Saturday, October 19, 2019

October 20 Radio History

➦In 1906...Radio pioneer Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated the electrical vaccuum radio tube.

DeForest disliked the term "wireless" and chose a new moniker, "radio."

In 1902 he and his financial backers founded the DeForest Wireless Telegraph Company. In order to dramatize the potential of this new medium of communication,he gave public demonstrations of wireless telegraphy for businessmen, the press, and the military.

A poor businessman and a poorer judge of men, de Forest was defrauded twice by his own business partners. By 1906 his first company was insolvent, and he had been squeezed out of its operation. But in 1907 he patented a much more promising detector (developed in 1906), which he called the Audion; it was capable of more sensitive reception of wireless signals than were the electrolytic and Carborundum types then in use. It was a thermionic grid-triode vacuum tube—a three-element electronic “valve” similar to a two-element device patented by the Englishman Sir John Ambrose Fleming in 1905. In 1907 de Forest was able to broadcast experimentally both speech and music to the general public in the New York City area.

De Forest is credited with the birth of radio broadcasting when on January 12, 1910, he conducted experimental broadcast of part of the live performance of Tosca and, the next day, a performance with the participation of Italian tenor Enrico Caruso from the stage of Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
Arlene Francis
➦In 1908...Arlene Francis was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  Francis became a well-known New York City radio personality, hosting several programs. In 1938 she became the female host of the radio game show "What's My Name?" although several men appeared as co-hosts over the years, Francis was the sole female host throughout the program's long run (on ABC, NBC and Mutual networks) until it ended in 1949.

In 1940, Francis played Betty in Betty and Bob, an early radio soap opera broadcast.

In 1943, she began as host of a network radio game show, Blind Date, which she hosted also on ABC and NBC television from 1949–52. She was a regular contributor to NBC Radio's Monitor in the 1950s and 1960s, and hosted a long-running midday chat show on WOR-AM that ran from 1960 to 1984.

Francis was a pioneer for women on television, one of the first to host a program that was not musical or dramatic in nature. From 1954-57, she was host and editor-in-chief of Home, NBC's hour-long daytime magazine program oriented toward women, which was conceived by network president Pat Weaver to complement the network's Today and Tonight programs. Newsweek put her on its cover as the "first lady of television". She hosted Talent Patrol in the mid-1950s.

Francis was also a panelist on the weekly game show What's My Line? from its second episode on CBS in 1950 until its network cancellation in 1967, and in its daily syndicated version from 1968–75.

➦In 1930...the "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" premiered on the NBC Radio Network.

➦In 1945...'Break the Bank' debuted on Mutual radio.   Sponsored by Vicks, the series was heard Saturdays on Mutual until April 13, 1946. Initially, it featured different hosts each week, including John Reed King and Johnny Olson. Bert Parks became the full-time host in 1946. With Vitalis Hair Tonic as the sponsor, the series returned Friday, July 5, 1946, on ABC for a run until September 23, 1949. Bud Collyer and Bob Shepherd were the announcers, and Peter Van Steeden provided the music.

The questions were written by Joseph Nathan Kane, the author of Famous First Facts, who hand-delivered the sealed envelopes to the radio studio. Jack Rubin directed for producers Walt Framer and Ed Wolfe. On October 5, 1949, the series moved to NBC, continuing until September 13, 1950. It was heard weekdays on NBC in 1950-51 and weekdays on ABC (1951–53). With Miles Laboratories as the sponsor, it moved back to weekdays on NBC (1953–55), overlapping with a weekdays series on Mutual (1954–55).

In 1948, Radio Mirror called Break the Bank "the highest-paying quiz program in the world." That same year, the series moved to television with Bert Parks and Bud Collyer co-hosting.

➦In 1947...World Series radio rights were sold to Mutual for three years for $475,000.

➦In 1969...WCBS 101.1 FM switched to live deejays when it launched a freeform rock format, which was becoming increasingly popular, and all other CBS-owned FM stations followed suit.

For the first time, WCBS-FM would have an airstaff. Bill Brown began his long tenure with the station, and Don K. Reed began his late in 1971; both remained there until 2005. Radio personalities such as Bobby "Wizzard" Wayne, Tom Tyler, Ed Williams, Steve Clark, Roby Yonge, K.O. Bayley (Bob Elliott from WOR-FM), Les Turpin, Bob "Bob-A-Lew" Lewis also briefly joined the WCBS-FM "freeform" format. Besides Bill Brown and Don K. Reed, Wizzard Wayne and Ed Williams also stayed into the early part of the oldies format.

Here's a pre-Oldies aircheck of PD Gus Gossert on WCBS-FM (courtesy of

➦In 1973...the Family Station Inc. purchased shortwave station WNYW, changed the call letters to WYFR & moved it from New York City to Scituate, Massachusetts.

➦In 2015...Cory Wells, a co-founder and longtime member of the rock group ‘Three Dog Night,’ died at age 74 from an infection while battling cancer.

Two Broadcasters Sentenced for Fraud

Joel Hixon
Joel Hixon, of Las Cruces, NM and his business partner Dain Schult, of Austin, Texas, have been sentenced to prison for defrauding New Mexico investors in a scheme that promised to use investors’ money to promote “mom and pop” radio stations on the internet.

According to, Schult was sentenced to four years, and Hixon was sentenced to 18 months. Both men were ordered to make restitution in the amount of $25,000.

Schult and Hixon were convicted of fraud over $20,000, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, sale of an unregistered security, and sale of security by an unlicensed agent.

Hixon, a well-known morning show DJ, has hosted programs on KVLC 101 Gold and KGRT 103.9 FM. Dain Schult was an on-air talent at the former WQXI-FM (now WSTR 94.1 FM) in Atlanta during the 1970s

Dain Schult
Schult used his companies — American Radio Empire, Inc. and American Wireless and Entertainment, Inc. — to recruit local individuals like Hixon, who had experience in the radio industry, in order to solicit investments from unsuspecting friends, and to entice them with illusory offers of future employment.

