Saturday, September 15, 2018

September 16 Radio History

➦In host/producer Allen Funt (Candid Microphone, Candid Camera) was born in New York City.  He died Sept 5, 1999, just days before his 85th birthday.

➦In 1919....singer Andy Russell was born in Los Angeles. He was the star of radio’s Your Hit Parade for several years beginning in 1946.

➦In Lawrence Dobkin was born in New York City.  He was one of the most used character actors on network radio out of Hollywood in the 1940’s & 50’s, then seamlessly made the transition to TV.  He worked into directing, but was still appearing in supporting roles on TV a year before his death in 2002 at age 83.

➦In 1928...WGL changed call letters to WOV in New York (now WADO 1280 AM).

This station was launched as WGL on January 30, 1927, and was owned by the International Broadcasting Corporation. WGL president Colonel Lewis Landes stated on the inaugural broadcast,

"The International Broadcasting Corporation's aim is to adhere to truth, to be free of partisanship, religious or political."

WGL was the first station to protest the frequency allocations of the Federal Radio Commission in May 1927. WGL was authorized to move to 1170 AM, but wanted to go to 720, occupied by WOR.

When WOR was awarded the 710 frequency, both stations went to court, with WOR eventually winning the case. Finally in June 1927, WGL moved to 1020 AM and shared time with Paterson station, WODA.

In August 1927, studio manager Charles Isaacson announced one of the city's first attempts at local news coverage. WGL was organizing listeners to volunteer as radio reporters and call the station with breaking news stories.

On September 16, 1928, WGL changed calls to WOV and was sold to Sicilian-born importer John Iraci. The WGL call sign was then picked up by a Fort Wayne station, which uses them to this very day.

➦In 1941...the "The Arkansas Traveler" debuted on CBS Radio. The show was later renamed "The Bob Burns Show."

➦In 1989...The Hot 100 Gloria Estefan had the #1 song with "Don't Wanna' Lose You", Milli Vanilli had #2--"Girl I'm Gonna' Miss You" and Warrant was at 3 with "Heaven".

The rest of the Top 10:  New Kids on the Block and "Hangin' Tough", Surface with "Shower Me with Your Love", Paula Abdul's former #1 "Cold Hearted" was at #6, Cher's comeback song "If I Could Turn Back Time", Skid Row with "18 And Life", the Jeff Healey Band had song #9 with "Angel Eyes" and Madonna hit the Top 10 with "Cherish".

➦In 2011...News Anchor Jack O’Rourke WNBC 660 AM, NBC Radio Net died

➦In 2011...Citadel merged with Cumulus Media.

Starting in June 2010, Cumulus made multiple unsuccessful offers to buy out Citadel Broadcasting after its emergence from bankruptcy.   In February 2011, Cumulus was again said to be in "exclusive negotiations" to acquire Citadel for $2.5 billion paid to Citadel shareholders, according to CNBC. Some Citadel shareholders were said to have been pushing the board to consider a sale.  On March 10, 2011, Citadel Broadcasting stations announced via email that Cumulus had purchased Citadel Broadcasting. Citadel was made up of 225 radio stations in over 50 markets, as well as Citadel Media, one of the largest radio networks in the United States.

The deal was finalized on September 16, 2011, after acceptance by the FCC and Citadel's shareholders.   As part of the deal, Cumulus Media will have to place 14 stations into a separate trust to comply with ownership limits.

In an effort to focus on accretive large market consolidation as well as further de-leveraging of their balance sheet, Cumulus and Townsquare Media ink a deal to swap 65 radio stations in 13 markets, with majority of the 65 stations being sold to Townsquare.

➦In 2014...Clear Channel announced that it has become iHeartMedia, reflecting the company’s success in becoming a one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company with unparalleled reach and impact.

Streaming TV Prices Are Marching Higher

The online-only television bundles that have lured away cable-TV customers with rock-bottom prices might not stay that low for long, according to The Wall Street Journal.

AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV Now streaming service recently raised its basic channel plan by $5 over the summer, bringing its starting monthly cost to $40. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson this week said the company is considering additional price increases for the service.

Wall Street Journal Graphic
“We moved the price up and, being a very price-sensitive market, we fully expected to see a considerable number of customers drop off,” Mr. Stephenson said in an interview Wednesday. “We haven’t seen that. The consumers, it’s obvious that they’re finding value in the platform.”

Streaming services like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV added millions of customers last year by promising big savings over traditional cable and satellite-TV subscriptions. Sling sold its channel package for $20.

DirecTV Now’s basic price is “for the long haul probably still too low,” Mr. Stephenson said. He said the service has been unprofitable, and the company wants to steer the most frugal customers to its slimmer WatchTV service, which carries no sports channels and is profitable.

Mr. Stephenson said WatchTV could offer a range of packages from $15 to $25 a month to appeal to more people. “We’ll exit this year with a very different looking portfolio,” he said.

