Saturday, June 12, 2021

June 13 Radio History

Ralph Edwards
➦In 1913...Ralph Livingstone Edwards born (Died at age 92 – November 16, 2005). He was a rado, TV host best known for his game show Truth or Consequences and This Is Your Life.

Edwards worked for KROW Radio in Oakland, California while he was still in high school. Before graduating from high school in 1931, he worked his way through college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1935. While there, he worked at every job from janitor to producer at Oakland's KTAB, now KSFO. Failing to get a job as a high school teacher, he worked at KFRC and then hitchhiked across the country to New York, where, he said, "I ate ten-cent (equivalent to $2 in 2015), meals and slept on park benches".

After some part-time announcing jobs, he got his big break in 1938 with a full-time job for the Columbia Broadcasting System on WABC (now WCBS), where he worked with two other young announcers who would become broadcasting fixtures - Mel Allen and Andre Baruch.

He is best remembered as radio’s host for the audience particpation show Truth or Consequences, which he created in 1940, and the TV host of This Is Your Life. In his early years in radio he was announcer on as many as 45 shows a week.  In his later years he was one of TV’s most prolific producers.

Maj. Edward Bowes
➦In 1946...Edward Bowes died at age 71 (Born - June 14, 1874). He called himself Major Edward Bowes, and was a radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s.   His nickname sprang from his earlier military rank, though historians are divided on whether he was an active-duty officer in World War I or held the rank as a member of the Officer Reserve Corps. His Major Bowes Amateur Hour was the best-known amateur talent show in radio during its 18-year run (1935–1952) on NBC Radio and CBS Radio

Bowes brought his best-known creation to New York radio station WHN in 1934. He had actually hosted scattered amateur nights on smaller stations while manager of the Capitol. Within a year of its WHN premiere, The Original Amateur Hour began earning its creator and host as much as $1 million a year, according to Variety.

The rapid popularity of The Original Amateur Hour made him better known than most of the talent he featured. Some of his discoveries became stars, including opera stars Lily Pons, Robert Merrill, and Beverly Sills; comedian Jack Carter; pop singer Teresa Brewer; and, Frank Sinatra, fronting a quartet known as the Hoboken Four when they appeared on the show in 1935.

The show consistently ranked among radio's top ten programs throughout its run.

Bowes's familiar catchphrase, "...around and around she goes and where she stops nobody knows", spoken in the familiar avuncular tones for which he was so renowned, whenever it was time to spin its "wheel of fortune," the device by which some contestants were called to perform.

In the early days of the show, whenever a performer was simply too terrible to continue, Bowes would stop the act by striking a gong (a device that would be revived in the 1970s by Chuck Barris's infamous The Gong Show). Bowes heard from thousands of listeners who objected to his terminating these acts prematurely, so he abandoned the gong in 1936.

Bowes is credtied for featuring more black entertainers than many network shows of the time.

➦In 1948...WBAM becomes WOR FM in NYC. WOR-AM's original owner was Bamberger's Department Store in Newark, New Jersey. In the early 1920s, the store was selling radio receivers and wanted to put a radio station on the air to help promote receiver sales as well as for general publicity.

Fran Allison
➦In 1989... Fran Allison died (Born - November 20, 1907). She was a television and radio comedian, personality and singer. She is best known for her starring role on the weekday NBC-TV puppet show Kukla, Fran and Ollie, which ran from 1947–57, occasionally returning to the air until the mid-1980s. The trio also hosted The CBS Children's Film Festival, introducing international children's films, from 1967-77.

In 1937, where she was hired as a staff singer and personality on NBC Radio. A July 26, 1937, newspaper item reported, "Fran Allison, singer of WMT, Waterloo, Ia., makes her network debut in the WJZ-NBC club matinee at 3."

Beginning in 1937, she was a regular performer on The Breakfast Club, a popular Chicago radio show, and was a fixture for 25 years as "Aunt Fanny", a gossipy small-town spinster.

In 1947, the director of WBKB-TV in Chicago asked Burr Tillstrom if he could put together a puppet show for children, and he asked Allison, whom he had met during a World War II war bond tour, to join the show. She was the only human to appear on the live series, filling the role of big sister and cheery voice of reason as the puppets, known as the Kuklapolitan Players, engaged each other.

➦In 2008...newsman Tim Russert, the NBC Washington Bureau Chief and respected host of ‘Meet the Press,’ suffered a massive heart attack and died at age 58.

Chips Moman and Ringo Starr
➦In 2016…Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman died at age 79 from emphysema (Born - June 12, 1937). He was an American record producer, guitarist, and Grammy Award-winning songwriter.

Chips Moman
In the 1960s, Moman worked for Stax Records before founding the American Sound Studio in Memphis, TN. As a record producer, Moman was known for recording Elvis Presley, Tammy Wynette, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, and Merrilee Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops. As a songwriter, he was responsible for standards associated with Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Waylon Jennings, and B. J. Thomas, including the Grammy-winning "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song".

He was also a session guitarist for Franklin and other musicians.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, American Sound became one of the most successful recording studios in the country, producing more than 120 charting singles by pop, soul, and country artists and at one point contributing over a quarter of the hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Moman produced Elvis Presley's 1969 album, From Elvis in Memphis – described as best album" – and the hit songs "In the Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", and "Kentucky Rain".

