Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 5 Radio History

Don Dunphy
➦In 1908...Sportscaster Don Dunphy born (Died at age 90 – July 22, 1998).  He specialized in boxing broadcasts. Dunphy was noted for his fast-paced delivery and enthusiasm for the sport. It is estimated that he did "blow-by-blow" action for over 2,000 fights. The Friday Night Fights were broadcast every Friday evening from (radio and television (1939–1981) 9 P.M. to 10:45 P.M on ABC.

In 1984, Dunphy was part of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame's inaugural class which included sportscasting legends Red Barber, Ted Husing, Graham McNamee and Bill Stern. He was also a member of the organization's Board of Directors. He was elected in 1986 to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.

Dunphy was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1988 and had a memorable cameo appearance in the 1971 Woody Allen movie Bananas. He appears as the commentator in the 1977 biopic of Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest". He also called all of the fights in the 1980 United Artists film Raging Bull, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. In 1982, he won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcasting Journalism in boxing.[1] He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

In 1927...actress Beverly Tyler was born in Scranton Pa.  She began her career singing on the radio, and later was a vocalist on such TV variety shows as Shower of Stars & Cavalcade of Stars.  She played the hero “Steve Wilson’s” love interest Lorelei Kilbourne on the TV version of Big Town in the early 50’s.  Later after marrying Jim Jordan Jr. she produced “Fibber McGee’s” grandson. She died at age 78 of a pulmonary embolism on Nov. 23, 2005.

➦In 1929...WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana went back on the air - one day after a transmitter fire. In November 1929, the station held a grand opening.

➦In 1943...After a three-month run with J.B. Williams in the title role on the New England Network, the detective series "The Adventures of Nero Wolfe," now starring Santos Ortega, moved to ABC Radio. Luis Van Rooten succeeded Ortega the following year. Between 1943 and 1982, Wolfe was portrayed in four radio series on five different networks.

➦In 1945...Ann Sothern starred on CBS Radio as Maisie in The Adventures Of Maisie, based on the motion picture series. The 2-year network run was followed by a 4-year syndicated version, featuring a who’s who of Hollywood radio veterans.

Lucille Ball, Richard Denning
➦In 1948...“My Favorite Husband”, with Lucille Ball, first aired and became the gifted redhead’s first regular program on CBS Radio Network. Lee Bowman, and later, Richard Denning, co-starred with Lucy as “two people who live together and like it.” She would use the character as a stepping stone to TV’s iconic classic “I Love Lucy” three years later.

➦In 1951..."The Silver Eagle," a radio series starring Jim Ameche as Jim West of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, began its four-year run on ABC Radio.   The show followed the traditions of Fran Striker's The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon.

➦In 1951...Dr. William Shockley made the announcement that he had invented a junction transistor.

A junction transistor is a type of transistor that relies on the contact of two types of semiconductor for its operation. BJTs can be used as amplifiers, switches, or in oscillators. BJTs can be found either as individual discrete components, or in large numbers as parts of integrated circuits.

➦In’s announced that CONELRAD, a means ofwartime communication among the civilian population via AM radio frequencies 640 and 1240Khz, will be going away on August 5 to make way for a new system.

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to the public of the United States in the event of enemy attack during the Cold War. It was intended to serve two purposes: to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and to provide essential civil defense information. U.S. President Harry S. Truman established CONELRAD in 1951.

After the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles reduced the likelihood of a bomber attack, CONELRAD was replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System on August 5, 1963, which was later replaced with the Emergency Alert System in 1997; all have been administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Unlike its successors, the EBS and EAS, CONELRAD was never intended to be used for severe weather warnings or local civil emergencies.

Ben Alexander, Jacb Webb
➦In 1969...Nicholas Benton "Ben" Alexander III died at age 58 (Born June 27, 1911). He was a motion picture actor, who started out as a child actor in 1916. He is best remembered for his role as Officer Frank Smith in the Dragnet franchise. Alexander played leads and second leads in many low-budget films throughout the 1930s.

He found a career as a successful radio announcer in the late 1940s, including a stint on the Martin and Lewis program. Alexander also acted on radio, playing Philip West in the 1939–40 soap opera Brenthouse on the Blue Network

➦In 2008...Rush Limbaugh signed a lucrative deal, believed to be $38 million a year with Premiere Radio Networks.

Huey Lewis
  • Musician Robbie Robertson is 77. 
  • Singer Huey Lewis is 70. 
  • Country keyboardist Charles Ventre of River Road is 68. 
  • Singer Marc Cohn is 61. 
  • Actor Dorien Wilson (“The Parkers,” ″Sister, Sister”) is 58. 
  • Actress Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie,” “The Sopranos”) is 57. 
  • Actress Kathryn Erbe (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent”) is 55.
  • Drummer Bengt Lagerberg of The Cardigans is 47. 
  • Singer Jason Wade of Lifehouse is 40. 
  • Musician Dave Haywood of Lady A is 38. 
  • Bassist Nick O’Malley of Arctic Monkeys is 35. 
  • Actor Jason Dolley (“Cory in the House”) is 29.

Happy 244th Birthday America!

The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

The Declaration announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes. The Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready when Congress voted on independence. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress edited to produce the final version.

The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" – although Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved.

Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his policies and his rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history".

July 4 Radio History

➦In 1884...Attorney and radio station manager George W. Trendle was born in Norwalk Ohio. He became co-owner/manager of Detroit radio station WXYZ, and oversaw the creation and development of three classic action/adventure radio series aimed at young audiences, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, all of which later made a transition to TV.  An avowed penny-pincher, Trendle insisted that the music used on these shows be classical, to avoid paying royalty fees. He died May 10 1972 at age 87.

George W. Trendle
During the 1920s, George W. Trendle had established a reputation as a tough negotiator specializing in movie contracts and leases. Trendle became involved in the Detroit area entertainment business in 1928 when local motion picture theater owner John H. Kunsky offered Trendle 25 percent ownership in exchange for his services.