Market leader SlingTV this summer raised the price of its basic package by $5 to $25 a month, with its owner Dish Network Inc. blaming higher channel programming fees.

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube TV service, which carries cable channels and went live last year at $35 a month, raised its monthly price to $40 earlier this year after it tacked on additional channels like TNT and TBS.

The higher prices have also narrowed the value gap between new and traditional TV, since cord-cutters must still pay for broadband service. Cable-TV packages still cost more than their online imitators, though cable companies often charge higher rates for standalone broadband service as an enticement to bundle internet and video.

The Weather Channel Vividly Depicts Storm Surge

A new video from The Weather Channel this week depicted in real time the danger of flood waters already rising in parts of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence starts battering the coast. The storm is moving slowly and is anticipated to bring deadly storm surges to the region as well as torrential rains. “That’s a recipe for a flooding disaster,” meteorologist Marshall Shepherd told The Verge in an interview.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting storm surges anywhere from two to more than 11 feet high. But it’s hard to visualize what those numbers actually mean for someone near the water.

The National Hurricane Center tried to make it clear with a cartoon graphic that shows rainbow colored water levels rising over the heads of a family in a house.

But The Weather Channel takes the visuals a step further using mixed reality that show the waters surrounding the on-screen meteorologists. The flood rises above their heads as the wind howls and floating cars slosh at the surface.

Viral Video Puts The Weather Channel On Defense

Viral Video Screenshot
The Weather Channel voiced support for one of its reporters on Friday after a video of him reporting during Hurricane Florence went viral online.

The Hill reports the video clip posted to Twitter appeared to mock the reporter's hurricane coverage, suggesting he was exaggerating the storm's force.

The video shows longtime Weather Channel meteorologist and reporter Mike Seidel as he tried to gain his footing as the storm's winds bore down on him.

"This is about as nasty as its been," Seidel, who was reporting from Wilmington, N.C., says in the clip while bracing against the wind.

The camera then pans over to a pair of figures casually walking on a road behind the reporter.

“So dramatic!” one Twitter user wrote with the video clip. “Dude from the weather channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past.”

The video had been viewed more than 3.6 million times and had received almost 60,000 retweets as of Friday evening. It also led many people to mock the reporter for his demeanor reporting on the storm.

The Weather Channel noted in a statement to The Hill that the reporter was standing on wet grass and was “undoubtedly exhausted.”

“It’s important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted,” the network said.

Flooding Causes WCTI-TV New Bern NC To Bug Out

A newsroom in New Bern, North Carolina was evacuated while two meteorologists were live on air covering the onslaught of Hurricane Florence.

"We have a situation that has developed here, and that is the water getting close to the building," Donnie Cox, the chief meteorologist for local ABC affiliate WCTI12 in New Bern, North Carolina said during a live broadcast Thursday evening. "The building has been evacuated, but just so you know, we are staying here to keep you updated."

But seconds later in the broadcast, Cox said, "the situation has developed here that our building had to be evacuated and everyone had been asked to leave immediately."

The station moved its coverage to a sister channel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to a post on WCTI12's Facebook page.

Chattanooga Radio: WGOW Moves Brian Joyce To Mornings

WGOW 102.3 FM this week announced programming changes for its The Morning Press show.

Brian Joyce has been added as a permanent addition to the Morning Press team that also includes longtime personality Jim Reynolds and station program director Kevin West.

Joyce has been on-air since April of 2012 and is the current host of “The Brian Joyce Show” from 1 to 3 p.m. Joyce will continue that role for the time being, but programming changes will be made to the afternoon time slot soon.

“This is a two-part announcement,” West said. “Brian has agreed to continue hosting the 1-3 show until we lock in replacement programming. When we do that, we’ll make part two of the announcement.”

WGOW ended their relationship with longtime radio personality Jeff Styles in August.

FCC's Pai Bashes Nanny-State Net Neutrality Effort

 California's new net neutrality legislation is "illegal," "anti-consumer," and reflects an attempt by "nanny-state" legislators to constrain consumers, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said Friday.

"Last month, the California state legislature passed a radical, anti-consumer Internet regulation bill that would impose restrictions even more burdensome than those adopted by the FCC in 2015," Pai said in a speech delivered at the Maine Heritage Policy Center in Portland.

"California’s micromanagement poses a risk to the rest of the country," Pai added, explaining that he believes that states can't legally regulate broadband traffic. "Internet traffic doesn’t recognize state lines. It follows that only the federal government can set regulatory policy in this area."

According to MediaPost, California's law, SB 822, prohibits broadband providers from blocking or throttling traffic, charging higher fees for fast-lane service, and from exempting their own video streams from consumers' data caps. The measure awaits Governor Jerry Brown's signature.

