Saturday, August 3, 2019

August 4 Radio History

➦In 1735…In the American colonies, the defense of John Peter Zenger against libel charges in 1735 is often seen as the cornerstone of American press freedom. After the American Revolution, several states provided for freedom of the press, and the First Amendment (1791) to the U.S. Constitution declared that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.” Whether these acts were intended to prohibit prosecution for seditious libel or merely to prohibit prior restraint has been a matter of controversy.

➦In 1921...KDKA Pittsburgh aire the first tennis match on radio.  Within eight months management figured out that sports on radio would bring in big sales revenues; so the Davis Cup match between Great Britain and Australia was aired on the radio.

➦In 1927...General Electric's WGY in Schenectady, NY, began experimental operations from a 100,000-watt transmitter.  Later, the FCC regulated the power of AM radio stations to not exceed 50,000 watts on “clear channels” frqeuncies.

WGY was the flagship station of General Electric's broadcast group from 1922 until 1983. It is the heritage clear-channel occupant of the 810 kHz frequency and has a signal which covers much of the Northeast by day and much of the eastern United States by night.

➦In 1957…The Everly Brothers made their second appearance on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show" singing "Bye Bye Love" and introduced their upcoming single, "Wake Up Little Susie," a song that was initially banned by radio stations in Boston and elsewhere because it was about two teenagers who accidentally fell asleep together at a drive-in movie. The song, however, does not say that Susie and her boyfriend had sexual relations. In fact, it strongly implies that they did not. They simply fell asleep because they were bored by the movie.

➦In 1966...a ban of The Beatles records went into effect at some radio stations. United Press International story on the developing radio ban, appeared in a Camden, New Jersey newspaper, used the headline, “DJs Ban The Beatles for Lennon Remarks.” The News and Observer newspaper of Raleigh, NC used that same day used a more descriptive headline: “Stations Ban ‘Sacrilegious’ Beatles.” Another that day, The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana, ran the headline: “Christianity Will Go, Says Prophet Lennon; Beatles ‘More Popular Than Jesus’?”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Capitol Records, which then distributed Beatles recordings in the U.S., had already issued a statement explaining that Lennon was “quoted out of context and misconstrued.” Rather, Lennon was being “conjectural” on the topics of Christianity and rock `n roll, said the spokesman, and “only intended the broadest comparison…. He definitely intended no irreverence.” Nonetheless, the radio bans of Beatles music continued.

➦In 1983...WHTZ 100.3 FM moved its transmitter to Empire State Building in Manhattan.

New York City is the largest media market in the United States. Since the September 11 attacks, nearly all of the city's commercial broadcast stations (both television and FM radio) have transmitted from the top of the Empire State Building, although a few FM stations are located at the nearby Condé Nast Building. Most New York City AM stations broadcast from sites across the Hudson River in New Jersey or from other surrounding areas.

Broadcasting began at the Empire State Building on December 22, 1931, when RCA began transmitting experimental television broadcasts from a small antenna erected atop the spire. They leased the 85th floor and built a laboratory there, and—in 1934—RCA was joined by Edwin Howard Armstrong in a cooperative venture to test his FM system from the building's antenna. When Armstrong and RCA fell out in 1935 and his FM equipment was removed, the 85th floor became the home of RCA's New York television operations, first as experimental station W2XBS channel 1, which eventually became (on July 1, 1941) commercial station WNBT, channel 1 (now WNBC-TV channel 4). NBC's FM station (WEAF-FM, now WQHT) began transmitting from the antenna in 1940.

NBC retained exclusive use of the top of the building until 1950, when the FCC ordered the exclusive deal broken, based on consumer complaints that a common location was necessary for the (now) seven New York-area television stations (five licensed to New York City, NY, one licensed to Newark, NJ, and one licensed to Secaucus, NJ) to transmit from so that receiving antennas would not have to be constantly adjusted. Construction on a giant tower began. Other television broadcasters then joined RCA at the building, on the 83rd, 82nd, and 81st floors, frequently bringing sister FM stations along for the ride. Multiple transmissions of TV and FM began from the new tower in 1951.

In 1965, a separate set of FM antennas was constructed ringing the 103rd floor observation area.

When the World Trade Center was being constructed, it caused serious reception problems for the television stations, most of which then moved to the World Trade Center as soon as it was completed. This made it possible to renovate the antenna structure and the transmitter facilities for the benefit of the FM stations remaining there, which were soon joined by other FMs and UHF TVs moving in from elsewhere in the metropolitan area. The destruction of the World Trade Center necessitated a great deal of shuffling of antennas and transmitter rooms to accommodate the stations moving back uptown.

As of 2012, the Empire State Building is home to the following stations:

Television broadcasting: WCBS-2, WNBC-4, WNYW-5, WABC-7, WWOR-9 Secaucus, WPIX-11, WNET-13 Newark, WNYE-25, WPXN-31, WXTV-41 Paterson, WNJU-47 Linden and WFUT-68 Newark

FM broadcasting: WBMP (now WNYL) -92.3, WPAT-93.1 Paterson, WNYC-93.9, WPLJ-95.5, WXNY-96.3, WQHT-97.1, WSKQ-97.9, WEPN-98.7, WBAI-99.5, WHTZ-100.3 Newark, WCBS-101.1, WFAN-101.9, WWFS-102.7, WKTU-103.5 Lake Success, WAXQ-104.3, WWPR-105.1, WQXR-105.9 Newark, WLTW-106.7 and WBLS-107.5

➦In 1987...the Federal Communications Commission voted 4-0 to rescind 'The Fairness Doctrine' for radio and television broadcasters.