Trendle and Kunsky formed the Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Company in 1929 after purchasing Detroit radio station WGHP. The radio station's call letters were changed to WXYZ.

Trendle was the president and Kunsky was the vice president of the company. Trendle was active as the station manager. Kunsky is rarely mentioned except as co-owner.

WXYZ was initially affiliated with the Columbia Broadcasting System but became an independent station within a year. (WXYZ is now WXYT Detroit)  Trendle's partner, Kunsky, legally changed his name to King in 1936, and the Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Company became the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company. WXYZ improved its technical facilities through the 1930s, expanding its studios, raising its daytime power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts in the late 1930s, and increasing nighttime power to 5,000 watts in time for its mandated 1941 move from 1240 to 1270 kHz under the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement.

In 1931, Kunsky-Trendle acquired WASH and WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The two stations merged facilities, including studios and transmitters, but retained both station licenses. WASH was on the air from 8 a.m. to noon, and WOOD from noon to midnight. WOOD-WASH became an NBC Red affiliate in 1935. King and Trendle decided to drop the WASH license in 1942, keeping the WOOD identification.

In 1946, the newly formed American Broadcasting Company purchased the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company and its radio stations for $3.65 million. This sale was for the broadcast facilities (including WOOD, WXYZ, and the Michigan Regional Network) and a construction permit for what would later become WXYZ-TV (channel 7) but did not include ownership of Trendle's radio programs. The FCC approved ABC's purchase on July 18, 1946. In 1952, Paramount Theaters (owners of Kunsky and Trendle's former chain of Detroit area theaters) acquired ABC, including WXYZ. WXYZ (now using the call sign WXYT) is today owned by CBS, the network Trendle dropped shortly after taking over the station.

Trendle entered into a new partnership with long term business associates H. Allen Campbell and Raymond Meurer. The Trendle-Campbell Broadcasting Company was formed in 1946 and started radio station WTCB in Flint, Michigan. The new radio station went on the air April 26, 1946, with a four-tower 1000-watt broadcast array. The call letters were later changed to WTAC. In 1953, they added UHF television station WTAC-TV affiliated with ABC-TV and DuMont. The TV station went out of business less than a year later because too few TVs at the time were equipped to receive UHF channels. The radio station has changed owners several times and its call sign was changed to WSNL in 1997. The station is currently owned by The Christian Broadcasting System. Three of the four towers were demolished in 2003 to make room for redevelopment of the site. The fourth tower was removed in 2004 after new transmitting facilities were completed in Gaines Township, southwest of Flint.

Penny pinching

The Kunsky-Trendle business venture began at the start of the Great Depression, and Trendle took many cost-cutting moves that earned him a reputation as a penny-pincher. According to Dick Osgood in his book Wyxie Wonderland: An Unauthorized 50-Year Diary of WXYZ Detroit, he was assisted by H. Allen Campbell.

Campbell was an advertising salesman for the Hearst organization whom Trendle hired to find sponsors for his radio programs. Campbell is credited with signing Silvercup Bread as the first sponsor for the Lone Ranger series. This was a big account and helped to bring the show to nationwide syndication. Apparently, Campbell's contributions to the business were significant. He continued working for Trendle for the next twenty years and eventually became one of Trendle's business partners.

Campbell reportedly kept a set of books to show employees that the company was losing money and could not afford to pay higher salaries. Trendle and Campbell often responded to employee requests for salary increases by downplaying their value to the company and threatening to fire them. This threat was particularly effective during the Depression.

Trendle specified the music on WXYZ shows should be non-copyrighted classical so that the music was royalty-free. This is the reason that the William Tell Overture was adopted as the Lone Ranger theme and The Flight of the Bumble Bee became the theme for the Green Hornet show.

New programming

Fran Striker
In June 1932, Trendle decided to drop the network affiliation to operate WXYZ as an independent station. His station would produce its own radio drama series and broadcast locally produced music programs rather than pay for syndicated programs. Jim Jewell was hired as the station's dramatic director and supplied the actors from his own repertory company, the "Jewell Players." Freelance radio writer Fran Striker was hired to write many of these programs. The earliest dramatic radio series included Thrills of the Secret Service, Dr. Fang, and Warner Lester, Manhunter. Striker wrote many of the scripts and eventually became head of WXYZ's script department.

Late in 1932, Trendle began discussing ideas to create a new radio series with a cowboy as the hero. He wanted a mysterious hero who would have the same type of appeal as Zorro or Robin Hood. The target audience included children, so Trendle insisted on a wholesome hero with high moral standards. Trendle worked out the basic concept of a masked vigilante, a lone Texas ranger with a big white horse, in staff meetings with Jim Jewell and studio manager Harold True. Then it was turned over to Fran Striker to flesh out the details and provide the scripts. His contributions included silver bullets and an Indian companion. The result was The Lone Ranger, which began broadcasting January 30, 1933, on WXYZ and the seven other stations of the Michigan Regional Network.

Fred Foy (far right) during a broadcast of THE LONE RANGER at WXYZ, Detroit. At left are  John Todd (Tonto) and Brace Beemer (the Lone Ranger)

The Lone Ranger was an almost immediate hit. In May, a free popgun was offered to the first 300 listeners to send a written request; the station received nearly 25,000 replies. In July, the Lone Ranger made a public appearance at a park and a crowd estimated at 70,000 gathered.

By the beginning of 1934, the show was syndicated to WGN, Chicago, and WOR, Newark. Other stations soon followed. The live broadcasts were transmitted over telephone lines to the other stations. When the Mutual Broadcasting System was created in 1934, WXYZ became a charter member and the Lone Ranger program was featured on the Mutual Network. Although WXYZ dropped out to join NBC Blue about a year later, contractual obligations kept The Lone Ranger on Mutual until 1942, during this period The Lone Ranger was produced at WXYZ but heard in the Detroit area over Mutual's new affiliate, CKLW. It then switched to the NBC Blue Network, which became ABC in 1943. The popularity of the series rapidly grew and it was eventually heard on 249 radio stations nationwide.

