Saturday, November 16, 2019

November 17 Radio History

➦In 1914...Broadcaster, comedian  Archie Campbell, best known for his work on TV’s Hee Haw, was born in Bullsgap Tennessee.

He was in country music radio prior to WWII; after the war he originated Knoxville’s first Country TV Show (1952-58.)  He moved on to Nashville & the Grand Ole Opry, where he started a recording career with RCA.

In 1969 he joined Hee Haw as the barber, famous for his spoonerism stories & “That’s bad, that’s good” routines. 

Archie died Aug. 29 1987 after a heart attack.  He was 72.

➦In 1917...Announcer, TV host Jack Lescoulie  was born in Sacramento. He was best known for his stint on NBC’s Today Show during its earliest years, and the Jackie Gleason Show on CBS.  He died July 22, 1987 at age 69.

➦In 1970…Elton John, backed by Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson, performed at A&R Recording Studios in New York City for a live radio broadcast on WABC 95.5FM (now Contemporary Christian WPLJ) which was later released as his "11-17-70" album.

➦In 1979...Personality George Michael did his last show on 77WABC, New York.

His first radio appointment outside of his hometown was in 1962 at WRIT in Milwaukee, where he worked the 6-to-10 pm shift until he was reassigned to 5-to-9 morning drive time in early 1964.  His next stop was at KBTR in Denver later in 1964, working under the name "King" George Michael for the first time. He earned the nickname due to his success in "ruling" evening radio.

He became one of the original Boss Jocks at WFIL 560 AM in Philadelphia when its new Top 40 rock and roll format debuted on September 18, 1966. He served as music director and evening deejay for the next eight years. WFIL, which was popularly known as "Famous 56" after the transition, ended WIBG 990 AM's listener ratings dominance and became the city's most popular station by the summer of 1967.  Michael was the first Philadelphia rock and roll radio personality to read the scores of local high school football and basketball games on the air.

On George's last WFIL show (on September 6, 1974) he played "When Will I See You Again" by the Three Degrees for the first time ever on any radio station. The playing of this on his show broke the song into the mainstream, and within two months was a huge international hit, reaching number one in the U.K., and number two in the U-S.

George Michael at 77WABC
Michael, noted for his energetic style, was hired by WABC in New York City; his first on-air stint there was on the evening of September 9, 1974.  Michael now not only was entering the nation's largest media market; he also succeeded radio legend "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who had jumped to competitor WNBC.660 AM (now WFAN).  One of the highlights during his time at the station occurred when he anchored its coverage of the New York City blackout of 1977 after the music format was temporarily suspended for the night.

His first experience in sports broadcasting also came in 1974 when he was a television announcer for the Baltimore Orioles on WJZ-TV.  He declined an offer to work for the ballclub full-time in order to accept the WABC position.  As part of the deal to bring him to New York, Michael also worked for WABC-TV as the weekend sports anchor and a color commentator on New York Islanders telecasts for several seasons, paired mainly with Tim Ryan.  He served as an occasional substitute on ABC American Contemporary Network's Speaking of Sports show whenever Howard Cosell, the primary commentator, was on vacation or assignment.

As the primary sports anchor at WRC-TV in Washington from 1980 to 2007, Michael was easily one of the most popular media personalities in the Washington area.

Michael died at age 70 on December 24, 2009, after being diagnosed with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia two years prior.

➦In 1982...  Bill Baldwin, an actor, announcer, World War II radio correspondent and leader in the broadcasters union, died of cancer at age 69.

Bill Baldwin
Baldwin was a war correspondent for what is now the ABC network during World War II. After the war he was an announcer on the radio program of the late comedian-ventriliquist Edgar Bergen.

Baldwin, a native of Pueblo, Colo., became the radio and television voice of hundreds of products, most recently appearing for Western Airlines. He also appeared in several TV series, including ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ ‘Ironside,’ ‘The Beverly Hillbillies,’ and ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’

Baldwin also acted in several movies, including all three ‘Rocky’ pictures, ‘The Apartment’ and ‘The Odd Couple.’

At the time of his death, Baldwin was a member of the board of directors of the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists and from 1970 to 1972 served as national president of the union.

➦In 1985...Howard Stern begins broadcasting on WXRK 92.3 FM New York, N.Y.

➦In 2003... Rush Limbaugh returned to his syndicated talk show after spending a month in rehab for addiction to prescription painkillers.

➦In 2007…Veteran Philadelphia radio personality Hy Lit, who hosted the nationally syndicated "Hy Lit Show" seen on television in 30 markets, died of kidney failure at the age of 73.

Lit dominated AM radio from the late 1950s through the 1960s as one of WIBG's "Good Guys," as his Hall of Fame show drew a 71 market share (unheard of before or since.) He released several successful LP "Hall of Fame" collections of music he played on the show, the last of these when he joined WPGR in 1981. Around 1978, Lit moved to California after a brief but successful stint with the Harlem Globetrotters before once more returning to the Philadelphia area. In 1977, when WIBG went off the air forever, he was the last DJ on the air.

Hy Lit
Lit moved to WOGL-FM in 1989, hosting the highly rated "Top 20 Countdown" on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in addition to his weekday afternoon shift.

In the mid-1990s, it was revealed that Lit was suffering from the beginnings of Parkinson's disease. Just after the death of Hy's wife Maggie (Russo) Lit in 2000, WOGL and Infinity/CBS Broadcasting management significantly reduced Lit's radio hours, along with a significant decrease in salary. In 2002, a lawsuit was filed against the media conglomerate, CBS Broadcasting, which for a second and concurrent time decided to reduce Lit's radio time and salary and this time cancel his health insurance.

