Saturday, August 31, 2019

September 1 Radio History

➦In 1887…Inventor Emile Berliner filed for a patent for the lateral-cut, flat-disk gramophone he invented, a device better known as a record player.

A disc from 1897
A year earlier Berliner began experimenting with methods of sound recording. He was granted his first patent for what he called the "Gramophone" later in 1887. The patent described recording sound using horizontal modulation of a stylus as it traced a line on a rotating cylindrical surface coated with an unresisting opaque material such as lampblack, subsequently fixed with varnish and used to photoengrave a corresponding groove into the surface of a metal playback cylinder.

In practice, Berliner opted for the disc format, which made the photoengraving step much less difficult and offered the prospect of making multiple copies of the result by some simpler process such as electrotyping, molding or stamping. In 1888 Berliner was using a more direct recording method, in which the stylus traced a line through a very thin coating of wax on a zinc disc, which was then etched in acid to convert the line of bared metal into a playable groove.

Berliner also invented what was probably the first radial aircraft engine (1908), a helicopter (1919), and acoustical tiles (1920s).

➦In 1900...Don Wilson was born (Died from a stroke at age 81 – April 25, 1982). He  is remembered best as the rotund announcer and comic foil to the star of The Jack Benny Program.

Don Wilson
Wilson began his radio career as a singer over Denver radio station KFEL in 1923.By 1929, he was working at KFI, and shortly afterwards for Don Lee at KHJ, in Los Angeles. In a 1978 appearance on Tomorrow with Tom Snyder, Wilson claimed he was fired from KHJ because he had bought a Packard from Earle C. Anthony, the business arch-rival of Cadillac dealer Don Lee and owner of KFI and KECA.

Though best known for his comedy work with Benny, Wilson had a background as a sportscaster, covering the opening of the 1932 Summer Olympics. Don appeared in two Broadway shows in the 1930s, "The Passionate Pilgrim", which opened October 19, 1932, and "The First Legion", which opened October 1, 1934.

Wilson first worked with Benny on the broadcast of April 6, 1934, he possessed a resonant voice, a deep belly laugh, and a plump figure, all of which would become important parts of his character with Benny.

➦In 1934...CKLW radio Windsor moved from 840 KHz to 1030 KHz with 5000 watts.

CKLW first came on the air on June 2, 1932 as CKOK on 540 kilocycles.  The Station was built by George Storer and was sold to a group of Windsor-area businessmen led by Malcolm Campbell, operating as "Essex Broadcasters, Ltd." CKOK became CKLW and moved to 840 kHz in 1933, when Essex Broadcasters, Ltd. merged with the London, ON Free Press and its station CJGC (now CFPL), and became "Western Ontario Broadcasting", which was co-owned by Essex Broadcasters, and the London Free Press. The "LW" in the callsign is said to have stood for "London, Windsor", considered to be the two chief cities in the station's listening area.

In 1934, when London Free Press's station CJGC pulled out of the agreement, the station's ownership became wholly owned by Western Ontario Broadcasters. CJGC later evolved into today's CFPL 980, while CKLW moved from 840 to 1030 kc. in 1934, before settling on its present frequency of 800 kHz in 1941, thanks to a shuffle of frequency allocations.

CKLW for most of its history had a distinct American accent to its programming, and for a number of years served as the Detroit affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System, an affiliation that began with its switch from CBS to Mutual September 29, 1935, and which would last from then until its purchase by RKO General in 1963.

After RKO General took over the station and its FM sister (93.9) in 1963, CKLW began to shed the variety-format approach and, as "Radio Eight-Oh", began focusing more aggressively on playing contemporary hits and issuing a record survey. Davies, Knowles, Dave Shafer, Tom Clay, Tom Shannon, Larry Morrow (as "Duke Windsor"), Terry Knight, and Don Zee were among the "Radio Eight-Oh" personalities during this time. The station did well thanks to its huge signal, and beat the local competition in Cleveland, Ohio, though in the local Detroit ratings CKLW still lagged well behind competing hit outlet WKNR.

However, on April 4, 1967, CKLW got a drastic makeover with Bill Drake's "Boss Radio" format, programmed locally by Paul Drew. Initially known as "Radio 8" with PAMS jingles, within a few months the station's final transformation into "The Big 8," with new jingles sung by the Johnny Mann Singers, was complete, and the station was on a rapid ratings upswing. In July 1967, CKLW claimed the number one spot in the Detroit ratings for the first time, and WKNR was left in the dust, switching to an easy listening format as WNIC less than five years later.

➦In 1955...Legendary radio personality Alan Freed held his "First Anniversary Rock 'n Roll Party" at Brooklyn's Paramount Theater, featuring Chuck Berry, and for some reason, Tony Bennett.

➦In 1952...Art Linkletter started his daily House Party on CBS-TV. The variety show featuring ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things” had its start in 1945 on daytime radio.

➦In 1960...WXKS 107.9 FM, better known as Kiss 108, first went on the air September 1, 1960 as WHIL-FM, a simulcast of sister station WHIL 1430 AM, now WKOX, and broadcasting its own programming after sunset when WHIL signed-off. For much of the sixties, WHIL & WHIL-FM were country-music stations, but in late 1972, both stations switched to beautiful music as WWEL-AM and FM ("Well"). The Calls refer to Wellington Sq in Medford MA, where the station studios were located.

Despite moving the FM transmitter to the top of the Prudential Tower in 1972, WWEL-FM was not very successful as a beautiful-music format. In 1978, WWEL-FM broadcast the night games of the Boston Red Sox baseball team as the flagship station WITS 1510 delivered a poor night signal in much of Metro Boston.

The stations were sold to Heftel Communications, operated by U.S. Rep. Cecil Heftel (D-Hawai) in early 1979. Heftel changed the call letters to WXKS, adopted "Kiss 108" as an identity and changed to a disco format on February 10, 1979 at 12:00am.  Under Heftel, the station soared to near the top of the Arbitron ratings, and forced WBOS (which had been first in Boston with a 24/7 disco sound and had a short period of huge success with it) out of the format in early 1980.

