Saturday, December 21, 2019

December 22 Radio History

➦In 1899...Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America registered.  It was established as a subsidiary of the British Marconi Company and held the U.S. and Cuban rights to Guglielmo Marconi's radio (then called "wireless telegraphy") patents.

American Marconi initially primarily operated high-powered land and transatlantic shipboard stations. In 1912, it acquired the extensive assets of the bankrupt United Wireless Telegraph Company, becoming the dominant radio communications provider in the United States.

During World War One the United States government assumed control of the radio industry. After the war government officials balked at returning the American Marconi stations to the original owners, distrusting British control of radio communication due to national security concerns.

Led by the U.S. Navy, the government pressured the Marconi companies to transfer American Marconi to a U.S. owner. The American Marconi assets were purchased by General Electric in 1919, which provided the foundation for creating its new subsidiary, the Radio Corporation of America.

➦In 1901...Andre Kostelanetz born (Died – January 13, 1980).  He was a Russian-born orchestral music conductor and arranger who was one of the major exponents of popular orchestra music.

He arrived in the United States that year, and in the 1920s, conducted concerts for radio. In the 1930s, he began his own weekly show on CBS, Andre Kostelanetz Presents. Kostelanetz was known for arranging and recording light classical music pieces for mass audiences, as well as orchestral versions of songs and Broadway show tunes. He made numerous recordings over the course of his career, which had sales of over 50 million.

For many years, he conducted the New York Philharmonic in pops concerts and recordings, in which they were billed as Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra.

Kostelanetz may be best known to modern audiences for a series of easy listening instrumental albums on Columbia Records from the 1940s until 1980. Kostelanetz actually started making this music before there was a genre called "easy listening". He continued until after some of his contemporaries, including Mantovani, had stopped recording.

He succumbed to pneumonia Jan. 13, 1980 at age 78.

Rayburn & Dee Finch
➦In 1917...Gene Rayburn born in Christopger, IL (Died at age 81 – November 29, 1999).  He is best known as the host of various editions of the American television game show Match Game for over two decades.

Before appearing in television, Rayburn was an actor and radio performer.

He had a morning drive time radio show in New York City, first with Jack Lescoulie (Anything Goes) and later with Dee Finch (Rayburn & Finch) on WNEW 1130 AM (now WBBR). Rayburn's pairings with Lescoulie and Finch helped to popularize the now-familiar morning drive radio format.  When Rayburn left WNEW, Dee Finch continued the format with Gene Klavan. Rayburn later took the lead role in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie when Dick Van Dyke left the production to star in The Dick Van Dyke Show.

He was broke into TV as announcer for Steve Allen on NBC's original Tonight Show.

Besides Match Game, for which he is best remembered, he also hosted the TV games Make the Connection, Choose Up Sides, Dough Re Mi, and Tic Tac Dough.

➦In 1922...New York radio station WEAF aired radio’s first double wedding ceremony. 4,000 spectators watched as the two couples exchanged vows at Grand Central Palace. The broadcast was made in conjunction with the American Radio Exposition. The couples each got $100; a hefty sum in 1922.

➦In 1962...A surf-rock band The Tornados, formed in England, became the first British group to have a #1 record in the U-S.  Their one-hit wonder was an instrumental 'Telstar', named for the first communications satellite launched earlier in the year, went to the top of the Billboard single chart.  The song charted for a total of 16-weeks.

In 1972...Announcer James Wallington died at age 65 (Born September 15, 1907).

After playing small roles in a few Hollywood films, he was the announcer for several popular radio shows in the 1940s and 1950s.

For his work on radio, Wallington has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6660 Hollywood Blvd.

He was the announcer for several popular radio shows in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, including Texaco Star Theatre with Fred Allen (1941–44) and Texaco Town with Eddie Cantor. As with most announcers, Wallington would announce the program's star, then read the sponsor's commercials. In addition, he was often given comedy lines. When radio shows moved to television, he continued as a television announcer in the 1950s.

He ended his professional radio career as a Voice of America radio announcer in the Worldwide English service.

➦In 2000...SIRIUS Satellite Radio completed its satellite system.  Sirius was founded by Martine Rothblatt, David Margolese and Robert Briskman. In 1990, Martine Rothblatt founded Satellite CD Radio, Inc. in Washington, DC.  The company was the first to petition the FCC to assign unused frequencies for satellite radio broadcast, which “provoked a furor among owners of both large and small [terrestrial] radio stations.”  Rothblatt had previously helped create the PanAmSat international satellite television system,  and helped launch and served as CEO of the Geostar satellite navigation system. In April 1992, she resigned as chairman and CEO of Sirius in order to start a medical research foundation, focused on finding a cure for her daughter's illness. Former NASA engineer Robert Briskman, who designed the company's satellite technology, was then appointed Chairman and CEO.

Six months later, in November 1992, Rogers Wireless co-founder David Margolese, who had provided financial backing for the venture, acquired control of the company and succeeded Briskman.

Margolese renamed the company CD Radio, and spent the next five years lobbying the FCC to allow satellite radio to be deployed, and the following five years raising $1.6 billion, which was used to build and launch three satellites into elliptical orbit from Kazakhstan in July 2000.  The company successfully bid $83.3 million to purchase their satellite radio license.  In 1997, after Margolese had obtained regulatory clearance and "effectively created the industry," the FCC also sold a license to XM Satellite Radio, which followed Sirius's example.