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy, introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. The FCC eliminated the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented.

The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints. In 1969 the United States Supreme Court upheld the FCC's general right to enforce the Fairness Doctrine where channels were limited. But the courts did not rule that the FCC was obliged to do so.  The courts reasoned that the scarcity of the broadcast spectrum, which limited the opportunity for access to the airwaves, created a need for the Doctrine. However, the proliferation of cable television, multiple channels within cable, public-access channels, and the Internet have eroded this argument, since there are plenty of places for ordinary individuals to make public comments on controversial issues at low or no cost at all.

The Fairness Doctrine should not be confused with the Equal Time rule. The Fairness Doctrine deals with discussion of controversial issues, while the Equal Time rule deals only with political candidates.

Report: Management Duties Defined If CBS, Viacom Merge

CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. have reached a working agreement on the management team that will lead the combined company in the event of a merger, reports The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.  The agreement resolves a critical question that threatened to stand in the way of a deal.

Bob Bakish, the chief executive of Viacom, will be CEO of the combined company, the people said. Joe Ianniello, the acting chief executive of CBS, will be offered a job overseeing all of CBS-branded assets at the combined company under the working agreement, they said.

Ianniello is well regarded by Wall Street and has been an advocate for CBS’s direct-to-consumer streaming platforms, as well as playing a key role in driving up the distribution fees the company receives from cable and satellite operators. In addition, he has calmed the waters at CBS after the abrupt departure of longtime CEO Leslie Moonves, who was forced to step down in September after several women accused him of sexual harassment and assault.

The working agreement also calls for Christina Spade, the chief financial officer of CBS, to become chief financial officer of the combined company, they said.

CBS hasn’t yet submitted a formal offer for Viacom, and negotiations are still fluid, some of the people said. The timing of the deal is still uncertain, but both companies are making progress, they said.

A deal could be announced before the end of the month, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the outstanding issues are the exchange ratio for the two companies and the composition of the board.

Bakish has long been considered the most likely candidate to helm the combined company, people familiar with the situation have said. He and Shari Redstone, whose family’s holding company National Amusements Inc. controls both Viacom and CBS, have a good working relationship.

The working agreement for the management structure casts aside one of the biggest roadblocks that could have impeded a deal between the two sister companies. Ms. Redstone, who is vice chairman of both CBS and Viacom, believes the companies would be better positioned to compete with larger rivals as a merged entity.

Viacom has been the weaker of the two companies over the past several years, having suffered as cable-TV cord-cutting contributed to a decline in ratings for its major networks. A merger with CBS would give it greater scale and more leverage in negotiations with advertisers and cable-TV providers. CBS, which has been propelled by sports and some broadcast-TV hits, could stand to benefit from cable networks owned by Viacom that reach younger audiences, such as Nickelodeon and MTV.

This marks the third time in four years that directors at CBS and Viacom have explored a merger. The first attempt, in late 2016, was called off due to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of both companies. The second attempt, in 2018, culminated in a shareholder lawsuit filed by CBS against Ms. Redstone, her father Sumner Redstone and National Amusements, accusing them of breaching their fiduciary duties. It concluded in a settlement that stipulated National Amusements wouldn’t propose a merger for roughly two years.

Miami Radio: New Line-Up for WAXY, WQAM Rebrands

Entercom has announced an enhanced local programming lineup on WAXY 790 AM The Ticket, home of the Miami Heat. Subsequently, sister station WQAM 560 AM, home of the Miami Dolphins, University of Miami Hurricanes and Florida Panthers, will be rebranded as 560 The Joe WQAM.

All changes are effective August 5.

“Our stations are the home of sports in Miami. These strategic enhancements to our programming allow us to better serve fans and increase opportunities for our partners,” said Keriann Worley, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom South Florida. “We are committed to maximizing fan engagement and look forward to bringing them more coverage of their favorite local sports teams.”

AM 790 The Ticket weekday lineup is as follows:
  • 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.:  “Tobin, Leroy & Beast”
  • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.:  “Zaslow & Amber”
  • 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.:  “Hoch and Crowder”
  • 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: “Zack Duarte” or game
  • 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.:  “Scott Ferrall” 
  • 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.:  “Amy Lawrence”
560 The Joe WQAM weekday lineup is as follows:
  • 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.:  “The Joe Rose Show with Zach Krantz”
  • 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.:  “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz”
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.:  “Stephen A. Smith Show”
  • 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.:  “Hoch and Crowder”
  • 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.:  “Best of 560 The Joe”
  • 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: “Spain & Company”
  • 9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.:  “Freddie & Fitzsimmons”
  • 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.:   “SportsCenter All Night”
  • 5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.:    “First & Last with Jason Fitz”
Listeners can tune in to AM 790 The Ticket (WAXY-AM) in Miami on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Listeners can tune in to 560 The Joe WQAM (WQAM-AM) in Miami on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app.

New Study: Women Account for 21% of Songs Getting Country Airplay

On Dec. 5, 2018, Billboard  reported zero female artists in the top 20 of the Country Airplay chart for the first time since the chart's launch in 1990 -- a phenomenon that continued for three consecutive weeks and marked the culmination of a significant decline in female voices on country radio over the course of nearly three decades.

Now, Billboard reports a new study by SongData has found a “significant gender imbalance” on the chart that suggests the problem is ongoing.