➦In 1913...Radio, TV personality Virginia Graham was born in Chicago.

In the 1940’s she wrote scripts for such radio soap operas as Stella Dallas, Our Gal Sunday, and Backstage Wife. She hosted her first radio talk show in 1951. She succeeded Margaret Truman in 1956 as co-host of the NBC radio show Weekday, teamed with Mike Wallace. She was hostess of TV talk shows from the 50’s to the 70’s that are considered forerunners to today’s daytime TV. She was best known for the nationally syndicated ‘Girl Talk’ on ABC from 1963-1969, ‘The Virginia Graham Show’ from 1970-1972, and guesting on other talk shows, including a dozen appearances on ‘The Tonight Show.’

She died following a heart attack Dec 22, 1998 at age 85.

➦In 1916...the woman tried for treason after WW II as notorious broadcaster Tokyo Rose, Iva Toguri D’Aquino was born in Los Angeles.  She was one of at least a dozen women who did Japanese propaganda broadcasts from Radio Tokyo.   The post-war trial convicted her on just one innoquous charge not involving treason, while she claimed to have subtly subverted the Japanese war effort, and was eventually pardoned by President Ford.  She died Sept. 26 2006 at age 90.

➦In 1929...WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana lost its transmitter due to a fire.

WOWO resumed broadcasting the next day, as operations were moved across the street until damages could be repaired. In November 1929, the station held a grand opening of the rebuilt studios.

➦In 1958...WKBW 1520 AM, Buffalo, changed its format to "Top 40".

WKBW was founded in 1926 as a religious station, operating at the frequency of 1380 kHz. As the story goes, founder Clinton Churchill applied to the Department of Commerce for a license to operate under the call signs WAY. That call sign, however, was being used for a ship at sea, so instead, Churchill chose the letters "WKBW," which were next in the random assignment pool. Churchill proclaimed the call letters to stand for "Well Known Bible Witness"; later usage referred to the middle letters "KB" standing for King of Buffalo (alluding to its 50,000 watt broadcast power).

During the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, WKBW became a major force in pop radio over the East Coast. KB had a 50,000 watt transmitter and the statio to blanket the entire eastern U.S. with top 40 music every night, and the station actually had a better signal at night in the western Boston suburbs than Boston's own top 40 station, WMEX, located at 1510, right next door to WKBW.

Disk jockeys included future Price is Right announcer Rod Roddy, Dick Biondi, Danny Neaverth, Jack Armstrong, Joey Reynolds, Steve Mitchell, Bud Ballou, Norm Marshall, Tom Shannon, and the Amazin' Jim Quinn. Irv Weinstein, later Buffalo's most popular television news anchor, served as news director, and Stan Barron, a holdover from the pre-rock and roll era, handled sports until his departure in 1965.

WWKB's daytime signal decently covers Rochester and the Southern Tier, and reaches into Toronto and as far east as Kingston. At night, it must direct its signal eastward due to sharing a frequency with KOKC in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (the former KOMA, another flame-throwing 50,000-watt top 40 powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s). Thus, while the station can be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night, its signal is spotty at best only 20 miles southwest of Buffalo. Its directional quality is due to the configuration of its transmitter tower array, which has resulted the station being commonly heard very well in parts of Sweden at night during the winter months.

➦In 1970...American Top 40 began on the Independence Day weekend in 1970, on seven radio stations, the very first being KDEO in El Cajon, California (now KECR), which broadcast the inaugural show the evening of July 3, 1970.

The chart data broadcast actually included the top 40 songs from the week ending July 11, 1970. The very first show featured the very last time both Elvis Presley and The Beatles had songs simultaneously in the Top 10.

It was originally distributed by Watermark Inc., and was first presented in mono until it started recording in stereo in September 1972.

In early 1982, Watermark was purchased by ABC Radio and AT40 became a program of the "ABC Contemporary Radio Network". The program was hosted by Casey Kasem and co-created by Kasem; Don Bustany, Kasem's childhood friend from Detroit, MI; radio veteran Tom Rounds; and 93/KHJ Program Director Ron Jacobs, who produced and directed the various production elements. Rounds was also the marketing director; the initial funder was California strawberry grower Tom Driscoll.

The show began as a three-hour program written and directed by Bustany, counting down the top 40 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. The show quickly gained popularity once it was commissioned, and expanded to a four hour-program on October 7, 1978, to reflect the increasing average length of singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

The producing staff expanded to eight people, some of them still in the business: Nikki Wine, Ben Marichal, Scott Paton, Matt Wilson, Merrill Shindler, Guy Aoki, Ronnie Allen and Sandy Stert Benjamin. (Bustany retired from AT40 in 1989; starting in 1994, he hosted a political talk show on non-com KPFK. He died April 23, 2018).

By the early 1980s, the show could be heard on 520 stations in the United States and at its zenith, the show was broadcast on 1,000-plus stations in some 50 countries.

AT40's first countdown:





➦In 1972...WCBS 101.1 FM, New York, changed its format to "Oldies".

At first, the station focused on hits from 1955 to 1964 and mixed in some softer hits of the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as a few then-current songs. WCBS-FM also played a moderate amount of adult standards from the rock era. The station played two current hits per hour known as "future gold". By the late 1970s however, the station dropped most of the adult standards, with a few exceptions.

WCBS-FM's oldies format weathered many trends and corporate moves.

By 1979, three FM stations owned by CBS had begun playing disco music. In 1981, all of CBS's FM stations, except for WCBS-FM, adopted a CHR format branding as "Hot Hits". The oldies format on WCBS-FM continued to be a success.