In December 2005, Lit, station WOGL, and CBS Broadcasting settled the three-year health and age-discrimination lawsuit, under the condition that Hy Lit would (reluctantly) retire from the station. Lit did his last Hy Lit Hall of Fame Show radio show on December 11, 2005. However, WOGL management would not permit Lit to reveal he would be leaving the airwaves and abandoning thousands of listeners left to wonder what happened to the legendary Hy Lit.

Chicago Radio: Jimmy de Castro To EXIT Entercom

Jimmy de Castro
Longtime Chicago  media executive Jimmy de Castro, who downsized and revitalized the seven Chicago radio stations owned by Entercom Communications, is ready to take a gamble on his next adventure.

“I’m officially retiring after my contract is up — but I’ve flunked retirement three times,” de Castro, 66, told me. “I definitely have plans on doing something else in the gaming business, and I’m excited about that opportunity.”

His last day as senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago is expected to be be December 13.

As first reported by Robert Feder Friday, deCastro is retiring after a little over two years being appointed to the position.

A replacement will be named next week, reports TDog Media.

The longtime Chicago radio executive was installed as market manager for the former CBS Radio stations right after Entercom closed on its purchase of the radio group. Among the first moves he made was to flip 104.3 FM from WJMK’s classic hits format to a Classic Hip-Hop 104.3 Jams and adapting the legendary call letters identified with African-American Chicago radio, WBMX.

In addition to running WBMX, all-news WBBM-AM (and WCFS-FM), Top 40 outlet WBBM-FM (B96), country WUSN-FM (US 99), adult album alternative WXRT-FM and all-sports WSCR-AM (The Score,) DeCastro was also responsible for Entercom’s stations in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.

His tenure was marked by cost cutting as well, including layoffs and reducing the number of floors Entercom had at Prudential Plaza from three floors to two.

DeCastro came into prominence in the early 1980s being hired at Heifel Broadcasting’s WLUP-FM (The Loop) as GM, at a time when Steve Dahl and Garry Meier were fired by the station for “assaulting community standards” (both returned to The Loop in 1986.) He became one of the investors in Evergreen Media, who purchased The Loop and WLUP-AM (now ESPN 1000) and became President of AMFM, the company formed by the merger of Evergreen Media and Chancellor, and was swallowed up by Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) in 2000.

After serving as president of AOL Interactive and forming The Content Factory, DeCastro resurfaced as President and GM of WGN-AM and short-lived sports station WGWG-LP (The Game.)

Even though deCastro is retiring from radio, he isn’t entirely going away: he’s still President and CEO of his sports marketing company After The Whistle and plans to form a new sports gambling venture.

Taylor Swift Brings New Attention to Master-Recording Rights

Taylor Swift and her former label traded barbs in an escalating dispute over the pop star’s right to perform her old hits, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In a lengthy post on her social-media accounts late Thursday, Swift asked her fans to rally for her ability to use music from her catalog in a coming televised awards show and a Netflix documentary. On Friday, Big Machine Label Group, which controls rights to her first six albums, denied her statements, calling them shocking and false.

The tussle has brought new attention to master-recording rights, which have become an increasingly contentious issue in the era of streaming. In most traditional record deals, an artist signs away ownership of master recordings in exchange for an upfront payment and royalties from future sales. Superstars have sometimes been able to use contract re-negotiations to gain ownership of their masters.

The battle for Ms. Swift’s music kicked off earlier this year when Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta, who signed the singer to a record deal when she was 15 years old, sold the independent label to celebrity talent manager Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings LLC in a $300 million deal backed by private-equity giant Carlyle Group. Borchetta stayed on as chief executive of the label and joined the Ithaca board.

Swift, who had previously feuded with Braun and some of his clients, has since said she would rerecord hits from her catalog starting next year, as allowed under the terms of her old contract. Such a move could reduce the value of the older recordings owned by Big Machine if enough fans prefer the new versions.

Borchetta, Swift during a happier time
On Thursday, Swift said Braun and Borchetta told her she could perform her older hits on the shows only if she agreed not to record new versions of her songs.

Swift signed a new record deal with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group last year after her contract with Big Machine expired. Under the agreement with Universal, Swift owns the masters for all her work going forward.

Big Machine on Friday denied saying Swift couldn’t perform music it owned on the American Music Awards—where she is planning to play a medley of her hits later this month—or interfering with her Netflix documentary. The label said that since the new owners took over it has honored her requests for licensing her catalog.

Before the advent of streaming, record companies held effective monopolies over the distribution of records, tapes and CDs, limiting the value to artists of owning their masters, which would still require the involvement of a record label. The explosion of online options has made it more attractive to artists to own their material, given the wide array of avenues to release their music and make money from it.

Bakersfield CA Radio: Steve Gradowitz To Retire At KUZZ

Steve Gradowitz
Long-time morning host at KUZZ 550 AM / 107.9 FM, Steve Gradowitz, is set to retire after more than 30 years at the Bakersfield radio station.

In a press release sent out on Friday, the country music station said Steve's last day on air would be December 20. Plans for the morning show will be announced soon.

Back in 1986, Steve joined the KUZZ family as its main morning personality. Throughout his career, he was able to snag two Academy of Country Music On-Air Personality of the Year Awards. He was also nominated as Billboard Personality of the Year in 1991.

In a statement, Steve said:
“I don’t think I’ve ever had one show that I didn’t look forward to being with my friends, laughing with each other, sharing each other’s sadness, and just having a great time. You have always been Bakersfield’s number one audience, and always will be."
In 1986 Steve joined KUZZ as its morning man and has remained the city’s top morning personality ever since.

Albuquerque Radio: CHR KKOB-FM Rebrands As 93-3 The Q

CUMULUS MEDIA announces the launch Friday of newly-branded KKOB-FM as 93-3 The Q, Albuquerque’s #1 Hit Music Station.

