Saturday, February 29, 2020

March 1 Radio History

➦In 1893...Nikola Tesla gave the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, although he had presented his work prior to this behind closed doors. Tesla first demonstrated wireless transmissions during a lecture in 1891. Just days before the St. Louis presentation, Tesla addressed the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, on February 23, 1893, describing in detail the principles of early radio communication.

Nikola Tesla
Tesla presented the fundamentals of radio in 1893 during his public presentation, "On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena." Afterward, the principle of radio communication--sending signals through space to receivers--was widely publicized from Tesla's experiments and demonstrations.

Even before the development of the vacuum tube, Tesla’s descriptions contained all the elements that were later incorporated into radio systems. He initially experimented with magnetic receivers, unlike the coherers (detecting devices consisting of tubes filled with iron filings which had been invented by Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti in 1884) used by Guglielmo Marconi and other early experimenters.

Radio offers another example of Tesla’s work receiving minimal or no long-term public acknowledgement. While Marconi is often credited with inventing the radio, this presentation by Tesla was recalled in courts several years later in invalidating Marconi patents.

Indeed, it, among other facts, pushed the United States Supreme Court in the 1943 case of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America vs. the United States to state that "it is now held that in the important advance upon his basic patent Marconi did nothing that had not already been seen and disclosed."

To be true, what Tesla demonstrated had more scientific interest than practical use, but he believed that by taking the “Tesla oscillator,” grounding one side of it, and connecting the other to an insulated body of a large surface, it would be possible to transmit electric oscillations a great distance and to communicate intelligence in this way to other oscillators.

In 1898 at the Electrical Exhibition in New York, Tesla would successfully demonstrate a radio-controlled boat. For that work, he was awarded US patent No. 613,809 for a "Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles." Between 1895 and 1897, Tesla received wireless signals transmitted via short distances in his lectures. He transmitted over medium ranges during presentations made between 1897 and 1910.

➦In 1904...Alton Glenn Miller, the man whose name is synonymous with the big band era of the 1940’s, was born in Clarinda, Iowa (Died:  December 15, 1944 at age 40).

He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best-known big bands. Miller's recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", "Elmer's Tune", and "Little Brown Jug".

In just four years Glenn Miller scored 16 number-one records and 69 top ten hits—more than Elvis Presley (38 top 10s) and the Beatles (33 top 10s) did in their careers. While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.

➦In 1914...Sportscaster Harry Caray born (real name Harry Christopher Carabina..died from a heart attack just shy of his 84th birthday February 18, 1998). He covered five Major League Baseball teams, beginning with 25 years of calling the games of the St. Louis Cardinals with two of these years also spent calling games for the St. Louis Browns.

After a year working for the Oakland Athletics and eleven years with the Chicago White Sox, Caray spent the last sixteen years of his career as the announcer for the Chicago Cubs.

Caray caught his break when he landed the job with the Cardinals in 1945 and, according to several histories of the franchise, proved as expert at selling the sponsor's beer as he'd been in selling the Cardinals on KMOX.

In 1982 he began 15 years of calling the Cubs games on superstation WGN which won him a national following.

➦In 1928...KGFJ Los Angles went on-air 1926. And on this date it became the first radio station in the United States to adopt a 24-hour broadcast schedule. Today, the station is know as KYPA 1230 AM and airs Korean-language programming.

➦In’s first great effort of on-the-spot news coverage began as NBC and CBS radio rushed to Hopewell, NJ to cover the kidnapping of the Charles and Anne Lindbergh baby.

➦In of daytime radio’s comedic gems Easy Aces written by and starring Goodman Ace with his ditzy wife Jane, moved from local Chicago exposure to the full CBS network, three times a week. It would delight audiences on that schedule for much of the next 15 years.

➦In 1937..This ad appeared in Broadcasting magazine...

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 Nielsen was the holder of the 6BBH call sign (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 Nielsen 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 1940. KFCB became KOY on February 8, 1929.

From 1932 to 1949, KOY was the CBS Radio Network affiliate for the Phoenix area.

In 1936, Earl Nielsen sold KOY to Prairie Farmer, dba Salt River Valley Broadcasting Company. He remained Station Manager for a couple of years. Prairie Farmer was the owner of WLS radio in Chicago at the time.

➦In 1941...The National Life and Accident Insurance Company, owners of WSM-AM , became the first commercial broadcaster in the U.S. to receive an FM license from the FCC in 1941. Originally known as W47NV, the station operated for about 10 years, until NL&AI realized that few area households had FM radio receivers and that its commercial potential was lacking. NL&AI shut down WSM-FM in 1951 and returned the license to the FCC.

The present-day WSM-FM began broadcasting on November 1, 1962 as WLWM-FM, owned by C. Webber Parrish, a local Nashville businessman. National Life & Accident Insurance purchased the 95.5 MHz frequency from Parrish in 1968, and after a short period of simulcasting the AM, programmed an easy listening format (the format WLWM used) on it from 1969 until early 1976.

FM broadcasting in the United States began in the 1930s with engineer and inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong's experimental station, W2XMN.

➦In 1949...WFLN 95.7 FM signed on in Philadelphia. 95.7 FM was founded by Philadelphia civic leaders as a fine arts station. In the early years, programming was heard in the evening hours only. In 1956, an AM operation was added, which mostly simulcasted the FM.

WFLN, which stood for "Franklin Broadcasting" was the first stand-alone (not co-owned with a local AM) station in Philadelphia. For nearly 50 years, the station's studios, transmitter and self-supporting tower were located at 8200 Ridge Pike, at the western edge of Roxborough, a few miles apart from the cluster of other antennas in Roxborough. From the late 1960s until the late 1980s, WFLN also maintained a small office in center city Philadelphia on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway near 17th Street. This facility was used as a sales office and small studio where host Ralph Collier would do live and recorded interviews. Until about 2004, remnants of white plastic letters spelling "WFLN" could be observed on a low brick wall at the abandoned location, but they have since disintegrated.