The bill largely restores the Obama-era open internet rules. Those rules, which were repealed last December by the FCC, prohibited broadband providers from blocking or throttling data and from charging higher fees for prioritized delivery. The former rules didn't explicitly ban companies from zero-rating -- or exempting material from subscribers' data caps. But the ex-rules contained a "general conduct" standard that had been interpreted as prohibiting some forms of zero-rating -- including AT&T's "Data Free TV," which allows wireless customers who purchase DirecTV to stream video without burning through their monthly data caps.

On Friday, Pai specifically criticized the ban on zero-rating plans, arguing that consumers like data-cap exemptions.

"These plans ... have proven enormously popular in the marketplace, especially among lower-income Americans," Pai said. "But nanny-state California legislators apparently want to ban their constituents from having this choice. They have met the enemy, and it is free data."

NYTimes Corrects Hit Piece On UN Ambassador

Hours after posting an online smear of Ambassador Nikki Haley, The New York Times on Friday afternoon corrected the article to make it clear she had nothing to do with the decision to spend $52,000 on mechanized curtains in her official New York residence.

Hours of criticism had left the Gray Lady no other choice, according to The NYPost.

The original piece, headlined “Nikki Haley’s View of New York is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701,” snarked about the expense in a blatant effort to make Haley seem like several other Trump administration officials (mostly ex-officials) who demanded outrageous taxpayer-paid perks upon taking office.

Besides noting the expense — $29,900 for the curtains and $22,801 for automatic open-and-close hardware — the Times report flagged the fact that the installation came at a time when the State Department faced deep budget cuts and a hiring freeze.

Only at the end did the article mention that the plans to buy the tapestries were made in 2016, by the Obama State Department.

It took hours for criticism from the likes of CNN’s Jake Tapper (on Twitter) to move the Times to acknowledge key facts. It turns out the whole apartment is new: Career State employees determined the UN ambassador’s official digs had to change after a Chinese company bought the Waldorf-Astoria, the old site of the diplomatic residence.

All the furnishings, including the curtains, were chosen by State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations — as is standard for US diplomatic cribs all around the world. Haley had nothing to do with any of it.

Texas Radio Host Pleads Guilty To Child Abuse

Dan Steffan aka Rick Austin
Chilling radio broadcasts with the voices of an admitted pedophile and his victims were played in a Collin County courtroom Thursday.

Plano syndicated radio host, Dan Steffen, pleaded guilty to abusing four victims.

“I’m pleading guilty because I am guilty,” said Steffen.

But police believe there are dozens if not hundreds of others.

Steffen not only admitted to sexually abusing boys, but he also pleaded guilty to offering someone $45,000 to have his prosecutor killed.

He worked as a radio host out of his home and prosecutors revealed disturbing excerpts from broadcasts talking about and to his victims.

According to testimony, the 70-year-old Steffen recorded a radio program under the name Rick Austin for low-power WTND-LP 106.3 FM in Macomb, Ill. He made the recordings from a studio in his Plano home. He often recruited young boys to help him on air.

Steffen pleaded guilty to child sex abuse and attempted capital murder.

Plano detectives raided his home last year after hearing he was engaging in sex acts with a 16-year-old boy.

Prosecutors played excerpts that include the boys voices and Steffen gushing over their appearance.

According to, Steffen could get anywhere from probation to life in prison when he is sentenced by the judge.

September 15 Radio History

➦In & TV host Jack Bailey was born in Hampton Iowa.  He will always be indelibly identified with the sob story show “Queen for a Day”. The program was simulcast on both radio & TV for much of its 1945-62 run. Bailey died in 1980 from cancer at age 72.

➦In 1907...announcer Jimmy Wallington was born in Rochester New York.  He became one of the most in-demand commercial spokesmen during the bigtime radio era and the early days of TV.  Among the programs he worked on were The Big Show, The Fred Allen Show a.k.a. Texaco Star Theater, The Life of Riley, Screen Director’s Playhouse, The Eddie Cantor Show, The Jimmy Durante Show and Duffy’s Tavern.  His last radio assignments were as a staff announcer at the Voice of America.

Wallington died at Arlington Virginia Dec. 22 1972 at age 65.

Blondie, Dagwood
➦In 1908...actress Penny Singleton was born Mariana McNulty.  She made a career out of playing the comic strip character Blondie in B movies & on radio.

She died Nov 12, 2003 at age 95.

➦In & announcer John Conte was born in Palmer Mass. He was the radio voice of Chase & Sanborn Coffee on the Burns & Allen & Baby Snooks radio programs, on TV he appeared in such shows as The Untouchables, Perry Mason, Bonanza, Your Show of Shows and Studio One.

Conte, who ended up a Calif. TV station owner, died Sept. 4 2006, a few days short of his 91st birthday.

➦In 1934...NBC radio introduced “The Gibson Family” to American audiences. Ernest Whitman and Eddie Green were featured members of the large cast and were billed as ‘network radio’s only colored comedians’.  Proctor & Gamble’s hopes for the show were not realized, as it turned into an expensive bust.

➦In 1934...the Mutual Broadcast System was formed.

