Saturday, February 13, 2021

February 14 Radio History

➦In 1876…Lawyers for Alexander Graham Bell filed for a patent for the telephone. Bell's patent 174,465, was issued to Bell on March 7, 1876, by the U.S. Patent Office. Bell's patent covered "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically ... by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound.

In this first telephone, sound waves caused an electric current to vary in intensity and frequency, causing a thin, soft iron plate–called the diaphragm–to vibrate. These vibrations were transferred magnetically to another wire connected to a diaphragm in another, distant instrument. When that diaphragm vibrated, the original sound would be replicated in the ear of the receiving instrument. Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message–the famous “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”–from Bell to his assistant.

➦In 1894...Comedian and radio/TV host Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky  (Died: December 26, 1974 at 80).

A young Jack Benny - undated
Benny had been a minor vaudeville performer before becoming a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show that ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was among the most highly rated programs during its run.

Benny's long radio career began on April 6, 1932, when the NBC Commercial Program Department auditioned him for the N.W. Ayer agency and their client, Canada Dry, after which Bertha Brainard, head of the division, said, "We think Mr. Benny is excellent for radio and, while the audition was unassisted as far as orchestra was concerned, we believe he would make a great bet for an air program." Recalling the experience in 1956, Benny stated that Ed Sullivan had invited him to guest on his program (1932), and "the agency for Canada Dry ginger ale heard me and offered me a job."

With Canada Dry ginger ale as a sponsor, Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program, on May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing for six months until October 26, moving to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with sponsor General Tire through the end of the season. In October, 1934, General Foods, the makers of Jell-O and Grape-Nuts, became the sponsor strongly identified with Benny for ten years. American Tobacco's Lucky Strike was his longest-lasting radio sponsor, from October, 1944, through to the end of his original radio series.

Life magazine ad - April 1949
The show switched networks to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's notorious "raid" of NBC talent in 1948–49. It stayed there for the remainder of its radio run, ending on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeat episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny.

Mel Allen
➦In 1913...Mel Israel was born.  He is better known as Mel Allen, sportscaster for the New York Yankees, and This Week in Baseball; ‘How about that!’ … Mel died June 16, 1996 at age 83.

Allen best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. During the peak of his career in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Allen was arguably the most prominent member of his profession, his voice familiar to millions.

➦In 1971...WABC 95.5 FM NYC changed call letters to WPLJ.

The station went on the air on May 4, 1948 under the call sign WJZ-FM, and in March 1953, the station's call letters were changed to WABC-FM following the merger of the American Broadcasting Company with United Paramount Theatres. As most FM stations did during the medium's formative years, 95.5 FM simulcasted the programming of its AM sister station.

In the early 1960s, however, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from 77WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily.  Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market. This was followed by stints with Broadway show tunes and general freeform programming, including broadcasts of New York Mets baseball games. WABC's AM personalities, notably Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, and Bob Lewis, hosted programs on the FM side which were the total opposites of the Top 40-powered sound for which they were better known on AM. WABC-FM did continue to simulcast its AM sister station during Herb Oscar Anderson's morning drive program.

At the start of 1968, ABC split its radio network into four distinct components, one of which was dedicated to FM radio.  The following year, WABC-FM and its sister stations–KABC-FM in Los Angeles; WLS-FM in Chicago; KGO-FM in San Francisco; WXYZ-FM in Detroit; KQV-FM in Pittsburgh; and newly acquired KXYZ-FM in Houston–began carrying an automated, youth-oriented, progressive rock format known as Love.

In late 1970, Allen Shaw, the then-president of ABC's FM station group, announced two big changes for 1971: ABC would drop Love and install completely live-and-local, freeform rock formats, and would also apply for call letter changes for the seven stations.  The New York outlet was slated to be renamed WRIF, but a clerical error on the part of the FCC resulted in those calls being awarded to the former WXYZ-FM (the present-day WRIF) in Detroit–whose own request for WDAI was itself given mistakenly to WLS-FM in Chicago–leaving WABC-FM to start from scratch for its own rebranding.

On February 14, 1971, the station's call letters were changed to WPLJ, chosen after Allen Shaw noticed the letter combination as the name of a song on the 1970 Mothers of Invention record, Burnt Weeny Sandwich. The song, "W-P-L-J", was originally performed by the Four Deuces in 1955 and stood for "White Port and Lemon Juice". On the air, the station hired John Zacherle, Vin Scelsa, and Michael Cuscuna (from WMMR and WXPN in Philadelphia) as personalities.

In September 1971, Allen Shaw and ABC Programming Executive Bob Henaberry designed and pioneered the very first AOR (album oriented rock) format on WPLJ, playing only the best cuts from the best selling rock albums with a minimum of disc jockey talk. The slogan of the station was "Rock 'N Stereo". The station would play the music of artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Elton John, Deep Purple, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and The Allman Brothers. The station would also play pop songs from artists such as James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Carly Simon. The station was different from Top 40 stations (such as co-owned WABC) in that they played more album tracks. The audience ratings shot up dramatically,  and WPLJ became New York's most listened-to FM rock station for most of the 1970s.

On February 13, 2019, WPLJ and five other Cumulus Media stations were sold to nonprofit broadcaster, Educational Media Foundation (EMF) for $103.5 million. This transaction would allow Cumulus to generate "substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities", according to its President and CEO Mary Berner.  After the sale received final approval by the FCC, EMF announced that WPLJ and the other Cumulus stations acquired would all begin broadcasting its primary programming service, K-Love, on June 1 at midnight local time this was later moved up to May 31 at 7:00 p.m., five hours earlier than originally planned.

Circa 1968
➦In 1980...Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the “CBS Evening News”, and Dan Rather was announced as his replacement, scheduled to step into his shoes the following year. And that’s the way it was.

At the time, CBS had a policy of mandatory retirement by age 65. Although sometimes compared to a father figure or an uncle figure, in an interview about his retirement he described himself as being more like a "comfortable old shoe" to his audience.

His last day in the anchor chair at the CBS Evening News was on March 6, 1981.