Station leadership was carried out by the Smith and Green families. Programming consisted of classical music along with a number of short "feature" programs. Little emphasis was placed on making the station profitable, and most years it simply broke even.

Today it's WBEN-FM 'Ben FM'. And the WFLN call letters are being used by  station in Arcadia, FL.

Ad appeared in Broadcasting 03/2/1953

➦In 1953
...WJZ 770 AM changed call letters to WABCThe original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, and was located originally in Newark, NJ.

WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York, and on January 1, 1927, WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network. NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942. ABC later established WJZ-FM and WJZ-TV at the same time in 1948.

➦In 1999...WBIX 105.1 FM in NYC became known as WTJM. On December 10, 1998, at 6 p.m., after playing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day, the station flipped to the then-popular "Jammin' Oldies" format, branded as "Jammin' 105." The first song on "Jammin'" was "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang.  WBIX changed call letters to WTJM, in order to match the "Jammin'" branding. The station, which would play popular urban, dance, and rhythmic pop music of the mid-1960s through the 1980s, did better in the ratings than the previous format, and WTJM's results initially challenged those of longtime oldies station WCBS-FM.

Today the frequency is iHeartMedia's WWPR.

➦In 2007...Radio, TV character actor Eddie Firestone died at age 86 (Born: December 11, 1920). When he was 12, Firestone was in the cast of 'Wheatenaville', broadcast on NBC's Pacific network. He also have early success in the title role of radio's That Brewster Boy. He left the show in 1943, during World War II, to join the United States Marine Corps where he was commissioned reaching the rank of Captain. He remained in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1942-1957. At the time, he was billed as Eddie Firestone Jr.  He went on to hundreds of appearances over 40 years of episodic TV, from “Bonanza” and “Perry Mason” to 'Dallas" and “Gunsmoke”.

Don Berns
➦In 2015…Veteran radio personality and actor Don Berns died of a heart attack at age 67.
Berns lived in Toronto, where he continued to innovate and create.  As Dr. Trance, he was considered the “Godfather of Toronto’s Rave Scene.”  He grew up in Hartford and did some acting in Toronto theater.  And he continued to share his wit and humor with frequent postings on Facebook.   Berns arrived in Buffalo in fall 1970.  He and Jack Armstrong were the two new voices of Top40 WKBW 1520 AM.  Berns hosted middays while Armstrong rocked Eastern America and Canada at night.  Together, they brought new energy to KB.  Berns’ trademark ending each day was “The Don Berns Show is a Dr. and Mrs. Berns production.”

He also worked in the Providence, Hartford and Albany markets before arriving in Buffalo.

After nearly four years at KB, Berns stunned many of his listeners when he announced he would be joining album rock WPHD 103.3FM.  He changed his high energy top 40 sound to the slower-paced delivery of “progressive” jocks of that era.  But his time at WPHD was short.  Soon after he started, the station’s owners changed formats to top 40, and Berns was back doing what he did so well.  Berns stayed at WYSL AM/FM through 1975 and then left the Buffalo market for Dallas.

He finally settled in Toronto.  For many years, Berns was a personality on CFNY 102.1FM.  He did voice over work, in addition to his dance parties and theater performances.

➦In 2016...Radio programmer John Harlan Rook died (Born: October 9, 1937). He was most known for his tenure in Chicago.

John Rook - 2013
Under his guidance in the 1960s, 50,000-watt ABC-owned WLS 890 AM became the highest rated station in the Chicago metropolitan area, known as one of the greatest Top 40 stations in America. After leaving WLS to form a radio consultancy in 1970, WLS' rival, WCFL-AM, beat WLS in the ratings after retaining Rook's services. Throughout his programming career, Rook won numerous national radio awards and was repeatedly singled out for his ability to pick hit records. He would later become a station owner.

Rook started in radio as a DJ KASL in Newcastle, Wyoming; KOBH in Hot Springs, South Dakota; and KALL in Salt Lake City, Rook programmed KTLN in Denver, where his success led to ABC hiring him to be program director at KQV in Pittsburgh. KQV, owned by ABC, had initial success with the Top 40 format, but was floundering prior to Rook's arrival.

Rook quickly became known for his musical instincts, repeatedly breaking hit records before the rest of the country. He was early on recognizing The Beatles and developed an inside track to their future releases. Under Rook, KQV played world-premieres of new Beatles songs before sending them to other stations owned by ABC in New York City and Chicago. In 1965, KQV had an eight-day start on the rest of the country with “Yes It Is” and “Ticket To Ride”.  KQV also was known nationally for its record-breaking concerts.

In 1967, due to KQV’s success under Rook, ABC appointed him as program director of WLS in Chicago, which, like KQV when Rook arrived, was a major station facing increasingly successful competition. In 1964, WLS had a 34% share of the night time audience while competitor WCFL had 3%. At the time of Rook's arrival in 1967, WLS was down to 16%, virtually tied with WCFL’s 15%.

By 1968, under Rook, WLS again led the market and WLS was named Station of the Year at the Gavin Convention. WLS programmed by Rook became such a legendary Top 40 station that program directors and personalities including Rush Limbaugh and David Letterman cite its programming and personalities under Rook as a major inspiration. Popular disc jockey Larry Lujack, who worked for Rook first at WLS and later at WCFL, considered Rook to be “The greatest program director of our generation.”

John Rook's final interview, a comprehensive overview of his entire life and career, was broadcast on Marcus Singletary's Far Out Flavors podcast on December 15, 2015. Topics included breaking into radio, meeting Mick Jagger, Ted Kennedy, and The Beatles, and the emergence of Republican Donald Trump as a viable presidential candidate

➦In 2016 ...Sports KFWB 980 AM The Beast ended operations after it’s assets in a trust were sold to Universal Media Access KFWB-AM LLC headed by Charles W. Banta of Buffalo NY. for $8M.  Universal Media Access launched South Asian “Desi 980“.

