Tuesday, December 31, 2019

NYC Radio: Joe & Evan Moving To PM Drive On WFAN

Entercom and WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM today announced a new programming lineup for New York’s flagship sports station, effective January 6, 2020.

“This is quite an impressive lineup of talent on WFAN as we remain the one and only place to talk New York sports all day, every day,” said Mark Chernoff, Senior Vice President, Entercom New York. “Combined with our play-by-play of New York Yankees baseball, New York Giants football, Brooklyn Nets basketball and New Jersey Devils hockey, as well as our slate of National Football League games, we look forward to expanding our position as the flagship station for New York sports fans.”
As part of the revamped lineup, Maggie Gray will be reunited with longtime WFAN on-air personality Marc “Moose” Malusis weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET to host “Moose and Maggie.” Gray joined WFAN in January 2018 and prior to that was part of CBS Sports Radio, where she co-hosted a Saturday morning show with Malusis. Malusis joined WFAN in 2001 as a board operator and producer and currently serves as the host of “Football Sunday” with former New York Giants player David Diehl. Moose was also the co-host of the CBS Sports Radio morning show “Taz and the Moose.”

Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts will now be heard weekdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. Joe and Evan have been co-hosts since 2007 and were previously on the air from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET, a timeslot in which they were the ratings leaders among men 25 to 54 years old, according to Nielsen.

Longtime WFAN personality Mike Francesa will remain a part of the station’s programming with a daily half-hour show titled “Mike’s On,” which will air weekdays from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET. Mike will also host special programs, remote broadcasts and will contribute to other shows on WFAN.

Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti will begin their third year together as co-hosts of “Boomer and Gio,” weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET. The show is the ratings leader in its prime demographic of men 25-54 for the third straight quarterly ratings period, according to Nielsen.

Steve Somers will continue to host nights from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. ET. Somers has been a part of the WFAN team since its inception. He can be heard before and after sports programming including the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and NFL football.

John Jastremski has been named as WFAN’s full-time overnight host.

New WFAN weekday lineup is as follows.
6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET:  “Boomer and Gio”
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET:  “Moose and Maggie”
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET:   “Joe and Evan”
6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET:    “Mike’s On”
6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET:   “The Steve Somers Show”
10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. ET:    “JJ After Dark”

Listeners can tune in to WFAN (WFAN-FM/AM) in New York on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

China's Tencent To Acquire Stake In Universal Music Group

Tencent Holdings Ltd. is buying a 10% stake in the music giant behind Ariana Grande, Drake and Billie Eilish for $3.36 billion in a deal that bolsters the Chinese internet giant’s growing presence in the record industry.

The Wall Street Journal reports the company said Tuesday it was leading a consortium that has agreed to acquire a stake in Universal Music Group from Vivendi SA, valuing the world’s largest music company at €30 billion. The investment also gives Tencent the option to double its stake in the Los Angeles-based company.

The deal hands Tencent exposure to some of the biggest names in music—Universal’s stable also includes classic acts like Queen and the Beatles—and will strengthen the tech company’s dominance of the growing Chinese market.

Chinese consumers have quickly adopted to streaming-music services, showing a willingness to pay for the likes of Spotify Technology SA. Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the tech giant’s streaming business, went public in December 2018 in one of the biggest U.S. listings in recent years.

Tencent said a separate deal would follow soon allowing its streaming business to buy a minority stake in Universal’s Chinese operations.

For Vivendi, the stake sale allows the French company to cash in on a resurgent music industry and enables Universal to further develop in Asia.

The music industry is turning the page on an era of technological disruption that once bedeviled it. Universal, along with rivals such as Warner Music Group Corp. and Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, now benefits from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Inc. ’s Apple Music, which have emerged as revenue growth drivers.

Day 4: Final Batch Of Dec PPMs Released

Nielsen on Monday, December 30, 2019 released the final batch of December 2019 PPM data for the following markets:

   33  Austin

   38  Raleigh-Durham

   39  Indianapolis

   41  Milwaukee-Racine

   43  Nashville

   44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket RI

   45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

   46  Jacksonville FL

   47  West Palm Beach-Boa Raton

   48  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC 

   51  Memphis

   52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here to view Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Nexstar Makes 19 Deals To Acquire Tribune Media

Nexstar Media Group has taken the next step in getting its acquisition of Tribune Media approved.

Nexstar has agreements to sell 19 stations in 15 markets for an aggregate $1.32 billion in cash, according to TVNewsCheck.

Nexstar and Tribune Media entered into a merger agreement a year ago.

Nexstar planned to divest certain stations in order to comply with the FCC local and national television ownership rules and to obtain FCC and Department of Justice approval of the proposed deal.

The sales breakdown this way:
  • Tegna Inc. will acquire 11 stations in eight markets for $740 million.
  • The E.W. Scripps Co. will buy eight stations in seven markets for $580 million, including WPIX New York, for which it’s paying $75 million.
  • Separately, Nexstar remains engaged in active negotiations to divest two stations in Indianapolis.

Comcast May Lose 90 local TV stations, WGN Jan 1

Subscribers to Comcast cable in cities ranging from Buffalo to New Haven to New Orleans to Kansas City and six dozen others may find some of their favorite local channels no longer available when the New Year is rung in.  And no matter where you live, WGN America may not be seen either.

According to Fox Business, Comcast has posted a notice on its web site alerting subscribers that stations owned by Nexstar -- including WGN America -- could be pulled if a new contract is not agreed to on New Year's Eve. Comcast said it expects "we will be able to reach an agreement with the owners of these channels to continue carrying them well into the future" and that Comcast "has successfully renegotiated thousands of expiring contracts over the years and rarely experienced an interruption of service."

However, America's largest cable operator also noted that if the contracts for these are not renewed, "Comcast would no longer have the right to carry those channels on our systems."