Schult and Hixon led investors to believe that the money they raised was being used to pay for services aimed at funding an initial public offering of Schult’s company. Additionally, Schult and Hixon told investors that the money from the sale of promissory notes would be used to purchase smaller radio stations around the United States and put them on the internet, investigators say.

Some of the investors targeted included well-known Atlanta radio personalities. Mike Rose, who served as a program director and producer in the market, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he gave Schult $4,000 over the course of three years. In return, he was promised a potential job and an equity stake in the company.

Knoxville Radio: Rich Bailey Named PD For Country WIVK-FM

Rich Bailey
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that it has appointed Rich Bailey as Program Director for legendary country WIVK 107.7 FM in Knoxville, TN. 

Bailey joins Cumulus Knoxville after 23 years as Program Director for WWST-FM/Star 102.1. He has programmed stations in Charleston, SC (Mix 95.1), and Greensboro, NC (KISS 98.7), and has been a popular on-air talent in Knoxville for over 20 years. 

Ken Salyer, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Knoxville, said: “The opportunity to have Rich join our team in Knoxville was simply too good to pass up. His dedication to detail and drive to win is known industry wide. This elevates our group to an entirely new level.” 

Jeff Jarnigan, Operations Manager, Cumulus Knoxville, said: “The good fortune to have Rich Bailey sitting in our back yard and available was beyond comprehension. His success in Knoxville and vast market knowledge brings an entirely different level of competition capabilities to WIVK. A CMA win and a tremendous PD hire… It’s been a great October for WIVK!” 

Bailey said: “I am very excited about the opportunity to join a legendary and award-winning station like WIVK. I look forward to working with the team there and growing the market share even more. I want to thank Jeff Jarnigan, Ken Salyer, Doug Hamand and Brian Philips for allowing me this opportunity. Now the FUN begins!”

FCC Takes Issue With Gannett, New Media Merger

A deal to merge the nation’s largest newspaper company with the second-largest could be in jeopardy due to an unexpected regulatory glitch, The NYPost has learned.

The Federal Communications Commission held a meeting with private equity firm Apollo Global Management this week to ask questions about its agreement to finance New Media Investment’s planned purchase of Gannett Co., the publisher of USA Today, sources said. New Media’s Gatehouse Media owns nearly 700 papers across 39 states.

The FCC is concerned that the $1.8 billion loan Apollo is providing to finance the merger could violate its duopoly laws, sources said.

That’s because Apollo also has a deal planned to buy 13 television stations owned by broadcast company Cox Enterprises for $3 billion. And while Gatehouse and Gannett are newspaper publishers and Apollo is buying TV stations from Cox, the FCC has rules that stop common ownership of a daily print newspaper and a TV station in the same market.

The FCC’s rules restricting overlapping ownership of a TV station and newspaper were widely believed to be dead at the time Apollo agreed to fund New Media’s plan to combine Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper company, with Gatehouse.

But the old duopoly rules came back to life in September — thanks to a ruling from a federal appeals court in Philadelphia that reinstated them.

The Gatehouse/Gannett merger cannot survive without financing. And if Apollo is forced to choose, it’s expected to buy the TV stations and drop the newspaper deal, sources said.

Of course, the FCC could still grant Apollo the right to make both investments. When the private equity company run by Leon Black met with the FCC earlier this week, it told the regulator that the money for the two separate deals were coming out of different funds and serving different investors, sources said.

Apollo also argued that the Gatehouse loan represented a small enough portion of the value of the combined publisher to avoid ownership under FCC guidelines.

L-A Radio: KAMP's 'We Can Survive' Concert Sold-Out

Entercom has shared the lineup for its star-studded, highly anticipated concert “7th Annual We Can Survive, presented by AT&T,” in Los Angeles. The RADIO.COM event, hosted by KAMP 97.1 AMP Radio, will feature musical performances by Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Jonas Brothers, Lizzo, Marshmello and Becky G on Saturday, October 19 at the iconic Hollywood Bowl. Proceeds from the event will help the American Cancer Society save more lives from breast cancer.

“‘We Can Survive’ will bring together legendary artists on an iconic stage for a great cause,” said Michael Martin, Senior Vice President of Programming and Music Initiatives, Entercom. “We’re looking forward to bringing audiences together for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind evening. The anticipation for this event has been outstanding, with tickets selling out in under 30 minutes.”

“The ‘7th Annual We Can Survive, presented by AT&T’ will proudly benefit the American Cancer Society,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Southern California. “Along with AT&T and the rest of our partners, we’re honored to support their mission and look forward to celebrating survivors.”

“Our partners at Entercom have once again created an iconic lineup to celebrate survivors,” said Sharon Byers, Chief Development Marketing and Communications Officer, American Cancer Society. “We are honored to accept the proceeds from ‘We Can Survive’ and we remain committed to continuing our research and support as we attack breast cancer from every angle.”

To donate to or learn more about the American Cancer Society and its programs, visit, or follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

News Corp, Facebook Reach Licensing Deal For Content

News Corp has reached a deal to let Facebook Inc. feature headlines from The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones media properties, as well as the New York Post, in the social-media giant’s coming news section, the companies said.

Other publications that have agreed to participate include the Washington Post, BuzzFeed News and Business Insider, people familiar with the matter said. The New York Times has been in talks with Facebook, but a spokeswoman for the paper declined to comment on whether it had reached a deal.

The deal, for which News Corp will be paid a licensing fee, presented some obstacles due to the Journal’s firm digital subscription business model, people familiar with the matter said. Now that the issue has been settled, the way is cleared for the product to launch by as early as the end of the month. The financial terms of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

The licensing fees Facebook is offering range from the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for smaller publishers to a few million for bigger ones, and substantially higher than that for the very largest outlets, according to people familiar with the matter.

“People want to see high quality news on Facebook,” said Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder and chief executive. “I’m excited we’ll have the opportunity to include award-winning journalism from The Wall Street Journal [and other U.S. News Corp properties] in our news tab.”

