Saturday, May 1, 2021

May 2 Radio History

➦In 1922... WBAP Fort Worth, TX signed-on.

The station shared time with Dallas stations WFAA and WRR. It was the first station in the United States to have an audible logo signal similar to the NBC chimes, the WBAP cowbell. According to President Herbert Hoover, the station's call letters stood for "We Bring A Program".

On May 15, 1923, the Federal Radio Commission expanded the broadcast band, and WBAP and WFAA moved to 630 kHz. Another expansion moved WBAP to 600 kHz effective April 15, 1927, and this frequency was shared with WOAI in San Antonio. On November 11, 1928, WBAP moved to 800 kHz, and on June 1, 1929, WFAA also moved to 800 kHz, sharing time (and NBC Red network affiliation) with WBAP.

Station owner Amon G. Carter was unhappy with having to share time on 800 kHz with WFAA. In May 1938, Carter Publishing purchased KGKO Wichita Falls (570 kHz) and moved it to Fort Worth as an affiliate of the NBC Blue network (which became ABC), and more importantly as a second frequency to be used when 800 kHz was not available. On March 29, 1941, as a consequence of the Treaty of Havana, WBAP and WFAA moved one last time, to 820 kHz.

Carter eventually sold half of KGKO to A.H. Belo, owners of WFAA, and on April 27, 1947, KGKO was replaced by a second shared frequency between WBAP and WFAA.

The dual frequency sharing arrangement between WBAP and WFAA continued through the 1950s and 1960s, with the stations switching frequencies several times a day. When WBAP changed frequencies, it signaled the change with a cowbell, which became widely associated with the station.

Even though the stations swapped frequencies several times each day, the network affiliations remained constant: NBC network programming stayed on 820 kHz and ABC network programming stayed on 570 kHz. This frequently proved confusing for announcers and listeners alike.

On May 1, 1970, the unique dual split-frequency lives of WBAP and WFAA ended when WBAP paid $3.5 million to WFAA in exchange for sole occupancy of 820 kHz (and the NBC affiliation).

WFAA took on 570 kHz (and the ABC affiliation) full-time. Once the frequency-sharing with WFAA ended in 1970, both stations were free to program musical formats, and WBAP began programming country music.

It also gained the added benefit of 820's clear-channel signal; previously WFAA controlled it during these prime nighttime hours. After a series of network affiliation changes in the late 1970s among WBAP, KRLD and WFAA, WBAP switched affiliations to ABC.

➦In 1928...KPQ-AM, Wenatchee, WA signed-on.
The original license for what would become KPQ was granted in 1927 to radio station entrepreneur Louis Wasmer, who named Seattle as the city of license and chose the call letters KGCL. He sold the not-yet-broadcasting station to a local sporting goods store, who officially changed the calls to KPQ. The store then resold it to Westcoast Broadcasting, who in 1928 "moved out" the station to Wenatchee.

➦In 1932...the first scheduled radio show featuring Jack Benny debuted on the NBC Blue Network. Here's a video clip from 1942.

Jack Benny first appeared on radio as a guest of Ed Sullivan in March 1932. He was then given his own show later that year, with Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor —The Canada Dry Ginger Ale Program, beginning May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing there for six months until October 26, moving the show to CBS on October 30. Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934 with Frank Black leading the band. He continued with The General Tire Revue for the rest of that season, and in the fall of 1934, for General Foods as The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny (1934–42) and, when sales of Jell-O were affected by sugar rationing during World War II, The Grape Nuts Flakes Program Starring Jack Benny (later the Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program) (1942–44). On October 1, 1944, the show became The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny, when American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes took over as his radio sponsor, through the mid-1950s. By that time, the practice of using the sponsor's name as the title began to fade.

The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's "raid" of NBC talent in 1948-49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeats of previous 1953-55 radio episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny for State Farm Insurance, who later sponsored his television program from 1960 through 1965.

➦In 1941...the FCC okayed the regular scheduling of TV broadcasts by commercial TV stations to begin on July 1. But the onset in the US of WW2 delayed the effective start television until the end of the decade.

➦In 1960...WLS 890 AM, Chicago, Illinois, flipped its format from Country to Top 40.

WLS had been wholly owned and operated by the radio division of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) since the purchase of its parent company in 1959. Five years earlier WLS was merged with WENR, a station with which WLS had shared its frequency since the 1920s

Mort Crowley was the first on-air voice of the new WLS (6 AM); the first song played was "Alley-Oop" by the Hollywood Argyles, four full weeks before it debuted on the Hot 100. Other notable disc jockeys who worked at WLS over the years include Fred Winston, Art Roberts, Ron "Ringo" Riley, Gene Taylor, Larry Lujack, Dex Card, Clark Weber, Chuck Buell, Kris Erik Stevens, Joel Sebastian, Gary Gears, Jerry Kay, Bob Sirott, John Records Landecker, Yvonne Daniels, Steve Dahl, Garry Meier, Brant Miller, Tom Kent Steve King, and Tommy Edwards. Some of the production directors responsible for the sound of WLS were Ray Van Steen, Hal Widsten, Jim Hampton, Bill Price and Tommy Edwards.

In the 1960s WLS was a major force in introducing new music and recording artists. WLS was voted by broadcasters nationally as "The Station of the Year" in 1967, 1968 & 1969. John Rook was named "Program Director of the Year" in 1968 & 1969 as WLS was estimated attracting 4.2 million listeners weekly by Pulse research.

The WLS News Dept included Lyle Dean, Jeff Hendrix, Catherine Johns, Dick Harley, Harley Carnes, Linda Marshall, Karen Hand, Jim Johnson, Jerry Golden, Jim Wynne, Stan Dale, Bill Guthrie and Les Grobstein was the Stations Sports Director.

For More WLS History: Click Here  and Here.

WLS-AM flipped to a talk format on August 23, 1989 at 7 pm.

