Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 2 Radio History

➦In 1922...Alexander Graham Bell died at age 75 (Born - March 3, 1847).  He was a Scottish-born American inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.

Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. Bell considered his invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.

Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. Although Bell was not one of the 33 founders of the National Geographic Society, he had a strong influence on the magazine while serving as the second president from January 7, 1898, until 1903.

Bell died of complications arising from diabetes on August 2, 1922, at his private estate in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Bell had also been afflicted with pernicious anemia. His last view of the land he had inhabited was by moonlight on his mountain estate at 2:00 a.m. While tending to him after his long illness, Mabel, his wife, whispered, "Don't leave me." By way of reply, Bell signed "no...", lost consciousness, and died shortly after.

➦In 1964...Comedic radio actor Jack Kirkwood died just days short of his 70th birthday. He had a well know repeated role on The Bob Hope Show.  Some called Kirkwood Bob Hope's second banana, but in actuality Bob Hope often played the straight man to Jack Kirkwood's hijinks.

IHis contributions to golden age of radio was extensive.  He was on such shows as The Bob Hope Show, Edgar Bergen, Ozzie & Harriet, The Alan Young Show, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny Program, the star-studded show train Railroad Hour, and many more.

➦In 1983...WHTZ 100.3 FM, licensed to Newark, NJ signed-on with Scott Shannon and the "Morning Zoo". It went from "worst to first" in just a few months.

The station went on the air at 6:08 AM.  The first two songs ever played on the station were "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, followed by "America" by Neil Diamond.

Initially, the station called themselves by their new call letters, but by late August, they began calling themselves "WHTZ Newark, New York's New Z100". The station signed on from its new and still-incomplete studio in Secaucus, transmitting from the old FM tower site in West Orange, New Jersey, as their antenna was not moved to the top of the Empire State Building until August 4 at 6 AM.

Z100 was the second station that summer to attempt to bring the Top 40 format back to New York, with rock station WPLJ having begun the evolution to top 40 in June. WHTZ was programmed to remind listeners of one-time AM powerhouse WABC, which had gone from a tight Top 40 format to leaning Disco in early 1979 to leaning adult rock later in 1979, to leaning adult contemporary in 1980 and then evolving to Adult Contemporary/Talk in 1981, before it finally flipped to an all-talk format on May 10, 1982.

Within 74 days of signing on, WHTZ had climbed from last place to first in the New York Arbitron ratings book. Over the years, Z100 stayed with a top 40 format, with WPLJ behind them in the ratings

➦In 1993...Shamrock Broadcasting, a Disney company, officially takes ownership of Cleveland's WMMS 100.7 FM & WHK 1420 AM from Malrite.

➦In 2004...Sportscaster Bob Murphy died at age 79 (Born - September 19, 1924). He spent 50 years doing play-by-play of Major League Baseball games on television and radio. The Oklahoman was best known for announcing the New York Mets, from their inception in 1962 until his retirement in 2003. He was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award in 1994.

Bob Murphy
The Tulsa Oklahoma-born Murphy made his first appearance in a baseball broadcast booth with the minor league Muskogee Reds. His first major league job was with the Boston Red Sox in 1954, working alongside Curt Gowdy. In 1960, he moved to the Baltimore Orioles for two seasons, replacing Ernie Harwell.

Murphy's call of Roger Maris' record-tying 60th home run of the 1961 season became an audition tape that landed him a job with the expansion New York Mets in 1962.

Murphy's broadcasts were known for his optimistic outlook. He would rarely be critical of players and would always strive to emphasize the positive. According to Gary Thorne, who was his partner in the Mets radio booth from 1985 to 1988, Murphy felt that, "the game was to be enjoyed and he sought out the joy in that day's game to bring to the fans."

Murphy, despite his long association with the Mets, never openly rooted for the team from the booth. Listeners knew that he was happier when the Mets won, as evidenced by his mention of a "happy recap" after a Mets win and a "recap" after a Mets loss.

Murphy occupied the broadcasting booth in every stadium in the National League, including Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, which was named after his brother, Jack, a popular San Diego sportswriter.

From the Mets' first game in 1962 through the post-Tom Seaver days of 1978, on radio and television, the Mets games were announced by the trio of Murphy, along with Lindsey Nelson and Ralph Kiner. Nelson left after the 1978 season and was replaced by Steve Albert. Albert broadcast the Mets for three seasons.

Prior to 1982, the Mets announcers had done television and radio on a rotational system. While two were on TV, the other would take over on radio.

However, in 1982, Murphy was taken out of the television booth, in order to announce the games on radio only. He was joined by Steve Lamar, who also strictly did radio for the Mets. Murphy became known for "painting the word picture;" many say that play-by-play of baseball on radio requires a lot more skill than television, because on radio, the broadcaster must be able to inspire the listener's imagination. For the rest of his career, with the exception of emergency situations, Murphy announced exclusively from the radio booth. Left to turn his attention strictly to the radio listener, Murphy thrived. Murphy was paired with Gary Thorne from 1985–88, and Thorne was his broadcast partner for his memorable call of Bill Buckner's error in game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Gary Cohen—the current TV voice of the Mets and Murphy's longest tenured partner after Kiner and Nelson—shared the booth with him from 1989 through his 2003 retirement.

In 1994, Bob Murphy was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame as a recipient of the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award. There is a display about Murphy in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, as there is for former Mets partner Nelson, who had also won the award. In addition to this honor, Murphy was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1984.

