Saturday, November 21, 2020

Nov 22 Radio History

➦In 1899…Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America registered in New Jersey

➦In 1904...Actor Roland Winters was born in Boston.  He was the longtime radio announcer for John J Anthony’s Goodwill Hour.  In TV he had recurring roles on the series Mama, Door With No Name & Green Acres, as well as dozens of guest spots. He died Oct. 22 1989 after a stroke, at age 84.

➦In 1906...Actor & announcer Howard Petrie was born in Beverly Mass. He had many bigtime radio announcing assignments with Garry Moore, Jimmy Durante & Judy Canova, frequently taking part in the skits himself. In TV he had recurring acting assignments on Bat Masterson & The Edge of Night, plus scores of guest roles.  Howard died March 24 1968 at just 61.

➦In 1934...“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” was aired on radio for the first time, on NBC’s Eddie Cantor Show.

➦In 1955...RCA paid the unheard of sum of $25,000 to Sam Phillips of Memphis for the rights to the music of a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi: Elvis Presley. Thanks to negotiations with Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, RCA tossed in a $5,000 bonus as well — for a pink Cadillac for Elvis’ mother.

➦In 1963…Most U-S Radio stations suspended regular programming following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  The Number One song that week was 'Sugar Shack' by Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs.

More than three hours of KLIF 1190 AM audio from November 22, 1963, the day of President Kennedy's assassination.

Coverage begins at 11:30 AM (Dallas time) on 11/22/63, with Joe Long of Dallas radio station KLIF reporting live from Love Field Airport as President Kennedy arrives in "Big D".

Today 1190 AM is the home of Talk KFXR.

Kennedy coverage as heard on WBAP 820 AM Fort Worth:

And From The Big One, WLW 700 AM Cincinnati (then an NBC Affiliate):

Here is the initial bulletin heard on the NBC Radio Network about the shooting of President Kennedy in Dallas. Robert MacNeil reports live from a telephone located inside the Texas School Book Depository Building, which is where the gunshots came from.

This is the line feed from the ABC Radio Network News in the initial moments of the coverage of the JFK Assassination. Included is the ABC Log Book notes on what they were airing. Someone in ABC Master Control had to log literally everything that was broadcast each day. Also included UPI and AP wire copy which you can see the network anchors are relying on for information.

➦1963…The Parlophone label released the Beatles' second album in the U-K, "With the Beatles," and the single, "Roll Over Beethoven." Capitol Records in Canada issued the album as "Beatlemania! With the Beatles," which has the distinction of being the first Beatles album ever released in North America. Most of the songs from the album were not released in the United States until January 20, 1964 when Capitol Records issued "Meet the Beatles!"

➦In 1980...actress Mae West  died at her Hollywood home at age 87 following a stroke.

Famous for her double-entendres she had a sensational if brief radio career, appearing in two risque sketches on the Charlie McCarthy Show on a Sunday in Dec. 1937.  The listening audience was so shocked that West did not appear again on radio for another 31 years.

➦In Parley Baer died at age 88 after a stroke.  He was active in bigtime radio, playing Chester on Gunsmoke, and dozens of supporting roles on The Lux Radio Theater, Escape and Suspense.

Baer in the 1930s served on radio as director of special events for KSL. His first network show was The Whistler, which was soon followed by appearances on Escape (notably narrating "Wild Jack Rhett" and as the title patriot in an adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's "A Tooth for Paul Revere"), Suspense, Tales of the Texas Rangers (as various local sheriffs), Dragnet, The CBS Radio Workshop, Lux Radio Theater, The Six Shooter, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, to name a few.

Parley Baer
In 1952, he began playing Chester, the trusty jailhouse assistant to Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, eventually ad-libbing the character's full name, "Chester Wesley Proudfoot" (later changed to "Chester Goode" in the televised version of the series, which featured Dennis Weaver in the role of Chester). Baer's portrayal of Chester was generally considered his finest and most memorable role, and as he often said, the one he found most fulfilling.  Baer also worked as a voice actor on several other radio shows produced by Norman MacDonnell, performing as Pete the Marshal on the situation comedy The Harold Peary Show, as Doc Clemens on Rogers of the Gazette, and as additional characters on Fort Laramie and The Adventures of Philip Marlowe.

Other recurring roles included Eb the farm hand on Granby's Green Acres (the radio predecessor to television's Green Acres), Gramps on The Truitts, and Rene the manservant on the radio version of The Count of Monte Cristo. His later radio work included playing Reginald Duffield and Uncle Joe Finneman on the Focus on the Family series Adventures in Odyssey in the 1980s and 1990s.

Radio playwright and director Norman Corwin cast Baer as Simon Legree in the 1969 KCET television reading of his 1938 radio play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas.

On TV he was seen in everything from The Andy Griffith Show to Star Trek: Voyager. Six decades of character roles in broadcasting.

Gunsmoke "The Stage Holdup" CBS 1/2/54 Oldtime Radio Drama Western
Matt Dillon: William Conrad...Kitty: Georgia Ellis...Chester Proudfoot: Parley Baer

➦In 2011…Lead anchor for 25 years at CNN Radio Stan Case was killed in a traffic accident in Birmingham AL, as he was driving to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. He was 59.

➦In 2015…Charlie Boone, the WCCO Radio host who was the voice of mornings in Minnesota for nearly 40 years, died at age 88.

Charlie Boone, Roger Erickson
“Boone and Erickson,” Boone’s 37-year collaboration with Roger Erickson, was one of the most popular shows on radio from the 1960s to the 1990s. The partnership ended in 1998 when Erickson retired, but Boone continued to host a Saturday morning show until 2010.

Born in Newfoundland, he started at WCCO in 1959 and was the station’s first disc jockey.

His show at WCCO, “Boone in the Afternoon,” followed Roger Erickson’s program each day, and the two struck up a friendship.

