Saturday, July 11, 2020

July 12 Radio History

Milton Berle 1943
➦In 1908...Comedian Milton Berle was born in New York City (Died from colon canser – March 27, 2002). Berle's career as an entertainer spanned over 80 years, first in silent films and on stage as a child actor, then in radio, movies and television. As the host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater (1948–55), he was the first major American television star and was known to millions of viewers as "Uncle Miltie" and "Mr. Television" during the first Golden Age of Television.

From 1934–36, Berle appeared regularly on The Rudy Vallee Hour, and he attracted publicity as a regular on The Gillette Original Community Sing, a Sunday night comedy-variety program broadcast on CBS from September 6, 1936 to August 29, 1937. In 1939, he was the host of Stop Me If You've Heard This One with panelists spontaneously finishing jokes sent in by listeners.

In the late 1940s, he canceled well-paying nightclub appearances to expand his radio career. Three Ring Time, a comedy-variety show sponsored by Ballantine Ale, was followed by a 1943 program sponsored by Campbell's Soups. The audience participation show Let Yourself Go (1944–1945) could best be described as "slapstick radio" with studio audience members acting out long suppressed urges—often directed at host Berle. Kiss and Make Up, on CBS in 1946, featured the problems of contestants decided by a jury from the studio audience with Berle as the judge. Berle also made guest appearances on many comedy-variety radio programs during the 1930s and 1940s.

Howard Duff
 ➦In 1946…"The Adventures of Sam Spade," debuted on ABC Radio.

The show ran for 13 episodes on ABC in 1946, for 157 episodes on CBS in 1946-1949, and finally for 51 episodes on NBC in 1949-1951. The series starred Howard Duff (and later, Steve Dunne) as Sam Spade and Lurene Tuttle as his secretary Effie, and took a considerably more tongue-in-cheek approach to the character than the novel or movie. The announcer was Dick Joy.

The series was largely overseen by producer/director William Spier. In 1947, scriptwriters Jason James and Bob Tallman received an Edgar Award for Best Radio Drama from the Mystery Writers of America.

➦In 1957…DJ Alan Freed - the man who coined the term "Rock and Roll" - started a Rock and Roll program on ABC-TV.

"The Big Beat" with guest performers Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers, the Everly Brothers and Connie Francis. The series was cancelled after the fourth show in which Frankie Lymon was seen dancing with a white girl, something that reportedly offended the management of the network's affiliate stations in southern states. Freed hosted a local version of "The Big Beat" on WNEW-TV New York until late 1959 when he was fired due to payola allegations.

➦In 1976…Ted Mack died (Born William Edward Maguiness February 12, 1904). He was the host of Ted Mack and The Original Amateur Hour on radio and television.

The Original Amateur Hour began on radio in 1934 as Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, and ran until the 1946 death of its creator, Major Bowes. Mack, a talent scout who had directed the show under Bowes, revived it in 1948 for ABC Radio and the DuMont Television Network.

The show lasted on radio until 1952 and until 1970 on television, where it ran on all four major networks, ending as a Sunday afternoon CBS staple. A success in the early days of television, the program set the stage for numerous programs seeking talented stars, from The Gong Show to Star Search to American Idol to America's Got Talent.

Auditions for the show were generally held in New York's Radio City Music Hall. Those who passed the initial screening were invited to compete on the program, featuring amateurs whose performance were judged by viewers, voting via letters and phone calls. Contestants who won three times earned cash prizes, scholarships, or participation in a traveling stage show associated with the program.

Winners who went on to show business careers included singers Gladys Knight, Ann-Margret, Pat Boone, Raul Julia, Teresa Brewer, Irene Cara, The Rock and Roll Trio and Los Concertinos from Puerto Rico.

➦In 1979…A major and oft-mentioned promotional event held at Old Comiskey was "Disco Demolition Night", organized by longtime Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl and White Sox promotions manager Mike Veeck (Bill's son).

Between games of a make-up doubleheader between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers, Dahl and his crew destroyed a pile of disco records that fans had brought in exchange for a ticket with a discounted price of 98¢ in honor of Dahl's station at that time, WLUP-FM, the frequency of which was 97.9 MHz (98 FM).

More than 50,000 fans were in attendance, along with another 20,000 who crashed the gates even though the game was sold out.  The demolition tore a huge hole in center field and several thousand fans, many of them intoxicated, stormed the field, stole equipment, and destroyed the infield.

The nightcap was postponed, but league officials ruled it a forfeit the next day, the fourth in American League history, all in the 1970s.  Later, some blamed Dahl; some blamed Veeck. Howard Cosell even blamed then-White Sox announcer Harry Caray, saying Caray contributed to a "carnival" atmosphere. In reality, a handful of rowdies had taken advantage of a situation for which stadium security was woefully unprepared.

"I never thought that I, a stupid disc jockey, could draw 70,000 people to a disco demolition", Dahl said in a Tribune interview. "Unfortunately, some of our followers got a little carried away." That was the last anti-disco rally for WLUP. But it brought Dahl national attention and established him as a radio superstar in Chicago.

➦In 1996...NBC news anchor John Chancellor succumbed to stomach cancer at age 68.

➦In  2008… Former White House press secretary, radio-TV newsman and program host (Fox News, CNN, NPR) Tony Snow died of colon cancer at 53.

➦In 2008… New York Yankees outfielder and baseball broadcaster Bobby Murcer died of brain cancer at age 62.

Kimberly Perry is 37
  • Actor-comedian Bill Cosby is 83. 
  • Singer Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac is 77. 
  • Actress Denise Nicholas (“In the Heat of the Night”) is 76. 
  • Singer Walter Egan is 72. 
  • Fitness guru Richard Simmons is 72. 
  • Actress Cheryl Ladd (“Charlie’s Angels”) is 69. 
  • Singer Ricky McKinnie of The Blind Boys of Alabama is 68. 
  • Actress Mel Harris (“thirtysomething”) is 64. 
  • Gospel singer Sandi Patty is 64. 
  • Guitarist Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum is 58. 
  • Actress Judi Evans (“Days of Our Lives”) is 56. 
  • Singer Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms is 55. 
  • Actress Natalie Desselle Reid (Film’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” TV’s “Eve”) is 53. 
  • Actress Lisa Nicole Carson (“Ally McBeal”) is 51. 
  • Country singer Shannon Lawson is 47.
  • Actress Anna Friel (“Pushing Daisies”) is 44. 
  • Singer Tracie Spencer is 44. 
  • Actress Alison Wright (“The Americans”) is 44. 
  • Actor Steve Howey (“Reba”) is 43. 
  • Actor Topher Grace (“That ’70s Show”) is 42. 
  • Actress Michelle Rodriguez (“The Fast and The Furious” films, “Lost”) is 42. 
  • Actor Kristen Connolly (“Zoo”) is 40. 
  • Singer-guitarist Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry is 37. 
  • Actor Matt Cook (“Man with a Plan”) is 36. 
  • Actress Natalie Martinez (“Under the Dome”) is 36. 
  • Actress Ta’Rhonda Jones (“Empire”) is 32. 
  • Actress Melissa O’Neill (“The Rookie”) is 32. 
  • Actress Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” ″House of Cards”) is 30. 
  • Actor Erik Per Sullivan (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 29.