Nexstar, the largest owner of local TV stations in the country, also has a ticking clock with the smaller cable operator, Mediacom, according to the trade publication Multichannel News. Serving 22 states mostly in the south and midwest which included cities like Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines in Iowa. This is significant because the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses take place on Feb. 3, 2020 and lack of agreement could impact candidate television spending, station revenue and availability of ad time on the local stations in those cities.

NFL Looking To Raise TV Broadcast Fees

NFL viewership ratings are on the rise for the second straight year, giving league officials an edge in pushing to raise broadcast fees and lock in multiyear media deals long before they are set to expire at the end of 2022, reports CNBC.

Viewership plummeted during the 2016 and 2017 seasons after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick quietly divided football fans by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color. President Donald Trump also called for fans to boycott NFL games in 2017.

But NFL ratings have rebounded since then, rising 4% so far this season with an average of 16.5 million viewers through week 16 compared with the same time last year, according to preliminary data obtained by CNBC. The NFL’s ratings also jumped last year, rising 5% from 2017 with an average of 15.8 million viewers. The higher ratings also may give the league the leverage it needs to raise the more than $5 billion in annual fees it charges for the broadcasting rights to its games, league and network officials say.

Network officials expect the NFL to begin discussions to renegotiate its contracts with Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN early next year, with a framework for new agreements in place by 2021, league and network officials said. The three major TV networks currently have nine-year deals to air the NFL’s Sunday games that expire at the end of 2022, a person familiar with the deals said. The NFL gets $1 billion a year from CBS, $1.1 billion from Fox and $950 million from NBC for the rights to air the Sunday games.

ESPN has a separate contract that gives it the exclusive rights to air the NFL’s Monday night games that expires at the end of 2021. The value of that deal is more than $1 billion per year.

The league also gets $1.5 billion from AT&T’s DirecTV to distribute its Sunday Ticket package, bringing the value of the NFL’s broadcast rights to more than $5 billion a year.

CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ Hits Rock Bottom

CNN’s beleaguered media show “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter hit an embarrassing new low on Dec. 22, when it averaged only 85,000 viewers among a key age group, reports Fox News.

Stelter regularly touts the significance of the news demographic of adults age 25-54 but the dismal performance marked his lowest viewership of 2019 in the category.

The dismal performance from Stelter came as Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” a direct timeslot competitor, thumped CNN’s “Reliable Sources” across the board in 2019.

Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” averaged only 748,000 total viewers for the year prior to its 2019 finale on Dec. 29, while “Media Buzz” averaged 1.3 million over the same time period. In addition, CNN’s Sunday morning media show lost 12 percent of its viewers compared to 2018, while “Media Buzz” kept its audience with nearly identical year-to-year averages.

Among the demo, “Reliable Sources” averaged only 167,000 viewers during 2019 compared to 227,000 for “Media Buzz” prior to the Dec. 29 episodes.

The 2019 demo low of “Reliable Sources” on Dec. 22 occurred on the same day that “Media Buzz” topped its yearly demo viewership, averaging 298,000 age 25-54 viewers for its third-best performance of the year, indicating the holiday season is not what kept viewers away from CNN.

Stelter, the “Reliable Sources” host who also pens a media newsletter by the same name, has pivoted from straight news about journalism to focusing on President Trump. Earlier this month, Stelter was mocked for tweeting “journalists shouldn't advocate for an outcome” when it comes to impeachment, as he has been among the outspoken media members who openly criticize Trump on a regular basis.

Carrie Underwood Steps Aside As CMA Awards Host

Carrie Underwood is stepping aside from hosting the CMA Awards, the country star announced on her Instagram account on Monday.

USAToday reports Underwood had hosted for the past 12 years, most often with Brad Paisley but this year she was paired with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton as part of the show's celebration of female artists.

"One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career so far was being on stage with the legends that are Reba and Dolly Parton," Underwood wrote on Monday. "It's hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I've decided that it's time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!)."

"I've got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for all of us."

View this post on Instagram

One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career so far was being on stage with the legends that are Reba and Dolly Parton. I’m so proud that we could celebrate the incredible female artists that are part of the legacy of country music, past, present and future, and I’m thankful for the huge audiences all over the world that tuned in to see it. It’s hard to believe that it was my 12th year hosting and I will always treasure every show, from the 11 that I was so lucky to do with my partner in crime and friend for life, Brad Paisley, to sharing the stage with two of my all-time heroes. I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone involved with the CMA Awards all these years. It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do. I’ve got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us. #blessed #MemorableMoments
A post shared by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on

The CMAs gave Underwood a proper sendoff on Twitter after her announcement.

"We love you, Carrie! You’ll always be family to us," the Country Music Association tweeted. "Thanks for 12 amazing years hosting the #CMAawards. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond to help spread Country Music to fans around the world!"

Trump, Obama Tie As Most Admired Men

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are tied this year as the most admired man.

According to Gallup, tt is Obama's 12th time in the top spot versus the first for Trump. Michelle Obama is the most admired woman for the second year in a row.

Each year since 1948, Gallup has asked Americans to name, in an open-ended fashion, which man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year's results are based on a Dec. 2-15 poll.

Americans' choice for most admired man this year is sharply divided along party lines: 41% of Democrats name Obama, while 45% of Republicans choose Trump. Relatively few Democrats choose Trump and relatively few Republicans pick Obama, while independents' choices are divided about equally between the two men.

After Obama and Trump, no other man was mentioned by more than 2% of respondents. The remainder of the top 10 for men this year includes former President Jimmy Carter, businessman Elon Musk, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Pope Francis, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Dalai Lama, and investor Warren Buffett.

Eleven percent of Americans named a relative or friend as the man they admire most; 18% named some other living man; and 25% did not name anyone.

Hasbro, Entertainment One Deal Closes

Hasbro, Inc. Monday announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Entertainment One Ltd. (eOne), adding beloved global brands and expanding storytelling through immersive entertainment experiences.

“We are excited about what we can do together and see tremendous opportunity for shareholder value creation through this acquisition,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman and chief executive officer.