Bob McGrath is 89

  • Actor Bob McGrath (“Sesame Street”) is 89. 
  • Actor Malcolm McDowell is 78. 
  • Singer Dennis Locorriere (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) is 72. 
  • Ally Sheedy is 59
    Actor Stellan Skarsgard (“Mamma Mia”) is 70. 
  • Actor Richard Thomas is 70. 
  • Comedian Tim Allen is 68. 
  • Actor Ally Sheedy is 59. 
  • TV anchor Hannah Storm is 59. 
  • Bassist Paul DeLisle of Smash Mouth is 58. 
  • Singer David Gray is 53. 
  • Singer Deniece Pearson of Five Star is 53. 
  • Musician Soren Rasted (Aqua) is 52. 
  • Actor-singer Jamie Walters is 52. 
  • Singer-guitarist Rivers Cuomo of Weezer is 51. 
  • Actor Steve-O (“Jackass”) is 47. 
  • Actor Ethan Embry (“Can’t Hardly Wait,” ″That Thing You Do!”) is 43. 
  • Actor Chris Evans (“The Fantastic Four”) is 40. 
  • Actor Sarah Schaub (“Promised Land”) is 38. 
  • Singer Raz B (B2K) is 36. 
  • Actor Kat Dennings (“2 Broke Girls”) is 35. 
  • Actors and designers Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are 35. 
  • Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass” films) is 31.

Report: Spotify ThisClose To $20M Podcast Deal

Spotify Technology is nearing a deal to bring top podcaster Alexandra Cooper and her show “Call Her Daddy” to its service, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter, in the latest exclusive podcast tie-up.

Cooper and Spotify are discussing a licensing deal for around or over $20 million, according to some of the people. It also would involve a so-called first-look agreement with the intention of Spotify helping Ms. Cooper, 26 years old, develop other projects, the people familiar with the matter said. Her back catalog would be available only on Spotify beginning at the end of next month, they said.

“Call Her Daddy,” started in 2018, has appealed to a young female audience with its unfiltered discussion of sex and relationships. It was the fifth-most-popular podcast globally on Spotify last year, and in the top 15 across services, according to Edison Research.

It’s the latest talent deal for Spotify, which last month said Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” would become exclusive to its service beginning July 1, last spring licensed “The Joe Rogan Experience” exclusively for $100 million, and last summer struck a deal with Kim Kardashian West for a criminal-justice podcast exclusive to its service.

Spotify has been investing aggressively in podcasting since 2019, setting off a feeding frenzy among other media and tech companies. Spotify, which signed deals with Gimlet Media and Bill Simmons ’ the Ringer, now carries more than 2.6 million podcasts on its service, up from 450,000 in 2019. The Swedish streamer’s podcast listenership in the U.S. is on track to overtake Apple Podcasts’ this year, according to a forecast from research firm eMarketer.

‘Friends’ Reunion' Big Draw for HBO Max Sign-Ups

HBO Max’s highly anticipated “Friends: The Reunion” was responsible for the largest single-day sign-ups for the WarnerMedia-backed streaming service this year, outpacing “Godzilla Vs. Kong” and “Mortal Kombat,” according to The Wrap citing data released Friday by the market measuring firm Antenna.

The “Friends” reunion — the first time the main cast were all in the same room together since the NBC comedy’s series finale 17 years ago — overindexed when it came to female sign-ups. Over the three days since its May 27 premiere, new female subs accounted for 57% of the total new sign-ups, compared to 43% over the previous eight weeks, according to Antenna.

The “Friends” reunion was a major programming push for HBO Max. It was initially supposed to be available on the service’s launch day last year, but filming, which took place at the Warner Bros. lot where the show was filmed, was delayed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It ended up airing a full calendar year later than originally planned.

As of the end of March, WarnerMedia reported 44.2 million subscribers for HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. Of those, parent company AT&T said that 40 million are considered subscribers of HBO Max in some form, and 30.9 million of them are “wholesale” subscribers, meaning that they get access to HBO Max through an existing HBO subscription or as part of a bundle with other AT&T services. However, it is not clear if all of those 30.9 million have “activated” their subscription, and this number only grew by 150,000 in the first quarter — which suggests that WarnerMedia is maxing out on the available pool of existing subscribers to convert.

AT&T, which is spinning off WarnerMedia into a merger with Discovery next year, will report its next earnings in July or August, so we’ll get a better indication of how many new customers “Friends” brought in. But so far, the wait appears to have been worth it.

Antitrust Bills Target Tech

U-S House lawmakers proposed a raft of bipartisan legislation aimed at reining in the country’s biggest tech companies, including a bill that seeks to make Inc. and other large corporations effectively split in two or shed their private-label products. reports The Wall Street Journal.

The bills, announced Friday, amount to the biggest congressional broadside yet on a handful of technology companies—including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. as well as Amazon AMZN —whose size and power have drawn growing scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and Europe.

If the bills become law—a prospect that faces significant hurdles—they could substantially alter the most richly valued companies in America and reshape an industry that has extended its impact into nearly every facet of work and life.

One of the proposed measures, titled the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, seeks to require structural separation of Amazon and other big technology companies to break up their businesses. It would make it unlawful for a covered online platform to own a business that “utilizes the covered platform for the sale or provision of products or services” or that sells services as a condition for access to the platform. The platform company also couldn’t own businesses that create conflicts of interest, such as by creating the “incentive and ability” for the platform to advantage its own products over competitors.

A separate bill takes a different approach to target platforms’ self-preferencing. It would bar platforms from conduct that “advantages the covered platform operator’s own products, services, or lines of business over those of another business user,” or that excludes or disadvantages other businesses.

The proposed legislation would need to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House as well as the Senate, where it would likely also need substantial Republican support.

Each of the bills has both Republicans and Democrats signed onto it, with more expected to join, congressional aides said. Seven Republicans are backing the bills, with a different group of three signing on to each measure, according to a person familiar with the situation.

L-A Radio: Elston Howard Butler Named KBLA President/GM

Starting Juneteenth 2021 Los Angeles will have its first and only “Unapologetically Progressive” talk radio station for the African-American listening audience. 

Owned by media personality, author and philanthropist Tavis Smiley of Smiley Audio Media Inc. KBLA Talk 1580, will be the only Black-owned and operated talk station in Southern California.

