Saturday, December 19, 2020

December 20 Radio History

Bob Hope
➦In 1920..English-born comedian Leslie Townes Hope became an American citizen. He had lived in the U-S since 1908 and became one of that nation’s true ambassadors for show business and charity. We say, “Thanks for the memory,” to Bob Hope.

Hope's career in broadcasting began on radio in 1934. His first regular series for NBC Radio was the Woodbury Soap Hour in 1937, a 26-week contract. A year later, The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope began, and Hope signed a ten-year contract with the show's sponsor, Lever Brothers. Hope hired eight writers and paid them out of his salary of $2,500 a week. The original staff included Mel Shavelson, Norman Panama, Jack Rose, Sherwood Schwartz, and Schwartz's brother Al. The writing staff eventually grew to fifteen.  The show became the top radio program in the country. Regulars on the series included Jerry Colonna and Barbara Jo Allen as spinster Vera Vague.

Hope continued his lucrative career in radio through to the 1950s, when radio's popularity was overshadowed by television.

Charita Bauer
➦In actress Charita Bauer was born in Newark.  Bauer first appeared on radio on WPAP in New York City as a child. She was active throughout the 1930s and 1940s on numerous radio dramas of the day, including Let's Pretend, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons. The March of Time, The FBI in Peace and War, Suspense and other programs.

She played Sarah O'Brien in Rose of My Dreams, Mary Aldrich in The Aldrich Family (a role she also played on the television version of the program. On November 11, 1944, Bauer made her 2,000th radio broadcast when she appeared on Grand Central Station.

Her most memorable TV role was as the soap opera Guiding Light. She died of complications from diabetes Feb. 28 1985 at age 62.

➦In 1957... Elvis Presley received his US Army draft notice he applied for a 60-day deferment, which he was granted so he could finish filming a movie.

➦In 1971...Talk show host Larry King was arrested in Miamifor allegedly taking money from a business partner. Larry eventually pleaded guilty to passing a bad check, and the scandal kept him out of radio for three years.

Foster Brooks
➦In 2001...Comedian Foster Brooks, known for his “Lovable Lush” fake drunk act, died in Encino, Calif. of heart failure at age 89. 

He had been a regular on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, Match Game PM, and just about every TV talk show.  His career started in radio, notably with WHAS-AM in Louisville. He was a staff announcer, and his deep baritone voice was also well-suited for singing.

Brooks gained fame for his reporting of the Ohio River flood of 1937, where he was featured on emergency broadcasts by WHAS and also WSM-AM from Nashville, Tennessee. In 1952, Brooks appeared on local TV in a short-lived spoof of Gene Autry and his "Singing Cowboys".  He later worked in local broadcasting as a radio and TV personality in Buffalo and Rochester, New York, before moving to the West Coast to launch a career as a stand-up comic and character actor.

➦In 2014…Longtime Nashville radio and television personality Teddy Bart died at age 78.

Teddy Bart
Bart was the personality on several shows during his career, including long-running hits such as the "Waking Crew" on WSM 650 AM radio, the "Noon Show" and "Teddy Bart's Nashville" on WSM-TV, and "Teddy Bart's Round Table" with co-host Karlen Evins on a number of radio stations. He was also a news anchor for WKRN-TV.

"It was like Johnny Carson asking you to be on his show," said David Ewing, a lawyer and Nashville historian who was on "Round Table" several times. Local politicians and business leaders tuned into the show, and guests would often have messages waiting for them when they got back to work after an appearance, Ewing said.

Bart's legacy in Nashville loomed large in the broadcast community even after he retired, and he was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in May 2014.

  • Jojo is 30
    Actor Tommy Cole (“The Mickey Mouse Club”) is 79. 
  • Drummer Bobby Colomby of Blood, Sweat and Tears is 76. 
  • Former Kiss drummer Peter Criss is 75. 
  • Musician Alan Parsons is 72. 
  • Actor Jenny Agutter (“Call the Midwife”) is 68. 
  • Actor Michael Badalucco (“The Practice”) is 66. 
  • Actor Blanche Baker (“Shakedown,” ″Holocaust”) is 64. 
  • Singer Billy Bragg is 63. 
  • Singer-bassist Mike Watt (The Minutemen, fIREHOSE) is 63. 
  • Actor Joel Gretsch (“V″) is 56. 
  • Country singer Kris Tyler is 56. 
  • Singer Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes is 54. 
  • Actor Nicole deBoer (“The Dead Zone”) is 50. 
  • Singer David Cook (“American Idol”) is 38. 
  • Actor Jonah Hill is 37. 
  • Actor Bob Morley (“The 100”) is 36. 
  • Singer JoJo is 30.

FCC Goes with Temp Cross-Ownership Waiver For WOR-TV

The Federal Communications Commission Friday announced that its Media Bureau has denied a permanent waiver request of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule sought by Fox Corp regarding the continued common ownership of WWOR-TV, Secaucus, New Jersey and the New York Post. Instead, the Bureau has granted a temporary waiver to preserve the status quo while the fate of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule is resolved.

Absent a waiver, the current rule prohibits common ownership of a daily newspaper and a broadcast station serving the same geographic market, in this case, New York, NY. However, as a result of the long-running dispute over whether the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule remains lawful and justified, the Commission previously granted or extended temporary waivers for the WWOR/New York Post combination in 2001, 2006, and 2014. Subsequently, the Commission eliminated the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule in 2017, and the combination of WWOR and the Post was authorized by operation of law for nearly two years with no need for a waiver. Following an appeal, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by a 2-1 vote reversed and remanded the Commission’s decision, thus reinstating the rule. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Third Circuit’s decision and will hear oral arguments on January 19, 2021.

