Saturday, November 9, 2019

November 10 Radio History

➦In 1938...32-year-old Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America' on her CBS radio network show. Smith was a major star of radio. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (1935–36), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).

The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.

Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.

Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside.

In 1938, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation Russian immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer." (In her first broadcast of the song, Kate Smith sang "that we're far from there" rather than "for a land so fair".)

➦In 1950...a radio comedy series The Magnificent Montague starring Monty Woolley debuted on NBC. It may rank as radio’s last original sitcom. Ironically, its final airing was exactly one year later, as TV continued to steal the radio audience.

➦In 1956...Billboard magazine's DJ survey reveals that Elvis Presley is the country's number one male artist on both the pop and country charts.

➦In 1966...British newspapers break the news that the Beatles were ending their live concerts.

Struggling to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans, the band had grown increasingly bored with the routine of performing live. Recognizing that their shows were no longer about the music, they decided to make the August 1966 tour their last. The last US concert was at Candlestick Park, San Francisco on August 29, 1966.  A crowd of 25,000 saw the Beatles final concert which began at 8:00 pm.The support acts,in order of appearance,were The Remain, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle and the Ronettes. The Beatles played from 9:27 pm until precisely 10:00 pm on a stage five feet high surrounded by security and police

The famous and very final Beatles concert would be the famous Rooftop concert January 30, 1969.

➦In 1992...First AM HD Radio broadcast with audio codec.

➦In 2003…Irving "Irv" Kupcinet died at age 91 (Born - July 31, 1912). He was a  newspaper columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, television talk-show host, and radio personality based in Chicago. He was popularly known by the nickname "Kup".

His daily "Kup's Column" was launched in 1943 and remained a fixture in the Sun-Times for the next six decades.  He also was Chicago Bears radio color commentator.

➦In 2010...David Arnold Niehaus died (Born - February 19, 1935).  He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the MLB's Seattle Mariners from their inaugural season in 1977 until his death after the 2010 season. In 2008, the National Baseball Hall of Fame awarded Niehaus the Ford C. Frick Award, the highest honor for American baseball broadcasters. Among fans nationwide and his peers, Niehaus was considered to be one of the finest sportscasters in history.

Niehaus graduated from Indiana University in 1957, entered the military, and began his broadcasting career with Armed Forces Radio. He became a partner of Dick Enberg on the broadcast team of the California Angels in 1969. Niehaus also broadcast the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and UCLA Bruins football and basketball during this period.

Fired CBS Producer Insists She's Not ABC Whistleblower

Megyn Kelly launched her news comeback Friday with an exclusive interview with a former ABC News producer who was accused of leaking the Amy Robach “hot mic” clip— but who tearfully denies doing so, according to The NY Post.

The producer, Ashley Bianco, 25, was fired from a new job at CBS last week after her former bosses identified her — wrongly, she insists — as the leak.

“I’m not the whistleblower,” she sobs at one point.

“I just want my career back. I want people to know I didn’t do it. That’s all I want.”

“Did you leak the tape?” Kelly asks Bianco, as the interview begins.

“No, I did not,” Bianco answers.

“Not to anyone?” Kelly asks.

Again, Bianco insists, “No.”

Meanwhile, Fox News is reporting ABC News and CBS News are both facing a firestorm of criticism over their response to a leaked video featuring ABC anchor Amy Robach complaining that the network had spiked an interview with a prominent accuser of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Earlier this week, reports circulated that ABC had identified the employee suspected of leaking the Robach video to controversial watchdog group Project Veritas. According to the reports, ABC executives informed their counterparts at CBS, where the staffer had recently been hired, of their suspicions and the employee soon lost her job.

Bianco, a former producer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” who joined “CBS This Morning” last month, said she was fired by CBS after the network received a call from ABC informing her new boss that she once had access to the leaked video.

Bianco told Kelly that she doesn’t know who leaked the tape because “everyone” at ABC was aware it existed. She also insisted she had never heard of Project Veritas before this week.

“I begged, I pleaded, I didn’t know what I had done wrong,” she told Kelly. “I wasn’t even given the professional courtesy to defend myself. It was humiliating, it was devastating.”

Meanwhile, the alleged leaker -- using the pseudonym "Ignotus" -- began the piece published by Project Veritas by stressing, "I did not and do not seek any personal gain from this information whether it be financial or otherwise," and expressed their desire to make the information public out of "anger, confusion and sadness."

CBS News declined to comment on Bianco's claim. ABC News did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The dual revelations sparked an avalanche of criticism over the fallout of the leaker crackdown.

Fox News, Facebook Ban Outing Of Ukraine Whistleblower

A report claims that Fox News’ management has forbidden network hosts to use the name of the alleged whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, reports The Epoch Times.

On Oct. 31, an unnamed executive emailed Fox News staff that the network hasn’t “independently confirmed [the] name or identification of the anonymous whistleblower” and called on staffers to “NOT fulfill any video or graphic requests” in relation to the identity of the anonymous person’s identity, CNN reported.

Jeanine Pirro, the host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” suggested on Nov. 1 that hosts were going to follow such guidelines, saying that she and other hosts “apparently can’t say” the person’s name.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity also said on Monday that he “confirmed independently” the name of the person. “You know what, I will play the game for a little bit,” he told viewers. “I will take the lawyers’ threats that they’re going to sue me; it wouldn’t go anywhere.”

There have been reports that identified the whistleblower, who apparently worked for the CIA.

