Saturday, March 30, 2019

March 31 Radio History

➦In 1908...Lester Joseph "Les" Damon born in Providence, RI (Died at age 54 from an apparent heart attack – July 21, 1962). He was a character actor best known for his nearly 30 years performing on radio. Out of all his appearances on radio, Damon was best remembered for his roles as Nick Charles on The Adventures of the Thin Man from 1941-1943 and again from 1946-1950 on NBC then CBS and as Michael Waring on The Falcon from 1950-1953 on Mutual.

Henry Morgan
➦In 1915...Henry Morgan born as Henry Lerner Van Ost Jr. (Died at age 79 – May 19, 1994).

He first became familiar to radio audiences in the 1930s and 1940s as a barbed but often self-deprecating satirist; in the 1950s and later, he was a regular and cantankerous panelist on the game show I've Got a Secret as well as other game and talk shows. Morgan was a second cousin of Broadway lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner.

He began his radio career as a page at New York City station WMCA in 1932, after which he held a number of obscure radio jobs, including announcing.  In 1940, he was offered a daily 15-minute series on Mutual Broadcasting System's flagship station, WOR. This show was a 15-minute comedy, which he opened almost invariably with "Good evening, anybody; here's Morgan."

In his memoir, Here's Morgan (1994), he wrote that he devised that introduction as a dig at popular singer Kate Smith, who "...started her show with a condescending, 'Hello, everybody.' I, on the other hand, was happy if anybody listened in." He mixed barbed ad libs, satirizing daily life's foibles, with novelty records, including those of Spike Jones. Morgan stated that Jones sent him his newest records in advance of market dates because he played them so often.

Morgan appeared in the December 1944 CBS Radio original broadcast of Norman Corwin's play, The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, taking several minor roles including the narrator, Ivan the Terrible and Simon Legree. He repeated his performance in the December 1944 production of the play.

Later, he moved to ABC in a half-hour weekly format that allowed Morgan more room to develop and expand his topical, often ad-libbed satires, hitting popular magazines, soap operas, schools, the BBC, baseball, summer resorts, government snooping, and landlords. His usual signoff was, "Morgan'll be here on the same corner in front of the cigar store next week."

Life Savers candy, an early Morgan sponsor, dropped him after he accused them of fraud for what amounted to hiding the holes in the famous life saver ring-shaped sweets. "I claimed that if the manufacturer would give me all those centers," Morgan remembered later, "I would market them as Morgan's Mint Middles and say no more about it."

Earle C. Anthony
➦In 1922...KFI-AM, Los Angeles signed-on.

In 1922 Earle C. Anthony was the founder and owner of what eventually became 50,000 watt KFI 640 AM, a station he controlled until his death in 1961.

From 1929 to 1944, he also owned KECA 790 AM, now KABC. The E.C.A. in KECA stood, of course, for Earle C. Anthony.

He was an early president of the National Association of Broadcasters and, during his term, oversaw the establishment of the organization's first paid staff.

He was also a founder of one of the earliest television stations in Los Angeles, KFI-TV, channel 9, and KFI-FM, both of which were disposed of in 1951.

The original KFI station used a 50-watt transmitter and was made out of a crank telephone. Early on, Anthony operated the station from his garage, and later from atop his Packard automobile dealership. In its early days, it was typically on the air for only four and a half hours a day.

This is the original KFI 50 kW transmitter, an RCA 50B. Installed in 1931, it served as the main until a Continental 317B was installed in 1959. 

From the time of its inception in 1926, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) operated two networks, the Red Network and the Blue Network. The Red Network carried the commercial programs, while the Blue Network carried the sustaining ones (those without commercial sponsors). The red and blue designations came from the colors of the U.S. flag.

Being an NBC affiliate, Anthony operated two radio stations to carry both networks. KFI-AM, 640 kHz, carried the Red Network, and KECA-AM, 790 kHz, carried the Blue.

KFI helped to keep the calm during the dark days of World War II by airing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats." Later, it carried "Monitor (NBC Radio)," the network's very successful weekend radio service.

As a side note to KFI's participation in World War II, there is a bullet hole in the ceiling of the transmitter building, located in La Mirada, California, where a National Guardsman accidentally discharged his rifle on December 10, 1941, three days following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The bullet hole is still there to this day, preserved as a monument to KFI's wartime service.

The "FI" segment of its call sign was an abbreviation of "farmer's information." Every winter evening between 1924 and 1956, KFI would deliver a frost report at 8 pm that would tell citrus farmers whether to turn on wind machines or light "smudge pots" to keep their orange and lemon groves from freezing. The frost warnings moved to 7 pm until the late 1970s when they were removed from the schedule.

After the end of radio’s golden age, KFI-AM moved toward a full-service format of music, sports and local news.  Cox Broadcasting purchased the station in 1973.

It moved KFI into a Top 40 format in the mid 1970s. That playlist softened in the early 1980s as KFI moved toward a more adult contemporary format.

By the mid 1980s, KFI had slipped in the ratings.  By 1988, KFI dropped music and focused on issue-oriented talk radio.  Chancellor Media acquired the station in 1999.  Clear Channel Communications assumed control in 2000. KFI continues to broadcast a news/talk format.

➦In 1925...WOWO-AM, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, signed-on.

Established in 1925, WOWO began broadcasting at 500 watts of power on 1320 kHz on March 31, 1925 and was owned by Chester Keen of Main Auto Supply Company; the station was originally located upstairs of the Main Auto. The station's callsign was chosen to start with the letter "W" as required by the FCC for all stations in the United States at the time.

During the 1920s, the FCC permitted either three- or four-letter callsigns, with three-letter call signs being preferred for brevity. By choosing WOWO for easy pronunciation as a two-syllable word, in some measure WOWO had a call sign that exhibited even more brevity than even the three-letter callsigns.

Despite this, disk jockeys on WOWO were prohibited from calling the station "woe-woe" on the air until the late 1960s, when a contest was introduced to identify songs in which the "woe" sound appeared. The WOWO callsign was later backfilled as a tongue-in-cheek acronym: "Wayne Offers Wonderful Opportunities". In 1927, WOWO was made a pioneer station of CBS radio network and remained a CBS affiliate until 1956.

