Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 17 Radio History

➦In 1903
...comic actor Artie Auerbach was born in New York City.  He became famous as “Mr. Kitzel”, first on the Al Pearce radio show in 1937, then as a regular on Jack Benny‘s radio & television shows for 12 years. He suffered a fatal heart attack Oct. 3, 1957 and died at age 54.

➦In 1938...the Radio quiz show "Information Please!" premiered on the NBC Blue Network.

Information Please was one of the most popular radio shows in the 1930s and 1940s. Oscar Levant, Franklin P. Adams and John Kieran were regulars with Clifton Fadiman acting as host. RKO produced a series a films of the radio show and most of them have been lost.

➦In 1939...nearly 1800 fans crowded into the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York to attend an unusual dual-network dance remote radio broadcast of the suddenly very popular Glenn Miller and His Orchestra that was aired on both NBC and Mutual.

➦In 1943...The Jack Kirkwood Show made its NBC debut, after 5 years locally on San Francisco radio.  Kirkwood would eventually become second-banana on the Bob Hope radio show, and continue with his own various network radio features through early 1953.

➦In 1971...In the NYC Market, Country WJRZ 970 AM became Top40 WWDJ..The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the five boroughs and was virtually non-existent on Long Island and western New Jersey. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WEPN-FM), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings.

According to, the station first began as WAAT in Jersey City around the late 1920's (it was once at 940 kHz, shifted to 970 around 1941; relocated to Newark around the mid-'40's). In 1958, WAAT and its FM sister (94.7 MHz) were sold to National Telefilm Associates, which changed the call letters to WNTA. In 1961-62 NTA sold the stations to Bergen Broadcasting; '62 was when the WJRZ calls were first used. (The 94.7 frequency would end up going by the calls of WFME, now Entercom's WNSH.) WNTA also had a TV outlet (previously WATV) which NTA unloaded around the same time as it sold the AM and FM stations; the TV station is today PBS outlet WNET/13. It was around 1969 that Pacific & Southern Broadcasting took over WJRZ.Beatles, Beatles, and more Beatles.

WJRZ played all Beatle songs for a few days before becoming WWDJ top 40.When WWDJ started, it looked like it would fill the AM gap left by the demise of WMCA and in many ways it was (especially to those who only had AM in their cars).  Although 97DJ was no 'MCA, they still played more of a variety music than 77 WABC. Unfortunately, as in the case of WMCA, it was another AM station with signal problems.

They were directional 5 kw both day and night.WWDJ was owned by Pacific & Southern, who also operated KKDJ about the same time in Los Angeles, which was an FM station. KKDJ used the same jingle package as its sister station WWDJ. Another problem that DJ had an idenity crisis in that it did not know whether to be a New York station or a New Jersey station.

In November 1973 it was ranked 15th in the Arbitron ratings.WWDJ changed format to Religious on April 1, 1974.

➦In Tony Randall, who began in radio as “Reggie” on I Love a Mystery, then starred in TV’s Mr. Peepers & The Odd Couple, and was an entertaining guest on hundreds of TV talk shows, died of pneumonia following heart surgery at age 84.

➦In 2006...NYC and Philadelphia radio personality Long John Wade died at the age of 66.

From the early '70s, listen for a Wade audio clip on 56 WFIL in Philly at the :30-second time mark:

"Long John" was, in reality, Carl Wehde. He worked at WDRC 1360 AM in Hartford, just before coming to WFIL. It was there that Long John worked with another WFIL Boss Jock, Jim Nettleton. Jim did 10 am to 1 pm and Long John did afternoon drive.

Long John wasn't an original 56WFIL Boss Jock when the station flipped format in September of 1966.

However, by Thanksgiving of that same year, Wade had replaced Frank Kingston Smith on the 2 to 6 am overnight shift. He then moved to the 10 pm to 2 am time slot where he became a Philly fixture. He stayed with the station for five years.

Wade said that he got the nickname "Long John" because of his height (6 foot, 4 inches tall). He could always reach the top shelf in the record library.

In August of 1964, the WDRC's PD sent him on tour with the Beatles. Only two U.S. radio people were on the entire Beatles tour, Larry Kane and Long John Wade.

It cost WDRC five grand, in expenses, to have Long John join the whole tour. The station turned that money into a profit when they sold Wade's reports to 11 other radio stations. Long John reported that the young weren't the only ones that loved the Beatles. He said, "I saw newsmen picking up the cigarette butts discarded by Ringo, or an old coffee cup that Paul used."

Wade said that during his stay at WDRC, he was consistenly drawing a 50 percent share in a market of 16 stations. One out of every two radio listeners were tuning in his program.

Long John became radio’s Beatles information expert. He developed a personal friendship with each of the group. The tempermental John Lennon, it has been reported, once punched Long John for asking an impertinent question. The two remained close for years, with John Lennon inviting Wade to join himself and Yoko Ono for their infamous bed-in in May of 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

Of the Beatles, Long John Wade once said: “Personally, I would say John Lennon is the ‘thinker.’ Ringo is the funniest, Paul the friendliest, and George is the quiet one.”

Before his WFIL days, Long John worked at these stations in Massachusetts (some while attending Boston University): WHIL, Medford; WAAB, Worcester; WHAV, Haverhill; WORL, Boston; WTAO, Boston; WSPR, Springfield (where he used the name "Johnny Midnight.") During his prep school days, he ran the campus radio station in New Hampton, NH.