He was voted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

➦In 2014…Longtime Atlanta Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren died at age 69 (Born - October 7, 1944). A native of Rochester, NY, he was a  sportscaster best known for his long career calling play-by-play for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves.

From 1976 to 2008, he called the team's television and/or radio broadcasts, teaming with a number of on-air partners including Ernie Johnson, Don Sutton and Skip Caray (who was hired by the club at the same time as himself).  Johnson originally nicknamed Van Wieren "The Professor" because Van Wieren looked like pitcher Jim Brosnan. The moniker stuck for his in-depth knowledge of the game and thorough preparation before broadcasts..

Along with Caray, Van Wieren was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004,  joining an impressive list in Braves history that already included Hank Aaron, Lew Burdette, Del Crandall, Tommy Holmes, Ernie Johnson, Eddie Mathews, Phil Niekro, Dale Murphy, Kid Nichols, Ted Turner, Johnny Sain and Warren Spahn.

On December 18, 2006, the Braves announced that Van Wieren had signed a three-year contract to continue doing Braves broadcasts on the radio.

On October 21, 2008, Van Wieren unexpectedly announced his retirement from broadcasting effective immediately, after 33 seasons with the Braves. His departure came less than three months after the death of his longtime on-air partner Skip Caray.

On November 4, 2009, Van Wieren was diagnosed with cutaneous B-cell lymphoma. He suffered a relapse and additional rounds of chemotherapy after a recurrence in the fall of 2010. On August 2, 2014, Van Wieren died from complications of lymphoma.

Marci Miller is 35
  • Actor Nehemiah Persoff (“Some Like It Hot”) is 101. 
  • Keyboardist Garth Hudson of The Band is 83. 
  • Singer Kathy Lennon of The Lennon Sisters is 77. 
  • Actor Joanna Cassidy is 75. 
  • Actor Kathryn Harrold is 70. 
  • Actor Butch Patrick (“The Munsters”) is 67. 
  • Music producer and Garbage drummer Butch Vig is 65. 
  • Singer Mojo Nixon is 63. 
  • Actor Victoria Jackson (“Saturday Night Live”) is 61. 
  • Actor Apollonia is 61. 
  • Actor Cynthia Stevenson (“Men In Trees,” ″Hope and Gloria”) is 58. 
  • Actor Mary-Louise Parker is 56. 
  • Director-actor Kevin Smith (“Clerks,” ″Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”) is 50. 
  • Actor Sam Worthington (“Terminator Salvation”) is 44. 
  • Actor Edward Furlong is 43. 
  • “Today” meteorologist Dylan Dreyer is 39. 
  • Actor Marci Miller (“Days of Our Lives”) is 35. 
  • Singer Charli XCX is 28. 
  • Actor Hallie Eisenberg is 28.

Hurricane Warnings Posted For Florida

Hurricane Isaias is expected to bring hurricane-force conditions along portions of Florida’s east coast late Saturday afternoon and Sunday with strong winds, heavy rains and possible flooding in low lying areas, the National Hurricane Center said.

At 11 p.m. Friday, the hurricane center’s forecast brought Category 1 Isaias barreling toward West Palm Beach early Sunday then hugging Florida’s east coast before making a slight northwesterly turn and going farther off the coast after passing Melbourne on Sunday afternoon. As of Friday night, Isaias was located 135 miles south-southeast of Nassau.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected ... early Saturday,” NHC forecasters said in an advisory.

South Florida could start feeling the effects of the storm Saturday afternoon.

James Murdoch Resigns From Board At News Corp

James Murdoch
James Murdoch, the younger son of Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from News NWS Company's board of directors, a move that marks his full departure from the family’s businesses, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” Murdoch said in his resignation letter, which was published as part of a company filing released Friday.

Murdoch had once been widely viewed as the top contender to one day run the family businesses, but in recent years he has been disengaging from his roles at the companies. Last year, he left as chief executive of 21st Century Fox after substantial parts of the company’s entertainment unit were sold to Walt Disney Co.

The News Corp board seat was the last formal role he held at companies controlled by his family.

Earlier this year, as wildfires raged in his family’s native Australia, James Murdoch publicly criticized coverage of climate change in News Corp’s newspapers and on Fox Corp’s Fox News.

“We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive and executive chairman of Fox and co-chairman of News ’s board, said in a statement.

Rupert Murdoch, 89, remains chairman of Fox and executive chairman of News Corp.

James Murdoch’s political inclinations have been at odds with others in the family empire.  Murdoch and his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, also have donated over $1 million to political-action committees supporting the presidential campaign of Democratic presumptive candidate Joe Biden.

Since departing from Fox, James Murdoch had launched his own investment fund, Lupa Systems, but had remained on the News Corp board. The Murdoch family are major shareholders in both Fox Corp. and News Corp, which owns Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

News Corp also owns the New York Post, the Times of London and the Sun in the U.K. and dozens of newspapers in Australia.

The younger Murdoch personally walked away with $2.2 billion from the sale of the Fox assets.

ESPN Radio: Mike Golic Wraps Up 22-Year Run

Mike Golic's 22-year run as the co-host of ESPN's morning radio show has officially ended, as he and Trey Wingo hosted the final "Golic & Wingo" show on Friday, reports USAToday.

Doing the show from his home, Golic's family joined him and Mike Golic Jr. — a contributor to the program over the last few years — in the basement for the final hour of the program to share their thoughts on his radio career, which followed an eight-year NFL career as a defensive lineman.

"There is nobody who is as important than who is sitting right here," Golic said, referring to his family. As he signed off, between tears, he mustered a final note of gratitude to the listeners: "Thank you all."

