Saturday, November 7, 2020

Nov 8 Radio History

➦In 1939...WQXR-FM NYC signed-on as W2XQR.

WQXR-FM is the outgrowth of a "high-fidelity" AM station, WQXR 1560 AM, which was founded in 1936 by John V. L. Hogan and Elliott Sanger. Hogan began this station as a mechanical television station, W2XR, which went on the air on March 26, 1929.

One of the station's listeners was the inventor of frequency modulation, Edwin Howard Armstrong. When Armstrong put his experimental FM station, W2XMN, on the air, he arranged to rebroadcast some of WQXR's programming. This ended in 1939, when Hogan and Sanger put their own experimental FM station on the air, W2XQR on this date, just down the dial from Armstrong at 42.3 MHz.

When the Federal Communications Commission began licensing commercial FM stations, W2XQR moved to 45.9 MHz and became W59NY; the special FM call signs were later dropped and the station became WQXQ.

➦In 1953...Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery (billed as “Buddy & Bob”) appeared on radio station KDAV in their hometown of Lubbock, Texas, in the first of a series of Sunday country music shows.

➦In 2012....WXRK NYC changes call letters to WNOW-FM. The calls today are WBMP.

The station, first known as WMCA-FM, went on the air on December 25, 1948. It was co-owned with WMCA 570 AM by former New York state senator Nathan Straus. FM radio was not a successful venture for Straus, and he sought to either sell it or close the station down altogether.

In late 1950, Straus sold the station to the owners of WHOM 1480 AM, now WZRC, and WHOM-FM appeared on February 26, 1951, featuring a variety of formats, including ethnic, background music, classical, Spanish, and easy listening. By the early 1970s, WHOM-FM had a Spanish-language easy listening format.

Following the sale of the WHOM stations to SJR Communications, the FM station became WKTU, taking on an adult contemporary format that began on June 5, 1975. At that point, WKTU was positioned as a "soft rock" station and called "Mellow 92". Ratings were relatively low. The station held on to the format in spite of low ratings until 1978.

That June, when a station executive, David Rapaport (father of actor Michael Rapaport), visited New York's Studio 54 discothèque on half a dozen occasions, and was very impressed with the crowds there. He then got the idea that a disco-based station was needed, as several FM-based Top 40 stations were leaning disco in other markets.

As a result, Rapaport purchased 200 disco records and brought them into the station. Keeping the same air-staff, adding Paco from their Spanish-language AM station WHOM, and with no notice, the station abruptly flipped to a disco-based rhythmic top 40 format with the tagline "Disco 92" at 6 p.m. on July 24, 1978.

In fall 1978, the station rose from "Worst to First", unseating 77WABC-AM in the 18−30 age demographic.

  • Actor Norman Lloyd (“St. Elsewhere”) is 106. 
  • Singer Bonnie Bramlett is 76. 
  • Singer Bonnie Raitt is 71. 
  • Former “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart is 70. 
  • Former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner is 68. 
  • Actor Alfre Woodard is 68. 
  • Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones is 66. 
  • Gretchen Mol is 48
    Guitarist Pearl Thompson (formerly Porl Thompson) of The Cure is 63. 
  • Singer-actor Leif Garrett is 59. 
  • TV chef Gordon Ramsay is 54. 
  • Actor Courtney Thorne-Smith is 53. 
  • Actor Parker Posey is 52. 
  • Singer Diana King is 50. 
  • Bassist Scott Devendorf of The National is 48. 
  • Actor Gretchen Mol is 48. 
  • Actor Matthew Rhys (“The Americans,” “Brothers and Sisters”) is 46. 
  • Actor Tara Reid (“Sharknado,” ″American Pie”) is 45. 
  • Singer Bucky Covington (“American Idol”) is 43. 
  • Actor Dania Ramirez (“Devious Maids,” ″Entourage”) is 41. 
  • TV personality Jack Osbourne (“The Osbournes”) is 35. 
  • Actor Jessica Lowndes (“90210″) is 32. 
  • Singer SZA is 31. 
  • Singer-actor Riker Lynch (“Glee”) is 29. 
  • Singer Lauren Alaina (“American Idol”) is 26. 
  • Actor Van Crosby (“Splitting Up Together”) is 18.

Report: News Media Waits To Make Call

News organizations were preparing on Friday for a possibly decisive call in the 2020 presidential race, even as President Trump and his allies continued to lie about the integrity of the election and make baseless claims about voter fraud, reports The NYTimes.

Cable news networks had their A-list anchors at the ready in anticipation of a historic call, but the urgency of the morning gave way to a hurry-up-and-wait mood as ballot counters in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania continued their work.

The anchors made plenty of references to President Trump’s narrowing path to victory as onscreen graphics showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. closing in on the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the White House, but the network decision desks were in charge. With no decisive call and hours to fill, the solution was to vamp.

The networks reported that Biden planned to address the nation in prime-time on Friday while continuing to note false claims about voting irregularities made by Trump and some of his aides and supporters. Some of the president’s usual allies were not convinced of the fraud claims.

Fox News and The Associated Press, the only two major news organizations to have projected Mr. Biden the winner of Arizona, had Mr. Biden at 264 electoral votes on Friday. Other media outlets — including a network consortium that includes ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC — have declined to call the Arizona race. The number of electoral votes they have given Biden is 253.

Shortly before noon, Washington reporters at The Wall Street Journal received a memo, which was obtained by The New York Times, telling them that the paper’s standards department had endorsed the use of the term “president-elect” to describe Joseph R. Biden Jr., if The A.P. called the overall race in his favor.

The Times will refer to the victor as “president-elect” on first reference, after the newspaper calls a winner of the entire election, according to a spokeswoman.

On Fox News, the anchor Bret Baier told viewers that Mr. Biden “would become the president-elect of the United States” if the network’s decision desk projected a Biden win in Nevada or Pennsylvania.

Report: New York Post Shifts Tone on Trump

Last month The New York Post called President Trump “an invincible hero, who not only survived every dirty trick the Democrats threw at him, but the Chinese virus as well.” Then it published front-page articles trying to link the contents of a laptop said to belong to Hunter Biden to his father, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

On Thursday, in a sudden about-face, Rupert Murdoch’s scrappy tabloid published two articles with a wildly different tone. One accused the president of making an “unfounded claim that political foes were trying to steal the election.” The headline on the other described Donald Trump Jr. as the “panic-stricken” author of a “clueless tweet.”

