college football and NFL seasons and featuring some of the most experienced and knowledgeable voices in the game.
The schedule will include ESPN Radio fall football mainstays including the network’s own College GameDay with new host Matt Schick, with Trevor Matich and Brad Edwards, new program Football Frenzy hosted by former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, with Bobby Carpenter and Field Yates, and more.

The Village Voice Stops The Presses

The Village Voice, a New York journalism staple and the country's first alternative newspaper, announced Friday it will no longer continue to publish stories after more than 60 years.

"This is a sad day for The Village Voice and for millions of readers. The Voice has been a key element of New York City journalism and is read around the world," said the Voice's owner, Peter Barbey, in a statement. "As the first modern alternative newspaper, it literally defined a new genre of publishing."

"Although the Voice will not continue publishing, we are dedicated to ensuring that its legacy will endure to inspire more generations of readers and writers to give even more speed to those same goals," Barbey added. "We have begun working to ensure that the enormous print archive of The Village Voice is made digitally accessible.

The Village Voice, co-founded by legendary novelist Norman Mailer, was launched in 1955.

The paper captured journalism's top honors, including three Pulitzer Prizes, a National Press Association Award and Polk Award.

According to The Hill, The Voice's demise underscores the challenges for the local newspaper industry as more convenient and inexpensive or free digital options are readily available for consumers on their phones and computers.

September 1 Radio History

➦In 1887…Emile Berliner filed for a patent for the lateral-cut, flat-disk gramophone he invented, a device better known as a record player. It was Thomas Edison who later made the idea work.

➦In 1900...rotund announcer Don Wilson was born in Lincoln Nebraska.
Don Wilson

After starting in radio in Denver, he worked as a sportscaster in  LA before first announcing for Jack Benny in 1934.  He was still Benny’s announcer, and comedy foil, more than 3 decades later.

He had a TV talk show in Palm Springs with wife Lois from 1968 to the mid ’70′s.

He died after a stroke Apr. 25, 1982 at age 81.

➦In station CKLW Windsor moved from 840 KHz to 1030 KHz with 5000 watts. It had been a CBS affiliate since 1932, but lost it to WJR Detroit in 1935, immediately switching to the Mutual network.

➦In 1953...Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery auditioned for KDAV's Sunday Party in Lubbock, Texas.  The duo began a Sunday afternoon slot that became The Bob and Buddy Show.

➦In 1955...Legendary DJ Alan Freed holds his "First Anniversary Rock 'n Roll Party" at Brooklyn's Paramount Theater, featuring Chuck Berry, and for some reason, Tony Bennett.

➦In 1952...Art Linkletter debuted his daily House Party on CBS-TV. The variety show featuring ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things” had begun on daytime radio in 1945.

➦In 1960...WXKS 107.9 FM, better known as Kiss 108, first went on the air September 1, 1960 as WHIL-FM, a simulcast of sister station WHIL 1430 AM, now WKOX, and broadcasting its own programming after sunset when WHIL signed-off. For much of the sixties, WHIL & WHIL-FM were country-music stations, but in late 1972, both stations switched to beautiful music as WWEL-AM and FM ("Well"). The Calls refer to Wellington Sq in Medford MA, where the station studios were located.

Despite moving the FM transmitter to the top of the Prudential Tower in 1972, WWEL-FM was not very successful as a beautiful-music format. In 1978, WWEL-FM broadcast the night games of the Boston Red Sox baseball team as the flagship station WITS 1510 delivered a poor night signal in much of Metro Boston. The stations were sold to Heftel Communications, operated by U.S. Rep. Cecil Heftel (D-Hawai) in early 1979. Heftel changed the call letters to WXKS, adopted "Kiss 108" as an identity and changed to a disco format on February 10, 1979 at 12:00am.  Under Heftel, the station soared to near the top of the Arbitron ratings, and forced WBOS (which had been first in Boston with a 24/7 disco sound and had a short period of huge success with it) out of the format in early 1980.

Matty In The Morning circa 2009
Sunny Joe White, a young programmer (who had previously programmed WILD in Boston) came aboard at Kiss-108 upon its shift to disco and had much to do with the station's early success.