Trump Lawyers Threaten To Sue CNN

Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign have threatened in a letter to sue CNN for what they said was the network falsely advertising itself as a news organization, calling on executives to first discuss an “appropriate resolution” to the matter that would include a “substantial” payment to cover damages, reports Reuters.

The letter, dated Oct. 16 and made public on Friday, is the latest threat by Trump to sue a media organization over what he sees as unfair media coverage since launching his 2016 presidential campaign, although no lawsuits have been filed.

“This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesn’t merit a response,” a CNN spokesman said in an email.

Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of false advertising law at Harvard Law School, said there was “no merit” to the letter’s legal arguments and that she doubted a lawsuit would ever be filed.

The letter was signed by Charles Harder, who has sent similar threats to media organizations on Trump’s behalf.

Last year, Harder suggested Trump would take legal action against the New York Times for an investigative report on his business empire, calling it “highly defamatory.”

Trump has frequently lashed out at CNN and other news organizations, calling them “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.”

Ouch! AT&T Jacking Up Price For DirecTV Now

Customers will pay $10 to $15 more a month AT&T's TVNow  starting in mid-November, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The streaming service, formerly called DirecTV Now, will jump in price from $50 to $65 a month for customers who are signed up for its smallest bundle of channels. All other packages will increase by $10 a month. The price increases take effect Nov. 19.

In a statement, AT&T said it’s adjusting pricing “to reflect the cost to deliver content to our customers.”

AT&T has struggled to turn streaming into a moneymaker, as more and more of its customers cancel cable and satellite TV. Company leaders initially touted AT&T TV Now, the company’s first streaming service, as a preview of AT&T’s entertainment future. But in the past three quarters, the streaming service has lost more than half a million subscribers. It peaked at nearly 1.9 million subscribers, but had 1.3 million subscribers at the end of July.

AT&T launched DirecTV Now in late 2016 with four packages that started at $35 a month for 60 channels. It’s raised the price several times and rebranded it as AT&T TV Now this past summer. AT&T TV Now offers a cablelike lineup of live channels, but at a lower price and without a long-term contract or cable box.

AT&T debuted a streaming service as a way to keep up with customers’ changing habits. It’s lost cable and satellite TV subscribers for 10 consecutive quarters. It had 21.6 million DirecTV and U-verse customers as of late July — about 2 million less than a year earlier.

Investors have challenged AT&T in recent months over its entertainment strategy. Activist investor Elliott Management published a letter last month, criticizing AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV and Time Warner, now called Warner Media. It laid out a four-point plan to boost AT&T’s lagging performance on the stock market.

October 19 Radio History

Bern Bennett
➦In 1921...Announcer Bern Bennett born (Died at age 92 – May 29, 2014). For nearly sixty years, beginning in 1944, Bennett was a staff announcer at CBS Radio and television. In the 1940s and 1950s, he was closely associated with Bud Collyer, as announcer on three Collyer-hosted game shows, Winner Take All, Beat the Clock, and To Tell the Truth, all produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.

Other radio programs for which Bennett was the announcer included This Is Broadway, School of the Air and Breakfast With Burrows. In 1960, he was host of Upbeat Saturday Night, a 30-minute program featuring live jazz music on CBS radio

Claire Trevor, Edward G. Robinson
➦In 1937...the radio classic, “Big Town“, made its debut on CBS radio. Star reporters at the Illustrated Press, Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne, were played by Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor. In 1942 they were succeeded by Edward Pawley and Fran Carlon, who carried the show for most of its 14 year run.

➦In 1953...Julius LaRosa was fired live on-air by Arthur Godfrey.

La Rosa was on Godfrey's shows from November 19, 1951 to October 19, 1953. When Archie Bleyer, Godfrey's bandleader, formed Cadence Records in 1952, the first performer signed was La Rosa. Cadence's first single, which was also La Rosa's first recording, was "Anywhere I Wander." It reached the top 30 on the charts, and his next recording, "My Lady Loves To Dance", was a moderate success.

After La Rosa's third recording, and a dispute with Godfrey over his failure to attend a Godfrey-mandated dance class required of all cast members, La Rosa hired his own agent and manager: Tommy Rockwell.

With hit recordings and his appearances on Godfrey's shows, La Rosa's popularity grew exponentially. At one point, La Rosa's fan mail eclipsed Godfrey's. A year after La Rosa was hired, he was receiving 7,000 fan letters a week.  Godfrey did not react well to LaRosa hiring Rockwell as his manager. After consulting with CBS President Frank Stanton, on the morning of October 19, 1953 (in a segment of the show broadcast on radio only), after La Rosa finished singing "Manhattan" on Arthur Godfrey Time, Godfrey fired La Rosa on the air, announcing, "that was Julie's swan song with us." La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his "break".

In 1970, he became a very successful and amiable disc jockey at one of America's biggest radio stations in the top market, Metromedia's WNEW 1130 AM in New York City.

➦In 1958...Brenda Lee, still weeks short of her 14th birthday, recorded a Johnny Marks song destined to become a seasonal classic, ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.’ Floyd Cramer played piano for the Nashville session, Boots Randolph was on sax.

➦In 1975...Phillips Haynes Lord died at age 73 (Born - July 13, 1902). He was a radio program writer, creator, producer and narrator as well as a motion picture actor, best known for the Gang Busters radio program that was broadcast from 1935 to 1957.

His thirty-minute program ran on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. on CBS radio and opened with the portentous sounds of machine gun fire, police whistles screaming and tires screeching, causing the phrase "coming on like gangbusters" to be coined. Copied years later by the television show America's Most Wanted, each episode of Gang Busters had up-to-the-minute reports of criminals wanted by the FBI or other law enforcement officials, many of whom were later arrested due to tips from listeners.

