Saturday, January 25, 2020

January 26 Radio History

➦In 1899...writer/producer Wyllis Cooper was born in Pekin Illinois. He was the creator of NBC Radio’s scary series “Lights Out.” Besides writing, producing and directing, he hosted the show from its start in 1934 to 1936, when Arch Oboler succeeded him. He also was creator/writer/producer of “Quiet, Please!” on Mutual (1947-1948 ) and ABC Radio (1948-1949), and producer/narrator of the early TV series Volume One.  He died June 29 1955 at age 56.

1936 group of breakfastclubbers "start the day with a smile, music and an extra cup of cawfee." L-R: Carl Fasshauer, Bill Short, Earl Roberts, Walter Blaufuss, Helen Jane Behlke, Don, Frank Papile, Clark Dennis, Bill Krenz and Eddie Ballantine

➦In 1907...bandleader Eddie Ballantine was born in Chicago. He was musical director of the Don McNeill Breakfast Club on NBC Blue/ABC Radio for almost thirty years.  When that program ended in 1968 he became a stock market reporter for a Chicago TV station.  He died Nov. 14 1995 at age 88.

➦In 1922...pianist Page Cavanaugh was born in Cherokee Kansas. He formed & led his own trio from 1943-1960, which was featured on NBC Radio’s Jack Paar Show in 1947.  They worked as backup to Mel Torme recordings, and also were featured repeatedly on CBS Radio’s Songs by Sinatra.  He died of kidney failure Dec. 19, 2008 at age 86.

This ad for KNOW appeared in a 1947 issue of Broadcasting
➦In 1932...KUT AM in Austin Texas became KNOW 1490 AM.

On December 7, 1926, the station's first license was originally granted, with the sequentially issued call sign of KGDR. It was owned by a company named "Radio Engineers" and broadcast in San Antonio, Texas. In December 1929, the station was renamed KUT and moved to Austin.That was followed by a call letter change to KNOW on January 26, 1932.

KNOW was owned by the KUT Broadcasting Company. It broadcast at only 100 watts, on 1000 kilocycles. The original KUT moved to Houston and later became KTRH. Today, the KUT call letters are found on the University of Texas' public radio station at 90.5, an affiliate of National Public Radio.

In the 1940s, KNOW moved to its current dial position at 1490 kHz, with the power at 250 watts. It served as Austin's ABC Radio Network affiliate, carrying ABC's schedule of dramas, comedies, news and sports during the "Golden Age of Radio."

In 1949, KNOW was acquired by the Pioneer Broadcasting Company. In the 1950s, it boosted its daytime power to 1,000 watts and remained at 250 watts at night. In the 1960s, it switched to a Top 40 sound. Air Staff in the 70's included P.D. Dave Jarrott, Randall McKee, Jason Wayne. Bill Mayne, Gil Garcia, Jim Gossett, David Gayle, Bill Moss. It call letters where change during the time Hicks Communication owned it from KNOW to KMOW since a mistake was made on giving up the old call letters but were now taken. As contemporary music listening shifted to the FM band in the 1980s, KNOW decided to serve Austin's growing African American community. It flipped to an urban contemporary format. That was coupled with Hicks Communications acquiring the station in 1981.

In 1989, KNOW was sold again, this time to Degree Communications, which switched the format to Oldies. In 1996, the station changed hands again, this time being acquired by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia. The call letters were switched to KFON and the format became talk radio {with FON standing for "phone"). It later shifted to sports talk.

In 2005, the station was acquired by Border Media Partners, which owned other stations in Texas, several serving the Latino community. KFON switched to a Classic Regional Mexican music format. There were further call letter changes to KLGO and KTAE, before the current owner Township Media switched the call sign to KTSN, standing for The Sun Network.

The call letters live-on as KNOW-FM and are assigned to Minnesota Public Radio at 91.1 FM.

➦In 1947... “The Greatest Story Ever Told” began a 10-year run on ABC radio. It was the first radio program to dare to simulate the voice of Jesus Christ.

➦In 1969... The Beatles recorded “The Long And Winding Road.” And Ringo Starr wrote “Octopus’s Garden."

When issued as the group's final single in May 1970, a month after the Beatles' break-up, it became the group's 20th and last number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U-S.

The main recording of the song took place in January 1969 and featured a sparse musical arrangement. When preparing the tapes from these sessions for release in April 1970, producer Phil Spector added orchestral and choral overdubs. Spector's modifications angered McCartney. Later versions of the song with simpler instrumentation were subsequently released.

Edward G./ Robinson
➦In & movie star Edward G Robinson died of bladder cancer at age 79.   Rising to stardom in Warner Bros. movies of the 30’s, his most important broadcast credit was the lead role of crusading newspaperman Steve Wilson in CBS radio’s “Big Town” for 5 years beginning in 1937.

➦In 1975...The NBC Radio Networks aired “Monitor” broadcast for the last time with (John Bartholomew Tucker as host.

Big Wilson
Monitor spent its last 12 hours looking back on its 20-year history with hosts Big Wilson and John Bartholomew Tucker.

Many clips were played, including Dave Garroway's interview with Marilyn Monroe on the show's first day, Frank McGee's talk with Martin Luther King Jr. in the early 1960s, Bob and Ray spoofing "Miss Monitor" and reporter Helen Hall riding on a roller-coaster.

On January 26, Big Wilson hosted from noon to 3pm (Eastern) while Tucker hosted from 3-6 pm. The program's last guest was Hugh Downs, who talked about his earlier days on Monitor with Tucker. The final sound heard on Monitor was of the "Beacon", followed by the NBC chimes at 5:58:50pm.

 Click Here for Monitor's final six hours.

On June 12, 1955, the NBC Radio Network had inaugurated "Monitor". On the following Saturday, June 18, "Monitor" began broadcasting 40 consecutive hours each weekend, from 8:00 AM on Saturday to midnight on Sunday. The show aired from a mammoth NBC studio in New York City called Radio Central, created especially for the program, on the fifth floor of the RCA Building.