➦In 1987...Metromedia had fired the entire KMET on-air staff on February 9, and on this date the station signed-off its album rock format at Noon with The Beatles' "The End". KMET was replaced by the new-age KTWV "The Wave". Today, "The Wave" has evolved into a Smooth Jazz format, though now plays Urban Adult Contemporary and is owned by Entercom, which merged with CBS Radio in 2017.

➦In 2001...WCBS 101.1 FM NYC ended the specialty show 'Jukebox Saturday Night', which was hosted by personality Bobby Jay. The cancellation was part of a movement away from pre-1964 and toward 1970–1989 songs. The station also began de-emphasizing the phrase 'oldies' in promoting of the station.

Shadow Morton
➦In 2013…George “Shadow” Morton, a New York-based producer and songwriter best known for his work with 1960s girl group the Shangri-Las (Leader Of The Pack, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Society’s Child, etc), succumbed to cancer at age 72.

➦In 2016...Music host on Chicago radio (WLIT, WLIV, etc.) for more than 20 years, Megan Reed succumbed to complications from breast cancer at age 52.

Reed had been off the air since September 2014 when she went on medical leave as midday personality at Hubbard Radio AC WILV, now WSHE 1003. FM. She also had stints at WLIT-FM, WAUR/WYXY and WXRT-FM.

  • Country singer Razzy Bailey is 82. 
  • Jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker is 78. 
  • TV personality Pat O’Brien (“The Insider,” ″Access Hollywood”) is 73. 
  • Tiffany Thornton is 35
    Actor Ken Wahl (“Wiseguy”) is 64. 
  • Opera singer Renee Fleming is 62. 
  • Actor Meg Tilly is 61. 
  • Singer Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Tone! is 60. 
  • Actor Sakina Jaffey (“House of Cards”) is 59. 
  • Actor Enrico Colantoni (“Just Shoot Me”) is 58. 
  • Actor Zach Galligan (“Gremlins”) is 57. 
  • Actor Valente Rodriguez (TV’s “George Lopez,” film’s “Erin Brockovich”) is 57. 
  • Bassist Ricky Wolking of The Nixons is 55. 
  • Actor Simon Pegg (2009′s “Star Trek”) is 51. 
  • Bassist Kevin Baldes of Lit is 49. 
  • Singer Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty is 49. 
  • Actor Danai Gurira (“Black Panther”) is 43. 
  • Actor Matt Barr (“Blood and Treasure”) is 37. 
  • Actor Jake Lacy (“The Office”) is 35. 
  • Actor Tiffany Thornton (“Sonny With A Chance”) is 35. 
  • Actor Brett Dier (“Jane the Virgin”) is 31. 
  • Actor Freddie Highmore (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” ″Bates Motel”) is 29.

Jax Radio: Mark Kaye Steps Away From WAPE For WOKV

Mark Kaye, morning co-host of 95.1 WAPE’s The Big Ape Morning Mess announced Friday that he will be transitioning over to WAPE’s sister news station WOKV 104.5 FM to focus exclusively on his talk show, The Mark Kaye Show beginning on Monday, February 22. 

His final day at WAPE will be on Friday, February 19.

“I am so grateful to have had so many incredible opportunities at one amazing company”, said Kaye. “Now, as I say goodbye to mornings on WAPE to concentrate full-time on WOKV, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single minute of the last 15 years.” Kaye joined WAPE for mornings in 2007, and current co-host Meghan Lane partnered with Kaye in 2014. In 2015 he rolled out “Kaye’s Kids” a program where he would buy technology and dream gifts for local kids battling life-threatening illness. Kaye made the leap to talk radio in December of 2017 creating The Mark Kaye Show on WOKV-FM. The show was such a hit, he expanded it to two hours Monday through Friday in January of 2019.

“Mark’s impactful presence was truly felt during his time on WAPE. We are so looking forward to his continuing success on WOKV and bringing the same energy that the Jacksonville community got to know and love into this next chapter of his career,” said Vice President and General Manager at Cox Media Group, Katie Reid.

Tim Clarke, VP, Audience & Content said, “Mark is one of the most creative and ambitious people I know and his continuous evolution as a media personality is truly impressive. I truly believe that the “Mark Kaye Show” represents the future of the spoken word format – entertaining and informative with an aesthetic that resonates and appeals to all generations. This represents CMG’s continued investment in creating new and innovative content to serve our audiences and communities.”

Meghan Lane will continue hosting the Big Ape Morning Mess, while the search for a new co-host will be coming soon.

St. Louis Radio: John Beck Named Market President for iHM

John Beck
iHeartMedia St. Louis has announced that John Beck has been named Market President

As Market President, Beck will work closely with the programming, business, and sales teams and oversee all of the station’s on-air and digital programming as well as create new revenue opportunities. He will report to Tony Coles, Division President for iHeartMedia Markets Group.

“John is one of the most respected leaders in St. Louis,” said Coles. “His track record of success, reputation for building a winning culture, and his deep roots in both the media and advertising communities are only a few of the many reasons we are thrilled to have John leading our team.”

Beck is a media veteran with more than 30 years of radio industry experience. He joins iHeartMedia St. Louis from Emmis Communications, where he most recently served as the Senior Vice President, overseeing multiple stations’ success including St. Louis’ heritage rock station, KSHE. He began his career at WFFM in Pittsburgh and studied at The University of Steubenville, Ohio, where he majored in Political Science and Psychology.

Beck is also an active voice in the broadcasting industry. He served as the President of the Missouri Broadcasters Association (MBA) from 1999-2000 and currently serves as its Legislative Affairs Committee Chairmen. Beck also served on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) board for six years and sat on the NAB Executive Committee as the Radio Board First Vice-Chair from 2012 through 2014. He is currently a Trustee on the NAB Political Action Committee.

“I am thrilled to be working at iHeartMedia in the town I love,” said Beck. “I look forward to working with the local staff and leadership, several of whom I already know. iHeartMedia is an amazing company and I can’t wait to tell the story and find ways to use our stations to build and promote this awesome city and region that we call home.”

Biden Aide Suspended For Threatening Reporter

TJ Ducklo
The White House said on Friday it temporarily suspended a press aide after he reportedly threatened a reporter who was working on a story about his romantic relationship with another journalist, reports Reuters.