Matty In The Morning circa 2009
Sunny Joe White, a young programmer (who had previously programmed WILD in Boston) came aboard at Kiss-108 upon its shift to disco and had much to do with the station's early success.

At the end of 1979, WXKS dropped disco to adopt an adult standards format, while the FM slowly evolved into urban contemporary when disco's popularity crashed. By the end of 1981 and into early 1982, the station became a CHR with a heavily Rhythmic R&B/Dance direction under the guidance of White, and in turn became one of the most influential Top 40 stations in the nation, in part due to their reputation for breaking songs that did not fit the traditional Top 40/CHR model, and given that Boston lacked a Urban Contemporary FM outlet during this period, and since WILD was an AM daytimer, it wasn't afraid to play songs from that genre.

The genre would later become the format now known as Rhythmic contemporary, which is now the current format of sister station WJMN. By 1988, WXKS began to shift out of the Rhythmic direction and evolved into its current successful Top 40/CHR format.  It is currently owned by iHeartMedia.

➦In 1965...Ron Lundy started at WABC 770 AM.

Ron Lundy
Lundy was born June 25, 1934 in Memphis, TN.  He served as a US Marine after graduating from high school. Following the completion of his military stint, he returned to his hometown and attended a local radio broadcasting school on the G.I. Bill.

At the same time, he worked across the street at WHHM-AM, where he got his first on-air experience one night when he substituted for the regular disc jockey who failed to report for his shift. This resulted in Lundy being hired as a full-time radio announcer by Hodding Carter for WDDT-AM, the latter's new station in Greenville, Mississippi.

After a stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at WLCS-AM, Lundy was brought to WIL-AM in St. Louis, MO in 1960 by Dan Ingram, who was the station's program director until the middle of 1971. Nicknamed the "Wil' Child", Lundy had a style which was described as a combination of "country and crawfish pie" by Bob Whitney, who also played a major role in the appointment.

Lundy was reunited with Ingram at WABC-AM in 1965.

He made his New York radio debut on September 1, working the overnight shift as "The Swingin' Nightwalker."  Beginning in May 1966, he became the midday fixture at the station for the next sixteen years.  With his catchphrase "Hello, Love–this is Ron Lundy from the Greatest City in the World," he usually preceded Ingram's afternoon drive time program,. Ron and Dan became best friends and  hosted "The Last Show" before WABC's format conversion from music to talk radio at noon on May 10, 1982.

The following year he joined NYC Oldies WCBS 101.1 FM and retired in 1997.

Lundy was inducted the St. Louis Hall Radio Hall of Fame on January 1, 2006, with a banquet held June 10, 2006. He died of a heart attack at age 75 on March 15, 2010 in Oxford, Mississippi. He had recently been recovering from a previous heart attack after being dehydrated.

➦In 1967...Flashback with the WLS Music Survey...52-years ago today...

➦In 1975...KOL-AM in Seattle Washington changed its call letters to KMPS ("Kountry Music Puget Sound"), as a country station

➦In 1977...WNBC 660 AM switched to the “Bob Pittman” format.

Bob Pitman circa Late 70s
Bob Pittman had been hired as WNBC's new Program Director, replacing Mel Phillips. His first decision was to lay-off all of the station's personalities, some of which were veterans (including Don Imus, Cousin Brucie, Norm N. Nite and Joe McCoy), replacing them with younger-sounding disc jockeys from medium markets.

He also shifted the format to from Adult Top 40 or Hot AC to a more aggressively current-based Top 40 format, with occasional nods to FM radio (such as commercial-free hours).

As a result of this tweaking, the station was now playing artists such as Andy Gibb, KC & the Sunshine Band, Boston, Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Billy Joel, the Bee Gees, among others.

However, listenership did not go up, but actually went down.

By 1979, Pittman would leave WNBC. John Lund was hired back as program director (from KHOW in Denver), and Don Imus returned to the morning show. Under program director John Lund, WNBC's playlist was tweaked back to an Adult top 40 format, and ratings increased by 50% to surpass WABC by the summer of 1980..

➦In 1981…The RKO Radio Network became the first company to offer two separate live overnight services via satellite to affiliate radio stations as its "America Overnight" talk show premiered. The six-hour program featured three-hour segments hosted by Ed Busch in Dallas and Eric Tracey in Los Angeles.

Debuting eight months earlier, the RKO Radio Network's "Night Time America," based in New York City and hosted/produced by Bob Dearborn, was the first, live, daily, satellite-delivered music show in radio history.  Dearborn produced and hosted the five-hour adult contemporary show from January 9, 1981 until 1984.

The RKO Radio Networks, a subsidiary of RKO General, were the first commercial radio networks to distribute programming entirely by satellite. When it began operations on October 1, 1979, the initial RKO network was the first new full-service American radio network in 40 years.

The newscasts, aimed at a young adult audience, had a conversational, high-energy style developed by co-founders Vice President and News Director Dave Cooke, and Vice President of Programming Jo Interrante.

The original network, which fed newscasts at :50 repeated at :00, became known as RKO 1 when RKO 2 debuted on September 1, 1981. RKO 2 fed newscasts at :20 repeated at :30 and was aimed at an older audience. Both networks offered sportscasts, music, public affairs programming and closed-circuit affiliate feeds of news and sports correspondent reports and news-maker actualities.

➦In 1983...WGH-AM in Newport News VA changed call letters to WNSY.

As WPAB, the station was first licensed on 940 kHz on December 6, 1926. The station took the callsign WGH and moved to 1310 kHz in 1928. Because it dates back to the early days of radio, WGH is the only station in Virginia to retain its three-letter call sign, although there were periods in its history when it used the call letters WNSY and WCMS.