One ongoing favorite feature was a countdown of the top 500 songs of all time, as voted by the station's listeners. The countdown always took place on Thanksgiving weekend (with a new survey taken every other year. On even years, up to 1990, the survey from the previous year was played. In the first Top 500, The Five Satins' doo wop classic "In the Still of the Night" was #1 and "Earth Angel" by The Penguins was #2.

➦In 2003...Radio, TV veteran Tyler McVey died of leukemia at age 81.  By 1940 he was a regular in radio’s Hollywood stock company, playing regular roles in Glamour Manor, One Man’s Family, The Hermit’s Cave and Wild Bill Hickok, and announcing on the syndicated Smiths of Hollywood.  He was a regular on TV’s Men Into Space and You Are There, with numerous guest roles on Bat Masterson, Death Valley Days, The Wild, Wild West, The F.B.I., Bonanza, Ironside, Ellery Queen, Eight Is Enough and Highway to Heaven, to mention just a few.

➦In expert and Radio personality, Larry Burkett, died at age 64. Best known for his show "Money Matters", which was heard on 1,000 radio stations.

➦In 2005…Former NFL coach and broadcaster Hank Stram, who was a football commentator for CBS Radio and television for 20 years, died from complications of diabetes at 82.

Becki Newton is 42
  • Actress Eva Marie Saint is 96. 
  • Actress Gina Lollobrigida is 93. 
  • Actor Ed Bernard (“Police Woman,” ″White Shadow”) is 81. 
  • Actress Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu in “It’s A Wonderful Life”) is 80. 
  • Singer Annette Beard of Martha and the Vandellas is 77. 
  • TV talk show host Geraldo Rivera is 77. 
  • Percussionist Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire is 69. 
  • Percussionist Domingo Ortiz of Widespread Panic is 68. 
  • Singer John Waite is 68. 
  • Guitarist Kirk Pengilly of INXS is 62. 
  • Steel guitarist Teddy Carr (Ricochet) is 60. 
  • DJ Zonka (Big Audio Dynamite) is 58. 
  • Singer Michael Sweet of Stryper is 57. 
  • Bassist Matt Malley (Counting Crows) is 57. 
  • Actor Tracy Letts (“Homeland”) is 55. 
  • Actor-comedian Al Madrigal (“Gary Unmarried,” ″The Daily Show”) is 49. 
  • Actor John Lloyd Young (“Jersey Boys”) is 45. 
  • Singer Stephen “Ste” McNally of BBMak is 42. 
  • Actress Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) is 42. 
  • Actor Mo McRae (“Sons of Anarchy”) is 38. 
  • Reality star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (“Jersey Shore”) is 38. 
  • Singer Melanie Fiona is 37.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Not Everyone Is Ready To Drop The Industry Term "Urban"

A rep for iHeartMedia sayss that the company is in the process of removing “urban” from job titles, adding that it has “already transitioned away from it” and into “more descriptive and specific names such as hip-hop and R&B” to break from the past. iHM will also no longer use “urban” when referencing the format or in internal communication. The term is “definitely outdated,” the rep says.

In addition, multiple major label executives and other industry sources familiar with the matter tell Rolling Stone that the iHM-owned data analytics company Mediabase, which powers the industry’s go-to charts on radio airplay, is planning to remove “urban” from its chart names. Mediabase currently publishes two charts reflecting the top-played tunes at U.S. Urban stations and Urban Adult Contemporary (AC) stations; these charts will be renamed Hip-hop/R&B and R&B, respectively, sources say.

Republic Records announced last month that it would remove the word from departments and job titles, calling it a reference to “the outdated structures of the past,” and the Grammy Awards has renamed its “Urban Contemporary” category to “Progressive R&B.”

But other organizations and individual black executives are standing by the word. Shawn Gee, manager of the Roots, for example, told the New York Times that he believes the conversation over the word is a distraction and the “problem lies in the infrastructure, in the system — not in the word.” And iHM’s executive vice president of programming Thea Mitchem said to Rolling Stone last month: “If you eliminate the word, does that stop the marginalization of black executives or does it exacerbate the situation?”

Rolling Stone says it's also worth questioning how effective the removal of the word “urban” can be from awards, official formats, and job titles, if other companies in the industry still operate with it. Interscope Records just announced its new senior vice president of urban radio promotions, for example, and several other major labels also retain a robust department explicitly under the “urban radio promotion” umbrella.

The word was was first popularized within the radio community in the Seventies, thanks in large part to Frankie Crocker, a famous DJ and one of the pioneers of black radio in New York.

Washington's NFL Team To "Review" Team Name

UPDATE 7/3/20 12:30 PM:  The Washington Redskins said they are undertaking a “thorough review” of their team name amid mounting pressure from fans and sponsors that they should abandon the moniker commonly seen as a racial slur.

The Wall Street Journal reports the move sets the stage to resolve one of sports’ most prominent battles over offensive team names. Washington will likely be renamed before the 2020 season begins, two people familiar with the matter said.

The announcement is the first signal that the nickname could be abandoned after many years in which the team, and the NFL, defended it. It comes a day after FedEx Corp. —the team’s most prominent sponsor as the name sponsor of FedExField, where Washington plays—said it asked the team to change its name. Also on Thursday, Nike Inc., the NFL’s apparel partner, appeared to remove the team’s products from its website.

“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.

Earlier Posting...

FedEx, which owns the naming rights of the Washington Redskins’ stadium, has asked the team to change its name — a monumental shift in the debate, with FedEx CEO Frederick Smith a member of the Redskins’ ownership group, The Washington Times reports.

The stadium in Landover, Maryland, has carried the shipping company’s name as FedEx Field since November 1999. FedEx, which became the team’s sponsor with a 27-year, $200 million agreement, had not previously weighed in on the growing controversy over the name of the team, which many view as a racist slur.