"Monitor" offered a mix of news, sports, comedy, variety, music, celebrity interviews, and other short segments.

Click Here for the History of Monitor

➦In 2007...Former disc jockey/recording artist/songwriter and promoter Tommy Donaldson, who as Tommy Dee recorded his tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (The Three Stars), died at age 73.

Bob Green and Anita Bryant at a 1977 press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was famously "pied" on camera by a gay-rights activist.

➦In 2012... onetime WINZ Miami disc jockey Bob Green, who married pop singer (and Florida citrus spokesperson) Anita Bryant, then followed her into anti-gay activism, was found dead at his Miami Beach home at age 80.  The activism ultimately destroyed their careers — and marriage in 1980.

NPR Reporter Says Pompeo Cursed At Her During Interview

U-S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cursed at a National Public Radio reporter and repeatedly “used the F-word” in a shouted diatribe after she questioned him about Ukraine and the ousted American ambassador to Kiev in an interview on Friday, NPR said.

Reuters reports Mary Louise Kelly interviewed Pompeo for NPR’s “All Things Considered” program, asking him about Iran and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted by President Donald Trump last May, NPR said in a statement. Yovanovitch’s removal was a key event in the actions that prompted Trump’s impeachment in the House of Representatives.

“Afterwards, Pompeo proceeded to shout his displeasure at being questioned about Ukraine. He used repeated expletives, according to Kelly,” NPR said.

“He asked, ‘do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the F-word in that sentence and many others,” Kelly said, according to NPR.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kelly said Pompeo shouted at her “for about (the) same amount of time as the interview itself.” Pompeo then had aides bring a blank map of the world and asked Kelly to show Ukraine, NPR said.

“People will hear about this,” Pompeo said after the reporter pointed at Ukraine on the map, according to NPR.

In the interview, Kelly pressed Pompeo on whether he had defended Yovanovitch, who later testified in the House impeachment inquiry about her ouster. The incident also has figured in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

“I have defended every State Department official. ... I’ve defended every single person on this team,” Pompeo replied, according to NPR.

In November, Pompeo declined to defend Yovanovitch after Trump attacked her on Twitter.

Yovanovitch was removed by Trump following a negative campaign against her by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and others. Giuliani at the time was pushing to have Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden.

'Radio' Or 'Audio'? That Is The Question

At this week's European Radio and Digital Audio Show in Paris, a three-day exhibition and presentation conference, one of the panels turned its focus to the future of radio in the next few years.

Brad Hill at RAIN News reports a persistent and sometimes controversial point was whether to rebrand the radio industry to “audio.” As noted onstage, Philippe Generali, CEO of RCS, noted that iHeartMedia routinely calls itself the “largest audio company in the U.S.”

Other panelists were James Cridland (radio futurologist and founder/editor of Podnews) and Alexandre Saboundjian (CEO, Targetspot). The conversation was moderated by Gary Kline who runs a consultancy in Atlanta.

James Cridland
There was general agreement among the panelists that “audio” put a larger, more contemporary umbrella over the radio industry in an increasingly digital and on-demand era. Saboundjian focused on the sales side, saying that advertisers wanted to buy “audio,” not “radio.” Answering an audience question, he said, “You need to organize your company to appeal to your clients. The danger is big companies like Google taking revenue.”

Saboundjian expressed a moderate stance, that radio must adapt, but it is not a red-alert emergency of a business model falling apart overnight.

Cridland’s take: “We’re not in a business of running transmitters, AM, FM, or DAB. Some newspapers thought they were in the business of operating a printing press. They’re not in business anymore. The news organizations that survive are in the business of running a newsroom.”

At the same time, Cridland (an outspoken advocate of, and consultant to radio) observed that the personality and one-to-one connection of radio is a key strength, especially compared to music listening in a streaming service. “A human being is a real asset,” he said.

James Cridland: “Radio isn’t going away fast. We should take advantage of podcasting and other new types of audio.”

The Miami Herald To Outsource Its Print Edition

The Miami Herald Media Company has announced it will move its printing and packaging operations to Broward County. The South Florida Sun Sentinel will begin printing the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald at its Deerfield Beach facility starting April 26.

The newspapers have been printed in Doral since the company moved from its downtown Miami headquarters in 2013.

Aminda Marqués González, president, publisher and executive editor of the newspapers, said this “was a very difficult business decision reached after thoughtful analysis and deliberation. As you know, as more readers find their news online, demand for print is declining and publishers, including our sister publications across McClatchy, are consolidating their print operations.’’

Closing the plant will mean 70 employees — 34 full time and 36 part time — will lose their jobs, Marqués said. All will receive severance packages based on their tenure with the Herald. The Sun Sentinel has indicated that it may hire as many as 18 Herald staffers to support the increased work printing the newspapers and other products.

Sun-Sentinal printing facility, Deerfield Beach
Several other Florida news organizations have made similar moves with printing operations. The Palm Beach Post moved its printing to the Sun Sentinel in 2009. Last month, the Naples Daily News announced it was moving print operations for Naples and the Fort Myers News-Press to Sarasota, effective in February.

The decision comes at a challenging economic time for news organizations, including McClatchy. McClatchy is currently in negotiations with the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. over pension obligations. McClatchy said in November that it would be unable to make $124 million in contributions to the pension plan due over the course of 2020, with most of it due on Sept. 15 or after. The company is negotiating with the PBGC to take over the plan. The company said that “under current regulations, such a solution would not have an adverse impact on qualified pension benefits for substantially all of its retirees.”

Sanders 'Feels The Bern' Over Rogan Support

U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ decision to highlight an unofficial endorsement from Joe Rogan drew criticism on Friday due to the comedian’s brand of humor that some see as dismissive of issues like equal pay and transgender rights.

