Saturday, August 22, 2020

August 23 Radio History

Art Van Harvey, Clarence Hartzell, Bernadine Flynn, Billy Idelson
➦In 1883...Radio actor Art Van Harvey was born in Chicago.  He is best known for playing the role of  Vic in the memorable daytime radio series Vic & Sade.

Vic and Sade was an American radio program created and written by Paul Rhymer. It was regularly broadcast on radio from 1932 to 1944, then intermittently until 1946, and was briefly adapted to television in 1949 and again in 1957.

During its 14-year run on radio, Vic and Sade became one of the most popular series of its kind, earning critical and popular success: according to Time, Vic and Sade had 7,000,000 devoted listeners in 1943. For the majority of its span on the air, Vic and Sade was heard in 15-minute episodes without a continuing storyline. The central characters, known as "radio's home folks", were accountant Victor Rodney Gook (Art Van Harvey), his wife Sade (Bernardine Flynn) and their adopted son Rush (Bill Idelson). The three lived on Virginia Avenue in "the small house halfway up in the next block

 Van Harvey died Sept. 7 1957 at age 74.

➦In 1923....Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, “The Happiness Boys”, first aired on New York’s WEAF radio.  The two were billed as radio’s first comedians and were also credited with creating and performing the first singing commercial.

They began on radio October 18, 1921 on WJZ (Newark, New Jersey), where they were sponsored by the chain of Happiness Candy stores. Listeners mailed in their comments about the singers on cards supplied to retailers by Happiness Candy.

The Happiness Boys aired on WEAF, moving to NBC from 1926 to 1929. The duo sang popular tunes, mostly light fare and comic songs, and they engaged in humorous repartee between numbers. Their theme song was "How Do You Do" (1924). However, only the words to this song were new at that time. The melody had been used for a variety of other songs in the past and is still used in the camp favorite "If You're Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands)".

By 1928, Jones and Hare were the highest paid singers in radio, earning $1,250 a week. The partnership ended with Ernie Hare's death on March 9, 1939.

➦In 1989...The music died on the Big 89 WLS in Chicago.

In June , WLS 890 AM had announced they were going all talk by the end of the summer. Many expected that to happen on September 1.

By 1988, WLS was airing adult contemporary music, liberally laced with oldies and standards, with talk programming at night.  Air personalities were becoming more talk intensive anyway and midday talk was added as well.

Then with no warning, on August 23, 1989 at 7 pm, WLS stopped playing music altogether. Phil Duncan was the last DJ to play music on WLS, and as Phil finished up his show.  The last song was "Just You 'n' Me" by Chicago.

WLS then became a 24/7 all talk statiom featuring high-rated talk talents from around the country, such as Bob Lassiter from Tampa Bay, Stacy Taylor from San Diego and their biggest hit, Rush Limbaugh out of New York.

In 1975, The Big 89 WLS celebrated its 25th anniversary of playing Top40  with this retrospective TV show that aired on Channel 7 WLS TV Chicago in 1985. Most of the disc jockeys of the past (and some of the present at the time) appear on this program.  The program is hosted by the late super jock Larry Lujack.

For More on WLS: Click HERE And HERE.

➦In 1991...Seattle radio station KNDD 107.7 FM “The End” was born, billing its music as “The Cutting Edge of Rock.”  It first gave airplay to local bands Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden.  This launched the Seattle “grunge” movement internationally. The End's first song was "It's The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M.

➦In 2010…Veteran San Francisco Radio, TV newsman  Dave McElhatton died after a stroke at age 81.  (Born - December 8, 1928). He retired in 2000.   McElhatton was sometimes called "Mac"
Dave McElhatton

McElhatton worked for KCBS Radio in San Francisco for 25 years, starting two weeks after college graduation. Early in his career, he hosted an all-night radio show, "Music Till Dawn".

In the early 1960s, he was the host of "McElhatton In The Morning", a blend of news and comedy, with his sidekick Homer "Friendly Clyde" Welch.

He later hosted a radio program called "Viewpoint", which was the area's first telephone talk show. McElhatton later became news director of KCBS radio, where he helped change the format of the station to an all-news format.

While working in radio at KCBS, McElhatton (along with Friendly Clyde) hosted TV Bingo, a daytime show on KTVU Channel 2.

McElhatton became a television news anchor for KPIX-TV Channel 5, the first television station in San Francisco starting in 1977 upon leaving KCBS radio. The hiring of McElhatton, a radio broadcaster, was noted by some to be a bold stroke. He remained as a news achor with KPIX until his retirement in 2000. He was noted, along with that of CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, to be among two good reporters during a forum by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

At his peak, his salary as a newscaster was reportedly approximately $750,000 per year. In 2006, the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame was created. McElhatton was among the inaugural inductees.

Kimberly Matula
  • Actor Vera Miles is 90. 
  • Actor Barbara Eden is 89. 
  • Satirist Mark Russell is 88. 
  • Actor Richard Sanders (“WKRP In Cincinnati”) is 80. 
  • Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 73. 
  • Singer Linda Thompson is 73. 
  • Actor David Robb (“Downton Abbey”) is 73. 
  • Country fiddler-singer Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky is 71. 
  • Actor Shelley Long is 71. 
  • Singer-actor Rick Springfield is 71. 
  • Actor-producer Mark Hudson (The Hudson Brothers) is 69. 
  • Actor Skipp Sudduth (“The Good Wife”) is 64. 
  • Guitarist Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots is 59. 
  • Singer-bassist Ira Dean of Trick Pony is 51. 
  • Actor Jay Mohr is 50. 
  • Actor Ray Park (“X-Men,” ″The Phantom Menace”) is 46. 
  • Actor Scott Caan (“Hawaii Five-0”) is 44. 
  • Actor Joanna Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”) is 40. 
  • Actor Jaime Lee Kirchner (“Bull”) is 39. 
  • Saxophonist Andy Wild of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats is 39. 
  • Musician Sky Blu of LMFAO is 34. 
  • Actor Kimberly Matula (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 32.