At the end of 1979, WXKS dropped disco to adopt an adult standards format, while the FM slowly evolved into urban contemporary when disco's popularity crashed. By the end of 1981 and into early 1982, the station became a CHR with a heavily Rhythmic R&B/Dance direction under the guidance of White, and in turn became one of the most influential Top 40 stations in the nation, in part due to their reputation for breaking songs that did not fit the traditional Top 40/CHR model, and given that Boston lacked a Urban Contemporary FM outlet during this period, and since WILD was an AM daytimer, it wasn't afraid to play songs from that genre.

The genre would later become the format now known as Rhythmic contemporary, which is now the current format of sister station WJMN. By 1988, WXKS began to shift out of the Rhythmic direction and evolved into its current successful Top 40/CHR format.

➦In 1965...Ron Lundy started at WABC 770 AM.

Ron Lundy
Lundy was born June 25, 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, the only child of Fred Sr., a railroad engineer, and Mary Lundy. He served in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school. Following the completion of his military stint, he returned to his hometown and attended a local radio broadcasting school on the G.I. Bill.  At the same time, he worked across the street at WHHM-AM, where he got his first on-air experience one night when he substituted for the regular disc jockey who failed to report for his shift. This resulted in Lundy being hired as a full-time radio announcer by Hodding Carter for WDDT-AM, the latter's new station in Greenville, Mississippi.

After a stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at WLCS-AM, Lundy was brought to WIL-AM in St. Louis, Missouri in 1960 by Dan Ingram, who was the station's program director until the middle of the next year. Nicknamed the "Wil' Child", Lundy had a style which was described as a combination of "country and crawfish pie" by Bob Whitney, who also played a major role in the appointment.

Lundy was reunited with Ingram at WABC-AM in 1965. He made his New York radio debut on September 1, working the overnight shift as "The Swingin' Nightwalker."  Beginning in May 1966, he became the midday fixture at the station for the next sixteen years.  With his catchphrase "Hello, Love–this is Ron Lundy from the Greatest City in the World," he usually preceded Ingram's afternoon drive time program, and sometimes when Ingram was running late to the studio, Lundy would keep going until Dan arrived, doing impressions of The Shadow, where he would play Margo Lane and Lamont Cranston. The two best friends hosted "The Last Show" before WABC's format conversion from music to talk radio at noon on May 10, 1982.

The following year he joined NYC Oldies WCBS-FM and retired in 1997.

Lundy was inducted the St. Louis Hall Radio Hall of Fame on January 1, 2006, with a banquet held June 10, 2006. He died of a heart attack at age 75 on March 15, 2010 in Oxford, Mississippi. He had recently been recovering from a previous heart attack after being dehydrated.

➦In 1967...Flashback with the WLS Music Survey...51-years ago today...

➦In 1975...KOL-AM in Seattle Washington changed its call letters to KMPS.

➦In 1977...WNBC 660 AM switched to the “Bob Pittman” format.

Bob Pitman circa Late 70s
Bob Pittman had been hired as WNBC's new Program Director, replacing Mel Phillips. His first decision was to lay-off all of the station's personalities, some of which were veterans (including Don Imus, Cousin Brucie, Norm N. Nite and Joe McCoy), replacing them with younger-sounding disc jockeys from medium markets. He also shifted the format to from Adult Top 40 or Hot AC to a more aggressively current-based Top 40 format, with occasional nods to FM radio (such as commercial-free hours).

As a result of this tweaking, the station was now playing artists such as Andy Gibb, KC & the Sunshine Band, Boston, Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Billy Joel, the Bee Gees, among others.

However, listenership did not go up, but actually went down, and while some of the new air personalities would find success (Johnny Dark, Frank Reed, Michael Sarzynksi, Buzz Brindle and Allen Beebe would be heard on the station well into the 1980s), others would not (Ellie Dylan, who replaced Imus in morning drive, would be gone within months).