Rogan hosts The Joe Rogan Experience is a free audio and video podcast.

Reuters reports the online flap comes as Sanders, a U.S. Senator from Vermont, has been trying to move past a weeks-long controversy over whether he told rival Elizabeth Warren, a friend and progressive ally, in a 2018 meeting that a woman could not beat Republican President Donald Trump, a charge he has denied.

Sanders, who is leading some opinion polls in the important early-voting state of Iowa, tweeted a video clip of Rogan on Thursday saying he would “probably vote for Bernie. He’s been insanely consistent his entire life.”

Sanders, Rogan
“Look, you could dig up dirt on every single human being that’s ever existed if you catch them in their worst moment and you magnify those moments,” Rogan continued in explaining his support.

Sanders has been criticized in the past for failing to denounce a following of “Bernie Bros,” men who levy gender-based attacks at women political rivals on social media.

Sanders spokeswoman Briahna Joy Gray said that building a coalition to beat Trump requires “sharing a big tent” that includes “those who do not share every one of our beliefs, while always making clear that we will never compromise our values.”

Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” is downloaded millions of times each month. In the show, which is ideologically inconsistent and often veers into territory that is deemed not politically correct, Rogan has interviewed politicians, including Sanders and fellow 2020 rivals Andrew Yang and congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Rogan has also been accused of criticizing transgender individuals, has said divorce laws are anti-feminist and biased against men, and has argued that a gender-based pay gap does not exist or companies would hire all women to save money.

60M U-S Adults Have Smart Speaker Access

New data from the latest installment of The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research confirms that smart speaker adoption continues to grow in the U.S. with 60M adults A18+ (24% of the population) now owning a smart speaker. 

And with spoken word audio listening up 20% from 2014, cutting into time spent with music, it's clear the audio landscape is changing dramatically – driven by technology advancements and content preferences alike.

"This latest report again shows the steady growth in smart speakers and the substantial use of voice activation across platforms," said NPR CEO John Lansing. "NPR sees these increases reflected in the continuing growth of listening to NPR radio streams and podcasts on smart speakers. We're eager to see that growth continue."

Released earlier this month at CES, The Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 includes updates on smart speaker ownership and usage. Key findings from the survey include:
  • 54% of the U.S. population have ever used voice-command technology​​​​
  • Of those who use voice commands, 24% use voice commands nearly every day
  • The average smart speaker household now features 2.6 devices, up from 2.3 devices per household at the same time last year

Nominating Process For The Grammys Questioned

Questions have loomed for years around the nominations process for the Grammy Awards. But the doubts reached a new level this week after the Recording Academy’s just-ousted CEO claimed the show is rigged and full of conflicts of interest, reports The Associated Press.

The academy, which puts on the 62nd Grammys on Sunday, says nominees are selected from contenders who are voted into the top 20 in each category. But some people view the voting process as less than transparent because the choice of finalists happens behind closed doors. That has stirred claims that members of key nominating committees promote projects they worked on or projects they favor based on personal relationships.

People have become more conscious of the idea that Grammys might be won “through all these nefarious, back-channel kinds of ways,” said Robert Thompson, a trustee professor of television and popular culture at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Deborah Dugan was fired only months into her job as head of the Recording Academy and recently filed an explosive complaint alleging that she was sexually harassed and that the music organization was a “boys club” that favors friends. The academy, which has accused Dugan of misconduct, said it launched an investigation.

At the 2018 Grammys, when Rapsody earned nominations for best rap album and best rap song, her producer, 9th Wonder, sat on the rap committee, and some argued that she would not have earned nominations without 9th Wonder’s influence. Q-Tip even publicly called out 9th Wonder that year since A Tribe Called Quest’s album did not earn any nominations.

This year, Lizzo was nominated in the R&B categories with album-filler songs — a move that some suspect was designed to help her become the most nominated act at the show. But it potentially took away from other R&B acts that outperformed her or had a stronger place in the genre’s culture during the voting period.

The Grammys also have a long history of keeping rap and contemporary R&B stars out of the top categories, rarely awarding them album, song or record of the year. Instead, the prizes go to a pop, rock or country act.

Meanwhile, Sharon Osbourne is set to be a presenter at the upcoming Grammy Awards, but her recent comments might make things a little awkward, reports Todd Garrin at Yahoo! Entertainment.

On Thursday, Osbourne weighed in on recent allegations of sexual harassment and voting irregularities made by the chief executive officer of the Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences, Deborah Dugan (allegations the organization has denied, according to several news outlets)

The Talk co-host backed Dugan’s accusations of voting discrepancies, saying “everybody knew it was rigged.”

Dugan was suspended from her duties, she says, after voicing her concerns.

Osbourne further critiqued the organization, telling viewers that the Grammys are “run by middle-aged, white wannabes with no creative talent at all.”

She described the makeup of the board as both “power hungry” and “money hungry.”

Taylor Swift Cancels Grammys Performance

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has canceled a planned “surprise” performance of her song “The Man” at Sunday’s Grammy Awards amid allegations of sexism swirling around the Recording Academy, reports The NYPost.

Swift’s appearance on the show had been kept quiet, but insiders say she was set to appear on stage to perform her feminist anthem, which would have packed a powerful punch, given the claims of “rampant sexism” at the Academy from ousted CEO Deborah Dugan.

She is nominated in three categories this year, including song of the year for “Lover,” and is still expected to attend the ceremony — but won’t perform.

Swift’s exit was first reported by Variety, which added, “It’s unconfirmed whether her quietly bowing out is directly related to the scandal involving the allegations flying back and forth between the Academy trustees and ousted CEO Deborah Dugan.”

Swift attended the premiere of her “Miss Americana” documentary Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival. Her planned flight out of Park City immediately after the premiere had further fueled speculation that the superstar was needed back in L.A. for the Grammys, Variety added.

Swift last attended the Grammys in 2016, performing “Out of the Woods”.