What happened?

In short, Katie Robertson at The NY Times writes,  the president appears to be going down — and The Post is not about to go with him.

With Trump headed toward a likely defeat, top editors at the tabloid told some staff members this week to be tougher in their coverage of him, said two Post employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

In addition to the shift in tone, there will be a change in personnel: Col Allan, the Australian tabloid wizard who was once seen in the Post newsroom wearing a Make America Great Again cap, will call an end to his career of more than 40 years at Murdoch papers in New York and Sydney.

Allan, who was The Post’s editor in chief from 2001-16, rejoined the paper as an adviser in January 2019, just as the presidential campaign was underway. Since his return, he has had a strong hand in shaping coverage, several staff members said. He confirmed his planned retirement in an email interview.

iHM RIFs: Milwaukee, Syracuse, Steve Sommers OUT At WLW

Steve Sommers
56-year-old Steve Sommers, host of WLW 700 AM's overnight America's Truckin' Network show, says he was "dismissed" by owners iHeartMedia Friday morning, ending the Sommers' family 36-year tradition on Cincinnati's most powerful radio station, according to John Kiesewetter, longtime Cincinnati media watcher.

"I have been DISMISSED from I-Heart Radio… I'm sorry my friends…. 2020 is a bitch!!!  I will not have a chance to say GOOD-BYE!!! Thanks for 25 years of friendship!!"

His father, Dale "Truckin' Bozo" Sommers, started the overnight broadcast aimed at truckers throughout the Midwest in 1984. Steve started working with his dad in 1996, and took over the show in 2004.

Sommers' made headlines in July when his WLW-AM bosses eliminated all talk about politics, the Confederate flag and the death of George Floyd from his right-leaning show after unspecified complaints.

"Suffice it to say we’re going to avoid such topics," host Sommers told listeners early the Monday morning of July 20. "There are some things we're not going to talk about anymore."

But the ban was short lived. Political talk resumed by late September. After the first presidential debate, I heard Sommers open his show on Sept. 30 talking about what a great job President Trump did that night. Later in the show, Sommers talked about Trump's concerns about absentee ballots.

Sommers' termination is part of  iHeartMedia's nationwide cutbacks this week. IHeartMedia cuts include Columbus' WTVN-AM morning host Joel Riley after 26 years and his producer, and Shaun Vincent, afternoon host/music director/assistant program director at Dayton's MIX107.7

Sommers has also worked for Cincinnati country music stations WUBE-FM and WBVE-FM, the old "country Beaver," and Christian WAKW-FM. He has also been heard on WFLI in Chattanooga, Tenn., and WQMT-FM in Decatur, Tenn.

➤In Syracuse NY...Justin Miller, also known as “Justin the Web Guy” on HOT 107.9 (WWHT-FM), indicated Friday that he had been let go.

iHeartMedia Syracuse now has more radio stations than DJs after cuts in January that included Kenny Dees, Dr. Rick Wright, Cora Thomas, and Pastor Daren C. Jaime at Power 620 (WHEN-AM); Pat McMahon at Y94FM (WYYY-FM); Cory “Kobe” Fargo at Hot 107.9; “Big Jim Donovan” (aka Jim Dunagan) at NewsRadio 570 WSYR (also on 106.9 FM) and Y94FM; and Daryl Thomas Ledyard at B104.7 (WBBS-FM) and Y94FM. Also, iHeartMedia Syracuse market manager Rick Yacobush retired at the end of December and longtime B104.7 host Rich Lauber exited in June after more than years on the Central New York airwaves.

➤In Milwaukee, Kerry Wolfe, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Milwaukee, is out. 

Wolfe is a minstay in the Milwaukee radio scene, most notably working for more than 30 years at Country WMIL 106.1 in addition to overseeing programming at iHeartMedia Milwaukee's other stations in the market – including News-Talk WISN, 95.7 BIG FM, 97.3 The Game, V100.7 and BIG 920 – under his most recent title.

News Corp's Pubs Increase Subscription Revenue

News Corp made a profit of $34 million, with growth in circulation and subscription revenue in the Dow Jones & Company unit that publishes The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s and other publications, according to Mediapost citing a report released Thursday on the company's first quarter for fiscal year 2021, which ended September 30.

However, News Corp posted revenue of $2.12 billion, a 9.5% decline from a year earlier.

According to The Wall Street Journal reporting, this was “primarily due to the loss of contributions from News America Marketing, its coupon business, which was sold earlier this year.”

Excluding that division, the company said the adjusted revenue decline was 3%.

“News Corp has started the fiscal year strongly, with higher revenue in many of our segments during the first quarter, and a 21% increase year-on-year in profitability, despite the disruptive economic consequences of COVID-19,” stated CEO Robert Thomson.

Digital circulation revenue at Dow Jones & Co. accounted for 63% of the company’s circulation revenue for the quarter.

Circulation and subscription revenue rose 0.7% to $1 billion.

However, advertising revenue across News Corp dropped 45% to $332 million. 

The Wall Street Journal had more than 2.35 million digital subscribers in the quarter. That’s up from about 2.2 million in the previous quarter. 

Florida Braces For Eta

After devastating Central America, the tropical depression formerly known as Hurricane Eta is projected to reach southernmost Florida as a tropical storm early Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storm watches were issued late Friday for all of southern Florida. The warnings run from Bonita Beach on the west coast to Lake Okeechobee to Jupiter Inlet on the east coast and then all the way south through the Florida Keys.

Eta departed the mountains of Central America and re-entered the Caribbean Sea’s warm waters, according to the hurricane center’s midnight Saturday advisory. Eta was located 310 miles southwest of Grand Cayman, moving northeast at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

It is expected to reach tropical storm strength by Saturday morning and generate wind speeds of nearly 65 mph by Sunday night — just 10 mph below Category 1 hurricane strength.

The projected path for Tropical Storm Eta shows it passing the Cayman Islands on Saturday and nearing Cuba that night. It’s then expected to approach the Florida Keys late Sunday or early Monday. After making landfall in the Keys, Eta could move up Florida’s southwestern coast before turning west into the Gulf of Mexico.

