Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 11 Radio History

➦In 1904...Actor Paul McGrath born in Chicago (Died  at age 74 – 13 April 1978). He was a film, TV, Broadway, and radio actor best known for his radio appearances in the 1940s and 1950s. McGrath was a regular on the soap operas Big Sister and Young Doctor Malone. He also played the host on Inner Sanctum Mystery.  On TV he had recurring roles on The Edge of Night & Guiding Light.

➦In 1907...Paul Douglas Fleischer born (Died from a heart attack at age 59 − September 11, 1959).  He worked originally as an announcer for CBS radio station WCAU in Philadelphia, relocating to network headquarters in New York in 1934.

Paul Douglas
Douglas co-hosted CBS's popular swing music program, The Saturday Night Swing Club, from 1936 to 1939.

He also appeared on the CBS network broadcast of the 1937 World Series between the New York Giants and New York Yankees alongside France Laux and Bill Dyer.

He made his Broadway debut in 1936 as the Radio Announcer in Doty Hobart and Tom McKnight's Double Dummy at the John Golden Theatre.  Douglas began appearing in films in 1949. He may be best remembered for two baseball comedy movies, It Happens Every Spring (1949) and Angels in the Outfield (1951).

Douglas was host of the 22nd annual Academy Awards in March 1950. Continuing in radio, he was the announcer for The Ed Wynn Show, and the first host of NBC Radio's The Horn & Hardart Children's Hour. In April 1959 Douglas appeared on The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show as Lucy Ricardo's television morning show co-host in the episode "Lucy Wants a Career".

In 1955 he appeared in the play "The Caine Mutiny" but his union placed him on probation for allegedly saying, "The South stinks. It's a land of sowbelly and segregation," which offended southern audiences. Douglas claimed that he was misquoted.[4]

Douglas was originally cast in the 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Mighty Casey", a role written for him by Rod Serling based on his character in Angels in the Outfield. Douglas died the day after production of the episode had been completed. He had been in his last stages of illness during filming, and his severe physical state was apparent on film. (The crew incorrectly assumed that his condition was the result of heavy drinking.) The episode – which was a comedy – was deemed unairable. It was, however, resurrected some months later, and Douglas's scenes were re-shot with Jack Warden.

➦In 1912...John Larkin born (Died from a heart attack at age 52 — January 29, 1965). He was an actor whose nearly 30-year career was capped by his 1950s portrayal of two fictional criminal attorneys — Perry Mason on radio and Mike Karr on television daytime drama The Edge of Night.

John Larkin
After having acted in an estimated 7,500 dramatic shows on radio, he devoted his final decade to television and, from April 1962 to January 1965, was a key member of the supporting cast in two prime-time series and made at least twenty major guest-starring appearances in many of the top drama series of the period.

Larkin developed a distinctively resonant voice perfectly suited to radio, the prime entertainment venue in American homes during the Depression 1930s. By the latter part of the decade, when he was in his mid-twenties, Larkin had worked for a number of stations, including KCKN and WHB in the Kansas City, later, in Chicago, where he became known for versatility in performing announcing and hosting duties in addition to acting in front of the microphone for numerous scripted shows, including Vic and Sade, one of network radio's most popular programs of the 1930s, and the one for which he received his first major credit as a radio actor.

Following military service in World War II, he became one of the radio's top dramatic voices. He was offered, in 1947, the title role in CBS Radio Network's three-and-a-half-year-old afternoon crime serial, Perry Mason which, as was the case with all radio daytime dramas, consisted of an 11-minute script, broadcast Monday through Friday in a 15-minute time slot, including commercials, promos and credits.

Larkin's familiar authoritative voice had soon come to symbolize the Perry Mason radio persona and he remained with the role for eight-and-a-half years until the program's conclusion in December 1955.

➦In 1921...The first known boxing match on radio between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee was broadcast live on KDKA, Pittsburgh with sport writer Florent Gibson as announcer.

In 1924...the retailer Sears ended three days of  test transmissions using the call sign WES (for "World's Economy Store"). Sears originally operated its station at the company's corporate headquarters on Chicago's West Side, which is also where the company's mail order business was located. On April 12, 1924, the station commenced officially, using the call letters WLS (for "World's Largest Store"). On April 19, the station aired its first National Barn Dance. The station shared time on the frequency with WCBD until November 11, 1928, at which point it began sharing time with WENR.

➦In 1924...KLO-AM, Ogden, Utah signed-on as KFUR. Its current calls came about in the 1930s in honor of Mt. Lomond located near Ogden. KLO was the flagship of the Interstate Broadcasting Corporation, later the Intermountain Network.  The station trasmits at 1430 AM and airs standards.

Helen Choate, Lon Clark-Master Detective
➦In 1943...Nick Carter, Master Detective first aired on Mutual.  The show was a crime drama based on tales of the fictional private detective Nick Carter from Street & Smith's dime novels and pulp magazines first introduced in 1896. Nick Carter aired in many different timeslots for well over a decade. Between October 1944 and April 1945, it was heard as a 30-minute program on Sunday afternoons at 3pm, sponsored by Acme Paints and Lin-X, with a 15-minute serial airing four or five times a week in 1944 from April to September. In April 1945, the Sunday series moved to 6pm, continuing in that timeslot until June 1946, and it was also heard in 1946 on Tuesday from March to August.

The series finally settled in on Sundays at 6:30pm for broadcasts from August 18, 1946 to September 21, 1952. Libby Packing was the sponsor when the drama aired on Sundays at 6pm (1952-53). In the last two years of the long run (1953-55), the show was heard Sundays at 4:30pm.

➦In 1947...The radio show My Friend Irma aired for the first time.  It became a media franchise that was spawned by a top-rated, long-running radio situation comedy created by writer-director-producer Cy Howard.

The radio show was so popular in the late 1940s that its success escalated the films, television, a comic strip and a comic book that comprise the franchise. Marie Wilson portrayed the title character Irma Peterson on radio, in two films and the television series. The radio series was broadcast on CBS from April 11, 1947 to August 23, 1954

➦In 1973...Norm N. Nite aired his first show on Oldies WCBS 101.1 FM, NYC.  Nite was instrumental in bringing the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.

Nite began his career as a DJ at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland and later at WMJI there. Later he would host shows at WCBS-FM and WNBC in New York City. His historical interest in Rock & Roll led him to compile, as the first volume of "Rock On" describes it, "an exhaustive array of data on more than 1,000 of the most popular artists of the fifties and early sixties.

Subsequently, due to the popularity of this volume, first released in 1974, he authored a second volume in 1978, covering, as described on the dust jacket, "The Modern Years: 1964-Present" with an introduction by Wolfman Jack. In 1985 Rock On Volume 3 was released and billed "Rock On Volume 3 – The Video Revolution: 1978 – Present". During 1988 he narrated the radio program, Solid Gold Scrapbook.

In July 2005 Nite began broadcasting live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 5, now known as Sirius XM 50s on 5. In February 2014, SiriusXM made a sudden management move to drop live deejays from virtually all of its 50s on 5 programming, ending Nite's broadcasts accordingly without the chance to have a farewell broadcast.