Elston Howard Butler
Smiley has announce that he’s tapped Elston Howard Butler to serve as president and general manager of KBLA Talk 1580. Butler will also serve as president and COO of the holding company, Smiley Audio Media Inc.

A 33-year seasoned radio executive, Butler has long been one of the market’s top leadership executives, known for generating exponential growth across multi-media platforms. Most recently, Butler served as market manager for Taxi Productions’ Radio Free 102.3 KJLH — overseeing a staff of 53 employees. Over the course of his broadcast media career, Butler has also been a winner for ABC/Disney and iHeart Media.

“I’m having a great run, but I’m not tired yet,” said Butler. “The eyes of the future are looking back at us, hoping and praying that we get it right this time. I have been in and around LA my entire life, and now more than ever in this moment of racial reckoning for America, I feel a deep responsibility to help put our city on the right track.”

KBLA 1580 AM (50 Kw)

For Butler, the timing couldn’t be better to launch a talk radio station, geared toward people of color and progressives. “For me, that starts with helping to build a new talk radio station that will sound like our city and reflect the way it looks. KBLA Talk 1580 is a talk radio station that will give everyday people a voice, and advance conversations that matter,” said Butler. “I am grateful to Tavis Smiley for his vision and stewardship of this historic Black-owned and operated media venture. The city is ready, our talented team is ready, I am ready.”

And The Winners of the 2021 Pulitzer Prizes Are...

The Associated Press
won two Pulitzer Prizes in photography Friday for its coverage of the racial injustice protests and the coronavirus’s terrible toll on the elderly, while The New York Times received the public service award for its detailed, data-filled reporting on the pandemic.

In a year dominated by COVID-19 and furious debate over race and policing, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis won the breaking news reporting prize for its coverage of George Floyd’s murder and its aftermath, while Darnella Frazier — the teenager who recorded the killing on a cellphone — received a special citation.

Frazier’s award was intended to highlight “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice,” the Pulitzer Board said.

The AP and The New York Times each won two Pulitzers, the most prestigious prize in journalism, first awarded in 1917.


➤Podcast Winners:  NPR Podcast 'No Compromise' Wins A Pulitzer : NPR. NPR Podcast 'No Compromise' Wins A Pulitzer NPR has won the Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting for No Compromise, a podcast about the role of the far right in American gun culture, co-produced with member stations KCUR and WABE.

The winner of the public service Pulitzer is honored with a gold medal. The awards in the other categories carry a prize of $15,000 each. The prizes are administered by Columbia University.

Murdoch Values The Sun At Zero

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. wrote down the value of its once high-flying Sun title to zero, underscoring the dramatic decline in Britain’s newspaper industry, reports Bloomberg.

The tabloid’s blend of gossip and right-wing political coverage has made it Britain’s most widely-read paper for more than four decades, until the rival Daily Mail claimed the title last year.

Its editors have struggled to carve out a place for the paper in a new world of online news -- trying a paywall model before abandoning it -- and attempting to move on from a phone hacking scandal that blew up a decade ago, damaging the Sun’s credibility as a campaigner for social causes.

News Corp. said its cash flow forecasts for the Sun led it to book an impairment of 84 million pounds ($119 million) in 2020, according to its accounts published Friday. The carrying value of its publishing rights and titles as of June 28 last year fell to zero from 112 million pounds in 2019.

The Sun newspaper was the 16th most popular news source across all platforms in the U.K. in 2020, according to industry regulator Ofcom. The pandemic hit newstand and ad revenue, causing an adjusted operating loss of 197 million pounds, widening from a loss of 55 million pounds in 2019.

Oaktree Bets Big On Music Rights

Oaktree Capital Management LP is investing up to $375 million in Primary Wave Music, an independent company that manages songs from Bob Marley and Whitney Houston, joining a parade of financial powerhouses diving into the recording industry, reports Bloomberg.

A portion of the money will go toward a minority stake in closely held Primary Wave, which creates and manages funds that own songs, founder and Chief Executive Officer Larry Mestel said in an interview. The business is valued at $300 million to $400 million. The balance will be earmarked for the acquisition of additional music catalogs via funds that are raised and run by Primary Wave.

Oaktree is the latest high-profile financial firm to make a substantial bet on the music industry. The value of song copyrights has soared over the past few years as streaming services from Spotify Technology SA and Apple Inc. lift industry revenue. Primary Wave, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles, represents Oaktree’s biggest investment investment in the recording business, according to Brian Laibow, a managing director at Oaktree.

“We believe strongly that Primary Wave is of the highest-caliber ability to manage and grow the values of the music,” Laibow said.

Copyrights generate a consistent flow of revenue that some investors liken to interest on bonds.

The high prices enticed major legacy acts, including Nicks, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, to cash in on their catalogs. The more music becomes come available, the more investors show up to buy them.

Mestel has lived through the boom-bust cycles of music copyrights. He founded Primary Wave in 2006 and went about acquiring songs catalogs from Nirvana, John Lennon and Def Leppard. The value of copyrights crashed not long after, triggered by shrinking spending on music by consumers.

While some industry figures still say the copyrights are overvalued, the growing number of investors suggests confidence that industry revenue will rise for years to come. Not only are streaming services growing, but the industry has found new ways to make money, including charging for the use of music in fitness services, video games and social media.

Vivendi SE is selling a stake in Universal Music Group, the world’s largest recording company, that values the business at more than $40 billion — up 33% from just a couple years ago. Shares of Warner Music Group Corp. have climbed about 38% from their initial offering price a little over a year ago.”

Vinyl Fans Expected To Support Record Store Day

Vinyl may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the impacts of the pandemic, but for some business owners, it's everything. This Saturday, the first of two Record Store Days being held this year, offers a sign of hope for independent businesses trying to recover from some of the darkest days they have seen, reports CNN.