Entercom 'Streamlines' Markets Into Geo Locations

At the end of the business week, we learned Entercom Communications has re-organized its regional president structure.

The plan was announced in an internal staff memo from COO Susan Larkin.

In the memo, Larkin stated, “Over the past few months, we have been hard at work identifying strategic shifts that will position Entercom as a strong, growing organization with a bright future.”

Susan Larkin
The company is moving forward with what it calls a “streamlined model of, in most cases, geographically connected markets.”

This, Larkin says, “will allow our local markets to benefit from their shared leadership, increased collaboration, combined resources, and amplified opportunities for advertisers.”

She adds that Entercom “will unlock tremendous potential to leverage our scale, become increasingly competitive and nimble, and superserve our communities in ways that were not before possible.”

Entercom’s Regional Presidents are now:
  • Doug Abernethy – Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Greensboro, Greenville-Spartanburg, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Norfolk, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Wichita
  • Jeff Federman – Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego
  • Mark Hannon – Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, Philadelphia,
    Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, Springfield, Washington D.C., Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
  • Claudia Menegus – Gainesville, Memphis, Miami, Orlando
  • Brian Purdy – Austin, Chattanooga, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans,
  • Rachel Williamson – Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis
It’s a promotion for Menegus, who has been Market Manager for Entercom’s Orlando cluster.

For Hannon, the new duties mean that the search is on for a new Market Manager for
Entercom’s Boston cluster.  Larkin will continue to have regional oversight of Entercom/New York.

Larkin added Entercom Chief Revenue Officer Bob Phillips, Sales Operations President Michael Doyle; and Entercom/Kansas City SVP/Market Manager Dave Alpert “will remain 100% focused on their primary responsibilities.”

Fort Wayne Radio: Andy Beckman Joins WAJI for Mornings

Popular Fort Wayne area radio host Andy Beckman will join WAJI Majic 95.1 as its morning show host.

Beckman, who was the longtime host of WMEE’s morning radio show, will host weekday mornings beginning Sept. 8, the station announced.

Andy Beckman
In June, WMEE’s parent company announced it was “going in a new direction” with its morning show, after co-host Nichole Roberts decided to leave the show to stay home with her children full-time. Beckman hosted the show for 9 years.

Now, he’ll move back to the station he started his career at.

“I feel like I’m coming back home,” said Beckman. “MAJIC 95.1 is where I started in the radio business, and I’m very excited to be back!”

Lee Tobin, General Manager of WAJI, said Beckman was “great” choice.

“I’ve known Andy personally for almost 20 years, and he is a great person, great family man, and an incredibly funny guy,” said Tobin. “We are very happy to have him back on the MAJIC 95.1 team!”

WAJI MAJIC 95.1 is owned by Sarkes Tarzian, Inc., who also owns WLDE Classic Hits 101.7, ALT 102.3, and 99.5 The Twenty FM.

Cleveland Radio: WTAM Anchor Fired For Using Term ‘Colored’

iHeartMedia's News/Talk WTAM 1100 AM has fired an anchor who referred to Sen. Kamala Harris as the nation’s “first colored vice presidential candidate” in a news tease Wednesday night, reports

“We are aware of the reference made on WTAM by Kyle Cornell,” Ray Davis, the station’s program and promotions director said in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously and addressed it immediately. The term used is extremely offensive and does not align with our station’s core values and commitment to the communities we serve. He is no longer with WTAM.”

Kyle Cornell
In a news teaser that aired during the station’s broadcast of the Cleveland Indians game, Cornell said, “The U.S. officially has its first colored vice presidential candidate. More coming up after the game on Newsradio WTAM 1100 Cleveland.” Audio of the clip was posted to social media and went viral.

In an interview with WKYC 3News, Cornell said the comment “wasn’t meant to be malicious or in any sort of way trying to decimate the character of anyone.”

“That was never the goal and for that, again, I am truly sorry,” he said. “For the station of WTAM too, I feel awful for putting them through what they’ve had to go through over the past 24 hours... I just want them to understand it was a rough choice to make and that I accept my punishment.”

“Colored” is an antiquated term that is considered offensive and derogatory because of its association with slavery and racist Jim Crow laws that were designed to keep Black people segregated and disenfranchised from white America. In its stylebook, the Associated Press says the word is permissible “only in names of organizations or in rare quotations when essential.”

Harris, 55, formally accepted the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nomination at the party’s convention earlier this week. The junior U.S. senator from California is of Indian and Jamaican heritage and is the first woman from a racial minority to be nominated to a major party’s presidential ticket.

Cornell's ouster came one day after MLB's Cincinnati Reds suspended broadcaster Thom Brennaman after he was heard on air using an anti-gay slur while his game broadcast was coming back from a commercial break.

Lori Loughlin, Hubby Sentenced To Prison

“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were sentenced on Friday to respective prison terms of two months and five months for participating in a vast U.S. college admissions fraud scheme.

Loughlin, 56, choked up as she apologized to U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston for the “awful decision” she made to help her daughters gain an “unfair advantage” in the college admissions process and get into their preferred school.

She and her husband were sentenced after they pleaded guilty in May to engaging in a fraud scheme aimed at securing spots for their daughters at the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.

They did so through what Gorton called a “blatant” scheme that involved wealthy parents, including the couple, conspiring with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and fraud to secure their children’s admissions to top schools.

Felicity Huffman
The actress, who became the public face of the scandal, said she understood her actions “helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society generally and the higher education system for specifically.”