➦In 1976…Apple I The Apple I, also known as the Apple-1, went on sale. It was designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. The Apple I was Apple's first product.

➦In 1985...Oldies WJMK-FM, Chicago held its "Rock 'N' Roll Reunion."  A year earlier WJMK "Magic 104" flipped from AC to oldies. Initially, it was similar to what RKO's 103.5 WFYR, except that WJMK played more '50s and early '60s music. WJMK initially also played '70s and '80s music along with a new song every hour. By early 1985, all songs released after 1972 were dropped.

The station focused primarily on songs released between 1964-1969 with a good amount of '50s music as well. In 1991, the station's moniker was changed from "Magic 104" to "Oldies 104.3".

WJMK dropped the moniker "Oldies 104.3" by 2001, and returned to their former moniker "Magic 104.3".

In 1998, they began to add more '70s music to the format. In 1999, with new competition from the new "Jammin Oldies format of WUBT "The Beat", WJMK added a few disco songs and more '70s and early '80s songs to the playlist.

After WUBT dropped Jammin' Oldies for CHR in 2001, WJMK continued with their oldies format, though they modified the playlist over the years, dropping older music in favor of more recent material.

In 2003, the station once again changed monikers, going from "Magic 104.3" back to "Oldies 104.3" and began airing Dick Bartley's syndicated "Rock and Roll's Greatest Hits" to Saturday nights (which they'd drop at the beginning of June 2004 to return the 70s show "Saturday Night 70s"). By the winter of 2004/05, the station dropped the "oldies" moniker and became known as just "104.3 WJMK".

On June 3, 2005, at 4 p.m., WJMK switched to an adult hits format known as "Jack FM" at the same time veteran oldies station WCBS-FM in New York City made the same switch. The station had a 1980s centric playlist, along with some titles from the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s. It usually had no live DJs.

On March 14, 2011, at 1:04 p.m., after playing "Goodbye to You" by Scandal, WJMK switched to a classic hits format branded "K-Hits", playing hits from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  Following a montage of songs and pop culture clips from 1966 to 1989, "K-Hits" was launched with "Beginnings" by Chicago

Today, the station is owned by Audacy  and airs an Urban format at WBMX, Jamz 104.3.

In 1986...KXA-AM in Seattle WA changes call letters to KRPM.

➦In 1991...Personality Scott Shannon started at WPLJ 95.5 FM.  WPLJ had been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host.

At the outset, the station's direct rival was Z100, and used the slogan "Mojo Radio," downplaying the WPLJ call letters, but the approach was eventually changed. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill (from WFLY Alabany NY) to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized.

➦In 1992…The first commercially-licensed station in the U-S, 50,000-watt KDKA 1020 AM in Pittsburgh, ended its 72-year-old 'full-service' music format and flipped to local News/Talk.

➦In 2007...MSNBC stopped the cableTV  simulcast of Don Imus' nationally syndicated radio show.  The change was made after Imus became embroiled in a controversy over racial comments made about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

  • Kaitlyn Jenkins is 29
    Actor Joel Grey is 89. 
  • Actor Louise Lasser is 82. 
  • Actor Peter Riegart (“Animal House”) is 74. 
  • Actor Bill Irwin (“Law and Order: SVU”) is 71. 
  • Singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 64. 
  • Guitarist Nigel Pulsford (Bush) is 60. 
  • Country singer Steve Azar is 57. 
  • Singer Lisa Stansfield is 55. 
  • Actor Johnny Messner (“Killer Instinct,” ″The O.C.”) is 52. 
  • Bassist Dylan Keefe of Marcy Playground is 51. 
  • Actor Vicellous Shannon (“The Hurricane”) is 50. 
  • Rapper David Banner is 47. 
  • Actor Tricia Helfer (“Lucifer”) is 47. 
  • Drummer Chris Gaylor of All-American Rejects is 42. 
  • Actor Kelli Garner (“Taking Woodstock,” ″Lars and the Real Girl”) is 37. 
  • Singer Joss Stone is 34. 
  • Actor Kaitlyn Jenkins (“Bunheads”) is 29.

U-K Stations Enter OBIT Mode for Prince Philip

Radio stations across the UK entered obituary mode following the announcement by the Royal Family regarding the death of The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, reports Radio Today.

Bauer, Global and the BBC commenced their group-wide protocols for such an emergency after the news was released just after midday on Friday 9th April 2021.

All BBC local and national stations either handed over, or were forcibly cut to, a national announcement at 12.10pm.

Programmes on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 1 Dance, Asian Network, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, 5 Live Sports Extra and 6 Music were cut off abruptly at 12.10pm followed by a short silence and a networked announcement voiced by Tom Sandars – continuity announcer for BBC Radio 4 and a newsreader for the BBC World Service.

At BBC Radio 2, Vanessa Feltz, sitting in for Jeremy Vine, was mid-way through announcing the text number when she was cut off.

BBC Radio 4 faded out a book reading to announce a BBC News Special just before 12.10pm, whilst Adrian Chiles on 5 Live announced the news himself at 12.07pm before handing over to the network feed.

Things didn’t go quite according to plan on the BBC World Service, with the presenter attempting many times to hand over to a special news report resulting in silence and confusion for listeners.

Most BBC stations stayed in network mode till late afternoon Friday.

Bauer’s Hits Radio Network of stations waited till 12.30pm to announce the news, which was on social media at 12.01 from the Royal Family account. Hits Radio stations were interrupted by the news bulletin, whilst Greatest Hits Radio’s Mark Goodier announced a breaking news item.

The Hits Radio network in Scotland went to the output of Sky News after Greigsy announced he was joining the newsroom for some breaking news, whilst the Greatest Hits Radio Scotland stations took the 12.30pm network bulletin.

Absolute Radio, KISS and Jazz FM also waited till 12.30pm to make presenter announcements, whilst Magic waited till 12.47pm before any news of the death was broadcast.

At Global, LBC’s James O’Brien cut a caller short to announce the news at 12.06pm before handing over to Global’s Newsroom for more information. LBC News handed over to LBC during the announcement.

All Heart spin-off brands flipped to the main Heart service before the same announcement from Global’s Newsroom at around 12.10pm. All Smooth Radio brands followed the same action, whilst Capital (together with Capital DANCE) and Capital XTRA introduced the bulletin themselves.

Classic FM and Gold also broadcast the same announcement followed by appropriate music and updates for the rest of the day.

At News, Mike Graham on talkRADIO was the first monitored by RadioToday to break the news at 12.03pm. Times Radio was next at 12.04pm whilst talkSPORT had a breaking news update at 12.08pm.

Virgin Radio informed listeners at 12.18pm about the death of Prince Philip and told listeners to switch to Times Radio for more details.

Click Here For More Audio.

Click Here For TV Ratings Plunge

ADL: Tucker Carlson Has 'Got To Go'

The head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called for Fox News host Tucker Carlson to be fired after a segment Thursday that referenced "replacement" theory.

“Tucker must go,” the group's CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted Friday.

