Saturday, April 17, 2021

April 18 Radio History

➦In 1925...Robert Francis Hastings born (Died from pancreatic cancer at age 89 – June 30, 2014). He  was a radio, film, and television character actor. He also provided voices for animated cartoons. He was best known for his portrayal of annoying suck-up Lt. Elroy Carpenter, on McHale's Navy.

Bob Hastings
Hastings started in radio on "Coast-to-Coast on a Bus" (NBC). Hastings served during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps. After serving in World War II as a navigator on B-29s, he played the role of Archie Andrews in a series based on the Archie comic book series on NBC Radio from 1945-53. Archie Andrews was sponsored by Swift & Company food products.

Hastings moved to television in 1949.  He is best known for portraying the aide to Captain Binghamton (Joe Flynn), the yes-man Lieutenant Elroy Carpenter on ABC's McHale's Navy, humorously called "Carpy" and "Little Leadbottom" by McHale and his men.

After McHale's Navy, Hastings was a regular on the Universal Studios lot, where Universal paid actors during downtime to be on the grounds and talk to tourists. According to an interview, he got along so well with the people that he became one of the few regulars on the tour.

➦In 1939…
Gene Autry recorded his signature song "Back in the Saddle Again" for the first time in Los Angeles for Columbia Records.   It was co-written by Autry with Ray Whitley and first released in 1939. The song was associated with Autry throughout his career and was used as the name of Autry's autobiography in 1976. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. In addition to being used as the theme for Autry's radio program, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch,"Back in the Saddle Again" was also used for The Gene Autry Show on television as well as for personal appearances.

It was included in the Autry movie "Roving Tumbleweeds," then became the theme song for his "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch" radio series which aired on CBS from 1940 to 1956.

This is the original pilot episode that debuted on KNX Radio in Los Angeles as a private preview for the Doublemint Gum.

➦In 1944...Arthur W. Ferguson born (Died  – February 19, 2016).  Better known as Charlie Tuna, he began working at age 16 at his hometown's radio station, KGFW. Then, he went to work at KLEO in Wichita, Kansas for a year with the air name "Billy O'Day". He then worked for KOMA Radio in Oklahoma City in 1966, where he took over the "Charlie Tuna" pseudonym from Chuck Riley, who had used it for one show the week prior to Tuna's arrival. Tuna then moved on to WMEX in Boston for the first 9 months of 1967.

In late 1967, KHJ in Los Angeles offered Tuna the 9 to noon slot, where he debuted on Thanksgiving Day 1967. On February 9, 1971, he had just commenced his morning show at 6:00 a.m. when the San Fernando earthquake occurred.

In early 1972 he did mornings at KCBQ in San Diego (during the original presentation of "The Last Contest") and later that year became one of the original DJs at KROQ AM, a new Top 40 station (formerly Country KBBQ). In 1973 be moved to KKDJ as program director and morning personality. He presided over its 1975 call-letter change to KIIS, and broadcast the first show at KIIS-FM as it began its AM/FM simulcast. He also worked at KTNQ, KHTZ (later KBZT), KRLA, KODJ (later KCBS-FM), KMPC, KIKF, and KLAC.

He worked at KBIG 104.3, where he hosted a long-running morning show Charlie Tuna in the Morning which aired from 5 to 10 am. His last full-time morning show aired on September 17, 2007, when the station flipped to a non-rhythmic-based adult contemporary format, as 104.3 My FM. He returned to radio February 9, 2008 when he became the weekend personality on Los Angeles oldies station K-Earth 101. CBS on August 27, 2015 began down sizing their stations in Los Angeles, at which point Charlie moved on to expand his syndicated radio business with

Tuna served as announcer for Casey Kasem on his 1980s television program America's Top 10, and occasionally filled in for Kasem on his radio programs American Top 20 and American Top 10. He co-hosted Your Good Time Oldies Magazine from 1992 to 1995, and he produced and hosted 52 weekly episodes of Back to the 70s, which were rerun at radio stations across the country until 2008.

Tuna had a year-long run in 2009 of a 5-hour classic hits daily and weekend show, syndicated through United Stations Radio Network in New York. He joined Black Card Radio in Los Angeles in 2010 as host of a 5-hour weekend show Charlie Tuna - The 70's, which is distributed nationally and internationally, and later added a 5-hour daily and weekend show for all radio formats. He moved his radio station voice imaging business to Black Card Radio later that year. In 2011 he introduced the syndicated "Charlie Tuna's Hollywood Minute", 4 to 5 top entertainment stories each day. Tuna reunited with United Stations Radio Network in New York in 2013 to do the ad sales for his Black Card Radio shows.

Tuna broadcast approximately 6,000 radio shows from 1971 through 1996 on the American Forces Radio Network.

➦In 1960...The 3M Company purchased the bankrupt Mutual Broadcasting System for $1.24M. MBS had 443 affiliates, easily the most of any network at the time.  In July 1966, 3M sold the network to a privately held company, Mutual Industries, Inc., headed by John P. Fraim.  Upon Mutual Industries's acquisition of Mutual, it was renamed to "Mutual Broadcasting Corporation". See below...

➦In 1999...Last broadcast of the Mutual Broadcasting System

On September 29, 1934, four AM radio stations—WXYZ in Detroit, WGN in Chicago, WOR in New York, and WLW in Cincinnati—agreed to form a cooperative, program-sharing radio network. WGN and WOR controlled the operation (first dubbed the Quality Group), and the Mutual Broadcasting System was incorporated in Illinois one month later. When WXYZ (which had contributed the popular western adventure program The Lone Ranger) withdrew to join the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network in 1935, Canadian station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario (serving the Detroit market), replaced it. (The Lone Ranger remained on Mutual until 1942 under contractual obligation.)

After a year on the air, the new network carried 40 hours of sustaining (non-advertiser-supported) programs and 20 hours of commercial programming per week. The network’s first coast-to-coast broadcast came in September 1936, and by 1940 Mutual had 160 affiliates, nearly 20 percent of the stations then on the air. As Mutual’s stations in rural areas often had less power than the affiliates of the older national networks, many stations held primary affiliations with the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) or NBC and only a secondary relationship with Mutual. Nevertheless, Mutual had more affiliates than any other network—a record it held into the 1980s.


Mutual ended its cooperative operation in 1952 when the network was purchased by General Tire and set up in New York. In the late 1950s network ownership changed several times, often within months, and none of its owners had sufficient funding to move Mutual into television. On at least two occasions, a shortage of funds threatened to close network operations, and Mutual filed for bankruptcy in 1959. The number of employees dropped to only 50, compared with 350 at its peak in the 1940s. The network faced a scandal when it was discovered that one short-term owner had secretly accepted money from a Caribbean country in return for favourable comment on the air, and Mutual lost 130 of its affiliates.

Ownership changes continued as the network shifted its headquarters from New York to Washington, D.C., in 1971. In 1972 Mutual began special network feeds to African American and Spanish-programmed stations with news and sportscasts.