The weekday morning show started in 1961 and would last 37 years. Boone was more of the straight man and Erickson got most of the gags. The two were famous for their skits and voices. Boone could impersonate a bellicose Southern senator or a New York cop. Erickson, a Minnesota native, handled the Scandinavian accents.

Boone and Erickson poked fun at politicians, lampooned current events and parodied old radio shows. One of their most popular bits was “Minnesota Hospital,” billed as “the best place to get sick in.”

Boone liked to say that he and Erickson treated their relationship like a marriage.

Right before he arrived in Minneapolis, Boone was scheduled to emcee a show by Buddy Holly and Richie Valens in Moorhead, Minn., and was waiting at the airport when he learned the rock star had been killed in a plane crash. Needing a replacement act, he scrambled to enlist a local band called The Shadows, headed by 15-year-old Robert Velline, who later became known as Bobby Vee.

  • Scarlett Johannson is 36
    Actor Michael Callan is 85. 
  • Comedian-director Terry Gilliam (Monty Python) is 80. 
  • Actor Tom Conti is 79. 
  • Singer Jesse Colin Young (The Youngbloods) is 79. 
  • Guitarist-actor Little Steven (The E Street Band, “The Sopranos”) is 70. 
  • Bassist Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads is 70. 
  • Actor Lin Tucci (“Orange Is The New Black”) is 69. 
  • Singer Lawrence Gowan of Styx is 64. 
  • Actor Richard Kind (“Spin City,” ″Mad About You”) is 64. 
  • Actor Jamie Lee Curtis is 62. 
  • Singer “Farmer Jason” Ringenberg (Jason and the Scorchers) is 62. 
  • Actor Mariel Hemingway is 59. 
  • Actor-producer Brian Robbins (“Head of the Class”) is 57. 
  • Actor Stephen Geoffreys is 56. 
  • Actor Nicholas Rowe (“The Crown”) is 54. 
  • Actor Michael Kenneth Williams (“12 Years A Slave,” ″Boardwalk Empire”) is 54. 
  • Actor Mark Ruffalo is 53. 
  • Actor Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Westworld”) is 52. 
  • Drummer Chris Fryar of Zac Brown Band is 50. 
  • Actor Tyler Hilton (“One Tree Hill”) is 37. 
  • Actor Scarlett Johannson is 36. 
  • Actor Jamie Campbell Bower (“Twilight” movies) is 32. 
  • Actor Alden Ehrenreich (“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Hail, Caesar”) is 31. 
  • Singer Candice Glover (“American Idol”) is 31. 
  • Actor Dacre Montgomery (“Stranger Things”) is 26. 
  • Actor Mackenzie Lintz (“Under the Dome”) is 24.

SiriusXM Radio: Incoming CEO Confident Of Howard Stern Contract

Howard Stern

Jennifer Witz, slated to become Chief Executive Officer atSiriusXM on January 1, 2021, remain confident of a new deal with Howard Stern.

Stern’s contract is set to expire with SiriusXM soon. He recently ended his last live show before the Thanksgiving holiday with a cliffhanger about whether he will be renewing his contract with the company. SiriusXM's Witz appeared on NBC's “Squawk on the Street” to discuss.

Chicago Radio: Bruce St. James Lands Mornings On WLS-AM

Bruce St. James formerly with KTAR Phoenix

Talk personality Bruce St. James has been named as new morning host at Cumulus Media's WLS 890 AM.
He replaces Mancrow Muller who announced his departure this past week. Muller's final show is November 25th.   First broadcast for St. James is December 14th.

St. James has worked in Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix, including KTAR, where he hosted middays for 10 years until this past February. 

Chicago Media Watcher Robert Feder was first to report the hiring of St. James. 

Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Media Chicago, made the announcement in a staff email:

"890 WLS-AM has been serving our Chicagoland audiences for 96 years. From John Landecker to Roe Conn to Mancow, every host has left his mark on the Big ’89 and none more so than Rush Limbaugh.

In our 97th year, we are changing. 2021 is the year we bring the focus back to who matters most – our listeners.

And the dialogue begins on Dec 14th at 5:30am when our new morning show host, Bruce St. James, opens the mic on the New ’89.

Bruce St. James is here to have a conversation, not a lecture. He is not here to change formats. He is here to continue what 890 already does best – inform and entertain our listeners.

Bruce started in radio at the age of 17 and has worked both sides of the microphone as a DJ, Host and Program Director. For the last 10 years, he was a media mainstay in Phoenix, AZ where he hosted The Bruce St James Show on News-Talk KTAR News 92.3/Phoenix.

A native of both Washington, DC and Tucson, Bruce spent most of his life on the West Coast including Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix.

Bruce knows radio. And, now Chicago will know Bruce."

Chcago Radio: WGN Renews Handyman Lou Manfredini

WGN 720 AM Friday announced a contract extension with host Lou Manfredini through December 31, 2024, as well as an additional hour to the start of his show. Beginning January 2, “HouseSmarts Radio with Lou Manfredini” will be heard on Saturdays from 6am to 10am.

Lou Manfredini
“I am humbled and honored to continue my show at WGN Radio,” said Lou Manfredini.  “I’m grateful for the listeners that tune in each week – without you, none of us are on the air! The two constants in my life have been my amazing family and WGN Radio, including my talented producer Lindsey Smithwick. I’m happy I get to keep talking with our listeners on Saturday mornings.”

The announcement comes at the conclusion of a year that marked Manfredini’s 25th anniversary on WGN Radio.  After writing letters to pitch the idea of a call-in home improvement show, the Chicagoland native got his start as a guest on the Bob Collins Show in 1995. “HouseSmarts Radio with Lou Manfredini” continues to be the #1 Saturday morning radio program in Chicago and offers an entertaining mix of practical, useful, and valuable home improvement advice.

