Saturday, January 16, 2021

January 17 Radio History

In 1903...Radio game show host and actor Warren Hull was born in Gasport NY.

A movie actor in the 30’s, he turned to radio in the 40’s with announcer/host roles on such shows as Your Hit Parade and Vox Pop. Hull was also the emcee of Spin To Win, only the second game show created by the team of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.

The next two decades he hosted TV game shows Strike It Rich, Top Dollar, Who In the World and Beat the Odds.

“Strike It Rich” was a wildly successful CBS radio‐television show of the 1950s that ‘was part quiz and part give‐away and offered the public the spectacle of often despondent people relating their hard‐luck stories to Mr. Hull.

Participants were able to win a few hundred dollars by correctly answering a few questions, in addition to which the program featured a “heart line” through which pitying viewers could telephone offers of cash, clothing, merchandise and jobs.

He died of heart failure Sept 14 1974 at age 71.

➦In 1949... after 18 years on radio, “The Goldbergs” starring Gertrude Berg, began its seven-year run on TV.

➦In 1964...the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “There! I’ve Said It Again” by Bobby Vinton. This song was the last No. 1 song before the British invasion. After four weeks at No. 1, Vinton gave way to the Beatles and their first U.S. hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

➦In 1986...Longtime Chicago radio personality Joel Sebastian died at age 53. He began his radio career in his native Detroit at station WXYZ, moved to Chicago in 1966, after working at stations in Dallas, New Haven, Conn., and Los Angeles.

Over the last 20 years, he had been a disc jockey and morning on-air personality at eight Chicago radio stations, including WCFL, WLS, WGN, WMAQ and, most recently, WJMK-FM (104).

He began his Chicago career at WCFL as a talkative morning disc jockey. He would open each show with the greeting ''Good morning Chicago, baby,'' while playing Jack Jones` rendition of ''My Kind of Town.''

Sebastian performed a variety of radio roles, reflecting both the wide range of his abilities and the whimsical nature of the business. He was program director at WCFL, rock DJ at several stations and, in the late 1970s, an all-night classical music show host at WGN.

He survived a purge at WMAQ when the station switched to country music in 1975. Most of the on-air staff, including Mr. Sebastian, was fired. But he was rehired a short time later as production chief and weekend personality.

He also worked at WNEW, WKHK, WHN and WNBC in New York City, returning to Chicago in June 1983 to WJMX

➦In 1989...Scott Shannon last show at WHTZ Z100 NYC.  Shannon founded the "Z Morning Zoo" concept and he was the driving force in helping Z100 become the top-rated FM station in New York City within a mere 74 days of signing on the air.

In 1989, Shannon left Z100 for Los Angeles to start up Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s began, Top 40 radio experienced a decline, and eventually Pirate Radio struggled as well, leading to Shannon's departure.

In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ.  He is now hosting mornings on Entercom's Classic Hits WCBS 101.1 FM NYC.

➦In 2004...TV talk show host, Jerry Springer, began a new radio show on WCKY-AM, Cincinnati, the city where he once had been mayor.

➦In 2012...Johnny Otis, a bandleader and songwriter often called the “Godfather of R & B,” died at home in L.A. at age 90. Best-known for writing “Willie And The Hand Jive,” Otis helped pave the way for Rock & Roll in the early ‘50s.


Betty In 1953 and 2019
  • Actor Betty White is 99. 
  • Actor James Earl Jones is 90. 
  • Talk show host Maury Povich is 82. 
  • Singer Chris Montez is 79. 
  • Singer William Hart of The Delfonics is 76. 
  • Actor Joanna David (“Downton Abbey”) is 74. 
  • Actor Jane Elliott (“General Hospital”) is 74. 
  • Former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor is 73. 
  • Singer Sheila Hutchinson of The Emotions is 68. 
  • Singer Steve Earle is 66. 
  • Singer Paul Young is 65. 
  • Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 64. 
  • Singer Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles is 62. 
  • Writer-Director Brian Helgeland (“42,” ″Mystic River,” ″L.A. Confidential”) is 60. 
  • Actor Jim Carrey is 59. 
  • Actor Denis O’Hare (“The Good Wife,” ″True Blood”) is 59. 
  • Actor Joshua Malina (“The West Wing,” ″Sports Night”) is 55. 
  • Singer Shabba Ranks is 55. 
  • Drummer Jon Wysocki (Staind) is 53. 
  • Actor Naveen Andrews (“Instinct,” “Lost”) is 52. 
  • Electronic musician DJ Tiesto is 52. 
  • Musician Kid Rock is 50. 
  • Actor Freddy Rodriguez (“The Night Shift,” ″Six Feet Under”) is 46. 
  • Actor-writer Leigh Whannel (“Saw” and “Insidious” movies) is 44. 
  • Actor-singer Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”) is 41. 
  • Singer Ray J is 40. 
  • Country singer Amanda Wilkinson of The Wilkinsons is 39. 
  • Actor Ryan Gage (“The Hobbit”) is 38. 
  • DJ Calvin Harris is 37. 
  • Drummer Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers is 35. 
  • Actor Jonathan Keltz (“Reign,” ″Entourage”) is 33. 
  • Actor Kelly Marie Tran (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) is 32. 
  • Actor Kathrine Herzer (“Madame Secretary”) is 24.

America's Largest Land Owner? Liberty Media

Bill Gates can now claim a new title: America’s farmland king.

The NY Post reports the billionaire Microsoft co-founder has become the largest owner of farmland in the United States by quietly buying up massive plots across the country.  Gates’ portfolio comprises about 242,000 acres of farmland and nearly 27,000 acres of other land across 19 states, according to The Land Report, a magazine for land investors that tracks the nation’s biggest landowners.

The biggest chunks of Gates’ holdings are in Louisiana and Arkansas, where he owns 69,071 acres and 47,927 acres, respectively, the outlet’s research found.

He also reportedly owns about 16,000 acres in his home state of Washington, including a 14,500-acre tract in the Horse Heaven Hills region that was purchased for nearly $171 million.

