Saturday, April 27, 2019

April 28 Radio History

➦In 1922...WOI-AM, Ames, Iowa, became the country's first licensed educational radio station.

The history of WOI can be traced back to 1911 when Physics Professor "Dad" Hoffman set a transmission line between the Campus Water Tower and the Engineering Building and set up a wireless telegraph station. By 1913 this was known as experimental station 9YI and it was sending and receiving weather reports by morse code on a regular basis. The first sound broadcast was an hour of concert music on November 21, 1921.

The Commerce Department issued a full radio license for station WOI in April 1922 and the first regular broadcast took place on April 28, 1922. It is the oldest fully licensed noncommercial station west of the Mississippi River. The original callsign 9YI is now WOYI and is retained by the ISU Campus Radio Club, with the amateur radio station located in the Electrical Engineering building.  The first regular programming on WOI was farm market reports gathered by ticker tape and morse code and broadcast throughout the state.

➦In 1932..."One Man's Family" was first aired on the NBC Radio Network.

One Man's Family, was an American radio soap opera, heard for almost three decades, from 1932 to 1959. It was the longest-running uninterrupted dramatic serial in the history of American radio. Television versions of the series aired in prime time from 1949 to 1952 and in daytime from 1954 to 1955.

One Man's Family debuted as a radio series on April 29, 1932 in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, moving to the full West Coast NBC network the following month, sponsored by Snowdrift and Wesson Oil. On May 17, 1933, it expanded to the full coast-to-coast NBC network as the first West Coast show heard regularly on the East Coast. The show was broadcast as a weekly half-hour series (1933-1950), sponsored by Standard Brands from 1935 through 1949, then shifted to daily 15-minute installments, initially originating from the studios of San Francisco radio station KPO, NBC's flagship station for the West Coast, eventually moving to Los Angeles.

➥In 1958...Herb Oscar Anderson started at WMCA 570 AM.   HOA became the morning personality at 77WABC during most of the 1960s.  When he arrived at WABC in 1960, the station was in the early stages of a battle for listeners with WMCA, WINS and WMGM. He was one of the station’s “Swingin’ 7” air personalities, a group that included Scott Muni and was known as the All Americans. But Anderson was a throwback in a changing music scene, a fan of the big band sound, not necessarily the rock ’n’ roll he was playing on a 50,000-watt station that reached well beyond the city limits.

As the station’s low-key “morning mayor,” Mr. Anderson had a mandate: to appeal to adults whose buying power was critical to advertisers, more than to the teenagers who were already tuning in. Each morning, his booming, melodic voice crooned his lyrics to his signature song, “Hello Again”:

“Hello again, here’s my best to you. Are your skies all gray? I hope they’re blue.”

Mr. Anderson’s old-fashioned approach set him apart from other D.J.’s at the station, like the exuberant Cousin Bruce Morrow, who courted teenagers.

HOA died at age 88 in 2017.


➦In 1972...Arthur Godfrey aired his last show on CBS Radio Network.

Godfrey 1948
Godfrey became nationally known in April 1945 when, as CBS's morning-radio man in Washington, he took the microphone for a live, first hand account of President Roosevelt's funeral procession. The entire CBS network picked up the broadcast.  Unlike the tight-lipped news reporters and commentators of the day, who delivered news in an earnest, businesslike manner, Godfrey's tone was sympathetic and neighborly, lending immediacy and intimacy to his words. When describing new President Harry S. Truman's car in the procession, Godfrey fervently said, in a choked voice, "God bless him, President Truman."

Godfrey made such an impression on the air that CBS gave him his own morning time slot on the nationwide network. Arthur Godfrey Time was a Monday-Friday show that featured his monologues, interviews with various stars, music from his own in-house combo and regular vocalists. Godfrey's monologues and discussions were usually unscripted, and went wherever he chose. "Arthur Godfrey Time" remained a late morning staple on the CBS Radio Network schedule until 1972.

➦In 3 p.m., Top 40 radio visionary Bill Drake took over KHJ 930 AM in Los Angeles, and introduced the ‘Boss Radio‘ format, featuring the top hits of the day, quick jingles, fast DJ talk, and fewer commercials. Drake installed his protege Ron Jacobs as PD.  KHJ hit #1 within six months and was quickly copied across North America.

The format featured a restricted playlist and restrained commentary by announcers (although a few, such as Robert W. Morgan, Charlie Tuna, Humble Harve and The Real Don Steele, were allowed to develop on-air personalities). Other DJs from 1965-68 included Roger Christian, Gary Mack, Dave Diamond, Sam Riddle, Johnny Williams, Frank Terry, Johnny Mitchell, Tommy Vance, Scotty Brink, Steve Clark, Bobby Tripp, Tom Maule and Bill Wade. Part of the format, known as "Boss Radio", were jingles by the Johnny Mann Singers.

"Boss Radio" spread throughout the U.S., bringing high ratings to KFRC in San Francisco, WFIL in Philadelphia, KGB in San Diego, WQXI in Atlanta, CKLW in Windsor, Ontario and WRKO in Boston. Drake and Gene Chenault brought many of their announcers from the other "Boss" stations, using them as a proving ground for talent.

The format brought high ratings to the station until the late 1970s, when FM radio became the dominant form of music broadcasting. In November 1980, during the Bob Shannon show, "93 KHJ" switched from top-40 to country music. The country format, with the slogan "We all grew up to be cowboys", lasted three years before it was changed to an oldies format: "The Boss is Back", with the original Johnny Mann Singers "Boss Radio" jingles, on April 1, 1983.


➦1975…Influential radio personality Tom Donahue died from a heart attacked at age 46.  He has been credited as the inventor of 'free form, 'deep cuts' and 'classic rock' radio.  During his career, he made stops at  KSAN San Fracisco, KMET Los Angeles, KPPC Los Angeles, KMPX San Francisco, KYA San Francisco and  WIBG Philadelphia.

➦In 2006…When syndicated radio talk host Rush Limbaugh was accused by Florida prosecutors of "doctor shopping" for prescription  painkillers, his attorneys worked a deal under which a single prescription fraud charge would be dismissed after 18 months, provided Limbaugh remained drug-free and did not violate any laws.

New Study: Men Still Dominate Country Music Radio

A new study confirms what even the casual listener already knows: that country radio is heavily male-dominated -- and provides "alarming" evidence that the gender imbalance is only getting worse.

Posted Friday by Billboard, "Gender Representation on Country Radio: A Study of Published Reports from 2000-2018" was published by the University of Ottawa's Jada E. Watson in consultation with WOMAN Nashville, a collective that advocates for equal opportunities and market share for women in the music industry.

