Saturday, April 13, 2019

April 14 Radio History

➦In 1912...two young wireless radio operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland, Robert Hunston and James Goodwin heard the first distress call from the luxury liner RMS Titanic, en route to New York south of the Grand Banks. An iceberg had grazed the ship’s side, popping iron rivets and shearing off a fatal number of hull plates below the waterline. The great ship, on its maiden voyage, sank just under three hours later. 1,517 passengers were lost at sea.

➦In 1925...Baseball's Chicago Cubs broadcast a regular season game for the first time on WGN 720 AM.

➦In 1942...Detroit radio priest, Father Charles E. Coughlin was censured for anti-Semitism.  U-S Attorney General Francis Biddle wrote a letter to the Postmaster General, Frank Walker, and suggested revoking the second-class mailing privilege of the publication Social Justice, which would make it impossible for Coughlin to deliver newspaper to his readers

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

His radio addresses began to communicate a more political message in January 1930, when he began a series of attacks against socialism and Soviet Communism.  He also criticized the capitalists in America whose greed had made Communist ideology attractive to many Americans.   Having gained a reputation as an outspoken anti-Communist, in July 1930 he was given star billing as a witness before the House Committee to Investigate Communist Activities.

In 1931 the CBS radio network dropped free sponsorship after Coughlin refused to accept network demands that his scripts be reviewed prior to broadcast, so he raised money to create his own national linkup, which soon reached millions of listeners on a 36-station hookup.

By 1934, Coughlin was perhaps the most prominent Roman Catholic speaker on political and financial issues, with a radio audience that reached tens of millions of people every week.

After the 1936 election, Coughlin increasingly expressed sympathy for the fascist governments of Hitler and Mussolini as an antidote to Communism. He claimed that Jewish bankers were behind the Russian Revolution,  and that Russian Bolshevism was a disproportionately Jewish phenomenon.

Coughlin denied that he was antisemitic.  In February 1939, when the notorious American Nazi organization the German American Bund held a large rally in New York City,   Father Coughlin, in his weekly radio address, immediately distanced himself from the organization and clearly stated: "Nothing can be gained by linking ourselves with any organization which is engaged in agitating racial animosities or propagating racial hatreds. Organizations which stand upon such platforms are immoral and their policies are only negative."

On November 20, 1938, two weeks after Kristallnacht, Coughlin, referring to the millions of Christians killed by the Communists in Russia, said "Jewish persecution only followed after Christians first were persecuted." After this speech, some radio stations, including those in New York and Chicago, began refusing to air his speeches without pre-approved scripts; in New York, his programs were cancelled by WINS and WMCA, leaving Coughlin to broadcasting on the Newark part-time station WHBI. On December 18, 1938 thousands of Coughlin's followers picketed the studios of station WMCA in New York City to protest the station's refusal to carry Father Coughlin's broadcasts. A number of protesters made antisemitic statements such as "Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!" and "Wait until Hitler comes over here!" The protests continued for several months.  Donald Warren, using information from the FBI and German government archives, has also argued that Coughlin received indirect funding from Nazi Germany during this period.

Available at Amazon
At its peak in the early-to-mid 1930s, Coughlin's radio show was phenomenally popular. His office received up to 80,000 letters per week from listeners. Sheldon Marcus says that the size of Father Couglin's radio audience "is impossible to determine, but estimates range up to 30 million each week". He expressed an isolationist and conspiratorial viewpoint that resonated with many listeners.

After giving early support to Roosevelt, the populist message of "the radio priest" contained increasingly sharp attacks on the president's policies. The administration decided that although the First Amendment protected free speech, it did not necessarily apply to broadcasting, because the radio spectrum was a "limited national resource" and regulated as a publicly owned commons. New regulations and restrictions were created specifically to force Coughlin off the air. For the first time, authorities required regular radio broadcasters to seek operating permits. When Coughlin's permit was denied, he was temporarily silenced. Coughlin worked around the restriction by purchasing air-time and having his speeches played via transcription. However, having to buy the weekly air-time on individual stations seriously reduced his reach and strained his resources.

According to Marcus, in October 1939, one month after the invasion of Poland, "the Code Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) adopted new rules which placed rigid limitations on the sale of radio time to 'spokesmen of controversial public issues'".  Manuscripts were required to be submitted in advance. Radio stations were threatened with the loss of their licenses if they failed to comply. This ruling was clearly aimed at Coughlin due to his opposition to prospective American involvement in what became known as World War II. As a result, in the September 23, 1940, issue of Social Justice Father Coughlin announced that he had been forced from the air " those who control circumstances beyond my reach".

Coughlin reasoned that although the government had assumed the right to regulate any on-air broadcasts, the First Amendment still guaranteed and protected freedom of the written press. He could still print his editorials without censorship in his own newspaper, Social Justice. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the US declaration of war in December 1941, the anti-interventionist movements (such as the America First Committee) began to sputter out, and isolationists like Coughlin acquired the reputation of sympathy with the enemy. The Roosevelt Administration stepped in again. On April 14, 1942, U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle wrote a letter to the Postmaster General, Frank Walker, and suggested the possibility of revoking the second-class mailing privilege of Social Justice, which would make it impossible for Coughlin to deliver the papers to his readers.  Walker scheduled a hearing for April 29, which was later postponed until May 4.