“We are excited to continue the legacy that Lou has built at WGN Radio the past 25 years,” said WGN Radio Vice President and General Manager Mary Sandberg Boyle.  “While his media empire looks a lot different now than when he first started here, one thing remains the same: Lou is here to serve the audience. He is patient and kind with every listener, while keeping his genuine sense of humor. He truly is the definition of the ‘helpful hardware man.’” 

Lou Manfredini is a regular contributor to NBC’s “Today Show”, WGN-TV’s “Morning News”, and he hosts the nationally syndicated weekly television show “HouseSmarts.”

Melbourne Radio: Michael W Lowe OUT At iHM's WLRQ

Longtime Brevard County radio personality Michael W. Lowe, who co-hosts the Mike & Mindy in the Morning show on iHeartMedia's WLRQ Lite Rock 99.3 in Melbourne, FL , has been laid off.

Lowe's first radio job was with WEZY-AM 1350 in Cocoa back in 1972. After logging 13 years as operations manager and program director at WA1A-FM 107.1 in Melbourne, he worked the past 18 years at Lite Rock 99.3.

Friday, he said he was called into his boss's office shortly after wrapping up his morning show.

"The pandemic just basically destroyed corporate radio economically. And you know, I understand it completely. In fact, I told him, 'Look, I'm 68 years old. I worked longer than I really thought I was going to work,' " Lowe said.

"I was shooting for 50 years, which would have been in February of 2022. But we came up a little short. So I have to stop it at 48 and a half years — unless something happens," he said.

"We had a wonderful time. It was a great run. It was a corporate decision," he said.

According to Florida Today, iHeartMedia  reported a 47% year-over-year plunge in revenue during the second quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a 22% drop in the third quarter.

Lowe said Mindy Levy, his morning show co-host, is off on vacation until Monday. 

"I called her a couple hours ago — and she was shocked as I was. But the show must go on," Lowe said.

Boise Radio: Rick & Carly Return To KSRV For AM Drive

Rick and Carly

Iliad Media Group (Impact Radio) has announced the return of Rick Dunn & Carly Cash In the Morning on Adult Hits KSRV 96.1 BOB FM.

CEO of Iliad Media Group Darrell Carlton said, “We are excited to bring Rick & Carly back together. Their passion for creating entertaining content and connecting with the community (Rick & Carly’s Kids) has made them beloved in the market”.

“This is a moment 13+ years in the making, Rick and Carly will be the first live personalities on BOB FM since it’s launch in 2007. We are excited to add a #1 rated morning show to the valley’s dominant Adult Hits station on 961. BOB FM ” said Impact Regional Operations Manager James Garner.

Rick & Carly first paired together in Salt Lake City and arrived in Boise in 2015. They quickly made a name for themselves with their ratings success and involvement in community events like Idaho Miss Amazing, and their own Rick & Carly’s kids. Rick Dunn joined Iliad Media Group in March of 2020 as the PM drive announcer on market-leader KQBL (101.9 The Bull). Dunn quickly earned the #1 rated afternoon drive show in the Nielsen Spring 2020 survey period. Rick will continue his hosting afternoons on KQBL.

“Rick & Carly In The Morning” can be heard weekday mornings from 6-10 AM starting November 30th.

Recap: Triple Format Flip In Detroit-Windsor

Art Vuolo Jr.

In just under 9 minutes, Radio's Best Friend Art Vuolo Jr. has captured what happened when on the same day, three FM stations juggled their music formats and getting a lot of TV coverage in the process! 

CIMX goes from 89X Alternative to Pure Country 89, CIDR The River goes from Triple A to Top 40 Hits and WDZH flips from Soft AC as The Breeze to 98.7 Detroit New Alternative.

College Football Playoff Payouts In Doubt

The College Football Playoff’s annual revenue distribution, typically in the $500 million range, could drop by 10% to 15% this season, according to executive director Bill Hancock.

Accord to, the final total, which won’t be finalized until March, will depend primarily on how many fans are allowed into college football’s most important bowls. While sponsorship revenue may dip slightly, ticket sales and hospitality will be the main areas impacted if the games are held as scheduled in January.

“It is premature to say for sure, but my best guess would be somewhere 10-15% less than it would have been with no pandemic,” Hancock said.

It’s been a messy college football season, with a number of major conferences nixing fall games before later reversing course. Postseason games start in less than a month and BYU is 8-0, while in-state rival Utah is 0-0. More than 81 games have been cancelled or postponed nationally.

The playoff remains on schedule with the two semifinals—the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl—set for the evening of Jan. 1, an extremely valuable TV window. The championship game is 10 days later in Miami.

The NCAA doesn’t control the postseason for top-tier college football. That’s handled instead by various bowls and the CFP, which distributes revenue through a series of payments.

The CFP’s revenue actually fluctuates quite a bit depending on the year, and this year was projected to be a bigger than last. That’s because the semifinals rotate each year between the six major postseason bowls—the Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl—and the CFP has a deeper business relationship with three of the six.

The College Football Playoff makes the bulk of its money from the 12-year, $7.3 billion deal it signed with ESPN in 2015. The partnership encompasses a lot more than just the TV rights; ESPN controls and sells many of the sponsorships to the highest-profile bowls, including the lucrative naming deals with brands like Chick-fil-A and Goodyear. Ticket revenue, which varies depending on the semifinal rotation, is typically between 5% and 10% of the overall CFP revenue.

Major sporting events have varied in their payouts during this pandemic-disrupted year. The NCAA, which expected to distribute around $600 million following this year’s men’s basketball tournament, cut that total to just $225 million after the 2020 event was cancelled. The prize pool for the Masters, which was held last week without fans, was the same $11.5 million as last year; the fan-free U.S. Open tennis tournament reduced its payouts by nearly $4 million.