Using country airplay reports published by Mediabase over the past four months, Watson examined the representation of the top 150 songs on year-end reports from the top of the millennium to last year, as well as 2018’s weekly airplay charts. They also investigated how male, female and male-female artists (i.e. bands or collaborations with men and women) are represented by total annual spins. Their findings indicate that the longstanding practice of programming women at 13 to 15 percent of a station’s playlist is not only self-perpetuating, it seems to be having a tangible effect on female artists’ careers.

Keith Hill
This "13 to 15 percent rule" refers to the infamous 2015 interview in which radio consultant Keith Hill told country-radio trade publication Country Aircheck's Russ Penuell that if country radio were a salad, "The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes in our salad are the females." After backlash from genre luminaries like Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans, WOMAN Nashville confronted Hill on Twitter about the practice. He chalked up his decision-making to the results of market research he conducted in the 1990s on listener preference, and his belief that the genre's mostly female audience would prefer male voices.

"As noted in [my own 2016 study] study of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, Hill failed to consider long-term consequences of applying a programming quota to female artists," Dr. Watson writes. "By playing mostly men, radio is training listeners to appreciate just one type of voice, one type of sound, one type of narrative subject position or story."

Hill's strategy plays out in the below charts. Coding songs by the various possible combinations of men and women artists (e.g. male solo artist, male group, male solo artist featuring female artist, male-female ensemble, etc.), Watson shows, overall, that male artists are programmed more than female artists. This 19-year research period showed that male artists are played more than women by an average of 58.6 percent -- a 4.4 to 1 ratio -- when looking at all 2,850 songs on the year-end chart. Same on the weekly charts: men are programmed at a higher rate than women. Furthermore, men have more current and recurrent songs than women, by a margin of 52.5 percent and 58.4 percent, respectively.

In addition to showing that this gap exists, Watson gives evidence that it's growing bigger in several-year increments. From 2000 to 2002, there is an average 36 percent difference between the number of songs by men and women; that disparity increases to 56 percent in 2003, and maintains a steady 60 percent between 2003 and 2013. In 2014, it grows to 76 percent, and stays that way until last year. "Female artists enter the new millennium with 50 songs (33.3 percent) on the year-end country airplay reports and declined to 17 songs (11.3 percent) by 2018," Watson writes. "The decline points to the self-fulfilling nature of the gender-based programming practices outlined above. Indeed, the results strongly suggest that radio is gradually programming fewer female artists every year."

Keep Reading...

Amazon Pacing To Spend $7B On Video, Music Content

Amazon disclosed on Friday that it spent $1.7 billion on video and music content in the first quarter, providing a new number that investors have previously been forced to predict, reports CNBC.

Investments in video and music, which are included in Amazon’s Prime membership program, increased 13% from $1.5 billion a year earlier, Amazon said in its quarterly financial filing. That translates to roughly $7 billion for the full year.

Amazon is competing with Netflix, Hulu and a host of other streaming offerings on the video side, and in music is going up against services provided by Apple, Spotify and others. Unlike those companies, Amazon wraps them into a broader annual subscription plan, taking advantage of its dominance in e-commerce and consumer demand for fast shipping. Prime members typically pay $119 a year.

“It’s an area we’re very excited about,” said Dave Fildes, Amazon’s director of investor relations, on Thursday’s earnings call with analysts. “Look for us to continue to invest there.”

The $7 billion spend for this year, if that’s where it ends up, exceeds prior estimates by some analysts, and could raise questions on the effectiveness of the investments, as Amazon has told shareholders that it expects to ramp up spending in other areas like physical stores and grocery delivery. Amazon announced on Thursday a new $800 million investment in speeding up shipping for Prime members

Greensboro NC Radio: Kellie Holeman To Lead iHM Cluster

iHeartMedia announced Friday that Kellie Holeman has been named Market President for the Greensboro market.

As Market President, Holeman will be responsible for leveraging iHeartMedia Greensboro’s radio station brands and assets to provide quality programming as well as creating new revenue opportunities. In addition, she will spearhead all aspects of the market’s operations including sales, programming, digital, events and promotion initiatives. Holeman will report to Bill McMartin, Area President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia-Carolina Region.

Kellie Holeman
“I am very excited to have Kellie Holeman lead the iHeartMedia team in the Triad and the Virginia-Carolina region,” said McMartin. “Kellie has an extensive track record and brings over 25 years of experience managing iHeartMedia stations in a competitive Ohio media environment. Our Greensboro team is looking forward to Kellie’s strong leadership, positive enthusiasm and competitive drive to further lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Greensboro.”

“We are thrilled to have Kellie leading our team in Greensboro and are confident she’ll have an immediate and positive impact in the market as President,” said Dave Carwile, Region President for iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region. “Kellie combines a proven track record of sales leadership, creating culture and driving revenue growth. She will provide great leadership to our outstanding sales and programming teams.”

Holeman served as Market President for a seven station market for iHeartMedia Toledo, Ohio the past seven years. Holeman began her career at 92.5 KISS-FM in Toledo, Ohio and is a graduate of Bowling Green State University.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the iHeartMedia Greensboro team at a very exciting time in our business,” said Holeman. “I can’t wait to motivate a winning team, collaborate with all of our partners and advertisers, cultivate impactful relationships and help elevate the Greensboro market to unmatched heights.”

CBS Extension = More $$$ For Acting CEO

Joseph Ianniello, CBS’ president and acting CEO, is in line to earn at least $23 million this year per the terms of the contract extension he signed earlier this week, reports Variety.

Ianniello agreed to continue as acting CEO for another six months, through year’s end, as CBS’ board of directors considers the company’s long-term options. CBS has called off its search for a permanent CEO, a signal that it is moving closer to initiating merger discussions with Viacom. Ianniello had been a candidate for the permanent CEO job.

Brian Roberts
Under the contract extension, Ianniello’s salary rises to $3 million, from $2.5 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday. He will receive a $5 million cash signing bonus, and the extension guarantees him another $15 million bonus.

Moreover, CBS added another $10 million to the severance fee that Ianniello will be due if he leaves the company but is not fired for cause. Under the employment contract Ianniello signed in July 2017, he was in line to receive a huge severance of $45 million or more — a fee calculated as three times his average salary and bonus for the previous three years — if he was not named CEO of the company after the departure of his longtime boss, Leslie Moonves.

Steve Burke
Meanwhile, Variety also reports Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts saw a bump in his total compensation for 2018 while NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke’s haul declined by more than $6 million last year.

Roberts’ total compensation reached $35 million last year, fueled by a $10.7 million performance bonus and more than $10 million in stock options and awards, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made Friday by Comcast. That was up from $32.5 million in 2017.