The ADL head explained that the “Great Replacement” theory "is a white supremacist tenet that the white race is in danger by a rising tide of non-whites.”

Greenblatt was referring to Carlson’s appearance on “Fox News Primetime,” when, talking to columnist Mark Steyn, the host offered a theory on why Democrats are pro-immigration. 

“I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate,” Carlson said. “But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it. That’s true.”

Fox News would not comment on Greenblatt’s tweet or the similarities between what Carlson was saying and past white nationalist theories except to point to the host's comments that emphasized "this is a voting rights question."

In addition to Greenblatt’s tweets, the ADL on Friday posted and emailed a letter to Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News, regarding Carlson’s comments.

Billionaires Clash With Alden Over Future of Tribune

A few weeks ago, New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC was on the verge of acquiring Tribune Publishing Co. —home to the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other U.S. metro newspapers—with seemingly no one in its way.

Then, reports the Wall Street Journal, it offended one of its partners in the deal, setting off a battle that could help shape the future of local news in America.

Maryland hotel magnate Stewart Bainum Jr. had worked out a side arrangement with Alden Chief Executive Heath Freeman to buy the Sun, a paper Bainum grew up reading. Then, in Bainum’s view, Alden tried to raise the cost of a fee agreement that would substantially jack up the price, people close to the situation said.

Bainum told his advisers late on the afternoon of Friday, March 12, that he was worried he could no longer trust Alden, according to a person familiar with the matter.

That evening, the 74-year-old got on the phone with his bankers and decided to attempt a stunning 11th-hour move: his own bid for the whole company, which he announced by the end of the weekend.

In a matter of weeks, Bainum orchestrated a $680 million bid, at least for now besting the $635 million offered by Alden. He pledged $100 million of his own money and quickly enlisted the backing of 85-year-old Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, who has offered to provide the rest, according to filings and people familiar with the agreement.

If successful, Bainum and Wyss plan to break up Tribune—with Bainum keeping the Sun and Mr. Wyss, who lives in Wyoming, taking control of the Chicago Tribune. They intend to sell the rest piecemeal, and have attracted interest from deep-pocketed investors for some of the chain’s seven other papers in Florida, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Alden, whose takeover offer had already been accepted by a special committee of the Tribune board, would have an opportunity to counter Bainum’s bid. Tribune earlier this week said it is likely to consider Bainum’s bid superior if he stands by it after reviewing the company’s books. If that happens, Alden would then have to raise its bid or walk away with a $20 million breakup fee.

Alden’s approach to newspapers is to dramatically expand profit margins through cost-cutting, combining services, outsourcing and selling off real estate. Its newspaper company, closely held MediaNews Group, which publishes some 70 daily papers including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, had a profit margin of 17% in 2017, according to a person familiar with the matter. By contrast, the New York Times Co. ’s margin was under 1% that year, while Gannett Co. came in at 1.7%, according to public filings. Alden has declined to disclose more-recent numbers.

Reports: Kim Godwin To Run ABC News

Kim Godwin, a CBS News executive since 2007, is on track to become the first Black woman to run a broadcast network news operation, as she has been offered the top job at ABC News, according to The L-A Times citing people familiar with the plan.

Godwin will fill the position vacated by James Goldston, who departed the news division at the Walt Disney Co. unit last month. CBS has agreed to let Godwin out of her contract so that she can make the historic move.

A Disney representative did not comment on its discussions. A CBS News representative also declined to comment. NBC News reported that Godwin is currently in negotiations for the job as ABC News president.

Kim Godwin
Goldston’s exit came six months after the ouster of the division’s longtime business affairs chief, Barbara Fedida, who left after an investigation into her alleged use of racist language when discussing the news division’s employees.

Interestingly, it was under Fedida’s run as head of talent development at CBS News that Godwin moved from one of the network’s owned TV stations to work on the “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric.”

Now Godwin is being brought into ABC News with the charge to repair the division’s culture.

At CBS, Godwin had editorial oversight of the network’s newsgathering operation, including the national desks, foreign desks and bureaus.

Godwin’s appointment would put women in lead roles at four national TV news operations. Suzanne Scott has headed Fox News Media since 2018. Susan Zirinsky has served as president of CBS News since 2019. Rashida Jones became president of NBCUniversal’s MSNBC cable channel earlier this year, making her the first Black woman to lead a major national TV news network.

Before joining CBS in 2007, Godwin served in a variety of positions at local TV stations. She was the acting news director and assistant news director at WCBS-TV in New York, vice president and news director at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, vice president of news operations for NBC Television Stations and vice president and news director at KXAS-TV in Dallas.

Spotify Has Deleted Controversial ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ Episodes

Spotify is continuing to remove episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience as part of their $100 million exclusive relationship, with more nixed shows discovered this week.

Just last week, Digital Music News first reported that 40 different Joe Rogan Experience podcast episodes were found missing from Spotify, now the exclusive platform for the show. Now, that number has quickly grown to 42, with potentially more shows quietly getting removed from the catalog.

Among the newly-missing is an episode (#411) with Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, a frequent guest on The Joe Rogan Experience. Strangely, Spotify has deleted three total episodes with Asprey for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.

One explanation for the removals is that Asprey frequently backs controversial anti-aging and scientific theories, including claims that Bulletproof Coffee is extremely healthy while other coffee brands are not. Asprey has designed the ‘Bulletproof Diet,’ and frequently criticizes coffee manufacturers for leaving high levels of damaging mycotoxins in their blends.

Asprey — who has predicted that he will live to the age of 180 — is certainly unconventional in his theories, though it appears that Spotify has decided to debunk his claims by removing his episodes entirely.

Also suddenly missing is a ‘Live from the Icehouse’ episode (#149) featuring Joe Rogan and Little Esther, Al Madrigal, Josh McDermitt, Brendon Walsh, Felicia Michaels, and Brian Redban. That sounds like a fun time, though perhaps one-too-many raunchy jokes were tossed around in the episode. Indeed, the episode may have simply contained one objectionable joke — but that was enough for Spotify’s editors to hit delete and remove the show entirely.

That crew featured in the ‘Icehouse’ episode seems particularly unpopular with Spotify’s oversight committee.

Earlier, Spotify deleted Joe Rogan Experience episode #276 featuring Little Esther, Al Madrigal, Josh McDermitt, Brendon Walsh, Felicia Michaels, and Brian Redban. In total, 7 different episodes featuring guest David Seaman have been nixed, while the same number of podcasts featuring Brian Redban have also been deleted.

Then, there are the more well-known removals. Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos were notoriously stripped from the podcast early on, though Rogan tested Spotify’s censorship committee by re-inviting Jones onto the podcast in recent months. Spotify hasn’t removed Jones’ latest episode — not yet, at least.

Spotify has offered no explanations for its removals, or even addressed the repeated complaints from Rogan fans. Joe Rogan, on the other hand, has confirmed that Spotify removed certain shows as a condition of their $100 million agreement with him. “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, and I was like ‘okay, I don’t care’,” Rogan shared in a recent interview with guest Fahim Anwar. Whether Rogan understood that several dozen shows were being removed — and may still be getting removed — is also unclear.

