Saturday, October 27, 2018

October 28 Radio History

➦In 1922...WEAF in New York broadcast the first collegiate football game heard over a widespread radio network.  Princeton played the University of Chicago at Stagg Field in the Windy City. The broadcast was carried on phone lines to New York City, where the network transmission began. (Princeton 21, Chicago 18.)

➦In 1940...comedian Henry Morgan‘s radio career took a turn for the better as he debuted ‘Here’s Morgan,’ a nightly 15-minute strip on New York’s WOR.

➦In 1945...CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station.

On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, owner Allan Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built a new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power to its current 50,000 watts (DA-2) around the clock.

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario. By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes". Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored. Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY.

He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. Nelson was Morning Host for more than 20-years on CHUM.

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

➦In 1946...our favorite flying cowboy was heard on ABC radio for the first time. “Sky King” starred Jack Lester, then Earl Nightingale, and finally, Roy Engel, as Sky.

➦In 1950...Jack Benny's popular program on CBS Radio transitioned to CBS Television where it stayed until 1964 before moving to NBC-TV for its final year. His weekly radio show ran from 1932 to 1955.

➦In 1953...Red Barber resigned after 14 seasons as the radio voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers to join Mel Allen and the New York Yankees broadcast team.

➦In 1956...Elvis made his second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He sang several songs, including “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog,” and Ed presented him with a gold record for “Love Me Tender.”
Brian Epstein
➦In 1961...While working as a clerk at a record store in Liverpool, England, Brian Epstein was asked by a customer (Raymond Jones) for a copy of "My Bonnie", the new single by a group called the Beatles.  After a second customer requested the record, Epstein ordered it and went to the Cavern Club to hear this group.  He later became their manager.

➦In 1963...New York DJ "Murray the K" played "She Loves You" by the Beatles. This is believed to be the first time a Beatles song was played in the U.S.

This claim is disputed by several.   Pacific Northwest deejay Pat O'Day maintains that it was not Murray the K that played the first ever Beatles record in the US but in fact it was played in Seattle at Pat's station KJR 950 AM. (Date undisclosed)

WLS in Chicago charted it for the weeks of March 8 and March 15, 1963 (peaking at #35), before dropping it off. Some fairly exhaustive research at Kent Kotal’s Forgotten Hits establishes pretty clearly that WLS was the first station in America to play the Beatles, in late February 1963, nearly a year before the outbreak of Beatlemania across the country.

➦In 1986... KOB 770 AM in Albuquerque New Mexico changed its call letters to KKOB.

KOB was founded at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University) by Ralph Willis Goddard, and began broadcasting tests in 1919 under the call letters 5XD. On April 5, 1922 the station began regular operation as KOB, a callsign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island. New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928. In 1933 the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.

KKOB 770 AM (50Kw) Night Coverage 
In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations passed to Time-Life in 1952 and to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1957. Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986. In order to trade on the well-known KOB calls, the new owners simply added an extra "K" to the radio station's call letters.

KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ) over the use of the 770 kHz frequency. KOB was moved there from 1030 to make room for WBZ in Boston.

While the FCC requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to allow the stations to interoperate over large areas, the station refused to comply, encroaching on the range KOB was intended to cover.

Only after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue settled, when the FCC assigned KOB to a new license class. KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007; Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.

➦In 1995...The Hot 100.."Fantasy" by Mariah Carey was #1 for a fourth week in an excellent Top 10.  Coolio logged a fifth week at #2 with "Gangsta's Paradise" after being #1 for three weeks--impressive.  "Runaway" from Janet Jackson was #3 followed by the classic Seal song "Kiss From A Rose".

The rest of the Top 10:  Michael Jackson with the 25th and last Top 10 of his career "You Are Not Alone", Sophie B. Hawkins had #6--"As I Lay Me Down", Groove Theory's "Tell Me", Hootie & the Blowfish at #8 with "Only Wanna' Be With You", Take That entered the Top 10 for the first time with "Back For Good" and Natalie Merchant's solo hit "Carnival" was #10.

In 1995...The Album Charts.."Daydream" by Mariah Carey was the top album.  Insomniac by Green Day debuted at #2 with Jagged Little Pill from Alanis Morissette sliding to #3--for now.  There really wasn't much competition at the time and Design of a Decade 1986/1996 by Janet Jackson debuted at #4.

The rest of the Top 10:  The "Dangerous Minds" Soundtrack, Cracked Rear View by Hootie & the Blowfish after 66 weeks of release, Starting Over from Reba McEntire, All I Want by Tim McGraw was #8, The Woman in Me from Shania Twain was up to #9 and the solid album CrazySexyCool by TLC was still in the group after 48 weeks.

➦In 2005…Top 40 disc jockey "Bwana Johnny" (Rick Johnson) died of heart failure at the age of 56.

