Saturday, July 3, 2021

Happy 245th Birthday America!

The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

The Declaration announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes. The Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready when Congress voted on independence. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress edited to produce the final version.

The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" – although Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved.

Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his policies and his rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history".

Most Americans Call Themselves Patriotic

This Independence Day, most Americans describe themselves as patriotic. In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, nearly eight in ten Americans say they consider themselves patriotic (78%), with more than a third of Americans (39%) saying they are “very patriotic.”Each year, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to describe themselves that way: this year, 60% of Republicans say they are very patriotic, compared with 24% of Democrats.   

While a majority in every age group considers themselves patriotic, younger Americans are less likely than older Americans to call themselves “very patriotic.” One-quarter of those under 30 describe themselves as extremely patriotic, compared to a majority of adults over 65 (56%).

July 4 Radio History

➦In 1776...US Congress proclaimed the Declaration of Independence and independence from Great Britain.

➦In 1884...Attorney and radio station manager George W. Trendle was born in Norwalk Ohio. He became co-owner/manager of Detroit radio station WXYZ, and oversaw the creation and development of three classic action/adventure radio series aimed at young audiences, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, all of which later made a transition to TV.  An avowed penny-pincher, Trendle insisted that the music used on these shows be classical, to avoid paying royalty fees. He died May 10 1972 at age 87.

George W. Trendle
During the 1920s, George W. Trendle had established a reputation as a tough negotiator specializing in movie contracts and leases. Trendle became involved in the Detroit area entertainment business in 1928 when local motion picture theater owner John H. Kunsky offered Trendle 25 percent ownership in exchange for his services.

Trendle and Kunsky formed the Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Company in 1929 after purchasing Detroit radio station WGHP. The radio station's call letters were changed to WXYZ.

Trendle was the president and Kunsky was the vice president of the company. Trendle was active as the station manager. Kunsky is rarely mentioned except as co-owner.

WXYZ was initially affiliated with the Columbia Broadcasting System but became an independent station within a year. (WXYZ is now WXYT Detroit)  Trendle's partner, Kunsky, legally changed his name to King in 1936, and the Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting Company became the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company. WXYZ improved its technical facilities through the 1930s, expanding its studios, raising its daytime power from 1,000 to 5,000 watts in the late 1930s, and increasing nighttime power to 5,000 watts in time for its mandated 1941 move from 1240 to 1270 kHz under the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement.

In 1931, Kunsky-Trendle acquired WASH and WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The two stations merged facilities, including studios and transmitters, but retained both station licenses. WASH was on the air from 8 a.m. to noon, and WOOD from noon to midnight. WOOD-WASH became an NBC Red affiliate in 1935. King and Trendle decided to drop the WASH license in 1942, keeping the WOOD identification.

In 1946, the newly formed American Broadcasting Company purchased the King-Trendle Broadcasting Company and its radio stations for $3.65 million. This sale was for the broadcast facilities (including WOOD, WXYZ, and the Michigan Regional Network) and a construction permit for what would later become WXYZ-TV (channel 7) but did not include ownership of Trendle's radio programs. The FCC approved ABC's purchase on July 18, 1946. In 1952, Paramount Theaters (owners of Kunsky and Trendle's former chain of Detroit area theaters) acquired ABC, including WXYZ. WXYZ (now using the call sign WXYT) is today owned by CBS, the network Trendle dropped shortly after taking over the station.

Trendle entered into a new partnership with long term business associates H. Allen Campbell and Raymond Meurer. The Trendle-Campbell Broadcasting Company was formed in 1946 and started radio station WTCB in Flint, Michigan. The new radio station went on the air April 26, 1946, with a four-tower 1000-watt broadcast array. The call letters were later changed to WTAC. In 1953, they added UHF television station WTAC-TV affiliated with ABC-TV and DuMont. The TV station went out of business less than a year later because too few TVs at the time were equipped to receive UHF channels. The radio station has changed owners several times and its call sign was changed to WSNL in 1997. The station is currently owned by The Christian Broadcasting System. Three of the four towers were demolished in 2003 to make room for redevelopment of the site. The fourth tower was removed in 2004 after new transmitting facilities were completed in Gaines Township, southwest of Flint.

Penny pinching

The Kunsky-Trendle business venture began at the start of the Great Depression, and Trendle took many cost-cutting moves that earned him a reputation as a penny-pincher. According to Dick Osgood in his book Wyxie Wonderland: An Unauthorized 50-Year Diary of WXYZ Detroit, he was assisted by H. Allen Campbell.