The results of the study, which was published Friday, paint a stark portrait of that imbalance. Focusing on the weekly Country Airplay (as opposed to Hot Country Songs) chart between January 2018 and July 2019, the study found that during that time period, only 14 songs by female artists and male-female ensembles peaked in the top 20 (an average of roughly two a week), while only seven of those reached the top 10 and only four reached the No. 1 spot.

This compares with a total of 111 songs by male artists reaching the top 20 during that same period and a whopping 45 songs peaking at No. 1 -- meaning that men held the No. 1 position for 77 of the 81 weeks of the study period (95%), versus just four weeks (5%) for women. The solo female artists that peaked at No. 1 during the study period were Maren Morris (“I Could Use a Love Song” and “Girl”) and Kelsea Ballerini (“Legends”), while a third -- Bebe Rexha -- reached it co-billed with Florida Georgia Line on “Meant to Be."

Of songs entering the overall chart during that same time period, those by female artists and male-female ensembles numbered just 53 (21%), versus 195 for male artists (79%).

The SongData study additionally found that the majority of songs by female artists on the chart (69.5%) peaked outside the top 20, with the largest percentage of those peaking in the bottom 10 (#51-60). Even in the bottom 40 positions on the chart, songs by male artists outnumbered songs by women nearly two to one.

The study did report some positive signs. Following an eight-month period in 2018 that saw a weekly average of just six songs by women entering the Country Airplay chart, 2019 saw a significant improvement on that average, helping bring the overall 19-month average up to 10 songs weekly. Additionally, Morris’ “Girl” reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart on July 29, 2019, making her the first solo female country artist to do so in 17 months (following Ballerini).

“There is much work to be done to create equal opportunities for female artists,” Watson continues, “but these improvements suggest a greater commitment to supporting women in country music at a moment when female artists are being celebrated so widely outside of radio.”

Country Airplay’s weekly rankings are determined using Billboard’s audience-impression method, which cross-references Nielsen airplay data with audience information compiled by the Arbitron ratings system across 149 reporting stations. Under this method, a song being played in a larger market is weighed more heavily than one played in a smaller market.

Spotify Keeps Outpacing Apple Music

Infographic: Spotify Keeps Apple Music at Arm's Length | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

When Apple launched Apple Music in June 2015, many people thought it would be a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ Apple would catch up with and eventually surpass Spotify. Apple’s financial and marketing power combined with an installed base of hundreds of millions of iOS devices seemed like a tough combination to beat for the Swedish music streaming pioneers.

And yet, ever since Apple launched its own streaming service halfway through 2015, Spotify has managed to keep Apple Music at arm’s length. If anything, Spotify appears to be pulling away from Apple Music in terms of paid subscribers. As the following chart illustrates, the gap between the two streaming services has gradually widened from 20 million when Apple Music was launched to roughly 50 million by June 2019.

As Spotify reported this week, the company that went public in a private listing last year ended the second quarter with 109 million premium subscribers and 232 million monthly active users. In line with its European heritage, Spotify is most popular across the old continent with 40 percent of its premium subscribers located in Europe. North America, the home turf of its fiercest rival Apple Music, is Spotify's second largest market, accounting for 30 percent of premium subs.

CNN's Don Lemon Ambushes Black Pastor To Criticize Trump

CNN has been criticized this week for changing a Chyron from stating "faith leaders" to controversial pastor" when the interviewee would not criticize President Donald Trump, reports Newsweek.

In the segment Monday, host Don Lemon asked Reverend Bill Owens, founder and president of the coalition of African American Pastors, to comment on the closed door meeting he and 19 other black faith leaders had with Trump, after the president criticized Congressman Elijah Cummings.

The Chyron read: "CNN Alert: President Hosts African American Pastors And Faith Leaders At The White House."

"What did the president say about his attacks against these leaders of color and did any of the faith leaders raise concerns about that?" Lemon said.

The Chyron switched accordingly to: "CNN alert: POTUS Meets With African American Faith Leaders In The Wake Of His Attacks Against Leaders Of Color."

Owens said he thought something about that was "said in passing" and, "I don't tune in to negative talk from any side, so some things were mentioned and I took a position that we as black pastors should go down to Baltimore and see what we can do to help."

Lemon interrupted to reiterate his question.

"Just for the sake of time I don't mean to cut you off," Lemon said. "The question was, what did the president say about his attacks on those leaders of color and did any of the faith leaders raise concerns about that?"

When Owens said he did not remember Trump saying anything about leaders of color, Lemon pushed further, asking if any pastor there raised "concerns about what he has been saying lately about people like Elijah Cummings or anyone."

Owens said "that was not the purpose of the meeting" and that it was actually to discuss how to help the black community.

Lemon then asked if there was any concern that Trump "used this meeting with black leaders to insulate himself form black criticism."

"I don't think so," Owens said. "I don't think that all because I've been to the White House four times in five months so it was nothing about insulating." The pastor reiterated that Trump wanted to hear from the faith leaders to see what he could do to help.

The Chyron remained the same, as Lemon turned the conversation in another direction.

"So pastor, you've said some controversial things before. In 2012, you equated President Obama's support of same-sex marriage to supporting child molestation. You later walked that back, but that in itself is an outrageous statement," Lemon said. "Why should anyone take you seriously?"

"I've never said that. I've never said that. I've never said," Owens said, bothered.

At that moment, the Chyron switched to "CNN Alert: "Controversial African American Pastor Meets With President."

"I have never said that," Owens continued, admitting that he has a different view of same-sex marriage than Obama and asking for proof of what he Lemon claimed he said.

