Saturday, July 6, 2019

July 7 Radio History

➦In 1940...Beatle Ringo Starr born.

➦In 194?...Radio personality Joey Reynolds was born.  Joey Reynolds is the pseudonym of Joey Pinto, long-time radio show host and disc jockey. Reynolds' broadcasting career started on TV in Buffalo at WGR TV 2 and he worked at various stations, including at WNBC.

His first radio job was WWOL in Buffalo with Dick Purtan, then WKWK, in Wheeling, WV. After that, he continued at several venerable stations, including WKBW in Buffalo, New York, WNBC and WOR in New York City, KQV in Pittsburgh, KMPC and KRTH in Los Angeles, WDRC in Hartford, WIXY in Cleveland, and WIBG and WFIL in Philadelphia.

He rose to fame as a Top 40 radio personality during the 1960s and 1970s, amassing large audiences in places such as Hartford, Connecticut, Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and his hometown of Buffalo, New York. Reynolds is often regarded as an early progenitor of "shock talk radio", whose sometimes outlandish on and off-air stunts garnered widespread publicity.

Joey Reynolds was in the category of disc jockey, playing music on music intensive radio stations from the very late 1950s until the mid-1980s during his time on Z100 and WFIL. In 1986, he arrived at the former WNBC in New York City doing the afternoon drive, Howard Stern's previous shift. That station was attempting to move into a more talk intensive full service format with music taking a backseat but still heard. Reynolds was basically playing a mix of oldies and adult contemporary cuts along with comedy and personality, and was most notably on the air when the station's traffic helicopter crashed, killing reporter Jane Dornacker.

He exited WNBC at the end of February 1987 and was replaced by the late Alan Colmes.

His next stations were morning shows and at that point Joey had evolved into more of a talk intensive program. He was less a DJ and more like a talk show host. By 1995, Joey was no longer playing music on his shows and in 1996 he arrived at WOR in New York. He has been a talk show host since.

On March 10, 2010, it was revealed that WOR would pick up Coast to Coast AM from Premiere Radio and would cancel "The Joey Reynolds Show." (Coast to Coast had been heard on crosstown rival WABC for several years, before that station dropped the show in favor of an in-house offering from Doug McIntyre, which led Premiere to seek WOR as the new New York affiliate.) Reynolds' last show, which was segregated into the "Final Gay Hour," the "Final Jewish Hour" and "The Final Hour," aired the morning of April 3, 2010.

➦In 1944...legendary radio personality, Bobby Ocean, was born. He worked primarily on the West Coast. As you might expect Bobby Ocean is not his real name.  His real is...Johnny! Johnny Ocean!

However, his first radio job was WDLP, Panama City, FL in 1963 using the name Ray Farrell.

He also used the on-air handles of 'Radio Ray' and 'Captain Turntable'. He first used the name Bobby Ocean at KGB 1360 AM, in San Diego, CA in 1968.

Best known for his work at KFRC 610 AM San Fransisco and KHJ 930 AM Los Angeles.

➦In 1949...the program "Dragnet" debuted on the NBC Radio Network.

Dragnet enacted the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners. The show takes its name from the police term "dragnet", meaning a system of coordinated measures for apprehending criminals or suspects.

Dragnet is perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of police work. Dragnet earned praise for improving the public opinion of police officers.[1]

Actor and producer Jack Webb's aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals, and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media.

The show's cultural impact is such that after seven decades, elements of Dragnet are familiar to those who have never seen or heard the program. The ominous, four-note introduction to the brass and tympani theme music (titled "Danger Ahead"), composed by Walter Schumann, is instantly recognizable.

The radio series was the first entry in a Dragnet media franchise encompassing film, television, books and comics.

➦In 1974...“The Dr. Demento Radio Show” began national syndication, starring Barry Hansen who had created the persona of Dr. Demento in 1970 while working at Pasadena station KPPC-FM.

The positive listener response to the offbeat novelties that Hansen included in his rock oldies show led to his eventually turning it into an all-novelty show. At the end of 1971, he moved to KMET in Los Angeles. From 1972 to 1983, he performed a four-hour live show on KMET. From about 1974 on, the local Los Angeles market was the full 4 hours and the nationally syndicated show was cut to 2 hours. Later, the show would be a two-hour live show on KLSX, and after they converted to a talk-only format in 1995, moved again to KSCA, where it remained until they changed to a Spanish-language broadcast, in February 1997.

➦In 1989...Compact discs startred to outsell vinyl record albums for the first time. The dominance of CDs practically wiped out the 45 RPM single format since nothing came along to replace it.

Bill Cullen
➦In game show host & panelist Bill Cullen died from lung cancer at age 70.

Cullen's broadcasting career began in 1939 in Pittsburgh at WWSW radio, where he worked as a disc jockey and play-by-play announcer or color commentator for Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Hornets games. In 1943, Cullen left WWSW to briefly work at rival station KDKA before leaving Pittsburgh a year later to try his luck in New York. A week after arriving in New York, he was hired as a staff announcer at CBS.

To supplement his then-meager income, he became a freelance joke writer for some of the top radio stars of the day, including Arthur Godfrey, Danny Kaye, and Jack Benny; he also worked as a staff writer for the Easy Aces radio show.

Between 1946 and 1953, he worked as announcer for various other local and network shows, including the radio version of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman's first game show, Winner Take All, hosted by Ward Wilson; Cullen took over as host four months later when Wilson left. After a brief stint at WNEW in 1951, he hosted a popular morning show at WRCA radio from 1955 to 1961. His last regular radio job was as one of the hosts of NBC Radio's Monitor from 1971–73.

He was a longtime panel member on 'I’ve Got a Secret' & then 'To Tell the Truth' on TV.

➦In 2015…Longtime Chicago WVON radio personality/executive Moses "Lucky" Cordell died of injuries suffered in a fire at his home. He was 86.

Cordell had a long career in Chicago radio. After starting as a DJ at WGES in Chicago in 1952, Cordell moved to WGRY in Gary before working at WVON in Chicago.