Campbell was an advertising salesman for the Hearst organization whom Trendle hired to find sponsors for his radio programs. Campbell is credited with signing Silvercup Bread as the first sponsor for the Lone Ranger series. This was a big account and helped to bring the show to nationwide syndication. Apparently, Campbell's contributions to the business were significant. He continued working for Trendle for the next twenty years and eventually became one of Trendle's business partners.

Campbell reportedly kept a set of books to show employees that the company was losing money and could not afford to pay higher salaries. Trendle and Campbell often responded to employee requests for salary increases by downplaying their value to the company and threatening to fire them. This threat was particularly effective during the Depression.

Trendle specified the music on WXYZ shows should be non-copyrighted classical so that the music was royalty-free. This is the reason that the William Tell Overture was adopted as the Lone Ranger theme and The Flight of the Bumble Bee became the theme for the Green Hornet show.

New programming

Fran Striker
In June 1932, Trendle decided to drop the network affiliation to operate WXYZ as an independent station. His station would produce its own radio drama series and broadcast locally produced music programs rather than pay for syndicated programs. Jim Jewell was hired as the station's dramatic director and supplied the actors from his own repertory company, the "Jewell Players." Freelance radio writer Fran Striker was hired to write many of these programs. The earliest dramatic radio series included Thrills of the Secret Service, Dr. Fang, and Warner Lester, Manhunter. Striker wrote many of the scripts and eventually became head of WXYZ's script department.

Late in 1932, Trendle began discussing ideas to create a new radio series with a cowboy as the hero. He wanted a mysterious hero who would have the same type of appeal as Zorro or Robin Hood. The target audience included children, so Trendle insisted on a wholesome hero with high moral standards. Trendle worked out the basic concept of a masked vigilante, a lone Texas ranger with a big white horse, in staff meetings with Jim Jewell and studio manager Harold True. Then it was turned over to Fran Striker to flesh out the details and provide the scripts. His contributions included silver bullets and an Indian companion. The result was The Lone Ranger, which began broadcasting January 30, 1933, on WXYZ and the seven other stations of the Michigan Regional Network.

Fred Foy (far right) during a broadcast of THE LONE RANGER at WXYZ, Detroit. At left are  John Todd (Tonto) and Brace Beemer (the Lone Ranger)

The Lone Ranger was an almost immediate hit. In May, a free popgun was offered to the first 300 listeners to send a written request; the station received nearly 25,000 replies. In July, the Lone Ranger made a public appearance at a park and a crowd estimated at 70,000 gathered.

By the beginning of 1934, the show was syndicated to WGN, Chicago, and WOR, Newark. Other stations soon followed. The live broadcasts were transmitted over telephone lines to the other stations. When the Mutual Broadcasting System was created in 1934, WXYZ became a charter member and the Lone Ranger program was featured on the Mutual Network. Although WXYZ dropped out to join NBC Blue about a year later, contractual obligations kept The Lone Ranger on Mutual until 1942, during this period The Lone Ranger was produced at WXYZ but heard in the Detroit area over Mutual's new affiliate, CKLW. It then switched to the NBC Blue Network, which became ABC in 1943. The popularity of the series rapidly grew and it was eventually heard on 249 radio stations nationwide.

➦In 1913...Radio, TV personality Virginia Graham was born in Chicago.

In the 1940’s she wrote scripts for such radio soap operas as Stella Dallas, Our Gal Sunday, and Backstage Wife. She hosted her first radio talk show in 1951. She succeeded Margaret Truman in 1956 as co-host of the NBC radio show Weekday, teamed with Mike Wallace. She was hostess of TV talk shows from the 50’s to the 70’s that are considered forerunners to today’s daytime TV. She was best known for the nationally syndicated ‘Girl Talk’ on ABC from 1963-1969, ‘The Virginia Graham Show’ from 1970-1972, and guesting on other talk shows, including a dozen appearances on ‘The Tonight Show.’

She died following a heart attack Dec 22, 1998 at age 85.

➦In 1916...the woman tried for treason after WW II as notorious broadcaster Tokyo Rose, Iva Toguri D’Aquino was born in Los Angeles.  She was one of at least a dozen women who did Japanese propaganda broadcasts from Radio Tokyo.   The post-war trial convicted her on just one innoquous charge not involving treason, while she claimed to have subtly subverted the Japanese war effort, and was eventually pardoned by President Ford.  She died Sept. 26 2006 at age 90.

➦In 1929...WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana lost its transmitter due to a fire.

WOWO resumed broadcasting the next day, as operations were moved across the street until damages could be repaired. In November 1929, the station held a grand opening of the rebuilt studios.