Long John had later stops at WIFI and WCAU in Philadelphia (he did morning drive on FM and then had a talk show on AM). Then, we went to WCBS-FM in New York City.

In 1979, Wade was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder and left the business he loved so much.

Long John Wade suffered a stroke in 1996 which left him with speech problems. He also lost the total use of his right hand. He battled bad health for a decade.

Long John had two brothers, Tom Wehde and Don (known as Don Wade on the air). The late Don and his wife, Roma, former co-host the morning show on WLS-AM Chicago.

Nikki Reed
  • Singer Taj Mahal is 78. 
  • Drummer Bill Bruford of Yes and King Crimson is 71. 
  • Singer-guitarist George Johnson of The Brothers Johnson is 67. 
  • TV personality Kathleen Sullivan is 67. 
  • Actor-comedian Bob Saget is 64. 
  • Singer Enya is 59. 
  • Actor Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show,” ″The Drew Carey Show”) is 58. 
  • Keyboardist Page McConnell of Phish is 57. 
  • Actor David Eigenberg (“Sex and the City”) is 56. 
  • Guitarist O’Dell of Mint Condition is 55. 
  • Musician Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is 55. 
  • Actor Hill Harper (“CSI: NY,” ″He Got Game”) is 54. 
  • TV personality-interior designer Thom Filicia (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) is 51. 
  • Singer Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block is 50. 
  • Singer Darnell Van Rensalier of Shai is 50. 
  • Singer Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age is 47. 
  • Singer Andrea Corr of The Corrs is 46. 
  • Actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (“Heroes”) is 46. 
  • Singer Kandi Burruss (Xscape) (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”) is 44. 
  • Actress Kat Foster (”’Til Death”) is 42. 
  • Dancer Derek Hough (“Dancing With The Stars”) is 35. 
  • Actor Tahj Mowry (“Smart Guy,” ″Kim Possible”) is 34. 
  • Actress Nikki Reed (“Twilight”) is 32. 
  • Actress Leven Rambin (“The Hunger Games,” ″Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is 30.

TV Ratings: Fox Looks to Win 18-49 Demo For The Season

With thanks to "The Masked Singer" and the Super Bowl, Fox is poised to take first place among adults 18-49 for the 2019-20 television season, Deadline reports.

While the leaner Fox will score the long-sought win for its Fox Corp CEO and Fox Entertainment boss Charlie Collier, CBS will be having a bit of the been there, done that moment, with the now George Cheeks-overseen network wrapping its 12th consecutive year No. 1 overall in total viewers.

With just under a week to go until this season officially ends May 20, Fox has a 1.7/8 average in the key demo. Not only is that a rise of 13% for the Murdoch-owned outlet compared with its second-place showing for the 2018-19 TV season, the network rich in NFL, WWE SmackDown and unscripted is the only one up in the demo and viewers (17%) this year.

Cord Cutting Reported To Be 'Fast and Furious'

“Cord cutting” in the U.S. was fast and furious in Q1 — so much so that multichannel subscriptions experienced their largest-ever first quarter decline. That’s according to fresh data from Kagan Media Service, which notes, “At 2 million, it was both the biggest absolute and relative quarterly drop to-date.”

According to Radio+TV Business Report, fresh data from the  media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates it also was the first quarterly decline for virtual multichannel alternatives, such as Dish’s SlingTV and AT&T TV NOW.

As determined by Kagan, broadband-delivered services collectively lost 261,000 subs, a 2.8% decline, to finish the quarter with 9.2 million subs.

Gains from Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV were erased by the declines from Sling TV and AT&T TV Now — as well as Sony’s decision to shutter PlayStation Vue in January.

It matches other research studies that paint a bleak picture for MVPDs, with the COVID-19 pandemic only serving as lighter fluid on an industry that’s been aflame in lost customers for months. Indeed, the rough start to 2020 underpins Kagan’s updated forecast for video market share in the U.S. The revised outlook found that mounting unemployment and the COVID-19 economic downturn only added to the already pervasive cord cutting forces. “This fueled revised expectations for online-only households to surpass combined traditional and virtual multichannel subscribers in the projections,” Kagan says.

Feds Consider Hacking To Be International Terrorism

A ransom demand for the secret files of a cyber-attacked lawyer to A-list stars has doubled to $42 million — as the hackers are now threatening to reveal “dirty laundry” on President Donald Trump in just a week if they are not paid in full, Fox News reports.

Attorney Allen Grubman — the most prominent entertainment attorney in the world, whose firm represents stars including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Priyanka Chopra and Bette Midler — was being shaken down by hackers who attacked his New York law firm for $21 million until today.

Allen Grubman
Hacking group REvil got into his firm’s server and stole 756 gigabytes of confidential documents, including contracts and personal e-mails from a host of Hollywood and music stars. They also deleted or encrypted the firm’s backups. The only way it can be decrypted is to pay the criminals for a key.

Grubman is refusing to negotiate. A source said, “His view is, if he paid, the hackers might release the documents anyway. Plus the FBI has stated this hack is considered an act of international terrorism, and we don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

On Thursday, the hackers upped the ante by posting a chilling new message saying, “The ransom is now [doubled to] $42,000,000 … The next person we’ll be publishing is Donald Trump. There’s an election going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time.”

They added, “Mr Trump, if you want to stay president, poke a sharp stick at the guys, otherwise you may forget this ambition forever. And to you voters, we can let you know that after such a publication, you certainly don’t want to see him as president … The deadline is one week.