He became the station's program and music director in 1965 and went on to become WVON's general manager in 1970.

Tom Marr
➦In 2016…Veteran Batimore radio personality Tom Marr died at age 73.

Marr, who has been one of the more recognizable figures in Baltimore radio, began his career in 1967 with WFBR-AM where he started as a reporter and then served as the station’s news director. He was also the weekend sports anchor at WMAR-TV.

He joined WCBM in 1988 where he was both a reporter and political commentator and later became a talk show host.  Marr also hosted his own nationally broadcast talk show on the WOR Radio Network and spent eight seasons as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Baltimore Orioles.

7.1 Quake Rocks SoCal

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Southern California on Friday night, the second major temblor in less than two days and one that rocked buildings across Southern California, adding more jitters to an already nervous region.

The LA Times reports the quake was centered near Ridgecrest, the location of the July Fourth 6.4 magnitude temblor that was the largest in nearly 20 years. It was followed by an aftershock first reported as 5.5 in magnitude. Scientists said the fault causing the quakes appears to be growing.

Friday night’s quake caused some fires and other damage in and around Ridgecrest and Trona, two Mojave Desert towns shaken by both quakes, said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. The quake was felt as far away as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Baja California and Reno, according to crowd-sourced data logged into the U.S. Geological Survey’s Did You Feel It? website.

About 3,000 residents in Ridgecrest and the surrounding areas are without power after the earthquake, according to Southern California Edison. In Los Angeles, there were no immediate reports of major damage to buildings and infrastructure, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement late Friday.

“On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight’s earthquake near Ridgecrest,” the governor said. “The state of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region.” He added that he had requested an emergency declaration from the White House and had activated the State Operations Center in Mather, Calif., to its highest level.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said his department had responded to multiple structural fires, but there were no reported fatalities.

Report: CNN's Prime-Time Ratings Are Cratering

The cable news titan founded by Ted Turner in 1980 dropped to 15th place in the coveted 8 p.m.-to-11 p.m. time slot last quarter after losing 20% of its viewers, according to The  NYPost citing TV ratings tracker Nielsen.

That’s five slots below where it was this time last year, Nielsen reports.

Although TV ratings have slowly eroded overall as more consumers cut their cable subscriptions for streaming services, CNN took a steeper prime-time dive in the second quarter than most of its rivals.

The network drew 761,000 total prime-time viewers in the three months ended in June, putting it behind MSNBC’s 1.7 million viewers and Fox’s 2.4 million prime-time viewers. Fox ranked in first place — and MSNBC second place — among basic cable networks in prime time, Nielsen said.

CNN didn’t fare much better when it came to attracting viewers outside of its prime-time programs. Ratings for the entire day at Fox hit 1.32 million, 900,000 for MSNBC and just 541,000 for CNN.

CNN fell 18% in both total prime-time and total day viewers over 2018’s second quarter, Nielsen said. Fox, by contrast, was down 2% in total prime-time viewers and down 6% in total day viewers. Ratings at MSNBC, meanwhile, slumped 4% in prime time and just 2% total.

In the coveted demographic of ages 25 to 54, Fox averaged 373,000 viewers in prime time, compared with 252,000 at MSNBC and 188,000 at CNN.

According to a ranking of cable’s top 90 shows, none of CNN’s programs even cracked the top 10. The network’s best show during prime time, “Cuomo Prime Time” hosted by Chris Cuomo, ranked No. 25.

U-K Radio: Hundreds Of New Local Digital Stations Planned

Hundreds of new local digital radio stations could be launched in the UK under new plans drawn up by the broadcasting regulator, according to

Ofcom has outlined proposals which will see airwaves allocated to existing and new local stations, offering them the opportunity to broadcast digitally.

The plans come after a small-scale trial implemented in 2015, and potentially opens the way for hyperlocal publishers to branch out into local radio.

Ofcom says the proposals “mark a major step towards expanding local DAB coverage, giving listeners an even wider choice of new digital radio stations”, adding “hundreds of new local digital radio stations could start broadcasting.”

Small-scale DAB technology was pioneered in the UK by one of Ofcom’s own engineers, and provides local commercial, community and specialist music stations with a low-cost route to broadcasting on digital airwaves.

By using freely available software and computer technology to transmit digital radio services, small-scale DAB enables stations to broadcast to a relatively small geographic area.

Graham Plumb, pictured, Ofcom’s director of spectrum broadcasting, said: “People increasingly prefer digital radio, and by enabling smaller stations to join this digital revolution, we can broaden the choice for local listeners up and down the country.”

Ofcom intends to start advertising licences early next year.

July 6 Radio History

➦In an experiment, Western Union transmitted by radio its first halftone photograph. AT&T followed in 1924, and RCA sent a Radiophoto in 1926. The Associated Press began its Wirephoto service in 1935 and held a trademark on the term AP Wirephoto between 1963 and 2004. The first AP photo sent by wire depicted the crash of a small plane in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

Technologically and commercially, the wirephoto was the successor to Ernest A. Hummel's Telediagraph of 1895, which had transmitted electrically scanned shellac-on-foil originals over a dedicated circuit connecting the New York Herald and the Chicago Times Herald, the St. Louis Republic, the Boston Herald, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

➦In 1925...rock `n’ roll pioneer Bill Haley (William John Clifton Haley Jr.) was born in Highland Park, near Detroit (Died of a brain tumor at age 55  – February 9, 1981).

Bill Haley
He is credited by many with first popularizing this form of music in the early 1950s with his group Bill Haley & His Comets and million-selling hits such as "Rock Around the Clock", "See You Later, Alligator", "Shake, Rattle and Roll", "Rocket 88", "Skinny Minnie", and "Razzle Dazzle". He has sold over 60 million records worldwide and has been described as the greatest musical pioneer of the 20th century.