The Gang Busters radio show was an enormous long-running success with 1,008 radio broadcasts over twenty-one years from July 20, 1935, to November 20, 1957.  In 1998, Gang Busters was part of the 30-hour audio cassette called CBS's 60 Greatest Old-Time Radio Shows.

➦In 1991...Grant Turner, WSM-AM Nashville and Grand Ole Opry announcer for 49 years, died at the age of 79.
Grant Turner
Jesse Granderson "Grant" Turner was born May 17, 1912 in Baird, Texas, near Abilene. In 1928, while in high school, he performed as Ike and His Guitar announced for Abilene, TX. Turner majored in journalism at college and worked for Texas and Louisiana newspapers during the 1930s, but he returned to radio announcing in 1940 at KFRO in Longview, TX., before joining a station in Sherman, TX.

In 1942, he moved to Knoxville, TN.. Turner rode an all-night bus to Nashville and auditioned for WSM, where he joined the staff on June 6, 1944, which was D-Day, the day the Allies invaded Europe in World War II.

He first announced early-morning programs, but a few months later joined George D. Hay's staff of Saturday night Grand Ole Opry announcers. Turner became announcer for R. J. Reynolds's NBC network half hour of the Grand Ole Opry, in the late 1940s: the Prince Albert Show, piped weekly to some 170 stations and some 10 million listeners by 1953. In the early 1950s he hosted WSM's Mr. DJ, USA program, featuring guest DJs from around the nation, and in the mid-1950s became the third regular announcer for Ernest Tubb's WSM Midnight Jamboree, a job he held until 1977

Turner for years hosted the pre-Opry Grand Ole Opry Warmup Show-spinning records and taking requests on the Opry House stage. He worked the Friday and Saturday night Opry shows, besides the summer matinees, until the night before he died. Grant Turner was one of three original members to be inducted into the Country Music D J Hall of Fame in 1975. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1981.

➦In 1991...Dan Ingram debuted at Oldies WCBS 101.1 FM.  Here's an un-dated aircheck:

➦In 1994...comedienne/singer/actress Martha Raye died after a lengthy illness at age 78. The big-mouthed comic appeared with Al Jolson on radio, and had her own weekly TV series 1954-56. Thereafter she was a frequent guest on numerous TV variety shows.

➦In 2010…Albany NY radio personality "Boom Boom Brannigan" died at age 82.

Born in Utica as Joseph Charles Motto, he became well known during the 1960s as a disc jockey at Albany-Troy giant WPTR 1540 AM. Brannigan was going by the name Ronny Victor at a Buffalo radio station when he landed the job at WPTR during the early 1960s.

In a 1998 interview, Brannigan said he was trying to think of a new name for the Capital Region market when he tuned in his new employer and learned his stage identity had already been chosen. “I heard this jingle that said ‘Boom Boom is coming’ and then there would be this sound of drums,” he said.Brannigan remained at WPTR until 1975, when the popularity of disc jockey-driven rock ’n’ roll had been replaced by album-oriented rock formats and talk radio.

Later, he would buy small radio stations like WKOL in Amsterdam and WSCG in Corinth.

Brannigan had chances to move to bigger broadcasts in New York City and Philadelphia to compete against national talents such as Dick Clark and Wolfman Jack, but Brannigan didn’t want to move.

Luther Masingill
➦In 2014...Chattanooga radio legend  Luther Masingill passed away after a short illness at age 92.  With a career that spanned an incredible 74 years, Luther had been at the morning mic at WDEF radio for both Pearl Harbor (1941) and 9/11 (2001).

He had also appeared on the WDEF-TV noon news every weekday since the station signed on in 1954.

Friday, October 18, 2019

AT&T Wants To Resolve Activist Campaign

AT&T Inc. is in talks with Elliott Management Corp. to resolve the activist investor’s campaign for change at the phone and media giant, reports The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter said.

The two sides have held a series of wide-ranging discussions since Elliott disclosed a stake in AT&T five weeks ago and publicly urged the company to make changes aimed at igniting its lackluster share performance. AT&T and Elliott could reach an agreement as soon as this month, though the talks could also fall apart, the people said.

The two sides are discussing a number of possible moves by AT&T, including a strategic review of assets that could be sold or spun off and a push to improve margins, some of the people said. AT&T could also agree to make changes to its board with input from Elliott.

AT&T recently delayed the release of its quarterly earnings, initially scheduled for next week, giving the two sides more time to reach an agreement. The Dallas company is now expected to discuss its latest results on Oct. 28, a day before it will unveil its HBO Max streaming service at an event in Burbank, Calif.

Should AT&T and Elliott come to terms by then, it would be a relatively quick turnaround compared with the traditional activist campaign. It would show AT&T is eager to avoid a drawn-out public brawl and get on with addressing the challenges to its business.

Last month, Elliott disclosed it had amassed a roughly 1% stake in AT&T. In a letter, it challenged AT&T’s leadership, criticized its shift into the media business and called on the company to review units that might not fit with its long-term strategy including its DirecTV satellite division and Mexican wireless operations.

Stephenson said the company was already pursuing some of the ideas advanced by Elliott and defended the company’s media strategy, including its takeovers of DirecTV and Time Warner. He also defended the recent promotion of John Stankey, an AT&T veteran, to the No. 2 role at the company, making him Mr. Stephenson’s heir apparent.

Stephenson, who has run AT&T for a dozen years, has privately discussed stepping aside as CEO as soon as next year, people familiar with the matter have said. The promotion of Mr. Stankey spurred Elliott to go public with its campaign, WSJ has reported.

Bob Pittman Talks With CNBC About Media Disruption

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman this week sat down with Wilfred Frost from Goldman Sachs Builders + Innovators conference in Santa Barbara, CA.

He talked about disruption in the broadcast radio space, Netflix valuation and Apple's unfair advantage in the music space.

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman on Apple, Netflix and broadcast radio from CNBC.

NBCUniversal Will Not Renew NBC News Probe

NBCUniversal announced that it would not revisit its investigation into disgraced former NBC News anchor Matt Lauer despite new reporting by Pulitzer-winning journalist Ronan Farrow and growing calls for an independent probe, according to FOX Business Network.

