Saturday, May 23, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day (or less commonly called Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

 The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day was previously observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of the summer vacation season in the United States, while Labor Day marks its end on the first Monday of September.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, particularly to honor those who died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

May 25 Radio History

➦In 1905...Journalist Joseph C. Harsch born (Died at age 93 – June 3, 1998) was a newspaper, radio, and television journalist. He spent more than sixty years writing for the Christian Science Monitor

Harsch made his first broadcasts during the time he was in Berlin as bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor, filling in sporadically for William L. Shirer who was the noted Berlin correspondent for CBS. After Harsch returned to the United States, he joined CBC in 1943. For the next six years Harsch broadcast his news analysis on WTOP, Washington D.C.

Because of his background in London, Harsch was hired by the BBC when influential broadcaster Raymond Gram Swing gave up his post with the weekly radio program American Commentary. Harsch alternated his coverage from Washington with Clifton Utley, who reported from Chicago.

In 1953, Harsch shifted his allegiance to NBC, serving as a news analyst for four years before returning to London as the senior European correspondent for the network. ABC became his broadcast home in 1967, when he was a commentator for the network until 1971, assigned to the American Entertainment Network effective 1/1/68.

➦In 1919...sportscaster Lindsey Nelson born (Died at age 76 – June 10, 1995), He was best known for his long career calling play-by-play of college football and New York Mets baseball.

Lindsey Nelson
Nelson spent 17 years with the Mets and three years with the San Francisco Giants. For 33 years Nelson covered college football, including 26 Cotton Bowls, five Sugar Bowls, four Rose Bowls, and 14 years announcing syndicated Notre Dame games. He is in 13 separate Halls of Fame. Fans remember a talented broadcaster, an expert storyteller, and a true sports enthusiast. From his colorful jackets to his equally colorful broadcasts and enthusiastic manner of speaking, Nelson established himself as one of the industry's leading sportscasters.

Nelson broke into broadcasting in 1948 following a short career as a reporter in Columbia, Tennessee, for the Columbia Daily Herald newspaper, He was the first play-by-play announcer for the "Vol Network," which was set up to broadcast the UT Vols games.

➦In 1985...In 1985, CBS resumed weekly national play-by-play baseball on radio for the first time in 20 years as Brent Musburger called the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. The Mutual Broadcasting System was the last radio network to have offered regular-season coverage of baseball back in the 1960’s.

➦In 2013...Veteran radio talk show host Gene Burns died from a stroke at age 72.  In his early twenties, Burns was hired as news director for radio station WWHG in his hometown of Hornell, New York, before moving on to WSBA in York, PA. He began his career as talk radio host at WCBM in Baltimore in the mid-1960s. While at WCBM, Burns did two major international assignments, going to Vietnam  in 1968 and the Middle East in 1969.

Gene Burns KGO
Following a brief stint with WEEI in Boston, Burns served as a talk show host as well as program director at WKIS-AM in Orlando, FL, beginning in 1971. He would remain there until 1981, when he departed for WCAU in Philadelphia in 1981. He then returned to Orlando and WKIS in the early 1980s and was named the station's operations manager in 1984.  In 1985, Burns returned to Boston, hosting a talk show on WRKO for eight years.

In 1993, Burns moved to New York City and began hosting a nationally syndicated talk program from the studios of WOR.

In 1995, he began broadcasting for KGO-AM in San Francisco. He hosted a talk show of political and social commentary called The Gene Burns Program on weeknights, as well as a program that focused on wine and fine dining in the San Francisco Bay Area called Dining Around with Gene Burns which was broadcast weekly on Saturdays.

Harry Birrell
➦In 2013...Harry Birrell, a Los Angeles radio news reporter and anchor at KNX for more than 30 years, died of complications from interstitial lung disease at 85.

Birrell joined KNX in 1968 and was a regular weekday anchor on the all-news station until 1993, when he retired. But  he continued to file daily reports of Ventura County news from his home in Thousand Oaks until January 1999.

The Radio and Television News Assn. of Southern California recognized Birrell with multiple Golden Mike awards for excellence in local broadcast journalism.

He was born Henry Walker Birrell in Steubenville, Ohio, on March 5, 1928, but he was known throughout his life as Harry. He attended Miami University before beginning his radio career in Beaver Falls, Pa., in 1949. He criss-crossed the country working as a broadcaster before arriving at KNX.

➦In 2017...Frank Sweeney, radio broadcaster and a pageantry legend, died at the age of 84.

He became known as “Swingin’ Sweeney” during his radio broadcasting career, which began in 1952. He was a radio personality on many stations across the country including WKNR, Keener 13 in Detroit, KYW Radio, then in Cleveland and Ohio Valley’s WKWK Radio, where he was also the station’s Operations Manager. Throughout his career in radio, he met and interviewed dozens of celebrities, including John Lennon.

Sweeney launched an equally successful career in pageantry in 1970, when he became the chairman of the pageant production and consulting firm, Sweeney Group based in Wheeling, VW, which handled several state events for the Miss USA Pageant system.

In 1977, Sweeney founded the Miss Teen All American pageant and just a year later, he joined Miss Universe, Inc., as Senior Vice President, which took him to New York City where he lived until his passing.

Erinn Hayes is 44
  • Actress Ann Robins (“War of the Worlds”) is 91. 
  • Country singer Tom T. Hall is 84. 
  • Actor Ian McKellen (“Lord of the Rings”) is 81. 
  • Country singer Jessi Colter is 77. 
  • Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 77. 
  • Director-Muppetteer Frank Oz is 76. 
  • Actress Karen Valentine is 73. 
  • Actress Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”) is 73. 
  • Singer Klaus Meine of Scorpions is 72. 
  • Actress Patti D’Arbanville (“New York Undercover”) is 69. 
  • Actress Connie Sellecca is 65. 
  • Singer-guitarist Paul Weller of The Jam is 62. 
  • Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 57. 
  • Actor Joseph Reitman (“The Perfect Storm”) is 52. 
  • Actress Anne Heche is 51. 
  • Actresses Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush (“Little House on the Prairie”) are 50. 
  • Actor Jamie Kennedy (“Scream”) is 50. 
  • Actress Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) is 50. 
  • Actor Justin Henry (“Kramer Vs. Kramer”) is 49. 
  • Rapper Daz Dillinger of Tha Dogg Pound is 47. 
  • Actress Erinn Hayes (“Kevin Can Wait”) is 44. 
  • Actor Cillian Murphy (“The Dark Knight,” ″Batman Begins”) is 44. 
  • Actor Ethan Suplee (“My Name Is Earl”) is 44. 
  • Actress Lauren Frost (“Even Stevens”) is 35. 
  • Musician Guy Lawrence of Disclosure is 29.

May 24 Radio History

➦In 1844...Samuel F.B. Morse gave the first public demonstration of his telegraph by sending a message from the Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to the B&O Railroad "outer depot" (now the B&O Railroad Museum) in Baltimore. The famous message was, "What hath God wrought?"

➦In 1915...Thomas Edison invents telescribe to record telephone conversations

➦In 1935...The Mutual Broadcasting System network aired its inaugural live event—the first-ever night baseball game, between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies. That October, the network began a decades-long run as broadcaster of baseball's World Series, with airtime responsibilities shared between WGN's Bob Elson and Quin Ryan and WLW's Red Barber (NBC and CBS also carried the series that year; the Fall Classic would air on all three networks through 1938).