Banta was President at Mercury Capital Partners which he founded in 2000. In 1994, Banta became the President and Founder of Mercury Radio Communications and acquired radio stations in Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Earlier he served as Group Head of Greater Media’s Radio Division where, he oversaw 16 radio stations in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Central New Jersey, and Boston. Banta has been actively involved as an operator or owner in the media business for more than 28 years.

KFWB 980 AM (5 Kw) Red=Local Coverage
Since November 2011, CBS Radio put KFWB into a trust managed by Diane Sutter, President and CEO of Shooting Star Broadcasting. The business move was needed since CBS Corporation owned and operated two TV stations and two radio stations in the L.A. market.

The station's history goes back to March 3, 1925, when it was launched by Sam Warner, a co-founder of Warner Bros.. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Although some think its call letters stand for Keep Fighting Warner Brothers or (K)-Four Warner Brothers, actually the call-sign was sequentially issued by the Department of Commerce, predecessor to the FCC (March 1925) at the same time as KFWA in Ogden, Utah (Feb 1925) and KFWC for San Bernardino (also Feb 1925).

After first broadcasting on 1190 kilocycles in 1925, KFWB was moved from 1190 to 830 on the radio dial on June 15, 1927. In February of 1928, the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) assigned KFWB to broadcast on 850 kilocycles, but one month later, moved the station back to 830 on the dial. Also in March of 1928, KFWB increased its transmitter power from 500 to 1,000 watts. As part of the national restructuring of the Broadcast Band (AM) by the Federal Radio Commission, KFWB was moved from 830 to 950 kilocycles on November 11, 1928.

With the move to 950, KFWB was forced to share a small portion of its broadcast day with the Pasadena Star-News station KPSN for one year, until November 15, 1929. But KPSN, which went off the air in 1931, was given only 30 minutes to one hour of air time each day, and KFWB was able to broadcast the remainder of its hours. By the 1936, the station was operating with 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts at night, from 6:30 am until midnight and on Sundays from 8 am until midnight. By 1939, transmitter power was 5,000 watts day and night. On March 29, 1941, KFWB changed its frequency again, from 950 to the current 980-AM.

Jack, Harry Warner 1925
KFWB was the first station in Los Angeles to sense the commercial possibilities of baby boomers. In 1958, the station unveiled a Top 40 song format, calling itself "Color Radio, Channel 98." (Click Here to listen for jingle), The term referred to color television, which was catching on.  Program director Chuck Blore made personalities out of his jocks, including Bill Ballance, B. Mitchel Reid and Ted Quillin, dubbing them the "Seven Swingin' Gentlemen."

KFWB was purchased by Westinghouse in 1966. On March 11, 1968, the station was relaunched as an all news radio station. The station promoted itself with its slogan, "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world," as first used by New York Westinghouse station WINS, although the station's format used a 30-minute news cycle.

Until spun off into a trust, KFWB was owned by CBS Radio, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, formerly known as Westinghouse, which also owns KNX, the only all-news station in Los Angeles. KFWB and KNX feuded as all-news rivals for years, both on radio and in television advertising. Like its former sister stations (and fellow all-news stations) WINS in New York and KYW in Philadelphia, KFWB had a running Teletype sound effect in the background during regular newscasts.

On September 8, 2009, the station adopted a news-talk format, adding syndicated shows such as Dave Ramsey, Laura Ingraham, Laura Schlessinger and Michael Smerconish.

By the summer of 2014, KFWB's weekday line-up included: LA's Morning News with Penny Griego and Phil Hulett; Money 101 with Bob McCormick; "As We See It" with Phil Hulett and friends; LA's Afternoon News with Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee; and The Amani & Eytan Show from NBC Sports Radio.

On September 22, 2014, KFWB became "The Beast 980", an all-sports format.

Click Here for More KFWB History.

Tony Romo To Become Richest NFL Analyst Ever

Tony Romo
Tony Romo has signed a long-term contract to continue calling NFL games for CBS, the network confirmed Friday night, ending the potential free agency of one of the most popular broadcasters in sports before it even began.

For months, Romo’s future had been the subject of speculation with his contract up this winter and ESPN, potentially looking to upgrade its “Monday Night Football” booth, lurking. Instead, Romo will return to CBS this fall to call games alongside partner Jim Nantz, avoiding the open market, reports the Washington Post.

Romo's contract is believe to be the largest sports analyst contract in TV history, The NY Post reports.   It will pay him around $17 million per season, which is more than double the previous NFL high of $8 million per year that John Madden received more than two decades ago.

Even when adjusted for inflation — which would make Madden’s number $14 million — Romo still is the highest paid ever.

The long-term deal, sources say, is for significantly more than five years, which means the total value for Romo’s contract will well surpass $100 million.

During his playing career, Romo earned a total of $127 million over 14 seasons. There were only three seasons as the Cowboys’ quarterback that he made more than $17 million.

CBS was motivated this week by Disney’s ability to start bidding on Romo in March, when he could have been eligible for free agency. CBS thought Disney — which hoped to use Romo as a carrot as it goes after a Super Bowl in the next round of negotiations — would bid $20 million per year. ESPN officials vigorously disputed that, saying they would never have bid close to that number.

Though Romo’s salary is astronomical for 20 NFL games, CBS officials felt he showed loyalty because he could have explored how high ESPN would go. CBS and Romo’s partner, Jim Nantz, have been universally praised since network executives Sean McManus and David Berson took the chance on putting Romo in the booth right off the field three years ago.

CBS’s calculation is that they spend billions on the NFL, so bidding this high on Romo made sense in the grand scheme. They hope to retain their Sunday afternoon package and Super Bowl in the next round of negotiations with the NFL.

YouTubeTV, Sinclair Agree On Short Term RSN Extension

Earlier this week YouTube TV announced that they will be dropping Sinclair Owned Fox Sports Networks on February 29th. Now YouTube has announced that Sicnair and Google have reached a short term extension to keep Fox RSNs on YouTube TV, Cord Cutter News reports.