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx said in a statement Thursday.

The development came after a coalition of investment firms and nonprofits called on FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo to cut ties with the team if it doesn’t change its nickname.

The group — comprising 87 funds, religious organizations and nonprofits promoting various causes including social justice, environmentalism and the rights of indigenous peoples — sent letters last week urging the three companies to pressure the Redskins to change the name. Franchise owner Dan Snyder vowed in 2013 he would never do so, and has been adamant the name is a “great tradition” and honors American Indians.

The Rundown: U-S Coronavirus Cases Surpass Record

The number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassed 53,000 in one day yesterday. That is the highest in a single day since the coronavirus began spreading months ago, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

Florida reported its own record with more than 10,100 new cases.

In Texas, people are now mandated to wear masks in public in any county with 20 or more reported positive cases of COVID-19.

In California, hospitalizations for coronavirus treatment have jumped 56% in two weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some restrictions that had been eased have been restored.

Nationwide, an estimated 2.7 million Americans were infected with COVID-19 as of July 1, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Herman Cain Hospitalized: Herman Cain, a prominent conservative and co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, has been hospitalized for treatment of the virus. He appeared at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 20.

Americans Banned from Europe: The European Union has begun reopening to international travelers but American visitors are banned from entering its member nations for now. Travelers from 14 nations will be allowed in, but the spiraling coronavirus infection rate here makes Americans too risky.

Keep Calm and Party On: Local officials across the country issued similar pleas to their citizens in advance of the July 4th holiday weekend: Party at home. Stay out of crowded places. Wear a mask if you go out.

➤GHISLAINE MEXWELL ORDERED LOCKED-UP:  The ruling in New Hampshire on Thursday pending her transfer to face trial in Manhattan for allegedly recruiting underage girls so they could be sexually abused by her ex-lover, infamous pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell, 58, waived her right to seek release on bond following her blockbuster arrest earlier in the day, although defense lawyer Lawrence Vogelman said she reserved the right to do so once in New York.

Prosecutors had filed legal papers ahead of the hearing that called the disgraced British socialite an “extreme” flight risk on grounds that she has three passports and $20 million in various bank accounts.

Maxwell didn’t enter a plea to the six felony counts in the indictment against her, which alleges that she schemed with Epstein — a financier who committed suicide following his arrest last year — and lied about it during a sworn deposition in 2016.

Jeff Bezos
➤THE RICHEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED: Jeff Bezos is now officially the richest person who ever lived. The founder’s personal fortune grew to just under $172 billion this week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. And that’s after a messy divorce. His ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos is now worth $57 billion, making her the 12th richest person in the world.

➤MCDONALDS DELAYS DINE-IN SERVICE: McDonald’s will delay its plans to reopen dine-in service in its restaurants for another 21 days at least, according to Bloomberg News.

Citing an internal letter, the news service said that flare-ups of coronavirus in various parts of the nation forced the decision. The company may allow restaurants that have already reopened to stay open depending on the guidance of local governments. Drive-throughs are still mostly open.

➤NO MORE ODWALLA JUICE: Odwalla Juice is about to disappear from grocery shelves. Coca-Cola, owner of the juice and smoothie brand, has decided to discontinue it. Smoothies are becoming less popular because they pack quite a few calories in with all those veggies.

➤NEW TUNE FOR THE NFL: The song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often called the Black national anthem, will be played before every Week 1 NFL game of the 2020 season, in addition to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” ESPN reports. The season is expected to start September 10th. The opener is between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs.

➤MORE NBA PLAYERS TEST POSITIVE: Nine more NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a joint statement by the NBA and the players’ association. So far, 25 of 344 players have tested positive since testing began on June 23rd.

Newsday 7/3/20

Bay Area Radio: Bonnie-Jill Laflin EXITS KNBR

Bonnie-Jill Laflin
KNBR and morning-show personality Bonnie-Jill Laflin have parted ways, ending what turned out to be short stay at the sports-talk station.

A station source confirmed on Thursday that Laflin was no longer employed by the Cumulus-owned station, The Mercury reports.

Laflin joined KNBR in September of 2018, adding a female voice to the all-male cast of KNBR’s “Murph & Mac” show (Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey). Last year, she launched a new podcast on Westwood One — “The Weekly Pass” — featuring interviews with sports superstars.

The reason for Laflin’s departure was not immediately clear, but her contract was apparently up in September and radio stations — like many media outlets — have been in a cost-cutting mode during tough economic times. Those specializing in sports have had it especially rough during a COVID-19 pandemic.

It was apparent, also, that during her run at KNBR, Laflin struggled to gain traction on the station’s overcrowded morning show, which featured additional contributions from Adam Copeland.

In an interview last year with the Bay Area News Group, the 44-year-old Laflin spoke of the difficulty of being a woman in a male-dominated sports media scene.

“It’s kind of sad that, even in 2019, women are still being asked to prove themselves, even though so many of us have shown that we can hang with the big boys,” she said. “And even when a woman is doing a really great job, you still hear things like: ‘Oh, she’s really good — for a female.'”

NFL Considers Playing 'Black National Anthem'

The NFL is in the process of solidifying plans to honor victims of systemic racism with a number of in-game programs during opening week of the 2020 season, USAToday reports.

Starting with the nationally televised regular-season opener between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 10, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black national anthem, will be performed before every Week 1 kickoff, before "The Star-Spangled Banner," according to a person familiar with ongoing discussions. The person spoke to USAToday Sports on condition of anonymity because plans have not yet been finalized and announced by NFL officials.

Both anthems will be televised Sunday afternoon, and on "Sunday Night Football" and "Monday Night Football" contests as well. ESPN’s "Undefeated" first reported news of these plans.