Meanwhile The NY Times is reporting Facebook has taken down articles posted by Breitbart that purported to identify the whistle-blower who triggered the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, just two weeks after including the site in the lineup of publishers whose work would be featured in a new news product.

The president and his supporters have argued that the whistle-blower should be identified because, they say, his revelations about a phone call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine were politically motivated. But others have urged the protection of his anonymity, citing his safety and deference to whistle-blower statutes, which are designed to encourage people to bring information to light in the public interest.

In an article on Friday, Breitbart said its posts naming the person were taken down on Wednesday. Facebook said it was taking down any mention of the name throughout the platform, regardless of the source.

“Any mention of the potential whistle-blower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant or activist,’” a Facebook spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistle-blower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate.”

NOLA Radio: Warrant For Seth Dunlap Refused

Seth Dunlap (screenshot)
A New Orleans police detective went to a judge on Wednesday and applied for a warrant to arrest former WWL Radio sports-talk show host Seth Dunlap on a count of extortion, multiple criminal justice sources say.

According to citing one of the sources with knowledge of the application, the detective presented evidence to back up his central allegation: that the openly gay radio personality used his phone to launch a homophobic insult at himself via the radio station’s Twitter account before demanding nearly $2 million to settle complaints about a hostile workplace.

But Magistrate Commissioner Robert Blackburn rejected the warrant. The sources said Blackburn didn’t find the evidence backed up a charge of extortion, which is defined as making threats to a person “with the intention (to) obtain anything of value.”

The extent of the threat that Dunlap is accused of making — he allegedly pledged to go “scorched earth” on the station if it didn’t accede to his settlement demands — didn’t justify the felony charge, Blackburn determined.

NOPD officials on Friday said that the case remained “active and ongoing.”

Dunlap used his Twitter account Sept. 10 to promote his analysis of the Saints’ win against Houston the previous day. Shortly thereafter, WWL Radio’s official Twitter account retweeted Dunlap while referring to him as “a fag.”

Though the tweet was quickly deleted, screenshots of it circulated just as rapidly. Many condemned the station while expressing support for Dunlap, who days earlier had published a lengthy post on his personal Facebook page about his challenges as a gay man working in sports media.

Within days, Dunlap announced that he was going on leave to ponder his next steps, including the possibility of filing a suit alleging a hostile workplace.

In the meantime, WWL Radio and its corporate parent, Pennsylvania-based Entercom, hired a digital forensic specialist to identify whoever had sent the insult to Dunlap from the station’s Twitter account, which several people could access.

WWL later announced that forensic probe showed the tweet came from an IP address — a unique number given to cellphones and other pieces of hardware — associated with Dunlap’s phone.

L-A Radio: KOST-FM Goes Festive With Holiday Hits

iHeartMedia's  AC KOST 103.5 FM Los Angeles has already returned to its annual non-stop holiday music programming.  The holiday hits resumed at 5pm Friday.

Branding as "Southern California's official home for the holidays," KOST will air Christmas classics from artists including Barry Manilow, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and more, to contemporary Christmas songs from today's artists.

As part of KOST's Official Holiday Kick Off Celebration, recording artist Gwen Stefani performed select songs from her holiday album, "You Make it Feel Like Christmas" during "iHeartRadio LIVE with Gwen Stefani" at the iHeartRadio Theater LA in Burbank. The event also aired as a national radio broadcast across select iHeartMedia AC and Hot AC stations with a live video stream on iHeartRadio's YouTube Channel.

During a Q&A session with Ellen K, Gwen reflected on her lifelong passion to create a Christmas album, but unsure when she'd ever have the time. If you'll recall, You Make It Feel Like Christmas was originally released in 2017.

"It was my fantasy to be Mariah Carey basically when I grew up."

While on a spiritual run, the inspiration for a Christmas tune came to the No Doubt singer.

"I was thinking about this Christmas record and if I could write a song what would it be and all of a sudden this whole chorus and lyrics came into my head."

That song eventually became Christmas Eve, a track on her Christmas album that she likens to a prayer.

"Christmas for me is a magical time of the year. To be able to be a musical part of peoples tradition and apart of their holiday and their joy in their house, with the songs that I wrote is just my fantasy."

"Writing Christmas music is just so different and has a deeper message and it's so spiritual and it's so magical."

"The holiday season in Southern California is officially underway when the first notes of holiday music are heard on KOST 103.5 - we have become the soundtrack for holiday music in Southern California and beyond," said KOST Program Director John Peake. "We've been sharing the holidays with our listeners for 19 consecutive years and in 2018, KOST 103.5 set a new record reaching more than 5.3 million festive minded listeners. We can't wait to do it again this year."

Rochester NY Radio: WPXY-FM Gets Breezy In Morning Drive

Entercom has announced Brianna “Breezy” Sloth as morning show co-host for 98 PXY WPXY-FM in Rochester. Breezy will join veteran co-host Corey James on “#TeamPXY,” weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

“Breezy has an undeniable work ethic and tenacity while delivering her one-of-a-kind, friendly and outgoing personality on the air,” said Sue Munn, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Rochester. “She has a real familiarization with our station, this market and its devoted listeners, and we’re thrilled to have her on board.”

“Since I was 15 years old, my dream has been to be on the radio,” said Breezy. “I’m so excited for this opportunity to be sitting alongside Corey James, my co-host and, more importantly, my friend, living the dream every morning. Dreams don’t work unless you do, so work hard and keep on pushing.”

