Saturday, April 3, 2021

April 4 Radio History

➦In 1906...Actress Beatrice Benaderet born (Died at age 62 from lung cancer – October 13, 1968). She was a radio and television actress and voice actress. Born in New York City and raised in San Francisco, she began performing in Bay Area theatre and radio before embarking on a Hollywood career that spanned over three decades. Benaderet first specialized in voiceover work in the golden age of radio, appearing on numerous programs while working with comedians of the era such as Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, and Lucille Ball. Her expertise in dialect and characterization led to her becoming Warner Bros.' leading voice of female characters in their animated cartoons of the early 1940s through the mid-1950s.

Benaderet was then a prominent figure on television in situation comedies, first with The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show from 1950 to 1958, for which she earned two Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. In the 1960s, she had regular roles in four series up until her death from lung cancer in 1968, including the commercial successes The Beverly Hillbillies, The Flintstones, and her best known role as Kate Bradley in Petticoat Junction. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring her work in television.

In 1926, Benaderet joined the staff of KFRC San Francisco, which was under the new ownership of Don Lee and where her duties included acting, singing, writing, and producing. Initially seeking work as a dramatic actress, she switched to comedy and performed on multiple shows in nine years with the station, in particular the Blue Monday Jamboree variety program, where her castmates included Meredith Willson, Elvia Allman, and future I Love Lucy producer Jess Oppenheimer. She additionally hosted the musical variety show Salon Moderne and gained attention for her work as a female announcer, which had become a rarity in radio in the 1930s.

Benaderet moved to Los Angeles station KHJ in 1936. She made her network radio debut upon being hired by Orson Welles for his Mercury Theatre repertory company heard on The Campbell Playhouse.  The following year she received her first big break in the industry on The Jack Benny Program, where she played Gertrude Gearshift, a wisecracking Brooklyn-accented telephone operator who gossiped about Jack Benny with her cohort Mabel Flapsaddle (Sara Berner).  Intended as a one-time appearance, the pair became a recurring role starting in the 1945–46 season, and in early 1947, Benaderet and Berner momentarily took over the actual NBC switchboards in Hollywood for publicity photos. She performed in as many as five shows daily,  causing her rehearsal dates to conflict with those of The Jack Benny Program and resulting in her reading live as Gertrude from a marked script she was handed upon entering the studio.

Other recurring characters Benaderet portrayed were Blanche Morton on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show; school principal Eve Goodwin on The Great Gildersleeve; Millicent Carstairs on Fibber McGee & Molly; Gloria the maid on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; and Iris Atterbury on the Lucille Ball vehicle My Favorite Husband, opposite Gale Gordon. Benaderet voiced various one-time parts before joining the main cast as Iris, the neighbor and friend of Ball's character Liz Cooper. The 1950 CBS program Granby's Green Acres, a perceived spinoff of My Favorite Husband, was her one radio lead role and reunited her with Gordon as a husband and wife who abandon city life to become farmers, but it lasted only eight episodes.

Beginning in 1943, Benaderet became Warner Bros.' primary voice of adult female supporting characters for their Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes animated shorts.

Benaderet was Lucille Ball's first choice as Ethel Mertz for the sitcom I Love Lucy; Ball said in a 1984 interview that she had "no other picture of anyone" for the role of Ethel.  However, Benaderet had to turn down the offer since she was contracted to the television adaptation of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, so Vivian Vance was eventually cast. Benaderet guest-starred on the January 21, 1952 first-season episode "Lucy Plays Cupid" as the character of Miss Lewis, a love-starved spinster neighbor.

➦In 1906...John Cameron Swayze born (Died – August 15, 1995), He was a news commentator and game show panelist during the 1940s and 1950s who later became best known as a product spokesman for Timex watches.

Swayze first wanted to be an actor; however workon Broadway ended when acting roles became scarce following the Wall Street Crash of 1929.  Swayze returned to the Midwest and worked for the Kansas City Journal Post as a reporter.

From there he graduated to radio, doing news updates for Kansas City's KMBC in 1940 and, reportedly, an experimental early television newscast. In Kansas City, Swayze broadcast news items prepared by United Press Kansas City bureau overnight editor Walter Cronkite. Four years later, Swayze went farther west, to Los Angeles and Hollywood, where NBC hired him for its western news division before moving him to its New York City news operation in 1947.

During 1948, Swayze provided voiceover work for the Camel Newsreel Theatre, an early television news program that broadcast Movietone News newsreels.

At the same time, Swayze proposed and obtained a radio quiz program, Who Said That?. The radio version lasted only a year, but Swayze was an occasional panelist in the television version of the program, which was broadcast on NBC from 1948 to 1955.

NBC, meanwhile, made Swayze the host of its national political convention coverage in 1948, the first commercial coverage ever by television. (NBC Television did broadcast the Republican National Convention from Philadelphia during 1940 on a noncommercial, semi-experimental basis, seen in just three cities: Philadelphia, New York City and Schenectady, NY).

In October 1948, Swayze was a permanent panel member of the quiz show Who Said That? and was referred to as the anchorman in what may be the first usage of this term on television.

Swayze was chosen in 1949 to host NBC's first television newscast, the 15-minute Camel News Caravan. He read items from the news wires and periodically interviewed newsmakers, but he is remembered best for reporting on the Korean War nightly and for his two catchphrases: "Let's go hopscotching the world for headlines" and his signoff: "That's the story, folks—glad we could get together. And now, this is John Cameron Swayze saying good night." Veteran broadcaster David Brinkley wrote in a memoir that Swayze got the job because of his ability to memorize scripts, which allowed him to recite the news when the primitive teleprompters of the time failed to work properly.

➦In 1914.
.. Julia Frances Langford born (Died at age 89 – July 11, 2005). She was a singer and entertainer who was popular during the Golden Age of Radio and also made film appearances over two decades.

While a young girl she required a tonsillectomy that changed her soprano range to a rich contralto. As a result, she was forced to change her vocal style to a more contemporary big band, popular music style. Cigar manufacturer Eli Witt heard her sing at an American Legion party and hired her to sing on his local radio show. After a brief stint in the Broadway musical "Here Goes the Bride" in 1931, she moved to Hollywood appearing on the Louella Parsons' radio show "'Hollywood Hotel' while starting a movie career. While singing for radio during the early 1930s, she was heard by Rudy Vallee, who invited her to become a regular on his radio show.  From 1935 until 1938 she was a regular performer on Dick Powell's radio show. From 1946 to 1951, she performed with Don Ameche as the insufferable wife, Blanche, on The Bickersons.