The call letters for WGH and its sister station 97.3 WGH-FM stand for World's Greatest Harbor, a slogan for the Hampton Roads or Tidewater area of Virginia, where there is a large shipbuilding industry and both commercial and military ports.

For much of the 1960s and 70s, WGH was a popular top 40 station.  On October 5, 2009, WGH swapped formats with WXEZ 94.1 FM and became an urban gospel station as "Star 1310".  On July 28, 2017, WGH switched to a format of 1950s-60s oldies.

On February 28, 2019, WGH changed its format from oldies to urban talk and urban oldies, branded as "1310 The Power" it is owned by Maxx Media.

➦In 2001...WEVD 1050 AM NYC changed to ESPN Sports Radio

➦In 2005...Barry Cowsill, bassist for the Cowsills, died in New Orleans from injuries suffered during Hurricane Katrina at the age of 51.

His body was not recovered until December 28. He had left several urgent phone messages for his sister Susan on September 1.

➦In 2008…Voiceover artist Don LaFontaine died (Born August 26, 1940).  He was a voice actor who recorded more than 5,000 film trailers and hundreds of thousands of television advertisements, network promotions, and video game trailers.

He became identified with the phrase "In a world...", used in so many movie trailers that it became a cliché. Widely known in the film industry, the man whose nicknames included "Thunder Throat" and "The Voice of God", became known to a wider audience through commercials for GEICO insurance and the Mega Millions lottery game.

LaFontaine said his voice cracked at age 13 in mid-sentence, giving him the bass tones that later brought him much fame and success.

In 2012...Hal David died of a stroke at the age of 91 in Los Angeles. In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York. The two teamed up and wrote their first hit "The Story of My Life", recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957. Subsequently, in the 1960s and early 1970s Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music, many for Dionne Warwick but also for The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, B. J. Thomas, Gene Pitney, Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon and others.

Their hits included "(They Long to Be) Close To You", "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", "This Guy's in Love with You", "One Less Bell to Answer", "What the World Needs Now Is Love", "The Look of Love", "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Walk On By".

David was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.

Dan Donovan, John Lennon
Dan Donovan
➤In 2014...Twin Cities and Philadelphia radio legend Dan Donovan died of a heart attack.

Born Blaine Harvey in Philadelphia, Donovan got interested in radio growing up in Gettysburg, PA. He began his career at WGET 1320 AM, later moving to WSBA 910 AM in nearby York. After studying journalism at Penn State, he moved on to WICE Radio in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early 1960s. He then moved to WMEX 1510 in Boston and WCBM 680 in Baltimore before beginning a ten-year run at WFIL 560 AM in Philadelphia.

He arrived KSTP 94.5 FM KS 95FM in the Twin Cities in 1979, and joined KQQL 107.9 FM KOOL 108 FM in 1991, bringing the enthusiasm and style that have made him one of the region’s best known and best loved DJ’s to his popular afternoon drive and Sunday oldies shows.

DAN DONOVAN from Pavek Museum on Vimeo.

Donovan last worked at Clear Channel's KQQL, but was RIFFed in 2009.

➦In 2014...Fox News Radio White House reporter Mike Majchrowitz died, following a battle with cancer. He was 51.
Mike Majchrowitz aboard Air Force One

Mike Majchrowitz, the Congressional and White House reporter with the unspellable last name, joined FOX News Radio at its very beginning in 2005. Mac and Rich Johnson were the backbone of the Washington bureau.

Born in 1963 in Racine, Wisconsin, a Washington D.C. Correspondent since 1997, Mac traveled the world covering Presidential trips.

He anchored coverage of elections, conventions and debates, returning to cover the 2012 campaign while battling cancer.

“Mike was an original – a solidly tenacious reporter, a thoughtful anchor and a good man,” Mitch Davis, VP of Fox News Radio, said in a statement.  ”He earned the respect of his colleagues for many things, not the least of which was his kindness. From our earliest days he helped Fox News Radio grow into what we are now. His voice was unique, as was his courage. Throughout his struggle, he remained positive and was an inspiration to us all. We will miss him.”

Detroit Radio: Beasley Closes On Urban WDMK-FM

Beasley Broadcast Group has announced it has closed on its previously announced acquisition Urban WDMK 105.9 Kiss FM and three translators in Detroit from Urban One for $13.5 million.

Beasley also owns Classic Rock WCSX, Rhythmic AC WMGC and Active Rock WRIF in Detroit.

Beasley funded the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.

Commenting on the transaction when it was announced, CEO Caroline Beasley said, "The accretive acquisition of WDMK-FM significantly enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit. Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city's residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural centers, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists, employment and economic activity."

WDMK 105.9 FM (20 Kw) Courtesy of RecNet

Beasley added, "We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WDMK-FM transaction in 2020 as we continue to advance our initiatives focused on leveraging our premium local programming and brands, while aggressively rolling out our digital offerings and distribution capabilities to reinforce and grow Beasley's leadership position across all audio platforms in our markets."

FCC Seeks Approval For Nexstar-Tribune Merger

FCC chairman Ajit Pai on Friday sought approval from his colleagues to order the go ahead for Nexstar Media Group Inc’s acquisition of Tribune Media Co in a $6.4 billion tie-up, reports Reuters citing a spokeswoman for the agency.

Last month, the U.S. Justice Department approved the deal, saying the companies must divest television stations in 13 markets to resolve antitrust concerns. Pai’s order circulated Friday needs the consent of a majority of the five-member FCC.

Nexstar said in December it had agreed to buy Chicago-based Tribune for $4.1 billion in a deal valued at $6.4 billion including debt that would make it the largest regional U.S. television station operator. Tribune said earlier this month it looks forward to receiving “regulatory approval” for the deal soon.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc previously failed to win approval to buy Tribune. Tribune terminated its deal with Sinclair in August 2018, and filed a lawsuit arguing that Sinclair mishandled efforts to get the transaction approved by taking too long and being too aggressive in its dealings with regulators.