Amazon TV, Warner Media Reach Deal On HBO Max

In a victory for AT&T’s WarnerMedia, HBO will no longer be available as an Amazon Channel after their current placement deal expires next year, according to CNBC citing people familiar with the matter.

Today, HBO’s presence in the Amazon Channels store lets users watch regular HBO programming within the Amazon Fire TV user interface, making it easy for consumers to subscribe and sign up. But this placement was a major sticking point in the negotiations to get HBO Max, the company’s separate streaming service, on to the Amazon Fire TV platform, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the deal terms are private.

Those talks dragged on for months before concluding this week with a deal.

HBO Max includes additional content that’s not available on HBO, like “South Park and “The Big Bang Theory.” Over time, WarnerMedia would like the HBO Max application to be the only point of entry into HBO services on streaming platforms.

Although this user interface distinction may feel esoteric to most consumers, it matters a lot to WarnerMedia. Keeping subscribers within the HBO Max application allows WarnerMedia to have a direct relationship with consumers and to gain viewer information that can be used for targeted advertising. An advertising-supported version of HBO Max is slated for launch next year.

Philly Radio: WXTU To Air St. Jude Kids Radiothon

Beasley Media Group’s 92.5 XTU, Philadelphia’s Country station, will present the annual St. Jude’s Radiothon on Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11, 2020. The station’s on air personalities will broadcast live from 6am to 7pm each day to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research  that will directly benefit the hospital. In addition, national country artists will be calling into the station to share their support and thoughts about what St. Jude Children’s Hospital means to them.

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. Thanks to the support of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

“Their incredible mission really compelled us to get involved with St. Jude”, said Mark Razz Program Director. “We are thrilled to be involved with such a world class non-profit organization that helps so many children and their families throughout our local community.”

For complete details on how you can support St. Jude Children’s Hospital, please visit:

Mobile Radio: Christian Stations WMOF, WTOF To Sign-Off

Local Christian radio stations WMOB 1360 am and WTOF 11110 AM in Mobile will officially cease broadcasting on Sunday, according to citing staff at the stations.

Acquired by Buddy Tucker Association Inc., the stations have been under the ownership of Tucker’s wife, Lavaughn Tucker, since his death two years ago.

“She is in her 90s and is no longer able to keep up with the expense of running the stations,” said longtime DJ Debby Day.

Lavaughn & the late Buddy Tucker
The stations air a Christian radio format including syndicated Christian talk and Christian ministry, plus Southern Gospel music, but both the stations’ contributors and advertisers have dropped off dramatically since the COVID-19 outbreak, Day said.

According to Wikipedia, WMOB (1360 AM) serves the Mobile metropolitan area. WMOB began broadcasting as WLIQ in 1961, owned by E.W. Jemison and Frank Conwell as Jemcon Broadcasting Company.

WMOB had been simulcasting with WTOF, but because of technical difficulties, the Bay Minette station has been off the air for about three weeks, Day said. WMOB will host its last broadcast on Sunday, Nov 22.

Nov 21 Radio History

➦In 1877…Thomas Edison unveiled his new "talking machine," later called the phonograph. The first thing recorded on Edison's new invention was the song "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  Recording made by Thomas A. Edison on August 12, 1927, at the Golden Jubilee of the Phonograph ceremony. In this recording Edison demonstrates how in 1877 he made the first record on his tinfoil phonograph. The original 1877 recording was not saved and no longer exists.  Edison received a patent three months later.

➦In 1944…"The Roy Rogers Show" aored for the first time featuring the Whippoorwills and the Sons of the Pioneers, was broadcast by the Mutual Broadcasting System. It began as a western music and variety show and evolved into an action-drama series during its 10-year run.

Roy's radio show lasted 11 seasons and the Roy Rogers Show On TV stayed on the air for 6 seasons.  Roy also made a ton of movies and appeared on numerous other radio and TV shows as a guest star! In addition, Roy had a successful recording career for several years with songs that made it to the top of the charts! Most people probably remember him and Dale Evans singing "Happy Trails to You" at the end of each show!

➦In 1963…U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, arrived in San Antonio, Texas. They were starting a two-day visit to Texas that would end in Dallas.

John B. Gambling
➦In 1974...New York radio personality John B. Gambling died at age 77.  He was the first of three Gamblings to host the WOR 710 AM ‘Rambling With Gambling’ morning show over a span of 88 years.

He was a member of the The Gambling family, 3 generations of whom - John B., John A. and John R. were hosts of WOR Radio's morning show Rambling with Gambling (now known as The John Gambling Show).

John B. was the host from 1925 to 1959, when he retired in favor of his son, John A. Gambling. With his Musical Clock, his all-in-fun setting-up exercises, cheerio music, wheezy gags, weather information and news scraps, John B. Gambling was a WOR fixture.  At one time he had a in-studio tp provide music band and he aired the March of the Seven Dwarfs every morning at 7 am sharp.

➦In 1979…Personality Harry Harrison aired his last morning show on WABC 770 AM, New York.

➦In & TV announcer Harry Von Zell died of cancer at age 75.  Best known as the announcer on the George Burns/Gracie Allen Show both radio & TV, he also made his mark as actor in several TV guest spots, and screenwriter on a number of series such as Wagon Train.

➦In 1983…Movie theaters premiered Michael Jackson's 14-minute "Thriller" video. The Guinness Book of World Records eventually named it the "most successful music video" of all time, selling more than 9 million copies.

➦In 1993…Radio newscaster Jim McLaughlin died in Buffalo, NY at age 59.

In the early 1960s, he worked as a deejay for KNBA in Vallejo, California taking the air name "Lucky Jim" because he didn't have to study and always knew instinctively what to say. He began delivering the news at KFOG-FM in San Francisco. In 1963, he became the news director at WRVM in Rochester in 1964. McLaughlin continued his career working in Buffalo as the news director of WYSL in the late 1960s, WKBW from 1970 to 1978 and then at WBEN until he was forced to retire due to health issues in 1987.