➦In 1922...WAAB (Baton Rouge La) becomes 1st US radio station with call-letters starting with a "W".

➦In 1964...As the April 4 issue of Billboard magazine demonstrates, the Beatles were simply dominating the American music scene. And during that unforgettable week, their music occupied the top five chart positions — the only time in pop-music history that a single act has accomplished such a feat. With “Can’t Buy Me Love” holding down the top slot, “Twist and Shout” was second and “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me” rounded out the top five.

Even more incredibly, the Beatles held seven additional positions on Billboard’s Hot 100, including “I Saw Her Standing There” at No. 31, “From Me to You” at No. 41, “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” at No. 46, “All My Loving” at No. 58, “You Can’t Do That” at No. 65, “Roll Over Beethoven” at No. 68 and “Thank You Girl” at No. 79.

As if to underscore the awe-inspiring power of Beatlemania during that fabled period, two Beatles tribute acts clocked hits that very same week, including the Carefrees’ “We Love You Beatles” at No. 42 and the Four Preps’ “A Letter to the Beatles” at No. 85. For April 11, 1964, issue of Billboard, the Beatles added two more hits to the Hot 100, including “There’s a Place” at No. 74 and “Love Me Do” at No. 81, giving them a total of 14 hits songs on the Billboard charts at the very same time.

Don Imus
➦In 2007...Don Imus called the Rutgers women basketball team "nappy-headed hos". The comment erupted into a firestorm of condemnation which a week later led to him being fired from his nationally syndicated radio show.

On April 4, 2007, during a discussion about the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, Imus characterized the Rutgers University women's basketball team players as "rough girls," commenting on their tattoos. His executive producer Bernard McGuirk responded by referring to them as "hardcore hos". The discussion continued with Imus describing the girls as "nappy-headed hos" and McGuirk remarking that the two teams looked like the "jigaboos versus the wannabes" mentioned in Spike Lee's film, School Daze; apparently referring to the two teams' differing appearances.

After outrage from the initial reports, Imus dismissed the incident as "some idiot comment meant to be amusing".  He also stated that "nappy-headed hoes" is a term that rap artists use to refer to African-American women.

He said: "That phrase [nappy-headed ho] didn't originate in the White Community. That phrase originated in the Black community. Young Black women all through that society are demeaned and disparaged and disrespected by their own Black men, and they are called that name in Black hip hop."

In response to mounting public censure, Imus issued a statement of apology:

I want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning regarding the Rutgers women's basketball team, which lost to Tennessee in the NCAA championship game on Tuesday. It was completely inappropriate and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry.

On April 9, Imus appeared on Al Sharpton's syndicated radio talk show, Keepin' It Real with Al Sharpton, to address the controversy. Sharpton called the comments "abominable", "racist", and "sexist", and repeated his earlier demand that Imus be fired. Imus said, "Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far. Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it."

The Rutgers basketball team held a news conference at which coach C. Vivian Stringer stated that the team would meet with Imus to discuss his comments. Several of the players expressed their outrage over his remarks. Team captain Essence Carson said Imus' remarks had "stolen a moment of pure grace from us".

On April 11, 2007, Steve Capus of NBC News, announced that MSNBC would no longer simulcast Imus in the Morning, effective immediately. The next day, CBS Radio canceled Imus in the Morning, effective immediately. CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves stated:

From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent. There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.  Moonves had met with Sharpton and Jesse Jackson shortly before the announcement was made.

  • Actor Craig T. Nelson is 77. 
  • Actor Christine Lahti (“Chicago Hope”) is 71. 
  • Singer Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers is 70. 
  • Actor Mary-Margaret Humes (“Dawson’s Creek,” ″History of the World Part 1″) is 67. 
  • Writer-producer David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal,” ″The Practice”) is 65. 
  • Amanda Righetti is 38
    Actor Constance Shulman (“Orange Is the New Black”) is 63. 
  • Actor Hugo Weaving (“The Matrix,” ″Lord of the Rings”) is 61. 
  • Bassist Craig Adams (The Cult) is 59. 
  • Talk show host Graham Norton is 58. 
  • Comedian David Cross (“Arrested Development,” ″Mr. Show”) is 57. 
  • Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 56. 
  • Actor Nancy McKeon is 55. 
  • Country singer Clay Davidson is 50. 
  • Singer Josh Todd of Buckcherry is 50. 
  • Singer Jill Scott is 49. 
  • Bassist Magnus Sveningsson of The Cardigans is 49. 
  • Magician David Blaine is 48. 
  • Singer Kelly Price is 48. 
  • Singer Andre Dalyrimple of Soul for Real is 47. 
  • Guitarist Josh McSwain of Parmalee is 46. 
  • Actor James Roday (“Psych”) is 45. 
  • Actor Natasha Lyonne (“Orange Is the New Black,” ″American Pie”) is 42. 
  • Actor-comedian Eric Andre (“The Eric Andre Show”) is 38. 
  • Actor Amanda Righetti (“The Mentalist”) is 38. 
  • Actor-singer Jamie Lynn Spears (“Zoey 101″) is 30. 
  • Actor Daniela Bobadilla (“The Middle,” “Anger Management”) is 28. 
  • Singer Austin Mahone is 25.

Survey: Pandemic Increases Importance of In-Dash Infotainment

The pandemic has increased the importance of the personal vehicle and in-dash infotainment today and this is especially true for Millennials and Gen Z, according to results from a national CARAVAN® survey conducted by ENGINE Insights. 

The survey also reveals that radio is indispensable/highly important to seven out of ten vehicle owners, with nearly 80 percent of Millennials valuing radio in the dashboard more than their generational counterparts (Gen Z/GenX/Boomers).

"This new survey reveals key trends driven by the pandemic, including the rise in the importance of both the personal vehicle and in-dash infotainment, as well as a change in the kind of content listened to in-vehicle," said Eric Corliss, Manager, ENGINE Insights.

"We were particularly struck by some of the demographic data: for example, that Millennials value radio in the dashboard so highly, with 78 percent saying it is indispensable and that households with children are most likely to find their vehicle more important today (and to view it as a place of refuge). Also, that these demos, along with Gen Z, are the most likely to place greater importance on dashboard entertainment/information today, versus pre-COVID," said Corliss.

Nine out of ten vehicle owners say it is important to have radio in their dashboard, with over half wanting it as the anchor of their media diet. Other key findings include that dashboard entertainment/information has become more important in the pandemic because of the ability to listen to music as an anxiety reliever, given all the bad news and stress in the world (especially true for Gen Z) and the ability to access local news/pandemic bulletins. More than half say the kind of content they listen to in their vehicle has changed versus pre-pandemic.