By 1979, Pittman would leave WNBC (he would soon become the founder of MTV). John Lund was hired back as program director (from KHOW in Denver), and Don Imus returned to the morning show. Under program director John Lund, WNBC's playlist was tweaked back to an Adult top 40 format, and ratings increased by 50% to surpass WABC by the summer of 1980.

➦In 1979...Get the Knack by the Knack occupied the top spot on the album chart for the fourth week.  The former #1 album Breakfast in America by Supertramp spent its ninth straight week at either #2 or #3 since it fell, highly impressive.  Candy-O by the Cars remained at 3 while I Am by Earth, Wind & Fire came in fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Million Mile Reflections from the Charlie Daniels Band, the great album Discovery from ELO, Risque by Chic moved from 32 to 7, Rust Never Sleeps from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, meanwhile, was up just one, Donna Summer's former #1 album Bad Girls was now at 9 and Midnight Magic from the Commodores entered the Top 10.

➦In 1981…The RKO Radio Network became the first company to offer two separate live overnight services via satellite to affiliate radio stations as its "America Overnight" talk show premiered. The six-hour program featured three-hour segments hosted by Ed Busch in Dallas and Eric Tracey in Los Angeles.

Debuting eight months earlier, the RKO Radio Network's "Night Time America," based in New York City and hosted/produced by Bob Dearborn, was the first, live, daily, satellite-delivered music show in radio history.

➦In 1984...Tina Turner scored one of the biggest comebacks of the Rock Era, hitting #1 on this date with "What's Love Got to Do With It".  It had been 13 years since she and former husband Ike had hit the Top 10 with their remake of the CCR song "Proud Mary".  John Waite moved up to #2 with "Missing You", Lionel Richie was stuck on 3 with "Stuck On You" and Ray Parker, Jr. dropped with his former #1 "Ghostbusters".  Prince's former #1 "When Doves Cry" was at position #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Newcomer Cyndi Lauper with "She Bop", Corey Hart came in seventh with "Sunglasses at Night", Prince had another Top 10--"Let's Go Crazy", which moved from 16 all the way to 8, Huey Lewis & the News posted their fourth straight Top 10 from the album Sports ("If This Is It") and Peabo Bryson remained at 10 with "If Ever You're In My Arms Again".

➦In 2001...WEVD 1050 AM changed to ESPN Sports Radio

➦In 2005...Barry Cowsill, bassist for the Cowsills, died from injuries suffered during Hurricane Katrina at the age of 51.

His body was not recovered until December 28 from Chartres Street Wharf in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He had left several urgent phone messages for his sister Susan on September 1.

➦In 2008…Voiceover artist Don LaFontaine, famous for recording more than 5000 film trailers and hundreds of thousands of TV commercials, died from the effects of a blood clot in his lungs at age 68.
Dan Donovan, John Lennon
Dan Donovan
➤In 2014...Twin Cities/Philadelphia radio legend Dan Donovan died of a heart attack.

Born Blaine Harvey in Philadelphia, Donovan got interested in radio growing up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He began his career there at WGET 1320 AM, later moving to WSBA 910 AM in York, Pennsylvania. After studying journalism at Penn State, he moved on to WICE Radio in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early 1960s. He then moved to WMEX  in Boston and WCBM 680 in Baltimore before beginning a ten-year run at WFIL 560 AM in Philadelphia.

He arrived KSTP 94.5 FM KS 95FM in the Twin Cities in 1979, and joined KQQL 107.9 FM KOOL 108 FM in 1991, bringing the enthusiasm and style that have made him one of the region’s best known and best loved DJ’s to his popular afternoon drive and Sunday oldies shows.

DAN DONOVAN from Pavek Museum on Vimeo.

Donovan, who referred to himself as "the Geezer," was a radio veteran whose career dates back to the glory days of rock and roll.

Donovan last worked at Clear Channel's KQQL, but was RIFFed in 2009.

➦In 2014...Fox News Radio White House reporter Mike Majchrowitz died, following a battle with cancer. He was 51.
Mike Majchrowitz aboard Air Force One

Mike Majchrowitz, the Congressional and White House reporter with the unspellable last name, joined FOX News Radio at its very beginning in 2005. Mac and Rich Johnson were the backbone of the Washington bureau.