“Our businesses are highly complementary with substantial synergies and a great cultural fit. The addition of eOne accelerates our blueprint strategy by expanding our brand portfolio with eOne’s beloved global preschool brands, adding proven TV and film expertise, and creating additional opportunities for long-term profitable growth. We are pleased to welcome the incredibly talented eOne team to our Company.”

Darren Throop, president and chief executive officer of eOne, will report to Goldner. In addition, eOne’s Olivier Dumont, president, family & brands, Steve Bertram, president, film & television, and Chris Taylor, global president, music, will also be joining Hasbro, reporting to Throop.

The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately £2.9 billion, based on the consideration of £5.60 per common share of eOne. Converted at a rate of 1.31 USD/GBP on December 30, 2019, the total cash consideration was approximately US$3.8 billion. Hasbro also expects to redeem eOne’s outstanding senior secured notes and to pay off the debt outstanding under eOne’s revolving credit facility, which together represent approximately £0.6 billion of eOne’s indebtedness.

Sarah Palin Claims NYTimes Animosity Led To Defamation

Sarah Palin said in an amended defamation lawsuit against the New York Times on Monday that the deep-seated “animosity and ill-will” of the newspaper’s editorial page editor toward her motivated him to falsely link her to a mass shooting, reports Reuters.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, made her claim against the editor, James Bennet, nearly five months after the federal appeals court in Manhattan revived her lawsuit, saying it had been wrongly dismissed by the trial judge.

“Gov. Palin brings this action because Mr. Bennet and The Times did not live up to the primary responsibility attendant to the extraordinary power of the press: tell the truth,” the complaint said.

A spokeswoman for the Times declined to comment. Palin is seeking damages “far in excess” of $75,000.

The lawsuit arose from a June 14, 2017 editorial that Palin said wrongly linked her to the January 2011 mass shooting where six people died and Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded.

That editorial said Palin’s political action committee had circulated a map that put Giffords and 19 other Democrats under “stylized crosshairs” before the congresswoman was shot.

The Times later corrected the editorial, saying there was no link between “political rhetoric” and the Giffords shooting.

Bennet has said he had not intended to blame Palin for the Giffords shooting, but was simply making a point about the political environment.

Mariah Carey First Artist at No. 1 In Four Consecutive Decades

Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is the gift that keeps on giving her historic achievements, as the song makes the superstar the first artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 in four decades.

"Christmas" spends a third week atop the latest Hot 100, dated Jan. 4, 2020, having first led the charts dated Dec. 21 and Dec. 28, 2019. The song, originally released in 1994, became Carey's 19th No. 1, after she earned 14 leaders in the 1990s and four in the 2000s.

Meanwhile, holiday songs rank in the Hot 100's top four spots simultaneously for the first time in the chart's 61-year history, as, following Carey's carol, at Nos. 2, 3 and 4, respectively, are Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" and Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas."

Plus, a record five holiday hits infuse the Hot 100's top 10 simultaneously, thanks also to Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" at No. 7.

Carey passes eight chart cornerstones that have reigned on the Hot 100 in three decades each. Here's an updated recap:
  • '60s, '70s, '80s: Stevie Wonder
  • '70s, '80s, '90s: Michael Jackson, Elton John
  • '80s, '90s, '00s: Janet Jackson, Madonna
  • '90s, '00s, '10s: Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Usher
  • '90s, '00s, '10s, '20s: Mariah Carey

Census: Population Growth Slowed In 2019

Population growth in the United States crept along at its slowest pace in decades in 2019, stymied by a sharp decline in the number of new immigrants, fewer births and the graying of America, reports the NYTimes citing new estimates from the Census Bureau.

The bureau released its national and state population estimates on Monday, the final yearly snapshot of the country’s changing demographics before the decennial census is conducted in 2020.

The numbers serve as a preview of the census counts, which determine everything from how many congressional seats are apportioned to the states to electoral votes and federal funding formulas.

Courtesy of Visual Capitalist

Click Here to Enlarge.

Key Highlights:
  • A population flatline for the ages: The United States population, which is now 328,239,523, grew by 0.5 percent from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019. The natural increase, which factors in the number of births and deaths, was fewer than one million — the first time it has dropped below that figure in decades, the Census Bureau said.
  • Millennials delay having children: In 2019, there were 3,791,712 births and 2,835,038 deaths, which meant that 956,674 people were added to the country’s population estimate, the smallest increase of the decade. As baby boomers approach retirement and as many millennials wait to have children, the population slowdown is expected to continue, demographers say.
  • The California exodus: California lost over 400,000 residents under the age of 18 during the past nine years, according to the Census Bureau. The decline could cost the state one of its 53 seats in the United States House of Representatives during the next congressional reapportionment. For the fourth straight year, New York lost population, according to the Census Bureau. It was one of 10 states to go through a decline during the past year, a group that included New Jersey and Connecticut. The top-five states in percentage population gain were Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Texas.

December 31 Radio History

➦In 1910...Actor Dick Kollmar was born in Rigewood NJ. He starred as 'Boston Blackie' in the long-running radio show, and co-hosted a WOR New York chat show with his wife, gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen.  On TV he hosted the series Broadway Spotlight & Guess What. He died Jan. 7 1971, an apparent suicide at age 60.

➦In 1914...Roy Rogers’ sidekick Pat Brady was born in Toledo Ohio. He appeared in more than 100 episodes of TV’s Roy Rogers Show, after hooking up with Roy in films & on radio.   He also sang with the western group Sons of the Pioneers. He died in a car accident Feb. 27 1972 at age 57.

➦In 1920...cowboy actor & narrator Rex Allen was born on a ranch in Arizona. Although he sang on radio’s WLS National Barn Dance, published over 300 songs, and starred in 19 Republic western movies, he is best remembered today for his distinctive narration of dozens of Disney films & TV shows.  He died Dec 17, 1999 just days short of his 79th birthday, after being accidently run over in his own driveway.