"It comes as no surprise that the majority of car owners say radio is indispensable to the vehicle dashboard. At Xperi, we are true believers in the power of free broadcast radio," said Jeff Jury GM, Connected Car, Xperi. "Given how highly Millennials value today’s radio, its relevance to the vehicle dashboard is confirmed for decades to come. This study also reinforces that car owners are looking for a dashboard that offers infotainment content that is personalized, discoverable, and textually and visually-rich."

Four in five vehicle owners say it is important for their in-vehicle dashboard entertainment to be personalized to their particular tastes and interests and this is increasingly relevant to young consumers, Gen Z (91 percent) and Millennials (89 percent). Top reasons for the importance of personalization include not having to fiddle with controls while driving, too much content clutter and being used to having relevant content pushed to them on other digital platforms.

The survey also weighs in on the importance of free content, without the worry of upgrades and connection. Four in five vehicle owners say no-cost listening choices are important and relate to the sentiment that, with so much great broadcast radio and free, discoverable content available, it makes no sense to pay.

Being able to continue listening to a radio station digitally when the vehicle has gone out of broadcast range is also important. And, compared to their older counterparts, Millennials and Gen Z place greater importance than older demographics on having content relevant to what they listen to "discovered" for them, and having rich visual/textual information about the artist and song they are listening to.

Key highlights from the survey

  • 47 percent of all vehicle owners surveyed feel their personal vehicle is more important than ever to them today versus pre-COVID.
  • 62 percent with children in the household report their vehicle is more important than ever, versus just 39 percent of those with no children. Over one-third feel their vehicle offers a place of refuge during these challenging times.
  • 91 percent of vehicle owners surveyed believe it is important to have radio in their dashboard, with 72 percent saying it is indispensable or very important.
  • 78 percent of Millennials say radio in the dashboard is indispensable versus 69 percent of their generational counterparts.
  • 64 percent of Gen Z/61percent of Millennials/65 percent with children place greater importance on dashboard entertainment/information today versus pre-COVID.
  • 80 percent of all respondents say it is important for their in-vehicle dashboard entertainment to be personalized to their particular tastes and interests.
  • Gen Z (91 percent) and Millennials (89 percent) rate personalization as important compared to Gen X (81 percent) and Baby Boomers (70 percent).
  • Features most important to in-vehicle dashboard entertainment experience are free content (30 percent), not having to worry about upgrades/connection (28 percent), and being able to continue listening to a radio station digitally when the vehicle has gone out of broadcast range (25 percent).
  • Gen Z (69 percent) and Millennials (68 percent) are by far the most likely of all generations to listen to different content in their vehicle than before COVID, and twice as likely as Baby Boomers (33 percent) to do so.
  • Four in five vehicle owners (79 percent) feel it is very important that listening choices in their vehicle are free (radio/podcasts/etc.) versus subscription based.
  • 60 percent agree that radio is great when they run out of things to listen to in their media library; 58 percent find the clutter of content choices too difficult to sift through, so they mainly listen to their pre-programmed radio stations.
  • Over half of vehicle owners (52 percent) like having radio as the anchor for their media diet.

Milwaukee Radio: Saga's WRXS Now Airing Oldies Format

A 1950s and 1960s pop-music oldies music format on Thursday replaced urban-oriented contemporary hits “Energy 106.9” on a Milwaukee radio station owned by Saga Communications Inc., reports The Milwaukee Business-Journal.

Since 2012, WNRG 106.9 FM ran a so-called rhythmic format that included contemporary hits, dance club music and hip-hop. The new format consists of music “you heard first on your transistor radio” from the 1950s and 1960s and the station’s new call letters are WRXS-FM.

“Milwaukee’s Pure Oldies 106.9” is playing hits from artists including The Supremes, The Beatles, Temptations, Dave Clark Five, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Four Tops, Mamas & Papas and Elvis Presley.

“The 60’s will always be remembered as an important decade of change, in society, in fashion, in our culture, and in the music – from iconic 50’s artists who popularized rock & roll, to the British Invasion, Motown, Pop, Doo-Wop, and Top 40 hits that were fun and upbeat," Bob Bellini, vice president and general manager of Saga’s (Nasdaq: SGA) Milwaukee Radio Group, said in a press release. "Pure Oldies 106.9 is Milwaukee’s new home for those great songs and artists that dominated the charts."

The station will target “a vast audience of listeners who have been underserved by formats that have forgotten this ‘golden era’ of music,” according to the release.

Milwaukee Radio Group said the music on 106.9 FM complements the classic rock heard on the company’s WKLH 96.5 FM in Milwaukee.

One existing Milwaukee station already plays pop hits of the 1960s and 1970s: “The Fonz FM,” which is owned by the Milwaukee Radio Alliance. The station airs on 100.3 FM and 1290 AM in Milwaukee and 107.3 FM in Racine.

iHeart Media owns WRIT The Big 95.7, which focuses primarily on hits from the 1980s.

Some Artists To Become Big Shareholders In Big Merger Deal

In the merger between BTS’ label HYBE and Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, Braun’s SB Projects (SBP) roster of clients — among them Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, J Balvin and Demi Lovato — are set to become significant shareholders in a capital increase meant to fortify the bond between both companies, according to Variety citing a Korean regulatory filing.

A total of 863,209 new shares were issued, at $186 a share, for a total value of $160.5 million. Of those shares, 462,380 were allocated to Braun himself, and 166,537 were allocated to Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Label Group, which Ithaca acquired in 2018. A commitment of $50 million from the purchase price was also divvied up to acts and employees who have been with Scooter Braun since he started SBP in 2007. 

Among them, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande received 53,557 apiece — translating to roughly $10 million each — while J Balvin received 21,423 shares. Demi Lovato was allocated 5,355. Smaller slices of the pie were parceled out to other artists on the label’s roster, such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Asher Roth, who each received 535 shares, as well as producer Andrew Watt, Migos rapper Quavo, producer Tommy Brown, songwriter Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd and the members of Florida Georgia Line, among others.

The cash-and-stock mega-deal, a marriage of major entertainment labels, is believed to be valued at more than $1 billion. As part of the deal, Braun will become a member of the board of HYBE and Borchetta will continue on as CEO of Big Machine.

The agreement includes a range of services including management, label services and publishing for a roster of musical artists that, on the HYBE side, includes South Korean pop group BTS — one of the biggest global breakouts of the last five years. To that end, in combining the two companies, the wisdom is that their respective strengths on opposite ends of the globe will complement — and help — both partners.