R.I.P.: Len Barry, '60s Singer and Songwriter

Len Barry (June 12, 1942 – November 5, 2020)

Anyone who was a teen during the '60s probably heard the music of Len Barry and The Dovells.  Barry  died Thursday at the age of  of 78.  Death was from myelodyspslasia, a cancer of the bone marrow, reports The Philly Inquirer. 

Born in West Philly as Leonard Borisoff,  Barry was a homegrown Philly product. He graduated from Overbrook High School and broke into the music business as the lead singer of Philly’s Dovells in 1961. The group’s “The Bristol Stomp” hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts, earning a gold record.

Barry quickly followed that with another hit record, “You Can’t Sit Down,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard charts. Both hits were popular dance songs for teens, here and across the nation.

At age 17, Barry toured as a Dovell with vocalist James Brown. wowing audiences with his Philly soul sound. Later, Barry made an appearance in the 1962 movie Don’t Knock the Twist with Philadelphia song and dance legend Chubby Checker.

After leaving the Dovells, Barry recorded on his own. His 1965 song “1-2-3,” which he also wrote, hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 in the United Kingdom, earning him another gold disc and a Grammy nomination for best contemporary rock male vocal performance of the year.

Barry became a singing sensation in the United Kingdom, touring with the Motown Revue. He also performed solo at the London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall.

“He told me he had a command performance for the queen,” said his son, Spencer Borisoff. “In his day and age, for a white guy to have that music style, he was a pioneer, an American original.”

He appeared on Top of the Pops, a weekly BBC TV music show broadcast from Britain starting in 1964. In the United States, he made guest appearances on Dick Clark’s Bandstand as well as the TV shows Shindig and Hullabaloo.

Barry was also a prolific songwriter and record producer. He wrote the hit singles “Zoom” for Philadelphia’s Fat Larry’s Band and “Love Train” for vocalist and keyboardist Booker Newberry III.

Nov 7 Radio History

➦In 1932..."Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network.

➤In 1935...Broadcasting Magazine Flashback...

➦In 1937…"The Vaseline Program," aka "Dr. Christian's Office" and later simply "Dr. Christian," sbegan a run on CBS Radio. Jean Hersholt played the part of the kindly, elderly Dr. Christian who practiced on the air until 1954. Laureen Tuttle, Kathleen Fitz, Helen Kleeb and Rosemary De Camp played his nurse, Judy.  Sponsors of the show included Vaseline (petroleum jelly, hair tonic and lip ice).

➦In 1938...Radio station "W9XZY" broadcasted a facsimile of the St Louis Post-Dispatch by radio.

In 1938...the first broadcast of “This Day is Ours” was heard on CBS radio. Eleanor McDonald, played by Joan Banks and later by Templeton Fox, had all kinds of problems. Her child was kidnapped, she lost her memory, helped a friend find a killer, etc. The soap opera ran for two years.

➦In 1940..WBZ-FM Boston first signed-on-air.

The first WBZ-FM had its origins in a construction permit held by Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company to operate at 42.6 MHz; this facility signed on as W1XK from the Hull transmitter site of sister station WBZ-AM .  Westinghouse soon sought a commercial FM license, and on February 19, 1941 was granted a construction permit for W67B on 46.7.  W1XK left the air for good on December 28, 1941, and W67B signed on March 29, 1942. The call letters became WBZ-FM on November 2, 1943. Initially, W67B/WBZ-FM was largely separately-programmed, though in later years it became a simulcast of its AM sister station.

After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved the FM band to 88–106 MHz (later expanded to 108), WBZ-FM began to operate on 100.7 MHz on January 1, 1946 (while still operating on 46.7 as well).  The frequency again changed to 92.9 MHz on August 10, 1947 (the 100.7 frequency was reoccupied by WCOP-FM, now WZLX, in 1948).

WBZ-FM's transmitter moved to the WBZ-TV (channel 4) tower at the stations' new studios in the Allston-Brighton portion of Boston in 1948, with 92.9 operations from Hull ceasing on July 23, 1948 and the 46.7 operation shutting down on November 21, 1948.  The tower was destroyed by Hurricane Carol on August 31, 1954, after that point, WBZ-FM's operations were discontinued and the license surrendered to the FCC, which deleted it and a Springfield sister station, WBZA-FM (97.1), on November 22, 1954.  (The 92.9 frequency has been occupied by WBOS since 1960.)

After securing a new license for operation on 106.7 MHz, Westinghouse reactivated WBZ-FM on December 15, 1957.  On July 14, 2009, CBS Radio announced that it would re-introduce WBZ-FM as a sports radio station named "98.5 The Sports Hub" effective August 13, 2009.  Today, the station is owned by Beasley Media and aired a sports talk format.

➦In 1967...the non-profit Corporation for Public Broadcasting came into being when President Lyndon Johnson signed the authorizing legislation. It is the agency through which US government funding reaches public TV stations.

➦In 1994...WREK Atlanta, operated by the students of Georgia Tech, became the first radio station anywhere to simulcast their on-air signal on the Internet.

➦In 2005...Howard Stern was suspended for 1 day from his radio show after an altercation with Tom Chiusano, General Manager of WXRK, New York, Stern's flagship station, owned by Infinity.

The argument, which took place following Stern's show, apparently centered around Stern talking too much about his forthcoming show on Sirius satellite.

  • Singer Lorde is 24
    Actor Barry Newman is 82. 
  • Actor Dakin Matthews (“Gilmore Girls,” “King of Queens”) is 80. 
  • Singer Johnny Rivers is 78. 
  • Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is 77. 
  • Actor Christopher Knight (“The Brady Bunch”) is 63. 
  • Guitarist Tommy Thayer of Kiss is 60. 
  • Actor Julie Pinson (“As The World Turns,” “Days of Our Lives”) is 53. 
  • Guitarist Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne is 52. 
  • Actor Michelle Clunie (“Queer As Folk,” “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”) is 51. 
  • Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) is 50. 
  • Actor Jeremy London (“Party of Five”) is 48. 
  • Actor Jason London (“The Rage: Carrie Two”) is 48. 
  • Actor Yunjin Kim (“Lost”) is 47. 
  • Actor Adam DeVine (“Modern Family”) is 37. 
  • Guitarist Zach Myers of Shinedown is 37. 
  • Actor Lucas Neff (“Raising Hope”) is 35. 
  • Rapper Tempah is 32. 
  • Singer Lorde is 24.