Breezy joined 98 PXY as an intern for the station’s morning show in 2017. Following her graduation from SUNY Oswego, Breezy assumed various roles for the station, including in promotions and programming as 98 PXY’s night show host, morning show fill-in host, and morning and evening drive traffic reporter. 

Listeners can tune in to 98 PXY (WPXY-FM) in Rochester on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Pat Sajack In Sick Bay, Vanna Hosts Wheel

Legendary "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak is recovering from emergency surgery, reports USAToday.

The game show announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that Sajak, 73, underwent a successful procedure to "correct a blocked intestine."

"He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work," the game show's Twitter account added.

Vanna and Pat
"Wheel of Fortune" has been Sajak's hosting home for the last 36 years, a Guinness World Record for the longest career as a game show host for the same show.

Although Sajak is on the mend, Thursday’s taping of "Wheel of Fortune" was canceled. Shooting for the 37th season resumed Friday with longtime co-host Vanna White at the helm for episodes that will air starting Dec. 9.

"Taping resumed today as scheduled and Vanna White has stepped in as host," the show's Twitter account added, along with a "Get Well Soon Pat!" message on the iconic puzzle board.

White filled in once before for one segment of the show, when Sajak had laryngitis in 1996.

Entercom Acknowledges Ransomware Attack

For the first time, Entercom acknowledged that it was hit with a “cyberattack” in September.

On Friday's investor's call, Entercom CFO Rich Schmaeling said the company lost about $400,000 in revenue and had to make an additional $2 million investment in cybersecurity measures.

The Philadelphia Business Journal citing several sources familiar with the situation have said the company’s entire computer network suffered severe damage in what was a ransomware attack, leaving employees without phone and email for days. At the time, Entercom would only say it was “experiencing a disruption of some IT systems.”

CEO David Field also spoke a great deal Friday about the company’s digital expansion. It has became a major player in the podcast world with the acquisition of two companies in the quarter — producer Pineapple Street Media and studio and distribution company Cadence13. Field said the total acquisition cost was $48 million, well below what some media reports had indicated initially.

The additions make Entercom the No. 3 U.S. podcast publisher behind NPR and iHeart Media. And Field expects growth there since sports is one of the most popular podcast subjects and Entercom has the most sports talk stations of any radio company.

Schmaeling said digital now constitutes 12% of Entercom’s revenue pie. As a basis of comparison, rival Beasley Broadcast Group said during its third quarter earnings call Thursday that digital accounted for about 7%.

FCC Orders Broadcast Groups To Negotiate With AT&T In Dispute

The FCC on Friday said it was directing broadcast station groups to go to the negotiating table over whether to allow local stations to air on AT&T Inc’s DirectTV after some consumers have been without access for five months, according to Reuters.

In June, AT&T filed a bad faith complaint against nine individual station owners, which collectively pulled 20 stations in 17 cities from DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and/or U-verse. The nine station groups are either managed or controlled by Sinclair Broadcast Group, AT&T said.

One of these owners controls three ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX affiliates; another has two, and five owners have one. AT&T said it has reached agreement with three of the nine broadcasters named in the complaint.

AT&T reached settlements with two of the groups, while the FCC said the seven remaining broadcast station groups “violated the per se good faith negotiation standards” and cited repeated delays by the negotiator for the owners in agreeing to talks. “This is the most egregious example of delay that we have encountered since the good faith rules were adopted,” the FCC said.

Sinclair said the “matter is between these licensees and the FCC. We have no involvement in these negotiations.”

AT&T said the “FCC ruling that the broadcast station groups’ behavior was a violation of its rules shows again that the entire retransmission consent process is broken and demands immediate reform.”

The company added it was “clearly one of the more egregious examples of how broadcasters routinely hold consumers hostage into paying higher and higher retrans fees, rather than being stewards of the public airwaves.”

In October, Sinclair said it had reached a multiyear agreement across DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse for continued use of Sinclair’s owned local broadcast stations and other programming, including the Tennis Channel and a regional sports network featuring Chicago Cubs games launching in 2020.

The dispute comes as Congress is considering whether to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELAR), a law governing the retransmission of broadcast television by satellite companies. If the law is not extended, the FCC will lose authority to enforce “good faith” rules with regard to retransmission consent.

November 9 Radio History

➦In 1895...George Dewey Hay born in Attica, Indiana ( Died – May 8, 1968). He was radio personality, announcer and newspaper reporter. He was the founder of the original Grand Ole Opry radio program on WSM-AM in Nashville, Tennessee, from which the country music stage show of the same name evolved.

In Memphis, Tennessee, after World War I, he was a reporter for the Commercial Appeal, and when the newspaper launched its own radio station, WMC-AM, in January 1923, he became a late-night announcer at the station.  His popularity increased and in May 1924 he left for WLS-AM in Chicago, where he served as the announcer on a program that became National Barn Dance.
George D. Hay

On November 9, 1925, he moved on to WSM-AM in Nashville. Getting a strong listener reaction to 78-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson that November, Hay announced the following month that WSM would feature "an hour or two" of old-time music every Saturday night. He promoted the music and formed a booking agency.

The show was originally named WSM Barn Dance, and Hay billed himself as "The Solemn Old Judge." The Barn Dance was broadcast after NBC's Music Appreciation Hour, a program featuring classical music and grand opera. One day in December 1927, the final music piece on the Music Appreciation Hour depicted the sound of a rushing locomotive. After the show ended, "Judge Hay" opened the WSM Barn Dance with this announcement:
Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch [host of the program] told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'.
Hay then introduced the man he dubbed "The Harmonica Wizard," DeFord Bailey, who played his classic train song, "The Pan American Blues," named for the crack Louisville and Nashville Railroad passenger train The Pan-American. After Bailey's performance, Hay commented, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the Grand Ole Opry."