Largest Landowners in U-S
The land is owned both directly and indirectly by Cascade Investment, the Seattle-area firm that Gates — the world’s third-richest man with a net worth of $132 billion, according to Bloomberg — set up to manage his massive fortune, according to The Land Report.

It’s uncertain why Gates has invested in so much farmland or how his tracts are currently being used. Cascade did not immediately respond to a phone message Friday, and the company declined to comment to The Land Report “other than to say that Cascade is very supportive of sustainable farming,” the outlet said.

Agriculture is also a key focus area for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the massive charity run by Gates and his wife. The foundation aims to “support country-led inclusive agricultural transformation across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia,” according to its website.

Liberty Media's property includes Bell Ranch in New Mexico

While Gates is America’s biggest farmland owner, he’s far from being the nation’s largest landowner in general. That crown belongs to Liberty Media chairman John Malone, who has 2.2 million acres, according to The Land Report.

As the nation’s largest landowner, Liberty owns land in several states.  For example, in Maine, Malone’s million-plus acre BBC LAND holdings use photosynthesis to absorb enormous amounts of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping greenhouse gas found in fossil fuel emissions. (Keep in mind that the US Forest Service estimates that our nation’s forests offset between 10 and 20 percent of the country’s annual carbon emissions.) Out West Malone owns Silver Spur Ranches and in New Mexico, Liberty owns Bell Ranch, which has sustainable grazing practices ensure the health and balance of native grasses and prairie while keeping carbon sequestered in undisturbed soils. Only horses’ hooves and cow tracks impact grasslands and soils, storing carbon, reducing erosion, and ensuring food security.

Report: Apple Mulls Podcast Subscription Service

Apple Inc. is working on adding a subscription service to its podcasting business in 2021, part of a broader push that has included funding new original programs, according to a reports by Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

Apple has discussed the plan to create a subscription service with its partners, said the people, who asked not to be identified because of nondisclosure agreements. The company also has talked about stepping up funding for new shows and marketing.

The plan to create a subscription tier, first reported by The Information, would put Apple in closer competition with Spotify Technology SA. Shares of that company tumbled more than 7% on Friday.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, declined to comment.

Apple has been the dominant distributor of podcasts in the U.S. for more than a decade, offering the programs for free. But the company now faces significant competition from two of its biggest rivals: Spotify and Inc.

Apple also is under pressure to get more revenue from services, rather than just its big moneymakers like the iPhone. A podcast subscription would further that end.

The company recently launched Apple One subscription bundles as well, and it would make sense to make the podcasts service part of that. If it does, Apple would likely add a significant number of users automatically by charging them little or nothing.

Spotify, meanwhile, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in podcasting shows and technology, and has robbed Apple of some the most popular podcasts in the world. The top show, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” is now exclusive to Spotify.

Spotify has already dethroned Apple as the leader in online music, and by fusing podcasts with its music service, the company threatens to do the same in that market. Spotify has eclipsed Apple as the leading provider in many territories outside the U.S.

Amazon, a competitor to Apple in the market for smart speakers, is also increasing its investment in podcasting. The company has bankrolled original series for its audiobook arm Audible and added podcasts to its music service as well. It also agreed to acquire podcasting company Wondery last month.

Meanwhile, the website Engadget reports Spotify has reportedly considered a separate subscription for exclusive podcasts as well. The streaming giant has invested heavily into podcasts over the last few years. It has spent over $800 million on snapping up podcast companies and securing deals with the likes of Joe Rogan, the Obamas and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

Some other podcast services have locked certain shows behind paywalls, including Luminary and Stitcher (which SiriusXM acquired last year). Amazon is also making waves in the podcast world, as it recently bought the Wondery network. 

Apple moved into podcast production last year with an interview series featuring Apple Music radio host Zane Lowe. Last May, Bloomberg reported that Apple was looking to buy podcasts and make them exclusives, and to develop spinoff and companion podcasts for Apple TV+ shows and movies.

The often controversial Joe Rogan Experience hit Spotify on Sept. 1 and became exclusive to the platform in December. After making its debut on Spotify, it quickly rocketed to the top of the service’s podcast rankings and, in just three months, has become the most popular audio show of 2020 among its global listenership, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The other most popular podcasts from this year included TED Talks Daily, The Daily, The Michelle Obama Podcast and Call Her Daddy. Of those shows, only The Michelle Obama Podcast is a Spotify original. It debuted exclusively on Spotify in July before rolling out onto other platforms in September.

In the U.S., the top podcast was NPR News Now followed by The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, Call Her Daddy and The Michelle Obama Podcast.

Report: Podcasts Provide Audio Avenue For Extremists

Major social platforms have been cracking down on the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories in the leadup to the presidential election, and expanded their efforts in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But Apple and Google, among others, have left open a major loophole for this material: Podcasts.

The Associated Press reports podcasts made available by the two Big Tech companies let you tune into the world of the QAnon conspiracy theory, wallow in President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election and bask in other extremism. Accounts that have been banned on social media for election misinformation, threatening or bullying, and breaking other rules also still live on as podcasts available on the tech giants’ platforms.

Conspiracy theorists have peddled stolen-election fantasies, coronavirus conspiracies and violent rhetoric.

Podcasting “plays a particularly outsized role” in propagating white supremacy, said a 2018 report from the Anti-Defamation League. Many white supremacists, like QAnon adherents, support Trump. Podcasting’s an intimate, humanizing mode of communication that lets extremists expound on their ideas for hours at a time, said Oren Segal of ADL’s Center on Extremism.

Elsewhere on social media, Twitter,Facebook and YouTube have been cracking down on accounts amplifying unfounded QAnon claims that Trump is fighting deep state enemies and cannibals operating a child-sex trafficking ring. A major talk radio company, Cumulus, told its hosts to tone down rhetoric about stolen elections and violent uprisings or risk termination, although it’s not clear what impact that dictate has had.

“Podcasts filled with hatred and incitement to violence should not be treated any differently than any other content,” Segal said. “If you’re going to take a strong stance against hate and extremism in the platform in any way, it should be all-inclusive.”

