Saturday, June 19, 2021

June 20 Radio History

Frank Gallop
➦In 1900...announcer Frank Gallop was born in New York City.

After starting his radio career in Boston, the sombre-voiced Gallop moved back to New York with friend and fellow announcer Ed Herlihy and soon established a busy career on CBS and NBC. He was heard on such soap operas as Amanda of Honeymoon Hill, Hilltop House, When A Girl Marries, and Stella Dallas, as well as Gangbusters, the Columbia Workshop and New York Philharmonic broadcasts. He was the announcer and comic foil for the host on Milton Berle’s program on radio and The Perry Como Show on TV. He narrated a 1966 hit comedy record, The Ballad of Irving.  Gallop died May 5 1988 at age 87.

➦In 1910...Fanny Brice, born Fannie Borach, debuted in the New York production of the Ziegfeld Follies.                                         

Fanny Brice
It wasn’t long before Brice became known as America’s funny girl. A regular on Rudy Vallee’s radio show, The Fleischmann Hour, in the 1920s, Fanny Brice joined The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air at age 45. The show on CBS radio was the introduction of her funny-voiced character, Baby Snooks.

In 1937 she joined NBC radio and continued as the Snooks kid, a seven-year old spoiled brat. Brice’s most famous line was, “Whyyyyyy, daddy?”  From 1936 through 1951, Brice was one of radio’s biggest draws, right until her sudden death of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 29, 1951 at age 59.

➦In 1982…WCBM 680 AM Baltimore announced it was switching from adult contemporary to news/talk. KEZL 102.9 FM in San Diego dropped Shulke II (The automated vocal/lite AC service) in favor of adult contemporary.

➦In 1982….ABC Radio officially killed its much-promoted “SuperRadio” satellite fed A/C format. The network was due to premiere July 1. The DJ lineup was completed only a few weeks ago when Jack Spector, Bob Dayton and Steve York were signed for weekends.  A lack of affiliates has been cited – with only three-full time stations ready to go.

➦In 1996…Westinghouse Electric Corp., then the largest operator of radio stations in the U.S., agreed to acquire radio giant Infinity Broadcasting Corp. in a stock transaction the two companies valued at about $3.9 billion.

The combination of the largest and second-largest radio-station groups in the U.S. would create a powerhouse in the top 10 radio markets and a company with gross advertising billings of close to $1 billion, roughly three times the size of its next largest competitor. It is unclear whether the combination would raise antitrust concerns.

Mel Karmazin, the founder of Infinity, was chosen to lead the management of Westinghouse's radio business. The move by Karmazin -- whose company grew through acquisitions over a 24-year period -- stunned the radio industry, which all along has assumed Mr. Karmazin was a buyer, not a seller.

A combination of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting's stations would create a giant radio combination totaling 83 stations. The newly combined company would also be a colossus in the top 10 markets, where it would own six stations in New York City and command 35% to 40% of the market's radio billings. In Los Angeles, Westinghouse/CBS/Infinity would also own six stations, grabbing 30% to 35% of the market's radio advertising revenue.

Infinity Broadcasting was founded by Mr. Karmazin and other partners in 1972 with the purchase of KONE-FM in San Jose, Calif.  Infinity has embarked on an aggressive acquisition strategy since last fall, when it bought seven radio stations from Alliance Broadcasting for $275 million; an outdoor advertising company, TDI Worldwide Inc., for $300 million; and signed an agreement to buy 12 radio stations owned by Granum Holdings Inc. for $410 million.

Ken Rank
➦In 2004…Radio, TV Personality Ken Rank died at age 66 in a Tulsa hospital, after suffering complications from a lung transplant. After serving five years in the Navy as a medic, he began his career as a radio disc jockey in Fort Smith at KTCS Radio. Rank worked at various radio stations including KRMG in Tulsa, where he was voted one of the top disc jockeys in the United States by Broadcast Magazine.

Rank became a weather forecaster in 1983. Ken was also known for being the spokesperson for several northwest Arkansas businesses.  After working 10 years as a weather man, Ken left to start his own company, VideoBase, a video production company.

➦In 2006...News Anchor Dan Rather reached agreement with CBS News to leave the network after 44 years. He later accepted an offer from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to do a weekly news program for Cuban’s HDNet cable channel.

Brian Wilson is 79

  • Actor Bonnie Bartlett (“St. Elsewhere,” ″Once and Again”) is 92. 
  • Actor James Tolkan (“Back to the Future” films) is 90. 
  • Musician Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is 79. 
  • Actor John McCook (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 77. 
  • Singer Anne Murray is 76. 
  • Home repair show host Bob Vila is 75. 
  • Classical pianist Andre Watts is 75. 
  • Actor Candy Clark (“American Graffiti”) is 74. 
  • Singer Lionel Richie is 72. 
  • Actor John Goodman is 69. 
  • Bassist Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot) is 67. 
  • Bassist John Taylor of Duran Duran is 61. 
  • Nicole Kidman is 54
    Bassist Murphy Karges of Sugar Ray is 54. 
  • Actor Nicole Kidman is 54. 
  • Singer Dan Tyminski of Alison Krauss and Union Station is 54. 
  • Actor Peter Paige (“Queer as Folk”) is 52. 
  • Actor Josh Lucas (“Sweet Home Alabama,” ″A Beautiful Mind”) is 50. 
  • Bassist Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson) is 50. 
  • Singer Chino Moreno is 48. 
  • Singer Amos Lee is 44. 
  • Actor Tika Sumpter (“The Have and the Have Nots”) is 41. 
  • Drummer Chris Thompson of The Eli Young Band is 41. 
  • Singer-actor Alisan Porter (“The Voice,” ″Curly Sue”) is 40. 
  • Singer Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is 38. 
  • Keyboardist Chris Dudley of Underoath is 38. 
  • Actor Mark Saul (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 36. 
  • Actor Dreama Walker (film’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” TV’s “Gossip Girl”) is 35. 
  • Actor Chris Mintz-Plasse (“Superbad”) is 32. 
  • Actor Maria Lark (TV’s “Medium”) is 24.