➦In 1923...In London,, the BBC began using the distinctive Big Ben chime ID.

➦In 1923...the first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice occurred between Pittsburgh and Manchester, England.

➦In 1926...KOMO signed on the air in Seattle at AM 980.  Today the longtime Fisher Broadcasting outlet has an all-news format at AM 1000.

KOMO Control circa 1948 (Photos courtesy of  nwradiohistory.com)

In July 1926, KOMO was founded on Harbor Island as KGFA 980 by two owners: Birt F. Fisher, whose lease on Seattle radio station KTCL was about to run out, and the Fisher brothers of Fisher Flouring Mills, who had been on the island since 1911. (The Fisher Brothers and Birt Fisher were not related.) In preparation for the switch to the new station, Birt Fisher changed KTCL's call sign to KOMO.

In December, his lease ended, and he took the call letters with him to KGFA. KOMO 980's first broadcast was December 31, 1926. The studios moved to Downtown Seattle in 1927. The station also began a long-running affiliation with NBC Radio that year as well, primarily with the Red Network, but also with the short-lived West Coast NBC Orange Network from 1931 to 1933. Over the following years, KOMO's frequency would go from 980 to 1080, back to 980, down to 920, up to 970, then back to 920, and settled at 950 after the NARBA frequency shakeup in 1941.

Circa 1948

Fisher's Blend Station, owner of KOMO, bought NBC Blue Network affiliate KJR from NBC in 1941. In 1944, KOMO switched frequencies with KJR (then at 1000 kHz) and sold KJR off two years later. At its new frequency, KOMO began broadcasting with 50,000 watts of power from its current transmitter site on Vashon Island in 1948. New studios at the corner of Fourth and Denny, near what is now the Seattle Center, were dedicated in February 1948.

➦In 1928...For the first time Auld Lang Syne was played by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians to bring in 1929, during the band’s annual New Year’s Eve Party at  New York’s Hotel Roosevelt Grill. The event was heard on the CBS radio network, and became the longest running annual special program in broadcast history.

➦In 1940...ASCAP prevented the radio industry from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months. It was in reaction to a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers and Publishers.

➦In 1943...Country singer John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf.  Denver was killed AT age 53 on Oct 12, 1997, when his home-built high-performance aircraft he was piloting over Monterey Bay, California. crashed.

➦In 1961...LA radio station KFWB hired the Beach Boys for $300, appearing under that name for the first time, to perform at their Ritchie Valen’s Memorial Dance in Long Beach.   Previously the group had played California nightclubs as The Pendletones, as Kenny and the Cadets, and as Carl and the Passions.

➦In 1963...The "Dear Abby Show" premiered on the CBS Radio network. The 5-minutes program aired for 11 years.

➦In 1967...Radio stations across the nation had to comply with an FCC mandate that AM/FM outlets in major cities had to air non-duplicated programming.  The limit was 50 percent for simulcasts. Here's a NY Times story dated December 31, 1966 concerning NYC stations...

➦In 1970...Paul McCartney filed a suit against the rest of The Beatles to dissolve their partnership.

➦In 1972..., “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” aired for the first time on NBC-TV. The annual Times Square special moved to ABC-TV two years later. Three Dog Night, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy, and Al Green, performed.

➦In 1982...the "CBS Mystery Theater" aired its final episode after 8 years on radio.

➦In 1982...the NBC Radio network cancelled practically all of it's daily features.

➦In 1985...singer Rick Nelson was killed when fire broke out aboard a private plane that was taking him to a New Year’s Eve performance in Dallas. His fiancee and five other people were also killed. the fire was caused by a malfunctioning gas heater.

Nelson was 45.

➦In 1989...The final edit was added to the traditional WLS Music Montage.

Every New Year's Eve, the "Top 89" songs of the year were counted down on WLS-AM (and FM). After the #1 song was played at about 4 minutes before Midnight.

Each year added about a minute of the previous top songs in Chicago. The montage originally started short, as you can guess, and ultimately ended up as this 27+ minute marathon.

After WLS-AM changed to all-talk in 1989, this montage was no longer heard in Chicago. But thanks to Scott Childers, this version can be heard exactly as it was played every year. Kudos to Scott for putting this together!

This is an appreciation to the production work that Scott, Tommy Edwards (the originator) and the production staff created over the years.

Thanks to Scott Childers for the permission to post this. Check out his site at www.scottchilders.com.

Bob Grant
➦In 2013...Veteran talk radio personality Bob Grant died at age 84. His career spanned more than 60-years.

Grant began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM-AM in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX-AM in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War, he served in the Naval Reserve.

He later became sports director at KABC-AM in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of early controversialist Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC-AM in 1964 titled, "Open Line," "Night Line," and "Sunday Line."

Grant was approached to come to New York by executives at WMCA 570 AM when the station was beocming a talk station. He was recommended to them by broadcast executive Jack Thayer, who had been the station manager of KLAC. Grant was opposed to the move, as he hated what he knew about New York i.e. the subways, crime, and congestion. He also had four children and a home in Los Angeles.

Grant was convinced to come to New York when an executive said to him at the end of a meeting, "It's just too bad that the number-one talk-show host in America doesn't want to come to the number-one market in America."  Grant came to New York and did his first show on WMCA on September 21, 1970, where he worked for station manager R. Peter Straus.

 After being in New York for a short time, Grant wanted to go back to Los Angeles. He was contacted by the former news director at KLAC, who was now a program director at another station to join his station, but Grant declined, because he had signed a two-year contract with WMCA.  Grant's unhappiness being in New York led to him becoming angry with the callers. He hoped to get fired by R. Peter Strauss, however his ratings soared as he got angrier.

Monday, December 30, 2019

DOJ Taking Time To Rule On Possible Liberty-iHM Deal

U-S Department of Justice antitrust division officials have raised an eyebrow over plans by John Malone’s Liberty Media to acquire iHeartMedia, which owns 858 broadcast stations, reports The NY Post citing sources.