The three national radio networks already in operation—the Columbia Broadcasting System and the National Broadcasting Company's NBC Red and NBC Blue—were corporate controlled: programming was produced by the network (or by advertising agencies of program sponsors that purchased airtime on the network) and distributed to affiliates, most of which were independently owned. In contrast, the Mutual Broadcasting System was run as a true cooperative venture, with programming produced by and shared between the group's members.

The majority of the early programming, from WOR and WGN, consisted of musical features and inexpensive dramatic serials.

WOR had The Witch's Tale, a horror anthology series whose "hunner-an'-thirteen-year-old" narrator invited listeners to "douse all [the] lights. Now draw up to the fire an' gaze into the embers ...gaaaaze into 'em deep!... an' soon ye'll be across the seas, in th' jungle land of Africa ... hear that chantin' and them savage drums?"   WGN contributed the popular comedy series Lum and Abner. Detroit's WXYZ provided The Lone Ranger, which had debuted in 1933 and was already in demand. It is often claimed that Mutual was launched primarily as a vehicle for the Western serial, but Lum and Abner was no less popular at the time.

What WLW brought was sheer power; billing itself as "The Nation's Station," in May 1934 it had begun night broadcasting at a massive 500,000 watts, ten times the clear-channel standard.

➦In 1948...WHN 1050 AM switched call letters to WMGM.

WHN became WMGM, to reflect the Loew’s then-ownership of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio.  The station continued its diversified format until flipping to Top 40 and rock music in the mid 1950s. While it included some R&B, country and instrumentals in the Top 40 mix, WMGM carried a narrower, more up-tempo playlist.

By the early 1960s, WMGM 1050 AM had several competitors in the Top 40 radio market.  WINS, WABC and WMCA all were playing rock, and WMGM was falling behind in the ratings.

Storer Broadcasting bought the station in 1962, renaming it WHN and dropping the Top 40 in favor of slow-paced “beautiful music” and standards.  Here’s what the switchover sounded like:

➦In 1959...Some in the record business were having apprehensions about the transistor radio, because teens can listen longer and almost anywhere they go - and that could hurt record sales!

  • Marty Salkin - a VP at Decca Records believes the pocket-sized radios are having animpact on record sales, “You see a lot of the kinds walking around listening to them all day long, which could mean they are notbuying records.” 
  • Arnold Maxim of MGM Records says, “It’s no longer considered the smart thing among teenagers to be a collector of records. It’s much smarter now to be so familiar with the local top-40 jockey- because you listen all the time on your portable radio - that you can tell exactly what time he’s gong to play a certain record, because you know when he played it yesterday and the day before. Somehow, we have to recreate the disk-buying habit with teenagers or tomorrow’s market for LP’s is endangered.”
➦In 1959...Grahame Richards, national programming director for the Storz radio chain, offers Elvis Presley a job when he’s released from the Army in February. He did so, by writing a letter to Col. Tom Parker, Presley’s manager.

➦In 1959...Top 40 1010 WINS, New York will give 250 silver dollars to the listener who guesses the first time the temperature drops to freezing

➦In 1961...The Pendletones, a quintet from nearby Hawthorne, CA, auditioned for Los Angeles music publishers with a version of a folk song called "Sloop John B." The suits, however, are more interested with an original song the group mentions, a novelty called "Surfin'," kicking off the career of the band that would soon come to be The Beach Boys.

➦In 1964... Joe O’Brien , morning man at top-rated WMCA 570 AM, New York, plays “We Have No Bananas Today” after the kidnapping of mobster Joseph “Bananas” Bonanno

➦In 1965...Ford became the first American car company to offer 8-track tape players in its new models; however, the lack of home players means that car buyers must visit the Ford dealership

➦In 1965...WJRZ 970 AM Newark, NJ changed to country music

➦In 1965...The 107.5 frequency in New York City signed on in July 1951 as WEVD-FM, simulcasting its sister station at 1330 AM. Within a few years, WEVD-FM moved to 97.9, and 107.5 went off the air.

Several years later the New Broadcasting Company, then-owners of WLIB, was awarded a construction permit for the dormant frequency and on September 15, 1965 reactivated 107.5 as WLIB-FM. As the Federal Communications Commission recently instituted a rule prohibiting full-time AM/FM simulcasting in large markets, WLIB-FM was programmed with a jazz music format.

The stations were split up in 1972, when Inner City Broadcasting purchased WLIB-AM; WLIB-FM was then renamed WBLS. Inner City reunited the pair with its purchase of WBLS in 1974.

In 1993, Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, led a threat to boycott the station if they played any form of gangsta rap. Butts' protests culminated in his bulldozing a pile of hip-hop recordings during a rally. In response to the protests, WBLS excised most hip hop music from its air and carefully screened what it did play for content and language.

In 1995, after WRKS was purchased by Emmis Communications and dropped all hip-hop music in favor of a similar adult R&B format, WBLS countered with a controversial advertising campaign labeling WRKS as a "plantation station."  WBLS shortly reverted to urban contemporary, only to exit again in 2004 when WBLS switched to urban adult contemporary.