During the 1930s, he was involved with Rural Radio, one of the first magazines about country music, developing the Opry for NBC and working on the movie Grand Ole Opry (1940). He was an announcer with the radio show during the 1940s and toured with Opry acts, including the September 1947 Opry show at Carnegie Hall.

He was featured in Hoosier Holiday, a 1945 film from Republic Pictures, in a cast that also included Dale Evans.  Hay was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame two years before his death in 1968.

➦In 1925...KQP in Portland Oregon signed-on and the station changed its call sign to KOIN on April 12, 1926.

It became an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), now known as the CBS Radio Network, on September 1, 1929.  During the golden years of radio, KOIN was one of Portland's major radio stations, with an extensive array of local programming, including live music from its own studio orchestra.

As a CBS radio affiliate, KOIN was the local home for CBS radio programs such as the CBS World News Roundup, Lux Radio Theater and Suspense. An FM station, KOIN-FM at 101.1, was launched in 1948. Both stations were owned by Field Enterprises, Inc. from 1947 until sold in 1952 to the Mount Hood Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.

KOIN and KOIN-FM were sold on May 1, 1977 to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company, and effective May 12, 1977 their call signs changed to KYTE (both AM and FM).  Its affiliation with CBS ended, and the CBS Radio Network's programming in the Portland market moved to KYXI at that time.

The stations using the former KOIN frequencies currently are KUFO (AM) and KXL-FM.

➦In 1925...the three day Fourth National US Radio Conference began in Washington, D.C. During the year since the previous conference, the number of US stations with 500 watts or more had nearly doubled from 115 to 197.

➦In 1930...sportscaster Charlie Jones was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas. For more than 30 years he called NFL football for NBC Sports.  He also broadcast baseball, golf, tennis, track & field at the Olympics, and soccer.  Jones died June 12 2008 at age 77.

➦In 1948...“This is Your Life” debuted on NBC radio. Ralph Edwards hosted the radio show for two years and for nine more (1952-1961) on television.

➦In 1961...Brian Epstein saw the Beatles play for the first time, at one of their lunchtime sessions at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He became interested in the group after a customer in his record store inquired about a German import single of the Beatles backing singer Tony Sheridan on “My Bonnie.” Epstein soon became the Beatles’ manager, cleaning up their greasy, Teddy Boy image with collarless grey suits and the now familiar Beatle haircuts.

➦In 1965...At dusk on November 9, the biggest power failure in U.S. history occurred as all of New York state, portions of seven neighboring states, and parts of eastern Canada are plunged into darkness. The Great Northeast Blackout began at the height of rush hour, delaying millions of commuters, trapping 800,000 people in New York's subways, and stranding thousands more in office buildings, elevators, and trains. Ten thousand National Guardsmen and 5,000 off-duty policemen were called into service to prevent looting.

Here's how it sounded on 77 WABC with Dan Ingram.  The audio also includes Ingram on November 10...

The blackout was caused by the tripping of a 230-kilovolt transmission line near Ontario, Canada, at 5:16 p.m., which caused several other heavily loaded lines also to fail. This precipitated a surge of power that overwhelmed the transmission lines in western New York, causing a "cascading" tripping of additional lines, resulting in the eventual breakup of the entire Northeastern transmission network.

All together, 30 million people in eight U.S. states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec were affected by the blackout. During the night, power was gradually restored to the blacked-out areas, and by morning power had been restored throughout the Northeast.

➦In 1968...Gerald Mohr died at age 54 (Born - June 11, 1914). He was a radio, film, and television character actor and frequent leading man, who appeared in more than 500 radio plays, 73 films, and over 100 television shows.

Gerald Mohr
Mohr made more than 500 appearances in radio roles throughout the 1930s, '40s, and early '50s. One of his early starring roles on radio was as a replacement for Matt Crowley for a brief interval in Jungle Jim in 1938.  He starred as Raymond Chandler's hardboiled detective, Philip Marlowe 1948–1951, in 119 half-hour radio plays. He also starred in The Adventures of Bill Lance, and as Michael Lanyard in The Lone Wolf.

He was one of the actors who portrayed Archie Goodwin in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe, frequently starred in The Whistler, and acted in different roles in multiple episodes of Damon Runyon Theater and Frontier Town. He played multiple roles in the anthology series Crime Is My Pastime and was the narrator for the serial Woman from Nowhere.

Other radio appearances include The Jack Benny Program, Our Miss Brooks, The Shadow of Fu Manchu, Box 13, Escape, and Lux Radio Theatre.

In the early 1950s, Mohr made a series of recordings for the Voice of America. Unlike most material for the VOA, these were intended for broadcast by radio stations in the United States, with the goal of debunking propaganda broadcast from behind the Iron Curtain.

➦In 1969..."Bridge over Troubled Water" single recorded by Simon & Garfunkel.  Despite the song's five-minute length, Columbia decided to service "Bridge" to pop radio. Bob Dylan had previously landed a song past the three-minute barrier on AM radio with "Like a Rolling Stone" in 1965, which played into Columbia's decision. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970, and stayed at the top of the chart for six weeks. It also topped the adult contemporary chart in the US for six weeks. Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1970.