“I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry, and I need to face the consequences and make amends,” she said during a hearing held via videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gorton also ordered Loughlin and Giannulli to pay respective fines of $150,000 and $250,000 and complete 100 and 250 hours of community service. He said he was “dumbfounded” by how Loughlin could aid the corruption of the higher education system.

Loughlin and Giannulli are among 56 people charged in a scheme masterminded by consultant William “Rick” Singer, who has admitted to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of children to schools under the guise of being sought-after athletes.

The parents include actress Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence for paying to rig her daughter’s college entrance exam. An insurance and private equity executive, Mark Hauser, on Friday became the latest parent to cut a plea deal.

The couple is due to report to prison on Nov. 19.

David Pecker Out As CEO of National Enquirer Parent Company

David Pecker
David Pecker is stepping down as CEO of the National Enquirer's parent, ending a reign that saw the company entangled in a campaign-finance scandal that sent President Donald Trump's personal lawyer to jail, reports FOX Business.

Pecker's company, American Media Inc., is being taken over by Accelerate360, a logistics firm based in Smyrna, Georgia, whose recent efforts include the delivery of millions of facemasks and units of hand sanitizer.

Accelerate did not disclose the terms of the deal in its announcement Friday. But it said the combined entity would be headed by Accelerate CEO David Parry.

Chris Scardino, an 18-year veteran of American Media, was named president of A360 Media, the New York-based unit that will house American Media's former titles, which also include Us Weekly, Life & Style and OK! Pecker will serve as an “executive advisor” to the company's A360 Media division, Accelerate said.

Under Pecker, the National Enquirer for years buried potentially embarrassing stories about Trump and other favored celebrities by buying the rights to them and never publishing. The practice was known as “catch-and-kill.”

The Associated Press reported Pecker kept a safe in the Enquirer’s office that held documents on buried stories, including those involving Trump.

American Media admitted it had paid $150,000 to keep former Playboy model Karen McDougal quiet about an alleged affair with Trump to help his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied an affair.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan agreed in 2018 not to prosecute American Media in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation. That probe eventually led to a three-year prison term for Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

CRS 360 To Host Workplace Webinar

Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc® will present the next installment of CRS360, titled, “The Workplace Ain’t What It Used to Be. Now What?” Set for Wednesday, August 26, at 1 p.m. CT. 

This episode is designed to manage expectations and maximize productivity when we return to the workplace. “We realize many organizations will work from home for the duration of 2020,”

CRB Executive Director, RJ Curtis, acknowledges. “And yet, out of necessity, others must plan a return to their respective offices. A lot has changed since March, in terms of business dynamics, onsite operations, helpful technology, and, perhaps most important, attention to the mental health of our workforce."

Panelists include Futuri Media’s Scott Lindy, Sales force Sr. Dir./Innovation Karen Semone, and licensed psychotherapist Kelly Orchard. The August CRS360 episode is for every radio professional who’s determined to evolve with the times. To register for “The Workplace Ain’t What It Used to Be. Now What?” sign up HERE.

TV Ratings: DNC Gained Viewers Nightly

The closing night of the virtual Democratic National Convention attracted roughly 24.6 million primetime television viewers, the largest audience of the week, according to Reuters citing data from the Nielsen ratings agency.

The number covers viewership across 10 broadcast and cable networks from 10 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Eastern time. It does not include people who watched via online platforms.

Thursday's proceedings concluded with Joe Biden accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for president in a speech delivered live from his home state of Delaware.

TV viewership was 17% lower than the night in 2016 when Hillary Clinton spoke as the party's first female presidential nominee. But the figures do not include online platforms that have jumped in popularity in the past four years as traditional TV viewership has declined.

Biden's campaign estimated there were an additional 35.5 million live streams over the convention's four days via websites and through digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The statement did not say for how long each viewer streamed the event.

Democrats canceled plans to convene delegates and party leaders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, they staged a virtual event with celebrity moderators introducing live and recorded remarks from around the country.

The TV audience rose on each night of the event, with Monday's kickoff drawing 19.8 million viewers, Nielsen said.

The Republican nominating convention for President Donald Trump is next week.

R.I.P.: Frankie Banali, Drummer For Quiet Riot

Frankie Banali, the drummer for heavy metal band Quiet Riot, died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 68.

His wife Regina wrote in a statement that he had been battling stage four pancreatic cancer since April 2019. The longtime Quiet Riot drummer also played with Billy Idol, W.A.S.P. and Faster Pussycat.

Frankie Banali
“He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could,” she wrote. “He lived for playing live and performed for millions of fans around the world throughout his career. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.”

Born on Nov. 14, 1951 in Queens, N.Y., Banali relocated to Los Angeles in the mid-’70s. He spent four years in New Steppenwolf, an offshoot of the hard-rock band led by former bassist Nick St. Nicholas. In 1979, Banali joined bassist Dana Strum and Chuck Wright and guitarist Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne and Kevin Dubrow, officially forming heavy metal band DuBrow, which later changed its name to Quiet Riot after the original lineup had broken up.

Banali is the last remaining member of the band’s classic lineup. His signature tone and drum intros are featured in hits including “Cum on Feel the Noize,” “Mony Mony” and “L.A. Woman,” as well as albums like “Hughes/Thrall.” Arranged by the drummer, the band’s 1982 hit “Metal Health,” released by Pasha Records, topped the charts and sold over ten million copies worldwide, helping usher the decade of heavy metal rock.

August 22 Radio History

➦In 1906…The Victor Talking Machine Company began to manufacture a record player called the Victrola. The hand-cranked unit, with horn cabinet, sold for $200. Records had to be purchased separately, usually in the appliance stores that sold the machines, at a price of $1 to $7. Music onductor John Philip Sousa predicted "a marked deterioration in American music" and said that generations of amateur musicians would give way to "canned music."