Based in Irving, Texas, Nexstar owns, operates and provides sales and other services to 174 television stations reaching nearly 39 percent of all U.S. television households. Nexstar said in March it was selling 19 television stations to Tegna Inc and E.W. Scripps Co for $1.3 billion to satisfy regulatory demands before it buys Tribune.

Based in Chicago, Tribune Media owns or operates 42 local television stations reaching approximately 50 million households. Tribune emerged from bankruptcy in late 2012 and completed a spinoff of its newspaper assets in 2014.

Nexstar Stations To Air National Anthem Daily

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. has announced a new partnership with Broadcast Music Inc. and Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business to air a new singer/songwriter series featuring a daily broadcast of the U.S. National Anthem performed by a variety of emerging artists.

The Star-Spangled Banner was once a staple on local television stations, signifying the beginning or end of the broadcast day, and with this new collaboration, Nexstar is restoring this long-held tradition across 171 stations in 100 markets starting this Labor Day, September 2, 2019.

The new singer/songwriter series will showcase multiple renditions of the National Anthem by BMI’s emerging talented songwriters who will record their own unique versions of the Star-Spangled Banner at Belmont University’s Ocean Way Studios. Nexstar will leverage its leading distribution capabilities to deliver professionally produced music video recordings of the national anthem to more than 43 million television households across the United States.

“Nexstar’s core mission is to provide exceptional service to the local communities where we operate across America through our organization-wide commitment to localism, unbiased local broadcast journalism and telling the local stories that matter to our viewers and their families,” stated Tim Busch, President of Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. 

“Nexstar’s local teams take great pride in their ability to bring the local communities they serve together and that is why we are excited to partner with BMI and Belmont University to broadcast this new daily series featuring the Star-Spangled Banner that will air 365 days of each year. This unique collaboration supports higher education in business for the music and entertainment industry, while providing aspiring professional artists and songwriters a national distribution platform to showcase their respective talents. We look forward to returning the time-honored tradition of including the National Anthem in our stations’ broadcasts with this new partnership.”

The first group of songwriters to be featured include Nashville-based Brian Sutherland, Texas native Kristen Kelly, and 2018 American Idol contestant Julia Cole.  All musical genres will be highlighted during the series.

Atlanta Radio: WGST Now Branding As 'Fox News Radio'

iHeartMedia/Atlanta has announced that its WGST 640 AM is now "AM 640 Atlanta's Home of FOX News Radio."

The new format will feature national hosts including Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Buck Sexton, Michael Savage and George Noory. Listeners can hear the latest FOX News at the top and bottom of every hour, as well as frequent traffic/weather reports and local news updates from The Georgia News Network.

"We are ecstatic to welcome Bill O'Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin and all the new voices to Atlanta's Home of Fox News Radio," said AM 640 Program Director Dan Hunt. "With a massive 50,000 watt AM signal and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that AM 640 will establish itself as a successful News Talk brand in Atlanta."

The full weekday programming lineup is as follows:
  • This Morning with Gordon Deal (6-9am) 
  • The Glenn Beck Program (9am-12pm)
  • The O'Reilly Update with Bill O'Reilly (12pm-12:15pm)
  • Dave Ramsey Show (12:15pm-3pm)
  • The Ben Shapiro Show (3-5pm)
  • The Del Walmsley Radio Show (5-6pm)
  • The Mark Levin Show (6-9pm)
  • The Buck Sexton Show (9pm-12am)
  • The Savage Nation with Michael Savage (12-1am)
  • Coast To Coast AM with George Noory (1-6am)

Atlanta Radio: WCNN Signs Deal With the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Dickey Broadcasting Company’s Sports Radio WCNN 680AM / W229AG 93.7 FM The Fan has announced the signing of a multi-year contract extension with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. 

The multi-year contract creates an exclusive content and play-by-play-based partnership making Sports Radio 680 The Fan, “The Exclusive Radio Station of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game”, which includes local terrestrial play-by-play on 680 The Fan and sister stations, The Sports X 106.3FM/1230AM and The Fan 3 103.7FM/1340AM , by 680 The Fan and Sports X personalities,  a sales, marketing and revenue partnership, breaking bowl news and insights on 680 The Fan’s multiple live shows and coverage of college football that Atlanta can only get from one station, the College Football Voice of the South, 680 The Fan and

680 The Fan’s Owner/President David Dickey commented, “We are thrilled to extend our innovative and market-exclusive partnership with Gary Stokan and his team.  As the largest and most trusted creator of college football focused content in the region, there is no station better positioned to serve the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game than Sports Radio 680 The Fan…The College Football Voice of The South.  We look forward to working with Gary, and serving college football fans, for many years to come.”

Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and President Gary Stokan added “Our continued partnership with 680 The Fan is a real win-win for us. We feel like we have a tremendous promotional partner in our home market, and a first-class local game broadcast with on-air talent who know us and our brand as well as they know Atlanta sports.”

NPR News Chief: A Priority Is ‘Owning The Audio Space’

Nancy Barnes
NPR news chief Nancy Barnes told public radio program directors Wednesday that the network is making its priority “audio first” amid growing competition from commercial media, reports The Current.

“We need to be thinking five years ahead in owning the audio space, because a lot of organizations have seen that there is a big, growing audience here,” Barnes said during a session at the Public Radio Program Directors Association conference. “… Commercial radio has seen that there’s a lot of revenue here, and they’re all crowding our lane.”

Barnes said that prioritizing audio “doesn’t mean that we’re not going to want to have a really robust website” but that “owning the audio space right now is most important.” That includes podcasts, on-demand news, bolstering NPR’s radio shows and making sure NPR is on smart speakers and other emerging audio platforms, she said.

Barnes also said a newsroom reorganization that she announced this month is part of an “ongoing … evolution of our coverage.”