In 1963...DJ Dick Biondi did his last show on WLS-AM, Chicago. Here's some audio from a 1962 show.  He returned to WLS 94.7 FM and its Classic Hits format  in November 2006. He has since retired.

➦In 1972...Bruce Springsteen auditioned for Columbia Records’ legendary talent scout John Hammond in his New York office.  Hammond was so impressed that he arranged for Springsteen to perform that evening for other Columbia executives at the Gaslight Club. “The Boss” passed the audition with flying colors, and was signed that night to the Columbia label. His first album was released 8 months later.

➦In 1984...Game Show host and executive Jack Barry died (Born - March 20, 1918).  He was best known as a game show host.

Barry served as host of several game shows in his career, many of which he developed along with Dan Enright as part of their joint operation Barry & Enright Productions.  His reputation became tarnished due to his involvement in the 1950s quiz show scandals and the ensuing fallout affected his career for over a decade.

Jack Barry
In 1956, Barry and Enright launched Tic Tac Dough and Twenty-One. Both quiz shows were hosted by Barry.  In 1958, a match between challenger Charles Van Doren and champion Herb Stempel was found to have been rigged, with Van Doren's victory having been pre-determined by the producers.

Though Enright and producer Albert Freedman actually carried out the rigging of Twenty-One, Barry admitted in the 1970s and 1980s his role in covering up for the partners. However, Barry himself was apparently not averse to "juicing" a show, even after the Twenty-One and Tic-Tac-Dough debacles left his career in eclipse.

Some years later,Barry borrowed $40,000 from his father-in-law and put a down payment on a Los Angeles-area radio station (KKOP 93.5 FM, Redondo Beach, later renamed KFOX, now KDAY). In later interviews, he stated that he bought the station specifically because it would require him to have a license from the FCC, and that if the FCC would be willing to grant him a license, it would decisively demonstrate that his reputation was no longer "tainted" by the game show scandals.

"Slowly," said a 1984 article in TV Guide that discussed game show hosts, "he began to receive calls: Would he fill in for five weeks on this game show? Yes. Of course."  In December 1968, he resurrected his game hosting career.


Engelbert Humperdinck is 85
  • Singer Englebert Humperdinck is 85. 
  • Country singer R.C. Bannon is 76. 
  • Actor David Suchet (TV’s “Poirot”) is 75. 
  • Country singer Larry Gatlin is 73. 
  • Singer Lou Gramm of Foreigner is 71. 
  • Actor Christine Baranski is 69. 
  • Singer Angela Bofill is 67. 
  • Ellie Kemper is 41
    Actor Brian Tochi (“Revenge of the Nerds,” ″Police Academy”) is 62. 
  • Actor Elizabeth Berridge (“The John Larroquette Show”) is 59. 
  • Country singer Ty Herndon is 59. 
  • Actor Mitzi Kapture (“The Young and the Restless,” “Baywatch”) is 59. 
  • TV commentator Mika Brzezinski is 54. 
  • Wrestler-actor Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is 49. 
  • Singer Jeff Gutt of Stone Temple Pilots is 45. 
  • Actor Jenna Von Oy (“Blossom”) is 44. 
  • Actor Kumail Nanjiani (TV’s “Silicon Valley,” film’s “The Big Sick”) is 43. 
  • Actor Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” ″The Office”) is 41. 
  • Actor Robert Buckley (“One Tree Hill”) is 40. 
  • Actor Gaius Charles (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 38. 
  • Singer Lily Allen is 36. 
  • Guitarist Jim Almgren of Carolina Liar is 35. 
  • Actor Kay Panabaker (“No Ordinary Family,” ″Summerland”) is 31.

St. Louis Radio: Mason Schreader EXITS Mornings At WIL-FM

Mason Schreader

Less than a week after getting the station's logo tattooed on his arm, WIL 92.3 FM country-music jock Mason Schreader has been jettisoned from the station, reports

Schreader, half of the morning-drive "Mason & Remy Show" with Zachary Hoesly, announced his departure Friday morning on Twitter:

"The tattoo isn't even a week old; still healing," Schreader said.

A Hubbard Radio St. Louis station, WIL plans to keep Hoesly on the morning shift, according to a source, along with Kasey Washausen, who also hosts the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. block.

Schreader and Hoesly were hired by WIL in 2018 after having spent a year in Chicago. Before that, the team worked at WIL's rival STL station, KSD (93.7 FM). They worked the afternoon drive at WIL for two years before being moved to mornings in May 2020.

Schreader said that as of Friday, his only future plan is "to sleep in on Monday morning."

Mason & Remy came to STL in 2010 to work at KSD. Then in 2017, they moved up to a Chicago station, until that station's on-air roster changes resulted in the duo being hired back by WIL in 2018.

Charlotte Radio: WLNK Gets Mixed-Up

Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President at Radio One, announced Friday the launch of WLNK MIX 107.9 at Radio One Charlotte. 

The first official broadcast began at 3:00 p.m. The new format will be anchored by Matt & Ramona In the Morning (6 a.m.-10 a.m.) followed by Drew Parham (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), Madison James (3 p.m.-7 p.m.), and Holly Haze (7 p.m.- Midnight).

Matt & Romona
“As people head back to work and our lives return to some normalization, now is the perfect time to launch MIX 107.9,” said Terry Foxx, Brand Manager for WLNK. “People will relate to the music, and we’ve put together some of the best talent in the industry. We will be live and local in Charlotte every day!”

“We asked the Charlotte listeners what they wanted from a radio station, and Mix 107.9 is a direct result of what those listeners told us,” said Marsha Landess. “We’re excited to bring engaging and entertaining on-air talent combined with the best upbeat MIX of music from the ’90s 2000s and today to the airwaves of Charlotte. Our listeners are going to love listening to the music. Our clients are going to love the results it brings to their businesses. The station will continue to have a large commitment to community service and making a difference in the lives of those living in our community. It truly is the best MIX Charlotte has told us they wanted.”