Casey Kasem Home Sells For $34M

After years on and off the market at a variety of prices that began at $42 million and eventually slipped to $37.9 million, the longtime Los Angeles home of the late radio legend Casey Kasem has sold for $34 million in an off-market deal. reports the 2.4-acre estate lies just north of Sunset Boulevard in prime Holmby Hills, behind gates and surrounded by mature landscaping. Records reveal the local buyers are Benjamin Nazarian and his wife Hedy, members of the billionaire Nazarian clan.

Kasem died in 2014, and since then the house has seen legal wrangles, initially between his widow, former actress Jean Kasem (“Cheers”), and his children from an earlier marriage. It appears Jean eventually entered into a partnership with Phil Braunstein of Colossal Properties, with the goal to redevelop the Holmby Hills property into a glitzy spec manse, but that collaboration never actually happened.

Remaining on the estate is a rambling, many-winged mansion — in aerial shots, it rather resembles an albatross in flight —  with eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms in roughly 12,000 square feet of living space, a number that includes the detached guest and staff houses. Built in 1954 but heavily expanded and renovated since, the Grecian-influenced structures were acquired by the Kasems in 1989 for just over $1.7 million.

Other amenities include vaguely Louvre-like interior decor with floridly luxurious public rooms, a catering kitchen, dual master suites, and a 15-car motorcourt that anchors garaging for four luxury vehicles.

The Nazarians’ new spread lies directly across the street from the $36.5 million Holmby Hills estate of Kylie Jenner, and it’s also within sugar-borrowing distance from homes of other financial heavyweights like Tom Ford, Kelsey Grammer and fashion tycoon Max Azria.

Poll: Swifties Rank The Best Albums Of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's “Fearless” re-launch is the first of six albums she is expected to re-record and sell. To mark the beginning of Swift’s re-releases, YouGov asked more than 900 fans of Taylor Swift’s music — Americans who say they like her music “a lot” or “somewhat” — to rate every album on a scale of 1 to 5. The average score for each album was then calculated to determine Swifties’ favorite collection. 

Among fans who were familiar with each album, the most-liked anthology was Red, a 2012 release which earned an average score of 4.12 out of 5. This is perhaps an unsurprising top choice — music critics have argued that Red features her greatest song, “All Too Well.” The second most-liked album is her 2012 pop release, 1989, with an average rating of 4.09 out of 5. The collection of songs on 1989 includes several popular radio blasts: Blank Space and Shake It Off. 

Her new re-release, Fearless, lands in third place with a score of 4.03 out of 5. The album boasts the song Love Story, which inspired several remixes and a viral TikTok dance challenge. Swift said she chose to re-record her second studio album before any other because she wanted to explore its themes of “hope, and lessons learned, and the effervescence of teenage youth.” 

Which Taylor Swift albums are most well-known? 

Even among fans of Swift’s music, many have not listened to her newer albums.  About nine in 10 adults who like Taylor Swift’s music have heard each of her albums, but that drops for her most recent releases: Lover (86%), Folklore (80%), and Evermore (78%). 

R.I.P.: Ron Polao, Philly-Based Actor & Radio-TV Personality

Ron Polao, 81, an actor, Philadelphia TV and radio personality, and longtime advertising voice of Boscov’s department stores, died Tuesday, March 16, of heart failure at home, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr. Polao was most proud of his role as Rudolfo, the chauffeur, in the 1967 Mel Brooks film The Producers. He was also an extra in many movies shot in the Philadelphia area, such as Trading Places, Rocky, Blowout, and Taps.

In Philadelphia and Trenton in the 1950s and ’60s, Mr. Polao was a popular radio disc jockey who interviewed Elvis Presley and Patti Page; an overnight radio talk-show host who once persuaded a distraught listener to reconsider suicide; and the star of The Fun Club with Ron Polao on what was then WIBF-TV, Channel 29.

“He was a character,” said his daughter, Mia. “He was eccentric. People would say, ‘That’s your dad?’ But they loved him. He had a unique personality.”

Polao liked to wear big glasses and distinctive clothes. A comedy writer who pitched several TV and radio pilot shows, he was a pioneer in children’s programming with his after-school Fun Club. The show featured him doing skits and jokes, and reading letters from viewers who poked fun at him.

The program was advertised around town on billboards that featured a picture of Mr. Polao with his thumbs in his ears and the directive “Go home and make fun of Ron Polao.” He also worked in the TV studio at NBC’s Channel 3 as an announcer when commercials and public service bulletins were aired live.

Driven to create and express himself wherever he could, he wrote, directed, produced, and narrated TV commercials for Boscov’s from the 1990s to 2017. He attended store openings, and the family accompanied him on Caribbean cruises sponsored by founder Albert Boscov.

Mr. Polao was born June 23, 1939, in Trenton. His entertainment career took off first after he won a DJ contest at a local radio station. That led him to spinning records and hosting radio shows at what were then WTNJ, WTTM, and WDAS.

April 10 Radio History

➦In 1915...Actor Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg (Died at age 93  – December 7, 2011)  His career spanned six decades.

Morgan's major roles included Pete Porter in both December Bride (1954–1959) and Pete and Gladys (1960–1962); Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967–1970); Amos Coogan on Hec Ramsey (1972–1974); and his starring role as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H (1975–1983) and AfterMASH (1983–1984). Morgan appeared in more than 100 films.

Morgan also hosted the NBC radio series Mystery in the Air starring Peter Lorre in 1947.

➦In 1922...WBT Charlotte, NC signed-on.

The station actually dates back  to December 1920, when Fred Laxton, Earle Gluck and Frank Bunker set up an amateur radio station in Laxton's home. Four months later, the station received an experimental license as 4XD. The trio decided to go commercial in 1922, and incorporated as the Southern Radio Corporation.

On April 10, the station signed on as the first fully licensed radio station south of Washington, D.C. WSB in Atlanta was the first station in the Southeast to actually broadcast, a month before WBT. However, the Commerce Department only authorized WSB to broadcast weather reports until it received its license a few months after WBT.

In 1925, the original owners sold WBT to Charlotte Buick dealer C.C. Coddington, who promoted both the radio station and his auto dealership with the slogan "Watch Buicks Travel." Coddington built a transmitter at a farm property he owned on Nations Ford Road in south Charlotte, where it remains today. He sold WBT to the two-year-old CBS network in 1929; CBS wanted to make WBBM in Chicago full time on 780 AM, which was a shared frequency with KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska and in order to do that they moved KFAB to 1110 AM. That was accomplished by directionalizing the signal of WBT. A series of power increases brought WBT to its current 50,000 watts.

New FCC regulations forced CBS to sell the station to Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, forerunner of Jefferson-Pilot, in 1945, though it remained a CBS affiliate.

For much of its history, WBT aired a variety of programming including news, sports, soap operas, and musical programs such as "Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks." Smith, best known for writing the song that became the Deliverance theme "Dueling Banjos", went to work at WBT at age 20 at the invitation of station manager Charles Crutchfield. He played guitar and fiddle for musical programs on WBT before getting his own show. Crutchfield believed that Charlotte, not Nashville, could have ended up being the country music capital because of the station's early "Briarhoppers" and "Carolina Hayride" shows, which may have inspired The Grand Ole Opry.

