Saturday, February 8, 2020

February 9 Radio History

➦in actor Chester H. Lauck was born in Allene Arkansas.  With fellow Arkansan Norris Goff he would create one of radio’s alltime favorite programs, “Lum & Abner,” hillbilly proprietors of the “Jot ‘Em Down Store” in Pine Ridge Arkansas. 

Their idea was a switch on Amos ‘n’ Andy. He died Feb. 21 1980, 12 days after his 78th birthday.

➦In 1934...FCC granted 500kw license to WLW for W8XO.

Powel Crosley studio of radio station WLW
On March 22, 1922, the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation began broadcasting with the call sign WLW and 50 watts of power. Crosley was a fanatic about the new broadcasting technology, and continually increased his station's capability. The power went up to 500 watts in September 1922, 1000 watts in May 1924, and in January 1925 WLW was the first broadcasting station at the 5000 watt level. On October 4, 1928, the station increased its power to 50 kilowatts.  Again it was the first station at this power level, which still is the maximum power currently allowed for any AM station in the United States.

At 50 kilowatts, WLW was heard easily over a wide area, from New York to Florida. But Crosley still wasn't satisfied. In 1933 he obtained a construction permit from the Federal Radio Commission for a 500 kilowatt superstation, and he spent some $500,000 ($9.02 million in 2014) building the transmitter and antenna.

Cooling Pond (James P. Hawkins photo)

It was the first large amplifier used in the United States for public domestic radio broadcasting and was in operation between 1934 and 1939. It was an experimental amplifier and was driven by the radio station's regular 50 kW transmitter. It operated in class C with high-level plate modulation. The amplifier required a dedicated 33 kV electrical substation and a large pond complete with fountains for cooling. It operated with a power input of about 750 kW (plus another 400 kW of audio for the modulator) and its output was 500 kW.

In January 1934 WLW began broadcasting at the 500 kilowatt level late at night under the experimental callsign W8XO.   In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500 kilowatts during regular hours under the WLW call letters. On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a ceremonial button that officially launched WLW's 500-kilowatt signal.

As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received repeated complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was overpowering other stations as far away as Toronto. In December 1934 WLW cut back to 50 kilowatts at night to mitigate the interference, and began construction of three 50 ft. tower antennas to be used to reduce signal strength towards Canada.

With these three antennas in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935. However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months, and each renewal brought complaints about interference and undue domination of the market by such a high-power station.

The FCC was having second thoughts about permitting extremely wide-area broadcasting versus more locally oriented stations, and in 1938, the US Senate adopted the "Wheeler" resolution, expressing it to be the sense of that body that more stations with power in excess of 50 kilowatts are against the public interest.

As a result, in 1939 the 500-kilowatt broadcast authorization was not renewed, bringing an end to the era of the AM radio superstation. Because of the impending war and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942. In 1962 the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation again applied for a permit to operate at 750 kilowatts, but the FCC denied the application.

For more, visit Jim Hawkins WLW Transmitter Page: Click Here.

➦In 1958...the CBS Radio Network first aired “Frontier Gentleman” starring John Dehner.  The classy western production came too late in the OTR era to achieve the success it deserved, and it was pulled from the schedule that November.

➦In 1964...ABC's American Bandstand  moved from Philadelphia to the ABC Television Center in Los Angeles (now known as The Prospect Studios), which coincidentally was the same weekend that WFIL-TV moved from 46th and Market to their then-new facility on City Line Avenue as well as the day before the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

➦In 1964...The Beatles made the first of three record-breaking appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. The audience viewing the Fab Four on CBS TV was estimated at 73,700,000 (34 percent of the American population).

The Beatles sang “She Loves You” “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. The songs were barely audible above the screams of the girls in the theatre.  The Beatles made their first appearance on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show."

The Beatles appeared on three consecutive Sundays in February 1964 to great anticipation and fanfare as "I Want to Hold Your Hand" had swiftly risen to No. 1 in the charts.

Their first appearance on February 9 is considered a milestone in American pop culture and the beginning of the British Invasion in music. The broadcast drew an estimated 73 million viewers, at the time a record for US television. The Beatles followed Ed's show opening intro, performing "All My Loving"; "Till There Was You", which featured the names of the group members superimposed on closeup shots, including the famous "Sorry girls, he's married" caption on John Lennon; and "She Loves You". The act that followed Beatles in the broadcast was pre-recorded, rather than having someone perform live on stage amidst the pandemonium that occurred in the studio after the Beatles performed their first songs. The group returned later in the program to perform "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand.

The following week's show was broadcast from Miami Beach where Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) was in training for his first title bout with Sonny Liston. The occasion was used by both camps for publicity. On the evening of the television show (February 16) a crush of people nearly prevented the band from making it onstage.

