Saturday, February 1, 2020

February 2 Radio History

Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll
➦In 1890...Charles James Correll born in Peoria, IL (died at age 82 September 26, 1972). He and Freeman Gosden gave birth to the 1930’s radio sensation ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’.  The two developed ‘Sam & Henry’ in 1926 for WGN Chicao, which they renamed ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ when they jumped to WMAQ in 1928. They would be staples of network radio for more than 30 years, with Correll throughout portraying Andy Brown.  Later, for the early TV cartoon show ‘Calvin & the Colonel,’ he was the voice of Calvin.

➦In 1940...Frank Sinatra made his professional singing debut with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide

➦In 1946... the radio quiz show “Twenty Questions” debuted on the Mutual network. Bill Slater was the quizmaster, and newscaster Fred Vandeventer, his wife Florence & son Bobby made up the panel. The latter two adopted different surnames to mask the nepotism. it was a major Monday night hit via delayed broadcast on CKWX Vancouver. The show ran for 8 years on radio & 6 more on TV.

Radio listeners sent in subjects for the panelists to guess in 20 questions.

➦In 1958...‘Frontier Gentleman‘ starring John Dehner debuted on CBS Radio. Frontier Gentleman is a short-lived radio Western series originally broadcast from February 2 to November 16, 1958,

➦In 1959...Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper made what turned out to be their last public appearances at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. They died in a plane crash a few hours later.  Admission to the show was just $1.25. On September 6, 2011, The Surf Ballroom was added to the National Register of Historic Places

Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly
Holly, Valens and Richardson left The Surf immediately after the show, going to the nearby Mason City airport and chartering a small plane to take them to Fargo, North Dakota to prepare for their next show at the Moorhead Armory in Moorhead, Minnesota.

The plane took off at 12:55 AM Central Time on Tuesday February 3, 1959. Shortly after takeoff, young pilot Roger Peterson, in a combination of spatial disorientation and misinterpretion of a flight instrument, flew the plane into the ground, killing everyone aboard. According to the report, Peterson was not certificated to fly commercially at night, nor was he qualified to fly in the adverse weather (IFR) conditions which prevailed at the time of the flight. Although Peterson underwent formal IFR training, he failed his final checkride weeks before the accident.

A concrete monument was erected outside The Surf, and the ballroom is adorned with large pictures of the three musicians. A street flanking the facility's east property line is named Buddy Holly Place in his honor.
➦In 1985...FLASHBACK...From The Pages of Radio&Records R&R....

Birch Advances

➦In host Bert Parks lost his battle with lung cancer at age 77.  He is best remembered as the singing host of The Miss America Pageant on TV for 25 years. (“There she is, Miss America….”)

Parks entered radio broadcasting at age 16, for Atlanta's WGST. Three years later, he moved to New York City and was hired as a singer and straight man on The Eddie Cantor Show, then becoming a CBS Radio staff announcer. Parks was the host of Break the Bank, which premiered on radio in 1945 and was telecast from 1948 to 1957, as well as Stop the Music on radio in 1948 and television from 1949 to 1952. With other celebrities, he hosted NBC radio's Monitor during the 1960s.

➦In Willard Waterman, the second man to play the lead in NBC radio’s The Great Gildersleeve, died at age 80.  He had been a founding member of the radio actors’ union in 1937.Actor Willard Waterman died at age 80.  He began his radio career at WIBA in Madison, WI singing in a quartet that performed "musical interludes between programs." and came to NBC in Chicago in early 1936.

➦In 2009...Laurie Cantillo started as PD at WABC.  She told the Business Journals May 2014, "When I was a victim of consolidation after working in New York at WABC, the very first email I got after the story came out was from Jim Farley at WTOP in Washington, DC, and he said, “Anything I can do to help?” And I said, “Sure, hire me,” with a smiley-face, kinda just kidding. He wrote back and said, “Well, we may have something, why don’t you come down to see us.” So I jumped on the train. I was so impressed with the team here, and what they told me was a transition plan that would allow him to retire. Cantillo now works for NASA in DC

➦In 2016…The surviving half of the outstanding radio comedy team ‘Bob & Ray’, Bob Elliott, succumbed to throat cancer at age 92.  Ray Goulding had died 26 years earlier (1990).

➦In 2017...Entercom announced that it had agreed to merge with CBS Radio stations, but not its radio networks. The deal gave Entercom operations in 23 of the top 25 markets, and made it the second-largest owner of radio stations in the United States, behind only iHeartMedia;

Nearly 3M Subs Dropped DirecTV In 2019

Five years after AT&T spent $49 billion to buy DirecTV, the future is cloudy for satellite TV. Rapid changes in consumer behavior, along with rising competition and management missteps, have led to staggering customer defections: AT&T on Wednesday reported that its pay-TV business last year hemorrhaged 4.1 million subscribers, including an estimated 2.9 million at its biggest brand, DirecTV. In 2018, the satellite TV service lost 1.2 million customers.

The LA Times reports the exodus comes at a crucial time for the Dallas phone giant, which has been under mounting pressure to improve its performance and pivot to a digital future. Operating income for the company’s entertainment group — which includes its high-speed internet service and pay-TV brands DirecTV, U-Verse and AT&T TV Now — dropped nearly 10% to $746 million in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago.

Last fall, an activist shareholder lambasted the acquisition of El Segundo-based DirecTV, saying the deal produced “damaging results.” In 2018, just three years after AT&T acquired DirectTV, it spent $85 billion to buy Time Warner Inc., which includes HBO, CNN, TBS and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio, increasing its bet on entertainment alongside its core mobile communications business.