WBT's Grady Cole
Grady Cole was WBT morning host for 32 years, replaced in 1961 by Ty Boyd, who hosted the morning show until 1973, playing such artists as Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee and Petula Clark. Then he moved to WBTV. He returned to WBT in 2008 to co-host the morning show while its regular hosts took time off.

WBT was the number one station in Charlotte for many years; among its employees were Charles Kuralt and Nelson Benton. But by 1970, WBT was down to number nine, and national advertising representative Blair Radio Network wanted ratings to improve. Jefferson Standard did not like the idea of change, but Blair enlisted Mel Goldberg to research what programming Charlotte needed. Even Crutchfield gave in, and WBT let go 28 staffers and spent $200,000 on changes that included new studios. It also canceled many programs that advertisers supported but which didn't attract enough listeners.

WBT's H.A. Thompson
Henry Boggan
On March 15, 1971, WBT switched to adult contemporary music during the day; Rob Hunter and H. A. Thompson were new DJs. Bob Lacey started at WBT in 1972 with a nighttime talk show "Lacey Listens". Two years later, WBT had reached number one again, reaching the highest Arbitron numbers on record to this day. Around the same time, the station dropped its longtime affiliation with CBS Radio and joined ABC. WBT won Billboard adult contemporary station of the year in 1976 and 1978. In 1979, "Hello Henry" Boggan began his nighttime talk show.

WBT made changes to its format on December 10, 1990, hoping to attract more women. The station dropped James K. Flynn, Thompson and Tom Desio, generating numerous protests.

John Hancock
Don Russell had hosted "Russell & Flynn" in the morning; the show was renamed "Russell & Friends." John Hancock became midday host, and WBTV personalities Mike and Barbara McKay began an afternoon program. Boggan, whose show had run in the afternoon, returned to his evening slot, replacing Desio, but was sometimes pre-empted by sports programs.

Lincoln Financial Group bought Jefferson-Pilot in 2006. The merged company retained Jefferson-Pilot's broadcasting division, renaming it Lincoln Financial Media. In January 2008, Lincoln Financial sold WBT-AM-FM and WLNK to Greater Media of Braintree, Massachusetts. It sold its three television stations, including WBTV, to Raycom Media--thus breaking up Charlotte's last heritage radio/television cluster. Greater Media had long wanted to expand into the fast-growing Charlotte market; its owner had wanted to buy WBT after hearing its signal at night on Cape Cod.

On July 19, 2016, Greater Media announced that it would merge with Beasley Media Group. Because Beasley already had the maximum number of stations in the Charlotte market with 5 FM's and 2 AM's, WBT-AM-FM and WLNK were spun off to a divestiture trust, eventually going to a permanent buyer.

On October 18, 2016, Entercom announced that it would purchase WBT AM/FM and WLNK, plus WFNZ.  Upon the completion of the Greater/Beasley merger on November 1, Entercom began operating the stations via a time brokerage agreement, which lasted until the sale was consummated on January 6, 2017.

On November 5, 2020, Urban One agreed to a station swap with Entercom in which they would swap ownership of four stations in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. to Entercom in exchange for their cluster of Charlotte stations, including WBT and WBT-FM. As part of the terms of the deal, Urban One took over operations via a local marketing agreement on November 23

➦In 1930...WRAK 1400 AM Williamsport, PA signed-on. The FCC assigned the call letters.

➦In 1943...The Falcon radio series premiered on the NBC Blue Network, continuing on NBC and Mutual until November 27, 1954. Some 70 episodes were produced.

➦In 1967…The 13-day strike by the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists (AFTRA) ended.

➦In 1970…Effectively estranged from his bandmates, Paul McCartney issued a press release indicating he was leaving The Beatles.

The press release took the form of a Q&A in which McCartney discussed his new solo album and, with Lennon's exit still being withheld from the public (for business reasons), matters pertaining to the Beatles' immediate future. While McCartney did not state that the group had broken up, he talked of his "break with the Beatles" and having no plans to work with the band in the future; he also ruled out the likelihood of ever writing songs with Lennon again.

On 10 April, The Daily Mirror reported on McCartney's departure from the Beatles under the front page headline "Paul Quits The Beatles". Newspapers around the world then interpreted McCartney's remarks as an announcement that the band had broken up

John Lennon was furious, especially since the breakup was announced a week prior to the UK release of McCartney's first solo album. When a reporter tracked down Lennon for his thoughts, he replied, "Paul hasn't left. I sacked him."

➦In 1978...Long John Nebel died (Born John Zimmerman; June 11, 1911). He was an influential New York City talk radio show host.

Long John Nebel
From the mid-1950s until his death in 1978, Nebel was a hugely popular all-night radio host, with millions of regular listeners and a fanatically loyal following to his syndicated program, which dealt mainly with anomalous phenomena, UFOs, and other offbeat topics.

In 1962, WNBC offered Nebel more than $100,000 per year (if not a record sum paid to a radio personality at the time, then very nearly so) to begin broadcasting from their station, and he accepted the offer. He continued there until 1973, when WNBC, facing sliding ratings, decided to switch to a Top40 music format. After a protracted battle with station management, Nebel refused to change the content of his show and resigned from the station in protest.

Nebel was quickly hired by WMCA, where, from 1973 to 1977, he continued his program.   In 1977, Nebel joined the Mutual Broadcasting System and Nebel's show went nationwide, replacing Mutual's national distribution of Herb Jepko's radio talk show.

Nebel's format paved the way for later radio hosts, including Art Bell, George Noory of Coast to Coast AM, Hilly Rose, Jeff Rense, and Clyde Lewis, all of whom have broadcast shows on paranormal topics. Colin Bennett called Nebel the Art Bell of his era.

➦In 1987...Canadian newsman and commentator Dick Smyth ended an 18-year run at CHUM-FM and walked across the street to CFTR-FM.  Earlier in his career, Smythe was 20/20 news director at The Big 8 CKLW in Windsor-Detroit.  Smyth died March 6, 2021.

➦In 1998...Pioneering NYC Radio personality Eddie O'Jay, whose "Soul at Sunrise" was a fixture on WWRL and WLIB in the '60s, died.

Eddie O'Jay
O'Jay was from the old fast-talking school, and the signature phrase most cited Tuesday was the famous "Don't lose your head. You need your head. Your brain is in it. You hear?

His career began in 1951 as a Disc Jockey at WOKY in Milwaukee. From there, he went to WABQ in Cleveland, and WUFO in Buffalo, finally working my way to the "Soul at Sunrise" show on WWRL, WBLS and WLIB in New York City. After a distinguished 27 year career in radio in the United States, he expanded to include an internationally syndicated radio program on "Swazi Music Radio," in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1980.

He's been inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame.

While at WABQ, O'Jay discovered a group of five young beginners in the business called The Mascots from Canton and Masilon, Ohio.  O'Jay was asked to manage and direct the group which took hi name, The O'Jays.