Grubman, we will destroy your company down to the ground if we don’t see the money.”

It is not clear why the hackers connected Trump to Grubman. The president has never been a Grubman client, according to sources, either as a private businessman or during his administration.

Grubman’s law firm, Grubman, Shire, Meiselas and Sacks, said in a statement to Page Six, “Our elections, our government and our personal information are under escalating attacks by foreign cybercriminals. Law firms are not immune from this malicious activity.

PA Radio: iHM Promotes Josh Wolff To VP-Programming

Josh Wolff
iHeartMedia has announced that Josh Wolff has been named Vice President of Programming for the Harrisburg/Lancaster markets.

As Vice President of Programming, Wolff will oversee all on-air content as well as music and digital programming operations for all of the Harrisburg/Lancaster brands. He will also remain the program director for WAEB B104 and WZZO 95.1 in Allentown. Wolff will report to Dave Hovel, Area Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania, and Nick Mickley, Market President for iHeartMedia Harrisburg, Lancaster and Reading.

“With Josh’s strong leadership skills in Allentown, it was a no-brainer to elevate him to oversee iHeartMedia Harrisburg and Lancaster,” said Hovel. “The entire Harrisburg/Lancaster team is excited to have Josh in the role to lead and grow our iHeart footprint in the markets.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Josh as part of our team,” said Mickley. “He has proven himself in prior roles and offers a new exciting perspective to our brands and sales integration strategies.”

Before joining the Pennsylvania region, he served as the music director and assistant program director for 99.9 KEZ and 95.5 The Mountain for iHeartMedia Phoenix. Wolff also served as the senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Salisbury-Ocean City, assistant program director for 105.9 KGBX and Alice 95.5 as well as digital program director for iHeartMedia Springfield. Throughout his career, he has also held various programming roles throughout the country, including positions held in Atlanta; Greenville, South Carolina; Pittsburgh; and Binghamton, New York. He is a Syracuse University graduate.

“We are so fortunate at iHeartMedia to have strong leaders who have been wonderful mentors to myself and others,” said Wolff. “I’m honored to pass along the wisdom they’ve shared with me to our incredible teams in Harrisburg and Lancaster.”

CT Radio: iHM Stations To Simulcast Nexstar Town Hall

Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. has  announced that it will host an exclusive live virtual Town Hall meeting, “COVID-19 The Virtual Town Hall,” featuring a cross-section of Connecticut’s federal, state, and local government and community leaders on Monday, May 18, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

 The Town Hall will include Governor Ned Lamont (D), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D), U.S. Representative John Larson (D-1), U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D-2), U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-3), U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-4), U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-5), Scot X. Esdaile, President of the Connecticut State Conference of the NAACP, Dr. Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education, Jeff Flaks, President and CEO Hartford HealthCare, and others who will explore a wide range of critical issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the state of Connecticut. Due to restrictions on large gatherings, all of the guests will remotely join the broadcast and livestream.

The two-hour virtual Town Hall will be hosted from the studios of WTNH-TV and WCTX-TV in New Haven, CT and bring together more than 3.5 million viewers across Connecticut. The live broadcast will be simulcast on both WTNH-TV and WCTX-TV from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET, and will continue to air on WCTX-TV from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The television broadcast will be hosted by WTNH-TV anchor Darren Kramer and political correspondent, Jodi Latina. Local viewers may access a livestream of the virtual Town Hall online at and on the website of fellow Nexstar affiliate WWLP-TV at Connecticut residents will also be able listen to the virtual town hall live on all 11 iHeartRadio stations across the state.

The virtual Town Hall will open with an exclusive one-on-one interview with Governor Lamont. Mr. Kramer and Ms. Latina will then talk to the other government and community leaders about the impact of COVID-19 on the state economy, healthcare, education, and racial disparities in black and brown communities across Connecticut.

“When viewers seek to obtain the most current and critically important information and an opportunity to engage with their elected representatives, they know they can turn to Nexstar’s local television stations to provide them the latest news and access to their legislative leaders,” said Tim Busch, President of Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. “Nexstar Broadcasting, WTNH-TV, WCTX-TV and are proud to bring together legislators and community leaders for a live town hall, connecting with and informing the millions of viewers across Connecticut. We are grateful to all of Connecticut’s government and community leaders for their participation and for allowing Nexstar to serve as the host of this vitally important live event.”

“Connecting our listeners with local issues that are top-of mind is the core of radio; especially as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a community,” said Steve Honeycomb, President of iHeart Media Hartford Region. “We are happy to bring this town hall to our platforms through our partnership with WTNH-TV. Whether that’s listening through a car radio or on our iHeartRadio app, we are serving our listeners as a complement to the television broadcast.”

Adams Radio Group Transitioning Return To Studios, Offices

Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone has announced that all Adams Radio markets have officially began the transition back into their studios and offices. All Adams personnel have been operating from their homes for the past 9 weeks.

Ron Stone, CEO of Adams Radio, announced today that “Adams markets have begun the transition of returning normal operations at our offices and studios. Each market is staging the return of employees in phases, beginning with on air staff.

"We will have 100% of our employees back on all sites by July 15, which allows additional time needed for some employees that have requested additional time to transition. Our employees have done an incredible job keeping our stations live and local during this health scare. Listening to our stations, one would never have known our people were not in our studios. I can never say enough about our news staff and the incredible job they have done keeping our communities up to date with local information. We have amazing teams and I am extremely proud of every person on our staff. What radio has done all over the country over the past 9 weeks certainly proves the value of live and local radio and why it is so important to every community”.