Friday, November 6, 2020

NBC's Al Roker Discloses Cancer Diagnosis

 Al Roker announced Friday on "TODAY" that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will be undergoing surgery to have his prostate removed.

NBCNews reports the 66-year-old TODAY weatherman and co-host explained he wanted to publicly reveal his diagnosis to spotlight the fact that 1 in 7 African American men, 1 in 9 men overall, will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

"It's a good news-bad news kind of thing," Roker said. "Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."

Roker will be undergoing surgery next week at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where Dr. Vincent Laudone will perform the procedure.

Laudone said, "Fortunately his cancer appears somewhat limited or confined to the prostate, but because it's more aggressive, we wanted to treat it, and after discussion regarding all of the different options — surgery, radiation, focal therapy — we settled on removing the prostate."

Roker is sharing his journey to urge others at risk, particularly Black men, to make sure they see a doctor to get the proper checkups to stop a cancer that is very treatable if detected early.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends African American men talk to their doctor about being screened for prostate cancer at age 40. The American Cancer Society recommends discussing screenings at age 45 for African Americans and men who have had a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer before 65. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends all men ages 55-69 talk to their doctors about being screened.

ViacomCBS CEO Thrilled With Financials

ViacomCBS Inc  today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2020.

Statement from Bob Bakish, President & CEO

“As we near the first anniversary of the ViacomCBS (merger, I’m thrilled about the way our organization has come together to realize the power of the combination and seize our unique global opportunity in streaming. This quarter, we achieved strong user growth across our streaming platforms as we continue to build our linked ecosystem of pay and free services – with big steps taken, including the preview and brand reveal of Paramount+ ahead of its launch in early 2021, and more recently, the unification of our global streaming organization. Our company’s transformation is ahead of schedule and we are incredibly excited by the opportunities ahead.”


  • Affiliate revenue increased 10% year-over-year, fueled by strong growth in subscription streaming revenue, higher reverse compensation and retransmission fees, as well as expanded cable distribution.
  • Advertising revenue sequentially improved to a decline of 6% year-over-year. The year-over-year decline was primarily driven by the adverse effects of COVID-19, including lower demand in the advertising market.
  • Content licensing revenue decreased 33% year-over-year, reflecting a lower volume of licensing compared to the prior-year quarter, driven by the timing of program availabilities and the adverse impacts of COVID-19.
  • Theatrical revenue was immaterial in the quarter due to the closure or reduction in capacity of movie theaters in response to COVID-19.
  • Publishing revenue rose 29% year-over-year as a result of higher print and digital book sales that were driven by strong releases during the quarter, including Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump and Rage by Bob Woodward.

In Q3, ViacomCBS drove significant domestic streaming and digital video revenue growth, with robust sign-ups across its pay and free services as it moves toward the launch of Paramount+


  • Domestic streaming and digital video revenue increased to $636M, up 56% year-over-year, driven by 78% growth in subscription streaming revenue and strong double-digit digital video advertising growth.
  • Domestic streaming subscribers reached 17.9M, up 72% year-over-year.
  • − CBS All Access and Showtime OTT had significant growth in sign-ups both sequentially and year-over-year.
  • CBS All Access benefited from strong demand for sports content, including UEFA and the NFL, as well as its broad selection of entertainment content, including live TV, reality series, content from ViacomCBS cable brands and original programming.
  • Showtime OTT’s strong quarter was driven by original programming, including the third season of The Chi, the continued strength of Billions and the final season of Homeland.
  • In free, Pluto TV grew its domestic monthly active users (MAUs) to 28.4M, up 57% year-over-year, and more than doubled its advertising revenue in the quarter.

In October, ViacomCBS announced Tom Ryan as President and CEO of its new global streaming organization, integrating both its pay and free streaming businesses while enhancing its ability to leverage its content.


  • CBS was once again the most-watched network across Primetime, Daytime and Late Night during the 2019-2020 broadcast year, with the top 3 dramas, 8 of the top 10 comedies and 5 of the top 6 returning new series.
  • Revenue declined 4% year-over-year, primarily due to lower content licensing revenue, partially offset by growth in affiliate revenue.


  • In the quarter, ViacomCBS maintained leadership as the #1 portfolio in share of viewing, with more top 30 cable networks than any other media family.
  • Showtime also had 2 of the top 5 scripted shows on premium cable in the quarter and the top 2 scripted shows year-to-date.
  • Revenue declined 7% year-over-year due to lower advertising and content licensing revenue, partially offset by growth in affiliate revenue.

The AM Rundown: Trump Makes Accusations Of Election Theft

BIDEN EDGES CLOSE TO 270 ELECTORAL VOTES: After another day of counting mail-in ballots in the key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, former Vice President Joe Biden edged close to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win the presidency with the slow erosion of President Trump's lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia as the mail-in votes were counted. Biden moved very close to taking over the lead in both states, and with Pennsylvania's electoral votes, he would go over 270. Biden maintained a tight lead in Nevada with more votes to be counted that looked to be favorable to him, but in Arizona, which Fox News and AP called for Biden on Election Night, Trump continued to whittle down Biden's lead as mail-in votes were counted. It had gotten down to a small margin as of late last night, and Trump looked to possibly be able to draw very close or take over the lead.


But as the votes continued to be counted, Trump took to the podium at the White House briefing room yesterday evening, and in extraordinary remarks, made accusations, without evidence, of voter fraud and false accusations of election theft. Trump declared, "This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election." Then overnight at around 2:30 a.m., Trump took to Twitter and claimed, without basis, that he wins the election with, quote, "legal votes cast," and stated, "U.S. Supreme Court should decide!" Earlier in the day before Trump spoke, Biden had also made brief remarks. He said, in part, "I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working. It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America." 

Trump's campaign continued to file legal claims against the vote counting in several states yesterday, but judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed lawsuits filed there. Bob Bauer, an attorney for Biden's campaign, called the suits "meritless," and said their goal is to, quote, "create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process."