New Voices To Debut Monday In A Familiar Time Slot

Premiere Networks has announced that "The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show," a new three-hour talk radio program will launch Monday, June 21, 2021 on more than 400 stations nationwide, making it one of the biggest launches in talk radio history. 

The show will air Monday - Friday in the late Rush Limbaugh's traditional timeslot, from Noon - 3:00 p.m. ET.

Among the major market affiliates are: WOR-AM in New York; KEIB-AM in Los Angeles; KTRH-AM in Houston; WFOM-AM/FM in Atlanta; WXKS-AM in Boston; WIOD-AM in Miami; KFYI-AM in Phoenix; WFLA-AM in Tampa; KTLK-AM in Minneapolis; KDFD-AM in Denver; KEX-AM in Portland, OR; WFLF-AM/FM in Orlando and KFBK-AM/FM in Sacramento.

Julie Talbott
"The reaction from our radio station and advertising partners has been tremendous," said Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks. "Clay and Buck are proving to be a winning combination as we prepare to launch their new show in this highly-coveted timeslot."

Airing in the timeslot held by “The Rush Limbaugh Show” for more than three decades, Travis and Sexton will carry on a new form of broadcast excellence in the tradition of the late radio icon as they tackle the biggest stories in news, politics and current events with intelligence and humor. 

Travis – an entrepreneur, host of FOX Sports Radio’s industry-leading weekday morning program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” and founder of the wildly popular sports, pop culture and politics based media company Outkick; (which Travis has agreed to sell to Fox Corporation); and Sexton – host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated weekday program “The Buck Sexton Show,” political commentator, and former CIA officer and NYPD counterterrorism expert, will help guide listeners through the latest headlines and hot topics with fun and entertaining conversations and opinions.

“I’ve loved spending the past six years building ‘Outkick The Coverage’ into one of the most-listened-to sports talk shows in the country, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to join Buck Sexton as we launch this new program in the most coveted timeslot in the talk format,” said Travis. “While no one will ever replace Rush Limbaugh, Buck and I are excited to continue advancing the causes he held dear, most importantly American exceptionalism, a fervent embrace of capitalism, and a belief in a robust marketplace of ideas. At a time of rabid cancel culture and toxic identity politics, we will be the voice for many who feel scared to say what they think for fear of the censorious online mob. We can’t wait to get started.”

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton
“I could not be more thrilled – and am deeply humbled – by the opportunity to host this new program with Clay Travis,” said Sexton. “We think it’s important to carry on the tradition of Rush Limbaugh and bring truth to the masses. One thing I can promise all EIB listeners out there: we’re with them and we will always fight for them with the show Clay and I do every day.”

“We couldn’t be happier to have Clay and Buck – two incredibly talented personalities from our Premiere family – at the helm of this new program,” said Talbott. “Rush Limbaugh is irreplaceable, but we’re confident they will continue his legacy by delivering their own brand of intelligent, informed and entertaining talk radio, while providing our partners with a powerful platform to connect with their consumers.”

“The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” will also be available as a podcast on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. Visit to download iHeartRadio and listen to the program on your favorite device.

➤About Clay Travis:  He most recently has been host of “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” a nationally-syndicated FOX Sports Radio program heard on more than 350 affiliates nationwide. The program joined the network’s lineup in September 2016 and has become one of the most popular sports talk shows in the country reaching millions of listeners nationwide. A multi-platform star, Travis founded the wildly popular, and also currently co-hosts FS1’s first-ever, daily gambling TV show “Fox Bet Live,” in addition to hosting his popular “Outkick The Show” webcast and podcast, and the iHeartRadio Original Podcast, “Wins & Losses with Clay Travis.” A graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School, Travis is the author of “Dixieland Delight,” “On Rocky Top: A Front-Row Seat to the End of an Era,” and “Republicans Buy Sneakers, Too: How the Left is Ruining Sports with Politics.”

➤About Buck Sexton:  He most recently has been hosting “The Buck Sexton Show,” a three-hour weekday talk radio program syndicated by Premiere Networks on more than 200 stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio. Launched in February 2017, the program is also simulcast on Pluto TV’s The First channel. Since February 2020, Sexton has also hosted a live weekday program on iHeartMedia’s 710 WOR in New York. A former CIA officer and NYPD counterterrorism expert, Sexton frequently appears on Fox News Channel and other outlets as a political commentator and national security analyst. Sexton previously served as a national security editor for and hosted “The Buck Sexton Show” on TheBlazeTV and TheBlazeRadio. A native of New York City, he holds a B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College.

Chicago Radio: Sports WMVP Adds FM Signal

Good Karman Brands' WMVP 1000 AM has added an FM signal.  The FM coverage began Friday night thanks to an agreement with Hubbard Radio.  WMVP is now simulcasting on 100.3 HD2,  the main frequency is home to Hubbard's AC WSHE. 

Sports WMVP airs ESPN content and is the radio home of Chicago White Sox baseball.

“Our partnership with Hubbard Chicago will allow fans to hear our ESPN 1000 shows and White Sox baseball in crystal clear, digital FM,” said Mike Thomas, ESPN Chicago market manager.

According to Chicago Media watcher Robert Feder, the expansion comes as ESPN 1000 is seeing an uptick in the ratings attributed to its White Sox broadcasts. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the station tied for eighth place in evenings among men between 25 and 54.

Jeff England, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, said in a statement: “We are pleased to partner with Mike and his team at ESPN 1000 to provide Chicagoans another option to hear the best sports talk and the first-place White Sox.”

ESPN 1000’s main rival, Audacy sports/talk WSCR 670 AM, also airs on 104.3 HD2, which is connected to classic hip hop WBMX 104.3-FM.

Birmingham Radio: WJOX's Roundtable Hosts EXIT JOX 94.5

One of the most local sports radio shows in the country is leaving radio.

Jim Dunaway, Ryan Brown, and Lance Taylor Are exiting WJOX 94.5 FM and the JOX Roundtable to start up a show on a digital platform.

The guys on the show confirmed Friday that their last show on JOX was Wednesday.

Brown said the four long-time radio personalities are planning to launch a digital platform, and the split from the Cumulus radio station was amicable.