Associated Press Mocked For Stylebook Change

The Associated Press announced last week that it would ditch the term “mistress” from its vocabulary, noting the word is “archaic and sexist term,” and critics of the decision haven't held back from mocking it, Fox News reports.

Politico columnist Jack Shafer told the AP to “go soak your head,” while SiriusXM radio veteran Tony Bruno responded, “How about side piece, kept woman, concubine, shack job, goomah, homewrecker or Lisa Page for short?”

“A one-night stand might be a lover, but not a mistress. A companion could be just any friend. You haven't solved anything thing here, @apstylebook, you've only opened yourself to ridicule,” Shafer added.

The Associated Press has historically dictated the style used by the majority of news organizations, but Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham wrote that it recently began “foregoing clarity for politically correct muddiness.”

The View: Christie Tells Behar She Was 'Absolutely Wrong'

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sparred with Joy Behar during an appearance on “The View” on Friday, telling the liberal co-host she was “absolutely wrong” for saying Republicans don’t want to spend money in order to help people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fox News reports Christie was explaining that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have pushed for things they specifically wanted in the stimulus bill.

“We are still distributing hundreds of millions of dollars from the last bill … both sides are going to negotiate on this, it’s the typical legislative process,” Christie said. “Democrats want the things they want, the Republicans will want the things they want and they will ultimately, I believe, come to a compromise as they have on the three bills before this.”

Behar, an outspoken liberal, threw up her hands and disagreed with the former New Jersey governor, accusing Republicans of not wanting to help people.

“They always seem to have money to give tax breaks to rich people in this country, or money to bolster the military, but when it comes to actually helping people, the Republicans don’t… all of the sudden, ‘We don’t have any money,’” Behar said, referring to Americans who are frustrated with coronavirus-related lockdowns and continuing stay-at-home orders.

Behar then attempted to move on to another topic, but Christie defended his party.

“First let me talk about your first point, which is that Republicans voted overwhelmingly for all of the aid for small business people across this country twice. Republicans voted overwhelmingly for $1,200 checks that have gone to every one of the taxpayers out there who qualify,” Christie said. “Republicans have voted for aid to hospitals and front-line health care workers.”

Country's Keith Urban Plays At Drive-In Movie Theater

Country music star Keith Urban performed a surprise live show at a drive-in movie theater in Nashville in a test drive for how concerts might look in the era of social distancing.

Reuters reports Urban, on stage with just one other musician, played at the Stardust Drive-In outside Nashville Thursday night for about 200 frontline local healthcare workers who watched from their cars.

It was thought to be the first major live music show of its kind in the United States following the cancellation of hundreds of concerts and tours and the closure of large venues in March because of the coronavirus epidemic.

“It was a lot of fun,” Urban, who was named entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music last year, told the “Today” show on Friday.

“We didn’t know what to expect. For some degree, from a performance standpoint, it was a bit of a proof-of-concept show as well as to figure out what works, what doesn’t,” he added.

Urban played for about an hour to an audience in about 125 vehicles, who sat inside or on the hoods of their cars, according to video posted of the event. The 125 cars represented about half the normal capacity for the drive-in movie theater, organizers said.

Urban said he and band mate Nathan Barlowe, on guitar and keyboard, played live as well as to recorded tapes of his songs in what he called “really like karaoke.”

May 16 Radio History

➦In 1925...the first live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was originated by WHAS Louisville  and was also carried by WGN in Chicago. The call of the Derby featured an announcer who watched from the windows of one of the famous twin spires of Churchill Downs.

➦In 1929...the anthology crime series True Detective Mysteries began its almost 30 year run, debuting on CBS radio, though its most popular years (1944-58) were on Mutual.

True Detective Mysteries were truly audience participation shows - each show provided descriptions of the true-story criminal and encouraged audiences to provide information leading to their capture. Rewards of $500 and later $1000 were offered in return for helpful clues from listeners.

➦In 1932...the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act was passed in Ottawa, subjecting private stations to the control of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC). Five years later the Commission became the CBC.

➦In 1942...The Whistler, a radio mystery drama, made its debut on the west coast regional CBS Network. It aired on until September 22, 1955.

The show was also broadcast in Chicago and over Armed Forces Radio. On the west coast, it was sponsored by the Signal Oil Company: "That whistle is your signal for the Signal Oil program, The Whistler." There were also two short-lived attempts to form east-coast broadcast spurs: July 3 to September 25, 1946, sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company; and March 26, 1947, to September 29, 1948, sponsored by Household Finance.

➦In 1947...Jack Mullin demonstrated the Magnetophon at Institute of Radio Engineers convention. The Magnetophon tape recorder was one of the first recording machines to use magnetic tape in recording voice and music.

Jack Mullin
Mullin gave two public demonstrations, in which he first presented live music performed behind a curtain, followed by a concealed playback of the performance. Mullin's recorder caused a sensation among American audio professionals and many listeners could not tell the difference between the recorded and live performances. By luck, Mullin's second demonstration was at MGM Studios in Hollywood and in the audience that day was Bing Crosby's technical director, Murdo Mackenzie. Mackenzie arranged for Mullin to meet Crosby, and in June 1947 Crosby was given a demonstration of Mullin's magnetic tape recorders.

Crosby was impressed by the amazing sound quality and instantly saw the huge commercial potential of the new machines. Up to this time, most pre-recorded programming such as serials and drama were produced on disc, but live music was the standard for American radio at the time and radio networks tightly restricted the use of music on disc because of the comparatively poor sound quality.