MIX 107.9 has lots of great programming perks planned for listeners. Among them, each weekday, the station will host three 24 song sweeps throughout the day! The station will also maintain a strong community presence and continue to exemplify Radio One’s stellar commitment of service to its local communities.

Detroit Radio: WMGC Tweaks Line-Up

Beasley Media Group has announced Zannie Glover will transition from afternoon to morning drive as the official Host of the “Morning BOUNCE” on WMGC 105.1 FM in the Motor City. 

In addition, he will retain his position as Program Director for 105.1 the BOUNCE and 105.9 KISS-FM. Glover will begin his new role immediately.

In addition, J Steele returns full-time hosting the afternoon drive show on the BOUNCE as well as assume the Assistant Program Director responsibilities for the station.

Jonel Jaska will also move from part-time to full-time producer for the “Morning BOUNCE” as well as continue his on-air responsibilities at Beasley’s legendary active rock station, 101 WRIF-FM.

“The energy of The BOUNCE is infectious,” said Beasley Media Group Vice President of National Content and Director of Detroit Programming, Scott Jameson. “Detroit’s Throwback party station is positioned for strong growth with these key talent upgrades.”

Raleigh Radio: Matt Johnson Named PD At Pulse-FM

Curtis Media Group has announced the hiring of Matt Johnson as Program Director of Top 40 PULSE-FM 96.9/102.5. Johnson brings a wealth of experience in the CHR format to the Triangle, having programmed stations in Naples, FL, Salt Lake City and most recently, KSLZ in St Louis.

Curtis Media Group SVP and WPLW General Manager, David Stuckey commented, “Matt’s success in the format and experience leading stations in locally owned companies made him the ideal candidate. I can’t wait to hear him on the air and see him lead our live and local staff of broadcasters to continued success.”

Johnson commented, “I’m excited to make great radio with Trip Savery, David Stuckey, and the entire team at Curtis Media Group. Any company that prioritizes its’ clients and listeners is sure to have a true and lasting positive impact on the local community and I share that vision.”

New York Public Radio Lays Off 14 Staffers

New York Public Radio has eliminated 14 positions, citing financial challenges including weak sponsorship income and the need to stem a mounting deficit. reports CEO Goli Sheikholeslami announced the cuts in a memo to staff Friday. Sheikholeslami said in the memo that “preliminary work on the FY22 budget shows we are entering the next fiscal year with a sizable deficit. And we cannot achieve our goals and meet our commitments while shouldering a fourth year of losses.” She added that NYPR entered the pandemic with a deficit.

Four of the employees affected were in news, with the rest in other departments, Sheikholeslami wrote. She did not disclose which staffers. 

“These decisions were not made lightly or with haste,” she wrote. “We have done everything we can to avoid taking these steps.”

In addition to the layoffs, the organization is cutting merit raises for its senior leadership team and staffers making more than $100,000 and halving its retirement match for a six-month period.

The cuts will shave $3 million from the station’s deficit, Sheikholeslami said. NYPR had an operating deficit of about $6.9 million in FY2019, the most recent year with available tax records. It borrowed $10 million from Boston Private Bank & Trust Company in July, according to its most recent audited financial statement. 

NYPR’s financial losses were due in part to a 27% decline in sponsorship revenue during the pandemic. “We knew sponsorship revenue would take a hit, but we planned for the advertising market to begin rebounding in the second half of this fiscal year,” Sheikholeslami wrote. “That didn’t happen, and recapturing the lost revenue will not happen in one fiscal year.”

The station’s membership income had “an impressive year” Sheikholeslami wrote, but she believes that it was bolstered by news events such as the pandemic and the election. “We cannot plan on sustaining the same level of membership revenues in a non-election, non-pandemic year,” she wrote.

The station received nearly $9 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans to assist with revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic, one of the largest amounts in public media. Sheikholeslami wrote that the budget assumes the loan will be forgiven. 

Employees who were laid off include newsroom leaders such as Richard Yeh, supervising senior producer of WNYC News and a 14-year veteran of the organization. Yeh oversaw the daily broadcast of All Things Considered and directed the newsroom’s internship program.

Others who were laid off include Gothamist editor-in-chief John Del Signore; Greene Space assistant production manager Allie Pinel; and Gothamist reporter and editor Christopher Robbins, who was also a SAG-AFTRA shop steward.

Toledo Radio: Two Cumulus Stations Move New HD2 Homes

CUMULUS MEDIA announces that, effective Saturday, May 1, 2021, Toledo, OH, Sports Radio station The Ticket ESPN, previously heard on WTOD 106.5 FM, will move to its new radio home on WQQ 100.7 FM HD2. 

The Ticket ESPN is home to the Cleveland Browns pre-game and post-game shows, Bowling Green State University sports and Central Catholic sports. 

WQQO HD2/100.7 was previously programmed as Alternative Rock station 100.7 The Zone, which will move to its new broadcast home on WXKR 94.5 FM HD2 on Saturday. Also effective Saturday, WTOD 106.5 FM, formerly owned and operated by CUMULUS MEDIA, will be operated by its new owner, Delmarva Educational.

Dana DiModica, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Toledo/Monroe, said: "We are sad to see a station like WTOD leave our cluster but are excited to move forward with the change on 100.7 to ESPN/Sports and to still carry our Alternative Rock format, now on 94.5's HD signal. We were fortunate enough to keep all our employees, and that is always our ultimate goal while carrying great programming for our loyal listeners in Northwest Ohio."

The Grammys Scrap Controversial Voting Committees

The Recording Academy on Friday announced sweeping changes to its nomination process for the Grammys, eliminating the anonymous — or “secret” — expert committees that often decide the final ballot of nominees in major Grammys categories, The Wrap reports.

For years, a group of 15 to 30 anonymous music professionals from each genre or field gather together and whittle down the final list of nominees from a larger field voted on by the thousands of members. Now though, the process will be given back to the full membership, and the nominees will be based on a simple majority of votes.