➦In 1958…Formally named "United Press Associations" for incorporation and legal purposes, but publicly known and identified as United Press or UP, the news agency was created by the 1907 uniting of three smaller news syndicates. It became United Press International after absorbing the International News Service (INS). As either UP or UPI, the agency was among the largest newswire services in the world, competing domestically for about 90 years with the Associated Press and internationally with AP, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

➦In 1963...The Beatles recorded the first program of their own BBC radio series, “Pop Go the Beatles”. The theme song was a version of “Pop Goes the Weasel”.

➦In 1981...Radio, TV Actor and personality George Jessel, who often performed with the nickname “America’s Toastmaster General,” died after a heart attack at age 83.

➦In 2008...Comedian Dick Martin, a co-star with Dan Rowan on NBC TV’s iconic “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”, died of respiratory problems at age 86.  Early in his career, Martin was a staff writer for Duffy's Tavern, a radio situation comedy.

➦In 2011…Veteran personality Hugh Copland died at age 79.  He had stints at WJJJD-AM and WAIT-AM in Chicago, WXYZ-AM and WWJ-TV in Detroit.

Bob Dylan is 79
  • Jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp is 83. 
  • Comedian Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong is 82. 
  • Musician Bob Dylan is 79. 
  • Actor Gary Burghoff (“MASH”) is 77. 
  • Singer Patti LaBelle is 76. 
  • Actress Priscilla Presley is 75. 
  • Country singer-songwriter Mike Reid is 73. 
  • Actor Jim Broadbent (“Moulin Rouge,” ″Iris”) is 71. 
  • Actor Alfred Molina is 67. 
  • Singer Rosanne Cash is 65. 
  • Actor Cliff Parisi (“Call the Midwife”) is 60. 
  • Actress Kristin Scott Thomas is 60. 
  • Bassist Jimmy Ashhurst of Buckcherry is 57. 
  • Keyboardist Vivian Trimble (Luscious Jackson) is 57. 
  • Actor John C. Reilly (“Chicago,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”) is 55. 
  • Actor Dana Ashbrook (“Twin Peaks”) is 53. 
  • Actor Eric Close (“Nashville,” ″Without A Trace”) is 53. 
  • Actor Carl Payne (“Martin,” ″The Cosby Show”) is 51. 
  • Guitarist Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes) is 51. 
  • Actor Dash Mihok (“Silver Linings Playbook”) is 46. 
  • Actor Bryan Greenburg (film’s “Bride Wars,” TV’s “One Tree Hill”) is 42. 
  • Actor Billy L. Sullivan (“Something So Right”) is 40. 
  • Actor-rapper Big Tyme is 39. 
  • Drummer Cody Hanson of Hinder is 38. 
  • Dancer Mark Ballas (“Dancing With The Stars”) is 34. 
  • Country singer Billy Gilman is 32. 
  • Rapper G-Eazy is 31. 
  • Actor Cayden Boyd (“The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl”) is 26.

NYC Radio: Candidate Biden Regrets Black Comment

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Friday afternoon expressed regret for telling a radio host that black voters torn between voting for him and President Trump “ain’t black,” remarks that ignited a firestorm online.

The NY Times reports his remarks came hours after a testy exchange with Charlamagne Tha God, a host on “The Breakfast Club,” iHeartMedia' s nationally syndicated morning show (which originates at WWPR 105.1 NYC) popular with black millennials, that has dominated the conversation online. In the interview, during which the former vice president sidestepped a question about marijuana legalization and his running mate selection, Biden also made clear that he felt there was no reason black Americans would consider voting for Trump.

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black,” Biden said.

The remark sparked immediate pushback on social media, with activists and conservatives jumping on Mr. Biden, 77, for acting as the arbiter of blackness. His words also exposed wounds among Democrats that date to 2016, when many leaders felt the party took black voters for granted“I don’t take it for granted at all,” he said later Friday.

On a call with reporters that was quickly organized by the Trump campaign, a top adviser, Katrina Pierson, and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, rapped Biden for the comment.

“Joe Biden has a history of saying dehumanizing things when it comes to black Americans,” Ms. Pierson added.

Scott accused Mr. Biden of “negative race-baiting.”

“This morning, Joe Biden told every single one of us we ‘ain’t black,’” Mr. Scott said. “I’d say I’m surprised, but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don’t agree.”

Symone Sanders, a senior adviser for Mr. Biden, later tweeted that the comments were in jest.

FCC Democrat Commissioners Blast Sinclair Settlement

Democratic FCC commissioners have blasted the agency’s Republican majority for approving a record $48 million fine against Sinclair Broadcast Group that opponents say allows the broadcast giant to avoid tougher scrutiny of its actions, Variety reports.

Earlier this month, the FCC disclosed an agreement with Sinclair that settles three ongoing investigations into its actions and calls for the company to abide by the terms of a 17-page consent decree that was released Friday.

Sinclair critics say that even with the high fine, the settlement lets Sinclair off the hook easy. The company had been in danger of facing challenges to its right to own broadcast licenses, in light of the conduct that prompted the FCC probes. The FCC vote on whether to approve the fine and settlement with Sinclair was 3-2 down party lines.

The FCC’s formal order goes so far as to assert that Sinclair used a “good faith interpretation” of FCC rules in question in the investigation involving Sinclair’s effort to acquire Tribune Media. That finding was a surprise to Sinclair watchers given FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s remarks on May 6 when news of the settlement was first released.

The order further shields Sinclair from the threat of advocates mounting a challenge to the company’s right to control broadcast licenses on the public airwaves because of overall character concerns.

“We find that there is no substantial and material question of fact as to whether a character qualifying issue arises from the applications designated in the (hearing),” the order stated.

Democratic commissioners Geoffrey Starks and Jessica Rosenworcel blasted their commission colleagues for what they described as a closed-door process that did not subject Sinclair to the kind of public scrutiny warranted by its behavior.

Rosenworcel said that the settlement “ignores its rules and bends the facts in order to assist Sinclair Broadcast Group with sweeping its past digressions under the rug.” She was joined in her vote against the settlement with the other Democrat on the five-member commission, Geoffrey Starks.

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said that the Sinclair fine was “far from the slap on the wrist that critics bemoan,” and defended the agency’s action. He said that the “text is precise that Sinclair acted in good faith in its interpretation of Commission rules and precedent and that there is no character qualification issue arising from the underlying applications.”

Sinclair was under investigation for failing to adequately identify paid programming on its air. It also faced a probe over claims that it violated FCC rules in negotiations of retransmission consent deals with MVPDs and for significant misrepresentations to the commission as Sinclair was trying to secure approval for its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. That deal was eventually scuttled by FCC opposition and outrage spurred by Sinclair’s proposal that it would divest some Tribune stations at below market prices to entities with strong ties to the company.

Report: Apple Bulking Up For Original Podcast Development

Following Spotify’s acquisition of The Joe Rogan Experience earlier this week, a new report from Bloomberg Friday details Apple’s own plans to ramp up its focus on podcasts. The report explains that part of Apple’s goal is to help promote its Apple TV+ service.