A wedge of policemen were needed and the band began playing "She Loves You" only seconds after reaching their instruments. They continued with "This Boy", and "All My Loving" and returned later to close the show with "I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me to You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

They were shown on tape February 23 (this appearance had been taped earlier in the day on February 9 before their first live appearance). They followed Ed's intro with "Twist and Shout" and "Please Please Me" and closed the show once again with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

The Beatles appeared live for the final time on August 14, 1965. They performed "I Feel Fine", "I'm Down", and "Act Naturally" and closed the show with "Ticket to Ride", "Yesterday", and "Help!"

A future music star from Britain also appeared on the Sullivan stage that night: Davy Jones, two years before he would became a member of  The Monkees, performed as part of the cast of the Broadway show "Oliver!"  Jones said of that night, "I watched the Beatles from the side of the stage, I saw the girls going crazy, and I said to myself, this is it, I want a piece of that."

➦In 1964...1010 WINS DJ Murray The K took John, Paul & Ringo to NYC's 'Peppermint Lounge' nightclub, a hot spot. He subsequently accompanied the band to Washington, D.C. for their first U.S. concert, was backstage at their The Ed Sullivan Show premiere, and roomed with Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Miami, broadcasting his nightly radio shows from his hotel room. He came to be referred to as the "Fifth Beatle", a moniker he said he was given by Harrison during the train ride to the Beatles' first concert in Washington, D.C.

➦In 1976...Musical conductor Percy Faith died of cancer aged 67.  His 1960’s ‘Theme From A Summer Place’, was No.1 for nine weeks, and won the Grammy’s Record of the Year in 1961.

➦In 1981...Early Rock 'n' roll singer  Bill Haley was found dead, fully clothed on his bed at his home in Harlington, Texas from a heart attack & a brain tumour at age 55.  Haley, with his Comets, recorded the so-called anthem of rock and roll: “Rock Around the Clock”, from the movie, “Blackboard Jungle”.

 He has sold over 60 million records worldwide and has been described as the greatest musical pioneer of the 20th century
Johnny Michaels
➦In 2002...NYC Radio Personality Johnny Michaels died.  Michaels had stints at WOR FM, WMCA, WNEW FM, WCBS FM, WKTU, WBLS, WNBC

➦In 2012... Longtime WBZ host Dave Maynard died in Citrus Hills, FL, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  He was 82 years old.

Maynard was a fixture in Boston television and radio for 48 years. He began his career in 1952 at WHIL radio (now WXKS-AM) and then moved on to WORL radio, working as a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey at both stations.  In 1979 he began doing talk radio on the night shift from 12 A.M. to 5 A.M. One of Maynard’s most memorable on-air moments was one summer night when he kept a suicidal caller on the air for over an hour, saving the man’s life by tracking down his whereabouts.

One year later, Maynard was offered the position of WBZ 1030 radio’s morning man taking over for Carl deSuze who moved to the afternoon shift.  In the 1980s he was the top rated morning man in the region. He retired in 1991, but appeared frequently filling in for other people for another several years.

Maynard was honored as the 1999 Massachusetts Broadcast Association “Broadcaster of the Year,” and was later inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcaster Hall of Fame.

Rush Limbaugh Feels Like He's 'The Luckiest Man Alive'

Rush Limbaugh during Friday's Broadcast
Rush Limbaugh returned to his nationally syndicated program on Friday to share more about his diagnosis of having advanced stage lung cancer, The Hill reports.

During the show, the 69-year-old Limbaugh expressed gratitude to his supporters and evoked late New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig, declaring that all the well wishes he has received has made him feel "like the luckiest man alive."

Limbaugh's return comes four days after his stunning announcement that shocked his fans and compelled President Trump to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“The first two or three times I heard it [the cancer diagnosis], I had trouble processing it. How in the world can anybody feel lucky after having been told that you have a disease for which there is no recovery, and that it’s fast," Limbaugh said.

"There was a part of me that thought, 'OK, this is something that famous people are supposed to say.' I thought, clearly there is a portion of Lou Gehrig that thinks he has to say this. Now I know that’s all wrong. Now I know that there was nothing forced or phony or public relations-related about it. Because I feel the same way."

Gehrig died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in 1941 at the age of 38. In a farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, Gehrig said he considered himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth" despite being diagnosed with the fatal disease.

“I cannot thank all of the people that I have heard from since Monday,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “To have this kind of support, and to know it, to be fully aware of it, it does make me one of the luckiest people alive.”

He began his nationally syndicated show 31 years ago. In January, it was announced that he had signed a long-term contract to continue his national show which averages more than 14 million listeners per day.

Kid Kelly On The 'Very, Very Bad State of Radio'

Kid Kelly
After losing his 18-year SiriusXM job as vice president of pop programming, Kid Kelly has spent the last two weeks "chillaxing" and binge-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm at his home in Florida, reports Billboard

Kelly, who has worked at 30 radio stations, engineered the satellite-radio giant's influential pop format: "The Hits 1 build I envisioned reapplied the (then crazy) theory of playing the most passionate music of ALL genres, besides the typical ones played on external Top 40/CHR stations at that time," he wrote in an open letter this week.