But as it races to keep up with Netflix and Disney, AT&T increasingly has treated the satellite business as something of a relic, akin to rabbit-ear antennas.

“They are at a crossroads,” said Steve Nason, a senior analyst at the Dallas-area research firm Parks Associates. “Consumption habits have changed dramatically since DirecTV was founded.... The moves they are taking suggest that they are putting up a ‘going out of business’ sign” at DirecTV.

It has been a dizzying fall for one of America’s premier brands.

Since AT&T took over, hundreds of workers have been cut. Software applications and other functions have been outsourced to IBM and Accenture. The company has been eager to sell smaller assets, including its regional sports networks, and has even considered abandoning its exclusive arrangement with the NFL for the popular NFL Sunday Ticket, according to knowledgeable people who requested anonymity because they’re not authorized to comment publicly. The NFL package — a signature DirecTV offering for 25 years — has become a money loser for AT&T, given the high cost of sports rights.

DirecTV, the satellite service, now has an estimated 16.3 million customers.

AT&T attributes much of its subscriber losses to the flight of those fickle subscribers. It told investors that DirecTV’s heaviest losses occurred last year, when promotional rates expired, and it has made gains in customer retention.

Atlanta Radio: Two Sue Urban One Over Unpaid Overtime

Shorty Mac
Two women have recently filed a class action suit in Atlanta against Urban One, the corporate entity that represents Atlanta hip-hop station WHTA Hot 107.9, over unpaid overtime.

According to Atlanta media watcher Rodney Ho ar, The plaintiffs also alleged sexual harassment at the hands of now former Radio One Atlanta vice president of programming “Hurricane” Dave Smith.

The defendant in this case is Urban One, which is based in Silver Springs, Md. Smith is not named as a defendant. Smith was fired last August by Urban One after a previous lawsuit was filed by a former on-air personality Shorty Mack who claimed he sexually assaulted and harassed her. Smith later filed a defamation counterclaim lawsuit.

Dave Smith
Desiree Lucas was hired at Hot in 2012 as a production assistant while Dominique Hinton joined the station as a production assistant and board operator the same year. Their responsibilities included assigning commercials to on-air personalities, assisting guests on the radio shows and ensuring commercials play and shows come back on time. The lawsuit noted these jobs are categorized as hourly employment. They said they worked overtime but did not receive overtime pay of time and a half. The suit said they regularly worked more than 40 hours a week. Lucas makes $12.82 an hour - a wage that had not changed in nearly eight years. Hinton worked at the station from 2012 until she was terminated in 2018 and was paid between $10 to $12.32 an hour.

They believe male employees doing the same job were getting paid more than the women. Both filed comparable sex discrimination and retaliation suits with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018.

This lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia, also describes alleged behavior by Smith.

Among them:“What’s your favorite sex position?”“I think about you. Do you think about me?”“I think about you when I’m having sex with my wife.”

In April, 2018, she disclosed Smith’s harassment to HR. She believes Smith’s bosses conducted an investigation that month and Smith was “suspended.”

She was fired a few weeks later. Management claimed she uploaded an incorrect file for the Rickey Smiley Morning Show but she believes files were altered while she was out of the office. “Smith and Urban One terminated Ms. Hinton in retaliation for her denying Smith’s sexual advances and for her reporting Smith’s sexual harassment,” the lawsuit said.

Atlanta Radio: WZGC Extends NBA Hawks Broadcast Deal

Entercom and the Atlanta Hawks announced a new multiyear contract extension of their broadcast partnership.

The extension includes the broadcast of all 82 Hawks regular season and all postseason games on WZGC 92.9 FM The Game, the exclusive flagship home of the Atlanta Hawks since 2013, as well as 30-minute pre and postgame shows. As part of the agreement, sister stations V-103 (WVEE-FM) and Star 94.1 (WSTR-FM) will provide additional promotional support.

“We have truly enjoyed our partnership with the Atlanta Hawks over the past six years and are looking forward to collaborating even further with the team,” said Rick Caffey, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom. “We couldn’t be more excited to continue partnering with a first-class organization who invests in their fans and community in a way that aligns with our own values.”

“We are so excited to not only extend but grow our partnership with Entercom,” said Andrew Saltzman, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Atlanta Hawks. “92.9 The Game continues to be the preeminent sports talk station in Atlanta, and we are proud to have a radio partner with tremendous programming, expert talent calling the games and a passion for engaging fans throughout greater Atlanta.”

Play-by-play announcer and ‘Voice of the Hawks’ Steve Holman will return for his 35th season of broadcasting Hawks basketball. The four-time recipient of the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Award by the National Sports Media Association has never missed a Hawks regular season or playoff broadcast. Mike Conti, the current play-by-play voice of Atlanta United FC, will host the station’s pregame and postgame coverage for all games, as well as join Holman as an on-air announcer for select game broadcasts.

NPR Confirms Uptick In Financial Support

The Secretary of State may not be thanking NPR for his week atop the headlines, but NPR can definitely thank him for boosting their bottom line, reports

Mike Pompeo made news last weekend for berating NPR journalist Mary Louise Kelly following an interview about Iran on All Things Considered, the national current affairs show she anchors.

Pompeo cut the Jan 25. interview short, after refusing to answer questions about Ukraine (despite Kelly confirming that Pompeo's staff had been made aware Ukraine would be part of the discussion). He then invited her into another room and, Kelly said, proceeded to yell and swear at her, accused her of lying about Ukraine being on the agenda for the interview, asked the Cambridge European studies masters graduate to point out Ukraine on an unlabelled world map, and told her, "People will hear about this."

And, because at no point was the conversation designated off the record, people did.