“The decision for us to leave JOX, frankly, was an incredibly difficult decision,” Brown told on Friday. “There are no hard feelings. We are not upset with Cumulus or WJOX. In fact, they have been phenomenal to us. It has been among the greatest 21 years of our lives. Combined, we have worked there for 77 years. We are heavily invested in that station, and they are heavily invested in us. But, for anyone who has any sort of entrepreneurial spirit, you stop and say what would it be like if I worked for myself? I think that was the question a lot of us had over the last year.”

Brown said WJOX offered a chance at a sendoff show, but it really wasn’t something they were interested in.

“They were very gracious and offered any number of ways to leave,” he explained. “They offered the concept of doing a good-bye show, several good-bye shows, a week of good-bye shows. They were very generous in offering that. It was much appreciated. Frankly, I just don’t know if that is good radio. Nobody tunes in to hear sappy calls or people complaining or celebrating or whatever. It isn’t the nature of what we do on a daily basis. I just don’t think it was overly appealing to us to do a good-bye show.

“We’re leaving radio but we are still going to be around, and people will still have access to us.”

Wednesday’s final show marks the end of an 11-year run of “The Roundtable” in its current form. Brown, who started at WJOX in 2001, said the move was a surprise for WJOX management.

Orlando Radio: WTKS-FM Signs Russ Rollins To Multi-Year Deal

Real Radio 104.1 and iHeartMedia reported Friday the signing long time radio show host Russ Rollins to a new multi year deal. The deal will keep the “Monsters in the Morning” show broadcasting on the highly popular FM talk station for another three years. The amount of the new contract and a signing bonus was not disclosed.

"I am so very happy and proud of the show we have now. The program has always made a lot of changes and now is very enjoyable for me. I truly love this company and the cast members that make me look good every day. The overwhelming talent of Angel, Carlos, Ryan, Angelique, Savannah and D-Strong keeps me excited to keep broadcasting here at IHeartRadio. I am Real Radio for life!" said Russ Rollins.

Rollins has been a popular main stay in Central Florida for close to three decades. Bringing local and national attention to WTKS Real Radio. Russ has been named one of the top 100 radio hosts in America by Talkers Magazine several years in a row.

When asked about signing Russ Rollins again, Senior Vice President of Programming-Orlando Rick Everett said, “I’m excited for the next chapter of the “Monsters in the Morning” on Real Radio 104.1.  I’ve been amazed over the last 24 years that I’ve worked with Russ and watched him reinvent the “Monsters” brand and see the show continue to perform as one of the top morning shows in Central Florida.” 

Russ Rollins and the "Monsters in the Morning" can be heard on WTKS Real Radio 104.1 FM from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on IHeartRadio.

Denver Radio: Sean Rhoads New Market Manager for Max Media

Max Media Denver has promoted Sean Rhoads to the role of General Manager/ President for KJHM-FM & KFCO-FM, Max Media in Denver, Colorado.

Sean Rhoads
Sean Rhoads began his radio career at iHeartMedia in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as an Account Executive. In 2010 he joined Max Media serving as a Senior Account Executive, Digital Sales Director, General Sales Manager and most recently as Vice President of Sales from 2016-2021.

“We have an incredible team here in Denver and we’re ambitious to take Denver to new heights. Our company has always placed the highest value on results for advertisers, enjoyment for listeners and happiness of employees. I’m excited and honored to carry on with this mission”- Sean Rhoads

Max Media Denver’s, Jeff Silver, was also promoted from General Sales Manager to Vice President. Jeff Silver is a veteran sales leader with over 20 years of experience leading sales teams for Entercom Denver and Lincoln Financial.

Pittsburgh Radio: WLTJ-FM Taps Monica Salazar For Mornings

Steel City Media Hot AC WLTJ Q92.9 FM in /Pittsburgh hires Monica Salazar to take over its morning show, weekdays from 6-10am, effective Monday, June 21. 

Monica Salazar
The 20-year radio vet replaces Tim Murphy and comes to Q92.9 from Radio United in Laredo, TX, where she was PD/MD and an air personality for CHR KNEX-FM. She was also heard on international pop station XAVO-FM in McAllen and Classic Hits KESO/South Padre Island, TX.

PD Zak Szabo said, "So excited to see how Monica makes her new home here in Pittsburgh on Q92-9. She brings a contagious form of energy and enthusiasm that I have not seen for a long time in this business, and I am psyched."

Salazar added, "It"s a long way from Texas but I am thrilled to join the exceptional team at Steel City Media, Pittsburgh. Big thank you to MC Media's Charese Fruge, Zak Szabo and Gregg Frischling for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Spotify To Acquire Podcast Audio Clip Service Podz

Spotify said Friday that it has acquired Podz, a tech startup backed by the likes of Katie Couric and Paris Hilton.

According to  The NY Post, Podz will help the company “accelerate” its growing podcast business through its machine-learning algorithms, which help users easily discover content they want to listen to. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Powered by state-of-the-art machine learning technology, Podz generates high-quality clips that give users the opportunity to preview key moments from podcast episodes, encouraging them to discover and listen to new podcasts,” Spotify said.

Podz’s tech is expected to be integrated into Spotify’s network of over 2.6 million podcasts before the end of the year.

Spotify has beefed up its podcast offering within the last two years, inking multimillion-dollar deals for podcasts from Joe Rogan, Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian and sportscaster Bill Simmons, among others.

New York-based Podz was founded by tech entrepreneur Bruce Imbruce in January 2020. The 10-employee company raised $2.5 million in seed funding.

“We believe that Podz’s technology will complement and accelerate Spotify’s focused efforts to drive discovery, deliver listeners the right content at the right time, and accelerate growth of the category worldwide,” Spotify said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

And The Most Popular Podcast Platforms In The U-S Are...

Felix Richter, Statista

 Facebook is about to become the next company to board the podcast hypetrain, as the world’s largest social network is preparing to roll out its own podcast product next week. 

According to an email sent to podcast page owners, hosts can link their show’s RSS feed to their Facebook page, enabling followers to listen to new episodes directly on the platform through a new podcasts tab.