Burke’s tally for 2018 was $39.9 million, down from $46.5 million in 2017. Burke received a $10 million performance bonus and more than $10 million in stock options and awards. In 2016 and 2017, Burke’s paycheck was plumped by a $15.3 million bonus in both years.

The corporate officer compensation disclosures that come with corporate proxy season has stirred renewed debate over the issue of what many see as excessive CEO compensation levels for public company leaders. Experts say scrutiny of corporate pay practices is becoming a focus of activist investors and social justice advocates.

PA Radio: VIA Public Media To Acquire Non-com WVBU-FM

Bucknell University’s campus radio station in Lewisburg, PAwill move to a streaming-only platform and VIA Public Media will take over the terrestrial station as part of an agreement between the entities, according to The Sunbury Daily Item.

Bucknell’s WVBU 90.5 FM will take on a new name when it transitions to streaming-only, operating online as well as TuneIn Inc. Programming will be finalized by the fall semester.

WVBU 90.5 FM (225 watts)
VIA Public Media operates WVIA-FM, an NPR affiliate which serves Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley. The media group will equip and maintain a studio on campus at Stuck House under the name, VIA Studio at Bucknell University. Stuck House is currently home to Bucknell student media organizations.

“We began exploring this collaboration after our students who are involved with Bucknell’s radio station voiced a strong preference for transitioning from a traditional, over-the-air broadcasting experience toward a contemporary and digitally-focused streaming platform,” said Brent Papson, director, campus activities and student media. “To support that area of growth and meet the needs of our students, we decided to enter into this exciting agreement with VIA Public Media which should provide benefits for both students and the broader community alike.”

The university touted the collaboration as an opportunity for informal and formal professional development and learning opportunities in news gathering and broadcasting, digital editing, radio production, regulatory compliance and other areas.

VIA Public Media will offer two internships to Bucknell students each semester and appoint a representative to serve on the university’s Student Media Advisory Board.

Federal Communications Commission approval is necessary to assign the WVBU-FM license to VIA Public Media. Once approved, the media group will oversee programming on 90.5 FM.

Report: Salem Becoming a Conservative Media Giant

Radio giant Salem Media Group in March quietly disclosed the purchase of a sixth digital media company, PJ Media, for just $100,000. Salem's conservative-leaning digital arm, Townhall Media, which includes right-leaning sites like HotAir and RedState, now reaches more than 15 million unique visitors a month, and is a "nicely profitable business," says Dave Evans, who leads new media and book publishing for Salem.

David Santrella
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Salem, based in Camarillo, California, has grown in political influence by snapping up digital properties from partisans like Michelle Malkin (Twitchy, Hot Air) while adding pro-Trump radio voices like former Fox News contributor Sebastian Gorka, which may help the company compete with titans iHeartRadio (home to Rush Limbaugh) and Westwood One (featuring Mark Levin).

"We are always on the hunt for strategic acquisitions that complement the audiences that we serve," says broadcast media president Dave Santrella.

Ideologically, Salem radio hosts are simpatico with Fox News' opinion hosts, and the company similarly views itself as a counterweight to mainstream media. In the past two months, the company extended the contract of conservative hosts Larry Elder and Mike Gallagher (a Fox News contributor) through 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Phil Boyce
Consistently is key, says Phil Boyce, a Salem vice president. "Every weekday, from 6 a.m. ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle," he says. "There is a linkage between all of the shows, and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it."

While the larger Sinclair Broadcast Group is seen as merely politically conservative, Salem offers both right-leaning talk and Christian-centric content. "The beauty of Salem is that we look at our company as serving some very distinct audiences and doing that better than anybody else," Santrella says. "Sinclair is a fantastic broadcaster, but they're still a general market broadcaster, as is iHeart or Cumulus."

Salem's digital acquisitions have turned heads, but the company's revenues primarily come from 116 radio stations in 39 markets (75 percent), with a publishing business — Regnery — also chipping in about 10 percent.

R.I.P.: Verne Sheppard, Longtime Rapid City Personality

Verne Sheppard
Longtime Rapid City Radio personality Verne Sheppard died Friday at the age of 93.

He started his Rapid City broadcasting career in 1950 with KOTA and worked there for 37 years, according to KOTA-TV.

Sheppard also worked at KTOQ Radio and at KEVN here in Rapid City.

He was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named the South Dakota Broadcaster of the Year that same year.

Radio partnerTom Rudebusch says, "The joy we shared, the laughs we shared, of course, with Bob Laskowski, Verne and I, I'll never forget those moments. What you saw was what you got with Verne. He was a true friendly guy, professional in every way, very oriented with his faith. He was just a man you would love to have as your next door neighbor."

A celebration of life for Verne will be held on Saturday May 4th at the Rapid City Elk's Lodge.

April 27 Radio History

Samuel Morse 1840
➦In 1791...Samuel Morse was born Samuel Finley Breese Morse (Died – April 2, 1872). He was an American painter and inventor.

After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

Original Morse Telegraph
In 1825 New York City had commissioned Morse to paint a portrait of Lafayette in Washington, DC. While Morse was painting, a horse messenger delivered a letter from his father that read, "Your dear wife is convalescent". The next day he received a letter from his father detailing his wife's sudden death.   Morse immediately left Washington for his home at New Haven. By the time he arrived, his wife had already been buried.  Heartbroken that for days he was unaware of his wife's failing health and her death, he decided to explore a means of rapid long distance communication.

While returning by ship from Europe in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson's electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution.  In time the Morse code, which he developed, would become the primary language of telegraphy in the world. It is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data.

➦In 1927..Pacific Coast Biscuit Company launched KPCB in 1927 from Seattle.  Queen City Broadcasting took over the station in 1935, changing the call letters to the KIRO.  The station boosted its signal to 1,000 watts in 1937, and CBS soon moved its Seattle affiliation to KIRO. On June 29, 1941, KIRO's new 50,000-Watt transmitter on Maury Island became operational.

During the radio’s golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, KIRO recorded countless hours of CBS programming for time-delayed broadcast.  Many of these discs are the only extant recordings of CBS’ news coverage of World War 2, according to Faded Signals.

Bonneville International purchased KIRO-AM-FM-TV in 1964. By this time, KIRO-AM was carrying a full-service format of news, talk and middle-of-the-road music.  In 1973, it dropped CBS and affiliated with Mutual.  The station became “KIRO Newsradio 71” in 1974, replacing most music programming with news and talk.  The station spent the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s at the top of Seattle’s radio ratings.