93-3 The Q  continues its decades-long tradition as Albuquerque’s station for today’s hit music, playing the most hit music and featuring the same beloved personalities, but with a renewed focus on entertaining and serving the Albuquerque community, or Q-munity! The station continues its highly popular weekday programming lineup featuring: Carlos & Kiki in the Morning, Rachael, Chico Suave and Tino Cochino.

Jeff Berry, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Albuquerque, said: “93-3 The Q is the natural evolution of 93.3, a highly rated radio outlet with compassionate personalities, an enormous fan base and market-leading multi-platform content. 93-3 The Q brings renewed passion for and connection with the city of Albuquerque and its people. It is a reflection of our commitment to Albuquerque listeners, and we couldn’t be more excited to grow and expand the brand when it is healthy and take it to the next level.”

Carlos Duran, Program Director, KKOB-FM, and FM Assistant Operations Manager, Cumulus Albuquerque, added: “I couldn't be prouder of the talented team we've built in Albuquerque. This evolution echoes what this city really means to us....We are 93.3 The Q!"

St. Louis Radio: KMOX Remains Home For The MLB Redbirds

Entercom and the St. Louis Cardinals have announced a multiyear broadcast extension. As part of the agreement, News Radio KMOX 1120 AM will continue to serve as the flagship station for Cardinals baseball through the 2024 season.

“We are honored to continue to work with the world class St. Louis Cardinals,” said Becky Domyan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom St. Louis. “News Radio 1120 KMOX and the Cardinals are synonymous institutions here in this great city and we couldn’t be more excited to continue this fantastic partnership.”

“We are thrilled to extend our agreement with our partners at KMOX and proud to continue the great tradition of broadcasting Cardinals baseball on the voice of St. Louis,” said Bill DeWitt III, President, St. Louis Cardinals.

As part of the agreement, the station will continue providing play-by-play coverage of all regular and postseason games, as well as select Spring Training games. The broadcast team of veteran announcers Mike Shannon, John Rooney, Ricky Horton and Mike Claiborne will also return to handle the play-by-play coverage. In addition to game broadcasts, News Radio 1120 KMOX will also carry a variety of other Cardinals-related programming throughout the year, including the popular “Countdown to Opening Day” during the offseason.

Since the partnership began back in 1955, game broadcasts on News Radio 1120 KMOX have consistently been among the top-rated radio programs in the St. Louis market.

Listeners can also hear the games on FM dials via an HD radio-capable device in the St. Louis area on sister stations 102.5 KEZK (KEZK-HD2) and 929 FM ESPN/680 AM (WMFS-FM/AM) in Memphis as part of the Cardinals Radio Network.

Listeners can tune in to News Radio 1120 KMOX (KMOX-AM) in St. Louis, 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.

NOLA Radio: Former WWL Host Seth Dunlap Has Changed Lawyers

Seth Dunlap
Court documents released this week provide a detailed look at the evidence bolstering allegations from WWL Radio and New Orleans police that former sports talk-show host Seth Dunlap used the radio station’s Twitter account to hurl a homophobic insult at himself before demanding nearly $2 million to settle complaints about a hostile workplace.

According to, police claim in the documents that Dunlap’s cellphone is tied to the derogatory tweet by a trail of digital evidence involving Twitter use logs, a unique number designed to identify a device's connection to the internet, and web searches that a detective considered suspicious.

As he's done before, Dunlap maintained his innocence when reached for comment Friday. His lawyer had previously been civil attorney Megan Kiefer, but on Friday she said she no longer represents him.

Dunlap, 35, said he is now represented by Billy Gibbens, a former federal prosecutor who specializes in white-collar criminal defense work.

Dunlap said he stands by his prior allegations that he was subjected to a homophobic work environment for years but was dissuaded from speaking up about the office culture. He also said he is still considering suing WWL Radio.

New Orleans police last week asked a judge to sign a warrant authorizing them to arrest Dunlap on a count of extortion. The judge rejected the request, saying that the alleged facts didn’t amount to extortion. Police have said their investigation remains ongoing.

Documents obtained through a public records request offer a glimpse into some of the information police have gathered.

Throughout the documents, the Police Department refers to the findings of a digital forensic firm run by John Conroy, which was hired by WWL Radio to look through its Twitter logs, among other information. The NOPD hasn’t said to what extent, if any, it has conducted its own investigation separate from that firm's probe.

The documents support a search warrant for Dunlap’s Apple iPhone 10, which the lead detective on the case, Denis James, successfully requested on Oct. 22. That was about six weeks after the Sept. 10 tweet calling Dunlap “a fag” was sent from WWL Radio’s Twitter account by someone using an iPhone.

The documents don't show what the inquiry into Dunlap's phone may have turned up.

In a statement to the NOPD, WWL's management said that Dunlap’s phone was in his possession when the tweet was sent. It cited surveillance video depicting Dunlap opening the door of his office shortly after the tweet was posted and showing his phone to a co-worker while appearing to talk about the tweet.

Dunlap suggested his relationship with WWL Radio became critically damaged when he proposed using the station's platforms to circulate an open letter he wrote to Saints quarterback Drew Brees over how hurtful it was to see the athlete appear in a video promoting "Bring Your Bible to School Day." The video was created by the group Focus on the Family, which makes no secret of its anti-LGBTQ beliefs.

Dunlap said the management of the station forbade him from doing that, citing its position as the Saints' official radio broadcast partner. So Dunlap went to his private Facebook page and posted the letter, which also discussed the difficulties he'd endured as a gay man in sports media.

Milwaukee Radio: Progressive WRRD Adds FM Translator

Milwaukee progressive-talk station WRRD 1510 AM has a new home on the FM dial.

The station has a new translator FM signal broadcasting at 101.7 FM. Branded as Talk 101.7 FM, the station will simulcast WRRD's programming, including Earl Ingram's morning show from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays and the "Devil's Advocates Radio Show" from 3 to 6 p.m., a blog that monitors news developments in radio in the upper Midwest, first reported the news.