Vanity Fair reported on Friday that White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo had made threats - including “I will destroy you” - to a Politico correspondent who was reporting a piece about Ducklo’s recently disclosed relationship with an Axios reporter, Alexi McCammond.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter that Ducklo had been suspended for a week without pay and will not work with Politico reporters again.

Psaki said Ducklo had apologized to the Politico reporter, Tara Palmeri, “with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. ... He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.”

An Axios spokeswoman said McCammond disclosed the relationship to her editors in November and was reassigned from a beat covering the White House.

The suspension comes after Democratic President Joe Biden, who took office last month, vowed to take a hard line on any incivility among members of his administration.

Psaki told reporters during a briefing on Friday that Biden was not involved in the decision to suspend Ducklo and stressed that the White House took the matter seriously.

Ducklo’s behavior was “completely unacceptable. He knows that,” Psaki said. “We’ve had conversations with him. ... This will never happen again.”

Feds: Delivery Man Threatened Politicians, Fox News Figures

A New York food delivery worker charged with threatening past and present political figures and Fox News personalities was ordered held without bail Friday after a prosecutor cited the man's criminal history and his “direct and unambiguous" threats, reports The Associated Press.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Moroney said Rickey Johnson, 47, also known as Nigel Dawn Defarren, made multiple death threats in the past two weeks in videos online, including telling a congresswoman: “Ma'am, you are dead. You will be killed. Smile. I'm going to kill you."

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said Johnson threatened to kill several cable news broadcasters, current and former U.S. senators and members of the House “in rage-fueled posts on Instagram and in chilling private messages.”

The targets of the threats were not identified in court papers, but two law enforcement officials identified some of them as Fox News personalities and Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a frequent Fox commentator. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about alleged victims.

Moroney told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein that Johnson, arrested Thursday night, told a broadcaster: “I’m going to take your life. I’m going to tell you before I do it like I’m doing right now." Moroney said the profanity-laced threat was representative of “direct and unambiguous" threats that prove Johnson was a danger.

Gorenstein agreed, citing the “disturbing nature" of the threats and Johnson's criminal history, including a five-year prison sentence for a drug conviction in 2004, for why he cannot be freed on bail before trial on charges of threatening interstate communications and threatening U.S. officials.

Fox News said through spokespersons that any information would have to be released by federal prosecutors. Prosecutors declined to identify alleged victims.

Cleveland, Denver Tops In Super Bowl Streaming

Although TV station markets Kansas City and Tampa Bay posted expected high local TV Nielsen-measured Super Bowl viewing — since their teams were in the big game — rising activity in TV streaming was elsewhere, reports Mediapost.

Cleveland and Denver outperformed anticipated viewing streaming results, according to Conviva, a digital video analytics company. Cleveland over-indexed 183%, while Denver was up 141%. Cleveland's sister Ohio city, Columbus, grew 136% over expectations.

Markets Tampa Bay-St.Petersburg and Kansas City were up a modest 19% and 16%, respectively — in eighth and ninth place in terms of gaining streaming index.

Houston and Miami-Fort Lauderdale witnessed the lowest streaming engagement, under-indexing by 23% and 24%.

CBS says total national TV viewing from streaming/digital platforms climbed 65% versus the year before, to a record 5.7 million average viewers minute number.

Denver Radio: KALC Raises $1.3M For Children's Hospital

Entercom raised over $1.3 million for Children’s Hospital Colorado, a proud member of the Children’s Miracle Network®, during KALC Alice 105.9’s "Cares for Kids Radiothon” in Denver. The amount donated during the 20th annual radiothon brought the overall fundraising total to over $24 million since 2001.

“In an especially trying year, we’re proud to continue our yearly tradition of amplifying our station’s voice to assist the Children’s Hospital Colorado,” said Chuck Sullivan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Denver. “Despite the unique challenges we’re all facing today, we’re blown away by the unwavering support from our listeners as we stand with the hospital’s selfless mission. We’re proud to unite with them and leverage our scale and resources to help make a difference for these children and their families.”

“Alice 105.9 Cares for Kids Radiothon™” was broadcast live on Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11. Throughout the two-day event, programming featured interviews with hospital patients, families of patients, and front-line workers, who shared stories of hope, healing, and navigating through the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

When it was founded in 1908 in Denver, Children's Colorado set out to be a leader in providing the best healthcare outcomes for children. Its modern-day mission is to improve the health of children through the provision of high-quality coordinated programs of patient care, education, research and advocacy.

Entercom is committed to supporting the health and success of the communities that are the heart of its business. “Alice 105.9 Cares for Kids Radiothon™” is a part of Entercom Serves, the Company’s social impact platform that raises awareness of social issues and brings communities together for good. Entercom unites with its listeners and brands to support sound communities through several pillars of impact: children’s health, mental health and anti-bullying, veterans and service members, the environment, civic education, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Fox Hosts Seeks Dismissal of $2.7B Lawsuit

Bartiromo, Dobbs and Pirro

Fox News Media former and current hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro asked a court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by voting-machine company Smartmatic USA Corp., arguing their coverage of President Trump’s claims the 2020 election was rigged was protected by the First Amendment.

The Wall Street Journal reports the motions to dismiss the $2.7 billion lawsuit follow a similar move by Fox Corp.’s Fox News, which is also a defendant. The suit, filed last week in a New York court, alleges that Fox and its hosts knowingly allowed false statements on the network’s programs about the reliability of Smartmatic technology. Each of the hosts argued that claims by Mr. Trump and his lawyers were newsworthy.

“Smartmatic is confident in its case and looks forward to briefing these issues for the Court,” Smartmatic’s attorney, J. Erik Connolly, said in a statement. The company said in its suit that the comments on Fox News damaged its reputation with clients irreparably.

Dobbs, whose show on Fox Business was canceled after the suit was filed, argued he was fulfilling the public interest by interviewing members of the president’s team. His filing acknowledges that Mr. Dobbs sometimes offered encouraging opinions on the claims—noting that in one segment he said “[t]his is a nation that has just been wronged mightily”—and expressed hope they would be proven true.

“The line between protected speech and actionable defamation cannot turn on whether a commentator expresses doubt versus hope that a guest can prove…newsworthy claims,” the filing for Mr. Dobbs said.

Fox has said the cancellation of Mr. Dobbs’s show was part of regular programming changes.