“Starting June 22, 2021, Facebook will be the place where people can enjoy discuss and share the podcasts they love with each other,” the announcement reads, clearly emphasizing the social aspect of listening to podcasts on Facebook. Adding to that, Facebook will also let publishers decide whether users will be able to share short clips of their favorite podcasts, a feature aimed at boosting visibility and engagement.

Infographic: The Most Popular Podcast Platforms in the U.S. | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

As the chart shows, Americans have plenty of options of where to listen to their favorite podcasts. Based on a survey conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Spotify is the most widely used podcast app, although there is no clear number 1. In recent years, more and more high-profile podcasts have signed exclusive agreements with certain platforms, forcing many listeners to switch between apps for different podcasts.

Hong Kong Apple Daily Running Low On Cash

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper has enough cash on hand to continue operating as normal only for a couple of weeks, according to Bloomberg citing a person familiar, after authorities used a sweeping national security law to freeze company assets and arrest top editors and executives.

To continue print operations and pay staff, the quarter-century-old tabloid is planning on seeking relief through the courts and is also looking to use its Taiwan operation to manage digital donations through and PayPal, said the person, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of a police investigation into the company.

Executives are now examining the practicalities of keeping the newspaper running, including checking supplies of ink and paper in its warehouse, the person said. It’s unclear how the newspaper can pay staff and even whether regular suppliers and vendors will continue doing business with it, the person added, after local news outlet HK01 reported that authorities warned more than a half dozen banks not to deal with the company’s bank accounts.

It’s uncertain if the newspaper can access that cash given the various court orders and warnings to financial institutions to avoid handling accounts linked to alleged national security violations.

Some staffers are concerned about getting paid and planning to leave for other jobs after the raid on Thursday, according to three reporters who asked not to be identified. They are also worried that companies or media outlets won’t hire anyone who worked at Apple Daily.

Roughly 500 police officers on Thursday descended on the headquarters of Apple Daily, which is owned by the now-jailed democracy activist and Next Digital founder Jimmy Lai. Police searched the company’s offices, barred journalists from their desks and eventually carted away nearly 40 computers belonging to journalists, the paper said.

A Hong Kong court on Saturday denied bail to Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, and Cheung Kim-hung, the newspaper’s publisher and chief executive officer of Next Digital. The others arrested included Chief Operating Officer Royston Chow and Apple Daily deputy editors, Chan Pui-man and Cheung Chi-wai.

The Apple Daily arrests generated criticism from the U.S. and Japan, as well as human-rights groups and press-freedom advocates. The move marked an escalation by China, which warned journalists that press freedom wasn’t a “shield” and that their “professional status” wouldn’t protect them if they violated the national security law.

R.I.P.: Mike Manley, Longtime Chico CA Morning Host

Mike Manley, a nearly 30-year Chico radio personality who hosted the popular morning show “Manley in the Morning” for the past 20-years on KMXI The Mix 95.1, died Wednesday night. 

He was 58, reports

Dino Corbin, general manager of Deer Creek Broadcasting, said Manley’s loss was like losing a member of the family.

“He has entertained and woken up with thousands of listeners over the years and has done incredible and wonderful things in our community,” Corbin said. “He was simply the pure essence of a broadcaster. He didn’t have any family, we were his family. He loved what he did every single day.”

Dozens of dedicated community listeners commented on the loss of Manley with heavy hearts as they said goodbye to their favorite morning host. One listener, Rhonda Glenn Johnson of Oroville, said “I feel like I have lost a friend. I laughed with him every morning on the radio.”

“He was big and full of life and full of smiles. Everybody that was around him felt comfortable and enjoyed being with him,” Corbin said. “Every single day was a special day when Mike Manley was in the building.”

June 19 Radio History

➦In 1912...Narrator and actor Martin Gabel was born in Philadelphia.

His signature work was on May 8, 1945 as narrator on the CBS radio broadcast of Norman Corwin’s epic poem On a Note of Triumph, a commemoration of the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany and the end of WW II in Europe. The broadcast was so popular that the CBS, NBC, Blue and Mutual networks aired a second live production five days later.  He was the most frequent guest on TV’s Sunday night fixture What’s My Line, because he was married to regular panelist Arlene Francis.

He died after a heart attack May 22 1986 at age 73.

➦In 1934...Communications Act of 1934 created Federal Communications Commission

➦In 1960...WMCA 570 began using “The Good Guys”.   Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the beginning of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

The classic Good Guys era lineup included:
  • Joe O'Brien, an industry veteran whose humor appealed to multiple generations. (6am-10am)
  • Harry Harrison, whose show was aimed at housewives of that era. (10am-1pm)
  • Jack Spector, whose closing line was "Look out street, here I come!" (1pm-4pm)
  • Dandy Dan Daniel a lanky, smooth-talking Texan, and his daily countdown. (4pm-7pm)
  • Gary Stevens and his "Wooleyburger" bear, aimed at teenagers listening on small transistor radios in their rooms. (7pm-11pm - First show was in April, 1965)
  • B. Mitchel Reed, "BMR, Your Leader" Reed was the evening personality on WMCA from 1963–1965. He was part of the team that took WMCA to the top in 1963. He left the station in the spring of 1965, to return to L.A.'s troubled KFWB, where he had worked before WMCA. His on-air hours were the same as Gary Stevens.
  • Barry Gray, a talk show host who had been on WMCA before the Top 40 era and continued after it. (11pm-1am)
  • Dean Anthony, "Dino on your radio" with his "Actors and Actresses" game (1am-6am).
  • Weekends and fill-in, Ed Baer, Frank Stickle and Bill Beamish.
  • Owner R. Peter Straus was one of the first station owners to frequently read editorials, commenting on current events.

➦In 1965
...Since WINS went all-news in April, New York’s remaining rockers have been going at it - head to head. It’s the WMCA Good Guys vs. the WABC All-Americans.

The post-WINS Pulse ratings showed the stations neck-in-neck - WABC at a 16 and WMCA at a 16.3 rating. But WMCA has about one-third the signal of WABC, so it performs better with no WMCA competition - in the outlying suburbs.