"There is no additional investigation being conducted. We are very confident in the report that was conducted," an NBCUniversal spokeswoman told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

Megyn Kelly blasted her former employer's recent decision after calling for an "outside investigator" to look into allegations made against Lauer and NBC News.

NBC did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

In her first televised interview since leaving NBC last year, Kelly returned to Fox and called on NBC News to allow an external investigator to look into the alleged misconduct detailed by Farrow in a new book, "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators."

"What Ronan is suggesting is that they covered up for one sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, in order to protect another, Matt Lauer. They deny all of this," Kelly told Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "And NBC has put out several statements saying that Ronan is a conspiracy theorist, and this is all nonsense and he's got an ax to grind."

"But if that's true and there's nothing to hide, then get an outside investigator," she added.

The former "Today" host went on to ask if NBC News had "put dollars ahead of decency" and if the news organization had been "more interested in protecting their star anchor than they were in protecting the women of the company."

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with Megyn Kelly ended up being a massive ratings draw for the network, grabbing a stunning 4.06 million total viewers.

Carlson — who featured Kelly across multiple segments in her first appearance on cable news since she left NBC — also netted 689,000 viewers in the advertiser coveted 25-54 demographic Wednesday night.

Detroit Radio: WDVD Promotes Kendall Taylor To Music Director

Kendall Taylor
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that Kendall Taylor, Midday Personality and Assistant Program Director for Detroit Hot Adult Contemporary radio station WDVD 96.3 FM, has been appointed Music Director for the station. 

Taylor joined Cumulus Detroit in 2017 as WDVD Midday Host and Assistant Program Director, positions she will continue to hold. Prior to joining WDVD, Taylor held on-air positions at stations including WVHT in Norfolk, VA, and KMVK in Dallas, TX. 

Lance Tidwell, Director of FM Programming, Cumulus Detroit, said: “Since I started last December, Kendall has been such an important team member and she contributes so much to WDVD. She brings great ideas and follows them with great organization and execution to what we do on WDVD. I am thrilled to have her to help improve communication with our important label partners and bringing her own perspective to what we do musically at WDVD.” 

Taylor commented: “I’m so proud to be part of the WDVD team and to earn the title of Music Director. I’m excited to learn from one of the best, and look forward to working with our label friends to make the station even more fun to listen to.” 

The station is advising labels that Taylor's call times are Tuesday and Wednesday from 1pm-2pm Eastern. She may be reached at and at 313.873.9700.

Fayetteville Radio: Gregory Johnson Promoted At WZFX

Beasley Media Group announces Gregory “G Moniy” Johnson has been promoted to Afternoon Drive Personality at WZFX Foxy 99 FM.

Gregory Johnson
Moniy, who has been with the company since 2006, most recently served as a part-time on-air personality.

It’s great to see talent grow within,” said Beasley Media Group Fayetteville Vice President and Market Manager Kent Dunn. “G has demonstrated with his on-air talent that he is the right candidate for the new role. We all look forward in seeing G grow!”

“I’m extremely excited for G,” said Kenny J, Urban Brand Manager and Program Director at WZFX-FM & WUKS-FM. “G started with us In 2006 as an intern, he was later hired as a part-time on-air talent. His energy in the building is amazing. His hard work and passion are undeniable. I look forward to continuing watching G grow as an On-Air Talent.”

“I started out with Beasley Media Group as an intern in college not knowing that the path I was on would be my career,” said Moniy. “I want to thank everyone I’ve ever worked with on this journey. You better believe it only gets better from here!”

Beasley Media Names Todd Handy As Chief Digital Officer

Beasley Media Group announces Todd Handy has been named to the newly created position of Chief Digital Officer at Beasley Media Group. He will officially begin his new role on Friday, November 1, 2019.

Handy has been at the forefront of the digital media space for more than a decade, having spent 6 years in local media responsible for sales, advertising strategy & products, ad operations & analytics, programmatic sales and native advertising. He has also led publisher development, implementation and customer success for an AdTech video startup, as well as worked with blue-chip digital pureplays in display, audio, video, mobile, performance marketing & retargeting and affiliate sales.

Todd Handy
The Utah native most recently held executive positions with several innovative companies, including serving as Vice President of Digital Media & Ad Tech at MarketStar, VP- Publisher Development at Tout and VP- Advertising Strategy & Products at Deseret Digital Media. In addition, he has served on various sales and digital marketing advisory boards as well as the Executive Committee of the Local Media Consortium and the Local Media Association’s Chief Digital Club. Handy currently is a member of the Dream Local Digital Board of Directors.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join Beasley Media Group in this role,” said Handy. “I’ve been impressed by the alignment and focus of the executive team and know of Caroline’s commitment to diversifying revenue and growing the company overall. I look forward to bringing my prior experience together with Beasley’s people, culture and properties to develop solutions that will benefit our listeners, advertisers and employees. I can’t wait to get started!”

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Todd Handy to our Beasley Media Group family,” said Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Beasley. “Todd’s strategic thinking and clear understanding of our long-term goals, combined with his extensive digital media advertising experience and passion for innovation, made him the perfect choice to help us achieve success well into the future.”

Raleigh Radio: Brandon Fanney New GSM At Curtis Media

Curtis Media Group has announced the appointment of  Brandon Fanney as General Sales Manager of CHR WWPL 92.9 FM and WPLW 102.5 FM Pulse FM and Hot AC 92.9 Star FM (W225DF 92.9 FM and WQDR 94.7 HD3) in Raleigh.

Brandon Fanney
Most recently, he was VP/Sales at Voice Media, where he handled sales efforts in Wilmington NC, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg VA.

Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery commented, "We are very pleased to welcome Brandon to Curtis Media Group. His experiences working on successful campaigns with local businesses in markets across the region will serve him well as he begins this new role in the Triangle."