According to, the report explains that Apple has begun acquiring two types of original podcasts. The first category is audio spinoffs of its TV+ movies and shows, while the second is “original programs that could eventually be adapted into future TV+ video content.”

The move should help Apple promote its fledgling TV+ service, as well as defend the company against Spotify Technology SA’s aggressive move into podcasts. While Apple remains the dominant distributor of such programs in the U.S., Spotify has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in studios and original shows. The company, already the world’s leading paid music streamer, has boosted its share of podcast listening.

Furthermore, Apple is said to be seeking a “leader for its original podcast work.” This person would report to Apple’s existing head of podcasting, Ben Cave.

Part of this strategy has already been taking place in public. The Apple TV+ original series Little America will soon have a corresponding podcast that dives deeper into each of the episodes.

Earlier this week, Joe Rogan announced that his show The Joe Rogan Experience will become a Spotify exclusive at the end of this year. This includes the video version of The Joe Rogan Experience as well, though “clips” from interviews will still be posted to YouTube. The deal is reportedly worth more than $100 million. Currently, the show sits near the top of the Apple Podcasts charts.

Buffalo Radio: John Murphy EXITS 'One Bills Live'

Veteran Buffalo broadcaster John Murphy announced Thursday that his eight-year run on the daily weekday program “One Bills Live” and its predecessors, which is simulcast on Sports WGR 550 AM  and MSG cable, ended with this week’s program.

The Buffalo News reports Murphy will continue being the play-by-play announcer on Buffalo Bills radio broadcasts on the Bills network that airs on WGR and other stations across New York State.

He said the decision to exit “One Bills Live” came as his contract with Pegula Sports and Entertainment was set to expire next month. His "OBL" duties alongside Steve Tasker will be split between Chris Brown and Maddy Glab, who work for the Bills and have filled in as hosts when Murphy was off.

John Murphy
Murphy's "OBL" contract is separate from his play-by-play contract with Entercom Radio, which owns WGR and does year-to-year deals with Murphy with the Bills approval.

"We're excited that he's going to be the play-by-play voice on Entercom," said Mark Preisler, the executive vice president of PSE in charge of broadcasting. "We didn't want to lose him there."

Murphy, 63, said the decision to exit “One Bills Live,” which airs from noon to 3 p.m., was “sort of a mutual one” between him and PSE. Preisler confirmed it, saying they've been talking about it for months.

“This time of the year the show is so slow, I usually take off three weeks this time of year and come back in late June or July and get fired up," said Murphy. "I just thought, 'Why are we doing this?' It was sort of a mutual decision, I guess."

Murphy, who has been part of the Bills game broadcast for 32 years – 16 years as the analyst along Van Miller and 16 years on play-by-play — added he had several reasons for leaving “OBL.”

“I am going to be 64 years old on my next birthday" in March, he said. “The show is challenging, but it can be a bit of a grind. This time of year has always been a grind and this year, especially, with nobody around.”

He also wanted to spend more time with his 11-month-old grandson Cormac, whose parents, Mark Murphy and wife Lexi Lugo, are attorneys in Niagara Falls.

“I just think it would be good to spend more time with him,” said Murphy. “I mean that. They have been housebound and quarantined, and I hope I can help them get through that and hopefully get back to work.”

Denver Radio: FLO Is No Mo', As KFCO Flips To CHR

Max Media has announced the launch of KFCO HOT 107.1 Denver’s NEW Hit Music, broadening on the Rhythmic, CHR approach.  HOT 107.1 launched with 10,000 songs in a row commercial free over Memorial Day weekend.

“HOT 107.1 Denver’s NEW Hit Music is coming full circle. We first launched the HOT brand back in 2009 and our plan is to bring back most of the elements, including the original logo design. Our VP of Programming, Rick Thomas, launched an extensive research study.

"The survey results were clear, the Denver-metro area wanted HOT back – so we listened. For quite some time, music consumption data has been showing music seekers are not stuck in one specific genre, and data has been particularly amplified during COVID-19. When studying behavior of people at home with time on their hands, we see listeners seeking music of many types to compile their personal playlists. With this approach, we expect HOT to perform well for our advertisers and listeners, “said Max Media Market President, Jeff Norman."

KFCO 107.1 FM (97 Kw)
Rick Thomas, Max Media’s VP of Programming adds, “our desire is to accurately reflect the musical passion of the marketplace. To that end, we have simply expanded our approach allowing listeners to enjoy a wider variety of rhythmic hit music, re-branding as HOT 1071, Denver’s NEW Hit Music. Additionally, in an enhanced effort to serve our listeners needs, HOT 1071 will not stop the music more than once an hour for ads.”

Listeners can find Hot 107.1 on all of their favorite social media platforms at @Hot1071Radio and can listen online at

Shareholders Okay Hedge Fund Alden’s Seats On Trib Board

Shareholders of Tribune Publishing elected two representatives of hedge fund Alden Global Capital to the newspaper chain’s board Thursday, as the man with the third-largest stake in the company seeks to break it up.

Mason Slaine, who owns a 7.9% stake in the company, told the Chicago Tribune he voted against all six board nominees at Tribune Publishing’s annual shareholder meeting, and said he now believes the company should sell all of its newspapers to local investors.

“I’m not happy with the way the company is being run,” said Slaine, who lives in Florida. “I voted no on everything.”

An investor and the former CEO of business information publisher Thomson Financial, Slaine owns 2,866,349 shares of the Chicago-based newspaper company, most of which he acquired on the open market since February. Slaine said he approached Tribune Publishing executives last year to inquire about buying the company’s Florida newspapers. He believes there will be interest from local buyers in the chain’s other markets as well.

“As a shareholder, I think the company would be best served, and more importantly the communities would be best served, with local ownership,” Slaine said. “I don’t see that the centralization of Tribune is adding any value.”

Tribune Publishing is “aware” of his interest in buying the Florida papers, but did not respond to his inquiry, Slaine said.

“The company does not comment on activity related to mergers and acquisitions,” Tribune Publishing spokesman Max Reinsdorf said.

Slaine is not alone in seeking to carve out pieces of the company. On Thursday, the Baltimore Sun reported that a group of Baltimore philanthropists, business people and the union representing journalists are continuing a campaign to return that newspaper to local ownership, which it hasn’t had since 1986, but its chances of success were uncertain. Journalists at the Chicago Tribune earlier this year launched their own efforts to find new owners.

Earlier this month, the union representing newsroom employees at the Chicago Tribune and other Tribune Publishing newspapers launched a proxy campaign to unseat the two Alden board members. Without an alternate slate of nominees, however, Slaine’s opposition and the union campaign were largely symbolic.

Alden, which has a track record of sweeping layoffs at its newspaper properties, took a 32% stake in Tribune Publishing in November, mostly through buying former nonexecutive chairman Michael Ferro’s holdings. In total, Alden purchased 11.5 million shares of Tribune Publishing for $145.4 million.

The two Alden representatives, Dana Goldsmith Needleman and Christopher Minnetian, were added to the newspaper company’s board in December, expanding it to eight members, but Alden was restricted from increasing its stake in the company to more than 33% until June 30.

In addition to the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, Tribune Publishing owns the Hartford Courant; Orlando Sentinel; South Florida Sun Sentinel; New York Daily News; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland; The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania; the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia; and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia.