Bwana had been a popular disc jockey at the old 1260/KYA back in the late 1960s.

Before coming to the Bay Area in 1969, "Beautiful Bwana" worked at KLOG/Kelso, Wash., WUBE/Cincinnati and KJR/Seattle. He moved on to WWDJ/New York as music director and afternoon-drive jock (1971-1973) and spun records for a year at WFUN/Miami before returning to his hometown, Portland, Ore., as "Crazy Dick Simms" on the Rose City's legendary KISN in 1975.

Atlanta Radio: Chris Eagan Director of Operations For CMG

Chris Eagan
Cox Media Group has promoted Chris Eagan to Senior Director of Operations for its cluster in Atlanta.

In this new, expanded role, Eagan will oversee programming for WSB-FM B98.5, WSRV-FM 97-1 The River and WALR-FM Kiss 104.1 FM.

Eagan joined CMG in 2008 as Program Director at WEZN-FM in New Haven. In 2012, he assumed the role of Director of Branding and Programming, responsible for on-air programming for WSB-FM and WSRV-FM in Atlanta. In addition, he also consults six of CMG’s radio markets as AC/Hot AC Format Leader.

“Chris is an outstanding leader who excels with a rare and winning combination of strategic thinking and flawless execution,” said CMG Atlanta VP/Marketing, Audience and Newspaper Operations Donna Hall. “He is well-respected not only in radio but across all divisions of CMG, advocating for the brand and serving as a strong partner to his peers in TV and newspaper.”

“Cox Media Group is home to some of the best stations and talent in the media industry. I am excited for this new chapter in my career and look forward to continuing to grow and evolve these terrific Atlanta radio brands,” added Eagan.

Tampa Radio: Tough Times For Bubba The Love Sponge

Bubba Clem
He made a fortune in broadcasting, but today Budda The Love Sponge is broke...and down on his luck.  He tells The Tampa Times “There’s really nothing you can say to take me down further than I already am.”

How far down is he?  Consider:
  • He doesn't have a major radio outlet in the Tampa market. He's on a low-powered translator, 98.3 FM and an AM station. A member of Bubba's on-air Army says 'We've we’ve pretty much burned through all the major radio companies in this town.”
  • In a interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM this summer , Bubba admitted he's no longer living in his 65000 square foot home. He's living in a mobile home. He may soon lose the house to the bank.
  • Records show he owes $47,000 in past due property taxes, and owed close to $200,000 to the IRS as of August 2018.
  • He tried an auction in September starting at $900,000, but got no bids.
  • Bubba had to give away his 10-year-old rescue pitbull, Peaches, saying he could not afford her specialized veterinary care.
  • He's behind in bills...his water was turned off recently and he had to borrow money to get it back-on.
  • As for the $1M lawsuit for ratings tampering. He and Nielsen reached a confidential settlement in late July. He’s since hemorrhaged stations, losing Ocala, Orlando and Reno, Nev. in the past year, then Fort Myers and Fort Walton Beach over the summer.
Bubba says he takes responsibility for the Nielsen ratings scandal and role in the Hulk Hogan sex tape.  Bubba says he’s just going to put his head down and keep doing “the best show ever heard in this town.”

Bubba says "I’m to Tampa what Howard is to New York and the Grease Man is to D.C. ... And whether I get a chance to get it back will be determined.”

Crosstown rival Mike Calta originally said he’d like to comment for the Tampa Times story but changed his mind when shown some of Bubba’s comments.

“The more I see this I realize what a psychotic, narcissistic fool he is, and I don’t want to have anything to do with him,” Calta wrote in an email. ...”It’s coming from a fraudulent, backstabbing, irrelevant hack.”

Murdoch May Buy Back RSNs From Disney

The front-runner to buy 22 regional sports TV networks from Disney is the same company that sold them in the first place.

“New Fox,” the company that will remain after Rupert Murdoch sells $71.3 billion worth of 21st Century Fox assets to Disney, is the leading contender to buy back the RSNs it “sold” to Disney as part of the larger transaction, according to people familiar with the matter. Those networks broadcast the games of 44 professional teams from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League

According to CNBC, formal offers haven’t come in yet. As Sports Business Daily reported, Disney only recently sent out its bid book to prospective buyers. News that Fox was considering buying back the channels was previously reported by The Information.

But people familiar with the process, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private, say New Fox is the most serious buyer for all the networks. That’s a cleaner outcome for Disney than selling the networks piecemeal, which would bring in smaller buyers and private equity firms.

Disney is a motivated seller because it can’t get its larger deal for Fox done without divesting the networks. The Department of Justice forced Disney, which owns ESPN, to sell the networks to alleviate concerns about too much sports programming power in the hands of one company. In fact, the networks might never even change hands, depending on when Disney’s larger deal of Fox closes.