Scheduled Grammys Performer Busted For Robbery

Keenon 'YG' Jackson
29-year-old rapper YG, real name Keenon Jackson, was arrested on Friday morning just days before he was scheduled to perform at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.   He was to join Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch in a tribute performance for the late Nipsey Hussle, a three-time GRAMMY nominee and YG's friend.

Deputy James Nagao of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department tells ET that they arrested YG at 4 a.m. Friday and police obtained a warrant to search his home as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

YG's bail was set at $250,000 and he remains in custody. His arraignment has been set for Tuesday in Compton Court.

 As for whether the rapper will be able to make the ceremony following his arrest, YG's attorney, Joe Tacopina, tells ET that they are hoping to have him released from custody by end of day.

"We are posting bail. Quite frankly I suspect the timing of this was not coincidental. I think the whole purpose of this was to prevent him from doing that tribute to Nipsey [Hussle] on Sunday at the GRAMMYs," Tacopina says. "There’s no reason he should not be able to perform because he’s going to be able to post bail. The district attorney’s not even involved in these charges. It’s just a police case right now. The timing is more than little suspect."

CRS 2020 Breakfast Mentors Announced

Country Radio Seminar has released its schedule of mentoring breakfasts as part of the upcoming CRS 2020. Four mentoring breakfasts will focus on the areas of programming, digital/streaming, and labels, as well as an all-sector female mentoring breakfast

The Programming Breakfast welcomes attendees to sit down with experienced PDs who can help them build their skill set and learn fresh new ideas. Confirmed mentors for the session are Carletta Blake (WGAR/iHeartMedia), M. Fletcher Brown (Big River Broadcasting), Charlie Cook (Cumulus), Melissa Frost (KRRV/Cenla Broadcasting), Buzz Jackson (KIIM/Cumulus), Kenny Jay (WSUN/Entercom), Kurt Johnson (Townsquare Media), Mike McVay (McVay Media), Rod Phillips (iHeartMedia), Mark Razz (Beasley Broadcasting), and Tim Roberts (WYCD).

For the Digital & Streaming Mentoring Breakfast, industry professionals and platform experts will be available to provide insights on trends, strategies, and best practices to optimize digital assets and streaming platforms. This session also allows for a “conversation” between panelists, attendees and the hosts. Digital mentors that will lead the session include Emily Cohen (Amazon Music), James Crowley (FlyteVu), Tim Foisset (Warner Music Nashville) and Kelly Rich (Amazon Music) with more to be released soon.

The Women’s Mentoring Breakfast, sponsored by NuVoodoo Media Services, will offer attendees the opportunity to approach and chat with some of music’s top female execs from all areas of the industry. In attendance will be Brooke Antonakos (Red Creative Group), Jenn Dalen (Stingray Canada), Trudie Daniell (EMI), Heather Davis (WQDR/Raleigh), Martha Earls (EFG Management), Missi Gallimore (Get It Done Entertainment/Truth Management), Nicolle Galyon (Songs & Daughters), Morgan Kenney (WME), Amanda Kingsland (Rogers Media Canada), Lois Lewis (KNIX/Phoenix), Ali Matkosky (Big Loud), Annie Ortmeier (UMG Nashville), Shari Roth (WEA), Brittany Schaffer (Spotify), Ashley Sidoti (Valory Music Co.), Elaina Smith (Nash Nights Live), Cindy Spicer (WFUS/Tampa), Ashley Stegbauer (WWKA/Orlando), Jackie Stevens (EMI), Meg Stevens (WUBL/Atlanta), Jensen Sussman (Sweet Talk Publicity), and Monta Vaden (Country Aircheck).

The Label Mentoring Breakfast will welcome record label executives to create a network, gain knowledge, and connect on everything from mentorship to motivation. Breakfast will be served, and mentor connections will be set-up based on pre-registration; attendees will then have the chance to move from mentor to mentor throughout the session to ask questions and exchange contact information. In attendance will be Allyson Gelnett (Curb Records), Cindy Mabe (UMG Nashville), Tom Martens (Warner Music Nashville), Erik Powell (Big Machine Records), Lesly Simon (Pearl Records), and Tyler Waugh (Big Loud).

The Programming Mentoring Breakfast and Digital & Streaming Breakfast will run concurrently on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 8:00-8:50 a.m. The Label Mentoring Breakfast and Women’s Mentoring Breakfast are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21 at 7:30-8:50 a.m.

Pre-registration is available here.

Forecast: Personal Audio Fastest-Growing Smart Sector

Analysts at reacher Canalys have projected that more than 3 billion smart devices would ship during 2023, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2019.

These includes smartphone, desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets, wearable brands, smart speakers and smart personal audio devices.  According to the research firm, this represents an impressive four-year CAGR of 6.5% from 2.4B units in 2019.

In the smartphone sector, vendors expect challenging conditions despite the introduction of 5G and other factors.

"The ambient computing platform is taking shape and getting ready for mass-market roll-out in the next years," said Jason Low, Senior analyst at Canalys.

"Smart devices, especially relatively new categories, such as smart personal audio devices, wearable bands and smart speakers, are forming multiple touchpoints to complete an intelligent ecosystem for consumers. It is becoming apparent to vendors that these devises are important as they offer different opportunities for use interactions and a more holistic approach to the user experience, that cannot be effectively achieves by smartphone alone."

January 25 Radio History

➦In 1910...Actress/dancer/radio personality Portland Hoffa was born in Portland, Oregon.  After beginning a career in vaudeville she became known nationally as Fred Allen‘s wife and performing partner on his network radio series (1932-49).  She died of natural causes on Christmas Day 1995 at age 85.

NY Times Headline Jan 26, 1915
➦In 1915...Alexander Graham Bell in New York spoke to his assistant Thomas Watson in San Francisco, inaugurating America’s first transcontinental telephone service.