"I'd add select Country, Alt-Rock, Active Rock, Teen-Punk and Euro-Pop, most of which were not then playing on FM Top 40 and also not yet available or coalescing on DSP Pop Playlists... It disrupted most major Top 40 stations that ignored or swore off this mix." 

Your departure came not long after iHeartMedia laid off hundreds of DJs, programmers and others. What do these events say about the state of radio?

"The state of radio, in my opinion, it's very, very bad. Radio companies, or radio stations, need to have respect for the audience. If program directors are forced to play songs that they're uncomfortable with, or know they're not going to work, or there are group ads crammed down, or there are 20-minute blocks of commercials, the audience doesn't want that. Maybe somebody has to walk away and take a loss… Do you understand that nobody's ever going to listen to your station again, under a certain age, because of that? It really needs to be fixed, or else it's going to be a vast, vast wasteland."

Read The Full Article Here

Gayle King MIA On 'CBS This Morning'

Gayle King, Oprah
“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King was noticeably absent from her show on Friday after trashing CBS News for distributing an "out-of-context" clip that enraged fans of late NBA legend Kobe Bryant — but the network insists it was a scheduled day off and unrelated to her public criticism of CBS News.

Fox News reports the morning show opened without a mention of King, as CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan sat in her seat amid a report that staffers are angry over the backlash King has received as viewers took to Twitter to question why she was off.

“Gayle was off the show today because she had a long-standing commitment out of town,” a CBS News rep told Fox News.

Meanwhile, and emotional Oprah Winfrey said her best friend, CBS News anchor Gayle King, is “not doing well” after she came under attack when the network posted a clip of the “CBS This Morning” co-host asking about the 2003 rape allegations against late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

King’s eyebrow-raising absence came roughly 24 hours after she declared she would have “a very intense discussion” with network executives over handling of an interview about the legacy of Bryant that landed her in hot water with critics.

King recently interviewed WNBA icon Lisa Leslie about her relationship with Bryant and a clip of a particular question about a 2003 rape accusation went viral, with everyone from imprisoned comedian Bill Cosby to rapper Snoop Dogg criticizing the CBS anchor.

She was widely accused of smearing Bryant and responded Thursday with an Instagram video in which she blamed her employer for distributing an "out-of-context" clip of the interview that resulted in the widespread backlash.

Jessica Mendoza EXITS ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball

Jessica Mendoza has signed a multiyear extension with ESPN and will no longer continue in her role as baseball operations adviser to the New York Mets, it was announced Friday.

ESPN reports the 39-year-old Mendoza will become the first woman to serve as a solo analyst on national baseball telecasts when she does weeknight games for ESPN this season. She also will become the first woman to serve as a World Series game analyst on national radio this season.

Mendoza's increased appearances on ESPN led her to resign as an adviser to the Mets and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

"We have enjoyed our relationship with Jessica and appreciated all her contributions and insight over the past year," Van Wagenen said of Mendoza, who was hired by the Mets in March. "We are excited for her expanded role at ESPN and fully understand and support her need to fully invest her time in all the new platforms. We have such respect and value her baseball insight and know her impact on the game of baseball is just beginning."

Mendoza, who joined ESPN in 2007, had served as an analyst on Sunday Night Baseball since August 2015.

"I've always prioritized my growth and these new opportunities will allow me to expand my broadcasting career while challenging me at the same time," Mendoza said in a statement. "From calling MLB games on television and radio, to extensive studio work and features, I'm excited about everything that lies ahead.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said during this week's owners meetings that he was not comfortable with Mendoza and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez being both team employees and broadcasters.

"It's a topic that remains under discussion internally," Manfred said, referring to how Mendoza criticized pitcher Mike Fiers last month for revealing the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scam to The Athletic.

In addition to her MLB duties, Mendoza will continue to serve as the lead analyst for ESPN's coverage of the Women's College World Series, and she will be an on-site reporter for baseball and softball at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Court Won't Reconsider Net Neutrality Repeal

In a defeat for net neutrality advocates, a federal appellate court has refused to reconsider its earlier decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of the Obama-era open internet rules.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't give a reason for its refusal to re-hear the matter, Mediapost is reporting.

The move leaves in place a ruling issued in October, when a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit largely rejected challenges to the FCC's decision to revoke regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking or throttling traffic, and from charging higher fees for prioritized delivery.

The decision stemmed from a challenge to the FCC's December 2017 vote to repeal open internet rules that were passed just two years earlier.

Ajit Pai
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who shepherded the repeal, says the Obama-era rules were “heavy handed” and depressed investment.