Winning back the sports networks would be a coup for Rupert Murdoch, who could get the RSNs at a lower price than the value at which he sold them to Disney — a price that was driven up nearly $20 billion by Comcast’s rival bid for the bundle of Fox assets. There may also be beneficial tax benefits to Murdoch, related to tax-deductible amortization, one of the people said.

Megyn Kelly In NBC News Limbo

NBC News said Friday that anchor Megyn Kelly will not return to the 9 a.m. ET hour of "Today," marking the end of a rocky run since Kelly moved to NBC News from Fox News.

"Megyn Kelly Today is not returning," an NBC News spokesperson said. "Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”

Kelly is still in talks with NBC News about her future at the network, according to two people familiar with conversations who were not authorized to speak publicly. Sources earlier in the week said that Kelly was likely to leave the company.

Bryan Freedman, a lawyer for Megyn Kelly, said that she remains an NBC News employee and "discussions about next steps are continuing."

The announcement ends a tumultuous 13-month run for Kelly as part of the "Today" lineup. Kelly rose to become one of the most recognizable TV hosts in the U.S. during her 12 years at Fox News, where she hosted an evening show, "The Kelly File."

Kelly's hiring by NBC News in January 2017 made waves across the media industry in part for her sizable contract, reportedly worth $69 million over three years. The show's ratings got off to a slow start, with Kelly attracting a smaller audience than the when her predecessors, Tamron Hall and Al Roker, hosted the 9 a.m. hour.

Kelly recently drew harsh criticism after a segment on Tuesday about Halloween costumes in which she questioned why blackface was considered racially insensitive.

"What is racist? Because you get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween," she said. "When I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up like a character."

Kelly apologized for the comments on Wednesday's show.

NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” took in some $180 million in national TV advertising sales over the past 12 months, according to Kantar Media.

TV advertising data from says the show’s biggest brands airing commercials over the last year included: Xarelto, $9.3 million (123 airings); Tide, $5.2 million (257 airings); Neutrogena, $5.0 million (267 airings); Progressive, $5.0 million (180 airings); and Walgreens $4.4 million (159 airings).

Completing the top 10: Downy, $3.6 million (158 airings); Walmart, $3.5 million (159 airings); Citibank, $3.4 million (169 airings); Victoza, $3.4 million (41 airings); and Pampers, $3.1 million (134 airings).

Over the past year, SQAD says the show’s 30-second unit commercial pricing for “Kelly” was at a high November 2017, over $18,000, to a low of around $13,500, and then rising to more than $15,000 in April.

Kelly: Fox Shuts Down Return Rumors

Not happening
Megyn Kelly will likely be a free agent after her lawyer and NBC executives finalize an exit deal in the coming days. Friday the network confirmed her 9 am hour would never air again and would instead be backfilled by other Today talent.

Rumors of a possible return to Fox News were firmly shot down by an informed and high-level source at her former network on Friday, who told that Kelly 'is not coming back to any of the Fox News platforms.'

A Fox News publicist insinuated on the record earlier this week that there was no place for Kelly at the moment. 'We are extremely happy with our entire line-up.'

That will be sad news for a few of her former co-workers, with Geraldo Rivera having shown his support earlier in the day by tweeting: 'Since she's made an apparently heartfelt apology for grossly misguided remarks, how about showing some mercy to an otherwise good person? Hope she comes back to Fox.'

Fox News: Smith-Wallace Spar Over Trump Rhetoric

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith sparred with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace on Friday over whether President Trump's rhetoric should be linked to the explosives mailed to more than a dozen Democratic figures this week.

According to The Hill, Smith began the segment by noting that all of the figures who had the pipe bombs mailed to them, including former President Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton, have exchanged fierce criticism with Trump.

“You just can’t ignore the politics of this, even if you wanted to,” Smith said. “These are people the president has gone after rhetorically. These are people this guy targeted. It goes to the tone and tenor of the political discourse and the words that the president uses in his rallies.”

Wallace argued there was no direct link between Trump and the alleged actions of the suspect, Cesar Sayoc Jr., who was arrested and charged in connection to the mailed explosives. Sayoc was taken into custody along with a van with stickers and decals supportive of Trump, and he was shown in footage attending at least one Trump rally.

Cesar Sayoc Jr. at Trump Rally
Wallace pointed to the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., when a shooter targeted GOP lawmakers. The shooting left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three others wounded.

“I don’t think you can draw any particular link or any responsibility on the part of the president for this action,” Wallace argued. "I mean, as [White House press secretary] Sarah [Huckabee] Sanders said and just repeated by [Fox News White House correspondent] John Roberts, a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up the congressman at the baseball practice. Is Bernie Sanders responsible for that?"

"Nobody is saying he's responsible," Smith said. "The rhetorical discourse has devolved over time and the president says we need to unify. Some of that begins with the rhetoric, does it not?"