Fanney added, "I am extremely excited to be joining Curtis Media Group and to have the opportunity to lead the sales effort for Pulse FM and Star 92.9. As a native of the Triangle area, I look forward to working with the local businesses that I grew up with, as well as those that are new to market."

Westwood One To Rep The McLaughlin Group Podcast

CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One has announced it will exclusively distribute and sell a new podcast and weekend radio show with The McLaughlin Group. The podcast joins Westwood One Podcast Network on November 1st, and the radio show will debut the weekend of December 7-8th.

Political writer and commentator Tom Rogan hosts the series, alongside original panel members Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, and Clarence Page. A new generation of panelists will also join the group, providing much-needed conversations around politics, culture, and foreign policy issues. Listeners can expect to hear content from the TV program as well as original bonus content in both the radio show and the podcast.

Tom Rogan said, “I'm excited that we have joined the Westwood One family and will reach new audiences across the nation. Our panelists are friends who disagree, agreeably. Their intellectual camaraderie is needed now more than ever.”

“We’re proud to provide access to this legendary show as we gear up for what will certainly be one of the most heated election years in American history,” added Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing, CUMULUS MEDIA and President, Westwood One. “The McLaughlin Group was a pioneer among political talk shows, and this distinguished iteration lead by Tom Rogan offers important commentary at a significant time.”

The McLaughlin Group, produced by BL Sports & Media Group, returned to public television in September. Presenting station Maryland Public Television is broadcasting the series this year before it rolls out nationwide on public television stations and digital platforms in January 2020.

Stations that are interested in affiliating The McLaughlin Group can contact Stuart Greenblatt at or (212) 419-2946 for more information.

RADIO.COM Adds Seamless Integration into Premium Audio Systems

Entercom has announced the expansion of strategic distribution partnerships for RADIO.COM, the fastest-growing digital audio app in the U.S. New distribution partners include Autonomic Controls, DTS Play-Fi and the BluOS hi-res wireless multiroom platform, each fully integrating RADIO.COM and its robust portfolio of on-demand and live digital audio content on their platforms.

“We are committed to our position as a premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in the U.S.,” said David Rosenbloom, Vice President, Corporate Business Development, Entercom. “The partnerships with Autonomic Controls, DTS Play-Fi and BluOS mark yet another expansion to the distribution footprint for RADIO.COM, ensuring that we are delivering the audio content our listeners want wherever and however they want it.”

As part of the partnership, Autonomic Controls and BluOS will fully integrate RADIO.COM and its audio content throughout the entire home via Autonomic’s Tune Bridge application and any speakers or amplifiers from NAD Electronics, Bluesound and DALI Loudspeakers that contain the BluOS platform. DTS Play-Fi users will be able to enjoy RADIO.COM on more than 200 products across 30 brands in the DTS Play-Fi ecosystem, including Onkyo, Pioneer, Klipsch, and Dish TV, among others.

Autonomic Controls, DTS Play-Fi and BluOS join a roster of home and auto-connected devices that carry RADIO.COM, including Amazon Echo, Amazon FireTV, Sonos, Roku, Google Home, Google Chromecast, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and many more.

October 18 Radio History

➦In 1922…The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was established to monitor the development of the radio in Great Britain.

Keith Jackson
➦In 1928...Keith Max Jackson born in Roopville, GA.(Died at age 89 – January 12, 2018). Jackson was a sports commentator, journalist, author and radio personality, known for his career with ABC Sports (1966–2006). While he covered a variety of sports over his career, he is best known for his coverage of college football from 1952 until 2006, and his distinctive voice, "a throwback voice, deep and operatic. A voice that was to college football what Edward R. Murrow's was to war. It was the voice of ultimate authority in his profession. His trademark expression?  “Whoa Nelly!”

The son of a dirt farmer, Jackson was born in Roopville, Georgia and grew up on a farm outside Carrollton, near the Alabama state line.  He was the only surviving child in a poor family and grew up listening to sports on the radio. After enlisting and serving as a mechanic in the United States Marine Corps, he attended Washington State University in Pullman under the G.I. Bill.[8] Jackson began as a political science major, but he became interested in broadcasting.He graduated in 1954 with a degree in speech communications.

Though best known for his college football broadcasts, Jackson announced numerous other sports for ABC throughout his career, including Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, boxing, auto racing, PGA Tour golf, the USFL, and the Olympic Games. He briefly worked college basketball with Dick Vitale. Jackson also served as the pregame, halftime, and postgame anchor for ABC's coverage of Super Bowl XXII in 1988. During his on-air tenure, he is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl as "The Grandaddy of them All" and Michigan Stadium as "The Big House".

Jackson began his career as a broadcaster in 1952, when he called on radio a game between Stanford and Washington State. He then worked for KOMO radio in Seattle, and later for KOMO-TV from 1954 to 1964 as co-anchor for their first news team.

Jackson became a radio news correspondent for ABC News Radio and sports director of ABC Radio West in 1964 before joining ABC Sports in 1966.

➦In 1931…Inventor Thomas Alva Edison died at age 84 (Born February 11, 1847). He has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world.  He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison was raised in the American Midwest; early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, NJ, where many of his early inventions were developed. He later established a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, FL in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, and a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world's first film studio, the Black Maria. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison married twice and fathered six children. He died of complications of diabetes.

➦In 1943...Perry Mason was first heard on CBS Radio Network. The 15-minute continuing series aired weekdays until December 30, 1955. Geared more towards action than courtroom drama, it mixed mystery and soap opera, with attorney Perry Mason sometimes even exchanging gunfire with criminals.

Erle Stanley Gardner's literary success with the Perry Mason novels convinced Warner Bros. to try its hand, unsuccessfully, with some motion pictures. However, the Perry Mason radio show stayed on the air for 12 years.  Mason was played by Barlett Robinson, Santos Ortega, Donald Briggs and finally & most memorably by John Larkin as Perry Mason and Joan Alexander as Della Street. Larkin played the role the longest and was reportedly very disappointed when Raymond Burr got the role for TV in 1957.