Born in 1963 in Racine, Wisconsin, a Washington D.C. Correspondent since 1997, Mac traveled the world covering Presidential trips.

He anchored coverage of elections, conventions and debates, returning to cover the 2012 campaign while battling cancer.

“Mike was an original – a solidly tenacious reporter, a thoughtful anchor and a good man,” Mitch Davis, VP of Fox News Radio, said in a statement.  ”He earned the respect of his colleagues for many things, not the least of which was his kindness. From our earliest days he helped Fox News Radio grow into what we are now. His voice was unique, as was his courage. Throughout his struggle, he remained positive and was an inspiration to us all. We will miss him.”

Friday, August 31, 2018

Survey: Talent Says Radio Is Still Fun

Before taking off for a much awaited 3-day weekend, take a moment to read Fred Jacob's latest blog, "A Labor Of Love.'

It follows Thursday's webinar on this year's first-ever Air-Talent Questionnaire (AQ Survey) which debuted before a SRO opening session at this year 30th annual Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago. Jacobs writes that he 'couldn’t help but notice how many young people were in attendance at this year's camp, eager to learn more about this profession from those of us who have been “at it” for a long time.'

With regard to the study, he pointed to 1,100+ members of radio’s “air force” who told us the main reasons they’re on the radio.

Of the 13 choices, the main drivers are having fun, entertaining, and finding emotional fulfillment in what they do for a living.

Jacobs says, "Despite the changes that have roiled radio this past couple decades – consolidation, debt woes, performance pressures, staff cutbacks, and those incredulous comments we hear all too often: “Who listens to the radio anymore?” – their enthusiasm hasn’t dampened or waned that much.

Check Here to read The Blog

Click Here to review Survey Details

SiriusXM Radio: Official! Shotgun Tom Kelly Starts Monday

Legendary SoCal radio personality ShotgunTom Kelly makes his long-awaited debut on SiriusXM’s 60s on 6 channel on Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 3.  His shift is 7-11pm ET on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The move to satellite radio is a perfect fit for Shotgun Tom, who famously hit the post on those same timeless hits during his successful 22-year run at Classic Hits KRTH K-Earth 101 in Los Angeles, stepping into the massive shoes of The Real Don Steele after he passed away in 1997.

“We are thrilled to have Shotgun Tom join our family!” said Lou Simon, Sr. Director, Music Programming, SiriusXM.

“He is one of America’s premiere broadcasters. He knows how to let the music be the star… but let everyone know he is front and center and on the case! His energy and his passion for great music and great radio will make our already cool station… that much cooler!”

Kelly, who was awarded his own star on the iconic Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2013 and recently named President of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters, will voice his new SiriusXM show from studios in San Diego, the city where he first cemented his superstar status back in the day at KCBQ, KGB and B100, according to the L-A Daily News.

Effective Monday, Sept. 3, the revised jock line-up on 60s on 6 looks like this
  • 6-11am ET: Phlash Phelps
  • 11am-3pm: Dave Hoeffel
  • 3-7pm: Pat St. John (Wednesdays until 5pm)
  • Shotgun Tom: 7-11pm (except Wednesdays, when Cousin Brucie‘s Cruisin’ airs)

Las Vegas Radio: Paul Ihander To Program KXNT, KXST

Paul Ihander
Entercom announced the appointment of Paul Ihander to the role of Program Director for News and Talk Radio KXNT 840 AM and Sports Radio KXST 1140 AM in Las Vegas.

“Paul is a seasoned executive with incredible passion for the format that will help lead News and Talk Radio 840 AM and Sports Radio 1140 AM into the future,” said Dan Kearney, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Las Vegas. “We are confident he can help both our brands reach new heights by tapping into not only the many neighborhoods that make up this unique community but also the millions of visitors that flock to the internationally famous ‘Strip.’”

“I want to thank Entercom and Dan Kearney and his team for entrusting me with this opportunity,” said Ihander. “I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the community and creating a new vision of success for these stations.”