"It would certainly be good, but I think it’s separate and apart from the actions of this guy," Wallace replied. "This is a twisted person."

The back-and-forth starts at the 6:01 timemark:

NBC News Accused Of Sitting On Kavanaugh Info

NBC News is under fire for sitting on information that would have cast serious doubt on wild claims abut now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just when the unsubstantiated allegations were rocking the judge's confirmation to the high court, reports Fox News.

Controversial attorney Michael Avenatti and client Julie Swetnick claimed last month Kavanaugh took part in high school gang rapes just as Kavanaugh was defending himself against a separate, uncorroborated claim. Avenatti connected NBC News with an anonymous woman he claimed could corroborate Swetnick's allegations, but instead accused the lawyer of "twisting" her words. Still, NBC went with Swetnick's story without disclosing the exculpatory reporting.

Julie Swetnick
On Thursday, nearly three weeks after Kavanaugh's confirmation, NBC News published an article headlined, “New questions raised about Avenatti claims regarding Kavanaugh,” that detailed "inconsistencies" with Swetnick’s claims. In the article, NBC News admitted the unidentified woman repudiated the sworn statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee on her behalf to corroborate Swetnick's claims.

Kavanaugh's polarizing confirmation proceedings ended on Oct. 6, when the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm him to the high court.

NBC’s latest story also noted that Avenatti attempted to “thwart the reporting process” and the woman changed her mind several times before eventually texting the network a final time.

As the mainstream media put a focus on alleged misconduct by Kavanaugh prior to his confirmation, NBC News’ reporting was among the most salacious. The network aired an interview with Swetnick on Oct. 1 -- despite admitting it could not substantiate her claims and that she had changed her story.

At the time, Cornell Law School professor and Legal Insurrection blogger William Jacobson told Fox News that “outlets like NBC News provide the fuel that feeds the anti-Kavanaugh firestorm” that was sweeping the mainstream media ahead of the polarizing confirmation vote.

Avenatti, who recently lost the defamation case he filed against President Trump on behalf of porn star Stormy Daniels, has been evicted from his law offices and owes a former colleague $5 million, has earned a reputation for wild claims. But for NBC News to run with a story that its own hidden reporting showed could be inaccurate is bad journalism, said critics.

Orlando Radio: WYGM, UCF Extend Broadcast Deal

iHeartMedia/Orlando and University of Central Florida Athletics have extended their partnership to keep WYGM 96.9/AM 740 The Game as the flagship station for Knights' radio broadcasts.

The new three-year deal begins with the 2019-20 school year and runs through 2021-22. Next year will mark the 25th consecutive year of Knights' athletics on The Game. Under the new agreeement, UCF Football and UCF Men's Basketball will take precedence over any other live event on the two outlets.

"We are thrilled about this extension of our partnership between iHeartMedia and UCF Athletics," said iHeartMedia Division President Linda Byrd. "This is an exciting time to be a UCF fan and an exciting time for FM 96.9 The Game. Continuing to provide our listeners with coverage of UCF football, men's basketball and baseball truly solidifies our radio station's position as Orlando's Sports Leader. We are also very happy that our UCF coverage is also available for listening on our iHeart Radio app, so Knight Nation can take our coverage wherever they go."

UCF Director of Athletics Danny White added, "We're extremely fortunate to have such a great radio partner in iHeartMedia and FM 96.9 The Game," White said. "We greatly appreciate iHeartMedia's ability to help us spread the word to Knight Nation through the radio station in the Orlando area and the iHeart Radio app with a world-wide reach. Our radio broadcasts are an important tool for us to continue building our brand and we couldn't have a better partner."

OH Radio: iHM Promotes Scott Davidson To PD

Scott Davidson
iHeartMedia has announced the appointment of  Scott Davidson as Program Director for New Country W259BW 99.7 FM and Adult Hits WHOF-FM My 101.7 in the Canton-Akron Market. 

He'll continue to handle mornings on My 101.7.

Davidson previously held several programming positions throughout his career, including on-air roles at WHYI-FM (Y-100) in Miami, WMBX in West Palm Beach and WKDD in Akron, OH, as well as Music Director for the former crosstown Hot 95.9.

"Scott is a proud leader in our community and will continue to keep both 101.7 and 99.7 uniquely Canton," said iHeartMedia North Ohio Area Senior VP/Programming Keith Kennedy. "His experience and vast market knowledge make him the perfect candidate and we know he will help contribute to our stations ongoing success."

"Stark County is my home and I'm proud to have the opportunity to better our community with two incredible brands that serve Canton like no other," added Davidson. "The entire iHeartMedia Akron/Canton team has been wonderful and very supportive and I can't wait to dive right in."