Report: Radio Listening Continues To Rebound

The final PPM June books were just released. In coordination with XTrends, Research Director, Inc. has analyzed market listening in 47 of the 48 PPM markets and the results are encouraging for the radio industry, according to a blog posting.

Charlie Sislen
While radio listening declined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic shutdown, it has rebounded and is approaching pre-COVID-19 levels, according to Charlie Sislen at The Research Director Inc.

According to Sislen, listening in every one of the studied markets was higher in the June survey when compared to the April survey (3/26-4/22). The average market has seen P6+ listening increase 20% with individual market growth ranging from +4% to +38%. Growth was even more impressive with the target demo of Adults 25-54, where the average market has seen listening climb +22% with a range of +5% to +40%.

All but one market saw P6+ PUMM (market level AQH) in June exceed the May survey. The average market grew 8% with a range from -1% to +17%. Growth is also seen with the target demo of Adults 25-54, where the average market saw listening climb +9%.

Radio listening in all but one market has grown for two consecutive surveys. In other words, radio listening is climbing from both April to May and also May to June.

Sislen concludes "While our industry is not back to pre-COVID-19 listening levels, the rebound is a positive sign. As each market’s economy rebounds, radio listening will return."

Cumulus Stock Gains, Blair Garner Show Ending

Cumulus Media stock was up some 9.3% at the close of trading Friday, as investors reacted positively to three key announcements:
  • First, Westwood One News is closing its doors.
  • Second, as reported by Radio Ink, 3% of the Cumulus workforce will see their jobs permanently erased.
  • Third, Westwood One has notified told affiliates that The Blair Garner Show will end on Sunday, August 9
At the Closing Bell on Friday, CMLS finished at an even $4, a 9.3% improvement from Thursday that puts shares back where they were prior to the July 4 holiday weekend.

This indicates that inventors likely seek a leaner, more efficient operation at Cumulus. And, this involves trimming the payroll, RBR/TVRB reports.

Unlike CBS News Radio or ABC News Radio, Westwood One News distinguishes itself by offering fully customizable locally branded news updates at the top and bottom of each hour, day and night, seven days a week.

Among the 962 affiliates impacted by the closure of Westwood One News, scheduled for August 30, are Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM in Chicago, KGO-AM in San Francisco, KABC-AM in Los Angeles, and WJR-AM in Detroit. Affiliates also include Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C., and Entercom-owned KYW-AM in Philadelphia. Bloomberg Radio also utilizes Westwood One News, according to the WWO website.

Prior to joining Cumulus, Garner hosted the syndicated “After Midnite” for Premiere Networks for 20 years.

Denver Radio: KKFN Adds Former NFL Player Nate Jackson

Bonneville Denver announces Nate Jackson has been hired by Sports Radio KKFN 104.3 FM as an on-air talent. He will be heard across all of the station’s programs as a contributor and fill-in host, in addition to contributing digital content at

Nate Jackson
Jackson spent six seasons in the NFL from 2003-2008 as a wide receiver and tight end with the Denver Broncos. In 2013, HarperCollins published his memoir, “Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile,” which would become a New York Times bestseller. Rolling Stone called it “the best football memoir of all time.”

In 2016, HarperCollins published another piece from Jackson, “Fantasy Man: A Former NFL Player’s Descent into the Brutality of Fantasy Football.” In addition, he has contributed written pieces for a number of outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Deadspin.

“Nate is a fascinating person with an incredible perspective on sports and life based on his experiences,” said Raj Sharan, program director for Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan. “While he’s obviously a talented writer, Nate also has a very entertaining and warm personality that we look forward to developing as one of our on-air talents.”

Jackson graduated from Menlo College in Atherton, Calif., with a B.A. in communications. He and his wife Ariane are relocating to Denver from Los Angeles along with their newborn son.

ESPN's 'Woj' Apologizes To U-S Senator For F-Bomb

After Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver criticizing the league’s once-cozy and now-complicated relationship with China. The NY Post reports the NBA’s most prominent reporter offered a blunt response to the Republican.

“F–k you,” wrote ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — who didn’t use dashes in his writing — after being included in a press release with details of the letter.

Hawley, 40, posted a screenshot of the email, tweeting, “Don’t criticize #China or express support for law enforcement to @espn. It makes them real mad.”

Wojnarowski apologized soon afterward.

“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake,” Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter. “I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”

ESPN also released a statement, declining to address whether Wojnarowski would be disciplined.

“This is completely unacceptable behavior and we do not condone it,” the statement said. “It is inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley. We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal.”

As the NBA readies for its restart to the season at the end of July, the league is allowing players to showcase social justice messages on their playing jerseys, such as, “Equality,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Vote” and “I Can’t Breathe.” However, the league limited statements to an approved list, which excluded any commentary regarding China.

In Hawley’s letter to Silver, the former critically questioned whether “Free Hong Kong” could also be featured on the back of a player’s jersey, writing that the NBA’s “free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities.”

Panama City Radio: WEBZ Personality Reports Threat

David Barnes
A WEBZ-FM “99.3 The Beat” personality says he’s pursuing legal action against a man who allegedly threatened to hang him, the News-Herald reports.

After contemplating overlooking the June 30 Facebook comment, David “DJ Big Boi” Barnes, 32, who is black, said he made contact with a Bay County Sheriff’s Office investigator the day after Brian Green allegedly responded to a comment on a post he too had commented on with, “That’s why y’all ancestors got hung on my grandfather’s apple tree and soon it will happen to you as well.”

“At first, I kind of dismissed it,” Barnes said in a phone interview Thursday. “I looked at it again and said this is something that needs to be taken with action and not taken lightly.”

The next day, he met with law enforcement at the sheriff’s office, where he discovered Green’s alleged threat was more than threatening and generally menacing, it was unlawful — a written threat is a second degree felony in Florida.

“Once I felt that (law enforcement) was going to pursue it, I felt a tad bit safer than what I did,” Barnes said. But, “I still move with caution,” often examining my surroundings.

The heightened racial tension and awareness currently surfacing across the country likely made the racially-charged threat on Barnes one that could be taken seriously.

BSCO officials confirmed Thursday the case is currently under investigation and is being reviewed by the State Attorney’s Office.

However, Green said in a brief phone call Thursday afternoon that Barnes has made equally threatening statements to him in the past.

“He is more than welcomed to pursue legal action,” Green said. “He has made threats to me several times, he has had other individuals call me, threatening me,” and has “sent people” to drive by my home.

Barnes said his immediate employer iHeartMedia in Tallahassee has reached out to him to find out more about what his plans are moving forward and to see what role the company could play in keeping him safe and free to do his job.

Singer: Lady A Name Lawsuit Is ‘White Privilege’

Veteran blues singer Anita White, who has gone by the stage name Lady A for decades, has responded to the trademark lawsuit filed this week by Lady A, the country band formerly known as Lady Antebellum.

The L-A Times reports the 61-year-old Seattle-based artist accused the trio of performative activism showcased by rebranding to depart from the word Antebellum’s pro-slavery connotations. But, she said, they undercut the move by suing her to share the name. The band was also harshly criticized on Twitter for taking the matter to court.