Meanwhile, Biddle was also exploring the possibility of bringing an indictment against Coughlin for sedition as a possible "last resort".  Hoping to avoid such a potentially sensational and divisive sedition trial, Biddle was first able to engineer a means of ending the publication of Social Justice itself. First Biddle had a meeting with another high official in the administration: banker Leo Crowley, who happened to be a friend of Edward Mooney, Bishop Gallagher's successor. Crowley then relayed Biddle's message to Bishop Mooney that the government was willing to "deal with Coughlin in a restrained manner if he (Mooney) would order Coughlin to cease his public activities".  Consequently, on May 1, Mooney ordered Coughlin to stop his political activities and to confine himself to his duties as a parish priest, warning of potential defrocking if he refused. Coughlin complied and remained the pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower. The pending hearing before the Postmaster, which had been scheduled to take place four days later, was cancelled now that it was no longer necessary.

Despite the end of his political and journalistic career, Coughlin remained in his position as parish pastor until retiring in 1966. He died in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1979 at the age of 88. He was buried in Southfield, Michigan.

➦In 1978...WRR-AM in Dallas Texas changed call letters to KAAM.

WRR-AM was Texas’ first broadcast station when it signed on in 1921 from Dallas.  Owned by the City of Dallas, the original studio and transmitter was located in the Dallas Fire Department central headquarters.

WRR-AM focused on popular music until it switched to all-news in 1975.

Bonneville Broadcasting bought the station in 1978.  It became KAAM.  It became all-sports KTCK in 1994.  Today, Cumulus Media owns “Sports Radio 1310: The Ticket.”

FCC's Ajit Pai Unveils 5G Plans

The Trump administration has announced two major initiatives aimed at speeding the deployment of next-generation wireless networks -- a major new 5G spectrum auction and a $20.4 billion fund for building out broadband in rural areas.

According to The Hill, FCC Chairman announced the proposals at a White House event alongside President Trump, top economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump.

"Secure 5G networks will absolutely be a vital link to America's prosperity and national security in the 21st century," Trump said.

The president also tamped down on speculation that his administration would seek to nationalize or otherwise inject itself into the 5G deployment efforts, saying the rollout would be "private-sector driven and private-sector led."

The details: The FCC will begin auctioning off three different airwaves in December, with the 3,400 megahertz of airwaves for sale representing the largest-ever spectrum auction.

The $20 billion fund will aim to connect 4 million rural homes and businesses to fiber high-speed internet. Laying down the network for wired broadband will help facilitate deployment of 5G technologies in those rural areas.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will allocate the $20 billion over the next 10 years.

Pai said in a call with reporters on Friday that the money will only be used in areas where broadband internet isn't currently available.

Dem criticism: Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the two Democrats on the FCC, criticized the administration's approach to promoting the new technology.

"So far, this Administration's interventions on 5G have done more harm than good," Rosenworcel said in a statement. "From imposing tariffs on 5G equipment to alienating allies on 5G security to falling behind the rest of the world on critical mid-band spectrum, the White House has yet to offer a workable plan for US leadership."

Indy Radio: David O'Brien OUT At Country WLHK

Dave O'Brien
Country WLHK 97.1 Hank FM has parted ways with on-air personality Dave O'Brien, who debuted as a morning host when the station launched in March 2005.

Emmis Communications, WLHK's owner, wished O'Brien future success in a statement emailed to IndyStar.

"Yesterday we notified Dave O'Brien that his contract was not being renewed," the company stated. "This was a difficult decision; Dave has been a valued member of the Emmis family for some time."

O'Brien worked for three Emmis stations: WNOU (2001-03); WENS (2004) and WLHK. His Indianapolis radio career began at WRZX-FM (103.3) in 1996.

He partnered with fellow on-air personality Ed Wenck at WRZX, WNOU, WENS and WLHK. Their show was billed as "Wank & O'Brien" until 2010, when Wenck — who no longer works in radio — shifted to Emmis station WIBC.

Hank FM is locked in a perennial duel with WFMS 95.5 FM.

According to February rankings by Nielsen Audio, WFMS ranked No. 6 in audience size for all Indianapolis listeners and WLHK ranked No. 7. O'Brien told IndyStar his show ranked No. 3 among local listeners ages 25-54.

He's a five-time nominee in the category of large market personality of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Emmis also unveiled a change across the hall at Sports WFNI 1070 AM / W296BB 107.5 FM .

The Fan.  Jeff and Big Joe will be mooving to mornings 7am-10am starting May 6, replacing ESPN's Wingo and Golic.  Their timeslot on The Fan will be covered by ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show.

The "Jeff & Big Joe Show" launched in January replacing the "Grady & Big Joe Show".

Detroit Radio: J Steele Gets PM Drive Gig At WMGC

J Steele
Beasley Media Group has announced J. Steele has been named as the new afternoon drive personality at WMGC 105.1 The Bounce in Detroit. He will begin his new position on Monday, April 22, 2019.

Steele most recently served as the program director and afternoon drive host at WAMO-FM in Pittsburgh.

“We are very impressed with J’s experience in this format and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit,” said 105.1 The Bounce Program Director John Candelaria. “His passion and skill sets are a perfect fit. The Bounce is fortunate to have J. on board. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.”

“When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list,” said Vice President and Market Manager Mac Edwards. “After having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success for 105.1 The Bounce.”