On August 12, 2008, KIRO began simulcasting their programming on sister station KBSG-FM, which dropped their long-running classic hits format. This began the transition of KIRO Newsradio from AM to FM.  To complete the transition, KIRO switched to a sports radio format (as 710 ESPN Seattle) on April 1, 2009, and began carrying Seattle Mariners games, beginning in the 2009 season.[6] KIRO also simulcasts the Seattle Seahawks games with KIRO-FM, and has extensive team-related programming throughout the year. KIRO-FM continues the news/talk format.

Bonneville sold KIRO-TV to Belo in 1995 and then sold KIRO-AM-FM to Entercom.  Bonneville bought back the stations in 2007.

In 2008, KIRO-AM’s news/talk format moved to Bonneville-owned KBSG-FM.  The FM station’s call letters were changed to KIRO-FM.  KIRO-AM flipped to a sports format, picking up the ESPN affiliation in Seattle.

As of 2014, Bonneville owns the KIRO radio stations. Today the station airs sports-talk programming.

➦In 1932...Kemal Amin "Casey" Kasem born in Detroit (Died at age 82 – June 15, 2014).  He was the host of several music radio countdown programs, notably American Top 40 from 1970 until his retirement in 2009. He also provided the voice of Norville "Shaggy" Rogers in the Scooby-Doo franchise from 1969 to 1997, and again from 2002 until 2009.

In the 1940s, "Make Believe Ballroom" reportedly inspired Kasem to follow a career in radio and later host a national radio hits countdown show.  Kasem received his first experience in radio covering sports at Northwestern High School in Detroit. He then attended Wayne State University, where he voiced children on radio programs such as The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon. In 1952, Kasem was drafted into the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea. There, he worked as a DJ/announcer on the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network.

After the war, Kasem began his professional broadcasting career in Flint, Michigan. From there, he spent time in Detroit as a disc jockey for radio station WJBK-AM, WBNY in Buffalo, New York and a station in Cleveland before moving to California. At KYA in San Francisco, the general manager suggested that he tone down his delivery and talk about the records instead. At KEWB in Oakland, California, Kasem was both the music director and an on-air personality.  He created a show that mixed in biographical tidbits about the artists and songs he played, and attracted the attention of Bill Gavin, who tried to recruit him as a partner. After Kasem joined KRLA in Los Angeles in 1963, his career began to blossom and he championed the R&B music of East L.A.

Kasem earned roles in a number of low-budget movies and acted in radio dramas. While hosting "dance hops" on local television, he attracted the attention of Dick Clark, who hired him as co-host of a daily teenage music show called Shebang, starting in 1964.

Casey Kasem on 1110 KRLA
Kasem's voice was the key to his career. At the end of the 1960s, he began working as a voice actor. In 1969, he started one of his most famous roles, the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! He also voiced the drummer Groove from The Cattanooga Cats that year.

Kasem co-founded the American Top 40 franchise in 1970, hosting it from its inception to 1988, and again from 1998 to 2004. Between January 1989 and early 1998, he was the host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20 and Casey's Countdown. From 1998 to 2009, Kasem also hosted two adult contemporary spin-offs of American Top 40: American Top 20 and American Top 10. He helped found the American Video Awards in 1983 and continued to co-produce and host it until its final show in 1987.

Between January 1989 and early 1998, he was the host of Casey's Top 40, Casey's Hot 20, and Casey's Countdown. Also beginning in 1998 Kasem hosted two adult contemporary spinoffs of American Top 40, American Top 20 and American Top 10. Kasem retired from AT20 and AT10 on July 4, 2009 and both shows ended on that day.

In October 2013, Kerri Kasem said her father was suffering from Parkinson's disease, which a doctor had diagnosed in 2007; a few months later, she said he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is often difficult to differentiate from Parkinson's. Due to his condition, he was no longer able to speak during his final months.

On June 15, 2014, Kasem died at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington at the age of 82.

➦In 2008...Radio Personality Big Ron O'Brien died from complications of pneumonia at age 57.

O'Brien grew up in Des Moines, IA, and worked at the high school radio station.  Ron worked at KBAB in Indianola, IOWA and then in May of 1970, he arrived at KUDL (1380 AM) where he did the 6 PM to 10 PM shift.  KUDL-FM (98.1 now KMBZ-FM) was automated with a MOR format but did simulcust KUDL-AM at 9 each night.  Ron left KUDL to go back to Des Moines (his hometown) in February of 1971 where he did afternoons at KYNA-FM.

During the ensuing years,he worked for many stations, including KTLK in Denver, WCAR in Detroit, WQXI in Atlanta, WCFL (now WMVP) in Chicago, WOKY in Milwaukee, WFIL in Philadelphia, KFI and KIIS in Los Angeles, KWK (now WARH) in St. Louis (where he stayed for nine years), KZDG in Denver, WYXR (which became WLCE during his tenure and is now WRFF) in Philadelphia, WNBC (now WFAN) and WXLO (now WRKS) in New York, WPGC in Washington, D.C., and WRKO in Boston.

Big Ron had been the host of the syndicated radio program "On the Radio" from 1985 until 1992. WOGL 98.1 FM in Philadelphia was his employer for the final six years of his life.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Philly Radio: WMMR Renews Preston & Steve Morning Show

(Left to Right): Glenn Goldstein, Bruce Beasley, Caroline Beasley, Preston Elliot, Steve Morrison, Joe Bell, Buzz Knight and Bill Weston.

Beasley Media Group has announced legendary WMMR 93.3 FM Morning Personalities Preston and Steve have signed a multi-year deal extension to remain on the airwaves in Philadelphia.

Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison joined WMMR-FM in May of 2005. They have maintained the top-rated morning show position in Philadelphia since they joined the station. In addition, the duo has led the way in embracing innovative multi-platform initiatives, including creating a daily full show and highlight episode podcasts, inventing their own ringtone service, producing daily/weekly video programs and cultivating a formidable social media audience.

On a community level, the award-winning morning show has also created life-changing annual events, such as “Camp out For Hunger”, in which the team collected over a million pounds of food in less than five days last year to benefit needy families throughout Philadelphia/

“Steve and I are so thrilled that the plan we set in motion many years ago to feign talent in the radio industry has yielded such wonderful results,” said Preston Elliot. “We sincerely thank our family at Beasley Media Group – specifically Caroline and Bruce as well as Bill Weston and Joe Bell – for making it a reality. Last, but not least, none of this, not one second of this, would have been possible without the friendship and support of the people of Philadelphia who have stayed with us throughout the years.  We owe you everything!”

“We are excited to be able to extend our relationship with one of the top radio shows in the country,” said Vice President and Market Manager Joe Bell. “However, the real winners are the listeners and the community, who not only get to enjoy Preston and Steve every morning but also benefit from the many great things they do to improve the quality of life in Philadelphia.”