Prior to joining Entercom, Ihander held the role of Assistant Program Director and News Director for Bonneville Media in Phoenix since 2012. Ihander has also held programming and on-air roles for former Clear Channel Radio stations in Albany, NY, Pueblo, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Denver, San Antonio, TX and Portland, OR.

Poll: NFL Anthem Protests Impacting TV Viewership

With less than a week until the 2018 NFL season kicks off, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that interest in the league remains far lower than it once was, and fans are deeply divided over player protests during the national anthem.

The numbers paint a problematic picture. Fewer people, in particular Republicans, are following the NFL closely than they did four years ago. And many of those fans are the ones who also judge the player protests—which began in 2016 to call attention to social injustices and racial inequality—to be not appropriate.

Overall, 52% people said they follow the NFL closely. That’s an increase from 49% in January but the figure remains down from 58% in 2014. The recent rebound falls within the poll’s margin of error.

The poll is “still reflecting a lower audience base than we measured in 2014,” said Micah Roberts, a Republican pollster who helped conduct the poll along with Democratic pollster Fred Yang. “It’s not going in the right direction.”

Men age 50 and above follow the game closer than any other group measured, but they also have decidedly negative views about the protests. At the same time, those who have stopped following the league are those who overwhelmingly see the player protests as not appropriate. And those who follow the league have a more favorable view of the player protests than the general population.

Interest in the NFL has waned most among Republicans. According to the poll, 39% of base Republicans said they follow professional football not at all closely. That’s compared to just 16% of base Republicans who said that in 2014, making it the largest falloff for any group.

At the same time, the fans who are increasingly tuning out the NFL are also those at odds with the player protests. While 43% of respondents said they view the protests as appropriate—compared to 54% said they are not—only 10% of Republicans and 38% of white people said they think the demonstrations are appropriate. The poll did not ask if people’s habits changed based on the player protests, but Mr. Roberts said that, judging by the subgroups that showed the biggest changes, “the anthem protests are having an effect on the viewership.”

NYC Radio: Craig Carton Talks With Bernie & Sid

Craig Carton returned to the New York City airwaves Thursday morning for the first time in nearly a year.

Two months away from his date in federal court, facing charges in a $5.6 million Ponzi scheme, the former WFAN host joined 77WABC’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” and reaffirmed his innocence.

“It’s very scary, it’s the fight of my life,” Carton said. “But I’ll tell you what I’ve said to everyone … and that is I’m not guilty and I look forward to my opportunity to lay it out for everybody. I wish I could have. I regret that I didn’t early on, but when you hire good lawyers and they tell you what to do, there are times you shut your mouth and do what the lawyers tell you to do.

“I’m not pleading to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out, you’ll see I was running a legitimate, legal business.”

Carton was arrested Sept. 6 last year, caught by the FBI for allegedly ripping off investors for millions in a fraud concert-ticket-reselling business. The former co-host of “Boomer and Carton” was suspended from WFAN that night and resigned a week later, eventually replaced by Gregg Giannotti.

He doesn’t seem a fan of the new show.

“Take any show on FAN and bring them here [WABC], they’re not gonna beat anyone over there [on WFAN] anyway,” Carton said. “You can put an intern on the air, which it seems like [WFAN] kinda did. While ratings have dropped 40 percent, they’re still going to do reasonably well.

Carton also took a jab at Mike Francesa after Sid Rosenberg told him he was fat but “not Francesa fat.”

“No, very few people live to see 65 when you’re that big,” Carton said.

Bakersfield Radio: KBFP Flips To HotAC

iHeartMedia/Bakersfield announced Thurday the debut of the new Sunny KBFP 105.3 FM replacing Spanish AC “La Preciosa 105.3” 

Sunny 105.3 will broadcast an upbeat variety of hits from the 80’s through today, from artists including Madonna, Maroon 5, P!nk, Bon Jovi, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna.