The stations are part of a progressive-talk network including WTTN-FM/AM in the Madison area that's branded as Wisconsin's Political Talk Network.

Having an FM translator means WRRD is now on the air at night. The AM station's license required the station go dark at sunset, WRRD owner Michael Crute explained in an interview.

At night, Talk 101.7 will continue with WRRD's mostly locally generated, politics-centric talk programming, with locally focused music shows on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Two years ago, WRRD had pursued a different FM translator, at 103.3 FM, but WTMJ 620 AM wound up with it instead, according to The Milwukee Journal-Sentinel.

Sales Exec Dave Boretti Joins AdLarge Media

AdLarge Media has announced it has hired Dave Boretti as Vice President of Midwest Sales.

The announcement was made today by Don Wachsmith, Chief Revenue Officer for AdLarge. Boretti is known as a high-performing media sales executive with over 30 years of experience in radio, podcasting, and streaming audio. He is based in AdLarge’s Chicago office and reports to Wachsmith.

Dave Boretti
“I’ve had conversations with Don for a few years about moving to AdLarge and this came together at the perfect time,” noted Boretti. “AdLarge is an exciting company with leadership that consistently is ahead of emerging trends in audio. I look forward to marshalling their assets to help AdLarge’s advertisers achieve their goals.”

Boretti comes to AdLarge from Podcast One where he was Director of Midwest Sales. He began his career as a media buyer at what is now OMD, Chicago and moved into ad sales at A&E and Rolling Stone Magazine before landing in audio. He has held sales executive positions at Premiere Radio Networks, Westwood One, MJI Broadcasting, Univision, and Spanish Broadcasting System.

“Dave has knowledge and experience across all of the audio touchpoints that AdLarge excels in representing -- podcasting, streaming, and broadcast,” commented Wachsmith. “His insights and perspective will benefit existing and potential clients, and help them achieve their goals. I couldn’t be more thrilled to add such a terrific person to our already robust sales team.”

Philly Radio: Home of Area First Responder Renovated

Entercom in collaboration with the Travis Manion Foundation’s (TMF) Operation Legacy Service Project, Friday unveiled the renovated home of Ridley Park Police Officer and Aston Township Fireman and EMT Aaron Kisela.

“Entercom is proud of our nearly decade-long partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation helping veterans, service members and first responders in need,” said David Yadgaroff, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Philadelphia. “These folks are pillars of our communities who put their lives on the line to ensure our safety. We are honored to have been a part of the Operation Legacy Service Project to provide Aaron Kisela and his family a safe home to live in.”

The Kisela family (Courtney, Meghan, Aubrey, Ellie, Aaron, Hunter) at the unveiling of their renovated home as part of Entercom and the Travis Manion Foundation’s Operation Legacy Service Project. (Photo Courtesy of Entercom)
Each April and November, Travis Manion Foundation organizes Operation Legacy Service Projects, which unite communities for a common cause through volunteer led service opportunities. More than 100 projects are scheduled across the country, with Americans nationwide invited to volunteer with TMF as a way to honor the past and build the future, while exemplifying the strength of America’s national character. Those interested in volunteering for upcoming projects can register or learn more information by visiting Under this umbrella, Entercom and TMF joined forces to unite home improvement partners to donate their services in renovating the home of police officer, EMT and firefighter Aaron Kisela and his family who experienced significant hardships with their home.

This project was part of Entercom’s ongoing initiative to support veterans and serve those who serve us. Entercom was also a media partner for the Travis Manion Foundation’s 9/11 Heroes Run both in Philadelphia and nationally, aligning advertising partners with the races on-site as well as on-air and online.

As part of the partnership, Entercom Philadelphia stations – SportsRadio 94WIP (WIP-FM), KYW Newsradio (KYW-AM), Talk Radio 1210 WPHT (WPHT-AM), 96.5 TDY (WTDY-FM), B101.1 (WBEB-FM) and 98.1 WOGL (WOGL-FM) – supported the program through on-air, online, social and video content across their platforms telling Kisela’s story over the last several months.

Home improvement partners who contributed towards this project include: Ikea, Pompetti Heating & Air Conditioning, American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, National Appliance Warehouse (a veteran-owned business), and Custom Creations By Design in partnership with Keystone Granite and Orlandini Tile.

R.I.P.: Papa Don Schroeder, Pensacola Broadcaster

Pensacola radio legend Papa Don Schroeder died Friday morning passed away after a long battle with throat cancer.  He was 77-years-of-age, reports The Penscaola News-Journal.

Don Schroeder
Schroeder, born December 29, 1940), was radio station owner and former record producer, radio personality, and singer-songwriter, who was responsible for producing hit singles in the 1960s and 1970s by James & Bobby Purify, Carl Carlton, and others.

His hugely successful radio program at WBSR, and later at WNVY, in the 1960s was unparalleled in terms of local ratings. One of the secrets was his energetic style, and the other was his outreach. He was one of the first DJs to put callers on the air. And the first to integrate local airwaves.

"I was the first white DJ to play James Brown,'' Schroeder once said. "I wanted music to bring black and white people together. I really believed music could do that."

In 1968, he built his own studio in Pensacola, but failed to recruit the musicians to make it successful.

After disagreements with James Purify, he closed down his record production business in 1969. In 1970, he took ownership of radio station WPNN in Pensacola, and remained the station president until his passing. He returned to record production in the mid-1970s, producing Carl Carlton's hit version of "Everlasting Love" as well as further tracks by James and Bobby Purify.

November 16 Radio History

➦In 1896...Jim Jordan, the man behind the iconic radio sitcom Fibber McGee & Molly, was born.

Jim and his wife Marian Jordan got their major break in radio while performing in Chicago in 1924; Jim said he could give a better performance than the singers they were listening to on the radio, and his brother Byron bet $10 that Jim couldn't do it. By the end of the evening, Jim and Marian had their first radio contract, at $10 per show for 26 weeks as The O'Henry Twins, sponsored by Oh Henry! candy.