➤U.S. REPORTS MORE THAN 121,000 CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS, NEW RECORD FOR SECOND DAY: There were 121,000 coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. on Thursday, setting a new daily record and going over 100,000 cases, both for a second day in a row amid a nationwide surge of the virus. Hospitalizations have been rising for several weeks, and experts warn an increase in deaths will follow, with a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast yesterday projecting 31,000 people could die in just the next two weeks. So far, more than 234,900 people have died in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. 

➤ETA KILLS AT LEAST 57 IN CENTRAL AMERICA: The remnants of Hurricane Eta had moved back over the Caribbean Sea by late Thursday after it had slowly moved over Central America since making landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm on Tuesday afternoon, dropping torrential rain and leaving at least 57 people dead. Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama were, along with Nicaragua, among the countries dealing with flooding and mudslides. Forecasters said Eta is expected to become a tropical storm again and move toward Cuba and South Florida. It could drop a lot of rain in South Florida even if it doesn't make landfall there.

➤JUDGE REJECTS REQUEST TO MOVE GEORGE FLOYD OFFICERS' TRIAL: A Minnesota judge yesterday rejected defense requests to move the trial of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd out of the city. The defense attorneys had argued the pretrial publicity made it impossible for their clients to get a fair trial in Minneapolis. But Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said the widespread coverage of Floyd's death means a change of venue wouldn't make a difference. Cahill also rejected requests for the men to be tried separately. Additionally, the judge ruled that the trial can be televised and streamed live. Derek Chauvin, the former officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, is charged with unintentional second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting both counts.

🏈PACKERS DOWN 49ERS 34-17: The Green Bay Packers downed the San Francisco 49ers 34-17 last night in California, getting the win over a 49ers team that was missing key players due to injuries and several being on the reserve/Covid-19 list. They included San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, out with an ankle injury and tight end George Kittle with a foot injury, both suffered in their Seattle game last weekend, receiver Kendrick Bourne out after testing positive for the coronavirus, and three teammates sidelined for being "high risk" contacts of him. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 25 of 31 for 305 yards last night with four touchdowns.

🏀PLAYERS APPROVE PLAN TO START NBA SEASON ON DECEMBER 22ND: The National Basketball Players Association voted Thursday in favor of starting the new NBA season on December 22nd, the date the league had wanted to begin a shortened 72-game season. The vote was conducted by the players union's board, which has a player rep from each team. The last season, which was suspended for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, just ended on October 11th when the L.A. Lakers won the NBA championship.

➤REPORT: RAIDERS FINED $500K, LOSE DRAFT PICK DUE TO CORONAVIRUS VIOLATIONS: The NFL's Las Vegas Raiders have been fined $500,000 and stripped of a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft for, quote, "brazen and repeated violations" of the Covid-19 protocols, ESPN reported yesterday. Head coach Jon Gruden was also fined an additional $150,000. The Raiders are the first team to lose a draft pick for coronavirus violations. The NFL began investigating after offensive tackle Trent Brown tested positive in late October. The Raiders had previously been fined $250,000 and Gruden $100,000 for him not wearing his mask properly during their Week 2 game, and the team was fined another $50,000 for letting a non-credentialed employee into the locker room. Further, 10 players, including quarterback Derek Carr, were fined for appearing at a charity event in October where they mixed with others and didn't wear masks.

🏈CALIFORNIA-WASHINGTON GAME CANCELED DUE TO POSITIVE CORONAVIRUS TEST: Saturday's football game between California and Washington, which was supposed to be one of the games on opening day of the Pac-12's shortened 2020 season, was canceled yesterday (November 5th) after a California player tested positive for the coronavirus. The Pac-12 said California doesn’t have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game because of the positive test and the need for other players to self-isolate. The game will be declared a no-contest.

➤FORMER RAYS FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK CONVICTED OF KILLING THREE: Former Tampa Bay Rays first-round draft pick Brandon Martin was convicted yesterday of three counts of murder for using a baseball bat to kill his father, uncle and a bystander in September 2015. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty and the sentencing phase of the 27-year-old's trial will begin Monday. Two days before the incident, Martin was admitted to a mental health emergency treatment facility in California for an evaluation after he made threats against his father. After he was released, he went right to his father's home and killed him, his uncle and a security system technician who was there for an installation consultation. Martin was taken with the 38th pick in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Rays. He played three seasons in the organization before being released in early 2015.

Philly Radio: Entercom, Urban One Deal Gives KYW An FM Signal

For the first time in its 55-year history as Philadelphia’s 24/7 source for local news, KYW Newsradio will be heard across the region on crystal-clear FM. The station will begin broadcasting on 103.9 FM on Nov. 23 in addition to its longtime home on 1060 AM.

Entercom, KYW Newsradio’s Philadelphia-based parent company, will acquire WPHI-FM from Maryland-based Urban One as part of a transaction involving stations in multiple markets, Entercom announced Thursday.

KYW Brand Manager Alex Silverman told the Philly Business Journal the FM simulcast will expand the news station’s reach into parts of Bucks and Burlington counties, where the AM signal has been historically poor, adding that interference from wireless technology has created issues in other parts of the area as well.

“People in Bucks County would complain about that all the time,” Silverman said. “And that’s not good because it's the fastest-growing area in our market. Sometimes when you are driving into Center City, you get interference when you try to listen. Now people will be able to get a crystal clear FM signal and we’ll be able to reach more people.”

“This station is the heartbeat of the community and we’re really excited about serving more listeners while providing additional access on top of 1060 AM, RADIO.COM and smart speakers,” said David Yadgaroff, Entercom Philadelphia’s senior vice president and market manager.

The addition of WPHI 103.9 FM adds another platform to KYW Newsradio’s growing portfolio. The station will continue to be available on 1060 AM, on, on the RADIO.COM app, and by asking Alexa, Google, or Siri to “play KYW Newsradio.”

103.9 FM will expand KYW Newsradio’s over-the-air reach into parts of Bucks and Burlington counties, where the AM signal has been historically poor, Silverman said, adding that interference from wireless technology has created issues in other parts of the area as well.

“We’ve heard the feedback — and the static,” Silverman said. “We’re thrilled to be able to fix it for you in key parts of the area, including Center City.”