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish Got Slight Pay Increase

Bob Bakish
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish saw his pay increase slightly in 2020 to $38.9 million in 2020, according to The Wrap citing an SEC filing on Friday.

Bakish pulled in $36.6 million in compensation for 2019, which was split between his duties as CEO of Viacom before the merger with CBS toward the end of 2019.

Unlike most media conglomerates, ViacomCBS did not cut its executives pay last year. Bakish made a base salary of $3.1 million. The bulk of his compensation came from stock awards ($16 million) and non-equity incentive plan compensation ($19.6 million).

Since 2020 was the first full year of ViacomCBS, comparisons to the previous year are not exactly apples-to-apples. Naveen Chopra, executive vice president and CFO, made $11.3 million, while Christa D’Alimonte pulled in $5.95 million during the year.

In recent months, ViacomCBS’ stock price had skyrocketed, rising by 174% since the start of 2021, from $36.60 a share to more than $100 a share at the beginning of last week. But by the end of that same week, more than half of that price has been shaved off, with the company closing at $48.23 last Friday. It closed at $44.64 today.

The dip follows ViacomCBS’ announcement last week that it would raise $3 billion from new stock offerings. The company said it intends to use that money to invest in its streaming businesses, especially the newly launched Paramount+.

Boehner Tried Getting Roger Ailes To ‘Control The Crazies’ At Fox News

In his forthcoming book, “On The House,” former House Speaker John Boehner describes trying to get Roger Ailes, then the powerful boss at Fox News, to “put a leash on some of the crazies he was putting on the air,” according to Forbes.

In an excerpt of the book published in Politico, Boehner says Ailes spoke of being “monitored” by the Obama White House, and told Boehner he’d built a “safe room” in an effort to avoid being spied on.

“It was clear that he believed all of this crazy stuff. I walked out of that meeting in a daze. I just didn’t believe the entire federal government was so terrified of Roger Ailes that they’d break about a dozen laws to bring him down. I thought I could get him to control the crazies, and instead I found myself talking to the president of the club. One of us was crazy. Maybe it was me.

Boehner describes Fox News as a factory “making people who used to be fringe characters into powerful media stars.” Of Fox News prime time star Sean Hannity, Boehner writes he was “one of the worst.”

Hannity, on Twitter, responded to Boehner:

Boehner, who says he’d known Ailes for years—going back to Ailes’ work with the first Bush Administration—described a meeting in 1996 that included Rupert Murdoch. “At that dinner they told me all about this new TV network they were starting. I had no idea I was listening to the outline of something that would make my life a living hell down the line. Sure enough, that October, Fox News hit the airwaves.”

Amazon Maintains Lead in Smart Speaker Sales

Global smart speaker sales reached a record level in 2020 in spite of the challenging conditions precipitated by the Covid 19 pandemic, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics’ Smart Speakers and Screens service.

New model introductions from Apple, Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Baidu, that hit the market in time for the all-important holiday shopping season, contributed to a positive end to a difficult year. Smart displays accounted for 26% of the total smart speaker market during the quarter, up from 22% in Q4 2019. The growing availability of models across different sizes and price points is contributing to strong growth for smart displays. Graphic

Amazon led the overall smart speaker market in Q4 with a 28.3% share of global shipments as the delayed Prime Day and strong seasonal demand resulted in a return to year-over-year growth for Echo speakers following two quarters of volume decline. Google finished second with a 22.6% share of the market but its shipments declined slightly versus the previous year. Baidu and Alibaba finished the year strongly, with both posting solid double-digit shipment growth as they put the challenges of the first half of the year behind them. Apple was the standout performer in the quarter as its global shipments grew by 74% year-over-year following the launch of the $99 HomePod Mini in November. Apple’s market share reached a record 7.8% in Q4 2020, an increase of 3.1% over the previous year.

“Considering all of the obstacles put in front of smart speaker vendors this year, the market has held up remarkably well,” notes David Watkins, Director, Smart Speakers and Screens. 

“The delayed Prime Day shopping event delivered a boost to year end demand and if it were not for component supply shortages the market would have fared even better. Stock supplies are expected to remain tight through early 2021 as the global shortage in electronics components lingers on. Assuming smart speaker manufacturers can weather that storm then the continued recovery in China and high growth opportunities in markets with low smart speaker penetration across Europe, Asia and Latin America should present them with a solid platform for growth in 2021.”

April 3 Radio History

➦In 1930...The Second Academy Awards: "The Broadway Melody", Warner Baxter & Mary Pickford win. First time Academy Awards are broadcast on the radio.

➦In 1939...The radio crime drama 'Mr. District Attorney' debuted on NBC Radio. Later it carried by ABC Radio  until it ended June 13, 1952. The series focused on a crusading D.A., initially known only as "Mister District Attorney," or "Chief", and was later translated to television. On television the D.A. had a name, Paul Garrett, and the radio version picked up this name in the final years when David Brian played the role.

➦In 1942...'People Are Funny' was first heard on NBC Radio.  The game show was created by John Guedel and aired from 1942 to 1960.  Contestants were asked to carry out stunts in order to prove that "People Are Funny." Many of these stunts lasted weeks, months, or even years. But contestants who were successful received prizes. "People Are Funny" rarely had celebrities, focusing instead on everyday people. As a result, few recordings of the show were saved.

On October 1, 1943, host Art Baker was replaced by Art Linkletter, who continued for the rest of the series. For a memorable stunt of 1945, Linkletter announced that $1,000 would go to the first person to find one of 12 plastic balls floating off California. Two years later, an Ennylageban Island native claimed the prize.

As the popularity of the program escalated, a movie musical titled People Are Funny was released in 1946, offering a fictional version of the show's origin in a tale of rival radio producers. Phillip Reed appeared as Guedel, with Linkletter and Frances Langford portraying themselves. Also in the cast were Jack Haley, Helen Walker, Ozzie Nelson and Rudy Vallée.

The radio series moved to CBS from 1951 to 1954, returning to NBC from 1954 to 1960.

➦In 1948…The Louisiana Hayride debuted on KWKH 1130 AM in Shreveport, LA.  The country music show broadcast from the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana, that during its heyday from 1948 to 1960 helped to launch the careers of some of the greatest names in American country and western music. Elvis Presley performed on the radio version of the program in 1954 and made his first television appearance on the television version of Louisiana Hayride on March 3, 1955.

Within a year of its debut, the program was so popular that a regional 25-station network was set up to broadcast portions of the show, and was even heard overseas on Armed Forces Radio. The popularity of Louisiana Hayride spawned various incarnations in other parts of the United States, most notably in Cincinnati on WLW radio and later television; its version was dubbed Midwestern Hayride.