Spotify said it takes down podcasts that violate its policies against hate speech, copyright violations or break any laws, using “algorithmic and human detection measures” to identify violations. Apple’s guidelines prohibit content that is illegal or promotes violence, graphic sex or drugs or is “otherwise considered obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste.”

Boston Radio: PD Joe Zarbano EXITS WEEI

Joe Zarbano

Entercom's WEEI 93.7 FM and program director Joe Zarbano have parted ways.

Zarbano, who began at the sports radio station as an intern in 2007 and rose to the position of program director in July 2016, announced he was leaving in a company-wide memo Friday afternoon, according to The Boston Globe.

“After careful thought and consideration, the time has come for me to pursue new challenges and step away from WEEI,” he wrote.

“In May of 2007, I walked into 20 Guest St. to begin an internship that I was so excited about I couldn’t sleep the night before. Little did I know, it was the beginning of a 14-year journey that would lead me to some of the most challenging but rewarding years of my life.”

Mark Hannon, the regional president and market manager for Entercom Boston, WEEI’s parent company, also issued a company-wide statement.

“After several ongoing discussions with Joe about his career, future growth and about WEEI as a brand, I have accepted his resignation,” wrote Hannon, noting Zarbano’s “tireless efforts” in his job and in his role with the station’s annual Jimmy Fund Radiothon fund-raiser.

Zarbano will not leave the building immediately. Mark Hannon, Entercom Regional President, says Zarbano will “be winding down at WEEI over the coming days”.

WEEI won the Marconi Award for Sports Station of the Year in 2018, but in recent years the station has struggled in the Nielsen ratings compared with its competition in the Boston market, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

In the most recent ratings period, The Sports Hub was first in the market in the men 25-54 demographic, while WEEI was a distant fourth.

Nashville Radio: WGFX's "Midday 180" Hosts EXIT for OutKick

Midday 180 Hosts EXIT WGFX To Join Clay Travis


The hosts of one of the premier sports talk radio shows in Nashville signed off on WGFX 104.5-FM The Zone on Friday.

"Midday 180" hosts Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky will not return to the Cumulus-owned station. Instead, the show's hosts are joining Clay Travis' website. 

The radio hosts will not take the show's "Midday 180" name with them, Travis told The Tennessean

Hutton, Withrow and Kuharsky signed off after nine years with the station Friday for their final show, which has aired weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. across Nashville.

Travis said adding the trio to Outkick the Coverage was a big step he is taking to expand his network in 2021. "I know talent and I think that they have as good of a show as there is in the country," Travis said.

"The (Midday 180 hosts) have been doing it for nine years now at The Zone and they just have a great show," Travis said. "To me great shows cut across markets. Obviously, people in Nashville aren't going to be the only people listening to them. We've got a big audience at Outkick and I think the Outkick audience is going to love the show that they put out." 

Each of the Midday 180 hosts tweeted statements about their departures from The Zone.

The departure of "Midday 180" comes five months after the station cut another popular show — "The Wake Up Zone" with hosts Mark Howard and Kevin Ingram.

That show had been on the air 16 years and also featured Blaine Bishop as a host. Bishop remained with the station joining Ryan. 

Detroit Radio: WDZH Alt 98.7 Unveils New Line-Up

Entercom Friday announced a new weekday programming lineup for Alternative WDZH ALT 98 in Detroit., Detroit’s new alternative, effective January 18. The station, previously known as 98.7 The Breeze, launched the format in November 2020. On November 19, 2020 at 12:00 p.m, in the midst of its all-Christmas programming, WDZH flipped to alternative rock as Alt 98.7. The flip occurred concurrently with Windsor station CIMX-FM dropping its long-running alternative/active rock format in favor of country music (as part of a dual-flip with sister station CIDR-FM).

“When we launched ALT 98.7 a couple of months ago, we committed to providing the listeners of Detroit a new home for today’s top hits in alternative music, and today, we’re thrilled to announce the station’s inaugural on-air lineup,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit. “This collection of talented personalities from our leading alternative brands nationwide will deliver an energetic slate of programming, no matter what time of day our audience is listening.”

New weekday programming is as follows (all talent imported):
  • 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET:   “Cane and Corey”
  • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET:   “Brady”
  • 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. ET:     “The Church of Lazlo” with Julia
  • 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. ET:    Kevan Kenney
  • 12:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. ET:    Bryce
Listeners can tune in to ALT 98.7 (WDZH-FM) in Detroit 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.

DOJ Declines Action On Music Licensing Consent Decrees

The U.S. Justice Department’s top antitrust official said on Friday the administration will not scrap decades-old agreements with music licensing groups ASCAP and BMI that hold down costs for Spotify and others.

Reuters reports the department’s review of the matter had been closely watched since scrapping the 1941 consent agreements could upend the business of licensing music to online companies like Spotify and Pandora as well as movie companies, commercials, bars and restaurants.

Without the decrees, companies of any size seeking to play music would have to negotiate rights in a chaotic transition while also facing the prospect of price hikes, said the MIC Coalition, whose members include the Brewers Association and National Restaurant Association.

Makan Delrahim, the head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division who steps down next week, said in speech that the “investigation period” was closing.

“The ASCAP and BMI consent decrees should be reviewed every five years, to assess whether the decrees continue to achieve their objective to protect competition and whether modifications to the decrees are appropriate in light of changes in technology and the music industry,” Delrahim added in a speech to Vanderbilt Law School.

ASCAP and BMI said they were disappointed by the government’s decision to formally close its review with no action taken. “The formal close of this review means we can put this matter behind us for the near future,” added ASCAP Chief Executive Elizabeth Matthews and BMI CEO Mike O’Neill in a joint statement.

The Digital Media Association, which represents Inc, Pandora and Spotify among others, welcomed the department’s decision to maintain the status quo, at least for now.

“Music licensing is complex, but throughout their existence the decrees’ protections have fostered an efficient marketplace that in turn has been critical to the resurgence and growth of the music industry,” said the group’s president, Garrett Levin, in a statement.

In a statement, NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said, "NAB is very pleased that the Department of Justice will not move to make changes to the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. 