The song was certified gold for over one million copies in the US by the Recording Industry Association of America, and the song has sold over six million copies worldwide, making it among the best-selling singles

➦In 1999...The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announces the century's big winners, sales-wise: The Beatles have sold the most albums (106 million), with Garth Brooks and Barbra Streisand the most successful male and female solo artists. Elvis Presley leads the pack on gold and platinum certifications with 77 (singles) and 80 (albums), while Elton John's "Candle In The Wind '97" (rewritten as a tribute to the recently-deceased Princess Diana) is the best-selling single of the century. The best-selling album, suprisingly, is the Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975, which has just overtaken Michael Jackson's Thriller.

A Young Art Carney
➦In 2003...TV/radio/film great Art Carney died in his sleep at 85 years of age.

He had been enormously popular as Jackie Gleason’s sewer-worker pal Ed Norton in the TV classic The Honeymooners. He began as a radio actor, appearing regularly on Gangbusters and The March of Time, among many others. Carney also won the Best-Actor Oscar for the film Harry and Tonto (1974).

➦In 2006...Ed Bradley, former CBS newsman and 60 Minutes journalist, died from complications of leukemia at age 66.  Bradley started with CBS News in 1961 and was shipped to the Saigon bureau during the Vietnam War. He joined 60 Minutes in 1981. His distinctive body of work as a broadcast journalist was recognized with 20 Emmys and many other awards.

➦In 2013…longtime Chicago radio deejay Carla Leonardo succumbed to acute myeloid leukemia at age 63. Over 35-years her upbeat personality had been heard over WLUP-FM, WDRV-FM, frequently spotlighting local bands.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Alleged ABC Whistleblower Goes Public During Megyn Kelly Interview

The Emmy-winning producer who was fired for allegedly “leaking” Amy Robach’s bombshell hot mic admission that ABC killed her Jeffrey Epstein sex slave story is going public in an interview with Megyn Kelly.

The former ABC staffer, who Page Six has confirmed is Ashley Bianco, 25, has recorded an interview with Kelly which will air on the former Fox News star’s YouTube channel, her Instagram and IGTV Friday.

Bianco, who worked as a producer on “Good Morning America” for three years until last month, was fired from CBS News on Thursday after the network was told by ABC that she had allegedly leaked the video of a frustrated Robach describing how execs had nixed her interview with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts to curry favor with the British royal family. Robach is seen saying, “We were so afraid we weren’t be able to interview Kate and Will that we … quashed the story … It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton … I tried for three years to get it on [air].”

Robach’s hot mic comments were never intended for air and ABC News execs suspect Bianco cut the clip and took it before she left for CBS on October 28. Insiders say they were able to determine from internal logs that the tape was accessed and edited at a specific time and date from Bianco’s former workstation. It was leaked to Project Veritas who posted the video on Tuesday.

Kelly, 48, teased her Bianco interview Friday morning by joining Instagram, where she said, “We got the full story and you are going to be fascinated by it.” This is Kelly’s first big comeback since she left NBC last year after her controversial blackface comments and sources say Bianco approached Kelly.

Bianco did not immediately respond to calls and emails for comment.

Entercom Stock Soars After Exceptional 3Q Earnings

Entercom Communications Corp.’s stock price jumped by almost 18% Friday after third quarter earnings exceeded analyst estimates for the first time in over a year.

Accoridng to The Phildelaphia Business Journal, the company reported a profit of $38.2 million, or 28 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents per share and representing a 3.4% increase from the same period last year. Operating income ticked up to $79.5 million from $78.7 million.

Rich Schmaeling
Revenue increased 2% to $386.1 million, beating the consensus estimate of $382.9 million. Minus political advertising — which has declined from 2018 due to the lack of midterm elections — revenue increased by 3%.

Entercom CFO Rich Schmaeling said he anticipates fourth quarter revenue increasing by 2% to 4%. He added that the nation’s second-largest radio station operator should see both topline and bottom line revenue growth in 2020 based on the continued prominence of, sports betting becoming legal in more states and a jump in political advertising during a presidential election year.

Wall Street seemed pleased with Entercom’s performance, as the stock jumped by as much as 17.8% in Friday trading to $4.43 — up from Thursday’s closing price of $3.69.

The response was a marked change from the 37% decline in Entercom’s stock price after second quarter earnings fell well short of analyst estimates.

For some context, Entercom’s stock was trading at above $10 a share until May 2018, when investors were caught off guard by the company reporting a $14 million first quarter 2018 loss. Despite revenue increasing this year, the stock’s price continued to decline as the investment community became wary of the company’s slower than expected revenue growth and high debt load.

FCC, NAB Want Circuit Court To Reconsider Ownership Rules

Thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a Bill Clinton-era law that overhauled regulation of media, there's a big brawl that inevitably occurs every four years in court. The FCC undertakes a quadrennial review of its broadcast ownership rules, and groups file legal challenges complaining that the agency skirted its duties and came to unjustifiable conclusions.

"Here we are again," began a Sept. 23 opinion by 3rd Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro.

Except this time, according to The Hollywood Reporter, there was some difference. Thanks to the election of Donald Trump, the conservatives, led by chairman Ajit Pai, got voting control over the FCC, and they've pursued a deregulatory regime with fervor. Out went a rule banning common ownership of a daily newspaper and broadcast station in a single market as well as a restrictions on mergers that would leave fewer than eight independently owned stations in the market. These changes, among others, caused civil rights and public interest groups to file their own court challenges, which led to a scathing 3rd Circuit decision two months ago that halted the FCC's action plan.