103.9 FM (270 watts)

We know, you’re wondering: KYW Newsradio’s iconic jingle isn’t going anywhere, but an updated version will herald the addition of 103.9 FM, said Yadgaroff.

“We have some other exciting developments in the works,” Silverman said. “Stay tuned.”

Despite the sale of WPHI, Urban One (NASDAQ: UONE) retains two Philadelphia FM stations 100.3 RnB (WNRB) and Classix 107.9 (WPPZ), which both play throw back R&B music. WPHI was a lower-rated station, ranking No. 24 in October for total listeners in the Philadelphia market. Urban One operates 55 radio stations and majority-owns the syndicator Reach Media as well as its digital arm Interactive One, and the cable network TV One.

KYW was ranked No. 6 in the October book, just behind news and talk station WHYY. Silverman said with Philadelphia the epicenter of a heated presidential election, KYW’s ratings have been especially strong this month.

The 103.9 FM frequency is made possible by a new agreement Entercom just announced with Urban One that will enhance its positions in three key markets. 

Under the agreement, Entercom will acquire the following stations in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.:

  • WPHI-FM – Philadelphia
  • Hot 104.1 (WHHL-FM) – St. Louis
  • 980 The Team (WTEM-AM) – Washington D.C.

WPHI joins a group of station that also includes Sports WIP-FM 94.1, Hot Adult Contemporary WTDY-FM 96.5, Classic Hits WOGL-FM 98.1, Adult Contemporary WBEB-FM 101.1, and Talk WPHT-AM 1210.

The trade will see Urban One gain stations that were once part of the Jefferson-Pilot Communications, and, later, Lincoln Financial Media family: Class C 100kw Adult Contemporary WLNK-FM 107.9 “The Link;” News/Talk combo WBT-AM & FM, with a Class A AM at 1110 kHz and a Class C3 FM in Chester, S.C.; and Sports Talk Class B WFNZ-AM 610 — which has a translator at 102.5 kHz.

In return, Entercom is getting Class C2 WHHL-FM 104.1 in Hazelwood, Mo., known as “Hot 104.1,” and the intellectual property of WFUN-FM 95.5, “The Lou.” It airs the Rickey Smiley Morning Show and nighttime programming featuring R&B artist Al B. Sure.

Soon, that programming will shift to KNOU-FM 96.3, presently Top 40, Entercom announced late Thursday (11/5).

Entercom’s other St. Louis stations are Adult Contemporary KEZK-FM 102.5, Talk KFTK-FM 97.1, Hot Adult Contemporary KYKY-FM “Y98” and News/Talk KMOX-AM 1120.

Additionally, Entercom is gaining Class B WTEM 980 AM in Washington, D.C., a Sports Talker branded as “The Team” that bolsters its presence in the market, and WPHI-FM 103.9 in Jenkintown, Pa., a Class A serving the Philadelphia market.

In Washington, D.C., WTEM joins a group of stations comprised of Sports WJFK-FM, Classic Hits WIAD-FM “94.7 The Drive,” WLZL-FM “El Zol 107.9” and Spanish-language sports WJFK-AM 1580, “El Zol Deportes.”

Entercom will continue to carry some of Reach Media's syndicated programming, including The Morning Hustle, R&B with Al B. Sure, and The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, allowing Urban One to continue to connect with its St. Louis listeners.  Urban One and Entercom will begin operating the stations on November 23, 2020, under a Local Marketing Agreement.

“By adding three best in class general market formats (Adult Contemporary, Sports, News and Talk) to our existing cluster of stations (WPZS-FM, WOSF-FM, and WONC-FM) that super-serve the Black and Urban consumer, Urban One will be a dominant player across all segments of the growing Charlotte market,” Alfred Liggins, President and CEO, Urban One, said in a press release. “The ability to build scale with a complete market offering in multiple genres is what makes this deal so exciting. Rationalizing our portfolio of radio stations in this manner also helps us continue our strategy of de-leveraging the business."

FCC Green Lights iHM To Exceed Foreign Investment Cap

The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it has approved a petition for iHeartMedia Inc investors to exceed the U.S. 25% foreign investment cap, reports Reuters. 

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and then went public in 2019, sought approval in 2019 for foreign creditors to exercise special warrants in exchange for stock in the company.

The San Antonio, Texas-based company had struggled with debt that was taken on by its private equity owners in 2008 to finance a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout of Clear Channel Communications Inc.

The FCC said the petition will “enable iHeart to be in a stronger financial condition post-bankruptcy and provide the company greater flexibility to access foreign investment capital, thereby allowing iHeart to better compete with other media companies, enhance its programming, and better serve the public interest.”

iHeartMedia owns about 850 U.S. radio stations in over 160 markets and its iHeartRadio digital service is available on more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices.

PIMCO Group sought approval to hold up to 32.99% of the equity interest in iHeart. PIMCO group, which includes Irish and German investors is ultimately controlled by Allianz SE ALVG.DE. Invesco Group sought approval to own up to 19.99% of iHeart. It has two foreign-organized entities based in Bermuda and the United Kingdom within its funds’ vertical chain of control

The FCC said iHeart must obtain commission approval for any new or additional foreign entities to hold, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of the equity.

iHeartMedia shares closed up 6.6% before news of the FCC announcement came after the bell.

DC Radio: Ken Roberts Promoted To VP/MM For WMAL, WSBN

Ken Roberts
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that it has promoted Ken Roberts to Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Washington, D.C. Roberts rises from his role as Vice President, Sales, Cumulus Washington, D.C., and its radio stations News/Talk WMAL 105.9 FM  and Sports WSBN ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capital. 

He replaces Jake McCann, who is returning home to Philadelphia, PA, in late December to lead The HOW Group, LLC, a real estate investment group.

Prior to joining Cumulus in 2016, Roberts was SVP, Sales, iHeart Media/Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C., and previously served as Director of Sales for Bonneville International in Phoenix, AZ, and as General Sales Manager for Susquehanna Media/CUMULUS MEDIA in Dallas, TX. He holds a B.A. degree in Business from Rutgers University.