In 1928, Keen sold WOWO to Fred Zieg. In 1929, Zieg received FCC approval to move WOWO to 1190 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts and establish WGL on WOWO's former 1320 kHz. Until WOWO's purchase by Westinghouse Broadcasting in 1936, Zieg managed the advertising sales of both WOWO and WGL through WOWO-WGL Sales Service, Inc.

On July 4, 1929, the station's studio building caught fire. No casualties were reported, and operations were moved to a nearby location.

During August 1936, WOWO was acquired by Westinghouse Broadcasting as its first owned and operated radio station. Westinghouse built new studios for WOWO at 925 South Harrison Street in Fort Wayne, which were completed on May 1, 1937. On that same date WOWO joined the NBC Blue radio network, while maintaining its CBS network affiliation, as multiple network affiliations were common for NBC-Blue affiliates. On March 29, 1941 Westinghouse completed the FCC licensing of WOWO's famous clear-channel broadcasting on 1190 kHz. During and after World War II, these clear-channel broadcasts made WOWO a popular radio super-station of sorts throughout the eastern United States.  WOWO's clear-channel license and resulting large audience permitted various owners over the years to consider WOWO their flagship station.

On April 30, 1952, WOWO's studio and offices were relocated to the upper floors of 128 West Washington Blvd. It was here that the station began its famous "fire-escape" weather forecasts, involving obtaining weather conditions from the fire escape ledge. In 1977, WOWO's studios moved to the fourth floor of the Central Building at 203 West Wayne Street in Fort Wayne, where it would remain for the next fifteen years. When the station relocated to the Central Building, the old fire escape was cut into small pieces, encapsulated in lucite and distributed as a promotional paper weight.

Programming for the station changed several times. After dropping its network affiliations in 1956, the station played modern (for the time) music. During its heyday, WOWO was one of North America's most listened-to Top 40 music stations. WOWO continued playing the hits until 1988, when the station resumed playing oldies. In 1992 the format changed to adult contemporary, and then in 1996, the station switched to a news-talk format which remains to this day.

From 1941 to 1995 WOWO was well-known, in both Indiana and areas to the east, as one of the clear-channel AM stations. This was due to the station broadcasting continuously at 50,000 watts of power both during daylight and nighttime hours. From sunset to sunrise, WOWO's directional antenna was configured to protect only KEX, Portland, Oregon. The nighttime broadcasts were branded as WOWO's Nighttime Skywave Service, the "voice of a thousand Main Streets". During the 1970s, the station's hourly ID (required by the FCC) stated: "50,000 watts on 1190, WOWO, Fort Wayne, Group W, Westinghouse Broadcasting." Listen to WOWO Top Of the Hour Station IDs: Click Here.

WOWO's clear-channel license permitted WOWO's radio personalities to gain some degree of fame throughout the eastern United States. Announcer Bob Sievers, Farm Director, commentator and folk-philosopher Jay Gould, News Director Dugan Fry, meteorologist Earl Finckle, the "In a Little Red Barn (on a farm down in Indiana)" de facto theme song of WOWO, the Penny Pitch charity fund raisers, sports director Bob Chase's Komet Hockey broadcasts, the weather reports from WOWO's personnel taking a smoking break out on its studio's "world-famous fire escape", and husband-wife hosts of The Little Red Barn Show, music director Sam DeVincent and wife Nancy of "Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers", all were listened to by a total of millions of people from the Great Lakes to the United States' East Coast over the years from the 1940s to the 1990s. Other memorable on-air personalities include Ron Gregory, Chris Roberts, Jack Underwood and Carol Ford.

Because WOWO's Nighttime Skywave Service caused WLIB, also 1190 kHz, in New York City to cease broadcasting at sunset each day and resume broadcasting at sunrise, Inner City Broadcasting bought WOWO in 1994 so that they could reduce WOWO's Class A clear-channel license to Class B, and WLIB, owned by Inner City Broadcasting could thereby increase its class from Class D to Class B.

This reduced WOWO's potential audience—referred to as WOWOland—from much of the eastern United States to a much smaller local region in northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, and south-central Michigan. Before the power reduction, when WLIB signed off at night, WOWO's air signal came booming through the speakers into the WLIB air studio.

➦In 1949…RCA Victor records introduced the 7-inch 45 rpm micro-grooved vinylite record, marketed simply as a "45". The new format, which had been under development for several years, was RCA Victor's belatedly unveiled alternative to the 12-inch and 10-inch 33⅓ rpm microgroove vinyl "LP" (Long Play) discs introduced by arch-rival Columbia Records in the early summer of 1948.

The first 45 rpm released was "Texarkana Baby" by country & western singer Eddy Arnold. The disc was made of green vinyl, part of an early plan to color-code singles according to the genre of music they featured. Others included yellow for children's songs and red for classical music.

➦In 1953...Cavalcade of America first aired on radio.  It was an anthology drama series that was sponsored by the DuPont Company, although it occasionally presented musicals, such as an adaptation of Show Boat, and condensed biographies of popular composers. It was initially broadcast on radio from 1935 to 1953, and later on television from 1952 to 1957. Originally on CBS (and late on NBC), the series pioneered the use of anthology drama for company audio advertising.

Cavalcade of America documented historical events using stories of individual courage, initiative and achievement, often with feel-good dramatizations of the human spirit's triumph against all odds. The series was intended to improve DuPont's public image after World War I. The company's motto, "Maker of better things for better living through chemistry," was read at the beginning of each program, and the dramas emphasized humanitarian progress, particularly improvements in the lives of women, often through technological innovation.

➦In 2004...Air America first aired.  It was a radio network specializing in progressive talk radio. It was on the air from March 2004 to January 2010.