He died at the age of 91 in 1988 in Beverly Hills from a blood clot in his brain, caused by a fall.

Mary Margaret McBride
➦In 1899...Mary Margaret McBride was born in Paris, Missouri. She started an advice program on NYC's WOR radio in 1934, and took it national with first CBS in 1937, NBC in 1941, ABC in 1950,and back to NBC 1954-60.  Along the way she mixed in her own unique style interviews with figures well known in arts, entertainment and politics. She died Apr 7, 1976 at age 76.

➦In 1904... John Ambrose Fleming patented the thermionic tube (diode tube) the “kenotron,” a key to developing radio broadcasting.  He was acting as scientific advisor to the Marconi company.

Stan Freberg, Daws Butler
➦In & cartoon voice actor Daws Butler was born in Toledo. He worked on Stan Freberg’s 1957 radio show & his many comedy creations for Capitol records.  On TV he helped voice Beany & Cecil, Woody Woodpecker, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Fred Flinstone & Friends, the Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, and many others.  He died May 18 1988 at age 71, following a heart attack.

➦In 1940...In Atlanta, the "hillbilly music" show "The WSB Barn Dance" began its 9½-year run.

➦In 1959...Newly inducted National Radio Hall of Famer Harry Harrison debuted on WMCA570 AM, New York. Here's Harry on WMCA from 1965...

➦In 1963...The touch-tone telephone was introduced

➦In 1967...Jonathan Schwartz started at WNEW 102.7 FM NYC. Schwartz worked at New York's WNEW-FM from 1967 to 1976, followed by stints at WNEW, WQEW and, between 1999 and 2017, WNYC-FM. Schwartz also served as programming director for XM Satellite Radio Frank’s Place, named in honor of Frank Sinatra. Following XM’s merger with Sirius, the name was changed to High Standards channel from 2001 to 2008, and appeared on SiriusXM's Siriusly Sinatra and '40s on 4 channels from 2008 to 2013.

Schwartz is best known for The Jonathan Schwartz Show, which aired Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons on WNYC-FM, and was about half talk and half an eclectic mix of music.

➦In 1979...Paul McCartney released the holiday single "Wonderful Christmastime." Because he wrote, published, and played all the instruments on this recording, McCartney's royalties add up. Including royalties from cover versions, it is estimated that Paul McCartney makes $400,000 per year from this song, which puts its cumulative earnings in excess of $16 million.

➦In 1990...Stan Z. Burns 1010 WINS NYC died from cancer at age 63.

Burns, whose clear voice was instantly recognizable to thousands of New Yorkers as a radio anchorman at the all-news station WINS-AM. Burns began working at the station in 1944. During his 40-year career, Burns covered major news events, including the New York blackouts and transit strikes.

He went to work for WINS as a staff announcer in May 1944, when the station was known for its music and was one of the first disc jockeys in the United States to play a Beatles record when WINS was a Top40 station.

Ralph Edwards
➦In 2005...“This Is Your Life” TV host & producer Ralph Edwards died of heart failure in West Hollywood, at age 92. Edwards also hosted the venerable radio game show ‘Truth or Consequences,’ and created TV’s long-running ‘The People’s Court.’

➦In 2012…Radio personality (WBZ-Boston, WKBW-Buffalo, WBEN-Buffalo)/program director Jefferson Kaye, for many years the voice of NFL Films, died of cancer at 75.

Born Martin Krimski, Kaye served in the US Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed in Morocco where he met his bride. Jeff began his broadcast career in Providence, RI and then moved on to WBZ Radio in Boston. From there he went to WKBW Radio in Buffalo and then became the morning man on WBEN Radio. After leaving Buffalo, Jeff began his Emmy winning career with NFL Films.

For more on Kaye: Click Here.

➦In 2012…WWJ-Radio, WWJ-TV personality Sonny Eliot died at age 91.  He was a broadcaster in Detroit for 63 years and one of the first TV weathermen to combine meteorology and humor.

➦In 2015…Chicago radio veteran Bernie Allen died at age 86. Working at WLS-AM 890 in the 1960s, Bernie Allen played the hits during the golden era of the then-powerhouse rock-and-pop music station known as "The Bright Sound of Chicago Radio."

Allen was part of the WLS crew at Comiskey Park in August 1965 as The Beatles performed before thousands of screaming fans.

Over the course of the next few decades, Allen could be heard on numerous other Chicago radio stations, including WJJD-AM, WCLR-FM, WLAK-FM and WCFL-AM.

 ➦In 2017...the FCC voted 3-2 to loosen the US limits on local ownership of TV stations, radio stations and newspapers, reversing what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai described as one of its stalest rules.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Big Machine Denies Taylor Swift's Muzzle Claim

UPDATE 10 AM FRIDAY:  Taylor Swift's claim Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta from Big Machine are blocking her from performing her own songs at the AMAs is a complete fabrication ... according to the record label, which thinks she made a calculated move to harm its people.

Big Machine tells TMZ it was shocked to see Taylor's comments, and denies ever saying she could not perform at the awards show or blocking her Netflix special. It adds ... "In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere."

To be fair, Swift never said BM was keeping her from performing ... she specifically stated it was keeping her from performing her own songs, and using her own songs and performance footage in the Netflix documentary.

Big Machine also claims Taylor's admitted to owing the company millions of dollars and it says it was optimistic the two sides were working toward resolving the issue ... but then she bailed.

Instead, BM says "Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.

Taylor Swift took to social media to call on fans to take her side in an escalating battle with the owners of most of her recorded-music catalog, including one of the biggest U.S. private-equity firms.

Original Posting...

According to The Wall Street Journal, the move adds a new public element to a dispute over how the pop star can use her music following a transaction earlier this year.