Leading paragraphs of NYTimes' account

➦In script writer Les Crutchfield was born.  He became a prolific writer for Gunsmoke on both radio and television and wrote frequently for the CBS radio shows, Suspense, Escape, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Romance and Fort Laramie, popular during the 1940s and 50s. He died while still quite young Oct. 6 1966 at age 50.

➦In 1919...Radio, TV newsman Edwin Newman was born. He died August 13, 2010 at 91.

➦In announcer Roy Rowan was born in Paw Paw, Michigan.  He is best remembered as the warm-up guy and announcer for all of Lucille Ball’s TV shows over two decades, but is also fondly recalled as the announcer for “People Are Funny” and especially “Gunsmoke” on radio, and “I Married Joan,” “Rawhide,” “Simon and Simon,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “The Lonesome Dove” miniseries and “Dallas” on television.  He died of heart failure May 10 1998 at age 78.

➦In 1937... the first 15-minute broadcast of the daytime serial  “The Guiding Light” aired on NBC Radio; it holds the record as the longest-running story line in soap opera history. The show remained on radio until 1956. “The Guiding Light” began its long run on CBS-TV in 1952, and signed off for the last time in 2009.

➦In 1944...a black maid named Beulah (played by a white man, Marlin Hunt) joined the “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio show for the first time. A spinoff show, “Beulah”, became a radio series in 1945.  But it didn’t last long .. Hurt died a year later.

➦In 1961... just five days after his inauguration President John F. Kennedy held his first press conference at the White House. It was the first such event to be broadcast live on radio & TV.

➦In 1964...the Beatles reached the #1 spot on North American music charts, as their hit single, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, grabbed the top position in “Cash Box” magazine.

➦In 1999…Radio, TV announcer/radio newsman Ted Mallie died at age 74.

Mallie started at WOR-Mutual Radio in New York in the mid-1940s. There,  he announced on such programs as John Steele, Adventurer and I Love a Mystery. He is perhaps better-known to old-time radio buffs, however, as the final announcer for The Shadow during its last two seasons (1953–1954) on the air.

Following the end of WOR's affiliation with Mutual in 1959, Mallie remained with the station as announcer, handling such duties for, and occasionally serving as newsman on, the Long John Nebel and Jean Shepherd shows. After WOR's FM outlet (now WRKS-FM) launched its progressive rock format on July 30, 1966, he even served a spell as a disc jockey for a time, due to a strike by its regular disc jockeys that lasted until October of that year.

Not long afterward, Mallie gravitated towards the station's TV outlet (now WWOR-TV), where he handled station identifications, promos, bumpers and program introductions, most notably for their long-running Million Dollar Movie and horror-movie series Fright Night. By the time Channel 9 moved its studios to Secaucus, New Jersey in 1986, three years after they transferred their city of license there, he and Phil Tonken were the last of the WOR radio announcers from the old-time radio era to still be employed at the station. His last major announcing duties for channel 9 included handling voice-overs for the children's show Steampipe Alley, and announcing for The Richard Bey Show.

Mallie's announcing career at WWOR ended in 1994.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Organizers Deny The Grammy Nominations Are Rigged

The organizers of the Grammy Awards on Thursday denied allegations that nominations for the highest prizes in the music industry are rigged, calling the claims “categorically false and misleading,” reports Reuters.

Allegations that the Grammy nominations process is tainted by conflicts of interest were made in a complaint filed earlier this week by the former chief executive of the Recording Academy, Deborah Dugan, after she was placed on administrative leave.

Worker assembles a Grammy trophy
Dugan repeated her claims in interviews on two morning television shows on Thursday, just days before Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The Recording Academy has said the live televised show will go ahead as planned.

Bill Freimuth, the chief awards officer at the Recording Academy, denied Dugan’s claims.

“Spurious allegations claiming members or committees use our process to push forward nominations for artists they have relationships with are categorically false, misleading and wrong,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Freimuth said it was the goal of the Recording Academy “to ensure the Grammy Awards process is led in a fair and ethical manner and that voting members make their choices based solely on the artistic excellence and technical merits of eligible recordings.”

Dugan was placed on immediate administrative leave on Jan. 17, five months after taking the helm as the Recording Academy’s first female chief executive and president. The Academy said at the time that the move was in response to an allegation of misconduct made against her by a senior member of staff but did not give details.

Dugan took over as the Recording Academy chief from Neil Portnow, who in 2018 had provoked outrage by telling reporters that female artists and producers needed to “step up” if they wanted recognition in the music industry.

NYC Radio: Lynda Lopez Returns To WCBS 880 AM

Lynda Lopez
Entercom has announced the return of Lynda Lopez to WCBS 880 AM in New York. She will be the midday news anchor and special projects reporter for the station.

“I’m happy to welcome Lynda back to our exceptional on-air WCBS 880 team,” said Susan Larkin, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom New York. “I am confident her breadth of experience and her skillset engaging audiences, as well as her established presence in this market, will enable her to thrive in this role and successfully keep New Yorkers informed daily.”

"I am so excited to be returning to WCBS 880 as the midday news anchor and to continue my broadcast career in this great city,” said Lopez. “WCBS 880 is New York’s trusted source for news and information and serves as a reliable home for its listeners, and I’m proud to once again be a part of it."

The move marks Lopez’s second stint with WCBS 880, who previously served as news anchor and special correspondent for the station from 2009 to 2016. During that time, she covered the 2012 United States presidential election. The Emmy Award-winning journalist most recently served as a television and radio news anchor for ABC News and previously was an anchor and reporter for WCBS-TV, WNYW-TV and WWOR-TV in New York. She has also served as a contributor for Latina Magazine, Glamour and Glam Belleza Latina. Lopez will succeed longtime WCBS 880 news anchor Pat Farnack, who recently retired. 

Listeners can tune in to WCBS 880 (WCBS-AM) in New York 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.