On Thursday, the FCC and others moved for reconsideration before a fuller panel at the 3rd Circuit. The agency describes a situation where its powers have been neutered over the past couple decades while begging for deference and restoration "as the congressionally empowered overseer of media ownership regulation."

The National Association of Broadcasters has joined with the FCC in seeking a full court hearing of the U.S. Court of Appeals' three-judge panel decision vacating most of the FCC's broadcast dereg decision.

Broadcasters are arguing that the panel was wrong to reject the FCC's reasonable balancing of its obligation to consider competition with its policy of promoting diversity (the court vacated the dereg because it said the FCC had not sufficiently considered its impact on diversity), and that the FCC had "properly amended its ownership rules based on competitive changes in the marketplace."

The FCC filed its petition earlier in the day Thursday (Nov. 7), but NAB, joined by Nexstar, the News Media Alliance (one of the FCC's deregulatory moves was to eliminate the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rule), and Fox, was not far behind in seeking full court (en banc) review.

L-A Radio: KROQ & Friends Bids Farewell To Bean

Gene 'Bean' Baxter off to England

On Gene “Bean” Baxter’s final day on the air at KROQ 106.7 FM as part of “The Kevin & Bean Show,” emotions were expected to run high, and did — but, according to Variety,  maybe not quite in the way that was expected when Jim “Poorman” Trenton called in to bid farewell to Baxter, in what was his first appearance on the station’s airwaves since he was fired 26 years earlier for targeting Baxter in a prank gone bad.

Was it a fond farewell? For a few moments at the end, yes, at least as lip service goes. Prior to that, though, were six of the tensest minutes you could ever hope to hear on the radio, amid a four-hour sendoff otherwise devoted to tears, laughs and teary laughs.

This transfixing reunion was set in motion after Bean took a congratulatory call from the morning show’s newsman of many years ago, “Doc on the Roq,” now an Episcopal clergyman in Santa Barbara, who bantered easily with the duo and in-studio guests Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, both KROQ alumni. It came up, in jest, that maybe they’d be hearing from “the Poorman” next — in jest because Trenton’s firing was an ugly one, involving Bean in a big way, and landed in court in the mid-’90s, with the radio station prevailing.

And then suddenly it was no joke, as the team, which was about to welcome Dave Grohl onto the show, announced that the Poorman was waiting on another line, and took a voice poll over whether to let the station’s most famously disenfranchised former employee come on.

They did, and things got even realer than anticipated, even after Bean flatteringly introduced Trenton as being “on the Mount Rushmore of KROQ personalities” and “one of the greats who helped build this radio station into the icon it is today. He did not leave under great circumstances, though…”

Toward the end of the four hours, Bean, who admitted he had originally planned to take a last day on the air without even telling the audience it was his last day, made another confession: “Can I just say that I was wrong — this is really fun? Having everybody calling in and the boys in the studio, I’m having a good time today.”

L-A Radio: Isa Gonzalez To Program KLLI

Meruelo Media has announced that veteran programmer Isabel “Isa” González has joined the company as Content and Brand Director for Spanish CHR station “CALI 93.9” KLLI-FM Los Ángeles.

Isabel Gonzalez
Isabel was most recently at Univision Radio where she was Sr. Content Director and Music Specialist for KLVE, KRCD and a group of other Spanish language stations for the past 9 years.

“Isa is a proven winner in one of the country’s most competitive markets,” stated Otto Padrón, Meruelo Media President and CEO. “Her talent, leadership and exceptional cultural insights will be instrumental in shaping the sound, image and unique brand position of the new CALI 93.9, home of the hottest music today!”

Isabel “Isa” Gonzalez is a tested radio veteran with a long career that expands more than 25 years. She began at 16 years old as a weather and traffic reporter in KLVE and KNTQ in Los Angeles. Her passion for music and special ability to build consensus led her on a programming path where her creative direction, talent development and content strategy forged a winning record. As such, in 2017 and 2018, Isabel was recognized as one of America’s best program directors. Isabel has worked the full spectrum of radio formats from talk to regional Mexican and Spanish pop. Her vision and management style, has allowed her to guide multiple winning radio teams through the most demanding situations and performance environments.

Born and raised in Los Angeles with strong family roots in México, Isabel is fully bilingual and uniquely bi-cultural. “CALI 93.9 is the perfect fit for me, because it reflects my duality” remarked Isabel, “The opportunity to work alongside veteran Power 106 PD, Emmanuel ‘E-man’ Coquia is a professional blessing.” continued Isabel, “The responsibility to lead the amazing staff of the new CALI 93.9 is a privilege – ¡vamos con todo!”

Disney Profit Slumps Over Start-Up Costs For Disney+

Walt Disney Co.’s hit movies, led by “The Lion King” and “Toy Story 4,” once again helped drive strong quarterly results. But, reports The Wall Street Journal, the company is largely looking beyond the theater for its future, focusing instead on reasons for folks to stay home.

Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger has spent billions of dollars buying franchises, from the Avengers to Star Wars—brands that will soon be put to the test when Disney launches Disney+, its putative streaming rival to Netflix Inc.

“We’re making a huge statement about the future of media and entertainment,” Mr. Iger said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts Thursday.

Highlighting the company’s dueling priorities, Disney’s theatrical-movie division posted a 52% rise in revenue and 79% jump in operating income in the three months ended Sept. 28.