Infographic: The Vinyl Comeback Continues | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

What is Record Store Day?

Record Store Day is a global event to "celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally," according to organizers.

The first Record Store Day was on April 19, 2008, and has since been a single day devoted to exclusive vinyl releases only available at participating record stores. It often features performances, cookouts and artist meet-and-greets.

Because of the pandemic, celebrations looked a lot different last year. Record Store Day was split up into three "drops" in August, September and October instead of the typical one-day celebration that happens earlier in the year.

This year, celebrations will have fewer restrictions, but will still look a little different from those that were held pre-pandemic. Record Store Day is split up into two drops this time -- June 12 and July 17.

Despite many record stores having to shut down in 2020, last year was the largest year for vinyl album sales in the past three decades, according to MRC Data, which has been electronically tracking sales since 1991.

Vinyl sales grew by 46% to 27.5 million copies sold in 2020, MRC Data told CNN. That's despite an overall decline in album sales, which includes digital and CDs, compared to numbers from 2019.

Last year, vinyl sales outpaced CD sales for the first time since the 1980s.

More Newspaper Staffers Vote To Unionize

Staffers at 11 Southern California newspapers, including the Orange County Register, voted Friday to unionize, joining a wave of newsrooms turning to organized labor amid job cuts and uncertainty in the newspaper industry, reports The L-A Times.

The papers make up the Southern California News Group, which is owned by Alden Global Capital — a New York hedge fund that has amassed one of the largest newspaper portfolios in the country while aggressively cutting costs at its properties.

After a 64-19 vote, the SCNG Guild now represents about 140 non-management editorial employees at the Register, Los Angeles Daily News, (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, (Long Beach) Press-Telegram, (Torrance) Daily Breeze, San Bernardino Sun, Pasadena Star-News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts.

The news group joins the Media Guild of the West, a local chapter of the NewsGuild-CWA, which represents journalists at media outlets including the Los Angeles Times.

The vote comes at a time of rising union activity inside media organizations slammed by a waning print business and widespread competition for digital advertising and subscribers.

In the fast-changing newspaper landscape, Alden — which owns about 200 publications — has emerged as a power player, known for its acquisitions of properties including, most recently, the Chicago Tribune and the Denver Post, and its efforts to maximize its returns by quickly reducing costs.

Hedge funds own half of the daily newspaper circulation in the United States by some estimates. Last month, Alden purchased Tribune Publishing in a $630-million deal, acquiring the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun.

Friday’s vote is the latest in a wave of media organizations collectively organizing, fueled by concerns over consolidations, newsroom management issues and the industry’s general financial uncertainty. Journalists at Insider, formerly known as Business Insider, and tech workers at the New York Times unionized with the NewsGuild in April.

Local journalism from the smallest outlets is particularly under threat. Between 2004 and 2019, the number of local journalists across the United States has halved, according to research by the University of North Carolina. Since 2018, 300 newspapers have closed, 6,000 newsroom jobs have disappeared, and print newspaper circulation has fallen by 5 million.

R.I.P.: Michele Gillen, Iconic Miami Investigative TV Reporter

Michelle Gillen

Michele Gillen, a legendary former South Florida television investigative reporter known for her dogged work exposing injustices, has died at age 66. She died of natural causes, reports The Miami Herald.

In all, Gillen won 39 local Emmys for her work stretching across decades.

Gillen grew up in New York City and graduated as a valedictorian from Emerson College in Boston in 1977. Her first job was at a TV station in Bangor, Maine. She came to Miami in 1980, at a turbulent time in the city’s history and weeks before the McDuffie race riots.

In Miami, her first job was at WPLG-ABC10, where she hit the streets chronicling the fires, murders and scandals.

In the mid-1980s, she was part of the newly formed investigative team that won national awards, including a best newscast award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. Gillen and Bobby Groves, her producer, won the coveted Columbia-DuPont Silver Baton Award in 1988 reporting on the abuse of children in the state’s care.

After her time at WPLG, she moved to NBC in 1988 and became a correspondent for the news program “Dateline.” Gillen, however, got caught up in the Dateline scandal over staged crash tests on General Motors trucks, and was eventually moved to the NBC station in Miami, WTVJ. In 1995, she left for CBS’ KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, then returned two years later to Miami as an investigative reporter for WFOR-CBS4.

Gillen worked for nearly two decades at WFOR-CBS4, where she earned 25 regional Emmys. In 2004, she became the first TV reporter to interview Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi after he decided to give up weapons of mass destruction.

Her tenure at WFOR ended in 2018, after the station declined to renew her contract. She later sued CBS for age and gender discrimination, claiming harassment and bullying. The case settled in 2019.

June 12 Radio History

➦In 1851...Early Radio pioneer, Oliver Joseph Lodge, was born in England (Died - August 22, 1940).

John Lodge
He was a British physicist and writer involved in the development of key patents in wireless telegraphy.

On 14 August 1894, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University, Lodge gave a lecture on the work of Hertz (recently deceased). 

There he conducted a demonstration of Hertzian (radio) based wireless telegraphy, transmitting messages between two buildings, showing their potential for communication.   

This was one year before Marconi demonstrated his system for radio wireless telegraphy.

➦In 1911...the consummate radio actress Claudia Morgan was born in Brooklyn.

Throughout the 1940’s she played Nora Charles opposite Les Tremayne in The Adventures of the Thin Man. She was married to radio announcer and actor Ernest Chappell, and performed with him on the late ’40s horror show, “Quiet Please.” She was also a regular on The O’Neills, David Harum, Ford Theatre, Joyce Jordan, M.D., The Right to Happiness, Grand Central Station, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, On Stage and Dimension X.  In the early ’70s, Morgan was heard on Himan Brown‘s CBS Mystery Theater.  She died Sept. 17 1974 at age 63.