Barnes has previously said that she wants NPR to produce more investigative and original reporting. She again emphasized that priority. “Some days, we’re covering all the news that’s breaking and not uncovering a lot of news,” she said.

“We follow the national agenda a little more often than I’m comfortable with,” she said. “And what I’d really like to do over time is break more original stories, have more distinct coverage lines that you might not find at the New York Times and the Washington Post, and set the national conversation with our coverage — that means with both national stories and local stories.”

R.I.P.: Valerie Harper, TV's Rhoda Morgenstern

Valerie Harper, who parlayed a sidekick role as the leading lady’s unprepossessing best friend on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” into a star turn of her own in the hit sitcom “Rhoda,” died on Friday.

She was 80, rpeorts The NYTimes.

Her husband, Tony Cacciotti, announced on Facebook in July that he had decided not to move Ms. Harper into hospice care, as her doctors had recommended. She had leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, in which cancer cells invade the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

Harper was a theater actress, working with some regularity but far from well known, when she auditioned for a new CBS sitcom starring Moore as Mary Richards, a Minneapolis news producer and the embodiment of a newly ascendant American breed — the single working woman.

The part was for her upstairs neighbor, Rhoda Morgenstern, a weight-conscious, self-deprecating, wisecrackingly blunt Jewish expatriate from New York City who would serve as a foil for Ms. Moore’s prim, sweet-tempered, every-hair-in-place and emphatically non-Jewish Mary.

“Rhoda felt inferior to Mary, Rhoda wished she was Mary, Rhoda looked up to her,” Ms. Harper said in an interview with the Archive of American Television in 2009. “All I could do was, not being as pretty, as thin, as accomplished, was: ‘I’m a New Yorker, and I’m going to straighten this shiksa out.’”

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” had its premiere in September 1970, and the characters met in the opening moments of that first episode.

August 31 Radio History

➦In 1916...Journalist Daniel Schorr born (Died at 93 – July 23, 2010). He covered world news for more than 60 years. He was most recently a Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio (NPR). Schorr won three Emmy Awards for his television journalism. Born in the Bronx, NY, he began his journalism career at the age of 13, when he came upon a woman who had jumped or fallen from the roof of his apartment building. After calling the police, he phoned the Bronx Home News and was paid $5 for his information.

Following several years as a stringer, in 1953 he joined CBS News as one of the recruits of Edward R. Murrow (becoming part of the later generation of Murrow's Boys).   Schorr died from an apparent "short illness" on July 23, 2010, at a Washington, D.C. hospital. He was 93 years old. Schorr's last broadcast commentary for NPR aired on Saturday, July 10, 2010.

➦In 1920...The first news program to be broadcast on radio was aired. The station was 8MK in Detroit, MI.
Circa 1920
8MK soon became WWJ and was founded by The Detroit News; the mixed letter/number calls were assigned to the station by the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Navigation, the government bureau responsible for radio regulation at the time. The 8 in the call sign referred to its location in the 8th Radio Inspection District, while the M in the call sign identified that the station operated under an amateur license. It is not clear why the Detroit News applied for an amateur license instead of an experimental license. As an amateur station, it broadcast at 200 meters (the equivalent of 1500 AM).

8MK was initially licensed to Michael DeLisle Lyons, a teenager, and radio pioneer. He assembled the station in the Detroit News Building but the Scripps family asked him to register the station in his name, because they were worried this new technology might only be a fad, and wanted to keep some distance. Later that year, Michael and his brother Frank, also assembled the first radio in a police car in Toledo, Ohio (with Ed Clark who started WJR 760 AM in Detroit). They captured a prowler using the radio, making national headlines. RCA got the contract to install radios in police cars across the country.

➦In 1941... Great Gildersleeve, a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly debuted on NBC. The show continued to air to 1957.

➦In 1942...'The Adventures of Superman', the long-running radio serial which started in 1940 on WOR NYC, moved to the  Mutual Broadcast System. It aired as a 15-minute serial, running three or, usually, five times a week. From February 7 to June 24, 1949, it ran as a thrice-weekly half-hour show. The series shifted to ABC Saturday evenings on October 29, 1949, and then returned to afternoons twice a week on June 5, 1950, continuing on ABC until March 1, 1951. In all, 2,088 original episodes of The Adventures of Superman aired on radio.

➦In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM (now sports WEPN) NYC adopted the “Kiss” brand as  The station completed its  transition to new urban contemporary format. Early on, WRKS played a great deal of R&B and dance music, and became an almost instant hit with listeners, as its ratings skyrocketed from 22nd place to third. Notable Kiss FM Mixmasters at the time were Shep Pettibone and the Latin Rascals, who relied heavily on freestyle music. Longtime urban contemporary leader WBLS was caught off-guard by the sudden rise of the new station.

➦In 1995...The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened in Cleveland, Ohio with a seven-hour concert featuring dozens of artists.

➦In 2008....CBS News radio/TV reporter Ike Pappas died of heart failure at 75. Pappas was among the throng of reporters present at the Dallas City Jail November 1963 for presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's transfer to the County Jail.

Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald 11/24/63
Working for WNEW-AM in New York at the time, Pappas began his report as Oswald came into view:

"Now the prisoner, wearing a black sweater, he's changed from his T-shirt, is being moved out toward an armored car. Being led out by Captain Fritz." (car horn sounds) There's the prisoner. (Pappas holds his microphone out towards Oswald) Do you have anything to say in your defense..."

As Pappas asked Oswald the question, Jack Ruby stepped out of the crowd of reporters with a pistol, moved in front of Oswald and fired one shot into Oswald's abdomen.

"There's a shot! Oswald has been shot! Oswald has been shot! A shot rang out. Mass confusion here, all the doors have been locked. Holy mackerel!"

Pappas later testified in Ruby's trial.