He was the first news director to hire a full-time street reporter, a female news staff member, to use co-anchors and to use short wave radio to cover international stories. In 1979, he won the New York State Associated Press Award for WBEN's "Newsday," being the best radio news program. Jim was also the only radio reporter allowed to cover the 1971 Attica Prison riot from inside the prison.

  • Lindsey Haun is 36
    Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 86. 
  • Actor Marlo Thomas is 83. 
  • Actor Juliet Mills (“Passions,” ″Nanny and the Professor”) is 79. 
  • Actor Goldie Hawn is 75. 
  • Keyboardist Lonnie Jordan of War is 72. 
  • Singer Livingston Taylor is 70. 
  • Actor-singer Lorna Luft is 68. 
  • Actor Cherry Jones (“The Horse Whisperer”) is 64. 
  • Bassist Brian Ritchie of Violent Femmes is 60. 
  • Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman is 58. 
  • Actor Nicollette Sheridan is 57. 
  • Singer Bjork (BYORK) is 55. 
  • Singer Chauncey Hannibal of BLACKstreet is 52. 
  • Bassist Alex James of Blur is 52. 
  • TV personality Rib Hillis (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) is 50. 
  • Rapper Pretty Lou of Lost Boyz is 49. 
  • Football player-turned-TV host Michael Strahan (“Good Morning America,” ″Live With Kelly and Michael”) is 49. 
  • Actor Marina de Tavira (“Roma”) is 47. 
  • Country singer Kelsi Osborn of SHeDAISY is 46. 
  • Actor Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld,” ″It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) is 45. 
  • Actor Lindsey Haun (“Broken Bridges”) is 36. 
  • Actor Jena Malone (“Saved,” ″Life as a House”) is 36. 
  • Singer Carly Rae Jepsen is 35. 
  • Actor Sam Palladio (“Nashville”) is 34.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Fox News’ Popularity Slips Among Republicans

Fox News’ favorability has tumbled among Republicans since Election Day, as the cable news network has faced a steady drumbeat of criticism from President Donald Trump. 

From late December 2019 through Nov. 2, 67 percent of U.S. adults who identify as Republican viewed Fox News favorably, according to Morning Consult’s Brand Intelligence, which tracks consumer attitudes of thousands of brands, while roughly 16 percent had an unfavorable view of the cable channel. 

Then came election night, when Fox News was the first news organization to project a Trump loss in the battleground state of Arizona. 

The announcement reportedly enraged the president, and in the days since he has continued to wallop the network on Twitter, saying its ratings have “completely collapsed,” criticizing its coverage of his supporters’ rally in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14 and suggesting that his followers turn instead to One America News Network or Newsmax, two conservative cable news networks. 

It appears such rhetoric has impacted public opinion of the brand. In polling conducted Nov. 9-16, the network’s average favorability rating among GOP respondents has dropped 13 percentage points, to 54 percent, and the average share of those with an unfavorable view of the network nearly doubled, to 30 percent. 

Even before Nov. 3, the president had been increasingly critical of the network, particularly its news operation, over the years, culminating in an Election Day interview on “Fox & Friends” in which he accused the network of abandoning him.

“Somebody said, ‘What’s the biggest difference between this and four years ago?’ And I say ‘Fox, it’s much different,’” Trump told the hosts.

Trump supporters have taken their cue from the president. When they marched through the streets of Washington to protest the election, at several points during their demonstration they chanted, “Fox News sucks!” 

Conservatives’ souring on the network has been reflected in other research: Conservative viewership of Fox News on YouTube dropped the week following the election, according to an independent research project called Transparency Tube. 

The AM Rundown: Georgia Vote Audit Confirms Biden Win

Wall Street Journal 11/20/20

An election audit and hand recount of the presidential election vote in Georgia has been completed, and the state's Republican secretary of state says there's "not a thimble full of difference" in the totals from the original vote count. Investigative reporter Justin Gray of Channel 2 in Atlanta asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday if anyone has presented any evidence to him of major fraud in the voting. "No," he replied. "We have not seen any evidence they have given us, anything that supports. It just doesn't show up, just doesn't work out. The numbers aren't there." 

Raffensperger said he expects the state to certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden today. The Democrat won Georgia's 16 electoral votes with a 49.5% vote compared with President Donald Trump's 49.2%. After the audit report, the Associated Press finally called the Georgia race for Biden, 16 days after Election Day.

About that thimble-full: In the official election results, former Vice President Biden received 2,475,264 votes to President Trump's 2,462,741, a win for Biden of 12,582 votes. In the recount, Biden's count fell by 298 votes.

Meanwhile, judges in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia all dismissed election-related lawsuits filed by Republicans and the Trump campaign to challenge vote totals in those states. All three lawsuits were attempts to delay or block state certification of vote totals.

Michigan's top Republican state legislators have been summoned to the White House today to talk with President Trump, CNN reports. The president is pressuring state officials to block or delay certification of the state's vote, scheduled for next week. Biden won Michigan's 16 electoral votes by a margin of 154,187 votes.

➤WHITE HOUSE ACKNOWLEDGES COVID SURGE: In its first public briefing since July, the White House Coronavirus Task Force yesterday acknowledged that cases of coronavirus are now rising more rapidly than ever in the U.S. More than 170,000 new cases of the virus were reported on Wednesday, and more than 79,000 people have been hospitalized for treatment. Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed that Americans should continue to take basic precautions, such as wearing masks in public, until a vaccine becomes widely available. President Trump did not appear at the briefing, and no questions from the media were allowed.