St. Louis Radio: WIL Names 'Hottest Firefighter'

Josh Bird and wife Lindsay
New Country WIL 92.3 ‘s “Bud and Broadway” - the two-time CMA and ACM award-winning local New Country morning show - conducted a metro-wide search for the St. Louis area’s “Hottest Firefighter” - and on Friday morning, Josh Bird from the East St. Louis Fire District was named the "Hottest Firefighter"!

Josh Bird has been with the East St. Louis Fire District for 8 years. Bird started his career as a volunteer fireman. He is married to wife Lindsay and has two children. In fact, Bird's wife entered him as a joke at first, but Josh was the clear front-runner from the beginning of the contest.

Josh will be sitting with Bud and Broadway, Mason and Remy and the entire Home Team in the VIP Suite at the upcoming 2018 Jinglefest Concert, taking place on December 8th at The Family Arena.

The “Hottest Firefighter” Search by New Country 92.3 heightened listener awareness of National Fire Prevention Month during October 2018.

ESPN Podcasts Post Record-Setting Month

  • Downloads up 50% in a Year; Uniques up 36%
  • Fantasy Focus Football Sets Monthly Record to Lead Original Podcasts
ESPN Podcasts set a record for any month in September with 39.3 million IAB compliant downloads, breaking the record of 36.0 million set in May of this year, as measured by RawVoice.  The number reflects an increase of 50% over September 2017.

In addition, ESPN Podcasts tallied a total of 5.47 million US Unique Audience, as measured by Podtrac, an increase of 36% vs. September 2017.

Leading the way among original productions, Fantasy Focus Football enjoyed its best month in its 10-year history, with just shy of 4.6 million total IAB compliant downloads, averaging nearly 162,000 IAB compliant downloads per episode. These numbers are also bolstered by fans watching the recording of the podcast which is now streamed live on Twitter.

Overall, the list of top performers includes many ESPN Radio and television shows.  The Dan LeBatard Show led the way with 8.2 million downloads, followed by Fantasy Focus Football, then First Take and 538: Politics at 2.8 million, Pardon the Interruption with a new monthly record of 2.7 million, Golic & Wingo at 2.2 million, Jalen & Jacoby at 1.3 and The Stephen A. Smith Show at 1.2 million.

A number of other shows doubled downloads when compared to last September:  The Paul Finebaum Show, Max & Herc, That’s What She Said, The Jump, Freddie & Fitzsimmons, Spain & Fitz, and Dari & Mel.

October 27 Radio History

➦In 1920...Westinghouse's radio station in East Pittsburgh, KDKA was issued the first-ever commercial radio license.  But it would be another week before it took to the air .. with the Harding-Cox election returns Nov. 2.   The audience was approximately 1,000 people.

KDKA's roots began with the efforts of Westinghouse employee Frank Conrad who operated KDKA's predecessor 75 watt 8XK from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg from 1916. Conrad, who had supervised the manufacturing of military receivers during WWI, broadcast phonograph music and communicated with other amateur radio operators via 8YK. On September 29, 1920, the Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh began advertising amateur wireless sets for $10, which could be used to listen to Conrad’s broadcasts.

Westinghouse vice president and Conrad’s supervisor, Harry P. Davis, saw the advertisement and recognized the economic potential of radio.  Instead of it being limited as a hobby to scientific experimenters, radio could be marketed to a mainstream audience. Consequently, Davis asked Conrad to build a 100-watt transmitter, which would air programming intended to create widespread demand for Westinghouse receivers.

The KDKA call sign was assigned sequentially from a list maintained for the use of US-registry maritime stations, and on November 2, 1920, KDKA broadcast the US presidential election returns from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company "East Pittsburgh Works" in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.

According to, the first voice and music signals heard over radio waves were transmitted in December 1906 from Brant Rock, Massachusetts (just south of Boston), when Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden produced about an hour of talk and music for technical observers and any radio amateurs who might be listening. Many other one-off experiments took place in the next few years, but none led to continuing scheduled services. On the West Coast of the United States, for example, Charles (“Doc”) Herrold began operating a wireless transmitter in conjunction with his radio school in San Jose, California, about 1908. Herrold was soon providing regularly scheduled voice and music programs to a small local audience of amateur radio operators in what may have been the first such continuing service in the world.

The radio hobby grew during the decade before World War I, and the ability to “listen in” with earphones (as there were no loudspeakers) and occasionally hear voices and music seemed almost magical. Nevertheless, very few people heard these early broadcasts—most people merely heard about them—in part because the only available receivers were those handmade by radio enthusiasts, the majority of them men and boys.

Among these early receivers were crystal sets, which used a tiny piece of galena (lead sulfide) called a “cat’s whisker” to detect radio signals. Although popular, inexpensive, and easy to make, crystal sets were a challenge to tune in to a station. Such experiments were scattered, and so there was little demand for manufactured receivers. (Plug-in radio receivers, which, through the use of loudspeakers, allowed for radio to become a “communal experience,” would not become widespread until after 1927.) Early broadcasters in the United States, such as Herrold, would continue until early 1917, when federal government restrictions forced most radio transmitters off the air for the rest of World War I, stalling the growth of the medium.