Lawyers for Justice are scheduled to delve into the potential anti-competitive implications of a merger in greater detail in January and February, sources said.

Earlier this month, Liberty sought DOJ’s blessing to buy iHM in recent weeks through a plan to grow its current 4.8 percent stake, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The Justice Dept.’s biggest concern is likely focused on the potential for reduced competition between SiriusXM and iHeartMedia if they merge, said Holland & Knight lawyer David Kully, who oversaw radio mergers for the Department from 2013 through 2016.

iHM’s current owners have an incentive to invest in the stations to compete with Sirius, Kully explained. But if Sirius and iHeart were to be owned by the same company, the new owner could have less incentive to throw funds at the broadcast business, which makes its money from advertising, as unhappy broadcast customers may simply jump to Sirius, which charges a subscription fee, he said.

SiriusXM recently acknowledged that traditional radio is a threat. “The availability of traditional free AM/FM radio may reduce the likelihood that customers would be willing to pay for our subscription services and, by offering free broadcasts, it may impose limits on what we can charge for our services,” the company said in its 2019 annual report.

Liberty’s Sirius has not yet made an offer for iHM. iHeart’s three largest shareholders, who control about 50 percent of the stock, are expected to demand more than $20 a share, the source said.

Even if Justice officials find issue with a Sirius/iHM merger, the agency might OK it anyway given the growing threat of streaming music and podcasts to both companies, a source close to Liberty said.

Day 3: Dec PPMs Released for Orlando, Vegas, 10 More Markets

Nielsen on Friday, December 27, 2019 released the third batch of December 2019 PPM data for the following markets:

   22  Portland OR

   23  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC

   25  San Antonio

   27  Sacramento

   28  Pittsburgh

   29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo UT 

   30  Las Vegas

   31  Orlando

   32  Cincinnati

   34  Cleveland 

   35  Kansas City

   36  Columbus OH

Click Here for topline numbers of subscribing Nielsen stations.

The Hallmark Channel Plays Grinch To CNN

Recent data on TV audiences revealed that the Hallmark Channel topped CNN in cable network views during the holiday week. reports Yahoo! News.

The Hallmark Channel, the cable network operated by the ubiquitous greeting cards and gifts company, racked up over 1.7 million overall viewers during primetime hours between December 16-22, according to Nielsen Media Research data obtained by Business Insider. CNN attracted 1.5 million during the same period.

CNN also trailed behind its competitors, such as Fox News, which earned the top spot with over 3.1 million overall viewers during primetime hours of the same week. ESPN placed second with 2.1 million viewers, followed by MSNBC's 1.8 million viewers.

The holiday season was expected to be a boon for Hallmark and its spinoff network, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, which produced over 100 movies in 2019 — nearly half of which are related to the Christmas season, according to The New Yorker. The network airs its holiday content starting in October, and will run them until January.

News shows during the holiday week differed from the original scheduled lineup. News anchors who are typically on during the week were on vacation and substituted with commentators and analysts.

Fox News' primetime shows, including "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and "The Ingraham Angle," delivered their highest-viewed week in the key 25-54 age demographic. Despite a push for original content by CNN, including its Democratic presidential primary debate jointly hosted with The New York Times in October, Fox News continued its 50-week streak of beating its competitors in total viewership.

TV Ratings: Injury-Plagued NBA Off 15 Percent

Wall Street Journal graphic
Television ratings for National Basketball Association games are down 15% so far this season, a drop that the league and its TV partners attribute to injuries that are keeping some of the NBA’s biggest stars on the sidelines.

The Wall Street Journal reports NBA games on national TV drew an average of 885,000 viewers in the U.S. in the first eight weeks of the season, according to Nielsen, compared with about one million over the same period last year and 1.2 million two years ago.

Some of the league’s marquee players, including Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, had been expected to miss the entire regular season recovering from injuries suffered in June. Then the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson, one of the most highly anticipated rookies in years, hurt his knee and had surgery a day before the season’s Oct. 22 tipoff.

Days later, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry broke his left hand, an injury that is expected to sideline him for months and helped turn the Warriors from one of the league’s best teams to a bottom-dweller. Other prominent players, including the Nets’ Kyrie Irving, have also missed a significant number of games.

The ratings drop has raised eyebrows among analysts who follow the world of traditional TV, where live sports are one of the few remaining reliable drivers of viewership.

Most broadcasters, including the ones that have NBA rights— AT&T Inc. ’s Turner Sports and Walt Disney Co. ’s ESPN and ABC—are fighting an uphill battle as more viewers abandon the traditional pay-TV bundle for internet-based options, said Rich Greenfield, a media and telecommunications analyst at LightShed Partners.

Other factors besides injuries could be affecting ratings. Many of the league’s best teams are on the West Coast, meaning their games end after some viewers in the East have already gone to bed. For the first time in five years, Golden State isn’t a dominant team, as a result of Mr. Durant’s decision to leave the San Francisco Bay Area for Brooklyn over the summer and Messrs. Curry and Thompson’s injuries, ending a compelling story line about a juggernaut team that attracted casual viewers to the league’s games.

Sportscaster Kevin Harlan Calls Two NFL Games At Once

Kevin Harlan
Sportscaster Kevin Harlan always knows how to have some fun and bring some energy with things whether its a black cat running on the field or a fan trying to elude security.

USAToday reports, Harlan, who was in Kansas City, had another magical moment on Sunday as he called the Chiefs-Chargers and Dolphins-Patriots games at the same time during a pivotal moment in the fourth quarter of both games.

New England coughed up a lead to Miami in the final seconds and Kansas City scored a big touchdown to put their game away.

Those plays helped give the Chiefs the No. 2 seed in the AFC and first-round bye while the Patriots now have to host a wild-card game for the first time since 2009.