Lemon read back Owens's quote. Owens said the quote was correct but clarified that the only thing he disagreed with Obama about was same-sex marriage. Lemon then came back to Trump and asked Owens why "you think it's hard to believe Trump is racist."

"He does not just attack black people. He attacks anybody and you know it," Owens said.

Columbus GA Radio: Davis Broadcasting Provides Tools 4 School

Davis Broadcasting in Columbus, GA hosted its 20th annual Tools 4 School Supply Giveaway Friday evening.

WTVM TV9 reports Davis Broadcasting gave away all sorts of supplies and backpacks to meet the needs of every grade level. The company said the giveaway is done each year to make sure students have what they need to have a successful school year and for parents to not have to worry about buying supplies.

"School in itself is hard enough for kids,” said Geniece Granville, Davis Broadcasting’s general manager. “They go through all types of things, self-image and getting good grades, and the last thing they need to worry about is what they have in their hand, their supplies. They should be ready with the things they need.”

“We created a very educational atmosphere so we can start the school off correctly,” said Travolta Bynam, WFXE  Foxie 105 radio personality.

DJ OO Kee cranked up the music while children waited in line. Students could also pick up a book and get their creative juices flowing while at the Library.

David Broadcasting partners with the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries each year to host the event.

R.I.P.: Don 'Don Juan' Banks, Longtime Philly Personality

Don Banks
Donald Antonio Banks, a gospel and R&B disc jockey best known by his radio name “Don Juan,” died on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

He was 62, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.

Banks was an icon of the airwaves in Philadelphia for decades on WUSL-Power 99FM, where he was an on-air personality and production director until 2009.

Banks was a “quiet spirit” who was generous and mentored interns and new talent at the station, said Loraine Ballard Morrill, the director of news and community affairs for iHeart Media Philadelphia, which owns POWER 99FM.

“He truly really exemplified the best in broadcasting in terms of his professionalism and his generosity and his support of young artists and people who were just coming up in the field of gospel music,” said Morrill, who worked with Banks since she started at the station in the early 1980s.

Dave Allan, former program director and general manager at POWER 99 FM, said Banks never turned down a request to fill in for someone and he became synonymous with the station.

“He was always the go-to guy, the vacation guy and, clearly, one of the most popular disc jockeys that was ever on the radio station,” Allan said. “He was on seemingly all the time.”

Banks later launched his Sunday Morning Inspirations program in 1997, originally known as Sunday Morning Slow Jams.

At that time, few hip hop stations in the country had gospel music programs, but the show’s ratings were soon “off the charts,” said Colby “Colb” Tyner, a former host at POWER 99-FM and a colleague of Banks’ for 16 years.

“We had never seen ratings like that for a show and that’s when he really carved out an identity for himself by being sort of like the inspiration guy at the station,” said Tyner, the vice president of programming at Radio One.

August 3 Radio History

➦In 1902...Ray Bloch born  (Died at age 79  – March 29, 1982). He was a composer, songwriter, conductor, pianist, author and arranger. He is best remembered as the arranger and orchestra conductor for The Ed Sullivan Show during its entire run from 1948 to 1971.

With Ed Sullivan
Bloch and his orchestra were featured on numerous radio variety shows of the late-1930s and 1940s. These included: Johnny Presents (1939-1946), The Gay Nineties Revue (CBS, 1939-1944), Let Yourself Go (CBS, 1944-1945), The Continental Celebrity Club (1945-1946), The Milton Berle Show (NBC, 1948-1949), and The Mary Small Revue (1945).

From 1943 to 1956 Bloch and his orchestra also performed on Here's to Romance, a weekly musical variety show broadcast by the American Forces Network. In 1951 Bloch hosted his own show, The Bloch Party, a 60-minute variety show on CBS Radio featuring Judy Lynn, the Russ Emery Chorus, and the Ray Bloch Orchestra.

The orchestra was a fixture on several game shows, including Take It or Leave It (CBS, 1940-1947). Quick as a Flash (1944–1949) – during which "clues were elaborately dramatized or were musically illustrated by Ray Bloch's orchestra"– and Sing It Again (1948–1951). Bloch also worked on Philip Morris Playhouse (CBS, 1939–1943), and in several Orson Welles drama presentations.

➦In 1907... Irene Tedrow born (Died from a stroke at age 87 – March 10, 1995) was a character actress in stage, film, television and radio.

Irene Tedrow
Among her most notable roles are Janet Archer in the radio series Meet Corliss Archer, Mrs. Lucy Elkins on the TV sitcom Dennis the Menace and Mrs. Webb in the stage production Our Town at the Plumstead Playhouse.

Tedrow's work in radio dated back at least to 1929. As a drama student at Carnegie Institute of Technology, she was master of ceremonies and student director for "Carnegie Tech Day at Gimbel's," which was broadcast on WCAE. A 1937 radio listing shows her as one of the actresses in George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah when it was broadcast on NBC Blue.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Tedrow had quality acting roles in radio productions, including The Baby Snooks Show.

➦In 1918...Actor Larry Haines born (Died at age 90 - July 17, 2008) was an American actor.

Larry Haines
He had been active in dramatics in high school, and while he was in college, he was advised to try acting. After a few months of instruction in dramatics, he passed an audition with CBS radio He dropped out during his sophomore year of college and "went right into radio working on little stations all around New York City," beginning at WWRL.

Haines first became known in the 1930s as an actor on the radio crime series Gangbusters. Playing Joe Lincoln, he was the star of Treasury Agent on the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1947-48, and he had the title role of Mike Hammer in That Hammer Guy on Mutual in 1953-54. He also was featured in The Chase, Cloak and Dagger, Inner Sanctum Mystery, The Man Behind the Gun, and This Is Nora Drake. It was estimated that he acted in more than 15,000 radio programs in the 1940s and 1950s.