Denver Radio: Entercom Names Chuck Sullivan VP/MM

Chuck Sullivan
Entercom has announced that Chuck Sullivan has been named Senior Vice President and Market Manager for Entercom Denver, effective February 3.

In this role, Sullivan will have oversight of 99.5 The Mountain (KQMT-FM), Alice 105.9 (KALC-FM), Comedy 103.1 (KQKS-HD2), EZ 1430, Timeless Music (KEZW-AM) and KS 107.5 (KQKS-FM).

“Chuck is a driven and talented leader who has had great success leading Entercom’s Madison and Milwaukee markets,” said Doug Abernethy, Regional President, Entercom. “We are thrilled to have Chuck lead the Denver market and look forward to seeing its continued growth under his guidance.”

“I’m incredibly honored to have been tapped to lead a third market during my time at Entercom,” said Sullivan. “The Denver market consists of five strong, creative stations that our listeners turn to on a daily basis, and I’m excited to help lead the charge as we develop new ways to connect with our audience and continue delivering exceptional content.”

Sullivan joined Entercom in 2014 as the Senior Vice President and Market Manager for the company’s Milwaukee market. In 2015, his role expanded to include oversight of Entercom Madison.

Prior to joining Entercom, Sullivan served in leadership roles for Cumulus Broadcasting, including as Vice President and Market Manager for the company’s Mobile, AL cluster and Market Manager for five stations in Destin, FL. Sullivan also previously served as a managing partner for Ocean Broadcasting in Wilmington, NC from 1996 to 2006. Sullivan will succeed John Fullam, who recently announced his retirement.

Kid Kelly EXITS SiriusXM

After 18 years, radio executive and personality Kid Kelly has departed SiriusXM Radio. Kelly was a personality on SiriusXM Hits 1 and served as Vice President of Music Programming for the Pop Format.

Kid Kelly
SiriusXM issued following statement was issued about Kid Kelly's exit:

“After a long tenure at SiriusXM, Kid Kelly is no longer with SiriusXM, and we wish him the best in his new endeavors. His programming responsibilities are being taken over by SiriusXM Vice Presidents Alex Tear and Lou Simon.”

Previously, Kelly enjoyed success at WKSE-FM Buffalo where he dominated evenings with unprecedented ratings. He then spent more than a decade at Top 40 powerhouse, WHTZ-FM Z100 New York. During the 1980s, he was the most listened to night jock in America.  He also programmed and did mornings at Hot 97 WBHT-FM in Wilkes Barre, PA. He then returned to Z100 New York and became the Operations Manager in 1998.

Additionally, Kelly created and still hosts the first weekly nationally syndicated 80s radio program BACKTRAX USA.  It airs on more than 300 stations worldwide.  With the successful formula, Kelly launched another first-of-its-kind, BACKTRAX USA the 90s, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide.

Tear, who joined Pandora and SXM as VP/Music Curation last September, was previously SVP Programming for iHeartMedia Miami and PD of Miami’s Pop giant Y100.

L-A Radio: Anne Lit Named Music Director At KCRW

Anne Lit
Non-com KCRW 89.9 FM has announced Anne Litt as Program Director of Music.

Litt joins two additional, key executive hires at the influential NPR affiliate with Paul Bennun recently tapped as Chief Content Officer, and Drew Tewksbury as Director of Digital Content.

“I’m thrilled to have Anne Litt as the new Program Director of Music. Anne has been finding and cultivating talent inside and outside KCRW for years. She’s primed to move KCRW and our signature music programming into the next era,” says KCRW President, Jennifer Ferro.

“Anne joins Paul and Drew to round out KCRW’s new content leadership team. Along with our incredible staff, we are positioned to focus squarely on the station’s future and deliver excellence across all of our platforms – in music and talk programming – through a wide range of personalities that have made KCRW such a beloved institution.”

“After 20 years on the air at KCRW, having the opportunity to map out our future in this leadership role, at the station I’ve known, respected and valued above all others, is the honor of a lifetime,” stated Litt. “This is a pivotal moment for KCRW to redefine the meaning of ‘radio’ in the 21st century.”

The search for the next host of the station’s flagship music show, Morning Becomes Eclectic will now intensify. Details of the MBE host position will be posted here in the coming days. Litt will host MBE until the position is filled.

SiriusXM Radio To Provide Extensive Access To Super Bowl Shows

SiriusXM has announced an exceptional week of programming for Super Bowl LIV in Miami Beach, offering multiple live broadcasts of the game in seven languages, a dedicated Super Bowl LIV pop up channel, plus a wide-ranging mix of sports, entertainment and music programming that will connect listeners with many of today's biggest stars.

On Sunday, February 2 (6:00 pm ET), SiriusXM's coverage of Super Bowl LIV from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens will showcase nine different game broadcasts to choose from including:
  • Westwood One national radio broadcast
  • Kansas City Chiefs radio broadcast
  • San Francisco 49ers radio broadcast
  • Spanish language broadcast
  • Chinese (Mandarin) language broadcast
  • German language broadcast
  • French language broadcast
  • Hungarian language broadcast
  • Portuguese language broadcast
All game broadcasts are available on SiriusXM radios, as well as on the SiriusXM app for authenticated subscribers with the SiriusXM All Access package.

During the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show, SiriusXM will offer listeners a live broadcast of the on-field musical performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira on both Pop2K (SiriusXM 10) and Super Bowl LIV Radio (SiriusXM 105).

SiriusXM's 24/7 NFL channel - SiriusXM NFL Radio (channel 88) - will broadcast live from Radio Row at the Miami Convention Center throughout Super Bowl Week. SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts in Miami will include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Gil Brandt, David Diehl, Bruce Gradkowski, Torry Holt, Pat Kirwan, Ed McCaffrey, Jim Miller, Kirk Morrison, Brady Quinn, Charlie Weis, Solomon Wilcots, Alex Marvez, Bruce Murray, John Clayton and Howard Balzer.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and "NFL 100 All-Time Team" honoree Brett Favre will host a special edition of his SiriusXM NFL Radio show, The SiriusXM Blitz with Brett Favre, live from Radio Row on Friday, Jan. 31 at 11:00 am ET.