Crosby, who was arguably the biggest star on radio at the time, was very receptive to the idea of pre-recording his radio programs. He disliked the regimentation of live broadcasts, and much preferred the relaxed atmosphere of the recording studio. He had already asked the NBC network to let him pre-record his 1944-1945 series on transcription discs, but the network refused, so Crosby had withdrawn from live radio for a year and returned for the 1946-47 season only reluctantly.

Crosby realized that Mullin's tape recording technology would enable him to pre-record his radio show with a sound quality that equaled live broadcasts, that these tapes could be edited precisely, and replayed many times with no appreciable loss of quality. Mullin was asked to tape one show as a test; it was a complete success and Mullin was immediately hired as Crosby's chief engineer to pre-record the rest of the series.

Crosby became the first major music star to master commercial recordings on tape, and the first to use tape to pre-record radio broadcasts. The shows were painstakingly edited to give them a pace and flow that was wholly unprecedented in radio. Mullin has claimed that he even pioneered the use of the laugh track; at the insistence of Crosby's writer Bill Morrow, he inserted a segment of raucous laughter from an earlier show to follow a joke in a later show that had not worked well.

➦In 2013…Radio programmer Paul Drew died at age 78.

Paul Drew
Drew, a graduate of Wayne State University in his native Detroit, began his professional radio career in 1961 as a DJ with Atlanta station WAKE. He later moved crosstown to WGST and then WQXI, where he was promoted to program director. Leaving WQXI in 1967, Drew moved on to programming gigs at CKLW in Windsor, Ontario-Detroit, WIBG in Philadelphia, KFRC in San Francisco and former Los Angeles powerhouse top 40 KHJ.

In the early ‘70s, he was appointed VP of programming for RKO Radio, a nationwide chain whose roster at one time included KHJ and sister KRTH, KFRC, WOR & WXLO (99X) New York and WHBQ Memphis, among other stations in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. Their formats ranged from top 40 and adult contemporary to classical, oldies and talk.

During the course of his career, Drew worked with and/or mentored a diverse array of radio personalities, programmers, consultants and industry writers. That list includes consultants Jerry Clifton and Guy Zapoleon, writers Gerry Cagle, Walt “Baby” Love and Jerry Del Colliano, as well as air personalities Rick Dees, Dr. Don Rose, Jay Thomas and Charlie Van Dyke.

When personality Don Rose died in 2005, Paul Drew paid tribute to one of the brightest stars of the local radio business throughout the 60's - 80's. Full of energy and endless wit, he was the number one rated air personality everywhere he went: ie. Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Megan Fox
  • Jazz drummer Billy Cobham is 76. 
  • Actor Danny Trejo is 76. 
  • Actor Bill Smitrovich (“Crime Story,” “Life Goes On”) is 73. 
  • Actor Pierce Brosnan is 67. 
  • Actress Debra Winger is 65. 
  • Actress Mare Winningham is 61. 
  • Violinist Boyd Tinsley of The Dave Matthews Band is 56. 
  • Bassist Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) is 55. 
  • Singer Janet Jackson is 54. 
  • Actor-singer Scott Reeves (“Nashville,” ″General Hospital”) is 54. 
  • Actor Brian F. O’Byrne (“Million Dollar Baby”) is 53. 
  • Singer Ralph Tresvant is 52. 
  • Actor David Boreanaz (“Bones,” ″Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is 51. 
  • Political commentator Tucker Carlson is 51. 
  • Actress Tracey Gold (“Growing Pains”) is 51. 
  • TV personality Bill Rancic (“America Now,” ″The Apprentice”) is 49. 
  • Country singer Rick Trevino is 49. 
  • Actor Khary Payton (“The Walking Dead”) is 48. 
  • Rapper Special Ed is 48. 
  • Actress Tori Spelling is 47. 
  • Actor Sean Carrigan (“The Young and the Restless”) is 46. 
  • Rapper B. Slade (A.K.A. Tonex) is 45. 
  • Actress Melanie Lynskey (“Two and a Half Men”) is 43. 
  • Actor Joseph Morgan (“The Originals,” ″Vampire Diaries”) is 39. 
  • DJ Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers is 35. 
  • Actress Megan Fox (“Transformers”) is 34. 
  • Actor Drew Roy (“Falling Skies,” ″Hannah Montana”) is 34. 
  • Actor Jermaine Fowler (“Superior Donuts”) is 32. 
  • Actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“Game of Thrones”) is 30. 
  • Actor Marc John Jefferies (“The Tracy Morgan Show”) is 30. 
  • Actor Miles Heizer (“13 Reasons Why,” ″Parenthood”) is 26.

Friday, May 15, 2020

FM Music Listeners Still Want Pandemic Updates

Many tasked with economic recovery this week have been  cheer-leading a fast return to “normal” while healthcare experts are urging caution. Ultimately, consumers – and your listeners – will have the final say about the pace at which we get back to business as usual.

NuVoodoor Research thought it a good idea to update their most recent webinar, “Covering and Recovering from COVID-19”, with the latest from our ongoing nationwide tracking study. Each day sees a sample of at least 2,000 persons 16-54 nationwide.

68% in the sample maintain a higher-than-moderate level of concern, though extreme concern has waned from its earlier peak. Meanwhile, while we are all eager for listeners to return to their commutes and workdays to restore PUMM levels, the percentage of those who say things should start opening fully or at least with precautions has grown only slightly.