➦In 1958...WKBW 1520 AM, Buffalo, changed its format to "Top 40".

WKBW was founded in 1926 as a religious station, operating at the frequency of 1380 kHz. As the story goes, founder Clinton Churchill applied to the Department of Commerce for a license to operate under the call signs WAY. That call sign, however, was being used for a ship at sea, so instead, Churchill chose the letters "WKBW," which were next in the random assignment pool. Churchill proclaimed the call letters to stand for "Well Known Bible Witness"; later usage referred to the middle letters "KB" standing for King of Buffalo (alluding to its 50,000 watt broadcast power).

During the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, WKBW became a major force in pop radio over the East Coast. KB had a 50,000 watt transmitter and the statio to blanket the entire eastern U.S. with top 40 music every night, and the station actually had a better signal at night in the western Boston suburbs than Boston's own top 40 station, WMEX, located at 1510, right next door to WKBW.

Disk jockeys included future Price is Right announcer Rod Roddy, Dick Biondi, Danny Neaverth, Jack Armstrong, Joey Reynolds, Steve Mitchell, Bud Ballou, Norm Marshall, Tom Shannon, and the Amazin' Jim Quinn. Irv Weinstein, later Buffalo's most popular television news anchor, served as news director, and Stan Barron, a holdover from the pre-rock and roll era, handled sports until his departure in 1965.

WWKB's daytime signal decently covers Rochester and the Southern Tier, and reaches into Toronto and as far east as Kingston. At night, it must direct its signal eastward due to sharing a frequency with KOKC in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (the former KOMA, another flame-throwing 50,000-watt top 40 powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s). Thus, while the station can be heard across most of the eastern half of North America at night, its signal is spotty at best only 20 miles southwest of Buffalo. Its directional quality is due to the configuration of its transmitter tower array, which has resulted the station being commonly heard very well in parts of Sweden at night during the winter months.

➦In 1970...American Top 40 began on the Independence Day weekend in 1970, on seven radio stations, the very first being KDEO in El Cajon, California (now KECR), which broadcast the inaugural show the evening of July 3, 1970.

The chart data broadcast actually included the top 40 songs from the week ending July 11, 1970. The very first show featured the very last time both Elvis Presley and The Beatles had songs simultaneously in the Top 10.

It was originally distributed by Watermark Inc., and was first presented in mono until it started recording in stereo in September 1972.

In early 1982, Watermark was purchased by ABC Radio and AT40 became a program of the "ABC Contemporary Radio Network". The program was hosted by Casey Kasem and co-created by Kasem; Don Bustany, Kasem's childhood friend from Detroit, MI; radio veteran Tom Rounds; and 93/KHJ Program Director Ron Jacobs, who produced and directed the various production elements. Rounds was also the marketing director; the initial funder was California strawberry grower Tom Driscoll.

The show began as a three-hour program written and directed by Bustany, counting down the top 40 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. The show quickly gained popularity once it was commissioned, and expanded to a four hour-program on October 7, 1978, to reflect the increasing average length of singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

The producing staff expanded to eight people, some of them still in the business: Nikki Wine, Ben Marichal, Scott Paton, Matt Wilson, Merrill Shindler, Guy Aoki, Ronnie Allen and Sandy Stert Benjamin. (Bustany retired from AT40 in 1989; starting in 1994, he hosted a political talk show on non-com KPFK. He died April 23, 2018).

By the early 1980s, the show could be heard on 520 stations in the United States and at its zenith, the show was broadcast on 1,000-plus stations in some 50 countries.

AT40's first countdown:





➦In 1972...WCBS 101.1 FM, New York, changed its format to "Oldies".

At first, the station focused on hits from 1955 to 1964 and mixed in some softer hits of the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as a few then-current songs. WCBS-FM also played a moderate amount of adult standards from the rock era. The station played two current hits per hour known as "future gold". By the late 1970s however, the station dropped most of the adult standards, with a few exceptions.

WCBS-FM's oldies format weathered many trends and corporate moves.

By 1979, three FM stations owned by CBS had begun playing disco music. In 1981, all of CBS's FM stations, except for WCBS-FM, adopted a CHR format branding as "Hot Hits". The oldies format on WCBS-FM continued to be a success.

One ongoing favorite feature was a countdown of the top 500 songs of all time, as voted by the station's listeners. The countdown always took place on Thanksgiving weekend (with a new survey taken every other year. On even years, up to 1990, the survey from the previous year was played. In the first Top 500, The Five Satins' doo wop classic "In the Still of the Night" was #1 and "Earth Angel" by The Penguins was #2.