Tributes poured out on social media honoring both Golic the radio host and Golic the person. But none were more poignant than the ones from his family.

“Even when we turn off the mics, you still get to be our dad," said Golic Jr., who will be a co-host during ESPN's afternoon radio program alongside WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike.

Golic Sr.'s rise in sports media was a product of his work with Mike Greenberg on "Mike & Mike," which the duo co-hosted for 18 years.

ESPN ended "Mike & Mike" in 2016 after Greenberg was tapped for the daily morning TV show "Get Up!" That decision caught Golic "off guard," as did the termination of "Golic & Wingo."

ESPN's new radio lineup will have Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti in the 6-10 a.m. radio slot.

Harrisburg Radio: WHKF Adds The Woody Show

iHeartMedia’s ALT WHKF Rock 99.3, Central PA’s Alternative Rock, announced Friday the debut of “The Woody Show”. The top-rated morning show will broadcast weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. ET.

“The Woody Show” is highly-interactive, socially-engaging appointment radio. Featuring Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas, “The Woody Show” is described by listeners as “authentic,” “raw,” “unapologetic” and “recess/happy hour on the radio.” In 2016, the popular program was a NAB Marconi Radio Award finalist for “Major Market Personality of the Year,” and it was launched into national syndication by Premiere Networks in 2017. Fans can follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Salute to the team at iHeartMedia in Harrisburg who foolishly believe in us so much that they’re willing to tarnish the rich history and good name of Harrisburg — which, did you know, has its own mini Statue of Liberty?” said Woody. “It’s true! The ALT Rock 99.3 signal proudly transmits from its torch.”

“We are delighted to bring ‘The Woody Show’ to ALT 99.3,” said Josh Wolff, Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Harrisburg/Allentown/Lancaster. “Their unique chemistry and brand of humor will be the perfect way for Central PA to start their day. We’re very excited!”

ALT Rock 99.3’s weekday lineup:
  • The Woody Show 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.
  • Holly Love. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Klinger 3p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Amy Warner. 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Union Wants 'Sensitivity Reads' At The NY Times

A union representing some 1,200 New York Times employees is urging that articles be subjected to “sensitivity reads.”

The NY Post reports the News Guild of New York said its reps recommended the extra layer of vetting during a meeting with the Grey Lady’s leadership earlier this month over how to make the paper “more diverse and equitable.”

The meeting came in response to a newsroom uproar over Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s controversial op-ed.

“Diversity, inclusion and equity is not a static goal. It is an ongoing commitment that must be implemented in every facet of the company,” the Guild wrote in a memo.

The suggestions include diversifying the paper’s workforce, annually publishing data that includes information on demographics in hiring, promotion, and retention and investing in mentorship programs for people of color.

But one proposal raised some eyebrows on social media.

“Get it right from the beginning: sensitivity reads should happen at the beginning of the publication process, with compensation for those who do them,” the union wrote on Twitter.

It added in the memo: “Planning of sensitivity reads​ at the start of the editorial process, not at the end.”

“Someone who is asked to spend more than 15 minutes performing this task should receive compensation, mirroring the existing policy for translation fees.”

Cotton, of Arkansas, — whose op-ed calling for military intervention to crack down on protests sparked an uprising of Times staffers and the ouster of editorial page editor James Bennet — chided the guild for its recommendation.

“‘Sensitivity reads’ for op-eds? And extra compensation for censoring?” Cotton asked.

Political commentator Ben Shapiro piled on, writing: “What if we just fire everyone who demands a sensitivity read because it is childish bulls–t.”

Florida Teen Arrested For Massive Twitter Hack

A 17-year-old from Tampa is at the center of a Twitter hack scheme which gave him and two others access to the high-profile accounts of Bill Gates, Barack Obama and many other celebrities with millions of followers, authorities say.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Graham Ivan Clark was arrested Friday at his home in Greater Northdale, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office. The two others charged Friday are 22-year-old Nima Fazeli of Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard of the United Kingdom, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California.

Graham Clark
Clark faces state charges and will be tried in Hillsborough County because he is a juvenile, federal authorities said. The other two men face federal charges in the Northern District of California.

“He’s a 17 year-old kid who apparently just graduated high school,” said State Attorney Andrew Warren of Clark during a Friday news conference. “But no make no mistake, this was not an ordinary 17-year-old. This was a highly sophisticated attack on a magnitude not seen before.”

The Secret Service seized more than $700,000 of Bitcoin from Clark in April, according to the New York Times. Then came the July 15 hack, which authorities said Clark was the “mastermind” behind.

Clark’s scheme was to steal the identities of prominent people, then post messages in their names directing victims to send Bitcoin to accounts he owned. The accounts received more than 400 transfers and he reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day, the state attorney’s office said Friday.

As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is difficult to track and recover if stolen in a scam.

“This defendant lives here in Tampa, he committed the crime here, and he’ll be prosecuted here,” Warren said in an online news conference.

The hacking took place on July 15. At the time, Twitter said it was a “coordinated” attack targeting its employees “with access to internal systems and tools.”

Charlotte Radio: Ace 'Grateful' For Support After Daughter’s Death

Charlotte Radio Personality Ace & daughter Payton 
In a Facebook post, a Charlotte radio host thanked the The Ace & TJ Show family “for the outpouring of support”’ after the death of Ace’s daughter in a single-car crash in Mooresville.

WBTV 3 news reports Payton Cannon, 21, was killed when her vehicle ran off the right side of the roadand hit a tree, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers.

In the post, the family said they were “grateful” for all the support the received since the July 29 crash.