➦In William Lundigan was born in Syracuse NY.

He began as an adolescent announcer for a hometown radio station in a building owned by his father. He spent thirteen years as announcer before being discovered by a Universal film executive in 1937.  When big screen roles dried up in the mid-50′s he returned to announcing as host of TV’s dramatic anthology Climax, and Shower of Stars, on which he did commercials for the sponsor Chrysler. He also starred in the 1959 TV series Men into Space.

He died of heart failure Dec 20, 1975 at age 61.

➦In 1928....singer/radio-TV host Vic Damone was born in Brooklyn. He entered the talent search on CBS Radio’s Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and won in April 1947. This led to his becoming a regular on Godfrey’s show. By mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records. In 1948, he got his own weekly CBS radio show, Saturday Night Serenade. In January 1950 he made his first of several guest appearances on Ed Sullivan‘s Toast of the Town, including a duet with future TV hostess Dinah Shore. Over the next thirty years he became a regular featured guest on every major variety series on network television.

He died Feb. 11, 2018 from complications of respiratory illness at age 89.

➦In 1955Monitor debuted on the NBC Radio Network. The weekend program "Monitor," the brainchild of NBC radio and television network president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, began its 19½-year run on NBC Network Radio. The initial broadcast lasted eight hours. After an introduction by Weaver, news headlines from Dave Garroway and a routine by Bob and Ray, Garroway cued a music remote featuring live jazz by Howard Rumsey and the Lighthouse All-Stars at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach, California.

➦In 1972...the Sound Broadcasting Act was passed in the United Kingdom, providing for 21 new commercial radio stations, the very first legal competition for the state-owned BBC.

Vivian Carter
➦In 1989…Vivian Carter, a former DJ and co-founder of Vee Jay records died following a stroke. (Born March 25, 1921). She co-fouder Vee-Jay Records with her future husband, Jimmy Bracken (they married in 1953) . Vee Jay, an independent record label, became the first successful black-owned recording company in the United States. It released original music from artists of the 1950s and 1960s in a variety of genres, including rhythm and blues, doo-wop, pop, and gospel.

In 1948 Carter won a talent contest conducted by Al Benson, a DJ at Chicago's WGES radio station. The prize was an opportunity to host a fifteen-minute segment on WGES, which launched her radio career. Carter worked at WGES for three months, but struggled financially and returned to Gary to work in a local millinery shop until she landed a job at WJOB (AM) in Hammond, Indiana. In 1952 Carter moved to WGRY and in 1954 to WWCA in Gary, where she hosted the "Livin' with Vivian" show six nights a week. Carter aired a mix of musical genres, including blues, gospel, jazz, and what became known as doo-wop.

In 1950 Carter and Bracken opened Vivian's Record Shop at 1640 Broadway in Gary's Midtown district. In 1953 Carter and Bracken borrowed $500 to establish a new record company, Vee-Jay Records, taking its name from the initials of their first names. The Spaniels recording of "Baby It's You" became Vee Jay's first release for the group. However, with no capacity to distribute the record, Vee Jay leased the recording to Chance Records.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, under Carter's and Bracken's ownership, Vee-Jay became a major independent record label with acts including The Spaniels, Jimmy Reed, the El Dorados, John Lee Hooker, Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler, Dee Clark, The Staple Singers, and The Four Seasons, among others.

Vee Jay secured the American distribution rights to The Beatles in 1963, but contract loopholes and lawsuits caused the company to lose them to Capitol Records. Meanwhile, Carter continued to work as a radio DJ, a key factor in attracting musical talent to the label.

➦In 2007…Citadel took  control of Disney/ABC radio stations.

➦In 2013…Veteran personality and programmer Bill Bailey died from a heart attack at age 66. He had stints are WLS-AM Chicago, WDRQ Detroit, WXTR-Washington, WIZF-Cincinnati, WLHT, WTRV and WGVU Grand Rapids.

Marv Albert is 80

  • Disney composer Richard Sherman is 93. 
  • Sports announcer Marv Albert is 80. 
  • Actor Roger Aaron Brown (“The District”) is 72. 
  • Actor Sonia Manzano (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) is 71. 
  • Drummer Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick is 70. 
  • Country singer-guitarist Junior Brown is 69. 
  • Singer-songwriter Rocky Burnette is 68. 
  • Actor Timothy Busfield is 64. 
  • Singer Meredith Brooks is 63. 
  • Actor Jenilee Harrison (“Dallas,” ″Three’s Company”) is 63. 
  • Accordionist-keyboardist John Linnell of They Might Be Giants is 62. 
    Jenilee Harrison is 63
  • Actor John Enos (“Days of Our Lives,Young and the Restless”) is 59. 
  • Rapper Grandmaster Dee of Whodini is 59. 
  • Actor Paul Schulze (“Nurse Jackie”) is 59. 
  • Actor Eamonn Walker (“Chicago Fire,” ″Cadillac Records”) is 59. 
  • Bassist Bardi Martin (Candlebox) is 52. 
  • Actor Rick Hoffman (“Suits”) is 51. 
  • Actor-comedian Finesse Mitchell (“Roadies Saturday Night Live”) 49. 
  • Actor Jason Mewes (“Clerks”) is 47. 
  • Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 44. 
  • Actor Timothy Simons (“Veep”) is 43. 
  • Actor Wil Horneff (“The Yearling”) is 42. 
  • Singer Robyn is 42. 
  • Singer-guitarist John Gourley of Portgual. The Man is 40. 
  • Country singer Chris Young is 36. 
  • Actor Dave Franco is 36. 
  • Actor Luke Youngblood (“Galavant”) is 35.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Houston Radio: Melissa Chase Named PD at KHMX, KKHH

Audacy announced Melissa Chase as Brand Manager of KHMX Mix 96.5 and KKHH 95.7 The Spot in Houston. In this role, Chase will oversee both stations’ full portfolios of broadcast, digital and live experience assets, effective July 1.