In November 1999, Marketing chief Ira Bahr convinced Margolese to again change the name of the company, this time to Sirius Satellite Radio, in order to avoid association with the soon-to-be-outdated CD technology.  Having secured installation deals with automakers including Chrysler, Ford and BMW.   Sirius launched the initial phase of its service in four cities, with the first receiver sold at Cowboy Maloney's in Jackson, MS  on February 14, 2002, expanding to the rest of the contiguous United States on July 1, 2002.

➦In 2010...Frederick William Foy died at age 89 (Born - March 27, 1921).  Using the name Fred Foy, he is best known for his narration of The Lone Ranger.

Shortly after graduating from high school in 1938, Foy began in broadcasting with a part-time position at WMBC, a 250-watt independent station in Detroit. He moved to WXYZ in 1942, but World War II interrupted his radio career.

He was inducted August 28, 1942, entering the American armed forces September 11, 1942.

Attached to the 14th Special Service Company, Sergeant Fred Foy became the American voice on Egyptian State Broadcasting, delivering news and special programs to the Allied Forces in Cairo. He handled the distribution throughout the Middle East of American recordings, in addition to local broadcasts of Command Performance, Mail Call, Personal Album, Radio Bric-a-Brac and Front Line Theater. He also announced The American Forces Program. For Stars and Stripes he did American News Letter, a weekly summary of news from America, plus sport flashes and items from various theaters of war. For Cairo cinemas, he announced Headline News of the Day. Foy helped stage and announce USO sponsored programs, including a Jack Benny broadcast from Cairo to New York and an Andre Kostelanetz concert with Lily Pons.

After the war, Foy returned to WXYZ in Detroit. He took over the position of announcer and narrator for radio's The Lone Ranger beginning July 2, 1948 and continuing until the series ended on September 3, 1954.

Chicago Radio: Cochran OUT, Sirott IN At WGN

The musical chairs in Chicago morning radio continued Friday as WGN 720 AM replaced host Steve Cochran with another well-known Chicago air personality, Bob Sirott.

The Chicago Tribune reports the lineup change was announced Friday morning by WGN, now owned by Dallas-based Nexstar Media. Sirott’s first day on the air will be Jan. 6. Cochran’s last day was Friday.

It is a return to WGN-AM 720 for Sirott, who along with his wife, Marianne Murciano, ended a two-year run as midday hosts at the news/talk station in 2015. He previously hosted “The Noon Show” on WGN Radio from 2007 to 2010 while co-anchoring the WFLD-Ch. 32 news at nine.

Sirott has mostly been off the air since he and Murciano left a midday shift at WLS-AM 890 two years ago.

A Chicago native, Sirott launched his media career in the 1970s with shows at WBBM-FM 96.3 and WLS-AM 890. Sirott shifted to television in 1980 at WBBM-Ch. 2, and later became a correspondent on CBS News’ “West 57th” newsmagazine. In 1989 he returned to Chicago television, with stints at WMAQ-Ch. 5 , WFLD-Ch. 32 and WTTW-Ch. 11, where he hosted “Chicago Tonight” for three years.

Mary Sandberg Boyle
WGN also announced Mary Sandberg Boyle has been promoted to general manager, effective immediately. She had been the station’s acting general manager since WGN changed hands as part of the September sale of Tribune Media to Nexstar. Boyle replaced Todd Manley at the helm.

It was not the first forced exit from WGN for Cochran, who had hosted the morning air shift at the station since 2013. Cochran was previously cut loose as afternoon drive host at WGN in 2010 and moved to low-rated WIND-AM during the interim.

Cochran will be paid through the end of his contract in 2020, sources said.

The shakeup at WGN follows a similar move Wednesday by legacy alternative rock station WXRT-FM, which eliminated the position of longtime morning co-host and news anchor Mary Dixon, and announced that her on-air partner, Lin Brehmer, would move to a midday air shift in early 2020.

Chicago Radio: Salem Media Taking Dan Proft Nationwide

Dan Proft
Salem Media Group has announced that beginning January 2nd, Salem Radio Network will syndicate the “Dan Proft Show” on the SRN platform, in the 9:00PM to midnight Eastern Time slot. 

Dan will continue to co-host the morning show on WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, with Amy Jacobson. The new show will take the time slot vacated by Joe Walsh when he decided to run for President.

“Dan Proft is incredibly intelligent, insightful, and full of knowledge,” said SRN Senior Vice President of Spoken Word, Phil Boyce. “We are delighted to have a host of his quality available to take over the night slot on the lineup. I think stations will love having his wit and humor every night.”

Dan, a graduate of Northwestern University, once ran for Governor of Illinois and is well known in Chicago and Illinois Republican circles. He received his law degree from Loyola University, Chicago School of Law.

Dan joined Salem Media Group as morning co-host of the Dan and Amy show in 2015, after a four-year stint co-hosting the morning show on WLS Radio.

Pat Sajak Talks About His Recent Emergency Surgery

After a life-threatening illness forced him into emergency surgery last month, "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak is back in the studio.

"I'm feelin' great," Sajak told ABC's Good Morning America. "I've actually felt ridiculously good for several weeks. I've been back in the studio actually, doing shows. Even spinning the wheel and, you know, nothing has popped. So I think it's OK."