Like much of the media industry, Tribune Publishing has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing furloughs and salary reductions across its newspapers to offset advertising revenue declines. Earlier this month, the company suspended its 25-cent cash dividend, which paid shareholders about $9 million a quarter, to “preserve liquidity.”

Why Lori Loughlin Made Guilty Pleading

Television star Lori Loughlin and her husband formally pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with a California college counselor in a $500,000 deal to pass off their two daughters as crew-team recruits to get them into the University of Southern California.

The Wall Street Journal reports the actress and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, entered their pleas by video, reversing fourteen months in which the Los Angeles couple has maintained their innocence in the national college admissions scam.

Their plea agreements, reached with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts, call for two months in prison for Ms. Loughlin and five months for Mr. Giannulli, though U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton still has to officially accept those sentences.

The judge set sentencing dates of Aug. 21, though William Trach, Mr. Giannulli’s lawyer, said the couple would actually like to be sentenced earlier, in late July, in part “to have finality on this process.” The judge said he will consider that request.

Ms. Loughlin, 55 years old, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Mr. Giannulli, 56, pleaded guilty to the same charge, as well as one of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire and mail fraud.

As for why the couple decided to plead guilty, a source close to Loughlin tells E! News, "They are ready for it to be over with and to get on with their lives."

"This has ruled their lives and has been hanging over their heads for so long, it has really taken its toll," the insider shares. "They were feeling very concerned about the virus and jail sentences and they are hopeful the court will sentence them appropriately. They want to put this behind them and move on."

"They didn't want to endure the stress of a trial and continue dealing with this on a daily basis. It's time to move on and start over again," the source continues. "They don't know if the judge will sign off or delay their jail time. But they are hopeful and they know there is a chance they will start their sentences and be able to serve at home. They are waiting to find out."

Judge Tosses OAN Defamation Suit Against Rachel Maddow

A judge ruled on Friday that the host of the MSNBC program “The Rachel Maddow Show” did not malign the ultraconservative political network when she called it “Russian propaganda" and dismissed OAN’s $10 million defamation lawsuit, reported Variety.

One America News Network’s parent company, Herring Networks, argued that Maddow besmirched the company during a 2019 episode of her show while discussing a Daily Beast article that reported one OAN contributor also worked for the the Russian-based news site Sputnik.

“In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump, right-wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda,” said Maddow during the episode.

Herring asserted that she made a false statement, noting that OAN is not paid by the Russian government.

In dismissing the suit, U.S. Judge Cynthia Bashant ruled that Maddow was offering an opinion based on an accurate article summation, The NY Daily News reports.

“A reasonable viewer would not actually think OAN is paid Russian propaganda. Instead, he or she would follow the facts of the Daily Beast article; that OAN and Sputnik share a reporter and both pay this reporter to write articles,” Bashant wrote. “Anything beyond this is Maddow’s opinion or her exaggeration of the facts.”

The judge also noted Maddow’s tone “could be described as surprise and glee at the unexpectedness of the story,” and said that weighed in favor of dismissing the suit.

The suit was dismissed under California’s anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute.  OAN said it would appeal.

Morning Show Boot Camp Is ON...For September

Joining an ongoing list event rescheduling, Morning Show Boot Camp, radio's first and foremost event of top talent and the people behind them, has announced it was moving back its annual summer event to September 24 & 25 at the classic Swissotel in Chicago.

MSBC Host Don Anthony commented: "After much thought, countless conversations and continued concern for the safety, well being and challenges faced by our attendees and sponsors during the Covid-19 crisis, we’ve decided to reschedule Morning Show Boot Camp 32 to Sept. 24 & 25 at the Swissotel in Chicago. By moving back to September, more than a month and half later, gives all of us some extra breathing room for things to inch back closer to normal."

Anthony added that given the economic impact Covid-19 has had on our industry, new rates and a timely Job Fair would be added to help those attending. "We’re not forgetting those in our industry who jobs were impacted by this crisis. For this purpose, we’re creating a special ‘Job Fair’ that will give those affected an opportunity of getting one-on-one advice, counsel and possible job-leads from top executives, programmers and experts," said Anthony. "We also haven’t forgotten the economic challenges now faced by most everyone in our industry. As such, we’re discounting our regular registration by $100* and made sure that our special hotel conference rate at The Swissotel from August was locked-in place for September. Thank you again for your input, support and patience in helping us make this decision. We look forward to seeing you again soon."

Anthony says that MSBC will continue to keep a close eye on Covid-19 and how local policies may evolve over the next several weeks. Meanwhile, he asked that those planning to book their rooms to wait until next week so a new link for the adjusted rates can be added at the website. As for the hotel, no matter how back to normal things may be by late September, the Hotel has assured us that proper spacing of seats and well-sanitized facilities will be provided at all times.

May 23 Radio History

➦In 1910...bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, whose real name is Arthur Arshawsky, was born in New York City.

Shaw formed his first orchestra in 1936, and two years later had a double-sided million-seller with ”Begin the Beguine” and ”Indian Love Call.” Shaw is estimated to have sold more than 43- million copies of such records as ”Frenesi,” ”Summit Ridge Drive” and ”Dancing in the Dark.” Artie Shaw was married eight times — two of his wives were Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. Shaw later became an author and a theatrical producer, and again fronted a big band in 1980’s.

Shaw died December 30th, 2004 of natural causes, at age 94.

➦In 1922..the first debate to be heard on US radio was broadcast on WJH in Washington, DC. The two debaters argued about the topic of Daylight Saving Time with the audience acting as the judge.

➦In 1922...Seattle radio station KOL first signed on. The station is now known as KKOL 1330 AM, having surrendered the heritage 3-letter call sign in 1975 when it briefly became KMPS.  Today, the station airs ethnic programming.

➦In 1926...Christian broadcaster, Wilbur Nelson, was born. Best known as host of "The Morning Chapel Hour".  He was  pioneer religious broadcaster, who founded the nationally syndicated daily radio ministry, The Morning Chapel Hour, in March of 1944.  Nelson died August 23, 2003 at age 92.

➦In 1928..1940-50’s pop singer Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky. While still in high school, she and her younger sister Betty began performing on Cincinnati radio station WLW. Bandleader Tony Pastor heard them, and soon the sisters were singing, in person and on record, with the Pastor orchestra. After Betty tired of the road, Rosemary began a solo career. She signed with Columbia Records, and in 1951 had her first number-one hit, “Come On-A My House.”  Her other hits included “Hey There,” “Tenderly” and “This Ole House.”

She died of lung cancer at the age of 74 on June 29th, 2002.

➦In 2005...Baltimore newsman Bob Lopez died from Lung Cancer. He had been part of the WIYY-FM (98 Rock) morning show for 27 years.

He was known for his humor, thoughtful opinions, and dogged liberal views.

 For the last part of his career, he was part of the "Kirk, Mark & Lopez" or "KML" morning show, along with Kirk McEwen and Mark Ondayko, with whom he worked for seven years. He also hosted the Sunday Lopez, a Sunday morning talk show where he discussed politics and listeners called in to express their views.

Lopez was diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2004, having been a smoker for several decades, starting at age 12.  He died at the age of 52.