"We appreciate the willingness of DOJ to have an open mind and to conduct a comprehensive review of all of the possible issues raised by stakeholders concerning modifying or eliminating the decrees. DOJ's decision not to take action will ensure that ASCAP and BMI continue to fairly and efficiently license musical works in a manner that is pro-competitive. Broadcasters look forward to continuing to work with the performance rights organizations for the mutual benefit of songwriters, music licensees and listeners."

January 16 Radio History


➦In of the great announcers of bigtime radio Dwight Weist was born in Palo Alto Calif.  As well as being the commercial announcer on Inner Sanctum Mysteries & host of We the People, among many announcing assignments, he also had acting roles as the very first Mr. District Attorney, one of several Commissioner Westons on The Shadow, and one of the male actors to play Burton on the soap The Second Mrs. Burton. He suffered a fatal heart attack July 16 1991 at age 81.


Click Here to Flashback to Radio January 16, 1926. How's this for an astounding headline?

➦In 1939....the shrill siren call of radio’s “I Love a Mystery” was heard for the first time as the show debuted on NBC’s West Coast outlets. Creator Carleton E. Morse already had an established hit in a completely different genre, ‘One Man’s Family.’

➦In 1944...the family sitcom ‘The Life of Riley‘ began a 7 year run on radio, the first 18 months on the Blue Network, thereafter on NBC. A blue-collar William Bendix starred as Chester A. Riley.

➦In 1947...Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Schlessinger's first appearance on radio was in 1975 when she called in to a KABC Los Angeles show hosted by Bill Ballance. Impressed by her quick wit and sense of humor, Ballance began featuring her in a weekly segment. Schlessinger's stint on Ballance's show led to her own shows on a series of small radio stations. By 1979 she was on the air Sunday evenings from 9:00 to midnight on KWIZ in Santa Ana, California. That year, the Los Angeles Times described her show as dealing with all types of emotional problems, "though sex therapy is the show's major focus".

In the late 1980s, Schlessinger was filling in for Barbara De Angelis' noon-time relationship-oriented talk show in Los Angeles on KFI, while working weekends at KGIL in San Fernando. Her big break came when Sally Jessy Raphael began working at ABC Radio, and Maurice Tunick, former Vice-President of Talk Programming for the ABC Radio Networks, needed a regular sub for Raphael's evening personal advice show. Tunick chose Schlessinger to fill in for Raphael.

Ultimately, Schlessinger began broadcasting a daily show on KFI which was nationally syndicated in 1994 by Synergy, a company owned by Schlessinger and her husband. In 1997, Synergy sold its rights to the show to Jacor Communications, Inc., for $71.5 million. Later, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications and a company co-owned by Schlessinger, Take On The Day, LLC, acquired the production rights. The show became a joint effort between Take On The Day, which produced it, Talk Radio Network, which syndicated and marketed it to radio stations, and Premiere Radio Networks, (a subsidiary of Clear Channel), which provided satellite facilities and handled advertising sales. As of September 2009, Schlessinger broadcast from her home in Santa Barbara, California with KFWB as her flagship station. Podcasts and live streams of the show have been available on her website for a monthly fee, and the show was also on XM Satellite Radio.

At its peak, The Dr. Laura Program was the second-highest-rated radio show after The Rush Limbaugh Show, and was heard on more than 450 radio stations.

In May 2002, the show still had an audience of more than 10 million, but had lost several million listeners in the previous two years as it was dropped by WABC and other affiliates, and was moved from day to night in cities such as Seattle and Boston. These losses were attributed in part to Schlessinger's shift from giving relationship advice to lecturing on morality and conservative politics. Pressure from gay rights groups caused dozens of sponsors to drop the radio show as well.  In 2006, Schlessinger's show was being aired on approximately 200 stations. As of 2009, it was tied for third place along with The Glenn Beck Program and The Savage Nation.

On August 17, 2010, during an appearance on Larry King Live, Schlessinger announced the end of her radio show saying that her motivation was to "regain her First Amendment rights", and that she wanted to be able to say what is on her mind without "some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent."  Several of her affiliates and major sponsors had dropped her show after her on air use of a racial epithet on August 10.

On January 3, 2011, Schlessinger's show moved exclusively to SiriusXM Radio.

➦In 1972....David Seville died of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, just days short of his 53rd birthday.  Born Ross Bagdasarian, the musician was the force, and artist, behind the Alvin and the Chipmunks novelty songs of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.  Seville first claimed fame, not through the novelty impact of the hit, “The Chipmunk Song” (it sold 3.5 million copies in five weeks); but by writing Rosemary Clooney’s biggest hit, “Come on-a My House”, in the early 1950s and the number one hit, “Witch Doctor”, in 1958.

➦In 1986...evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and longtime leader of the Worldwide Church of God, and original voice of the longtime radio/TV religious broadcast, “The World Tomorrow,” died at the age of 93.  His son and fellow preacher,Garner Ted Armstrong, succeeded him on the air in 1957.

➦In 2016…Ted Marchibroda  died at age 84 (Born March 15, 1931). He was a football quarterback and head coach in the National Football League. He spent his four years as an active player with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1953, 1955–1956) and Chicago Cardinals (1957). He was later head coach of the Colts in two different cities and decades, first in Baltimore during the 1970s and then Indianapolis during the early-1990s. Upon joining the Baltimore Ravens in a similar capacity in 1996, he became the only individual to serve as head coach with both of Baltimore's NFL teams. His career coaching record was 87–98–1 (.470) and 2–4 in the playoffs

Marchibroda was a radio color commentator for the Indianapolis Colts from 1999 to 2006 alongside Bob Lamey.

➦In 2017...Russ Thompson, a prominent afternoon drive time radio host for over 40 years in Toronto, succumbed to cancer at age 82.  Russ worked for CKEY, CBC Radio, CKFM and finished his career at Easy 97 in 1992. He was also a TV spokesman for some of the Canada’s most prestigious brands including GM, Timex, CN/CP, Belvedere and Proctor and Gamble.