After the war, renewed interest in radio broadcasts grew out of experimenters’ efforts, though such broadcasts were neither officially authorized nor licensed by government agencies, as would become the practice in most countries by the late 1920s.

Westinghouse application for licenses
Another early station appeared in Canada when station XWA (now CFCF) in Montreal began transmitting experimentally in September 1919 and on a regular schedule the next year. (The first commercially sponsored stations in Canada appeared in 1922.)

Broadcasting got an important boost in the huge American market when about 30 radio stations took to the air in different cities in 1920–21. Most of these developed out of amateur operations, each dedicated to a different purpose. “Doc” Herrold returned to the air in 1921, but he soon had to sell his station for lack of operating funds. The University of Wisconsin’s WHA began as a physics department transmitter, but as early as 1917 it was sending wireless telegraph agricultural market reports by Morse Code to Wisconsin farmers. WHA, the first American educational outlet, probably began voice broadcasts in early 1921, though several other universities soon initiated stations with similar aims. KDKA in Pittsburgh, most often cited as the first radio outlet in the United States, had begun as the amateur station 8XK in 1916, but it was forced off the air in World War I. It reappeared on November 2, 1920, as a “commercial” voice-and-music service operated by the Westinghouse electrical manufacturer to help sell the company’s radio receivers. Westinghouse added other stations in different cities over the next two years, and General Electric and the newly formed Radio Corporation of America (RCA) soon entered the radio business as well. Detroit’s amateur operation 8MK (which debuted on August 20, 1920) soon became WWJ, the first station to be owned by a newspaper (The Detroit News).

➦In 1947...“This is Nora Drake” premiered on NBC radio. Nora solved domestic, social and child-raising problems in its daily soap slot until January 2, 1959.

➦In 1947..."You Bet Your Life" made its debut on ABC Radio with Groucho Marx as quizmaster and George Fenneman as his announcer and straight man. The program continued on radio until 1959 and ran on TV from 1950 to 1961.

Father Coughlin
➦In 1979…Radio evangelist Father Charles Coughlin, one of the first political leaders to use radio to reach a mass audience, died at age 88. In the 1930s, his weekly broadcasts had an audience of 30 million people.

Coughlin began his radio broadcasts in 1926 on station WJR, in response to cross burnings by the Ku Klux Klan on the grounds of his church, giving a weekly hour-long radio program. His program was picked up by CBS four years later for national broadcast.  Until the beginning of the Depression, Father Coughlin mainly covered religious topics in his weekly radio addresses, in contrast to the political topics which dominated his radio speeches throughout the 1930s. He reached a very large audience that extended well beyond his own Irish Catholic base.

➦In 1980...John Lennon's killer purchases the .38 revolver (a five-shot Charter Arms "Off Duty" special) with which he will eventually kill his idol.

➦On 1999...composer/arranger/conductor Frank DeVol, a veteran of both radio & TV, died of congestive heart failure at age 88. In the 40′s and early 50′s he directed the orchestra nightly for CBS radio’s “Jack Smith Show.”  He composed the theme songs for TV’s The Brady Bunch, Family Affair, Gidget, and My Three Sons. DeVol also played “Happy Kyne” on TV’s Fernwood Tonight.

➦In 2003...XM Satellite Radio announced it had reached the 1 million subscriber milestone.

➦In 2003…Announcer (The Price Is Right, Soap)/former disc jockey (KOST-Los Angeles, KLIF-Dallas, WKBW-Buffalo, KQV-Pittsburgh, KOMA-Oklahoma City) Rod Roddy died of colon and breast cancer at 66.

After graduating from Texas Christian University (TCU), Roddy began his professional broadcasting career as a disc jockey and talk show host on KLIF and KNUS-FM (Dallas, Texas). He also worked overnights and mid-days at the Buffalo, New York radio station WKBW-AM, a big-signal station covering the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and at other high-profile stations. Returning to KLIF and KNUS during the 1970s, Roddy hosted a call-in program, "Rod Roddy's Hotline," whose controversial host and topics made him a frequent target of death threats. He conducted a long-running on-air feud with an elderly woman (dubbed "Granny Hate"), who claimed to represent the local Ku Klux Klan.

➦In 2016...horror movie host and deejay John Zacherle, nicknamed “The Cool Ghoul,” died  at age 98.  A TV movie host in Philadelphia and New York in the 1950’s and 60’s, he also hosted a TV dance show, which led to him becoming morning radio host on WNEW-FM NYC.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Feds Arrest Suspect In Pipe Bombing Attempts

Federal authorities made an arrest on Friday in connection with the nationwide bombing campaign against outspoken critics of President Trump, a significant breakthrough in a case that has gripped the country in the days leading up to the midterm elections.