The advent of radio as a home entertainment medium in the early 1920s presented Victor and the entire record industry with new challenges. Not only was music becoming available over the air free of charge, but a live broadcast made using a high-quality microphone and heard over a high-quality receiver provided clearer, more "natural" sound than a contemporary record.

In 1925, Victor switched from the acoustical or mechanical method of recording to the new microphone-based electrical system developed by Western Electric. Victor called its version of the improved fidelity recording process "Orthophonic", and sold a new line of record players, called "Orthophonic Victrolas", scientifically designed to play these improved records. Victor's first electrical recordings were made and issued in the spring of 1925

➦In 1947...“Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy“, expanded to length of their ABC Radio Networks shows to 30-minutes and aired three-time weekly.  The program had been a 15-minute program for 14-years.

➦In 1964...The Beatles were in concert at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, playing to 20,261 fans.

The Bill Black Combo, the Exciters, the Righteous Brothers, and Jackie DeShannon opened for the group.  The show was broadcast locally by CKNW 980 AM.

➦In 1965...The Beatles performed two shows at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon.  Mike Love and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys stopped by between shows to meet the group.

➦In 1970...Chart Check:  Bread reached #1 with their first hit--"Make It With You".  That ended a five-week reign for the Carpenters' classic "(They Long To Be) Close To You".  Eric Burdon & War were up to #3 with "Spill The Wine" while the song "War" was at #4 for Edwin Starr.  The rest of the Top 10:  Mungo Jerry with "In The Summertime", Stevie Wonder had #6--"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)", Clarence Carter moved from 16 to 7 with "Patches", Freda Payne's "Band Of Gold", B.J. Thomas moved into the list with "I Just Can't Help Believing" and one of the great One-Hit Wonders of the Rock Era*, "Tighter, Tighter" by Alive & Kicking was still alive at #10.

➦In 1990...Orchestra leader David Rose died aged 80. He had the 1962 US No.1 single ‘The Stripper’. He led the band on NBC radio’s Red Skelton Show, and wrote music for the TV series Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza.

➦In 2004...Al Dvorin, the announcer who coined the phrase "Elvis has left the building" while working the King's Seventies concerts, died in a car crash en route home from a Californian Elvis convention.

Jerry Leiber
➦In 2011...Jerry Leiber died in Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, aged 78, from cardio-pulmonary failure. He along with Mike Stoller, wrote many of Elvis Presley's big early hits, including "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock", as well as "Kansas City" for Wilbert Harrison, "Stand By Me" for Ben E. King and "On Broadway" for the Drifters.

➦In 2011...Nickolas Ashford of the duo Ashford & Simpson, who wrote songs such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "You're All I Need To Get By", "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing", and "I'm Every Woman" with wife Valerie Simpson, died at the age of 70 from throat cancer

➦In 2014...A Philadelphia radio legend, Don Cannon, died at age 74.

Cannon, who was born Dominic Canzano in Yonkers, N.Y.  He was known as “The Dean of Philadelphia Radio.”

He was a voice on morning radio in Philadelphia from 1969 until he retired in 2004. The “Cannon in the Morning” show started on WIBG and has been heard on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, WSNI and WOGL.

In the original Rocky movie, when the morning alarm clock goes off for Rocky’s run, it is Cannon’s voice heard on the radio.

WOGL 98.1 FM, the radio station where Cannon last worked in Philadelphia, put up a tribute page on its web site. It included this posting:

“It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of a member of the 98.1 WOGL family. Our friend and radio legend Don Cannon passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 22.

Don was our morning show host from March 1990 to June 2004. He was born in New York but started working in Philadelphia radio at a young age, and Philly became his true home.

Don was a big (NFL) Eagles fan, and had a great sense of humor."

Ted Moore - 1969
➦In 2014...Ted Moore, the retired voice of the Green Bay Packers during the glory years in the 1960s and who made a memorable call in the famed Ice Bowl on Dec. 31, 1967, at Lambeau Field, died at age 87 from heart failure.

Moore spent 48 years in the radio and television broadcasting business. But he was best known for his work with the Packers. At the Ice Bowl, with the Packers trailing the Dallas Cowboys, 17-14, in the NFL Championship Game, Moore peered through a small unfrozen section of the press box window and called quarterback Bart Starr's sneak into the end zone.

"The Green Bay Packers are going to be world champions, NFL champions for the third straight year," Moore yelled.

A native of Bristow, Okla., Moore worked for a number of stations in Madison, Marshfield, Neenah, Menasha, Green Bay and finally, in 1958, at WTMJ radio and television.  Moore also worked for WEMP and WOKY in Milwaukee.

He was later inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Melinda Page Hamilton is 49
  • Newsman Morton Dean is 85. 
  • Correspondent Steve Kroft (“60 Minutes”) is 75. 
  • Actor Cindy Williams (“Laverne and Shirley”) is 73. 
  • Guitarist David Marks of The Beach Boys is 72. 
  • Guitarist Vernon Reid of Living Colour is 62. 
  • Country singer Collin Raye is 60. 
  • Actor Regina Taylor (“The Unit,” ″I’ll Fly Away”) is 60. 
  • Singer Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears is 59. 
  • Drummer Debbi Peterson of The Bangles is 59. 
  • Guitarist Gary Lee Conner of Screaming Trees is 58. 
  • Singer Tori Amos is 57. 
  • Country singer Mila Mason is 57. 
  • Keyboardist James DeBarge of DeBarge is 57. 
  • Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Oz,” “Lost”) is 53. 
  • Actor Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) is 53. 
  • Celebrity chef Giada DeLaurentiis is 50. 
  • Actor Melinda Page Hamilton (“Devious Maids,” ″Mad Men,”) is 49. 
  • Actor Rick Yune (“Die Another Day,” “The Fast and the Furious”) is 49. 
  • Guitarist Paul Doucette of Matchbox Twenty is 48. 
  • Singer Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys is 47. 
  • Comedian Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids,” ″Saturday Night Live”) is 47. 
  • Actor Jenna Leigh Green (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) is 46. 
  • Keyboardist Bo Koster of My Morning Jacket is 46. 
  • Bassist Dean Back of Theory of a Deadman is 45. 
  • “The Late Late Show” host James Corden is 42. 
  • Guitarist Jeff Stinco of Simple Plan is 42. 
  • Actor Brandon Adams (“The Mighty Ducks”) is 41. 
  • Actor Aya Sumika (“Numb3rs”) is 40. 
  • Actor Ari Stidham (TV’s “Scorpion”) is 28.