Kelly and Pompeo
Kelly calmly described the incident on air, and NPR listeners were apparently filled with a renewed appreciation for public radio journalism.

Staff at NPR member stations around the country came into work on Sunday to find an unusual uptick in donations — higher, even, than is usual during their regular donation drives.

NPR itself wouldn't give specific figures, but did confirm there had been an increase in donations.
"It is always wonderful to hear from listeners who value public radio," an NPR spokesperson said. "NPR encourages individuals to donate to their local member stations. Member stations provide essential financial support to NPR. By supporting your local station, you support NPR and you support local journalism."

Duluth Radio: Townsquare Media Starts TBA With WWAX

Townsquare Media/Duluth, announced Friday that it is now operating WWAX 92.1 FM under a Time Brokerage Agreement with Twin Ports Radio, LLC.

WWAX currently broadcasts The FAN Radio Network and local sports programming on 92.1 FM. Townsquare Media Duluth has also acquired the Duluth/Superior radio broadcast rights for the Minnesota Vikings football team, for the 2020-2024 seasons. Townsquare and Twin Ports Radio, LLC also expect to enter an agreement in the near term whereby Townsquare will acquire WWAX.

WWAX will join Townsquare Media Duluth’s leading local media brands B105, MIX 108, KOOL 101.7, and Sasquatch. Townsquare expects to move The FAN Radio Network and all sports programming currently broadcast on WWAX (92.1 FM) to WEBC (560 AM & 106.5 FM) during the week of February 17, 2020. This will bring the Midwest’s hottest sports radio network back to its original Northland home on WEBC.

Classic rocker Sasquatch 106.5 FM, which made its Northland debut in October 2015, will move to 92.1 FM as ‘Sasquatch 92-1’. Sasquatch will continue to feature a roster of local talent along with a top shelf national line-up that includes the Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning Show, Nights with Alice Cooper, and more. Minnesota Vikings football broadcasts will broadcast on both WEBC (560 AM, 106.5 FM) and WWAX-FM (92.1 FM).

“With its fun, irreverent attitude, Sasquatch 106.5 has quickly earned a loyal following. Moving it to 92.1-FM will provide the opportunity for the station to reach even more Northland listeners who love real classic rock,” said Townsquare Media Duluth Operations Manager, David Drew.

Mary Niemeyer, Townsquare Media Duluth Market President and Chief Revenue Officer, commented, “All of these programming moves greatly improve the experience for our local listeners and the marketing solutions we can provide for our local advertising partners, enhancing our position as a premiere local media company in the Northland. We are thrilled to bring The FAN back home to WEBC along with the Minnesota Vikings, while providing our rabid Sasquatch audience extended reach on 92.1 FM.”

Townsquare’s Chief Executive Officer, Bill Wilson added, “We are pleased to announce this strategic move which will strengthen our position in Duluth, and more importantly, strengthen our content offering for our local community and our marketing capabilities for our local advertising partners. The addition of WWAX to our local media portfolio is a clear demonstration of our ‘Local First’ strategy, which is a commitment to super-serve our local clients, local listeners and local communities while helping local businesses grow.”

Wichita Radio: Rocking M's KKGQ, KWME Back On-Air

KKGQ's former logo
The on-again, off-again KKGQ, 92.3 FM Newton, KS and KWME 92.7 FM Wellington, KS have returned to the air, but Rocking M Media CEO Monte Miller apparently does not want to discuss it, reports

“We put it back on the air is all,” said the owner of Salina-based Rocking M Media.

The new station is calling itself Sizzlin’ Hot Country 92.3, the Brand.

“I’m not even sure of that,” Miller said before hanging up.

He did not respond to a follow-up text to ask if he’s going to return other former Wichita-area Rocking M stations to the air.  The other Wichita stations involved are KIBB, 97.1-FM, which is known as Bob; KVWF, 100.5-FM, which is known as Flight; and KWME, 92.7-FM, which is known as the Blast. Also included in the deal was to be Wellington’s KLEY, 100.3-FM and 1130-AM, which is known as the Wave; and Winfield’s KKLE, 1550-AM, a news and talk station.

Allied Media Partners’ attempted last year to acquire Rocking M’s six Wichita-area radio stations.

While the purchase was pending, AMP and Rocking M had an agreement for AMP to operate the stations.

However, Miller said the deal for a sale fell apart because Allied couldn’t come up with $6.2 million to buy the stations.  AMP CEO Matt Baty said the issue was that Rocking M wouldn’t clear the liens on its assets in order to close the deal.

Amid the dispute, Envision Broadcast Group — the landlord for the stations — took all the stations off the air due to what it called Rocking M’s failure to pay for the KKGQ license.

Envision is involved because of its previous ownership of KKGQ and its status as the licensee.

Envision has filed two lawsuits against Rocking M and various members of the Miller family.

One suit alleges Rocking M failed to meet a payment schedule to buy KKGQ and its assets, and the other alleges Rocking M failed to vacate the building at the end of its lease and that once locked out it left behind damaged property. The suit also alleges that some property is missing and that Rocking M failed to pay all of the rent it owed on parking spaces.

Thom Callahan EXITS SCBA for Saga Communications

Thom Callahan
Thom Callahan President of Southern California Broadcasters Association is leaving the trade organization after eight years to become Director of Business Development for Saga Communications.

SCBA Chairman Miles Sexton will serve as interim President, effective February 1, while the group seeks a permanent replacement for Callahan.

Callahan said, "I am proud of the value we have created for Southern California radio and will miss so many of the great radio members we have. However, the opportunity to work with CEO Ed Christian and the great Saga team was just too compelling. I wish the SCBA great success moving forward."