The media marketplace has changed significantly since the adoption of the newspaper broadcast cross-ownership rule in 1975, resulting in repeated Commission efforts to modernize the rule. Given the pending Supreme Court review of this rule, and the Commission’s 2017 determination, which was unchallenged in the Third Circuit litigation, that the newspaper broadcast cross-ownership rule is no longer necessary to preserve competition or viewpoint diversity, the Commission determined that it was appropriate to grant a temporary waiver as opposed to a permanent one, until the status of the rule has been resolved.

As a result of Friday’s Order, Fox may continue to own collectively WWOR and the Post—as well as WNYW(TV), New York, New York, for which Fox had received a permanent waiver in 1993—pending the outcome of the current litigation and, in the event that the newspaperbroadcast cross-ownership rule survives that litigation, until 180 days following the date that a Commission order making a determination reaffirming that the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rule remains in the public interest becomes final and unappealable.

The action in this Order preserves the status quo and avoids the prospect of either hastily requiring a divestiture that might prove unnecessary or authorizing a permanent combination  while regulatory uncertainty remains over the status of the newspaper/broadcast crossownership rule.

Steve Sommers To Return With New Overnight Show

Hot Shot's Secret Founder, Chris Gabrelcik with Steve Sommers (L)

Former 700WLW America’s Truckin’ Network host Steve Sommers is returning to the airwaves with a new five hour live stream talk show direct from the brand new Hot Shot’s Secret studios. 

WLW-AM’s overnight America’s Truckin’ Network show broadcasted by iHeartMedia radio reached a broad audience of overnight truckers and 3rd shift employees; actually anyone that was up and listening from midnight to 5:00 a.m. Now, Sommers is returning to his loyal fans with a live stream, live call-in talk show scheduled also from midnight to 5:00 a.m. thanks to longtime advertiser and supporter Hot Shot’s Secret.

Construction has already begun on the Hot Shot’s Secret studios in the Cincinnati, Ohio area that will be the new home for The Steve Sommers Overnight Drive live program. The new studios are scheduled to be fully completed by the end of 2020, as Hot Shot’s Secret is planning to launch the new streaming show in January of 2021. The initial motivation is to get Steve back on air as soon as possible, with long term plans of massive distribution. More details on when and where to find the new program are coming soon.

Chris Gabrelcik, Founder and CEO of Hot Shot’s Secret, is excited to move quickly to get Steve back to his loyal fans. With a unique history that goes back to the founding of Hot Shot’s Secret, Gabrelcik shared why this is so important. He says, “Hot Shot’s Secret would not be here today if it was not for the persistence of Steve to give me some airtime on his overnight show many years ago when I was first starting the company. The five hours I spent in his studio that very first visit resulted in an avalanche of orders for our product and we have never looked back ever since. Hot Shot’s Secret is now the fastest growing performance lubricant company in the U.S. and I will never forget those early days when Steve was there for us when we needed it the most. I, like many of Steve’s dedicated fans that have listened to him night after night over the years, was shocked to hear of his recent dismissal, but found it to be an excellent opportunity to bring Steve into our Hot Shot’s Secret family. He connects with truckers and all other callers in a way that people feel they can talk freely. I support that.”

Sommers adds, “I am excited to get back on the air. What you heard before from my show will be the same… frank talk. Trucking is a tough business, and so is radio. I actually started working in radio when I was just 15 years old in Cincinnati. Many relocations and radio stations later I had the opportunity to return to Ohio in 1996 to produce the radio show that my father, Dale “Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers started back in 1984. I then took over the show in 2004 and have enjoyed every moment with my overnight listeners. This is my life. And right now, I can see that one good turn deserves another as my friend Chris Gabrelcik is doing whatever it takes to make this show a reality. There are huge plans in the works. This is going to be an exciting new chapter for me and I can’t wait to connect with my listeners once again.”

For more information about the new five hour live stream talk show, The Steve Sommers Overnight Drive, visit

MI Radio: Robby Bridges Named VP/Prog For MacDonald Garber

MacDonald Garber Broadcasting has announced that veteran programmer Robby Bridges has been promoted to Vice President/Programming.

Robby Bridges
In this newly-created role, Bridges will oversee all aspects of programming for the company's Traverse City and Cadillac MI station clusters including Country WLXV and Adult Hits WZTC, with day-to-day responsibility for heritage CHR WKHQ. He will continue to host "Robby and Rochelle" mornings on the station as well.

"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to work with our programmers and leadership to grow these brands and to grow with an outstanding broadcaster like MGB in this fabulous resort region," remarked Bridges.

Company GM Tad Garber added, "We're glad to have Robby's programming expertise at work for us in the company."

Bridges and Rochelle Gagnon joined the company in March of this year. He will report directly to Peter and Tad Garber.

Bridges was previously OM for Townsquare/Portsmouth, Director of FM Programming for Cumulus/Detroit and has held various PD and on air roles in New York, Boston, Providence and elsewhere.

Report: WaPo To Go On Newsroom Hiring Spree

The Washington Post plans to add more than 150 jobs to its newsroom next year, bringing its total staff to a record high of more than 1,000, the newspaper confirmed to The Hill on Thursday. 

The New York Times’s Ben Smith first reported the additions on Twitter on Thursday.

Reached for comment, Post spokesperson Molly Gannon Conway confirmed the number but did not provide any additional details on the staff increase at the outlet owned by Amazon CEO and tech billionaire Jeff Bezos. 

Axios media reporter Sara Fischer said on Twitter that Post publisher Fred Ryan informed staff of the change in a memo, writing that the 150 new positions will be “the most in a single year” that the storied publication has seen.

The expansion of the Post, whose digital subscriptions have tripled since 2016 to nearly 3 million, comes as other news outlets have struggled to keep up financially amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

In March, BuzzFeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti informed staff that the organization would institute a graduated salary reduction for most staffers in April and May to prepare for financial losses due to lockdown measures and other coronavirus restrictions. 