“Not wanting a name that is a reminder to many Black folks of how so much was taken from us: our freedom, languages, families, and even our names makes sense,” White said in an interview with Rolling Stone published Friday. “However, to do so by taking the name on which I, a Black woman, have built my career in the music industry for over 20 years is ironic.”

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Tennessee after the country trio said negotiations with White broke down. The Grammy-winning group, known for hits including “Need You Now” and “Just a Kiss,” said it was forced to file suit after White demanded an “exorbitant” $10 million to allow them to share the name.

“They want to change the narrative by minimizing my voice, by belittling me and by not telling the entire truth,” told Rolling Stone.

“I don’t think of myself as a victim, but I’ve worked too long and too hard to just walk away and say I’ll share the name with them. They want to appropriate something I used for decades. Just because I don’t have 40 million fans or $40 million, that should not matter.”

Band members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and David Haywood and their company, Lady A Entertainment, sought a declaratory judgment that would allow them to use the name without infringing on any of White’s trademark rights. They didn’t seek monetary damages through the action, according to a copy of the complaint reviewed by The Times, but asked that they “continue to coexist.”

The band registered the Lady A trademark in 2010 and said that White did not oppose any previous applications for the mark, nor did she seek to cancel any of the Lady A registrations or seek the trademark for herself.

However, White told Rolling Stone that she didn’t think their acts could coexist under the Lady A moniker. She said she wanted the money to rebrand herself, but also planned to donate half of the $10 million to various organizations, including the Black Lives Matter advocacy group, as well as a charity for seniors and youth in Seattle, and musicians in need of legal counsel.

WSJ Staffers Want 'Muscular' Reporting On Race, Social Issues

Staff members of The Wall Street Journal have been pressing newsroom leaders to make fundamental changes in how the newspaper covers race, policing, and its primary focus, the business world, along with other matters, according to The NY Times.

In a June 23 letter to the editor in chief, Matt Murray, a group identifying itself only as “members of the WSJ newsroom” said the paper must “encourage more muscular reporting about race and social inequities,” and laid out detailed proposals for revising its news coverage.

“In part because WSJ’s coverage has focused historically on industries and leadership ranks dominated by white men, many of our newsroom practices are inadequate for the present moment,” the letter said.

Matt Murray
Among its proposals: Murray should appoint journalists to cover “race, ethnicity and inequality”; name two standards editors specializing in diversity; conduct a study of the race, ethnicity and gender breakdown of the subjects of The Journal’s “most prominent and resource-intensive stories”; and bring more diversity to the newsroom and leadership positions.

Speaking more broadly, the letter questioned whether The Journal put too much stock in business leaders and government officials.

“Reporters frequently meet resistance when trying to reflect the accounts and voices of workers, residents or customers, with some editors voicing heightened skepticism of those sources’ credibility compared with executives, government officials or other entities,” the letter said. “We should apply the same healthy skepticism toward everyone we cover.”

On Friday, Kamilah M. Thomas, chief people officer with Dow Jones, the publisher of The Journal, sent an internal email announcing the recent creation of a new position of senior vice president of inclusion and people management as well as other initiatives that, she said, are part of “a comprehensive review of diversity, equity and inclusion across our business.”

The Journal is one of many media organizations, including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times and Condé Nast, where staff members have questioned leadership at a time of widespread protests against racism and police brutality prompted by the killing in May of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer pressed a knee to his neck.

Report: Amazon Satellite Plan Gets FCC Backing’s plan for a fleet of 3,236 communications satellites won the backing of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman, who said he had asked fellow commissioners to approve the venture. according to BNN Bloomberg.

“Satellite constellations like this aim to provide high-speed broadband service to consumers in the U.S. and around the world,” Ajit Pai said in a tweet on Friday. Pai added that he had called for conditions on the proposed service by Amazon subsidiary Kuiper Systems without specifying them.

Pai’s request is likely to result in approval in closed-door voting at the agency, where he leads a Republican majority.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wants to launch the small satellites in low orbits to provide internet coverage. Separately, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, has launched more than 480 of a planned 12,000 satellites; in October 2019, the company founded by Elon Musk sought permission for 30,000 more.

The FCC coordinates coordinates trajectories and radio-frequency use.

Amazon last year called Kuiper “a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet.”

Report: Facebook Considering Political Ad Ban

Facebook Inc. is considering imposing a ban on political ads on its social network in the days leading up to the U.S. election in November, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking.

Bloomberg reports the potential ban is still only being discussed and hasn’t yet been finalized, said the people, who asked not to be named talking about internal policies. A halt on ads could serve as a defense against misleading election-related content spreading widely right as people prepare to vote. Still, there are also concerns that an ad blackout could hurt “get out the vote” campaigns, or limit a candidate’s ability to respond widely to breaking news or new information.

Facebook doesn’t fact-check ads from politicians or their campaigns, a point of contention for many lawmakers and advocates, who say the policy means ads on the platform could be used to spread lies and misinformation. The social-media giant has been criticized in recent weeks by civil rights groups that say it doesn’t do enough to remove efforts to limit voter participation, and a recent audit of the company found Facebook failed to enforce its own voter suppression policies when it comes to posts from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Hundreds of advertisers are currently boycotting Facebook’s advertising products as part of a protest against its policies.

Analyst: Disney Parks Crucial To Recovery

Florida’s hospitals are running out of ICU capacity, but visitors will be able to return to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park and Animal Kingdom Park on Saturday. That’s at least good news for Walt Disney stock, J.P. Morgan says.

Barron's reports analyst Alexia Quadrani reiterated an Overweight rating and $135 price target on Disney shares Friday, writing that the “reopening of the parks globally is a critical sign of recovery as this removes the largest overhang at the company due to Covid-19.”

The opening of Disney’s Orlando resort comes just days before Disneyland Paris is scheduled to come back online. Hong Kong Disneyland reopened in June, while Shanghai Disneyland has been open since May. That means the company’s California location is the only one without a reopening date set.

The openings increase Quadrani’s confidence in the stock, but that isn’t the only thing keeping her bullish. She notes that Disney+ saw more than three-quarters of a million new mobile downloads of its app world-wide over the Independence Day weekend, which included the service’s July 3 release of musical Hamilton. That’s even more impressive considering Disney had stopped providing free seven-day trials to new subscribers before the release—so those that joined at to pay for at least one month.

Disney stock is down more than 19% year to date, as the pandemic has hit the company hard. It has had to delay movie releases, and a lack of live sports is a headwind for its ESPN business. And, of course, every day that its theme parks are closed is very costly for the company.

That is why investors have been so eager to see the parks reopen, even if some worry that it’s too soon. Disney has announced enhanced safety protocols, and no major outbreaks have been linked to the properties thus far. That has led some analysts to argue that the worst is over, and the shares are too cheap.

July 11 Radio History

➦In 1906.
..Harry Von Zell born in Indianapolis (Died of cancer at age 75 – November 21, 1981), He was an announcer of radio programs and an actor in films and television shows. He is best remembered for his work on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, and for once mispronouncing President Herbert Hoover's name on the air, a slip that was exaggerated on a later comedy record album.