"Thom has served the SCBA with distinction for the past seven years," added Sexton. "Thom has genuine passion for radio and we are thankful for his tireless work to promote the value of radio and the many audio and digital services offered by SCBA members."

Loretta Lynn On Country Music: "I Think It's Dead"

Country music icon Loretta Lynn didn't pull punches when discussing the state of her beloved genre in a new interview, The Tennessean reports.

"I think it's dead," Lynn said during an episode of Martina McBride's "Vocal Point" podcast, released Thursday. "I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame to let a type of music die. I don’t care what any kind of music it is. Rock, country, whatever. I think it’s a shame to let it die, and I’m here to start feeding it."

She continued, describing modern country as "a sad situation, because we should never let country music die."

Lynn said: "I think that every type of music should be saved, and country is one of the greatest. It’s been around, as far as I’m concerned, longer than any of it.”

Lynn — an 87-year-old trailblazer known for generational country standards "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin'" — took to Facebook late Thursday to clarify her comments.

In her follow-up statement, Lynn said she made a "big stir" with the interview and assured listeners that "I love country music and I'm so proud of the rich heritage of our kind of music."

"... there's such a hard push to crossover and change it up, and do something new that we can lose what country music really is all about," the statement said. "I like it country—pure, simple, and real! I am so proud of all the artists out there, especially the younger ones, who know what I mean and are still keeping it country.

"When you love something you can't just stand by quietly if you think it's in danger. One thing's for sure, if we keep it country, the fans will keep on listening, I know in my heart that it's what they want!"

SB TV Commercials: Drag Queens Okay, Abortion Survivors Not

Fox Sports is being accused of censoring a 30-second commercial for Super Bowl LIV that features survivors of abortion while at the same time planning to air a commercial featuring two drag queens, reports the Christian Post.

Over 36,800 people have signed onto a petition sponsored by the evangelical grassroots organization My Faith Votes calling on Fox to include a pro-life advertisement in what is sure to be a packed Super Bowl lineup on Sunday.

In a separate petition launched by the activist group One Million Moms, about 20,300 are calling on Fox to remove a commercial featuring drag queens known from their time on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Faces of Choice is a recently established organization dedicated to raising awareness about the overlooked demographic of thousands of people who survived abortion.

The organization declared on social media this week that over the past six months, it has struggled in its quest to have Fox clear a half-minute commercial for the big game.

According to the petition, Faces of Choice was told by Fox executives that there were not any more slots available for 30-second ads during Super Bowl Sunday.

“[B]ut we discovered that’s not true,” the petition reads. “There are ads spots still available.”

The ad in question does not mention abortion but shows abortion survivors asking viewers if they can look them in the eye and tell them they shouldn’t be alive. The survivors declare in the video that they are the “faces of choice.”

Last week, it was reported that advertisement slots were added for Super Bowl Sunday.  Seth Winter, executive vice president of sales for Fox Sports, told Variety the ad slots that opened up were for 60-second floating ads for sponsors that have been longtime supporters of the NFL and Fox Sports.

Winter explained that since the network announced the Super Bowl lineup sell out, the sales team has been overwhelmed with requests from advertisers looking for placement in the game. Additionally, he said some advertisers already in the lineup have been looking to buy more time.

According to Winter, the Fox broadcast of the game will feature the equivalent of 80 30-second ads.

Fox separately ruffled Christian conservative feathers by reportedly approving a commercial for Sabra hummus that will include two drag queen stars named Kim Chi and Miz Cracker.

The short advertisement marks the first time that drag queens will be featured in a Super Bowl advertisement, according to The Washington Post. The ad features the two drag stars in a dressing room. Kim Chi is shown eating Sabra while Miz Cracker jokingly tries to fit a football helmet over a large wig.

February 1 Radio History

Hildegarde with Orchestra leader Paul Whitman
➦In 1906...the 4th most prolific recording artist of all time was born in suburban Milwaukee.  She was known as “the incomparable Hildegarde,” a title bestowed on her by Walter Winchell. She appeared in cabarets & supper clubs up to 45 weeks a year.  The woman born Hildegarde Loretta Sell was the “girl” on CBS Radio’s “Ninety-Nine Men & a Girl” (1939), the hostess on 1943’s “Beat the Band” musical quiz show, and “Hildegarde’s Raleigh Room” on NBC Radio.  She also appeared in several TV specials, and continued performing to age 89.

She died of natural causes July 29 2005 at age 99.

➦In 1926...Flashback...Station news from Radio Digest:

Courtesy American Radio History

➦In 1940...NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.

➦In 1942…Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government’s Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI, in Washington) had already begun providing war news and commentary to the commercial American shortwave radio stations for use on a voluntary basis through its Foreign Information Service (FIS, in New York) headed by playwright Robert E. Sherwood, the playwright who served as president Roosevelt’s speech writer and information advisor.

Direct programming began a week after the United States’ entry into World War II in December 1941, with the first broadcast from the San Francisco office of the FIS via a leased General Electric’s transmitter to the Philippines in English (other languages followed). The next step was to broadcast to Germany, which was called Stimmen aus Amerika ("Voices from America") and was transmitted on February 1, 1942. It was introduced by "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and included the pledge: "Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war... The news may be good or bad for us – We will always tell you the truth."

It was Sherwood who actually coined the term "The Voice of America" to describe the shortwave network that began its transmissions on February 1, from 270 Madison Avenue in New York City.

➦In 1949...RCA Victor countered Columbia Records‘ 33-1/3 long play phonograph disk with a new-configured product: the 45-rpm.  It started a revolution made made the 78-rpm record a true oldie.