➦In 1954…Six years after Bell Laboratories developed the first prototype, Texas Instruments announced the first production model of a transistor radio.  The small portable radio receiver used transistor-based circuitry. The mass-market success of the smaller and cheaper Sony TR-63, released in 1957, led to the transistor radio becoming the most popular electronic communication device of the 1960s and 1970s. Transistor radios are still commonly used as car radios. Billions of transistor radios are estimated to have been sold worldwide between the 1950s and 2012.

The pocket size of transistor radios sparked a change in popular music listening habits, allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went. Beginning in the 1980s, however, cheap AM transistor radios were superseded by devices with higher audio quality such as portable CD players, personal audio players, boomboxes, and (eventually) smartphones.

➦In 1954...WNBC 660 AM, New York City, became WRCA-AM (as a tie-in to their parent company RCA). Six years laterm call letters were changed back to WNBC on June 1, 1960.

➦In 1957...Paul McCartney made his debut appearance with the Quarry Men (led byJohn Lennon) in Liverpool, England.

➦In 1959...Sports personality Christopher Michael Russo known as was born.   Known as Mad Dog, he is best known as the former co-host of the Mike and the Mad Dog sports radio program with Mike Francesa, which was broadcast on WFAN in New York City and simulcast on the YES Network. Russo joined Sirius XM Radio in August 2008 and operates his own channel, Mad Dog Radio. He also hosts an afternoon radio show, Mad Dog Unleashed, SiriusXM Ch. 82 Mad Dog Sports Radio.

Chris Russo
Russo was born in Syosset on Long Island, New York. He went to Rollins College in Orlando graduating with a degree in history.

Prior to joining WFAN, Russo worked for WKIS in Orlando between 1984 and 1987 and WMCA in New York City between 1987 and 1988. During his career at WKIS, when it became clear that the people of Central Florida were having difficulty understanding his accent, the station sent him to see a speech therapist twice a week. He received the "Mad Dog" nickname from New York Daily News Sports TV and Radio critic Bob Raissman, who said Russo's approach to radio reminded him of former professional wrestler Maurice Vachon, who was also known as "Mad Dog."

Russo is known for his quick manner of speaking, his whistles, and his trademark greeting of "Good afternoon everybody!"

➦In 1997…Journalist Nancy Dickerson, the first female correspondent at CBS, died after a stroke at age 70. She reported for NBC News from 1963 to 1970 and is the mother of John Dickerson, who works fro CBS.

Bill King  - 1994
➦In 2005...Sportscaster Wilbur "Bill" King died (Born - October 6, 1927). He was the radio voice of the Oakland Athletics baseball team for 25 years (1981–2005), the longest tenure of any A's announcer since the team's games were first broadcast in Philadelphia in 1938, as well as the longtime radio play-by-play announcer for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders football team and the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors basketball team.

Earlier in his career, he had been a member of the San Francisco Giants' original broadcasting team (together with Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons) when the Giants moved west from New York in 1958, and had called University of California football and basketball games.

King was widely recognized by his distinctive handlebar moustache and Van Dyke beard, as well as his broadcasting catchphrase, "Holy Toledo!"  In 2016, the National Baseball Hall of Fame named King recipient of the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award, the highest honor for American baseball broadcasters.

➦In 2013…Chcago broadcast journalist Hugh Hill at the age of 89.  The son of a coal miner from the southern Illinois town of Gillespie, Hill graduated on the G.I. Bill from the University of Missouri journalism school and worked at radio stations in St. Charles, Aurora and Hammond before joining WBBM 780 AM in 1953.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

R.I.P.: Bob Kingsley, Country Radio Hall of Fame Personality

Bob Kingsley, a radio legend whose voice was synonymous with country music, died on Thursday at his home in Weatherford, Texas while receiving treatment for cancer.

He was 80, according to to

One of broadcasting’s most beloved and iconic figures, Kingsley was a mainstay on radio for 60 years. His dominance in the country format began in 1978 when he took over as host of American Country Countdown after four years as the show’s producer for one of radio’s founding syndication companies, Watermark, founded by Tom Rounds. In 2006, he and his wife and business partner Nan Kingsley established Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, produced by their own KCCS Productions, still running on more than 320 stations.

Kingsley received many of broadcasting’s top honors and was named to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016. He is the namesake and was the first recipient of the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award, presented each year since 2014 at the Grand Ole Opry House and benefitting the Opry Trust Fund.

They were among the many fruits of a career built on a simple premise. “I love the music and the people who make it, and I want our listeners to have as much insight into both as I can give them, and to make the experience as enjoyable as possible,” he once said. (graphic)
Bob’s love for radio and music dated to his childhood, when polio kept him in bed and in near isolation for a year. “I would listen to the radio and certain shows became really important to me. It was complete escapism and entertainment. I didn’t realize the imprint it was making, but it obviously stayed with me,” he said.

At 18, Kingsley joined the Air Force and served in Keflavik, Iceland, where he jumped at a chance to become an announcer on Armed Forces Radio. That experience and his love of country music would carry him to legendary stations like KFOX, KGBS, KFI, and KLAC in Los Angeles, and to his role as the voice of Drake-Chenault’s Great American Country format, used by hundreds of country radio stations.

Kingsley received the Academy of Country Music’s Major Market On-Air Personality of the Year Award in 1966 and 1967 and was named the Country Music Association’s National Broadcast Personality of the Year in 2001 and 2003. He was voted National Air Personality of the Year five times by Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Aircheck and won the ACM’s 2007 National Broadcast Personality of the Year Award. He was chosen as the recipient of the 2012 President’s Award by the CRB. In 2017, Bob received the Mae Boren Axton Service Award in recognition of his dedication and service to the ACM, on whose board he served for decades. He was twice the host and emcee of Alabama’s legendary June Jam.