George Wilson
➦In 2013…Legendary Top 40 programmer George Wilson Crowell died of complications, at age 84, from a heart attack . He had been living in Albuquerque.  He had survived several heart attacks in 2012.

Wilson gained a huge reputation during the 60s and 70s as PD for WOKY Milkwaukee. He also EVP/Programming  with the Bartell broadcasting and the Star Group.  His background also includes a stint at KIQQ LA in the early ‘80s.

Rochelle Staab, Wilson’s secretary at WOKY Milwaukee, called him “a brilliant Top 40 programmer, a guy’s guy, a tough competitor, and a true friend and supporter”.

She shared his philosophy:

On programming radio: “Play the hits, talk dirty, watch the bottom line.”
On Vegas: “Always split aces and eights at the blackjack table.”
On horse racing: “Bet the closers at Santa Anita.”

  • Actor Liz Sheridan (“Seinfeld”) is 92. 
  • Mandy Moore is 37
    Sportscaster John Madden is 85. 
  • Actor Steven Seagal is 69. 
  • Singer Terre Roche of The Roches is 68. 
  • Actor Peter MacNicol (“Numb3rs,” ″Ally McBeal”) is 67. 
  • Bassist Steven Gustafson of 10,000 Maniacs is 64. 
  • Singer-producer Babyface is 63. 
  • Musician Brian Setzer is 62. 
  • Singer Katrina Leskanich of Katrina and the Waves is 61. 
  • Drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander of Primus is 56. 
  • Singer Kenny Lattimore is 54. 
  • Comedian Orlando Jones is 53. 
  • Guitarist Mike Mushok of Staind is 52. 
  • Rapper Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest is 51. 
  • Actor David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) is 46. 
  • Blues singer Shemekia Copeland is 42. 
  • Actor Laura Bell Bundy is 40. 
  • Actor Harry Hadden-Paton (“Downton Abbey”) is 40. 
  • Actor Chyler Leigh (“Supergirl,” ″Grey’s Anatomy”) is 39. 
  • Bassist Andrew Dost of fun. is 38. 
  • Actor Ryan Merriman (“The Pretender”) is 38. 
  • Singer-actor Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”) is 37. 
  • Actor Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) is 36. 
  • Actor Shay Mitchell (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 34. 
  • Actor Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense”) is 33. 
  • Country singer Maren Morris is 31. 
  • Singer-actor AJ Michalka of Aly and AJ is 30. 
  • Actor Daisy Ridley (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) is 29. 
  • Actor Sofia Carson (“Descendants”) is 28. 
  • Actor Ruby Jerins (“Nurse Jackie”) is 23.

Friday, April 9, 2021

NYC Radio: Charlie Kirk Joins 77WABC Radio

TALKRADIO 77 WABC, New York, along with 107.1 FM WLIR, Long Island, announced today that Salem Radio Network’s syndicated talker Charlie Kirk will join the stations’ lineup at Noon ET, beginning Monday, April 12th. 

77 WABC is known as one of America’s top NewsTalk radio stations, launching the national careers of great hosts like Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin.

“I am thrilled and honored to take the same time and station where my friend and American hero Rush Limbaugh launched his national radio show in 1988,” said Kirk. “I am so impressed with what John Catsimatidis has done since he bought this great station and will commit to doing my part to keep this as one of the top talk stations in America.”

Kirk joined the Salem Radio Network in the Noon to 3pm time slot last October 5th and has continued to build in audience and stations. Kirk also hosts one of the Top 10 podcasts in the USA, wrote a NY Times Bestseller, and founded Turning Point USA which now counts over 250,000 young people as members.

“Charlie Kirk has proven to be one of the bright lights of the conservative movement,” said Catsimatidis. “He’s young, energetic, articulate, and proving to be a great radio talent.”

“We have built one of the strongest talk lineups in all of radio at 77 WABC and are delighted to add this great young star to our platform,” said President of Red Apple Media, Chad Lopez. “We know this will be a great move both for our listeners and advertisers.”

“I was fortunate to be the PD at WABC for 14 years. I am thrilled to see WABC once again affirm its status as one of the truly iconic talk stations in the nation, and so blessed to be able to add our newest star Charlie Kirk to their all-star lineup,” said Phil Boyce, Salem Sr. VP of Spoken Word at the Salem Radio Network.

U-S Newspaper Print Circulations Shrank During Pandemic

USA Today lost more than half of its print sales as US newspaper circulations were hit by the Covid-19 crisis last year, the U-K-based Press Gazette research has found.

The title, owned by publishing giant Gannett, saw its print circulation fall by 60% in the months after Covid-19 restrictions were imposed across the country.

America’s other largest newspapers – the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times – also experienced significant declines over the summer. USA Today and the Journal were particularly badly hit by falling sales to hotels as travel dried up during the pandemic.

On average, the largest ten weekday newspapers in the US experienced a circulation fall of 20% in the six months to September 2020, Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) figures show.

But this average was dragged down by USA Today and the Journal. Other declines were less extreme among newspapers that were not reliant on hotel sales, with subscriptions holding up over the summer.

For this analysis, Press Gazette obtained AAM certificates for the ten newspapers we previously identified as having the largest weekday circulations in the US.

Beneath our US newspaper circulations table, we take a closer look at the AAM certificates of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today to examine where sales were lost.

Outside of the top three newspapers, the circulations of the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and New York Post fell 9%, 10% and 14% respectively.

The smallest newspapers in the top ten – the Chicago Tribune, Newsday and the Star Tribune – experienced relatively minor declines of 3%, 4% and 2% respectively.

The Tampa Bay Times’ average weekday circulation rose from 137,590 to 142,516, but this was after it made the switch from a daily to a newspaper published only on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Teen Passions Include Chick-fil-A, Racial Equality

  • Overall teen “self-reported” spending increased slightly to $2,165 per year; seeing emergence of female-led spending cycle led by apparel
  • Teens care about social/political issues naming Racial Equality as No. 1 & the Environment as No. 2; Black Lives Matter as No. 3
  • Snapchat remains No. 1 (31%) favorite social media platform, followed closely by TikTok (30%); Instagram loses share as the No. 3 player
  • Athletic brands dominate fashion preferences as 38% of preferred apparel brands are “athletic” with notable gains in Nike (No. 1 apparel & footwear brand), lululemon at No. 4 & gains for Under Armour
  • Food returns as teens’ No. 1 wallet priority at 23%

Piper Sandler Companies, a leading investment bank, has completed its 41st semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey in partnership with DECA. This survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 7,000 teens across 47 U.S. states with an average age of 16.1 years. Generation Z, which contributes approximately $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually*, represents an influential consumer group where wallet size and allocation provide a proxy for category interest.

This year’s Spring 2021 survey was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted from February 19 to March 24; 58% of teens have returned to school in either a hybrid format or in person this Spring while 42% remained fully virtual. We received the highest amount of responses from the South at 48% of the mix and 10% of the responses from the Northeast—similar to Spring and Fall 2020.