One of the few primary network programs outside of news and sports that Mutual initiated during this era became one of the most successful in its history: the first nationwide, all-night call-in show, which launched on November 3, 1975, with Herb Jepko as host.  Jepko, who had run a telephone talk show out of KSL in Salt Lake City for years, so determinedly avoided controversy that some callers simply talked about the weather where they lived.

Jepko was briefly succeeded by Long John Nebel, before Mutual tapped a local talk show host at WIOD in Miami. Larry King made his network premiere on January 30, 1978; by the turn of the decade, he was being carried by 150 stations and credited with attracting many new affiliates to Mutual.  King continued his Mutual call-in show for years, even as he began appearing on television in the mid-1980s. From 1970 through 1977, Mutual was the national radio broadcaster for Monday Night Football.

In 1977 then-owner Amway bought Mutual’s very first outlet owned and operated by the company, WCFL in Chicago, followed in 1980 by the purchase of WHN in New York. Mutual also signed a contract with Western Union to use its satellite facilities, thus becoming the first radio network to employ satellite distribution. Aided by its satellite network, Mutual served 950 affiliates by 1979, but the number slowly declined.

Mutual was purchased by Westwood One in 1985. In its last 15 years Mutual largely produced newscasts. Westwood One closed Mutual on April 18, 1999, but its newscasts continued under the marketing name of CNN Radio. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

➦In 2012…Forever young Dick Clark died following a heart attack at 82. He had suffered a significant stroke in 2004.

In 1945, Clark began his career working in the mailroom at WRUN 1150 AM (now silent) in Rome, NY, that was owned by his uncle and managed by his father. Almost immediately, he was asked to fill in for the vacationing weatherman, and within a few months he was announcing station breaks.

While attending Syracuse, Clark worked at WOLF-AM, then a country music station. After graduation, he returned to WRUN for a short time where he went by the name Dick Clay.  After that, Clark got a job at the television station WKTV in Utica, New York.  His first television-hosting job was on Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, a country-music program. He would later replace Robert Earle (who would later host the GE College Bowl) as a newscaster.

In 1952, Clark moved to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he took a job as a disc jockey at radio station WFIL, adopting the Dick Clark handle.  WFIL had an affiliated TV station (now WPVI) with the same call sign, which began broadcasting a show called Bob Horn's Bandstand in 1952. Clark was responsible for a similar program on the company's radio station, and served as a regular substitute host when Horn went on vacation. In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving and was subsequently dismissed. On July 9, 1956, Clark became the show's permanent host.

Bandstand was picked up by the ABC television network, renamed American Bandstand, and debuted nationally on August 5, 1957. The show took off, due to Clark's natural rapport with the live teenage audience and dancing participants as well as the non-threatening image he projected to television audiences. As a result, many parents were introduced to rock and roll music. According to Hollywood producer Michael Uslan, "he was able to use his unparalleled communication skills to present rock 'n roll in a way that was palatable to parents."

Dick Clark interviews William Shatner 1958
In 1958, The Dick Clark Show was added to ABC's Saturday night lineup. By the end of year, viewership exceeded 20 million, and featured artists were "virtually guaranteed" large sales boosts after appearing. In a surprise television tribute to Clark in 1959 on This Is Your Life, host Ralph Edwards called him "America’s youngest starmaker," and estimated the show had an audience of 50 million.

Clark moved the show from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in 1964. The move was related to the popularity of new "surf" groups based in Southern California, including The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. The show ran daily Monday through Friday until 1963, then weekly on Saturdays until 1987. Bandstand was briefly revived in 1989, with Clark again serving as host. By the time of its cancellation, the show had become longest-running variety show in TV history.

  • Melissa Joan Hart is 45
    Actor Robert Hooks is 84. 
  • Actor Hayley Mills is 75. 
  • Actor James Woods is 74. 
  • Actor Dorothy Lyman (“Mama’s Family”) is 74. 
  • Actor Cindy Pickett (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) is 74. 
  • Keyboardist Walt Richmond of The Tractors is 74. 
  • Bassist Jim Scholten of Sawyer Brown is 69. 
  • Actor Rick Moranis is 68. 
  • Actor Eric Roberts is 65. 
  • Actor Melody Thomas Scott (“Young and the Restless”) is 65. 
  • Actor John James (“Dynasty,” ″The Colbys”) is 65. 
  • Bassist Les Pattinson of Echo and the Bunnymen is 63. 
  • Actor Jane Leeves (“Hot In Cleveland,” ″Fraiser”) is 60. 
  • Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is 59. 
  • Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 58. 
  • Actor Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”) is 58. 
  • Actor Maria Bello is 54. 
  • Actor Mary Birdsong (“Reno 911!”) is 53. 
  • Actor David Hewlett (“Stargate: SG-1”) is 53. 
  • Actor-rapper Fredro Starr of Onyx (“Moesha”) is 50. 
  • Actor David Tennant (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”) is 50. 
  • Guitarist Mark Tremonti of Creed and of Alter Bridge is 47. 
  • Singer Trina of Trina and Tamara is 47. 
  • Actor Melissa Joan Hart (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) is 45. 
  • Actor Bryce Johnson (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 44. 
  • TV personality Kourtney Kardashian is 42. 
  • Actor America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) is 37. 
  • Actor Tom Hughes (“Victoria”) is 36. 
  • Actor Ellen Woglom (“Marvel’s Inhumans”) is 34. 
  • Actor Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”) is 33. 
  • Actor Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development”) is 32. 
  • Actor Britt Robertson (“Under the Dome”) is 31. 
  • Actor Chloe Bennet (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” ″Nashville”) is 29. 
  • Singer Nathan Sykes of The Wanted is 28. 
  • Actor Moises Arias (“Hannah Montana”) is 27.

Beasley Media Group CEO Thinks Radio Is In A Good Spot

CEO Caroline Beasley on Friday morning offered listeners a live Radio Ink interview on the Clubhouse app an inside peek at life at the audio media and eSports company.

Radio Ink Editor-in-Chief Ed Ryan asked Caroline Beasley if the radio industry is in a good spot. “I think we are,” she replied. “Radio today is not like it was 10 years or 20 years ago — there is so much more opportunity, with more going forward.”

Beasley also believes the pandemic created opportunities for exploration.

“The past 12 months allowed us to step back and out of our comfort zone, get creative, and get back to the core of what is important to us,” she replied. This includes exploring new technology — including Clubhouse, where Radio Ink offers weekly interviews each Friday with key industry executives.

Listen to "Clubhouse Episode #4 - Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley" on Spreaker.

With 2021 marks the 60th year for the Beasley Broadcast Group.

Nielsen Rejects TV Nets Demand Of COVID-Era Ratings Audit

Nielsen will not submit to an audit of its COVID-era ratings measurements, rejecting a request from TV networks who believe their ratings have been undercounted during the pandemic, The Wrap reports.

“Third party auditing has always been a vital part of serving as the industry currency and our products undergo a comprehensive audit process with the Media Rating Council (MRC) on an annual basis. Nielsen’s existing MRC audit process exists to ensure confidence and trust in the audience estimates we produce,” Nielsen said Friday. “We have been clear and transparent with the MRC and our clients on every change in protocol we needed to make during COVID to keep our people and panelists safe.”