Von Zell broke into show business as a singer and announcer at radio station KMIC in Inglewood, California in the mid-1920s. Later, auditioning for Paul Whiteman's radio show in 1929, he was chosen from a field of 250 announcers. When that series came to an end in 1930, he headed for New York and became a CBS staff announcer, working with Fred Allen, Phil Baker, Eddy Duchin and Ed Wynn. He also announced for The Aldrich Family, The Amazing Mr. Smith, and The March of Time. During the 1920s and 1930s von Zell served as announcer on some 20 shows a week.

His longest-running radio partnership was his nine seasons with veteran comedian Eddie Cantor. From October 1940 to June 1949 von Zell served as Cantor's commercial spokesperson and straight man. As Cantor cast member Dinah Shore's solo career began to blossom, she brought von Zell in as announcer on her Birds Eye Open House program.

As a young announcer, von Zell made a memorable verbal slip in 1931 when he referred to U.S. President Herbert Hoover as "Hoobert Heever" during a live tribute on Hoover's birthday. Hoover was not present at this tribute. Zell's blooper came at the end of a lengthy coverage of Hoover's career, in which Zell had pronounced the President's name correctly several times.

➦In 1934...the first appointments to the newly created Federal Communications Commission were made. The governing body was first served by seven men named as commissioners.

➦In 1938...Orson Welles brought his Mercury Theatre Players to CBS radio network for a critically-acclaimed 60-minute weekly series that Campbell’s Soups sponsored.

➦In 1951...Alan Freed debuted his "Moondog Rock 'n' Roll Party," playing mostly rhythm & blues records, on WJW 850 AM in Cleveland.  Freed had been inspired by an offbeat instrumental called "Moondog Symphony" that had been recorded by New York street musician Louis T. Hardin, aka "Moondog". Freed adopted the record as his show's theme music. His on-air manner was energetic, in contrast to many contemporary radio presenters of traditional pop music, who tended to sound more subdued and low-key in manner. He addressed his listeners as if they were all part of a make-believe kingdom of hipsters, united in their love for black music.He also began popularizing the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music he played.

➦In 1970...Dandy Dan Daniel did his final show on WMCA 570 AM, NYC.

Roger Christian
➦In 1991...Los Angeles radio personality/lyricist Roger Christian died of kidney and liver failure at age 57.

Christian worked as a radio personality in Los Angeles in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He was one of the original "Boss Jocks" when 93KHJ debuted in 1965. His radio career started in Buffalo, New York in the mid-1950s.

He moved to the west coast and worked for other radio stations in Los Angeles, including KFWB, KGBS (AM-FM), KBLA, KDAY, KRTH-FM, KRLA, and KIQQ-FM.  Christian was also one of the writer/narrators on the 1964 Capitol Records documentary LP The Beatles' Story.

Christian suffered from periodic depression.  He was the only original KHJ "Boss Jock" not to appear at the 25th reunion on May 9, 1990.

➦In 2005...singer Frances Langford died of heart failure at age 91. She sang weekly on Bob Hope’s NBC radio show in the 1940’s, and co-starred with Don Ameche in the wildly popular radio skit “The Bickersons”.

➦In 2010...the inimitable Yankee Stadium PA announcer for an incredible 56 years Bob Sheppard died at age 99.  He was also the in-house voice for a half-century of NY Giants football games.

Alessia Cara is 24

  • Singer Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is 73.
  • Ventriloquist Jay Johnson (“Soap”) is 71.
  • Actor Bruce McGill (“Animal House”) is 70.
  • Actor Stephen Lang is 68.
  • Actress Mindy Sterling (“Austin Powers”) is 67.
  • Actress Sela Ward is 64.
  • Singer Peter Murphy of Bauhaus is 63.
  • Reggae singer Michael Rose of Black Uhuru is 63.
  • Actor Mark Lester (“Oliver”) is 62.
  • Jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum is 62.
  • Guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) is 61.
  • Singer Suzanne Vega is 61.
  • Actress Lisa Rinna is 57.
  • Bassist Scott Shriner of Weezer is 55.
  • Actress Debbe Dunning (“Home Improvement”) is 54.
  • Actor Greg Grunberg (“Heroes,” ″Alias,” ″Felicity”) is 54.
  • Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin (“The Jeff Corwin Experience”) is 53.
  • Actor Justin Chambers (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 50.
  • Actress Leisha Hailey (“The L Word”) is 49.
  • Actor Michael Rosenbaum (“Smallville”) is 48.
  • Rapper Lil’ Kim is 46.
  • Actor Jon Wellner (“CSI”) is 45.
  • Rapper Lil’ Zane is 39.
  • Actor David Henrie (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) is 31.
  • Actor Connor Paolo (“Revenge”) is 30.
  • Singer Alessia Cara is 24.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Outer Banks Radio: WZPR To Flip To News-Talk

JAM Media Solutions announces the launch of a brand-new radio format to the Outer Banks beginning Monday, July 13.

The New Jersey-based media company has confirmed the new format will be news-talk broadcasting on WZPR 92.3 FM starting at 6 a.m.

The all-new 92.3 WZPR will feature a live and local morning show with long-time Outer Banks radio and veteran Sam Walker. Walker’s show, called The OBX Today, will feature the local information you need, when you want it.

A native of Currituck County, Sam Walker has been on the radio in North Carolina since he was 13 years old.

Walker has been news director for WCXL-FM, WCMS-FM, WVOD-FM and WZPR-FM since 2011, and has led coverage of some of the biggest news stories in the history of the Outer Banks.

Walker also makes regular appearances on regional and national radio and television outlets, including The Weather Channel, to provide his local knowledge about one of the most popular vacation spots in the country.
Sam Walker

The line-up:
  • Brian Kilmeade from 9 a.m. to noon
  • Chris Plante from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Ben Shapiro from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Dave Ramsey from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Ken Coleman form 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Jim Bohannon from 9 a.m. to midnight
  • Eric & Gary from midnight to 6 a.m.
“We are very excited to introduce the all new, News/Talk WZPR to the Outer Banks, JAM Media Solutions owner Jonathan Mason said. “We believe it is exactly what the market needs. Our on-air lineup will be informative and engaging from the time you get up to the time you go to bed.”

Kevin Walker, JAM’s Director of Programming, said he believes this type of programming will be vital to listeners all over the area.

Jam Media Solutions owns and operates seven radio stations broadcasting in the Outer Banks, N.C., Philadelphia, Pa., and Muscatine, Ia.