“Our Spring survey gave rise to a number of themes emerging for GenZ as we think about the path to reopening. We are seeing a female-led spending recovery with upticks in spending on clothing, handbags and skincare in particular. Within apparel, athletic is still the dominant trend with Nike & lululemon taking new highs and Under Armour seeing improved mindshare. Simultaneously, we are seeing a revival of the 1990s fashion trend flannel shirts, baggy pants, mom jeans & eclectic hair trends all in vogue.

“GenZ is a conscious generation as teens this Spring cite Racial Equality & the Environment as their top-two social issues. We have also seen “thrifting” emerge as a strong trend as thinking secondhand is becoming second nature to teens. In fact, 47% of teens have purchased and 55% have sold secondhand.

“In the wake of COVID-19 and given these consumers are digitally-native, we are not surprised to see online adoption at its highest ever this Spring. Snapchat & TikTok are the top-two social media platforms. While Amazon remains the No. 1 website, we are seeing a rise in female-centric platforms like SHEIN, Revolve and Princess Polly,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Sandler senior research analyst.

Spring 2021 Key Findings:

Spending & Shopping Behavior

  • Areas of wallet share contraction included: Concerts/Events & Car (remains below multi-year average)
  • Areas of wallet share expansion included: Clothing & Accessories (especially for females)
  • Amazon remains teens’ No. 1 preferred online shopping mindshare at 56%
  • Skincare spending for females ranks ahead of makeup spending
  • TikTok influencers have significantly reshaped skincare brand preferences; 86% of females use online influencers as a source of discovery for beauty brands and trends
  • Video games hold ~16% of teen wallet share; 53% of gamers plan to purchase the new console system in the next 2 years
  • Teens allocate 8% of their shopping to secondhand; 47% of teens have purchased & 55% have sold secondhand – thrift/consignment stores ranked No. 10 as favorite brand/retailer, compared to No. 23 in the Spring 2020 survey

Brand Preferences

  • Chick-fil-A remains No. 1 restaurant for 7 consecutive surveys; Starbucks maintains No. 2 and Chipotle remains No. 3
  • 49% of teens either consume or are willing to try plant-based meat with Impossible Foods as the No. 1 choice, followed closely by Beyond
  • For more than 10 years, Nike remains No. 1 apparel brand; Nike also holds No. 1 spot for footwear brand and preferred athletic apparel & footwear brand
  • PacSun moves up from No. 5 apparel brand to No. 3; adidas falls to No. 5 – lowest level since Fall 2017
  • 96% of females claim to shop online vs. 88% last year, while 92% of males claim to shop online vs. 91% last year
  • Lays is most preferred snack brand among teens at 11%, followed closely by Campbell’s Goldfish (9%)
  • Ulta maintains No. 1 preferred beauty destination against Sephora for fifth survey in a row (46% share vs. 39% LY); 80% of female teens willing to spend more for “clean” or natural beauty
  • Tarte remains top-ranked cosmetic brand for 7 consecutive surveys; e.l.f. registers all-time high in survey at No. 2 preferred makeup brand
  • CeraVe holds No. 1 spot as top skincare brand for the second survey in a row; The Ordinary remains in the No. 4 spot similar to Fall and up from No. 14 last Spring
  • Teens spend 32% of their daily video consumption on Netflix, down slightly from 34% in Fall 2020, followed by YouTube (No. 2) and Hulu (No. 3)
  • Half of the list of favorite social media personalities is dominated by YouTube and TikTok content creators
  • 88% of teens own an iPhone and 90% expect an iPhone to be their next phone, both record survey highs

The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 7,000 teens with an average age of 16.1 years. Discretionary spending patterns, fashion trends, technology, and brand and media preferences are assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S. Since the project began in 2001, Piper Sandler has surveyed more than 201,800 teens and collected over 49.7 million data points on teen spending.

* Source: Fung Global Retail & Technology

Wake-Up Call: Floyd Died From Lack Of Oxygen, Not Drugs

Medical experts testified Thursday in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial in the death of George Floyd last May that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to being pinned down on the pavement with Chauvin's knee on his neck, not from drugs and his underlying health conditions, which the defense contends.

Lung and critical care specialist Dr. Martin Tobin said that Floyd's breathing was severely constricted when he was pinned down and that the lack of oxygen led to brain damage and caused his heart to stop. He said, "A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died." Tobin pointed to a moment in a video clip of the incident about five minutes after police began holding Floyd down when he said a change in Floyd's face told him he was dead, stating, "That’s the moment the life goes out of his body."

Dr. Bill Smock, the police surgeon for the Louisville, Kentucky, department who's an expert on deaths from asphyxia, backed up Tobin in saying that drugs didn't cause Floyd's death. Although Floyd was found to have fentanyl in his system, Smock said he didn't have symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, such as constricted pupils and decreased breathing. He said instead his actions were the opposite, stating, "That is not a fentanyl overdose. That is somebody begging to breathe." He blamed Floyd's death on "positional asphyxia," which is a lack of oxygen because of the position of the body.

➤BIDEN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON GUNS: President Biden announced several executive actions on guns at the White House on Thursday, saying the U.S. has a, quote, "epidemic and international embarrassment" of gun violence, but said much more needs to be done. The new actions include a move to crack down on so-called "ghost guns," which are homemade weapons that don't have serial numbers and are often bought without a background check, and tightening regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces like the one used in last month's mass shooting in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket that left 10 people dead. However, some of the more ambitious actions on guns that Biden wants to take he is unable to do without Congress, which would be a tough lift in the evenly-divided Senate. However, he did name some of them, including eliminating lawsuit exemptions for gun manufacturers, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing background check loopholes and passing the Violence Against Women Act.


Phillip Adams
Five people were shot and killed early Thursday in South Carolina by 32-year-old former NFL player Phillip Adams, who then took his own life. 

Killed at their Rock Hill home were prominent 70-year-old physician Dr. Robert Lesslie, his 69-year-old wife Barbara, and their grandchildren nine-year-old Adah and five-year-old Noah. A 38-year-old man who'd been working at the home, James Lewis, was found dead outside. A sixth person who'd also been working at the home, Robert Shook, was hospitalized in critical condition. York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said evidence at the scene led them to Adams as a suspect. 

They went to his parents' home, had them leave, and tried to talk Adams into coming out, but eventually found him dead inside with a gunshot wound to his head. Tolson said they haven't determined a motive. AP cited a source as saying Adams had been treated by Lesslie, but Tolson wouldn't confirm that.

Adams played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams, although he rarely started, and ended his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

➤TEXAS MAN KILLS ONE, WOUNDS FIVE AT WORKPLACE: A 27-year-old Texas man is accused of killing one person and wounding five others, two of them critically, when he allegedly opened fire yesterday at the Bryan, Texas, cabinet-making company where he worked. A state trooper was also shot and wounded before Larry Winston Bollin was arrested about two hours after the shooting about 25 miles away. Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske said he believes Bollin was an employee at the Kent Moore Cabinets location where the afternoon attack happened. A motive hasn't yet been determined.