“In lieu of cards and flowers he asks that you make a donation to one of our two charities, Grin Kids and The Radio Family Charity. Ace doesn’t know that we’re changing the name of the Radio Family Charity to “Payton’s Promise.”

Payton was the daughter of David Cannon, better known as Ace from the Ace & TJ show that airs on WHQC Hits 96.1 in Charlotte.

Payton was the only person in the vehicle and she was wearing a seat belt. High speed was a contributing factor in the crash, troopers say.

R.I.P.: Bill Mack, Country Music Radio Personality, Songwriter

Bill Mack (June 4, 1932 – July 31, 2020)
Bill Mack, country singer-songwriter and the “Midnight Cowboy,” died Friday morning from COVID-19.

He was 88, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.

His son Billy Mack Smith posted news of his father’s death on Facebook, and said Mack had underlying health conditions.

“He was an amazing father, grandfather, great grandfather and husband to my mom,” his son wrote. “I’m blessed to have had not only a great dad but my best friend as well.”

Mack was born in Shamrock, Texas, and was a musician and a radio host at WBAP 820 AM. His show was named the “Midnight Cowboy Trucking Show” for its overnight airing that catered to truckers and millions of others, beginning in 1969, according to the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association.

“Nobody in broadcasting has a more recognizable voice than Bill Mack,” according to the association. “He has been heard on radio, seen on television, heard on records and featured in various publications for years.”

He has been honored as the “Country Music DJ Of The Year,” “Mr. DJ USA,” “Texas’ Number One Country DJ’” and he is a member of the “Country Music DJ Hall-Of-Fame” in Nashville.

Mack wrote “Drinking Champagne,” which was sung by fellow Texan George Strait. His song “Blue,” covered by LeAnn Rimes in 1996, won a Grammy for Country Song of the Year.

He left WBAP to launch a similar program on Sirius/XM satellite radio in 2001. He remained there until 2011, then returned to terrestrial radio on KSNZ in his hometown, Shamrock, Texas.

In addition to his trucking show, Bill Mack was the host of the nationally syndicated “Country Crossroads.” This gospel-oriented series was launched in 1969 and aired on more than 800 stations at its peak. He also hosted the syndicated “Overtime Top Ten Countdown” show.

In addition, Bill Mack was a television emcee. He hosted such syndicated series as The Buck Owens Show, The Bob Wills Show and Cowtown Jamboree. His radio show was translated into the cable TV series Country Crossroads.

He published an autobiography in 1971 titled Spins and Needles.

August 1 Radio History

Alice Frost
➦In 1905...Radio actress Alice Dorothy Margaret Frost born (Died  at age 92 – January 6, 1998). She was an inaugural member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre on radio and the stage, she later performed the role of Pamela North on the radio series Mr. and Mrs. North for nearly 10 years

Frost debuted on radio at age 16 as a singer, participating in a duet with a friend on a Minneapolis station. By 1933, she was a member of the cast of The Criminal Court. In 1934, she was "one of the ghost voices during CBS-WABC's Forty-Five Minutes In Hollywood."

➦In 1937...Mutual radio debuted “The Goodwill Hour”, with its familiar phrase, “You have a friend and advisor in John J. Anthony.”  The show began in 1932 as a 30-minute talk program, possibly  the first advice program of any kind. He offered advice and counseling on domestic problems. It was loosely based on a radio show called the Goodwill Court.

➦In 1940...WOR-FM NYC signed-on as W2XOR

➦In 1963...WABC 95.5 FM first aired stereo programming.

In the early 1960s, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily. Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market.

Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfuss
➦In 1973…"American Graffiti" premiered in Los Angeles.  It starred Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, and Wolfman Jack.

➦In 1973...DJ John R Richbourg. aired his final show on WLAC 1510 AM, Nashville, Tennessee after refusing to go along with a format change from R&B to Top 40. He resigned.

John R
In the mid-1950s, John R. became an influential figure in the fledgling black music trade by featuring ground-breaking R&B and early rock performers like Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on his program. Later John R capitalized on his reputation by becoming a manager to several artists, an occasional record producer, and later entrepreneuir in Nashville's booming studio industry. Nashville has long had a national reputation for country music. It. also has always had studio facilities devoted to soul, R&B, and gospel.

Richbourg may have gained his most enduring reputation as a pitchman who used "down-home" phrasing to ad-lib copy for advertisers. One example: Now, friends, I know you got some soul. If you didn't, you wouldn't be listenin' to ol' John R., 'cause I got me some soul. I'll tell you somethin', friends. You can really tell the world you got soul with this brand-new Swinging Soul Medallion, a jewelry pendant.

John R sold exotic or unusual products, such as baby chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery, family Bibles, hot-rod mufflers, and so on. According Wes Smith's book, The Pied Pipers of Rock 'n' Roll: Radio Deejays of the 50s and 60s (Longstreet Press, 1989), many such products turned out to be defective and/or scams, but few irate customers ever sought action against the station or manufacturers. One legitimate sponsor was Ernie's Record Mart, owned by a record label entrepreneur who specialized in recording local Nashville R&B acts.

Despite the popularity of newer Euro-American performers such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Richbourg continued to play chiefly African-American artists.

➦In 1981...MTV premiered. "Video Killed The Radio Star".

MTV's pre-history began in 1977, when Warner Cable (a division of Warner Communications from Warner Bros.), and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (WASEC) launched the first two-way interactive cable television system, QUBE, in Columbus, Ohio. The QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight On Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs; with the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite songs and artists.