While the nominating committees have been intended to help, they’ve been called into question, particularly by pop star The Weeknd, who said he would boycott the Grammys ceremonies moving forward after he was completely snubbed from all Grammy nominations in 2021.

In order to make sure the process stays fair, the Recording Academy is having 90% of its members go through a “requalification process” by the end of the year to make sure that the voters are actively engaged in music creation.

What’s more, the Academy has also tweaked the number of categories a member can vote in, reducing the genre categories someone can participate in from 15 to 10. And those 10 categories must be in no more than three fields. But all members are permitted to vote in the “Big 4” categories of Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist.

The committees remain however for the handful of craft categories, such as awards for packaging, album notes and more. But those too have now been consolidated into two fields, “Presentation Field” and “Production Field.”

Finally, the Grammys implemented two new categories for next year, bringing the total number of categories to 86: Best Global Music Performance in the Global Music Field and Best Música Urbana Album in the Latin Music Field.

The new changes for all the categories go into effect for the 64th Grammys, which are set for Jan. 31, 2022.

NBC's Lester Holt Gets New Contract, New Title

Lester Holt has signed a new four-year deal to stay at NBC News — and insisted on getting the title of managing editor to stave off a perceived threat from new network star Tom Llamas, The NY Post reports.

Despite being dominated in the ratings by ABC’s David Muir, NBC has signed Holt to a new long-term contract to stay as anchor of “NBC Nightly News.”

Tom Llamas
Meanwhile, Llamas — the former weekend host of ABC “World News Tonight” — was named senior national correspondent for NBC News and will anchor a primetime newscast for NBC News Now, the network’s streaming service.

A news source told us: “It says a lot that Lester was given a new four-year deal at NBC.

“But over at ABC, Tommy [Llamas] always subbed for David [Muir] and nobody thinks he just came to NBC for a streaming show”.

NBC News boss Noah Oppenheim announced Holt’s new title on April 16 in a note to staff, saying, “There is simply no journalist held in greater esteem.”

A second source said, “Tom Llamas has a close relationship with NBC News president Cesar Conde, and he’s clearly being groomed for a big role. So Lester negotiated a bigger title to stave off the threat.”

TV Ratings: Cable News Drops During First 100 days of Biden

Broadcast and cable news ratings, along with website traffic, are all taking a hit in the post-Trump era, The Hill reports.

During President Biden’s first 100 days in office, weekly full-day cable ratings for CNN and MSNBC have been trending down, according to statistics from ratings company Nielsen.

On average, 1.3 million household viewers were watching MSNBC in the last week of January, shortly after Biden took office. For the week ending April 25, that number was 868,000. At CNN, those figures went from 1.2 million to 749,000.

Even perennial ratings leader Fox News is seeing a decline, though a much smaller one compared to its cable competitors, dipping to just 1.2 million from 1.3 million in late January.

Prime-time cable viewership is also down across the board. In the same time comparisons as the full-day ratings, CNN has lost 792,000 viewers, while MSNBC is down 788,000 and Fox is short 348,000.

Network evening news isn’t faring any better. Ratings leader “World News Tonight” at ABC had 1.8 million fewer viewers in the seven days ending April 25 compared to the last week of January.

NBC’s “Nightly News,” in the No. 2 slot, lost 1.7 million viewers in that same period, while CBS is down 1.2 million.

In addition to ratings, website traffic for major news outlets is also down. 

The number of total unique viewers is down this year for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News, according to analysis firm Comscore.

Traffic is also down for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the Boston Globe, Vice, Vox and BuzzFeed.

“I’m sort of hearing, seeing the same thing regarding news ratings, digital subscriptions, etc. since [former President] Trump left office,” said Steve Passwaiter, a vice president and general manager of the campaign media analysis group at media analytics company Kantar.

The declines were not unexpected.

Marilyn Manson Accused Of Sexual Assault

Esmi Bianco and Manson

Actor Esmé Bianco on Friday sued goth rock icon Marilyn Manson, accusing him of sexual assault.

NBC News reports the federal civil lawsuit, filed in a California court, alleges that Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, committed multiple violent sexual assaults, a rape and other abuse over the course of years from 2009 to 2013. It also accuses Manson, his former manager Tony Ciulla and Ciulla’s management company of violating human trafficking laws by employing fraud in the form of “promises of work” that were known to be fraudulent and using “force and/or threats of force” to obtain unpaid labor.

The suit was filed as Manson is already under criminal investigation by California authorities. In February, Los Angeles county announced that Manson is being investigated over allegations of sexual assault after several women came forward with public accounts of violence or sexual misconduct.

Bianco, a British-American actor, is best known for her recurring role as Ros in the HBO show "Game of Thrones."

"For far too long my abuser has been left unchecked, enabled by money, fame and an industry that turned a blind eye," Bianco said in a statement.

"Despite the numerous brave women who have spoken out against Marilyn Manson, countless survivors remain silenced, and some of their voices will never be heard. My hope is that by raising mine I will help to stop Brian Warner from shattering any more lives and empower other victims to seek their own small measure of justice."

Manson's last post to Instagram is a statement shared after Wood first went public with her allegations in February: "Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality. My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how — and why — others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth."

Report: No Locals Stepping Up For Chicago Tribune

A Maryland hotel executive has committed more of his own fortune to an eleventh-hour bid for Tribune Publishing but he has one major hole to fill: No one wants to own the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Tribune reports Stewart Bainum Jr., chairman of Choice Hotels, technically can mount a fully financed $680 million bid anytime before shareholders meet May 21 to vote on a deal to sell the Chicago-based newspaper chain to hedge fund Alden Global Capital for $633 million.

On Wednesday, Bainum notified a special committee of the Tribune Publishing board that he would increase his commitment to $300 million. Bainum, who wants to own The Baltimore Sun and sell the rest of the portfolio, has buyers lined up for the chain’s other titles, but not the flagship paper in Chicago, a source close to the situation said.