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Rundown: Biden Accepts Dem Presidential Nomination

Former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination last night on the final day of the party's convention, portraying himself as a, quote, "ally of the light" who can lead America out of what he called "this chapter of American darkness."

Biden focused on uniting the country, which he said is dealing with four crisis -- the coronavirus, the economic devastation it's caused, racial injustice and climate change. He said that his first step will be getting control of the coronavirus, charging that President Trump is to blame for where we are with it, saying, "It didn't have to be this bad." He also took on foreign policy, saying, "the days of cozying up to dictators is over" and that he won't "turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers." Biden warned that nothing will change if Trump is re-elected, saying, "He'll wake up every day believing the job is all about him, never about you."

At the end of his speech, delivered without an audience in arena near his Delaware home because of the coronavirus, Biden's wife Jill, and his vice presidential running mate Senator Kamala Harris and her husband went outside together, where cars were in a parking lot flashing their lights, and watched fireworks go off.

Other speakers:

Biden's speech came at the end of the final night of the unprecedented virtual convention, held that way because of the coronavirus pandemic. The night's themes again included the importance of voting and having a voting plan, as well as health care, military families and faith. A touching moment came in a video by 13-year-old Brayden Harrington of New Hampshire, who explained that he and Biden are both stutterers. Brayden said that he'd met Biden, who told him about a book of poems he liked to read aloud to practice his speech, and showed him how he marks his speeches so they’re easier to read aloud.

➤CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES KILL AT LEAST FIVE: At least five people have been killed and 33 injured by dozens of wildfires burning in Northern California, sparked by nearly 11,000 lightning strikes over several days. Some 175 structures have been destroyed and tens of thousands of homes are threatened by the fires, which have caused smoky air over the state's central coast and San Francisco. Fire officials say they are short on resources, with some firefighters working 72-hour shifts instead of the usual 24 hours, and the state has requested 375 engines and crew from other states.

➤EX-TRUMP TOP STRATEGIST BANNON ARRESTED ON FRAUD CHARGES: Steve Bannon, President Trump's former former chief strategist, was arrested on fraud charges Thursday, with it alleged that he and three associates defrauded people who donated to a group called "Build the Wall," with the money supposed to be used to help build a wall along the border with Mexico. The group raised more than $25 million from thousands of donors, but according to charged unsealed yesterday, much of the money was taken for their own personal use by group members, including Bannon, who allegedly took over $1 million, using some to secretly pay co-defendant Brian Kolfage, the founder of the group. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service arrested Bannon aboard a luxury yacht off Connecticut. Bannon pled not guilty in a court appearance hours later, with his release approved on $5 million bail. As he left the courthouse, he shouted, "This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall." In addition to Bannon and Kolfage, also charged were Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea.

➤RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER IN COMA AFTER APPARENT POISONING: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a coma in critical condition after an apparent poisoning, having become ill during a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Thursday, leading to a an emergency landing in the city of Omsk, where he remains hospitalized. Navalny's organization is trying to make arrangements to transfer the 44-year-old to Germany for treatment. A spokeswoman for Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critics, told radio station Echo Moskvy that he must have drunk the poison in tea he had at an airport cafe before the flight. Allies of Navalny pointed fingers at the Kremlin for the apparent poisoning.

➤INITIAL UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS RISE AGAIN: First-time unemployment claims were up last week to 1.1 million, according to Labor Department data released Thursday (August 20th) after falling below one million the week before for the first time in months to 971,000. The increase was unexpected, with economists thinking the number of Americans making first-time claims would fall to about 923,000 for the week, according to CNBC.

➤SENATOR BILL CASSIDY POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, HAS SYMPTOMS: Senator Bill Cassidy announced Thursday that he'd tested positive for the coronavirus and was having mild symptoms. The 62-year-old Louisiana Republican, who's also a physician, is quarantining. Cassidy posted a short video on Twitter saying he's okay and thanking people for their concern, and also urged support for his legislation seeking more money for coronavirus testing. Cassidy is at least the 13th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the coronavirus, but only the second senator, after Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

➤TRUMP TO HAVE FUNERAL FOR BROTHER AT WHITE HOUSE TODAY: President Trump will hold a funeral service at the White House today for his brother, Robert Trump, who died a week ago at age 71. ABC News reported that Robert Trump's body will be present at the White House for the ceremony, which is expected to remain private. There have been 200 people invited for the service, which is expected to be held in the East Room, but it's unclear how many will attend, according to ABC. Trump visited his brother in the hospital on the day before his death.

➤AMC BEGINS REOPENING MOVIE THEATERS: AMC Theaters, the nation's largest movie theater chain, began reopening some of its theaters on Thursday. AMC reopened some 113 locations across the country, and was using 15-cent prices to try to draw people back in, as well as back-catalog films like Black Panther and Grease. Among the safety precautions being taken, face masks are required -- except when eating or drinking concessions -- and tickets are only being sold for 30 percent capacity. Regal, the country's second-largest theater chain, will start reopening some of its theaters today. New movies will be on the way soon, with Disney's New Mutants to debut on August 28th, and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet as early as August 31st.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert who's become the leading scientific voice on the coronavirus pandemic, had surgery yesterday (August 20th) to remove a polyp from his vocal cord that was causing his raspy voice. The 79-year-old is recovering at home, but CBS News reported that he plans to be back to work on Monday, and will be able to do brief interviews after a week of recuperation.