➦In 2012...Harold Baron Jackson died at age 96 (Born - November 3, 1915). He  was a personality and radio executive who broke a number of color barriers in American broadcasting.

Hal Jackson
Jackson began his career as a sportswriter, covering local and national black sporting events for the Washington DC Afro-American. In the 1940s, he became one of the first African American radio sports announcers, broadcasting Howard’s home baseball games and the Homestead Grays Negro league baseball games.

In 1939, he became the first African American host at WINX in Washington with The Bronze Review, a nightly interview program. He later hosted The House That Jack Built, a program of jazz and blues on three Washington-Baltimore radio stations (WINX, WANN, and WOOK),  and later in the 1940s, broadcast on WOOK-TV.

Hal Jackson
Jackson first moved to New York City in November 1949, when he was hired by station WLIB, which wanted to expand the amount of black programming it offered. By 1954, he became the first radio personality to broadcast three daily shows on three different New York stations. Four million listeners tuned in nightly to hear Jackson’s mix of music and conversations with jazz and show business celebrities. In 1971, Jackson and Percy Sutton, a former Manhattan borough president, co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), which acquired WLIB — becoming the first African-American owned-and-operated station in New York. The following year, ICBC acquired WLIB-FM, changing its call letters to WBLS ("the total BLack experience in Sound").

ICBC operated stations in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Fort Lauderdale, Columbia, South Carolina, and Jackson, Mississippi.  The flagship station was hampered by its frequency, sharing it with WOWO of Fort Wayne, Indiana. After being turned down by the FCC to change frequencies, Inner City Broadcasting, in an industry unprecedented move, purchased WOWO solely to reduce its output and upped the power of the NYC transmitters to 50,000 watts daytime/30,000 watts night, and subsequently be heard full-time across the entire New York market.

In 1990, Hal Jackson was the first minority inducted into the National Association of Broadcaster's Hall of Fame. In 1995, he became the first African-American inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  In 2001 the Broadcast and Cable Hall of Fame inducted Jackson.  For over 11 years he hosted a radio program on 107.5 WBLS in New York. In October 2010 he was named a "Giant in Broadcasting" by the Library of American Broadcasting. Jackson was also inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as being the oldest broadcaster, with a record 73-year career.


  • Actress Barbara Barrie is 89. 
  • Actress Joan Collins is 87. 
  • Actor Charles Kimbrough (“Murphy Brown”) is 84. 
  • Actress Lauren Chapin (“Father Knows Best”) is 75. 
  • Country singer Judy Rodman is 69. 
  • Comedian Drew Carey is 62. 
  • Actress Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is The New Black”) is 62. 
  • Country singer Shelly West is 62. 
  • Actor Linden Ashby (“Melrose Place”) is 60. 
  • Actress-model Karen Duffy is 59. 
  • Actress Melissa McBride (“The Walking Dead”) is 55. 
  • Drummer Phil Selway of Radiohead is 53. 
  • Actress Laurel Holloman (“The L Word”) is 49. 
  • Drummer Matt Flynn of Maroon 5 is 50. 
  • Singer Lorenzo is 48. Country singer Brian McComas is 48. 
  • Singer Maxwell is 47. 
  • Singer Jewel is 46. 
  • Actress LaMonica Garrett (“Designated Survivor,” ″Sons of Anarchy”) is 45. 
  • Comedian Tim Robinson (“Saturday Night Live”) is 39. 
  • Actor Adam Wylie (“Picket Fences”) is 36. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Rundown: Job Losses Total Nearly 39M

The Labor Department reported Thursday that more than 2.4 million people filed initial claims for unemployment last week, bringing the total number since the coronavirus pandemic began to cause lockdowns across the country in mid-March to 38.6 million. The number of people filing first-time claims has slowed for seven straight weeks, but they are still extremely high, even as states have begun to reopen economically over the past three weeks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted new guidance on its website that estimates 35 percent of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic. It said its best estimate is that 0.4 percent of people who have the virus and show symptoms will die, with it at 1.3 percent for those age 65 and older, and that 3.4 percent of symptomatic people will need to be hospitalized, rising to 7.4 percent for those 65 and older. The CDC also estimated that 40 percent of coronavirus transmission is taking place before people feel sick.

President Trump toured a Ford Motor plant in Michigan yesterday that had been repurposed to make ventilators. Trump didn't publicly wear a face mask, but told reporters he'd worn one while out of public view on the tour by Ford executives, and took one out of his pocket to show them. However, he said he didn't wear it publicly because, quote, "I did not want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it." Ford policy requires mask-wearing, as does Michigan's state directive. Federal health authorities have said all Americans should wear them, however Trump has refused to wear one publicly, reportedly telling aides he believes it makes him look weak.

In other developments:
  • More than than 94,700 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus as of last night, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and there are more than 1,577,000 confirmed cases.
➤SAILOR WOUNDED IN SHOOTING AT TEXAS NAVAL BASE THAT FBI SAYS IS 'TERRORISM-RELATED': A sailor was wounded in a shooting at a Texas naval base early Thursday that the FBI said was being investigated as being "terrorism-related." The gunman, who AP cited officials identifying as Adam Alsahli, was killed by base security. Alsahli tried to speed through a security gate at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi at around 6:15 a.m., opening fire and wounding a sailor who was part of base security. She was still able to roll over and hit a switch that raised a barrier, preventing the gunman from getting on the base. The sailor was treated for minor injuries. FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Leah Greeves said investigators were working to determine whether a second person of interest was at large. She wouldn't say why they believe the attack was related to terrorism. Alsahli was a Corpus Christi resident.

➤MAN WHO RECORDED PHONE VIDEO OF ARBERY'S FATAL SHOOTING CHARGED WITH MURDER: The man who took cellphone video of Ahmaud Arbery's fatal shooting in Georgia in February was charged with murder Thursday (May 21st), as well as attempt to commit false imprisonment. The video taken by 50-year-old William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. that leaked online earlier this month sparked outrage and led to the arrest for murder of father and son Gregory McMichael, who's 64, and 34-year-old Travis McMichael more than two months after the killing. The 25-year-old Arbery, who was black, was fatally shot outside the city of Brunswick after the McMichaels, who are white, grabbed guns and chased him in a truck when they saw him running through their neighborhood. They told police they believed he looked like a burglar who'd been seen on surveillance video.

AP reports that in the Glynn County police report, Gregory McMichael told an officer that Arbery at one point, quote, "began running back the direction from which he came and 'Roddy' attempted to block him which was unsuccessful." Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, said Monday that his client didn't play any role in Arbery's death, stating, "Roddie Bryan is not now, and has never been, more than a witness to the shooting. He is not a vigilante. Roddie did not participate in the horrific killing of this young man."

Bryan's video was taken from the driver's seat of a vehicle following Arbery as he ran along a street. Arbery is seen running on the left side of a road with a pickup truck parked in the road in front of him with one of the McMichaels in its bed and the other standing next to the driver's side door. Arbery crosses to pass the truck on the passenger side, then crosses back in front of it. A gunshot is heard, and Arbery and Travis are seen grappling over a shotgun. A second shot is heard as Arbery is seen punching Travis. A third shot is fired, and Arbery staggers and falls face down.