“This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid,” said Steele. “I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves in the Motor City for this incredible radio station. I am very grateful to John Candelaria and Mac Edwards for this opportunity to make Detroit BOUNCE!”

105.1 The BOUNCE New Line-up:
  • The Gello Show with Joanna Mon – Fri 6am – 10am
  • J. Steele Mon – Fri 3pm-7pm
  • DJ Dinero Mon – Fri 7pm -midnight

San Antonio Radio: Univision Launches Vibe 107.5 FM

Univision/San Antonio has announced the launch of  Rhythmic AC KXTN Vibe 107.5 FM.  The station dropped its Tejano format.

The new addition to the Uforia Audio Network will air Hot AC and Rhythmic CHR, featuring popular Pop, Hip Hop and R&B artists from the 1980s and early 2000s. KXTN's "Tejano & Proud" format will now simulcast on KVBH-FM-HD2, KCOR-AM (1350) and via the Uforia app. Univision Deportes Radio will move from its current home at KCOR to KROM-FM-HD3.

"We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of our community here in San Antonio -- one of the most diverse in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio we're able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love," said Univision San Antonio VP/GM Chris Morris.

The station will still be a part of the Univision San Antonio Fan Fair, Tejano Thursdays and Fiesta Navidena.

It's Record Store Day for Vinyl Lovers

Infographic: LP Resurgence Led by Vinyl-Era Artists | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Today is Record Store Day. Conceived in 2007 to "to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,400 independently owned record stores in the U.S. and thousands of similar stores internationally", Record Store Day is met with special promotions in many locations, making it the perfect day to go digging in the crates for some rare LPs.

Interestingly, the recent resurgence of vinyl in the United States has been largely led by artists from the LP era. As the following chart, based on Nielsen data, shows, all but one of the ten best vinyl-selling acts in the U.S. in 2018 were big before the guy who invented Spotify was even conceived.

The Beatles sold 321,000 vinyl albums in the U.S. last year, with Abbey Road being their best-selling album with 76,000 units sold. Pink Floyd and David Bowie round off the top 3 vinyl-selling artists of last year ahead of Panic! At the Disco, the only contemporary band in the top 10.

NBC's Chuck Todd Rips CNN's Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo, Chuck Todd
NBC’s Chuck Todd fired back at Chris Cuomo on Friday after the CNN anchor unfavorably compared him to Jake Tapper, saying “nobody in broadcast television wanted to hire” Cuomo.

“I just read [Cuomo's comment] as somebody who wanted to defend that fact that nobody in broadcast television wanted to hire him, I guess, or he couldn’t get the job that he wanted," Todd told Bernie & Side on 77WABC radio in New York. “I don’t know what it was, but he was awfully defensive so he took shots at other people.” 

The Hill reports Cuomo made the unflattering comparison of Todd and CNN’s Tapper in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published earlier this week.

“Anderson Cooper is a hell of a lot bigger than any male anywhere on network television,” Cuomo said in an interview published Wednesday. “I would argue that Chuck Todd ain't Jake Tapper. Jake Tapper has a much bigger footprint in politics than Chuck Todd does.”

Todd hosts NBC’s “Meet the Press,” while Tapper hosts CNN’s Sunday public affairs program, “State of the Union.”

Todd’s Sunday broadcast program is seen by 3.7 million people on average, while Tapper's cable program attracts an average of less than 1 million total viewers, according to an analysis by Mediaite on Apr. 10.

Report: Les Moonves Missed Out On $34.5M In Compensation

Les Moonves
Former CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves forfeited $34.5 million in compensation last year after being forced from his longtime perch amid a sexual misconduct scandal, reports The L-A Times.

Nonetheless, the longtime television executive received $12.5 million in compensation, including salary and stock, last year — down from $69 million in 2017, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The filing said that if he hadn’t forfeited a chunk of his 2018 compensation “pursuant to his separation agreement with the company,” Moonves would have received $47.1 million for his eight months on the job last year.

Moonves, 69, left CBS in September. He had served as the company’s CEO for 12 years and was perennially one of the most handsomely compensated executives in corporate America.

Now he is fighting the company’s decision to strip him of his $120-million severance package after he was forced out last year. In January, he exercised his right to demand binding arbitration over the matter.

Moonves resigned under pressure six weeks after the New Yorker magazine published an article that brought to light the accounts of six women who said Moonves forcibly kissed them in work settings in the 1980s and ’90s. CBS engaged two outside law firms to determine whether Moonves violated the terms of his employment.

In December, the company’s board of directors announced that it would not pay Moonves any of the severance package. The board determined that it was justified in firing him for cause because, it said, he committed “willful and material misfeasance” and failed to cooperate fully with the company’s investigation.

R.I.P.: Coby Mach, KLIN Lincoln Talk Host

Coby Mach
One day after announcing the end to his popular talk show on KLIN 1400 AM, Coby Mach has died.

Police confirmed Friday night that the 53-year-old Mach's death was a suicide.

Mach was found by a passerby at an intersection just before 5:45 p.m. Mach had a gun in his lap, according to passerby. The investigation is ongoing.

Mach hosted the KLIN-AM afternoon radio show “Drive Time Lincoln” and was a fixture of the local political scene, advocating conservative, pro-business policies.

“Tonight our family lost a husband, a father and a wonderful man with the passing of Coby Mach,” his family said in a written statement. “We ask for the community’s prayers as our family reflects on the life of a man we love.”

