Saturday, February 15, 2020

February 16 Radio History

➦In 1901...
American musician, songwriter, singer and orchestra leader Wayne King was born in Savanna, IL.

In early radio of the 1920`s his band was featured in half-hour`remote` broadcasts from Chicago`s Aragon Ballroom.  In the 1930`s he was heard on the networks in weekly half-hour broadcasts for Lady Esther cosmetics, a line he is credited with popularizing.  In the mid-40`s he was a summer replacement for the Jack Benny and Jimmy Durante programs.  The saxophonist and bandleader died July 16, 1985 at age 84.

Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen
➦In 1903...American actor, comedian and radio performer, Edgar Bergen was born (died September 30, 1978 at age 75).    With his little wooden ‘sidekicks’ Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, he delighted audiences for decades.  He had a featured Sunday evening show first on NBC and then on CBS Radio from 1937 to 1955.  He died in his sleep following a performance in Las Vegas Oct 1 1978 at age 75. He was also the father of actress Candice Bergen.

➦In 1922...WDAF (now Sports KCSP)  was started by the Kansas City Star. The official starting date is open to dispute, because the Star's broadcasting activities pre-dated WDAF.

On February 16, 1922, the Star used WOQ, the station of the Western Radio Company, to broadcast what the newspaper described as a "wireless telephone concert". The Star had just constructed radio studios at its building at 18th and Grand. In that evening's newspaper, the program appeared on the front page:

Courtesy of
The Star adopted the WDAF call letters May 16, 1922. WDAF bounced around various frequencies, traveling to 750, 730, 680, 820 and 810 kHz. WDAF moved to 610 kHz in 1928, splitting time with station WOQ. WDAF joined the NBC radio network before moving to 610 kHz, running both Red & Blue programs up until 1930, when they became a primary NBC Red affiliate.

It also had become the westernmost affiliate of the NBC Red Network. WDAF retained its NBC affiliation well into the 1960s.

WDAF changed its call letters KCSP on September 23, 2003, after moving the longtime country music format to the FM. Entercom still maintains the WDAF-FM call letters at 106.5. Today KCSP airs Sports Talk.

➦In 1929...KGIO changed call letters to KID-AM in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The station was first licensed under the call letters KGIO, and began broadcasting on December 3, 1928 on a frequency of 1320 kHz.  On February 16, 1929, the call was changed to KID, and the station began broadcasting under this call.  The station had moved to 1350 kHz by 1942 (likely in the March 29, 1941 changes, pursuant to the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement, that saw many stations raise frequency by 10 to 30 kHz), where it stayed for several years.  In 1950, the station changed from 1350 to its current 590 kHz frequency.

Today the station is owned by Townsquare Media and airs a News/Talk format at 590 AM.

Sonny & Cher
➦In 1935...Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono born (died in a skiing accident January 5, 1998 at age 62).  A talented songwriter and astute businessman, the multi-talented Sonny was, was, if not a great singer, then definitely an entertainer … I Got You Babe, Baby Don’t Go, The Beat Goes On. On TV, he co-starred in The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.  After show biz he became mayor of Palm Springs, CA, then a U.S. Congressman.

The United States Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which extended the term of copyright by 20 years, was named in honor of Bono when it was passed by Congress nine months after his death. Mary Bono (Sonny's last wife) had been one of the original sponsors.

Elvis and Roy
➦In 1955... Elvis Presley headlined two shows at the high school in Odessa Texas. 18-year old Roy Orbison was in the audience; he later recalled being alternately shocked by the onstage gyrations, and most impressed with the energy and instincts of Presley in performance.

➦In 2010...Voice-over artist JR Nelson and former WHTZ Z100 NYC personality and creative genius, died after a three-year battle with cancer.  He was 60.

He was born in Oak Harbor, Ohio, and reached nearby airwaves in his teens. "I did everything the usual kid does, run the gospel tapes and all that kind of stuff. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was hired to do mornings at a station in Toledo."  He went to the University of Montreal and worked on radio in that city. He later worked in Tulsa, Kansas City, San Francisco, Columbus and more.

J R Nelson
On and off, from the 1970s into the 1990s, at the mike or behind the scenes, Nelson worked for several Cleveland stations or their parent companies, including WGAR, WBBG, WGCL, WHK, WMMS and WMJI. At WMJI, he once played Roy Orbison's "Mean Woman Blues" for more than an hour on a Saturday night.

Nelson spent some of the 1980s helping to create the "Morning Zoo" at WHTZ, quickly boosting the station's ratings from dismal to dizzying.

His last steady gig was at CBS stations in Detroit. He was laid off two years ago, about the same time he grew ill.

Working for KAKC in Tulsa, is where he started my production company. "I did novelty songs for a car dealer, and these songs ended up being his advertising campaign. I did that same package for about ten car dealers across the country. I think the first station I ever did sweepers for was a little station in Clyde, Ohio."

In '80, he worked with Malrite and helped them set up KNEW in San Francisco, According to a 1993 with Radio&Production magazine, 'By this time, I was your basic, full-fledged cocaine addict. Then I had a mild heart attack. My parents had a little winter home down in Tampa, Florida, so I went down there, dried out, and went to work for a little recording studio there.

After a while, I got a call from an old boss of mine, Gil Rosenwald, saying they were buying this station in Livingston, New Jersey. The studios were in Livingston, New Jersey, but the transmitter was in Newark, and they were going to move to the Empire State Building. He wanted to know if I wanted to go work for them. I said, "Who's your PD?" He said, "Scott Shannon." Well, I knew Scott from Tampa, and Scott and I were two people just alike -- two stubborn, bull-headed people. The station was Z100, and we had a lot of fun."

"We were there for about three months before we actually signed the thing on, going through tapes, building the studios, etc.. I didn't want to be on the air. I was just going to do creative for them. Then, about a week before we were going to sign on Scott said, "Well, did you ever read news?" And I said, "I've never read news in my life!" and he said, "Well, you're going to start now." Oh, it was nice. It's your first time trying to be a news person, and where are you? In New York City. It's a humbling experience, but I only had to do news until we hired someone. Anyway, everybody did everything they had to do in the beginning. The production part to me was the most fun because we had a ball at that station."