A celebration of life will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at The CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Aussie's Kyle & Jackie Join List Of Top Earning Radio Personalities

Kyle and Jackie
Australian radio personality Kyle Sandilands has described the new $80million contract he and Jackie 'O' Henderson have signed with ARN as 'the biggest media deal in Australian history'.

And Daily Mail Australia can reveal that is no exaggeration as the KIIS 106.5 stars now rank among the highest-paid radio personalities in the world.

With Kyle and Jackie each set to earn $8 million annually for the next five years, here's how they compare to the top stars in American radio.

Of the publicly-available radio contract salaries, these are the top 10 highest-paid radio hosts globally:

10. Dan Patrick, Premiere Networks: US$5million

Dan Patrick used to host SportsCenter on ESPN for years, and hosted The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN radio. Since leaving ESPN, he now syndicates his radio show across the U.S. via Premiere Networks.

9. Mike Golic, ESPN Radio: US$5million

Former NFL player Mike Golic

8/7. Kyle Sandilands and Jackie 'O' Henderson: KIIS FM (ARN): AUD$8million each

Australia's Kyle and Jackie O made it on to the top 10 list this week after increasing their annual salaries as part of their five-year contract with ARN.

According to industry sources, they will be paid an estimated $8million each per year over the term of the new deal, which values it at $80million.

This represents a doubling of the previous contract they signed in 2016, when it was reported they were to be paid an estimated $20million each over five years.

6. Glenn Beck, Premiere Networks: US$8.5million

Former Fox and CNN presenter Glenn Beck founded Mercury Radio Arts, which includes the website The Blaze. However, Forbes claimed in 2018 that most of his US$8.5million earnings come from his radio contract with Premiere.

5. Michael Savage, Westwood One: US$10million

Conservative radio personality Michael Savage is reported to be paid $10million for hosting the Westwood One broadcast, The Savage Nation.

4. Sean Hannity, Premiere Networks: US$36million

Forbes reported in 2018 that the outspoken Fox News anchor earned an estimated $53million between his television and talk radio duties.

3. Ryan Seacrest, iHeartRadio: US$74million 

Ryan Seacrest made his fortune hosting TV shows as well as producing behind the scenes.

But in 2018, Forbes claimed that the bulk of his US$74million income comes from his role with iHeartRadio.

2. Rush Limbaugh, syndicated to 650+ stations: US$84.5million

Forbes has described conservative host Rush Limbaugh as 'America's most-listened-to radio host', with his talkback show being syndicated to more than 650 stations.

1. Howard Stern, SiriusXM: US$90million

Howard Stern, known as the 'King of All Media', reportedly earns US$90million from his radio contract annually.

According to Forbes in 2018, Stern was entering the third year of his eight-figure contract with SiriusXM at the time.

Report: Podcasts Gain Traction, Women

Cumulus Media's Westwood One is releasing the results of its latest Westwood One’s Podcast Download -- Fall 2019 Report, which has studied podcast audience and advertiser trends over the last three years. Much like its predecessors, the Fall 2019 edition reveals valuable insights for content creators and advertisers.

“On the audience side, our latest study finds the majority of new podcast listeners are women, and that there is a disconnect between smart speaker ownership and smart speaker usage for podcasts,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “For advertisers, it’s important to understand that podcast ad preferences for the industry and listeners are at a crossroads – listeners want host-read ads, while the use of traditional pre-produced ads is growing.”

The study also found podcast events are a huge growth opportunity for content providers and advertisers, and that brands looking to reach cord-cutters can find them in podcast audiences

Here is a more detailed look at the report findings:
  • Women continue to close the gap in podcasting: Growth in time spent with podcasts and the majority of new podcast listeners are women. For the second consecutive year, podcast listenership is up among women. Compared to July 2017, weekly female podcast listeners are spending +23% more time with podcasts. This growth in time spent is 3X that of total weekly podcast listeners. Weekly female podcast listeners have downloaded +13% more podcasts and they listened to +15% more podcasts compared to July 2017.
  • Podcast events are a huge growth opportunity for content providers and advertisers: Podcast listeners are willing to travel, intend to go to more events, and open to spending. These podcast event-goers skew male, Millennial 18-34, and are heavy podcast and audio users. One out of five heavy podcast listeners (19%) reported attending a live podcast show. 52% of podcast event-goers are willing to travel over 25 miles to see a live show. Event-goers are willing to spend an average of $42 for tickets.
  • A disconnect exists between smart speaker ownership and smart speaker usage for podcasts: While smart speaker ownership has increased, there is little podcast listening on smart speakers. According to Edison Research’s Q2 2019 “Share of Ear,” 30% of Americans own a smart speaker, tripling in a mere two years. Although podcast listeners are 33% more likely to own a smart speaker, their device ownership is not translating into smart speaker podcast listening. From 2017 to 2019, the number of weekly podcast listeners who use smart speakers to listen to podcasts only grew from 16% to 18%.
  • Podcast ad preferences for the industry and listeners are at a crossroads: Podcast listeners prefer host-read ads while pre-produced podcast commercials are increasing. Since 2017, weekly podcast listeners stated they favor host-voiced ads over pre-produced ads. This is particularly true for Millennials 18-34 and women. However, the recently released “Full Year 2018 Podcast Ad Revenue Study” from IAB/PWC reported that usage of host-read ads is falling while pre-produced ads are growing. In 2017, host-read ads represented 67% of the podcast ads delivered. That fell to 63% in 2018, a decrease of -6%. Meanwhile, pre-produced ads have grown +12% between 2017 and 2018.
  • Brands looking to reach cord-cutters can find them in podcast audiences: Millennials 18-34 and female weekly podcast listeners are more likely to be cord-cutters. Podcast audiences provide a new way of reaching cord-cutters. Among weekly podcast listeners, 29% don’t have a subscription with any pay-TV company, and that number grows among Millennials 18-34 (34%) and women (36%). To reach lost audiences who have cut the cord on their pay-TV packages, advertisers can now turn to podcasts.