If the negotiation falls through, this would be the 3rd major live TV streaming service to drop Fox Regional Sports Networks since Sinclair bought them for just over $10 billion last year. This would mean that Hulu and AT&T TV NOW would be the only live TV streaming services that offer Fox RSNs.

Here is the statement YouTube TV just posted online:

Negotiations are still underway! In the meantime, we’ve agreed to a temporary extension. FOX RSNs and YES Network are still available on YT TV while we work to reach an agreement. We’ll send out an update as soon as we have more info on a resolution.

Here is the original announcement:

The negotiation seems to be over the Fox Regional Sports Networks only. Sinclair owned locals will remain on YouTube TV.

Trump: Media, Dems Exaggerating Coronavirus Threat

President Trump and members of his administration mobilized on Friday to confront the threat of the coronavirus — not just the outbreak, but the news media and the Democrats they accused of exaggerating its danger, reports The NYTimes.

While stock markets tumbled, companies searched for new supply chains and health officials scrambled to prevent a spread of the virus, Trump and his aides, congressional allies and backers in the conservative media sought to blame the messenger and the political opposition in the latest polarizing moment in the nation’s capital.

Trump said that news outlets like CNN were “doing everything they can to instill fear in people,” while some Democrats were “trying to gain political favor by saying a lot of untruths.” His acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, went even further, telling conservative activists that journalists were hyping the coronavirus because “they think this will bring down the president; that’s what this is all about.”

At a campaign rally on Friday evening in South Carolina, the president denounced Democrats, describing the concerns they have expressed about the virus as “their new hoax” after the Russia investigation and then impeachment. “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” he said. “We did one of the great jobs. You say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’ They go, ‘Oh, not good, not good.’ They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They cannot even count the votes in Iowa.”

“It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host, said on his syndicated program this week, dismissing the disease as a Democratic talking point, The NYTimes reports.

“The coronavirus is the common cold, folks,” Limbaugh added. (The Times rpeorts the coronavirus is more deadly and more contagious than the common cold, and it can cause severe flulike symptoms.)

Viewers of the Fox News talk show “Fox & Friends” on Friday heard the co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduce a segment by announcing: “Let’s talk about the Democrats and the media with this coronavirus, and they’re making it political.”

Her guest was Pete Hegseth, a “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host and an on-air Trump cheerleader who doubles as an informal confidant of the president.

“I don’t want to say this, I don’t relish the reality,” Mr. Hegseth began. “But you start to feel, you really do — watch the Democrats, watch the media — that they’re rooting for coronavirus to spread. They’re rooting for it to grow. They’re rooting for the problem to get worse.”

Earhardt and her co-hosts, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, nodded along. Their show is the highest-rated morning program on cable news.

Greg Gutfeld on Fox News Channel's 'The Five' had this take on the media:

Comscore Gets Access To Comcast Data

Comcast will sell access to its trove of data on how Americans watch TV to Comscore, a media analytics firm that measures TV audiences, the companies said Friday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the cable giant will license viewership data from customers’ set-top boxes, which Comscore will use to improve its measurements of TV ratings. The audience measurements are used by buyers and sellers of advertisements. At least $70 billion was spent on TV advertisements in 2019, according to market researcher eMarketer.

It’s a rare deal for Comcast, the company says. The Philadelphia media giant didn’t provide this type of consumer data to anyone in the industry until 2017, when it reached a similar deal with Nielsen, even as other pay TV providers and online streaming services made such data available. In 2015, Comcast turned down a $100 million offer from Nielsen for an exclusive license to the data.

Neither Comcast nor Comscore disclosed financial terms of the agreement.

Comcast said the data is de-identified, meaning it does not include the names, addresses, or other personal information of customers. The data doesn’t identify specific set-top boxes either, so viewing information cannot be traced back to a user or household.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV operator, had been a holdout in terms of sharing such viewership data with audience measurement firms. Comscore said it has had access to such data from other pay TV companies for a decade, starting with Dish.

Comscore CEO Bill Livek said the Comcast deal will strengthen the ratings firm’s measurement of television households across the country. Comscore already had access to data from Dish, DirecTV, Charter, and Cox.

Spending on such advertising — industry insiders call it connected TV ads — is expected to reach $14 billion by 2023 according to eMarketer. That market is increasingly important for companies like Comcast as traditional TV advertising market continues to shrink — it is expected to drop to more than $68 billion in 2023.

Clear Channel Outdoor Posts $27M Profit in 4Q

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings posted a profit of $27.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, a turnaround for the San Antonio advertising company that last year endured heavy losses after spinning off from iHeart Media.

The San Antonio Express reports Clear Channel, which owns and operates digital billboards and other advertising media around the world, recorded $745.2 million in revenue for the quarter, a slight decline from the same period a year earlier.

Last May, radio giant iHeart Media filed for bankruptcy and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings broke off, becoming its own independently traded company.

Clear Channel saw gains domestically in 2019, with revenue in the Americas increasing by $83.7 million, a seven percent uptick compared with 2018. Clear Channel added 92 new digital billboards last year, bringing the company’s total number in the Americas to more than 1,400.

The company added nearly 800 new digital billboards internationally last year, but revenue fell $121.6 million compared with 2018. Clear Channel said nearly $71 million of that decrease was due to movements in foreign exchange rates.

But the slowing economy in China has hit Clear Channel’s Chinese subsidiary company, Clear Media, which saw revenue fall by 20 percent in 2019.

Clear Channel touted its investments in technology as a driver of future growth. The company’s RADAR product uses analytics and aggregated location data from mobile phones to better track an advertisement's audience metrics.

Clear Channel also issued equity and refinanced debt last year, which the company says improved its cash flow and balance sheet.

Radio Voice Snubbed For NBA Knicks Anniversary Bash

Marv Albert
The NBA NY Knicks, for it March 21 celebration of the 50th anniversary of their 1969-70 championship, chose not to invite Marva Albert — the radio voice of the team and the author of one of the most legendary calls in sportscasting history.