➤ELLEN DEGENERES SWEETENS DEALS FOR EMPLOYEES: Ellen DeGeneres seems to be trying to make things right with her team on her eponymous show. On Monday, staffers learned that three senior producers—Ed Glavin, Jonathan Norman and Kevin Leman—were fired after an internal investigation into the “toxic workplace environment” described in multiple viral articles published in BuzzFeed and Variety.

DeGeneres apologized, corrected what she said were bizarre and erroneous rumors that she didn’t want staffers to make eye contact with her, and now, reports are emerging that she’s making many of their packages better too.

The new benefits package includes paid time for medical appointments and family members and birthdays off. Morale has improved after DeGeneres reached out to staffers in a virtual call this week, and staffers are excited about the new perks, Variety reports.

The call also implored staffers to not be “afraid,” and to feel like they could speak their minds without reprisal.

The investigation is reportedly ongoing. Ellen returns to the air September 14th.

➤NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round playoff games yesterday (April 20th):
  • Miami Heat 109, Indiana Pacers 100 -- Miami leads series 2 games to 0
  • Houston Rockets 111, Oklahoma City Thunder 98 -- Houston leads series 2 games to 0
  • Milwaukee Bucks 111, Orlando Magic 96 -- Series tied 1-1
  • L.A. Lakers 111, Portland Trail Blazers 88 -- Series tied 1-1
➤NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round playoff games yesterday (April 20th):
  • New York Islanders 4, Washington Capitals 0 -- New York wins series 4 games to 1
  • Dallas Stars 7, Calgary Flames 3 -- Dallas wins series 4 games to 2
NY Post 8/21/20
➤METS GAMES POSTPONED AFTER TWO POSITIVE CORONAVIRUS TESTS: The New York Mets have had two games postponed after getting two positive coronavirus tests in their organization yesterday. The last game of the Mets' four-game series against Miami that was supposed to played last night was postponed, and tonight's scheduled game between the Mets and the New York Yankees was also postponed to allow for more testing and contact tracing to be done. MLB has postponed 34 games this season so far because of positive tests.

➤PADRES FIRST-EVER WITH GRAND SLAMS IN FOUR STRAIGHT GAMES: The San Diego Padres last night became the first team in MLB history to hit a grand slam in four straight games. The record-setting grand slam was hit by Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning of the Padres' 8-7 win against the Texas Rangers.

➤WASHINGTON HEAD COACH RIVERA DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER: Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera has been diagnosed with cancer, telling ESPN yesterday that he has squamous cell cancer of the neck, but that it's in its early stages and is considered "very treatable and curable." The 58-year-old, who is going into his first season with Washington after nine years with the Carolina Panthers, plans to coach despite the cancer, saying, "Doctors encouraged me to do it, too. They said, 'If you feel strongly, do it. Don't slow down, do your physical activities.'"

➤RIPKEN SAYS CANCER-FREE AFTER TREATMENT: Cal Ripken Jr., who hold MLB's "Iron Man" record for most consecutive games with 2,632, revealed yesterday that he's now cancer-free after having surgery in March to remove a tumor from his prostate. The Hall of Famer said during a Zoom call, "I’m cancer free, and I can continue my normal life. I thank my lucky stars that occurred." The 59-year-old initially wanted to keep the news of his cancer private, but decided to share his story because it might encourage others to get a prostate test.

➤TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO STRENGTHEN INTO CAT 1: Tropical Depression 13 remains on course to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane, reach the Sunshine State and pass by or over the Tampa Bay region early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. Thursday advisory.

The latest storm track shows the storm moving over the Florida Keys on Monday, passing by or going over southwest Florida. It could reach the Tampa Bay region on Tuesday as the storm moves along the Gulf of Mexico.

The bay area and most of the Florida peninsula remain within the cone of uncertainty. That outlines the areas that the storm’s center could travel over — but its effects could be felt far beyond the cone.

Las Vegas Radio: Mojoe Roberts To Program iHM's KWNR

iHeartMedia Las Vegas announced Thursday day that Mojoe Roberts has been named Program Director for KWNR 95.5 The Bull, Las Vegas’ New Country Leader.

As program director, Mojoe will work closely with the station’s on-air personalities and sales team to oversee the brand’s on-air and digital platforms as well as local events and partnerships. Mojoe will report to Tony Matteo, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Las Vegas.

MoJoe Roberts
Prior to accepting the position as program director for 95.5 The Bull, Mojoe served as the format captain for Alpha Media and program director and personality at KUPL-FM in Portland, Oregon for four years. His background also includes nearly two decades of experience with Cumulus Media at KHOP-FM in Modesto, California, KWIN-FM and KATM in Stockton, California and KQFC in Boise, Idaho.

“I’ve long admired iHeartMedia’s innovation and forward-thinking, so I’m thrilled to join the iHeartCountry family and lead the charge at 95.5 The Bull,” said Roberts. “To do so in the entertainment capital of the world is a dream come true. I want to give a big thank you to iHeartMedia for this awesome opportunity.”

“MoJoe brings a wealth of format knowledge and expertise,” said Matteo. “We’re thrilled to have him joining our iHeartMedia Las Vegas team.”

Raleigh-Durham: WQOK Promotes Ayeeedubb To Music Director

Hip Hop WQOK 97.5 FM has announced that on-air talent Ayeeedubb will take over Midday and Music Director duties after the departure of Autumn-Joi to WHUR in Washington, D.C.

Ayeeedubb was most recently heard handling morning duties on Jamz 96.3 in Albany, New York. In addition to mornings, she has also been heard on nights at the same station and at Live 99.9 in South Bend, Indiana. Ayeeedubb has also worked at Charlotte’s New Hip Hop Station, Streetz 103.3 and 100.5.