➤CHINA TO MOVE TO PASS NATIONAL SECURITY LAW FOR HONG KONG: China indicated yesterday (May 21st) that it will move forward with a national security law that will target anti-government protests and other dissent in Hong Kong. The proposal, announced ahead of the annual meeting of China's legislature, would undermine the civil liberties that the semiautonomous territory of Hong Kong has had since Britain gave control of it back to China in 1997. The move comes after months of at times violent pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong last year. A U.S. State Department spokesperson criticized the proposal, saying, "Any effort to impose national security legislation that does not reflect the will of the people of Hong Kong would be highly destabilizing, and would be met with strong condemnation from the United States and the international community."
Orlando Sentinel 5/22/20
➤WOODS & MANNING TO FACE MICKELSON & BRADY IN 'THE MATCH' THIS SUNDAY: The golf match in which Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning will face off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady takes place this Sunday (May 24th) at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida. The Match: Champions for Charity, in which the golf pros and NFL quarterbacks will team up, will air beginning at 3 p.m. ET on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN. Money that's raised will go to coronavirus relief.

➤ESPN SERIES WILL TELL STORY OF BRADY'S NINE SUPER BOWLS: An ESPN series out next year will tell the story of Tom Brady's journey to each of his nine Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, six of which they won. The nine-episode series, called, The Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, will feature a look from Brady's perspective. Brady, who's won more Super Bowls than anyone else, said, "Through the series, we're defining the key moments and challenges that were seemingly insurmountable, but through hard work and perseverance, became career-defining triumphs, in both victory and defeat."

Cumulus Media Latest To Adopt 'Poison Pill' Plan

Cumulus Media Inc. announced Thursday the adoption of a short-term shareholder rights plan designed to protect shareholder interests and maximize value for all shareholders.

The Rights Plan is intended to protect shareholder interests by reducing the likelihood that any entity, person or group is able to gain control of Cumulus through open market accumulation without paying all shareholders an appropriate control premium or providing the Board sufficient opportunity to make informed judgments and take actions that are in the best interests of all shareholders.

The Rights issued pursuant to the Rights Plan would be exercisable only if a person or group acquires 10% (20% in the case of a passive institutional investor) or more of the Company’s outstanding Class A common shares (subject to certain exceptions), including through ownership of the convertible Class B common shares and/or warrants. 

In adopting the Rights Plan, the Board has taken note of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on equity market valuations which has led to substantial volatility in the trading of the Company’s stock and a dislocation in Cumulus’ stock price, which the Board believes does not reflect the Company's inherent value or business performance.  The Rights Plan is intended to promote the fair and equal treatment of all shareholders by preventing a creeping change of control without an appropriate premium and on terms that would not deliver sufficient value for all shareholders.

Edison Studies Podcasts and The Pandemic

Edison Research SVP Tom Webster presented the latest installment in their Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine on May 21, 2020.

The presentation included previously unreleased data from the Podcast Consumer Tracker, the only comprehensive, all-inclusive measure of podcast listening in the U.S. This data was collected continuously before and during the current COVID-19 crisis, and is the industry’s only look at how podcasting’s audience, not just their downloads, has been impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, the recording below includes videos of interviews with podcast listeners from the last few weeks, as they share their experiences with listening to podcasts during quarantine, along with new data on podcast listeners from The Infinite Dial® 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Key findings include:
  • 41% of weekly podcasters have had their work reduced or eliminated
  • The employment and work patterns of those in the U.S. age 18-34 have been affected the most by COVID-19
  • While those who have had their jobs reduced/eliminated are listening more, those whose work from home hours have increased are spending less time with podcasts
  • Desktop/laptop listening has risen as a result of quarantine. AM/FM listening by podcast listeners is down
  • Usage of on-demand delivery/convenience services has risen among weekly listeners
  • While genre consumption has begun to return to pre-quarantine levels, News and various Home and Self Improvement topics have increased significantly

Boise Radio: The Fasts Land Mornings At CHR KWYD

Iliad Media Group (Impact Radio) has announced the launch of a brand new local morning show “Fast In the Morning” featuring Nathan & Rebecca Fast on market-leading CHR KWYD Wild 101.1.

CEO of Iliad Meda Group Darrell Calton said, “The breakup of syndicated Brooke and Jubal, as a team, became our opportunity to invest in a local morning show on Wild 101. Nathan and Rebecca will deliver fantastic, and entertaining local content for radio and beyond”.

Impact Regional Operations Manager James Garner commented, “If the COVID-19 experience has taught us anything, it’s the need to have local personalities who can tell the stories of our listeners in a way that no syndicated show can.

Nathan and Rebecca met in Boise a decade ago during Nathan’s run as a night show host, before his career took him to big-league radio in cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Two states (and two daughters) later, their paths have brought them full-circle back to the Treasure Valley to host “Fast In The Morning” on Wild 101.

“Fast In The Morning” can be heard weekday mornings from 6-10 AM starting June 8th.

Philly Radio: Temple Sports Re-ups With WPEN-FM, WPHT

Temple University Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield IMG College's Temple Sports Properties, sign four-year extensions with Beasley's Sports WPEN 97.5 The Fanatic and Entertcom's Talk WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelphia to continue as the radio homes of Temple Football and Men's Basketball. The 2020 football season will mark the seventh consecutive season Owls games will air on 97.5 The Fanatic while the 2020-21 will mark the 20th straight year that Temple basketball games can be heard on WPHT.

"We're excited to continue our relationship with these two broadcast industry leaders," said Temple University Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft. "We have had a great relationship with each station and both have a broad reach that allow fans throughout the Delaware Valley to follow Temple Athletics."

Veteran Philadelphia broadcaster Harry Donahue, now in his 19th season, will continue to handle the play-by-play duties for both Temple Football and Men's Basketball. Temple Hall of Famers Paul Palmer (8th season) and John Baum (23rd season) will serve as analysts for the football and basketball broadcasts, respectively.

Survey: Sports Shutdown Resulting In More Cord Cutting

Media industry observers have hailed live sports as the “glue” holding the traditional pay-TV ecosystem together amid the proliferation of on-demand streaming content in recent years. Now, with most major sports properties sidelined due to the coronavirus pandemic, that theory is being put to the test, according to the Morning Consult.

The early results, in the form of subscriber losses reported in pay-TV providers’ first-quarter results, have been a source of significant concern about the future of cable and satellite television as we know it today.

Subscriptions fell by a record 7.6 percent from the same period in 2019, according to reported results and estimates from industry analysts at the boutique research firm MoffettNathanson, marking the seventh straight quarter in which subscriber loss accelerated.

More concerning for the pay-TV industry is that first-quarter results, which reflect business from January through the end of March, only include the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and corresponding sports shutdown. Industry analysts expect even more pronounced declines in the current period as the sports shutdown and economic fallout of the pandemic wear on.

The results of a recent Morning Consult poll indicate that is playing out, as 8.3 percent of traditional pay-TV subscribers said that they dropped their service in the past three months, a period that includes portions of both the first and second quarters.

Sports fans subscribe to cable and satellite television service at a significantly higher rate than average adults and non-sports fans. The May 14-17 survey found that 61 percent of sports fans and 69 percent of self-identified avid sports fans subscribe to traditional pay-TV, compared to 55 percent of U.S. adults and 43 percent of non-sports fans.