In 1929, the four-year-old Haley underwent an inner-ear mastoid operation which accidentally severed an optic nerve, leaving him blind in his left eye for the rest of his life. It is said that he adopted his trademark kiss curl over his right eye to draw attention from his left, but it also became his "gimmick", and added to his popularity.  As a result of the effects of the Great Depression on the Detroit area, his father moved the family to Bethel, Pennsylvania.

One of his first appearances was in 1938 for a Bethel Junior baseball team entertainment event, performing guitar and songs when he was 13 years old.

The anonymous sleeve notes accompanying the 1956 Decca album Rock Around The Clock describe Haley's early life and career:  "For six years Bill Haley was a musical director of Radio Station WPWA in Chester, PA, and led his own band all through this period. It was then known as Bill Haley's Saddlemen, indicating their definite leaning toward the tough Western style. They continued playing in clubs as well as over the radio around Philadelphia, and in 1951 made their first recordings on Ed Wilson's Keystone Records in Philadelphia." The group subsequently signed with Dave Miller's Holiday Records and, on June 14, 1951 the Saddlemen recorded a cover of "Rocket 88".

During the Labor Day weekend in 1952, the Saddlemen were renamed Bill Haley with Haley's Comets (inspired by the supposedly official pronunciation of Halley's Comet, a name suggested by WPWA radio station program director, Bob Johnson, where Bill Haley had a live radio program from noon to 1 p.m.), and in 1953, Haley's recording of "Crazy Man, Crazy" (co-written by him and his bass player, Marshall Lytle, although Lytle would not receive credit until 2001) became the first rock and roll song to hit the American charts, peaking at number 15 on Billboard and number 11 on Cash Box. Soon after, the band's name was revised to "Bill Haley & His Comets".

In 1954, Haley recorded "Rock Around the Clock". Initially, it was relatively successful, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard pop singles chart and staying on the charts for a few weeks. On re-release, the record reached #1 on July 9, 1955.

➦In 1925...Merv Griffin  born (Died  at age 82 of prostate cancer – August 12, 2007). He was a TV host and media mogul.

He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in film and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986, Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show. He also created the internationally popular game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune through his television production companies, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment.

Griffin started as a singer on radio at age 19, appearing on San Francisco Sketchbook, a nationally syndicated program based at KFRC.

Griffin had an un-credited role as a radio announcer in the 1953 horror/science fiction classic The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

By 1945, Griffin had earned enough money to form his own record label, Panda Records, which produced Songs by Merv Griffin, the first U.S. album ever recorded on magnetic tape. In 1947, he had a 15-minute Monday–Friday singing program on KFRC in San Francisco.

He became increasingly popular with nightclub audiences, and his fame soared among the general public with his 1950 hit "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts". The song reached the number one spot on the Hit Parade and sold three million copies.

At one of his nightclub performances, Griffin was discovered by Doris Day. Day arranged for a screen test at the Warner Bros. Studios for a role in By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Griffin did not get the part, but the screen test led to supporting roles in other musical films such as So This Is Love in 1953. The film caused a minor controversy when Griffin shared an open mouthed kiss with Kathryn Grayson. The kiss was a first in Hollywood film history since the introduction of the Production Code in 1934.

Griffin would go on to film more pictures (The Boy from Oklahoma and Phantom of the Rue Morgue), but soon became disillusioned with movie-making. Griffin bought his contract back from Warner Bros. and decided to devote his attention to a new medium: television.

From 1958 to 1962, Griffin hosted a game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman called Play Your Hunch. The show appeared on all three networks, but primarily on NBC. He also hosted a prime time game show for ABC called Keep Talking. Additionally, he substituted for a week for the vacationing Bill Cullen on The Price Is Right, and also for Bud Collyer on To Tell the Truth. In 1963, NBC offered him the opportunity to host a new game show, Word for Word, which Griffin produced. He also produced Let's Play Post Office for NBC in 1965; Reach for the Stars for NBC in 1967; and One in a Million for ABC in 1967.

Griffin scored a coup when Tonight Show host Jack Paar accidentally emerged onto the set of Play Your Hunch during a live broadcast, and Griffin got him to stay for a spontaneous interview. After Paar left The Tonight Show, but before Johnny Carson took over (Carson was still hosting Who Do You Trust? for ABC), Griffin was one of the many guest hosts who presided over Tonight in the interim. Griffin was considered the most successful of the guest hosts, and was rewarded with his own daytime talk show on NBC in 1962. This live, 55-minute program was not successful however, and was cancelled in 1963.

In 1965, Griffin launched a syndicated talk show for Group W (Westinghouse Broadcasting) titled The Merv Griffin Show. Many stations ran it in the daytime, others aired it in prime-time and a few broadcast it opposite Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. Griffin's announcer/sidekick was the veteran British character actor Arthur Treacher, who had been his mentor. After Treacher left the show in 1970, Griffin would do the announcing himself, and walk on stage with the phrase: "And now..., here I come!" According to an obituary article on August 24, 2007 in Entertainment Weekly, The Merv Griffin Show was on the air for 21 years and won eleven Emmy Awards during its run.

CBS gave Griffin a late-night show opposite Carson in 1969, a move which proved disastrous. The network was uncomfortable with the guests Griffin wanted, who often spoke out against the Vietnam War and on other taboo topics.

Sensing that his time at CBS was ending, and tired of the restrictions imposed by the network, Griffin secretly signed a contract with rival company Metromedia. The contract with Metromedia would give him a syndicated daytime talk show deal as soon as CBS canceled Griffin's show. Within a few months, Griffin was fired by CBS. His new show began the following Monday and ran until the mid-1980s. By 1986, Griffin was ready to retire and ended his talk show run. Thanks to profits from his highly successful game shows, Griffin had become one of the world's wealthiest entertainers.

He became enormously wealthy after selling his two successful TV quiz creations, Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune.

In 1947...a hidden microphone eavesdropped on unsuspecting people aired for the first time, as Candid Microphone. Allen Funt hosted of the ABC radio show, which was  the forerunner of the long-running TV version, Candid Camera.  Candid Microphone aired one year on ABC, taking a two year hiatus and returning in 1950 on CBS Radio for a three-month summer run.