“Melissa’s breadth of experience launching and enhancing local radio brands makes her a perfect choice to take the helm of these two stations,” said Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Houston. “I am equally as excited about her expressed commitment to leveraging the power of our brands to play a role in our community. Connecting with our listeners is our number one priority, and I trust that our stations will be able to further grow its footprint in the Houston area under Melissa’s leadership.”

“I am beyond excited to join this incredible team,” said Chase. “Mix 96.5 is an amazing heritage station with passionate listeners and 95.7 The Spot has quickly grown into a major player in the market – both with extraordinarily talented personalities that I can’t wait to work with. Thank you so much to Sarah Frazier and Pat Paxton for the opportunity to join the Audacy Houston family.”

Chase joins Audacy after spending the last 12 years with SummitMedia in Richmond, VA as Operations Manager and Program Director, where she created and implemented strategies to improve and grow brands for six radio stations, as well as an on-air host. Prior to her time at SummitMedia, Chase was an Assistant Program Director and on-air personality for iHeartMedia, where she was heard on various stations in Richmond, New Haven, CT, Harrisonburg, VA, Miami, FL and Houston, TX. Other previous roles include production development for MTV Networks/Viacom and voiceover actor.

NYC Radio: MediaCo Taps Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay For CEO

MediaCo Holding Inc., owner of HOT 97, WBLS, and Fairway Outdoor, announced today that Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2021.

Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay
Lindsay most recently served as Executive Vice President, Urban One. He brings over twenty years of successful leadership experience across media, television, and advertising to MediaCo. As CEO, Lindsay will be responsible for setting MediaCo’s overall strategic vision and expanding its radio and outdoor divisions with an emphasis on transforming the digital business.

“Rahsan-Rahsan is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive, and passion for media required to lead the MediaCo team at this critical time. He forged his career at the intersection of technology and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking the company into the future,” said MediaCo Board Director Laura Lee.

Lindsay has spent the past nine years at Urban One, Inc., where he oversaw advertising sales, integrated marketing, and sales operations for TV One and sister network CLEO TV, which he helped launch in 2019. In 2020, he took over the role as head of iOne Digital ad sales and One Solution, Urban One’s cross-platform marketing group, as well as One X Studios, the branded content production arm of Urban One. Prior to joining TV One in 2011, Lindsay spent nearly eight years in Ad Sales for Viacom Media Networks, focused on new business development for MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, CMT, and TV Land. He also served as VP of Ad Sales for MTV2, mtvU, and Palladia.

“The opportunity to work with iconic brands like HOT 97 and WBLS is just too good to pass up,” said Lindsay. “I see a number of potential ways to further cultivate both brands, build on their well-established legacies, and drive new revenue streams. I’m also energized by the opportunity to leverage the Fairway footprint in a way that helps fulfill the MediaCo mission to connect with broader audiences.”

Bradford Tobin
MediaCo’s newly formed senior management team is poised to drive future success, comprised of capable leaders who bring a collaborative spirit and a necessary focus on future strategy. As part of MediaCo’s strategic realignment, Bradford Tobin was also recently named President and Chief Operating Officer.

“Brad is a seasoned and trusted leader who consistently delivers results. He is uniquely qualified to drive strategic prioritization and accountability within MediaCo, with a laser focus on operational excellence,” said Soo Kim, MediaCo’s lead investor.

Prior to joining MediaCo in August 2020, Tobin served as General Counsel/Chief Compliance Officer for Standard Diversified Inc., and General Counsel/SVP for RadioShack, where he established a proven track record for building and managing high-growth sales organizations. In his current role, Tobin leads business operations for MediaCo, including rapidly scaling digital capabilities and aligning the organization’s innovation engine.

“I’m proud to be a part of MediaCo’s executive team and thrilled to help lead the company into its next phase of innovation as we focus on building a 360 media experience for consumers,” said Tobin.

Boston Radio: WBZ-AM Begins To Celebrate 100 Years Of Broadcasting

iHeartMedia announced today that Boston’s News Radio WBZ 1030 AM, will begin a 100-day celebration to mark the 100 Anniversary of WBZ’s first day of broadcast, September 19, 1921.

WBZ NewsRadio is set to celebrate 100 years of being a legendary cornerstone of the Boston media 7landscape, broadcasting the latest headlines and news coverage on 1030 AM. The station will celebrate on-air and online with short stories and photos of memorable moments in WBZ’s rich history.

“For a station to broadcast for 100 years is nothing short of amazing,” said Alan Chartrand, Market President of iHeartMedia Boston. “Listeners and advertisers consistently utilize this heritage brand as evidenced by WBZ’s continued ratings and revenue success. People lean into objective news sources to remain informed and none has been more dependable than WBZ NewsRadio.”

“WBZ NewsRadio is defined by our strong, unmistakable presence in the communities we serve,” said Rob Sanchez, Vice President of News, Talk & Sports for iHeartMedia Boston. “As the media landscape continues to evolve, our reach has only increased as WBZ listeners have adopted streaming on smart devices and the heritrix app.”

WBZ radio, which now broadcasts at 1030 kHz AM and is the oldest surviving commercial radio station in New England dating back to 1921.  The station signed-on broadcasting from Springfield, MA.

The station has long been one of the highest-rated stations in the Boston area, and covers much of the eastern United States and Canada at night with its 50,000-watt clear-channel signal from its transmitter location in Hull, Massachusetts, which has been used by the station since 1940. The transmitter is a two tower directional array where each tower is 160 meters (520 ft) tall. The signal is intentionally directionalized from their coastal location for maximum power transmitted into the continental United States, giving WBZ outstanding multi-state coverage after sunset.