Dave Milner, EVP, Operations, CUMULUS MEDIA, said: “Since joining the Cumulus team in 2016, Ken Roberts has done a terrific job leading our sales effort in Washington, D.C. His creativity, experience, leadership and performance made Ken the ideal choice for this key role. Ken has earned this promotion and we are excited to have him lead this highly talented and effective D.C. team!”

Ken Roberts commented: “I am proud to continue our mission of super serving our listeners, employees and client partners. I am humbled to be part of our great history and excited to be part of our future. The culture of collaboration and empowerment that Mary Berner and Dave Milner have fostered has allowed Cumulus D.C. to thrive and uphold its leadership position in the D.C. market.” 

Milner added: “Jake McCann has done a superb job leading the D.C. cluster and I want to thank him for all that he has done to set the team up for continued success. We wish him all the best.”

ESPN Starts Trimming Staffing By 10 Percent

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN is reducing its workforce by about 10% through a combination of layoffs and attrition of employees, including remote workers, according to The Wall Street Journal citing a person familiar with the matter.

The cuts come as ESPN and Disney deal with challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in lost ad revenue from canceled or delayed sporting events. Disney’s theme parks, filmed entertainment and cruise divisions have all suffered this year as the pandemic stymied travel and moviegoing across the world.

ESPN is eliminating about 500 jobs by laying off 300 employees and closing 200 open positions, according to a memo sent to staffers from ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro. Mr. Pitaro said in his memo that the cuts were the result of a reorganization plan focused on digital streaming that predated the pandemic but was accelerated in recent months.

“The speed at which change is occurring requires great urgency, and we must now deliver on serving sports fans in a myriad of new ways,” Mr. Pitaro wrote in the memo, a copy of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal.

The reorganization will affect people who produce games for ESPN on the road, the person said, in addition to some on-camera talent whose contracts won’t be renewed. ESPN paid less for production costs during the pandemic, in part because it produced more games from network headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

Disney, one of the biggest names in theatrical entertainment, is retooling its entire business to focus on digital streaming. In October, the company announced a reorganization to support its major streaming services, including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. The new plan increasingly makes Disney’s traditional film and television arms feeder divisions for the company’s major streaming services, keeping them full of new movies and TV shows to lure subscribers.

Disney’s digital-streaming business has grown quickly during the pandemic. The company said in August that its streaming services have exceeded 100 million subscribers. ESPN+ had 8.5 million paid subscribers as of June 27, more than tripling its paid subscriber count from a year earlier.

Capitol Records CEO Steve Barnett To Retire

Capitol Music Group chairman and CEO Steve Barnett is retiring after nearly 50 years in the business. 

The L-A Times reports the executive, whose 24-karat ears helped propel the careers of artists including Beyoncé, Adele, Katy Perry, AC/DC, One Direction and Lil Baby, among dozens of others, made the announcement Thursday morning.

In conjunction, the Capitol Music Group announced that current Capitol Records President Jeff Vaughn and CMG COO Michelle Jubelirer will be promoted to oversee the company.

In a letter to the Capitol staff, Barnett, 68, called the move “a long-planned decision,” one that he made in conjunction with his wife and children “through many hours of discussion and soul-searching.”

Steve Barnett
“While I’ve been fortunate to lead several companies along the way,” he added, “my most rewarding experience, by far, has been my time leading the team here at Capitol Music Group.” Barnett thanked his boss, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge, among many others, for the experience. Barnett’s last day will be Dec. 31.

Barnett took over at Capitol in 2012 as streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon were beginning to revive the music industry, which for a decade had been crippled by the widespread downloading of “pirated” MP3s. In 2019 the domestic recorded music business generated $11.1 billion in revenue, up 13% from the year before, according to the Recording Assn. of America. That revenue was $4.1 billion more than the industry earned in 2010.

Such growth is one reason why French conglomerate Vivendi, Universal’s parent company, recently announced its intention to take the Universal Music Group public in 2022. The move comes a half-year after competitor Warner Music Group’s own IPO put the company’s value at an estimated $12 billion.

NY Times Reports Digital Revenue Jumps 34 Percent

 As The New York Times operated at full tilt through a fraught election — one of the most consequential votes in modern American history — the company announced a milestone: As of last week, it had topped seven million paid subscribers, a high.

The New York Times Company has bet on digital readers as the future engine of its business since 2011, when it started charging for online content — and it has largely been a good gamble. In the three-month period ending in September, for the first time, the revenue from digital subscribers was greater than the money the company brought in from print subscribers, The Times said Thursday as part of its third-quarter financial report.

Total revenue during the third quarter was flat, at $426.9 million, and adjusted operating profit jumped 28 percent, to $56.5 million, beating investors’ expectations on both counts. Net income doubled to $33.6 million.

There is little doubt that Donald J. Trump’s presidency has helped lift The Times’s subscription business, and the readership numbers have risen at a steady pace during his years in office. The company set a goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025, a mark that appears within striking distance.

The company added 393,000 digital subscribers during the three months, bringing the total of paid online readers to more than six million. Of that group, about 4.7 million pay for the core news product, with the rest subscribing to the crossword and cooking apps. An additional 831,000 readers continued to pay for print subscriptions, a drop from last year, reflecting a steady decline in the broadsheet business.

But a worrying trend might be this: Digital readers were the only growth business for The Times. Every other unit fell. As online subscription revenue rose 34 percent, to $155.3 million, print subscriptions decreased 3.8 percent to $145.7 million. And advertising sales, once the lifeblood of the newspaper business, dropped 30 percent, to $79.3 million. The pandemic has cut even deeper into ad sales, which were already falling as fewer people read the paper in print and many companies cut their marketing budgets.

Nov 6 Radio History

➦In 1933...Windsor Ontario radio station CKOK and London, Ontario's CJGC merged to create CKLW. The call letters stood for “London-Windsor”.  CKLW (“The Big 8”) became one of the most influential powerhouses of early Top40 radio, breaking national hits and dominating Detroit ratings for years in the late 1960’s and early ’70’s.

Edwin H. Armstrong
➦In 1935…Edwin H. Armstrong announced his development of FM broadcasting after conducting the first large-scale field tests of his new radio technology at RCA's facilities on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building from May 1934 until October 1935.

NY Times 11/7/1935
In 1937, Armstrong financed construction of the first FM radio station, W2XMN, a 40-kilowatt broadcaster in Alpine, New Jersey.