Swift issued a lengthy statement Thursday criticizing Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, who she said have blocked her from performing her older songs on a coming television special. Mr. Borchetta, who signed Ms. Swift to Big Machine when she was 15, in June sold the record-label group—and the master-recording rights to her first six albums—to Mr. Braun’s Ithaca Holdings LLC in a $300 million deal backed by the Carlyle Group.

Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun
Swift, who left Big Machine last year to join Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, voiced her displeasure with the Big Machine deal in a Tumblr post, saying that she had pleaded for a chance to own her work and that Mr. Braun’s purchase of her masters was “my worst case scenario.” She has publicly feuded with Mr. Braun and some of his management clients.

Since then, Ms. Swift, 29 years old, has said that she plans to rerecord her older music starting next year, a move that would give her greater control over those songs. Under her deal with Universal, she owns the masters for any recordings going forward.

Swift said Borchetta told her that she will be allowed to use the music only if she agrees not to rerecord new versions of her songs next year and stops talking about him and Mr. Braun publicly.

Swift has been planning to perform a medley of her hits during the American Music Awards later this month.

She said Borchetta and Braun also have refused the use of her older music and performance footage for a coming Netflix documentary about her life. Netflix Inc. declined to comment.

Philly Radio: Entercom's WBEB Now Airing Holiday Hits

Entercom rings in the holiday season at WBEB B101.1 in Philadelphia by switching to an all-Christmas music format today.

“We are all ready to get in the holiday spirit and are happy to be Philadelphia’s Christmas soundtrack this season,” said David Yadgaroff, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Philadelphia. “It truly is the most wonderful time of the year and B101.1 is excited to bring holiday cheer to its listeners.”

B101.1 will play favorite holiday songs from beloved artists like Andy Williams, Nat King Cole and Mariah Carey, among others. The station will also feature special holiday music programming including “The Christmas Choir Competition,” “The Santa Show,” “The Christmas Music Countdown” and daily “Best Christmas Ever” contest giveaways.

Listeners can tune in to B101.1 (WBEB-FM) in Philadelphia 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.

Atlanta Radio: WKHX Rebrands As New Country 101.FIVE

CUMULUS MEDIA Thursday launched Atlanta’s New Country 101.FIVE WKHX-FM.

“Dirt We Were Raised On” by quintessential Georgian, Macon’s Jason Aldean, kicked off the new station at 3:00PM, followed by songs from The Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Sugarland, and Trisha Yearwood, talent with deep local roots, each a testament to the global influence and power of the Georgia Country music scene.

This re-imagining of New Country 101.FIVE is the culmination of outreach to -- and ideas and input from -- artists, radio experts, researchers, and fans, all engaged to create a platform to promote the music of Georgia and deliver all of the hit Country music craved by the Atlanta audience. The heritage Country station, which originally launched in 1959, had been programmed as Kicks 101.5 since 1981.

Kindcaid & Dallas
Some of the U.S.’s most popular radio personalities have been tapped to join the 101.FIVE team, including “Kincaid and Dallas” airing weekdays from 6:00AM-10:00AM, and Lucas Phelan to helm weekdays from 3:00PM-7:00PM.  Corey Dylan hosts mid-days.

Mike Moore, Program Director, New Country 101.FIVE/WKHX-FM, said: “This station is borne of the most prolific time in history for Georgia musicians. New Country 101.FIVE reflects these artists’ views and the way they see the world. Their collective sense of pride in being from Georgia forms the common ground that they share with our listeners. You’ll hear it in the station – its music, but also from the voices of the artists and listeners themselves, who share memories and stories of their lives within the New Country 101.FIVE community.”

Lucas Phelan
Brian Philips, Executive Vice President of CUMULUS MEDIA, added: “New Country 101.FIVE is the passion project of an enormous team, including internal and external creatives, writers, artists, musicians,  and music-industry friends. We hit the ground this summer, and the ‘Georgia’ idea sprang to life, as if it were meant to be, at this time and place. Cumulus is proud of the youthful fun, fire and excitement of this new station. We will work on the air and in the streets to give these hungry fans the station they are owed—made in Georgia and loved around the world.”

Sean Shannon, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Atlanta, said: “Atlanta is a world class city that is surrounded by towns and cities large and small where civic pride runs as deep as the Georgia red clay. New Country 101.FIVE is a station that is committed to those communities. Not only does country music need Georgia, Georgia needs a country station rooted in these towns. New Country 101.FIVE is Georgia Loud and Georgia Proud. This is what ‘Made in Georgia’ sounds like.”

D-C Radio: Phil Zachary Segues To Entercom Corporate

Phil Zachary
Radio veteran and Entercom/Washington, DC, Senior VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary is departing as SVP/Market Manager for Entercom stations in Washington DC.

Zachacy has has taken a corporate role working on special projects.

Zachary, a 46-year radio pro,  joined the DC cluster just last year after heading the company's co-owned local group in Hartford. Previously, he was VP/Market Manager on Entercom/Boston and served as President/COO of Curtis Media Group in Raleigh, NC.

Prior to joining Curtis Media in 2002, he was VP/Market Manager for CBS Radio in Washington, DC. Zachary has held similar senior executive positions for HMW Communications and Voyager Communications in Raleigh and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment in New Orleans.

He began his radio career in Worcester followed by stints in Providence and Boston. While in Boston, Zachary served as Operations Manager at the old WITS 1510.  There his role included direct oversight of both Red Sox and Bruins play-by-play.

At Curtis Media Group in Raleigh, N.C., he served as President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the company’s entire slate of radio stations, networks, digital and interactive divisions and print publications.

Entercom is beginning the search for a new SVP/Market Manager.

D/FW Radio: KVIL Adding Bailey to Line-Up

Entercom has announced the addition of Bailey as Music Director and midday host for KVIL  ALT 103.7 FM, Dallas-Fort Worth’s only alternative station, effective December 2.