In May, BuzzFeed announced in a memo to staffers obtained by The Hill that 68 employees in the U.S. and some international markets would be furloughed as the company hoped to keep losses "under $20 [million]."

Vox Media announced furloughs for about 100 employees in April, while Gannett and the Los Angeles Times also made similar moves.

Report: Digital Media Players Prepare for Deal Frenzy

Momentum is building toward consolidation in the digital media sector as big and small players alike look for potential combinations, reports TheWall Street Journal.

BuzzFeed Inc. and NowThis owner Group Nine Media Inc., two of the largest venture-backed outfits, are exploring deals to buy competitors or go public through special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, according to people familiar with the matter. Those blank-check companies raise capital by going public and can put the proceeds into deals.

WSJ Graphic
Among relatively smaller players, short-form publisher Axios is exploring potential acquisitions, while local news network Patch is weighing a sale after receiving inbound acquisition interest, the people said.

Other potential targets are beginning to emerge, including the youth-culture media company Complex Networks and news curation startup theSkimm. Neither company is currently in talks to sell, some of the people said.

Several factors have created fertile conditions for dealmaking. Major tech players including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have cornered the digital advertising market, pressuring publishers to find other ways to grow.

Appetite among venture-capital investors to continue funding digital media outlets has diminished. Big media companies, including AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Co. , invested millions in digital startups and were once thought of as the logical buyers of such outlets. But as those media giants focus on their streaming-video businesses, their interest in digital publishers has waned.

An earlier wave of consolidation in the sector toward the end of last year saw a series of high-profile stock deals. Vox Media Inc. agreed to purchase New York Magazine publisher New York Media, Vice Media purchased women-focused publisher Refinery29 and Group Nine bought PopSugar.

Dealmaking quieted down in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic triggered a steep decline in ad sales, leading digital media companies to cut costs through layoffs and furloughs.

Digital advertising has begun to recover in recent months, and some of the biggest new-media companies have rebounded onto stronger footing to pursue deals.

Hack Attack: Russia, Russia Russia!

Russia is behind the massive, ongoing cyber spy campaign against the federal government and private sector, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday — the first Trump administration official to publicly blame Moscow for the computer hacks.

“This was a very significant effort, and I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity,” said Pompeo in an interview with “The Mark Levin Show.”

The Washington Post reports the department he leads is one of a growing list of federal agencies discovered in recent days to have been breached.

Until now the administration has refrained from attributing the operation and President Trump, who has long expressed skepticism that Russia engaged in interference in the 2016 election, has not publicly addressed the issue.

Pompeo’s remarks come as government agencies and affected companies are scrambling to figure out the scope of the breaches, how the Russians carried them off without being detected for months and how to prevent future compromises.

Federal investigators find evidence of previously unknown tactics used to penetrate networks.

The intrusions into federal agencies were first revealed last weekend, and with each day more agencies were discovered to have been breached. Besides the State Department, the list so far includes the Treasury, Homeland Security, Energy and Commerce Departments, as well the National Institutes of Health.

Report: Tencent Doubles Stake In UMG

Chinese internet giant Tencent is doubling its stake to 20 percent in Universal Music Group, the home of entertainers like Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Drake and the Beatles.

According to The NYPost, Tencent said Friday that it was leading a consortium that agreed to buy an additional 10 percent stake in UMG from parent company Vivendi, in a deal that values the world’s largest music business at about $36.8 billion.

The purchase comes nearly a year after the Tencent-led group, which includes its streaming business Tencent Music Entertainment Group and other undisclosed investors, first bought a 10 percent stake in the record label. That deal included an option to scoop up an additional stake of up to 10 percent at the same valuation.

In March, Tencent and Vivendi also signed a separate agreement allowing Tencent Music to acquire a minority stake in the Universal subsidiary that owns the record label’s Greater China operations.

In June, Tencent also bought as small stake in Warner Music Group, home to artists like Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Lizzo.

Vivendi said Friday that Tencent’s 20 percent stake in Universal would help the business “further develop its activities in Asia” and that they would work together to broaden opportunities for artists.

Following the latest Tencent deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2021, Vivendi will hold an 80 percent stake in Universal. However, the French media conglomerate said it would look to sell additional minority interests in UMG, which it plans to list on the stock market in 2022 at the latest.

NYTimes Retracts ‘Caliphate’ Podcast

After an internal review that took more than two months, The New York Times has determined that “Caliphate,” its award-winning 2018 podcast, did not meet the standards for Times journalism.

The 12-part audio documentary featuring Rukmini Callimachi, a Times correspondent who has frequently reported from conflict zones, sought to shed light on the Islamic State terrorist group. The Times found that “Caliphate” gave too much credence to the false or exaggerated accounts of one of its main subjects, Shehroze Chaudhry, a resident of Canada who claimed to have taken part in Islamic State executions.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said the blame fell on the newsroom’s leaders, including himself.

“When The New York Times does deep, big, ambitious journalism in any format, we put it to a tremendous amount of scrutiny at the upper levels of the newsroom,” he said in a podcast interview that was posted by The Times on Friday.

“We did not do that in this case,” he continued. “And I think that I or somebody else should have provided that same kind of scrutiny, because it was a big, ambitious piece of journalism. And I did not provide that kind of scrutiny, nor did my top deputies with deep experience in examining investigative reporting.”

The Times started its review of “Caliphate” after Canadian authorities arrested Chaudhry on Sept. 25 and charged him with perpetrating a terrorist hoax. The Times said its investigation had “found a history of misrepresentations by Chaudhry and no corroboration that he committed the atrocities he described in the ‘Caliphate’ podcast. As a result, The Times has concluded that the episodes of ‘Caliphate’ that presented Chaudhry’s claims did not meet our standards for accuracy.”

The Editors’ Note described two main problems: The Times’s failure to assign an editor well versed in terrorism to keep a close watch on the series; and the “Caliphate” team’s lack of skepticism and rigor in its reporting on Mr. Chaudhry.