“We just need someone to step up for the Chicago Tribune,” the source said Friday.

In addition to the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing owns The Baltimore Sun; the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant; the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel; the South Florida Sun Sentinel; the New York Daily News; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland; The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania; the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia; and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia.

Sources said the upcoming week will likely be critical to mounting a successful bid to buy Tribune Publishing and thwart Alden, which has a reputation for sweeping layoffs at its newspaper properties.

Bainum, who is burning up the phone lines to Chicago’s wealthiest benefactors, puts his odds at about 50-50 that he will be able to submit a superior offer in time, the source said.

Alden, Tribune Publishing’s largest shareholder with a 31.6% stake, reached an agreement in February to buy the rest of the company at $17.25 per share and take it private. The proposed merger will require approval from two-thirds of Tribune Publishing’s other shareholders.

Bainum previously signed a nonbinding agreement to buy The Baltimore Sun for $65 million upon Alden’s acquisition of Tribune Publishing. That deal hit a snag last month over the terms of a transition services agreement for the Sun.

Newsmax Apologizes For False Allegations

Newsmax, which amplified former President Donald Trump's false allegations of election rigging and widespread voter fraud, said on Friday there is no evidence that Dominion Voting Systems and one of its top employees, Eric Coomer, manipulated election results in 2020.

"Newsmax subsequently found no evidence that such allegations were true. Many of the states whose results were contested by the Trump campaign after the November 2020 election have conducted extensive recounts and audits, and each of these states certified the results as legal and final," the company said in a statement published online that will also be broadcast.

Coomer filed a defamation lawsuit against Newsmax in Colorado state court on Dec. 22. He withdrew that suit earlier Friday, ahead of Newmax's apology. Coomer's attorneys said he has reached a financial settlement, but terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Shortly after the election, Coomer became the subject of conspiracy theories that he had used his position at Dominion to manipulate votes for President Biden. He strongly denies those allegations. Coomer has been living in hiding for nearly six months after facing death threats. While he has dropped his suit against Newsmax, Coomer is still suing the Trump campaign and a number of campaign surrogates and pro-Trump media outlets, alleging defamation.

May 1 Radio History

➦In 1907...Kate Smith born in Greenville, VA (Died – June 17, 1986).  She was considered to be The First Lady of Radio, best-known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She had a radio, television, and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the 1940s. Smith became known as The Songbird of the South after her endearing popularity during World War II.

Smith was a major star of radio, usually backed by Jack Miller's Orchestra. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (1935–36), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).

The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.

Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

➦In 1918...Jack Paar born in Canton, OH (Died at age 85 – January 27, 2004). He is best known for his stint as the second host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962.

He first worked near home as a radio announcer at WIBM in Jackson, Michigan, and later as a humorous disc jockey at Midwest stations, including WJR in Detroit, WIRE in Indianapolis, WGAR in Cleveland, and WBEN in Buffalo. In his book P.S. Jack Paar, he recalled doing utility duty at WGAR in 1938 when Orson Welles broadcast his famous simulated alien invasion, The War of the Worlds, over the CBS network (and its WGAR affiliate). Attempting to calm possibly panicked listeners, Paar announced, "The world is not coming to an end. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you?"

Paar was drafted into the military in 1943 during World War II, interrupting his tenure as host of WBEN's morning show The Sun Greeter's Club (he opted not to return to the station at war's end, instead seeking opportunities in network radio and film). He was assigned to the U.S.O. in the South Pacific to entertain the troops.  He was a clever, wisecracking master of ceremonies whose impersonations of officers  nearly got him into trouble.

After World War II, Paar worked in radio as a fill-in on Don McNeil's  Breakfast Club show and appeared as a panelist on The $64,000 Question. He got his big break when Jack Benny, who had been impressed by Paar's U.S.O. performances, suggested that Paar serve as his 1947 summer replacement.  Paar was enough of a hit on Benny's show that Benny's sponsor, the American Tobacco Company, decided to keep him on the air, moving him to ABC for the fall season.

➦In 1931...Kate Smith began her radio show on the CBS Radio Network.

➦In 1935...
the first radio tube to be made of metal was produced in Schenectady, New York.

➦In 1957...Larry King got his first job in radio. The manager of a small station, WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach, hired him to clean up and perform miscellaneous tasks.  When one of the station's announcers abruptly quit, King was put on the air. His first broadcast was on May 1, 1957, working as the disc jockey from 9 a.m. to noon. He also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. He was paid $50 a week.

He acquired the name Larry King when the general manager, Marshall Simmonds, claimed that Zeiger was too ethnic and difficult to remember, so minutes before airtime, Larry chose the surname King, which he got from an advertisement in the Miami Herald for King's Wholesale Liquor. Within two years, he legally changed his name to Larry King.

Larry King - 1971
He began doing interviews on a mid-morning show for WIOD, at Pumpernik's Restaurant in Miami.  He would interview whoever walked in. His first interview was with a waiter at the restaurant. Two days later, singer Bobby Darin, in Miami for a concert that evening, walked into Pumpernik's having heard King's radio show; Darin became King's first celebrity interview guest.

King's Miami radio show brought him local notoriety. A few years later, in May 1960, he hosted Miami Undercover, airing Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. on WPST-TV Channel 10 (now WPLG). On the show, he moderated debates on important local issues of the day.

King credited his success on local television to the assistance of comedian Jackie Gleason, whose national television variety show was being taped in Miami Beach during this time.   

During this period, WIOD gave King further exposure as a color commentator for the NFL Miami Dolphins, during their 1970 season and most of their 1971 season. However, he was dismissed by both WIOD and television station WTVJ as a late-night radio host and sports commentator as of December 20, 1971, when he was arrested after being accused of grand larceny by a former business partner.  The charges were dropped. Eventually, King was rehired by WIOD.  For several years during the 1970s, he hosted a sports talk-show called "Sports-a-la-King" that featured guests and callers.