➦In 2003...Radio, TV veteran Tyler McVey died of leukemia at age 81.  By 1940 he was a regular in radio’s Hollywood stock company, playing regular roles in Glamour Manor, One Man’s Family, The Hermit’s Cave and Wild Bill Hickok, and announcing on the syndicated Smiths of Hollywood.  He was a regular on TV’s Men Into Space and You Are There, with numerous guest roles on Bat Masterson, Death Valley Days, The Wild, Wild West, The F.B.I., Bonanza, Ironside, Ellery Queen, Eight Is Enough and Highway to Heaven, to mention just a few.

➦In expert and Radio personality, Larry Burkett, died at age 64. Best known for his show "Money Matters", which was heard on 1,000 radio stations.

➦In 2005…Former NFL coach and broadcaster Hank Stram, who was a football commentator for CBS Radio and television for 20 years, died from complications of diabetes at 82.

Gina Lollobrigida is 94

  • Actor Eva Marie Saint is 97. 
  • Actor Gina Lollobrigida is 94. 
  • Actor Ed Bernard (“Police Woman,” ″White Shadow”) is 82. 
  • Actor Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu in “It’s A Wonderful Life”) is 81. 
  • Singer Annette Beard of Martha and the Vandellas is 78. 
  • Becki Newton is 43
    TV personality Geraldo Rivera is 78. 
  • Percussionist Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire is 70. 
  • Percussionist Domingo Ortiz of Widespread Panic is 69. 
  • Singer John Waite is 69. 
  • Guitarist Kirk Pengilly of INXS is 63. 
  • Steel guitarist Teddy Carr (Ricochet) is 61. 
  • DJ Zonka (Big Audio Dynamite) is 59. 
  • Singer Michael Sweet of Stryper is 58. 
  • Bassist Matt Malley (Counting Crows) is 58. 
  • Actor Tracy Letts (“Homeland”) is 56. 
  • Actor-comedian Al Madrigal (“Gary Unmarried,” ″The Daily Show”) 50. 
  • Actor John Lloyd Young (“Jersey Boys”) is 46. 
  • Singer Stephen “Ste” McNally of BBMak is 43. 
  • Actor Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) is 43. 
  • Actor Mo McRae (“Sons of Anarchy”) is 39. 
  • Reality star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (“Jersey Shore”) is 39. 
  • Singer Melanie Fiona is 38.

    Here's America's Favorite Picnic Foods

    This 4th of July weekend, many Americans will be tossing burgers, hot dogs, and more on the grill to celebrate. YouGov polled more than 16,000 Americans about what they'd put on their ideal barbecue plate.

    As far as main dishes go, burgers reign supreme with 65% saying this is a component of their ideal barbecue plate. About half (49%) would also add a hot dog, while 48% would enjoy some ribs as well.

    For side dishes, 62% would take a scoop of potato salad. Just over half (55%) would also add corn on the cob and 52% would add some baked beans. Slightly fewer (48%) say watermelon belongs on their ideal barbecue plate.

    See full results here.

    Injuries From Fireworks On The Increase

    by Niall McCarthy, Statista

    As Americans get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, a report has found that deaths and injuries from fireworks are increasing in the United States. A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission analysis found that 18 people died in non-occupational fireworks incidents in the U.S. in 2020, an increase on 12 deaths recorded in 2019. Between 2005 and 2020, there were 136 deaths from fireworks misuse or 8.5 deaths on average each year. Along with the growing number of deaths, injuries from the misuse of fireworks are skyrocketing. The report states that 15,600 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms due to non-occupational fireworks injuries in the U.S. last year compared to around 10,000 in 2019.

    Infographic: Fireworks Injuries Are Skyrocketing In The U.S. | Statista
    You will find more infographics at Statista

    66 percent of all fireworks injuries in 2020 occurred around the Fourth of July period, documented between June 21 and July 21. The main culprits were firecrackers and sparklers. During that time frame, hands/fingers accounted for the highest proportin of body part injuries at 30 percent, followed by the head, face or ear at 22 percent while eyes came third with 15 percent. In terms of the type of injury, burns were the most frequent diagnosis by far at 44 percent, while contusions/lacerations and fractures/sprains were also relatively common. The U.S. is currently experiencing a firework shortage due to supply constraints caused by the pandemic which is set to make this year's selection more expensive and limited. As a result, the industry has warned that supply will be down 30 percent and that could lead to a reduction in hospital admissions in 2021.

    July 3 Radio History

    ➦In 1913...Dorothy Mae Kilgallen born (Died – November 8, 1965). She was a journalist, radio host  and television game show panelist.