WMCA was running a “Good Guy Derby” contest where you have the guess the WMCA Good Guy who will win his race “in the sport of kings.” Go-Go radio, WABC is doing a “prize of the day” A prize a day goes into the “Go Go Grab Bag” for end-week awarding.

Both stations were battling airplay of the new Beatles album -“Beatles VI” - and both stations were saying they had the exclusive on the album.  Actually, WABC had the album three hours before WMCA did - a rarity. WMCA usually scoops WABC on most records, including the Beatles.

➦In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM said it would drop duplicating talk WOR 710 AM on June 30 and go rock ‘n’ roll - the first FM station to go full-time rock . Robert S. Smith, vice president of both WOR AM/FM stated - “We will not have shouting disk jockeys on FM, but if there can be a quality rock station, that is, what we will be. We’re going after the WABC and WMCA audience.” The change in policy was a result of a recent FCC rule that FM stations in major cities may no longer duplicate more than 50% of their AM affiliates.

➦In 1966...Isaiah Edwin Leopold died from throat cancer at age 79 (Born - November 9, 1886). He was best known as Ed Wynn, noted for his Perfect Fool comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic actor.

Ed Wynn
In the early 1930s Wynn hosted the popular radio show The Fire Chief,  heard in North America on Tuesday nights, sponsored by Texaco gasoline. Like many former vaudeville performers who turned to radio in the same decade, the stage-trained Wynn insisted on playing for a live studio audience, doing each program as an actual stage show, using visual bits to augment his written material, and in his case, wearing a colorful costume with a red fireman's helmet.

He usually bounced his gags off announcer/straight man Graham McNamee; Wynn's customary opening, "Tonight, Graham, the show's gonna be different," became one of the most familiar tag-lines of its time; a sample joke: "Graham, my uncle just bought a new second-handed car... he calls it Baby! I don't know, it won't go anyplace without a rattle!"

Near the height of his radio fame (1933) he founded his own short-lived radio network the Amalgamated Broadcasting System, which lasted only five weeks, nearly destroying the comedian. According to radio historian Elizabeth McLeod, the failed venture left Wynn deep in debt, divorced and finally, suffering a nervous breakdown.

Ed Wynn first appeared on television on July 7, 1936 in a brief, ad-libbed spot with Graham McNamee during an NBC experimental television broadcast. In the 1949–50 season, Ed Wynn hosted one of the first network, comedy-variety television shows, on CBS, and won both a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award in 1949. Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball, and The Three Stooges all made guest appearances with Wynn. This was the first CBS variety television show to originate from Los Angeles, which was seen live on the west coast, but filmed via kinescope for distribution in the Midwest and East, as the national coaxial cable had yet to be completed. Wynn was also a rotating host of NBC's Four Star Revue from 1950 through 1952.

➦In 1973...Wolfman Jack, heard on KDAY Los Angles announced he's moving to WNBC 660 AM, New York.

➦In 1973...93KHJ-AM program director Paul Drew confirmed that the Real Don Steele and Mark Eliot had departed the station.

Billboard 1973

➦In 1973...WLS  890 AM program director Tommy Edwards said the station was expanding its playlist and cutting back on the use of jingles to five key jingles. Plus, - elimination of meaningless chatter by jocks, day-parting of music (more rock at night for example). At the time, WCFL was giving WLS a run in the ratings.

Dixon's Wrecked Auto 
➦In 2005...legendary southern DJ, Mason Dixon, was injured in an auto accident which practically split his car apart.

Dixon suffered a collapsed lung, 2 broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. Dixon has been affiliated with legendary stations including Tampa's WRBQ-FM, where he was still employed at the time of his accident.

When his wife finally showed him pictures of his prized 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible, split in half in a crash over the weekend, there were more tears.

"There were angels watching out for me," he told reporters huddled around his bed at St. Joseph's Hospital. "They wanted me to learn something, and I have. Now, I've got to go back out there and do their work. And I'll be happy to."

Dixon, 55, whose real name is Jimmie Crawford, was critically injured after leaving a Father's Day promotional event.

➦In 2009…Radio/TV announcer Ken Roberts died of pneumonia at age 99 (Born - February 22, 1910). He was best known for his work during the Golden Age of Radio and for his work announcing the daytime television soap operas The Secret Storm, Texas and Love of Life, each for a two-decade span.

Ken Roberts
His first announcing job was at WMCA in New York lasting three weeks. Next at WLTH in Brooklyn. In an interview for the book The Great American Broadcast, Roberts told Leonard Maltin that he had started at the Brooklyn station in 1930, where his responsibilities included answering phones and sweeping the floors, in addition to on-air roles playing piano and reading poetry.

During the 1930s and 1940s, at the height of the radio era, Roberts' voice appeared widely in live programming to introduce programs, moderate game shows and do live reads for commercials. Despite his Errol Flynn-like good looks and the frequent broadcasts featuring his voice, as often as several times each day, few listeners knew who he was or would have recognized him in public.

Radio credits include The Shadow (including the 1937-38 season on the Mutual Broadcasting System with a 22-year-old Orson Welles starring in the role of Lamont Cranston), the comedy Easy Aces, along with soap operas Joyce Jordan, M.D. and This is Nora Drake. He also announced or hosted a number of game shows, such as What's My Name? and the parody It Pays to Be Ignorant, in which he would pose questions to actors portraying contestants such as "Who came first: Henry I or Henry VIII?" that would be answered incorrectly.

In 1941, he achieved his goal of hosting his own quiz show, with Quick As a Flash on the Mutual network. Among the elements of the program, Roberts would dramatize an historic event which contestants would have to correctly identify. Other prizes were awarded for identifying the common element in three songs played by the orchestra and for solving descriptions of staged crimes.

On television, he was the original announcer for Candid Camera and introduced popular soap operas Love of Life from 1951 to 1980, The Secret Storm from 1954 to 1974 and Texas from 1980 to 1982. On Jan Murray's comedy game show Dollar a Second, Robert's on-air duties included advertisements for sponsor Mogen David wines.

He was also one of the founders of the broadcast performers' union now known as AFTRA.