Mach started in radio as a 14-year-old and went on to work in Grand Island, Omaha and at KFOR in Lincoln before.

April 13 Radio History

➦In 1930...WHOM AM signed on.

This station was founded in 1925 by the New Jersey Broadcasting Corp., owned by Outdoor Advertising executive Harry O'Mealia, whose company owned thousands of billboards around the metropolitan area. WHOM was originally a Jersey City station, having taken over 1450 AM from the merged WIBS/WKBO.

WHOM debuted with a 15 minute inaugural broadcast on April 13, 1930 at 5:45pm. The host was chief announcer Howard Lepper, previously the manager of WIBS. Then, according to,  the station left the air to make time for WNJ and WBMS, returning to the air at 9pm for a gala show that lasted until 2am. In 1931, WHOM absorbed the airtime of WNJ, and the following year, it became a full-time station with the demise of WBMS.

In 1946, WHOM officially changed their "city of license" from Jersey City to New York.

In 1989, the station was sold to Infinity Broadcasting, owners of WXRK 92.3, among others. Calls were changed to WZRC on April 28, 1990 and the station instituted a heavy-metal rock format as "Z-Rock," a service of the Dallas-based Satellite Music Network and was so anxious to enter the New York market. In December 1992, WZRC switched to country music.

Then in 1993, Infinity signed a lease agreement with a Korean programming service making WZRC 1480  the first full-time Korean-language station in New York.

➦In 1953...Music ‘Til Dawn with host Bob Hall premiered on WCBS 880 AM NYC. American Airlines owned the program.  The show also aired on five other CBS-owned stations in cities served by the airline. The list of cities expanded to include at least eight others, with many hosts over the years all bearing the signature "soothing" voice.

The program's theme song, an orchestration of "That's All," introduced and ended each evening's program, and also ran under the announcer's voice at anytime the mike was open.  The show continued until 1970.

➦In 1969...Radio personality Jack Spector last show at WMCA 570 AM NYC.

Jack Spector at WHN
Spector began his career in 1955 and in 1961 became one of the original WMCA Good Guys. In late December 1963, WMCA, with Spector, earned the distinction of being the first New York City radio station to play the Beatles' Capitol Records' single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Outside New York, the single's broadcast debut is widely accepted to have occurred earlier at WWDC in Washington, D.C.)

In the late 1960s WMCA moved to a talk format. Spector stayed on as host of a sports talk show. In about 1971 Spector moved to WHN, then a vocal-based easy listening station. He remained for a while after WHN became a Country music station in 1973. In 1974, Spector left WHN to go to WCBS-FM where he hosted a 1955-1964 based Oldies show called "The Saturday Night Sock Hop" and another regular weekend shift. He was also a full-time swing host there, filling in for various air-staffers over the years. In 1983, Cousin Brucie began doing every third Saturday night of the month. Spector remained at WCBS-FM until the Spring of 1985.

In 1985, Spector was at WNBC as the original host of "Sports Night", eventually replaced by Dave Sims. He went then to WPIX-FM, which was playing an adult contemporary format. Upon their change to NAC and soon after to smooth jazz, he became one of the first air personalities on CD 101.9. Spector also worked as an optician when he was not on the air.

Late in 1988, Spector left WQCD and joined the staff of WHLI at Hempstead, New York playing an Adult Standards format. On March 8, 1994, he suffered an apparent heart attack at age 65and collapsed.

➦In 2009...Sportscaster Harry Kalas, play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for 38 years and also a narrator for NFL films, died of heart disease at the age of 73.

He had collapsed in the Nationals Park press box at approximately 12:30 pm, several hours before the Washington Nationals' home opener against the Phillies.

Kalas joined NFL Films as a narrator in 1975. He became its primary voice, following the passing of John Facenda in 1984. He provided the narration to the highlights on Inside the NFL from its inception in 1976 through the 2008 season.

➦In 2018...Radio host Arthur William Bell died at age 72. Known as Art Bell, he was the original owner of Pahrump based radio station KNYE 95.1 FM. And perhaps best known for his conspiracy theory in the paranormal, with his radio show "Coast to Coast" - which was syndicated across the nation.

Friday, April 12, 2019

San Diego Radio: The Mighty 1090 Was Behind In Payments to Owner

A day after longtime San Diego sports radio station, XERPRS The Mighty 1090, abruptly went off the air, the company responsible for transmitting the daily broadcasts claimed the station operator, Broadcast Company of the Americas, was behind in its lease payments, according to the Union-Tribune.

“Issues with BCA have been ongoing for more than 3 years now,” tweeted AndrĂ©s Bichara, whose company, Interamericana de Radio, is the signal operator for the station. “It’s impossible to work with them if they don’t pay the owner of the asset they manage. Since January they haven’t paid a cent.”

In yet another Tweet, he wrote, “BCA hasn’t pay (sic) their duties since 4 months ago. That’s why 1090 is off the air.”

Mike Glickenhaus, president of BCA, declined to comment Thursday.

While the station remained off the air Thursday, its three local shows streamed online and on the station’s mobile app.

It is unlikely that the radio station will return to the air if it cannot come up with the money due for its lease payments, Bichara said in an interview late Thursday. Months of non-payment led Bichara to take the station off the air, he said.

“They have had multiple warnings that they should pay,” said Bichara, whose company is based in Monterrey, Mexico. Transmission comes from an antenna in Rosarito Beach, he explained.