In the first exclusive interview since his health scare, the game show host opened up to "Good Morning America" about what happened and how he's been recovering.

In November, the game show host said he came home after his daily morning walk with his daughter, Maggie, when he experienced a "horrific pain" in his stomach.

"I didn't know what it [was] -- but within two and a half hours, I was in surgery," said Sajak. "It was that quick and intense."

That pain turned out to be a blocked intestine, and his blood pressure had fallen dramatically. Sajak explained that if doctors didn't operate right away, he could have died.

ViacomCBS Acquires Stake In Miramax

ViacomCBS Inc. Friday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with beIN MEDIA GROUP  to acquire a 49 percent stake in MIRAMAX, the global film and television studio best known for its award-winning film library encompassing more than 700 titles, 278 Academy Award nominations and 68 Oscars including four Best Picture awards for Chicago, Shakespeare In Love, The English Patient, and No Country For Old Men.

beIN will retain a 51% stake in MIRAMAX and MIRAMAX’s current leadership team will continue to lead the company. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Drawing on the strength of Paramount Pictures – ViacomCBS’ historic film and television studio – this investment in MIRAMAX will create synergies and other valuable opportunities through both new production and co-financing opportunities in film and TV, and the combined distribution of both new and existing library content. In addition, Paramount Pictures’ deep content library – including more than 3,600 films – and its global distribution infrastructure, marketing resources and production expertise will further enrich MIRAMAX’s library value and help drive new films and TV projects.

Under the terms of the transaction, ViacomCBS will acquire 49% of MIRAMAX from beIN for a total investment of $375 million, which includes an upfront cash payment of approximately $150 million, along with a commitment to invest $45 million annually over the next five years, or $225 million, to be used for new film and television productions and working capital.

In addition, Paramount Pictures has entered into an exclusive, long-term distribution agreement for MIRAMAX’s film library; and an exclusive, long-term first-look agreement allowing Paramount Pictures to develop, produce, finance and distribute new film and television projects based on MIRAMAX’s IP. Further, beIN and ViacomCBS will explore other strategic partnership opportunities across content production and distribution, live events and recreation globally.

“MIRAMAX is a renowned global studio, responsible for some of the most iconic films of the last three decades, including Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill and more,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS. “This partnership with beIN will be a unique opportunity to gain access to a valuable library, deepening our already substantial pool of IP at a time when demand for premium content is only accelerating. We look forward to working closely with the MIRAMAX management team as we explore new ways to deliver its titles across a variety of platforms and create new, compelling projects.”

Miramax is the first studio co-founded by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein. The two launched the studio in 1979 and helped create the playbook for the commercially viable indie movie, dominating the market through the 1990s.

Cha-Ching! Google Chief Scores Huge Payday

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai is getting an early holiday present: the promise of one of the biggest corporate pay increases in recent history for taking over parent Alphabet Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal citing regulatory filing.

Pichai, who took over as Alphabet CEO this month after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from active management of the internet giant’s parent, will get a base pay of $2 million and is also being granted $240 million in stock awards if he meets performance targets, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.

The compensation package is the second largest equity grant for a new CEO in the Russell 3000 in the past decade. Only Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook has been rewarded more handsomely, when he received equity totaling $376 million in 2011, according to Equilar.

Pichai, 47 years old, takes over Alphabet at a time when the company is grappling with many regulatory and political threats that have affected the search giant and the wider tech industry. The company is also trying to catch rivals Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the hot area of providing cloud-computing services.

Alphabet has become one of the world’s most valuable public companies. Its more than $933 billion market cap puts it ahead of online retail giant Inc., though it trails Apple and the No. 2 Microsoft Corp.

NBC Peacock To Have Tiered Pricing

When streamers first log on to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock, they may get something they won’t see on Netflix, Disney+ or HBO Max — live video.

Users will be greeted by streaming content, similar to turning on traditional television, according to CNBC citing people familiar with the matter. The showcased video could be a live offering from NBC News Now, NBC’s free streaming news service that will integrate with Peacock, or an on-demand show, said the people, who asked not to be named because the product is still confidential.

Different versions of Peacock are still being beta-tested, as the service won’t launch until April.

Outgoing NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is attempting to differentiate Peacock from its streaming competition, most notably by offering an advertising-supported version of the product for free to everyone, CNBC reported last month.

NBCUniversal executives are trying to position Peacock as a valuable streaming service while not cannibalizing the traditional pay-TV business. NBCUniversal owns a number of cable TV stations, including CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, USA, E!, Golf Channel and others.

Peacock will include more than 15,000 hours of content, including new originals such as a “Saved By The Bell” reboot with members of the original cast and “Dr. Death,” based on the popular podcast. The streaming service will include older series that aired on NBC including “The Office” (beginning in 2021), “Cheers” and “Friday Night Lights.” Burke will help lead a presentation of Peacock at an investor day on Jan. 16, one of the people said.

Peacock isn’t expected to include the 2020 Olympics coverage or NBC broadcast content, one of the people said. NBCUniversal executives are sensitive to maintaining the value of sports rights and other content that helps support fees for its broadcast network and cable channels, said the person.

There will be two tiers of Peacock that require payment — a limited-advertising version that will cost about $5 per month and an advertising-free version that will cost about $10 per month, the people said. The Information first reported the details of the tiered pricing. Both tiers will include Peacock’s full suite of content.