WBZ's initial license, for operation in Springfield, was issued by the Department of Commerce to the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company on September 15, 1921; it was the first license to specify broadcasts on 360 meters (833 kilohertz), and was subsequently deemed to be the first license for a commercial broadcast station. However, other stations, such as WWJ in Detroit, 1XE/WGI in Medford Hillside, and sister station KDKA in Pittsburgh, were already broadcasting under different license classifications.

Original Studio on Page Blvd.
The station's original transmitter and studios were located at the Westinghouse factory on Page Boulevard in East Springfield. However, WBZ's inaugural program, on September 19, 1921, was a remote broadcast from the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield.

The original format was general entertainment and information, which included live music (often classical music and opera), sports, farm reports, special events, and public affairs programming. Despite WBZ being housed in Springfield, it somewhat difficult to attract top-flight artists to the station,  leading Westinghouse to open a studio at the Hotel Brunswick in Boston on February 24, 1924.  WBZ also expanded its news programming via a partnership with the newspaper Boston Herald and Traveler.  It also carried a considerable amount of sports broadcasts, including Boston Bruins hockey, Boston Braves baseball, and Harvard Crimson football.

Circa 1932
Because of its comparatively wide reach, the station often referred to itself as "WBZ, New England" as opposed to associating itself solely with Springfield or Boston. However, even after several power boosts (the station broadcast at a power of 100 watts in 1921, but was using 2,000 watts in April 1925, the station still had some trouble reaching Boston, leading Westinghouse to sign on WBZA, a 250-watt station at 1240 kHz, on August 20, 1925.  Efforts were soon made to operate WBZA as a synchronous repeater of WBZ, by then at 900 kHz; this process was difficult, as the two transmitters often interfered with each other even in Boston, and WBZA went back and forth between the two frequencies for nearly a year before finally going to full-time synchronous operation in June 1926.

WBZ also continued to boost the power of its primary East Springfield transmitter; it was granted permission to operate with 5,000 watts on March 31, 1926, and by 1927 it was operating with 15,000 watts. Meanwhile, a combination of WBZ's growth and continued difficulties with the WBZA signal led the station to move its Boston studio to the Statler Hotel (now the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers) on June 1, 1927 and activate a new WBZA transmitter on June 9.  The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) moved WBZ and WBZA to 990 kHz on November 11, 1928.

Amidst the technical changes, WBZ also began engaging in network activities. By 1925, it often shared programs with WJZ in New York City (which Westinghouse had also started in 1921, but sold to the Radio Corporation of America two years later), and a WBZ special commemorating the 150th anniversary of Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride" was also fed to WRC in Washington, D.C. and WGY in Schenectady, New York. This paved the way for the station to become a charter affiliate of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on November 15, 1926, carrying the WJZ-originated NBC Blue Network beginning on January 1, 1927.

Wake-UP Call: Biden Meets With Johnson Ahead Of G7 Summit

President Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday ahead of the start of the Group of 7 (G-7) summit today in the U.K. Biden emphasized the deep bonds between the U.S. and Britain, telling reporters afterward, "We affirmed the special relationship -- it’s not said lightly -- the special relationship between our people. We renewed our pledge to defend the enduring democratic values that both of our nations share that are the strong foundation of our partnership." The two discussed topics including the pandemic, climate change, and an infrastructure financing program for developing countries and Afghanistan, and also announced a new task force to work on resuming travel between their countries, which has been halted for more than year due to the pandemic. 

➤EX-POLICE CHIEF, FIVE OTHERS CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY IN U.S. CAPITOL ATTACK: A former police chief of La Habra, California, and five other men have been indicted on conspiracy charges related to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents made public yesterday. They are accused of plotting together to block the certification of Joe Biden's presidential election win. Prosecutors say four of the men are members of the Three Percenters, an antigovernment extremist group. The ex-police chief, Alan Hostetter, is the founder of a far-right group called the American Phoenix Project, and in the weeks leading up to January 6th, he called for violence against those who supported the results of the election. Authorities say communications show how the men coordinated their travel to Washington, D.C., and their efforts to block the certification. The Justice Department has brought similar conspiracy cases against members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys far-right extremist groups.

➤WOMAN, ONE-YEAR-OLD GRANDSON SHOT AND KILLED AT FLORIDA SUPERMARKET: A grandmother and her one-year-grandson were shot at killed at a Publix supermarket in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, yesterday around 11:30 a.m. The shooter, whose identity wasn't immediately revealed, also died, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said there's no known motive or relationship between the gunman and the victims. The families of the victims have requested that their identities not be made public.

➤'EL CHAPO'S WIFE PLEADS GUILTY TO U.S. CHARGES: Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of former Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, pled guilty Thursday (June 10th) to U.S. charges in a federal court in Washington, admitting she helped her husband run his criminal empire. The 31-year-old was arrested in February at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and has been jailed since. 
She pled guilty to three charges as part of a plea deal: knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine; a money-laundering conspiracy charge; and engaging in transactions with a foreign drug trafficker. She'll be sentenced in September. Guzman was convicted in the U.S. in 2019 and sentenced to life in prison.

➤UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS FALL FOR SIXTH WEEK: The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell for a sixth straight week, with the Labor Department reporting yesterday that they'd declined by 9,000 to 376,000 from the week before. Businesses have been reopening as Americans have been getting vaccinated, and first-time unemployment claims have been falling since passing 900,000 in early January. However, the number is still historically high, with weekly first-time claims regularly below 220,000 before the pandemic struck in March 2020.