Nielsen’s statement continued, “The decisions we made adhered to Federal, State and Local government guidelines as well as at the recommendation of medical experts. We also conducted our own assessment of the drivers of the reported audience estimates in the white paper we shared with you last week. Our work with the MRC, the independent body created for this very reason, is ongoing and should serve the purpose of an independent audit. Since VAB members are also MRC members, they should feel free to engage directly with the MRC. A single third party audit is the best approach for the industry and we will work closely with the MRC on all audit requests.”

In response to Nielsen’s statement on Friday, Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the Video Advertising Bureau, said: “Nielsen’s refusal to take any type of action, in the face of a research-backed request from its key industry stakeholders, is profoundly disappointing and a massive disservice to a TV marketplace that has had a stellar track record for collaboration and transparency. This response — or lack thereof — denying a third-party evaluation of its COVID data is a glaring negative outlier from the market’s currency provider and partner.”

On Thursday, TV networks (via the VAB, a trade organization that represents the TV networks to advertisers and agencies) demanded Nielsen agree to an audit by Ernst & Young, the firm used by the MRC.

Because of the pandemic, Nielsen has not sent its field agents to its participating homes, a routine procedure that helps to ensure the ratings that the company puts out every day are accurate. The TV networks are worried their ratings have been undercounted over the past year, arguing that Nielsen’s processes have been more flawed because of the lack of in-home check-ins and because Nielsen counted homes that residents may have left during the pandemic.

Orlando Radio: WOTW Adds Susie Korgul To Morning Show

JVC Media of Florida announces the addition of Susie Korgul to Orlando’s Country WOTW 103.1 The Wolf. Susie will join existing morning host Chad to form The Morning Wolfpack airing weekdays from 6am-10am. 

Susie Korgul
Korgul previously served as Music Director and midday host at Audacy’s HotAC WOMX 105.1 FM  in Orlando. Prior to WOMX, she worked at WBVD Melbourne, FL, WAPE Jacksonville, and with the syndicated Mike Harvey Show.

“Over the years, I have been blessed to work with and learn from so many wonderful people in the radio industry. When the opportunity came to join 103.1 The Wolf, to tackle the challenges and feel the excitement of building a new morning show PLUS stay here in the city I love, it was an easy decision to say YES!” says Susie. “I can’t thank PD Murph, Director of Programming Stevie DeMann, JVC Executive Shane Reeve, and JVC CEO/President John Caracciolo for putting their faith in me. Chad and I are ecstatic to introduce The Morning Wolfpack to Central Florida and give country music fans original, relatable, engaging, and fun morning radio!”.

WOTW PD Murph comments, “Susie is a veteran in the Orlando market, with amazing talent, who is also involved in many community initiatives. The dynamic between Chad and Susie is going to attach itself to the hearts of the audience and I’m looking forward to the very bright and winning future of The Morning Wolfpack with Chad and Susie!”.

JVC’s Florida Director of Programming Stevie DeMann added, “I’m excited Susie is joining the JVC team! It is going to be fun to watch her lend her incredible wit, charitable heart, and relentless creativity to 103.1 The Wolf and the Orlando radio market. Wolf Country is going to love waking up to The Morning Wolfpack with Chad and Susie!”

Susie joins The Morning Wolfpack on Monday April 19th.

56th Annual ACM Awards Set For Sunday

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards™, hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry. 

The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will broadcast LIVE on Sunday, April 18, 2021 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on CBS, and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Find more details here on “How To Watch.”

Ahead of the show, listen to SiriusXM's The Highway (channel 56), the official “ACM Awards Radio,” through Sunday, April 18. Hear exclusive ACM Awards content on-air including backstage and pre-show interviews, culminating in a live simulcast of the big event on April 18 at 8pm ET. 

The 56th ACM Awards will feature an unprecedented number of world television premiere performances including: Elle King and Miranda Lambert opening the show with “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” Dierks Bentley performing U2’s poignant classic “Pride (In The Name of Love)” with husband and wife duo The War and Treaty, Brothers Osborne (“I’m Not For Everyone” and “Dead Man’s Curve”), Kenny Chesney (“Knowing You”), Eric Church (“Bunch Of Nothing”), Luke Combs (“Forever After All”), Dan + Shay (“Glad You Exist”), Mickey Guyton (“Hold On”), Alan Jackson with “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and a special mashup for “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall (“In His Arms”), Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd (“Chasing After You”), Thomas Rhett premiering “What’s Your Country Song” and “Country Again,” Blake Shelton celebrating the 20th Anniversary of his first hit single “Austin” as well as “Minimum Wage,” Chris Stapleton (“Maggie’s Song”), and Chris Young and Kane Brown (“Famous Friends”).

Additional powerful collaborations include: Carly Pearce and Lee Brice duetting on “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carrie Underwood performing a medley from her new album of gospel hymns, My Savior, which will also feature a duet with CeCe Winans, and Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney performing together for “half of my hometown.”

Exciting performances previously announced include: recently revealed New Male Artist of the Year, Jimmie Allen, and New Female Artist of the Year, Gabby Barrett, Lady A, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, and Keith Urban.

Show will take place across the city of Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, The Bluebird Cafe, Broadway, Riverfront and Station Inn. Watch LIVE on CBS and available to steam live and on demand on PARAMOUNT+

Streaming Services Open Up About Artist Payouts

Apple Music told artists it pays a penny per stream, according to a letter viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ reports the disclosure, made in a letter to artists delivered Friday via the service’s artist dashboard and sent to labels and publishers, reflects music-streaming services’ increasing efforts to show they are artist-friendly. Apple Inc.’s AAPL -0.25% move can be seen as a riposte to Spotify Technology SA, which last month shared some details of how it pays the music industry for streams on its platform.

Apple’s penny-per-stream payment structure—which music-industry experts say can dip lower—is roughly double what Spotify, the world’s largest music-streaming service, pays music-rights holders per stream. Spotify pays an average of about one-third to one-half penny per stream, though its larger user base generates many more streams. Apple’s payments come out of monthly subscription revenue from users.

Artists, managers and lawyers, still reeling from the loss of touring revenue during the pandemic, have been calling for higher payouts from music streaming, which has grown rapidly in the past year. Many fans have joined the push to raise artists’ compensation.

The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers weighed in on Apple’s letter Friday, saying that all music streamers should pay one penny per stream at a minimum and encouraged Apple to make its penny-per-stream payment not merely from a portion of its subscription revenue.

Apple last reported more than 60 million Music subscribers in June 2019. Spotify leads the industry in subscriptions with 155 million, out of 345 million total active users including those who listen free to the ad-supported tier. Inc. said early last year that its music subscription offerings had 55 million subscribers.

Audacy Launching Special Series to Preview NFL Draft

Audacy has announced the launch of “Ultimate Mock Draft 2021,” a six-episode series leading up to the NFL Draft in partnership with the Locked On Podcast Network, the No. 1 daily local sports podcast network. The series will be released in 45-minute episodes, weekdays from April 19 to April 26 via the Audacy app and website.