The Centers for Disease Control issued a plea to Americans to avoid traveling over the Thanksgiving weekend and celebrate the holiday with immediate family.

➤APPLE SETTLES 'BATTERYGATE' SUIT: Apple has agreed to pay a total $113 million to 34 states to settle a lawsuit accusing it of deliberately slowing down the performance of older iPhones without telling its customers what it was doing and why. The company said it was trying to fix.

🏀WARRIORS' CLAY THOMPSON IS OUT FOR THE SEASON: The Golden State Warriors' star guard Klay Thompson is out for the entire season (again) after suffering a torn Achilles tendon during a scrimmage on Wednesday. This will be the second straight season the five-time All-Star has missed due to injuries. 

🏈15 COLLEGE GAMES ARE OFF FOR NCAA WEEK 12: The Maryland Terrapins game against the Michigan State Spartans, scheduled for tomorrow, has been canceled because a total of 15 players and seven staff members have now tested positive for the coronavirus. It's the second week in a row the team has had to cancel. That makes 15 games for Week 12 that have been postponed or canceled outright.

CHECK IT OUT: Here's the full list of Week 12 cancellations and postponements.

🏈FOUR EAGLES ON THE RESERVE LIST: The Philadelphia Eagles have placed four players on the COVID-19 reserve list after a player tested positive. The sidelined players include wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, running back Corey Clement, defensive end Vinny Curry and practice squad wide receiver Deontay Burnett. The NFL just this week announced new tougher protocols for the rest of the season in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus among players and staff.

🥊McGREGOR-POIRIER REMATCH IS ON: Connor McGregor has signed a deal for a rematch against Dustin Poirier on January 23rd, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports. McGregor, the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, had "retired" in January of this year after defeating Donald Cerrone. The last McGregor-Poirier match was in 2014. McGregor won then with a first-round TKO.

🏌LEXI THOMPSON SHOWS OFF: Lexi Thompson made her fifth career hole-in-one on the LPGA in the first round of the Pelican Women's Championship yesterday in Belleair, Florida. Thompson holed a 9-iron from 162 yards on the par-3 hole, her 12th of the day.

Liberty Media Seeking $500M For Media

Liberty Media, owner of the Atlanta Braves, Formula One and Sirius XM Radio, has formed a blank check company to seek a target acquisition in the “media, digital media, music, entertainment, communications, telecommunications and technology industries,” according to citing a prospectus, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday morning. 

Liberty Media seeks to raise $500 million through the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, named Liberty Media Acquisition Corp. In the prospectus, Liberty also said it would commit another $250 million of its own capital as additional financing if the eventual acquisition deal exceeds the $500 million that Liberty Media Acquisition expects to raise in the IPO.

All indications are that Liberty will be seeking a business that will be complementary to its existing portfolio. Speaking on CNBC this morning, Liberty Media CEO Gregory Maffei noted that the capital of the Braves, Formula One and Sirius XM would only be used on acquisitions that logically fit directly with their businesses. “In many other spaces we don’t have the capital and they don’t necessarily fit with our existing entities. This is just another tool, another opportunity to put smart investments to work,” Maffei said. Using a SPAC doesn’t rule out finding businesses that would end up under the umbrella of one of Liberty’s three existing units, however.

The creation of a SPAC by an entity that’s already publicly traded is a new twist on the blank-check approach. Typically, a publicly traded company like Liberty could use its capital on hand or issue new shares to raise funds for acquisitions. Instead, the company will essentially be adding a new partially owned subsidiary through the shares it will have through the SPAC process. The Braves, Formula One and Sirius XM businesses are broken out by Liberty as three tracking stocks.

SiriusXM-Pandora CMO Talks About Adjusting To Pandemic

Sister brands Pandora and SiriusXM were impacted very differently by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The former enjoyed a surge in at-home streaming listeners, while the latter had to deal with fewer people tuning in on their commutes to and from work. In this episode of On Brand, the CMO of both brands, Denise Karkos, tells us how she and her team adjusted to these new consumer listening habits—and we look at a couple of campaigns that came out of those pivots.

iHM's Pittman Talks About Podcasts and Radio

Bob Pittman, chairman and chief executive officer of iHeartRadio Inc., discusses the M&A landscape in streaming services and radio on "Bloomberg Technology."

 “It’s all building and I think you are looking at people who are trying to get aboard this party, and for good reason. It’s such a growth engine,” Pittman said in the interview with Bloomberg TV. “This podcast business has now surpassed the streaming music players. It has probably been the fastest digital growth business,” he said. “It is certainly the focus right now as people who have never thought about audio are thinking very seriously about podcasting and jumping into this.”

According to InsideAudioMarketing, the investment is not only coming from outside the audio and podcast industry but also within it. During the past several months podcasters have watched as Spotify struck its biggest acquisition to date with a $235 million deal to buy Megaphone, while SiriusXM has spent $353 million to acquire Stitcher/Midroll and Simplecast, and iHeartMedia spent $50 million to buy Voxnest.

Pittman said iHeart’s deal to buy Voxnest was “another piece in the puzzle” for his company’s podcast business. He said the aim is to “maximize the monetization” of the big audience that iHeart now has for its podcasts. The iHeartPodcast Network was the largest podcast publisher during October as measured by Podtrac. It said iHeart hit new record highs with a monthly U.S. audience reach of more than 27.8 million listeners with downloads and streams topping 266 million, both showing growth from a month earlier.

“And by the way, it’s still growing,” said Pitman, dismissing any fears that the pandemic lockdowns last spring – or potentially again in the coming weeks – could cut into podcast consumption long-term. “Our podcast usage did not dip. It went up. We saw a shift in the categories – less true crime, more news and comedy – but I think the important thing for us is to maximize the value of this growth, and to keep the growth going.”