Net neutrality proponents say the rules are necessary to prevent broadband providers from limiting consumers' ability to access streaming video, search engines and other online services and content.

A coalition of tech companies, consumer advocacy groups, state attorneys general and city officials urged the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the FCC's repeal and reinstate the 2015 rules.

Among other arguments, the attorneys general and city officials said the FCC didn't take into account that the repeal could harm public safety. They pointed to Verizon's decision to slow down service to firefighters battling blazes in California this summer.

Even though the October ruling largely rejected arguments made by net neutrality proponents, the appellate judges sent the matter back to the FCC with instructions to examine the implications of the repeal on public safety, the Lifeline program (which subsidizes broadband) and regulations regarding utility poles.

The October decision also vacated rules by the FCC that would have categorically blocked states from passing or enforcing their own broadband laws.

CA Radio: NPR, Stations Launch Statewide Newsroom

Public radio stations across California are teaming up with NPR on a California regional newsroom to increase coverage of statewide issues and boost reporting from and for underserved regions across the state. Joanne Griffith, a widely respected and deeply experienced reporter and producer, was hired as the newsroom's first managing editor.

Led by KQED in San Francisco, the public radio collaboration includes KPBS, CapRadio, KPCC/LAist and KCRW as anchor stations and NPR as the statewide newsroom's national partner. Four of the five anchor stations already work together through the California Dream journalism collaboration, launched with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 2017. Ultimately, the collaborative aims to include participation from all public radio stations in the state, especially those in "news deserts" or areas that lack robust local news coverage as small town newspapers have declined.

Joanne Griffith
Griffith comes to the job with trust and respect throughout the public media network, most recently serving as the assistant managing editor of digital for Marketplace.

Griffith will work out of the KPCC/LAist offices in Pasadena but will be leading daily collaboration and coordination between news outlets across California, including public media affiliates in Fresno, Chico, San Luis Obispo and beyond. Her initial focus will be on 2020 election coverage.

"As the media industry faces increasing economic and political pressures, working together collaboratively to deliver public interest journalism is more important than ever," said Holly Kernan, chief content officer at KQED and a key champion of this effort. "This collaborative effort will ensure California citizens have accurate, independent and important news from across the state, which can only improve our democracy."

The California news hub is the second such collaboration in the country, joining The Texas Newsroom, which launched last year and produces six live, statewide newscasts each weekday that draw content from public radio stations large and small across Texas.

NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have made significant investments in the national collaborative journalism initiative, which will help reshape the way public media stations engage their audiences. Both organizations have identified this collaboration as a prototype for the way stations throughout the country can share resources in order to produce more of the journalism their communities need and reach new audiences.

Two PA Newspapers Closing Print Facilities

The owner of Bucks County, PA two daily newspapers is cutting more jobs and closing its printing and production facility next month.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports the move comes after the owner of the Bucks County Courier Times and the Doylestown Intelligencer, GateHouse Media, acquired Gannett Co. in November and adopted the Gannett name. The $1.2 billion deal was a combination of the two largest U.S. newspaper chains.

The Courier Times and The Intelligencer will now be printed at the production facilities for fellow Gannett-owned publications the Courier-Post in New Jersey and The News Journal in Delaware. The Courier Times' news and advertising teams will remain in Langhorne.

“As our industry evolves, we have to adapt in ways that allow us to focus on the high-quality local journalism our readers expect from us,” General Manager Brad Bailey said in a statement released on the Courier Times website. “Taking advantage of nearby production capabilities within our company will allow us to devote the resources necessary to remain the most trusted source of local news in three different markets.”

Bailey did not say how many employees would lose their jobs due to the move.

Mobster Indicted For Failed Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts Eateries

A former Mafia soldier in Arizona who orchestrated the nationwide collapse of two star-powered country restaurant chains has been indicted on federal fraud charges, The Arizona Republic reports.

Frank Capri, who was behind the financial failure of Toby Keith and Rascal Flatts-branded restaurants from Hawaii to Florida, was arrested Wednesday.

The Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office announced that Capri, 52, his mother, Debbie Corvo, 68, and an unnamed third person were indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 28 on 16 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Capri is the focus of an ongoing investigation by The Arizona Republic that began in 2015. The Republic exposed Capri as an ex-mobster who was given a new identity through the Federal Witness Protection Program and used it to bilk developers out of millions of dollars.

Capri, whose real name is Frank Gioia Jr., was a former soldier in New York's notorious Lucchese crime family. He flipped to become a government witness in the 1990s. He moved to Arizona in the early 2000s, where he made a name for himself as a real estate and restaurant developer.

The Republic documented how Capri's restaurant career was built on failures. He is known for the epic collapse of a nationwide chain of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill restaurants, which went under in 2015 amid allegations of fraud and theft.

Capri or his companies negotiated deals to build Toby Keith restaurants with mall owners and developers throughout the United States, then took tens of millions of dollars meant to pay for construction and walked away, The Republic reported.