🛳FLORIDA SUES FEDS OVER CONTINUED NO-SAIL ORDER FOR CRUISE SHIPS: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced yesterday that the state had filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its continued no-sail order for cruise ships, demanding that cruises from U.S. ports be allowed to immediately resume. Florida has three of the world's busiest cruise ship ports, and the industry generates billions of dollars for the economy and employs tens of thousands of state residents. DeSantis said yesterday that the no-sail order is outdated, charging there's, quote, "very little evidence and very little data," and is disproportionately hurting his state. He also pointed to cruising having resumed in much of the world, with industry leaders saying there have been no new Covid-19 outbreaks tied to their ships. Cruise sailings from U.S. ports have been shut down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, after several coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships around the world.

➤NUMBER OF KIDS CROSSING BORDER WITH MEXICO ALONE REACHED ALL-TIME HIGH IN MARCH: There were nearly 19,000 children traveling alone who were picked up as they crossed the border with Mexico in March, the highest-ever monthly number and double what it was in February, according to government data released yesterday. The previous high had been 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014. The big increase in children traveling alone and in families crossing the border has put a severe strain on border holding facilities, with the government trying to find more space told hold them and hire more staff to care for the children until they can be placed with sponsors.

➤'NO' VOTE AHEAD IN BALLOT COUNTING IN AMAZON UNIONIZATION PUSH IN ALABAMA: The "no" vote was leading in the unionization effort at an Amazon warehouse facility in Bessemer, Alabama, as votes were being counted yesterday. By the evening, the unionization effort was behind by a lot, with 1,100 workers voting no and less than half that, 463, voting yes. The count, which is being conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, will resume this morning. The vote has gotten national attention, with President Biden, pro athletes and Hollywood stars among those who've urged a yes for unionization, which would be a first in Amazon's history.


➤GAETZ ASSOCIATE SEEKING PLEA DEAL IN SEX TRAFFICKING CASE: An associate and political ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz is seeking a plea deal with federal prosecutors in their sex trafficking investigation, it was revealed during a hearing yesterday in Orlando. If a deal if reached, Joel Greenberg could potentially be a witness against the Republican Florida congressman. An attorney for Greenberg, Fritz Scheller, said after the hearing, "I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today." Gaetz is reportedly under investigation over whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws, including if he had sex with a 17-year-old and other underage girls, and paid them or offered gifts in exchange for sex.

➤NIKE REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH 'SATAN SHOES':  Nike reached a settlement of its trademark infringement lawsuit with art brand MSCHF yesterday over Lil Nas X's "Satan Shoes" for an undisclosed amount, and as part of the agreement, the Nike Air Max '97 sneakers that were modified with red and black accents, an inverted cross and a "drop of human blood" will be voluntarily recalled. MSCHF will buy back any "Satan Shoes" for their original retail price of $1,018 to remove them from circulation, although it's unclear how many people will actually want to sell them back. The Satan Shoes were released in conjunction with the rapper's controversial music video for the song, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," which featured Biblical and Satanic imagery, including his character giving Satan a lap dance. At least 200 of the 666 pairs of Satan Shoes that were manufactured were shipped before a judge granted Nike a temporary restraining order on April 1st. According to MarketWatch, David Bernstein, an attorney at the firm that represented MSCHF, said they made the Satan Shoes, quote, "to make a point about how crazy collaboration culture has become," adding that the collection "appeared to be in collaboration with Satan."

➤LINKEDIN IS ADDING ‘STAY-AT-HOME MOM’ AS AN OFFICIAL JOB TITLE: LinkedIn is adding “Stay-At-Home Mom” as an official job title after the site was accused of used “sexist and old-fashioned terminology” to describe breaks from employment. Helen Bolen of New York took to Medium, a blogging platform, to complain that LinkedIn’s drop-down menu automatically suggested “Homemaker” when she searched for mother, father, or housewife. She argues that women are forced to “manipulate” their digital resume to justify the time off taken to have a baby and accuses the site of having gender bias. LinkedIn’s director of engineering, Bef Ayenew, responded, saying, “To make it easier for moms, and all parents, we’re making some important changes to the profile. We introduced two new job titles, including ‘stay-at-home mom,’ ‘stay-at-home dad’ and ‘stay-at-home parent’ to allow full-time parents and caretakers to more accurately display their roles.” He also added, “In the near future, we’ll also add a new field specifically for employment gap types to the profile- like ‘parental leave,’ ‘family care,’ or ‘sabbatical’ so that people can address any gaps in their career journey.” In addition, he said members of the platform will soon be able to add their preferred pronouns.

🏌ROSE IN LEAD AFTER FIRST ROUND OF MASTERS: English golfer Justin Rose is in the lead after the opening round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia yesterday. Rose shot a 7-under 65, giving him a four-stroke lead over American Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who are tied in second place. Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who set the record last year at 20-under 268, failed to break par.

🏌FLEETWOOD GETS HOLE-IN-ONE: English golfer Tommy Fleetwood got a hole-in-one in the opening round of the Masters Tournament yesterday. He made the 170-yard shot on the par-3 16th hole at Augusta National. It was the second tournament in a row in which the 30-year-old Fleetwood hit a hole-in-one, after also making one two weeks ago at the Match Play Championship. The rest of the day didn't go as well, however, for Fleetwood, who ended at two-over par.

➤WATSON'S ATTORNEY GRANTED EMERGENCY COURT HEARINGS: The attorney for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Rusty Hardin, was yesterday granted two emergency court hearings to take place today related to the civil lawsuits that have been brought against Watson alleging sexual assault and misconduct by 22 women. Hardin will be asking a judge to rule that the attorney representing the women, Tony Buzbee, has to identify them. Only two of the women have publicly come forward. Watson has denied the allegations.

🎾FRENCH OPEN TO BE POSTPONED ONE WEEK: The president of the French tennis federation said Thursday that the French Open will be postponed one week because of surging cases of the coronavirus in France. The clay-court Grand Slam tournament was supposed to begin on May 23rd, but will now start on May 30th. Federation president Gilles Moretton said, "This postponement will give us a little more time to improve the health situation and should allow us to optimize our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros." Last year's tournament was postponed several months to September because of the pandemic, and fan attendance was limited to 1,000 people per day.

➤LANCE ARMSTRONG'S SON CHARGED WITH 2018 SEXUAL ASSAULT: Former cyclist Lance Armstrong's 21-year-old son, Luke Armstrong, was arrested Tuesday (April 6th) and has been charged with sexual assault related to a 2018 incident that took place when he was 18, according to media reports yesterday that cited police records. The alleged victim, who is now 19, told police in November 2020 that she was assaulted by Armstrong when she was 16 after he drove her from a party to his father’s house. He has been charged with felony sexual assault of child. Armstrong's attorney claims the two were in a consensual relationship and that he didn't assault her. The arrest affidavit says the woman told police she met Armstrong in June 2018, and that she was at a party and intoxicated two days later when she called him to pick her up. She said she didn't remember the car ride, but she woke up in his house where he sexually assaulted her before driving her home. The girl told police she told six people Armstrong had sex with her, and that four of them remembered her saying it wasn't consensual, while one said she interpreted it as having been consensual.