The NYTimes reports a law enforcement official identified the suspect as Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, of Aventura, Fla., just north of Miami.

Cesar Sayoc Jr.
The arrest came even as the crude pipe bombs continued to appear across the country. Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that they had discovered three more of the explosive devices in three states.

One, found in Florida, was addressed to Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat; another, discovered in a Manhattan post office, was sent to James R. Clapper Jr., a former director of national intelligence; and a third was intercepted before it reached Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat.

Sayoc, a registered Republican, has a lengthy criminal history in Florida dating back to 1991 that includes felony theft, drug and fraud charges, as well as being arrested and accused of threatening to use a bomb, public records show.

A law enforcement source told CBS4 in Miami they were led to Sayoc through DNA evidence. Sayoc reportedly has ties to New York and that he has a criminal history.

The FBI wrapped a blue tarp over the top of a white van in the parking lot, to preserve any evidence, before it was put on a flatbed truck and taken to an FBI facility.

That van is covered in pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Clinton stickers, along with stickers with a negative message about CNN.

Milwaukee Radio: WKTI Dropping Country For Sports

Good Karma Brands announced today that when it assumes ownership of WKTI 94.5 FM on November 1, the station will become 94.5 ESPN FM, featuring local sports talk, play-by-play and ESPN programming.

Craig Karmazin, CEO and Founder of Good Karma Brands (GKB), said: “This is a natural evolution of our sports marketing, event and broadcast business in Wisconsin. 94.5 FM’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister station WTMJ-AM, will provide new and exciting ways for fans to stay close to their favorite teams and provide new ways for our marketing partners to engage with Wisconsin sports fans”.

WTMJ-AM is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks. 540 ESPN carries Marquette University basketball along with other high profile national play-by-play broadcasts.

Steve Wexler, currently Vice President of Radio for E.W. Scripps, will become Vice President & Market Manager of GKB’s new combined business in Milwaukee once the Scripps transactions are complete, which will include: 94.5 ESPN FM, 540 ESPN, news radio WTMJ, the Wisconsin Sports Awards and the Tundra Trio.

At the onset, both 94.5 ESPN FM and 540 ESPN and will carry the same programming, including the popular Wilde and Tausch show, featuring Packers Hall of Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers writer Jason Wilde – as well as the Homer & Gabe show, featuring Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel.
WKTI 94.5 FM (14 Kw) Red=54dBu Coverage Area
In addition to the two radio stations, fans can listen via the ESPN App and online at

Charlotte Radio: It's Promotion Day AT WSOC-FM

Beasley Media Group announces the following staff promotions at the new WSOC 103.7 FM in Charlotte, North Carolina:
Jack Daniel

Jack Daniel has been named as the new Program Director at The New 103.7 WSOC-FM and 94.7 SMOKE. He will continue his role as the afternoon on-Air personality on K 104.7 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Daniel has been on the Charlotte airwaves since 1975 and has more than 47 years of experience in the radio industry, having spent much of his career in the Charlotte radio market. He has served in a variety of capacities, including as program director, vice-president & general manager, operations manager, music director and on-air personality.

Philip Tabakelis
Philip Tabakelis, a.k.a. “Big Sexy” has been named as the Assistant Program Director for The New 103.7 FM. Big Sexy began his career at the station back in 2006, when he was hired to work in the promotion department. It didn’t take the radio personality long to move to the nights and weekends air shift. In August of 2009, he became the permanent night show host of “The Big Sexy Show,” which has consistently ranked in the top 3 night shows in the market.

Mini Wheeler
Mimi Wheeler has added the title of Music Director to her duties at the new 103.7 WSOC. In addition, she will continue in her roles as a co-host of the Tanner in the Morning Show and as the Assistant Digital Program Director. Wheeler has over eight years of experience in the radio industry, having also served as an on-air talent, music director and promotions director in the Raleigh/Greensboro markets.

“This is going to be an incredible team who will work hard, have fun and continue the long-running legacy of the radio station,” said Beasley Media Group Charlotte Vice President and Market Manager Bill Schoening. “I am looking forward to seeing all of the exciting and creative work they will all produce.”

WSOC 103.7 FM (100 Kw) Red=Local 60dBu Coverage Area
“After an exhaustive nationwide search, we found the most ideal and experienced programming team for WSOC within the walls of the station,” said Executive Vice President of Programming Justin Chase. “At Beasley, we always look for ways to promote from within. I’m proud that we were able to this time with Mimi, Phillip and Jack.”