Regarding the new move, Operations Manager and Program Director Jay Tek said, “After a really long, and extensive search, through some of the most amazing candidates in the country, we are really excited to have Ayeeedubb join us at K 97 5 in Raleigh. She is an amazing talent who will get the opportunity to come home to the city she was born in, to do middays and serve as MD.”

Ayeeedubb is excited about the move to Raleigh and the chance to contribute to the airwaves in the city where she was born.

“I’m really excited to come back home to Raleigh, to take over middays at K 97 5!”
Ayeeedubb can be heard weekdays from 10 A.M.-3 P.M. in Raleigh starting September 7, 2020.

Seattle Radio: KBKS Rebrands As Hits 106.1

iHeartMedia/Seattle has rebranded KBKS-FM  from 106.1 Kiss FM to The New  HITS 106.1, "The New Home of the Jubal Show and Commercial Free Weekends."

HITS 106.1 will continue to air Top 40 songs from artists including Post Malone, Maroon Five, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Khalid.

The station will also feature "The Jubal Show," which will include segments like "First Date Follow Up," "Phone Pranks on the :20's," "War of the Roses," and "Dirty Little Secret." HITS 106.1 will also be the only station in the Seattle market to air commercial free music each weekend.

"From the moment we launched Jubal 106.1 the reception from the entire city and across the country has been massive," said Jared Fallon, Program Director for HITS 106.1. "Today we are thrilled to unveil HITS 106.1, the new home of the Jubal Show!"

Full Programming Lineup:
  • The Jubal Show 6-11am
  • Raph 11am-2pm
  • Zann in the Afternoon 2-7pm
  • EJ at Nights 7pm-midnight

FOX Sports Drops Thom Brennaman

Thom Brennaman
One day after the Cincinnati Reds suspended radio broadcaster Thom Brennaman for using an anti-gay slur on air while calling a game, Fox Sports said Thursday that Brennaman won't be calling any NFL games on the network anymore.

Fox Sports calling what Brennaman said "abhorrent" and "unacceptable," and stated, "we are moving forward with our NFL schedule which will not include him."

Brennaman had been a part of Fox’s NFL announcer lineup since it started airing games in 1994, and also called MLB games for the network from 1996 to 2014.

The incident happened Wednesday moments after the Fox Sports Ohio feed returned from a commercial break at the top of the seventh inning of the first game of a Reds doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals, and Brennaman didn't seem to realize he was on air.

He later apologized before being taken off the broadcast in the fifth inning of the second game. Brennaman again apologized in a piece in The Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday, saying, "I could to try to explain it or tell you about who I am and what I believe, but those things would all be excuses. The simple fact is, what I said was wrong. To the LGBTQ+ community -- I am truly and deeply sorry. You should never be denigrated with crude and hateful language. I failed you, and I cannot say enough how sorry I am."

Judge Exempts Journalists From Portland Protest Dispersal Orders

A U.S. judge granted a preliminary injunction on Thursday against federal officers, exempting journalists and legal observers from orders to disperse after the officers declare riots at Portland protests.

Reuters reports the 61-page order prohibited federal officers from seizing any “photographic equipment, audio- or video recording equipment, or press passes” from reporters and legal observers.

A lawyer from the U.S. Justice Department had argued that the press does not hold any special right when police declare an unlawful assembly or riot and order crowds to break up.

Protests against racism and police brutality have swept the United States since the death on May 25 of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The protests, including those in Portland, have occasionally erupted in arson and violence, and federal officers sent into the northwestern city have repeatedly clashed with crowds targeting its federal courthouse.

Thursday’s order came in a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Foundation of Oregon, which called it “a crucial victory” for civil liberties and press freedom.

Apple App Store Terms Under Fire

Major news organizations are joining the growing chorus of companies pushing for more favorable terms on Apple Inc.’s App Store, a crucial link to new digital customers, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Thursday, a trade body representing the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other publishers said the outlets want to know what it would take for them to get better deal terms—which would allow them to keep more money from digital subscriptions sold through Apple’s app store.

App developers, including news publishers, pay Apple 30% of the revenue from first-time subscriptions made through iOS apps; that commission is reduced to 15% after the subscriber’s first year. Apple says the revenue split is similar to other app marketplaces and allows the company to cover the app store’s operating expenses.

“The terms of Apple’s unique marketplace greatly impact the ability to continue to invest in high-quality, trusted news and entertainment particularly in competition with other larger firms,” said the letter, which is signed by Jason Kint, chief executive of the trade body, Digital Content Next.

The letter is the latest shot in a high-stakes public battle over how much money developers must pay Apple when they sell content through apps distributed on the company’s devices. Epic Games Inc., the maker of popular videogame “Fortnite,” sued Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google last week after the companies removed the game from their app marketplaces, accusing them of monopolistic behavior.

In a statement at the time, Apple said that Epic’s business interests led the company to push for a “special arrangement.” Google said at the time that the company’s business model allows it to build tools to keep users safe and help developers.

Other companies, including Facebook Inc., have taken shots at Apple over the terms of purchases made on its app in recent weeks. Facebook said last week that it asked Apple to reduce its 30% app store “tax” in a product aimed at small businesses, adding that Apple dismissed the requests.

Report: Amazon Alexa Unit Pauses Hiring Inc. has paused some hiring at its Alexa division amid growing pressure to make money from the voice-activated digital assistant, according to Bloomberg citing two people familiar with the matter.

The pullback began shortly after the pandemic gripped the U.S. in the early spring, the people said. For several months, managers in certain divisions were told they couldn’t replace people who were leaving, they said, though the company has recently begun letting them fill some openings with special approval. Although hiring had slowed in the last couple of years, the current restrictions are much more severe, the people said.