Scathing Op-Ed Rips Taylor Swift For Hypocrisy And Privilege

It's time someone spoke out against Taylor Swift, writes Beau Davidson, a native Memphian and two-time Mid-South Emmy nominated songwriter and filmmaker.  His piece appears in The Tennessean in Nashville.

Article highlights:

Because Swift has a large online presence, rabid fans and a big bank account, she has remained relatively immune to criticism. 

No one even dares to criticize her lacking vocal talent. Much of this fear results from her army of fans.This was especially true in her recent war with Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Label Group, the label that gave Swift her start and, truly, her entire career.

Swift lashed out at Braun, whom she loathes, and Borchetta for apparently preventing her from playing her old songs recorded on Big Machine for her American Music Awards Artist of the Decade performance. But this was a fallacy; a label cannot prevent an artist from performing a song, much less her own songs. The only rights the label has is to determine the distribution and rebroadcast of those performances, where rights issues are in play.

Swift claims to be “working for The Man,” yet her own father negotiated her original label deal because he was filthy rich. How many singers get that luxury? Furthermore, Borchetta took a chance on her and basically got her on every country radio station there ever was, without any of the traditional methods singers have to go through, including the bar scene, countless songwriter round nights and endless tours living out of a suitcase.

No one ever talks about the true privilege Taylor Swift has had because this is a case where privilege exists in its boldest form. Furthermore, she transitioned from the country format to pop, when she was always just playing the country act all along, duping her fans. It was pandering because Swift was always a pop artist whom producers added a banjo and a fiddle to just to make it country enough.

Swift forgot where she came from and the people who made her a star. Her dad bought her way in, Borchetta got her on radio, and now, the label is the bad guy? Notice that Swift never appears at the CMAs or any country events anymore. Ever wonder why?

She has bitten the hands that fed her.

Report: Vinyl Album Sales Enjoy Record Week

Vinyl album sales hit yet another record week in the U.S., according to Billboard citing Nielsen Music.

In the week ending Dec. 19, the data tracking firm reports 973,000 vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. -- marking the single biggest week for vinyl album sales since the company began electronically tracking music sales in 1991.

Vinyl album sales were so hot in the week ending Dec. 19, they comprised 25% of all albums sold that week (3.92 million across all formats: CD, LP, digital, cassette, etc.), and 31% of all physical albums sold (3.16 million on CD, LP, cassette, etc.).

The top-selling vinyl album in the week ending Dec. 19 was Harry Styles' new Fine Line, which sold 28,000 copies -- the fourth-largest sales week for a vinyl album in Nielsen Music history.

Last year, for example, in the weeks ending Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, 2018, there were 880,000 and 905,000 vinyl albums sold, respectively.

The top 10 selling vinyl albums in the latest tracking week (ending Dec. 19) were:
  1. Styles' Fine Line,
  2. Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (12,000), 
  3. The Beatles’ Abbey Road (11,000)
  4. The Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack (10,000) 
  5. Queen’s Greatest Hits (9,000)
All numbers have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

The News Is Not Good For Newspapers

Since the Internet arrived in earnest 25 years ago, almost nobody — not the savviest investment bankers, the most well-meaning editors, local entrepreneurs or generous philanthropists — has figured out a sustainable way to continue producing local news, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

America lost a quarter of its journalists from 2008 to 2018, the vast majority of them covering local issues, according to University of North Carolina professor Penny Muse Abernathy. Newsrooms lost at least 3,800 jobs in 2019 alone.

She estimates the country has lost 2,100 newspapers since 2004, 70 of them dailies. She has begun referring to about 1,000 surviving titles as “ghost papers” because of their painfully thin staffs and reporting. She has dubbed places with few or no reporters as “news deserts.” “There is a dearth of local news at all levels,” she said.

Now the industry is at a crossroads.\, according to WaPo.

Is bigger better? Gannett merger will test whether local news can be saved.

The top newspaper chains are fighting for their lives, attempting to produce enough news that readers will subscribe online but at a low-enough cost to keep investors — including a vulture hedge fund that continues to ravage newspaper companies — at bay.

Although people still trust local media sources more than national ones, only 14 percent of the public is paying for local news, according to the Pew Research Center. If that number doesn’t rise, many newspapers and digital publishers will be unable to maintain the reporting they are doing now.

R.I.P.: Martinez News-Gazette Shuts Down After 161 Years

The Martinez News-Gazette in California, which began in 1858, has published it final edition afterer 161 years.

The newspaper began publishing before the Civil War, reported through two World Wars and numerous periods of political upheaval.

Editor Rick Jones calls it a disturbing national trend, reports ABC-TV7.

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder says the city relied on Gazette reporters who were there for every city council meeting.

"How is the truth going to get out?" Schroder said. "Blogs are not the way, social media definitely not, so it's a real concern of mine as mayor of this city."

There were some tears as staff got together for a final remembrance, but it was not all sad.  The paper's long-time legal editor, 93-year-old Barbara Cetko was queen for a day as the mayor proclaimed Friday, "Barbara Cetko Day" in Martinez.

Meanwhile, the state’s oldest weekly newspaper covering two rural counties northeast of Sacramento appears to be nearing its final days.

The Mountain Messenger’s editor-publisher told The L-A Times he is planning to retire by the middle of January, at which point publication will end. Don Russell said he spent the past year trying to sell the paper but he hasn’t received any offers.

The paper began in 1853 as a twice-per-month publication; its claim to fame is that Mark Twain once wrote there under his real name, Sam Clemens, while hiding out from the law. Known around the area as the “Mountain Mess,” the paper covered school board meetings, federal land use and other issues in rural Sierra and Plumas counties.

R.I.P.: Arthur Singer Jr., 'Father' Of Public TV

Arthur L. Singer Jr., who became an unheralded father of public television in the late 1960s after commercial networks were famously accused of broadcasting a “vast wasteland” of programs, died on Wednesday at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 90, reports The NY Times.