The network featured programs with monologues by on-air personalities, guest interviews, call-ins from listeners, and news reports. Several shows had million plus audiences, and multiple weekday presenters continued on in radio, television, or politics after their time on Air America. For example, in 2008, The Thom Hartmann Program had 1.5–2 million unique listeners a week and The Lionel Show had 1.5–1.75 million unique listeners a week.  Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Mike Malloy later had shows on other radio networks. Marc Maron started his "WTF podcast" by trespassing in Air America's studios after the network's demise, before moving to Los Angeles. Al Franken went from his show to the United States Senate, and Rachel Maddow moved her show to television on the MSNBC network.

The network was financially troubled, however. A scandal involving nearly $1 million in loans from a Boys & Girls Club in New York secretly transacted by Evan Cohen came out in 2005 and was a source of negative publicity. The loans were repaid, but in October 2006, mounting debts forced Air America Radio to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company was bought by New York real estate investor Stephen L. Green and his brother Mark J. Green, who purchased the network in March 2007 for US$4.25 million.

The company eventually changed its name from Air America Radio to Air America Media and lastly to just Air America, an effort to establish itself as a broadcaster on multiple media sources including television and the Internet, and one not merely relegated to radio. Always primarily a radio network, on January 21, 2010, Air America went off the air citing difficulties with the current economic environment. It filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidated itself. Bennett Zier was the company's last CEO including through the bankruptcy and liquidation.

Alistair Cooke
➦In 2004...Radio, TV personality Alistair Cooke died, aged 95. He voiced on 'Letter from America' on the BBC Home Service

➦In 2017…Longtime Country WYCD 99.5 FM Detroit broadcaster Linda Lee Young died at age 55 after a seven-month battle with cancer. Young, known on the station as Linda Lee, worked for WYCD for 20 years. She and co-host Chuck Edwards steered the afternoon radio show "Edwards & Lee" for 16 years.

Mick Jagger Getting Medical Treatment, Tour Postponed

The Rolling Stones have postponed a tour of the United States and Canada to give singer Mick Jagger time to receive medical treatment, the veteran rock band said on Saturday.

The 75-year-old rock star was expected to make a full recovery, the band’s publicist said.

“The doctors have advised Mick that he is expected to make a complete recovery so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible,” the publicist said in a statement.

The band’s North American tour had been scheduled to run from April 20 until June 29.

The Stones have had to cancel sell-out concerts in the past, like in Las Vegas in 2016, when Jagger contracted laryngitis.

NYC Radio: Craig Carton Could Get 5+ Years For Scams

Craig Carton
Former WFAN radio personality Craig Carton, who was convicted of duping investors in a bulk ticket scam for about a year, should get more that 7 years in prison, prosecutors argued in papers filed on Friday in Manhattan federal court, according to The NYPost.

Carton’s lawyers had previously called on Judge Colleen McMahon to consider sexual abuse that Carton, who co hosted a morning sports talk with ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, suffered as a child and his out-of-control gambling problem when he appears for sentencing on April 5.

But prosecutors say the judge should instead focus on the length of time he carried out the scheme and that throughout the scheme, he kept in regular contact with the people he duped and repeatedly lied to them about the status of their investments.

“Carton’s fraud was not the result of an isolated loss of impulse control or a one-time stumble when faced with purported ‘crushing gambling debts,’” reads the government’s sentencing submission, which calls for between 70 and 87 months prison.

According to court papers, Carton took $1 million from a Brooklyn pharmacist who wanted to buy Adele tickets in bulk and instead used most of it to cover his gambling debts.

In another instance, court papers state, Carton and his accomplices misappropriated a combined $3.9 million pilfered from an investment fund — and Carton bragged about getting away with the fraud in an email, saying they had “survived the death bullet.”

KS Radio: Allied Media To Acquire Six Stations

Allied Media Partners (AMP) has reached an agreement to buy six radio stations from Kansas’ largest radio operator, Rocking M Media.

Rocking M is in its third and fourth generation of Kansas media ownership by the Miller family. The family has successfully owned and managed newspapers, KMCI-TV 38 in Lawrence and Kansas City and now 24 radio stations and associated networks throughout Kansas.

Wichita-based Allied Media Partners is purchasing KIBB-FM (97.1 BOB FM), KVWF-FM (Flight 100.5), KKGQ-FM (Kansas Country 92.3), & KWME-FM (92.7 The Blast) in Wichita, plus KLEY-FM/AM (The Wave 100.3/1130) in Wellington and KKLE-AM (The Valley 1550) in Winfield.

With this acquisition, AMP becomes the only locally owned media company with multiple FM stations in the Wichita market. AMP believes the opportunity to acquire a cluster of radio stations in their own backyard and with only Wichita investors, brings radio back to the grassroots level where it belongs.

Matt Baty
Allied Media Partners is led by two lifelong Wichitans. Matt Baty (Chief Executive Officer) brings a strong business background to AMP, with his experience in fundraising, sales and marketing from organizations such as The University of Kansas, Wichita State University, The Wichita Sports Forum and Equity Bank. Tommy Castor (Chief Operating Officer) has 15 years of Wichita radio experience, serving in programming leadership roles at various Wichita radio stations.

“AMP’s focus is Wichita, our business partners, our communities and our people,” said Baty. “We are committed to competing and earning your listenership. We want to be what radio was when we were growing up, integrated in the community as a partner.”

Tommy Castor
“Our team lives in the same community, shops at the same merchants and eats in the same restaurants as our clients, partners and listeners,” added Castor. “Not only will you get local ownership with AMP’s radio stations, but you’ll get a listening experience that will showcase Wichita, while still sounding ‘big city’.”

Allied Media Partners will begin programming the Wichita stations April 1 under a local marketing agreement. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. KIBB-FM (97.1 BOB FM), the heritage station, plays an Adult Hits Format, KVWF-FM (Flight 100.5) plays an Adult Album Alternative (AAA) format, KKGQ-FM (Kansas Country 92.3) plays a Throwback Country format and KWME-FM (92.7 The Blast) plays a Rhythmic Adult Contemporary format.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Matt Baty and former Rocking M employee Tommy Castor, in this transition of ownership. We wish them well and much success along with a close continued business relationship between AMP and Rocking M,” said Doris and Monte Miller of the Miller family.