 “I’ve never worked with a more dedicated, talented, and hard-working show,” said WMMR-FM Program Director and Beasley Media Group Rock Format Brand Manager Bill Weston. “As a PD, I don’t know what else I could ask for.  Preston and Steve are sales-friendly and always looking to re-invent … oh, and they’re nice guys. We are so happy to be able to extend their deal!”

Alpha Media Appoints David Numme Format Captain

Alpha Media has announcing that Classic Hits KBAY 94.5 FM FM and Hot AC KEZR 106.5 FM in San Jose Content Director Dave Numme as Format Captain for the company's Hot AC and Rock brands.

David Numme
He'll continue overseeing his respective stations in addition to his expanded roles.

Before joining the San Jose duo in April, 2018, Numme served as PD of Hubbard Radio's KVRQ-FM (Rock 98-9)/Seattle. Previously, he was PD of KITS-FM (Live 105)/San Francisco where he was also VP/Programming for then CBS Radio's Rock and Alternative formats.

Dave Numme commented, "Alpha Media is progressive in building a culture that empowers our people to initiate new ideas to grow our brands and audience. It's exciting to be asked to help share best practices and collaborate with all of our Content Managers to have fun and win. Thank you to Phil for inspiring and helping me take on this new role."

Alpha Media EVP of Content Phil Becker added, "Since joining Alpha Media Dave has delivered historic ratings, developed a strong team, and has proven himself a master of execution and creativity. I am certain he will do the same for others in this new role and I'm thankful to have him on the team."

Richmond Radio: Matt Myers Named OM for Radio One Cluster

Matt Myers
Radio One has announced the promotion of Matt Myers to the position of Operations Manager for the Richmond market including stations: WCDX, WKJS, WPZZ and WXGI.

The appointment becomes effective on May 1, 2019 and Myers will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the Richmond market in addition to the overall direction for Richmond's Programming, Marketing and Promotion's departments. He will also directly oversee the content and music programming for WCDX and WKJS.

"Matt has had a successful track record in programming for our company and we are looking forward to his continued growth in Richmond with our three Urban Music stations and ESPN Richmond. Matt has an energy and passion to win that is contagious. He is committed to helping us provide the best on-air product for our listeners, clients and community," said Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President, Radio One, Inc.

Myers joined the Radio One team in Cleveland, Ohio in 2009 where he began his on-air career and within a few years was promoted to Music Director for WZAK-FM. Myers comes to Richmond from Radio One Columbus where he has been overseeing the programming operations for the three station cluster (Power 107.5FM, Joy 107.1FM and Magic 95.5FM) since 2014.

"In my almost 10 years with Radio One, I have been blessed to work with some extremely bright minds who have been more than willing to share their knowledge with me," said Myers. "I could not be more grateful to Programming VP Colby Colb, Regional Ops Manager Bill Black, and so many others for their guidance along this journey. With that said, words fail to express my thankfulness to RVP Marsha Landess and Programming VP Hurricane Dave for their faith in me to lead the Richmond cluster. I am extremely excited to work with both of them and the incredibly talented team there in the 8-0-4!"

Report: ViacomCBS Getting Closer

The CBS Corp. board of directors is moving closer to initiating acquisition discussions with Viacom, according to Variety citing multiple sources close to the situation.

The move has been expected for months, although there may still be obstacles on the road to a reunion for the two sides of the Redstone media empire. Price could still be a sticking point. People close to the matter said CBS views Viacom as having a host of troubled assets including low-profile cable channels that are endangered species in a skinny bundle world. But Viacom believes it is in a much stronger position than it was this time last year, when the sides last made a fitful attempt at merger talks.

The strongest signal of the movement toward a recombination of the companies that were joined from 2000 through 2006 was CBS’ decision on Tuesday to call off its search for a permanent CEO. Joseph Ianniello, who has served as president and acting CEO since September, extended his contract, which had been set to expire in June, through the end of this year.

CBS’ long-term fate has been uncertain since last September, when longtime chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves was fired as sexual assault allegations from the past surfaced through investigative reporting by the New Yorker.

The renewed discussions on a CBS-Viacom merger come after the CBS board has spent the past eight months considering a wide range of options for the company. Redstone has made it clear that she feels CBS and Viacom are best served by formally reintegrating. Redstone’s National Amusements holding company is prevented from proposing a CBS-Viacom merger for another 18 months, per the terms of the 2018 settlement of the litigation. But that doesn’t stop the CBS or Viacom board from initiating such discussions.

Amazon Reports Best-Ever Quarterly Profit Inc. notched a best-ever $3.56 billion quarterly profit as it continued to lean on higher margin businesses and put a lid on costs, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Expenses, however, are expected to jump in the second quarter in part because Amazon said it would invest $800 million to make one-day free shipping the standard for Prime members, instead of two days.

The e-commerce company’s bottom line got a big boost in the first quarter from its cloud-computing unit and burgeoning advertising business, helping to offset sluggish growth from the core online retail business. The profit more than doubled to well above what analysts were expecting.

Wall Street Journal graphic
Still, sluggish retail sales overseas and flat performance from Amazon’s Whole Foods grocery chain dragged down revenue growth for a fourth straight quarter. Revenue rose 17% to $59.7 billion. Growth was 43% in 2018’s first quarter, though it was boosted by the acquisition of Whole Foods.

Amazon’s stock rose 0.8% in after-hours trading on Thursday to $1918.12. The shares are up about 24% this year, helping propel the company’s market value closer to $1 trillion—a level Amazon flirted with last year.

After years of plowing nearly every dollar made back into its business, Amazon has entered a new era of more modest revenue growth and consistent profits. The company had spent heavily in prior years to build out its warehouses to meet surging retail demand and branch into new industries such as cloud computing, filmmaking and groceries.

Amazon started delivering record profit last year as it eased spending while newer businesses like advertising and cloud computing took off, helping to offset the lower margins of its traditional retail business. Its online retail marketplace now relies more heavily on third-party vendors—58% of sales on the platform come from taking a cut from these outside businesses, as opposed to selling goods directly itself.

The result for the latest quarter: Expenses grew 12.6%, the lowest percentage rise in at least a decade, while Amazon’s operating margin climbed to 7.4%, its best over that time.

On a call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said Amazon didn’t invest as heavily in new fulfillment centers or logistics infrastructure as in years past, adding that hiring was also moderate. Amazon’s head count fell by nearly 17,000 employees during the quarter to a total of 630,600. That represents only the second sequential decline and steepest drop for the company since at least 2010.

Sinclair Looks To Amazon For Fox RSN Acquisition

Amazon is in talks to join Sinclair Broadcast Group in a deal to buy the 21 Fox regional sports TV networks that are being auctioned off by Disney, The NYPost is reporting.