➦In 2015... Lesley Gore, the teenaged singer of 60’s lost her battle with lung cancer at age 68.

 At the age of 16 (in 1963) she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party", and followed it up with other hits including "Judy's Turn to Cry", "She's a Fool", "You Don't Own Me", "Maybe I Know" and "California Nights".

Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother, Michael Gore, for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014.

iHM's Bob Pittman: The Sky Is The Limit For Podcasts

“I think the sky’s the limit for podcasting,” iHeartMedia CEO Pittman said Thursday evening at the Podcast Movement Evolutions conference in Los Angeles, David Bloom writes for Forbes. “As an industry, we need to keep investing in it so it can reach its full potential.”

Despite his own bullish take on podcasting, Pittman acknowledged that, “It’s hard to tell what’s going to be big. My job as CEO is to figure out where we’re going to make our big bets. Our strategy is to be where our listeners are, with products and experiences that they’d expect from us.”

Bob Pittman
iHM made its own bet on podcasting in late 2018, acquiring Stuff Media for a reported $55 million, and installed its CEO, Conal Byrne, as head of the rechristened iHeart Podcast Network.

Byrne joined Pittman onstage at the conference Thursday evening before several hundred industry insiders and aspirants. Their conversation came amid a particularly ebullient few days in the suddenly burgeoning 15-year-old podcasting sector.

Nielsen’s recent Streaming Wars report suggests that a significant opportunity exists for more audio, especially subscription audio. Already, nearly two thirds of those whom Nielsen surveyed have at least one streaming audio subscription (a number that’s even higher in younger demographics), and more than half said they pay for two audio subscriptions.

Those subscriptions are likely not just about music, given that all the big services have most of the same 60 million licensed tracks. Podcasts create the potential for unique and exclusive content outside of music’s limited licensing opportunities.

Streaming audio differs significantly from streaming video in one key way, Nielsen noted. More people expect it to be free, thanks to a century of listening to ad-supported free radio broadcasts.

Pittman said 92 percent of Americans listen to broadcast radio at least once a week. Add in the streaming music services, audiobook services and podcasts, nearly everybody is listening to audio in one form or another.

The market for podcasts is “anyone with ears,” Pittman said. “The consumer has really run out of time with their eyes. Audio is the beneficiary of all this.”

Phoenix Radio: Mike Broomhead Joins KTAR for Late AM

Mike Broomhead
Bonneville Phoenix announced Friday that Mike Broomhead will be joining KTAR News 92.3 to host a show weekday mornings.

Broomhead will host The Mike Broomhead Show from 8 a.m. to noon, on Arizona’s News Station. The show will begin Feb. 24.

“We are extremely excited to add one of the most talented talk show hosts in the country to our powerful lineup,” said Scott Sutherland, Bonneville Phoenix Senior Vice President and Market Manager. “Mike is a values-driven, influential thought leader who is committed to making a positive impact in our community, which is core to the KTAR mission.”

He joins KTAR News after being at News Talk 550 KFYI for most of the last decade. His show will cover and talk about the top stories in Arizona along with newsmakers from all over the state.

“I can’t wait to be on FM talking to a massive and diverse audience about important issues on the most historic radio station in Phoenix,” said Broomhead. “KTAR is Arizona and so am I. I’m so excited to go to work with the talented news, talk and digital teams.”

Broomhead’s show will replace The Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes Show. The duo hosted a show for five years on KTAR News 92.3. Hughes had been with Bonneville for 17 years, the last five as a talk show host. St. James had been with Bonneville for nearly a decade.

“I want to thank both Pamela and Bruce for their outstanding contributions, both personally and professionally,” said Ryan Hatch, Bonneville Phoenix Vice President of Programming.

With the change, Arizona’s Morning News with Jim Sharpe, Jayme West and Detour Dan will now be from 5 to 8 a.m.

The afternoon and evening lineup will remain the same. The Gaydos and Chad Show started in January, along with Arizona’s Evening News with Becky Lynn.

The station’s full weekday lineup beginning Feb. 24 will be:
  • Arizona’s Morning News with Jim Sharpe, Jayme West and Detour Dan, 5 to 8 a.m.
  • The Mike Broomhead Show, 8 a.m. to noon.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show, noon to 2 p.m.
  • The Gaydos and Chad Show, 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Arizona’s Evening News with Becky Lynn, 6 to 7 p.m.

Philly Radio: Ricky Smiley Show To Debut On WRNB

The Rickey Smiley Morning Show is set to debut on Radio One Philadelphia’s WRNB 100.3 on Monday, February 17, 2020. The show will air weekdays from 6:00am-9:00am EST and feature the renowned radio personality, comedian and actor and his morning show team- Da Brat, Gary Wit Da Tea, Eva Marcille, Rock T, and Special K.

The Rickey Smiley Morning Show is a quick-paced show that perfectly blends music, Smiley’s unique brand of comedy and spiritual entertainment with today’s hottest topics in news, entertainment and sports. Smiley, a nationally renowned, award winning host, was recognized by the National Association of Broadcasters in 2017 as recipient of one of the top radio broadcasting awards, the Marconi award for “Top National/Syndicated Talent.”

“I’m excited to have this extremely funny and gifted talent in Philly” said Jay Dixon, Program Director of Radio One Philadelphia’s 100.3 RNB. “I know Rickey and his crew will bring the kind of morning show that’ll get this city going.”

Smiley is the successor for the Fly Jock, Tom Joyner, host of the Tom Joyner Morning Show who retired in 2019. His commitment to historically black colleges and universities and family and parent initiatives are a noted part of his brand and an evident part of his program.

Radio One Philadelphia Station Manager, Ezio Torres “I’m excited to have the Ricky Smiley Morning Show join 100.3 RNB as he and his crew are the future and direction of our format and the perfect way for our listeners to start their day”

The Rickey Smiley Morning Show debuted as a nationally syndicated Urban AC morning show in January 2020. It is a product of Reach Media, Inc., a subsidiary of Urban One.

Facebook Responds To Philly Anchor's $10M Lawsuit

Facebook has responded to a $10 million lawsuit filed last year by WTXF Fox 29’s Karen Hepp by asking that a judge dismiss the complaint.