Four decades later, he would return to radio, starring in 82 episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

WGY Transmitter 1922

➦In 1922...WGY in Schenectady, NY aired the first drama series on radio. The first play was “The Wolf” by Eugene Walter, adapted into a 40-minute radio script by local actor Edward H. Smith. When two 2 X 4’s were slapped together to replicate a door slam, radio sound effects were born.

➦In 1958...Billboard magazine launched its Hot 100 music chart.

➦In 1984...legendary Dick Biondi, joined WJMK-FM, Chicago - an oldies-formatted station.

➦In 1986...William B. Williams died of acute anemia and respiratory failure. (Born - August 6, 1923, was a disc jockey on New York City radio station WNEW for over four decades. He hosted the popular program Make Believe Ballroom. Williams is particularly noted for coining the title "Chairman of the Board" for Frank Sinatra.

Willie B.
Born William Breitbard in Babylon, NY, attended Syracuse University for one year before dropping out.  In 1944, he was hired as a staff announcer at WAAT in Newark, New Jersey while visiting a friend at the station. According to Williams "the guy who did the all-night show had just been fired for being bombed on the air." Six weeks later, a staffer at WNEW heard Williams on the air and invited him to apply for a job at the station. He was hired at WNEW and worked several time slots before being fired by station manager Bernice Judis in 1947. An article in the New York Daily News suggested that Williams was fired for his aggressive tactics with management in his role as shop steward; however, WNEW's official story was that he was fired after Judis caught him one evening in the studio with his feet propped on the desk clad in bright red socks. She was apparently horrified by his lack of style.

Williams worked at several other stations, including WOR, but was rehired at WNEW in 1953 following a management change. He hosted the William B. Williams Show in the morning hours, and Music in a Sentimental Mood in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

In 1954, the originator of the Make Believe Ballroom program in New York, Martin Block, left WNEW for a new job at ABC Radio. Jerry Marshall took over the show for three years, after which Williams returned to host the program. He marked the broadcast as his own, using the distinctive sign-on, "Hello, world", and occasionally identifying himself as "Guilliermo B. Guilliermos" or "Wolfgang B. Wolfgang," although to listeners and friends he was known simply as "Willie B." He combined intimate knowledge of music with his personal anecdotes to create a smooth style that captivated listeners. By 1965 Billboard reported Williams was earning $105,000 a year, tops for the station at that time.

Williams developed lasting relationships with the top singers of the Great American Songbook, including Lena Horne and Nat King Cole. Early in his career, he befriended Frank Sinatra when the crooner recorded broadcasts at WNEW. On one broadcast, Williams mused that since Benny Goodman was the "King of Swing" and Duke Ellington was a duke, then Sinatra must have a title as well, suggesting "Chairman of the Board." Sinatra learned of the comment and embraced the title.

➦In 2007...Personality Ron Lyons died at age 69. Lyons was a San Francisco "Good Guy" on station KEWB-AM in the 1960s (aircheck: Click Here) and also worked stints at KNBR, KFBK, KNEW, and KCBS.

Lyons was born in Asheville, North Carolina. His radio career began in 1955, when he was in high school, spinning rock 'n' roll records, his KCBS. He hit the San Francisco airwaves in 1962 after the Army drafted him and assigned him to the Presidio.

The artists he interviewed over the years included Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.

➦In 2008...Harry Christopher "Skip" Caray Jr. died  (Born - August 12, 1939). He was a sportscaster, best known for his long career as a radio and television play-by-play announcer for the MLB Atlanta Braves. He was the son of baseball announcer Harry Caray, and the father of fellow Braves broadcaster Chip Caray; another son, Josh Caray, a news reporter.

Skip Caray
Skip Caray grew up in baseball as the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, who would routinely refer to his son at 8:30 p.m. during every broadcast by saying, "Good night, Skippy", a phrase for which he was teased throughout his adolescence.

He studied television and radio at the University of Missouri where he received a degree in journalism and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He began his career in St. Louis calling Saint Louis University and St. Louis Hawks basketball. In 1968, Caray moved with the Hawks to Atlanta, where he also called Atlanta Flames hockey games and did morning sportscasts on WSB-AM.

In 1976, he was added to the broadcast team for the Braves, a position he held until his death. Caray was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004 alongside long time Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren.  He has been recognized with six Georgia Sportscaster-of-the Year awards from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, as well as a Georgia-area Emmy award.

On December 18, 2006, the Braves organization announced that Caray (and partner Van Wieren) had signed three-year contracts to continue doing Braves game broadcasts on their radio network. However, Caray only announced ten games on TBS in the 2007 season.

On the final broadcast of Braves TBS Baseball (September 30, 2007), Caray thanked fans saying, "To all you people who have watched the Braves for these 30 years ... thank you. We appreciate you more than you will ever know. ... Thank you folks and God bless you. And we're going to miss you every bit as much as you miss us."

➦In 2013…Classical music announcer/narrator Lloyd Moss, who entertained listeners of WQXR-New York for 33 years during two stints (1955-1971, 1989-2006) at the station, died of Parkinson’s disease at age 86.

Lloyd Moss
Moss came to WQXR in 1954 and by his retirement on Sept. 29, 2006, was one of the longest-serving classical music hosts in the United States. Like many radio personalities of the era, he worked as a voiceover artist and actor, with various credits in television and radio during the 1970s and '80s. Moss was also known for his eclectic outside pursuits: as a children's author, editorial cartoonist, classically-trained trombonist and even a one-time model.