On January 30, 1978, King went national on a nightly Mutual Broadcasting System coast-to-coast broadcast. King's Mutual show rapidly developed a devoted audience.

King died January 23, 2021.

➦In 1957...WBBR (Watchtower Brooklyn Broadcasting Radio) changed call letters to WPOW, NYC.  The station is now known as WWRV and airs Spanish Christian music and teaching format.

➦In 1972...the Mutual Black Radio Network launched.

The network signed on May 1, 1972 with 32 affiliates, including flagship New Jersey station WNJR, KCOH Houston, KWK St. Louis, and WIGO Atlanta. It was an easy start-up: vice-president Stephen McCormick said all he had to do was hire the staff - 15 black newsmen, six editors, supervisors and salesmen. The news director was Shelton Lewis, once of New York's WPAT; working with him in New York was Robert Nichols, Joe White and Gerald Bentley. Staffing the Washington bureau was Ed Castleberry, Larry Dean, John Askew and Abby Kendrick.

The network fed five-minute news and sports broadcasts hourly from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, some 100 programs a week. By June 1972, the 32 affiliates had grown to 55; by September, there were more than 80.

Among MBN's program offerings: "Dr. Martin Luther King Speaks," a weekly 20-minute program produced by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference featuring excerpts from Dr. King's speeches, along with comments of black leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy, and Benjamin Hooks; and "The Black Experience," a daily feature profiling black Americans and their contributions to American life.

➦In 1976...NYC Personality Jonathan Schwartz aired his final show on WNEW 102.7 FM.

Schwartz worked at New York's WNEW-FM from 1967 to 1976, followed by stints at WNEW, WQEW, and eventually WNYC-FM. Schwartz also served as programming director for XM Satellite Radio's now-defunct High Standards channel, and later appeared on Sirius XM's Siriusly Sinatra and '40s on 4 channels. His last SiriusXM program was on August 2, 2013.

Here's an audio clip from Sept. 2013, Schwartz talks about the old WNEW-AM and personality Ted Brown:

In his talk during the shows, Schwartz will discuss many famous pop songwriters and singers, and jazz artists.

Joe McCoy
➦In 1982...First WCBS-FM NYC Top 20 Countdown (1966).

The Countdown debuted during the tenure of Joe McCoy as program director. In 1981, began to gradually shift its focus to the 1964–1969 era, but would also feature a more pre-1964 oldies than most other such stations. The station continued to also feature hits of the 1970s and some hits of the 1980s while cutting future gold selections to one per hour.

Also in the 1980s, after WABC 770 AM and later WNBC 660 AM abandoned music in favor of talk, WCBS-FM began employing many disc jockeys who were widely known on other New York City stations (and sometimes nationally), most notably Musicradio WABC alumni Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Chuck Leonard and Harry Harrison, as well as Dan Daniels and Jack Spector.

➦In 1984...Gordon Hill Jenkins died of Lou Gehrig's disease at age 73. (Born May 12, 1910), He was an arranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with The Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Harry Nilsson, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others.

He had been very active in network radio and also worked as musical director at Decca & Capitol Records where he recorded with some of the top stars of the day, including Frank Sinatra & Nat Cole.

➦In 1988...the man who played “Fibber McGee” on network radio for more than a quarter century, Jim Jordan, died at age 91.

➦In 2006...Seattle’s  KSLY 92.5 FM closed down their Adult Top 40 format at noon with Semisonics’s “Closing Time.”  Then the call letters changed to KQMV (MOVIN’); its first song was The C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now.)”


Abby Huntsman is 35
  • Singer Judy Collins is 82. 
  • Actor Stephen Macht (“Suits,” ″General Hospital”) is 79. 
  • Singer Rita Coolidge is 76. 
  • Singer-bassist Nick Fortuna of The Buckinghams is 75. 
  • Actor Dann Florek (“Law and Order: SVU”) is 70. 
  • Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 67. 
  • Rita Coolidge is 76
    Actor Byron Stewart is 65. 
  • Actor Maia Morgenstern (“The Passion of the Christ”) is 59. 
  • Actor Scott Coffey (“Mulholland Drive,” ″The Outsiders”) is 57. 
  • Country singer Wayne Hancock is 56. 
  • Actor Charlie Schlatter (“Diagnosis Murder”) is 55. 
  • Country singer Tim McGraw is 54. 
  • Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky (Smashing Pumpkins) is 53. 
  • Director Wes Anderson is 52. 
  • Actor Julie Benz (“No Ordinary Family,” “Dexter”) is 49. 
  • Singer Tina Campbell of Mary Mary is 47. 
  • Actor Darius McCrary (“Family Matters”) is 45. 
  • Actor Jamie Dornan (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) is 39. 
  • Actor Kerry Bishe (“Argo”) is 37. 
  • TV personality Abby Huntsman (“The View”) is 35. 
  • Actor Lizzy Greene (“A Million Little Things”) is 17.

Friday, April 30, 2021

EU: Apple’s App Store Breaks Rules After Spotify Complaint

Apple has “abused its dominant position” in the distribution of music streaming apps through its App Store, the European Commission said Friday, CNBC reports.

“Our preliminary finding is that Apple exercises considerable market power in the distribution of music streaming apps to owners of Apple devices. On that market, Apple has a monopoly,” Margrethe Vestager, the head of competition policy in the EU, said in a press conference.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, opened an antitrust investigation into the App Store last year, after the music streaming platform Spotify complained in 2019 about Apple’s license agreements. The agreements mean that app developers have to pay a 30% commission on all subscription fees that come through the App Store.

On Friday, the EU said it took issue with the “mandatory use of Apple’s own in-app purchase mechanism imposed on music streaming app developers to distribute their apps via Apple’s App Store.”