➦In 1950...the CBS Radio answer to NBC’s Dragnet aired for the first time. The Lineup had a distinguished three-year run in the waning days of big time radio.

➦In 1957...Liverpool teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time after a performance by Lennon's band, The Quarrymen.

Originally consisting of Lennon and several schoolfriends, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of Quarry Bank High School, which they attended. Lennon's mother, Julia Lennon, taught her son to play the banjo and then showed Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars in a similar way to the banjo, and taught them simple chords and songs.

Lennon started a skiffle group that was very briefly called the Blackjacks, but changed the name before any public performances. Some accounts credit Lennon with choosing the new name; other accounts credit his close friend Pete Shotton with suggesting the name. The Quarrymen played at parties, school dances, cinemas and amateur skiffle contests before Paul McCartney joined the band in October 1957. George Harrison joined the band in early 1958 at McCartney's recommendation, though Lennon initially resisted because he felt Harrison (still 14 when he was first introduced to Lennon) to be too young. Both McCartney and Harrison attended the Liverpool Institute.

The group made an amateur recording of themselves in 1958, performing Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and "In Spite of All the Danger", a song written by McCartney and Harrison. The group moved away from skiffle and towards rock and roll, causing several of the original members to leave. This left only a trio of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, who performed under several other names, including Johnny and the Moondogs and Japage 3 before returning to the Quarrymen name in 1959. In 1960, the group changed its name to the Silver Beetles, but soon changed its name to The Beatles and went on to have a historically successful musical career.

➦In 1963...Dick Biondi - the once-popular evening DJ on WLS 890 AM in Chicago, began on KRLA 1110 AM in Pasadena, Calif. He walked out on WLS about 2 months ago in a disagreement.

KRLA is in a top-40 battle with KFWB. Even though KFWB was #1 - the new KRLA lineup looks like this - Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quilin.

KRLA overtook KFWB by the mid-1960s. In 1965, 93KHJ start its “Boss Radio” Top 40 format, which launched it to the No. 1 position.  KRLA was the second-place Top 40 station.  KFWB abandoned music and flipped to all-news in 1968.

As music listeners moved to FM, KRLA evolved to adult contemporary by 1982.  It became an oldies station in 1983.  That lasted until 1994, when KRLA moved to urban oldies.  In 1998, KRLA went to an all-talk format before flipping to all-sports KSPN in 2000.  Today, it’s KRDC, a family-targeted country-formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Pasadena, California, serving the Greater Los Angeles Area. The station is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company.

When KRLA became KSPN in 2000, the KRLA call letters went to 870 AM, which carries a Salem Media's conservative talk format as 870 AM, The Answer.

➦In 1974..."A Prairie Home Companion," a live radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor made its debut on Minnesota Public Radio.

➦In 1998...Actor and singer Roy Rogers died (born Leonard Franklin Slye, November 5, 1911).

He was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the "King of the Cowboys", he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. In many of his films and television episodes, he appeared with his wife, Dale Evans; his golden palomino, Trigger; and his German shepherd dog, Bullet. His show was broadcast on radio for nine years and then on television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often Pat Brady, Andy Devine, George "Gabby" Hayes, or Smiley Burnette. In his later years, Rogers sold his name to the franchise chain of Roy Rogers Restaurants.

Friday, July 5, 2019

2019 Tough Year For Media Layoffs

The struggling US media industry is facing its worst year for job layoffs in a decade as news organizations continue to cut staff and close shop, according to AFP citing a new survey.

The consultancy Challenger Gray & Christmas reported this week that media companies, which include movies, television, publishing, music, and broadcast and print news, announced plans to cut 15,474 jobs so far this year, of which 11,878 of which were from news organizations.

That is nearly three times more than the 4,062 cuts announced in the media sector in 2017 and the highest total since the economic crisis in 2009.

"Members of the media, especially journalists, have had a tough few years," said Andrew Challenger, vice president of the Chicago-based firm.

"Many jobs were already in jeopardy due to a business model that tried to meet consumer demand for free news with ad revenue. As media outlets attempted to put news behind pay walls, in many markets, consumers opted not to pay."

Some of the notable events this year included the closing of the Youngstown Vindicator, the only daily in the Ohio city, with 144 jobs lost, and the sale of the New Orleans Times-Picayune resulting in the loss of most of the 250 newsroom jobs.

But the troubles have also impacted the digital sector with BuzzFeed cutting 200 employees in January and Verizon eliminating 800 jobs in its media division, which includes Yahoo, AOL, and HuffPost, the Challenger report noted.

The report noted that media companies have been unable to keep pace with Facebook and Google in tailoring ads for customers based on their interests, making it hard to generate online revenue.

Sick Bay: Stevie Wonder Battling Health Issues

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder is battling a serious but manageable health issue as he continues to perform and make music, sources close to the singer say.

Indeed, the iconic Motown star is “doing better now than he was a couple of months ago,” one friend told the Detroit Free Press, as Wonder prepares to head overseas for a pair of concerts.

Wonder has been traveling with a medical team, the source said.

Multiple people spoke with the Free Press about the situation, and most asked not to be named, citing sensitivity about Wonder’s circumstances.

“He’s got some health challenges, but he doesn’t want a big PR thing out of this,” said musician Joan Belgrave, a longtime friend of the singer. Her late husband, Detroit jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, met Wonder when the latter was a 13-year-old Motown prodigy, she said.

“He knows what he has to do to get himself together, and he’s doing it,” Belgrave said. “He’s got a team around him — that’s what he needs. He’s got people around him who love him.”

“He’s in great spirits. You would never know anything is going on. That’s how he wants it, and that’s how he wants to keep it,” Belgrave said. “He’s making music and doing what he does, and that’s what he wants to focus on.”

Rumors and speculation about Wonder’s health have been percolating on social media for several days. The chatter was fueled in part by a June 25 video in which a Philadelphia radio personality claimed that Wonder is suffering kidney failure and has begun dialysis.