WBLS acquired WRKS's intellectual property in a merger of the two outlets announced on April 26, 2012 with a joint statement on both stations' respective websites.  In addition to acquiring WRKS's intellectual property, WBLS and WLIB also moved into Emmis's New York production facility in the West Village section of Manhattan, into studio space vacated by WRKS during the week of May 21, 2012.

On February 11, 2014, Emmis Communications announced it would purchase WBLS and WLIB from YMF Media LLC for $131 million, pending final approval from the Federal Communications Commission.  The purchase was consummated on June 10, 2014.

➦In 1969... Portland, Oregon finally gets another fulltime top-40 station to challenge KISN 910 AM, as KGW 630 AM switches to the format from MOR. The market also has KPAM, a daytimer.

➦In 1969...KMPC 710 AM, Los Angeles deejay Roger Carroll will do the announcing chores for “The Brass Are Coming” - a Herb Alpert special on NBC-TV, October 29.

Gus Gossert
➦In 1969...New York City will get its sixth rock station as WCBS 101.1 FM announces it will go rock October 6. Program Director Gus Gossert says the sound will be half hit singles and half album cuts. The city already had WABC, WMCA, WOR-FM, WNEW-FM, WABC- FM.

WCBS-FM launched a freeform rock format, which was becoming increasingly popular, and all other CBS-owned FM stations followed suit. For the first time, WCBS-FM would have an airstaff. Bill Brown began his long tenure with the station, and Don K. Reed began his late in 1971; both remained there until 2005. Radio personalities such as Bobby "Wizzard" Wayne, Tom Tyler, Ed Williams, Steve Clark, Roby Yonge, K.O. Bayley (Bob Elliott from WOR-FM), Les Turpin, Bob "Bob-A-Lew" Lewis also briefly joined the WCBS-FM "freeform" format. Besides Bill Brown and Don K. Reed, Wizzard Wayne and Ed Williams also stayed into the early part of the oldies format.
Original Oldies Years and Greatest Hits

WCBS-FM was never successful with their rock format, competing with stations such as WPLJ (the other former WABC-FM) and WNEW-FM had most of the rock audience. As a result, WCBS-FM switched to oldies on July 7, 1972, becoming one of the first full-time stations in the country to use that format.  The change coincided with rival WOR-FM's decision to drop pre-1964 oldies from its playlist a few months prior (as they became WXLO). Johnny Michaels, formerly of WMCA, played the first record,   Dion's "Runaround Sue". The entire staff from the rock format remained at the station.

➦In 1979...On The Album Charts..In Through the Out Door took just two weeks to get to #1, jumping from 10 to 1 for Led Zeppelin.  One of the group's finest career albums toppled Get the Knack from the Knack.  Candy-O by the Cars came in third while Breakfast in America hadn't fallen further than #4 in its 25th week.

The rest of the Top 10:  Million Mile Reflections from Charlie Daniels Band, Chic & Risque, I Am by Earth, Wind & Fire, Midnight Magic, the breakthrough album by the Commodores, speaking of breakthroughs, Michael Jackson moved from 23-9 with Off the Wall and the hilarious Robin Williams had #10 with Reality...What a Concept.

➦In 1979...On The Hot 100...The Knack tightened their grip on #1 with "My Sharona".  Earth, Wind & Fire edged up to 2 and the Charlie Daniels Band reached #3 with "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".  ELO remained at 4 with "Don't Bring Me Down" while Maxine Nightingale had song #5--"Lead Me On".

The rest of the Top 10:  Robert John and "Sad Eyes", the Little River Band with "Lonesome Loser", Dionne Warwick was up to #8 with "I'll Never Love This Way Again", Chic tumbled with "Good Times" and the Commodores reached the Top 10 for the sixth time with "Sail On".
➦In 1989...Arbitron Ratings
  • New York Radio – WHTZ is #1 rising 5.8-6.1… easy WPAT AM/FM – 5.9-5.6… WLTW – 5.5-5.6… WCBS-FM – 4.7-4.6… WNEW-FM – 4.3-4.2… WPLJ (Power 95 – 3.4-3.7. Mornings – WINS (all news) – 8.2… Z100 and WOR – 6.4 share. 
  • Los Angeles Radio – KPWR (Power 106) – 7.2-6.7… KOST – 6.6… KIIS AM/FM – 5.3-5.9… Pirate Radio (KQLZ) – 5.4-5.6.. KABC 5.0-4.6…… KLOS – 3.8-3.9…
  • L-A Mornings – Rick Dees – 6.5-6.9… Jay Thomas 6.5-6.1… Mark & Brian – 6.3-6.5 … Scott Shannon – 4.2-4.3
➦In 1989...Bright A/C KKBT 92.3 FM  debuts in Los Angeles. It had been classical KFAC-FM for many years. Comedian Paul Rodriquez and Ron O’Brien are part of its airstaff.