Every episode of “Caliphate” now begins with a correction read by Michael Barbaro, the host of The Daily podcast, who tells listeners that the chapters on Mr. Chaudhry “did not meet our standards for accuracy.”

NOLA Radio: Talker Kristian Garic Explains WWL Absence

Kristian Garic
Kristian Garic, a fixture on WWL Radio as a sports talk radio show host alongside Bobby Hebert, on Thursday told listeners why he hasn't been on the air for the past month.

"My name is Kristian, I am an alcoholic," Garic wrote in a column published on

He returned to the airwaves on Thursday night and thanked listeners for their support, reports

"Twenty-nine days ago, I checked myself into an addiction treatment facility in central Louisiana to treat my substance abuse," Garic wrote in his column. "I’m out of treatment now, but the road to sobriety is just beginning."

One reason Garic said he chose to tell his story publicly is because listeners "are a part of my life."

"I spend four hours every weeknight with you," he wrote. "I spend hours every year prior to and after Saints games and on LSU Saturdays... celebrating big wins and commiserating after tough losses."

Garic began co-hosting "Sports Talk" in March 2018.

"Sports Talk" is a four-hour weekday show on WWL Radio, hosted by Garic and Hebert, the former Saints quarterback who's affectionately known as the "The Cajun Cannon."

M-C: RIP...Dawson McAllister, Longtime Christian Radio Host

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, whose call-in program for teens and young adults, Dawson McAllister Live! was one of the most popular longtime radio programs on Christian radio and Top 40 secular radio, went home died on Thursday, December 17.

He will long be remembered as a dedicated spokesman to, and for, teenagers and young adults in need. Dawson frequently quoted: “We run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” His straightforward, truthful, compassionate presentation of the gospel brought millions of teens and young adults from the brink of suicide into new life with Christ.

Dawson was born in 1946 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania and was raised as a minister’s son in Peoria, Illinois. He graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul MN and did his seminary work at Talbot Theological Seminary in Los Angeles, CA.

In 1973 he founded Shepherd Productions, the 501c3 that is known today as the Dawson McAllister Association. Shortly after, he pioneered city-wide student conferences, a youth group conference model that taught students biblical truths they could apply to their lives in practical ways. Over 20 years, these conferences grew to arena-sized events and were attended by over a million students.

In January 1991, a new opportunity presented itself—Radio. Starting on just five Christian stations, his call-in talk show, Dawson McAllister Live! grew to 250 stations. In 1994 it was voted National Religious Broadcasters’ Talk Show of the Year. In 2005, Dawson pioneered once again by creating a Top 40 version of the syndicated radio show, Dawson McAllister Live!

Recognizing that more was needed to rescue young people from their deep dilemmas, Dawson founded TheHopeLine in October, 1991—an off-air coaching line where more than 1.2 million one-on-one conversations have provided emotional and spiritual triage for 13- to 29-year-olds who are struggling with everything from addiction to despair. In addition, Dawson and his team have built a community of trusted partners to whom the organization makes thousands of annual referrals.

In 2017, TheHopeLine strategically moved to being a fully web-based ministry. The digital ministry includes on-line streaming radio, podcasts, social media, content rich blogs, stories, videos, eBooks, on-line chat and many other digital resources designed to help teens and young adults with the struggles they are facing today.

R.I.P.: Tom Hanneman Twin Cities Sportscaster

Tom Hanneman
Legendary Twin Cities sports broadcaster Tom Hanneman has died.  Fox Sports North, where Hanneman has worked as a host for Minnesota Timberwolves, Twins, Wild and Gophers hockey shows since 2012, confirmed the news Friday, reports KSTP-TV5.

"We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague Tom Hanneman," Fox Sports North said in a statement. "He meant the world to so many in Minnesota and across the nation. Out of respect for his family, we’re going to take all of the time necessary to reflect and properly honor this great man."

Prior to joining Fox Sports North, Hanneman worked at WCCO-TV for 16 years in the 1970s and '80s before serving as a host, reporter and later as the play-by-play voice for the Timberwolves.

Just last month, Hanneman was honored with an Upper Midwest Silver Circle Emmy award for his contributions to television over his career.

Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor released the following statement Friday night:

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Tom Hanneman. Since the inception of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tom has been a broadcast fixture and voice of our franchise throughout the years. First on radio, then moving to television, his more than five decades of broadcast experience impacted generations of basketball fans. Tom’s grace, spirit and sense of humor was felt by all who came in contact with him. On behalf of the Timberwolves and Lynx, we extend our deepest condolences to Nancy, the Hanneman family, and his FOX Sports North family."

His cause of death wasn't immediately clear.

December 19 Radio History

➦In 1932... the British Broadcasting Corp began transmitting overseas via shortwave radio; it soon became the highly regarded BBC World Service.

➦In 1944...ABC took over ownership of WJZ 770 AM.  The WJZ call sign was used in NYC from 1921 to 1953.

➦In 1956...Elvis Presley scored six different songs on Billboard's listing of the most popular songs of the day  They were: Don't Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Blue Moon, Love Me Tender, Anyway You Want Me and Love Me.   That was the most singles ever charted at same time.  That recorded lasted until The Beatles came along with seven singles 1964.

➦In 1958...the first radio broadcast from space occurred when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men Everywhere".

The following words were President Eisenhower’s full remarks to the country:
"This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific
advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. My message
 is a simple one. Though this unique means, I convey to you and all mankind, America’s wish for peace on earth and good will to men everywhere."


➦In 1980...Mutual Broadcasting cancels Sears Radio Theater

➦In 1985...ABC Sports announced that it was severing ties with   Howard Cosell and dismissed “The Mouth” from all TV assignments. But “Humble” Howard continued with his daily broadcasts on ABC Radio for another five years.