“Jim Fox [Vice President of Programming, Entercom Dallas] and I are excited to have Bailey bring her nearly 20 years-worth of music programming and on-air experience to ALT 103.7,” said Brian Purdy, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Dallas. “With her extensive knowledge of the alternative format and its audience, Bailey is perfectly suited to serve our listeners.”

"I'm taking the leap from Denver to Dallas and couldn't be happier about the opportunity to join Entercom and the ALT 103.7 team,” said Bailey. “I look forward to the future of alternative radio in Dallas."

Bailey joins Entercom from KTCL-FM in Denver, where she served as Music Director since 2006. She began her career in Boston at WFNX and has worked for local radio stations in Springfield, IL, Hartford, CT, Providence, RI and St. Louis. Bailey also has experience with a variety of formats, including classic rock, alternative, talk radio, country, active rock and classic hits.

Listeners can tune in to ALT 103.7 (KVIL-FM) in Dallas 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.

Canada Radio: Dave Illman, Julie Corlett OUT At CKLY Ontario

Dave Illman
Long-time morning show hosts Dave Illman and Julie Corlett of CKLY 91.9 BOB FM in Lindsay, Ontario, have been laid off in yet another example of apparent corporate cost-cutting, according to The Advocate.

Illman says it “was made very clear to us that there was no problem with our performance. Pure cost cutting. It happens a lot in radio these days.”

He had been at the station for 29.5 years, and on the morning show with Corlett for about 11 of those years.

The long-time radio host says there was “no sense of that (layoff) coming at all.”

“We were gearing up for a busy Christmas season,” with all the usual remote locations and special initiatives like the toy drive.

“I’m of course disappointed,” he writes. “That’s been my thing for my whole adult life. But I know how the business works too. Mostly feel for my co-workers who will have to try to pick up the pieces and carry on.”

At this point, it’s not clear if Bell Media will abandon its weekday morning content and move to running syndicated shows. Right now it already runs syndicated content on Saturdays and Sundays, in addition to running a local show on Saturdays for the past four years, hosted by Denis Grignon.

Kellyanna Conway Goes Off On CNN's Wolf Blitzer

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is not a fan of media discourse surrounding her marriage to George Conway, an outspoken critic of her boss President Donald Trump.

It's a point she made clear again Thursday in a tense back and forth, reports USAToday.

Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the first public impeachment inquiry hearing on Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway said she was "embarrassed" for Blitzer after he commented that there are "issues" with her marriage.

"I just have a final question, a sensitive question. And it's a political question, it's a substantive question. I don't want to talk about your marriage, I know there are issues there," Blitzer said, drawing a laugh from Kellyanne Conway.

"Your husband, George Conway, he's a lawyer," Blitzer began before Kellyanne Conway cut him off.

"What did you just say? Did you just say there are issues there? You don't want to talk about my marriage, but there are issues there. Why would you say that?" Kellyanne Conway responded.

George Conway made a rare television appearance on MSNBC as a commentator on the impeachment inquiry. Trump is accused of using the powers of his office to pressure the Ukrainian president to open an investigation into domestic political rivals in exchange for military aid money.

More:How Democrats and Republicans are laying out their arguments for impeachment

Blitzer asked Kellyanne Conway to respond to the substance of a comment from George Conway's TV commentary as she pressed Blitzer for a reason her husband's voice mattered on the topic, other than because of their relationship.

Viacom Earnings Drop

Viacom Inc.’s profit fell in the last quarter of its fiscal year as lower revenue and increased investment in new online streaming services weighed on its bottom line, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Profit at the media company—whose portfolio includes TV Land, VH1 and MTV—fell 22% from a year earlier to $307 million. Per-share earnings slid to 76 cents, down from 98 cents.

On an adjusted basis, profit totaled 79 cents a share, down from 99 cents a share a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting 76 cents a share in adjusted earnings.

Revenue was $3.43 billion, down 1.5%, but still slightly higher than analysts’ consensus estimate. Total expenses rose 2.3%.

Bob Bakish
The company said the biggest factors in decreased profitability were investments in Pluto TV, its advertising-supported streaming service and one-time marketing expenses for the launch of BET+, a subscription video service launched earlier this year. The company said Pluto TV has reached 20 million monthly active users.

Revenue at the company’s Paramount movie studio decreased 72% to $94 million, largely the result of a comparison to last year’s summer blockbuster “Mission: Impossible—Fallout.”

On an earnings conference call Thursday, Viacom Chief Executive Bob Bakish said that the Paramount movie studio was profitable for the first time in four years, thanks in part to increased licensing and production deals with major video-streaming companies. Bakish said that Paramount licensed the rights to “Beverly Hills Cop,” the 1984 action comedy film starring Eddie Murphy, to Netflix Inc.

On Wednesday, Viacom announced that it struck a deal with Netflix to provide new content from its Nickelodeon Animation Studio based on some of its most popular characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants.

Both deals with Netflix are in keeping with Viacom’s strategy to feed major streaming services rather than attempting to build rival general-interest subscription streaming services in-house.

Also on the call, Mr. Bakish said the company returned to full-year growth for its U.S. advertising and U.S. affiliate sales businesses, two of its most important revenue streams.

Report: Apple May Bundle Bushel Of Subscriptions

Apple is thinking about combining its Apple TV+, Apple Music and News+ services into a single package, according to The NY Post citing a report in Bloomberg.

The bundle of paid internet services could arrive as soon as 2020, and would be aimed at further growing its subscriber base as iPhone sales continue to slow, the report said.

Apple News+ debuted in March with at a $10 monthly rate, and provides subscribers with access to a slew of magazines and news outlets. Apple TV+ meanwhile, launched earlier this month and features four original shows in its library for $5 a month.