A cautious attitude and an appetite for information remains prevalent among most listeners. When NuVoodoo asked people what they most want to hear on their favorite FM music stations, the appetite for pandemic related information has remained strong, with 64% suggesting at least hourly updates on local Coronavirus information.

Since their late April webinar, NuVoodoo prescription has remained the same: short, well-curated hourly updates of local Coronavirus information, extra emphasis on reduced commercial loads and contesting that focuses of paying bills, emergency expenses or helping others.

Visit for more detailed information about marketing and promotion suggestions.

Poll: Here's What People Will Do When Restrictions Relax

Coronavirus continues to have a detrimental impact on the U.S. economy. Unemployment is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. Consumer confidence has plummeted in all 50 states.

But the pandemic has also had a crippling effect on our mental health, with many of us isolated indoors without the ability to see or touch our family and friends.

That sentiment is reflected in recent Morning Consult polling.

When prompted with the question, “What is the first thing you will do when stay-at-home orders are lifted and the economy in your state is fully opened?” and given the opportunity to provide any response, roughly 1 in 5 U.S. adults (22 percent) wrote about visiting family, spending time with friends and hugging loved ones.

Being close to those we care about was the No. 1 response mentioned in the May 5-8 survey.

As of May 13, 26 states and the District of Columbia are under stay-at-home orders, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis; 15 of those states have begun easing back social distancing measures.

The survey answers underline research that links social isolation and loneliness to both poor mental and physical health. Forty-four percent of respondents in an April 29-30 survey said their day-to-day life has gotten worse amid the pandemic, and 33 percent said the same of their mental health.

The poll bears good news for restaurants: The public is hungry to eat out again. Nineteen percent of U.S. adults wrote something about dining out or saddling up at their local watering hole to drink the past few months away.

It’d be a welcome infusion of cash for the struggling industry. Restaurants’ year-over-year revenue was down 68 percent in late March, its lowest point in 2020, according to data from marketing and CRM software company Womply, but it is slowly ticking up as some states relax restrictions. Year-over-year revenue for bars slipped by 94 percent in mid-April.

April 2020 PPMs: Final Batch Of 12 Markets Released

Nielsen on Thursday, May 13, 2020 released the fourth batch of April 2020 PPM data for the following markets:

  33  Austin

  38  Ralegh-Durham

  39  Indianapolis

  41  Milwaukee-Racine

  43  Nashville

  44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtuck

  45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

  46  Jacksonville FL

  47  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

  48  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC

  51  Memphis

  52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here for Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

The Rundown: CDC Releases Reopening Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released an edited version of their delayed guidance for reopening from coronavirus shutdowns. Posted were six one-page "decision tool" documents for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants that tell them what they should consider before reopening. AP reported last week that the CDC drafted the guidance more than a month ago, but it was initially been shelved by the administration. Additionally, the original guidance was much more extensive, running to some 57 pages more, which haven't been posted.

A government vaccine scientist who filed a whistleblower complaint after his ouster last month as head of a Health and Human Services biodefense agency testified before a House committee yesterday, charging that the U.S. still doesn't have a comprehensive plan against the coronavirus in critical areas including masks, testing, treatments and vaccines. Rick Bright said, "Our window of opportunity is closing," and warned that the U.S. could face, quote, "the darkest winter in modern history" if there's a second wave.

Bright claims he was removed from his job after repeatedly warning those above him that the coronavirus outbreak was going to be worse than the public was being told, and after he opposed a White House directive to allow widespread access to hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Trump was pushing to treat the virus, which the Food and Drug Administration has recently warned against using. Bright also spoke about his repeated attempts without success to get the production of respirator masks ramped up. President Trump yesterday called Bright an "angry, disgruntled employee."

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 2.98M Americans applied for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, bringing the total to more than 36 million people over the past two months due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The weekly number has been steadily falling in recent weeks, even as the total number is historically high.

In other developments:
  • Death and Case Count: As of last night, there have been more than 85,900 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and more than 1,417,000 confirmed cases.
  • CDC Alerts Doctors About Syndrome in Children: After several days of warnings from New York state officials about a mysterious inflammatory condition being seen in children that's believed to be linked to the coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors Thursday about the rare condition, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome. It's been reported in at least 110 children in New York, and three have died. The syndrome affects blood vessels and organs and has symptoms including persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • Talking Loudly Can Transmit Virus: A new study found that talking loudly produces enough droplets to transmit the coronavirus to someone else, and that the droplets can remain in the air for eight minutes or longer. The researchers also said that there's a "substantial probability" that speaking at a normal volume can also cause transmission of the virus "in confined environments."
➤BURR STEPS ASIDE AS SENATE INTELLIGENCE CHAIR AMID FBI PROBE OF STOCK SALES: Senator Richard Burr stepped aside as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday amid an FBI investigation of stock sales he made at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The influential North Carolina Republican took the step hours after FBI agents went to his home with a warrant to search his cellphone, calling the situation a "distraction" from the committee's work, but he denied any wrongdoing. The FBI is looking into whether Burr used advance information he got as part of his position in Congress to sell as much as $1.7 million in stocks days before the coronavirus caused markets to plunge. While acknowledging he made the sales because of the virus, Burr says he relied only on "public news reports" for the information.