Sinclair is looking for Amazon’s backing as it preps a roughly $9 billion, all-cash offer for the so-called RSNs, sources said.

The overall value of the deal will be around $10 billion, including minority stakes in the RSNs not owned by Fox, the source said.

“They are close to wrapping it up,” a source said.

While Sinclair has already secured bridge financing for the deal, lenders are demanding an additional $1 billion in equity, insiders said.

That, in turn, has forced Sinclair, whose market cap is just $4 billion, to search for deep-pocketed partners including Amazon, according to insiders.

Disney is auctioning off the sports channels, which showcase local sports events from Florida to San Diego, to clear its $71.3 billion Fox acquisition with antitrust regulators, as the Mouse House already owns ESPN.

In March, The Post reported that Amazon backed the New York Yankees in a deal to acquire the YES Network in a deal valuing the RSN at $3.5 billion. That deal, which is expected to give Amazon streaming rights to Yankees and Nets basketball games in the future, still hasn’t been announced.

Fox Nation To Hold Fan Appreciation Summit

FOX Nation, the new on demand subscription-based streaming service, will host its first annual fan appreciation summit in Scottsdale, Arizona on Tuesday, May 14 th, 2019 at 10PM/ET (8PM/MT). In conjunction with the event, FOX Nation will offer a special 99 cent promotional rate for a month long subscription. The promotion will run from May 6-19.

Hosted by FOX Nation personality Abby Hornacek, the summit will showcase a live 90 minute program featuring some of the platform’s top hosts including No Interruption ’s Tomi Lahren, The Quiz Show ’s Tom Shillue, The Wise Guys’ Bill Bennett, FOX & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth, Reality Check ’s David Webb, Front Row Seat ’s Ed Henry, FNC contributor Lawrence Jones along with Diamond & Silk.

During the event, both subscribers and fans will have an opportunity to pitch programming ideas to FOX Nation producers for a chance to win a trip to New York City and film a pilot production of their show. Additionally, fans will get the chance to meet several of the platform’s hosts as well as participate in The Quiz Show with Tom Shillue. FOX Nation Founding Members will also have behind the scenes access to the event and be able to take photos with the FOX Nation stars. Additional information on the summit:

FOX Nation is a direct-to-consumer on demand streaming service designed to complement the FOX News Channel experience with a members only destination for its most passionate and loyal super fans. Featuring thousands of hours of content, the OTT product includes daily short-form conservative opinion programming, historic documentaries and investigative series from a multitude of FOX News personalities at a cost of $5.99 a month/$64.99 a year. FOX Nation is available on iOS and Android devices as well as Apple TV, Web, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One.

Kate Smith Made 1945 Radio Plea For Racial Tolerance

Kate Smith’s statue has been wrapped up and carted off from outside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Reaction to racist lyrics in two songs she sang — “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” recorded in 1931, and “Pickaninny Heaven,” from a 1933 movie — silenced her rendition of “God Bless America” at Flyers and New York Yankees games.

Now it’s time to complicate the record further and consider Smith as a champion of racial tolerance, according to The Philadlephia Inquirer.

In a long-forgotten radio speech in January 1945, “the First Lady of Radio” gave an impassioned speech attacking bigotry and racism, calling them “the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace.” As millions listened, she called for every church and family to commit to tolerance and understanding.

Which Smith is the real Smith? The purveyor of racial stereotypes or the crusader for social harmony?

Are the songs racist? Of course they are,” says Susan J. Douglas, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan and author of Listening: Radio and the American Imagination.

But in matters like this, where a moment from the past ignites a current debate, context matters, she says: "People don’t think about the historical context, and they don’t think about nuance at all. Without wishing to defend or advocate for Kate Smith, I’d point out that there’s a huge difference between the early 1930s and 1945.”

It’s hard to overstate Smith’s standing in her day. At her height, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America. She had a string of million-selling records and a series of national radio programs throughout the 1930s. As of January 1945, when she gave the speech on the CBS show We, the People, she had two weekly shows.

In this particular speech, she first told the story of a Christian family in Belgium that hid three Jews from the Nazis. And then this, as recounted in the May 1945 issue of the popular radio magazine Tune In:
"It seems to me that faith in the decency of human beings is what we must have more of, if there is to be a future for all of us in this world. We read in the papers every day about conferences on the best way to keep the peace. Well, I’m not an expert on foreign affairs — and I don’t pretend to know all the complex things that will have to be done for a lasting peace. But I am a human being — and I do know something about people. I know that our statesmen — our armies of occupation — our military strategists — may all fail if the peoples of the world don’t learn to understand and tolerate each other. 
"Race hatreds — social prejudices — religious bigotry — they are the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace. Unless they are exterminated it’s inevitable that we will have another war. And where are they going to be exterminated? At a conference table in Geneva? Not by a long shot. In your own city — your church — your children’s school — perhaps in your own home. 
"You and I must do it – every father and mother in the world, every teacher, everyone who can rightfully call himself a human being. Yes, it seems to me that the one thing the peoples of the world have got to learn if we are ever to have a lasting peace, is — tolerance. Of what use will it be if the lights go on again all over the world — if they don’t go on … in our hearts." 
Kate Smith, "The Value of Tolerance," quoted in Tune In, May 1945.
People heard it, all right. The sponsors of We, the People said they received more than 20,000 requests for reprints. Newspapers across the land reprinted passages.

Westwood One Goes Backstage At BBMAs

Westwood One is celebrating the hottest artists in music as official promotional partners of the “2019 Billboard Music Awards.”

Westwood One, through its partnership with dick clark productions, will offer its broadcast partners, stations, advertisers, and music fans a myriad of branded content and promotions across multiple platforms. 

In addition, Westwood One will welcome more than 20 CHR/Top 40 stations and national shows to itsWestwood One Backstage at the Billboard Music Awards event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

10 Tune-In Highlights:
  • :30 features running now through May 1, 6 am to Midnight. Hosted by Jayde Donovan for Hot AC, AC and Top 40/Rhythmic stations
  • Two-hour Nomination Special – Airing Saturday, April 27 or Sunday, April 28, 6 am to Midnight Hosted by Jayde Donovan for Hot AC, AC and Top 40/Rhythmic stations.
  • Tuesday, April 30 – Westwood One Backstage at the Billboard Music Awards Radio Row Remote, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm PT at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Backstage performers include UMG’s DRAX Project, Hitco’s Brianna Mazzola and 600 Volt/SONY Red’s Whitney Woerz.
  • Wednesday, May 1 – Five-hour Red Carpet/Broadcast Companion/Wrap-Up Show. Red Carpet: Hosted by Jayde Donovan  Hot AC/AC Format: Hosted by Adam Bomb and The Bert Show’s Kristin Klingshirn Top 40/Rhythmic: Hosted by Zach Sang Show
Westwood One Backstage at the Billboard Music Awards takes place in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. 