"He was one of the first irreverent announcers. No one did that in the '50s on WQXR," said Anne Moss, referring to the somber, serious reportorial manner of the day. "Lloyd was a segue to a more relaxed and conversational style.”

WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon said Moss's subtle deadpan style could made you sit up and listen. "My favorite example is something he tossed off one day after a cheese commercial,” said Spurgeon. “The spot ended, and Lloyd opened the mic and said, 'What a friend we have in cheeses.' And then he simply gave the weather forecast and introduced whatever piece of music came next, never even winking an eye to the audience."

Moss's interest in music began as a child in Brooklyn, where his father owned a beauty shop that played WQXR on the radio.   Starting in 1946, Moss worked as a radio announcer for stations in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Long Island, as well as WNYC, before joining Voice of America. Because Moss had learned Japanese during his stint in Korea, he was able to get a job as a producer for the Japanese desk. That came to an end when the network moved to Washington, DC. Moss auditioned for WQXR, was hired a relief announcer in 1954, and joined the staff in June 1955.

➦In 2014...New York free-form FM radio legend Steve Post, author of Playing in the FM Band, died at age 70.

Steve Post
Post was a pioneer and a trailblazer in freeform radio at WBAI-FM in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a ‘wry, one-of-a-kind’ personality', a ‘creative genius’ who showed ‘extreme personal courage’, who presented a ‘combination of warmth, bitterness, intelligence, mordant humor, and brilliantly on-target observations’, who ‘didn’t care about fairness, objectivity, balance, the canons of journalism’, who ‘just said whatever the hell came into his mind’, and who formed a deep ‘personal connection… with… listeners scattered around the New York area.’

Post, who was 'the undisputed king of on-air fund raising', 'raised millions for public radio.'

He also formed an extraordinarily close, seemingly personal, link with his listeners. 'In a radio age when personality means rant, hysteria, terminal adolescence and unrelieved, unbelievable perkiness, Post is a person. He’s depressed. He kvetches. He whines.' His resonant voice, his skill, his talent, his connection with his listeners, meant that 'as is true with some of the best radio people', his fans had the sense that 'they were the only one or members of a very small group.'

Friday, August 2, 2019

Baltimore Radio: Entercom Mixes Middays At WWMX, WLIF

Maria Dennis, Corinna Delgado
Entercom today announced a shift in programming in Baltimore.

Former WWMX MIX 106.5 FM midday host Maria Dennis will now host middays for Today’s WLIF 101.9 FM. Subsequently, Corinna Delgado will join MIX 106.5 to host the midday show. Both on-air personalities will begin their new roles today.

“I’ve worked with Maria for over twenty years. She’s a consummate professional and an amazing on-air talent. All of us are thrilled to have her in our Entercom family, and we are excited that she’ll now bring her cheerful persona and enthusiasm to Today’s 101.9,” said Tracy Brandys, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Baltimore.

“I’m equally excited to have Corinna Delgado, who is also already part of our Entercom family, join us to take over the midday shift at MIX 106.5.”

“I’ve enjoyed spending the past 20 plus years of my life on the air at MIX,” said Dennis. “I’m equally looking forward to this exciting new chapter of my life and to connecting with listeners on Today’s 101.9.”

Dennis, a well-seasoned radio veteran, joined MIX 106.5 in 1997 as an on-air personality. Prior to joining MIX 106.5, Maria worked at radio stations in her home town of Providence, RI, as well as Orlando, Boston and New Hampshire.

“I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with Entercom and to get to know MIX listeners,” said Delgado.

Delgado, who will continue to host “The Morning Drive” weekday mornings on Entercom’s 94.7 The Drive (WIAD-FM) in Washington D.C., joined Entercom at the beginning of June. Prior to joining Entercom, she served as an on-air host for WRQX in Washington D.C. and KRBE in Houston.

Philly Radio: WIP's Big Daddy Graham Vows To Return

More than a week after he underwent emergency surgery, Philly radio icon and longtime WIP 94.1 FM  host Big Daddy Graham is moving out of intensive care and into rehab, but remains paralyzed from the waist down.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Graham, 66, underwent surgery July 23, two days after checking into the hospital due to issues with his spinal cord. According to Graham, the surgery was successful, but he’s been left paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors have told him there is hope he will be able to walk again, but the comedian and sports talker faces a long road to recovery.

Big Daddy Graham
Despite that, Graham has remained upbeat, both in the hospital and on Twitter, where he’s cracked jokes about his condition when he’s had the strength to pick up his phone.

WIP will continue to use an assortment of fill-in hosts to cover Graham’s overnight radio show.

“He’s going to be OK. He’s just got a big struggle ahead of him, and he needs our support,” WIP Morning Show host Angelo Cataldi, whose friendship with Graham goes back more than 20 years, told listeners Thursday.

Graham joined WIP in 1997. He’s largely spent the last two decades as the station’s overnight host and became known for the wild stunts he would perform during Wing Bowl.

He has battled through a number of health problems in recent years — major back surgery, throat cancer, a staph infection, and a 2016 episode in which he was hospitalized after hiccuping for 41 hours straight.

L-A Radio: Brian Moote EXITS Mornings At KAMP

Brian Moote
Brian Moote, who spent two years on the Bert Show in Atlanta, has lost his job as a morning host on Los Angeles top 40 station KAMP AMP 97.1 FM.  He was only there about 18 months, reports Rodney Ho at

AMP 97.1 , which competes against powerhouse KIIS 102.7 FM with Ryan Seacrest, decided to go for a more music-intensive show with  less personality and since Moote was there to spice in the funny, he became the odd man out.