In addition to cable and satellite losses in the quarter, net subscriptions to live TV streaming services, known as virtual MVPDs, dipped for the first time since those services became available in 2015, shedding around 341,000 subscribers, per the MoffettNathanson note.

“Live sports were arguably the last, best reason for choosing a vMVPD over a sampling of” subscription video on demand services, the MoffettNathanson note said. “And then sports stopped.”

As the sports shutdown drags on, the pay-TV industry becomes more vulnerable to further acceleration of subscriber losses.

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iHM Morning Personality Bobby Bones Lands NatGeo Gig

Bobby Bones is headed back to the television screens with another new show. He announced Thursday that he has teamed up with Disney and National Geographic for a brand new series.

The new show is called Breaking Bobby Bones. The 16-part series will follow Bones as he travels across the country to find working-class Americans with "unique jobs, skills, hobbies, and abilities." He will work with them to learn some of the skills behind their trade and "live up to his mantra - Fight. Grind. Repeat."

The press release added that the show is "an action-packed celebration of resilient Americans who work hard, play hard and above all take pride in everything they do." Bones shared the news on Instagram.

No air dates have been announced.

Stacey Benson Named CFO of CBS News

Stacey Benson
Stacey Benson has been named Chief Financial Officer of CBS News, effective July 1. In her new role, Benson will be responsible for all of the News division’s financial operations. She will report to Susan Zirinsky, President and Senior Executive Producer of CBS News, and Bryon Rubin, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for CBS.

Benson joins CBS News from ViacomCBS’ Global Media Operations division, where she served as Senior Vice President of Finance and was responsible for the financial operations and consolidation of Global Media Operations, including financial and strategic support to the leadership team.

“Stacey is an innovative financial professional who understands CBS News,” said Zirinsky. “She has done amazing work for CBS, and we look forward to her being an integral member of the News division.”

“Stacey has excelled in each and every role she’s had at the company. I’m excited for her to take the next step in her CBS career at CBS News,” Rubin said.

Previously, Benson served as Senior Vice President of Finance at CBS Radio for 15 years, where she oversaw all financial operations, in addition to leading the division through its initial public offering preparation and its sale to Entercom in 2017.

Benson began her tenure at CBS Radio in 2002 as a controller and steadily increased her responsibilities and role within the division. She was named Vice President, Controller in 2006 and held that position until 2011. She was named Senior Vice President of Finance in 2012.

Prior to CBS Radio, Benson was a controller with Scient, Inc., a New York business and technology consulting firm. Earlier in her career, she was an accounting manager with Frontline Capital Group in New York. Before that, she was an accounting supervisor and real estate accountant with HQ Global Workplaces, Inc.

R.I.P.: Dusty Rhodes, Longtime VA Radio Personality

Dusty Rhodes, a longtime radio personality whose voice was known throughout the Shenandoah Valley, has died at the age of 74, WHSV TV3 reports.

Rhodes, who worked in local radio since 1966, retired from WSIG 96.9 in January of this year.

Paul McDaniel, also known as Uncle Pauly, the program director for WSIG, told WHSV Rhodes left because of health reasons, but he wanted everyone to be happy about his retirement.

For a day in January, to honor Rhodes' retirement, WSIG rebranded their station in his name and became Dusty 96.9.

Rhodes passed away peacefully at his Elkton home on Wednesday.

May 22 Radio History

➦In 1900...In New York City, the Associated Press was incorporated as a non-profit news cooperative.

The Associated Press was formed in May 1846 by five daily newspapers in New York City to share the cost of transmitting news of the Mexican–American War. The venture was organized by Moses Yale Beach (1800–68), second publisher of The Sun, joined by the New York Herald, the New York Courier and Enquirer, The Journal of Commerce, and the New York Evening Express. Some historians[10] believe that the Tribune joined at this time; documents show it was a member in 1849. The New York Times became a member shortly after its founding in September 1851. Initially known as the New York Associated Press (NYAP), the organization faced competition from the Western Associated Press (1862), which criticized its monopolistic news gathering and price setting practices.

An investigation completed in 1892 by Victor Lawson, editor and publisher of the Chicago Daily News, revealed that several principals of the NYAP had entered into a secret agreement with United Press, a rival organization, to share NYAP news and the profits of reselling it. The revelations led to the demise of the NYAP and in December 1892, the Western Associated Press was incorporated in Illinois as The Associated Press. A 1900 Illinois Supreme Court decision (Inter Ocean Publishing Co. v. Associated Press)—that the AP was a public utility and operating in restraint of trade—resulted in AP's move from Chicago to New York City, where corporation laws were more favorable to cooperatives.

In 1945, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Associated Press v. United States that the AP had been violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by prohibiting member newspapers from selling or providing news to nonmember organizations as well as making it very difficult for nonmember newspapers to join the AP. The decision facilitated the growth of its main rival United Press International, headed by Hugh Baillie from 1935 to 1955.

AP entered the broadcast field in 1941 when it began distributing news to radio stations; it created its own radio network in 1974.

➦In 1922..WGR in Buffalo, NY signed-on...

The history of one of Buffalo's earliest radio stations has its roots at sea. On April 1, 1921 the Governor, a passenger ship, sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean after collision with a freighter, the West Hartland.

The passenger ship’s assigned radio call letters were WGR. Due to maritime superstition, the call sign was never reissued to another ship and reverted to a pool of available call signs for new radio stations.

That same year, the Federal Telephone & Telegraph Company (FTTC), headquartered in a sprawling manufacturing complex in North Buffalo, began marketing its first, completely assembled radio sets. To fill a radio void in the city, and to stimulate sales of their new "high-tech" products, the FTTC applied for (and received) a commercial radio license from the Department of Commerce. The station was named "WGR" after George Rand (founder of Remington Rand), a key investor in the FTTC.

WGR Transmitter Equipment Early '20s
On May 22, 1922, WGR's broadcast operations commenced, beginning nine decades of continuous service to Western New York and Southern Ontario. It is the oldest continuously operating station in Buffalo.

1738 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo - Birthplace of WGR Radio
Published reports say that the first programs on WGR were: a clergyman’s lecture; a concert from Victor’s Furniture Store showroom; and a presentation on the advantages of a college education by Dr. Julian Park, from the University at Buffalo.

In the late 1940s, the station was bought by a consortium of Western New York families known as the WGR Corporation, which signed on WGR-TV (channel 2) in 1953. WGR Corporation bought several other television and radio stations in the 1950s, and eventually became known as Transcontinent Broadcasting. Transcontinent merged with Taft Broadcasting in 1964. Taft sold off WGR-TV in 1983 (it is now WGRZ-TV), but kept the radio station until 1987.

During its days as a full service radio station, its roster of personalities included "Buffalo Bob" Smith, later famous for TV's Howdy Doody children's show, and popular national TV and nightclub comedian Foster Brooks.

The station's longtime music format combining Adult Top 40 hits and rock oldies and featured some of Buffalo's top radio personalities, talk hosts and news reporters including Stan Roberts, Frank Benny, Tom Donahue, Randy Michaels, Jim Scott, Jerry Reo, Shane, Joe Galuski, Tom Langmyer, George Hamberger, Tom Shannon, John Otto, Chuck Lakefield, Don Dussias, Lauri Githens, Wayne Smith, Sandy Kozel, Jane Tomczak, Craig Matthews and Tom Bauerle. WGR gradually evolved to news/talk during the late 1980s.