Arthur L Singer Jr
In the formative years of government- and subscriber-funded public television and radio, Mr. Singer was said to have been instrumental in galvanizing federal officials, philanthropies and academics to seed the public airwaves with quality programming and to finance future development.

His efforts came in the wake of a speech in 1961 by Newton N. Minow, the newly named Federal Communications Commission chairman, to a roomful of 2,000 television executives in Washington, in which he dismissed their product as a “vast wasteland.”

According to Steven Schindler, writing in “Casebook for the Foundation: A Great American Secret” (2007), it was Mr. Singer, as executive assistant at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, who persuaded its president, John W. Gardner, in 1965 to create a commission that, with the endorsement of the White House, would study the future of educational television.

The 15-member Carnegie Commission on Educational Television would produce a report, “Public Television: A Program for Action,” that laid the groundwork for the Public Broadcasting Act, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in 1967, setting up the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which would seed the formation of PBS and NPR and an infusion of high-quality programming.

R.I.P.: Fred Graham. Legal Affairs News Reporter

Fred P. Graham, a legal affairs reporter, television anchor and author who covered the Supreme Court, the Justice Department and the major trials and controversies of a tumultuous juridical era for The New York Times, CBS News and Court TV, died on Saturday at his home in Washington.

Fred Graham
He was 88, reports The NY Times.  The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.

With a legal and Washington background, Graham began life in journalism at the top in 1965, as the first lawyer hired to be The Times’s Supreme Court correspondent, a job most reporters today would consider the climax of a career. In an era of racial tension and political transition, Graham brought solid legal expertise and experience in government to the task.

Blending news, analysis and background on daily deadlines, he detailed cases arising from civil rights murders in the South, free press versus privacy issues, questions over prayer in public schools and, in 1971, the Nixon administration’s losing fight to suppress publication by The Times and The Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, the secret Defense Department history of the government’s duplicity in Vietnam.

In 1972, he joined CBS as the network’s law correspondent. Over 15 years, he became a familiar face to Americans, pioneering coverage of Supreme Court rulings for the transitory attention of television viewers. While with CBS, he reported on the Watergate scandal; the resignation of former President Richard M. Nixon; and the legal struggles over abortion rights, racial preferences in college admissions and protections for criminal defendants.

R.I.P.: Carley McCord, Sports Reporter

A sports reporter related to a Louisiana State University football coach was among the five people who died on their way to the team’s playoff game on Saturday after a small plane crashed in Lafayette, La., the authorities said.

Carley McCord
According to The NY Times, the reporter, Carley McCord, 30, was a daughter-in-law of Steve Ensminger, the offensive coordinator for L.S.U. She and the other passengers were heading to Atlanta, where top-ranked L.S.U. easily beat Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl on Saturday for a spot in the national championship game.

L.S.U. officials learned of the crash at around noon when Derek Ponamsky, special assistant to the head coach, Ed Orgeron, received a text. It then fell to Orgeron to tell Ensminger about what had happened in Lafayette.

“I told him what happened, and here’s what he said: ‘Coach, we’re going to get through this,’” Orgeron said after the game in Atlanta. “He was distraught, but he called a great game.”

Ms. McCord covered football and basketball as a freelance reporter for Cox Sports Television, ESPN 3 and WDSU, a television station in New Orleans, according to her website. She also had worked as a digital media reporter for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and as an in-game host, an M.C. role, at games for the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Officials did not identify a cause for the crash. All of the plane’s passengers appeared to have been flying to Atlanta for the game, said Alton Trahan, a spokesman for the Lafayette Fire Department.

The plane crashed into the parking lot of a post office shortly before 9:30 a.m., less than two miles from the Lafayette Regional Airport, where it had taken off. The crash sent chunks of metal into a nearby field and flames billowing near mail trucks.

'Hail And Farewell' Remembering Those We Lost During 2019

A "Sunday Morning" tradition: Lee Cowan pays tribute to some of the creative, inspiring and newsworthy men and women who passed away this year, who'd touched our lives in ways we won't forget. This video originally aired Sunday morning 12/29/2019.

December 30 Radio History

➦In 1911..Actress Jeanette Nolan born (Died at age 86 from a stroke – June 5, 1998). Nominated for four Emmy Awards, she had roles in the television series The Virginian (1962–1971) and Dirty Sally (1974); and in films such as Macbeth (1948).

Nolan began her acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California, and, while a student at Los Angeles City College, made her radio debut in 1932 in Omar Khayyam, the first transcontinental broadcast from station KHJ. She continued acting into the 1990s.

Nolan made more than three hundred television appearances,

➦In 1914...Radio & TV host Bert Parks born (Died at age 77 from lung cancer – February 2, 1992).  He is best known for hosting the annual Miss America telecast from 1955 to 1979.

Parks entered radio broadcasting at age 16, for Atlanta's WGST. Three years later, he moved to New York City and was hired as a singer and straight man on The Eddie Cantor Show, then becoming a CBS Radio staff announcer. Parks was the host of Break the Bank, which premiered on radio in 1945 and was telecast from 1948 to 1957, as well as Stop the Music on radio in 1948 and television from 1949 to 1952.

Bert Parks
The success of Stop the Music took a toll on the ratings of the popular radio show hosted by satirist Fred Allen, who began spoofing Parks's program with skits mocking the premise of the show, one called Cease The Melody.

With other celebrities, he hosted NBC radio's Monitor during the 1960s.

Parks' first game show was Party Line on NBC (broadcast from New York City NBC flagship station WNBT), which involved viewers calling in to answer questions and win $5 prizes; Party Line ran from June 8 to August 31, 1947, making its one surviving episode the oldest known game show and one of the oldest surviving television shows to have been recorded. Commercial kinescopes did not come out until fall 1947 (co-sponsored by NBC, DuMont, and Kodak), and the only kinescopes known to predate Party Line are a few episodes of Kraft Television Theater from February and June 1947.