  • Renee Felice Smith is 36
    Opera singer Marilyn Horne is 87. 
  • Singer Barbara Lynn is 79. 
  • Country singer Ronnie Milsap is 78. 
  • Singer Katherine Anderson Schaffner of The Marvelettes is 77. 
  • Country singer Jim Stafford is 77. 
  • Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger is 74. 
  • Director John Carpenter (“Halloween” films) is 73. 
  • Actor-dancer Debbie Allen is 71. 
  • Singer Maxine Jones of En Vogue is 62. 
  • Singer Sade is 62. 
  • Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is 62. 
  • Bassist Paul Webb of Talk Talk is 59. 
  • Actor David Chokachi (“Baywatch”) is 53. 
  • Comedian Jonathan Mangum (“Whose Line Is It Anyway,” ″The Drew Carey Show”) is 50. 
  • Actor Richard T. Jones (“The Rookie,” “Judging Amy”) is 49. 
  • Actor Josie Davis (“Beverly Hills 90210”) is 48. 
  • Supermodel Kate Moss is 48. 
  • Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns,” ″Hamilton”) is 42. 
  • Guitarist James Young of The Eli Young Band is 41. 
  • Guitarist Nick Valensi of The Strokes is 40. 
  • Actor Renee Felice Smith (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 36.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Sportscaster Sues Warner Media For Discrimination During Family Crisis

Casey Stern
New York City sports broadcaster Casey Stern is suing Warner Media for taking him off the air and out of a job as he went through “personal hell” trying to get his young kids out of an abusive environment, according to court papers filed Thursday.

The NY Daily News reports Stern — who, on top of hosting a drive-time talk show on SiriusXM, is one of the most prominent faces at Turner Sports — alleges he was discriminated against by Warner Media for prioritizing his children’s safety over his job, court documents show.

The 42-year-old father of three claims bosses at Warner sidelined and stripped him of responsibilities when he was trying to save his kids from torture and physical abuse at the hands of his estranged ex-wife Sharon Stern and her boyfriend.

The sports anchor’s ex-wife and her partner Alexander Soriano were arrested and charged with 15 felonies for physically abusing the three children, aged 3, 5, and 6, court papers filed in their Atlanta case charge.

The pair stand accused of systematically beating, torturing, and emotionally abusing each of the children before they respectively reached the age of 4, the February 2020 complaint against Sharon and Soriano charges.

Stern says Turner Sports was less than sympathetic to his needs as he tried to legally extricate the kids away from their mother. Work assignments thinned out, and in September 2020, Turner Sports fired him as the host of its MLB postseason coverage and decided not to renew his contract in August.

Court papers filed in Stern’s case against Warner with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cite several examples of how execs responded to his requests for accommodation as he tried to gain full custody of his kids.

“When are you going to stop using this’ family situation as an excuse?” the complaint quotes John O’Connor, NBA TV’s Executive Producer, as saying.

On another occasion, Stern claims Turner’s director of talent relations, Olivia Scarlett, told him, “A lot of us have nanny issues.”

NYC Radio: 77WABC Announces New Morning, Afternoon Programming

John Catsimatidis, CEO of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC Radio, Chad Lopez, President of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC Radio, and Dave LaBrozzi, Senior VP of Programming for 77 WABC Radio have announced two new programs that began this week. Both programs will be simulcast on WLIR 107.1, Long Island and streamed online at

Curtis Sliwa will now host the new The Curtis Sliwa Show, remaining in his current 12 p.m. timeslot, bringing New Yorkers news updates, talk, and entertainment for the midday hours.

During the 5 a.m. hour, Juliet Huddy and Frank Morano will host the new, 77 WABC Early News, featuring local news updates with Deb Valentine, traffic on the 7’s, sports with Sid Rosenberg, Business Reports, and travel, airline, and weather reports.
Curtis Sliwa

Catsimatidis commented: “Juliet Huddy and Frank Morano will combine their decades of radio experience for the all-new ‘77 WABC Early News’ bringing the Tri-State area all they need-to-know to start their mornings right. Huddy and Morano are two well-respected radio powerhouses. We could not be more excited to put them together for a jam-packed hour of news, traffic, sports, businesses, and much more.”

Catsimatidis continued, “Curtis Sliwa needs no introduction. He is an outspoken advocate for the Tri-State area and its millions of residents. Curtis will keep bringing his one-of-a-kind perspective to our loyal listeners during the midday hours.”

Lopez added: “Juliet Huddy and Frank Morano are two of the finest in the business. Their broadcasts have earned a reputation for giving New Yorkers the news they need when they need it. Bringing them together on the airwaves is an asset to 77 WABC. The 77 WABC Early News will be a must-listen for New Yorkers, bringing two unmistakable personalities in one hour.

“We are excited for Curtis to continue his success in the 12 p.m. hour, telling it how he sees it, in a way that only Sliwa can,” continued Lopez.

“New Yorkers agree, no one does talk radio like our personalities,” stated LaBrozzi. “We are excited to bring this new dynamic to 77 WABC radio and for the continued success of our station and programs.”

Seattle Radio: KNUC Importing The Bobby Bones Show

Hubbard Radio’s KNUC 98.9 The Bull is adding  The Bobby Bones Show to Seattle Mornings beginning Tuesday, January 19. The Country Music Association Award and Academy of Country Music Award-winning radio show will air weekday mornings from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. PT.

Each morning on The Bobby Bones Show, host Bobby Bones and his co-hosts Amy, Lunchbox, and Eddie welcome the biggest names in country music and entertain listeners with their unique mix of pop-culture news and information, crazy stunts, and hilarious conversations.

“Seattle is one of my favorite cities in America,” said Bones. “I’m extremely excited to be on one of the premiere country stations in America! From top to bottom the team at The Bull is what many stations strive to be. I’m lucky that I get to join and be a part of such greatness. Consider me the luckiest guy in country music right now.”

“We are excited to welcome The Bobby Bones show to their new Puget Sound home,” stated 98.9 THE BULL Brand Content Director, Scott Mahalick. “Bobby, Amy, Eddie, Lunchbox and Ray will keep you smiling and on your toes every day.”