➤ATTORNEYS FOR ARBERY CASE DEFENDANTS SAY NOT TO RUSH TO JUDGEMENT: Attorneys for the two white men charged with murder in the February fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was running through their Georgia neighborhood, warned yesterday against rushing to judgment. Bob Rubion and Jason Sheffield, who are representing Travis McMichael, said that while the shooting was captured on cellphone video, a lot is still unknown about the events leading up to the killing.

Terry McMichael attorneys
McMichael's father, Gregory McMichael, is also charged, and one of his attorneys, Laura Hogue, said, "So often the public accepts a narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts, one that vilifies a good person, based on a rush to judgment, which has happened in this case." The McMichaels weren't arrested until last week, after the video surfaced and led to outrage. They had told police they grabbed weapons and drove after Arbery because they thought he looked like a possible burglar who'd been seen on surveillance video. They also said Arbery was fatally shot in a struggle over Travis McMichael's gun.

Attorneys for Arbery's parents said yesterday, "We agree with the attorneys for Travis McMichael that the justice system affords all citizens the presumption of innocence and that there shouldn’t be a rush to judgment or stereotyping. We only wish that their client . . . had provided that same presumption of innocence to Ahmaud Arbery before chasing and killing him."

➤AP: PLAYERS' UNION HAS ASKED MLB FOR FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS: The baseball players' union has asked MLB for financial documents that describe the industry's finances, the Associated Press reported yesterday (May 14th), as agreement is being sought on a plan for starting up a coronavirus-delayed season. The owners have okayed the plan, which would have the season start in early July, but a proposal for a players to get a percentage of their 2020 salaries based on a revenue split is a major stumbling block to getting their approval.

➤NASCAR PLANS TO RACE IN FIVE STATES IN JUNE: NASCAR announced Thursday (May 14th) that it plans to hold its June races in five states -- Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Alabama -- all of them held without fans. The Cup Series is set to return from its coronavirus shutdown on Sunday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. NASCAR has set plans for 20 races, including nine in the Cup series.

➤FORMER MLB MANAGER ART HOWE IN ICU WITH CORONAVIRUS: Former Major League Baseball manager and one-time player Art Howe is in intensive care at a Houston hospital with the coronavirus. The 73-year-old Howe, who's best known as the manager of the Oakland Athletics teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s, told Houston TV station KPRC that he first began feeling symptoms on May 3rd, tested positive, and tried to get through it at home. But he was taken to the hospital by ambulance on Tuesday after his symptoms got worse. He said he needs to get 24 hours without a fever before he can be released.

Houston Radio: Josh Innes To Air On KGOW..For Now

Sports KGOW 97.5 FM said Thursday that former Houston radio host Josh Innes will join the station beginning Monday, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Innes, who was let go by KBME 790 AM in March 2019 and since then has hosted a podcast from his Houston home, will host from 2 to 4 p.m. in a time slot now filled by ESPN Radio host Will Cain.

The Cain show was added to KFNC’s lineup after the station last week laid off Raheel Ramzanali, who hosted a one-hour morning show with John Granato, and Barry Laminack, who hosted an afternoon show with Joel Blank.

David Gow, the station’s owner, said Ramzanali and Laminack were laid off because “advertising is down across media. Spending is down, and this is a product of the times.”

During an interview to announce that he would join the station’s lineup. Innes said he called program director A.J. Hoffman after the layoffs last week and told him that “we can work out some sort of deal, we can negotiate, so whatever it takes, but I want to be on your radio station.”

“I want to give people some good stuff between 2 and 4 until you guys figure out what you’re going to do for the long run,” he added. “Who knows how long this will be? If something great happens and a thousand sponsors come in … you might say ‘let’s extend this thing.’”

L-A Radio: KROQ Adding Latin Alternative Show

Entercom has announced the launch of “ALTERNALIDO,” a new Latin alternative show on the World Famous KROQ 106.7 FM in Los Angeles. The English-language show, which will be expertly curated and hosted by local DJ Anthony Valadez, will feature a broad mix of alternative sounds from Latin artists around the world like Chicano Batman, Omar Apollo, Cuco, Ambar Lucid, Helado Negro and more. “ALTERNALIDO” will air Sunday nights from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. PT, beginning May 17.

Anthony Valadez
“Los Angeles is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States and we’re excited to broaden our sound to reflect the musical tastes of our community,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Entercom. “‘ALTERNALIDO’ will feature some of the biggest Latino music stars to help listeners close out their weekends on a high note.”

“Alternalido is a blank cassette tape waiting to be filled with the vibrant and global sounds from Latin America,” said Valadez. “I’m excited to share sounds that are bold, daring and different from many of these amazing artists. Latin alternative is not just one genre but a plethora of many. It’s Anthony Bourdain behind the turntables introducing you to a sonic ingredient that could change your life.”

Anthony Valadez hosted weekly radio programs on KCRW-FM, KPFK-FM and KCSN-FM in Los Angeles for the past 20 years. Voted “Best DJ” by LA Weekly in 2016, he has also hosted and produced programming for TuneIn, FuseTV, and Dash Radio, among others. He has remixed official releases for Ozomatli, David Bowie and Local Natives and has opened for the likes of Bruno Mars, Sly Stone, Ben Harper, Little Dragon, Capital Cities, Prince and Jennifer Lopez.

Listeners can tune in to KROQ (KROQ-FM) in Los Angeles 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.

ABC News Radio Adds Michelle Franzen As Mid-Day Anchor

Michelle Franzen
ABC News Radio has announced the addition of Michelle Franzen as midday news anchor.  She joins Cheri Preston, Daria Albinger and Rich Cantu in the network's weekday lineup.