The original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who later became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MTV Networks. Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC in the late 1970s.

Pittman's boss, WASEC Executive Vice President John Lack, had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format by the late 1970s.  The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network, Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge (few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live).

The first images shown on MTV were a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing

On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack, and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia, which took place earlier that year, and of the launch of Apollo 11.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing various colors, textures, and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit.  Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", this was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

➦In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM NYC changed call letters to WRKS

➦In 1988…Cincinnati's WCVG-AM became the first all-Elvis radio station. The format lasted for a little more than a year.

Rush Limbaugh
➦In 1988...Rush Limbaugh started syndication based at flagship station 77 WABC NYC.

In 1984, Limbaugh started as a regular talk show host on AM radio station KFBK in Sacramento, California, after several years of employment with the Kansas City Royals and in the music radio business, which included hosting a program at KMBZ in Kansas City. He succeeded Morton Downey, Jr. in the time slot.

Based on his work in Sacramento, Limbaugh was signed to a contract by EFM Media Management, headed by former ABC Radio executive Edward McLaughlin. Limbaugh's show was drawing five million listeners after two years of syndication. Lacking a name for the network during the early years, he coined the name "EIB Network," which has remained associated with the show even after joining an actual radio network.

In 1997, EFM was acquired by Jacor Communications, a publicly traded company.  In 1999, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications.  Currently, iHeartMedia  syndicates Limbaugh via Premiere Radio Networks.

Jennifer Gareis is 50
  • Singer Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is 89. 
  • Blues musician Robert Cray is 67. 
  • Singer Michael Penn is 62. 
  • Singer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard is 61. 
  • Rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy is 60. 
  • Guitarist Suzi Gardner of L7 is 60. 
  • Rapper Coolio is 57. 
  • Singer Adam Duritz of Counting Crows is 56. 
  • Director Sam Mendes (“Skyfall,” “American Beauty”) is 55. 
  • Country singer George Ducas is 54. 
  • Guitarist Charlie Kelley (Buffalo Club) is 52. 
  • Actor Jennifer Gareis (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 50. 
  • Actor Tempestt Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”) is 47. 
  • Actor Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) is 41. 
  • Singer Ashley Parker Angel (O-Town) is 39. 
  • Actor Taylor Fry (“Kirk,” ″Get A Life”) is 39. 
  • Actor Elijah Kelley (2007′s “Hairspray”) is 34. 
  • Actor James Francis Kelly (“Rocky Balboa”) is 31.

Friday, July 31, 2020

SiriusXM Radio Responds To Cousin Brucie's EXIT

Bruce Morrow
Legendary radio personality Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who became synonymous with rock and roll during his 13 years at WABC/770 AM in the 1960s and '70s before moving on to other stations, says he is leaving his current gig at SiriusXM.

On his show Wednesday, the Radio Hall of Famer said his final SiriusXM show would be Saturday. Morrow, who is in his 80s, has hosted classic-rock shows on the satellite-radio provider since 2005, most recently "Cruisin' with Cousin Brucie" on Wednesdays from 5 to 9 p.m. and "Cousin Brucie's Saturday Rock and Roll Party" on Saturdays from 8 p.m. to midnight, plus occasional specials such as "Ultimate Palisades with Cousin Brucie." A best-of show runs Sunday nights.

Morrow At WABC
Newsday reports Morrow indicated on Wednesday that he did not consider this a retirement and that he expected to be broadcasting again at some point, adding that he and his wife Jodie were taking August off and for listeners to watch his Facebook page for announcements.

A SiriusXM spokesman said in a statement, "After broadcasting on SiriusXM since 2005, Cousin Brucie has chosen to step away from the mic. After many amazing years broadcasting on SiriusXM, and a celebrated career of more than 60 years in radio, we wish Brucie the best in any future endeavor."

"He's one of the greats, there's no question about it," Allan Sniffen, who runs the New York Radio Message Board and the website, devoted to WABC-AM's music years, told Newsday. "He was phenomenally successful in his younger years, primary on WABC from 1961 to 1974, when the baby boomers came of age and everybody listened to the same few stations," added Sniffen, 62. As a nighttime DJ during that stint, Morrow worked "when teens were listening, and he was really good in his ability to relate to the boomers. He became a sensation with that group and they have remained loyal to him ever since."

Morrow's show "Cruisin' with Cousin Brucie" remains scheduled to air on Wednesday, Aug. 5, presumably in rerun. The SiriusXM spokesman did not respond to a request for clarification.

Born in Brooklyn, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988. After leaving WABC, Morrow also did DJ stints at WNBC 660 AM and WCBS 101.1 FM before  moving to satellite radio.

Ellen Apologizes, TV Show Making Workplace Changes

Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday sent an emotional message to the staff of her television talk show saying she was taking steps to improve the culture on set following accusations of a hostile working environment.

Reuters reports the email followed an internal investigation by Warner Bros. Television, which produces “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” of complaints ranging from bullying to racism among production staff.

Warner Bros. Television said in a statement that although “not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”

It said several staffing changes and other measures were being implemented, but did not give details.

The allegations, which were made by several former staff members in a BuzzFeed article earlier in July, painted a radically different view of life behind the cameras from the upbeat and positive vibe presented by DeGeneres on the show.

“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness - no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” DeGeneres wrote in an email to staff that was made available to reporters.

“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” she added.

DeGeneres, whose show has won dozens of awards in its 17 years on the air, also referred to criticism that has been leveled at her personally in recent media reports.

She said she was glad that her production team was “finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others.”