Ho reports Moote left the Bert Show early last year amicably. Getting your own morning show in the No. 2 market in America is hard to say no to. But it was a brand new show and he was teamed with Edgar Sotelo and Chelsea Briggs. They had never worked together before.

Bert Weiss, in a text, felt that his friend Moote got the short end of the stick, that Entercom (which owns AMP and in Atlanta, Star 94.1) showed no patience.

“You can’t just throw three people into a studio together and assume there is gonna be massive growth immediately,” Weiss wrote.

In 2001, when Susquehanna launched the Bert Show on Q100, management was eminently patient and gave Bert a chance to let his show grow gradually, first with 18 to 34 female listeners, then a broader audience. Within five years, he was beating Star 94.1’s Steve & Vikki across key demographics and has been a dominant presence in Atlanta radio ever since - even with staff turnover.

When Moote left the Bert Show, he told listeners he hoped to emulate Weiss in L.A. "I'm a competitive person," he said. "I'm never afraid to take risks. Bert took a risk and built something that is respected nationally. The love and support he's earned from the cities we're syndicated especially Atlanta is something really special. I benefited by growing as a radio personality and coming up with ideas."

Lafayette Radio: Mike Grimsley Retires At Townsquare Media

Townsquare Media Inc. has announced  legendary local Louisiana radio executive Mike Grimsley will retire at the end of the month after serving as Market President and Chief Revenue Officer for its radio stations in Lafayette, LA for 25 years.

Mike Grimsley
Grimsley, a Tallahassee, Florida native, began his radio career at the age of 18, and spent time in Phoenix and Charleston. He most recently served as Townsquare ‘s Regional Vice President overseeing two radio markets in Louisiana as well as personally leading the local media team in Lafayette, whose stations include market leader KMDL-FM, KTDY-FM, KHXT-FM, KFTE-FM, KPEL-FM, KPEL-AM and KROF-AM.

Grimsley had been the Chairman of the Board of the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and won their coveted Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2009. Under his leadership, Townsquare’s stations in Lafayette have won multiple National Broadcast Awards and Grimsley was chosen as a laureate in the 2016 Junior Achievement of Acadiana Business Hall of Fame. He has also held Board of Director positions at multiple local organizations including the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Acadiana, Goodwill, and the Lafayette Education Foundation.

Townsquare COO Erik Hellum said about Grimsley, “Mike Grimsley broke the mold! He has uniquely combined leadership, passion and drive with the sincerest care for his people and dedication to his community – all with a great sense of humor on top. Mike is one of the original Townsquare leaders, and helped build our company with a steadfast commitment to great local radio while building a vibrant digital and event business. He is a broadcast legend. Thank you Mike!”

Brad Burley
Brad Burley, currently the Market President and Chief Revenue Officer for Townsquare’s Lake Charles, LA cluster of stations, has been promoted and will transfer to Lafayette to succeed Mr. Grimsley as the Market President and CRO for the Lafayette, LA stations. He will report to Townsquare Senior Vice President Todd Lawley.

“Brad has been a rising star at Townsquare as he guided the Lake Charles market to Townsquare Market of the Year in 2018. It’s great to be able to promote from within the company for one of our top performing clusters,” said Lawley.

Burley said, “Mike Grimsley has changed the media landscape of Lafayette and more importantly made Acadiana a better place to live. Mike is a legend whose legacy will carry on in the community long after his departure from Townsquare. I am excited to honor that legacy by leading the team to new heights in our community.”

Darren Ryder
Additionally, Darren Ryder has joined Townsquare to take Mr. Burley’s place as Market President and Chief Revenue Officer for its Lake Charles, LA cluster. Mr. Ryder will lead the local media team in Lake Charles, which operates stations including market leader KJMH-FM, KGNT (The Gator), KHLA-FM, KTSR-FM, KLCL-AM and KJEF-AM 1290. Ryder will also report to Lawley.

“Darren Ryder has a unique skillset and successful track record with Broadcast, Digital and Analytics, which made him a perfect fit for Townsquare’s cross platform strategy. This is a coming home for Mr. Ryder,” said Lawley.

Mr. Ryder added, “I am thrilled to be back in my hometown Lake Charles to lead the Townsquare Media team. I am proud to join such a successful organization and look forward to reconnecting with business colleagues all over Southwest Louisiana.”

Prior to joining Townsquare, Mr. Ryder was the National Sales Director for Valassis and held senior management positions with Spectrum Reach and Salem Communications.

FCC To Tighten Rules On Cable Franchise Fees

The FCC on Thursday voted 3-2 to tighten rules governing the franchise fees paid by cable companies to local authorities, a move that cities warn could result in public access channels going off the air or in municipalities losing free service.

According to Reuters, Congress previously capped the franchise fees that cable operators pay for using public property, among other factors, at 5% of gross revenue on cable bills. The FCC vote requires non-financial “in kind” contributions made by cable operators must be assigned a value and counted against the cap.

Those costs that now must be counted against the cap include contributions for public, educational, and government access channels, institutional networks and other services like free cable for municipal buildings.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said “every dollar paid in excessive fees is a dollar that by definition cannot and will not be invested in upgrading and expanding networks.”

Cable operators pay roughly $3 billion annually in franchise fees to state and local governments.

New York told the FCC all city fire stations get free cable and internet service from cable providers.