Day 3 June PPMs: Portland, Orlando, K-C, 9 Other Markets

On Thursday, July 9, 2020 Nielsen released the third batch of June 2020 PPM data for the following markets:

22  Portland OR

23  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rick Hill NC

25  San Antonio

27  Sacramento

28  Pittsburgh

29  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo

30  Las Vegas

31  Orlando

32  Cincinnati

34  Cleveland

35  Kansas City

36  Columbus OH

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The Rundown: States Hit New Virus Highs

The nation's three biggest states -- California, Florida and Texas -- yesterday reported their largest single-day deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic began, as they, along with Texas, are accounting for about 50 percent of new U.S. cases amid the ongoing surge across the South and West. The total number of U.S. deaths was more than 133,200 as of early this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and the number of confirmed cases was more than 3,117,00. In state developments yesterday:
  • Texas' 105 reported deaths was a new single-day high for the state, and Governor Greg Abbott warned the numbers might be worse next week. The state also reported a new high for hospitalizations for the 10th straight day.
  • Florida reported 120 new deaths, its highest one-day total, and had its biggest 24-hour jump in hospitalizations, with 409 new patients admitted. Nearly 50 hospitals in the state had intensive care units at full capacity.
  • Arizona reported 75 more deaths and more than 4,000 new confirmed cases, as the state reported new highs for hospitalizations and use of ventilators.
  • Mississippi's five largest hospitals had no more intensive care unit beds available and four more had five percent or less open. Governor Tate Reeves said he will require people to wear masks in public places starting next week in the 13 counties with the highest increases in cases.
  • Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said face masks will be required in public places starting today, as his state had two of the highest days of confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
  • New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that indoor restaurant service will be stopped, state parks closed to non-residents, and fall season contact sports like football and soccer suspended at schools. Her orders came as cases have been surging in New Mexico and neighboring Texas and Arizona.
CDC Head: Won't Revise School Guidelines: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Robert Redfield said yesterday that the CDC won't revise its coronavirus guidelines for reopening schools, despite President Trump's criticism of them the day before as being too "tough," "expensive" and "impractical," and Vice President Mike Pence saying revised guidelines would be issued next week. Redfield said on Good Morning America they will instead be providing more information for states, local communities and parents, stating, "It’s really important, it’s not a revision of the guidelines, it’s just to provide additional information to help . . . use the guidance that we put forward." Trump has been pressuring state and local officials to reopen schools with in-person classes in the fall, including threatening to withhold federal funds if they don't.

WHO: Coronavirus May Spread Through the Air: The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday acknowledged the possibility that the coronavirus may spread under certain conditions via small respiratory particles that are exhaled by infected people and can float in the air. That came after more than 200 scientists urged them in an open letter to do so and revise their guidance. WHO has long dismissed the possibility of airborne transmission, but said studies have suggested it might happen, quote, "particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time."

➤SCOTUS RULES TRUMP CAN'T BLOCK RELEASE OF FINANCIAL RECORDS: The Supreme Court ruled yesterday (that President Trump can't block release of his financial records to a New York prosecutor or to Congress, rejecting the argument that he has immunity by virtue of his position as president. However, the justices returned the two cases to lower courts for further review, and it's unlikely that Trump's taxes or other financial records will be made public until at least after the election -- if at all.

NY Times 7/10/2020
Both cases -- the Manhattan district attorney seeking Trump's tax records and Congress seeking his banking and other financial records -- were decided in 7-2 decisions, with two of the conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, dissenting. It's unclear when a lower court judge might order the DA's subpoena to be enforced, and in the case related to Congress, Chief Justice John Roberts said lower courts need to again review the case, writing, "Congressional subpoenas for information from the President, however, implicate special concerns regarding the separation of powers. The courts below did not take adequate account of those concerns." Trump blasted the decision in a series of tweets, declaring, "It's a pure witch hunt, it’s a hoax."

➤CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS IN AUDIO FROM PROBE OF BREONNA TAYLOR'S DEATH: Audio from the internal investigation into the March shooting death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, home was released yesterday that shows conflicting accounts of whether police identified themselves before breaking down Taylor's door.

Breona Taylor
The police were executing a warrant in a drug investigation that night when they broke down the door and ultimately shot Taylor eight times, killing her.

In the audio first obtained by NBC News, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, says in an interview with Louisville police on the night of the shooting said that there were multiple knocks on the door but no answer to both him and Taylor repeatedly shouting, "Who is it?"

Walker said as they walked toward the door, it was broken down and he fired a shot from his gun, saying, "I'm trying to protect her," and that he didn't realize until later that they were police officers. A lot of shots were fired by police in return and Walker said they dropped to the floor and his gun fell. Taylor was killed in the volley of bullets. Walker's gunshot hit Sergeant John Mattingly in the leg. The audio tapes also include an interview with Mattingly, conducted 12 days after the incident, in which he said the officers identified themselves repeatedly before breaking down the door. No drugs were found in the home of Taylor, who was an emergency medical technician.

➤SUPREME COURT RULES LARGE PART OF OKLAHOMA STILL AN INDIAN RESERVATION: The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a large part of eastern Oklahoma is still an American Indian reservation, meaning state prosecutors can't pursue criminal cases against Native American defendants in areas of Oklahoma that are part of the reservation, which includes most of Tulsa.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who sided with the high court's liberal in the 5-4 decision, wrote, "On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise. Forced to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the West would be secure forever. . . . Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word." The Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation once was made up of three million acres. State and federal officials had warned such a decision court could throw Oklahoma into chaos, but the state of Oklahoma issued a joint statement with the Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations in which they pledged to work together on an agreement to address any unresolved jurisdictional issues resulting from the decision.

➤BIG TEN WON'T PLAY NONCONFERENCE GAMES DUE TO PANDEMIC: The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday that it won't play any nonconference games in football and several other sports this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said just playing conference games makes it "much easier" in terms of things like scheduling and traveling. However, the conference said this plan would would only be implemented, quote, "if the conference is able to participate in fall sports." Warren said, "We may not have sports in the fall." The other sports affected include men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

➤NASHVILLE PULLS OUT OF MLS IS BACK DUE TO NINE WITH CORONAVIRUS: Major League Soccer announced yesterday that Nashville SC had pulled out of the MLS is Back tournament after nine players tested positive for the coronavirus. They are the second team to withdraw from the tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World, with FC Dallas pulling out earlier after 10 players and a coach tested positive. After the opening match was played Wednesday, there was two games yesterday, with the Philadelphia Union beating New York City FC 1-0, and the New England Revolution beating the Montreal Impact 1-0.

➤NBA PRACTICES BEGIN AT DISNEY WORLD COMPLEX: Full-scale NBA practices began at the Disney World complex on Thursday, with the Orlando Magic the first team to hit the court after being the first team to arrive earlier this week. All 22 teams participating in the NBA's restart from its coronavirus shutdown were to be at the complex by the end of the day, and by Saturday, all should have practiced at least once. Exhibition games will start on July 22nd, and real games on July 30th.

Westwood One News To Cease Operations

Cumulus Media has notified all affiliates of its Westwood One News that the service would be shutting down on August 30.

In a cancellation letter to stations, the company wrote, "Due to the extraordinary circumstances in the current marketplace, Westwood One News will be ceasing operations effective on Sunday, August 30, 2020, following the 11:30pm ET newscast."

"As you can imagine, this was an extraordinarily difficult decision not only given the strength and quality of our award-winning news product, but also the depth and experience of the impeccable Westwood One News team," Westwood One President Suzanne Grimes stated in a memo.

The memo further adds that “Westwood One remains enthusiastically committed to our strong portfolio of talk personalities including Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Michael Savage, Jim Bohannon, Chris Plante, Dan Bongino, Clark Howard, and Red Eye Radio.”

Westwood One News Executive VP Bart Tessler added, "Thank you to our 962 stations and the Westwood One Affiliate Sales team. It has been a pleasure leading this division of great broadcast journalists. In just 5 1/2 years, Westwood One News went from launch to winners of leading industry honors, including Edward R Murrow, Sigma Del Chi, National Headliner, New York Radio Festival, and Golden Mike awards. We are very proud of the coverage and programming we provided, as well as your support and participation in our success."