The Inquirer reports the Good Day Philadelphia coanchor filed the suit last September against Facebook, Reddit, Giphy, Imgur, and other internet companies, claiming that her photo was being used for “prurient and illicit purposes” on their platforms without her consent.

Karen Hepp
The image, which Hepp claims in the suit came from a security camera in a New York City convenience store, appeared in advertisements for online-dating services and erectile dysfunction medication, as well as on pornographic websites. Hepp sued for compensatory damages in excess of $10 million, as well as the removal of the photo from the websites.

That unauthorized use of Hepp’s likeness, the suit states, violates Pennsylvania’s “right of publicity” law. Essentially, state law prevents companies from using the image or name of a person in a commercial pursuit without consent from that person.

An advertisement for an online-dating service that used Hepp’s photo appeared on Facebook, but attorneys for the company said in a filing earlier this month that it was “immune from liability” because Facebook itself did not create the ad, and the case against it should be dismissed. Hepp’s claims against the company, Facebook said, are “based on untenable legal theories attempting to hold online and mobile platforms liable for the actions of third-party advertisers.”

In addition to the Facebook advertisement, Hepp’s image has also appeared on a subsection of Reddit geared toward people with a sexual preference for older women, as well as a pornographic website based out of the Czech Republic.

Hepp is a longtime Philadelphia TV news personality, having joined Fox 29 in November 2010, a station biography indicates. She can be seen on the 4 to 6 a.m. Good Day Philadelphia, and again from 9 to 10 a.m.

Omaha Radio: Chi Joins NRG's KQKQ, KOPW

Thirteen-year on-air Nebraskan veteran “Chi” is taking over afternoons on KQKQ Sweet98.5 for NRG Media in Omaha. Chi made a guest appearance on the Sweet98.5 morning show with Nikki & Laura on Friday morning making the long-awaited announcement.

Chi will host the afternoon show on Sweet98.5 (3-7p.m.) starting Monday, February 17. In addition, Chi will also serve as the Music Director for sister station KOPW Power106.9, and be on-air from 1-3p.m.

Thirteen years in radio, Chi is no stranger to Omaha or Nebraska broadcast waves. She started her career doing afternoons at KFRX, and producing for a two-time Marconi winner Problems & Solutions at KFOR. In 2014, she moved to Omaha to do middays on KQCH and later became music director. Chi stated, “Radio is my passion and NRG Media is giving me an opportunity to grow my roots further into Omaha. It’s like a dream come true!”

General Manager Mark Shecterle stated, “We could not be more pleased with the addition of Chi to the NRG family. Chi has a great reputation in the market with both listeners and clients. She will be a great addition to our team and we are blessed to have her.”

Jay Michaels, Program Director said, “Chi will round out the team on Sweet98.5, and will be a great addition to our Power on-air staff. Chi is well known in the record industry and very well respected. We are thrilled to have her join our team.”

WHDH Boston To Remain Independent

WHDH-TV owner Ed Ansin has come up short in his bid to make Channel 7 the Fox network affiliate in Boston.

Ed Ansin
In a memo sent to staff on Friday, the billionaire said that WHDH will continue to operate as an independent station, and WFXT-TV (Channel 25) will remain the Boston Fox affiliate.

Ansin described Channel 7 as the “top independent in the nation” and praised the station for its ability to attract late night news viewers, particularly at 9 p.m.

Ch. 7, which lost its affiliation with NBC in 2017, no longer runs network programming in prime time. Instead, it fills that air time with episodes of “Family Feud,” along with local news. Still, WHDH has remained a competitor in a crowded news market.

On Friday, Fox Corp. announced a multi-year agreement that renews the Fox affiliation for four stations operated by Cox Media Group including WFXT in Boston, WHBQ-TV in Memphis, WFOX-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., and KOKI-TV in Tulsa, Okla.

Last year, Cox Media Group was spun off from its parent, Cox Enterprises, and now operates as a new company that is majority owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Ansin said while Ch. 7 remains profitable, he will continue to look for a partner. Apple and Amazon, he noted, are getting into the entertainment distribution business and will need a lot of content.

“The whole future of the industry is very much in flux,” he said. “I’m not counting anything out in the future.”

Tony Bannon Joins DMR/Interactive as VP/Marketing Strategy

Following an extensive national search, DMR/Interactive has named Tony Bannon, VP/Marketing Strategy. Bannon joins DMR/Interactive having worked in sales for Cumulus Media in Cincinnati.

Tony Bannon
He also spent over a decade as a program director and on-air talent for stations in Illinois and Indiana now owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting (WGFB-FM, Rockford, IL) and Neuhoff Media (WXXB-FM, Lafayette, IN).

According to Andrew Curran, President and COO of DMR/Interactive, “Tony is passionate and knowledgeable about radio. His experience in both Diary and PPM markets is truly an asset. Clients will benefit from his creative and analytical approach.”

For Bannon’s part, “The insights and marketing strategy as well as the depth of talent here at DMR/Interactive are equally impressive. I’m pleased to be part of the leadership team as we work to drive radio forward with a focus on heavy listeners.”

He can be reached at or 859-957-1587.

UMG Unveils Specific Masters Lost In Vault Fire

In court filings made public Thursday, Universal Music Group (UMG) disclosed specifics about some of the recordings lost or damaged in a 2008 vault fire, NPR reports.  They include works by Nirvana, Elton John, Soundgarden and other artists.

UMG publicly admitted specific losses for the first time as part of an ongoing lawsuit launched by several artists and musicians' estates last year — including those of Tupac Shakur and Tom Petty — after the New York Times published an investigation into the fire last June.

"The plaintiffs' lawyers have already been informed that none of the masters for four of their five clients were affected by the fire," the company says in a statement released Friday in response to the court documents. "Over the last eight months, UMG's archive team has diligently and transparently responded to artist inquiries, and we will not be distracted from completing our work, even as the plaintiffs' attorneys pursue these baseless claims."

In a statement following the Times' report last year, UMG responded in part that "the incident — while deeply unfortunate — never affected the availability of the commercially released music nor impacted artists' compensation." An internal memo from Lucian Grainge, president and CEO of UMG, in the wake of the story pledged "transparency" to the label's artists.