Viacom Restructures

Viacom Inc. today announced a new, simplified structure for Viacom Media Networks (VMN). Effective immediately, VMN will consist of four brand groups:
  • Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land
  • MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo
  • BET Networks
  • Nickelodeon
Viacom says the new structure will streamline VMN’s operations, enhancing the ability of it’s network teams to coordinate scheduling and programming, share production and other resources, and leverage important talent relationships.
  • The Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land group will be led by Kent Alterman, President
  • Chris McCarthy will expand his current role of President of MTV, VH1 and Logo to now include CMT. 
Alterman and McCarthy will continue to report to CEO Bob Bakish. There are no changes to BET Networks or Nickelodeon.

Bob Bakish
“These changes mark the next step in the ongoing evolution of our company as we continue to ensure we’re making the most of our great assets and resources, and operating as nimbly and efficiently as we can,” said Bakish. “Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land share an original content strategy anchored in scripted programming, and CMT – with its deep roots in music and unscripted programming – is a natural partner for MTV and VH1. Kent and Chris have been driving forces behind Viacom’s flagship strategy, re-energizing and growing two of our most iconic brands, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Kevin Kay
With these changes, Kevin Kay will step down as President, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT after a transition period. Kay’s achievements during his tenure at Viacom include overseeing a string of hits for Nickelodeon, such as All That, Kenan & Kel and The Adventures of Pete & Pete, as well as developing and greenlighting SpongeBob SquarePants. During his tenure at Spike, he oversaw the launch of fan-favorites like The Ultimate Fighter, Lip Sync Battle, Bar Rescue and Ink Master, as well as the expansion of Bellator.

More recently, Kay and his team successfully launched Paramount Network in January 2018. Paramount Network has achieved early critical and ratings success through the cinematic original series Waco and Yellowstone, the latter of which is the second-most-watched cable series of 2018. In addition, since Kay gained oversight of TV Land and CMT in 2017, the networks have continued to grow their devoted audiences through acclaimed original series such as Younger, Teachers and CMT Crossroads.

“Over the course of his career at Viacom, Kevin’s creative vision and gift for telling great stories have made a lasting impact,” Bakish added. “Thanks to the efforts of Kevin and his team, we have successfully established Paramount Network as a home for premium content, and TV Land and CMT continue to be dominant forces in the audiences they serve. I’m so grateful for the many contributions they have made in evolving and strengthening these world-class brands for their next chapter.”

Ken Alterman
Alterman has served as President of Comedy Central since 2016 after previously holding the position of President, Original Programming at the network. Since his return to Comedy Central in 2010, Alterman has prioritized attracting and nurturing top comedic talent, launching with his team some of the most-acclaimed comedies across the past decade, including Emmy Award-winning series such as Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Broad City, Drunk History and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Under his leadership, Comedy Central has greatly extended the brand across new platforms and experiences, including the launch of a global podcast network and a 24-hour satellite radio station, along with Clusterfest, a three-day comedy and music festival. Bucking industry trends, Comedy Central was one of only three Top 20 networks to maintain or grow ratings among Adults 18-49 across the recently-concluded fiscal year and has maintained or grown share for 18 consecutive months. Comedy Central streamed nearly 4.7 billion videos across digital and social platforms in FY2018, a year-over-year increase of +63%.

Chris McCarthy
McCarthy was elevated to President of MTV, VH1 and Logo in October 2016 after serving as President of VH1 and Logo. In his tenure, MTV now is the fastest growing network in cable and number one with its 18-34 audience, while VH1 is riding three consecutive years of ratings growth. Together MTV and VH1 boast 19 of the top 25 unscripted series on cable. At MTV, McCarthy has engineered the network’s longest streak of ratings growth in seven years with new hits like Siesta Key and Ex on the Beach, and reimagined iconic franchises like Jersey Shore and Floribama Shore.

Under his leadership, MTV has built its social footprint to more than 350 million followers and doubled video streams in 2018, while launching the transformative MTV Studios initiative to develop original series for partners across SVOD and premium TV. McCarthy is the recipient of multiple Emmys and a Peabody Award.

Atlanta Radio: SiMan, Chubb EXIT Afternoons At WAMJ

Silas “SiMan” Alexander and Chubb Rock are leaving WAMJ Majic 107.5/97.5. The show’s final day is today, October 26, according to Atlanta Media Watcher Rodney Ho at

Ryan Cameron, who left V-103 earlier this year, will take over the afternoon slot November 5.

Majic offered them a 6 to 10 p.m. shift, but they chose not to take it.

“We just didn’t feel it was the right fit for us,” SiMan said today in an interview.

He said they will seek new opportunities, hopefully continuing as a team. They have been a team for about four years.

Rap legend Chubb will continue to do some specialty shows and make appearances for the station.

SiMan plans to still do nightclub appearances for Majic and work as a contractor for now. “There is no bad blood,” he said. “They’re giving us a going-away party and letting us stay on air today.”

Ironically, SiMan was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame this past Saturday, just days after he found out he had lost his afternoon spot on Majic.