➦In 1964… the governor of Indiana declared the song “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen to be pornographic, even though the average listener wasn’t able to decipher the lyrics. The governor asked the state broadcasters’ association to ban the record. at the time, the song was #6 on the Billobard Hot 100.  The song's publisher, Max Firetag, offered  $1000 to anyone who can prove that the song contains obscene lyrics. The FBI became involved and they determined the lyrics of the song were unintelligible

➦In 1964... “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles topped the Billbord pop singles chart and stayed there for 7 weeks.

➦In 1980... Sears Radio Theater moves from CBS to Mutual Broadcasting System.

➦In 1986....Classic Top40  KHJ-AM in Los Angeles changed its call letters to KRTH-AM.  On the evening of January 31, 1986, regular evening jock Dave Sebastian Williams was joined in studio by Robert W. Morgan. Many disc jockeys from throughout KHJ's heyday of Boss Radio phoned in (including M.G. Kelly, Bobby Ocean, Jimmy Rabbitt, and Boss Radio-era Program Director Ron Jacobs) for a farewell broadcast, playing the songs that had made KHJ a popular AM station in the 1960s and 1970s. At the stroke of midnight, the station changed its call letters to KRTH to match those of its FM sister station, KRTH-FM playing a format called "Smokin' Oldies" that featured hits of the first ten years of rock and roll. The station used "AM 930" as its on-air ID.

RKO General was under nearly continuous investigation by federal regulators from the 1960s onward due to unethical conduct at its television stations, including KRTH-AM/FM's television sister, KHJ-TV (channel 9, now KCAL-TV). It was eventually ruled unfit to be a broadcast licensee and forced by the FCC to sell off its broadcast properties.

In the summer of 1989, KRTH AM/FM were sold to Beasley Broadcasting, which immediately turned around and sold KRTH-AM to Liberman Broadcasting. It became a full-time Spanish-language station, adopting the call letters KKHJ in honor of its historic calls.

As time went by, program director Alfredo Rodriguez and chief engineer Jerry Lewine wanted to bring back the legendary three-letter call sign. However, the FCC hadn't issued three-letter calls to radio stations since the 1930s. So they came up with a plan to convince the FCC that KKHJ could not use the Spanish pronunciation of its call letters on the air. This was purportedly because the pronunciation of the first two letters in Spanish (kah-kah), the Spanish vulgar slang word for feces.

As a result, whenever the call letters were used, they were pronounced in English. This proved somewhat awkward over a decade, so the station collected letters from listeners and community listeners and lobbied the FCC to allow the station to drop one of its Ks. The FCC allowed the station to return to its original calls, KHJ. The change became official on March 15, 2000.

➦In 1985...

➦In 1989…WEVD switched from 97.9 FM to 1050 AM.

In 1988, Emmis Broadcasting acquired the license of WNBC and moved WFAN from 1050 to 660 AM.  Emmis sold the license for 1050 to Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), which quickly agreed to trade that license with cash to the Forward Association for WEVD-FM. Until the latter transaction was approved, SBS operated 1050 as a Spanish-language station called WUKQ.  When the deal was finally consummated, WEVD moved its call letters and programming to 1050 and the former WEVD-FM became WSKQ-FM. WEVD gradually replaced much of its brokered ethnic programming with liberal talk shows over the next several years; it gained some loyal listeners, but not enough to keep the station economically viable.

In 2001, the Forward Association entered into a local marketing agreement with ESPN, and WEVD began broadcasting a sports format on September 2 of that year. In 2003 the station was sold outright to ESPN and its call letters changed to WEPN..

➦In 1996....both houses of the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved a rewrite of the 1934 Communications Act. Some highlights: it allowed local and long-distance telephone companies, as well as cable TV providers, to offer a mixture of goods and services; Deregulate cable TV rates; allowed consumers access to a greater variety of cable, telephone and other communications services; and, in one of the most controversial changes, it revised the National Multiple Radio Ownership Rule and Local Radio Ownership Rule, allowing most of the stations in the U.S. to be snatched up by a few corporations.

➦In 2004..., Justin Timberlake ripped Janet Jackson‘s top during the Super Bowl halftime show and exposed her right breast on live TV. the incident resulted in US broadcasters adopting a stronger adherence to FCC censorship guidelines.

➦In 2013…, Ed Koch, American congressman/New York Mayor (3 terms)/WABC radio talk host, and from 1997 to ’99 the judge on TV’s People’s Court, died due to heart failure at age 88.Former 3-term NYC Mayor Ed Koch died.

➦In 2019... Spotify was in talks to buy podcasting group Gimlet Media, a move that would give a boost to the music-streaming company’s narrative-audio ambitions.

Friday, January 31, 2020

George Cheeks To Succeed Joe Ianniello At CBS

ViacomCBS Inc. today announced that George Cheeks has been appointed President and CEO of CBS Entertainment Group, effective March 23, 2020. He succeeds Joe Ianniello, Chairman and CEO of CBS, who will be leaving the Company. Ianniello will work with the Company to ensure a smooth transition.

Cheeks joins ViacomCBS from NBCUniversal, where he most recently served as Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios. In his new role, Cheeks will lead CBS-branded assets, including CBS Television Network, which encompasses CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports, CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Stations and CBS’ first-run syndication business. He will also partner with the ViacomCBS digital organization on the CBS-branded digital assets, including CBS All Access. Cheeks will report to Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS.

George Cheeks
“I am thrilled to welcome George back to the family at this exciting moment for ViacomCBS,” said Bakish. “Throughout his career, George has built broad experience in broadcast and studio operations and brings a unique mix of skills – combining deep commercial expertise and industry relationships with strong creative and programming capabilities. With his finger on the pulse of culture and change and his strong grasp of strategy, brands, audiences and content monetization, George will help CBS build on its position as the most-watched broadcast network and drive results across the entire CBS portfolio.