In 1987, Taft sold the station to Rich Communications, which was part of the Robert Rich family's business holdings, which also included a major processed-food company and a venture applying for a National League expansion baseball franchise (for which WGR was projected to be flagship station of the team's projected network). Although the Rich interests were the National League's choice for the new franchise they dropped out of the competition for an expansion team (which ultimately went to Denver, Colorado (Colorado Rockies) for cost reasons. Soon after, WGR was eventually spun off to new owners.

Today,  WGR 550 AM is owned by Entercom and airs Sports.

➦In 1955…Jack Benny's broadcast run of live network radio programs ended after 23 years. His TV show aired from 1952-1965.

Benny first appeared on radio as a guest of Ed Sullivan in March 1932. He was then given his own show later that year, with Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor —The Canada Dry Ginger Ale Program, beginning May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing there for six months until October 26, moving the show to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with The General Tire Revue for the rest of that season, and in the fall of 1934, for General Foods as The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny (1934–42) and, when sales of Jell-O were affected by sugar rationing during World War II, The Grape Nuts Flakes Program Starring Jack Benny (later the Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program) (1942–44). On October 1, 1944, the show became The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny, when American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes took over as his radio sponsor, through the mid-1950s. By that time, the practice of using the sponsor's name as the title began to fade.

The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's "raid" of NBC talent in 1948-49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeats of previous 1953-55 radio episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny for State Farm Insurance, who later sponsored his television program from 1960 through 1965.

➦In 1970...the Canadian Radio and Television Commission announced its guidelines for the amount of Canadian content played on radio stations. As of January 18, 1971, 30 per cent of musical selections would have to meet a formula encompassing composition, performance, recording, and song writing produced by Canadian talent. The time lag was a relief to many stations, as it allowed them time to build up a CRTC-friendly music library.

➦In 1972...Dave Herman started at WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC.  Herman interviews Elton John from 1976..

➦In 1998…Los Angeles radio disc jockey (KHJ, KMPC, KRTH) Robert W. Morgan died of lung cancer at age 60.

As a youth growing up in Galion, Ohio, Morgan's interest was piqued while listening to his favorite DJs on Cleveland's top forty giant KYW which would eventually lead to his first on-air job was at Wooster College in 1955 on WWST & WWST-FM, for an initial salary of $1 per hour.

In 1959 Morgan moved from college radio to KACY Port Hueneme, California where he hosted the over night show called Kegler's Spare Time with Bob Morgan live from the Wagon Wheel Bowl before moving on to a succession of brief stints beginning in 1961 at KTEE Carmel as the second half of a two-man classical music announcer on KTEE with Bob Elliott, a Marine Corps Heavyweight Champion who later went onto radio fame as "K.O. Bailey," then a short time later as the morning drive DJ and mid-day board op for the Arthur Godfrey Show at KMBY, Monterey, then a jump to KOMY Watsonville, then back to KMBY Monterey followed in 1962 at "K-MAKE", KMAK, Fresno where he first worked with program director Ron Jacobs. This was followed in 1963 by an eight-month stay at KROY Sacramento before finally landing his first major-market job in 1964 at KEWB, San Francisco. It was here that he met and worked with his lifelong friend "The Real" Don Steele.

On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programmer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status when they joined the staff of KHJ 930 AM, Los Angeles almost overnight. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station. It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973. Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery.

It was also during this time that Morgan co-produced and narrated the 48-hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969, a definitive on-air encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. It was the first-ever "rock-umentary" aired worldwide as a definitive history of the Rock & Roll genre—a "rockumentary," as producers Drake and Gene Chenault would call it—that would stretch from the early 1950s to 1989.

In 1970 Morgan made a surprise move from Los Angeles to WIND Radio Chicago where he remained in the morning slot until finally being enticed back to his KHJ morning show in 1972.

Until his departure from KHJ in October 1970, Morgan had commanded unparalleled radio ratings in Los Angeles. Morgan's return to his former time slot in L.A., which saw a significant spike upward for KHJ until he departed just a year later.

In 1973, Morgan and Steele walked out of KHJ and joined Bill Drake six months later at KIQQ-FM, Los Angeles. The ratings were sub-par, though, causing Morgan to leave the morning slot a year and a half later for weekends and fill-in slots at the prestigious KMPC Los Angeles. He did that for four years before legendary morning man Dick Whittinghill retired in 1980, allowing Morgan to go back to mornings. He stayed at KMPC until 1984. After a short stint at KMGG, Morgan returned to KMPC.

Morgan was heard in 1973 on Saturday night segments of the long-running NBC Radio program Monitor, an attempt to freshen that program's image. While with KMGG, he was at one time heard as a substitute host of American Top 40. During the mid to late 70s, Morgan also did his own one hour radio weekly special highlighting one artist or group per show. "Robert W. Morgan's Special of the Week" was often played on radio stations that also carried Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as the same company, Watermark, distributed both.

The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as the morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101 where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer.

According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two packs a day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years." In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.

On January 9, 1998, K-EARTH 101 held a retirement tribute for Morgan at the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills. The tribute included a re-dedication of his Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, and a three-hour broadcast from the museum’s theater, hosted by Gary Owens and Morgan's KRTH co-host, Joni Caryl. It concluded with a thirty minute retrospective on Morgan’s career, narrated by Dick Clark.

Morgan died on May 22, 1998. He was 60 years old. Morgan was married twice and was survived by a daughter.

Molly Ephraim

  • Actor Michael Constantine (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” ″Room 222″) is 93. 
  • Pianist Peter Nero is 86. 
  • Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 82. 
  • Actor Frank Converse is 82. 
  • Actress Barbara Parkins (“Peyton Place,” ″Valley of the Dolls”) is 78. 
  • Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 70. 
  • Actor Al Corley (“Dynasty”) is 65. 
  • Singer Morrissey is 61. 
  • Actress Ann Cusack (“Jeff Foxworthy Show,” ″A League of Their Own”) is 59. 
  • Bassist Dana Williams of Diamond Rio is 59. 
  • Guitarist Jesse Valenzuela of Gin Blossoms is 58. 
  • Actor Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck”) is 56. 
  • Singer Johnny Gill is 54. 
  • Bassist Dan Roberts of Crash Test Dummies is 53. 
  • Actress Brooke Smith (“Grey’s Anatomy,” ″The Silence of the Lambs”) is 53. 
  • Actor Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”) is 51. 
  • Model Naomi Campbell is 50. 
  • Actress Anna Belknap (“CSI: NY”) is 48. 
  • Singer Donell Jones is 47. 
  • Actor Sean Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” ″Gilmore Girls”) is 46. 
  • Actress A.J. Langer (“Private Practice”) is 46. 
  • Actress Ginnifer Goodwin (“Once Upon A Time”) is 42. 
  • Singer Vivian Green is 41. 
  • Actress Molly Ephraim (“Last Man Standing”) is 34. 
  • Actress Anna Baryshnikov (“Superior Donuts”) is 28. 
  • Actress Camren Bicondova (“Gotham”) is 21.