Ms. Bartiromo and Ms. Pirro made similar arguments. Ms. Bartiromo’s filing said Smartmatic “ignored” an invitation to appear on her show as part of her invitation to “other guests to comment on and criticize the President’s claims.” Ms. Bartiromo’s filing alleged that Smartmatic’s lawsuit was financially motivated.

FCC Call Letter Activity for January 2021

During January 2021, The FCC  accepted applications to assign call signs to, or change the call signs of the following broadcast stations:

February 13 Radio History

➦In 1914...the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.  A rival performing rights organization, Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), was formed in 1939.

Tennessee Ernie Ford
➦In 1919...Singer Tennessee Ernie Ford was born in Bristol, Tenn.  He began his career as a radio announcer at hometown station WOPI, and continued after WWII at stations in San Bernardino & Pasadena. He joined Cliffie Stone’s Dinner Bell Roundup on KXLA radio, and his Hometown Jamboree TV show. In 1950 he had his first crossover song hit with Kay Starr, I”ll Never Be Free.  His big smash five years later was Sixteen Tons, which propelled him to a six year prime time show on NBC TV.  He has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of fame, for records, television, and radio.

A First Lieutenant, he served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan.

After the war, Ford worked at radio stations in San Bernardino and Pasadena, California. At KFXM, in San Bernardino, Ford was hired as a radio announcer. He was assigned to host an early morning country music disc jockey program, Bar Nothin' Ranch Time. To differentiate himself, he created the personality of "Tennessee Ernie", a wild, madcap, exaggerated hillbilly. He became popular in the area and was soon hired away by Pasadena's KXLA radio.

At KXLA, Ford continued doing the same show and also joined the cast of Cliffie Stone's popular live KXLA country show Dinner Bell Roundup as a vocalist while still doing the early morning broadcast. Cliffie Stone, a part-time talent scout for Capitol Records, brought him to the attention of the label. In 1949, while still doing his morning show, he signed a contract with Capitol. He became a local TV star as the star of Stone's popular Southern California Hometown Jamboree show. RadiOzark produced 260 15-minute episodes of The Tennessee Ernie Show on transcription disks.

He released almost 50 country singles through the early 1950s, several of which made the charts.

Ford eventually ended his KXLA morning show and in the early 1950s. He became a household name in the U.S., largely as a result of his portrayal in 1954 of the 'country bumpkin', "Cousin Ernie", on three episodes of I Love Lucy. His big hit in 1955 was Sixteen Tons, which propelled him to a six year prime time show on NBC TV.  He has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of fame, for records, television, and radio.

 A heavy drinker off stage, Ernie died of increasing liver problems Oct. 17 1991 at age 72.

➦In 1919...Early radio singer Joan Edwards was born in New York City (died at age 62 from an apparent heart attack August 27, 1981).  She was perhaps best known for her work on the radio version of Your Hit Parade. She also was a vocalist for Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.

Edwards' early appearances on radio came "via small stations in New York City."Her first network appearance was on Fred Allen's program.

Beginning March 3, 1941, Edwards had her own program, Girl About Town, on CBS. The 15-minute show was broadcast Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. Although her singing was featured, she played the piano for one song in each episode.

In December 1941, Edwards was selected as the new female soloist on Your Hit Parade. Three years later, an article in Tune In magazine observed, "Joan Edwards sets something of a record, lasting through the regimes of three male singers -- Barry Wood, Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Tibbett -- in a three-year period."

Her tenure on the program eventually reached five years, and the list of male singers' names grew to include Dick Todd and Johnny Mercer. She was dropped from Your Hit Parade in 1947 when the sponsor, American Tobacco Company, changed format, using guest stars rather than regular soloists.

On March 3, 1952, Edwards began a morning disc jockey program on WCBS-AM in New York City

➦In 1934...WNEW 1130 AM NYC Signed on

The station's origins go back to 1922 as WAAM and 1925 as WODA. A radio institution throughout the majority of the 20th century, WNEW was known for its music selection as well as its staff of radio personalities including Martin Block, Dee Finch, Gene Rayburn, Gene Klaven, Ted Brown and William B. Williams. WNEW is credited with pioneering the role of the disc jockey, as well as for developing the modern morning radio show format and debuting the first all-night radio show. In addition to its music and entertainment programming, WNEW featured an award-winning news desk and became "the voice of New York sports" for its coverage of New York Giants football games. After years of declining ratings and management changes in the 1980s, WNEW was purchased by Bloomberg L.P. in 1992 and changed call letters to WBBR.

WODA was acquired in 1934 by advertising executive Milton Biow and watch manufacturer Arde Bulova after the Amalgamated Broadcasting System failed and began selling off its radio stations.
The call letters were changed to WNEW for “the NEWest thing in radio”.

The station was launched in a ceremony performed on February 13th at 9 pm by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  From the White House the president pushed a button and moments later a lamp illuminated in a New Jersey transmitter room. As the light shined, soprano Yvonne D’Arle sang the Star Spangled Banner and WNEW 1130 AM officially went on the air.

New York socialite Bernice Judis was hired as WNEW's first General Manager.

As a small, independent radio station, WNEW lacked the funds larger networks Columbia Broadcasting System, Mutual Broadcasting System, and the National Broadcasting Company used to produce daily programming common for that time such as comedy shows, soap operas and dramatic programs. However, Judis was not discouraged, and even welcomed the opportunity to develop her own schedule of innovative programming that included playing recordings of popular music throughout the day, creating the first all-night radio show, Milkman's Matinee, and cultivating a line-up of popular morning radio show personalities.

In 1935, WNEW pioneered the concept of a disc jockey when staff announcer Martin Block needed to fill time between new bulletins during his coverage of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial of Bruno Hauptmann. Block did not have access to a live orchestra to play music during the breaks as most network stations did, so he played records instead.  Soon afterward, he piloted a 15-minute experimental show called the Make Believe Ballroom, during which he played records from popular bands and singers, posed as a live performance in an imaginary ballroom. During Block's tenure as host of Make Believe Ballroom, the show attracted 25% of the listening audience in New York City. The show continued in sporadic runs until the station's end in 1992.