➦In 1997...the founder of Sony Corp., Masaru Ibuka died at the age of 89 from heart failure. Ibuka, one of the leading engineer-entrepreneurs of post-World War II Japan, helped transform modern culture with the world’s first pocket transistor radio.

➦In 2003...Les Tremayne died at age 90. Tremayne was a leading man during Radio's Golden Era.   It is estimated that Les worked on more than 30,000 broadcasts, with as many as 45 radio shows a week in the 30s and 40s.  Replacing Don Ameche, he starred in The First Nighter Program from 1936 to 1942.

He starred in The Adventures of the Thin Man and The Romance of Helen Trent during the 1940s. He also starred in the title role in The Falcon, and played detective Pat Abbott in The Abbott Mysteries in 1946–47.

AUDIO: Click Here

Tremayne was married four times. He did a morning talk show: The Tremaynes with his second wife, Alice Reinhardt. When Tremayne died, he was married to his fourth wife, Joan.  Tremayne was once named one of the three most distinctive voices on American radio. The other two were Bing Crosby and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

➦In 2004...A single-engine Cessna 182 crashed into the KFI 640 AM radio tower in Los Angeles knocking the station off-the-air for an hour and killing the two people in the plane.

On December 19, 2004 at 9:45 am Pacific Standard Time, Jim and Mary Ghosoph were killed when their rented Cessna 182P single engine airplane, travelling from the El Monte Airport to Fullerton Municipal Airport, struck KFI's transmission tower, located in the City of La Mirada.

The solid steel truss, originally built in 1948, collapsed upon itself, mostly landing in a parking lot to the north of the site (KFI was relatively late to convert from a horizontal to a vertical antenna—same-market Class A KNX converted to a vertical in 1938, and same-state Class As KGO and KPO (now KNBR) converted to verticals in 1941 and 1949, respectively). KFI's signal was knocked off the air for approximately one hour.

Pilots had complained for years to KFI management that it needed to put strobe lights on the tower and highly reflective balls on the guy wire. KFI and Clear Channel Communications management responded by saying the tower was in compliance with Federal Communications Commission and Federal Aviation Administration regulations and that it did not need to make any changes. Until a replacement was successfully erected, the station transmitted from a 200-foot auxiliary tower at a power of 25,000 watts.

On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm PST the replacement tower collapsed while under construction.  The tower was about 300 feet tall (the final height was to be 684 feet) when a guy wire support failed, causing the tower to tip over the opposite direction. There were no major injuries, and only limited collateral damage.

A new tower began construction at the end of July 2008 and was completed on August 14, 2008. The station returned to full power (50,000 watts) on September 25, 2008.

The new tower has a 50-foot-wide top-loading "capacitance hat", which electrically extends the tower's height another seventy-five feet, effectively, without actually needing more tower sections (the local regulation authorities in apparent defiance of electrical engineering principles, and communications law, demanded "a 10 percent reduction in overall height", otherwise the necessary permits would be refused, not withstanding the federal government's primary authority over radio communications, and KFI's strategic role as an Emergency Alert System station for the western U.S. region).

The new tower is also equipped with high intensity strobe lights due to its proximity to the Fullerton Municipal Airport, and additional safety upgrades because of the previous plane crash. The new tower has torque arms which limit the twisting of the tower in high winds. The tower has been dedicated to the memory of John Paoli, KFI Chief Engineer from 2000 to 2008, who died suddenly from a previously unknown genetic heart condition soon after overseeing the construction of the new tower.

  • Tara Summers is 41
    Actor Elaine Joyce is 77. 
  • Actor Tim Reid is 76. 
  • Musician John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 75. 
  • Country singer Janie Fricke is 73. 
  • Actor Mike Lookinland (“The Brady Bunch”) is 60. 
  • Actor Scott Cohen (“Gilmore Girls”) is 59. 
  • Actor Jennifer Beals is 57. 
  • Actor Robert MacNaughton (“E.T.”) is 54. 
  • Magician Criss Angel is 53. 
  • Guitarist Klaus Eichstadt of Ugly Kid Joe is 53. 
  • Actor Kristy Swanson is 51. 
  • Model Tyson Beckford is 50. 
  • Actor Rosa Blasi (“Strong Medicine”) is 48. 
  • Actor Alyssa Milano is 48. 
  • Actor Tara Summers (“Mercy Street,” “Boston Legal”) is 41. 
  • Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 40. 
  • Actor Marla Sokoloff (“The Practice”) is 40. 
  • Actor Nik Dodani (“Murphy Brown”) is 27.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Edison Research Recaps 10 For '20 Findings

Edison Research has released their "10 for ’20", an end of the year recap of research results.

Despite the circumstances of quarantine, Edison Research says they were fortunate enough to continue to do market research projects and talk to thousands of people about their audio habits, their views on the economy, and their voting choices as well.

According to the Edison 10 for '20:  The three defining news stories of 2020 were the global pandemic from Covid-19, the U.S. presidential election, and a time of racial awakening and reckoning across the country. Those three wound their way through all of Edison's research this year, which is one of the reasons the researchers at Edison conclude it's impossible for rank the 10 for ‘20 list.

Here are just five their findings from 2020:

➤U.S. audio consumption changed as a result of COVID-19

Listening location changed dramatically in second quarter with 70% of total listening taking place at home, down from 49% pre-quarantine. Third quarter saw some listening shift away from home, with 59% of total listening taking place at home. Americans’ audio day started later as quarantine restrictions began. Before the pandemic, half of all respondents in Share of Ear had recorded some type of audio consumption by 7:15. During the quarantine restrictions of second quarter, that time shifted forward by 75 minutes so that half of respondents had recorded some type of audio consumption by 8:30. In third quarter, that time had only bounced back to 8:15am.