Sick Bay: Yankees Broadcasters Michael Kay, John Sterling

Michael Kay
YES sportscaster Michael Kay will take a medical leave of absence after it was recommended he undergo surgery to correct an issue with his vocal cord, he announced Wednesday on Twitter.

John Sterling
Kay, who missed Wednesday night’s Yankees-Mets game, said he expects to be out for around a month, an absence that will also keep him away from his weekday WEPN ESPN 98.7 FM radio show.

“Those that follow me know that my jobs are the culmination of a child’s dream and I take this step with some fear but a strong belief in a doctor considered the best in his field,” Kay wrote on Twitter. “I love what I do and I appreciate all that enjoy what I do.

“Thank you all so much for listening and watching throughout the years and please know it’s tearing me up to have to step away in the middle of a season but it’s the only way I can get better and avoid further problems.”

Ryan Ruocco will likely fill in for Kay on the Yankee telecasts.

Kay has been a part of Yankees radio and television broadcasts since 1992. He’s the host of “CenterStage” on the YES Network and of “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio.

The news comes a day after The NY Post first reported longtime radio voice John Sterling’s three-decade streak of never having missed a game will end this weekend as Sterling takes some time off to focus on his health.

Until Thursday, his 81st birthday coincidentally, Sterling had worked 5,060 straight Yankees games since 1989, according to The NYTimes citing the Yankees.

In fact, he will miss the entire four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays that will close out the first half of the season. Coupled with the upcoming All-Star break, that will give Sterling eight straight days to rest.

The reason for the time off: his health. In interviews this week, Sterling has said he feels a bit under the weather. But before Wednesday’s game against the Mets, Sterling insisted he wasn’t sick.

“I’m just run down,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Delmarva Radio: Don Harrison To Program WZBH, WGBG

Don Harrison
Adams Radio of Delmarva has announced the appointment of Don Harrison as the new Brand Manager for its heritage rock stations in Salisbury-Ocean City, including Rock WZBH 93.5 The Beach and Classic Rock WGBG Big 107.7.

He'll assume his new role on July 8. Harrison was most recently OM for Townsquare Media in Cheyenne and Laramie, WY. Prior to that, he served as Director of Rock Programming for Slacker and in 2005, Harrison became Program Director of WKBU-FM/New Orleans.

A Connecticut native, Harrison began his career as an air personality at Rock WHCN-FM/Hartford. He then moved to the legendary WBCN-FM/Boston where he won three Boston Achievement in Radio Awards and was the Executive Producer of New England Patriots Radio Network. After that, Harrison moved to California in 1999 and worked for Y107 in Los Angeles and programmed a Rock cluster in Northern California.

Harrison said, "I'm honored to join Adams Radio Group and working with the entire team. It's refreshing to be part of a company that believes in local radio, super-serving the community and creating a great working environment. I also can't wait to team up with Lisa Layne - she's a Rockstar."

Adams Radio VP/GM Lisa Layne added "I am thrilled to have Don join Adams Radio Group and take our rock stations to the top. Don and I are of the same mindset where local radio, community, and great client partnerships will build a team of winners like Delmarva has never seen before. I welcome Don to the ultimate dream team in the market."

For Sale: Univision

Univision Communications Inc. is exploring strategic options including a possible sale, a process that could culminate in a long-sought deal for the Spanish-language broadcaster’s private-equity owners.

The Wall Street Journal reports Univision has hired Morgan Stanley and LionTree as advisers to assist with the process. The Wall Street Journal had reported earlier Wednesday that the broadcaster was exploring strategic options.

There can be no assurances as to the timing or outcome of the review, Univision said in a statement.

Univision is hoping the company could attract interest from large media companies looking to add Spanish-language programming to their assets, people familiar with the matter said. In 2017, Univision turned down an offer from cable tycoon John Malone that valued the company at between $13.5 billion to $15 billion.

Univision is grappling with debt, the consequence of a $13.7 billion leveraged buyout in 2006 when the company was taken private. The company said it finished 2018 with $7.4 billion in debt but reduced its total debt by $547 million last year.

After a period of turbulence in Univision’s upper ranks, the company made a number of changes. It brought in media industry veteran Vincent Sadusky as chief executive last year to succeed Randy Falco.

This spring, it agreed to sell off its Gizmodo Media Group unit—which included English-language sites like Jezebel, Deadspin and Lifehacker—to private-equity firm Great Hill Partners.

Lima OH Radio: Country Legends Launches On WCIT

WCIT 940 AM and W253CM 96.5 FM in Lima, Ohio launched its Country Legends format at noon on July 4th.

The Woof Boom Radio station had been airing a sports format for a little over five years.

The station line-up includes:
  • Jeff DeWeese 6a-10a
  • Dennis Harrington 10a-3p
  • Robb Rose 3p-8p
  • John Gleason 8p-Midnight
  • Paul Walker Midnight-6 AM

R.I.P: Alfred E Newman, Mad Magazine Icon

Mad Magazine is ceasing publication of new material after 67 years.

The magazine will stop publishing new content after its next issue. Any new issues will feature previously released content with a new cover, reports the BBC.

It will also now only be available in comic stores and to subscribers.

Many fans responded to the news to share their disappointment. Some described how influential the magazine had been growing up.

Mad Magazine was known for its striking front covers, in which it parodies both current affairs and popular television programs. It often featured the magazine's gap-toothed child mascot Alfred E. Newman on the cover.

The magazine was founded in 1952 and began life as a comic book before changing to a magazine format in 1955.

DC, which publishes the magazine, told ABC in a statement: "After issue #10 this fall there will no longer be new content - except for the end of year specials which will always be new. So starting with issue #11, the magazine will feature classic, best of and nostalgic content from the last 67 years."