In 2010, UMG told its parent company at the time, NBCUniversal, and its insurer that recordings from nearly 17,000 artists could have been lost. But in Thursday's court filing, the record company only named 19 artists whose work was "affected." The company also disclosed that it had no comprehensive inventory of its assets — adding that it would be too "burdensome" to investigate all 17,000 artists' potential losses.

February 15 Radio History

Mary Lee Robb
➦In actress Mary Lee Robb was born in Illinois.

She made her radio debut in 1947 on the “Lum and Abner” program, but it was a small part in a 1948 episode of NBC radio’s “The Great Gildersleeve” that led to her full-time role as Gildy’s niece Marjorie, which she played until 1954.

She also appeared on “The Penny Singleton Radio Show,” “Father Knows Best,” “Burns and Allen” and others before retiring to raise her daughter and son.

She died of heart failure Aug. 26 2006 at age 80.

➦In 1932… George Burns and his delightfully ditsy wife Gracie Allen debuted as regulars on “The Guy Lombardo Show” on CBS radio.  The couple was so popular that by Sept. 1934, they would have their own show “The Adventures of Gracie” on CBS.  Two years later it evolved into the “Burns & Allen Show.”  George and Gracie continued on radio for 14 more years before making the switch to TV. They were headliners on radio and TV combined for more than 30 years.

 Burns and Allen's radio show was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.

➦In 1943…The radio drama 'My True Story was first heard on the  ABC Radio Network. It was the start of a 19-year run on daily radio.  

➦In 1965…Singer Nat King Cole died in 1965 from cancer at age 45.

On November 5, 1956, The Nat 'King' Cole Show debuted on NBC TV . The variety program was one of the first hosted by an African American, and started at a length of fifteen-minutes but was increased to a half-hour in July 1957. Rheingold Beer was a regional sponsor, but a national sponsor was never found.

Joe McCoy
➦In 1975...Joe McCoy started as a disc jockey at WCBS 101.1 FM in NYC.

He eventually became Program Director in 1981.  In his 23 years as Program Director at WCBS-FM in New York City the station was # 1 (12+) 5 times as well as a leader for many years in the all-important 25-54 demo.

He's now retired enjoying traveling, jazz and baseball.

➦In 2002... former CBS Radio correspondent and ABC TV anchorman Howard K. Smith died of pneumonia at age 87. He was one of the original members of the team of WW2 correspondents known as the Murrow Boys.

Howard K Smith
Upon graduating, Smith worked for the New Orleans Item, with United Press in London, and with The New York Times. In January 1940, Smith was sent to Berlin, where he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System under Edward R. Murrow.

He visited Hitler's mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden and interviewed many leading Nazis, including Hitler himself, Schutzstaffel or "SS" leader Heinrich Himmler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

When Smith refused to include Nazi propaganda in his reports, the Gestapo seized his notebooks and threw him out of the country. He left for Switzerland on December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Angelo Henderson
➦In 2014…Detroit print and radio journalist and community activist Angelo Henderson, whose daily ‘Your Voice’ talk show on WCHB AM1200 was devoted to Detroit issues, died at age 51.

At the time of his death he was recovering from surgery conducted a month earlier. Henderson died from venous thromboembolism – a blood clot that starts in a vein – that included pulmonary embolism, when the clot breaks free and travels to the lung.

In 1999, Henderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing. Henderson remains the only African American journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for The Wall Street Journal.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Report: Univision, Investment Group ThisClose To Deal

Univision Communications, the nation’s largest Spanish-language media company, is nearing a sale to an investment group led by former Viacom executive Wade Davis, according to The LA Times citing two people familiar with the matter.

Univision is in advanced negotiations to sell itself to the Davis group, which includes the private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners, according to the sources, who were not authorized to comment.

A deal could happen as early as next week, but the two sides continue to hash out key provisions of the deal.

It was unclear Friday how much Davis and his bidding partners are offering for Miami-based Univision, which includes several television networks and radio and television stations.

The sellers, a consortium that includes Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban, had been seeking about $10 billion, which is dramatically less than that group paid more than a decade ago when they bought Univision from the late Jerrold Perenchio and his Latin American partners.

Saban and four private equity firms in 2007 paid $13.7 billion for Univision, figuring the nation’s largest Spanish-language media company would be a sure bet.

But years of boardroom bickering and missteps, including a disastrous foray into English-language media, as well as rising competition from rival Telemundo and shifting demographics, including a dramatic slowdown in immigration from Mexico, have taken a toll, and the owners decided last year that they wanted out.

John Malone’s Liberty Global had been in the running for Univision, one of the informed persons said.

Davis, the former chief executive of Viacom, left the company last fall in advance of that company’s merger with CBS Corp.

YouTube Says It Paid $3B To Music Industry In 2019

YouTube says it paid the music industry more than $3 billion last year, CNBC reports.

“YouTube offers twin engines for revenue with advertising and subscribers, paying out more than $3 billion to the music industry last year from ads and subscriptions,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a blog post Friday.

The latest figure hints at how much of the Alphabet-owned company’s ad revenue goes back to music industry and creators. The data has been largely unknown to investors who have wondered how much money the company is actually pocketing at the end of the day.

YouTube broke out ad revenue numbers for the first time in its fourth quarter earlier this month.

YouTube ads generated $15.15 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019, with $4.72 billion generated in the fourth quarter alone. However, the segment didn’t include YouTube’s non-advertising revenue, like subscriptions for YouTube TV, which are included in Google’s “other” revenue segment.

While the new disclosures pleased analysts, some said they didn’t get the key points stakeholders still want. For example, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said on the company’s earnings call Monday that the majority of YouTube’s ad revenue goes back to the creators, but she declined to give any specifics. Some analysts questioned YouTube’s profitability.

In Friday’s blog post, which marked YouTube’s 15th birthday, Wojcicki said one goal for 2020 is to deepen the company’s partnership with the music industry, media companies, creators and advertisers.

Charlotte Radio: WBT Adds Brett Winterble to PM Drive

Brett Winterble
Entercom has announced that radio veteran Brett Winterble is the new afternoon drive host for News Talk WBT 1110 & 99.3 in Charlotte. 