The Hayride was where talented, but virtual unknowns, were also given exposure to a large audience. Over the years, country music greats such as Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Jimmie Davis, Will Strahan, Slim Whitman, Floyd Cramer, Sonny James, Hank Snow, Faron Young, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, Claude King, Jimmy Martin, George Jones, John and The Three Wise Men, Johnny Cash, Frankie Miller, Tex Ritter, Cowboy Jack Hunt & Little Joe Hunt of the Rhythm Ranch Hands, Nat Stuckey, and Lefty Frizzell, among many others, performed on Louisiana Hayride.

On October 16, 1954, Elvis Presley appeared on the radio program. Presley's performance of his debut release on the Sun Records label, "That's All Right".  Presley was signed to a one-year contract for future appearances. Presley became so popular that after his final appearance on Hayride in 1956, emcee Horace Logan announced to the crowd a phrase that would become famous: "Elvis has left the building."

Within a few years, rock and roll had come to dominate the music scene, and on August 27, 1960, Louisiana Hayride ended its primary run.

➦In 1949...The Martin and Lewis radio show debuted on the NBC Radio Network and continued until July 14, 1953.

After losing The Jack Benny Program and Amos 'n' Andy from its Sunday night lineup to what had been called "the CBS talent raids" of 1948-49, NBC turned to the young comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, a pair "virtually unknown to a radio audience." Reinehr and Swartz commented in their old-time radio reference book, "the program ... was never as successful as the network had hoped, because much of Martin and Lewis's comedy was visual.

Billboard magazine reported that the network spent approximately $400,000 over five months getting the show ready. The basis for NBC's investment was a five-year radio contract signed in December 1948. The deal guaranteed the pair $150,000 per year and "a choice time slot."

➦In 1949...KQW-AM, San Francisco, California changed call letters to KCBS-AM.

Charles Herrold
KCBS has its roots in the experiments of San Jose engineer Charles "Doc" Herrold as far back as 1909, making the broadcaster a leading contender for the title of oldest continuously broadcasting station in the United States and possibly the world.

Herrold used a variety of different radio call signs in the early days, including FN, SJN, 6XF and 6XE. In the very beginning, Herrold used a simple greeting like "San Jose calling."

That greeting and the initial FN sign (which was an inverted abbreviation of "National Fone") reflected the fact that he had been partially working on the idea of a radiotelephone.

On December 9, 1921, Herrold received a commercial license under the callsign KQW. It was the 21st licensed radio station in the United States and the 11th in the state of California.

Original KQW Transmitter (courtesy of The Radio Historian)
However, the "arc-phone" Herrold had been using for over a decade had to be scrapped. It would only work at wavelengths above 600 meters, and all radio stations were restricted to 360 meters (roughly the equivalent of 833 kHz). He quickly created a replacement, using a tube-like transmitter drawing power from San Jose's streetcar lines. However, he never recovered financially from the loss of his arc-phone, and was forced to put the station on the market in 1925. After initially giving an option to a civic foundation, he sold it to the First Baptist Church of San Jose. Herrold stayed on as a technician for the station he had created for a few years, but died in obscurity in 1947.

There is at least one authentic broadcast recording chronicling this early history. On November 10, 1945, KQW presented a special program called "The Story of KQW," commemorating Herrold's early broadcasts. It includes a brief recorded statement by Herrold, just before his 70th birthday. During the introduction to the program, a KQW announcer explains that the program was produced to mark the 25th anniversary of the broadcasting industry as well as the 36th anniversary of KQW. The announcer then goes on to say that KQW was the first radio station in the world to operate on a regular schedule. The major events in Herrold's work are then dramatized.

In 1926, station manager James Hart bought KQW's license and facilities, eventually buying the station itself in 1930. A series of power boosts brought the station's effective radiated power to 5,000 watts by 1935. It served as the San Jose affiliate of the Don Lee Broadcasting System from 1937 to 1941; during the time, that it was owned by Julius Brunton & Sons, the station's operations being co-located with KJBS at 1470 Pine Street in San Francisco.

However, in 1942 CBS offered to move its San Francisco affiliation to KQW after KSFO (560 AM) turned down CBS' offer to buy the station. KQW jumped at this offer, having been without a source of network programming for over a year. CBS moved its affiliation to KQW later that year, with an option to buy the station outright. KJBS Broadcasters then sold the station and KQW moved to a lavish CBS-owned studio at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. For all intents and purposes, it became a San Francisco station, though it continued to be licensed in San Jose.

At the end of World War II, KQW found itself in a battle with KSFO for its longtime home on 740 AM, the last Bay Area frequency that was authorized to operate at 50,000 watts. When CBS affiliated with KSFO in 1937, it cut a deal with KQW to swap frequencies with KSFO, which would then boost its power to 50,000 watts. The change was awaiting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval when World War II broke out.

By 1945, however, KQW had become San Francisco's CBS affiliate, and CBS was obviously not about to give up the advantage of having the last 50,000-watt frequency in the Bay Area. While the FCC granted the frequency to KSFO, its owners, Associated Broadcasters, later decided to concentrate on plans for its new television station, KPIX-TV (channel 5). Eventually, Associated Broadcasters traded 740 back to CBS in return for KPIX getting the CBS television affiliation for the Bay Area.

CBS exercised its option to buy KQW in 1949, changing the calls to KCBS (the KCBS callsign predates the use on the CBS-owned television station (then KNXT) in Los Angeles by over 30 years, and KCBS-FM there as well). The station also officially changed its city of license to San Francisco after seven years. In 1951, KCBS signed on at 50,000 watts for the first time from an elaborate multi-tower facility in Novato originally intended for KSFO. However, the station is a class B station, not a Class A (clear-channel).

In 1968, KCBS became one of the first all-news stations in the country. However, it already had a long history in news dating back to World War II, when it was the center of CBS' newsgathering efforts in the Pacific Theater.

➦In 1953...The first issue of TV Guide was released in 1953, with a photograph of Lucille Ball and her newborn son, Desi Arnaz, Jr.   The publication reached a circulation of 1,500,000 readers in its first year.

➦In 1959…"Charlie Brown" by The Coasters was banned by the BBC because it contained the word "spitball."  The ban was lifted two weeks later.

➦In 1974...NYC Radio Personality Murray the K exited WNBC 660 AM.  He had joined NBC in 1972 for the weekend NBC Monitor and also for a regular evening weekend program on WNBC radio. Although it was low-key, Murray's WNBC show featured his own innovative trademark programming style, including telling stories that were illustrated by selected songs, his unique segues, and his pairing cuts by theme or idiosyncratic associations.