G-R Radio: WOOD Radiothon Raises $58K

A homeless shelter in Grand Rapids is getting some extra help from WOOD Radio. The radio station raised $58,000 for Degage Ministries on Friday with its third annual "Day of Hope" radiothon.

“It’s all about giving back to the community in a real and tangible way,” said iHeart West Michigan program director and longtime West Michigan radio personality PhilTower. “Today’s event demonstrated how we can use the full power of WOOD Radio to lift up and benefit wonderful nonprofits such as Degage Ministries. We are proud to say that we do it with no overhead, meaning 100% of the $58,000 raised goes directly to Degage!”

On-air personalities from WOOD Radio as well as representatives from iHeartMedia West Michigan were on the air from 5 a.m. to noon at Degage, where they broadcast stories of hope from those who patronize and serve Degage.

The funds raised from the radiothon will go toward items to be used at Degage's Community Center, which is essentially a day center that provides the homeless with food, shelter, programming, and community gathering space.

“Degage is so grateful for the outpouring support of the community and partnership with WOOD Radio,” said Degage Ministries executive director Marge Palmerlee. “We offer our heartfelt thanks to WOOD Radio for caring about the more than 500 men and women we serve every day, for helping to provide extended winter hours to keep them warm, and for sharing our vision of Grand Rapids being a city where all people can thrive.”

R.I.P.: Orson Bean, Actor, TV Game Show Panelist

91-year-old Orson Bean, the witty actor and comedian, was hit and killed by a car Friday night in Los Angeles, authorities said.

Orson Bean
The Los Angeles County Coroner's office confirmed Bean's Friday night death, saying it was being investigated as a "traffic-related" fatality. The coroner's office provided the location where Bean was found, which matched reports from CBS Los Angeles.

A man was walking in the Venice neighborhood when he was clipped by a vehicle and fell, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Brian Wendling initially told local stations. A second driver then struck him in what police say was the fatal collision. Both drivers remained on the scene. Police were investigating and didn't identify the pedestrian to local outlets, which named Bean based on eyewitness accounts.

Bean enlivened such TV game shows as "To Tell the Truth" and played a crotchety merchant on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman."

He appeared in a number of films - notably, "Anatomy of a Murder" and "Being John Malkovich" - and starred in several top Broadway productions, receiving a Tony nod for the 1962 Comden-Green musical "Subways Are for Sleeping." But fans remembered him most for his many TV appearances from the 1950s onward.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1928 as Dallas Frederick Burrows,  he never lost the Yankee accent that proved a perfect complement to the dry, laconic storytelling that established him as popular humorist. He had picked the stage name Orson Bean "because it sounded funny."

Bean's quick wit and warm personality made him a favorite panelist for six years on "To Tell the Truth." The game required the panelists to quiz three contestants to figure out which one was a real notable and which two were impostors. The dramatic outcome inspired a national catchphrase as the host turned to the three and said: "Will the real (notable's name) please stand up?"

February 8 Radio History

➦In 1922...President Warren G. Harding had the first  radio installed in the White House.

➦In 1924...From a banquet hall at the Congress Hotel in Chicago one man could be heard simultaneously in New York, Jacksonville, Denver, San Francisco, and even Havana, Cuba. This was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and it was accomplished less than a decade after the first coast-to-coast telephone call was placed in 1915. The future of broadcasting had arrived.

General John J. Carty, a vice president at Bell Telephone Company, spoke from Chicago, addressing by name the various telephone managers in each city where he was being heard. Only about 10% of Americans had a radio set in 1924, but "millions" of others also heard the broadcast, all tuning in with the new radio sets which were quickly becoming quite a coveted new piece of tech for American homes.

➦In 1929...KOY-AM, Phoenix, AZ sign-on.

KOY was the first radio station in the state of Arizona, signing on in 1921 as Amateur Radio station 6BBH on 360 meters (833 kHz). Earl Neilsen was the holder of the 6BBH callsign (there were no country prefixes for hams prior to 1928). At that time, broadcasting by ham radio operators was legal.

In 1922, the station received its broadcast license, under the Neilsen Radio & Sporting Goods Company business name, with the callsign KFCB. While the KFCB call letters were sequentially assigned, the station adopted the slogan "Kind Friends Come Back" to match the callsign.

A Phoenix teenager and radio enthusiast named Barry Goldwater was one of the new station's first employees.

When the AM broadcast band was opened in 1923 by the Department of Commerce, KFCB moved around the dial, as did many stations at the time. It was on 1260, 1230, 1310, and 1390 before moving to its long-time home of 550 kHz in 1941. KFCB became KOY on February 8, 1929.  Today the station is owned by iHeaertMedia and isbranded as "93.7 El Patrón", simulcasting on an FM translator.