The surprise exit from the airwaves Wednesday was not the first time a BCA-operated station has experienced troubles. Last December, an issue over lease payments arose between two former BCA stations and Tijuana-born businessman Jaime Bonilla Valdez, who held the license. The dispute resulted in 105.7 FM going off the air and 1700 AM switching from ESPN and local sports play-by-play to Spanish-language content.

Mighty 1090 is among a few dozen stations, from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, with audiences in the United States but antennas south of the border. While many are Spanish-language stations targeting U.S. Latinos, several are also aimed at English-speaking listeners.

MA Radio: N-E Public Radio Merging With WGBY-TV

New England Public Radio and WGBY Public Television today announced they are joining to create a robust new multi-media organization, New England Public Media (NEPM), with one of the largest newsrooms in Western Massachusetts.

With a goal of expanding public media offerings for the people of western New England, NEPM will build on the strength of each organization to deliver the trusted educational content, cultural and news programs, and community engagement that characterizes public media.

Martin Miller, CEO and general manager of New England Public Radio, will become President of NEPM. Anthony Hayes, general manager of WGBY Public Television, will become COO and
general manager of the new organization. NEPM will be an independently run organization with its own governing board.

Hayes and Miller
“Both New England Public Radio and WGBY have served the people of western New England for decades, sharing a common mission of creating valued programs and services for our communities,” said Miller. “The role of public media to deliver accurate, trustworthy news and information is more important than ever, and we are excited by the opportunity to play a larger role in sharing the stories of our region.”

Combined, New England Public Radio and WGBY Public Television have 78 employees, and all current employees will be part of the new organization. NEPM’s enhanced newsroom will total about 21 and is expected to grow over the coming years.

The WGBH Educational Foundation, which holds the broadcast license for WGBY, will invest $6 million over six years in the new venture. When combined with critical community support for NEPM, this investment will allow for new programming while ensuring in-depth local journalism remains the centerpiece of the combined organization. WGBH will have a seat on the NEPM board.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst will continue to hold the broadcast license for WFCR 88.5FM, and along with the NEPR Foundation Board, it has been actively involved in the negotiations that led to the creation of NEPM. The university remains deeply committed to supporting the growth of public media in western Massachusetts and will have a seat on the NEPM Board.

Chicago Radio: WLS 890 AM Celebrates 95th Birthday

WLS 890 AM today is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air in Chicago.

The day will be celebrated with live interviews, contests, as well as throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years!

“WLS” first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers. Shortly after 6:00pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: "Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!" WLS stood for “World's Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials. 


For 95 years, this legendary and powerful 50,000-watt giant has informed and entertained Chicagoland and much of America. Today, that tradition continues with award-winning local news wrapped around iconic and beloved personalities like Mancow Muller and John Howell, as well as national shows from Chicago native Chris Plante, talk icon Rush Limbaugh, and renowned commentator and podcaster, Ben Shapiro.

Celebrate with WLS 890 AM, 94.7 WLS-FM-HD2,, Twitter, Facebook for more trivia, photos, live stream and contests!

LIVE Interview Lineup:

Mancow 6am – 9am:  8:05am- John Landecker 8:40am- Roe Conn

John Howell 5pm – 7pm: 520p-John Gehron 535p-Mick Kahler 550p-Jeff Davis 605p-Landecker 635p-Garry Meier

Edison Research Reveals Habits Of Podcast Consumers

Edison Research has announced the release of The Podcast Consumer 2019, the latest in an annual series of closer looks at the audience for podcasting in America.

This report comprises new research from The Infinite Dial 2019 from Edison and Triton Digital, as well as previously unreleased data from Edison’s Share of Ear research, a syndicated product that has tracked all forms of online and offline listening since 2014.

The principal findings include the following:
  • The audience for podcasting grew significantly in the past year. Today, 51% of Americans 12+ have ever listened to a podcast, with 32% having listened in the past month, and 22% in the past week.
  • In addition, podcasting’s Share of Ear has more than doubled in five years, increasing 122% since 2014.
  • Although all key demographics grew, much of the increase in podcasting has come from Americans age 12-24.
  • Forty-one percent of monthly podcast listeners say they are listening to more podcasts today compared to one year ago, with 13% saying they are listening to less.
  • Streaming services are playing a role in the growth of podcasting, with 43% of monthly podcast listeners say they have listened to a podcast on Spotify, and 35% on Pandora.
  • Music is the number one topic in terms of interest from podcast consumers.
  • Finally, 54% of podcast consumers say that they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts, compared to 7% who say they are less likely.
“Thanks to our partners at Triton Digital, this year we were able to significantly expand the podcasting coverage in our Infinite Dial series,” noted Edison SVP Tom Webster. “We are now able to explore in greater detail the consumption patterns and perceptions of the audience for what has become an extremely important medium.”

The results of this survey were first revealed in a webinar on April 11th, 2019.

Bay Area Radio: KSAN Celebrates Lamont & Tonelli 30-Yrs

Cumulus Media announces that Bay Area rock radio station KSAN 107.7 The Bone will celebrate the Bay Area’s #1 rated Lamont & Tonelli Morning Show with the “Lamont & Tonelli Dirty 30 Anniversary Show”, featuring Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Don Felder (formerly of the Eagles), and The Stone Foxes on Saturday, April 20, 2019.