The 2019 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on NBC and will be hosted by Kelly Clarkson.

Poll: Top Media Brands Unveiled

Measuring brand health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors – Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration – that results in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 45,000 US consumers assessed nearly 2,000 brands across 196 categories.

“This year we added nearly 100 new brands across 11 new categories from voice-assistants to wearable tech. Yet the common thread that runs across all the brands awarded here is their consumer devotion and respect for —and expectation of —performance. ” says The Harris Poll CEO, John Gerzema. “These are brands Americans especially love and expect great things from in the future.”

This year, the 31st year that the Harris Poll has been measuring brand equity, 91 companies were awarded the coveted Brand of the Year designation across 87 categories.

Here are the best media and entertainment brand according to Harris:
  • Audio Streaming Services: Apple Music
  • Factual Entertainmenr: (TIE) National Geographic Channel/Discovery Channel
  • General Entertainment: USA Television Network
  • Kids TV: Disney Channel
  • News Service: National Public Radio (NPR)
  • Pay Cable TV Network: HBO Television Network
  • Social Networking Site: YouTube
  • Sport League: NFL (National Football League)
  • TV Network: ABC Television Network
  • TV News: The Weather Channel

Comcast Exec Hosts Biden Fund-Raiser

Former Vice President Joe Biden said at a Philadelphia fund-raiser Thursday that the country’s moral fabric was being “shredded” by President Donald Trump, and declared he would work as president to “restore the American creed,” according to

“We have to start choosing truth over lies, hope over fear,” Biden said at a fund-raiser attended by about 150 people at the suburban Philadelphia home of David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corp. and a former Democratic operative, and his wife, Rhonda.

The fund-raiser capped Biden’s first official day as a presidential candidate, following the release of a morning video announcing his candidacy and a swing through his hometown of Wilmington. Biden is scheduled to head to Pittsburgh on Monday.

Speaking for about 15 minutes on the Cohens’ back patio to a crowd of elected officials, lawyers, corporate executives, and others, Biden lamented what he described as Trump’s “constant attack[s] on the courts, the press, even the Congress.”

Part of the answer to the country’s woes, Biden said, is to start treating each other better. Paraphrasing the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, he said, “People should never be treated only as a means to an end, but an end in themselves.”

In addition to restoring the moral character of the country, Biden said, he would restore the middle class and unite the country.

“Economic dignity,” he said, is the key to a healthy country — “not just GDP.”

Guests were asked to contribute up to $2,800, the maximum individual donation for the primary campaign.

Report: Authentic Brands Kicking Tires At S-I

Licensing company Authentic Brands Group LLC has emerged as a leading contender to buy Sports Illustrated from Meredith Corp., according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter. The price is said to be about $110 million, the people said.

If a deal is struck, it isn’t expected to include FanSided, a sports and entertainment network of more than 300 websites that was acquired by Time Inc. in 2015 for less than $15 million, people familiar with the transaction said.

It is possible the discussions between Meredith and Authentic Brands won’t lead to a deal. One of the people familiar with the talks described them as “early days,” but another person said that Meredith hopes to have a sales agreement in place next month.

Meredith in February told investors that it expected to have a sales agreement to sell Sports Illustrated finalized in the current fiscal year that ends this June. There have been other investor groups looking at Sports Illustrated that may still come forward with a larger bid.

Authentic Brands, based in New York, is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company focusing on such areas as fashion, lifestyle, sports and entertainment. It owns Nautica, Juicy Couture and the footwear and accessories businesses Nine West and Bandolino, among other properties, and is backed by private-equity firms Leonard Green & Partners, General Atlantic and Lion Capital.

GA Radio: Jim Bohannon Makes WDUN Visit

Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon (right), host of The Jim Bohannon Show, strikes a pose with Bill Maine, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Bohannon Show affiliate WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM, in Gainesville, GA.

Jimbo attended the station’s 70th anniversary celebration luncheon Thursday afternoon.

April 26 Radio History

➦In 1916...Vic Perrin born (Died of cancer at age 73 – July 4, 1989). He was a  radio, film, and television actor, perhaps best remembered for providing the "Control Voice" in the original version of the television series The Outer Limits.  He was also a radio scriptwriter as well as a narrator in feature films and for special entertainment and educational projects, such as the original Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Perrin was a regular performer on many commercial radio programs. In 1941 he became a staff announcer for NBC, staying there for several years before moving to ABC and becoming chief announcer at the Blue Network.  His first credited role came in 1943, when he served as the announcer for "The Last Will and Testament Of Tom Smith", a radio episode of Free World Theatre, which was produced and directed by Arch Oboler.  He narrated too "A Star With Two Names", part of the segment "Behind The Scenes Hollywood Story" of The Hollywood Music Hall radio program. At the same time, he joined Charles Laughton's theatrical repertory group.

Perrin was also a regular guest star on the radio version of Gunsmoke, and he wrote or co-wrote five scripts for that popular Western series between 1959 and 1961.  Perrin was a series regular as well on the anthology radio drama Family Theatre, played Ross Farnsworth on One Man's Family, and was featured as cavalry trooper Sergeant Gorse in Fort Laramie in 1956. He performed too as several characters in Escape, Pete Kelly's Blues, Dragnet, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, and Have Gun – Will Travel. In an uncredited role, he also impersonated Clyde Beatty on The Clyde Beatty Show.

He played supporting roles on TV, many of them as a voicist on cartoons, for more than 30 years.

➦In 1921…Radio stationWEW was the first to broadcast weather news and forecasts.

Saint Louis University established the station 9YK around 1912, using Morse code to communicate seismological and weather information.

Brother George E. Rueppel, assistant director of the Meteorological Observatory at SLU, worked with 9YK before he founded WEW in 1921.

Audio transmissions began at 10:05 a.m. on April 26, 1921; the first voice heard was SLU president Rev. William Robison. The station received radio license #560 to broadcast on 618.6 kHz (wavelength 485 meters) as WEW on 23 March 1922.

➦In 1924...WHO Des Moines is believed to have signed-on, although the actual on-air start date is in dispute.

A WHO memo from June 14, 1951 states that the first broadcast was on April 10, 1924; this is contradicted by Barry Mishkind Database which states that the First Broadcast License was effective on April 10, 1924 (the FCC's records indicate that the license took effect on April 15, 1924) with the first broadcast on April 26, 1924.