➦In 1947... “Family Theater” was heard for the first time on Mutual radio. Jim Ameche and Loretta Young starred in the program’s first episode, “Flight from Home”.  The overtly-Christian stories were directed at Roman Catholic families. Production ceased in 1956 but reruns continued through the 1960’s.

➦In 1949...'Pat Novak for Hire', a radio detective drama series debuted. It was produced at KGO in San Francisco program and in 1949 as a nationwide program for ABC. The regional version originally starred Jack Webb in the title role, with scripts by his roommate Richard L. Breen. When Webb and Breen moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles to work on an extremely similar nationwide series, 'Johnny Madero Pier 23', for the Mutual network, Webb was replaced by Ben Morris and Breen by other writers.

➦In 1956...Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca Records, signed a deal with NYC radio personality Alan Freed to curate four rock 'n' roll dance and party albums.

➦In 1956...KYW 1060 AM in Philadelphia PA gave call letters to WTAM Cleveland. Philadelphia’s KYW has a long (and mobile) history.

KYW began in 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. It was jointly owned by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Commonwealth Edison. Westinghouse later bought out ComEd's share and became sole owner of the station. In 1927, Westinghouse aligned its four radio stations (KYW, KDKA in Pittsburgh, WBZ in Boston and WBZA in Springfield, Massachusetts) with the NBC Blue Network, which originated from former sister station WJZ (the present-day WABC) in New York City. Westinghouse had been a founding partner of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC's original parent company.

In 1934, the assignment of clear channels took a frequency away from Illinois and gave it to Pennsylvania, resulting in Westinghouse moving KYW to Philadelphia.  Upon arriving, KYW supplanted WFI and WLIT (which merged as WFIL in 1935) as Philadelphia's Blue Network affiliate – an affiliation that lasted 20 years (according to the June 14, 1940 edition of the Philadelphia Daily News, KYW used the frequency of 1020 AM at the time).

Circa 1946
In March 1941, KYW changed frequencies to 1060 AM as part of a nationwide shift of radio frequencies mandated by the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. KYW and the other Westinghouse radio stations remained with NBC after RCA was ordered by the FCC to break up its radio networks, aligning with the former Red Network (the predecessor of modern-day NBC) in 1942. KYW acquired a television counterpart when Westinghouse bought WPTZ (channel 3) – the nation's third commercial television station and NBC's second television affiliate – in 1953.

In June 1955, Westinghouse agreed to trade KYW and WPTZ to NBC in exchange for the network's properties in Cleveland, WNBK television and WTAM-AM-FM. Westinghouse also received $3 million in cash compensation.  The main impetus for the trade was NBC's desire to acquire an owned-and-operated television station in the fourth-largest American television market. NBC had to seek a waiver for the swap since KYW and NBC Radio's New York City flagship, WRCA (now sister station WFAN) were both clear channel stations; at the time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) normally did not allow common ownership of clear-channel stations with overlapping nighttime coverage. After clearing final regulatory hurdles, the swap went into effect on February 13, 1956. NBC took over the Philadelphia stations, rechristening 1060 AM as WRCV (for the RCA-Victor record label), and Westinghouse moved the KYW call letters to Cleveland.

Current logo
However, almost immediately after the trade was finalized, Westinghouse complained to the FCC and the United States Department of Justice about NBC's coercion and an lengthy investigation was launched.  In August 1964, NBC's license for WRCV radio and television was renewed by the FCC – but only on the condition that the 1956 station swap be reversed.[9] Following nearly a year of appeals by NBC, Westinghouse regained control of WRCV-AM-TV on June 19, 1965 and subsequently restored the KYW call letters to the radio station (the television station became KYW-TV at this point).   To this day, the KYW stations insist that they "moved" to Cleveland in 1956 and "returned" to Philadelphia in 1965. However, the two stations' facilities remained the same.

On September 21, 1965, shortly after Westinghouse regained control of 1060 AM, the newly rechristened KYW once again dropped its NBC radio affiliation and was converted into one of the first all-news stations in the country.

Today KYW, Philadelphia is owned by Entercom Communications.

➦In 2007...Premiere Radio Networks announced that American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest had passed the 400-station mark worldwide. Seacrest also enjoyed a #1 rating in New York and Los Angeles with the target demo of adults 18-34.  In January 2004, Seacrest became the new host of the syndicated weekly countdown show, created and formerly hosted by Casey Kasem. A month later, Seacrest became host of Los Angeles radio station KIIS 1027 FM morning show, replacing long-time host Rick Dees.

➦In 2019...the Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group announced the formation of a regional channel called the Marquee Sports Network to carry the team’s games starting the following spring.

  • Mena Suvari is 42
    Actor Kim Novak is 88. 
  • Actor George Segal (“Just Shoot Me”) is 87. 
  • Actor Bo Svenson (“Walking Tall”) is 80. 
  • Actor Stockard Channing is 77. 
  • Talk show host Jerry Springer is 77. 
  • Singer Peter Gabriel is 71. 
  • Actor David Naughton is 70. 
  • Bassist Peter Hook of New Order and Joy Division is 65. 
  • Actor Matt Salinger is 61. 
  • Singer Henry Rollins is 60. 
  • Actor Neal McDonough (“Boomtown”) is 55. 
  • Singer Freedom Williams (C & C Music Factory) is 55. 
  • Actor Kelly Hu (“Martial Law”) is 53. 
  • Singer Matt Berninger of The National is 50. 
  • Bassist Todd Harrell (3 Doors Down) is 49. 
  • Drummer Scott Thomas of Parmalee is 48. 
  • Singer Feist is 45. 
  • MC Natalie Stewart of Floetry is 42. 
  • Actor Mena Suvari is 42.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Announce Final Pre-CRS Session

Country Radio Specialists Mike O’Malley and Becky Brenner have announced the final addition to  their 27th annual VIRTUAL Pre-CRS seminar; Monday, February 15, 2021 from 12:30pm EST-3:30pm EST.

Tim D'Avis
Build Your Lists: Broader and Deeper Audience Engagement:  Join Tim D'Avis, Director of Email Success for Second Street Media as he shares how asking for a listener's email address can create stronger audience relationships and drive increased attention for your stations and your talent. Learn how to create a truly virtuous cycle between on-air and digital engagement and promotion, and see examples of these strategies in action.