Overall, Disney’s profit slumped by more than half to $1.05 billion, hurt by a sharp rise in costs stemming in part from the Disney+ production costs. But its shares rose in after-hours trading as earnings beat analysts’ expectations.

Despite the company’s box-office riches, a streaming-first mentality now pervades the company, if Mr. Iger’s remarks were any indication. Disney’s film and television divisions are producing hundreds of hours of programming not only for Disney+ but also a 19-month-old ESPN streaming service and Hulu, a third service that Disney now controls after its $71.3 billion acquisition of the 21st Century Fox entertainment assets.

A team of newly hired engineers has built out an interface and technical underpinning to withstand millions of subscribers. Former partners like Inc. are now streaming rivals, forcing Disney to negotiate deals that get its service onto as many platforms as possible.

In trying to turn every home into a Mouse House, Disney’s streaming launch is a long-game attempt to allay concerns Wall Street began expressing in 2015 when Mr. Iger acknowledged subscriber losses at ESPN, the company’s most profitable division. The prospect of long-term decline at the cable sports network delivered a shock to Disney’s share price, since investors focused on the company’s vulnerability to Netflix despite record-setting performances at the box office and in theme parks.

Report: Stephen A Smith, ESPN Reach A New Deal

Stephen A. Smith’s new five-year contract will make him ESPN’s highest-paid sportscaster with an annual salary that will approach $8 million per year, according to The NY Post citing sources.

This will move Smith past Mike Greenberg’s $6.5 million, which was ESPN’s previous known highest salary. Greenberg is the host of “Get Up!”

When The Post first reported negotiations between Smith and ESPN in April, some in the industry felt Smith might be able to negotiate a $10 million annual salary.

Smith got nearly $8 million, but he received some money upfront, making it more worth his while to re-up with a year left on his current deal.

Smith will continue to be front and center on ESPN’s air with his daily morning show “First Take,” as well as on “SportsCenter” and the network’s NBA coverage. Though the finer points of the contract are not fully completed, Smith has already started hosting Wednesday’s “SportsCenter” leading into ESPN’s NBA schedule that night.

The Post previously reported Smith will give up his national ESPN Radio show next year.

ESPN wants to try to find a fit for Smith on its direct-to-consumer subscription service, ESPN+, and for him to continue to be active through his and their social media channels.

Entercom To Integrate Radio.Com With Samsung's Bixby

Entercom, the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content, today announced that it is bringing RADIO.COM and its robust collection of premiere sports, entertainment, news, and music audio content to Bixby, Samsung’s scalable intelligence platform.

RADIO.COM will be available in Bixby Marketplace, where Samsung smartphone users in the U.S. can add the capsule to enhance their Bixby experience. Samsung launched Bixby Marketplace earlier this year to help consumers discover new ways Bixby can work with them to get things done more quickly and easily. By enabling the capsule, listeners can access their favorite RADIO.COM station by request. Additionally, listeners can discover new audio content on RADIO.COM by asking Bixby to play a certain genre, such as “sports talk” or “classic rock,” and Bixby will search the RADIO.COM portfolio for content that matches the listener’s request.

“This is an exciting integration with Samsung to bring the RADIO.COM listening experience wherever and however our listeners want it,” said J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer, Entercom. “With Bixby, we are able to bring RADIO.COM to millions of listeners, making it easier than ever to discover and engage with our premium audio content as part of our listeners’ daily audio habit.”

RADIO.COM is an integrated digital platform where consumers discover and connect live with the Entercom portfolio of premium, curated content powered by over 235 highly rated, locally programmed radio stations and their websites. 

ESPN Radio Reports Audience & TSL Increases in October

ESPN Radio in October – the first month of the fall ratings book – saw its audience in the men 25-54 demographic in PPM markets on terrestrial radio increase 7 percent over Oct. 2018 during the 6 a.m.-6 p.m. ET weekday hours, according to Nielsen. The positive growth was aided by a time spent listening increase of 7 percent.

ESPN Radio’s The Will Cain Show continues to see very significant year-over-year audience growth on terrestrial radio in PPM markets in part due to recent additions to local lineups including ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. That success contributed to the show seeing a 12 percent increase across all platforms for M25-54 from the same time period in 2018.

In Oct., Golic and Wingo saw a monthly increase across platforms with M25-54 of 13 percent from Sept. 2019. The show was also up 13 percent and 11 percent for its ESPNEWS simulcast and terrestrial radio in PPM markets from the previous month, respectively.

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz saw a significant 25 percent increase in Oct. over Sept. on terrestrial radio and a 7 percent audience gain month over month across platforms for M25-54.

SLC Radio: Lee Lonsberry Lands Afternoons On KSL

Newsradio KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM, announced two new shows to its lineup this week.

Lee Lonsberry
Starting in December, Lee Lonsberry, a former producer of "The Doug Wright Show," will host a show from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. that will focus on news, politics and current events. Additionally, Lonsberry will discuss his own self-described “peculiar” perspective on life in Utah, a news release reads.

“Hosting this show will be a thrill and a privilege,” Lonsberry said in a news release.

In addition to being a former radio producer, Lonsberry has also served as communications director U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, for the last few years.

“I’ve been preparing for this show my entire professional life, and arguably, well before that,” Lonsberry said.

Kevin LaRue, program director for KSL NewsRadio, said Lonsberry’s behind-the-scene experience should serve him well.

“Lee got to see it all when he worked side-by-side with Doug,” LaRue said in a news release. “He’ll continue that great tradition on KSL in the afternoon.”