D/FW Radio: Mitch Carr Signs-Off At KRLD-AM

After 53 years in radio, Mitch Carr cracked the microphone for the final time Friday morning on Entercom's KRLD 1080 AM.

Mitch has been part of the North Texas scene since arriving from Indiana in 1975. His radio career began as a teenager on KGBX-1260AM in Springfield, Missouri. Four years in the U.S. Air Force put Mitch on AFRTS radio and television in Japan as well as doing voiceover work on USAF training films.

After four years in the AF, Mitch moved to Indiana to attend Butler University and work in local radio. His campus claim to fame is having attended basketball games in the arena seen in the movie “Hoosiers”, although Gene Hackman was not around.

In 1985, Mitch joined the Ron Chapman Show on 103.7 KVIL. Mitch moved with Ron to 98.7 KLUV in September 2000 and then made the transition to Newsradio 1080 KRLD in the summer of 2009.

He has also worked at KLIF, KTXQ, KMGC and KIXK during his career in Dallas.

Philly Radio: Changes Coming For Sid Mark's Sinatra Show

Sid Mark photo
Sid Mark has been bringing Frank Sinatra to Philly listeners for more than 63 years. That won’t change, but in 2020, his show will.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mark, the longtime host of Sunday with Sinatra on Entercom's WPHT 1210 AM, is cutting the length of his show in half. Starting Jan. 5, it will run only two hours, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. WPHT will turn to rotating hosts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“I will do it as long as I possibly can. As long as the station is willing to air it,” the 86-year-old host said.

Otherwise, it will remain the same show, with Mark sharing songs and relaying stories about one of the most popular singers in the history of music. Sinatra died in 1998 at age 82, but Mark just keeps on trucking, acknowledging his preferences have changed over the years.

“Today I sort of lean toward the ballads. ‘You And Me (We Wanted It All)’ was ’79, then ’84 ‘How Do You Keep the Music Playing?’ It varies from show to show,” Mark said. “But every single show for the last few years I’ve played a tune called, ‘The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye’ by Frank Jr … the audience almost demands to hear it every week.”

Mark might be in the “autumn of his years” as Sinatra famously sung, but he hasn’t lost the passion he had when he began hosting the show in 1957, when it was then Friday with Frank. Mark and his company Orange Productions (a nod to Sinatra’s favorite color) also continue to produce and syndicate a weekly show to nearly 100 radio stations across the country.

Mark became Sinatra’s biggest radio booster by accident. While he was a DJ working overnights for WHAT in 1956, he played a full hour of Sinatra’s songs after a colleague failed to show up to work. Sixty-three years later, not much has changed.

Over the years, Mark shared a close personal relationship with the singer. In fact, during Sinatra’s performance at the Spectrum on Oct. 7, 1974, the legendary singer saluted Mark and thanked him for being one of his closest friends.

S-F Radio: KNBR Sports Auction Raises $125K+

CUMULUS MEDIA, KNBR 104.5 FM / 680 AM, the 49ers Foundation, and the San Francisco 49ers have announced that the third annual 49ers Foundation Holiday Sports Auction raised more than $125,000 for local Bay Area youth sports initiatives.

The two-day charity auction was broadcast from the KNBR 104.5 FM and 680 AM studios on Tuesday, December 3, and Wednesday, December 4, from 6am to 7pm and featured once-in-a-lifetime 49ers and KNBR experiences, rare 49ers game-used memorabilia and testimonials from previous auction winners. The event featured on-air appearances by current 49ers Running Back Raheem Mostert, Super Bowl XXIX Champion Dennis Brown, two-time Pro Bowl Safety Donte Whitner and The 49ers Foundation Executive Director Justin Prettyman.

KNBR has partnered with the 49ers Foundation on the auction for three consecutive years, raising more than $300,000 since its inception in 2017. One hundred percent of the proceeds support the 49ers Foundation non-profit beneficiaries.

Program Director Jeremiah Crowe said: “The 49ers Foundation’s Holiday Sports Auction continues to show the true generosity of KNBR’s loyal listeners and proud 49ers fans from across the Bay Area. The KNBR team would like to thank everyone involved in supporting this special Holiday event, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s auction!”

Al Guido, 49ers President, said: “We are grateful for all the support KNBR has given us to make this auction such a success over these last three years. This partnership has allowed us to have a platform to connect with our fans and provide them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, all while giving back to the Bay Area community.”

Spotify: Mariah Carey Most-Streamed Christmas Song

By Felix Richter

It has happened to all of us: you walk into a store, thinking what a beautiful summer it’s been and suddenly there it is: Last Christmas. You’ve just been whammed. While radio stations and department stores tend to dust off the Christmas classics as early as November, private listeners get into the holiday spirit a little later.

The following chart, based on Spotify data, shows the gradual rise in popularity of Christmas songs on the streaming platform through November and December 2017. While holiday tunes accounted for just 1 percent of all streams in early November, that share climbed to 5 percent by Thanksgiving weekend and continued to grow through December before peaking at 22 percent on Christmas day.

Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was the most-streamed holiday song in the United States that year, followed by Brenda Lee's "Rocking' Around the Christmas Tree" and the inevitable "Last Christmas" by the aforementioned Wham!.