In the interview Wednesday, Pittman said podcasting has surprisingly been a “young person’s medium” dispelling the idea that younger people only want music, not spoken word content. “They do, it just has to be right spoken word,” he said.

Pittman also dismissed any suggestion that in-car listening to podcasts or broadcast radio has suffered a long-term setback. He pointed to the Apple Mobility figures that reveal Americans are now on the move more than they were in January before the pandemic. “Driving habits are not forever changed. Some of us are fortunate enough to work from home but most people are not,” he said. Pittman also pointed to a new GroupM report that showed radio listening is up seven percent during the pandemic.

He thinks working in radio’s favor is its role in listener’s lives. “We’re not content, we’re companionship,” he said. “For radio, our usage was great because consumers really needed us because unlike music collections like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music, we’re radio, we’re companionship. Our job is to keep people company.

Tampa Radio: iHeartMedia RIFs On-Air & Others

iHeartMedia remains is in the midst of its third round of layoffs of 2020.  The Tampa Bay Times reports a handful of Tampa Bay employees, on-air and behind-the-scenes workers, have lost their jobs as a result.

“I think the pandemic has wreaked havoc on everybody,” said 95.3/620 WDAE reporter Steve Carney, who covered the Tampa Bay Rays and was let go Nov. 13. “We did furlough people at the beginning of the pandemic. Some of them were brought back, some of them were not. As this thing continues to deepen, I think a lot of people are seeing the writing on the wall.”

Others who announced their departures on social media include Joey “Deuce” Agan, who appeared on several stations, including 98 Rock, and David Bell, an assistant program director at NewsRadio 970 WFLA.

The exact number of Tampa Bay employees affected by the latest cuts was not available. Questions to an iHeartMedia programming official in Tampa were referred to national company spokeswoman, who did not return a number of emails Thursday.

Other radio companies also have shed jobs this year. In April, Beasley Media Group notified the state it was furloughing or laying off 70 employees from its stations in St. Petersburg.

A number of local iHeartMedia employees were let go in January, before the pandemic, including longtime 95.7 personality DJ Sandman. Later in the year, some furloughs brought on by the coronavirus became permanent. Industry publication All Access has identified at least 120 iHeart employees affected by these latest cuts.

“This is something they’ve been doing now for a couple of weeks, so it’s not like a one-day thing where they did this,” said Carney, 43. “I think a lot of people are concerned about what it means going forward. And this industry is about making money.”

For its most recent financial quarter, iHeartMedia posted revenues of $744.4 million, down 21.5 percent from the previous year — a net loss of $32.1 million.

Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2021 Launches in January

Jacobs Media has announced that registration is open for commercial radio stations to participate in Techsurvey 2021.

Earlier this year, the 2020 survey was fielded in January and February (pre-COVID) with more than 500 participating radio stations across North America. Fourteen different formats were represented among a diverse group of broadcasting companies, yielding 46,000 respondents to radio’s largest web survey devoted to media and technology.

Techsurvey 2021, perhaps the most important survey in the annual series that started in 2005, will examine the pandemic’s impact on everything – radio listening, acquisition of gadgets like smart speakers, and overall changes in lifestyle, locations, and habits. The information gleaned from this study of core radio listeners will help guide programmers and managers as they focus their efforts and resources on what is truly important to their listeners as COVID continues to impact all of our lives.

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs noted, “We were fortunate to have fielded our Techsurvey 2020 study just prior to the pandemic hitting earlier this year. While TS2020 revealed compelling data at the national and local levels on the ever-changing digital media environment, we’ll be looking closely at this year’s study to explore the pandemic’s impact on core radio listeners’ lifestyle and habits, including accelerated usage of smart speakers, voice technology, and podcasting. We’re expecting a great turnout for Techsurvey 2021.”

This new study will field beginning in early January. Stations have until Tuesday, December 22nd to sign up: 

Techsurvey 2021 will continue to trend penetration of myriad gadgets and media use, in addition to learning more about how life and lifestyles have changed. This will include virtual video platforms like Zoom, the amazing rise of TikTok, Spotify’s push into podcasts, the surge in gaming, and other changes that have accelerated during the pandemic.

Stations can participate in two different ways:

No fee – This allows participation in a stakeholders webinar in mid-March to review the results, along with receiving national data.

A small fee based on market size – Stakeholder stations receive all the national data, participation in the stakeholders webinar, as well as an in-depth look at their unique audience, their format’s audience, including their station’s “Media Usage Pyramid” and “Brand Platform Pyramid.” Prices are being lowered this year by $50 for all stakeholder stations in deference to the economic impact of the pandemic. Volume discounts are available.

Broadcasters can sign up online at and/or contact Elnora Lowe at Jacobs Media for more information: 248-353-9030 or

Update: YouTube Rolls Out Audio Ads

YouTube has announced its first audio ad format, currently in beta, to help brands get discovered alongside music content, reports A.ListDaily.

Why it matters: YouTube says music video streaming is at an all time high, noting that more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content.

The details: YouTube’s new audio ads include audio as the focal point, accompanied by a visual component such as a still image or simple animation.

During its alpha testing, YouTube found that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns drove a significant lift in brand awareness.

Early tester Shutterfly drove benchmark lifts of 14 percent lift in ad recall and two percent lift in favorability among its target audience when using YouTube’s audio ads to influence purchase consideration.

The new audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the regular audience targeting options, bidding strategies and Brand Lift measurement capabilities as YouTube video campaigns.

In addition to audio ads, YouTube is launching dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular genres like Latin music, K-pop, hip hop and Top 100, to enable brands to reach music fans globally.

BuzFeed To Acquire Huffington Post From Verizon

BuzzFeed on Thursday bought news website HuffPost from Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N in the latest sign of consolidation in the online media world.