Hosted by Locked On Podcast Network’s Brian Peacock and Matt Williamson, a former NFL scout, each episode will dive deep into each team’s needs, draft strategy, player short-list, and “Ultimate Mock Draft” pick for the first round of the NFL Draft. The mock draft will feature an audio war-room populated by Audacy NFL Insiders Ross Tucker, Brian Baldinger, Michael Irvin, Jason La Canfora and Armando Salguero, Locked On Podcast Network draft experts Trevor Sikkema and Benjamin Solak, and Locked On Podcast Network’s Draft Dudes podcast co-hosts Joe Marino and Kyle Crabbs, plus other draft and position experts from across the network. Each pick will also feature a local personality from each corresponding pick’s Audacy sports radio station or Locked On Podcast Network show, to get their take on their team’s mock pick. Altogether, over 75 NFL analysts, insiders, draft and team experts will contribute to this mock draft series.

“No other sports platform has the unique combination of national voices combined with the localized and team-specific influencers and opinion leaders, and this series will help get football fans fully prepped for this year’s draft, no matter their favorite team,” said Matthew Volk, Vice President of Sports, Audacy. “Each year, the NFL Draft helps turn the page to the upcoming season and we’re looking forward to previewing this year’s event alongside our partners at Locked On.”

The podcast will also be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all major podcast apps. Audacy announced a content partnership with Locked On Podcast Network in February 2021.

Locked On Podcast Network was created in June of 2016 by David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz. Originating with a single podcast, Locked On Jazz, the network now produces more than 170 different podcasts – providing in-depth coverage of every NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL team plus major college sports teams. Locked On publishes more than 650 podcast episodes every week – generating more than eight million listens a month and growing. Locked On was acquired by TEGNA, Inc., a leading local media company, in January 2021.

SBG Adds JJ Hutton At Media Research Analyst

Sun Broadcast Group is excited to announce another new hire, Joseph Hutton Jr., as Media Research Analyst and Affiliate Support. 

JJ Hutton

Hutton is a media professional with years of experience in national audio buying. Having most recently worked with GroupM as a National Audio Buyer, Hutton will be a key piece to Sun Broadcast Group’s research team, providing competitive positioning, consumer insights, and creative strategy to assist both clients and agencies.

“With his background in buying audio for Group M, JJ will be able to help us pinpoint the relevant research that buyers are looking for,” said Anny Mansfield, Corporate Research Director for Sun Broadcast Group, a Gen Media Partners company. “I’m looking forward to working with him as we develop sales presentations for our advertisers.”

Hutton’s agency experience will help direct SBG’s lineup efficiently to best assist buyers and clients, in addition to maintaining and managing affiliate catalogs.

“JJ is the final piece we were looking for to complete Sun’s dream team for sales, planning and research,” said Sun Broadcast Group COO Danno Wolkoff. “His wealth of knowledge and insight into the advertising needs of clients will help our sales team deliver results each and every time for the buyers.”

New 'Chachi' Podcasts Feature Radio's Saban and Johnson

Benztown, has announced the release of two new episodes of “Chachi Loves Everybody”, an original podcast produced by Benztown and featuring Benztown President and audio brand builder Dave “Chachi” Denes. 

The new episodes feature Chachi’s recent video chats from Benztown’s Los Angeles studios with Tracy Johnson, President/CEO, Tracy Johnson Media Group, a leading programming, promotion and talent consultancy to radio stations, and with Tommy “Little Tommy” Sablan, legendary producer of shows like “The Jeff and Jer Showgram,” the creator of “Breaking and Entering Christmas,” and the only producer ever inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. To listen to the new podcast episodes, visit:

“Chachi Loves Everybody” takes listeners with Denes – better known as “Chachi” – as he sits down for candid conversations with Radio’s legends, master brand builders, up-and-comers and innovators in the burgeoning audio space, revealing the true stories behind their successes and their insights into building iconic brands through audio.

In Tracy Johnson’s episode, Chachi learns how Johnson made his mark on the radio industry, his secrets to success, and where he sees the industry going. Johnson also covers topics including:
  • Giving up farm life and MLB dreams for radio
  • Changing careers from on-air talent to programming
  • What it takes to be a great on-air talent
  • How to be a better coach or programmer
  • Becoming a consultant and the challenges that come with it
In Tommy "Little Tommy" Sablan’s episode, Chachi discovers how Sablan built an iconic career in radio and beyond, and hears revealing stories about topics including:
  • Growing up with a single mother and four siblings in Chula Vista
  • The role a producer plays in the success of a show and how to think like a producer
  • Producing “The Jeff and Jer Showgram” and the moment Tommy knew it was a success
  • The creation and legacy of “Breaking and Entering Christmas”
  • Transitioning from radio to television
  • Winning a Mark Twain Award for “Oxy: What Your Kids Aren’t Telling You”
  • How Tommy continues to advocate for addiction rehabilitation and preventio,
“Chachi Loves Everybody” is available now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, Audioboom and other podcast services.

Hong Kong Media Mogul Sentenced To Prison

Jimmy Lai (NY Times)
Jimmy Lai has skewered the Chinese Communist Party for decades. 

The NY Times reports the 73-year-old founder of a fiercely pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, Lai helped give voice to critics of the city’s leaders and their bosses in Beijing, winning friends in Washington and other places along the way.

Now, for one of his acts of defiance, Lai is going to prison.

A Hong Kong court on Friday sentenced Mr. Lai to 12 months in prison for his role in a peaceful demonstration in 2019 against Beijing’s encroachment over the semiautonomous territory. Three activists and a labor leader were given sentences of eight to 18 months for their role in the protest.

Other prominent opposition figures received suspended sentences, meaning they would avoid being put behind bars if they are not convicted of another crime in the next two years. They included Martin Lee, an 82-year-old lawyer who is often called Hong Kong’s “father of democracy,” who was given an 11-month suspended term.

The sentences fell short of the maximum of five years in prison the defendants had faced. Still, they sent an unmistakable message that activism carries severe risks for even the most internationally prominent opposition figures. Supporters of the defendants say the sentences are the latest sign of the fundamental transformation that Beijing has sought to impose on Hong Kong, once a bastion of free speech, to silence dissent.

Nashville Music Industry Opposes TN LGBTQ Legislation

Leading record labels, streaming services, publishing companies and media firms in Nashville issued an open letter Friday urging Tennessee lawmakers to denounce legislation targeting LGBTQ community members, The Tennessean reports.

More than three dozen companies — including Spotify, Apple, Curb Records, Big Machine, Third Man Records and Americana Music Association — signed a request for legislators to "reject these bills and help ensure that our state is welcoming and economically vibrant." 

Last month, Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that requires transgender students in Tennessee  to compete in school sports according to their sex at birth; a bill allowing parents to waive LGBTQ-related curriculum for their children cleared the state legislature earlier this week. 