Condolences: Payton Cannon Dies In Auto Accident

Payton Cannon
The daughter of a radio show host David Cannon has died in a car crash in North Carolina.

Payton Alizabeth Cannon, 21, was killed just after midnight on Wednesday when her car veered off a road and hit a tree, news outlets reported.

Cannon’s father is known as Ace in “Ace & TJ,” a syndicated morning radio show that airs in Charlotte.

“Our show has experienced a heart-wrenching blow,” the show posted on Facebook Wednesday. “As you can imagine, we are all devastated, but Ace and his family are especially in desperate need of your prayers.”

It is believed Payton Cannon was traveling at about 80 mph during the time of the crash, Sgt. Chad Crouse of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol told The Charlotte Observer. The speed limit on the road was 45 mph, he said.

Tech Giants Report Business Is Good Inc. delivered soaring quarterly sales and profit, leading a pack of tech giants on Thursday that reported thriving business during the throes of the coronavirus pandemic and highlighting the industry’s central place in business and society at a time of growing concern over its clout, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal graphics
The success of Amazon, Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. in the face of a pandemic that has caused unprecedented economic disruption and millions of job losses shows how tech giants have become even more indispensable at a time when people are living and working more online. The companies showed strength in businesses ranging from gadgets and online retail to cloud computing and digital advertising.

Amazon reported record revenue and profit even as it spent $4 billion between April and June to stabilize its supply chain and improve worker safety. The Seattle e-commerce pioneer now employs more than 1 million workers, the second-largest in the U.S. Amazon reported $88.9 billion in sales as a flood of customers grew to rely more than ever on online shopping. Profits doubled to a record $5.2 billion, far exceeding analyst expectations.

Apple proved to be another example of the technology industry’s strength in the pandemic, reporting a better-than-expected 11% increase in quarterly sales due to strong demand for apps, work-from-home devices and a new, low-price iPhone.

Facebook showed the resilience of its social-media business despite a continuing procession of controversies. Sales rose 11% to $18.7 billion due to increased engagement from users—though growth slowed and the company warned about persistent risks from the economy and an advertiser boycott.

Google parent Alphabet Inc. was the outlier Thursday, reporting a decline in quarterly revenue compared with a year earlier for the first time in company history. Still, the company’s sales beat analyst expectations, and its profit, though down 30%, was still more than $6 billion.

Shares in all four companies, already among the best performers for large corporations across the stock market this year, rose after hours, with Amazon, Apple and Facebook all gaining more than 5%. Alphabet edged up almost 1%. Collectively, those stock moves would add more than $200 billion to their market value if they hold up in trading Friday. Apple alone gained about $100 billion, roughly equal to the market value of Citigroup Inc. and exceeding that of Starbucks Corp.

SiriusXM Optimistic On Keeping Howard Stern

SiriusXM said it’s in talks to retain Howard Stern as the business weathers the fallout from the coronavirus.

The NY Post reports SiriusXM Chief Executive Jim Meyer said Thursday on a 2Q earnings call that the company has re-engaged with Stern about re-upping his contract, following a lull caused by the pandemic.

Stern’s five-year contact lapses at the end of 2020, leading to buzz about whether he will retire, re-up with Sirius, or contemplate moving his show to a rival like Spotify, whose podcasting unit has been on a buying spree.

“Howard is very happy with what he’s doing. It matters when Howard is happy,” Meyer said. “His show is better, and he’s more relaxed. I’ve been clear: I want Howard Stern to work at SiriusXM for as long as Howard Stern wants to work.”

The CEO said he was optimistic about keeping Stern with the satellite radio company, adding: “I know what Howard wants. And we’re trying to figure out a way to make all those things work together. I don’t want to be overly optimistic here, but I want Howard here… We’ll keep working and we’ll get there, I hope. At the end of the day, it will come down to what Howard wants to do.”

In the event that Stern steps away from his live shows, SiriusXM will retain the rights to his library for seven years and will keep airing them. “That’s not what I want. I want Howard on air,” Meyer insisted.

Turning to his company’s results, Meyer said the business is improving after a tough slog brought on by the pandemic, which has reduced new car sales, thus lowering Sirius’ reach.

During the three months ended June 30, the company, controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media, said it added 264,000 self-pay subscribers at SiriusXM but lost 768,000 promotional subscribers.

Sirius ended the quarter with 30.3 million self-pay and 34.3 million total users, down 516,000.

S-F Area Radio: MLB A's Are Back On The Radio

The Oakland A’s decision this February to abandon terrestrial radio and broadcast all their games on A’s Cast, over the TuneIn streaming service, didn’t go over well with fans.

Now, Mercury News reports A’s baseball is back on the radio waves for the 2020 season, with the team announcing Thursday that it will partner with iHeartMedia's KNEW 960 AM to broadcast the remaining 54 games of the season, starting with Friday’s game against the Mariners in Seattle.

“We’ve always prided ourselves in listening to our fans,” A’s team president Dave Kaval said. “And I think for a lot of fans, this was something that was important for them. We wanted to find an option that worked.”

960 AM is a financial and business news station that is licensed in Oakland, with reach throughout the Bay Area. The A’s radio network outside of the Bay Area remains the same.

Before the coronavirus hit, most potential A’s partner stations didn’t have the time slots available for all 162 games. But the pandemic reduced commute times and listening opportunities, so radio stations are looking for more content to fill the airwaves.

A’s games will still be broadcast over A’s Cast, but the streaming service will move from TuneIn to iHeartRadio, with the same Northern California territory reach. The monthly listenership on iHeartRadio is estimated to be 28 million, compared to TuneIn’s 8 million. Kaval said he has heard positive response from a younger audience on the streaming experience.