Infographic: Getting Into the Holiday Spirit, One Stream at a Time | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

List: ASCAP Releases Its Top 25 Christmas Songs

It is once again the most wonderful time of year, and our favorite seasonal songs are filling our minds with twinkling lights, steaming hot chocolate and winter wonderlands. To celebrate the season, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers, announces the Top 25 ASCAP Holiday Songs of 2019 – the perfect soundtrack for the holidays.

According to an ASCAP analysis of streaming and terrestrial radio data, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" (written by Meredith Willson) hits #1 on this year's chart. Notably, "Last Christmas" by George Michael soars into the top 5 ASCAP holiday songs following the recent release of the film Last Christmas, a heart-warming interpretation of the song on the big screen.

However, the movie is not the first time Tinseltown has turned to a seasonal standard for inspiration — Hollywood's love affair with holiday music has been turning hit songs into holiday classics for decades.

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," along with the fireside favorites "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (#4, Johnny Marks) and "Jingle Bell Rock" (#9, Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe) — all immediate successes upon their original release in the 1950s — cemented their holiday classic status with a new generation after placements in the explosively popular Home Alone franchise after its 1990 debut.

Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" (#14, Irving Berlin) skyrocketed to the top of the charts after its initial 1942 release as part of the Holiday Inn soundtrack, and gained so much traction on its own that Hollywood decided to capitalize on the song again in 1954 with the film White Christmas. Even Mariah Carey, whose hit song "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (#3, co-written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, turned the holiday anthem into an animated film in 2017.

Two other familiar tunes on the ASCAP holiday chart, "A Holly Jolly Christmas" (#2, Johnny Marks) and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (#12, Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin), first stole audiences' hearts after being featured in the popular holiday TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and the musical film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), respectively. And this year, popular standards including "Jingle Bells" (#21, James Lord Pierpont, Gordon Jenkins) and "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" (#11, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) have been reimagined for the first time as vibrantly animated music videos by UMe.

The most recently penned song to make the chart is "Underneath the Tree," written by Kelly Clarkson and Gregory Kurstin in 2013.

"Holiday music enchants. It inspires. It passes down traditions and stories through the generations. There's no denying the transporting power, even magic, of a holiday classic," said Paul Williams, ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President and beloved holiday composer of Jim Henson's 1977 TV special Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.

Below are the top 25 most played ASCAP holiday songs* of 2019, all written or co-written by ASCAP songwriters and composers. Each song lists ASCAP songwriter credits and copyright date.

ASCAP Top 25 Holiday Songs of 2019:
  1. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Meredith Willson (1951)
  2. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" by Johnny Marks (1962)
  3. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Walter Afanasieff (1994)
  4. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Johnny Marks (1958)
  5. "Last Christmas" by George Michael (1984)
  6. "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish (1948)
  7. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Johnny Marks (1949)
  8. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of The Year" by Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)
  9. "Jingle Bell Rock" by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe (1958)
  10. "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie (1934)
  11. "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne (1945)
  12. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin (1944)
  13. "Winter Wonderland" by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (1934)
  14. "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin (1941)
  15. "The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme and Robert Wells (1946)
  16. "Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)" by Oakley Haldeman and Gene Autry (1947)
  17. "Home for the Holidays" by Robert Allen and Al Stillman (1954)
  18. "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Frank Loesser (1944)
  19. "Frosty the Snowman" by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins (1950)
  20. "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano (1970)
  21. "Jingle Bells" by James Lord Pierpont; Frank Sinatra version arranged by Gordon Jenkins (ASCAP, 1958)
  22. "Santa Baby" by Joan Javits, Anthony Springer and Philip Springer (1953)
  23. "Underneath the Tree" by Kelly Clarkson and Gregory Kurstin (2013)
  24. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Kim Gannon, Walter Ken and Buck Ram (1943)
  25. "Blue Christmas" by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson (1949)

Tampa Radio: WiLD Toy Drive Tower Event Collects Toys & Cash

Beasley Media Group’s WiLD 94.1 FM’s Freak Show Personality and Program Director, Orlando Davis’ 8th Annual Toy Drive Tower event collected more than 830 bicycles, 4 Full POD containers of toys and over $42,900.00 in cash and gift cards to benefit The Children’s Home Network® in Tampa, FL.

With the help of the Tampa community, The WiLD 94.1 FM Morning Show Personality broke last year’s donation record after spending eight days living on the Toy Tower, an outdoor constructed platform elevated 30 feet in the air overlooking the City of Tampa.

In addition, local celebrities stopped by to lend a helping hand, including WWE Champion Titus O’Neil, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Michael Clayton and National Recording Artists Tom G and Lil Jon.

The Children’s Home Network® is a non-profit organization that serves as a sanctuary for abused, neglected or abandoned children in the community.

Las Vegas Radio: Beasley Stations Ring the Bell For The Salvation Army

Beasley Media Group Las Vegas stations recently teamed up with the Salvation Army of Las Vegas to host a day-long live broadcast event to benefit needy individuals and families residing throughout the community during the upcoming holiday season.