The letter said: "Apart from regulatory overreach into matters that should be left to parents, health care experts and businesses, the passage of these bills would hinder Tennessee’s continued ability to recruit the best talent, support business innovation, and serve as the dynamic home to some of the nation’s most exciting music, entertainment, travel, and tourism opportunities." 

Members of Nashville's multi-billion dollar music industry join a growing list of corporations, local business leaders, medical experts and LGBTQ advocates to oppose the legislation. 

Detroit Radio: After 30-Years, WWJ's Vickie Thomas to Retire

Award-winning longtime WWJ-AM 950 AM reporter Vickie Thomas is retiring this month, she announced Friday on Twitter.

"It's been an amazing ride working with the outstanding professionals at WWJ ... the BEST news team around!" the broadcaster tweeted. "I've truly been blessed!!"

The Detroit News reports Thomas, the city beat reporter at WWJ since 1991, said her last day on air is April 29 but she plans to continue a weekly podcast, "Black Business Minute."

Vicki Thomas
During her career she earned honors from groups including the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists, according to the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, into which she was inducted in 2019.

Thomas is a past president of the National Association of Black Journalists' Detroit chapter, where as vice president she started a scholarship and internship program for college students interested in broadcast news, according to the group. 

She also served on the NABJ national board and was instrumental in helping the group bring its annual convention and career fair to Detroit in 2018 for the first time since 1992, the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame reported.

In 2020, Thomas received a lifetime achievement award from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Jax Radio: WJXL Picks-Up Gator Sports

University Athletic Association and Florida Gators Sports Properties has announced University of Florida football, men's basketball and conference baseball games have a new radio home in Jacksonville on Sports WJXL 1010XL / 92.5 FM. The station will broadcast all football and men's basketball games along with baseball's SEC contests and its matchups with Florida State. 

All Gator related talk shows will also air on 1010XL.

"We are excited to partner with 1010 XL to bring Gator athletics to the First Coast airwaves," said Athletics Director Scott Stricklin. "We have a large passionate fan base in the listening area who can now follow all of our football, basketball and conference baseball games on the premier sports talk radio station in Jacksonville."

1010XL is alaso the flagship station of the Jacksonville Jaguars and popular sports talk shows like the Frank Frangie Show, the Drill, Jaguars Today and XL Primetime.

"We are thrilled to add University of Florida athletics to our all-star play-by-play lineup," 1010XL/92.5 FM President and General Manager Steven Griffin said. "As the proud flagship station of the Jaguars, it only made sense to add the Gators, whose heritage and incredible following in our area and statewide is second to none among college programs."

April 17 Radio History

Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake
➦In 1905...Arthur Lake was born as Arthur Silverlake Jr. (Died from a heart attack at age 81 – January 9, 1987). He is best known for portraying the Blondie comic strip character of Dagwood Bumstead in twenty-eight Blondie films produced by Columbia Pictures from 1938 to 1950. He was also the voice of Dagwood on the radio series, which ran from 1938 to 1950, earning him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6646 Hollywood Blvd. Many of the actors on the radio show noted Lake's commitment to the program, stating that on the day of the broadcast, Lake was Dagwood Bumstead.

Far from being upset about being typecast, Lake continued to embrace the role of Dagwood in a short-lived 1957 Blondie TV series, then even into the 1960s and beyond; he would often give speeches to Rotary clubs and other civic organizations, eagerly posing for pictures with a Dagwood sandwich.

➦In 1922...KPO san Francisco signed-on.  Now known at KNBR 680 AM, KPO began broadcasting as a100-watt station owned by the Hale Brothers department store. In 1925, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper bought half-interest in the operation. Originally located in the department store at 901 Market between 5th and 6th, its horizontal wire antenna on the roof was so efficient, it immediately attracted the attention of audiences all over the Pacific Coast.

KPO Studio -1922 (Courtesy of Bay Area Radio Museum)
In 1927, KPO became an affiliate of the new NBC radio network. In 1933, KPO was sold to NBC's parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), and its operation was consolidated into that of its co-owned KGO. From there, NBC operated its West Coast network, feeding dozens of stations and operating a news bureau to serve NBC. As NBC's flagship station on the West Coast, it had a full-time orchestra, five studios, and produced many live shows. During the rise of Hollywood, NBC's radio operation was moved to Los Angeles.

During World War II, KPO's news bureau was the major source of NBC of news about the war in the Pacific, and operated shortwave radio stations serving the world. It was at the KPO (RCA) shortwave facility that the message was received that Japanese emperor Hirohito had surrendered, ending World War II.

On November 23, 1947, NBC changed KPO's call sign to KNBC to strengthen its identity as an NBC station (and the only radio station NBC ever owned on the West Coast). This change lasted until fifteen years later, when the network decided to move the KNBC identity to its television station in Los Angeles. NBC had asked the FCC to restore the KPO call letters to the San Francisco radio station but later withdrew that request and 680 AM was renamed KNBR on November 11, 1962.

KNBR evolved into a Middle of the road music format mixing in Adult Standards with Soft Rock cuts by the early 1960s. The station continued to be a news intensive format with personalities in the foreground and music in the background. Personalities included Frank Dill, Les Williams, Dave Niles, and Jack Hayes. Until January, 1975, KNBR carried NBC's long-running weekend show, Monitor. By the mid-1970s, KNBR evolved musically into a straight ahead adult contemporary music format and continued as such into the 1980s.

In March 1989 NBC sold KNBR to Susquehanna Radio Corporation; it was the last radio property held by NBC, which two years earlier made the decision to sell off its radio division following General Electric's 1986 acquisition of RCA. The station soon added some sports talk in evenings, and took a full-time sports format in 1990 with the lone exception of The Rush Limbaugh Show, which KNBR carried from 1988 until 2000.

KNBR carried programs from ESPN Radio and KTCT aired shows from both ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio until 2013, when both stations switched to the Cumulus-distributed CBS Sports Radio.

In 2015, KNBR's studios were relocated from 55 Hawthorne Street to 750 Battery Street after parent Cumulus Media consolidated its San Francisco radio stations in one building.

➦In 1923...Harry Truman Reasoner was born (Died at age 68 – August 6, 1991). He was a journalist for ABC and CBS News, known for his inventive use of language as a television commentator, and as a founder of the 60 Minutes program.

Over the course of his career, Reasoner won three Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award in 1967.

During his time at the school, Reasoner developed his interest in journalism. He went on to study journalism at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. He served in the Army during World War II and after the war, he then resumed his journalism career with The Minneapolis Times.

After going into radio with CBS in 1948, Reasoner worked for the United States Information Agency in the Philippines. When he returned to the US, he went into television and worked at station KEYD (later KMSP) in Minneapolis. He later joined CBS News in New York, in 1956, where he eventually hosted a morning news program called Calendar from 1961 to 1963, on top of doing commentator and special news narration duties

In 1968, Reasoner teamed up with Mike Wallace to launch 60 Minutes, a new news magazine series. On 60 Minutes and elsewhere, he often worked with producer and writer Andy Rooney, who later became a well-known contributor in his own right.