“There are no viable alternative services available to the city. The only potential long-term solution would be to build a parallel network which will take years and cost a massive amount of money,” the city said in a July 25 letter.

The FCC also voted Thursday to bar municipalities from regulating or imposing fees on most non-cable services, including broadband Internet service.

NCTA - the Internet & Television Association representing major cable companies like Comcast Corp, Charter Communications Inc and Cox Communications Inc - said the vote “will help promote broadband investment, deployment, and innovation, to the benefit of all Americans.”

Local communities including Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles told the FCC in a joint statement local governments will “be forced to make difficult decisions about reductions in service (i.e., coverage of governmental meetings, community media, and broadband to schools) or increases in local revenue sources.”

U-K Radio: Amazon’s Alexa Is Changing Listening Habits

Britons increasingly prefer commercial radio stations to the BBC, according to the latest figures from Rajar, which also reveal how Amazon’s Alexa is changing listening habits.

The Guardian reports the long-term trend towards favoring commercial radio has been exacerbated by the popularity of smart speakers in British homes, which are prompting people previously loyal to a single station to try niche digital-only outlets.

While, traditionally, people might tune a radio to their favorite station and leave it there, listening on devices such as Amazon’s Alexa involves asking for a channel each time – so there are more opportunities for convincing people to try something different.

Ford Ennals, the chief executive of Digital Radio UK, said: “These speakers are now in over 26% of all homes and are good news for the radio sector with most people using them to listen to live radio.

“Smart speakers also make it easy for people to listen to the increasing range of digital stations and have helped propel the growth of new innovative digital stations such as the new number one digital-only station KISSTORY.”

Figures released on Thursday by Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) show the BBC’s combined share of UK radio listening fell below 50% in the three months between April and June, breaking a symbolic barrier. The corporation’s radio stations had already been overtaken by the commercial sector in terms of the overall number of people listening in a given week.

However, the BBC has insisted it was no longer chasing traditional radio listening figures and was instead prioritizing investment in podcasts via its BBC Sounds app to appeal to younger listeners.

Apple Stops Analyzing Siri Conversations

Apple Inc. said on Friday it suspended its global program where it analyzed recordings from users interacting with its voice assistant Siri, after some privacy concerns were raised about the program.

Reuters reports Apple’s decision comes in the light of a report from in Guardian last week which said the company’s contractors around the globe tasked with reviewing the recordings regularly heard confidential information and private conversations.

“While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that in a future software update, users will be able to opt out of the program.

Siri, Apple’s iconic voice assistant, allows users to work their iPhone without using their hands, and can send messages, make calls and open multiple applications with voice commands alone.

Consumers have become accustomed to calling out names for popular voice assistants, such as Inc’s Alexa, Google Inc’s Google Assistant, among others.

In an effort to perform quality checks and improve the voice assistant’s responses, contractors graded Siri’s answers to user queries, the Guardian reported. They also looked at whether the response was triggered accidentally, without a deliberate query from the user, the newspaper said.

Jury Awards $2.78M In 'Dark Horse' Copyright Case

A federal jury in Los Angeles on Thursday decided that Katy Perry and others must pay $2.78 million in damages in a copyright dispute over her 2013 song “Dark Horse.”

The NY Times reports the verdict came three days after the jury found that Ms. Perry, her record company and other collaborators were liable for copyright infringement because parts of “Dark Horse” resembled “Joyful Noise,” a Christian rap song from 2008 by the artist Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray.

According to the verdict, Ms. Perry must pay $550,000, while her label, Capitol Records, owes nearly $1.3 million. Ms. Perry’s five collaborators in writing the song were also ordered to pay, including the star producers Max Martin, who owes $253,000, and Dr. Luke, who owes $61,000 personally, while his company, Kasz Money Inc., owes $189,000.

The jury found that 22.5 percent of the profits from “Dark Horse” — which held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for four weeks in 2014 — were attributable to parts of “Joyful Noise.”

Michael A. Kahn, a lawyer for Mr. Gray, said in a statement: “Our clients filed this lawsuit five years ago seeking justice and fair compensation for the unauthorized taking of their valuable creation. It has been a long and arduous path to this day, but they are quite pleased to have received the justice they sought.”

Next month, a federal appeals court in San Francisco will consider whether Led Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway to Heaven” copied a far less known song, “Taurus” by the band Spirit, in a case being closely watched in the music industry.

Houston Radio: iHM CEO Bob Pittman Reminisces About MTV's Launch

On August 1st, in 1981, MTV launched. To commemorate it, KTRH 740 AM host Michael Berry talked to Bob Pittman.

Today, Pittman is the chairman and CEO of iHeart Media, but in 1981, he was the 27-year-old wunderkind to masterminded the launch of a network that would transform television, and music, forever.

Pittman described a media landscape of only three networks – and in some places, like where he grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, only two – and “there had never been a successful cable network supported by advertising.” The initial name was to be TV1, and then TVM, but finally, on a whim, they decided “MTV” sounded better.

Pittman credited “creating an identity for the NETWORK” as being the most important of its success, noting that the one word which best described it was “cool”. The man who was described by his MTV colleague Tom Freston “the wonder boy of branding” said that the brand of the network defined its success. Whereas consumers were loyal to specific shows, Pittman says that MTV had them following a network instead.

When asked what moments made the biggest difference to the growth of MTV, Pittman replied that MTV gave artists an identity to their fans.  He said that prior to that, with album covers largely artistic drawings, fans did not know what their favorite band looked like. The video component gave them an insight into those bands, and their fashion.