The concert will take place at the Concord Pavilion at 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord, CA. Tickets are on sale now: Click Here 

Lamont & Tonelli will host the anniversary concert, along with Chasta, Baby Huey, Zakk and the rest of the Bone staff. 

Lamont said: “I’m not sure what year this began but I’m never one to turn down an excuse to party! So Happy Anniversary, Paul!” 

Paul Tonelli said: “For a night of fun with Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Don Felder (formerly of the Eagles) and Stone Foxes we didn’t need a reason. Happy Anniversary to you too, Lamont!” 

Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini, Program Director, 107.7 The Bone, said: “Anytime Lamont & Tonelli throw a party for Boneheads I want to be there. Add Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Don Felder and The Stone Foxes and also put it on 4/20?? I’m all in!”

Philly Radio: 5 Entercom Stations To Air 'Flashpoint'

Entercom has announced that “Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg” has been expanded to four additional stations in Philadelphia.

In addition to Newsradio KYW 1060 AM, the program can now also be heard on B101.1 (WBEB-FM), 98.1 WOGL (WOGL-FM) and 96.5 WTDY (WTDY-FM) and will be broadcast on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT (WPHT-FM) beginning April 14.

“We couldn’t be prouder of what ‘Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg’ has accomplished in just over a year,” said David Yadgaroff, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Philadelphia. “The program has become an integral part of KYW Newsradio’s connection to the station’s diverse audience. We’re confident that the show will connect with new audiences in the Philadelphia area in a meaningful way.”

Cheri Gregg
“I’m thrilled to welcome new listeners to the ‘Flashpoint’ family and to get acquainted with the issues that are most important to them in and around Philadelphia,” said Gregg. “Our widely popular program aims to move our community in a positive direction and the expansion to four additional stations allows for deeper discussions on topics impacting our city.”

The weekly program, hosted by award-winning community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg, provides a forum for local and national influencers, as well as listeners, to share their points of view on the most relevant news stories of the week. Guests are encouraged to speak openly about their shared goals and differing viewpoints in an effort to move the community forward. The show is presented in three segments: The Flashpoint Debate, a Newsmaker interview, and a non-profit “Change Maker of the Week,” which highlights an individual or group making a difference in the community.

Full “Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg” programming schedule is as follows:

KYW Newsradio Saturdays: 9:30 p.m. and Sundays: 8:30 a.m.

B101.1: Sundays: 5:00 a.m.

1210 WPHT: Sundays: 5:00 a.m.

98.1 WOGL: Sundays: 6:00 a.m.

 96.5 WTDY: Sundays: 6:00 a.m.

KYW Newsradio has been serving the Philadelphia region with agenda-setting, community-focused news 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 53 years. Listeners can tune in to KYW Newsradio (KYW-AM) in Philadelphia 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.

Milwaukee Radio: Karen Dalessandro Lands PM Drive At WKLH

After more than 20 years in Milwaukee radio, Karen Dalessandro is full time again, according to The Milwaukee Sentinel.

Dalessandro, who spent 20 years as a country radio host in Milwaukee before joining WKLH 96.5 FM last fall part time, has been bumped up to full-time host of the classic rock station from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays.

In the afternoon drive slot, she replaces longtime Milwaukee radio voice, Mark "The Shark" Dyba.

Dalessandro also will have a weekend show to be announced later, the station said. She had been filling in on some afternoons since joining WKLH part-time in November.

After getting her start at a rock station in Michigan, Dalessandro came to Milwaukee in 1998, where she was a popular host on WMIL 106.1 FM for 19 years. While at WMIL, she was a two-time Country Music Association personality of the year and was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dalessandro retired from WMIL in the spring of 2017, only to un-retire a few months later and join WKTI 94.5 FM, which had gone all-country two years earlier. She lost that job when WKTI switched to all-sports under new owner Good Karma Brands in November 2018.

Bay Area Radio: Sports KNBR, Larry Krueger Ink New Deal

Larry Krueger
Cumulus Media announces that it has signed Larry Krueger, host of KNBR 680 AM’s Gary & Larry, to a multi-year contract extension.

Krueger joined KNBR in 1997 and currently co-hosts Gary & Larry, weekdays from 10am-1pm, with Gary Radnich. Krueger also serves as host of KNBR 680’s San Francisco 49ers pregame and postgame shows, while performing the same duties for KNBR 1050’s coverage of Stanford Cardinal football.

KNBR Program Director Jeremiah Crowe said: “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR The Sports Leader. He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on Gary & Larry, while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts. We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”

Krueger said: “I’m thrilled to be continuing my career with KNBR and very excited about the future of the station. I want to thank Mary Berner, Mike McVay, Dave Milner, Bruce Gilbert, Doug Harvill and especially Jeremiah Crowe for their assistance in getting this deal done.”

Houston Radio: Tyler Frye Re-Signs With KRBE

Tyler Frye
Cumulus Media announces that it has signed KRBE 104.1 FM on-air personality Tyler Frye to a contract extension. Frye has hosted 7pm-Midnight on KRBE for the past four years.

Leslie Whittle, Program Director, 104.1 KRBE, said: “Tyler launched H-Town Live with Tyler Frye on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back. When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none. He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels. I’m thrilled to continue our partnership!”