➦In of the great announcers of network radio (and Pathe Newsreels,) Andre Baruch died at age 83.  Your Hit Parade, The Shadow, The Kate Smith Hour & American Album of Familiar Music were among the many big-time radio shows he regularly worked on.

➦In 2013…San Diego radio/TV personality (KPOP and KFMB-TV in San Diego, WCFL, WIND, WMAQ, WRRL, WNMP, WFLD-TV and WMAQ-TV in Chicago, WPGC-Washington, KYW/WKYC-Cleveland) Jerry G. Bishop died following a heart attack at 77.

Friday, September 14, 2018

D/FW Radio: Nathan Fast Joins KPLX For Mornings

Nathan Fast
Cumulus Media announces that it will debut a new morning radio show on Texas Country KPLX 99.5 The Wolf in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, hosted by popular DFW radio personality Nathan Fast.

The show, “Nathan Fast and The Wake Up With The Wolf Show” will debut Monday, September 17, 2018, on 99.5 The Wolf. The weekday morning show will air from 5:00am-10:00am.

Lisa Taylor
On-air talent Lisa Taylor remains with the new morning show.

Fast joins Cumulus and 99.5 The WOLF after most recently hosting the morning show on Dallas/Fort Worth Top 40 station KVIL AMP 103.7. Prior to that, he was nighttime host at KHTS-FM in San Diego, CA, and weekend host on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, CA.

He also appeared weekly on stations in more than 80 markets across the country including New York, NY; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; and Dallas-Fort Worth as a contributor on the iHeartRadio Countdown. In addition, Fast has been on-air at stations in Las Vegas, NV, and Boise, ID. He is a graduate of Indiana University.

Mac Daniels, Program Director, 99.5 The Wolf/KPLX-FM, said: “Nathan is an amazing creative talent wrapped around the passion and work ethic of 4 people. With his leadership skills and winning spirit, we’re excited about the bright future for Nathan Fast and The Wake Up With The Wolf Show on one of America’s leading Country music brands. We’re excited to hear him and Lisa Taylor together in the morning.”

KPLX 99.5 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local 60dBu Coverage Area
Fast said: “I have so much respect for the history of 99.5 The Wolf and I’m thrilled to have the privilege of waking up Dallas/Fort Worth every morning on this great station. I want to thank Mac Daniels, Dan Bennett, Doug Hamand and Mike McVay for entrusting me with the keys to one of country’s most legendary brands. Time to get to work!”

iHM's Big Buy: Podcasters Meet Broadcasters

iHeartMedia, the nation’s largest radio company, has bought out Atlanta-based podcast experts Stuff Media, one of the top commercial podcast operators in the world.

A source told the Wall Street Journal that the deal was worth $55 million. iHeartMedia did not confirm that number.

Among Stuff Media’s most popular podcasts include “Stuff You Should Know,” “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” “The Daily Zeitgeist,” “Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities” and “Atlanta Monster.”

They have 37 podcasts on their site. It generates 61 million downloads every month.

According to, Stuff Media, which has 50 employees will remain in Atlanta after the acquisition, entered the podcasting business with “Stuff You Should Know” early in April, 2008. Hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have become so popular they will regularly go on the road and do the show live.

Chris Williams
iHeartMedia is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It filed for such protection in March, with a debt load of around $20 billion. This acquisition is subject to approval by a bankruptcy court judge.

iHeartMedia is hoping to ramp up its podcast operations on its app and expects to leverage its huge radio station platform and start sprinkling in podcasts onto its 850 AM and FM stations.

“Podcast meet broadcast!” wrote Chris Williams, chief product officer at iHeartMedia and former program director at two rock stations in Atlanta, 99X and Project 96.1, on his Facebook page.

Darren Davis
“Our evolution and investment in podcasting continues to position iHeartRadio for future consumer behavior and media consumption.”

Darren Davis, who oversees iHeartMedia’s digital operations, said in an interview that Stuff Media has a “proven team with a great track record at creating hit podcasts. They can do it to scale... They’re good people. They’re smart people. They’re pioneers in the podcast space.”

He noted that when Payne Lindsey and Stuff Media do a second season of “Atlanta Monster” as “Monster: The Zodiac Killer,” it will air on many of iHeartMeida’s news/talk stations. “Atlanta Monster” was one of the biggest new podcasts of 2018. “Their podcasts are already enormously popular,” Davis said. “This is like pouring gas on the fire.”

iHeartMedia already has the largest audience for commercial podcasts. Only non-commercial NPR has more. It’s already partnered with all major podcast publishers and features more than 20,000 podcasts and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network hosts more than 750 iHeartRadio original shows.

Milwaukee Radio: Entercom Promotes Molly Cruz, JMatt

Entercom has announced Molly Cruz as Assistant Program Director and Music Director for WXSS 103.7 KISS-FM in Milwaukee, effective immediately.