The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles (160 km) away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.

RCA began to lobby for a change in the law or FCC regulations that would prevent FM radios from becoming dominant (David Sarnoff was looking to protect his stations on the AM band) .

By June 1945, the RCA had pushed the FCC hard on the allocation of electromagnetic frequencies for the fledgling television industry. Although they denied wrongdoing, David Sarnoff and RCA managed to get the FCC to move the FM radio spectrum from 42–50 MHz, to 88–108 MHz, while getting new low-powered community television stations allocated to a new Channel 1 in the 44-50 MHz range.

Furthermore, RCA also claimed invention of FM radio and won its own patent on the technology. A patent fight between RCA and Armstrong ensued. RCA's momentous victory in the courts left Armstrong unable to claim royalties on any FM receivers, including televisions, which were sold in the United States.

The costly legal battles brought ruin to Armstrong, by then almost penniless and emotionally distraught. Eventually, after Armstrong's death, many of the lawsuits were decided or settled in his favor, greatly enriching his estate and heirs.

But the decisions came too late for Armstrong himself to enjoy his legal vindication.

It took decades following Armstrong's death for FM broadcasting to meet and surpass the saturation of the AM band, and longer still for FM radio to become profitable for broadcasters. Two developments made a difference in the 1960s.

One was the development of true stereophonic broadcasting on FM by General Electric, which resulted in the approval of an FM stereo broadcast standard by the FCC in 1961, and the conversion of hundreds of stations to stereo within a few years.

 ➦In 1939...the first commercial TV station in the US, General Electric’s WGY-TV Schenectady, NY, began service.

➦In 1947...The weekly show “Meet the Press” started on NBC TV, and it is still running, making it the longest running TV show in U-S broadcast history.  It started as a Mutual radio show in 1945.

➦In 1954…Elvis Presley signed on for the 'Louisiana Hayride; for one year. The Saturday night radio show originated at KWKH, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Nat D. Williams
➦In 1957...Elvis visits radio station WDIA in Memphis and meets two of his idols, Little Junior Parker and Bobby Bland.

WDIA went on the air June 7, 1947, from studios on Union Avenue. The owners, John Pepper and Dick Ferguson, were both white and the format was a mix of country and western and light pop. The station did not do well.

Nat D. Williams, a syndicated columnist and high-school teacher, started Tan Town Jubilee in October 1948. This was the first radio program in the United States to specifically target black listeners, and WDIA soon became the number-2 station in Memphis. After a switch to all-black programming, WDIA was the city's top station.

Elvis At WDIA At Revue 1956
In June 1954 WDIA was licensed at 50,000 watts-Day, 5Kw-Night. Its powerful signal reached down into the Mississippi Delta’s dense African-American population and was heard from the Bootheel in SE Missouri to the Gulf coast. As a result WDIA was able to reach 10% of the African-American population in United States.

Future WJLB strong jock herself, Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg became Princess Premium Stuff. Ernest Brazzell gave crop advice and Robert Thomas became a DJ named “Honeyboy” after he won a city-wide amateur competition. Among other notable personalities were Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert, Theo "Bless My Bones" Wade, and Ford Nelson, who remains an active gospel DJ on WDIA in 2013.

Many music legends got their start at WDIA, including B.B. King and Rufus Thomas. Elvis Presley was greatly influenced by the station.

➦In 2007…Radio personality Jim P. Stagg died of complications from esophageal cancer at age 72. 

Stagg's radio career began in Birmingham (on WYDE AM). From there, it was on to Philadelphia (on WIBG), San Francisco (on KYA), and Milwaukee (on WOKY) before his stint at KYW, Cleveland.

Jim Stagg-1966
In 1965, KYW program director Ken Draper moved to WCFL to assume the same duties. Stagg and many other station employees, both on and off air, including Dick Orkin, Jim Runyon and Jerry G. (Bishop) eagerly moved from KYW in Cleveland to WCFL in Chicago.

As his radio career wound down, Stagg hosted innovative talk and music shows on WMAQ-AM.

At WCFL, the "Voice of Labor",  Stagg did the afternoon drive shift. He referred to the studio call-in line as the "Stagg Line" and produced a feature titled "Stagg's Starbeat" – in-depth, provocative, and insightful interviews with local, national and international music celebrities. Staggs interviewed nearly every major rock star of the 1960s, including Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, the Supremes, The Monkees, and Simon & Garfunkel.

Jim became the Chicago chairman of Let Us Vote (LUV), a youth campaign which began in late 1968 to establish the minimum voting age as 18 in all states. Joey Bishop was honorary national chairman and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart contributed a campaign song. Everyone's efforts resulted in the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution being ratified in 1971.

Stagg eschewed the flashy theatrics of other Top-40 radio hosts in favor a straightforward rock and roll show that kept the focus on the music. His close-of-program line echos that: "Music is my business. I hope my business was your pleasure."

  • Actor June Squibb (“Nebraska”) is 91. 
  • Country singer Stonewall Jackson is 88. 
  • Emma Stone is 32
    Singer P.J. Proby is 82. 
  • Actor Sally Field is 74. 
  • Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is 71. 
  • TV host Catherine Crier is 66. 
  • Former news correspondent Maria Shriver is 65. 
  • Actor Lori Singer (“Fame,” ″Footloose”) is 63. 
  • Actor Lance Kerwin is 60. 
  • Bassist Paul Brindley of The Sundays is 57. 
  • Singer Corey Glover of Living Colour is 56. 
  • Actor Peter DeLuise (“seaQuest DSV,” ″21 Jump Street”) is 54. 
  • Actor Kelly Rutherford (“Melrose Place”) is 52. 
  • Actor Ethan Hawke is 50. 
  • Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson (“The Taste,” ″Chopped”) is 50. 
  • Actor Thandie Newton is 48. Model-actor Rebecca Romijn is 48. 
  • Actor Zoe McLellan (“NCIS: New Orleans”) is 46. 
  • Actor Nicole Dubuc (“Major Dad”) is 42. 
  • Actor Taryn Manning is 42. 
  • Actor Patina Miller (“Madam Secretary”) is 36. 
  • Singer-songwriter Ben Rector is 34. 
  • Actor Emma Stone is 32.