App developers are also unable to inform users of alternative ways to purchase the same apps elsewhere — another issue the commission said it was concerned with.

“The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it distorted competition in the music streaming market as it abused its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps through its App Store,” it summarized in a “statement of objections” sent to Apple.

In response, Apple said the EU’s case was the “opposite of fair competition.”

“Spotify has become the largest music subscription service in the world, and we’re proud of the role we played in that,” Apple said a statement. “Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that.”

Spotify welcomed the news Friday. “The European Commission’s Statement of Objections is a critical step toward holding Apple accountable for its anticompetitive behavior, ensuring meaningful choice for all consumers and a level playing field for app developers,” Spotify’s chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement.

Country's Morgan Wallen Banned From Billboard Music Awards

Morgan Wallen has had great success on the Billboard charts in the past year, with his second studio album, Dangerous: The Double Album, spending 12 weeks at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and 10 weeks atop the all-genre Billboard 200. This chart success explains why he is a finalist in five categories at this year’s Billboard Music Awards.

But Wallen won’t appear on the Billboard Music Awards broadcast, which is set to air live May 23 on NBC. This is the result of a Jan. 31 incident in which Wallen used the N-word with friends as they were entering his Nashville home; the incident was videotaped and posted Feb. 2 on TMZ.

dick clark productions, which produces the Billboard Music Awards, released a statement "his recent conduct does not align with our core values," 

“With our content reaching millions of viewers, dcp and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry.

“Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).

“It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows.”

2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards Finalists Announced

The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation announced today the finalists for the 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. One winner from each category will be announced during the Celebration of Service to America Awards program.

The 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards will once again be broadcast on television and radio stations across the country as a special one-hour awards ceremony featuring celebrity guests, past honorees and policymakers. The awards will premiere on July 10, 2021 and run through August 14, 2021.

“America’s local broadcasters’ fundamental commitment to public service continues to shine brighter than ever, and this year’s finalists embody the close bond between stations and their communities.” said NAB Leadership Foundation President Michelle Duke. “We look forward to celebrating these outstanding stations and honoring their critical work informing, supporting and strengthening the public in a year of unparalleled difficulties.”

The 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards finalists represent 20 states and 28 cities. During 2020, these 28 stations devoted a collective 3,528 hours of airtime to public service and provided more $43,440,000 in funds and donations.

Following is the list of finalists by category:

Service to Community Award for Radio – Ownership Group

Service to Community Award for Television – Ownership Group

Service to Community Award for Radio – Large Market

Service to Community Award for Television – Large Market

Service to Community Award for Radio – Medium Market

Service to Community Award for Television – Medium Market

Service to Community Award for Radio – Small Market

Service to Community Award for Television – Small Market

Wake-Up Call: Biden On The Road Pushing Big-Money Plans

As it traditional after a president delivers their address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden hit the road yesterday to try to build support for the big-money economic and social safety net plans he laid out in his speech Wednesday night. Biden headed to Georgia, where he held a socially-distanced car rally in Duluth for hundreds of supporters, like those he held during his presidential campaign. Biden also met with a group of Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, to discuss immigration reform. He's set to travel to Pennsylvania and Virginia to tout his plans in the coming days.

Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, met with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, at their home in Plains, Georgia, earlier in the day.

Screenshot: The Daily Mail 4/30/21

AT LEAST 44 KILLED IN STAMPEDE AT RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL IN ISRAEL: At least 44 people were killed and some 150 injured in a stampede at a religious festival in Israel early Friday attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews. The stampede began when large numbers of people tried to get through a narrow tunnel-like passage during the event. The festival at Mount Meron was celebrating Lag BaOmer, the first mass religious gathering held legally since Israel lifted nearly all coronavirus restrictions. Large crowds traditionally light bonfires, pray and dance as part of the annual celebrations, which honor a 2nd century sage and mystic buried there.

➤'N.Y. TIMES'...REMOVAL OF U.S. AMBASSADOR AT CENTER OF GIULIANI INVESTIGATION: The New York Times reported yesterday that Rudy Giuliani's role in the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, is at the center of the Justice Department's investigation of him. That probe led to the raid by federal agents Wednesday on Giuliani's Manhattan apartment. The Times said the probe is focusing on his communications with Ukrainian and U.S. officials before Yovanovitch was removed in May 2019, examining whether he broke lobbying laws and whether he pushed her removal at the behest of Ukrainian officials or former President Donald Trump's. The issue of Yovanovitch's removal was involved in Trump's first impeachment. The former New York City mayor is a personal attorney for Trump.

➤NORTH CAROLINA COUPLE FOUND DEAD WITH GUNMAN IN INCIDENT THAT LEFT TWO DEPUTIES DEAD WERE SAME FAMILY: A North Carolina sheriff's office said Thursday that a married couple who were found dead inside their home with a suspected gunman after a 13-hour standoff Wednesday that also left two deputies dead were members of the same family. 

The Watauga County Sheriff's Office said that 32-year-old suspect Isaac Barnes was the son of 61-year-old Michelle Ligon and stepson of 58-year-old George Ligon. The Ligons were killed in their home in Boone, and Barnes, who appeared to have killed himself, is also suspected in the fatal shootings of the two deputies who'd been sent to the home, Sergeant Chris Ward and K-9 Officer Logan Fox. Sheriff Len Hagaman said family members had been concerned about the large number of weapons Barnes had, and Hagaman said he thinks Barnes may have been considering a public shooting. He stated, "There was familial concern that he might try to do something and he had evidently a fairly large cache of weapons and he was at the house, which we didn’t think he would be."

➤CRUISE LINES COULD BE SAILING AGAIN BY MID-JULY:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified cruise lines Wednesday that they should be able to resume sailing in the U.S. by mid-July after being shut down for more than a year due to the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The industry has been lobbying to get back to cruising for months, and the CDC said it's been meeting with industry representatives twice a week for the past month to try to reach a solution. The CDC had said earlier that cruise lines would have to run a test cruise to demonstrate their coronavirus protocols. But now the agency is saying that cruise lines can skip that step if 95 percent of a ship's passengers and 98 percent of its crew have been fully vaccinated.