➦In 2011...The 1985 Dire Straits’ song “Money For Nothing,” was reinstated on Canadian radio playlists after a public outcry resulted from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) labelling of the song as “unacceptable”.  That decision was made based on onecomplaint from a radio listener, who objected to the song’s use of the word “faggot.”  Said broadcaster Alan Cross, “it made us look silly in the eyes of the broadcast community around the world.”

➦In 2011...CHUM personality and manager Bob Laine died at age 72.  Laine began his radio career at CFRS in Simcoe, Ont., but quickly moved to CHUM Toronto, signing on as the all-night DJ in May 1958.

He stayed there, with his signature opening, "Good morning world, this is Bob-O. Good morning Bob-O, this is world," for a decade, with one brief interruption.

"The Voice" left CHUM in March 1962 for a very short stint as CFGM's morning man but was back at the overnight show in May of that same year.

Mr. Laine moved to afternoons in 1968 and then into management in the 1970s as program director of CHUM-FM. He retired in 2003 as a corporate vice-president after almost 46 years with the company.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Fox News Hosts Push Back Over Trump Comments

Fox News host Neil Cavuto tore into President Trump during his closing monologue on Thursday, defending his network from the president's criticism earlier this week that Fox "isn't working for us anymore."

"Well I think the president watches Fox," Cavuto began. "I also think he is getting sick of Fox. Which is weird because I think he gets pretty fair coverage at Fox."

After reading Trump's tweet, Cavuto said, "first of all Mr. President, we don't work for you. I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you. Just report on you."

The Hill reports Cavuto said his job as a journalist covering business and the economy in particular was to report on economic numbers when they are good and bad, and when trade talks are going poorly and when it looks like there will be a deal.

"It is called being fair and balanced Mr. President," Cavuto said. "Yet it is fair to say you're not a fan when that balance includes stuff you don't like to hear or facts you don't like to have questioned."

Cavuto said Trump must deal with that because it is part of the job of being president, just as checking what Trump says is the job of Cavuto and other journalists.

"After all, I'm not the one who said tariffs are a wonderful thing, you are. Just like I'm not the one who said Mexico would pay for the wall, you did," Cavuto said. "Just like I'm not the one who claimed that Russia didn't meddle in the 2016 election, you did."

Also, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade confronted Donald Trump on his recent tweets attacking Fox News by suggesting that the president’s disagreements with friends “never used to bother” him so much.

“I know you were critical of Fox yesterday,” said Kilmeade on Thurdsay while interviewing the president on his syndicated radio show, during which Trump again slammed Fox News over their polls that have been favorable to Democrats lately. “So you were very upset.”

“I’m not happy with Fox,” Trump replied. “Look, Sean and Laura and Tucker have really been good — well, Tucker is a little tricky but that’s ok. But he’s been very good. Many of them, you guys in the morning, Ainsley, and Steve and you — I used to say you, you were a solid 6, maybe a 7. But you’re getting much better.”

According to Mediaite, Kilmeade noted that in the past, if the two had disagreements, Trump “didn’t mind, you know we’d disagree, we’d talk about President Bush, we’d talk about different things, and it was still ok.”

“So I don’t understand,” he continued. “If Fox comes on and if somebody comes on and they’re critical of one thing about you. It never used to bother you like this. Now yesterday I read those tweets … I thought to myself what’s bothering you about it, because our channel prides itself in diversity and getting everybody in so you don’t have to flip around.”

The president defended his outburst against the network — during which he suggested that he and his supporters “have to start looking for a new News Outlet” because “Fox isn’t working for us anymore” — by accusing CNN of being made up of all “Trump haters.”

Denver Radio: John E Kage To Program Country KWBL

John E Kage
iHeartMedia/Denver has  announced that John E. Kage has been named Program Director for KWBL 106.7 The Bull.

He will also retain his position PD of CHR sibling KPTT 95.7 FM The Party.

As Program Director, Kage will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the station’s music, on-air personalities, programming, promotions and digital operations. In addition, he will continue his role as Program Director for 95.7 The Party. Kage will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia’s Denver Region.

“Kage has mastered the art and science of programming contemporary formats,” said Turnbeaugh. “There’s no question that 106.7 The Bull and 95.7 The Party will grow and continue to thrive under John’s leadership.”

Before joining the iHeartMedia Denver market, Kage previously served as the Program Director for KYGO-FM and KQKS in Denver as well as WPOI in Tampa. He began his career at KDWB, Minneapolis.

“I am beyond thrilled to make my return to Country music on 106.7 The Bull,” said Kage. “Country music has a special community with a unique bond between radio, the artists and the listeners. I missed it dearly and I’m very grateful for being able to be a part of it again. A special thanks to iHeartMedia for giving me the opportunity and I look forward to working alongside the talented team here at 106.7 The Bull and contributing to the station’s ongoing success.”

Kage succeeds JoJo Turnbeaugh, who will continue to serve as SVP/Programming for iHeartMedia’s Denver region and is also adding afternoon co-host duties at News/Talk/Sports KOA 850 AM.

L-A Radio: Line-Up Changes At Sports KSPN

KSPN ESPNLA 710 AM will launch its new weekday talk lineup on Tuesday, Sept. 3, highlighted by the move of the legendary Mason & Ireland show (hosted by Steve Mason and John Ireland) to afternoon drive (3-6:30 p.m. PT) and the addition of The Will Cain Show, one of ESPN Radio’s newest national shows that is quickly growing in popularity, at noon.

“We are excited to further strengthen an already powerful talk lineup by moving Mason & Ireland to afternoon drive and capitalizing on the momentum of The Will Cain Show,” said Scott McCarthy, VP/GM of ESPNLA 710.

“These two shows plus Keyshawn, LZ and Travis, LA’s only local sports morning show, and the always compelling Stephen A. Smith will keep listeners updated on local and national major sports stories. Jorge Sedano’s NBA expertise will prepare listeners for the night’s action and takes on greater importance with the high expectations surrounding the Lakers and Clippers.”