"Michelle is a trusted journalist with top-notch storytelling skills," said Scott Goldberg, ABC Audio Director of News Programming. "Just yesterday she, along with a stellar producing team, won a Gracie Award for their heartwarming story on NICU cuddlers, volunteers who spend time swaddling and hugging newborns when parents or nurses aren't around."

Franzen began her ABC News career in 2014, reporting for all platforms, and joined the ABC Audio family in 2015 as a correspondent. Since then she's been instrumental in coverage of so many major stories, including the 2016 presidential election, the tragic mass shooting in El Paso and the impeachment of President Trump. Last year her story on organizations working to feed the hungry during the holiday season was featured in the ABC News special "America's Bounty." She's currently back in touch with one of those organizations, reporting its shift in efforts to fill the need during the pandemic.

Prior to ABC Franzen was a national correspondent at NBC News. She started in their New York bureau just three months before 9/11 and covered every angle of the attack and its aftermath. In that horror, Michelle saw what she describes as the "best of the human spirit emerge," which has become a thread in her reporting.

It's Ladies Week During 'Nights With Elaina'

Carly Peacre, Elaina
Starting Monday and all next week on Westwood One Nashville’s "Nights with Elaina" the ladies are taking over.

Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell will each guest host an evening from home and provide their fans an update on what they've been doing during quarantine. 

"Spending time away from listeners is always difficult, especially in these times,” says Elaina. "But I am so thrilled that these strong, powerful, talented women will be keeping everyone company while I’m gone! I know they’re gonna crush it and continue spreading positivity all throughout the country! Lord knows we need it.” 

NIGHTS WITH ELAINA is a Country music and lifestyle show hosted by Elaina Smith.

The show airs from Nashville and is available seven nights per week airing from 7 pm to midnight. NIGHTS WITH ELAINA features 14-15 songs per hour, at least two top country artist interviews each night, listener calls and interaction, as well as country music news updates.

Recent guests include: Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and more.

Michael Medved Added to CRN Digital Talk Radio Line-Up

CRN Digital Talk Radio has announced the launch of "The Michael Medved Show" on CRN 1 from 12-3pm PT. 

CRN will distribute and provide marketing, ad sales, production, social media and promotional support for Medved Communications. The program will be distributed along with the "Medved Entertainment Minute" with GCN (Genesis Communication Network) on their XDS Satellite.

"I am thrilled to help expand the Michael Medved Show," said CRN Digital Talk Radio President/CEO Michael Horn. "Michael is one of radio's best storytellers. He provides knowledge, a unique perspective and truly entertains his listeners every single day."

Medved is a syndicated radio host, author and veteran film critic. His daily three-hour broadcast reaches more than 3.5 million listeners on audio platforms and stations across the country. His daily radio show and podcast combine politics, pop culture and history. The Medved Entertainment Minute will also be available for nationwide distribution and will feature reviews of major motion pictures and entertainment each day.

'Knox Country 360' Reaches Show Milestone

Michael Knox, award-winning music producer, best known for his work with country superstar and ACM Artist of the Decade recipient Jason Aldean, announced that his nationally syndicated radio show KNOX COUNTRY 360 hit its 100th show milestone this week.

Since it's inception in 2018, Knox Country 360 has added dozens of affiliate stations to its fast paced, funny weekly two-hour program roster. 

The show takes listeners on a unique journey inside today's biggest hits with today's hottest artists, songwriters and a cast of Nashvillian characters reminiscent to the days of Hee Haw! Knox and his co-host Shalacy Griffin's chemistry is perfectly paired, allowing guests to relax and take part in the comedic fun. 

It’s a show that only Michael Knox could deliver, uniquely mixing currents, recurrents, trending new music, exclusive interviews, comedy, and the special insider stories that only come from someone who’s been there. 

“We wanted to create a unique show that captures Main Street USA – a place where listeners feel like they know us” explains Knox. “The show is produced to deliver a fun experience using comedy and nostalgia along with their favorite songs!”

As a music producer, Michael Knox has 24 number one hits, sales of over 45 Million singles, 20 million albums, multiple ACM Awards and a CMA Award. His production credits include all of Jason Aldean's albums and many other artists including Thomas Rhett, Trace Adkins, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Michael Tyler, Sykamore and Laine Hardy. Michael is the son of legendary singer/songwriter Buddy Knox (“Party Doll” fame 1957) and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of peermusic Nashville. 

Affiliate Contact: United Stations Radio Networks, Sue Falco at

WaPo Memos Staff: Continue WFH

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan said Thursday that the newspaper's offices will remain closed until after Labor Day, The Hill reports.  Writing in a memo to staff , Ryan stated "we have concerns that we cannot adequately safeguard the health of our employees with a return to office work."

"We thought it would be a matter of a few weeks before we could safely return," Ryan said. "[But] we have concerns that we cannot adequately safeguard the health of our employees with a return to office work.”

"We are all anxious to get back to the collegial environment of The Post and enjoy the chance to interact in person with our colleagues," the 65-year-old Ryan continued. "However, in making this decision, the safety of our employees will be the determining factor."

He also urged employees, who were initially told to work from home on March 11, to use vacation time over the summer.

"While there are certain steps that we can implement in our internal work spaces, there are risks associated with building common spaces, food services and transportation. I’ve asked that we use a 'portal to portal' standard to examine all risks that Post employees might face from the moment they leave their home until they return at the end of their workday," Ryan added.