Westwood One News launched on January 1, 2015 and operated by Westwood One through its parent company Cumulus Media.

In its notice of cancellation, Westwood One didn’t tell affiliates it is assigning their contract to AP and that they will be transitioned from a Westwood One News station to an AP station at the end of August. Instead, WWO sent an official notification of cancellation based on a closure of service. The affiliates essentially have seven weeks to pick up the AP replacement product or affiliate with another network, InsideRadio reports.

News networks are expensive operations and Westwood One parent Cumulus Media may have decided it no longer sees a strong margin in the space during an extremely challenging year for all ad-supported media.

Dan Le Batard Considers 2-Hour ESPN Show A 'Demotion'

ESPN's Dan Le Batard pre-recorded a message before he went on vacation, fearing his ESPN listeners would revolt when the inevitable news broke.

The news, which The NY Post’s Andrew Marchand broke on Monday, was that as a part of sweeping changes at ESPN Radio, Le Batard’s show was cut from three hours to two hours. Marchand reported that there were internal discussions about pulling the show off radio completely.

“I viewed it and said to people above us, ‘hey, this is a demotion,’” Le Batard said in a Mystery Crate post with executive producer Mike Ryan.

“And the answer I am getting is, ’No, it’s not. We are making a concerted effort to move into the digital space because of the changing needs of listeners.’”

Le Batard’s show will now air from 10 a.m. to noon — it previously ended at 1 p.m. — with an hour-long podcast going online before that. Mike Greenberg’s new radio show will start airing at noon. Le Batard said he was promised by ESPN bosses that more resources would be poured into the show, despite less time on terrestrial radio.

The timing is still dubious, however, given Le Batard’s strong political stances and this cutback coming with social justice unrest permeating throughout the country. Le Batard has previously been at odds with ESPN for using his platform to talk politics and cultural matters as the the network has tried to veer more toward sports-only topics — a goal which is becoming harder and harder during a global coronavirus pandemic and racial tensions following the police-related death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Le Batard, though, said he hopes that the online-only hour will allow his show more freedom to discuss these topics.

Pandemic Slowed Growth of Music Streaming

The coronavirus has also cut into the growth of digital streaming, which slowed significantly after widespread stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March, The L-A Times reports.

That’s according to a new midyear report from Nielsen Music/MRC Data that says activity on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music began 2020 up 20.4% over 2019 — then ratcheted back to an increase of only 13.8% between March 13 and July 2 as listeners spent far less time in the car or at the gym.

Predictably, the slowdown was worse for sales of recorded music, especially in physical form: After starting out the year up 4.6%, physical album sales plummeted amid the pandemic to finish the first half of 2020 down 20.3%.

Even so, listeners streamed enough music between January and the beginning of July — the equivalent of 361.2 million albums, Nielsen says — that total audio consumption (of which streaming represents 85%) was up nearly 10 points over 2019 for the year so far.

Here are key takeaways from the report:
  • As in recent years, hip-hop and R&B unquestionably dominate the streaming market, with nine of the 10 most-consumed artists (including Drake, the Weeknd and Lil Uzi Vert) coming from those genres. And the 10th? Billie Eilish, whose brand of moody, beat-based pop draws deeply from rap.
  • Albums by men account for nine of the 10 titles on the list of 2020’s biggest records so far, with Eilish’s “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” the only album by a woman. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” is at No. 1 with a sales-and-streams equivalent of 1.47 million copies, followed not far behind by the Weeknd’s “After Hours” (1.42 million) and Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake” (1.37 million).
  • New rock acts are having trouble competing with the genre’s pioneers: So far, no album released in 2020 (or in 2019, for that matter) has outperformed greatest-hits collections by Queen, Elton John, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Journey.
  • Kenny Rogers’ death on March 20 drove his classic songs “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream” to the top of the following week’s sales chart. Other artists whose songs grew in popularity after their deaths include John Prine and Bill Withers, both of whose streams went up more than 1,000%.
  • In 2019, vinyl sales rung up on Record Store Day accounted for 11.2% of the format’s sales in the first half of the year. In 2020, the cancellation of the annual event (due to the pandemic) helped flatten vinyl’s growth by more than 30%.

YouTube “Listening” Decreasing In 2020

Americans are spending less of their total listening time with YouTube in 2020, and YouTube as an audio-only source is reaching fewer Americans in 2020, according to two updated datasets from Edison Research.

Known as the birthplace of the eponymous YouTube star as well as many a viral challenge, YouTube also functionally serves as a music delivery source.

The latest Share of Ear® data from Edison Research shows that Americans now spend 9% of their time spent listening to audio sources with YouTube, down from 11% in 2018. The decrease is driven primarily from younger demos, as those in the U.S. age 13-34 now spend 16% of their total audio time with YouTube, down from 20% in 2019.

Not only is time spent listening to YouTube as an audio source lower year over year, but YouTube as a source for music or music videos is reaching fewer Americans according to The Infinite Dial® from Edison Research and Triton Digital. 2019 was a bit of a milestone for the YouTube measure, as 50% of those in the U.S. age 12+ had listened to music on YouTube in the last week. In 2020, 44% of the total U.S. population reported having used YouTube for music in the last week.

Sales Surge For PCs

Personal-computer sales rebounded in the June quarter, driven by higher demand from workers and students forced to study and work from home amid the coronavirus, according to The Wall Street Journal citing preliminary data from two industry-research firms.

Global PC shipments rose 11% to 72.3 million in the quarter, with the U.S. posting its highest quarterly-shipment volume in more than a decade, according to preliminary data from International Data Corp.

Meanwhile, Gartner Inc. said the quarter’s shipments grew 2.8% to 64.8 million, and pointed to a short-term recovery as vendors restocked channels and mobile-PC demand increased.

Shipments in the March quarter were bogged down by production and logistical challenges, despite higher demand from remote work and school orders in response to the pandemic.

Despite some lingering logistics issues early in the June quarter, cost and frequency of air and sea freight moved closer to pre-pandemic levels, IDC said.

At the same time, the firm said, PC makers ramped up production, in some cases surpassing previous levels, helping vendors meet the surge in demand.

IDC data ranked HP Inc. as the No. 1 vendor, followed by Lenovo Group Ltd., while Gartner data had Lenovo slightly ahead.

Dell Technologies Inc., Apple Inc. and Acer Inc. rounded out the top five.

Powell: Russian Bounty Story Bordered On Media Hysteria

Colin Powell
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell indicated on Thursday that media figures overreacted to a recent report that Russian officials placed bounties on the lives of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, The NY Post reports.

“What I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting,” Powell told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “It got kind of out of control before we really had an understanding of what had happened. I’m not sure we fully understand now.”

He added: “But [commander of U.S. Central Command] General [Kenneth] McKenzie … he did not think this was of that level of importance to us. Remember, it’s not the intelligence community that’s going to go fight these guys, it’s the guys on the ground. It’s our troops. It’s our commanders who are going to go deal with this kind of a threat, using intelligence that was given to them by the intelligence community.