The Rundown: U-S Economy Plunges

CORONAVIRUS DEATHS CONTINUE TO RISE AS SURGE LEVELS; ECONOMY PLUNGES 32.9 PERCENT: The number of daily coronavirus deaths in the U.S. is continuing to rise, even as the number of confirmed cases in the Sun Belt hot spot states appear to be leveling off. Still, cases are growing in the Midwest, and in close to 30 states overall. There were more than 1,500 deaths yesterday, as the average number of daily deaths has increased more than 25 percent over the past week. Florida reported 253 deaths, its third straight daily record, Texas had 322 deaths and California had 391. There have been more than 152,000 deaths in the U.S. overall, according to Johns Hopkins University's count as of early this morning, and more than 4,494,000 confirmed cases.

NY Times 7/31/20
The U.S. economy plunged by just under one-third in second quarter, with the Commerce Department yesterday estimating a 32.9 percent annual rate decline in gross domestic product (GDP) from April to June, driven by the business shutdowns and lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. hasn't hadn't anything close to that kind of decline in GDP dating back to when records began in 1947, with the previous worst quarter being a 10 percent drop in 1958. The steep drop was driven by a collapse of consumer spending, which plunged at 34.6 annual rate last quarter.

It was also reported by the Labor Department yesterday that more than 1.4 million people applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week, the 19th straight week that more than one million Americans have made initial unemployment benefits claims. That news came as Congress remained at a stalemate on negotiations on a new coronavirus aid package and the Senate adjourned for the weekend, even as the $600 weekly in additional federal unemployment benefits is expiring today.

European Union Extends Ban on U.S. Travelers: The European Union again extended its ban on travelers from the U.S. yesterday (July 30th). The E.U. began lifting its travel ban on people from outside the E.U. on July 1st, but the U.S. wasn't included among the initial list of countries whose citizens would be allowed in. The E.U. extended the ban on the U.S. on July 16th, and has now done it again. The decision is based on the key metric that travelers will be allowed from countries that have contained the coronavirus virus as well as or better than the E.U., which the U.S. hasn't.

➤TRUMP SUGGESTS ELECTION DELAY TO BIPARTISAN REJECTION: President Trump yesterday suggested delaying the November election, which drew a quick rejection from Democrats as well as Republicans. It's also not something a president can do, with only Congress having the constitutional power to move an election. Trump floated the idea in a tweet, as he continued to make unfounded claims that expanding mail-in voting because of the coronavirus pandemic would lead to widespread voter fraud:  "With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. . . . Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"

In a press conference later in the day, Trump said, "I don’t want to delay. I want to have the election. But I also don’t want to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing, and the election doesn’t mean anything." 

Republicans expressed rare disagreement with Trump in shooting down the idea, and Democrats charged Trump is trying to undermine the election because polls show him losing to Joe Biden, and claimed he was trying to distract from the day's news about the GDP plunging by nearly one-third last quarter. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "He’s always trying to divert attention from his overwhelming failure on Covid. And it’s not going to happen."

➤PROSECUTOR SAYS WON'T BRING CHARGES AGAINST EX-OFFICER AFTER REOPENED PROBE INTO MICHAEL BROWN SHOOTING: St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell announced yesterday that he won't bring charges against the former police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, saying he'd reached decision after having opened up an unannounced new probe into the case that lasted five months. Bell's decision comes after a St. Louis grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson in 2014, and the Justice Department also declined to charge him the following year. Bell, who said his "heart breaks" for Brown's parents, explained, "The question for this office was a simple one: Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law? After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we cannot prove that he did." However, he said, "our investigation does not exonerate Darren Wilson." The killing of the African-American Brown by Wilson, who is white, was an early focus of the Black Lives Matter movement. Brown's parents had hoped that Bell, who is the county's first Black prosecutor, would file charges after a new investigation.

Newsday 7/31/20
➤JAZZ, LAKERS WINS AS NBA SEASON RESTARTS: The Utah Jazz and the L.A. Lakers were the winners yesterday as the NBA restarted its season with two games in its Walt Disney World "bubble." The Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-104 in the first game of the restart, and the Lakers beat the L.A. Clippers 103-101 in the second.

In both games, the players, coaches and referees kneeled together during the National Anthem in support of racial justice and equality, their actions following the weeks of protests after George Floyd's death. Although the NBA has a rule that players must stand during the anthem, Commissioner Adam Silver announced: "I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem."

➤PHILLIES-BLUE JAYS SERIES POSTPONED AFTER TWO PHILLIES STAFF TEST POSITIVE: MLB has postponed this weekend's series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays after two Phillies staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. That came after it was reported earlier in the day that another Miami Marlins player tested positive, for a total of 17 players on the team. Miami's games have been postponed through the weekend.

➤REPORTS: MLB DOUBLEHEADERS TO BE SEVEN-INNING GAMES: Any MLB doubleheaders played this season will now be seven-inning games, according to media reports yesterday. The rule will go into effect on Saturday. The change is the latest big rules change MLB has made for the coronavirus-shortened season. Others include having designated hitters in the National League and putting a runner at second base to start all half-innings in extra innings.

SEC TO HAVE CONFERENCE-ONLY GAMES: The Southeastern Conference will play only conference games this season, with the SEC schools agreeing to a 10-game schedule that will begin September 26th. The SEC championship game, originally scheduled for December 5th will be pushed back to December 19th, 13 days before the College Football Playoff semifinals are scheduled to be played. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced plans to play only conference games, and the ACC will play only one nonconference game.