The morning kicked off with KKLZ-FM’s Mike & Carla Morning Show with Morty and John Shaffer broadcasting live and ringing the legendary red kettlebell from 10 AM to Noon, followed by102.7 The Coyote’s Jeff & Aimee Morning Show from noon to 2 PM. Jammin’ 105.7 Paco rounded out the day with a live broadcast from 2 PM to 4 PM with additional onsite support from Star 107.9 team members Ryan Kawamoto, Leah Hovig, Ronnie Gonzalez and Steve Hoffman, who lent a helping hand on-site collecting donations.

December 21 Radio History

➦In 1965...Andrew Roane Dick (born Andrew Thomlinson, December 21, 1965).  He's a comedian, actor, musician, and television and film producer. Best known as a comic, he is also known for his eccentric behavior, drug addiction, and sexual misconduct allegations and arrests.  His first regular television role was on the short-lived but influential Ben Stiller Show. In the mid-1990s, he had a long-running stint on NBC's NewsRadio and was a supporting character on Less than Perfect. He briefly had his own program, The Andy Dick Show, on MTV. He is noted for his outlandish behavior from a number of Comedy Central Roasts and other appearances.

➦In 1988...WWPR 95.5 FM NYC switched call letters back to WPLJ.

➦In 1996...Barry Gray died (Born July 2, 1916).  He was an influential radio personality, often labeled as "The Father of Talk Radio".

Barry Gray 1951
Initially a disc jockey, Gray was working for New York's WMCA 570 AM in 1945 when he, bored one evening with simply spinning music, decided to put the telephone receiver up to his microphone and share his conversation with the listening audience. The caller that evening just happened to be bandleader Woody Herman, one of the most popular celebrities of the day. This spontaneous live interview was such a hit with both his listeners as well as station bosses, that the talk radio format resulted. Gray subsequently began doing listener call-ins as well.

Rival station WOR also saw the attraction of the talk format, and Gray worked an overnight shift there from 1945 to 1948 or 1949, interviewing everyone from Al Jolson to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. He also broadcast for WMGM from the Copacabana night club in the late 1940s.  In addition during 1947 he hosted the New York-based show Scout About Town for the Mutual Broadcasting System, during which he would present an Award of the Week to popular stars of the stage such as Mitzi Green and Morey Amsterdam.

Gray broadcast on WMIE-AM radio from three Miami Beach nightclubs, the Copa Lounge, Danny and Doc's Jewel Box and the Martha Ray Club nightly in the fall of 1948 and into 1949 before he left the Miami area under some pressure. Gray bopped someone from his audience with his microphone,and this happened on the air. The impact was audible and the impact had been preceded by hot words of anger.

Barry Gray returned to WMCA in 1950, and stayed there for 39 years, refining the talk show format still utilized today. During the 1960s, he was in the odd position of having an 11 p.m.-1 a.m. late night talk show on a station otherwise dominated by Top 40 music and the youth-targeted "Good Guys" disc jockey campaign.

After WMCA changed to an all-talk format in 1970, Gray was again fully in his element.  By the 1980s he had shifted from a late-night to a mid-day slot at the station.

Gray left WMCA in 1989 when it dropped its talk format, and went to work slightly up the dial for a return to WOR where he enjoyed national syndication. By the time of his death, his show was considered to be politically conservative.

In 2017...Sportscaster Dick Enberg, whose “Oh my!” calls rang familiar with so many sports fans,  suffered a fatal heart attack at age 82.  During the course of his 60 year career he called games and matches for CBS, NBC, ESPN, as well as UCLA Bruins basketball, Los Angeles Rams football, and California Angels and San Diego Padres baseball.

➦In 2019...ASCAP released a list of the Top Holiday Songs of 2019. the Top 10:

  1. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Meredith Willson (1951)
  2. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" by Johnny Marks (1962)
  3. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Walter Afanasieff (1994)
  4. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Johnny Marks (1958)
  5. "Last Christmas" by George Michael (1984)
  6. "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish (1948)
  7. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Johnny Marks (1949)
  8. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of The Year" by Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)
  9. "Jingle Bell Rock" by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe (1958)
  10. "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie (1934)

Friday, December 20, 2019

Cox Communications Fined $1B For Piracy Infringement

Cox Communications has been found liable for the piracy infringement of more than 10,000 musical works by a U.S. District Court jury in Virgina on Thursday, awarding $1 billion statutory damages to plaintiffs Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI.

Billboard reports the labels and their publishing entities filed the lawsuit in July 2018, accusing the cable and internet service provider of turning a blind eye to pirates on its network. They alleged that Cox “deliberately refused to take reasonable measures” to combat copyright infringers, even after the company became aware of specific acts of infringement by its customers.

Cox was also accused of imposing an “arbitrary cap” on the number of infringement notices it would accept from copyright holders -- thereby allowing said infringement to continue -- and of failing to permanently terminate customers who were found to have pirated. The complaint noted that at least 20,000 Cox subscribers could be categorized as repeat infringers.

Cox was found guilty of infringment claims on 10,017 pieces of work -- the full amount charged by plaintiffs -- and fined $99,830.29 per work.

“Today’s victory on behalf of music publishers and record labels who own over 10,000 copyrights is a clear message to ISPs like Cox who refuse to take responsibility for infringers on their networks,” said National Music Publishers Association president and CEO David Israelite in a statement provided to Billboard.

In a statement, RIAA chief legal officer Kenneth L. Doroshow added, “The jury’s verdict sends a clear message -- Cox and other ISPs that fail to meet their legal obligations to address piracy on their networks will be held accountable. The jury recognized these companies’ legal obligation to take meaningful steps to protect music online and made a strong statement about the value of a healthy music ecosystem for everyone -- ranging from creators to fans to the available outlets for legitimate music consumption.”