In 1970, Reasoner was hired away from CBS by ABC to become an anchor on the network's newly revamped nightly newscast.  After a stay of several years in the '70s at ABC. Reasoner returned to CBS and 60 Minutes where he remained until his retirement on May 19, 1991.

➦In 1934...WLW Cincinnati licensed to operate at 500kW.

In January 1934 WLW began broadcasting at the 500 kilowatt level late at night under the experimental callsign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500 kilowatts during regular hours under the WLW call letters. On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a ceremonial button that officially launched WLW's 500-kilowatt signal.  As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received repeated complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was overpowering other stations as far away as Toronto.

In December 1934 WLW cut back to 50 kilowatts at night to mitigate the interference, and began construction of three 50 ft. tower antennas to be used to reduce signal strength towards Canada. With these three antennas in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935.

However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months, and each renewal brought complaints about interference and undue domination of the market by such a high-power station. The FCC was having second thoughts about permitting extremely wide-area broadcasting versus more locally oriented stations, and in 1938, the US Senate adopted the "Wheeler" resolution, expressing it to be the sense of that body that more stations with power in excess of 50 kilowatts are against the public interest. As a result, in 1939 the 500-kilowatt broadcast authorization was not renewed, bringing an end to the era of the AM radio superstation.  Because of the impending war and the possible need for national broadcasting in an emergency, the W8XO experimental license for 500 kilowatts remained in effect until December 29, 1942.

In 1962 the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation again applied for a permit to operate at 750 kilowatts, but the FCC denied the application.

➦In 1935…After more than a year as a local program on WENR in Chicago, "Lights Out" debuted to a national audience on NBC Radio Network. In June of 1936, Chicago writer Arch Oboler took over from series creator Wyllis Cooper and stayed with the program until 1943.

Lights Out revival was part of a trend in 1940s American radio toward more horror. Genre series like Inner Sanctum, Suspense and others drew increasingly large ratings. The series continued until the summer of 1947.

➦In 1964…Washington's FBI lab reported it could not determine the lyrics to "Louie Louie." The Kingsmen's recording was the subject of an FBI investigation about the supposed, but nonexistent, obscenity of the lyrics, an investigation that ended without prosecution.[3] Ironically, the recording notably includes the drummer yelling "F#ck!" after dropping his drumstick at the 0:54 mark.

"Louie Louie" has been recognized by organizations and publications worldwide for its influence on the history of rock and roll. A partial list includes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, National Public Radio, VH1, Rolling Stone Magazine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

➦In 1965…RCA and the LearJet Corporation announced the development of the combination 8 track tape player and car radio.  The Stereo 8 Cartridge was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA Victor Records.

Anthony Perkins, Peter Potter, Troy Donahue
➦In 1983...Los Angeles radio personality Peter Potter died at age 78.  He was best known for his show “Juke Box Jury,” which appeared on both media during the entire decade of the 1950 s and beyond.

The syndicated show won him two Emmys, in 1953 and 1955, both for Best Entertainment Program, and put his phrase “Will it be a hit, or will it be a miss?" into American pop jargon. Most recording stars made appearances on his Los Angeles-based shows on radio stations KMPC, KFWB and KLAC.

During the 1940s, he was Hollywood's reigning disc jockey, his shows airing seven days a week, often with the highest ratings in daytime radio.

➦In 1986...WRFM 105.1 FM NYC switched from beautiful music to soft rock as WNSR. Today the station is owned by iHeartMedia and airs an Urban format as WWPR Power 105.1 FM

➦In 1994…Peter Hackes died at age 69 (Born June 2, 1924). He was a longtime TV and radio correspondent who late in life had acting roles in two prominent American films.

Peter Hackes
Early in his career, Hackes worked for radio stations in Iowa, New York, Ohio and Kentucky. He then began a three-year stint working at CBS in 1952. Starting in 1955, Hackes spent 30 years based in Washington, D.C. working for NBC, both as a TV correspondent and as a radio correspondent.

In his years at NBC, Hackes covered Capitol Hill, the State Department and NASA, and worked every national political convention from 1956 to 1986. Hackes won an Emmy award for his coverage of the Apollo space flights in 1969 and 1970, and he also won a Peabody Award for his work on NBC’s Second Sunday program.

After voluntarily taking an early retirement from NBC in April 1986, Hackes became the radio voice of the AARP. He hosted a daily radio program for retired Americans called Mature Focus, which aired on 600 radio stations nationwide.

After retiring from NBC, Hackes had acting roles in two prominent films. In 1987, Hackes played heartless network executive Paul Moore in the film Broadcast News, who oversaw an extensive layoff and restructuring of news personnel in a TV network’s Washington bureau.  Hackes also had a small role in the 1991 film True Colors.

➦In 1996...Bob Grant aired last show on 77WABC NYC.

Grant was hired by WABC in 1984 and at first hosted a show from 9-11 p.m., before moving to the 3-6 p.m. afternoon time slot. The Bob Grant Show consistently dominated the ratings in the highly competitive afternoon drive time slot in New York City and at one point the radio station aired recorded promos announcing him as "America's most listened to talk radio personality." The gravel-voiced Grant reminded listeners during the daily introduction that the "program was unscripted and unrehearsed".

Grant's long stay at WABC ended when he was fired for a remark about the April 3, 1996 airplane crash involving Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Grant remarked to caller named, Carl of Oyster Bay, "My hunch is that (Brown) is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it's because, at heart, I'm a pessimist." When Brown was found dead, Grant's comments were widely criticized, and several weeks later, after a media campaign, his contract was terminated.

After being fired, Grant moved down the dial to WOR 710 to host the same afternoon drive-time slot. Grant's age began to show while broadcasting at WOR. He was less engaging with the callers, and not as energetic during his broadcasts. For a time, the Bob Grant show went into national syndication, but has been a local only show since 2001. Grant and his WABC replacement Sean Hannity would sometimes throw jabs at each other. Hannity defeated Grant in the ratings from 2001–2006.

Grant's WOR run ended on January 13, 2006. After several fill-in stints at WABC, Grant returned to WABC in August 2007.  His finals stint lasted less than a year and a half, until his regular nightly show was pulled by WABC in late November 2008 as part of a programming shuffle stemming from the debut of Curtis Sliwa's national show, and later Mark Levin's show expanding to three hours, leaving no room for Grant.

Grant died Hillsborough Township, New Jersey on December 31, 2013, after what was described as a "short illness".

➦In 2020...Detroit Radio Personality Robin Seymour died at age 94. In the 1960s, earned renown for “Swingin’ Time” on CKLW 800 AM.