The Oregon House of Representatives expelled one of its members in an historic vote last night after he let violent, far-right protesters in the state Capitol last December 21st. Republicans voted with the majority Democrats to expel Republican Rep. Mike Nearman in a 59-1 vote, the first time in the Oregon House's 160-year history that a member has been expelled. The only vote against expulsion was that of Nearman, who's been unapologetic, saying he let the protesters in because he believes the Capitol, which has been closed to the public because of the pandemic, should have been open. The far-right protesters at the state Capitol that day broke windows, assaulted journalists, shoved police and sprayed officers with bear spray.

➤QUARAISHI BECOMES FIRST MUSLIM FEDERAL JUDGE: The Senate confirmed one of President Biden's judicial nominees, Zahid Quaraishi, Thursday in an 81-16 vote, making him the first Muslim federal judge. The former military prosecutor, who's the son of Pakistani immigrants, will be a U.S. district judge in New Jersey. He was previously a U.S. magistrate judge in the state. Quaraishi served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2006.

➤STUDY..PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO USE STRONG SWEAR WORDS IN EVERYDAY LIFE COMPARED TO FIVE YEARS AGO: People are getting bolder in their use of swear words, finds a new study. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has determined that around a third of people in the UK are more-likely to use strong swear words now than they were five years ago. They polled 1,000 British adults and found about 60 percent saw strong swear words, such as f*** and mother***er, as part of everyday life. They also found that respondents ages 18-to-34 were more likely to swear and are more desensitized to the impact of swearing. The study, unsurprisingly, found that among people ages 65 and up, 75 percent said they would not use strong swear words in public. They also found that parents still want their children sheltered from the use of strong swear words, including in the media.

➤HARD SELTZER CONSUMPTION SLOWS AS CONSUMERS HEAD BACK TO BARS: People are drinking less hard seltzer as they head back to restaurants and bars. Analysts say that many consumers had yet to become loyal fans to hard seltzer before the pandemic changed life across the globe. The analysts note they believe the current decline in regular consumers is driven by, and correlates to the “steady rise of intentions to dine out.” They also note that they expect hard seltzers to increase in sales as the year progresses “due to easy comps but also due to a return to group gatherings (which is a key occasion for the hard seltzer category).”

➤7-ELEVEN FREE SLURPEES RETURN IN JULY, BUT YOU NEED TO BE A REWARDS MEMBER: For the second year in a row, 7-Eleven’s free Slurpee giveaway won’t be a one-day deal, but a month long offer redeemable in July for members of the chain’s 7Rewards loyalty program. They did the same thing last summer, to reduce the crowds on July 11th, or 7/11, which is also known as 7-Eleven Day or Free Slurpee Day. The chain will drop coupons for free small Slurpee drinks into the accounts of new and existing 7Rewards loyalty members on July 1st. There’s a limit of one free Slurpee per member, available at participating U.S. locations while supplies last.

🏑VEGAS DEFEATS COLORADO TO ADVANCE IN NHL PLAYOFFS: The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 last night to win their second-round NHL playoff series 4 games to 2. Vegas came back in the series after falling behind 2 games to 0 at the start of the match-up. They are now advancing to the Stanley Cup semifinals for the third time in four years of the franchise's existence. The Golden Knights will be facing off against the Montreal Canadiens.

NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Vegas Golden Knights 6, Colorado Avalanche 3 - Vegas wins series 4 games to 2
🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Milwaukee Bucks 86, Brooklyn Nets 83 - Brooklyn leads 2 games to 1
  • Utah Jazz 117, Los Angeles Clippers 111 - Utah leads 2 games to 0
🎾KREJCIKOVA, PAVLYUCHENKOVA WIN TO FACE EACH OTHER IN FRENCH OPEN FINAL: Unseeded Czech player Barbora Krejcikova and 31st-seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia will face each other in French Open final after winning their semifinal matches yesterday. Krejcikova upset 17th-seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 and Pavlyuchenkova downed unseeded Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3. The men's semifinals will be played today, between top-seeded Novak Djokovic and Number 3 Rafael Nadal, and between fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and Number 6 Alexander Zverev.

🏈COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF MAY EXPAND TO 12 TEAMS: The College Football Playoff announced yesterday that it will consider expanding from four teams to 12, with six spots reserved for the highest-ranked conference champions and the other six going to at-large selections. Executive Director Bill Hancock said, "This proposal, at its heart, was created to provide more participation." Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, part of the group that has been working on an possible expansion, noted that only about four percent of major college football teams reach the playoff, compared to 20 percent that participate in the championship event in most other NCAA sports. The four-team playoff was begun in 2014, after the Bowl Championship Series was used from 1998 to 2013.

🏀NBA TO RETURN TO NORMAL SCHEDULE NEXT SEASON: The NBA told its teams yesterday that it plans to return to a normal schedule next season, which will have the regular season begin on October 19th, according to media reports. Commissioner Adam Silver had said several times over the past months that the league wanted to go back to a regular schedule after having two years of the calendar being disrupted due to the pandemic.


➤SON OF MICHIGAN'S SCHEMBECHLER, TWO EX-PLAYERS SAY HE KNEW ABOUT TEAM DOCTOR'S ABUSE: One of the sons of late University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler and two of his former players said Thursday that they were molested decades ago by the team's longtime doctor, and that Schembechler knew about it. His son, 62-year-old Matt Schembechler, said his father punched him when he told him about the abuse by Dr. Robert E. Anderson, who died in 2008. Schembechler and the two former players, Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson, are among hundreds of men who alleged they were abused by Anderson during his nearly four decades at Michigan. Kwiatkowski said he told Schembechler about the abuse after one of the required physicals and the coach told him, "Toughen up." Matt Schembechler said during a news conference that Anderson, quote, "was supported by a culture that placed the reputation of the university above the health and safety of the students." He continued, "That is the culture that made my father a legend and placed his statue in front of Schembechler Hall. Dr. Anderson was part of the University of Michigan team, he was part of Bo’s team, therefore, he was more important than any man."