Below is 98.9 The Bull’s new weekday lineup:
  • The Bobby Bones Show 5 a.m. – 9 a.m.
  • Wingnut 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • B-Dub 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Tic Tak 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Bones replaces The Fitz In The Morning Show, which ended in December.  Fitz will now concentrative on his syndicated Country Top 40 Show.

Report: Young Viewers Watch A Lot Of Online Video

 A new study from Hub Research shows that young consumers, and especially those in the 12-24 year old age group, are watching a lot of online videos in addition to streaming shows on and movies on SVOD services. Gen Z viewers watch just as many hours of online video from platforms like YouTube as they do traditional TV shows and movies like Netflix. Of that age group, viewers who watch online videos at least weekly say they watch an estimated 11.4 hours of non-TV videos per week, and about 11.8 hours watching traditional TV content, reports Cord Cutters News.

By comparison, Millennials ages 25-34 still watch more TV than online videos. Viewers of this age group report watching about 7 more hours of traditional TV shows and movies than time spent watching videos. TV viewing hours are three times as high than online video consumption for those 35 and older, meaning they watch online content the least.

So what’s the top online video platform? Unsurprisingly, YouTube reigns supreme across all age groups. YouTube was a pioneer in the world of internet video and has 2 billion active users worldwide. About 3 in 4 of those who watch any online video say they’ve watched from YouTube in the past week.

Social media platforms are the second on the list, with Instagram as the next top choice for consumers ages 13-24, followed by Snapchat and TikTok. While Facebook is absent from Gen Z’s top three choices, Facebook is the clear second choice for online video for users 35+ after YouTube—no other platform comes close.

But when it comes to streaming services and regular format TV shows and movies, TV viewers in the study described their top reason for watching is to unwind and decompress. There’s nothing quite like bingeing a new series or rewatching your favorite TV show to help you relax after a long day.

Investigative Reporter Sandra Chapman EXITS WTHR-TV 13 Indy

Investigative reporter Sandra Chapman is leaving WTHR-TV Channel 13 in Indianapolis after 17 years at the station and 34 years in local news, reports the Indy Business Journal.

Chapman announced the news on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, saying that it’s “now my choice to pursue other dreams and goals.” The station announced the change during the evening news.

Anchor Anne Marie Tiernon called Chapman “very passionate” and someone who “treated everyone with grace and respect.”

Chapman has not announced what she’s doing next, telling followers on Twitter to “stay tuned.”

Chapman joined WTHR in 2003 and has won awards for her investigations of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, identify theft, environmental contamination and cases of childhood cancer in Franklin. The latter won Chapman a regional Emmy Award in 2016 for best investigative series.

A native of Fort Wayne, Chapman is also a two-time recipient of the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Allen Award. She came to WTHR after working 10 years as WISH-TV Channel 8, where she was an investigative reporter and weekend anchor.

It’s the latest change for the local NBC affiliate that has seen the departure of a number of on-air personalities recently.

Wake-Up Confidential: Biden Has a Plan

The Wall Street Journal 1/15/21

BIDEN UNVEILS $1.9 TRILLION 'AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN' FOR TACKLING CORONAVIRUS, ECONOMIC FALLOUT: President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion legislative proposal last night  for tackling the coronavirus and the economic fallout from the pandemic, which includes getting people vaccinated faster and providing financial assistance. What Biden is calling the "American Rescue Plan" would work to reach his goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, as well as send out a check for $1,400 to most Americans in the addition to the $600 they just recently got for a total of $2,000. It would also extend an increase in unemployment benefits and the suspension of evictions and foreclosures through September. 

Additionally, it would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expand paid leave and increase tax credits for families with children. Speaking in a nationwide address, Biden said, "The crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s not time to waste. We have to act and we have to act now." He also called the vaccine rollout, quote, "a dismal failure so far." The proposal's prospects remain unclear in the new Congress, where Democrats have the majority in both chambers, but by narrow margins.

➤WRAY: FBI TRACKING 'EXTENSIVE AMOUNT OF CONCERNING ONLINE CHATTER': FBI Director Chris Wray said yesterday that they are tracking a, quote, "extensive amount of concerning online chatter," including calls for armed protests leading up to next Wednesday's presidential inauguration, in his first public appearance since last week's attack on the Capitol. Wray said that the FBI remains concerned about the potential for violence at protests in Washington, D.C., and in the nation's state capitols. However, he said the FBI will have a 24-7 command post at their headquarters and at each of its 56 field offices, stating, "Our posture is aggressive, and it’s going to stay that way through the inauguration." In addressing last week's Capitol assault, Wray said the FBI has so far identified over 200 suspects, saying, "We know who you are. If you’re out there, an FBI agent is coming to find you."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported yesterday that dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday for the pro-President Trump events that took place before the attack on the Capitol, citing sources familiar with evidence the FBI has gathered. Most of them are suspected white supremacists. People on the Terrorist Screening Database, who are flagged as potential security risks, aren't automatically barred from flying or from any public or commercial places. However, the Post cited current and former law enforcement officials as saying that the presence of so many people on the Terrorist Screening Database in one place without stronger security measures in place is another example of intelligence failures before last week's attack.

questioning a Republican congressman and combat veteran’s commitment to democracy, said Thursday the criticism is an attempt to change the subject from the attack on the U.S. Capitol. During coverage of Wednesday’s House vote to impeach President Donald Trump, Tapper referenced U.S. Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, who was among Republicans who voted last week against the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Mast lost both legs in an explosion while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2010. Tapper noted Mast’s sacrifice “fighting for democracy abroad, although I don’t know ... about his commitment to it here in the United States.”

➤UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS SPIKE TO HIGHEST SINCE AUGUST: The number of people filing unemployment claims spiked last week to 965,000, according to data released yesterday by the Labor Department, the most weekly claims since late August. The economic effect of the surge of the coronavirus that has been going on for weeks now may have increased layoffs, according to AP, which also cited the possible effect of state employment offices having been closed over the holidays, meaning some people had to wait until last week to apply. After soaring to nearly seven million last spring as the result of the nationwide lockdowns at the start of the pandemic, weekly claims eventually came down, but have remained over 700,000 since September. Before the pandemic, weekly claims were usually around 225,000.