On Saturday, February 1, SiriusXM NFL Radio will have live interviews from the red carpet before the annual NFL Honors event that salutes the top players and performers of the 2019 season, including the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year presented by Nationwide, the AP Most Valuable Player, AP Coach of the Year and more. Listeners will also hear live coverage of the announcement of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.

Super Bowl LIV Radio launches as a special week long pop-up channel on Monday, January 27 (SiriusXM channel 105). The channel will be the home for highlights from the best programming happening across several SiriusXM channels during Super Bowl Week, and will also air the NFL press conferences featuring NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the halftime performers; content from the NFL 100 Greatest podcast series; replays of past Super Bowls; specials chronicling the storied history of Miami music; and more. Throughout the week, Super Bowl LIV Radio will also be a source for fans seeking info on the NFL activities happening in Miami, including Super Bowl Experience and GameDay Fan Plaza, and game day specifics on transportation, parking, stadium security and more. 

Several other SiriusXM sports, entertainment and music channels will broadcast from the SiriusXM set on Radio Row, highlighted by a showcase day of programming on Friday, January 31.
  • Kevin Hart and The Plastic Cup Boyz will host a special edition of their SiriusXM show, Straight from the Hart, live from Radio Row on Friday at 12:00 pm ET (Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud Radio, SiriusXM 96).
  • GRAMMY® Award-winning artist and Miami native Pitbull will be on Radio Row Friday at 12:00 pm ET for a Miami Super Bowl special airing on his exclusive SiriusXM channel, Pitbull's Globalization (SiriusXM 13).
  • Andy Cohen hosts a special episode of his exclusive show Andy Cohen Live on Radio Row on Friday at 11:00 am ET (Radio Andy, SiriusXM 102).
  • Jenny McCarthy hosts a special edition of The Jenny McCarthy Show live from Radio Row on Friday at 10:00 am ET (SiriusXM Stars, channel 109).
  • Sway Calloway will host Sway in the Morning, his daily show on Eminem's Shade 45 channel, from Radio Row on Thursday and Friday at 8:00 am ET (SiriusXM 45). 
  • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models Camille Kostek, Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders and Josephine Skriver will host a special SiriusXM broadcast from Radio Row on Friday at 12:00 pm ET that will feature several special guests. The show will air on Super Bowl LIV Radio (SiriusXM 105) that night at 7:00 pm ET.
Earlier in the week, SiriusXM will present the SiriusXM & Pandora Opening Drive Super Concert Series, two free exclusive concerts on back-to-back nights in Miami. GRAMMY® Award-winning duo The Chainsmokers will perform Wednesday, January 29, and GRAMMY® Award-nominated breakout star Lizzo will perform Thursday, January 30, both at The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater.

The Chainsmokers concert will air live Wednesday, January 29 at 9:00 pm ET on BPM (SiriusXM 51). Lizzo's concert will air live Thursday, January 30 at 9:00 pm ET on The Heat (SiriusXM 46). Highlights from Lizzo's performance will rebroadcast on SiriusXM Hits1 (SiriusXM 2). Pandora NOW (SiriusXM 3) will replay The Chainsmokers and Lizzo performances back to back Saturday night, February 1, starting at 8:00 pm ET.

Other SiriusXM highlights for Super Bowl Week:
  • SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio (channel 82) will broadcast live from Radio Row throughout the week, featuring shows hosted by Christopher 'Mad Dog' Russo, Adam Schein, Evan Cohen and Mike Babchik, Nick Wright, Steve Torre and Danny Kanell.
  • On Thursday and Friday, SiriusXM NFL Radio will broadcast from 7:00 to 10:00 pm ET from the Tostito's Casa de Crunch at Super Bowl Live in Bayfront Park. SiriusXM's Business Radio (SiriusXM 132) will broadcast the Wharton Moneyball show, hosted by Eric Bradlow, Shane Jensen, Cade Massey, and Adi Wyner, from Radio Row on Thursday at 2:00 pm ET. On Wednesday and Thursday, SLAM! Radio (SiriusXM 145) will broadcast from Radio Row from 7:00 to 11:00 am ET. Faction Talk's Rich Davis and Steve Covino will host The Covino & Rich Show on Radio Row Monday through Thursday at 11:00 am ET (SiriusXM 103).

Comcast Expects To Lose More Video Subs In 2020

During Thursday's analysts call, Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh said the company expects to lose even more video subscribers in 2020 than it did in 2019, when 733,000 customers dropped the service.

The company doesn’t expect the bleeding to slow down in 2020, reports The Philadelphia Business Journal.

Cavanagh said the combination of price increases and “ongoing changes in consumer behavior” will drive higher video subscriber losses this year. This news doesn’t come as a surprise to any Comcast observer, as executives have long said their goal isn’t to chase after every video subscriber but to instead focus on those that don’t mind paying more for a “premium experience” with its next-generation, set-top box X1.

After all, customers who cut the cord still need to pay for high-speed internet service to stream services like Netflix and Hulu. Comcast added enough new broadband subscribers to more than offset its video subscriber losses, bringing on 1.1 million new customers in 2019, a record high.

Analysts have questioned how long Comcast can keep up its broadband growth, but executives maintain the company has plenty of runway ahead and is rolling out features like a free cybersecurity service and better management tools for home networks to differentiate it in the market.

“We wake up every day thinking about how we’re going to grow and sustain broadband, and I think it’s working” said Dave Watson, who leads Comcast’s cable division.

Report: M&A Deal Activity Slowed During 2019

Merger and acquisition activity in the media and telecommunications business slowed in the fourth quarter, leaving deal making down for all of 2019, according to a new report from consultant PwC.