“The Brett Winterble Show” will be a familiar sounding board for the issues that Charlotteans face today and will raise awareness for causes that Winterble and the community care about, including helping wounded military veterans find housing and employment, and helping fight childhood hunger. “The Brett Winterble Show” will be heard weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., effective February 17.

“Brett Winterble represents the future of audio,” said Matthew Hanlon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Charlotte. “When John Hancock took this exact seat on WBT 30 years ago he was a progressive-minded voice in the market, placing an emphasis on issues that affected the community. Brett takes on a similar role in a new and meaningful way for our loyal audience. He cares about the listener and demonstrates a genuine interest in the community. We’re thrilled that Brett is joining our team.”

“WBT is an iconic station with a legendary history of serving Charlotte for almost a century,” said Winterble. “When I was offered the chance to take the WBT listener family and our sponsor partners with me into our next hundred years, I was excited beyond words.”

Winterble joins News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT from KFMB in San Diego, where he hosted afternoon drive since 2015. His 20-year career in media encompasses hosting duties in television and radio, including afternoon drive on KFWB in Los Angeles, and producing for talk radio giants like Michael Reagan and Rush Limbaugh. Winterble succeeds WBT Hall of Fame legend John Hancock, who announced his retirement in October 2019.

Limbaugh Criticized For Buttigieg Remarks

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh drew bipartisan criticism Thursday for saying the country won’t elect Pete Buttigieg president because he’s been “kissing his husband” on stage after debates.

The Associated Press reports Limbaugh, a staunch Trump ally who recently announced he has advanced lung cancer, made the remarks on his nationally syndicated radio show. Buttigieg has finished in the top two in Democrats’ first two presidential contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“They’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this going to look?‘” Limbaugh said Wednesday, imagining Democrats’ thinking. “Thirty-seven-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage, next to Mr. Man, Donald Trump.’”

Limbaugh’s remarks were the latest tendentious turn in a career in which he’s won an adoring audience among millions of conservative listeners, but condemnation from others for comments considered racist, sexist and offensive.

Buttigieg, 38, is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and has been married to his husband, Chasten, since 2018.

Limbaugh said he envisioned Democrats concluding that “despite all the great wokeness and despite all the great ground that’s been covered, that America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president.”

Trump, asked if Americans would vote for a gay man to be president, responded, “I think so.”

Still, Trump added: “I think there would be some that wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be among that group, to be honest with you.” Trump spoke during an interview with Geraldo Rivera on Cleveland’s Newsradio WTAM.

Some Capitol Hill Republicans said they disagreed with Limbaugh’s remark, while others demurred.

D-C Radio: FCC Criticized Over Russian Propaganda Station

A group of House Democrats criticized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday for not taking action to curb Russian propaganda aired on U.S. radio stations, and urged the agency to take steps to remedy this ahead of the 2020 elections, The Hill reports.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the House members led by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Michael Doyle (D-Penn.) pointed to concerns around WZHF 1390 AM / Translator W288BS 105.5 FM , known as Radio Sputnik, airs Russian propaganda without informing listeners that the information is propaganda.

A federal judge ruled last year that the station had to register as a Russian foreign agent due to the station continuously airing Sputnik International news from Moscow.

The FCC opened an inquiry into the station in 2018 to rule on whether the station was complying with an FCC rule that requires stations to fully disclose the identity of sponsors of programs.

The Democratic members noted that they were told by the FCC in December that the investigation is ongoing, with the members writing that they found the lengthy investigation “shameful.”

“The FCC has failed to enforce its own rules as they apply to registered foreign agents, allowing hostile Russian propagandists to attack our democracy as another election is upon us,” the members wrote. “The FCC’s continued inaction, after receiving many Congressional letters from us about this critically important issue, is a stunning abdication of its responsibility to protect American airwaves.”

The members also pointed to concerns around RM Broadcasting LLC, the owner of Radio Sputnik, recently buying six hours of daily airtime on Kansas City radio station KXCL to broadcast Russian propaganda. The group of House Democrats strongly advocated that the FCC add KXCL to its inquiry into the DC radio station.

The members cited the upcoming 2020 elections in underlining the urgency of their request to the FCC to wrap up its investigation into the station.

IPO Planned for Universal Music Group

French media conglomerate Vivendi said on Thursday it planned to list its most-prized asset, Universal Music Group, by early 2023 at the latest, following a year of record profit for the division.

Reuters reports this represents a new milestone in a two-year process launched by Vivendi’s top investor, Vincent Bollore, to make the most of the world’s biggest music label, home to artists Taylor Swift, Drake and Lady Gaga.

It is a also a change of heart for the Paris-based group, as it had said it considered an initial public offering of Universal as too complex back in 2018.

Chief Executive Officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine declined to give further details on the potential IPO but said Universal’s stellar performance could draw further interest from investors.

A consortium led by China’s tech giant Tencent  bought 10% of Universal last December in a deal that valued it at 30 billion euros. The same consortium can buy a further 10% of Universal’s share capital until mid-January 2021.

The music label’s earnings before interest, tax and amortization jumped by 22% at constant currency and perimeter from a year earlier to 1.12 billion euros ($1.21 billion), boosting group profit.

D/FW Radio: KRLD-FM Tweaks Line-Up

On Thursday, KRLD 105.3 FM The Fan announced multiple moves within its daily programming.

The Dallas Morning News reports former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus will be joining Gavin Dawson, Jeff Cavanaugh and Lucious Alexander from 2:00-7:00 p.m. on “GBag Nation” full time while former MLB pitcher Mike Bacsik will make a move from the program to 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on the “K&C Masterpiece" alongside Kevin Hageland and Cory Mageors.

Bacsik cited a need for a schedule change as reason for his move. He is also remaining a part of Texas Rangers broadcasts with Fox Sports Southwest.

The moves from The Fan come on the heels of many other notable shifts in local radio.

Former hosts on The Fan, Ben Rogers and Jeff ‘Skin’ Wade, debuted their new afternoon show on KEGL 97.1 The Eagle earlier this week.