Bakish continued: “I’m grateful to Joe for his many contributions to CBS and for the meaningful role he has played in bringing the CBS and Viacom teams together. Thanks in no small part to his efforts, the CBS brand has a strong and loyal following across a variety of platforms – positioning it well for this important next chapter. The Board and I wish Joe every success in his future endeavors.”

“I am very pleased to be able to leave CBS well positioned for long-term success,” said Joe Ianniello. “Throughout my 22-year tenure I have always said that the quality and integrity of the people of CBS are what make it great. We have extraordinary employees at all levels of this organization, and I couldn’t be prouder of how they do their jobs day in and day out. Working with Bob, I now look forward to ensuring a smooth transition to the next phase of leadership of CBS, so that the Eye can continue to thrive, just as it has for so long.”

George Cheeks said: “I am incredibly honored to join the stellar CBS team and help lead these incredible brands forward. From news to sports to entertainment, CBS sets the standard, and I look forward to building on this tremendous foundation as we find new and innovative ways to deliver CBS to audiences worldwide.”

Joe Ianniello
During his time as President and Acting CEO, Ianniello successfully grew CBS Corporation into a global multiplatform premium content company. Prior to that, Ianniello served as the Chief Operating Officer since 2013, and was responsible for establishing and executing Company strategy across all businesses. In addition, he developed and spearheaded the Company’s monetization strategy across platforms, including retransmission consent fees and reverse compensation from local television station affiliates, as well as the licensing of the CBS Corporation content around the world for digital streaming and broadband services. He also oversaw the launch of CBS All Access, CBS’ digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, as well as Showtime’s “over-the-top” streaming service, which together became one of the Company’s fastest growing initiatives. He led the Company’s acquisition of Network 10 in Australia and the split-off of CBS Radio through a merger with Entercom. In addition, he led the conversion of CBS Outdoor into a real-estate investment trust, marking a first for an outdoor advertising business.

Cheeks is a media and entertainment industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience. As Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios, he helped run NBCUniversal’s television studios. Previously, he served as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment, where he was jointly responsible for the network’s primetime, late night and scripted daytime programming – including business affairs, marketing, communications, scheduling, West Coast research and digital operations and first-run syndication.

The LATimes reports Ianniello's 15-month employment agreement, reached in November, provided him as much as $31 million to serve through the end of 2020. If he receives his full payout, Ianniello will walk away with $100 million.

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS has begun a round of layoffs. The company is expected to cut hundreds of jobs in Los Angeles and New York in order to extract $500 million in cost savings — a promise made to Wall Street. Six senior ad executives left the company earlier this month as part of a restructuring.

Radio Reaches Deal For BMI Licensing

BMI and the RMLC (Radio Music License Committee) have reached an agreement in principle to settle their ongoing rate dispute, entering into a new multi-year deal covering the 2017-2021 period. The new license carries a rate that reflects the strength of BMI’s repertoire and its share of radio spins, which is higher than any other Performing Rights Organization.

Mike O’Neill, President & CEO, BMI, stated, “We’re pleased to reach an agreement with the RMLC that reflects a much more appropriate value for our affiliates’ music. While litigation is sometimes a necessary step, our preference is always to work out an amicable solution with our licensing partners while continually keeping the best interests of our songwriters top of mind. BMI looks forward to working with the RMLC to improve transparency in the marketplace and enhance the flow of information between our two organizations.”

Ed Atsinger, Chair of the RMLC, stated, “We are happy that our impasse with BMI has reached an amicable conclusion. The radio industry believes strongly that songwriters should be compensated fairly, and with BMI’s support, we hope that this deal will assist others in the music licensing community in determining fair rates for everyone on both sides.”

In addition to the new agreed-upon rate, which is retroactive to 2017, the RMLC has agreed to a one-time payment to BMI for litigation fees. The new agreement also clarifies and preserves the platforms that are covered by the scope of the license and associated revenue, including over-the-air broadcasts, as well as the stations’ simulcast streaming, podcasts and HD radio.

The final deal implementing the parties’ agreement in principle in a mutually acceptable long-form agreement is subject to the Court’s full approval.

BMI and the RMLC are entering into a new multi-year deal covering the 2017-2021 period.

Currently, radio royalty rates achieved by the US’s two biggest performance rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, are governed by consent decrees, which push any dispute over broadcast payouts to federal rate court proceedings.

The consent decrees were originally intended to stop anti-competitive behavior and have been blamed for unfairly capping the potential radio (and digital radio) royalties achieved by both PROs for their members.

In December 2016, ASCAP struck a five year deal with RMLC, which included a royalty hike on the previous agreement between the two parties covering terrestrial, over-the-air broadcasts as well as certain digital transmissions.

In July 2017, private US-based licensing organization SESAC also reached a new agreement with RMLC, which the PRO claimed would result in substantially larger rates for its clients than ASCAP’s equivalent deal.

Amazon Shares Soar After Robust Earnings Report Inc Thursday posted holiday quarter results well above expectations as the expansion of its one-day shipping program came under budget and membership in its Prime loyalty club notched a 50% rise in two years.

Reuters reports shares soared as much as 13% in after-hours trade, putting the online retailer back in the $1 trillion market capitalization club. If the share gain holds on Friday, it will be the biggest daily jump for Amazon since October 2017.

Amazon also forecast operating income of up to $4.2 billion in the current quarter, down from $4.4 billion the year prior. Still, that appeared to assuage investor concerns about Amazon’s continued spending on fast delivery, which could have erased windfalls from e-commerce, advertising and cloud computing sales.

Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky told reporters that additional investment in one-day shipping came slightly under the $1.5 billion the company had forecast for the fourth quarter, despite more customer orders. Extra costs in the current period will be about $1 billion for the delivery effort, he said.

Olsavsky added that spending on video would rise going forward, but the company was still determining its overall level of investment for 2020.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said in a statement that the world’s biggest online retailer now has more than 150 million paid members in its loyalty club Prime, a 50% increase from its last disclosure in April 2018.

Subscribers keep returning to Amazon to benefit from perks like fast delivery, television and music streaming. Its suite of voice-controlled Echo speakers has prompted still more engagement from customers, and grocery orders more than doubled in the holiday quarter in a vote of confidence for Amazon’s 2017 bet to buy Whole Foods Market.

Revenue from subscription fees grew 32% to $5.2 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, Amazon said, as more shoppers signed up for Prime than in any period prior.

Richmond Radio: WRNL The Fan To Simulcast Grant & Danny

Entercom has announced The New Sports Radio 910 The Fan WRNL, the flagship station for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Virginia Tech football and Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA, will simulcast top-rated midday show “Grant & Danny” as part of its weekday lineup.

“Grant & Danny” currently airs on sister station 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM) in Washington D.C.

“I’m excited to welcome Grant and Danny to the Capital City,” said Bennett Zier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Virginia. “They are a welcomed addition as we continue serving Richmond and the surrounding markets with premier sports content and coverage of local and regional teams.”

New weekday lineup for The New Sports Radio 910 The Fan is as follows:
  • 6:00 a.m. –  “The Sports Junkies”
  • 10:00 a.m. – “The Dan Patrick Show”
  • 12:00 p.m. – “Grant & Danny”
  • 2:00 p.m. –    Wes McElroy
  • 6:00 p.m. –    Colin Cowherd
  • 9:00 p.m. –    “The Odd Couple”
  • 10:00 p.m. –  FOX Sports Radio
Grant Paulsen joined 106.7 The Fan in 2009 and was named as the station’s Washington Redskins beat reporter a year later. In 2014, he joined the station’s midday show alongside co-host Danny Rouhier. He currently hosts pre and postgame coverage for Washington Capitals games on NBC Sports Washington and writes a regular column for The Athletic. He was named the 2017 DC Sportscaster of the Year at the National Sports Media Association’s annual awards.

Rouhier joined 106.7 The Fan in 2009 as an on-air contributor before expanding his role to a full-time host in 2010. He has served as a co-host for the station’s midday show since 2011. A lifelong Washingtonian and former pitcher at George Washington University, Rouhier toured North America as a stand-up comedian before a series of YouTube videos garnered him local notoriety, and an opportunity to appear on 106.7 The Fan.

L-A Radio: Jorge Sendao Moving To Middays On KSPN

ESPN's Jorge Sedano will be returning to the daytime lineup at Sports KSPN ESPN LA 710AM Los Angeles.

Most recently, he's been airing during evening slot and he'll be returning to 10am-noon, beginning Monday February 3.

Sedano -- one of ESPN TV's NBA sideline reporters -- moved from ESPN Radio's national lineup to Los Angeles in 2016, to co-host mornings with Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson, before taking afternoons in 2018, and shifting to evenings in August.

Sedano joined ESPN in 2013 after working for FOX Sports Radio and WQAM-AM, WAXY-AM (790 The Ticket), WAFN-AM, WIOD-AM, WINZ-AM and Sun Sports all in Miami. He also fills in for Dan le Bata

Nashville Radio: WSIX Imports PM Drive From Asheville

Following the recent wave of layoffs at iHeartMedia, which included the layoffs of afternoon hosts Tige & Daniel (Tige Rodgers and Daniel Baker), as well as their executive producer Mari Mueller, the company has announced it will introduce a voice-tracked afternoon show for WSIX 97.9 FM.

Musicrow reports hat show will be hosted by Asheville’s WKSF/99.9 KISS Country morning show host Eddie Foxx will be one of several several iHM personalities to fill the daypart until decisions are made about future plans.

Foxx was previously heard in the Nashville market, including four years in the afternoon day-part and mornings on WKDF before he moved to Asheville in 2007.

Campaigns Spend Millions for Big Game TV Commercials

Michael Bloomberg will air a Super Bowl ad tackling gun violence, while President Trump will run one about the economy, as the billionaire presidential candidates place their campaigns in front of the year’s largest television audience, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Bloomberg plans to offer an emotionally charged 60-second ad during Sunday’s game broadcast, in a bet by the former New York City mayor that his campaign for the Democratic nomination will benefit from taking on a controversial topic.

Trump’s re-election campaign intends to run two 30-second ads during the game, including one that the campaign released Thursday through a text to supporters. The ad cites economic indicators such as job growth and the unemployment rate, including jobless rates for minority groups.

In general, 30 seconds of ad time during the game this year sold for as much as $5.6 million, according to Fox, which will broadcast the Super Bowl.

Mr. Bloomberg’s ad, titled “George,” features the story of George Kemp Jr., who died of gun violence in 2013 at age 20. The ad features Mr. Kemp’s mother discussing her son’s love of football and his untimely death, as well as her support for Mr. Bloomberg and his intention to confront the gun lobby. Gun violence has been a core issue for Mr. Bloomberg.

Since the billionaire entered the race for the Democratic nomination in November, his self-funded campaign has spent more than $286 million on advertising, including $210 million on broadcast television, according to advertising tracker Kantar/CMAG. His commercials have largely consisted of biographical ads and attacks directed at Mr. Trump. He has also drawn a contrast with the president over issues such as health care and climate change.