The accelerating push for profits has prompted the company to consider selling ads on the Alexa service, they said, an idea previously avoided for fear of hurting the user experience. The pullback also coincided with a hiring spree at U.S. warehouses, where Amazon has added more than 175,000 people to help handle a surge in online orders.

In an emailed statement, an Amazon spokesman said the company “did not implement a hiring freeze, and the pace for hiring across Alexa and our Devices organization continues to be very strong. In fact, we have added thousands of employees to the organization since April.”

The two employees, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter, said there was never an official announcement of a hiring pause but that they were told to refrain from bringing on new people.

The Echo speakers have attracted millions of fans with their ability to play music and respond to spoken queries. But Alexa has yet to offer a transformative new experience. Surveys show most people use their smart speakers to listen to tunes or make relatively simple requests -- “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” -- but grab their smartphones for more complex tasks.

Usage of Alexa devices skyrocketed after millions of Americans began working from home in mid-March, the two people said. The novelty has partly worn off as people slowly return to their offices, and in certain weeks usage of the devices is just above pre-virus levels, one of the people said.

“We continue to see higher engagement with Alexa over the past several months,” the Amazon spokesman said. “In fact, usage continues to exceed our expectations.”

ViacomCBS Asking $5.5M For Super Bowl Ads

Viacom's CBS is seeking around $5.5 million for 30-second commercial spots in next year’s Super Bowl, roughly in line with commercial prices in the 2020 game, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people close to the talks.

CBS is also apparently requiring advertisers in the Super Bowl telecast to appear in the game’s online stream, at an additional cost of roughly $200,000.

Ad buyers are asking for a way out of their Super Bowl commitments, however, if the coronavirus forces the National Football League to halt the coming season or otherwise not play its championship game, the people close to the talks said.

That is partly because the Super Bowl is so much bigger than anything else on TV, and commands so much more attention, that it would be hard for a TV network to make good on the lost ratings points for advertisers if the game wasn’t played.

“There’s no plan B for Super Bowl,” said Tom McGovern, president of Optimum Sports, a sports marketing group at Omnicom Group Inc.

Every year, brands spend millions of dollars producing commercials and buying ad time for the Super Bowl, one of the few remaining places to reach a mass audience. The 2020 game in February drew 102 million viewers on the Fox network as well as digital platforms and its Spanish-language channel. Fox’s Super Bowl ad revenue totaled $525.4 million, according to ad data firm Kantar.

In February, 30-second Super Bowl commercials on Fox Corp. ’s Fox went for as much as $5.6 million, including ad placement on both the TV and digital screen.

CBS’s decision not to seek a more significant price hike fits market trends this year, which remains marked by uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ad buyers said.

Many marketers have cut advertising in response to the economic damage caused by the pandemic, particularly in categories such as movies and retail, but brands with ad dollars to spend are still likely to be tempted by the Super Bowl’s outsize audience.

The sticker price for Super Bowl ads is just a starting point, and many advertisers pay less depending on the amount of time they want to buy and their historic spending in the game.

NAB Show Plans Digital Platform For Networking, Discovery

NAB Show®, the world’s leading convention for media, entertainment and technology professionals, is launching NAB Amplify, a dynamic year-round digital platform designed to extend the impact of NAB Show throughout the year by providing opportunities for networking, discovery and education. Launching in November 2020, NAB Amplify will engage and grow the global NAB Show community through an innovative and interactive online experience.

NAB Amplify will also serve to fuel commerce beyond NAB’s live events and increase global collaboration and conversations by creating an accessible and essential destination and resource for the community to connect and engage in real time, 365 days a year.

The user-centric, dynamic experience has been in development since 2019 and will help community members solve real-life problems by highlighting thought leadership, top trends, and game-changing solutions. NAB Amplify will serve as a unique digital destination by curating meaningful connections, including between industry peers, customers in search of innovative products, and businesses seeking collaborative partnerships. The platform will feature targeted networking forums, regularly updated educational content, and an extensive online marketplace showcasing diverse media and technology companies ranging from leading global brands to up-and-coming start-ups.

“NAB Amplify is a key component in NAB’s larger innovation strategy aimed at super-serving our global audience,” said Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters, organizer of NAB Show. “This evolution will serve to enhance our well-established live events, while expanding the NAB Show brand into a year-round service and experience driven by meaningful connections and community engagement.”

Cristina Clapp will serve as NAB Amplify’s content director. With more than 25 years of experience working in media and entertainment, the former content director for Creative Planet Network will lead efforts to deliver relevant content and fresh perspectives that reflect the interests and needs of the NAB Amplify community.

The platform’s advanced functionalities will facilitate secure and productive connections among vendors and customers as well as those looking to network and share ideas with other professionals via community-led conversations. NAB Amplify will effectively connect users with relevant products, services, and information to advance their businesses and careers.

NAB Amplify will launch in November 2020. Learn more at

NAB Show in Las Vegas is currently planned for April 10 – 14, 2021. Learn more at

Google Services Reports Thursday Disruptions

Nearly a dozen Google services suffered an hours-long disruption Thursday that left some users unable to send emails or upload files, reports The NY Post.

The tech titan reported issues across 10 of its Google Suite services starting around 1:30 a.m., including problems with sending Gmail messages, creating files in Drive, posting Chat messages and recording meetings with Google Meet.

Google said at 7:10 a.m. that it had fixed the glitches, which appeared to affect users across the world on both personal Google accounts and those linked to companies using Google Suite services.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” the company said on its public status dashboard. “System reliability is a top priority at Google. We are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

Google-owned video platform YouTube also said it was working to fix delays in processing video uploads that users started experiencing around 1 a.m. It’s unclear whether those problems have been resolved.

The disruption came amid a massive shift to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic that has led companies and their workers to rely heavily on productivity services like Google’s.