In addition, Sportsradio KTCK 96.7 FM / 1310 AM The Ticket announced Bob Sturm will be taking over as a co-host during its 3:00-7:00 p.m. time slot alongside Corby Davidson. Sturm replaced Mike Rhyner, the longtime voice of The Ticket, who retired in January.

NYC Radio: MLB Mets To Air On Spanish WQBU

Entercom has reached a multiyear content sharing agreement with Univision New York’s Que Buena 92.7 FM (WQBU-FM).

Susan Larkin
As part of the agreement, WCBS 880 AM, the flagship station and radio broadcast rightsholder of the New York Mets, will produce all of the 162 regular season and postseason games to be aired on Que Buena 92.7 FM in the Tri-State area through the 2022 season.

“We’re pleased to partner with Univision New York to bring New York Mets games to Spanish-speaking fans,” said Susan Larkin, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom New York.

“As the unrivaled leader in local sports coverage, we’re looking forward to bringing our premier content to an even broader audience through this strategic partnership."

Roberto Yanez
“Adding New York Mets baseball to our popular Que Buena 92.7 station gives our audience more of the content they love, whether they’re listening at home, at work or during their commute,” said Roberto YaƱez, President and General Manager, Univision New York. “We are pleased to partner with WCBS and bring our community closer to one of their favorite home teams with live Spanish-language coverage all season long.”

Beginning with the 2020 season, the play-by-play team for Spanish-language broadcasts will include longtime Mets broadcasters Max Perez Jimenez, Nestor Rosario and Juan Alicea.

Univision New York includes three radio stations as well as the region’s leading Spanish-language news station, which has served the Latino community in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for over fifty years. Que Buena 92.7 is part of the Uforia Audio Network, the leading Hispanic radio network in the United States. Audiences can get the latest on Que Buena 92.7 by following Que Buena on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Listeners can tune in to WCBS 880 (WCBS-AM) in New York on air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

BFA Announces the 2020 Leadership Awards Recipients

The Broadcasters Foundation of America, the charity devoted exclusively to helping broadcasters in acute need, is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Leadership Awards.

The Leadership Awards are given annually in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large. The Awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast, 7:00AM, Wednesday, April 22 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show.

The 2020 Leadership Awards honorees are:
  • Marci Burdick, Senior Advisor to Schurz Communications, retired
  • Kim Guthrie, President & Chief Executive Officer, Cox Media Group
  • Kraig Kitchin, Partner, Sound Mind LLC
  • Weezie Kramer, COO, Entercom Communications
  • Barbara Kreisman, Chief, Video Division, FCC
  • Leo MacCourtney, President, Katz Television Group
The Broadcasters Foundation will also present the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award during the Breakfast. That honoree will be announced shortly.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the Breakfast is complimentary to all in broadcasting, although pre-registration is required. This year’s sponsors are: AccuRadio, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Association of Media Brokers (NAMB), Nielsen, Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB), USTrust, and vCreative.

To register for the Broadcasters Foundation Breakfast, broadcasters can click here. To register via phone or email, and to obtain information on reserving a page in the Program Guide, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or

The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy. Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

'No Time To Die' Is Eerie James Bond Theme

Billie Eilish has kicked off 2020 with five Grammy Awards, an Oscars appearance and now a James Bond theme song, The LA Times reports.

The singer on Thursday released her highly anticipated title track for the latest Bond installment, “No Time to Die,” co-written by Eilish and her brother, Finneas.

At 18, she is the youngest artist ever to write and record a Bond theme — adding to the Gen-Z anti-pop phenom’s growing list of historic achievements.

“Was it obvious to everybody else that I’ve fallen for a lie?” she sings on the track. “You were never on my side / Fool me once, fool me twice / ... now you’ll never see me cry / There’s just no time to die.”

With “No Time to Die,” Eilish joins the ranks of past Bond performers including Adele (“Skyfall”), Paul McCartney and Wings (“Live and Let Die”), Duran Duran (“A View to a Kill”), Gladys Knight (“License to Kill”), Madonna (“Die Another Day”) and Tina Turner (“GoldenEye”).

Gains For Women Noted In MIW Annual Gender Analysis

For the last 20 years, the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group has compiled and analyzed the number of women in radio broadcasting who are rising to the ranks of management.

Data gathered for this annual MIW Gender Analysis Study specifically tracks the progress of female professionals holding management positions. The MIW Gender Analysis Study has been consistently released, utilizing the same methodology, since 2000.

The figures and percentages shown below represent the calendar year 2019 and are reflective of 11,225 AM and FM radio stations across America, using PrecisionTrak radio industry data:

➤General Managers: 19.5% (2189 stations) had women holding the General Manager position in 2019.  This is an increase of almost a half of percentage point from 2018, which was 19.05%.  Notably this number continues to show consistent growth from 2004, when the percentage of female general managers was only 14.9% In the top 100 markets, the number of women serving as General Managers continues to run slightly higher than the national average and most importantly shows very positive growth year-over-year.  In 2019, 21.1% (744 stations) in these larger markets were managed by women, which compares to 19.2% in 2018.

➤Sales Managers: Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management. 33.1% (3,715 stations) had a woman Sales Manager in 2019, and that number is up a half a share point from 32.6% in 2018. In the top 100 markets, 34.77% (1,225 stations) had women serving as Sales Managers in 2019, a solid increase from 32.97% in 2018. Again the numbers in larger markets run slightly higher than the national average.

➤Program Directors:  The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be in the area of Program Director.  Women currently program only 11.62% (1,304 stations) versus 10.6% last year. However, on a positive note, this is the first time this number has grown in fourteen years. In the top 100 markets, the news is better as female programmers represent 13.30% of the total number of Program Directors; showing nice growth from 11.47% in 2018. All information provided by PrecisionTrak, formerly known as MStreet Publications, is subject to limitations of data provided by radio companies.

MIW National Spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik said, "The MIW Gender Analysis Study is the impetus for the MIW's mentoring programs that serve female professionals in all aspects of the radio industry. When the numbers on our annual analysis rise, as they did slightly this year, we work even harder to encourage and mentor our female colleagues who are striving for, and/or have achieved, management positions in radio."