Ann Wilson is 71


  • Actor Gena Rowlands is 91. 
  • Singer Spanky McFarlane of Spanky and Our Gang is 79. 
  • Actor Phylicia Rashad is 73. 
  • Singer Ann Wilson of Heart is 71. 
  • Keyboardist Larry Dunn (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 68. 
  • Actor Kathleen Turner is 67. 
    Paula Abdul is 59
  • Country singer Doug Stone is 65. 
  • Singer Mark DeBarge of DeBarge is 62. 
  • Singer-dancer Paula Abdul is 59. 
  • Actor Andy Lauer (“Caroline in the City”) is 58. 
  • Singer-guitarist Brian Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe is 57. 
  • Actor Mia Sara (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) is 54. 
  • “Good Morning America” host Lara Spencer is 52. 
  • Guitarist Brian “Head” Welch of Korn is 51. 
  • Actor Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) is 49. 
  • Actor Robin Tunney is 49. 
  • Actor Bumper Robinson (“Sabrina The Teenage Witch”) is 47. 
  • Actor Poppy Montgomery (“Unforgettable,” ″Without a Trace”) is 46. 
  • Singer-banjoist Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers is 45. 
  • Actor Ryan Hurst (“The Walking Dead,” “Sons of Anarchy”) is 45. 
  • Actor Zoe Saldana is 43. 
  • Actor Neil Brown Jr. (“SEAL Team”) is 41. 
  • Actor Lauren Lee Smith (“CSI”) is 41. 
  • Singer Macklemore of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is 39. 
  • Actor Paul Dano is 37. 
  • Actor Giacomo Gianniotti (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 32. 
  • Actor Chuku Modu (“The Good Doctor”) is 31. 
  • Actor Atticus Shaffer (“The Middle”) is 23.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Ad Spending Surges During May

U.S. ad spending continued to rebound in May, according to a new, enriched database from Standard Media Index, reports Mediapost.  The data, which is derived from SMI's expanded pool of actual media buys contributed by major agency holding companies, includes IPG Mediabrands, which announced in February that it was rejoining SMI's cooperative pool, and which beginning this month has been reincorporated.

The addition of IPG Mediabrands means that SMI's U.S. database is more representative and less modeled for total media spending volume among the major agency holding companies.

The new data, meanwhile, shows the U.S. ad market surged 56% in May, following a 53% gain in April and a 22% increase in March, which was the first to show a year-over-year rebound from the pandemic-influenced advertising recession, which began a year earlier.

The data also reveals most media have benefitted from the rebound, with the exception of consumer magazines, which remained in decline in May, although another print medium, newspapers, have been on the rise since April.

The biggest resurgence, however, has been to media expected to benefit from the resumption of out-of-home behavior changes among U.S. consumers -- out-of-home advertising and radio (see data below) -- which is something an unrelated tracking study from GroupM's Mindshare also seems to support.

Meanwhile, SMI estimates its expanded pool now empirically represents 94% of national ad spending, based on nearly $90 billion in U.S. ad spending processed by the major agencies.

"This expansion delivers true census-level insights across all platforms and is immediately actionable for all players in the ecosystem," asserts SMI Global CEO James Fennessy.

Nielsen Launches 'The Guage' To Better Measure Video Platforms

Nielsen on Thursday announced that it had moved a step closer toward cracking one of the great questions of the modern entertainment world: How big, exactly, is streaming?

In recent years, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+ and Apple TV have revolutionized the viewing habits of millions of Americans, but the streaming companies have been fiercely protective of their numbers, sharing data on how many people are watching very selectively, if at all.

Now reports The NYTimes,  Nielsen, the 98-year-old research firm that for decades has had an effective monopoly on measuring TV ratings in the United States, has a new metric that it says allows it to make an apples-to-apples comparison, on a percentage basis, of how many people are streaming shows and films on their TVs versus how many are watching traditional cable and broadcast channels.

For the time being, Nielsen reports, people are spending more time watching TV the old-fashioned way — but streaming is gaining fast.

On Thursday, the firm reported that 64 percent of the time American viewers used their television sets in May 2021 was spent watching network and cable TV, while they watched streaming services about 26 percent of the time. Another 9 percent of the time, they were using their TV screens for things like video games or watching programs or films they had saved on DVR.

The streaming share is increasing rapidly. It stood at about 20 percent last year, Nielsen said; in 2019, it was about 14 percent. A Nielsen spokesman said that the firm anticipates the streaming share could go up to about 33 percent by the end of the year.

Netflix and YouTube are the streaming leaders, the research firm said, with each capturing 6 percent of total TV time. They are trailed by Hulu (3 percent), Amazon (2 percent) and Disney+ (1 percent).

Nielsen calls its new metric The Gauge. It comes in addition to its previous method of measuring how many people are watching streaming platforms, which relies on audio-recognition software included in Nielsen devices that are now in 38,000 households across the country. Both metrics measure only what is viewed on television screens and do not count what is watched on phones or laptops.

May 2021 PPMs: Austin, Nashville, Milwaukee +9 More Markets

Nielsen on Thursday,  June 17, 2021 released the final batch of May 2021 PPM data for the following markets:

32  Austin

38  Raleigh-Durham  NC

39   Indianapolis

40   Nashville

42   Milwaukee-Racine

44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

45   Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

46   Jacksonville FL

47   West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

48   Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC

51   Memphis

52   Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT

Click Here To View Topline Numbers for Subscribing Nielsen Stations.

Wake-Up Call: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Again

The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- for a third time yesterday, rejecting the latest Republican argument to kill the more than decade-old health care law. The justices ruled 7-2 that Republican-led states and two individuals had no standing to bring their lawsuit in federal court. The challenge had argued that after Congress reduced the penalty for not having health insurance to zero, essentially eliminating it, that the entire law should be wiped away because the mandate was a pillar of the law when it was passed. The ruling didn't weigh in on the merits of the argument, since it dismissed the case based on the plaintiffs not having standing.