Cruz will continue in her position as midday drive host, Assistant Program Director and Music Director for sister station WMYX 99.1 The Mix. On-air personality JMatt will assume the roles of midday drive host for 103.7 KISS-FM and Digital Program Director for the cluster, which also includes WSSP 105.7 FM The Fan. In addition, 99.1 The Mix also welcomed on-air personality Aaron Carreno as afternoon drive host from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT.

“Big things are happening in the Milwaukee cluster,” said Chuck Sullivan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Milwaukee. “Molly is ready to dominate her expanded role as Assistant Program Director and Music Director. Aaron is a top-notch personality whose experience will bring improvement to The Mix’s afternoon drive. And JMatt is going to take our cluster to new heights from a digital perspective.”

“I am so humbled by this opportunity to continue the success of WXSS and WMYX alongside Brian Kelly,” said Cruz. “Both stations have a deep history in the Milwaukee community and I can’t wait to have a hand in delivering top programming to our listeners.”

Prior to joining Entercom, Cruz held the role of afternoon drive host for WZSR in the Chicago area. She will succeed Nathan Graham, who assumed the role of Program Director for sister station 98.7 AMP Radio (WDZH-FM) in Detroit.

“I grew up in Brookfield and my favorite radio station has always been 103.7 KISS-FM,” added JMatt. “I am beyond excited to have earned my dream job with this team, at this station specifically, and I sincerely thank David Moore and Leigh McNabb for giving me a chance on the radio, and Nathan Graham and Brian Kelly for their guidance.”

JMatt was most recently on-air during 103.7 KISS-FM’s weekend drives. Prior to that, JMatt served as Promotions and Marketing Director for sister station WMHX Mix 105.1 in Madison, WI.

“To say I am thrilled about joining the team at WMYX is an understatement, as I first began my career there a decade ago,” said Carreno. “So many great friends and personalities have graced the hallways of Entercom Milwaukee, and I’m truly looking forward to returning home. Thanks to Chuck Sullivan, Brian Kelly and Molly Cruz for bringing back the boy to Wisconsin.”

WXXS 103.7 FM (19.5 Kw) Red=Local 60dBu Coverage Area
Carreno returns to 99.1 The Mix after previously serving as an on-air personality and Production Assistant for the station from 2008 to 2010. Prior to joining Entercom, Carreno held the role of afternoon drive host for sister station 99.7 The Point (KZPT-FM) in Kansas City.

Big Brother Host Signs-off "I'm Julie Chen Moonves"

"Big Brother" host Julie Chen returned to the CBS show Thursday night, days after her husband, Leslie Moonves, departed as CBS CEO and chairman amid allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault. In her sign-off, she appeared to show support for her husband, saying "I'm Julie Chen Moonves," according to CBS News.

Chen sat out the season premiere of "The Talk" earlier this week, saying in a statement that she was "taking a few days off" to be with her family. Her co-hosts did discuss the controversy in her absence.

"Julie is our friend. This is our ninth season and we've been together since the beginning," said co-host Sara Gilbert. "I love her. I support her always. However, this is an important time in our culture, and just because this hits close to home, it doesn't change the story. All women's stories matter and these women's stories matter. This is very serious and the appropriate actions need to take place and so I am happy women are heard, because for a long time they haven't been." 

In July, following initial allegations against Les Moonves in The New Yorker, Chen issued a statement on Twitter. She called it the "one and only statement" she would give about the issue.

"Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader," it said. "He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement."

Report: Moonves Tried To Buy Accuser's Silence

Les Moonves
Some CBS board members wanted to stand by Les Moonves in the face of his swelling sexual misconduct scandal — but, reports The NYPost,  they turned on him after learning he was trying to buy one accuser’s silence, according to a new report.

The directors began changing their minds about their chairman a month ago, after a news report revealed that a woman had previously reported the TV titan to police for forcing her to perform oral sex — and he then admitted he was trying to get another accuser a job at CBS to keep her quiet, the New York Times reports.

When the New Yorker first reported that six women were accusing Moonves of harassment or assault in July, several directors bought his pleas that the claims in the story were “grossly overstated” or lies, according to the paper.

“I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,” Arnold Kopelson reportedly said in a meeting at the time. “Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.”

But when the LA Times followed up with a report that TV executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb had gone to cops last year, accusing Moonves of sexual and physical assault when they worked together in the 1980s — he admitted to the directors that he’d known about the police report but didn’t tell the company because it was a “personal matter,” the Times reports.

He was then forced to submit to an interview with company investigators under threat of being fired, where he came clean that he was trying to get another accuser a gig at CBS after she threatened to go public, according to the paper.

The directors then began planning his exit.

The Great Divide: CBS News and ‘60 Minutes’

For decades, the headquarters of CBS News and the offices of “60 Minutes” have stood on opposite sides of a windswept block of Manhattan’s West 57th Street.

According to The NYTimes, it was a symbolic divide as much as a physical one. And these days the gap between the two might as well be miles wide.