SBG Unveils All Female Marketing Team

Exciting changes are happening at Sun Broadcast Group. Following the acquisition of Envision Radio Networks earlier this month, SBG is proud to announce it has put the finishing touches on a new direction for its marketing department. Filled with ALL girl power, the new team consists of SBG veteran of 11 years, Loren Christofori, who has been promoted to Director of Marketing, former Envision Networks Marketing and Affiliate Specialist, Jen Weisfeld takes the role of Marketing Manager and SBG alum Amber Kelley joins as Marketing Assistant.

“I know I speak for the entire SBG family when I say how proud we are to introduce this new ALL FEMALE marketing team” said Jason Bailey, President and Founder of SBG. “Anyone who knows me knows that I take our brand very seriously. I couldn’t be more excited to place the next chapter of the SBG story in the hands of Loren, Jen and Amber. I’m thrilled to see all the great ideas they have come to life.”

As Director of Marketing, Christofori will oversee the department, handling company branding, events, overall messaging and SBG’s footprint in the marketplace. Loren commented, “Being that I joined SBG at its inception over 11 years ago, the brand is so special to me. I’m beyond honored that I’m able to continue to grow our marketing department with these two amazing ladies by my side. We’re ready to change the status quo, think outside the box…and have a little fun along the way!”

In her role as Marketing Manager, Jen Weisfeld will handle the public relations and other marketing responsibilities for SBG’s shows, features, services and events. “I’m so excited to officially be part of the SBG family and even more so to work with Loren and Amber on this all female marketing team!” said Jen. “I’m thrilled to start this new chapter with SBG and I look forward to all the new and unique ideas we will brainstorm together!”

Finally, as Marketing Assistant, Amber Kelley will be assisting with scripts, copywriting and will work directly with the SBG sales team with creative pitches and presentations. Amber officially joined the marketing team part in January 2020 after serving as Marketing Intern for a year.

The girl squad has already begun their work at SBG with their first unveiling coming up at CRS in Nashville later this month. 

Reach the ladies here:

Philly Radio: WMMR To Host 'Path To Pro' eSports Event

WMMR 93.3 FM Morning Show Personality Marisa Magnatta will host the first ever Path to Pro … How to be a Player in Esports. The event will take place from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday at Nerd Street Gamers (located in Northern Liberties on N. 3rd Street) in Philadelphia, PA.

Panelists will include:
  • Nerd Street Gamers COO Rob Johnson
  • World Gaming Network (WGN) & College Star League (CSL) CEO Wim Stocks
  • Houston Outlaws Coach Matt (Flame) Rodriguez
  • Houston Outlaws Player Daniel (Boink) Pence
  • Philadelphia Fusion Players Roston Yoo and Isaac “Boombox” Charles
Panelists will provide attendees with an “insiders” perspective on esports and the many paths that an individual can take to pursuing a professional career in professional gaming and what life is like as an elite player in the Overwatch League as well as explore the different paths one might take to get there! “

“The feedback I’ve received after hosting the first season of FTW Philly on NBC Sports Philadelphia has been all over the map…from expert to novice,” said Magnatta. “The most common question I hear is, how do you actually start a career in esports? Our Path to Pro event will be the ultimate guidebook for anyone interested in achieving their esports dream!”

Everyone is invited to attend the free event to meet the players and hear valuable insights on how to work your way to the pro level.

The event is presented by the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

Boston Radio: WBZ-FM Partners With Special Olympics

Beasley Media Group has announced WBZ 98.5 FM The Sports Hub has entered into a multi-year partnership with the Special Olympics Massachusetts.

The collaboration between the station and the non-profit organization will be instrumental in helping to raise funds, recruit volunteers and support all major programs, such as the Summer Games, scheduled to take place June 12th through 14th at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Boston.

“We could not be more thrilled to team up with the premier sports radio station in Boston,” said President & CEO Mary Beth McMahon. “The team at 98.5/Sports Hub and Beasley Media Group have been exceptional to work with and have made it clear that their belief in our mission is what will drive this relationship. We are excited for the opportunity to share our message with the station’s incredible audience and look forward to helping even more people experience inclusion through Special Olympics content and events.”

As part of the station’s commitment, 98.5 the Sports Hub will donate its support to Special Olympics Massachusetts’ throughout the year in an effort to help providing sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

“It is an honor and privilege to partner with a tremendous organization that makes a difference in the lives of others like Special Olympics,” said station Program Director Rick Radzik. “As the leading sports radio station in the country, we believe it’s important to align ourselves with an organization that offers support and inclusion for so many athletes, who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate. It’s the perfect fit!”

Fox Sports Radio Sets Two Audio Records

FOX Sports Radio (FSR), a division of Premiere Sports Network, Thursday reported two all-time digital audio records for January 2020.

FSR set a new benchmark in January, reaching more than 13 million podcast listens– an increase of +88% over the previous year. (Source: Megaphone January 2020). The Herd with Colin Cowherd podcast was the strongest performer, up +59% year-to-year. FSR also experienced its most-streamed month ever in January, increasing +25% year-to-year; the network’s top 5 streaming months of all-time took place from September 2019 through January 2020.

Plus, monthly page views for grew +57%year-to-year in January 2020, marking the 5th best month ever.

February 14 Radio History

➦In 1876…Lawyers for Alexander Graham Bell filed for a patent for the telephone. Bell's patent 174,465, was issued to Bell on March 7, 1876, by the U.S. Patent Office. Bell's patent covered "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically ... by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound.

In this first telephone, sound waves caused an electric current to vary in intensity and frequency, causing a thin, soft iron plate–called the diaphragm–to vibrate. These vibrations were transferred magnetically to another wire connected to a diaphragm in another, distant instrument. When that diaphragm vibrated, the original sound would be replicated in the ear of the receiving instrument. Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message–the famous “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”–from Bell to his assistant.

➦In 1894...Comedian and radio/TV host Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky  (Died: December 26, 1974 at 80).

A young Jack Benny - undated
Benny had been a minor vaudeville performer before becoming a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show that ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was among the most highly rated programs during its run.