➤100 Million Americans listen to Podcasts Monthly

While we still haven’t hit ‘peak’, this is the year where podcasting hit over 100 million monthly listeners. After years of single-digit growth, that’s more than a 40% increase in a two year period. Compared to the explosive growth of monthly podcast listening in the last five years from 21% of the US population in 2016 to 37% in 2020, monthly Twitter usage has essentially stayed the same 17% of the US population in 2016 and 17% in 2020. That means today, well over twice as many people listen to a podcast every month than use Twitter monthly.

➤Spoken Word’s share of audio listening increased 30% over the past six years, 8% in the last year; growth driven by women, African-Americans, Latinos and 13-34-year-olds

2020 was a good year for Spoken Word audio, including sports talk and play-by-play, talk and personality audio programming, and audiobooks. The share of time spent listening to spoken word audio in the U.S. increased by 30% in the past six years, and 8% in the just the last year. The highest levels of growth are coming from women, African-Americans, Latinos and 13-34-year-olds. In addition to the convenience and multitasking benefits of spoken word audio, listeners tuned in for personal growth, better content, and the positive effects on mental health.

➤55% of Gen Z listeners are reached by AM/FM radio every day

Their study shows that 55% of all Gen Zs listen to AM/FM radio each day, so they recorded at least some radio listening into their Share of Ear diary. This just surpasses our estimate for streaming. In an environment where radio people are constantly hearing that no young people listen to the radio anymore, this is powerful proof that it is not the case. More than half said they listen every day. Of the time spent listening to all audio among 13-24 year-olds, 22% of it goes to AM/FM radio.

➤60 million Americans now own a smart speaker, and usage increased during quarantine

Twenty-four percent of people in the U.S own at least one smart speaker – around 60 million people. Over one-third of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak – and younger Americans, those 18-34-year-olds, are even more likely to turn to the device for a diversion – a little over half – or 52% — of young Americans said they are using smart speaker for music and entertainment since the pandemic started.

Detroit Radio: NFL Lions Return To WXYT-FM

Entercom and the Detroit Lions announced a multiyear broadcast partnership today, making WXYT 97.1 The Ticket the flagship station for Lions football beginning in 2021.

“The Lions are synonymous with the city of Detroit and this is a great opportunity to leverage our position as the unrivaled leaders in sports radio and deliver dynamic Lions content, both on game days and throughout the year,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit. 

“This partnership now makes 97.1 The Ticket the flagship station for all four professional sports teams in the Motor City, giving fans a one-stop destination for all of their favorite local teams.”

“As we enter a new era of Detroit Lions football, we’re excited to establish a strategic partnership with Entercom whose Detroit family of stations are market leaders in radio and multimedia,” said Kelly Kozole, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Detroit Lions. “With growing opportunities to deliver informed and entertaining broadcast programming, together we have a great opportunity to engage our fans who are their listeners.”

As part of the partnership, Entercom will manage the Lions Radio Network – an extensive radio network with more than 30 stations across Michigan and in northern Ohio. All Lions Radio Network programming, including live game broadcasts, pre- and postgame shows, regular season weekly shows and additional offseason programming will air exclusively on 97.1 The Ticket.

97.1 The Ticket also serves as the flagship station for the Detroit Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings.

And the 10 Most Played Artists This Year On Are...


As this unusual year comes to an end, RADIO.COM has released its 10 Most Played Artists 2020 edition, a countdown of top ten most played artists on RADIO.COM:

The AM Rundown: FDA Expected to OK Moderna's Vaccine

MODERNA'S COVID-19 VACCINE ENDORSED BY PANEL: A second Covid-19 vaccine, which comes from Moderna, was endorsed by a government advisory panel on Thursday for emergency use in those age 18 and older, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said late in the day that the agency would quickly authorize its use. Vaccinations with the first FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccine, from Pfizer, began at the start of this week, and Moderna's, which uses the same new vaccine technology, showed similar safety and strong effectiveness. 

More than a dozen states said yesterday they'd been told to expert far fewer doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, leading to confusion and concern, with little explanation given. But AP cited two unnamed senior administration officials as saying states will receive their full number of vaccines, but misunderstandings about supply and changes to the delivery schedule to space it out over the week may be creating confusion, with one saying initial numbers given to states were projections, not allocated amounts. 

Meanwhile, there continued to be sobering news Thursday about the coronavirus surge, with more than 3,400 deaths and 14,000 people hospitalized nationwide, a new record for a 12th day, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The total number of deaths is now over 310,000, according to Johns Hopkins University's data. California is being hit particularly hard right now, with few intensive care beds left in many parts of the state as it reported 52,000 new cases yesterday, equal to what the entire country was reporting in mid-October. 

California Crisis: The nation’s most populous state emerges as the latest epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. Health authorities in the state have reported a one-day record of 379 virus deaths and more than 52,000 new confirmed cases. The staggering new figures mean California has seen more than 1,000 deaths in the past five days and nearly 106,000 cases in just two days. Many of the state's hospitals are now running out of capacity to treat the severest cases. California’s pandemic death toll now stands at 21,860. The state has also seen the most cases in the nation with more than 1.7 million confirmed, John Antczak and Amy Taxin report.

Wisconsin Nuns: Eight nuns living at a retirement home for sisters in suburban Milwaukee have died of the virus in the past week, according to the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province. The congregation says there are other confirmed cases of the coronavirus among roughly 100 sisters living there.

➤WEEKEND SESSIONS LIKELY AS CONGRESS TRIES TO GET TO FINAL DEAL ON COVID RELIEF: Negotiation meetings over the weekend are now likely as congressional lawmakers try to reach agreement on a final deal on a new Covid economic relief package. The central parts of the package appear to be $600 in direct payments to most Americans, a $300-per-week bonus unemployment benefit, $300 billion in aid to businesses, including another round of Payment Protection Program money for small businesses, and funds for vaccine distribution, schools, the Postal Service, renters, and people who need food aid. There are still some snags that are slowing down getting to yes, but they aren't expected to derail the deal. 