IN Radio: WLKI Snags Phil O'Reilly for Mornings

Phil O'Reilly
Swick Broadcasting has picked up O'Reilly In The Morning, hosted longtime morning radio talent Phil O’Reilly, on HotAC WLKI 100.3 FM in Angola, IN starting this Monday April 1st. 

O’Reilly’s move to the Swick Broadcasting flagship in Angola follows his exit from WNWN/Battle Creek. In addition, O’Reilly joins the national talent lineup at Local Radio Networks’ (LRN) 24/7 Music Formats. The two announcements were made by Steve Swick, Owner of Swick Broadcasting and President and CEO of Local Radio Networks.

O’Reilly noted, "I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, MI, and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio! Steve has a great crew and an amazing operation at both Swick Broadcasting and LRN – it’s a great fit!"

“Phil is a terrific on-air talent and a perfect addition to our local lineup in Angola and our national roster for the 24/7 formats” Swick stated. “At Swick Broadcasting and LRN, we are focused on serving the local communities. Phil knows how to connect and engage a local audience, and I’m delighted to welcome him onboard.”

O’Reilly’s 30-year on-air success includes two stints at WNWN, along with WBTU/Fort Wayne, KIAI/Mason City, KYCK/Grand Forks, WNCY/Green Bay, and more.

British Rock Artists, Women Dominate Rock Hall of Fame Induction

Musicians and fans gathered in New York City on Friday for a night of British band nostalgia mixed with calls for more inclusion of women as Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and The Cure were inducted into the 34th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class, reports Reuters.

Nicks, who made history on Friday as the first woman inducted twice into the prestigious group, kicked off the night with a performance of some of her biggest hits, such as “Stand Back” and “Edge of Seventeen.” She was inducted in 1998 as a member of rock band Fleetwood Mac.

“She’s so wise and serene. She sees all the romance and drama in the world and she celebrates it,” said singer Harry Styles, who introduced Nicks on stage for her induction.

However, one of the standout moments of the evening was when Jackson, 52, took the stage and called on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame committee to induct more female artists during the annual ceremony. She also acknowledged her musical family for their impact on popular culture.

“Never in a million years did I expected to follow in their footsteps. Tonight your baby sister has made it,” said Jackson, who did not perform at the ceremony. “And Rock and Roll Hall of Fame please, in 2020, induct more women.”

Singer Janelle Monae dubbed Jackson the “the legendary queen of black girl magic” for hits such as “What Have You Done For Me Lately” and “Escapade” and said she was the blueprint for creating socially conscious music.

“We celebrate you for giving us memories that we wish we could bottle up and save for the next lifetime,” Monae said. “History is not complete without you, Janet.”

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which is located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, sends ballots to more than 1,000 artists, historians and members of the music industry to select inductees. Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording.

The 2019 list of inductees was largely dominated by British artists, featuring bands such as The Zombies, Roxy Music, Def Leppard and Radiohead, who did not perform during the show.

The Cure performed hits such as “Just Like Heaven,” while Def Leppard ended the night with a rocked-out jam session that featured classics “Photograph” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

Jackson declined to take questions from reporters and did not mention the “Leaving Neverland” documentary on cable channel HBO about her late brother, Michael Jackson.

The 2019 induction ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on April 27 at 8 p.m. EDT.

Reporter Claims NBC News Editor Of Intimidation

A reporter is accusing the managing editor of NBC News and MSNBC’s political coverage of trying to "intimidate” him into spiking a story about the Democratic National Committee in a chilling phone conversation that he says had her acting as a political operative and not a fellow journalist.

According to Fox News, Yashar Ali, a high-profile freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Huffington Post and New York magazine, said he was so taken aback by his conversation with Dafna Linzer, who has held the key NBC position since October 2015, that he posted his synopsis of it in a series of tweets Friday. Linzer, he said, was trying to block him from publishing the dates of the 2020 Democratic Party primary debates - a move Ali suspects was made to benefit the DNC, not her employers.

“Dafna, who oversees the political coverage for NBC and MSNBC, was calling to bully me into delaying the publication of an innocuous scoop and at no point did she advocate for her network, it was only about the DNC.”

Ali then outlined the allegation, which he claimed stemmed from a “scoop” he had regarding the dates of the Democratic primary debates in 2020.

It was announced Thursday that the first Democratic presidential debates will take place June 26 and 27 in Miami.

Ali’s tweets continued: “When I saw Dafna calling I assumed she would ask me to consider delaying my post so that MSNBC could announce it first. Given that this was an innocuous scoop and not some investigative story I wouldn't have lost sleep if I had delayed. But that's not why she was calling.

“After exchanging pleasantries, Dafna told me that she received a call from the DNC and was told I had a story. Now it's not strange that the DNC called her, they were coordinating an announcement. What was strange was that she was calling me and taking a menacing tone

“She asked if I could hold the story and I said I couldn't. She was agitated, ‘why not?’ I said I'm not going to lose a scoop. Then she got angrier and said ‘Why not? It's not a big deal, let them make a few phone calls.’”

He then wrote: “I realized that @DafnaLinzer, the head of all political coverage for NBC News and MSNBC wasn't calling to advocate for her network, she was calling to advocate the DNC's position. She wanted me to wait so they could call state party leaders.

“I couldn't believe what she was saying. Again, it was fine for me to print the story an hour later, beat her own network by three hours, she just wanted me to let the DNC inform state party leaders. Why the hell did she care?

MSNBC and NBC News did not return Fox News’ request for comment.

Exclusive Sinclair Video Of Pence Visit Draws Protest

Pence in Nebraska March 19, 2019 (Blake Ursch/World-Herald photo)
The Nebraska Broadcasters Association is protesting the “exclusive access” that Sinclair’s KPTM Omaha, Neb., had to Vice President Mike Pence when he visited Nebraska on March 19 to survey the flooding there.

According to TV Newscheck, NBA President Jim Timm says that Pence’s advance team notified broadcasters in the state that there would be no room for media on his helicopter.

“However, upon the Vice President’s arrival, local broadcasters learned that one Omaha station [KPTM] has been granted exclusive access to the helicopter tour.”