Reuters reports the deal brings two once-hot digital properties - viewed as the future of news media but which have suffered from competition for ad dollars from Alphabet's GOOGL.O Google and Facebook FB.O - under the control of one of HuffPost's co-founders.

Verizon, which also owns Yahoo and TechCrunch, said it will invest in the new combined company and take a minority stake.

The companies will syndicate content across each other’s platforms, explore monetization opportunities and leverage ad formats, the companies said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In an interview, BuzzFeed Chief Executive Officer Jonah Peretti, said he was attracted to the property’s more affluent and age-diverse audience which “enhanced the size and scale of our media network.”

In the past few years, HuffPost has struggled with declining advertising revenue and adopted a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs. The outlet has tried to pivot to a subscription model since last year, with limited success, according to a person familiar with its operations.

Independent digital media outlets have consolidated to compete for ad dollars against big rivals. Vox Media last year acquired New York Media - the publisher of a print magazine and several online properties - and Vice Media bought Refinery29, an online publication geared to women.

Canton Radio: SBG Adds Kasper As Personality On Demand

Taking a seat behind the mic at Alpha Media’s WHBC Mix 94.1 is Ohio native, Kasper. As a part of Sun Broadcast Groups’ Personality On Demand, Kasper is taking to the airwaves in his home state every evening from 6pm to midnight on this impressive Canton, Ohio station.

"We are more than delighted to welcome Kasper to Mix 94.1. Our audience grew up with Kasper on the radio in NE Ohio. He's one of the best talents in the biz." states Bo Matthews, Operations Manager.

Kasper began his career at WHOT in Youngstown, Ohio and has never looked back. With his major market personality and hometown temperament, Kasper’s talent has brought him to a multitude of markets including, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Raleigh. For more information about Kasper click here.

Philly Radio: WXTU Presents 21st Annual Toy Truck Parade

Beasley Media Group’s 92.5 XTU (WXTU-FM), Philadelphia’s Country Station has unveiled details for the 21st Annual Toy Truck Parade to benefit the United Service Organization (USO) and The Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The Toy Truck Drive Thru event will take place from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020 in the Xfinity Live Valet Parking lot located at 1100 Pattison Avenue in Philadelphia.

Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and drop off new, unwrapped toys to benefit children residing throughout the local community. Due to Covid-19 precautions, the event will be a “drive thru” event this year.

This year’s Toy Truck Parade will be hosted by 92.5 XTU’s Andie Summers Show, Razz on the Radio, Charlie Maxx, and Nicole Michalik.

For complete details, please visit:

L-A Radio: Entercom Stations Launch 'Give-A-Gift' Initiative

Entercom announced the launch of “RADIO.COM’s Gift a Gift” in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, to provide gifts, food and clothes to those in need this holiday season. 
As part of the partnership, Entercom Los Angeles stations, including 93.1 Jack FM (KCBS-FM), 94.7 The Wave (KTWV-FM), 97.1 AMP Radio (KAMP-FM), K-Earth 101 (KRTH-FM), KNX 1070 News Radio (KNX-AM) and KROQ (KROQ-FM) will participate in a text-to-donate fundraiser to benefit the Los Angeles Most in Need Fund. From November 23 to December 13, the stations will encourage consumers to donate by texting “GIVER” to 76278, to support Los Angeles Unified School District families.

“Many Families throughout Southern California have been financially impacted by the pandemic, and we’re honored to be able to support them through this heartwarming initiative with the Los Angeles Unified School District,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Entercom. “Our community proves time and time again their willingness to support others in need, and we look forward to collaborating with them and the Los Angeles Unified School District to make this holiday season a little brighter.”

“The promise of a great education is something we owe to every child. It’s the best path out of poverty for many children and the foundation of opportunity for all,” said Austin Beutner, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District. “In times like this, we need to do all we can to support students and families most in need. I’m grateful for all who are part of this effort as we are truly in this together.”

Entercom is committed to supporting the health and success of the communities that are the heart of its business. “RADIO.COM’s Give a Gift” is a part of Entercom Serves, the Company’s social impact platform that raises awareness of social issues and brings communities together for good. Entercom unites with its listeners and brands to support sound communities through several pillars of impact: children’s health, mental health and anti-bullying, veterans and service members, the environment, civic education, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Twin Cities Radio: WCCO-AM Raises $330K+ For Union Gospel Missions

Entercom raised over $330,000 to provide over 169,000 meals and care to those in need through 830 WCCO’s “2020 Union Gospel Mission Hunger Radiothon” in Minneapolis. The amount raised during the 18th annual radiothon, which benefits Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities (UGMTC), brought the overall fundraising total to over $3.3 million since 2003.

“Entercom Minneapolis and 830 WCCO are proud to support the Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities and its local efforts to fight hunger, homelessness and addiction in Minnesota,” said Shannon Knoepke, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Minneapolis. “During this pandemic, I’m incredibly proud of the selflessness and generosity of our listeners who stepped up to help us deliver another successful radiothon.”

As part of the radiothon on November 17, 830 WCCO dedicated its entire day of on-air programming to raising money for Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities. Programming from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT featured live interviews from UGMTC students and staff, who shared inspirational stories throughout the day.

Founded in 1902, Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is a Christian ministry dedicated to serving people facing homelessness, poverty, or addiction in our community. The mission helps people rebuild their lives by providing safe shelter, nutritious food, medical and dental care, and a broad variety of life-changing programs for children and adults.

Entercom is committed to supporting the health and success of the communities that are the heart of its business. “Union Gospel Mission Hunger Radiothon” is a part of Entercom Serves, the Company’s social impact platform that raises awareness of social issues and brings communities together for good. Entercom unites with its listeners and brands to support sound communities through several pillars of impact: children’s health, mental health and anti-bullying, veterans and service members, the environment, civic education, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Listeners can tune in to 830 WCCO (WCCO-AM) in Minneapolis on-air, as well as nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.