Benny's long radio career began on April 6, 1932, when the NBC Commercial Program Department auditioned him for the N.W. Ayer agency and their client, Canada Dry, after which Bertha Brainard, head of the division, said, "We think Mr. Benny is excellent for radio and, while the audition was unassisted as far as orchestra was concerned, we believe he would make a great bet for an air program." Recalling the experience in 1956, Benny stated that Ed Sullivan had invited him to guest on his program (1932), and "the agency for Canada Dry ginger ale heard me and offered me a job."

With Canada Dry ginger ale as a sponsor, Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program, on May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing for six months until October 26, moving to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with sponsor General Tire through the end of the season. In October, 1934, General Foods, the makers of Jell-O and Grape-Nuts, became the sponsor strongly identified with Benny for ten years. American Tobacco's Lucky Strike was his longest-lasting radio sponsor, from October, 1944, through to the end of his original radio series.

Life magazine ad - April 1949
The show switched networks to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's notorious "raid" of NBC talent in 1948–49. It stayed there for the remainder of its radio run, ending on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeat episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny.

➦In 1913...Mel Israel was born.  He is better known as Mel Allen, sportscaster for the New York Yankees, and This Week in Baseball; ‘How about that!’ … Mel died June 16, 1996 at age 83.

Allen best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. During the peak of his career in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Allen was arguably the most prominent member of his profession, his voice familiar to millions.

➦In 1971...WABC 95.5 FM NYC changed call letters to WPLJ.

The station went on the air on May 4, 1948 under the call sign WJZ-FM, and in March 1953, the station's call letters were changed to WABC-FM following the merger of the American Broadcasting Company with United Paramount Theatres. As most FM stations did during the medium's formative years, 95.5 FM simulcasted the programming of its AM sister station.

In the early 1960s, however, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from 77WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily.  Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market. This was followed by stints with Broadway show tunes and general freeform programming, including broadcasts of New York Mets baseball games. WABC's AM personalities, notably Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, and Bob Lewis, hosted programs on the FM side which were the total opposites of the Top 40-powered sound for which they were better known on AM. WABC-FM did continue to simulcast its AM sister station during Herb Oscar Anderson's morning drive program.

At the start of 1968, ABC split its radio network into four distinct components, one of which was dedicated to FM radio.  The following year, WABC-FM and its sister stations–KABC-FM in Los Angeles; WLS-FM in Chicago; KGO-FM in San Francisco; WXYZ-FM in Detroit; KQV-FM in Pittsburgh; and newly acquired KXYZ-FM in Houston–began carrying an automated, youth-oriented, progressive rock format known as Love.

In late 1970, Allen Shaw, the then-president of ABC's FM station group, announced two big changes for 1971: ABC would drop Love and install completely live-and-local, freeform rock formats, and would also apply for call letter changes for the seven stations.  The New York outlet was slated to be renamed WRIF, but a clerical error on the part of the FCC resulted in those calls being awarded to the former WXYZ-FM (the present-day WRIF) in Detroit–whose own request for WDAI was itself given mistakenly to WLS-FM in Chicago–leaving WABC-FM to start from scratch for its own rebranding.

On February 14, 1971, the station's call letters were changed to WPLJ, chosen after Allen Shaw noticed the letter combination as the name of a song on the 1970 Mothers of Invention record, Burnt Weeny Sandwich. The song, "W-P-L-J", was originally performed by the Four Deuces in 1955 and stood for "White Port and Lemon Juice". On the air, the station hired John Zacherle, Vin Scelsa, and Michael Cuscuna (from WMMR and WXPN in Philadelphia) as personalities.

In September 1971, Allen Shaw and ABC Programming Executive Bob Henaberry designed and pioneered the very first AOR (album oriented rock) format on WPLJ, playing only the best cuts from the best selling rock albums with a minimum of disc jockey talk. The slogan of the station was "Rock 'N Stereo". The station would play the music of artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Elton John, Deep Purple, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and The Allman Brothers. The station would also play pop songs from artists such as James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Carly Simon. The station was different from Top 40 stations (such as co-owned WABC) in that they played more album tracks. The audience ratings shot up dramatically,  and WPLJ became New York's most listened-to FM rock station for most of the 1970s.

On February 13, 2019, WPLJ and five other Cumulus Media stations were sold to nonprofit broadcaster, Educational Media Foundation (EMF) for $103.5 million. This transaction would allow Cumulus to generate "substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities", according to its President and CEO Mary Berner.  After the sale received final approval by the FCC, EMF announced that WPLJ and the other Cumulus stations acquired would all begin broadcasting its primary programming service, K-Love, on June 1 at midnight local time this was later moved up to May 31 at 7:00 p.m., five hours earlier than originally planned.

Circa 1968
➦In 1980...Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the “CBS Evening News”, and Dan Rather was announced as his replacement, scheduled to step into his shoes the following year. And that’s the way it was.

At the time, CBS had a policy of mandatory retirement by age 65. Although sometimes compared to a father figure or an uncle figure, in an interview about his retirement he described himself as being more like a "comfortable old shoe" to his audience.

His last day in the anchor chair at the CBS Evening News was on March 6, 1981.

➦In 1987...Metromedia had fired the entire KMET on-air staff on February 9, and on this date the station signed-off its album rock format at Noon with The Beatles' "The End". KMET was replaced by the new-age KTWV "The Wave". Today, "The Wave" has evolved into a Smooth Jazz format, though now plays Urban Adult Contemporary and is owned by Entercom, which merged with CBS Radio in 2017.

➦In 2001...WCBS 101.1 FM NYC ended the specialty show 'Jukebox Saturday Night', which was hosted by personality Bobby Jay. The cancellation was part of a movement away from pre-1964 and toward 1970–1989 songs. The station also began de-emphasizing the phrase 'oldies' in promoting of the station.

Shadow Morton
➦In 2013…George “Shadow” Morton, a New York-based producer and songwriter best known for his work with 1960s girl group the Shangri-Las (Leader Of The Pack, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Society’s Child, etc), succumbed to cancer at age 72.

➦In 2016...Music host on Chicago radio (WLIT, WLIV, etc.) for more than 20 years, Megan Reed succumbed to complications from breast cancer at age 52.

Reed had been off the air since September 2014 when she went on medical leave as midday personality at Hubbard Radio AC WILV, now WSHE 1003. FM. She also had stints at WLIT-FM, WAUR/WYXY and WXRT-FM.