July 5 Radio History

Don Dunphy
➦In 1908...Sportscaster Don Dunphy born (Died at age 90 – July 22, 1998).  He specialized in boxing broadcasts. Dunphy was noted for his fast-paced delivery and enthusiasm for the sport. It is estimated that he did "blow-by-blow" action for over 2,000 fights. The Friday Night Fights were broadcast every Friday evening from (radio and television (1939–1981) 9 P.M. to 10:45 P.M on ABC.

In 1984, Dunphy was part of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame's inaugural class which included sportscasting legends Red Barber, Ted Husing, Graham McNamee and Bill Stern. He was also a member of the organization's Board of Directors. He was elected in 1986 to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.

Dunphy was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1988 and had a memorable cameo appearance in the 1971 Woody Allen movie Bananas. He appears as the commentator in the 1977 biopic of Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest". He also called all of the fights in the 1980 United Artists film Raging Bull, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. In 1982, he won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcasting Journalism in boxing.[1] He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

In 1927...actress Beverly Tyler was born in Scranton Pa.  She began her career singing on the radio, and later was a vocalist on such TV variety shows as Shower of Stars & Cavalcade of Stars.  She played the hero “Steve Wilson’s” love interest Lorelei Kilbourne on the TV version of Big Town in the early 50’s.  Later after marrying Jim Jordan Jr. she produced “Fibber McGee’s” grandson. She died at age 78 of a pulmonary embolism on Nov. 23, 2005.

➦In 1929...WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana went back on the air - one day after a transmitter fire. In November 1929, the station held a grand opening.

➦In 1943...After a three-month run with J.B. Williams in the title role on the New England Network, the detective series "The Adventures of Nero Wolfe," now starring Santos Ortega, moved to ABC Radio. Luis Van Rooten succeeded Ortega the following year. Between 1943 and 1982, Wolfe was portrayed in four radio series on five different networks.

➦In 1945...Ann Sothern starred on CBS Radio as Maisie in The Adventures Of Maisie, based on the motion picture series. The 2-year network run was followed by a 4-year syndicated version, featuring a who’s who of Hollywood radio veterans.

Lucille Ball, Richard Denning
➦In 1948...“My Favorite Husband”, with Lucille Ball, first aired and became the gifted redhead’s first regular program on CBS Radio Network. Lee Bowman, and later, Richard Denning, co-starred with Lucy as “two people who live together and like it.” She would use the character as a stepping stone to TV’s iconic classic “I Love Lucy” three years later.

➦In 1951..."The Silver Eagle," a radio series starring Jim Ameche as Jim West of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, began its four-year run on ABC Radio.   The show followed the traditions of Fran Striker's The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon.

➦In 1951...Dr. William Shockley made the announcement that he had invented a junction transistor.

A junction transistor is a type of transistor that relies on the contact of two types of semiconductor for its operation. BJTs can be used as amplifiers, switches, or in oscillators. BJTs can be found either as individual discrete components, or in large numbers as parts of integrated circuits.

➦In’s announced that CONELRAD, a means ofwartime communication among the civilian population via AM radio frequencies 640 and 1240Khz, will be going away on August 5 to make way for a new system.

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to the public of the United States in the event of enemy attack during the Cold War. It was intended to serve two purposes: to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and to provide essential civil defense information. U.S. President Harry S. Truman established CONELRAD in 1951.

After the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles reduced the likelihood of a bomber attack, CONELRAD was replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System on August 5, 1963, which was later replaced with the Emergency Alert System in 1997; all have been administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Unlike its successors, the EBS and EAS, CONELRAD was never intended to be used for severe weather warnings or local civil emergencies.

Ben Alexander, Jacb Webb
➦In 1969...Nicholas Benton "Ben" Alexander III died at age 58 (Born June 27, 1911). He was a motion picture actor, who started out as a child actor in 1916. He is best remembered for his role as Officer Frank Smith in the Dragnet franchise. Alexander played leads and second leads in many low-budget films throughout the 1930s.

He found a career as a successful radio announcer in the late 1940s, including a stint on the Martin and Lewis program. Alexander also acted on radio, playing Philip West in the 1939–40 soap opera Brenthouse on the Blue Network

➦In 2008...Rush Limbaugh signed a lucrative deal, believed to be $38 million a year with Premiere Radio Networks.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 243rd Birthday America!

The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

The Declaration announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes. The Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready when Congress voted on independence. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress edited to produce the final version.

The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" – although Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved.

Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his policies and his rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history".

July 4 Radio History

➦In 1884...Attorney and radio station manager George W. Trendle was born in Norwalk Ohio. He became co-owner/manager of Detroit radio station WXYZ, and oversaw the creation and development of three classic action/adventure radio series aimed at young audiences, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, all of which later made a transition to TV.  An avowed penny-pincher, Trendle insisted that the music used on these shows be classical, to avoid paying royalty fees. He died May 10 1972 at age 87.

George W. Trendle
During the 1920s, George W. Trendle had established a reputation as a tough negotiator specializing in movie contracts and leases. Trendle became involved in the Detroit area entertainment business in 1928 when local motion picture theater owner John H. Kunsky offered Trendle 25 percent ownership in exchange for his services.

Trendle and Kunsky formed the Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Company in 1929 after purchasing Detroit radio station WGHP. The radio station's call letters were changed to WXYZ.

Trendle was the president and Kunsky was the vice president of the company. Trendle was active as the station manager. Kunsky is rarely mentioned except as co-owner.

WXYZ was initially affiliated with the Columbia Broadcasting System but became an independent station within a year. (WXYZ is now WXYT Detroit)  Trendle's partner, Kunsky, legally changed his name to King in 1936, and the Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Company became the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company. WXYZ improved its technical facilities through the 1930s, expanding its studios, raising its daytime power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts in the late 1930s, and increasing nighttime power to 5,000 watts in time for its mandated 1941 move from 1240 to 1270 kHz under the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement.

In 1931, Kunsky-Trendle acquired WASH and WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The two stations merged facilities, including studios and transmitters, but retained both station licenses. WASH was on the air from 8 a.m. to noon, and WOOD from noon to midnight. WOOD-WASH became an NBC Red affiliate in 1935. King and Trendle decided to drop the WASH license in 1942, keeping the WOOD identification.