KSPN reports audience growth for all shows:
  • The Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis (Keyshawn Johnson, LZ Granderson, Travis Rodgers) continues in the same slot. The average local M25-54 audience has grown by 20% in 2019 vs 2018 (January-July) for LA’s only local sports talk morning show.
  • The Stephen A. Smith Show also continues in the same slot. Its average local M25-54 audience has grown by 32% in 2019 vs 2018 (January-July).
  • The Will Cain Show debuts at noon. Cain’s national M25-54 radio audience across all platforms in July was up 13% year over year. The show experienced a 33% increase year over year in national audience in July for both terrestrial radio in PPM markets and its ESPNEWS simulcast. Cain, whose radio show has been added in two top 5 markets – LA and San Francisco – this summer, will remain a frequent contributor to First Take, where he often enjoys heated debates with Smith.
Now in its 25th year, Mason & Ireland, the #1 sports talk show in LA, moves to afternoon drive time.

The show is the highest-rated sports talk show in LA in any daypart over the past three years and is delivering some of its best audience numbers ever in 2019. Ireland will remain the play-by-play voice for Los Angeles Lakers broadcasts.

The Sedano Show (Jorge Sedano) will shift forward to anchor early evenings. Sedano, who will play an integral role in ESPNLA’s Lakers and NBA content, covered LeBron James in Miami and has showcased his NBA expertise across multiple ESPN platforms. Sedano will also continue his NBA duties on ESPN TV.

ESPNLA 710’s new lineup beginning Tuesday, Sept 3:
  • 6 – 10 a.m. The Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis
  • 10 a.m. – noon The Stephen A. Smith Show
  • Noon – 3 p.m. The Will Cain Show
  • 3 -6:30 p.m. Mason & Ireland
  • 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Sedano Show

Disney Sells Its Stake In YES Network

Disney announced Thursday it has sold its stake in the YES Network to an investor group including Amazon.

According to CNBC, the investor group, which also includes the Yankees and Sinclair Broadcast Group, acquired the 80% stake of the YES Network that was not already held by the Yankees, according to the release. The total enterprise value of the deal was $3.47 billion.

Disney agreed to sell the 22 regional sports networks (RSNs) owned by 21st Century Fox as a condition of Disney’s acquisition of the company. The YES Network, which airs Yankees games as well as other local sports and specialty content, was among the RSNs the Department of Justice required Disney to sell.

A press release by the investor group says the Yankees, Sinclair and Amazon will make up a “new strategic partnership.” It does not specifically outline Amazon’s role in the partnership, but says the Yankees “will contribute its excellence in developing, producing and marketing sports content that is compelling for fans globally,” and Sinclair “will work with the YES team management to manage traditional and virtual distribution relationships.”

YES Network President Jon Litner will remain in his current role.

Pittsburgh Radio: James Conner Added To KDKA-FM Show

James Conner
Entercom has announced Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner will join KDKA 93.7 FM The Fan throughout the 2019 National Football League season. The “James Conner Show” will air as part of the station’s afternoon drive “The PM Team with Poni and Mueller,” Mondays at 5:00 p.m. ET beginning September 9.

“We are excited to welcome James to the 93.7 The Fan family this season,” said Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Pittsburgh. “James is one of the most beloved personalities in the region and we know he will bring unique insight and inspiration to the show.”

“I’m thrilled to be able to connect with Steeler nation through 93.7 The Fan every week and share with listeners insights that they won’t hear anywhere else,” said Conner. 

Listeners can tune in to 93.7 The Fan (KDKA-FM) in Pittsburgh on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website.

Denver Radio: Tom Nalen To EXIT KKFN The Fan

Tom Nalen
Just days after Bonneville's KKFN 104.3 The Fan announced its new midday and weeknight shows, afternoon co-host Tom Nalen is reportedly leaving on his own terms.

Nalen joined Darren “DMac” McKee on The Drive in April, after Alfred Williams left The Fan’s afternoon show for News/Talk KOA 850.  He is returning to the East Coast for personal reasons.  The former Broncos offensive lineman grew up in Foxborough, MA.

Replacing Nalen on KKFN is expected to be two former Broncos, tackle Tyler Polumbus and safety Nick Ferguson. 

In April, Ferguson began hosting The Fan’s midday show until being replaced by Sandy Clough and Orlando Franklin earlier this week.  On Monday, program director Raj Sharan tweeted that Ferguson would remain with The Fan “in a variety of capacities.”  Those capacities now appear to include joining the station’s afternoon show.

Polumbus most recently worked as a morning host on iHeartMedia’s Orange and Blue 760 AM which flipped to news talk as KDFD earlier this summer.

IL Radio: Scott Laughlin Retires At N/T WJBC

Scott Laughlin
Cumulus Media has announced that Scott Laughlin, longtime morning personality on News/Talk WJBC 1230 AM in Bloomington/Normal, IL, will retire from radio broadcasting.

Laughlin announced his retirement on-air to WJBC listeners Thursday morning, and also announced that WJBC afternoon host Scott Miller will be replacing him full-time as Morning Host, effective immediately. Miller, who signed a new multi-year deal with Cumulus, will be accompanied on-air by WJBC News Director Katherine Murphy, who remains in morning drive.

Laughlin announced on May 10, 2019, that he was taking a leave of absence from the WJBC morning show for health reasons. He has since decided to make his leave permanent.

“I had planned to retire next summer. My circumstances have speeded up that plan,” said Laughlin.

Scott Miller
Miller, whose on-air credits include Oprah Radio, WGN-AM, FM News 101.1 and WDRV 97.1-FM, said: "I am honored to follow in the morning drive footsteps of Don Munson and Scott Laughlin on ‘The Voice Of Central Illinois’. I have never felt more a part of a community than I do here... and the Central Illinois pork tenderloins are the size of my head. WIN WIN!"