“We are very excited to launch the new Sunny 105.3 in Bakersfield,” said Jeremy Price, Market President for iHeartMedia Bakersfield. “This is an exciting move that underscores iHeartMedia’s commitment to offer listeners in Bakersfield a top-rated content and music experience! The people of Kern County are looking for a radio station that can take them through their workday, and we know Sunny 105.3 will deliver.”

“A new day has dawned for Bakersfield radio with the rise of Sunny 105.3,” said Steve Weed, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Central California Region. “It’s a brand new kind of station for Bakersfield, with a unique playlist of songs all curated to help listeners feel good.”

KBPF 105.3 FM (35 Kw)
Fans can listen to Sunny 105.3 FM on-air, via the stations’ website,, as well as on and everywhere listeners are via the iHeartRadio app.

Seattle Radio: Bre Ruiz Joins KHTP Morning Show

Entercom/Seattle has announced the addition of Bre Ruiz to Urban KHTP Hot 103.7 FM's "Sir Mix-A-Lot" morning show as co-host, weekdays from 5-9am.

Bre Ruiz
Ruiz most recently held on-air, production, promotion and Music Director roles at sister KSFM-FM in Sacramento and air talent duties at KWIN-FM/Stockton. Prior to that, she was Music Director at Country KNCI-FM Sacramento.

"We're excited to welcome Bre to the Puget Sound and to the Hot 103.7 team" said Entercom Seattle Senior VP/Market Manager Jack Hutchison. "We're confident Bre and Sir Mix-A-Lot will continue to be an integral part of our listeners' morning routine."

"I am so blessed and excited to continue my radio journey with a legend like Sir Mix-A-Lot and to work under such a well-respected Program Director like Eric Powers," added Ruiz.

"I cannot wait to live the amazing Seattle life and connect with our loyal listeners."

Report: NBC Lawyer Threatened To Smear Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow
NBC suits threatened to smear Ronan Farrow if he kept pursuing the Harvey Weinstein story, according to a Daily Beast published report.

Farrow had been chasing the Weinstein allegations for the peacock network but ultimately penned the bombshell expose for The New Yorker after NBC deemed the story wasn’t ready to run.

The Daily Beast, citing anonymous sources, reported that NBC didn’t want Farrow to pursue the matter and had network general counsel Susan Weiner make a series of threatening phone calls to the son of actress Mia Farrow.

“The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie,” an NBC spokesperson said in a statement to The NYPost.

In February 2015, Farrow lost his daytime show on MSNBC and began working with NBC News’ investigative unit. In November 2016, Farrow and a producer named Rich McHugh decided they wanted to do a story about Hollywood’s “casting couch,” the longtime practice of producers and other powerful men exchanging sex with women for film roles, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

The DB website did not provide details for what exactly the alleged threats were.

Fox Broadcast To Sunday Night NFL Wrap Show

The new Thursday-night tie-up between the National Football League and Fox will apparently lead to some more football-themed programming on the network on Sundays.

Fox will this season offer “NFL GameDay Prime” Sundays at 11:30 p.m. to its affiliates, according to Variety citing two people familiar with the situation.

The weekly “wrap” show is produced by NFL Network, which will air it simultaneously. In a unique twist, the NFL will sell the national advertising surrounding the program, these people said; affiliates will have their own ad opportunities. The league views the agreement as an “opportunistic” move, one of these people said, and is not necessarily looking to get into the business of selling commercial time for broadcasts of its games on Fox, CBS, NBC or ESPN.

Many local stations offer a late-Sunday sports highlights program, often a collection of clips curated by a familiar sports anchor. This notion would add new elements to the concept, because it is produced and sold by one of the leagues whose games are often the basis for those highlights.

Fox and the NFL have been in business for years  – Fox’s Sunday-afternoon football broadcasts are among the most-viewed properties on TV – but their relationship expanded in January when the entertainment conglomerate, controlled by the Murdoch family, struck a five-year deal with the NFL to air “Thursday Night Football,” an 11-game series that had previously been split among NBC and CBS. The deal is said to be valued at more than $650 million per year.

Fox will rely more heavily on sports and live programming after the completion of the sale to Disney, slated to take place in 2019.