In 1946, the newly formed American Broadcasting Company purchased the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company and its radio stations for $3.65 million. This sale was for the broadcast facilities (including WOOD, WXYZ, and the Michigan Regional Network) and a construction permit for what would later become WXYZ-TV (channel 7) but did not include ownership of Trendle's radio programs. The FCC approved ABC's purchase on July 18, 1946. In 1952, Paramount Theaters (owners of Kunsky and Trendle's former chain of Detroit area theaters) acquired ABC, including WXYZ. WXYZ (now using the call sign WXYT) is today owned by CBS, the network Trendle dropped shortly after taking over the station.

Trendle entered into a new partnership with long term business associates H. Allen Campbell and Raymond Meurer. The Trendle-Campbell Broadcasting Company was formed in 1946 and started radio station WTCB in Flint, Michigan. The new radio station went on the air April 26, 1946, with a four-tower 1000-watt broadcast array. The call letters were later changed to WTAC. In 1953, they added UHF television station WTAC-TV affiliated with ABC-TV and DuMont. The TV station went out of business less than a year later because too few TVs at the time were equipped to receive UHF channels. The radio station has changed owners several times and its call sign was changed to WSNL in 1997. The station is currently owned by The Christian Broadcasting System. Three of the four towers were demolished in 2003 to make room for redevelopment of the site. The fourth tower was removed in 2004 after new transmitting facilities were completed in Gaines Township, southwest of Flint.

Penny pinching

The Kunsky-Trendle business venture began at the start of the Great Depression, and Trendle took many cost-cutting moves that earned him a reputation as a penny-pincher. According to Dick Osgood in his book Wyxie Wonderland: An Unauthorized 50-Year Diary of WXYZ Detroit, he was assisted by H. Allen Campbell.

Campbell was an advertising salesman for the Hearst organization whom Trendle hired to find sponsors for his radio programs. Campbell is credited with signing Silvercup Bread as the first sponsor for the Lone Ranger series. This was a big account and helped to bring the show to nationwide syndication. Apparently, Campbell's contributions to the business were significant. He continued working for Trendle for the next twenty years and eventually became one of Trendle's business partners.

Campbell reportedly kept a set of books to show employees that the company was losing money and could not afford to pay higher salaries. Trendle and Campbell often responded to employee requests for salary increases by downplaying their value to the company and threatening to fire them. This threat was particularly effective during the Depression.

Trendle specified the music on WXYZ shows should be non-copyrighted classical so that the music was royalty-free. This is the reason that the William Tell Overture was adopted as the Lone Ranger theme and The Flight of the Bumble Bee became the theme for the Green Hornet show.

New programming

Fran Striker
In June 1932, Trendle decided to drop the network affiliation to operate WXYZ as an independent station. His station would produce its own radio drama series and broadcast locally produced music programs rather than pay for syndicated programs. Jim Jewell was hired as the station's dramatic director and supplied the actors from his own repertory company, the "Jewell Players." Freelance radio writer Fran Striker was hired to write many of these programs. The earliest dramatic radio series included Thrills of the Secret Service, Dr. Fang, and Warner Lester, Manhunter. Striker wrote many of the scripts and eventually became head of WXYZ's script department.

Late in 1932, Trendle began discussing ideas to create a new radio series with a cowboy as the hero. He wanted a mysterious hero who would have the same type of appeal as Zorro or Robin Hood. The target audience included children, so Trendle insisted on a wholesome hero with high moral standards. Trendle worked out the basic concept of a masked vigilante, a lone Texas ranger with a big white horse, in staff meetings with Jim Jewell and studio manager Harold True. Then it was turned over to Fran Striker to flesh out the details and provide the scripts. His contributions included silver bullets and an Indian companion. The result was The Lone Ranger, which began broadcasting January 30, 1933, on WXYZ and the seven other stations of the Michigan Regional Network.

Fred Foy (far right) during a broadcast of THE LONE RANGER at WXYZ, Detroit. At left are  John Todd (Tonto) and Brace Beemer (the Lone Ranger)

The Lone Ranger was an almost immediate hit. In May, a free popgun was offered to the first 300 listeners to send a written request; the station received nearly 25,000 replies. In July, the Lone Ranger made a public appearance at a park and a crowd estimated at 70,000 gathered.

By the beginning of 1934, the show was syndicated to WGN, Chicago, and WOR, Newark. Other stations soon followed. The live broadcasts were transmitted over telephone lines to the other stations. When the Mutual Broadcasting System was created in 1934, WXYZ became a charter member and the Lone Ranger program was featured on the Mutual Network. Although WXYZ dropped out to join NBC Blue about a year later, contractual obligations kept The Lone Ranger on Mutual until 1942, during this period The Lone Ranger was produced at WXYZ but heard in the Detroit area over Mutual's new affiliate, CKLW. It then switched to the NBC Blue Network, which became ABC in 1943. The popularity of the series rapidly grew and it was eventually heard on 249 radio stations nationwide.

➦In 1913...Radio & TV personality Virginia Graham was born in Chicago.

In the 1940’s she wrote scripts for such radio soap operas as Stella Dallas, Our Gal Sunday, and Backstage Wife. She hosted her first radio talk show in 1951. She succeeded Margaret Truman in 1956 as co-host of the NBC radio show Weekday, teamed with Mike Wallace. She was hostess of TV talk shows from the 50’s to the 70’s that are considered forerunners to today’s daytime TV. She was best known for the nationally syndicated ‘Girl Talk’ on ABC from 1963-1969, ‘The Virginia Graham Show’ from 1970-1972, and guesting on other talk shows, including a dozen appearances on ‘The Tonight Show.’

She died following a heart attack Dec 22, 1998 at age 85.