“Further, the photographer granted a seat on the flight said his station’s footage was not to be considered ‘pool video’ and the footage was only to be shared with other Sinclair TV stations and Fox News Channel. Later, a Sinclair executive confirmed the access was granted on those conditions.

“To be frank, this action significantly handicapped local broadcasters across Nebraska from distributing vital information to the victims of this devastation and to the general public.”

Reached by phone Friday evening, Timm said the association’s beef was not with KPTM. After looking into the matter, he said, the association concluded that it was Pence’s office that imposed the exclusivity.

Last Monday, Dan Shelley of the Radio Television Digital News Association addressed Sinclair’s preferential treatment in Nebraska in his blog and called for greater access to government officials when they visit disaster zones.

“This was a taxpayer-funded official flight by the vice president of the United States and other elected officials to an area ravaged by a natural disaster.

“Therefore, it was the very public affected by the flooding that suffered by not being able to see the damage from the vice president’s vantage point on their preferred local television stations,” Shelley said.

Charlotte Radio: Chris Kroger OUT As Hornets Voice

Chris Kroeger
Less than a season into what he has described as his “dream job,” Chris Kroeger is out as the Charlotte Hornets’ radio play-by-play announcer, according to The Charlotte Observer.

The Hornets announced Thursday afternoon that Kroeger is no longer with the team. Steve Martin, who retired from the radio play-by-play job at the end of last season, will fill in the rest of this season.

A Hornets spokesman declined to discuss why Kroeger is no longer with the team, citing company policy on personnel matters. Messages left by the Observer on Kroeger’s cellphone were not immediately returned.

Steve Martin
Kroeger left as an afternoon-show host at WFNZ 610 AM, the Hornets’ flagship station, in June to succeed Martin, who called Hornets games on radio or television throughout the NBA team’s existence in Charlotte.

In addition to calling games on radio with color analyst Matt Carroll, Kroeger was a presence on the Hornets’ website, hosting a weekly podcast. His call of Jeremy Lamb’s game-winning mid-court shot against the Raptors in Toronto on Sunday was featured on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Martin will start calling games again Friday night in Los Angeles, when the Hornets start a four-game trip against the Lakers.

TV Refuses Ads For Movie "Unplanned"

Pure Flix, the distributor behind the box office hit God’s Not Dead and other movies aimed a Christians, opens the movie in 1,000 theaters this weekend, but outside of the Fox News Channel, every other mainstream television outlet has declined to air the ad, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lifetime, for example, told the film’s marketers that they declined to air the commercial due to the “sensitive nature of the film,” the ad buyers tell The Hollywood Reporter. The marketers though, note that the network — which is owned by A&E Networks, a joint venture of Walt Disney and Hearst Communications — previously promoted an interview with Scarlett Johansson where she pitches Planned Parenthood.

The Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, HGTV and Food Network, each of which are owned by Discovery, also refused to sell ad time for Unplanned due to the “sensitive nature” of the movie, say those who tried buying air time.

Other networks that refused to advertise the movie include the Hallmark Channel and USA Network, the latter of which is owned by NBCUniversal.

"We were looking to spend money, but they didn't want to get involved," said John Sullivan, a producer of Unplanned. THR reached out to all of the networks; Lifetime declined to comment while the rest did not respond.

"Most of the networks didn't go into detail beyond citing the subject matter of the film and that they didn't want to get into politics. But we don't believe we're in the political category," said Joe Knopp, an Unplanned producer.

Marketing Unplanned has been an uphill battle for a few months now, since the MPAA saddled the film with an R rating, which filmmakers say will chase away a key demographic: Christians. Indeed, Up TV cited the R rating when it also rejected the commercial, as did several Christian radio channels that also refused to air ads for Unplanned.

The rating also put family-friendly Pure Flix in the uncomfortable position of having to distribute and market an R-rated movie for the first time.

Along with Fox News, The Christian Broadcast Network accepted ads, as has conservative talk radio, with Glenn Beck taking a particularly active role in promoting the movie, including his hosting of a special screening of the movie in Salt Lake City scheduled for tonight. One of the rejected TV commercials, in fact, features a blurb from Beck that reads: “You have never seen anything like this.”

Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow who invested $1 million in Unplanned, is also promoting the movie, which tells the true story of former Planned Parenthood executive Abby Johnson, who quit the organization to become a prominent pro-life advocate. Unplanned also got some publicity at its Hollywood premiere when singer Joy Villa attended in a dress emblazoned with the title of the film and the phrase, “F*CK Planned Parenthood.”

March 30 Radio History

➦In 1922...KGY-AM, Olympia, Washington, signed-on.

KGY has a long history in Olympia, going back to Saint Martin’s College (now Saint Martin’s University). It was there that Benedictine monk Father Sebastian Ruth began experimenting with radio, and when the FCC first started licensing radio stations, KGY was one of the first stations in Washington State to be licensed. “In fact, the three letter call stations are a heritage, the oldest around,” Kerry said.

In 1939 Nick Kerry’s great-grandfather Tom Olsen, an Olympia native, purchased the business. In 1960 KGY moved to its current location on Marine Drive overlooking Budd Inlet and neighbor to Swantown Marina and Hearthfire Grill.

It was built on pilings and has dramatic views of Budd Inlet and the Olympic Mountains. “This was the perfect location for an AM tower. The radials went into the saltwater which they believed created a stronger signal,” said Kerry.

Barbara Olsen Kerry ran the stations until the mid-2000s and today the family continues to remain owners, the majority of whom live in Olympia.

➦In 1922...WWL-AM, New Orleans signed-on.

Circa the '50s

After receiving permission from the Vatican, the Jesuits at Loyola University started WWL on March 31, 1922, with a piano recital and a three-minute request to listeners to support construction of a new classroom building on campus.  The advertisement above says the 10-watt transmitter was “made from $400 worth of spare parts from a Goverment War Surplus Ship.  The studio audience — 20 Loyola students —- gave a spontaneous cheer at [the] conclusion of [the] historic broadcast.”