➤STUDY: MALES OF ALL AGES MORE AFFECTED BY COVID-19 THAN FEMALES:  Males are more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than females are, finds a new study. Houston Methodist Research Institute researchers used data from a large healthcare provider in the Houston, Texas metro area and found males had a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with COVID-19 than females, and were more likely to require ICU care compared to females (34% versus 28%). Study authors say there is a clear and strong association between male sex and COVID-19 susceptibility, complications, and poor outcomes. They note that understanding the sex differences in the disease is a fundamental step toward improved disease management and intervention strategies for both men and women.

➤FEDERAL PRISONER WHO WAS DRUG TRAFFICKER IS EXECUTED: A 52-year-old federal prisoner who had been a drug trafficker was executed last night, the 12th prisoner executed at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, since the Trump administration restarted federal executions last year after none were carried out for 17 years. Corey Johnson had been convicted of killing seven people in gang violence in Richmond, Virginia, in 1992. In a final statement released by his attorneys after his execution, Johnson said, "I want to say that I am sorry for my crimes. I wanted to say that to the families who were victimized by my actions." Another federal execution is set for today.

New York state's attorney general sued the New York City police department yesterday over its response to the George Floyd protests last year. Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit includes dozens of examples of alleged police misconduct, including the use of pepper spray and batons on protesters, arresting medics and legal observers, and using a technique called kettling to trap protesters. The suit calls the behavior part of a longstanding pattern of abuse resulting from inadequate training, supervision and discipline. James is seeking reforms, including the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD's policing tactics at protests.

➤PIZZA IS THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR TAKEAWAY DISH:  The world’s favorite takeout dish is apparently pizza. British insurance comparison company MoneyBeach analyzed Google search results from 109 countries and found that “pizza takeaway” was the top food-related query people entered across 44 nations. It was the top choice in Italy, Barbados, Argentina, Morocco, India, and many others. Chinese food was the second most-searched for food type, with 29 countries (including the U.S., Mexico, Australia, the U.K. and China searching for it), while sushi was the top searched cuisine in ten countries (coming in third), and "fish and chips" took fourth place. Since the beginning of the pandemic, food dinnertime takeout and delivery service use has drastically increased among those in the U.S.

McDONALD’S THROWBACK THURSDAY 2021 DEALS FEATURE SOME ITEMS UNDER 25 CENTS: McDonald’s has announced it will run a promotion for six weeks called McDonald’s Throwback Thursday 2021 deals. They started yesterday and will continue through February 18th. Each Thursday you can get some menu item for a very low price, but the catch is you must also make an additional purchase of at least $1. You can get a cheeseburger on January 21st or February 18th for 25 cents, for example, or a small shake for 25 cents on January 28th, among other things. You can only get the special deals through the McDonald’s app.

🏈JAGUARS HIRE MEYER AS HEAD COACH: The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Urban Meyer yesterday to be their new head coach, giving him his first job in the NFL. The 56-year-old longtime college coach won three national championships, two with Florida and one with Ohio State, after coaching at Bowling Green and Utah, ranking seventh all time in collegiate winnng percentage. Meyer left Ohio State in 2018 because of a congenital cyst in his brain that had previously required surgery and was bothering him. He was a college football analyst for Fox Sports for the past two years.

🏈SALEH IS JETS' NEW HEAD COACH: The New York Jets reached an agreement in principle last night with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their new head coach. It's believed the 41-year-old Saleh, who's the son of Lebanese parents, will be the first Muslim head coach in NFL history. Saleh is the seventh straight coach hired by the Jets to not have previous head coaching experience.

🏈STEFANSKI BACK WITH BROWNS AFTER 10 DAYS AWAY WITH COVID-19: Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was back at the team's facility on Thursday, 10 days after he tested positive for Covid-19, forcing him to miss the Browns' playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Stefanski instead watched his team get the 48-37 victory from the basement of his Ohio home. But he will be there this weekend when the Browns play the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. Stefanski only had mild Covid symptoms.

🏀CELTICS EXPECTED TO RETURN TO PLAY TODAY AFTER GAMES MISSED DUE TO COVID: The Boston Celtics are expected to return to play tonight with a game against the Orlando Magic, after missing three games between Sunday and Wednesday because some players tested positive for the coronavirus and others couldn't play because of contact tracing, leaving them without enough eligible players. Meanwhile, the game between the Phoenix Suns and the Indiana Pacers scheduled for Saturday has been postponed because the Suns won't have enough eligible players, largely due to contact tracing. It's the ninth NBA game postponement for the week.

🎾MURRAY'S STATUS UNCLEAR FOR AUSTRALIAN OPEN AFTER POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST: British tennis player Andy Murray's status is unclear for the Australian Open after he tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday just days before he was set to leave for Australia. The three-time Grand Slam champion is isolating at home. U.S. women's player Madison Keys has also tested positive before her scheduled flight to Australia, and is self-isolating at home. The Australian Open, which was delayed three weeks because of Covid-19 restrictions, is set to begin on February 8th. However, players and officials must spend 14 days in quarantine once they arrive in Australia, and players who previously tested positive had to provide medical information proving they are recovered and no longer infectious.

FCC Upholds $233K Forfeiture Order Against Cumulus Media

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a forfeiture order for a  $233,000 fine against four Cumulus Media subsidiaries for violations of the FCC’s sponsorship identification rules, and for apparently failing to promptly self-report some of these violations to the FCC despite its agreement to do so under a prior Consent Decree with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.

The FCC’s action Thursday is based on the agency’s longstanding goals of protecting consumers by ensuring that they know who is attempting to persuade them, and of protecting broadcasters and sponsors from unfair competitors that fail to abide by the FCC’s sponsorship disclosure rules. When a broadcast licensee fails to disclose the sponsor of paid programming, it might mislead the public into believing that the paid broadcast material is a station’s independently generated news or editorial content. In addition, this action advances the Commission’s commitment to ensure that parties fully comply with consent decrees and other FCC orders.