➤AVERAGE DAILY U.S. COVID DEATHS BELOW 300 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE MARCH 2020: The average daily deaths in the U.S. from Covid-19 has fallen below 300 for the first time since March 2020, in the early weeks of the pandemic. That seven-day average is now 286 daily deaths. The last time it below 300 was March 27, 2020. Case numbers are also down to numbers not seen since March 2020. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said yesterday, "These numbers make it clear. Getting vaccinated gets us back to normal." At the same time, experts are worried about the Delta variant, which emerged in India, and is spreading in the U.S. It's more infectious than even the U.K. variant, and may be more severe. There's concern it could cause outbreaks in areas where the vaccination rates are low.

➤BIDEN SIGNS LEGISLATION MAKING JUNETEENTH FEDERAL HOLIDAY: President Biden signed legislation Thursday making Juneteenth, which is June 19th, a federal holiday. It's the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. The Senate passed the bill via unanimous consent on Tuesday and the House passed it with just 14 Republicans voting against it on Wednesday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., marking when the last slaves learned they were free on June 19, 1865. Union soldiers brought the news of the Confederate surrender two months earlier to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas.

➤ONE DEAD, 13 INJURED IN ARIZONA DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS: One person was killed and 13 others injured in what appeared to be a series of drive-by shootings yesterday afternoon. Police had a suspect in custody. There were eight separate incidents within about an hour and a half in the shooting spree, which officials believe began at around 11:10 a.m. At least four of the victims were shot, and others were injured either in car accidents caused by the rampage or by shrapnel. The wounded are all expected to survive. Peoria police Sergeant Brandon Sheffert said, "We don't know what the motive was. We don't have an idea of what this person was thinking when he went out and did this." A man who was not identified was taken into custody after he pulled into a parking lot and didn't try to fire at police.

➤IF ‘CAVE SYNDROME’ IS KEEPING YOU FROM GOING IN PUBLIC, HERE’S HOW TO COMBAT IT:  It’s been over a year of mostly staying at home, so it makes sense that many people are reluctant to step back into society. But some people are downright terrified of doing so. Psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Bregma calls this fear “cave syndrome.” He says when he notices one of his patients is afraid to leave their home, he teaches them his MAV system, which stands for “Mindfulness, Attitude, and Vision.” He explains the first step is to be mindful about what’s bothering you, then you must develop a positive attitude (believe good things can happen to you when you leave your house), and finally, visualize your goals and what you can accomplish when you leave your “cave.” He adds the sooner you’re able to leave your “cave” the better off you are. Other experts say experiencing anxiety does not mean you have a disorder or syndrome, but if you aren’t able to leave your house and resume your regular life you should seek professional help.

➤SURVEY..NEARLY HALF PLAN TO SPEND MORE THIS SUMMER THAN PAST TWO COMBINED: Americans are getting out and about again, ready to see people and have some fun after a year cooped up, and part of that means spending money. A new OnePoll survey found that 45 percent of Americans plan to spend more this summer than they did the past two combined. Many don't feel they're being reckless by doing so, with 48 percent believing they saved enough money during the pandemic to being able to spend guilt-free this summer. At the same time, 40 percent are worried they might spend irresponsibly. The top activities Americans are looking forward to spending on this summer include: vacations (43%); going out to restaurants, bars, happy hours, etc.(39%); hosting friends and family at home (30%); attending a sports game (22%); attending a concert (21%); going on dates (21%) and graduation/birthday parties (20%).

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER ISN’T JUST A WINTER THING: You may have heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and associate it with the dark days of winter, but it turns out it can also be a problem during the summer months. The Mayo Clinic explains, “SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year…. And [while] in most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the days of spring and summer [some] people experience the opposite pattern. [They] have symptoms that begin in spring or summer.” SAD affects about four to six percent of the U.S. population, but about 10 percent of sufferers get SAD symptoms during the summer season. The symptoms can consist of feelings of depression that happen daily or near-daily, a loss of interest in one-enjoyable activities, changes in weight or eating habits, low energy or changes in sleeping patterns, trouble concentrating, and more. Treatments differ, depending on the severity of symptoms. If you think you might be suffering with SAD you should seek professional help. It’s not clear what causes the condition, though it’s believed numerous factors can contribute, including a drop in melatonin and/or serotonin levels or a change in the body’s circadian rhythm.

 ➤VICTORIA’S SECRET SAYS GOODBYE TO ANGELS IN ATTEMPT TO REDEFINE ‘SEXY’: Victoria’s Secret has gotten rid of its world-famous Angels supermodels. Instead, the brand has launched a campaign with high-profile women known for their accomplishments. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, freestyle skier Eileen Gu, model, advocate Paloma Essler, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and transgender model Valentina Sampaio are among the women who will spearhead the campaign. The women will work with the retailer to redefine what the word “sexy” means.” Victoria’s Secret chief executive Martin Waters said, “When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond. We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.” The new campaign will be known as the VS Collective and the women involved will focus on advising the brand, appearing in ads and promoting the retailer on social media.

➤SUPREME COURT RULES FOR CATHOLIC FOSTER CARE AGENCY IN DISPUTE OVER LGBTQ COUPLES: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor yesterday of a Catholic foster care agency in Philadelphia that doesn't want to work with LGBTQ couples because of the beliefs of the Catholic church. The city had cut ties with the agency, Catholic Social Services, when it learned about the policy. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion, "CSS seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs." CSS said it actually never turned away a same-sex couple, because it was never approached by one.

➤MORE THAN 30 WOMEN SUE PORNHUB, CLAIMING NON-CONSENSUAL CLIPS, CHILD PORN PUBLISHED: More than 30 women sued Pornhub yesterday, claiming that it published non-consensual video and child porn. The suit accuses Pornhub's parent company MindGeek of violating federal sex trafficking laws, distributing child porn, racketeering and other crimes. It contends the women were victims of sexual exploitation, rape and trafficking, and then were, quote, "victimized . . . by the defendants in this case" by unauthorized videos that were uploaded and disseminated by Pornhub. Pornhub denied the allegations. The company suspended all videos by nonverified users in December as it faced a ban by Visa and Mastercard. Visa has resumed processing some transactions.