“But that has to be analyzed,” Powell went on. “It has to be attested. And then you have to go find out who the enemy is. And I think we were on top of that one, but it just got — it got almost hysterical in the firs few days.”

Trump has denied a report by The New York Times that he was briefed on intelligence about the bounties, but did nothing about them.

“The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party,” he tweeted last week. Both the White House and McKenzie, of U.S. Central Command, have indicated the intelligence wasn’t strong enough to merit the president’s attention.

Country Radio Broadcasters Announces Board of Directors

The Country Radio Broadcasters have completed their elections for the organization’s 2020-2021 Board of Directors. Returning as CRB Board President is Kurt Johnson (Townsquare Media), elected as Vice President is John Shomby and returning as Secretary is Beverlee Brannigan.

Serving on this year’s Board of Directors are: Chuck Aly (Country Aircheck), Brannigan, Becky Brenner (Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Consulting), Johnny Chiang (KKBQ-FM), George Couri (Triple 8 Management), Andy Denemark (United Stations), Ryan Dokke (Play It Again Music), Mike Dungan (UMG Nashville),  Gator Harrison (iHeart), Debra Herman (Shazam/Apple), Steve Hodges (Sony Nashville), Clay Hunnicutt (Big Machine Records), Johnson (Townsquare Media), Dave Kelly (Big Machine Label Group), Jon Loba (BMG), Judy Lakin (Vista14), Mike McVay (McVay Media), Charlie Morgan (Apple Music), Rod Phillips (iHeartCountry), Tim Roberts (Entercom), Royce Risser (UMG Nashville), Bob Richards (Emmis Communications/WLHK), Brittany Schaffer (Spotify), Shomby, Lesly Simon (Pearl Records), Matt Sunshine (CFSS), Joel Raab (Joel Raab Country Radio/Media), Ryan Redington (Amazon Music), Paul Williams (Westwood One/Cumulus), and Kristen Williams (Warner).  Charlie Monk continues as a Lifetime Director Emeritus.

CRB/CRS President Johnson stated, “I am proud to welcome the new board members and grateful to the board vets who continue on this year. This is a unique time for the country music industry. I can’t imagine a better group to help guide all of us toward the industry’s center point, Country Radio Seminar 2021. Looking forward to a great year.”

The CRS Board of Directors is made up of volunteer professionals from all areas of the country music industry. Together, they govern the organization and see that its mission is being fulfilled. Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. was created to provide a platform and structure for education and growth for the country music format, serving as the conduit connecting the interests of country radio with the country music industry.

R.I.P.: Jay Severin, Longtime Boston Radio Talk Host

Jay Severin
Longtime conservative political operative, civics connoisseur, and radio personality Jay Severin has passed away after battling cancer. He was 69, according to The Blaze.

Severin became a giant force in political talk in New England before spending years as a host on TheBlaze Radio Network's national platform.

"Jay was one of the rare talents that could not only see beyond the headline, but had the empathy to understand how it affected the listener," Glenn Beck told TheBlaze. "He was a good man, and I'm a better one for having known him."

Tom Shattuck, podcaster and senior editor of the Lowell Sun, paid tribute to Severin after news broke of his death on Thursday, calling him "the Boston talk titan."

"This was a guy who liked free speech and was not afraid to push the boundaries," Shattuck said of Severin, adding, "He made a difference...he was powerful, he was loud, he was poetic in the way he spoke, and he's going to be missed."

Severin was known for being fearless, a trait that he admitted sometimes got him into trouble.

Michael Graham, a colleague of Severin's from WTTK-FM, said of the late host, "What's fascinating to me is the number of people who say, 'I became a conservative because of Jay Severin'" surrounded by the liberal environment in Boston. He added, "That's his legacy—his civics lesson on the air, that nobody can take away from him."

July 10 Radio History

➦In 1856…Nikola Tesla was born. (Died – 7 January 1943). He was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

Nikola Tesla
Tesla, one of history’s most under-appreciated and under-acknowledged engineers. Credit for his work is often gray and debated, sometimes due to unscrupulous competitors and sometimes due to timing.

Indeed, Tesla is known to have worked on a radio before Marconi, an X-Ray machine before Roentgen, an induction motor around the same time Ferrari claimed his, and experimented to find “small charged particles” years before Thomson was credited with proving the existence of electrons.

Tesla is perhaps best known within engineering circles for his work on AC (alternating current) and his “War of Currents” feud with Thomas Edison (side note: Edison, an employer of Tesla’s for some time, is known in some engineering circles as the man who copied and stole from Tesla).

Even with such challenges and a lifetime of illnesses, Tesla accrued about 300 patents. He died penniless and in debt in his New York apartment on January 7, 1943, at the age of 86. After his death, much of Tesla’s papers and works were impounded by the United States' Alien Property Custodian office. This was despite the fact that Tesla had become a US citizen at 35 years old.

Eventually many of his personal notebooks and works were declared “top secret” by the FBI and shuttered away from public view. Reasons given for doing so were that Tesla had done significant work with various US government agencies. 

Tesla's theories on the possibility of the transmission by radio waves go back as far as lectures and demonstrations in 1893 in St. Louis, Missouri, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the National Electric Light Association.  Tesla's demonstrations and principles were written about widely through various media outlets.  Many devices such as the Tesla Coil were used in the further development of radio.

Tesla's radio wave experiments in 1896 were conducted in Gerlach Hotel (later renamed The Radio Wave building), where he resided.

Tesla died January 7, 1943
In 1898, Tesla demonstrated a radio-controlled boat—which he dubbed "teleautomaton"—to the public during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden.  The crowd that witnessed the demonstration made outrageous claims about the workings of the boat, such as magic, telepathy, and being piloted by a trained monkey hidden inside.  Tesla tried to sell his idea to the U.S. military as a type of radio-controlled torpedo, but they showed little interest.   Remote radio control remained a novelty until World War I and afterward, when a number of countries used it in military programs.   Tesla took the opportunity to further demonstrate "Teleautomatics" in an address to a meeting of the Commercial Club in Chicago, while he was travelling to Colorado Springs, on 13 May 1899.

In 1900, Tesla was granted patents for a "system of transmitting electrical energy" and "an electrical transmitter." When Guglielmo Marconi made his famous first-ever transatlantic radio transmission in 1901, Tesla quipped that it was done with 17 Tesla patents. This was the beginning of years of patent battles over radio with Tesla's patents being upheld in 1903, followed by a reverse decision in favor of Marconi in 1904. In 1943, a Supreme Court of the United States decision restored the prior patents of Tesla, Oliver Lodge, and John Stone.  The court declared that their decision had no bearing on Marconi's claim as the first to achieve radio transmission, just that since Marconi's claim to certain patents were questionable, he could not claim infringement on those same patents  (there are claims the high court was trying to nullify a World War I claim against the U.S. government by the Marconi Company via simply restoring Tesla's prior patent).

Graham McNamee
➦In 1888...Graham McNamee born (Died  – May 9, 1942). He was aradio broadcaster, who originated play-by-play sports broadcasting for which he was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Radio broadcasting of sporting events was a new thing in the 1920s. The announcers were a rotating group of newspaper writers. At the time baseball was America's most popular sport, and the reporters were at the games to write stories about them for print newspapers. Their descriptions were matter-of-fact, boring at best, had a lot of dead air, and were given in the past tense after a play was completed.