In 2011, a Cumulus subsidiary failed to adequately identify the sponsor of announcements broadcast on its New Hampshire radio station WOKQ in Dover. As a result, in 2016 Cumulus entered into a Consent Decree with the Enforcement Bureau in which, among other things, Cumulus agreed to pay a civil penalty, enter into a compliance plan, and report any noncompliance with the sponsorship identification. 

The FCC stated that 26 additional violations were then made after the original penalty including 13 that were not timely reported to the FCC as required. After the $233,000 fine was proposed in August 2019, Cumulus sought a reduction or removal of the fine but did not contest the violations.

Cumulus had argued that its overall record of rule compliance is “as good as or better than any other large broadcaster in the industry,” that it has a “stellar” reputation, that management has focused on adherence to FCC rules, and that out of approximately 135 million ads during the three-year period covered by the consent decree, there were only two occasions of sponsorship ID noncompliance.

The commission dismissed those arguments, saying, among other things, that it doesn’t take a company’s overall size into account as a mitigating factor. “To the contrary, if a corporate entity chooses to acquire many stations, it must ensure that it scales up its compliance efforts accordingly.”

Chicago Radio: Connor McKnight Added to WMVP's Sox Coverage

WMVP 1000 ESPN Chicago, The Home of The White Sox, has announced the most recent addition to the play-by-play team, Connor McKnight, a long-time sports host in the Chicagoland area. McKnight will join the team as an On-Air Host for White Sox Weekly, as well as pregame and postgame for every White Sox game.

“We are so excited to add Connor to the ESPN Chicago team, and we know fans of the South Siders will gravitate towards him both on the air and on social media for White Sox news,” said ESPN Chicago Market Manager, Mike Thomas. “He comes to us with a wealth of MLB experience and knowledge and will sound great on game days and beyond!”

White Sox Weekly will include a two-hour show in season and one-hour show off season. Pregame and postgame shows will air a minimum of 30 minutes before and after the game. Fans can tune into ESPN 1000 yearlong to hear analysis and insight from McKnight, as well as the White Sox front office, coaches, and players. Connor will also call play-by-play on ESPN Chicago, with Darrin Jackson, when Len Kasper fills-in on the TV broadcast.

In addition to McKnight, ESPN Chicago welcomes two new teammates to its roster: new ESPN Chicago Director of Marketing, Jessica Felten Taylor and Ryan Maguire, executive producer of the White Sox Radio Network.

Boston Radio: Taliere, Carbone Named As Beasley Co-GSMs

Beasley Media Group Boston has announced Kari Talieri and Jesse Carbone have both been promoted to the position of General Sales Manager at the company’s Boston-based radio properties, including WBZ-FM/98.5 The Sports Hub, WKLB-FM/Country 102.5, WROR-FM/105.7, WBOS-FM/Rock 92.9 and WBQT-FM/HOT 96.9. They will begin their new positions, effective immediately.

Kari Taliere, Jesse Carbone
In their new roles, Kari and Jesse will represent all of Beasley’s stations as well as the play-by-play networks and will report to the Beasley Media Group Boston’s Director of Sales, Brian Schneekloth.

Talieri has held sales management positions in Boston Radio for over a decade.  In addition to most recently spending the past five years serving as the Local Sales Manager of WBZ-FM/98.5 The Sports Hub and WBOS-FM/Rock 92.9, Talieri has been instrumental in leading the sales efforts of The New England Patriots Radio Network, the Boston Bruins Radio Network and the Boston Celtics Radio Network.

Carbone is a 20-year Boston Radio veteran who has spent the past 16 years working with 105.7, WROR as an Account Executive, Local Sales Manager and General Sales Manager. Throughout his years at WROR, the station has seen strong revenue growth and has become one of the top revenue and ratings performers in the Boston market.

“Kari and Jesse have played a major part in our success over the past few years as we have worked to streamline our sales department to have a client-centric, cluster-first approach,” said Schneekloth. “Their leadership skills have helped to transform our sales team to become experts across all five of our stations as well as our four sports play-by-play networks.”

AOC Proposes To 'Rein In' News Media

Media watchdogs are shocked and appalled that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that Congress is looking into media literacy initiatives, including a commission to help "rein in" misinformation in the wake of last week’s deadly breach of the U.S. Capitol – and one critic slammed AOC’s suggestion as "wholly un-American."

FOX News reports that during a lengthy live stream on Instagram on Tuesday night, she discussed the aftermath of the Capitol riot, how she feared for her life during the chaos and what needs to be done going forward.

At one point, Ocasio-Cortez read a question from a viewer who asked if there is discussion in Congress on "truth and reconciliation or media literacy initiatives" to help with healing.

Alexandria Ocasion-Cortez
"I can say, there is absolutely a commission being discussed but it seems to be more investigatory, in style rather than truth and reconciliation, so I think that’s an interesting concept for us to explore, and I do think that several members of Congress, in some of my discussions, have brought up media literacy because that is a part of what happened here and we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"Fox & Friends" anchor Steve Doocy said he was "a little troubled" by Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion and enlisted The Hill media columnist Joe Concha to help figure out who would decide what media gets reined in under the progressive lawmaker’s plan.

"Let’s unpack this proposal, she wants to basically establish a Ministry of Truth, we’ve all read ‘1984’ and, you know, to determine what is truth and what is not. So who sits on this committee exactly? Eric Swalwell? Adam Schiff? Because they seem to have some challenges when it comes to telling the truth," Concha said.

"How does Mrs. Ocasio-Cortez define truth exactly? She was asked in a ["60 Minutes"] interview, this was a couple of years ago after she was fact-checked on some very dubious claims, about those particular claims and she said, ‘People want to really blow up one figure here, or a word there, I would argue they are missing the forest for the trees, I think there is a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, semantically correct than being morally right,’" Concha said.

"Oh, so it’s not about being factually correct, it’s what she sees as being right and wrong from a moral perspective," Concha continued,  He feels it’s "stunning" that Ocasio-Cortez’s statement hasn’t received more attention.