➤DISNEYLAND REOPENING TODAY: Thirteen months after it closed with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, Disneyland is finally reopening today. However, the California theme park will have limited capacity of 25 percent, and only in-state visitors are being allowed for now. Across the country, Disney World in Florida has been open since last July, although also at limited capacity, but theme parks were among the last businesses allowed to reopen in California.

➤26.9 MILLION WATCHED BIDEN'S ADDRESS TO CONGRESS: An estimated 26.9 million people tuned in to watch President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, the smallest audience for the annual speech since at least 1993. The previous low was 31.3 million who watched former President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address in 2016. 

There's likely more than one factor involved in the decline, with live events, including sports events and awards shows, all having suffered ratings drops during the pandemic, and also the timing of the speech in late April, when viewership is usually lower than in January or February, when the speech is usually given.

➤FORMER SENATOR BILL NELSON CONFIRMED AS NASA ADMINISTRATOR: The Senate on Thursday confirmed former Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson as the new NASA administrator. The 78-year-old Nelson, who currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council, once flew on the space shuttle. He was a congressman at the time in January 1986 when he flew on the shuttle Columbia as a payload specialist. He served six terms in the House and then three terms in the Senate before being defeated in 2018 by former Republican Governor Rick Scott.

🐶STUDY..SHORT-HEADED DOGS ARE MORE ATTENTIVE AND WILLING TO MAKE EYE-CONTACT WITH HUMANS THAN OTHER BREEDS:  What is your favorite dog breed? A new study finds that dog breeds with short heads, like pugs, bulldogs and boxers, are better at establishing eye-contact with humans than long-nosed breeds are. Hungarian researchers say that locking eyes with a dog is key in establishing a connection and building a bond, and some dogs are better at it than others. The scientists say that short-headed, cooperative, young, and playful dogs are the best when it comes to establishing eye contact with humans. Breed also plays a role, with dogs built to work alongside humans with visual cues, such as sheep dogs, being quicker to lock eyes for a human than a type that was bred for purposes that did not require human visual indicators, such as sled dogs. The researchers note it’s likely due to the shape of their eyes that makes it easier for short-headed dogs to make eye contact with humans, as having a “more pronounced area centralis in the retina” means they have a shorter field of vision than dogs with bigger heads. A researcher adds, “It is possible that their owners gaze at them more often as their facial features resemble a small child, a powerful cue for humans. Because of this, dogs with shorter noses may be more experienced in making eye contact.”

➤POLL..HALF OF US BACK ATHLETES USING INFLUENCE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE:  As athletes and some sports leagues have been taking a stand on social issues, there's been controversy over whether it's something they should be doing. A new poll finds that half of Americans support athletes and leagues using their influence to push for social change. In the YouGov survey for Seton Hall University, 48 percent said leagues or teams should and 36 percent said they shouldn't. Almost the exact same percentage of people who said they were casual fans agreed, and a higher 61 percent of self-described "avid" sports fans did. Slightly more people backed athletes pushing for social change, 51 percent, which rose to 65 percent among avid fans. With Arizona considering voting legislation similar that passed by Georgia that led MLB to move this summer's All-Star Game from Atlanta, respondents were asked if the NFL should move the 2023 Super Bowl out of Arizona if the legislation is passed. Of the general population, 49 percent said yes -- which went up to 64 percent among avid sports fans -- while 30 percent were opposed.

🏈JAGUARS TAKE LAWRENCE WITH NUMBER ONE NFL DRAFT PICK: The Jacksonville Jaguars took Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the Number One overall pick in the NFL draft last night in Cleveland. The New York Jets took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson second, and the San Francisco 49ers choose North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance third. The only previous drafts with quarterbacks taken with the top three picks were in 1971 and 1999. Rounding out the top five, the Atlanta Falcons picked Florida tight end Kyle Pitts fourth, and the Cincinnati Bengals chose LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase fifth.

🏈PACKERS GM SAYS 'NOT GOING TO TRADE' RODGERS, AFTER REPORT HE DOESN'T WANT TO STAY: Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said last night, "We are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," after ESPN reported earlier in the day that the veteran quarterback didn't want to stay with the Packers. Gutekunst stated, "we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond." The 37-year-old Rodgers, who's spent his entire career with Green Bay, has three years remaining on his contract after signing a four-year, $134 million extension in August 2018. He threw an NFL-leading 48 touchdown passes last season and won his third MVP award.

🏒DUCKS GOALIE MILLER RETIRING AT END OF SEASON: Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller announced yesterday (April 29th) that he's retiring at the end of the season. The Ducks will miss the playoffs, so May 8th will end his 18-year NHL career as the winningest American-born goalie in pro hockey history. Miller shared the news at an emotional news conference, saying, "My situation goes to show with some dedication, you can set your sights and you can accomplish something." Miller also excelled in international play, named the MVP and best goaltender at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, leading the U.S. to a silver medal.

🐴ESSENTIAL QUALITY IS KENTUCKY DERBY FAVORITE: Essential Quality is the 2-1 favorite for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby, which is returning to its traditional first Saturday in May this weekend after being delayed for months to September last year due to the pandemic. Fans will be allowed at Churchill Downs, but at limited capacity. Post time on Saturday will be at 6:57 p.m., but coverage on NBC will begin hours earlier at 2:30 p.m. ET.

🏀ROCKETS' PORTER JR. SCORES 50 POINTS: Houston's Kevin Porter Jr. scored a career-high 50 points last night in the Rockets' 143-136 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, beating his previous career-best of 30 points by a lot. The 20-year-old became only the fourth player to score 50 points in a game before turning 21, joining LeBron James, Brandon Jennings and Devin Booker.