Parks is most famous for hosting the Miss America telecast from 1955–79; each telecast ended with Parks singing "There She Is, Miss America", as the winner was crowned. Following the 1979 pageant, he was unceremoniously fired by the organization (he heard a newscast while on vacation) in an attempt to attract a more youthful audience. The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson led an on-air campaign to get Parks rehired, but was unsuccessful. In 1990, for the 70th anniversary of the Miss America pageant (during which Miss America 1991 was crowned), Parks was brought on by host Gary Collins to sing "There She Is" to the new Miss America, Marjorie Judith Vincent. It was the last time Parks performed the song live.

➦In 1917...actress Nancy Coleman born (Died at age 82 – January 18, 2000). After working on radio and appearing on the Broadway stage, Nancy Coleman moved to Hollywood to work for Warner Bros. studios.

Early in her career as an actress, Coleman portrayed Alice Hughes on the radio version of the soap opera Young Doctor Malone.  Coleman also appeared as the lead in the 04/13/1943 episode of "Suspense", entitled "Fear Paints a Picture". On television, she played Helen Emerson on Valiant Lady.
Jack Benny and Fred Allen
➦In 1936...The famous radio feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen began. Good friends in real life, Fred Allen and Jack Benny inadvertently hatched a running gag in 1937 when a child prodigy, violinist Stuart Canin, gave a very credible performance on the Allen show, inspiring an Allen wisecrack about "a certain alleged violinist" who should hide in shame over his poor playing.

Allen often mentioned his show-business friends on the air ("Mr. Jacob Haley of Newton Highlands, Massachusetts" was Allen's way of saying hello to his pal Jack Haley), and on the Canin broadcast Allen knew Benny would be listening. Benny, according to Allen biographer Taylor, burst out laughing, then responded in kind on his own program. The rivalry gag went on for a decade and convinced some fans that the two comedians really were blood enemies.

The Allen-Benny feud was the longest-playing, best-remembered running gag in classic radio history.  The gag even pushed toward a boxing match between the two comedians and the promised event was a sellout, though the match never occurred.

➦In 1942...the radio program, "Mr. and Mrs. North", began it's run on the NBC Radio network. The show was a radio mystery series that aired on NBC and CBS from 1942 to 1954. Alice Frost and Joseph Curtin had the title roles when the series began in 1942.

The characters, publisher Jerry North and his wife Pam, lived in Greenwich Village at 24 St. Anne's Flat. They were not professional detectives but simply an ordinary couple who stumbled across a murder or two every week for 12 years. The radio program eventually reached nearly 20 million listeners.

➦In 1942...Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theater for what was scheduled to be a four-week engagement, but turned into eight weeks because of its popularity.

Police were called to help curb the excitement among the screaming teenage girls known as bobbysoxers -- a phenomenon not seen before for a pop singer

➦In 1943...Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was born.

➦In 1945...Singer Davy Jones, "the cute one" on TV's The Monkees, was born. He died February 29, 2012 at 66.

➦In 1962...Radio/TV talk host Sean Hannity was born. He started his career as a  volunteer talk show host at UC Santa Barbara in 1989.

After leaving KCSB, Hannity placed an ad in radio publications, presenting himself as "the most talked about college radio host in America." Radio station WVNN in Athens, Alabama (part of the Huntsville market), then hired him to be the afternoon talk show host.  From Huntsville, he moved to WGST in Atlanta in 1992, filling the slot vacated by Neal Boortz, who had moved to competing station WSB. In September 1996, Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes hired the then relatively unknown Hannity to host a television program under the working title Hannity and LTBD ("liberal to be determined"). Alan Colmes was then hired to co-host and the show debuted as Hannity & Colmes.

Later that year, Hannity left WGST for New York, where WABC had him substitute for their afternoon drive time host during Christmas week. In January 1997, WABC put Hannity on the air full-time, giving him the late-night time slot. WABC then moved Hannity to the same drive-time slot he had filled temporarily a little more than a year earlier. Hannity was on WABC's afternoon time slot from January 1998.  The WABC slot continued until the end of 2013. Since January 2014, Hannity has hosted the 3–6 p.m. time slot on WOR in New York City.

Hannity's radio program is a conservative political talk show that features Hannity's opinions and ideology related to current issues and politicians. The Sean Hannity Show began national syndication on September 10, 2001, on over 500 stations nationwide. In 2004, Hannity signed a $25-million five-year contract extension with ABC Radio to continue the show until 2009. In June 2007, ABC Radio was sold to Citadel Communications and in the summer of 2008, Hannity was signed for a $100- million five-year contract.  As of March 2018, the program is heard by over 13.5 million listeners a week.

In January 2007, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia_ signed a group-wide three-year extension with Hannity on over 80 stations.   Hannity signed a long-term contract to remain with Premiere Networks in September 2013.

➦In 2005...Longtime Seattle radio personality Lan Roberts died of lung cancer at 69, just days after his birthday.

Lan Roberts
During the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts was a high-profile jock with KJR in Seattle.

Roberts left KJR for rival top 40 station KOL in a late 60s talent raid and returned to KJR in the early 70s.   He was known primarily for comedic skits and gags, working the coveted morning drive shift. Lan Roberts was a master of voices and surrounded the top 40 hits of KJR with odd characters with names like Phil Dirt and The Hollywood Reporter.

Later in life, Roberts returned to live in his old home town and worked as a radio consultant. He gained a new following by sharing his liberal political views on his website. In the last ten years of his life he suffered from lung cancer, and urged visitors to his website not to smoke.

➦In 2014...Scotty Rhodarmer aired his final show on WWNC 570 AM in Asheville, NC. Rhodarmer did the morning show for 50 years beginning in 1954. WWNC, whose call letters stand for "Wonderful Western North Carolina", signed on the air on February 21, 1927, as Asheville's first radio station,

In the days before FM became popular, WWNC was sometimes the most popular station in the United States with an Arbitron share over 40 percent, sometimes as high as 50 percent for Scotty Rhodarmer.