Frye said: “I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country. This city and my coworkers are truly second to none. Thanks to Leslie Whittle, Alex Cadelago, Dan Bennett, Doug Hamand, Dave Milner and Mike McVay for this opportunity.”

Tulsa Radio: 'Cash' Is Out, Brook Williams Is In At KVOO

Cash Williams
Griffin Communications announced Caleb Towe, better known as “Brooks Williams,” has joined the  KVOO 98.5 FM team as a host middays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. KVOO is a Griffin Communications-owned Tulsa radio station.

Williams has spent the last nine years at KTTS in Springfield, Missouri, where he was known as “Cash Williams” and most recently held the roles of mornings music director and assistant program director where he was also the co-host of the “Morning Show with Cash and Nancy.”

“At KTTS, Brooks was well known for asking his listeners to wake up each morning and ask themselves, ‘How can I be better today?’,” said Steve Hunter, Griffin Communications director of radio operations. “Bringing with him optimism and charisma, we are looking forward to having Brooks join our Griffin and KVOO teams, and we cannot wait to introduce him to our Oklahoma listeners.”

During his time at KTTS, the station won multiple CMAs, ACMs and Crystal awards, including Radio Station of the Year for small markets, which Williams accepted at last year’s Academy of Country Music awards.

When asked, “Why Oklahoma?” Williams replied, “I wanted to go to one of the few places that had more thunderstorms than Missouri — my dogs will love that.”

Las Vegas Radio: Peter Burton to Lead Beasley Cluster

Peter Burton
Beasley Media Group announces Peter W. Burton has been named Vice President and Market Manager of the company’s Las Vegas radio cluster.

Burton most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer at Converze Media in Huntington Beach, California, where he was responsible for leading and supporting all operations as well as collaborating with the buying and sales executives. Previously, the media veteran spent nine years as the Vice President and General Manager at Entercom Communications in Los Angeles. He also worked as the Director of Sales and General Sales Manager at Lincoln Financial Media in San Diego. His prior experience includes a 12-year career in the rep firm business with Katz and CBS that culminated with his appointment as Vice President/General Sales Manager at Sentry Radio Sales in New York City.

Burton is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics, with a Minor in Economics.

“Peter’s leadership experience, combined with his extensive background in digital and sales, made him the perfect choice for the position,” said Beasley Media Group Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Beasley. “We look forward to him taking our Las Vegas cluster to the next level.”

“Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country,” said Burton. “The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”

Disney+ To Launch In November

Walt Disney Co.’s new streaming service, Disney+, will launch in November at a price of $6.99 a month, the company told investors Thursday, positioning the offering as an affordable addition to the streaming marketplace.

The Wall Street Journal reports, Disney+ will be an ad-free subscription service anchored by programming based on Disney’s biggest franchises, including “Star Wars” and Marvel Studios, as well as original programming. Its price—it will also be offered for an annual payment of $69.99—is nearly half the cost of Netflix Inc. subscriptions.

Disney’s streaming strategy represents one of the most consequential bets in recent Hollywood history. The company is looking for a new source of growth as the traditional pay television business—once the engine of its expansion—matures. Disney needs to take a big swing if it wants to make up the ground already gained by Netflix.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger has called his direct-to-consumer strategy the company’s No. 1 priority, and a crucial element of how his 96-year-old company succeeds in its second century.

Bob Iger
Disney expects to have between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024, at which point it should achieve profitability, said Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy. The company expects operating losses with the service to peak between 2020 and 2022, owing to the expense of producing and licensing programming for the service.

Christine McCarthy
Within its first year, Disney+ will offer more than 7,500 episodes of television and 25 episodic series, alongside more than 100 recent movies and 400 library titles. There will be nine original pieces of content at launch on Nov. 12 and 25 in the first year from the Disney Channel, Marvel, National Geographic and its Star Wars production company, Lucasfilm Ltd.

Disney+ also will house episodes of the long-running Fox animated hit “The Simpsons” as well as the original trio of “Star Wars” movies.

To stock its new product, Disney will be pulling content off Netflix, forgoing substantial licensing revenue. It expects to lose about $150 million a year in operating income from cutting ties with Netflix, executives said in March.

Iger: Disney’s Brand Gives New Streaming Service An Edge

Bob Iger
Iger says Disney’s brand gives new streaming service an edge

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger told CNBC’s David Faber on Thursday that the company’s new streaming platform has an edge over rival streaming service Netflix.

“While I think Netflix has done a good job of creating brand value, and name value, and a product that I think is considered of great value to a lot of people, they’re still building their brand in many respects,” Iger said. “Whereas in our case, we start with a customer relationship that, in many respects is visceral.”

“We’re pricing this to be accessible to the millions and millions – if not hundreds of millions – of Disney fans, and Marvel fans, and Pixar fans, and ‘Star Wars’ fans that are out there,” he added.

“The sheer number of people worldwide that know our brands, that interact with our brands on a daily basis, that spend money on our brands is huge. And no other company has that.”

Disney announced Thursday at the company’s investor day that Disney+ will be available starting on November 12 for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. The new service will allow customers unlimited downloads so that content can be viewed offline.

Disney's Bob Iger To Retire In 2021

Bob Iger with Mickey
Disney CEO and Chairman Robert Iger says he's going to step down from his post when his current contract expires in 2021, reports USAToday.

Iger became Disney's president and chief operating officer in 2000 and added the CEO title in 2005 after Michael Eisner departed. He became chairman in 2012.