➦In 1978...Mutual Broadcasting System moved the "Larry King Show" talk show to Washington DC from Miami.

➦In 2014…WBT Charlotte and WSPA Spartnburg radio host Arthur Smith died at age 93.

Smith was also noted for his "Feudin' Banjos" (1955), which was also recorded by Lester Flatt. It was revived as "Dueling Banjos" and used as a theme song in the popular movie, Deliverance (1972).

Released as a single, it became a hit, played on Top 40, AOR, and country stations alike. It reached the Top Ten and hit #1 in the US and Canada.  Because he was not credited in the film for the song, Smith sued Warner Brothers, and gained a settlement. His name was added to the film credits for his piece, and he received a share of royalties.

➦In 2015...Morning host Jim Scott made his final broadcast on WLW 700 AM in Cincinnati after nearly 50 years on the air.

Known for his cheerful disposition and fast-moving show, Scott said he has always enjoyed the intimacy of radio as a medium: "It's just you and me."

Scott started in radio in Cincinnati in 1968. He had been with WLW since 1984.

  • Leona Lewis is 36
    Actor Marsha Mason is 79. 
  • Singer Wayne Newton is 79. 
  • Singer Tony Orlando is 77. 
  • Singer Richard Thompson is 72. 
  • Bassist Curtis Stone of Highway 101 is 71. 
  • Guitarist Mick Mars of Motley Crue is 65. 
  • Actor Alec Baldwin is 63. 
  • Actor David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”) is 62. 
  • Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 60. 
  • Singer-guitarist Mike Ness of Social Distortion is 59. 
  • Singer Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) is 53. 
  • Actor Jennie Garth (“Beverly Hills 90210″) is 49. 
  • Actor Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) is 48. 
  • Guitarist Drew Shirley of Switchfoot is 47. 
  • Actor Matthew Goode (“Downton Abbey,” ″The Good Wife”) is 43. 
  • Actor Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) is 39. 
  • Singer Leona Lewis is 36. 
  • Actor Amanda Bynes is 35. 
  • Actor Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) is 34. 
  • Actor Hayley Kiyoko (“CSI: Cyber”) is 30. 
  • Bassist Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet is 22.

Friday, April 2, 2021

HYBE Acquires Big Hit Entertainment

The Korean company that launched K-pop sensation BTS is paying $1.05 billion for a star-studded U.S. media group behind the careers of global stars Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.

Bloomberg reports Big Hit Entertainment, which is changing its name to HYBE, is investing 1.07 trillion won ($950 million) into its U.S. unit to acquire Ithaca Holdings LLC, led by music impresario Scooter Braun. Big Hit will pay a total of $1.05 billion to shareholders and bondholders to purchase Ithaca, according to a regulatory filing in Seoul Friday.

The acquisition of Ithaca would be the first major foray into the U.S. market for Big Hit Entertainment. Braun, currently Ithaca’s chief executive officer, will join the board of HYBE, the companies said in a statement. As part of the transaction, Carlyle Group will sell its significant minority stake in Ithaca, which it has held since 2017.

Braun hailed HYBE’s systems and said the tie-up would create “exponential” opportunities for new and existing Ithaca artists. HYBE Chairman and CEO Bang Si-Hyuk called the deal an “inevitable joining.”

Big Hit helped popularize K-pop, with BTS’s “Dynamite” topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020. BTS was the first Asian act to be No. 1 on the U.S. music chart since Kyu Sakamoto held the No. 1 spot for three weeks in 1963.

Wake-Up Call: Taiwan Train Crash Claims 36 Dead

A passenger train crashed into a truck and partially derailed in Taiwan Friday morning, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens of others. There were reportedly 350 passengers on the train when the crash took place as it was emerging from a rail tunnel. Railways news officer Weng Hui-ping said a construction truck operated by the railway administration, but that wasn't in use at the time, slid onto the track from a work site on the hillside above. The accident took place on the first day of an annual four-day religious festival during which people travel to their hometowns.

➤SUPERVISORY SERGEANT: OFFICERS COULD HAVE STOPPED RESTRAINING FLOYD AFTER HE WAS NO LONGER RESISTING: A retired Minneapolis police supervisory sergeant who arrived at the scene shortly after George Floyd was taken away in an ambulance last May, testified during former officer Derek Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial yesterday (April 1st) that the officers should have stopped restraining Floyd after he was no longer resisting. David Pleoger said, "When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint." He also said that officers are trained to roll people on their side to help with their breathing after they've been restrained in the prone position.

Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, testified earlier the day, speaking about how they both struggled throughout their relationship with opioid addiction that began with taking painkillers for chronic pain, saying they, quote, "tried really hard to break that addiction many times." She said that she'd suspected Floyd had begun using again about two weeks before he died because his behavior changed. Chauvin's defense has argued Floyd died as a result of the fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system, along with his underlying health conditions and his adrenaline.

Paramedics who attended to Floyd at the scene were also on the stand. Seth Bravinder said that when they arrived, he saw no signs that Floyd was breathing or moving, and it appeared he was in cardiac arrest, and a second paramedic, Derek Smith, said he couldn't find a pulse. The paramedics said they were never able to restore a pulse, and Floyd was declared dead at the hospital.

➤GUNMAN WHO KILLED FOUR, INCLUDING CHILD, IN CALIFORNIA OFFICE COMPLEX KNEW THE VICTIMS: Police said Thursday that a gunman who killed four people, including a nine-year-old boy, at a Southern California office complex the day before knew all the victims, and his motive may have been personal or involved business. The suspect, identified as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, with police saying it wasn't yet clear whether he'd been shot by police or he shot himself. A female survivor is also in critical but stable condition, and the boy who died was found in her arms. Police spokesman Lieutenant Jennifer Amat said Gonzalez allegedly chained the front and rear gates to the office complex in the city of Orange and was seen on security video carrying a semiautomatic handgun and a backpack that contained pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition. His target was a mobile home brokerage business called Unified Homes.

➤'N.Y. TIMES': GAETZ PROBE FOCUSED ON WOMEN RECRUITED ONLINE FOR SEX AND PAID: The New York Times reported yesterday that a Justice Department investigation into Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Joel Greenberg, a former Florida politician who was indicted for sex trafficking, is focused on their involvement with women who were recruited online for sex and paid in cash, citing sources, as well as texts and payment receipts reporters reviewed. The Times said investigators believe Greenberg first met the women through websites that connect people who go on dates in exchange for gifts, expensive meals, travel and allowances, and he introduced them to Gaetz, who also had sex with them. One of the women, according to the report, agreed to have sex with a friend of theirs. The Justice Department is also probing whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl and whether she received anything of material value. The report also claims some of the men and women involved, including Gaetz, took ecstasy. Gaetz has denied the claims, including ever paying a woman for sex.
  • Meanwhile, CNN reported yesterday that Gaetz showed lawmakers nude photos of women he said he'd slept with, showing them both in private and on the House floor. CNN said there was no evidence the photos were connected to the Justice Department's investigation.