  • Lindsay Korman is 43
    Actor David Bradley (“Game of Thrones”) is 79. 
  • Musician Jan Hammer is 73. 
  • Actor Olivia Hussey is 70. 
  • Actor Clarke Peters (“Treme”) is 69. 
  • Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 64. 
  • Actor Sean Bean (“Lord of the Rings”) is 62. 
  • Actor Joel Murray (“Dharma and Greg,” ″The Artist”) is 59. 
  • Singer Maynard James Keenan of Tool and of Puscifer is 57. 
  • Actor Lela Rochon is 57. 
  • Actor William Mapother (“Lost”) is 56. 
  • Actor Leslie Bega (“The Sopranos”) is 54. 
  • Actor Henry Ian Cusick (“Scandal,” ″Lost”) is 54. 
  • Actor Kimberly Elise is 54. 
  • Singer Liz Phair is 54. 
  • Rapper-actor Redman is 51. 
  • Actor Jennifer Garner is 49. 
  • Singer Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls is 47. 
  • Actor Lindsay Korman (“Passions”) is 43. 
  • Actor Tate Ellington (“Quantico”) is 42. 
  • Actor Charlie Hofheimer (“24: Legacy”) is 40. 
  • Actor Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) is 36. 
  • Actor Dee Dee Davis (“The Bernie Mac Show”) is 25.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Research Identifies Six Types Of Radio Listeners

NPR and Edison Research have released the findings of their first-ever study of its kind on radio -- which identifies six segments of radio listeners, their listening behaviors and their attitudes towards advertising.

The study, titled “Radio: Live on Air and Everywhere” reveals that radio plays an important role in the lives of consumers and that the majority of radio listeners are receptive to sponsorship messages on the platform. The findings were presented in a webinar hosted by NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick and is available now at

Approximately 156 million people age 18+ - 63% of U.S. adults - listen to AM/FM radio daily, and listeners are driven to the medium for myriad reasons. The study finds that the heaviest users of radio are the most open to its advertising messages. Two of the six segments of listeners, “Radio Heads” and “Connection Seekers,” the groups that spend the most time with radio, are the least likely to avoid ads or sponsorship messages on AM/FM radio.

The six radio listener segments identified are:

Regardless of segment, 47% of radio listeners overall agree that listening to ads is a fair tradeoff to consume the free content. Almost half of all AM/FM radio listeners (46%) say they have considered a new company, product, or service after hearing an ad on the radio.

NPR Radio listeners show a particularly strong engagement with radio and its sponsorship messages: with 46% agreeing that they are more likely to trust a company they hear advertised on NPR and 59% agreeing that NPR engages their mind in a more positive way than other media does. NPR listeners are more likely to be Infoseekers (26% of all NPR listeners), Connection Seekers (19%), and Radio Heads (15%) than the average radio listener.

Although often eclipsed in the media by other audio platforms, AM/FM radio commands 41% of all time spent listening to audio by those in the U.S. age 18+. Even with the growth in available online audio and other options, this new research finds that 33% of AM/FM radio listeners say the platform is becoming a more important part of their lives.


“NPR has been a leader in radio for 50 years, with programming airing across more than 1000 member stations nationally," said NPR VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson. "And while we all can agree that radio certainly has had an amazing legacy – we’re thrilled to see it also has a very vibrant future, with dedicated listeners who are especially engaged with radio’s content, including advertising and sponsorship messages."

According to Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick, “Even in a world where people have many audio options, radio is by far the most listened-to in terms of reach and the most-used in terms of time. Don’t take for granted the fact that radio is everywhere – providing enormous audiences and engaged responses from tens of millions of people, every hour of every day.”

How the study was conducted
  • Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere from NPR and Edison Research is based on a national online survey of 1,500 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted January 13-21, 2021. All respondents reported listening to AM/FM radio (traditional or streamed) in the last week. Data was weighted to match the sex, age, and ethnicity of AM/FM radio weekly listeners from The Infinite Dial from Edison Research and Triton Digital.
  • Edison Research Share of Ear®: A total of 4,000+ respondents age 13+ completed an online or offline survey which was offered in English and Spanish. Data weighted to national 12+ U.S. population estimates and has been tracked since 2014.

Wake-Up Call: 8 Killed At Indy Fedex Facility

Indy Star Website Screenshot

Eight people were killed in a shooting at an Indianapolis Fedex facility late yesterday, and at least four others were hospitalized, including one person with critical injuries. Police said in a early Friday morning news briefing that the suspected gunman killed himself. A man who works at the Fedex facility named Jeremiah Miller told local station WISH-TV, "I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open."

➤U.S. IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA, EXPELLING DIPLOMATS OVER HACKING, ELECTION INTERFERENCE: The administration announced yesterday that the U.S. is imposing sanctions on several dozen Russian people and companies and is expelling 10 Russian diplomats in response to the massive SolarWinds hacking of federal agencies and to efforts to interfere in last year's presidential election. President Biden said at the White House, "We cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in our democratic process with impunity." He also said they could have taken even stronger measures, but chose not to in the interest of maintaining stability. Russia promised a response.

One of the people targeted was Russian and Ukrainian political consultant Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked with former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and was indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The Treasury Department said yesterday that Kilimnik had given, quote, "sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy" to Russian intelligence services after getting it from the Trump campaign in 2016. Mueller’s report had been unable to determine what Kilimnik had done with the polling data.

No sanctions were imposed for reports that Russia encouraged the Taliban to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with the White House saying Biden was using diplomatic, military and intelligence channels to respond. Officials said they had only low to moderate confidence in intelligence from last year that Russia had put out "bounties" for attacks on U.S. troops.

➤BODYCAM VIDEO RELEASED OF 13-YEAR-OLD BOY KILLED BY CHICAGO POLICE: Bodycam video was released yesterday of the fatal police shooting by Chicago police of a 13-year-old boy, after a public outcry over the boy's March 29th death. The video shows Adam Toledo appearing to drop a gun and begin raising his hands less than second before Officer Eric Stillman shot him once in the chest. Police had responded to reports of shots fired in the area and say Toledo had a gun before he was shot. Stillman is heard yelling at the boy to stop as he ran after Toledo, and yells, "Hands! Hands! Show me your (expletive) hands!" Toledo then turns toward the camera, Stillman yells "Drop it!" and between repeating that command, he opens fire and hits Toledo. Stillman’s attorney said Toledo left the officer no choice but to shoot. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked the public to remain calm, but condemned the city’s history of police violence and misconduct.

➤DEFENSE RESTS IN CHAUVIN TRIAL, HE DOESN'T TESTIFY: The defense rested in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial in the death of George Floyd yesterday after Chauvin chose not to testify. He told the judge, with the jury not in the room, that he was invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. The defense rested its case soon after. In the case's final testimony, the prosecution briefly recalled a lung and critical care expert to reject a defense witness' speculation that inhaling carbon monoxide from a car's exhaust might have contributed to Floyd's death. The expert said that tests showed Floyd’s carbon monoxide level was in the normal range. Closing arguments are set to begin Monday.