Tim is steeped in establishing a digital culture at traditional media companies and a true nerd about customer data, Previously, Tim was the Director of Digital Products at Lee Enterprises, and prior to that worked as Website Director for the Quad-City Times. 

Cameron Marlowe
Plus, Columbia Nashville's North Carolina native Kameron Marlowe will be featured for a special acoustic performance and Q&A.  Marlowe has been touted as “the piece country music has been missing” (Everything Nash) and a “nascent talent” (Billboard), and been named an Artist to Watch in 2021 by more than a dozen media outlets and music platforms; all before his debut single “Sober as a Drunk” even hit airwaves. 

Also featured:

Paula Beadle
“Navigating the Future Landscape of Sponsorship”:  NTR is a hot phrase, but how do you generate it?  Paula Beadle, CEO of Caravel, a national consulting company specializing in sponsorship and partnership marketing, will share her insights regarding how radio can better monetize its assets through successful partnerships with sponsors.    According to Beadle, "In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sponsorship industry will have a dramatic transformation… a transformation that will happen at an accelerated pace."

Paula is a strategic and enthusiastic trailblazer with decades of marketing and sales experience in sponsorship, media, sports, events and entertainment. She is also the founder of Sponsorship Mastery – an annual summit and webinar series dedicated to improving individual and organizational sponsorship performance.

The A&O&B team will also present the first highlights from their 16th annual online perceptual study, “Roadmap 2021”.  This is the largest study of Country P1's in the U.S. and Canada; with over 10,000 respondents.  Attendees will discover how the pandemic has affected trends in music tastes, radio usage, digital consumption, social networking and more.  

This fast paced three hour seminar will also include:

Brendan Kane
"Hook Point: How To Stand Out In A 3 Second World":  International Best selling author Brendan Kane is an outside of the box thinker, speaker and author who empowers brands to scale by helping them stand out and beat the competition in crowded and over-saturated markets. He is the author of the international best seller One Million Followers and the newly released Hook Point: How To Stand Out In A 3 Second World, as well as the founder and CEO of the Hook Point agency, providing business and digital strategies for brands like MTV, Taylor Swift, Rhianna and many others.

Partner Mike O'Malley points out, “It’s always exciting to present our pre-CRS Seminar. Each year attendees leave armed with new ideas and inspiration. To be honest, we do too. As always, the event is about making great radio that connects with listeners and creates an unbeatable platform for station advertisers.”

Brenner adds, “It is heartbreaking that we cannot be in person at Country Radio Seminar this year.  This will be the next best thing. The same valuable and actionable information in a virtual setting.  Plus, no airfare or hotel; you can do it from the comfort of any space!"

The A&O&B Pre-CRS Seminar is free to all A&O&B clients, as well as any broadcasters in non-competitive situations. You can Register here for this virtual experience today

Register for CRS 2021 here.

Chicago Radio: WSCR Extends Broadcast Deal With MLB Cubs

Entercom and the Chicago Cubs announced an extension to their broadcast partnership agreement today, keeping 670 The Score (WSCR-AM) as the flagship station for Cubs baseball. The station has served as the radio home of the team since 2016.

As part of the partnership, Entercom will manage the Cubs Radio Network – an extensive radio network with 30 stations across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. As the radio home of the Cubs, 670 The Score will broadcast all of the team’s regular season and postseason games, as well as select Spring Training games. Games will also be heard in the Chicago area via the station’s digital stream on RADIO.COM.

“I am beyond thrilled to be extending our partnership with the Cubs organization, establishing 670 The Score as home of Cubs baseball for years to come,” said Rachel Williamson, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. “We have never been more excited for baseball season and for Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer to bring the sights and sounds of Wrigley Field to life for Chicagoland listeners, who can hear all of the action on their radio and, for the first time, for free on the mobile app and via home smart speakers.”

Pat Hughes
“Entercom and 670 The Score have been tremendous partners over the past five seasons and we look forward to our partnership continuing for years to come,” said Crane Kenney, President of Business Operations, Chicago Cubs. “The Score has produced some of the most memorable moments in Cubs history and perhaps more than in any other year, we look forward to soon hearing the familiar voices of Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer calling Cubs games on the Score.”

Pat Hughes will enter his 26th season as the station’s play-by-play announcer of Cubs games. He will continue to team up with color announcer Ron Coomer. Prior to and following the conclusion of games, 670 The Score will air 35-minute pregame and one-hour postgame shows, hosted by Zach Zaidman. The station will also air special interviews with Cubs manager David Ross prior to games, as well as player and management interviews throughout the season.

Listeners can tune in to 670 The Score (WSCR-AM) in Chicago 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.

Wake-Up Call: House Dems Rest Their Trump Case

The House managers prosecuting the case against former President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial concluded their presentation after a second day Thursday that was shorter than the first. The managers repeated some of their points from the first day, including their arguments that: Trump had for months stoked the anger and violence that led to the attack on the Capitol with his constant assertions that the presidential election had been stolen; that Trump was derelict in not doing anything for hours to stop the assault or send help; and that the rioters believed they had been attacking at his direction to "stop the steal," using video of attackers at the Capitol saying that's why they were there.

But they also warned yesterday about what they said the future effects could be if Trump is not convicted on the charge of "incitement of insurrection" and barred from holding federal office again. Rep. Joe Neguse said, "If we pretend this didn’t happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered, who’s to say it won’t happen again?," and Rep. Ted Lieu stated, "I'm not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I'm afraid he's going to run again and lose, because he can do this again." They also charged that Trump had incited and condoned violence among his supporters since he launched his 2016 presidential campaign, citing incidents such as praising violence among audience members at his rallies and his remarks saying there were good people on "both sides" after the Charlottesville white nationalist rally that led to violence.

The Defense: Trump's attorneys will begin the presentation of their defense today. One of them, David Schoen, said it should go quickly, indicating that even though they have 16 hours they can use, they might be done without using any time on Saturday. If things do go that quickly, the vote on whether or not Trump is guilty could take place this weekend. Schoen yesterday criticized the Democrats' presentation, telling reporters that it was "offensive," and that the managers, quote, "haven’t tied it in any way to Trump." He also said he believed making the public relieve the attack hurts efforts at unity.