The advertisement also claims other firsts.  For instance, the 1922 broadcast of a recording of John McCormack singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” is claimed as the first music broadcast in the South.

Over the years, WWL moved to different positions on the dial and steadily increased its power.  In 1938, WWL boosted its signal to 50,000 watts, sending the sounds of New Orleans across much of North America.

WWL became a CBS affiliate in 1935.  During World War II, Loyola University offered WWL’s facilities to train soldiers in radio operations. The station also produced wartime radio programs.  WWL again allowed the government to use its facilities in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

WWL-AM avoided the turn toward rock in the 1950s and became well known in the region for its broadcasts of local Dixieland jazz bands and big band music.  The Leon Kelner Orchestra was popular for its broadcasts from the Roosevelt Hotel’s Blue Room.  The broadcasts were heard far and wide over WWL’s 50,000-watt signal. The LPB radio history site says comment cards were received from as far away as Finland.

In 1971, the station started a long-running overnight country music show targeted at long-haul truck drivers called “The Road Gang.”

Loyola sold the WWL stations to separate companies in 1989.  WWL-AM and WLMG-FM are now owned by Entercom.-Faded Signals

➦In 1936...Backstage Wife, a soap opera radio program that details the travails of Mary Noble, a girl from a small town in Iowa who came to New York seeking her future, moved fro the Mututal Broadcasting System to NBC Radio.

Vivian Fridell had the title role from 1935 until the early 1940s. It was then taken over by Claire Niesen, who played Mary Noble for 14 years, until the end of the series. Mary's husband, Larry Noble, was portrayed by Ken Griffin, then James Meighan and finally, Guy Sorel. The music was supplied by organist Chet Kingsbury.

The program continued on for the next 23 years. Claire Niesen played the title role for the last 17 years.

➦In 1937...Charles Wesley Leonard born (Died – August 12, 2004).  Known as Chuck Leonard. he was a radio personality at 77WABC during the 1960s and 1970s. His deep voice and smoothness resonated across 38 states for 14 years at ABC.

Chuck Leonard
During his over 40-year career in broadcasting, Leonard worked virtually every shift and played all styles of music at stations including WWRL, WABC, WXLO, WRKS, WBLS, WQEW, WNSW-AM and WJUX. He has been inducted in the Museum of Television & Radio and is known as the first African-American disc jockey to work on a mainstream radio station.[1

Leonard began at ABC's flagship New York radio station, Musicradio 77WABC, under program director Rick Sklar in 1965. He broke the color barrier for all who followed — the first African-American to cross over from black R&B radio to (then-mostly white) mass-appeal radio.

Leonard began in the 11 p.m. to midnight slot, and continued working late nights and Sundays at the station until November 27, 1979. He did the 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. shift following “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and later George Michael.

Leonard was the host of "Sneak Preview," a five-minute Monday-through-Saturday evening program on ABC's American Contemporary Radio Network, which featured newly released songs.

➦In 1938...Bandleader Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge began a decade-long weekly run on NBC radio, which was followed by a daily series for a year on ABC.

During the late 40’s there was also a TV version on NBC.

➦In 1941...The Great AM Frequency Re-alignment.

The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement, usually referred to as NARBA, is a treaty that took effect in March 1941 and set out an international bandplan and interference rules for mediumwave AM broadcasting in North America. NARBA accommodated much of the U.S. bandplan of 1928, with accommodation to Canada and Mexico.

Listen: A commercial explaining the changes in dial position of radio stations which took place on March 29, 1941. Click Here.

Although mostly replaced by other agreements in the 1980s, the basic bandplan of NARBA has remained to the present day. Among its major features were the extension of the broadcast band from its former limits of 550 kHz to 1500 kHz to its 1941 limits of 540 kHz to 1600 kHz to its present limits of 540 kHz to 1700 kHz and the shift of most existing AM stations' frequencies to make room for additional clear-channel station allocations for Canada and Mexico.

The agreement eventually governed AM band use in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. In accordance with the treaty, clear channel frequencies were set aside across, roughly, the lower half of the radio dial (with a few regional channels thrown in), and regional channels across, roughly, the upper half of the radio dial (with a few clear channels thrown in).

The replacement 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450, and 1490 kHz local channels (formerly 1200, 1210, 1310, 1370. 1420 and 1500 kHz) were reserved for local channel stations (these are regional channels if located outside the North American continent, in which case regional channel stations could be allocated to those channels).

The agreement also officially reduced the "same market" minimum channel spacing from 50 kHz to 40 kHz, although Mexico elected to enforce a 30 kHz "same market" channel spacing, unless such reduced spacing was in conflict with an abutting nation's "border zone" allocations, in which case 40 kHz was enforced.

It required that most existing AM stations change frequencies according to a well-defined "table", which attempted to conserve the electrical height of the extant vertical radiator(s) and thereby controlling possible interference, while resulting in a wholesale yet predictable shuffling of radio station dial positions.

There were about 100 stations which were not changed according to the "table" and in these cases every attempt was made to move an existing clear channel station to a possibly distant clear channel (and not to a regional channel) and to move an existing regional channel station to a possibly distant regional channel (and not to a clear channel); local channel stations were not moved outside of the "table" as the "table" accommodated every eventuality, including even the cases of stations on the two highest local channels, 1420 and 1500 kHz, an 80 kHz spacing, as the new "same market" spacing of 40 kHz accommodated this case (these moved stations would be allocated to 1450 and 1490 kHz, a 40 kHz spacing).

➦In 1945...the Dreft Star Playhouse aired its last episode on NBC radio. It was a  daytime radio program presenting adaptations of romantic movies in serial form. It was broadcast on NBC June 28, 1943 – March 30, 1945.  In contrast to the evening programs, which limited an adaptation of a movie to a single broadcast, The Dreft Star Playhouse presented its adaptations in the form of serials whose duration varied. Perhaps the longest was "Dark Victory," starring Gail Patrick, which "ran two months in daily quarter-hour doses."

For the prior two years the show had been paying up to $3,000 per week to attract “name” talent to the daytime quarter hour serializing movies & other stories. Dreft, the show’s sponsor, was a popular laundry detergent of the 40’s.