The person said after brainstorming with numerous players and the NFL Players Association, NFL officials also plan to honor victims of police brutality through elements such as helmet decals or jerseys. It’s also expected that the Week 1 broadcasts will feature a number of educational PSAs about victims and their families.

CA Radio: KCRW Reaches Collective Bargaining Agreement

Employees at Santa Monica-based KCRW 89.9 FM, which airs news and music from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs, have completed their first collective bargaining agreement, the latest action in a growing move in public radio and podcasting to unionize, The L-A Times reports.

The group We Are KCRW said in a tweet Thursday that it had reached a tentative agreement on a first contract, which will be subject to ratification, after almost a year of bargaining — and despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group sought pay equity and a more diverse workforce to better represent its city. It did not disclose the terms of the agreement; it follows a vote in June 2019 to recognize SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 actors and performers, as the KCRW workers’ labor union.

The agreement marks the latest success story for workers in radio and digital media who increasingly have been moving to unionize. Across the country, journalists at digital news groups, podcasting companies like the Ringer and Spotify and public radio stations have been organizing to improve wages and working conditions.

The KCRW bargaining unit consists of more than 90 DJs, hosts, producers, engineers and reporters, among others, who create the music and news programming, podcasts, digital content and live events that sustain the station. Management, led by KCRW President Jennifer Ferro, said when its employees joined forces with SAG-AFTRA that it supported the move to create a better workplace and recognized the union.

Some employees, like L.A.-based Cerise Castle, had shared their experiences of pay disparities and micro-aggressions via social media. “I’ve been told by white employees that I ‘don’t look like I work’ at KCRW,” the multimedia journalist tweeted last month. “I found out just a few weeks ago I make $12k less than white employees with my job.” She said unionizing was important to protect employees of color like her.

KCRW 89.9 FM (6.9 Kw)
In a statement Thursday, KCRW said it was proud to have its first contract with SAG-AFTRA. “Each and every day, KCRW strives to inspire our listeners — across Southern California and across the globe — with the content we put on the air and online,” Ferro said. “I have never met a more talented or more dedicated team of people. We are happy to have worked together in order to benefit the organization for years to come.”

Report: Zuckerberg Downplays Ad Boycott

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently dismissed the impact of an advertiser-led boycott targeting the platform, reportedly telling staff during a June 26 meeting that neither he nor the company are going to change policies because of pressure from outside groups, The Daily Caller reports.

Capitulating to a group of outsiders’ demands only creates a situation in which a company is subject to future demonstrations, the billionaire explained during a staff meeting, according to a transcript obtained by The Information. Zuckerberg’s comments come as advertisers are pressuring Facebook to remove misinformation and so-called hate speech.

The Information published the transcript of the meeting Wednesday, as more than 500 companies kicked off an advertising boycott. Zuckerberg is reportedly meeting with organizers of the campaign soon.

“You know, we don’t technically set our policies because of any pressure that people apply to us,” Zuckerberg told employees, referring to the boycott.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the boycott hurts his empire’s reputation but noted that the “vast majority” of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from small businesses rather than the corporations boycotting. A “big education campaign” is necessary to assure people that “our practices … make us the best at addressing” hate speech, he added, according to the transcript.

Leaders of civil rights groups are meeting with Facebook executives after calling for an ad boycott of the platform for the month of July. Facebook, which has been under growing pressure to change and update some of its content and brand-safety policies.

Report: CNN Primetime Ignores Two Top Stories

CNN Website Screenshot 7/3/20
Two of the biggest news stories on Thursday were the strong jobs report and the stunning arrest of Jeffrey Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell, but if viewers watched CNN's primetime, they would have no idea either of them took place, Fox News reports.

The latest jobs report showed that 4.8 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in June, bringing the unemployment rate to 11.1 percent. Shortly after the report was released, news broke that Maxwell was arrested on multiple sex-abuse charges, including conspiracy to entice minors to engage in sexual acts.

While the liberal network covered both news items throughout the day, the stories were noticeably absent during the network's primetime programming between the 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Instead, the channel mainly focused on the coronavirus outbreak.

"Cuomo Prime Time" anchor Chris Cuomo had two hours of coverage after taking over for Don Lemon at 10 p.m. But despite having double the airtime, the stories were not touched.

Earlier in the day, CNN also raised eyebrows when it skipped President Trump's remarks from the White House touting the positive economic numbers amid the rebound from national shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“CNN can decide not to cover whatever it chooses, but its choices are so transparently biased against the president that it damages CNN more than Trump. CNN is simply signaling to people to get their information elsewhere, which based on the ratings, a lot of people are doing,” Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News about the network's decision not to air the president's remarks.

Meanwhile,  President Trump mocked CNN’s Chris Cuomo for the second time this week, saying Thursday the cable news host should be moved from primetime back to a morning slot because of his “really bad” ratings.

Despite Agreement, Hedge Firm Could Buy Tribune Co.

When Tribune Publishing and its largest shareholder, Alden Global Capital, struck a deal Wednesday to extend an ownership standstill agreement, it appeared to buy a year before the hedge fund could potentially take control of the newspaper company.

But, according to The Chicago Tribune, a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission lays out a number of circumstances — from other major shareholders teaming up to someone making an offer to buy Tribune Publishing — that would terminate the agreement and allow Alden to buy more shares.

In fact, Alden itself could make an offer to buy a majority stake in the company, despite the standstill agreement.

Alden, a New York-based hedge fund with a reputation for sweeping layoffs at its newspaper properties, took a 32% stake in Tribune Publishing in November, but was restricted from buying additional shares through June 30. In return, Alden added two representatives to Tribune Publishing’s board.

Wednesday’s standstill agreement added Alden co-founder Randall Smith to the Tribune Publishing board, giving the hedge fund three seats on the now seven-member board. It also restricts Alden’s stake from passing 33% until after Tribune Publishing’s next annual shareholder meeting, which can take place no later than June 15, 2021.