➤HURRICANE ISAIAS FORMS: Hurricane Isaias formed Friday in the Caribbean just north of the Dominican Republic with sustained winds of 80 mph, the National Hurricane Center announced in a special midnight bulletin.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter determined winds were strong enough for Isaias to be the second named hurricane of the season, the NHC said. In its 11 p.m. update, the NHC reported winds were 60 mph.

While the latest track is off the coast of Florida, a tropical storm watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet, with more watches or warnings for the state possible.

“There is a risk of impacts from winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge this weekend along the Florida east coast and spreading northward along the remainder of the U.S. east coast through early next week,” the NHC said, though Isaias’ track and intensity forecast remain uncertain.

Edison Research: Gen Z Listeners are Heavy Users of Streaming

Audio consumers in “Gen Z” -- those between the ages of 13 and 24 -- prefer listening on their smartphones, which should be no surprise because they have grown up with the devices, but AM/FM radio’s reach among Gen Z is high (55%), according to Share of Ear® information from Edison Research.

 Megan Vartan, Director of Research at Edison Research and Jayne Charneski, founder of Front Row Insights & Strategy, presented the “Radio’s Roadmap to Gen Z Listenership” webinar Thursday -- a version of this study was presented at the NAB Show Express earlier this year.

Who are those in Generation Z? Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation in the U.S. to date, with 48% identifying as a racial or ethnic minority. They are the first generation of true digital natives; they are increasingly being referred to as “Zoomers,” a nod to the pace at which technology and culture have changed in their lifetimes, and now to the presence of Zoom in their lives. Having grown up in the age of the 24-hour-news cycle and endless information on the internet, they regularly consume news and information.

Share of Ear measures audio consumption of those aged 13+ in the U.S., so those aged 13-24 were used to represent Gen Z in this study.

Over half (55%) of 13-24 year-olds in the U.S. are reached by AM/FM radio daily, just surpassing the reach of streaming (53%).

“Perhaps fact that Gen Z listens to any AM/FM radio surprises you,” said Vartan. “Many people believe that no young people ever listen to the radio any more. This is simply not true. Especially when they are in their cars, but even in other places – young people do listen to the radio.”

Gen Z listeners spend 50% less of their total share of time listening to AM/FM radio than the average 13+ population, so even though 55% of Gen Zers are reached by radio daily, they spend less time with radio when they tune in.

Gen Z listens to AM/FM Radio most when they are in the car. Almost 50% of the time spent listening to audio in the car among13-24 year-olds is to AM/FM radio, surpassing streaming audio, YouTube, and others.

Gen Z listeners are much more likely to listen to audio on a smartphone than a traditional device. Gen Z uses a radio receiver 50% less than the average 13+ population, and they use their phones for listening 75% more than the average 13+ population.

Gen Z listeners spend 58% more of their total share of time listening to streaming audio than the average 13+ population. Their share of YouTube listening, which is surveyed only for music and music videos, is 98% higher than the average 13+ population.

Despite Gen Z’s love for streaming and for their smartphones, 89% of their listening to AM/FM radio is done through a traditional radio receiver. Eleven percent of Gen Z’s AM/FM radio listening is going to the streams. Even among this young, digital-first demographic, they are simply not listening in big numbers to radio streams.

"Stations need to remind these digital natives that FM radio is available digitally" said Charneski. "This is the generation that was swiping before they were wiping…and yet, somehow they’re not thinking of FM radio as that’s available on their phones and mobile devices."

Qualitative interviews with Gen Z radio listeners found some of the reasons they enjoy radio:
  • radio provides a human connection, particularly during quarantine
  • radio offers the surprise of songs that have not been curated in streaming playlists
  • radio is a source for additional information about music and artists
  • radio is a source for news and information
  • radio is associated with nostalgia and good memories

Urban One Reports 37 Percent Drop in Revenue

Urban One, Inc. Thursday reported its results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Net revenue was approximately $76.0 million, a decrease of 37.5% from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $30.2 million, a decrease of 33.1% from the same period in 2019.

The Company reported operating income of approximately $20.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020, compared to approximately $29.1 million for the same period in 2019.

Net income was approximately $1.4 million or $0.03 per share (basic) compared to net income of approximately $6.6 million or $0.15 per share (basic) for the same period in 2019.

Alfred Liggins III
Adjusted EBITDA2 was approximately $24.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2020, compared to approximately $39.6 million for the same period in 2019.

Alfred C. Liggins, III, Urban One's CEO and President stated, "The economic impact of Covid-19 is fully evident in our second quarter numbers: radio advertising was down 51%, and event revenues were -96% year over year. Our TV and digital businesses fared better, with TV advertising revenue down 4.4% and digital -20%, highlighting the benefits of our diversified media asset base.

"We had to make tough decisions to reduce costs, and I am proud of how our team, including on-air talent, made sacrifices and worked diligently to keep us operating smoothly through the pandemic. With the issue of racial equality featuring so prominently around the world, it is critical that diverse voices continue to be heard and I thank all our staff and talent for their exceptional work engaging with our audience and clients. The outlook for the rest of 2020 remains uncertain, but I anticipate a similar pattern of strong performance from our TV business offsetting some of the weakness in radio advertising and events. On a same station basis, our Q3 core radio business is currently pacing -41% and we continue to see sequential improvement. Our cost saving measures remain in place, liquidity is strong with $70 million of cash on the balance sheet, and I firmly believe that Urban One will continue to successfully navigate our way through these unprecedented times."