“It would’ve been nice to see the guys,” Albert said when contacted by The NY Post. “I was not invited.”

Albert is considered by most accounts the greatest NBA play-by-player in history in part because of his “Here … comes … Willis” call that accompanied Willis Reed hobbling on the floor at the start of the Knicks’ Game 7 Finals’ victory over the Lakers.

Albert was the voice of the Knicks from the late 1960s through the late-1990s. He lost his job after pleading guilty in a sexual assault case.

He returned to the job a few years later, but left during a 2004 dispute with James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks and MSG Network. Albert went on to call Nets games on YES for a few years. Today, at 78, Albert is the lead voice on TNT’s NBA coverage.

Albert is still synonymous with the Knicks, especially because he was the voice of the two championship teams.

SBG Says 'The Woody & Wilson Show' Scores Hat Trick

Sun Broadcast Group’s Syndicated morning show, The Woody & Wilcox Show featuring Chris Wilcox, Gregg Wood and Chelsea Paxton, has scored that SBG calls a ratings ‘hat trick’.

Woody & Wilcox has been dubbed #1 in three time zones and formats (alternative, classic rock and active rock)! That includes iHeartMedia’s WRDU 106.5 The End in Charlotte, NC, 100.7, 98.9 KKZX 98.9 in Spokane, WA and KIOC Big Dog 106 in Beaumont, TX.

Co-Host, Chris Wilcox exclaims, “Huge thanks to everyone from coast to coast for believing in the worlds okayest morning show! We’re excited to see continued growth across the board and are ready for a successful 2020.”

Along with the successful ratings, WFUZ ALT 92.1 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA, is officially the newest affiliate to pick up Woody & Wilcox for their listeners to fall in love with.

For more information on The Woody & Wilcox Show, call Sun Broadcast Group (800) 871-6163

Garth Wears 'Sanders' Shirt, Upsetting Clueless Fans

Country music legend Garth Brooks posted a picture of himself in a Sanders jersey after his packed show Saturday night in Detroit, which created a bit of misguided outrage and confusion online.

Fox News reports Brooks wore the No. 20 jersey of former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders -- a football legend in the city and NFL Hall of Famer -- which caused some of his Instagram followers to mistakenly attack him for being a Bernie Sanders supporter.

"Barry Sanders Good grief," one user responded. "Can’t you just do what you get paid to do ???? Why why why does it have to involve politics !!! So sad. We don’t pay good money for anything other than to watch you perform. 😡Thought you were different."

"Lost some respect w that jersey," another wrote.

"If this is for Bernie Sanders, I'm done with you," another user said. "I thought you were a true American that loves Our Country?"

It's not clear if they had political blinders on or simply weren't big fans of football, but some of his other Instagram followers were tasked with correcting the misguided attacks.

"I’m going out on a limb here... he’s a football fan and it’s a Barry Sanders jersey. CRAZY I know," one user wrote.

The Blaze reported that the NFL legend was honored during the concert.

Public Broadcasters Looking For FEMA Public Safety Grant

Public broadcasters would be able to expand their role in providing public safety services if Congress approves a $20 million appropriation request through the Department of Homeland Security, America’s Public Television Stations President Pat Butler told attendees this week at the annual Public Media Summit, reports.

Pat Butler
“Today’s technology makes it possible for us to reduce earthquake warnings from 30 seconds to less than two seconds or chart the route to safety from a tornado or hurricane or a flood,” Butler said. “Tomorrow’s technology, the Next Gen broadcast standard, with its advances in mobility and interactivity, will make it possible for us to send such critical information to everyone with a cellphone equipped with a Next Gen chip.”

As part of its annual appropriation request to Congress, CPB is seeking funds from DHS for the first time. It has proposed creating the Next Generation Resilient Warning System, a competitive grant program for public broadcasters within DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Assistance account.

If set aside, the $20 million would allow stations “to procure, construct and improve transmission and other public safety related equipment, software and services, including ATSC 3.0, datacasting and MetaPub,” CPB said in a Feb. 10 document submitted to Congress. “This will result in enhanced alerting and warning capabilities that serve all Americans.”

“This new competitive grant program will enhance public broadcasting stations’ ability to provide alert, warning and interoperable communications and incorporate emerging technology in those life-saving activities,” said an APTS document detailing public broadcasting’s funding requests. “Public broadcasting has long been a committed partner with the public safety community. That work depends on reliable and resilient public broadcasting infrastructure, which this program will support.”

Atlanta Radio: Entercom Launches V-103 International

Entercom has announced the launch of V-103 International (WVEE-HD2) in Atlanta. The station, which is powered by the U.S. Census Bureau, will feature a wide range of genres including afro beats, dance hall, reggae, soca, hip hop, top 40 and big chune, and will serve as a complement to sister station V-103 (WVEE-FM). 
As part of the launch, on-air personalities Osei “The Dark Secret” Kweku and Mix Master David will expertly curate the station programmed by Reggie Rouse, Urban Format Captain, Entercom, and Brand Manager, V-103 (WVEE-FM). Osei and Mix Master David will co-host the “International Show” live on V-103 on Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. 

“Atlanta is an international city and we have a responsibility to serve everyone in this great city 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Rouse. “V-103 International strives to build an inclusive community for those looking for a diverse and engaging listening experience, both in this great city and nationwide via RADIO.COM.”

February 29 Radio History

Fanny Brice as 'Baby Snooks'
➦In 1936...Fanny Brice brought her little girl character “Baby Snooks” to radio on “The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air” on CBS Radio.

Brice's first radio show was the Philco Hour in February 1930. Brice's first regular radio show was probably The Chase and Sanborn Hour, a thirty-minute program which ran on Wednesday nights at 8 pm in 1933.