Apple Music, meanwhile, is by far Apple’s most popular subscription, with SVP of services Eddy Cue reporting in June that it has 60 million paying subscribers shelling out $10 per month for access to 50 million songs.

There is no indication of what Apple might charge for the proposed bundle, but it is likely safe to assume that it will come at a discount. The report notes that any decision is not yet final, as Apple will need to be careful to not anger publishers who are already seeing less revenue from the News+ partnership than they had anticipated.

Tribune Publishing Begins Issuing Quarterly Dividend

Tribune Publishing announced Thursday it will begin paying a quarterly 25-cent dividend to shareholders, with an initial payout of about $9 million on Dec. 10.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the first dividend will be payable to shareholders of record as of Nov. 25, with plans to pay regularly quarterly dividends “for the foreseeable future,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

“The board’s decision to institute a regular cash dividend reflects the company’s financial strength, flexibility and confidence in its strategic plan,” said David Dreier, Tribune Publishing’s chairman.

Chicago-based Tribune Publishing, which owns the Chicago Tribune and other daily newspapers, had $56.5 million in unrestricted cash as of Sept. 29, according to its third-quarter earnings report filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The board’s decision to pay a dividend follows Tribune Publishing’s Tuesday announcement that it was shutting down Hoy, its Spanish-language newspaper. Hoy, which had dwindled from a daily to a weekly publication, was launched in 2003 to serve Chicago’s growing Hispanic population. It will cease publication in print and online Dec. 13, the company said.

Michael Ferro, who stepped down as nonexecutive chairman last year but remains the company’s largest shareholder, is set to receive about $2.25 million from the quarterly dividend program. Ferro owns about 9 million shares, or 25.2% of the company, according to regulatory filings.

Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, Tribune Publishing’s second-largest shareholder at about 8.7 million shares, or 24.3% of the company, is set to receive a quarterly dividend payment of about $2.2 million.

Report: McClatchy Newspapers To Drop Print On Saturdays

McClatchy, a newspaper chain with more than 30 publications in 14 states, said this week that it planned to eliminate Saturday print issues at all its daily newspapers by the end of 2020, though a new slate of articles will continue to appear digitally.

According to The NY Times, Craig Forman, the chief executive of the publicly owned publisher, announced the decision during a call with investors to discuss third-quarter earnings. He added that what he called “digital Saturdays” were already underway at four McClatchy papers: The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; The Bellingham Herald in Bellingham, Wash.; The Durham Herald Sun in Durham, N.C.; and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.

“In those markets where implementation has occurred, we are seeing an accelerated conversion to our digital products,” Mr. Forman said. “We expect to expand digital Saturdays to all of our markets during the course of 2020 as we advance toward our digital future.”

Newspaper publishers have faced financial difficulties as their customers increasingly prefer to read the news on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Digital advertising revenue has fallen far short of the money brought in by print ads, and many companies have tried to make up the difference by charging readers for online access.

McClatchy noted on Wednesday that circulation revenue in the third quarter had exceeded advertising revenue for the first time in the company’s history — which goes back to the founding of The Sacramento Bee (as The Daily Bee) in 1857. Digital-only subscriptions grew nearly 50 percent from the equivalent period a year earlier.

Report: NBC Peacock Shopping Ad Packages

NBC Universal is seeking about 10 marketers as sponsors for the launch of its Peacock streaming service, with packages costing as much as $25 million, according to AdAge citing people familiar with the pitch.

Currently, the company is out with a $25 million package and a $15 million package. The $25 million package would guarantee marketers a 10 percent share of voice on the platform for 18 months, while the $15 million buy would give marketers a 10 percent share for six months, at which point it would be reduced to a 5 percent share for the remaining 12 months. This would open up inventory for more advertisers to buy commercials on the streaming service.

NBC is not guaranteeing numbers of subscribers or impressions, according to the sources, which could be a point of contention in negotiations.

Marketers are certainly keeping an eye on Peacock, since it is one of the only high-profile streaming services poised to debut with commercials. And being a launch partner could offer the potential for marketers to help shape the ad model in this new ecosystem.

Unsurprisingly, ad loads will be much lower than on linear TV. Peacock will be deploying prime pods, which are the one-minute commercial breaks that NBCU has been utilizing on its linear networks over the past year. Movies will be presented with more-limited commercials.

Earlier in the year, CNBC reported that Peacock will air between three and five minutes of ads per hour.

Beasley Significantly Expands eSports Platform

Beasley Broadcast Group has announced that it acquired the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws eSports team from an affiliate of Immortals.

The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. The Overwatch League will begin its third season in February of 2020, with each of the league’s teams hosting matches in their home markets. The Outlaws will remain officially based in Houston, Texas and will continue to represent the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets.

Beasley’s acquisition of the Houston Outlaws again expands its role in the fast-growing esports space and reflects the Company’s focus on premium esports programming and content. Beasley’s other investments in esports include Team Renegades (investment in April 2019), an esports organization consisting of five teams, based in Detroit, Michigan and CheckpointXP (acquired Fall of 2018), a weekly syndicated esports lifestyle show. CheckpointXP programming is currently featured on approximately 70 radio stations across the United States on the Sun Broadcast Network; on daily podcasts on Amazon’s video game streaming platform, Twitch; and, on CheckpointXP On Campus, the first collegiate-based esports show in the US.

Commenting on the transaction, Caroline Beasley, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Beasley is very excited to expand its operations to Houston, which is home to one of the largest esports fan bases in the US. Our growing esports infrastructure and management combined with our experience with team Renegades, success in hosting and promoting large events and our national esports content hub—BeasleyXP—are key factors in our expectations for long-term returns from this investment. We look forward to initial contributions from this exciting development when the league’s third season begins in February.

Caroline Beasley concluded, “This opportunity is another meaningful step forward as we expand Beasley’s involvement in esports, one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment in the US and the world.”

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.