➤CYBERSECURITY AGENCY SAYS 'GRAVE RISK' FROM RECENTLY DISCOVERED HACK: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the country's cybersecurity agency, warned yesterday of a, quote, "grave" risk to government and private networks from a recently discovered hack into U.S. and other computer systems that went on for months and is suspected to have been carried out by Russian hackers. The federal authorities expressed growing alarm about the intrusion, which they said compromised federal agencies and "critical infrastructure," and which CISA said will be difficult to undo. AP cited one unnamed U.S. official as saying, "This is looking like it’s the worst hacking case in the history of America. They got into everything." After having previously said that the hackers used network management software from the company SolarWinds to carry out the hacking, CISA said yesterday that other methods may have been used as well. Microsoft, which has helped respond to the intrusion, said yesterday that it had identified more than 40 government agencies, think tanks, non-governmental organizations and IT companies that were hacked, 80 percent of them in the U.S. and nearly half of them tech companies. 

➤MORE THAN 300 KIDNAPPED NIGERIAN SCHOOLBOYS FREED: The more than 300 boys who'd been kidnapped from their school in Nigeria last week by members of an extremist group have been freed, a government official announced Thursday, saying the 344 boys had been turned over to security officials. It wasn't disclosed if a ransom had been paid. The jihadist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility, carrying out the kidnapping because it believes Western education is un-Islamic. Boko Haram kidnapped more than 270 girls from a school in 2014, and about 100 of them are still missing.

🏈CHARGERS DEFEAT RAIDERS 30-27 IN OT: The L.A. Chargers defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 30-27 in overtime last night, getting the win on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers got the touchdown after the Raiders scored a field goal on their first possession in OT to go ahead 27-24. Herbert threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns, setting an NFL rookie record with his seventh 300-yard game, and has 27 passing scores for the year, tying Baker Mayfield for the most by a rookie in NFL history. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr left the game in the first quarter with groin injury and was replaced by Marcus Mariota. 

🏒LUNDQVIST TO MISS SEASON WITH HEART CONDITION: Veteran NHL goalie Henrik Lundqvist announced Thursday that he will miss all of next season with a heart condition, saying, "It's still very hard for me to process all of this. And kind of shocking, to be honest." The 38-year-old said he'd been undergoing test for weeks, and tweeted, "The risk of playing without remedying my condition is too high, so I will spend the coming months figuring out the best course of action." 

Lundqvist signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals in October after 15 years with the New York Rangers.

🏀NBA INVESTIGATING CLIPPERS, JERRY WEST OVER KAWHI LEONARD RECRUITMENT: The L.A. Clippers confirmed Thursday that the NBA is investigating allegations against the team and against Clippers consultant Jerry West involving the free-agency recruitment of Kawhi Leonard in 2019. A man named Johnny Wilkes who claims to be close to Leonard and best friends with his uncle filed a lawsuit against West and the Clippers, alleging that West owes him $2.5 million in an oral agreement for helping the Clippers sign Leonard. West and the Clippers deny wrongdoing, and Leonard denies any influence by Wilkes on his decision to sign with the team.

🏀NBA KEEPING COACH'S CHALLENGE: The NBA's board of governors voted yesterday (December 17th) to keep the coach's challenge option permanently, which was introduced last year on a one-year trial basis. The league's competition committee had recommended keeping it. Coaches challenged 700 calls last season, with calls overturned at a rate of 44 percent. Teams must have a time-out remaining to use a challenge, are limited to one per game, and retain the time-out only if they win the challenge.

✅RUSSIA CAN'T USE NAME, FLAG OR ANTHEM AT NEXT TWO OLYMPICS: The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled yesterday that Russia won't be able to use its name, flag or anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for the next two years. However, that's half of the four-year ban proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency in a case that accused Russia of state-ordered tampering of a testing lab database. Russian athletes and teams will still be allowed to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as in world championships if they are not banned for or suspected of doping.

NYC Radio: Emmis/Mediaco Promotes Skip Dillard To VP/Programming

Skip Dillard
Emmis/Mediaco in New York has announced the promotion of Urban WBLS 107.5 FM and Gospel WLIB Program Director Skip Dillard to VP/Programming for both stations. 

Dillard has served as the Operations Manager and PD for Emmis duo for over 10 years, joining then Inner City in 2008. Previously, he spent almost a year as PD of then CBS Radio's Urban WPGC-FM in Washington, DC. Before that, he was OM for Radio One's 3-station group in Detroit, PD of KBTB-FM (The Beat in San Francisco and PD of WBLK-FM Buffalo from 1996-2003. Dillard's also been the Top 40 Editor of Billboard Airplay Monitor.

He's received numerous honors in his career including the Proclamation of service to New York State and New York City Hall 2017. Dillard was also voted onto the Executive Board of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce in October 2017.

Current WBLS APD Cynthia Smith succeeds Dillard as Program Director.

Nashville Radio: Floyd Reese EXITS 102.5 The Game

Floyd Reese
Longtime radio personality and former Tennessee Titans General Manager Floyd Reese is stepping away from what had been evening show Jared & the GM after more than five years as co-host. The program aired from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday on WPRT ESPN 102.5 The Game.

In the interim, the evening show will be renamed Stillman & Company and the station announced it has begun a search for a new co-host, reports The Nashville Post.

“This is something I’ve been contemplating for a while and I feel it’s time for me to take a step back,” Reese said in a release. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tenure with 102.5 The Game and doing a show with Jared has been a terrific experience. He and I formed a unique partnership that allowed us to be teammates and friends. I’d also like to thank Cromwell Media owner, Bud Walters, and (program director) Ryan Porth for their non-stop support over the years. It’s been a good run.”