The agreement includes several provisions that terminate the standstill restrictions. One is any person or group, other than Alden, acquiring 30% of outstanding shares.

Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, Tribune Publishing’s second-largest shareholder with a 24% stake of the company, also was bound by a standstill agreement through June 30. He is now free to buy or sell shares.

Launched in 2007, Alden owns about 200 publications through an operating company known as MediaNews Group, formerly Digital First Media. Its larger newspapers include the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

In addition to the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing also owns the Baltimore Sun; 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.

July 3 Radio History

➦In 1913...Dorothy Mae Kilgallen born (Died – November 8, 1965). She was a journalist, radio host  and television game show panelist.

She started her career shortly before her 18th birthday as a reporter for the Hearst Corporation's New York Evening Journal. In 1938, she began her newspaper column "The Voice of Broadway", which eventually was syndicated to more than 140 papers. In 1950, she became a regular panelist on the television game show What's My Line?, continuing in the role until her death.

Kilgallen's columns featured mostly show business news and gossip, but ventured into other topics, such as politics and organized crime. She wrote front-page articles on the Sam Sheppard trial and later the John F. Kennedy assassination.

On April 6, 1940, Kilgallen married Richard Kollmar, a musical comedy actor and singer who had starred in the Broadway show Knickerbocker Holiday and was performing, at the time of their wedding, in the Broadway cast of Too Many Girls.

Early in their marriage, Kilgallen and Kollmar both launched careers in network radio. Kilgallen ran her radio program Voice of Broadway, which was broadcast on CBS during World War II,  and Kollmar worked a long stint in the nationally syndicated crime drama in which he played Boston Blackie.
Breakfast with Dorothy & Dick
Beginning in April 1945, Kilgallen and Kollmar co-hosted a WOR-AM radio talk show, Breakfast With Dorothy and Dick, from their 16-room apartment. The radio program, like Kilgallen's newspaper column, mixed entertainment with serious issues. Kilgallen and Kollmar continued doing the show from their home until 1963, long after the terminations of other radio shows on which each had worked without the other.

On November 8, 1965, the 52-year-old Kilgallen was found dead on the third floor of her five-story Manhattan townhouse. Her death was determined to have been caused by a fatal combination of alcohol and barbiturates.

➦In 1931...German boxer Max Schmeling beats American Young Stribling by TKO in 15 in Cleveland in his first heavyweight title defence; first major fight broadcast live on national radio.

➦In 1935...“Hawaii Calls” aired its first radio on the beach at Waikiki. The series lasted more than 60 years.  Hawaii Calls featured live Hawaiian music conducted by Harry Owens for the first two years, the composer of "Sweet Leilani". Ray Andrade was a charter member of the Harry Owens Royal Hawaiian Hotel Orchestra, he also became one of the first vocalists on the “Hawaii Calls” radio show. It was broadcast each week, usually from the courtyard of the Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach but occasionally from other locations, and hosted by Webley Edwards for almost the entire run. Al Kealoha Perry was musical director for thirty years, 1937–1967.

The first show reached the West Coast of the continental United States through shortwave radio. At its height, it was heard on over 750 stations around the world. However, when it went off the air in 1975, only 10 stations were airing the show. Because of its positive portrayal of Hawaii, the show received a subsidy for many years—first from the government of the Territory of Hawaii, and then from the State of Hawaii. The termination of the subsidy was one of the reasons that the show went off the air.

➦In 1939…Chic Young's comic strip character "Blondie" became a radio sitcom. The radio program had a long run on several networks from 1939 to 1950.

After Penny Singleton was cast in the title role of the feature film Blondie (1938), co-starring with Arthur Lake as Dagwood (the first in a series of 28 produced by Columbia Pictures); she and Lake repeated their roles December 20, 1938, on The Pepsodent Show starring Bob Hope. The appearance with Hope led to their own show, beginning July 3, 1939, on CBS as a summer replacement for The Eddie Cantor Show. However, Cantor did not return in the fall, so the sponsor, R.J. Reynolds' Camel Cigarettes chose to keep Blondie on the air Mondays at 7:30pm. Camel remained the sponsor through the early World War II years until June 26, 1944.

In 1944, Blondie was on the NBC Blue Network, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive's Super Suds, airing Fridays at 7pm from July 21 to September 1. The final three weeks of that run overlapped with Blondie's return to CBS on Sundays at 8pm from August 13, 1944, to September 26, 1948, still sponsored by Super Suds. Beginning in mid-1945, the 30-minute program was heard Mondays at 7:30pm. Super Suds continued as the sponsor when the show moved to NBC on Wednesdays at 8pm from October 6, 1948, to June 29, 1949.

When Penny Singleton left the radio series in the mid-1940s, Patricia Lake, the former Patricia Van Cleeve, replaced her as the voice of Blondie for the remaining five years of the show, opposite her real-life husband Arthur Lake. Ann Rutherford and Alice White were also heard as radio's Blondie. In 1954, Lake also co-starred with her husband in an early television sitcom he created called Meet the Family.

The radio show ended the same year as the Blondie film series (1938–50).

➦In  1940…The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello debuted their own network radio show on NBC. After two years of wowing the audience of the Kate Smith Show,  the duo replaced Fred Allen for the summer months. In the fall of ’42 they began a seven year run with their own Thursday night show. In 1952 Abbott and Costello produced 52 episodes of one of the most successful and repeated programs in TV history.

➦In 1955...Tom Clay, a Buffalo DJ on WWOL-AM, staged a famous billboard publicity stunt in Shelton Square in Buffalo.

Tom Clay
Clay in the 1950s was a popular radio personality in the Detroit area on WJBK-AM both as a DJ, and for his on-air comic characterizations. In the early 1950s Clay, using the pseudonym "Guy King," worked for WWOL-AM/FM in Buffalo, New York; on July 3, 1955, he conducted the stunt in which he played "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets repeatedly from atop a billboard in Buffalo's Shelton Square, an incident that led to his firing and arrest.  In the mid-1950s he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and was equally popular.