🏀CLIPPERS' LEONARD TO MISS GAME 6 AGAINST UTAH: Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss tonight's Game 6 of L.A.'s second-round playoffs series against the Utah Jazz with a sprained knee. The Clippers lead 3 games to 2. Leonard already missed Game 5 on Wednesday after spraining the knee in Game 4 Monday.

🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Milwaukee Bucks 104, Brooklyn Nets 89 - Series tied at 3-3

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from Conference Finals yesterday:
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2, New York Islanders 1 - Tampa Bay leads series 2 games to 1

🏌HENLEY IN LEAD AFTER U.S. OPEN FIRST ROUND, OOSTHUIZEN SET TO JOIN HIM: American Russell Henley sits at the top of the leaderboard at 4-under 67 after the first round at the U.S. Open on Thursday at Torrey Pines in San Diego. However, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen is also at at 4-under, but has two holes remaining due to play being suspended because of darkness.

🏀MAVERICKS COACH CARLISLE RESIGNS: Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle resigned yesterday after 13 seasons with the team, including leading them to the NBA title in 2011. His resignation came one day after general manager Donnie Nelson agreed to part ways with Dallas. Carlisle was 555-478 with the Mavericks, he winningest coach in franchise history, and had the third-longest tenure of any NBA coach in his current job.

⚾DIAMONDBACKS SET NEW MLB CONSECUTIVE ROAD LOSS RECORD WITH 23RD: One day after tying the MLB record for consecutive road losses, the Arizona Diamondbacks set a new record Thursday (June 17th) with their 23rd road loss in a row. Arizona fell to the San Francisco Giants 10-3.

🏒CAROLINA'S BRIND'AMOUR WINS NHL COACH OF THE YEAR: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour won the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year yesterday (June 17th). Brind'Amour led Carolina to a third consecutive playoff appearance and a first-place finish in the Central Division. They were eliminated in the second round by reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay. The news came yesterday on the same day that the Hurricanes announced a three-year contract extension for him.

Trump to Hannity: "We Didn't Win"

More than seven months after the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump appeared to admit his defeat on Wednesday, reports McClatchy.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Trump said the results of the 2020 election were “shocking.” President Joe Biden won the election with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, but the results continue to be disputed.

“We got them by surprise in ‘16, and in ‘20 we did much better than we did in ‘16,” Trump told Hannity. “Shockingly, we were supposed to win easily at 64 million votes and we got 75 million votes. We didn’t win, but let’s see what happens on that. The whole thing was shocking.”

Biden carried key battleground states that include Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. He had more than 81 million total votes, while Trump had just over 74 million. Both totals were more than any presidential candidate in history.

Trump said in the interview he wants Biden to do well as president.

“I think the election was unbelievably unfair, but I want this guy to go out and do well for our country,” he said.

Trumps Comments on the last election come at the 27:25 Time Mark:

Trump conceded the election in January before Biden took office, but the former president and his supporters continue to challenge results in several states. There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election.

Among the audits is a hand recount of 2.1 million ballots in Arizona’s most populous county. The counting, which took place after Trump alleged voter fraud in the state, has taken nearly two months. Results of the recount have not been shared.

'The Beatles: Get Back' Docu To Premiere On Disney+

Walt Disney Co. is moving its highly anticipated documentary about the Beatles from theaters to its streaming service, in the latest sign Hollywood is still unsure if consumers are willing to come back to cinemas in large numbers, reports Bloomberg.

The Beatles: Get Back will comprise of three episodes, each around two hours in length, and will roll out over three days on Nov. 25, 26 and 27 exclusively on Disney+.

“The Beatles: Get Back,” a behind-the-scenes peek at the band in its prime, had been scheduled to hit theaters in August. It now will appear as a three-part series on the company’s $8-a-month Disney+ streaming service at no additional charge, the company said Thursday. It was originally scheduled to come out in theaters last year.

The picture was created by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson, based on outtakes from an earlier documentary, 1970’s “Let It Be.” That film was most notable for its stunning concert on the roof of the Beatles’ London headquarters, as well as a testy exchange between guitarist George Harrison and bassist Paul McCartney. That film was criticized, most recently by drummer Ringo Starr, for not really capturing the fun side of the band.

Theaters have had a tough time, with the pandemic scaring fans away from indoor, group experiences. Last weekend, “A Quiet Place Part II,” the horror film in its third week, outgrossed the newly released musical “In the Heights,” a sign that older audiences in particular may be reluctant to return.

Disney, like other studios, has been trying different release strategies. It sometimes offers films online and in theaters at the same time and occasionally charges $30 for Disney+ subscribers to watch new films at home.

Disney's ABC, CMA Renew Broadcast Deal

ABC has confirmed its renewal of with the Country Music Association for the CMA Awards.

The Wrap reports the new agreement carries a license fee of at least $22 million a year for a multiyear contract, according to two individuals familiar with the deal, which was possible because Disney could draw on funding from Hulu and Disney+ in addition to ABC. As part of the new deal, Hulu and Disney+ are expected to feature additional shoulder programming around the annual event, which is held every November.

The renewal, which includes specials “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas,” is through 2026. ABC has aired the CMA Awards since 2006.

Like all other award shows, the CMAs have suffered heavy declines in TV viewership, losing fully half of its audience since 2017.

Last year’s show drew a record-low 7.1 million in November, the first time it failed to hit double-digit viewership. From 2019 to 2020 alone the CMAs shed four million viewers. That’s a far cry from early in the last decade, when it drew 16.6 million viewers in 2013.

“Continuing our long-standing relationship with CMA is a top priority and opportunity—together, we bring unforgettable experiences to our audiences that capture the heart and soul of the country music community,” said Rob Mills, executive vice president, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “We look forward to delivering many more memorable moments with celebrated icons as well as aspirational artists and are proud to be the home for these incredible and distinguished specials.”

“Over the past 15 years, we have built a true partnership with ABC, and we are thrilled to continue our relationship through 2026,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer. “As television viewers are now consuming content in so many new and exciting ways, we are eager to work with the entire ABC team on creating additional paths to bring country music to audiences everywhere. As our genre continues to evolve and broaden, we look to this partnership as a key driver in expanding country music’s reach.”