While deal volumes declined across the board, 2019 has proven to be a transformational year for the Media & Telecom industries. Disney completed its highly anticipated acquisition of 21st Century Fox, AT&T overcame regulatory hurdles to close its acquisition of Time Warner and CBS and Viacom have merged - resulting in a media landscape that closes the year looking very different from where it began 12 months ago.

  • Deal volumes declined by 27% in 2019 with 635 announced deals compared to the prior year. Q4 2019 marked a two-year low of 137 deals.
  • Announced deal value also declined in 2019, largely driven by 4 mega deals over $5B totaling $40.6B, compared to 5 in 2018 totaling $68.1B. Total announced deal value in 2019 of $91.9B declined by 25% from 2018.
  • Advertising & Marketing and Internet & Information continue to dominate deal activity, together comprising 58% of deal volumes in FY 2019.
  • Though declining in absolute deal volume, private equity acquirers accounted for 28% of 2019 deals - the highest level seen in recent years.

James Corden Doesn’t Drive On ‘Carpool Karaoke’

How does James Corden hit those high notes on “Carpool Karaoke?” By not driving, reports The NYPost.

Fans of the popular show were outraged after a Twitter user uploaded a video of Corden alongside Justin Bieber filming a segment for Carpool Karaoke in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Corden was behind the wheel in his black Range Rover — which was being towed by a truck.

The short clip has been viewed over 11 million times as of Thursday night.

Some fans on social media were disappointed that Corden deceived his viewers. Others were happy the late-night host put the safety of his crew first.

ABC News To Upgrade Streaming News

ABC News is moving aggressively to boost its streaming service with the belief that these products will change the news business over the next decade the way cable channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC did a generation ago.

The Associated Press reports the network said Thursday that it will hire some 50 new journalists, assign correspondents Linsey Davis and Tom Llamas to online leadership roles and increase the number of hours of live programming with the goal of becoming a round-the-clock service within a year. The rollout begins next month.

“I think this is the moment of greatest transformation for ABC News since the time of Roone Arledge,” said ABC News President James Goldston, referencing the legendary television executive who led the organization for more than two decades starting in 1977. “You will see a transformation that will be like the birth of cable.”

ABC isn’t alone in a race for dominance that includes old rivals like CBS and NBC, as well as new services like Cheddar and Newsy.

ABC has brought on Justin Dial, who worked on Vice News’ now-canceled daily news program on HBO, as senior executive producer of ABC News Live. He sees a service that combines plenty of live, breaking news coverage with longer-form reports and documentaries. “Guardians of the Amazon,” a film from the “Nightline” team about destruction of the rain forest, will premiere on the service next month.

Starting with the Iowa caucuses, Llamas will anchor breaking news coverage for ABC News Live, while Davis will host two separate one-hour newscasts to stream on weekday evenings.

Currently, ABC News streaming service shows live events and offers clips of broadcast stories.

NBC Sky World News To Launch This Summer

NBC News and Sky are teaming up under joint owner Comcast to launch an international news service with a base in the UK, reports the PressGazette citing senior executives.

The English-speaking channel will be called NBC Sky World News and is set to go live this summer, creating a rival to the BBC World Service and CNN in terms of global news coverage.

The move comes almost 18 months after US cable giant Comcast, which has wholly owned NBC Universal since 2013, spent more than £40bn taking over Sky, including its Sky News division.

Variety reported that the main newsroom for the network will be at Sky’s Osterley campus in west London but that ten new international bureaus will also open in places the company feels news is “under-reported”.

NBC News International president Deborah Turness  told Variety: “We see an opportunity to begin an approach that isn’t filtered through a US perspective or a British perspective or any national perspective.

“We can bring our journalism to the wide world, but also invest heavily in global journalism so we can add to the story and really create an approach and product that can deliver the global perspective we believe the world wants right now.”

She suggested the channel would “cover the great issues impacting all humanity today” and would make use of NBC News’ international teams.

But she acknowledged the channel would “take a beat to get started and to build”.

NBC News chairman Andy Lack told the Financial Times the channel would draw on a combined workforce of 3,500 and eventually hire 100 to 200 dedicated staff.

Tampa Bay Times Attacked By Ransomware

The Tampa Bay Times reports it was attacked by ransomware Thursday, making it the latest news organization hit by the crippling software.

Ransomware is malicious code that an attacker uses to encrypt a victim’s computers or servers before demanding a ransom to unlock those systems.

“Fortunately we have a lot of plans for systems that go down, and we’re putting those in motion,” Times chief digital officer Conan Gallaty said. The Times planned to publish Friday’s edition with earlier deadlines.

Ransomware infects machines through a variety of methods, such as malware hidden in targeted emails or by exploiting software vulnerabilities. It’s unclear how the attack on the Times was carried out, Gallaty said, but he does not believe the news organization was specifically targeted.

No data was breached. Sensitive information such as customer addresses and payment cards were not affected, Gallaty said. That information is stored securely outside of the network.

The Times did not respond to a message from the attackers. Gallaty said the Times would not have paid whatever ransom was demanded. The affected systems will be fully restored from backups once the Times has ensured all of the malicious code is removed.

The ransomware the Times was hit with is called “Ryuk,” a strain that is used to target large businesses and agencies. Security research firms CrowdStrike and Malwarebytes say the strain is likely of Russian origin, and said it is likely associated with a Russian cybercriminal group named “Wizard Spider;” Malwarebytes said it may also be associated with a “Russian-speaking” group named CryptoTech.

This particular ransomware was first discovered in 2018 and has wreaked havoc on businesses and government agencies around the country, including several news publications. Its first known victim was Tribune Publishing, when the software affected the newspaper printing operations for the conglomerate’s publications.

Among those affected were the Chicago Tribune and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Tribune also shared the printing networks at the time of the attack.