In 1923, announcer McNamee was assigned to help the sportswriters with their broadcasts. One day, Grantland Rice, told McNamee to finish the game on his own, and left. McNamee was not a trained sports writer, so he immediately began to describe what he was seeing as it happened, thus originating play-by-play sports broadcasting. He wasn't a baseball expert, but had a knack for conveying what he saw in great detail, and with great enthusiasm, bringing the sights and sounds of the game into the homes of listeners.

With Phillips Carlin, whose voice was so similar that few listeners could tell them apart, he quickly became famous. McNamee had various on-air responsibilities at WEAF, including baseball color commentary culminating in the play-by-play of the 1926 World Series. Over the course of the next decade McNamee worked for WEAF, and for the national NBC network, , when WEAF became the NBC flagship station.

McNamee broadcast numerous sports events, including several World Series, Rose Bowls, championship boxing matches, and Indianapolis 500s. He was broadcast the national political conventions, the presidential inaugurations, and the arrival of aviator Charles Lindbergh in New York City following his transatlantic flight to Paris, France in 1927. He opened each broadcast by saying, "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience. This is Graham McNamee speaking."

He has been enshrined in the National Radio Hall of Fame, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  He died young on May 9 1942 of a brain embolism at age 53.

➦In 1900...One of the most famous trademarks in the world, “His Master’s Voice”, was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. The logo of the Victor Talking Machine Company, and later, RCA Victor, features the dog, Nipper, looking into the horn of a gramophone machine.

Sometime during the 1890s, English artist Francis Barraud painted a picture of his brother's dog, Nipper, inquisitively listening to a phonograph.

Barraud hoped to sell the painting to a phonograph company, but could not find an interested buyer. After receiving a suggestion to change the trumpet of the machine from black to brass, Barraud went to the Gramophone Company's office to borrow a machine to use as a model. In explaining his request, Barraud showed a photograph of his painting. The manager, Barry Owen, liked the painting and asked if it was for sale.

When Barraud replied that it was for sale, Owen agreed to buy the painting if the phonograph could be replaced with a gramophone.

When Emile Berliner visited England in May 1900 and saw the picture, he promptly registered it as a trademark -- in the United States on May 26th and in Canada on July 16th. The Victor Talking Machine Company began to use the painting as a trademark in 1902, and the Gramophone Company in 1909.

The original painting hangs in the offices of EMI, the successor of the Gramophone Company. It is one of the most widely recognized and valuable trademarks in the world.

➦In 1920...Journalist David Brinkley born (Died at age 82 – June 11, 2003). He  was a newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997.

From 1956 through 1970, he co-anchored NBC's top-rated nightly news program, The Huntley–Brinkley Report, with Chet Huntley and thereafter appeared as co-anchor or commentator on its successor, NBC Nightly News, through the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, Brinkley was host of the popular Sunday This Week with David Brinkley program and a top commentator on election-night coverage for ABC News. Over the course of his career, Brinkley received ten Emmy Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Following a medical discharge from the Army, he worked for United Press International in several of its Southern bureaus. In 1943, he moved to Washington, D.C., looking for a radio job at CBS News. Instead, he took a job at NBC News, became its White House correspondent, and in time began appearing on television.

➦In 1944...a radio show of international intrigue 'The Man Called X', starring Herbert Marshall, debuted on CBS radio.  It was an espionage radio drama that aired on CBS and NBC from July 10, 1944, to May 20, 1952. The radio series was later adapted for television and was broadcast on the "small screen" for one season, 1956-1957

➦In 1950…Radio's 'Your Hit Parade' made it's debut on American TV.  From 1950 to 1959, it was sponsored by American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes. During this 24-year run, the show had 19 orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups. Many listeners and viewers casually referred to the show with the incorrect title The Hit Parade.

After 15 years as a radio favorite, "Your Hit Parade" started a nine-year run on television – the first eight years on NBC, the last year on CBS – while continuing on radio until 1955.
➦In 1954…Following his success on the air in Cleveland, DJ Alan Freed moved to 1010WINS in NYC. 1010WINS remained Top40 until April 19, 1965—long after Freed left and three months after he had died—when it became an all-news outlet.   Freed was the first disc jockey and concert producer of rock and roll; he introduced the phrase "rock and roll" on mainstream radio in the early 1950s and helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by black artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences.  In 1956, Freed hosted "Alan Freed's Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party" on CBS Radio from New York.

➦In  1962…Telstar 1 launched. Telstar is the name of various communications satellites. 

The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly identical. 

Telstar 1 was launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. It successfully relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, fax images and provided the first live transatlantic television feed. Telstar 2 was launched May 7, 1963. 

Telstar 1 and 2, though no longer functional, were still in orbit as of October 2013.

➦In 1989...Mel Blanc died from heart disease (Born May 30, 1908). He was a voice actor and radio personality.

After beginning his over-60-year career performing in radio, he became known for his work in animation as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons during the golden age of American animation. He voiced all of the major male Warner Bros. cartoon characters except for Elmer Fudd, whose voice was provided by fellow radio personality Arthur Q. Bryan, although Blanc later voiced Fudd, as well, after Bryan's death.

He later voiced characters for Hanna-Barbera's television cartoons, including Barney Rubble on The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely on The Jetsons. Blanc was also the original voice of Woody Woodpecker for Universal Pictures and provided vocal effects for the Tom and Jerry cartoons directed by Chuck Jones for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, replacing William Hanna. During the golden age of radio, Blanc also frequently performed on the programs of famous comedians from the era, including Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen and Judy Canova.

Having earned the nickname The Man of a Thousand Voices, Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice acting industry.

Blanc began his radio career at the age of 19 when in 1927, he debuted as a voice actor on the KGW program The Hoot Owls, where his ability to provide voices for multiple characters first attracted attention. He moved to Los Angeles in 1932, where he met Estelle Rosenbaum (1909 - 2003), whom he married a year later, before returning to Portland. He moved to KEX in 1933 to produce and co-host his Cobweb And Nuts show with his wife Estelle, which debuted on June 15.

With his wife's encouragement, Blanc returned to Los Angeles and joined Warner Bros.-owned KFWB in Hollywood, in 1935. He joined The Johnny Murray Show, but the following year switched to CBS Radio and The Joe Penner Show.

Blanc was a regular on the NBC Red Network show The Jack Benny Program in various roles, including voicing Benny's Maxwell automobile (in desperate need of a tune-up), violin teacher Professor LeBlanc, Polly the Parrot, Benny's pet polar bear Carmichael, the tormented department store clerk, and the train announcer.

By 1946, Blanc appeared on over 15 radio programs in supporting roles. His success on The Jack Benny Program led to his own radio show on the CBS Radio Network, The Mel Blanc Show, which ran from September 3, 1946, to June 24, 1947. Blanc played himself as the hapless owner of a fix-it shop, as well as his young cousin Zookie.

Blanc also appeared on such other national radio programs as The Abbott and Costello Show, the Happy Postman on Burns and Allen, and as August Moon on Point Sublime. During World War II, he appeared as Private Sad Sack on various radio shows, most notably G.I. Journal. Blanc recorded a song titled "Big Bear Lake".

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