➦In 1946...Radio Personality Fred Winston born. Winston went to WLS in Chicago in 1971 after 3 years at KQV in Pittsburgh. Fred replaced Scotty Brink in the 3 - 6 pm shift when he first arrived at WLS. In 1972, Fred moved to the 12 - 3 pm slot when J.J. Jeffrey moved into afternoons on WLS. In 1973, Fred Winston replaced Charlie Van Dyke in morning drive. In 1976, when Larry Lujack returned to WLS, Fred moved to WFYR. Fred returned to WLS in 1983 for middays. From 1986 until the switch to talk in 1990, Fred was again the morning man at WLS.

Fred worked in Denver as well as in Omaha at KOIL,in Cleveland at WKYC, WING in Dayton,  and KQV in Pittsburgh. Fred has spent much of his career entertaining millions in Chicago. Besides WLS, Fred's Chicago credits also included at WFYR, WMAQ, WJMK, WPNT and WXXY. Fred spent a number of years doing afternoons at WJMK in Chicago before being forced out due to a format change in 2006. Fred returned to 94.7 WLS-FM for a time in 2013. He left again in April 2013. (H/T: Jeff Roteman)

➦In 1946...Academy Award, a CBS radio anthology series which presented 30-minute adaptations of plays, novels or films, first aired.

Rather than adaptations of Oscar-winning films, as the title implied, the series offered "Hollywood's finest, the great picture plays, the great actors and actresses, techniques and skills, chosen from the honor roll of those who have won or been nominated for the famous golden Oscar of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."

With that as a guideline, any drama could be presented as long as the cast included at least one Oscar-nominated performer.

The first show featured Bette Davis, Anne Revere and Fay Bainter in Jezebel. On that first show, Jean Hersholt spoke as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, welcoming the E.R. Squibb & Sons pharmaceutical company {"The House Of Squibb"} as the program's sponsor. It was an expensive show to produce since the stars cost $4000 a week, and another $1,600 went each week to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the use of their name in the show's title.  This eventually became a factor in Squibb's decision to cancel the series after only 39 weeks.

The series ended December 18, 1946, with Margaret O'Brien and one of the series' frequent supporting players, Jeff Chandler (appearing under his real name, Ira Grossel) in Lost Angel.

Gabriel Heater
➦In 1972...Gabriel Heatter died at age 81 (Born September 17, 1890) .  He was a radio commentator whose World War II-era sign-on, "There's good news tonight", became both his catchphrase and his caricature.

The son of Jewish immigrants from Austria, Heatter was born and raised in Brooklyn. Young Heatter, who found school difficult but had a passion for reading, became a sidewalk-campaigner for William Randolph Hearst during Hearst's 1906 mayoral campaign. After his high school graduation, Heatter became a society reporter for the tiny weekly, The East New York Record before joining the Brooklyn Daily Times, which led to his being offered a job with Hearst's New York Journal.

In December 1932, he was invited by Donald Flamm, owner of New York's WMCA, to debate a Socialist on radio, and when the Socialist was unable to make the date, Heatter had the program almost to himself. His performance impressed both Flamm and listeners. A few months later, he went to work for WOR, as a reporter and commentator. His audience expanded when in 1934, WOR became the flagship station of the newest network, Mutual Broadcasting.

Heatter covered the trial of Bruno Hauptmann, the man accused of kidnapping the infant son of aviator Charles A. Lindbergh. In 1936, he had to report on Hauptmann's execution. It was delayed, forcing Heatter to continue ad-libbing while awaiting word of when it would occur. His professionalism under pressure and his ability to keep the audience informed without resorting to sensationalism earned him critical praise.

Heatter was well known for trying to find uplifting but absolutely true stories to feed his commentaries.

Hal Peary as 'The Great Gildersleeve'
➦In 1985...Harold (Hal) Peary died from a heart attack at age 76 (Born - July 25, 1908).  He was an actor, comedian and singer in radio, films, television, and animation remembered best as Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a supporting character on radio's Fibber McGee and Molly that moved to its own radio hit, The Great Gildersleeve, the first known spinoff hit in American broadcasting history.

Born as José Pereira de Faria in San Leandro, California, to Portuguese parents, Peary began working in local radio as early as 1923, according to his own memory, and had his own show as a singer, The Spanish Serenader, in San Francisco, but moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1937.

In Chicago he became a regular on Fibber McGee and Molly, where he originated the Gildersleeve character as a McGee neighbor and nemesis in 1938. ("You're a haaa-aa-aard man, McGee" was a famous catch-phrase.) The character actually went through several first names and occupations before settling on Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve and his ownership of the Gildersleeve Girdleworks. He also worked on the horror series Lights Out and other radio programs, but his success and popularity as Gildersleeve set the stage for the character's own program, which became the peak of his career.

Peary's Gildersleeve proved popular enough that it was thought to try the character in his own show. It premiered August 31, 1941 and became a steady hit for the rest of the decade,

➦In 1992...WNSR 105.1 FM NYC changed it scall sign to WMXV.  Today 105.1 FM is iHeartMedia's WWPR.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Study: Most Think Local News Media Doing Well Financially

A new Pew Research study highlights a widespread lack of awareness about the revenue challenges facing many local news media operations. Even amid declining revenues and staffing, about seven-in-ten Americans think their local news outlets are doing very or somewhat well financially (71%).

When it comes to their own financial support of the industry, just 14% of American adults say they have paid for local news in the past year, either through subscription, donation or membership. When those who don’t pay were asked why, the widespread availability of free content tops the list (49%). Only 10%, on the other hand, said concerns about quality of coverage was the top reason for not paying.