Iger was asked about his future plans Thursday at a Disney investors' event that featured major new details about Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney+. During a Q&A after the presentation, an investor asked if Iger had anything to say about the possibility of ending his tenure, prefacing his remarks by saying, "We're all expecting your contract is over at the end of 2021."

“I’m expecting my contract to expire at the end of 2021," Iger quipped, before addressing the question. "I’d say, ‘This time I mean it,’ but I’ve said that before. I’ve been CEO since October 2005 and as I’ve said many times, there's a time for everything and 2021 will be time for me to finally step down."

Disney Forecasts ESPN+ Subs Reaching 12M By 2024

ESPN+, Walt Disney Co’s sports video streaming service, could attract between 8 million and 12 million paying subscribers by the end of the fiscal 2024 year, the company said on Thursday.

Reuters reports Disney’s forecast for significant growth in paying customers in the next few years was disclosed in a presentation of its streaming video strategy to Wall Street.

Operating losses for ESPN+ are expected to be $650 million annually in both fiscal 2019 and 2020, Disney’s chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy, said during an investor day webcast presentation. But the service, which launched one year ago, should reach profitability by 2023, she said.

“I view this positively because I think that they need to illustrate the subscriber growth to validate the investment. They’re putting out some very strong number guides to the market,” said Patrice Cucinello, a director at Fitch Ratings. “They’re going guns blazing at direct consumer.”

As cable and traditional media companies lose subscribers to the likes of Netflix Inc, they are building new streaming video businesses that appeal directly to consumers.

Lon Helton Honored With Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award

 (L-R) Bob Kingsley; Trisha Yearwood; Lon Helton; Sally Williams, Grand Ole Opry; Garth Brooks
Congratulations to Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s Country Countdown USA and publisher of Country Aircheck, who was honored for his impact on Country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held last night, Wednesday, April 10th, at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media.

The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the Country music community in need.

Among the artists who performed at the event were Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince Gill, Randy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve Wariner, Mark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis.

The award was presented by its namesake Bob Kingsley, host of Country Top 40.

Charter Complaint Filed Over Regional Sports Networks

One of the bidders for regional sports networks that Walt Disney Co. is selling has lodged a complaint with federal regulators alleging that cable operator Charter Communications Inc. is undermining the sale process by threatening to drop the channels from its systems, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In letters to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, Big3 Basketball LLC alleged that Charter’s conduct is depressing prices in the auction and suggested the situation could benefit Charter’s largest shareholder, Liberty Media Corp., which is also a bidder.

Big3 said it has engaged in negotiations with Charter over the price the cable company would pay to carry the sports networks should Big3 be the winning bidder. Big3 said the discussions broke down and it now fears the channels will lose carriage.

“Charter’s conduct risks effectively excluding Big3 from the bidding process and tainting the auction,” the company told the FCC. “It has been suggested to Big3’s ownership that Charter has disseminated its threat to drop the (regional sports networks) to other members of the industry, thereby suppressing auction prices, chilling bidding, and ultimately hurting Disney’s ability to secure the best price for the (channels),” the letter said.

In a statement, Charter said it “welcomes the opportunity to discuss a future carriage agreement for these networks with whomever ultimately owns them including Big3. Regardless of who owns the programming, we approach all negotiations with the same singular objective of reaching carriage agreements that best meet the needs of our customers.”

Meanwhile, two congressmen want Major League Baseball to produce documents by April 25 tied to its attempt to purchase control of 21 regional sports networks.

The Associated Press reports the two Democrats are Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the House oversight and reform committee, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, chairman of the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy.

They wrote to baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday, saying they are wary of “anticompetitive conduct.” They asked for documents on potential acquisition and operation of the regional networks plus MLB’s strategies. They also want MLB officials to brief committee staff.

The Walt Disney Co. acquired 22 regional sports networks as part of its $71 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment business last month. The Justice Department said last June that Disney had to sell the networks as a condition of the deal. The Yankees’ YES Network is being sold separately by Disney.

Suitors Emerge For The National Enquirer

A handful of rumored suitors have emerged as possible buyers for the National Enquirer now that David Pecker’s American Media Inc. officially put it on the block under pressure from principal investor Chatham Asset Management.

Four names have bubbled to the surface: Paul Pope, the son of the National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr., billionaire Ron Burkle, Hudson News CEO James Cohen, and even chief AMI antagonist Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon and also the owner of the Washington Post.

According to The NY Post, the most intriguing name to surface as a potential buyer — and the only to acknowledge publicly that he is in on the hunt — is Pope, who has hoped to one day regain control ever since the Pope estate sold it in 1989 for $412.5 million. But he’ll need help. He’s been estranged from his mother, Lois Pope, and his five siblings for years.

Pope has blasted the management style of Pecker for injecting a political agenda into its coverage.

“When we ran the National Enquirer, it was a lot more powerful than it is today, and that’s due largely to the way the paper is being run by an avid Trump friend and supporter,” Pope told Media Ink.

During its heyday, it was selling 5 million to 6 million copies a week. Today, the Enquirer and the two other smaller tabloids that AMI is selling — the National Examiner and the Globe — are estimated to be selling only several hundred thousand copies a week.

Burkle is a junior partner with AMI in its RadarOnline digital gossip site. The New York Times on Thursday said Burkle was in “deep negotiations” with AMI to buy the Enquirer.