➤BIDEN: U.S. HAS SECURED COMMITMENTS FOR ENOUGH VACCINE FOR 300 MILLION PEOPLE BY JULY: President Biden said yesterday that the administration has secured commitments for enough coronavirus vaccines by the end of July for 300 million Americans to be fully vaccinated. The contractual commitments from Moderna and Pfizer to supply the 600 million doses -- two doses for 300 million people -- by the end of July is more than one month earlier than had previously been expected. That good news came as the U.S. is on track to surpass Biden's stated goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office, with more than 26 million doses already given in his first three weeks.

➤REPORT: CUOMO AIDE SAYS HID NUMBER OF NURSING HOME COVID DEATHS: An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Democratic state lawmakers Wednesday that the administration hid the number of nursing home deaths from Covid-19 so that it couldn't, quote, "be used against us," the New York Post reported Thursday. The report cited an audio recording of a meeting between Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and state Democrats, with DeRosa telling them that when they got a request from the state legislature for the nursing home death numbers, quote, "we froze." She explained that then President Donald Trump had been turning the issue into a, quote, "giant political football," saying, "He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes." She added, "So we do apologize. I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair."

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that more than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York were released into nursing homes from hospitals early in the pandemic under a much-criticized Cuomo directive that was later rescinded, citing new records it obtained. That number is more than 40 percent higher than what the state health department previously released.

➤SIX KILLED IN MORE THAN 130-VEHICLE CRASH ON TEXAS HIGHWAY: There were six people killed and dozens injured in a massive crash on a Texas highway involving more than 130 vehicles during a winter storm yesterday morning. At least three people were critically injured among the more than 65 people who were brought to hospitals. The crash happened on Interstate 35 near downtown Fort Worth, where the surface of the highway was icy because of the storm.

➤CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST BUFFALO COPS WHO SHOVED ELDERLY PROTESTER TO GROUND: Prosecutors said yesterday that felony assault charges had been dropped against two Buffalo, New York, police officers who shoved a 75-year-old protester to the ground last June during protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing, after a grand jury declined to indict them. The incident drew national attention after Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were seen on video shoving Martin Gugino as crowd control officers were clearing protestors for an 8 p.m. curfew. Gugino fell backward onto the pavement, hit his head and began bleeding. He suffered a fractured skull and brain injury and was hospitalized for a month. The Buffalo Police Department will carry out an internal affairs investigation of the incident, according to The Buffalo News.

➤S-F SUES ITS SCHOOLS, CITING RECORD CHILD SUICIDES: San Francisco has taken the extraordinary step of suing the city's own school district in order to get children back into classes, with its lawsuit filed yesterday citing a record-high number of suicidal children as experts say keeping the schools closed is causing a mental health crisis among children. Benioff Children's Hospital has seen a 66 percent increase in the number of suicidal children in the emergency room, and 75 percent increase in children who need hospitalization for mental health services, the lawsuit says. The city's 52,000 public school students haven't had in-person classes since last March, and even though schools have had the go-ahead since last September from public health officials to reopen, the district and teachers unions have been unable to reach an agreement on holding in-person classes again. Those who want schools to reopen cite data that shows it can and has been done safely with proper precautions like face masks and physical distancing. The lawsuit notes that 114 of San Francisco's private, parochial and charter schools have reopened, and there have been fewer than five cases that were suspected to have been caught in those schools.

➤VALENTINE’S DAY SCAMS: BEWARE PHONY ROMANCES, FAKE SHOPPING OFFERS: Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and scams are reflecting that. Lynette Owens is the global director of internet safety at Trend Micro, and says the number of scams related to romance and/or Valentine’s Day are up 20 percent over last year, due to the “double whammy” of people spending more time online and more time in isolation due to the pandemic. Owens says these scams often appeal to someone’s emotional needs, for example connecting through a dating app or social network—and usually will ask you for something, whether it be money or personal information. You should try and verify a person is legitimate before giving them any personal information, let alone any money. The Better Business Bureau says other red flags include the person hurrying you off the dating site to engage via email or text; the person always finding a reason to not meet in person; and the person hinting about having a lot of bad luck stories in your first interactions. You should also be weary of phishing websites set up to look like legitimate websites. Overall: be weary of websites and search for them on Google before ordering from them, don’t share personal information, and watch out for fake password reset messages via email.

🎾SERENA WILLIAMS WINS IN THIRD ROUND AT AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Serena Williams won her third-round match at the Australian Open yesterday, beating 19-year-old Russian Anastasia Potapova 7-6 (5), 6-2. Other third round winners yesterday included Number 3 Naomi Osaka and fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina. On the men's side, second-seeded Rafael Nadal won his second-round match and Number 6 Alexander Zverev won in the third round. Eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman was upset in the third round, falling in straight sets to 114th-ranked Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev.

Meanwhile, fans will no longer be allowed in the stands at the Australian Open after the Victoria state government announced a five-day lockdown due to Covid-19 outbreak at a hotel. The tournament was allowing up to 30,000 fans a day, 50 percent of normal capacity.

🏒NHL STARTING GAME-DAY COVID RAPID TESTING: The NHL announced new coronavirus safety protocols Thursday to try to stop potential outbreaks, which will include doing same-day rapid tests for players, team personnel and on-ice officials. That will be in addition to daily PCR testing, which is more accurate, but takes 12 to 24 hours to get results. Other expanded protocols include having all team meetings virtually, removing the plexiglass around the penalty box, and recommending players not leave their homes except for practices, games or essential activities. There are currently five NHL teams on pause because of players on the Covid list, either due to positive tests or contact tracing.

⚾MLB SEASON TO START APRIL 1ST: Major League Baseball announced yesterday that its season will begin on April 1st, with an opening day schedule of 15 games. Every team will be playing its first game on the same day for the first time since 1968. The regular season is scheduled to end on October 3rd.