➤13 SUPREME COURT JUSTICES: Should the Supreme Court have 13 justices instead of the current nine? That's what a group of congressional Democrats is arguing, and they introduced legislation yesterday that would make it happen. Supporters of expansion charge Republicans got an unfair advantage on the high court when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked President Barack Obama from filling Justice Antonin Scalia's seat after he died in February 2016, claiming the person who won the presidential race in November should fill the seat since it was an election year, but then when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last September, went ahead and got Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed for the seat in a matter of weeks before the presidential election. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said, "Some people say we’re packing the court. We’re not packing it. We’re unpacking it." But Republicans call it a power grab, and it's a long-shot effort, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying yesterday she might not bring it up for a vote if it's advanced out of committee. This comes, meanwhile, after President Biden created a commission last week to examine the issue of expanding the court and also the possibility of having term limits for the justices.

➤SPENDING TIME ON HOUSEHOLD CHORES MAY IMPROVE BRAIN HEALTH:  Most people don’t exactly like doing household chores, but doing them could be good for your brain. Rotman Research Institute researchers looked at people ages 66 and up and found those who reported spending more time doing household chores such as tidying, dusting, meal preparation and clean up, shopping, heavy housework, home repairs and caregiving had greater brain volume, regardless of how much exercise they did. The scientists say this could be because household chores have a similar effect on the heart and blood vessels as low-intensity aerobic exercise, or because planning and organizing involving household chores may promote the formation of new neural connections over time, or even because those who engaged in more household chores spent less time being sedentary, which has been associated with negative health outcomes, including poor brain health.

Men’s shorts are getting shorter, and social media users have noticed. After a few male celebrities shared photos of themselves wearing high-cut activewear earlier this week, Men’s Health magazine wrote an article that predicts short shorts for men will gain popularity this summer, especially among fitness enthusiasts. Director of the Avant-Guide Institute, Daniel Levine, says that shorter shorts for men have been trending in 2021, according to global consumer trend research conducted by the firm. It’s not the first time in fashion history this has happened. Men’s athletic shorts were noticeably short between the 1940s and 1980s before trends shifted towards above- or at-the-knee shorts or longer.

➤CAPITOL POLICE INSPECTOR GENERAL SAYS 'CULTURAL CHANGE' NEEDED: The U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General, Michael A. Bolton, said in testimony before the House Administration Committee yesterday that the Capitol Police force needs a, quote, "cultural change," after the failures related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Among his findings, Bolton said the Capitol Police needs to improve its intelligence gathering, training, and operational planning as well as the way it views its mission, saying as a protective agency it needs to be, quote, "proactive to prevent events such as January 6th." Among problems he's found are inadequate training and outdated weaponry, and in a report obtained by AP that hasn't been publicly released, he cited missed intelligence surrounding the January 6th attack.

➤PFIZER CEO: COVID-19 VACCINE BOOSTER SHOT LIKELY NEEDED WITHIN A YEAR: The CEO of Pfizer, which makes one of the two mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, said on CNBC yesterday that people will "likely" need a booster shot within one year of getting fully vaccinated. Albert Bourla also said that people may need annual shots after that. Pfizer is currently studying how long the vaccine's immunity lasts, and that will determine whether booster shots will be necessary. The CEO of Moderna, which makes the other mRNA vaccine, said on CNBC a day earlier that they are working on a shot that would combine protection against Covid-19 and the seasonal flu.

➤EX-VP PENCE GETS PACEMAKER: Former Vice President Mike Pence underwent surgery on Wednesday to have a pacemaker implanted. His office said yesterday that the 61-year-old had symptoms associated with a slow heart rate over the past two weeks, and had the procedure in response. Everything went well with the procedure and he's expected to fully recover in a few days. Pence had previously been diagnosed with a heart condition called asymptomatic left bundle branch block.

After weeks of trying to work things out, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have officially called off their engagement.

In a joint statement, they said, “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects. We wish the best for each other and one another's children. Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have is to say is thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support."

Trouble in their relationship became public when rumors swirled of him cheating on her earlier this year. At the time, both stars denied it. They were engaged for 2 years before their breakup.

➤TOKYO OLYMPICS COULD STILL BE CANCELED: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed one year from last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, and their planned start is now just three months away. But an official in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party said yesterday that the Games could still be canceled. Like many places around the world, Japan is currently having a coronavirus surge, and they've also had a slow rollout of their vaccination program. LDP secretary general Toshihiro Nikai told the Associated Press the Olympics could be canceled if the country's Covid-19 numbers don't improve. He said, "If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics." It's also been suggested that the Games could be held, but without any fans. As it stands now, no foreign fans will be allowed to attend. The Japanese people themselves don't seem to be very eager to move forward with the Olympics, with a Kyodo News poll earlier this week finding that 72 percent were in favor of postponing the Games again or canceling them altogether.

🏀NETS' ALDRIDGE RETIRES SUDDENLY DUE TO IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT: The Brooklyn Nets' LaMarcus Aldridge retired suddenly on Thursday (April 15th) after the 35-year-old experienced an irregular heartbeat during Brooklyn's game against the Los Angeles Lakers last Saturday, ending his 15-year NBA career. Aldridge said in a statement posted on social media that it was one of the, quote, "scariest things" he's ever experienced. Even though he feels better now, he said, "For 15 years I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and my family first." The seven-time All-Star was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome as a rookie in 2017, which can cause a rapid heartbeat. 

Aldridge had just signed with the Nets on March 28th and had become their starting center. He's previously been with the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs.

🏀WINGS TAKE COLLIER, KUIER FIRST AND SECOND IN WNBA DRAFT: Charli Collier of Texas was the top pick in the WNBA draft last night, chosen by the Dallas Wings, who also had the second pick and took Awak Kuier, the first Finnish player to be drafted in the WNBA. She played professionally in Italy. Dallas had the first two picks in the draft, which was held virtually for a second year due to the pandemic, by acquiring the top pick in a trade after being awarded the second choice in the draft lottery. The Atlanta Dream chose Arizona guard Aari McDonald third and the Indiana Fever picked Kysre Gondrezick of West Virginia fourth. Dallas had the fifth pick as well, and took Chelsea Dungee of Arkansas.

🏒CANUCKS' RETURN TO PLAY DELAYED DUE TO ONGOING COVID ISSUES: The NHL announced yesterday (April 15th) that the Vancouver Canucks' return to play had be delayed as they continue to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak on the team. They had been scheduled to host the Edmonton Oilers yesterday after having not played a game since March 24th. At least 21 Vancouver players and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive for the coronavirus since March 30th.

🏈BROWNS, RAIDERS LATEST PLAYERS TO SAY WILL SKIP VOLUNTARY WORKOUTS: The Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas Raiders yesterday became the latest NFL players to say they won't take part in voluntary in-person workouts this offseason. The players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots and New York Giants had previously said the same thing. The first four weeks of the workouts will be virtual, but will then transition to being in-person. The offseason workouts were all done virtually last year because of the pandemic, and the objecting players are saying it should be done entirely virtually this year too because of Covid-19.

🏀WISEMAN HAS SURGERY ON KNEE, OUT FOR REST OF SEASON: The Golden State Warriors said yesterday that center James Wiseman had undergone surgery for a meniscus injury in his right knee and will be out for the rest of the season. It's expected that the 20-year-old rookie will be back next season. Wiseman, who was the Number 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, was injured during the April 10th game against the Houston Rockets.