Cox also released a statement to Billboard: “We are disappointed in the court’s decision. The amount is unjust and excessive. We plan to appeal the case and vigorously defend ourselves. We provide customers with a powerful tool that connects to a world full of content and information. Unfortunately, some customers have chosen to use that connection for wrongful activity. We don’t condone it, we educate on it and we do our best to help curb it, but we shouldn’t be held responsible for the bad actions of others."

Report: Facebook Watch Wants Music Videos

Facebook is pursuing rights to music videos from major record labels, programming that could boost interest in its Watch video service, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg reports the company is in the midst of negotiating new licensing deals with the three largest music companies, Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, and has asked for music video rights, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing transactions that haven't been announced. Facebook has already begun testing music videos in Thailand and India, said two of the people.

Facebook's current deals with record companies let users include songs in the background of videos they post on the social network, such as a clip from a wedding or a skateboarding stunt. But Facebook doesn't yet have the rights to offer the official music videos to hit songs.

Music videos are among the most popular genres on YouTube, the world's biggest online video service, and may increase video consumption on Facebook. Watch struggled to attract viewers after its debut in August 2017, as has a similar offering from Instagram called IGTV, which launched in June 2018.

It's not clear whether Facebook is prepared to mount a real challenge to YouTube. But music companies have been itching for Facebook to step forward and give them a credible alternative. Record companies have long complained that YouTube doesn't pay them enough, considering the amount of music consumed on the site, and they also argue YouTube has been too loose with copyright protections. However, yanking their music from the service would rob artists of a valuable promotional tool. And, under current copyright rules, pirated versions of their songs would likely proliferate if legitimate versions were scrubbed.

U-S Senators Urge NBC To Drop Beijing Winter Olympics

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is asking NBC to refuse to air the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The Orlando Sentinel reports Scott and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, (R-MO), penned a letter to NBC Universal CEO Stephen Burke and NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel asking they join in demanding the International Olympic Committee strip the Games from China or else not air the two-week event.

Scott and Hawley cited China’s human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghurs and the crack down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in their letter, first reported by Axios.

“Communist China is one of the great human rights abusers in the world, and it presents a threat to the safety and security of every athlete and tourist who will travel to Beijing,” they wrote.

China has set up a surveillance infrastructure “that tracks every person's location and internet activity … [and] uses millions of cameras, powered by facial recognition technology, to spy on and persecute those who criticize the regime.”

In addition, “documents obtained by the New York Times revealed the lengths to which Communist China uses this technology to track and oppress Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic group in the province in Xianjing. … And they confirmed, as had previously been reported, that more than a million Uyghurs are in prison and ‘re-education camps,’ simply because of their religion.”

NBC Universal, the letter said, “is faced with an important decision. … By overlooking China's human rights record, you betray your viewers in misleading them about the most important threat facing our values and our way of life. Please pick human rights over profits.”

NBC Universal did not return a request for comment

Scott has been outspoken on China during his first year in office, telling CNBC in November, “Communist China wants to control the entire world, including Americans. They’re not our partner. They’re never going to be our partner under these existing leadership teams."

Ed Henry To Co-Anchor ‘America’s Newsroom’ On FOX

Ed Henry, Fox News
Ed Henry will co-anchor “America’s Newsroom” alongside Sandra Smith starting next month when Bill Hemmer moves to afternoons, Fox News Media president and executive editor Jay Wallace announced Thursday.

“Ed is one of the best all-around journalists in the field and his ability to transition from breaking news to anchor has made him a valuable addition to the team. I have no doubt he’ll excel alongside Sandra Smith as co-anchor of ‘America’s Newsroom,’” Wallace said.

Henry, a fan favorite of Fox News viewers, has served as the FNC’s chief national correspondent and, since November, has anchored an hour of weekend breaking news coverage. He will now join Smith on the network’s three-hour morning news program that has dominated the competition, averaging more than 1.7 million total viewers since it launched in 2008.

“It has been an incredible honor to cover major breaking news here at home and all around the world as chief national correspondent and chief White House correspondent before that,” Henry said in a statement. “Now I am grateful to take that experience to the anchor desk, and help kick off our news coverage every single morning.”

The announcement earned Henry widespread praise on social media from both colleagues and observers. Henry has worn many hats at Fox News, contributing to breaking news coverage, landing news-making interviews, anchoring international events, co-hosting “Fox & Friends Weekend” and serving as the network’s chief White House correspondent, among other duties.

The White House Correspondents Association honored Henry with the 2019 Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage.

Earlier this month, Wallace announced that Hemmer would anchor “Bill Hemmer Reports” on Fox News Channel weekdays at 3 p.m. ET starting on January 20. He will lead all breaking news coverage in addition to hosting the straight-news program from the network’s FOX News Deck.

D-C Radio: Ivy Savoy-Smith Promoted at Entercom Cluster

Ivy Savoy-Smith
Entercom has announced that Ivy Savoy-Smith has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Entercom Washington D.C., effective immediately. She will report to Bob Philips, Chief Revenue Officer and Regional President, Entercom.