Dan Westhoff, Operations Manager, Cumulus Bloomington/Normal, said: "We wish nothing but the best for Scott Laughlin as he focuses on his health. Emotionally, it’s not easy to move forward in a situation like this, but we must. We look forward to having Scott Miller in the morning and know he will do a great job."

A search for an afternoon replacement is underway.

Open Letter To Radio: Stick To Your Bread & Butter

Andrew Curran
Across North America, radio consumption is driven by employed listeners, making Labor Day radio’s unofficial holiday.

For the 4th year in a row, Andrew Curran, President and COO, DMR/Interactive has penned an Open Letter to Radio.

Previous themes have included the predictable surge in radio listening and charitable donations following a natural disaster, which are timely once again with Hurricane Dorian bearing down on Florida. As the 2017 column pointed out, “When a natural disaster strikes, people don’t ‘rediscover’ radio any more than people ‘rediscover’ generosity.” Their daily media habits and charitable giving are magnified.

In the inaugural edition, radio was implored to “rediscover its swagger.” And last year, the industry was reminded of radio’s resilience as “Pandora, once believed to be a ‘radio killer,’ has seen Spotify overtake its lead.”

This time around, Curran reminds radio about advertising giant Procter & Gamble’s sage advice to “focus on your bread and butter” namely broadcast radio.

The Open Letter also encourages each person working in radio to “get better” and follow championship athletes who evaluate their progress against prior versions of themselves, not against external benchmarks such as the performance of others.

As our industry finishes the current year and prepares for 2020, which will set the tone for a new decade and celebrate the 100thanniversary of radio, the latest Open Letter to Radio provides another round of professional inspiration heading into the holiday weekend.

Full version available below:

Labor Day 2019

An Open Letter to Radio:

The last time the Radio Show came to Texas (Austin 2017), advertising giant P&G took the stage and encouraged radio to focus on your “bread and butter,” namely broadcast radio. “It’s a gimme. You’re selling water in the desert, you have what I want. How can you fail at selling me what I want?”

The reason this advice was necessary? John Fix from P&G recounted hour-long meetings with radio companies where for 50 minutes, “I will hear about everything you’ve never done but want to. I hear about podcasts you’ve never broadcast. I hear about targeting, and what I really want to talk about is how you can touch 93% of the United States.”

Radio is a daily companion for employed consumers, who advertisers need to reach. Meanwhile, people who are out of the workforce don’t listen to a lot of radio. They also don‘t have much disposable income to spend with advertisers.

As Procter & Gamble has ramped up its investment in radio, its stock price has followed suit and is trading at an all-time high. Not a bad testimonial for radio, especially for buyers and advertisers skeptical of radio’s enduring strength and dominance in a digital world.

As the saying goes, it’s harder to stay on top than it is to get there in the first place.

For radio to continue to grow and deliver strong ROI to advertisers, those of us working in the industry need to keep getting better.

In that regard, insights into athletic performance and what separates champions from the rest of the field are both interesting and informative.

Researchers have found that champions consistently have a unique reaction to challenges. They view obstacles in a positive light – as opportunities to grow – and overcome them thanks to a “never satisfied” attitude.

This runs in contrast to almost champions, who blame setbacks on external causes, become negative, and lose motivation.

Most notably, researchers have discovered that the best goal is also the simplest: Get better.

Champions are driven from within. Their primary concern is self-improvement. They hold themselves to high standards, but judge themselves against prior versions of themselves, not against others.

Almost champions on the other hand, focus on external benchmarks, like national rankings or how they compare to rivals.

The research also found that champions seek empowering, lasting mentors. Coaches that empower their athletes and take a longer-term perspective. This differs from the experience of almost champions, who recall their coaches as being focused on immediate results, “often seeming to drive the bus more than the performer.” Not surprisingly, almost champions change coaches frequently whereas champions maintain long-term relationships.

These insights on what separates champions from others applies across radio: programming, sales, promotions, on-air, imaging, management, research, consultants, marketers, software providers, and on down the line.

Advertisers need people across radio to keep getting better and to continue delivering what they can’t get on any other platform – maximum reach to an employed audience with money to spend.

2019 has proven to be an important year for radio and 2020 should be a bumper crop that sets the tone for a new decade as we focus on growing industry revenue to $20 billion by 2022 (#20×22).

We are grateful to work with talented and dedicated professionals across markets and formats as we together enhance radio’s highly profitable business model and ensure an ongoing commitment to operating in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”

This letter is the latest installment in an annual series that started in 2016, written to coincide with Labor Day, radio’s unofficial holiday, a claim made possible by the dominant percentage of listening that’s delivered by employed persons across markets and formats. Earlier editions of the letter are available here: 2016, 2017, 2018.

Happy Labor Day!

D-C Radio: After 40-Years, WTOP Traffic Reporter Bob Marbourg Retires

Bob Marbourg
After 40 years, “it is time for me to say goodbye,” Bob Marbourg the guru of D.C.-area traffic wrote in an email to WTOP staff Wednesday morning.

WTOP reports Marbourg recalled that he got his start at WTOP thanks to a plane crash: WTOP reporter Steve Thompson and pilot Bernard Wicker were in a Cessna that ran out of fuel and landed in a tree in Vienna, Virginia. Both survived, but were seriously hurt. Marbourg got the call from WTOP and “reported from my dining room on a wired landline,” he said.

For the next 10 years, however, he reported on the traffic, undaunted, from another Cessna: “two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. That was all there was of rush hour, then!”

“Bob has been a commuter’s best friend almost since the Beltway was built,” said Mike McMearty, WTOP’s director of news and programming. “From answering the phone to get listener tips, to his calling out officials doing road work during rush hours, to calling out motorists as ‘self-entitled jackasses’ for driving the wrong way on the shoulder, Bob has made it his mission to make sure everyone in our area made it to work safely and got home for dinner safely.”