He was caught up in the payola scandal of the late 1950s, and admitted to having accepted thousands of dollars for playing certain records. After being fired from WJBK, Clay worked at the short-lived Detroit Top 40 station WQTE (now WRDT 560 AM) only to be fired again when the station changed format to easy listening music in 1961. After moving to Los Angeles and becoming a popular personality on KDAY and KRLA, Clay returned to the Detroit area and found work at CKLW 800 AM at the time one of the foremost Top 40 stations.

Clay is best remembered for his single on Motown's MoWest label "What the World Needs Now Is Love"/"Abraham, Martin and John", a compilation of clips from the two popular records, interviews, and speeches of Jack and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King emphasizing tolerance and civil rights. It went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

Clay died in 1995 of stomach and lung cancer at the age of 66, in Valley Village, Los Angeles.

➦In 1961...Dan Ingram did his first show on WABC 770 AM, New York. He filled in for Chuck Dunaway.

➦In 1972...Bob Crane went back to radio - but only for one week.

He was filling in for Dick Wittinghill - his former archrival on KMPC 710 AM in Los Angeles beginning July 5. Wittinghill and Crane battled it out for the morning ratings in Los Angeles from 1956 to 1965, when Crane left to star in “Hogan’s Heroes.”

➦In 1976...The Los Angeles comedy radio team of Hudson and Landry split.

Bob Hudson wanted to keep it together with their KFI 640 AM radio show, nightclub appearances and possibly more comedy records, but Ron Landry wanted to go into television as a writer and producer. Ron Landry says – “Doing this show was a lot of fun. We had five great years and, I think we did some interesting things in broadcasting.”

➦In 1978...Supreme Court ruled 5-4, FCC had a right to reprimand non-com WBAI in NYC for broadcasting George Carlin's "Filthy Words".

➦In 1983...KNX-FM – Soft rock in Los Angeles changes calls and format to KKHR (Hit Radio), direct competition for KIIS-FM.

➦In 1986...Singer and bandleader Rudy Vallée died (Born - July 28, 1901). He was one of the first modern pop stars of the teen idol type.

In 1929, Vallée began hosting The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, a popular radio show with guests such as Fay Wray and Richard Cromwell in dramatic skits. Vallée continued hosting radio shows such as the Royal Gelatin Hour, Vallee Varieties, and The Rudy Vallee Show through the 1930s and 1940s.

When Vallée took his contractual vacations from his national radio show in 1937, he insisted his sponsor hire Louis Armstrong as his substitute.  This was the first instance of an African-American hosting a national radio program. Vallée wrote the introduction for Armstrong's 1936 book Swing That Music. For his work in radio, he was inducted into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011.

In 1929, Vallée made his first feature film, The Vagabond Lover for RKO Radio.

➦In 1986...It was announced that Howard Stern, the often controversial New York City DJ/talker, would be syndicated weekly by DIR to other stations.

Stern, who joined rocker WXRK NYC in '85, had seen his ratings rise from a 1.2 to a 3.4 and up to a 5.2 share in the recent ratings. “The Howard Stern Show” will mix music and talk equally. At WXRK, Stern plays about 6 songs per hour.

➦In 1993…Sports broadcaster Don Drysdale died following a heart attack at age 56.

➦In 2006...Seattle area native Smilin’ Jack Smith, who crooned on his own nightly CBS Radio show from 1945 to 52, then went on to host TV’s You Asked For it over a more-than-30-year span, died of leukemia at age 92.

➦In 2014...the SiriusXM radio team of Opie & Anthony was forever broken up, as the network fired Anthony Cumia for making a series of tweets following an alleged off-air incident with a black woman on the street. Cumia tweeted that he was punched by the woman while attempting to take a picture in Times Square. The tweets were described by Sirius XM as “racially-charged and hate-filled.”

Olivia Munn is 40
  • Actor Michael Cole (“The Mod Squad”) is 80. 
  • Singer Judith Durham of The Seekers is 77. 
  • Actor Kurtwood Smith (“That ’70s Show”) is 77. 
  • Country singer Johnny Lee is 74. Writer Dave Barry is 73. 
  • Actress Betty Buckley is 73. 
  • Actress Jan Smithers (“WKRP In Cincinnati”) is 71. 
  • Actor Bruce Altman (“Blue Bloods”) is 65. 
  • Talk show host Montel Williams is 64. 
  • Country singer Aaron Tippin is 62. 
  • Synthesizer player Vince Clarke of Erasure is 60. 
  • Actor Tom Cruise is 58. 
  • Actor Thomas Gibson (“Criminal Minds,” ″Dharma and Greg”) is 58. 
  • Actress Hunter Tylo is 58. 
  • Actress Connie Nielsen (“Gladiator”) is 56. 
  • Actress Yeardley Smith (“The Simpsons”) is 56. 
  • TV chef Sandra Lee is 54. 
  • Singer Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler of Digable Planets is 51. 
  • Keyboardist-guitarist Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies is 51. 
  • Actress Shawnee Smith (“Saw,” ″Becker”) is 51. 
  • Actress-singer Audra McDonald (“Private Practice”) is 50. 
  • Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 45. 
  • Actress Andrea Barber (“Full House”) is 44. 
  • Comedian Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”) is 42. 
  • Singer Tonia Tash of Divine is 41. 
  • Actress Olivia Munn (“The Newsroom”) is 40. 
  • Actress Shoshannah Stern (“Jericho”) is 40. 
  • Singer Elle King is 31. 
  • Actor Grant Rosenmeyer (TV’s “Oliver Beene”) is 29. 
  • Actress Kelsey Batelaan (“Nip/Tuck”) is 25.