The ouster on Wednesday of Jeff Fager, the 63-year-old “60 Minutes” executive producer, after he threatened the career of a CBS reporter who was looking into harassment allegations against him has exacerbated tensions between the House of Cronkite and its most popular, most profitable show.

Populated by eminences like Steve Kroft and Lesley Stahl, the weekly newsmagazine prides itself on a culture of exceptionalism — with the ratings to back it up. No matter if CBS News is having a good or a bad year — and there have been plenty of bad ones — “60 Minutes” performs.

“The people at ‘60 Minutes’ were paid more, they had longer time to work on stories, they got incredible recognition in terms of ratings and prestige, so naturally the people in the trenches would sometimes be resentful of that,” said Andrew Heyward, a former CBS News president. “It was like a hit TV show that happened to be at CBS News.”

The show keeps its footage on a separate server inaccessible to other CBS News employees. When the network wants to broadcast a newsworthy clip from “60 Minutes,” producers must include the show’s onscreen watermark — as it if it were a rival station.

Even the contrast in office space tells a tale. The CBS Broadcast Center is a 1950s-era hulk, lamented by some employees for its windowless rooms. “60 Minutes” operates out of the sleek BMW Building, with panoramic views of the Hudson River.

David Rhodes, the 44-year-old CBS News president, who fired Mr. Fager, is virtually unknown to much of the “60 Minutes” staff, which effectively operated under Mr. Fager’s sole authority. Officials on both sides of the news division say Mr. Rhodes now faces a daunting task: winning over a shocked team that is worried about its future and responsible for the crown jewel in the CBS News lineup.

Keep Reading

NPR Names Loren Mayor President of Operations

NPR announced on Thursday that Chief Operating Officer Loren Mayor will become its President of Operations. It's a new role at the company, and the change is effective immediately.

The move does not significantly change the current division of responsibilities between Mayor and NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn, but the promotion confirms the increasingly prominent role that Mayor plays at the company. Mayor will continue to report to Mohn, whose title does not change.

In an email to staff, Mohn praised Mayor, pointing to her strategic vision and organizational awareness as essential.

Loren Mayor
"Since coming to NPR six years ago, Loren has been a key decision maker on strategies of all kinds – from identifying new business opportunities to developing organizational plans to guiding our work to become a best in class employer," he wrote. "Loren is recognized both inside NPR and across the public radio system for her deep commitment to public media and her rare ability to both set and execute vision, turning aspirations into measurable outcomes."

Mayor continues to oversee the network's daily operations as well as corporate strategy, human resources, diversity, IT and engineering, member partnership, and policy and representation. In a shift, NPR's chief legal officer and chief HR officer will now report to Mayor.

Mayor joined NPR in 2012 from PBS, where she was Vice President of Strategy and Ventures. Previously, she was an executive at The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"I am honored and excited about the opportunity," Mayor says. "It is a deep honor to work with so many people who care so much about what we do everyday."

While the company often emphasizes Mohn's role as fundraiser, he continues to oversee the network's highest-profile branches. His portfolio includes the network's news and digital divisions, as well as all of its revenue-driving activities: development, sponsorship, marketing and finance.

Milwaukee Radio: NBA Bucks Expand WTMJ Broadcast Deal

As the Milwaukee Bucks game broadcast station WTMJ 620 AM / 103.3 FM prepares for an ownership change, the Bucks have cemented the team's relationship with the station, according to The Business Journal.

The expanded partnership includes two new weekly shows on WTMJ radio and an arrangement for Bucks games to run on WTMJ sister station WKTI 94.5 FM when they conflict with Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts on WTMJ.

The announcement Thursday contrasted with three years ago when the Bucks said their game broadcasts would remain on WTMJ while the team added sports station “The Fan” on 105.7 FM and 1250 AM as a radio partner. “The Fan” carried conflict-game broadcasts and added live programs with on-air appearances by Bucks players, coaches, executives and television announcers.

Bucks President Peter Feigin and Fiserv Forum General Manager Raj Saha joined Wisconsin's Morning News with more on the announcement.

“The Fan” is owned by Entercom Communications Corp. and is a direct competitor of WTMJ’s future owner Craig Karmazin’s ESPN station WAUK 540 AM. Karmazin’s $16 million purchase of WTMJ and WKTI from E.W. Scripps Co. was announced in July and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Bucks arrangement with WTMJ involves the team buying air time for game broadcasts and then selling sponsorships for commercial breaks.

Ted Davis and Dennis Krause will continue calling the action on the radio broadcasts. WTMJ radio will remain the flagship station of the BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network.

“WTMJ Radio has been a terrific home for Bucks games for 50 years, and we’re excited to extend our relationship as we enter our first season at Fiserv Forum,” Bucks president Peter Feigin said in a press release. “This is a great time for the Bucks and our fans, and we are excited to enhance our presence on WTMJ Radio with weekly Bucks shows.”