➦In 1916...the woman tried for treason after WW II as notorious broadcaster Tokyo Rose, Iva Toguri D’Aquino was born in Los Angeles.  She was one of at least a dozen women who did Japanese propaganda broadcasts from Radio Tokyo.   The post-war trial convicted her on just one innoquous charge not involving treason, while she claimed to have subtly subverted the Japanese war effort, and was eventually pardoned by President Ford.  She died Sept. 26 2006 at age 90.

➦In 1929...WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana lost its transmitter due to a fire.

WOWO resumed broadcasting the next day, as operations were moved across the street until damages could be repaired. In November 1929, the station held a grand opening of the rebuilt studios.

➦In 1958...WKBW 1520 AM, Buffalo, changed its format to "Top 40".

WKBW was founded in 1926 as a religious station, operating at the frequency of 1380 kHz. As the story goes, founder Clinton Churchill applied to the Department of Commerce for a license to operate under the call signs WAY. That call sign, however, was being used for a ship at sea, so instead, Churchill chose the letters "WKBW," which were next in the random assignment pool. Churchill proclaimed the call letters to stand for "Well Known Bible Witness"; later usage referred to the middle letters "KB" standing for King of Buffalo (alluding to its 50,000 watt broadcast power).

During the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, WKBW became a major force in pop radio over the East Coast. KB had a 50,000 watt transmitter and the statio to blanket the entire eastern U.S. with top 40 music every night, and the station actually had a better signal at night in the western Boston suburbs than Boston's own top 40 station, WMEX, located at 1510, right next door to WKBW.

Disk jockeys included future Price is Right announcer Rod Roddy, Dick Biondi, Danny Neaverth, Jack Armstrong, Joey Reynolds, Steve Mitchell, Bud Ballou, Norm Marshall, Tom Shannon, and the Amazin' Jim Quinn. Irv Weinstein, later Buffalo's most popular television news anchor, served as news director, and Stan Barron, a holdover from the pre-rock and roll era, handled sports until his departure in 1965.

WWKB's daytime signal decently covers Rochester and the Southern Tier, and reaches into Toronto and as far east as Kingston. At night, it must direct its signal eastward due to sharing a frequency with KOKC in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (the former KOMA, another flame-throwing 50,000-watt top 40 powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s). Thus, while the station can be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night, its signal is spotty at best only 20 miles southwest of Buffalo. Its directional quality is due to the configuration of its transmitter tower array, which has resulted the station being commonly heard very well in parts of Sweden at night during the winter months.

➦In 1970...American Top 40 began on the Independence Day weekend in 1970, on seven radio stations, the very first being KDEO in El Cajon, California (now KECR), which broadcast the inaugural show the evening of July 3, 1970.

The chart data broadcast actually included the top 40 songs from the week ending July 11, 1970. The very first show featured the very last time both Elvis Presley and The Beatles had songs simultaneously in the Top 10.

It was originally distributed by Watermark Inc., and was first presented in mono until it started recording in stereo in September 1972.

 In early 1982, Watermark was purchased by ABC Radio and AT40 became a program of the "ABC Contemporary Radio Network". The program was hosted by Casey Kasem and co-created by Kasem; Don Bustany, Kasem's childhood friend from Detroit, MI; radio veteran Tom Rounds; and 93/KHJ Program Director Ron Jacobs, who produced and directed the various production elements. Rounds was also the marketing director; the initial funder was California strawberry grower Tom Driscoll.

The show began as a three-hour program written and directed by Bustany, counting down the top 40 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. The show quickly gained popularity once it was commissioned, and expanded to a four hour-program on October 7, 1978, to reflect the increasing average length of singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

The producing staff expanded to eight people, some of them still in the business: Nikki Wine, Ben Marichal, Scott Paton, Matt Wilson, Merrill Shindler, Guy Aoki, Ronnie Allen and Sandy Stert Benjamin. (Bustany retired from AT40 in 1989; starting in 1994, he hosted a political talk show on non-com KPFK. He died April 23, 2018).

By the early 1980s, the show could be heard on 520 stations in the United States and at its zenith, the show was broadcast on 1,000-plus stations in some 50 countries.

AT40's first countdown:





➦In 1972...WCBS 101.1 FM, New York, changed its format to "Oldies".

At first, the station focused on hits from 1955 to 1964 and mixed in some softer hits of the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as a few then-current songs. WCBS-FM also played a moderate amount of adult standards from the rock era. The station played two current hits per hour known as "future gold". By the late 1970s however, the station dropped most of the adult standards, with a few exceptions.

WCBS-FM's oldies format weathered many trends and corporate moves.

By 1979, three FM stations owned by CBS had begun playing disco music. In 1981, all of CBS's FM stations, except for WCBS-FM, adopted a CHR format branding as "Hot Hits". The oldies format on WCBS-FM continued to be a success.

One ongoing favorite feature was a countdown of the top 500 songs of all time, as voted by the station's listeners. The countdown always took place on Thanksgiving weekend (with a new survey taken every other year. On even years, up to 1990, the survey from the previous year was played. In the first Top 500, The Five Satins' doo wop classic "In the Still of the Night" was #1 and "Earth Angel" by The Penguins was #2.

➦In 2003...Radio, TV veteran Tyler McVey died of leukemia at age 81.  By 1940 he was a regular in radio’s Hollywood stock company, playing regular roles in Glamour Manor, One Man’s Family, The Hermit’s Cave and Wild Bill Hickok, and announcing on the syndicated Smiths of Hollywood.  He was a regular on TV’s Men Into Space and You Are There, with numerous guest roles on Bat Masterson, Death Valley Days, The Wild, Wild West, The F.B.I., Bonanza, Ironside, Ellery Queen, Eight Is Enough and Highway to Heaven, to mention just a few.

➦In expert and Radio personality, Larry Burkett, died at age 64. Best known for his show "Money Matters", which was heard on 1,000 radio stations.

➦In 2005…Former NFL coach and broadcaster Hank Stram, who was a football commentator for CBS Radio and television for 20 years, died from complications of diabetes at 82.