From the 1930s until her death in 1951, Fanny made a radio presence as a bratty toddler named Snooks, a role she premiered in a Follies skit co-written by playwright Moss Hart. Baby Snooks premiered in The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air in February 1936 on CBS, with Alan Reed playing Lancelot Higgins, her beleaguered "Daddy". Brice moved to NBC in December 1937, performing the Snooks routines as part of the Good News show, then back to CBS on Maxwell House Coffee Time, with the half-hour divided between the Snooks sketches and actor Frank Morgan.

➦In 1948...KPUG 1170 AM in Bellingham, WA, signed on the air.

In 1968...Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first rock LP to do so.

➦In 1988...KWK-FM in St Louis Missouri changed call letters to WKBG, branding its Top40 format as Q106.5  (now Hubbard's WARH)

➦In 2008...Rocky Allen aired his last show at WPLJ 95.5 FM NYC.

Allen's well-traveled career is best known for his streaks on New York radio station WPLJ, where he hosted an afternoon-drive show from 1993 until 1998, and again beginning in September 2005 until February 2008.

During his first run on the station, Allen underwent a series of surgeries beginning in October 1996 to remove calcium deposits believed to be the cause of persistent back pain.  Allen was partially paralyzed following the surgeries, and required the use of a wheelchair. In October 1997, after a year of not being able to walk, doctors advised Allen to undergo full-time rehab which they said might be the only way for him to be able to walk again.  This prompted Allen to go on a five-month leave of absence from radio, after which he was able to walk freely.

In January 1999, Allen made an unsuccessful move to WPLJ sister station WABC. The move was designed to complement WABC's non-political morning talk lineup of Art Bell and Laura Schlessinger.   The show never matched its afternoon ratings success, and was replaced 15 months later by Curtis and Kuby, who had vacated the morning show on the station to make room for Allen.

Allen proceeded to host the morning show on WDVD, Detroit in 2001. He was joined by Blain Ensley in 2002. Ensley had served as co-host on the Sports Guys.

Allen and Ensley returned to WPLJ on September 20, 2005, nearly seven years after leaving the station.

In a cost-cutting measure by WPLJ's parent company Citadel, the Rocky Allen Showgram was cancelled on February 29, 2008. Race Taylor, who was bumped to midday by the return of Allen, returned to the afternoon drive with a music-only format.

Allen briefly resurfaced in 2008 doing weekend sports talk on WEPN.

Davy Jones
➦In 2012…David Thomas Jones died from a heart attacked at age 66 (Born: 30 December 1945). He was an English singer-songwriter, musician, actor and businessman, best known as a member of the band the Monkees.

His acting credits include a Tony-nominated performance as the Artful Dodger in the original London and Broadway productions of Oliver! as well as a guest star role in a hallmark episode of The Brady Bunch television show and later reprised parody film; Love, American Style; and My Two Dads.

From 1966 to 1971, Jones was a member of the Monkees, a pop-rock group formed expressly for a television show of the same name. With Screen Gems producing the series, Jones was shortlisted for auditions, as he was the only Monkee who was signed to a deal with the studio, but still had to meet producers Bob Rafelson's and Bert Schneider's standards. Jones sang lead vocals on many of the Monkees' recordings, including "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer".

The NBC television series the Monkees was popular, and remained in syndication. After the group disbanded in 1971, Jones reunited with Micky Dolenz as well as Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart in 1974 as a short-lived group called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart.

Monkees activity ceased until 1996 when Jones reunited with Dolenz, Tork and Michael Nesmith to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band. The group released a new album entitled Justus, the first album since 1967's Headquarters that featured the band members performing all instrumental duties. It was the last time all four Monkees performed together.

In February 2011, Jones confirmed rumours of another Monkees reunion. "There's even talk of putting the Monkees back together again in the next year or so for a U.S. and UK tour," he told Disney's Backstage Pass newsletter. "You're always hearing all those great songs on the radio, in commercials, movies, almost everywhere." The tour (Jones's last) came to fruition entitled, An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Ty Bentli EXITS Westwood One's Syndicated Morning Show

Cumulus Media’s Westwood One syndicated Country morning show host Ty Bentli  signed-off Friday morning. Apparently, he has exited for a new career out of radio.

Bentli was originally part of  NASH Country's “America’s Morning Show” with original host Blair Garner in September 2016. The show evolved over the months to “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” and eventually“The Ty Bentli Show” in 2018.

Last April, the show expanded to England, when the United Kingdom’s Bauer Media launched the first-ever nationwide Country Music radio station in the UK, Country Hits Radio. The Ty Bentli Show is the only American radio show tapped by Bauer to represent the world of Country Music.

Country artist Chuck Wicks and Tricia ‘TJ’ Jenkins will continue the show with a new titled.  Cumulus is expeted to announce further staffing plans.

Bentli's previous experience included WKSC 103.5 Kiss-FM Chicago and KBIG 104.3 My-FM KBIG in Los Angeles, as well as stints in Washington DC and NYC.

iHeartMedia To Continue Infrastructure 'Modernization'

iHeartMedia, Inc. Thursday reported financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2019.