Dick Clark
➦In 1960... U.S. Congressional investigators began exploring the influence of payola in the radio and record industries. Alan Freed and “American Bandstand” host, Dick Clark, among others, were called to testify.

The term Congressional Payola Investigations refers to investigations by the House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight into payola, the practice of record promoters paying DJs or radio programmers to play their labels' songs. Payola can refer to monetary rewards or other types of reimbursement, and is a tool record labels use to promote certain artists.

Alan Freed
Other forms of payola include making arrangements to purchase certain amounts of advertising in exchange for staying on a station's playlist, forcing bands to play station-sponsored concerts for little or no money in order to stay in a station's good graces, and paying for stations to hold "meet the band" contests, in exchange for air time for one of the label's newer, lesser-known bands.

Alan Freed, who was uncooperative in committee hearings, was fired as a result. Dick Clark also testified before the committee, but survived, partially due to the fact that he had divested himself of ownership interest in all of his music-industry holdings.

After the initial investigation, radio DJs were stripped of the authority to make programming decisions, and payola became a misdemeanor offense. Programming decisions became the responsibility of station program directors. .

➦In Marvin Miller died at age 71 after a heart attack.  He was best known as the Signal Oil announcer on CBS Radio’s memorable series The Whistler, and as Michael Anthony, the man who passed out a weekly cheque on CBS-TV’s hit series The Millionaire in the late 1950’s.

Marvin Miller - 1958
For the Mutual Broadcasting System, he narrated a daily 15-minute radio show entitled The Story Behind the Story, which offered historical vignettes. He also served as announcer on several Old Time Radio shows of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Jo Stafford Show and the long-running mystery series The Whistler.

In 1945–47, he was the announcer for Songs by Sinatra.

In 1952, Miller had a one-man program, Armchair Adventures, on CBS. He did "all voices and narration" in the 15-minute dramatic anthology. He also recorded 260 episodes of a program described in a 1950 trade publication as "Marvin Miller: Famous radio voice in series of five minute vignettes about famous people." The program was syndicated via electrical transcription by The Cardinal Company.

He also won Grammy Awards in 1965 and 1966 for his recordings of Dr. Seuss stories.

➦In 1994...Barry Manilow launched a $28M dollar lawsuit against Los Angeles radio station KBIG over its pledge to not play his music and its TV ad campaign in support of the “No Manilow” policy.  Hastings, Clayton & Tucker, a Nevada-based entertainment firm that owned the promotional and marketing rights to Barry Manilow's name, filed suit in Orange County Superior Court against Utah-based Bonneville International Corp.  The station used Manilow's name in promos for its  "No Manilow" music policy.  The legal action was dropped a few days later after KBIG agreed to withdraw the promotional spot.

➦In 1996...the "Telecommunications Act of 1996" de-regulated Radio ownership.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first significant overhaul of telecommunications law in more than sixty years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. The Act, signed by President Bill Clinton (using an electronic pen), represented a major change in American telecommunication law, since it was the first time that the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment.

One of the most controversial titles was Title 3 ("Cable Services"), which allowed for media cross-ownership. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the goal of the law was to "let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other."

The legislation's primary goal was deregulation of the converging broadcasting and telecommunications markets.  However, the law's regulatory policies have been questioned, including the effects of dualistic re-regulation of the communications market.

Previously, the Communications Act of 1934 (“1934 Act”) was the statutory framework for U.S. communications policy, covering telecommunications and broadcasting. The 1934 Act created the FCC, the agency formed to implement and administer the economic regulation of the interstate activities of the telephone monopolies and the licensing of spectrum used for broadcast and other purposes. The Act left most regulation of intrastate telephone services to the states.

In the 1970s and 1980s, a combination of technological change, court decisions, and changes in U.S. policy permitted competitive entry into some telecommunications and broadcast markets. In this context, the 1996 Telecommunications Act was designed to allow fewer, but larger corporations, to operate more media enterprises within a sector (such as Clear Channel's dominance in radio), and to expand across media sectors (through relaxation of cross-ownership rules), thus enabling massive and historic consolidation of media in the United States. These changes amounted to a near-total rollback of New Deal market regulation.

Bob Collins
➦In 2000...WGN 720 AM Chicago morning radio personality Bob Collins died after his private plane and a student pilot's plane collided upon approach to the runway at the Waukegan Regional Airport in Waukegan, Illinois.

The student pilot, Sharon Hock, was directly below him, and they were unaware of each other's presence until the collision. Collins attempted to steer his plane to a safe landing, but it crashed and burned atop a nearby hospital, killing him and a passenger and injuring five people on the ground. The student pilot also crashed three blocks away and died.

The official report indicated that the control tower personnel were unable to observe or communicate the perilous situation until it was too late. Many of Bob Collins' friends and co-workers worked in Bob's memory to have radar and other safety tools installed at the Waukegan Regional Airport to prevent further tragedies.