Reese accomplished a lot during his 37-year NFL career that saw stints as the GM of the Oilers (1990-1999) and the Titans (1999-2006) before finishing as a senior football advisor for the New England Patriots (2009-2012).

He joined 102.5-FM in 2015 and joined Jared & the GM in August 2016. The show replaced Sports Night, the station’s longtime evening program that ended when George Plaster left to take a job in Belmont’s athletics department.

“On behalf of everyone at the radio station, I want to thank Floyd for the many years of on-air expertise and entertainment he provided on a daily basis,” Porth said. “He was a tremendous asset to our brand, given his wealth of football knowledge, and a fantastic individual for us to have called a teammate. He also provided a unique dynamic with Jared in the afternoons that will certainly be missed. We wish Floyd all the best in his next chapter.”

FCC Going After Pirate Landlords

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau Thursday announced it has begun targeting property owners and managers that knowingly tolerate pirate broadcasting on their properties, exercising the Commission’s new authority under the recently enacted PIRATE Act. Parties that knowingly facilitate illegal broadcasting on their property are liable for fines of up to $2 million.

“Pirate radio is illegal and can interfere with not only legitimate broadcast stations’ business activities but also those stations’ ability to inform the public about emergency information,” said Rosemary Harold, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. 

“It is unacceptable – and plainly illegal under the new law – for landlords and property managers to simply opt to ignore pirate radio operations. Once they are aware of these unauthorized broadcasts, they must take steps to stop it from continuing in their buildings or at other sites they own or control. If they do not do so, they risk receiving a heavy fine, followed by collection action in court if they do not pay it. In addition, our enforcement actions will be made public, which may create further unforeseen business risks.”

Under the new authority, the Enforcement Bureau will provide written notice to property owners and managers the agency has reason to believe are turning a blind eye to – or even helping facilitate – illegal broadcasting. These new Notices of Illegal Pirate Radio Broadcasting also will afford parties a period of time to remedy the problem before any enforcement action moves forward. In the first such notices, issued today to property owners regarding their buildings in New York City, the respective parties were given 10 days to respond. The Bureau will consider any response before taking further action.

Commission investigations have found that landlords and property managers too often are aware of this illegal activity taking place on their premises.

TV Ratings: Daytime Viewing Habits Changing

TV consumption has risen since the pandemic began earlier this year. What is surprising is that the increased viewing time isn’t happening after work hours. Weekday daytime TV viewing has become the new norm for Americans, according to SalesFuel. While this isn’t great news for those employees’ bosses, it does  give a leg up to TV advertisers who are in the know.

Now, you first thought was probably, “This is only because of how drastically the unemployment rates have gone up this year.” That fact doesn’t have anything to do with the increase in daytime TV viewing, according to data from Nielsen. Working professionals are the consumers with year-over-year increases in weekday daytime TV viewership. The percentage of those not in the workforce watching TV during work hours actually dropped year-over-year.

According to Nielsen, “65% of respondents in a Nielsen Remote Workers survey said they watched TV or streamed video content during their work breaks. In other cases, video became a work companion, as 56% of respondents said they watched TV or streamed video content with sound (50% did so without sound) while they were actively working.”

The most popular times during the week for professionals to watch daytime TV are:

  • Noon: 26% increase from October 2019 to October 2020
  • 1 p.m.: 25% increase
  • 2 p.m.: 23% increase
  • 3 p.m.: 22% increase
  • 11 a.m.: 21% increase

The daytime TV viewing percentages only decrease as the workday ends, dropping to an 11% increase year-over-year and below every hour after 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. the next day. While the increased percentages between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. are lower than those during the workday, don’t forget that they are still higher than last year.

Overall, daytime TV viewing among working professionals increased by 26 minutes every day over October 2019. That means that these consumers are watching an increase of two hours and 10 minutes every week during work hours.

The increase in daytime TV viewing among working professionals rose in the realms of live and time-shifted programming, as well as via internet-connected devices and game consoles. In particular, viewing on internet-connected devices has experienced double-digit growth across both employed and unemployed Americans of all ages. According to Nielsen, “Among professionals, increased internet-connected device tracks throughout the day.”

Benztown Presents: Year-End 45-Hour Countdown Music Special

Benztown has announced that it will present “The Old School 500”, a 45-hour year-end music special for radio that counts down the 500 greatest Old School hits. Tabulated nationwide from Rhythmic Oldies and Adult Urban radio station playlists, “The Old School 500” is more than a countdown - it tells the stories behind the hits, from the people who made the music, spotlighting 450 interviews in 45 hours of great radio. ‘The Old School 500’ can slide easily into a station’s programming schedule with 14 minutes per hour for local spots and promos.

Masa Patterson, Vice President, Sales & Operations, Benztown, noted: “Listeners will love this year-end countdown special for all the reasons they love ‘Top 10 Now & Then”. Plus, it’s the perfect programming solution for a holiday weekend; especially the week between Christmas and New Year’s. An added bonus is that you can run ‘The Old School 500’ Countdown as many times as you’d like throughout the year. It’s an addictive musical treat for Old School music fans who want more of the best music, memories and fun!”

“Top 10 Now & Then” is a countdown show designed for America’s Urban Adult audiences, and is nationally syndicated by Benztown. “Top 10 Now & Then” is directly aimed at the core Female 25-54 demo, and is a proven ratings leader with appeal across Urban AC, Rhythmic Oldies, and Classic Hip Hop formats. The show is currently heard in markets including: San Diego, CA; Riverside, CA; Honolulu, HI; Oxnard/Ventura, CA; Pensacola, FL; and Palm Springs, CA; and streams from Los Angeles, CA; Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; and Charlotte, NC. “Top 10 Now & Then” is hosted and written by award-winning radio personality and music executive Rick Nuhn, and is produced by Ron Shapiro, creative director, programmer, and producer, who brings over 25 years of experience in countdown shows and syndicated programming.

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