Financial Highlights
  • Solid GAAP revenue performance in Q4 '19 and FY '19, flat in the quarter and up 2.0% year-over-year; GAAP revenue excluding political grew 4.3% in Q4 '19 and 4.2% in FY '19
  • Q4’19 and FY 2019 GAAP earnings year-over-year comparisons highly affected by one-time items related to bankruptcy and emergence (completed in May 2019), resulting in a decrease in Operating income of 36.5% and 26.6%, respectively
  • FY 2019 Adjusted EBITDA1 increased 2.5% year-over-year
  • Key actions initiated since emergence to improve the financial performance of the Company include:
The completion of three debt transactions that will reduce annualized run-rate interest expense by ~$40 million2
Modernization initiatives that are expected to deliver $100 million run-rate savings by the middle of 2021; expect to achieve approximately 50% of run-rate savings in 2020
  • FY 2020 guidance reflects significant growth in revenues, Adjusted EBITDA1 and Free Cash Flow1, powered by multiple drivers
Full Year 2019
  • Revenue of $3,683.5 million, up 2.0% year-over-year; excluding political revenue1, revenue increased 4.2%, driven by growth across all revenue streams
  • Digital revenue increased 32.2% year-over-year
  • GAAP Operating income of $506.7 million was down from $690.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2018, driven primarily by the impact of fresh start accounting and higher impairment charges
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $1,000.7 million, up 2.5% year-over-year
  • Strong cash generation in the fourth quarter resulted in year-end cash balance of $400.3 million
Fourth Quarter
  • Revenee of $1,026.1 million, flat year-over-year, excluding political revenue1, revenue increased 4.3%, driven by growth across all revenue streams
  • Digital revenue increased 33.6% year-over-year
  • GAAP Operating income of $165.1 million was down 36.5% year-over-year, driven primarily by the impact of fresh start accounting
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $306.1 million, down (0.6)% year-over-year
1 See Supplemental Disclosure Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Information.

2 Compared to the expected annualized cash interest payments indicated by the terms of the debt structure originally issued upon iHeartCommunications’ emergence from bankruptcy on May 1, 2019.

Bob Pittman
“We are extremely proud of all that iHeart and its employees accomplished in 2019. After emerging from Chapter 11 in May with a healthier capital structure and listing on the Nasdaq in July, we continued to execute on our strategic plans to build our strong operating business and drive shareholder value,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.

“As the number one audio company in the U.S. based on reach, we look forward to expanding our unequaled multi-platform leadership position and leveraging the investments that we have made to modernize our infrastructure and become more efficient, effective and competitive. The audio environment has never been more exciting, and we look forward to leading - and capitalizing on it in 2020 and beyond.”

During the analysts conference call, Pittman elaborated:

“Our decision to invest in modernization is, at its core, a re-imagining of what a true multi-platform media company looks like today, including using technology and AI to improve the quality of the decisions we make and the experience we provide for our consumers, enabling us to be better and more robust partners for our advertisers, and providing unique resources to help our employees be as efficient and as effective as possible — helping them reach their full potential. We believe this is essential to our future. Importantly, our investments in modernization are expected to deliver meaningful cost savings of approximately $100 million on a run-rate basis by the second half of 2021.

“Some of the key operational changes that are being made as part of these initiatives will be: a new organizational structure for our markets group that maximizes the performance for each of our markets using our one-of-a-kind scale of multiple platforms; our leadership in audio and technology; and, our expertise and extensive experience in data and artificial intelligence. We’ve also created centers of excellence which will consolidate functional areas of expertise in specific locations to deliver the best possible products and services for the entire company, assuring consistent and high quality across every single market in which we operate. These centers of excellence were made possible by the half-billion-dollar investment we made in technology and building out our core infrastructure. And it allows us to provide services from anywhere in the company for the benefit of anywhere else in the company — meaning distance is no longer a barrier.”

Consolidated Results of Operations

Full Year 2019 Results

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 increased 2.0%, or 4.2% excluding the impact of political revenue year-over-year. iHM growth was driven primarily by our Digital and Networks revenue streams, which grew 32.2% and 5.6%, respectively. Podcasting and other digital revenue were the primary drivers of our Digital revenue growth, while growth in our Networks business was driven by both our Total Traffic & Weather network and our Premiere network. Broadcast revenue declined by (1.4)% on a reported basis, and grew 0.3% excluding the impact of political revenue. Audio & Media Services declined (10.4)% on a reported basis and increased by 3.2% excluding the impact of political revenue. Sponsorship revenue increased by 4.4% year-over-year. On a full-year basis, all of our revenue streams grew year-over-year excluding the impact of political revenue.

Direct operating expenses increased 9.9% compared to the prior year, driven primarily by higher compensation-related expenses, including from the acquisitions of Stuff Media and Jelli in the fourth quarter of 2018, as well as higher music license fees, digital royalties and content costs from higher podcasting, subscription and other digital revenue.

Corporate expenses increased $7.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to 2018, as a result of higher share-based compensation expense, which increased $24.8 million as a result of our new equity compensation plan entered into in connection with our Plan of Reorganization. This increase was partially offset by lower employee benefit costs and lower amortization of retention bonuses related to the bankruptcy for which amortization ceased on the May 1, 2019 emergence date.

L-A Radio: Kevin Weatherly EXITS Entercom, PDs Get Shuffled

Entercom Thursday announced new leadership updates for its Los Angeles cluster as Kevin Weatherly steps down from his role as Senior Vice President of Programming for Entercom Los Angeles.

Kevin Weatherly
Mike Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Programming, will assume Brand Manager responsibilities for KROQ 106.7 FM, in addition to his current roles as the Company’s Alternative Format Captain and Brand Manager for WNYL ALT 92.3 FM in New York.

As part of the leadership changes, Entercom has named Ralph Stewart as Brand Manager for 93.1 KCBS JackFM. Stewart previously served as Operations Manager for 93.1 JACK FM since 2010 and is currently the Brand Manager for ktwv 94.7 The Wave. 

Mike Kaplan
Additionally, Chris Ebbott, Brand Manager, KRTH K-EARTH 101, and Yesi Ortiz will serve as interim programming leaders for KAMP 97.1 AMP Radio while a national search is conducted. Ebbott has led K-EARTH to record breaking ratings over the past five years and Ortiz was named Music Director for the station in August 2018 and is also the host of the station’s afternoon show.

Ralph Stewart
“Mike’s name is synonymous with alternative music and I’m delighted to welcome him back to Los Angeles. Along with Ralph, Chris and Yesi, this dynamic team will usher in the future of our brands in this important music market,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Entercom. “I’d like to thank Kevin for his years of dedicated contributions to our premier collection of brands and our company. He has certainly made his mark here and we wish him the absolute best in his new role.”

Chris Ebbott
“I’m thrilled to expand my role to lead programming efforts for the World Famous KROQ, a fixture and taste maker in the Los Angeles music scene,” said Mike Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Programming, Entercom.