In addition to Lonsberry’s new show, the radio station has made another change to the lineup: As of Monday, “Inside Sources,” hosted by Deseret News opinion editor Boyd Matheson, will be expanded from a 30-minute program to an hour-long show. The show airs on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“These additions to the lineup are an exciting step forward for KSL NewsRadio,” said Tanya Vea, senior vice president and market manager for Bonneville Salt Lake City.

“Our commitment to local reporting, fairness, and coverage of the biggest breaking news is greater than ever,” Vea said in the news release.

The New KSL NewsRadio Weekday Lineup
  • 5-9 a.m: "Utah’s Morning News"
  • 9-11 a.m: "Dave & Dujanovic" (formerly 9 AM - 12 PM)
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m: "Inside Sources" with Boyd Matheson (formerly 30 minutes)
  • 12-12:30 p.m: "Utah’s Noon News"
  • 12:30-3 p.m: "Lee Lonsberry" (coming in December)
  • 3-7 p.m: "Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News"
  • 7-9 p.m: "KSL’s Unrivaled" with Alex Kirry and Scott Mitchell, former University of Utah quarterback
This new schedule is slated to take effect next month.

Saga Communications Reports 3Q Revenue Essentially Flat

Saga Communications, Inc. Thursday reported net revenue of $31.3 million for the quarter compared to $31.7 million for the same quarter last year.  Gross Revenue was flat with last year for the quarter net of $96 thousand of political revenue this quarter and $486 thousand of political revenue for the same period last year.

Station operating expense increased $171 thousand to $23.6 million and operating income decreased $520 thousand to $4.8 million compared to $5.3 million for the same period last year.  Net Income decreased $361 thousand to $3.3 million for the quarter.  Diluted earnings per share were $0.56/share in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $0.62/share during the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow decreased $697 thousand to $4.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, with $385 thousand of the decrease due to a reduction in the Company's deferred tax provision.

On a same station basis for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 net revenue decreased $1.4 million to $30.3 million.  Operating expense decreased $779 thousand to $22.7 million while operating income decreased $593 thousand to $4.7 million.

Net income for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019 was flat with the same period last year at $9.4 million.  Net revenue decreased $610 thousand to $91.3 million. Gross Revenue was flat with last year for the nine-month period net of $351 thousand of political revenue this year and $1.3 million of political revenue for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased $324 thousand to $69.6 million and operating income decreased $299 thousand to $13.4 million compared to $13.7 million for the same period last year.  Diluted earnings per share were $1.59/share for the nine-month period in 2019 compared to $1.58/share during the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow decreased $810 thousand to $12.7 million for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019, with $780 thousand of the decrease due to a reduction in the Company's deferred tax provision.

On a same station basis for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019 net revenue decreased $3.8 million to $88.1 million.  Operating expense decreased $3.0 million to $66.9 million while operating income decreased $717 thousand to $13.0 million.

November 8 Radio History

➦In 1939...WQXR-FM NYC signed-on as W2XQR.

WQXR-FM is the outgrowth of a "high-fidelity" AM station, WQXR 1560 AM, which was founded in 1936 by John V. L. Hogan and Elliott Sanger. Hogan began this station as a mechanical television station, W2XR, which went on the air on March 26, 1929.

One of the station's listeners was the inventor of frequency modulation, Edwin Howard Armstrong. When Armstrong put his experimental FM station, W2XMN, on the air, he arranged to rebroadcast some of WQXR's programming. This ended in 1939, when Hogan and Sanger put their own experimental FM station on the air, W2XQR on this date, just down the dial from Armstrong at 42.3 MHz.

When the Federal Communications Commission began licensing commercial FM stations, W2XQR moved to 45.9 MHz and became W59NY; the special FM call signs were later dropped and the station became WQXQ.

➦In 1953...Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery (billed as “Buddy & Bob”) appeared on radio station KDAV in their hometown of Lubbock, Texas, in the first of a series of Sunday country music shows.

➦In 2012....WXRK NYC changes call letters to WNOW-FM. The calls today are WBMP.

The station, first known as WMCA-FM, went on the air on December 25, 1948. It was co-owned with WMCA 570 AM by former New York state senator Nathan Straus. FM radio was not a successful venture for Straus, and he sought to either sell it or close the station down altogether.

In late 1950, Straus sold the station to the owners of WHOM 1480 AM, now WZRC, and WHOM-FM appeared on February 26, 1951, featuring a variety of formats, including ethnic, background music, classical, Spanish, and easy listening. By the early 1970s, WHOM-FM had a Spanish-language easy listening format.

Following the sale of the WHOM stations to SJR Communications, the FM station became WKTU, taking on an adult contemporary format that began on June 5, 1975. At that point, WKTU was positioned as a "soft rock" station and called "Mellow 92". Ratings were relatively low. The station held on to the format in spite of low ratings until 1978.

That June, when a station executive, David Rapaport (father of actor Michael Rapaport), visited New York's Studio 54 discothèque on half a dozen occasions, and was very impressed with the crowds there. He then got the idea that a disco-based station was needed, as several FM-based Top 40 stations were leaning disco in other markets.

As a result, Rapaport purchased 200 disco records and brought them into the station. Keeping the same air-staff, adding Paco from their Spanish-language AM station WHOM, and with no notice, the station abruptly flipped to a disco-based rhythmic top 40 format with the tagline "Disco 92" at 6 p.m. on July 24, 1978.

In fall 1978, the station rose from "Worst to First", unseating 77WABC-AM in the 18−30 age demographic.