In any event, the station was originally owned by Bankers Life, which is now the Principal Financial Group.

After the FRC's General Order 40 reallocated frequencies in 1928, WHO (We Help Others) ended up sharing time on the same frequency with WOC in Davenport.

In 1930, B. J. Palmer, owner of WOC, bought WHO, and the two stations operated together as WOC-WHO until a new 50,000-watt transmitter near Mitchellville began operating on November 11, 1933. (WOC ceased broadcasting that day but returned on another frequency a year later.)

WHO moved from 1000 AM to the current 1040 AM on March 29, 1941, as a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. Today WHO is one of only two 50,000-watt AM radio stations in Iowa (KXEL in Waterloo is the other, however, it is not on a "1928 Band Plan" clear channel like WHO, but is on a NARBA band plan clear channel, dually allocated to The Bahamas (Class I-A) and to Waterloo, IA (Class I-B)), though WHO's signal is non-directional and KXEL's is directional, as are most, but not all Class I-Bs.

Ronald Reagan
WHO was owned by the Palmer family until Jacor Broadcasting purchased the station in 1997; Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications a year later. WHO and the other Clear Channel radio stations in Des Moines (KDRB, KPTL, KKDM, and KXNO) continued to share a building with WHO-TV until they moved into a new facility in 2005.

For many years, WHO has used an owl as its mascot—an apparent play on its call letters.

United States President Ronald Reagan worked as a sportscaster with WHO from 1932 to 1937. Among his duties were re-creations of Chicago Cubs baseball games as did many radio stations in those days when sports networks had not yet become widespread.

Broadcasting ad 1960
Today, WHO is owned by iHeartMedia airing news/talk.

➦In 1931...The radio comedy Lum & Abner aired for the first time on KTHS in hot Spring, Arkansas. The popular program starring Norris Goff and Chester Lauck, began on NBC from Chicago three months later and continued on various networks for 22 years.  Lum and Abner and their ‘Jot-em Down Store’  hailed from the fictitious town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas. Fictitious, that is, before 1936, when Waters, Arkansas, changed its name to Pine Ridge.

Over the course of its life, Lum and Abner appeared on all four major radio networks: NBC, Mutual, CBS and ABC (formerly NBC Blue).

Ed Wynn
➦In 1932...Early radio comedian Ed Wynn made his debut on radio.  Wynn began his career in vaudeville in 1903 and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914.

In the early 1930s Wynn hosted the popular radio show The Fire Chief, heard on Tuesday nights, sponsored by Texaco gasoline.

Like many former vaudeville performers who turned to radio in the same decade, the stage-trained Wynn insisted on playing for a live studio audience, doing each program as an actual stage show, using visual bits to augment his written material, and in his case, wearing a colorful costume with a red fireman's helmet.

Wynn was offered the title role in MGM's 1939 screen adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, but turned it down, as did his Ziegfeld contemporary W. C. Fields. The part went to Frank Morgan

➦In 1952...The radio series Gunsmoke first aired on CBS with the episode "Billy the Kid", written by Walter Newman, and ended on June 18, 1961.  Matt Dillon was played on radio by William Conrad and on TV by James Arness. Two versions of the same pilot episode titled "Mark Dillon Goes to Gouge Eye" are in the archives with two different actors, Rye Billsbury and Howard Culver, playing Marshal "Mark" Dillon as the lead, not yet played by Conrad. Conrad was one of the last actors to audition for the role of Marshal Dillon.

➦In 1976…CBS Radio newsman Allan Jackson died at the age of 60. For over 25 years he was the head anchor at CBS Radio News in New York, reading the 6:00 PM (Eastern) national evening news (then the network’s main news program) and anchoring coverage on much of their “Breaking News” events of the times.  He presided over CBS coverage of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, of the joining of US and Soviet forces in April of 1945, and of V-E Day in May of that year.

➦In 1982...the CBS Radio Network launched its youth-oriented network “Radio Radio“.

➦In 1995...NYC Radio personality Bob Dayton died.

Hired from WIL in St. Louis where he had worked under the air name of "Rockin' Robin Scott", Bob arrived at WABC in 1963. According to the tribute website, He was known for his acerbic wit which ultimately resulted in his firing on August 6, 1965 after his "Happy Birthday Hiroshima" introduction to the Crests "16 Candles".

Dayton might have gotten away with that comment had not the wife of ABC Chairman Leonard Goldenson been listening while she was in her office receiving the "Hiroshima Maidens" who were ladies horribly burned in the bombing. She was furious and that was it for Bob Dayton on WABC; he was fired immediately after his show that day.

He shifted to Los Angeles' KRLA. Bob later returned to New York and worked at two New York radio stations; WPIX-FM and WCBS-FM.

➦In 2005...Radio, TV actor and voiceover artist Mason Adams died at age 86.  Adams was heard on many radio programs during Radio's Golden Age. A notable recurring role was that of Pepper Young in Pepper Young's Family, which aired from 1947 to 1959. He also portrayed the deadly Nazi Atom Man in a classic 1945 serial on the radio version of The Adventures of Superman.

Besides his best known role as Charlie Hume in TV’s Lou Grant series. In the TV era  his voice was heard on commercials all over the dial, notably for Chiffon margarine, Crest toothpaste & Smucker’s preserves.

➦In 2012...Peter "Pete" Fornatale died at age 66. (Born -August 23, 1945).  He was a New York City radio personality and author of numerous books on rock and roll.

He is considered a "pioneer of FM rock," who played an important role in the progressive rock era of FM broadcasting. He was the first person to host a rock music show on New York City's FM band, commencing November 21, 1964 on WFUV.

By broadcasting progressive rock and long album tracks, he was noted for introducing a musical alternative to Top 40 AM radio in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Billboard called his station "a legend, affecting and inspiring people throughout the industry."

He gave early exposure to country-rock bands like Buffalo Springfield and Poco, and did one of the first American interviews with Elton John.  In 1991 he was co-host of "Paul Simon Live in Central Park" and was often called to be an expert guest commentator on PBS specials, including those featuring Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Orbison, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and others.

➦In 2014…Lee Marshall died at age 67 (Born Marshall Aaron Mayer; November 28, 1949). He was an American professional wrestling announcer formerly of the American Wrestling Association (AWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Women of Wrestling (WOW!)

Marshall was also a longtime radio announcer, working at such stations as KABC and KGFJ (now KYPA) and KBLA and KHJ in Los Angeles, KRIZ in Phoenix and CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (Detroit).

At CKLW, he was one of the anchors for the station's "20/20 News" updates. Marshall can be heard at 1:31 on this terrific CKLW Radio News video.

Marshall was also the voice of Tony The Tiger between 2005 and 2014.