Yesi Ortiz
“I look forward to working alongside Jeff and the team to continue delivering exceptional content and unforgettable live events for our loyal listeners.”

Kaplan returned to Entercom as Senior Vice President of Programming and Brand Manager for ALT 92.3 in May 2018 and was named Alternative Format Captain in 2019. During his first stint with the Company, he served as Program Director for sister stations 107.7 The End (KNDD-FM) in Seattle and 96.5 The Buzz (KRBZ-FM) in Kansas City.

Other career highlights include Program Director roles for iHeartRadio’s KYSR-FM in Los Angeles and Nassau Broadcasting’s WJLK and WBBO.

Chicago Radio: US99's Scotty Kay Adds Middays In St. Louis

Entercom has named Scotty Kay as midday show host for Top40 KNOU NOW 96.3 in St. Louis.

Scott Kay
“Scotty Kay in the Midday” will air weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT, effective immediately. Kay will continue serving as morning show co-host for sister station Country WUSN US99 in Chicago.

“I’ve been a fan of Scotty and his unique ability to become one with his audience and we’re delighted to add him to our team,” said Becky Domyan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom St. Louis. “Scotty will be a vital part of the puzzle as we continue to grow NOW 96.3 into the dominant contemporary hit radio brand in St. Louis.”

“I love the power of radio – we all have a unique ability to make people smile, and it’s our responsibility to use it as often as possible,” said Kay. “I’m beyond excited to do that daily for my new family in St. Louis and at NOW 96.3.”

Kay joined Entercom in August 2019 as a morning show co-host for US99 in Chicago. Prior to that, he held on-air roles for major market stations including WKSC-FM in Chicago, WWPU-FM in Atlanta, and KLIF-FM in Dallas. Kay competed on Season 11 of “American Ninja Warrior,” was a finalist on the first season of FOX television show “So You Think You Can Dance” and has been named “Best Live Entertainer” by DJ Times Magazine four times.

Austin Radio: Rex Long Named PD At Top40 KHFI

Rex Long
iHeartMedia has announced Rex Long has been named Program Director for 96.7 KISS FM, Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station.

As Program Director for KHFI 96.7 KISS FM, Long will be responsible for overseeing the day- to-day operations of the station’s music, on-air personalities, programming, promotions and digital operations. He will report to Matt Martin, Region President for iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio.

“Rex’s abundance of energy, his creative ideas to connect with listeners, combined with his strategic vison to be a fabric of Austin’s culture make Rex a perfect fit to continue building the KISS brand,” said Martin. “We are very excited to welcome Rex to ATX.”

Long joins the Austin market from iHeartMedia Salt Lake City. Prior to that he served as the Program Director for KKMG-FM in Colorado, Springs and Program Director for KCDD-FM, KHXS-FM and KTLT- FM in Abilene, Texas. He began his career in Canton, Texas as a morning show on-air personality for Canton Broadcasters.

“The energy and team at iHeartMedia Austin is one that I am beyond grateful to be a part of,” said Long. “Being able to come back home to Texas and work alongside this terrific team, ‘The Billy The Kidd Show’ and to help grow a heritage brand like KISS is my childhood dream. Thank you iHeartMedia for giving me the opportunity.”

Spotify Adds Rachel Whitney To Its Nashville Office

Former YouTube exec Rachel Whitney announced Thursday that she’s joining Spotify as the Head of Editorial for Nashville. Rolling Stone reports she joins Brittany Schaffer, meaning that the streaming platform — whose Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff and Co-Head of Music Marian Dicus are both female — now has two women at the helm of its Nashville office.

The new presence of both Schaffer and Whitney to head up Spotify’s Nashville office will be closely watched by the country music industry — especially because digital streams have proven much more integral to the growth of new artists than terrestrial radio play, which has seen a sharp decline in advertising spend and cultural attention.

Rachel Whitney
Less than 20% of country artists heard on the radio are female, according to a 2019 study published by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Out of a total of 816 country artists, the ratio of males to females is 5.2 to 1. Up until the mid-2010s, when streaming really started to hit its stride, terrestrial radio was largely looked at as the way in which average consumers discover music. And, to this day, terrestrial radio is treated as a man’s sport. Of the 70 country radio program directors — the people who have final say in what gets played on AM/FM stations — listed in Mediabase’s Top 50 U.S. airplay markets, based on current panel reports, 11.27% are female.

If radio has served as the main platform for music consumption and discovery for as long as it has, it’s no wonder why less than 20% of nominees in the ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year category have been female in the last five years — and in some years, zero percent.

According to Rolling Stone,  the country community as a whole has been slower to accept streaming into their daily lives, when compared to genres like pop and hip-hop. More people listen to country radio than any other format. However, growth is happening and it’s hard to believe that streaming won’t become the main method of country consumption in the future. Streaming of country music grew 36% in the United States from 2018 to 2019, according a MRC Data/Nielsen Music report. Moreover, 54% of American Country Radio P1 listeners now report streaming everyday via services like Pandora, Spotify, or Apple Music.

Virus Caution Reported At SiriusXM

Page Six at The NY Post is reporting a top exec at SiriusXM has been quarantined to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In a memo to staff, the human resources department said SVP of channel management Sally McMahon had held a meeting Wednesday with her team — and it turned out that some of the attendees had recently traveled through Japan, which has been heavily struck by the virus.

“In an excess of caution,” read the memo, “because people were together for a significant part of the day, we have instructed the participants of that meeting to self-quarantine by working from home for the next 14 days.”

The network has also put in place a set of rules. It’s banned international business travel, telling staffers who have already booked trips to cancel them, and telling staff who have been in contact with anyone who’s been in China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea to stay home for 14 days.

The rules also say, “Please confirm with any guests or visitors who may be coming into our offices that they have been in the U.S. for the past two weeks. If they have not, please do your meeting by phone or Zoom.”