Among some of the additional findings from this study:
  • Most Americans (73%) follow local news at least somewhat closely, but still, about a quarter of U.S. adults (26%) follow local news either not very closely or not at all. Additionally, about four-in-ten (38%) don’t have any type of news provider they rely on regularly for local news, while another 30% rely regularly on just one.
  • Across seven core job functions of local news media, the public clearly places top priority on accuracy. Fully 65% name this as the most or second-most important function. Next, though at much lower rates, come covering stories thoroughly (35%) and dealing fairly with all sides (30%).
  • A majority of Americans say local journalists should not share their views about local issues: 61%, compared with 36% who say they should.
  • About one-in-five U.S. adults (21%) say it is very important for local journalists to be active on sites like Twitter and Facebook, while 40% say it is somewhat important. Roughly four-in-ten (37%) say this is not very or not at all important.
  • Overall, nearly nine-in-ten Americans (89%) currently get at least some local news digitally (through news websites, apps or social media) and 41% do so often. Looking separately at websites and apps compared with social media, roughly equal portions often get news from each (26% and 25%, respectively).
  • At the same time, television-oriented local news consumers may have a stronger attachment to local news than those with digital preferences. U.S. adults who prefer getting local news online are less likely to follow local news very closely (21%, compared with 40% among those who prefer TV).
  • Digital local news consumption is being done more through mobile devices than desktop or laptop computers. Roughly half of those who get local news online (51%) primarily do so through a mobile device, about twice that who primarily do so on a desktop/laptop computer (27%); 19% get news on both types of devices equally.
  • News alerts are a prominent part of the local news environment. Roughly four-in-ten U.S. adults (42%) get local news alerts on their mobile phone.

Cleveland Radio: iHM Names New PDs For WGAR, WHLK

Carletta Blake
iHeartMedia has announced that Carletta Blake has been named Program Director for Country WGAR 99.5 FM.

In addition, Jason Carr has been named Program Director for WHLK 106.5 The Lake, We Play Anything.

As Program Directors, Blake and Carr will be responsible for overseeing the programming and on-air personalities for their respective stations, as well as delivering a strong return on investment for clients by reaching consumers through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets including on-air, online, social media and live events. Blake and Carr will both report to Keith Abrams, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s North Ohio region.

Jason Carr
“I could not be more excited for Carletta and Jason,” said Keith Hotchkiss, President of iHeartMedia’s North Ohio region. “Both are incredibly adept and have proven, extensive track records of success with aligning our market-leading iHeartMedia brands across all platforms. They are a perfect match for the vision of these stations and I know they will continue to move WGAR and The Lake forward with music and content our listeners love.”

Blake joins Cleveland’s Country, 99.5 WGAR from iHeartMedia Raleigh where she was the Program Director and Midday Host for B93.9. She has previously served as Program Director at WRNS in New Bern, North Carolina. Blake began her career in Dallas, Texas at KYTS/KSCS.

Carr joined iHeartMedia Cleveland in February of 2018. He is currently the Program Director for ALT 99.1 FM, Assistant Program Director for 100.7 WMMS and now adds the title of Program Director for 106.5 The Lake. Carr previously served as Operations Manager for WSBH and WTSM in the Melbourne/Treasure Coast area of Florida, as well as Station Manager for WHLG. In addition, his career also includes a seven-year stint in Dallas/Fort Worth as part of the Lex & Terry Radio Network.

Indy Radio: Dave Hill Named SVP/Programming For iHM

Dave Hill
iHeartMedia announced Thursday that Dave Hill has been named Senior Vice President of Programming for Indianapolis. In addition, Hill will also serve as Program Director for WFBQ Q95, Indy’s Classic Rock, and WOLT ALT 103.3, Indy’s Alternative.

As Senior Vice President of Programming and Program Director for Q95 and ALT 103.3, Hill will work closely with the on-air personalities and programming staff to deliver unique, effective opportunities to reach listeners through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets, including on-air, online, social media, promotions, personality endorsements and live event integrations. He will also work closely with the iHeartMedia sales teams to provide unique benefits to their advertisers by offering more efficiency and a higher return on investment. He will report to Earl Jones, Region President for iHeartMedia Kentucky/Indiana and Michael Jordan, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Kentucky/Indiana.

“With more than two decades of programming experience, Dave understands the importance of aligning our market-leading on-air, digital content and marketing strategies across all platforms,” said Jones. “His vision and enthusiasm will help our talented team will help us reach the next level as we continue to position our incredible brand and product as a leader in the industry.”

“Dave’s programming knowledge and drive to create unique listener opportunities will be a great asset to iHeartMedia Indianapolis,” said Jordan. “His ability to link our national capabilities to our local assets gives us a huge competitive advantage when it comes to driving ratings, revenue and connecting with our listeners.”

Hill has more than 20 years of experience in the radio industry, most recently serving as Program Director for iHeartMedia’s BIG 105.9 in Miami, Florida. Prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Portland. He began his career at Talk Radio 640 WGST in Atlanta, Georgia and is a graduate of Georgia State University.

“I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some amazing brands throughout my career and I can’t wait to get things rolling with these legendary call letters,” said Hill. “I look forward to working very closely with ‘The Bob & Tom Show’ and our tremendously talented team to ensure continued growth and success in Indianapolis!”

Louisville Radio: Phil Kukawinski To Program WGHL

Phil Kukawinski
Alpha Media, Louisville has announced Phillip “PK” Kukawinski as Content Director and PM drive on WGHL ALT 105.1.

Originally from Detroit, MI, PK has worked in Alternative radio since 2009. With stops in Detroit, MI and Scranton, PA. PK has grown up with the Alternative format through the various changes in the last 25 years.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Alpha Media team here in Louisville with the new ALT 105.1!” Phil Kukawinski stated. “I’m looking forward to helping build the new station and be part of bringing Alternative back to Louisville.”

“Louisville is experiencing the return of an Alternative station for the first time in many years and I believe Phil will have no problem cultivating and attracting new listeners. Phil is a creative out-of-the-box thinker who lives and breathes the lifestyle. I’m excited to welcome him to Louisville and watch him put his unique stamp on ALT 105.1,” commented Ben Davis, Operations Manager.

Steve Bearance, Alpha Media, Louisville SVP/Market Manager remarked, “When we decided to bring Alternative radio back to Louisville, we knew adding the right combination of Program Director and live, local talent was going to be key to the stations success. After a long search we have found the best candidate and are excited to watch Phil and ALT 105.1 excel!”