WGN held a memorial radio show, much of which was captured for a CD that was sold to benefit his favorite charities, the WGN Radio Neediest Kids Fund and the Salvation Army.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Rush Limbaugh Expected To Return Friday

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh is expected to return to his golden EIB microphone and host “The Rush Limbaugh Show” on Friday, according to Fox News citing sources close to the program.

Limbaugh has been away from the show since he stunned his audience Monday with the announcement he’s been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

Limbaugh was at President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, where he was presented with the Medal of Freedom. He has since missed shows for treatment, but staffers were informed that he is expected to return on Friday.

On Monday, he told his audience that his job has provided him with the “greatest satisfaction and happiness” of his life after informing listeners of his diagnosis.

“So, I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you. It’s a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today,” he said earlier this week. “I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down. The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.”

Limbaugh had said that the disease will keep him off the air on certain days when he’ll receive treatment, but staffers are optimistic he’ll make his return on Friday as expected.

San Diego Radio: The Taylors Join KXSN For Mornings

Rob and Joss Taylor
Entercom has announced Rob and Joss Taylor as new morning show co-hosts for KXSN Sunny 98.1.

“Mornings with Rob & Joss” will air weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. PT, effective February 24. The married couple previously co-hosted the morning show on sister station KYXY 96.5 (KYXY-FM). 

“Rob and Joss possess an incredible work ethic and dedication to their show and the San Diego community,” said Karyn Cerulli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom San Diego. “Over the last year, they have built strong connections with their audience and we’re excited to continue to watch them grow. Their fun, upbeat personalities will shine on Sunny 98.1.”

“We look forward to embarking on a new journey down the hall at Sunny 98.1. Sunny is a great station and we're honored to soon be a part of it,” said Rob and Joss. “KYXY listeners and partners have been so supportive and kind. We've had a great year on the air at KYXY 96.5 while working with the incredible crew at Entercom San Diego.”

Rob and Joss have worked together for 17 years, most recently serving as morning show co-hosts for KYXY 96.5 in San Diego. Prior to joining Entercom, they held the same roles for KFGY-FM in Santa Rosa, CA for 13 years.

Erie Radio: Vinny Marino To Program WXKC-FM

Vinny Marino
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that it has appointed veteran radio programming professional Vinny Marino as Program Director for Erie, PA, radio stations WXKC-FM (AC) and WXKC-FM2 (Classic Hip Hop).

Marino was previously On-Air Personality for Classic Rock WWZY-FM/The Boss 107.1 in Neptune, NJ. He was Assistant Program Director/Music Director/On-Air Personality for Active Rock WAXQ in New York City, as well as Modern AC WLUP-FM in Chicago. His other on-air positions included Classical WNCN and WQXR in New York City, as well as ABC News Radio.

Marino wrote and produced nationally-syndicated radio programs including The Donny Osmond Radio Show. He holds a Master’s degree in Media Studies from the College of Staten Island, where he has served as an Adjunct Professor in Media Studies and Radio Production.

Chuck Poet, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Erie, said: “We are really excited to have Vinny join the Cumulus Erie team. Vinny’s numerous media experiences in different forms of radio and other media make him the top choice to bring a fresh perspective to the entire Erie cluster.”

Marino said: “It’s a pleasure to finally be joining the Cumulus family. Erie is a great town with a great bunch of folks to work with - and since it’s a mostly Italian community, I can still get fresh mozzarella.”

Cincy Radio: Gina Ferraro Lands Middays On WRRM-FM

Gina Ferraro
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that it has appointed Gina Ferraro as On-Air Host, Middays on AC station WRRM Warm 98.5 in Cincinnati.

Ferraro joins Cumulus Cincinnati from iHeartMedia, where she was Morning Show Co-Host for WMMX-FM in Dayton, OH. Prior to that, she was Traffic Reporter and Afternoon Co-Host for US99.5 and AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, IL, and Evening Traffic Anchor for 720 WGN in Chicago.

Dave Crowl, Regional Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Cincinnati, said: “We are excited to have Gina join the Cincinnati and WRRM team. She has sound knowledge of the listening audience base in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and the corridor heading north of Cincy towards Dayton. We look forward to her contributions.”

Brian Demay, Program Director, WRRM-FM, said: “Filling Race Taylor’s shoes is not an easy task, but after a nationwide search, we found a gem in Gina. The fact that an Ohio native with her breadth of experience and talent was even available was very lucky indeed. I am excited to welcome her to the Warm family.”

Ferraro said: "I'm thrilled to be joining the Warm 98.5 team. I can't wait to get to know Cincinnati and become part of the community. This is going to be fun!"

S-W FL Radio: Beasley Makes Two Key Sales Promotions

Beasley Media Group announces Todd Johnston has been promoted to National Sales Manager of Beasley Media Group’s Southwest Florida Radio Cluster.

Todd Johnston
Johnston most recently served as an account executive at the stations.