“During her time here at Entercom, Ivy has embodied leadership, strategic thinking, accountability and hard work,” said Philips. “She is a forward thinker who has produced undeniable results and we are excited to have her lead Entercom Washington D.C. into the new decade.”

“I’m grateful to Bob for giving me this opportunity to begin this new chapter of my career,” said Savoy-Smith. “Working at Entercom has been an unbelievable experience and I look forward to putting my stamp on the D.C. cluster and leveraging the power of radio to continue to give back to the local community.”

Savoy-Smith has nearly 30 years of experience in the media industry. 

Since 2017, she has served as Vice President and Director of Sales for Entercom Washington D.C., managing the local, national, digital, and non-spot revenue for 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM), 947 The Drive (WIAD-FM), El Zol 107.9 (WLZL-FM), El Zol Deportes (WJFK-AM), WPGC 95.5 FM (WPGC-FM) and Connecting Vets (WPGC-HD3). Prior to this, Savoy-Smith served in various posts as Local Sales Manager, General Sales Manager, and Director of Integrated Sales and Special Events for CBS Radio in the market.

Fresno Radio: Philip Teresi & “Skip” Echeverria To KMJ PM Drive

Philip Teresi & Skip Escheverria
Cumulus Media and News/Talk KMJ 580 AM / 105.8 FM have announced “Skip” Echeverria will team with Philip Teresi from 2-6 p.m. providing Central Valley listeners a powerful combo of whip-smart personalities in afternoon drive.

“You’d be hard pressed to find someone in this valley that doesn’t know the legend that is KMJ. When I started radio in 2001, I didn’t anticipate this opportunity. But having been born and raised in Fresno, a graduate from Fresno State, and having chosen to raise my own family and base my mental health practice locally, I have a vested interest in the continued success of my community. I absolutely love this valley and its people. I’m honored and excited to join the KMJ team and am looking forward to conversations about topics that are important to us”. – “Skip” Echeverria

“We are very excited to welcome Skip to the KMJ family. She’s already established herself as a star in our market, which means KMJ’s future just got a lot brighter”. – Patty Hixson Vice President/General Manager Cumulus Radio Fresno

“I’m elated to be a part of the next step at KMJ. Skip makes a brilliant, powerful addition to the station. Bringing Skip to KMJ benefits the audience, the sponsors, and the station as a whole”. – Philip Teresi

“Skip” joins KMJ after hosting mornings on rock station KFRR for the past 9 years. She has a BS in Communications and a Masters degree in Counseling & Family Therapy from Fresno State University.

Hartford Radio: Jim Vicevich Retiring From WTIC-AM

Jim Vicevich
Entercom has announced that Jim Vicevich will be retiring from News Talk WTIC 1080 AM at the end of the year. The station aired a special farewell show in his honor Thursday.

Will Marotti will succeed Vicevich on “Sound Off Connecticut.”

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Jim, who has dedicated over 15 years of his career to the people of Hartford,” said Stephanie Perl, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Hartford. “He has developed a strong bond with the local community through the show ‘Sound Off Connecticut’ and is a true media icon in the market. We thank him for all of his contributions to our station and local community and wish him all of the best.”

“While I’m sad to be leaving due to my Lupus, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to entertain and interact with our audience for over 15 years,” said Vicevich. “I’m honored to be a part of this station’s great history. Very few people have had the chance to get behind the same microphone of other WTIC greats like Bob Steele and Ray Dunaway. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in making my time here special.”

Vicevich joined Entercom in 2003 as the host of “Sound Off Connecticut.” His 20-year career in television and radio includes roles with NBC Connecticut (WVIT-TV) as a financial reporter, and Connecticut Public Television as a host and co-producer. He was the first on-air reporter to exclusively cover business and the economy for Channel 3 Eyewitness News (WFSB-TV) in Connecticut. Vicevich has won three Telly Awards and has been nominated for six Emmy Awards.

“Since joining WTIC, I have said many times and continue to believe that Jim Vicevich is the best prepared man in radio,” said Will Marotti, on-air host, Entercom Hartford. “From the time I first filled in for Jim and all the way through working with him weekly in 2017 and 2018, I was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism. I know I have huge shoes to fill, but my time with Jim has prepared me for the next chapter of our daytime show. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with our listeners every day.”

Nashville Radio: WSM-FM's Marty McFly Hosts "Shop With a Cop”

CUMULUS MEDIA announces that WSM 95.5 NASH Icon morning radio personality Marty McFly’s charity, “Hometown Strong”, partnered with the Sparta YMCA and the Sparta Police Department for “Shop With a Cop” for a free holiday shopping trip on Saturday, December 14, 2019. 

Officers donated their time to be personal shoppers and to offer a positive experience to the kids and their families. 

“Shop With a Cop” was funded by local sponsors and by Marty McFly's Blue Light Ride. Marty McFly’s Blue Light Ride was a police-led motorcycle ride held in Sparta on October 19th. The next ride will take place next spring. Marty is planning to expand the Blue Light Ride to three cities in Middle Tennessee in 2020, and to launch “Shop With a Cop” in those cities.
McFly said: “Spending a day with police officers in a hometown like Sparta really is a heartwarming experience. People were stopping and thanking the officers for what they do, and the kids they shopped with drew pictures and made the officers thank you cards. This is what top-level community law enforcement looks like, and it’s the type of story that needs more attention.“