➤POLL FINDS TACOS TOPS LISTE OF FOODS THAT PUT PEOPLE IN BETTER MOOD:  A new survey on the relationship between the food we eat and our moods found that 66 percent of people said what they eat depends a lot on their mood, and nearly the same number, 65 percent also said their mood can determine what they'll eat that day. When asked in the survey by OnePoll for HelloFresh what they eat when they're having a bad day, chocolate led the list with 46 percent, followed by fast food and candy at 36 percent and chips at 35 percent. Chocolate was also at 41 percent in what people eat on a good day, with fruit and vegetables at 39 percent on those days. But for bad days, just 30 percent wanted vegetables and 27 percent wanted fruit. When asked specifically what foods instantly put them in a better mood, tacos topped the list at 33 percent, followed close behind by bacon and eggs and by steak, which were both at 32 percent.

➤FEWER SUICIDES IN 2020 DESPITE PANDEMIC: Despite fears that the stress of the pandemic and isolation from lockdowns might lead to more suicides, preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicides were actually down last year. Deaths by suicide fell by 5.6 percent in 2020, and suicide was also bumped out of the top 10 U.S. causes of death by Covid-19, which entered the list in third place. At the same time, mental health experts warn that we're still not back to normal, and that young people in particular still have high levels of depression and anxiety.

➤'HOUSTON CHRONICLE': NEARLY 200 KILLED BY TEXAS WINTER STORM AND COLD: A Houston Chronicle analysis found that at least 194 people were killed by the winter storm and following unusually cold temperatures that hit Texas in February, which knocked out power and heat to millions of people for days. According to the Chronicle analysis, at least 100 of those who lost their lives died from hypothermia, around half of the victims were over age 65, and nearly three-quarters were people of color. At least 16 deaths were from carbon monoxide poisoning as people used unsafe methods to try to heat their homes. The state's official death toll was increased from 57 to 111 last week, by meany deaths are still being investigated.

➤FIRST LADY PULLS APRIL FOOLS' DAY PRANK ON REPORTERS: First Lady Jill Biden pulled an April Fool's Day prank yesterday on reporters traveling with her on a flight back from California to Washington, D.C. According to AP, a flight attendant with a nametag that read "Jasmine" and short black hair passed out Dove ice cream bars during meal service while wearing a black face mask and a black pantsuit. A few minutes later, she came back out without the wig, showing she was the first lady, and laughed as she said, "April Fools!" Biden wrote in her 2019 memoir, Where the Light Enters, that she likes playing pranks, including one when her husband was vice president when she hid in an overhead bin on Air Force Two, scaring the first person who opened it up to put in their luggage.

➤GIRL SCOUT SHATTERS RECORD BY SELLING 32,484 BOXES OF COOKIES IN ONE SEASON: Selling tens of thousands of Girl Scout cookies in just two months is an incredible feat and it's only made more special when it's done during a pandemic. Eight-year-old Lilly Bumpus made it her mission to sell as many cookies as she could this season within the restrictions. She wasn't able to go door-to-door or set up a table outside of a grocery store, but she could sell online and have a booth in the front yard of her San Bernardino, California, home. Bumpus is a cancer survivor, and her troop is mostly made up of other kids who have either battled cancer, are still fighting it, or lost a loved one to the disease. Her fellow Scouts showed up at her house to surprise Bumpus and share some good news: she sold 32,484 boxes of cookies, breaking the record for most boxes sold in a season. About 5,000 of the boxes are being donated to pediatric cancer patients, homeless people, and soldiers serving overseas.

➤A GENDER GAP IN NEGOTIATION EMERGES BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS AS EARLY AS AGE EIGHT: When it comes to negotiation, boys and girls do things different—even from a young age. Boston College researchers looked ages kids ages four to nine and found that girls asked for less than boys did when negotiating with a man. Study leader Katherine McAuliffe explains, “We did not see this gender gap when children were negotiating with a woman. There is still much more work to be done, but one thing this tells us is that we should be teaching young girls to advocate for themselves in the context of negotiation from as early as elementary school.” Researchers say these results mirror the dynamics of the negotiation gap that persists between men and women in the workforce, and which may help explain the gender gap in pay that separates women and men. The experts say the next step is clarifying exactly what explains the development of this behavior and trying to develop interventions that could help balance things out.

➤AMERICANS ARE ON A SHOPPING SPREE—THESE WORKERS ARE OVERWHELMED: Due to the pandemic, many of us have been spending the majority of our time at home for over a year, and it’s definitely changed our shopping habits. People bought new furniture, espresso machines, and expensive European wines—and all the purchases could be seen in the surge of household cargo that shattered records at the Port of New York and New Jersey. 

The network of docks, terminals, and open storage areas moved over 755,400 standard cargo containers in October alone—the busiest month in the history of the port, which has handled cargo containers since the 1960s. In fact, this port had cargo volumes up 23 percent higher each month from August through December 2020, compared to the same months in 2019. Even in January, cargo volume rose 17 percent compared to the previous year, and in February it went up seven percent—a new high for that month. But all of this means the port had to extend its operating hours to nights and weekends, and that various businesses have been overwhelmed with demand. 

For example, LG Electronics USA reports a “double digit increase” in sales of refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers that ship from factories in Asia.

⚾TWO GAMES CALLED OFF ON MLB'S OPENING DAY, ONE DUE TO COVID, THE OTHER TO RAIN: Opening day was supposed to kick off baseball season yesterday with a full slate of 15 MLB games, but two were called off, one due to Covid-19 and the other to rain. The Washington Nationals’ game against the New York Mets was postponed after at least three Nationals players tested positive for Covid, and GM Mike Rizzo said there's a fourth player who's considered "likely positive." Everyone else is self-quarantining. Meanwhile, the game between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox was a more standard postponement, with the game rained out in Boston. It will be made up today.

Some of yesterday's season-opening games were played in chilly temperatures, including in Detroit, where the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hit the first home run of the new season in snow against the Cleveland Indians. It was hard for Cabrera to see through the snow when he hit his shot in the first inning, leading him to slide into second base because he didn't know if the ball had made it over the outfield wall.