“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity with the Beasley Media Group Ft Myers/Naples cluster,” said Johnston. “It is so wonderful to be surrounded by the amazing talent on the Beasley National Sales team.

Ellen Puckett
“We are thrilled to be able to promote Todd to his new role,” said Director of Sales, Allyson Hillman. “His talent in negotiating and research are guaranteed to help us win in the national arena in the Ft Myers market!”

BMG also announced Ellen Puckett has been named Sales Manager of their Southwest Florida (Ft. Myer/Naples) radio cluster.

Puckett joined the company in September 2016 and most recently served as a senior account executive at the stations.

“As I move into this new phase with Beasley Media Group, I’m delighted to be working with a strong existing sales team,” said Puckett. “I look forward to using my skills in training & development to help our team introduce new products into the marketplace while continuing to grow our existing core business to provide results for our advertisers.”

“Ellen’s passion for mentoring and ability to embrace change made her a natural choice for the position,” said Allyson Hillman, Director of Sales at Beasley Media Group’s Ft. Myers radio cluster.

Report: Warner Music Group Prepping IPO

When billionaire Len Blavatnik bought Warner Music Group for $3.3 billion in 2011, the major labels were still reeling from the digital revolution that had turned the business upside down.

Since then, according to The LA Times, the recorded music industry has gained significant ground thanks to the rise of streaming subscription services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, that have helped to offset losses from piracy.

In the latest sign of renewed optimism, Warner Music Group, the third-largest music company by market share, has signaled its intent to go public.

The Los Angeles-based company, which represents artists including Ed Sheeran and Cardi B, said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it intends to hold an initial public offering, though it has not said when.

Warner Music has grown substantially in value from what it was worth nine years ago, when Blavatnik bought the publicly traded company and took it private, according to analysts.

A Warner Music spokesman declined to comment.

IPOs are inherently risky, and there’s no certainty that an offering by Warner Music will happen. Last year, talent agency owner Endeavor canceled plans to sell its shares, soon after exercise equipment maker Peloton’s stock struggled in its first day of trading.

Still, market conditions may be more ripe for Warner Music.

Report: ViacomCBS To Unveil Expanded Streaming Service

ViacomCBS Inc. is taking steps to make programming across the media company’s properties available through one video-streaming offering, according to The Wall Street Journal citing a person familiar with the matter, building upon its current CBS All Access service.

The service, which will be unveiled when ViacomCBS reports earnings later this month, will combine content from many of the company’s cable channels—including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central—with offerings from CBS’s media properties, including CBS News and live sports, the person said.

Also included will be some content from ViacomCBS’s Paramount film library and some channels from its ad-supported streaming service, Pluto TV, the person said. The service also will have a premium version that includes content from the Showtime cable channel.

The company is planning to offer multiple pricing tiers for consumers, including a higher-cost option without ads and an ad-supported version at a lower cost, the person said. Specific details about the pricing and name of the service couldn’t be learned. Pluto TV will remain available as a standalone service, the person also said.

ViacomCBS combined last year, part of an effort on the part of controlling owner Shari Redstone to compete with rival companies that merged to create major media behemoths.

Many companies, including AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, the Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, are pooling shows and movies from across their vast content libraries to launch direct-to-consumer streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix Inc.

ViacomCBS plans to work with pay-TV companies to distribute the service, the person said, adding that it planned to propose terms that would be mutually beneficial for the company and its distribution partners. It has struck long-term carriage agreements with pay-TV distributors that require much of the company’s content to air on TV first, so finding a workaround will be crucial to the service’s success.

Report: 'Friends' Reunion To Launch HBO Max Streaming Service

Warner Bros. is finalizing agreements with the cast of “Friends” for a reunion special that will likely be used to launch the HBO Max streaming service this spring, reports the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.

Under the terms being discussed, each of the six stars of “Friends”—Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer—would receive between $2.25 million and $2.5 million for the show.

Initially, the cast was offered $1 million for the special, but they balked, a person close to the cast said.

A Warner Bros. Television spokesman would only say there is no deal.

The special isn’t a new episode of “Friends” but rather a retrospective and interviews with the cast. No host for it has been named.

One possibility is Ellen DeGeneres, whose daytime talk show is produced by Warner Bros. and who has her own deal to make content for HBO Max.

“Friends,” which ran on NBC from 1994 through 2004, has become hugely popular in reruns, especially on Netflix Inc., which held streaming rights for the show until the end of last year, when WarnerMedia outbid it for streaming rights to put the show on HBO Max. That deal is valued at $425 million for five years.

WarnerMedia believes reruns of “Friends” will help persuade people to subscribe to the service, which is being offered free to HBO subscribers and for $14.99 a month for people who don’t already have HBO. HBO Max is a combination of the current HBO service and a new platform with original programming as well as movies and TV shows from the Warner Bros. library.