🏈TOM BRADY TO HAVE MINOR KNEE SURGERY: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will have minor surgery on his knee during the offseason, the Tampa Bay Times first reported yesterday. ESPN cited a source as saying it wasn't a recent injury, and that the surgery had been planned for months. The news comes less than a week after the 43-year-old Brady won his record seventh Super Bowl as he led the Buccaneers to a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

🏌CANTLAY TIES COURSE RECORD IN OPENING ROUND AT PEBBLE BEACH: Patrick Cantlay is at the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California yesterday, tying the Pebble Beach course record with a 10-under 62. Cantlay has a two-stroke lead over fellow American Akshay Bhatia and Sweden's Henrik Norlander, who are tied in second place.

🏊OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL SWIMMER INDICTED IN U.S. CAPITOL ATTACK: Klete Keller, who won two Olympic gold medals for the U.S. as a swimmer, was indicted on seven charges yesterday related to his alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol attack. USA Today reported that the 38-year-old was indicted for knowingly and unlawfully entering and remaining in a restricted area, interfering with official government business, engaging in disorderly conduct to disrupt a session of Congress and interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder, among other things. The Washington Post said he could potentially face more than 15 years in prison. Keller won gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics anchoring the four-man team that included Michael Phelps in the 4x200 freestyle.

Jim Bohannon Show Added At WGN, KOMO

Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon Show has signed new affiliation agreements with heritage stations WGN-AM in Chicago, and KOMO-AM/FM in Seattle. The show can now be heard on over 275 stations nationwide.

The Jim Bohannon Show brings listeners a unique blend of breaking news, special guests, and audience call-ins, as well as interesting features and informative reports on a spectrum of topics. In addition to his weeknight broadcast, Bohannon hosts his signature daily feature, “The Offbeat,” a humorous look at something just a bit off the beaten track.

Bohannon, a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, just marked his 28th anniversary as host of the Jim Bohannon Show on Westwood One, the largest audio network in the United States.

"I'm very gratified to be adding two legendary sets of call letters, WGN Chicago and KOMO Seattle to the Jim Bohannon Show family of stations,” said Bohannon. “What a perfect way to cap my recent 28th anniversary hosting this nationwide evening chat. Thanks to our wonderful affiliates coast to coast and our fine listeners, without whom I'd merely have an expensive hobby.”

Fort Walton Beach Radio: WZLB To Import Florida Man Radio

JVC Media of Florida, one of America’s largest independent and locally owned broadcast and entertainment companies, announces the expansion of their entertaining talk radio brand known as the Florida Man Radio Network to JVC’s newly acquired Fort Walton Beach, FL cluster.

Florida Man Radio will be heard on WZLB 103.1 FM with a target launch date of March 1st. WZLB is the third affiliate of Florida Man Radio, in addition to the flagship WDYZ 660AM/105.5FM in Orlando and WYGC 104.9FM in the GainesvilleOcala market. Florida Man Radio debuted in September 2019 to critical acclaim and rabid audience reaction.

The lineup for Florida Man Radio features The Bubba the Love Sponge® Show 6-10am EST/5-9am CST, The Justin Clark Show 10am-Noon EST/9-11am CST, The Ed Tyll Show Noon-3pm EST/11am-2pm CST, and The Shannon Burke Show from 3-7pm EST/2-6pm CST.

JVC’s CEO John Caracciolo says, “The vision for Florida Man Radio was of a talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big issues of the day while not taking itself too seriously. We’ve invested in great personalities that truly bring the attitude of “Unfiltered and Unafraid” – it’s fun to listen to and we know it will be incredibly popular along the Emerald Coast and throughout Northwest Florida!”

JVC Executive Shane Reeve adds “Our collection of successful radio personalities on Florida Man Radio proves that talk radio is alive and well. We have seen such an incredible response from both our listeners and clients – this is just the beginning for the Florida Man Radio Network. We are thrilled to bring exciting talk radio to the Emerald Coast.”

JVC Florida Director of Programming Stevie DeMann comments, “Our shows all approach today’s volatile climate head-on with creativity, humor, and compelling content. We don’t hold back. You’ll hear clearly that our shows on Florida Man Radio unapologetically love America and support the men and women of our military. That mindset fits like a glove throughout Northwest Florida, especially with Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field right in our backyard!”.

Disney Returns To Profit, Streaming Surges

Walt Disney Co swung to a surprise quarterly profit on Thursday, as “The Mandalorian” and “Soul” lifted its fast-growing streaming business, outweighing pandemic worries about its hobbled theme park operations.

The Wall Street Journal reports Disney registered a profit of $17 million, or one cent a share. The blow came from Disney’s legacy businesses: Two-thirds of North American movie theaters remain closed, and Disneyland is closed to anyone who isn’t showing up for a Covid-19 vaccine shot.

In the comparable period a year ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic started to affect the U.S., its profit was $2.11 billion, or $1.16 a share.

Disney’s first-quarter profit comes after the company reported two quarterly losses in a row. But in a sign of how much has changed at the world’s largest entertainment company, Disney’s quarterly profit was about 2% of the domestic box-office gross of the company’s top-performing 2019 release, “Avengers: Endgame.”

With the traditional movie business hurting, Bob Chapek, approaching his first anniversary as Disney’s chief executive, reiterated the shift toward a streaming-first model.

“Our goal is to increasingly put the consumer in charge,” Mr. Chapek said.

The company’s flagship streaming service, Disney+, added more than 21 million new subscribers in the first quarter to hit 94.9 million subscribers as of Jan. 2, compared with 73.7 million subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter. The service was launched in November 2019.

WSJ reports Disney remains a tale of two companies, and the quarterly performance underscored its high-stakes pivot toward the direct-to-consumer streaming business. Disney executives provided some details of what a post-Covid-19 company might look like now that vaccinations have begun and the reopening of theaters and parks is on the horizon. The company maintains that “Black Widow,” a Marvel superhero movie scheduled to premiere in May, will get a theatrical release, and said mass vaccinations by April would be a game-changer for its struggling parks division.

All told, the Disney division that includes its theme-park business registered a $2.6 billion hit from Covid-19 in the quarter, the company said. Mr. Chapek said that, even when the parks open, he expects social-distancing and mask-wearing to be required at least through the end of the year.

Wall Street seems to have its eye on one figure: Disney+ subscribers. In December, Disney revised subscriber projections to reach as many as 260 million by 2024, a benchmark that sent its stock price soaring. Disney shares rose about 2% in after-hours trading on Thursday.