Bloomberg’s ad spending dwarfs that by any of his rivals for the Democratic nomination, with billionaire Tom Steyer’s campaign clocking in with the second-highest sum: $169 million. Mr. Trump’s campaign has spent about $53 million on advertising, including roughly $16 million on broadcast TV, according to Kantar/CMAG.

The Super Bowl, which has often attracted more than 100 million TV viewers in recent years, is the biggest and most expensive advertising day of the year, an opportunity for new brands to be launched and established ones to reach new audiences.

NFL’s Reputation Rebounds

Almost two and a half years after President Donald Trump chastised NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem, the NFL’s reputation — particularly among Republicans — is still recovering.

Heading into Super Bowl LIV, the league’s net favorability among U.S. adults is at its highest point since before the 2017 season, according to Morning Consult Brand Intelligence data, when the league found itself in the crosshairs of a culture war over players’ on-field protests against racial injustice in America.

While the kneeling trend started during the 2016 season with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the controversy exploded when Trump rebuked players during a rally in Alabama prior to Week 3 of the 2017 season, a line of attack he would continue with 13 NFL-related tweets during the next week.

Television viewership trends also reflect the league’s improved sentiment over the past two seasons, as the NFL said it notched its first back-to-back annual ratings increases since 2010. The 2019 season, in which viewership rose 5 percent year over year to an average of 16.5 million viewers per game, was the NFL’s best on TV since it posted the same figure in 2016. The league also continues to dominate all other programming, regardless of genre, scoring 16 of the top 20 most-watched telecasts of 2019.

Radio-Com Presents 'The Night Before' Featuring Zac Brown Band

Entercom will livestream “The Night Before” on RADIO.COM, the exclusive digital home for all Entercom content across its portfolio of 235 stations, on Saturday, February 1.

The 5th annual concert will feature multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band and chart-topping singer-songwriter Carly Pearce at BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL on February 1, 2020, the eve of the world’s biggest sporting event. Fans can tune in to both performances beginning at 8:15 p.m. ET / 5:15 p.m. PT.

“We aim to provide fans with exclusive insider access to once-in-a-lifetime events via RADIO.COM Live,” said Pam Russo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, RADIO.COM. “We look forward to celebrating the kickoff of the biggest football weekend of the year with our listeners across the country with another highly anticipated event.”

To view “The Night Before” event livestream, fans can visit RADIO.COM/Live or tune in via the mobile app. The app offers anytime, anywhere access through home connected devices including Amazon Echo, Amazon FireTV, Sonos, Roku, Google Home, Google Chromecast, and many more.

Zac Brown Band is a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning group led by front man, Zac Brown along with Jimmy De Martini (violin), John Driskell Hopkins (guitar), Clay Cook (guitar), Chris Fryar (drums), Coy Bowles (guitar), Daniel de los Reyes (percussion) and Matt Mangano (bass guitar). Since their debut, Zac Brown Band has developed a reputation with critics and fans alike as one of the most dynamic live and studio acts, marked by strong musicianship and a creative range that defies genre boundaries. 

Carly Pearce’s kind of country transcends the moment. Fiercely rooted in the classics, the girl who left her Kentucky home and high school at 16 to take a job at Dollywood has grown into a woman who embraces the genre’s forward progression. Defying odds, her No. 1 platinum-certified debut “Every Little Thing” designated Carly as the highest charting solo female debut since July 2015 and one of only three women to accomplish the feat the last decade.

Report: No Guaranteed Win Kept Taylor Swift From The Grammys

Music insiders tell The NY Post  the real reason Taylor Swift didn’t go to the Grammys is they wouldn’t guarantee she’d win Song of the Year.

Taylor Swift
Multiple sources have confirmed to Page Six that Swift’s team talked to show bigwigs a few days before the live event and said that Swift would only attend and perform if she was to win a big Grammy. But Swift’s team was told the winners are not known to those planning the show, and they would not bend the rules for her.

“[Her team] called and wanted to be assured that she would win the Grammy. And while it wasn’t an explicit demand, they certainly were fishing to find out if Taylor was a winner. It was understood in the conversation that if she’s not winning, she’s not coming to the Grammys,” one insider said.

Another music insider said, “It’s widely known in the industry that [Swift’s team] called to find out if she was getting a Grammy, they wouldn’t tell her, so she didn’t go. It’s not uncommon [for an artist] to want to know. And everyone knows Taylor loves to win, win, win.”

Yet a spokesperson for Swift said, “I am on the record: These statements by anonymous, unidentified ‘sources’ are absolutely 100 percent false and laughable. She just didn’t go to the Grammys. You guys need to calm down.”

Swift was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. She lost the coveted Song of the Year to Billie Eilish. There was also buzz that the singer was protesting the show after ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan claimed that its general counsel had sexually harassed her and that Grammy votes were rigged.

R.I.P.: Kelli D'Angelo, Longtime Lubbock Personality

Kelli D'Angelo
Many Lubbock, TX listeners to Country KLLL 96.3 GM are mourning the loss of a longtime Lubbock radio personality.

D'Anne Rampy, better known as Kelli D'Angelo, lost her battle with cancer this week, Fox34 reports.

D'Angelo is being remembered as a woman who spent her life loving others selflessly, including her work with the Children's Miracle Network.

She started at KSEL in the late 70s, and was once named one of the top personalities in the country. Her "Wake Up With The Morning Show" was carried in Dallas, Austin, Chicago and San Francisco.

She returned to Lubbock in 2000 and has been on Mix 100.3 and 96.3 KLLL, including several years on KLLL's morning show.