🏒THREE MORE CANUCKS GAMES POSTPONED DUE TO COVID ISSUES: The NHL postponed three more Vancouver Canucks games yesterday due to Covid-19 issues, with players Adam Gaudette and Travis Hamonic and a member of the coaching staff in the Covid protocol. The Canucks games scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday that have now been postponed are in addition to their game against the Calgary Flames that was postponed Wednesday.

🏌TAVATANAKIT IN LEAD AFTER ANA INSPIRATION'S OPENING ROUND: Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand is in the lead after the opening round of the ANA Inspiration at California's Mission Hills Country Club on Thursday (April 1st), one of women's golf's five majors. China's ShanShan Feng and Leona Maguire of Ireland are tied in second place one shot back. American Michelle Wie West was back to competition after a 21-month break, having gotten married in 2019 and had a baby last June.

🏈RAMS QB STAFFORD HAD MINOR SURGERY ON THROWING HAND: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had minor surgery on his throwing hand last moth, The Athletic reported Thursday. The NFL Network reported that the 33-year-old suffered ligament damage to his thumb last season with the Detroit Lions. He was seen in an Instagram video posted by his wife last week with a brace around his right thumb. The Athletic report said Stafford is expected to be at "100 percent" by the time team activities begin later this month.

🏀HALL OF FAME NORTH CAROLINA BASKETBALL COACH ROY WILLIAMS RETIRING: Hall of Fame North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams announced yesterday that he's retiring. The 70-year-old Williams said during a news conference, "It has been a thrill. It has been unbelievable. I've loved it." But explaining why he was leaving, he said, "I no longer feel that I am the right man for the job." Williams has spent 18 seasons at UNC, leading them to national titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017, and coached Kansas for 15 seasons, taking it to four Final Four appearances. He ranks fourth all time among Division I coaches in wins with a 903-264 record and was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

SCOTUS Ruling Backing FCC Was Unanimous

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that the Federal Communications Commission could relax rules limiting the number of newspapers, radio stations and television stations that a single entity may own in a given market.

The NY Times reports the decision is likely to prompt further consolidation among broadcast outlets, some of which say they need more freedom to address competition from internet and cable companies. Critics fear that media consolidation will limit the perspectives available to viewers.

The rules at issue in the case, initially adopted between 1964 and 1975, had been meant “to promote competition, localism and viewpoint diversity by ensuring that a small number of entities do not dominate a particular media market,” Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh wrote for the court. But the rules, he added, were a relic of a different era — “an early-cable and pre-internet age when media sources were more limited.”

“By the 1990s, however, the market for news and entertainment had changed dramatically,” Justice Kavanaugh wrote. “Technological advances led to a massive increase in alternative media options, such as cable television and the internet. Those technological advances challenged the traditional dominance of daily print newspapers, local radio stations and local television stations.”

The case, Federal Communications Commission v. Prometheus Radio Project, No. 19-1231, concerned three rules. One barred a single entity from owning a radio or television station and a daily print newspaper in the same market, the second limited the number of radio and television stations an entity can own in a single market, and the third restricted the number of local television stations an entity could own in the same market.

Public interest and advocacy groups objected, largely on the ground that changing the rules would harm minority and female ownership of media outlets. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, agreed, ruling that the commission had not adequately considered evidence on that point. The appeals court ordered the commission to do more work “whether through new empirical research or an in-depth theoretical analysis.”

NBC News Anchor Says 'Fairness' Not Necessary

FOX News Channel host Tucker Carlson blasted NBC News anchor Lester Holt Thursday for encouraging journalists to not commit to "fairness" in the name of combating misinformation, calling it "demented" and the opposite of what journalism should be.

While accepting a media award Tuesday, Holt said the notion of giving two sides "equal weight" was outdated, in what critics called a clear dogwhistle to liberal media members.

"They're grotesque," Carlson said of Holt's comments on "Outnumbered."

"Fairness is never overrated ... If you don't strive to be fair, you are certain to commit moral atrocities, but again, not just true for network newsreaders. By the way, when did newsreaders become philosophers? I think Lester Holt seems like a perfectly nice guy, but you don't turn to Lester Holt for deepthink. The truth is, he's saying that we know what we know, and we shouldn't question it, when in fact the reality of life suggests that's completely wrong."

Holt received praise from liberal reporters like CNN's John Harwood and Brian Stelter for his comments. Left-leaning outlets in recent months have increasingly called for silencing opposing views in the name of combating misinformation, while ignoring biases and misinformation in their own ranks.

The "Tucker Carlson Tonight" host said Holt's viewpoint was arrogant, given there are plenty of things people may think they know but actually don't.

"We, for thousands of years, imagined that the sun revolved around the Earth," he said. "The point of journalism is to continuously press against what we think we know, demand evidence, and show it to the public. It's not to affirm what the ruling class declares, which is basically what he's saying. It's demented, actually."

Essentially, Carlson argued, Holt and other elite reporters' worldview was to "make the other side shut up" and run interference for the world's most powerful people.

FOX News Extends Bret Baier As Special Report Host

Bret Baier

FOX News Media has extended Bret Baier’s current multi-year contract, keeping him as anchor and executive editor of "Special Report," FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott announced Thursday.

"Bret has masterfully covered some of the most consequential news stories of our time and we’re thrilled to have him continue his extraordinary journalism career at Fox News for many years to come," Scott said.

Baier will also continue to serve as Fox News’ chief political anchor in addition to anchoring "Special Report."

"I am thrilled to continue working with Fox News Channel for the next five years. It has been my home away from home for almost a quarter century," Baier said. "Suzanne Scott, Jay Wallace, and the Murdochs have been terrific leaders and bosses. I look forward to working closely with my incredibly talented team to cover the important stories of our time in the fair and honest way our viewers expect." 

Baier started anchoring "Special Report" in January 2009 and the show has seen its audience grow 53 percent among total viewers and 21 percent among the key demographic of adults age 25-54 since he took over. It has now finished No. 1 among cable news in its timeslot for more than a decade. Baier had a record-breaking year in 2020 when "Special Report" averaged 3.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in all of cable during the 6 p.m. timeslot.

Baier has been a major part of all political and election events since he joined Fox News in 1998, first as a reporter in the Atlanta bureau. He co-anchored the network’s 2020 election coverage alongside Martha MacCallum, as its "Democracy 2020" was the most-watched election night in cable news history with 14.1 million viewers.

Baier also co-anchored Fox News’ coverage of the presidential debates, the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, co-moderated a series of presidential election town halls and hosted a series for FOX Nation called "The Campaign."

During his career, Baier has interviewed everyone from Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush to the Dalai Lama. Along the way, he has reported from 74 different countries.