    She started her career shortly before her 18th birthday as a reporter for the Hearst Corporation's New York Evening Journal. In 1938, she began her newspaper column "The Voice of Broadway", which eventually was syndicated to more than 140 papers. In 1950, she became a regular panelist on the television game show What's My Line?, continuing in the role until her death.

    Kilgallen's columns featured mostly show business news and gossip, but ventured into other topics, such as politics and organized crime. She wrote front-page articles on the Sam Sheppard trial and later the John F. Kennedy assassination.

    On April 6, 1940, Kilgallen married Richard Kollmar, a musical comedy actor and singer who had starred in the Broadway show Knickerbocker Holiday and was performing, at the time of their wedding, in the Broadway cast of Too Many Girls.

    Early in their marriage, Kilgallen and Kollmar both launched careers in network radio. Kilgallen ran her radio program Voice of Broadway, which was broadcast on CBS during World War II,  and Kollmar worked a long stint in the nationally syndicated crime drama in which he played Boston Blackie.
    Breakfast with Dorothy & Dick
    Beginning in April 1945, Kilgallen and Kollmar co-hosted a WOR-AM radio talk show, Breakfast With Dorothy and Dick, from their 16-room apartment. The radio program, like Kilgallen's newspaper column, mixed entertainment with serious issues. Kilgallen and Kollmar continued doing the show from their home until 1963, long after the terminations of other radio shows on which each had worked without the other.

    On November 8, 1965, the 52-year-old Kilgallen was found dead on the third floor of her five-story Manhattan townhouse. Her death was determined to have been caused by a fatal combination of alcohol and barbiturates.

    ➦In 1931...German boxer Max Schmeling beats American Young Stribling by TKO in 15 in Cleveland in his first heavyweight title defense; first major fight broadcast live on national radio.

    ➦In 1935...“Hawaii Calls” aired its first radio on the beach at Waikiki. The series lasted more than 60 years.  Hawaii Calls featured live Hawaiian music conducted by Harry Owens for the first two years, the composer of "Sweet Leilani". Ray Andrade was a charter member of the Harry Owens Royal Hawaiian Hotel Orchestra, he also became one of the first vocalists on the “Hawaii Calls” radio show. It was broadcast each week, usually from the courtyard of the Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach but occasionally from other locations, and hosted by Webley Edwards for almost the entire run. Al Kealoha Perry was musical director for thirty years, 1937–1967.

    The first show reached the West Coast of the continental United States through shortwave radio. At its height, it was heard on over 750 stations around the world. However, when it went off the air in 1975, only 10 stations were airing the show. Because of its positive portrayal of Hawaii, the show received a subsidy for many years—first from the government of the Territory of Hawaii, and then from the State of Hawaii. The termination of the subsidy was one of the reasons that the show went off the air.

    ➦In 1939…Chic Young's comic strip character "Blondie" became a radio sitcom. The radio program had a long run on several networks from 1939 to 1950.

    After Penny Singleton was cast in the title role of the feature film Blondie (1938), co-starring with Arthur Lake as Dagwood (the first in a series of 28 produced by Columbia Pictures); she and Lake repeated their roles December 20, 1938, on The Pepsodent Show starring Bob Hope. The appearance with Hope led to their own show, beginning July 3, 1939, on CBS as a summer replacement for The Eddie Cantor Show. However, Cantor did not return in the fall, so the sponsor, R.J. Reynolds' Camel Cigarettes chose to keep Blondie on the air Mondays at 7:30pm. Camel remained the sponsor through the early World War II years until June 26, 1944.

    In 1944, Blondie was on the NBC Blue Network, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive's Super Suds, airing Fridays at 7pm from July 21 to September 1. The final three weeks of that run overlapped with Blondie's return to CBS on Sundays at 8pm from August 13, 1944, to September 26, 1948, still sponsored by Super Suds. Beginning in mid-1945, the 30-minute program was heard Mondays at 7:30pm. Super Suds continued as the sponsor when the show moved to NBC on Wednesdays at 8pm from October 6, 1948, to June 29, 1949.

    When Penny Singleton left the radio series in the mid-1940s, Patricia Lake, the former Patricia Van Cleeve, replaced her as the voice of Blondie for the remaining five years of the show, opposite her real-life husband Arthur Lake. Ann Rutherford and Alice White were also heard as radio's Blondie. In 1954, Lake also co-starred with her husband in an early television sitcom he created called Meet the Family.

    The radio show ended the same year as the Blondie film series (1938–50).

    ➦In  1940…The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello debuted their own network radio show on NBC. After two years of wowing the audience of the Kate Smith Show,  the duo replaced Fred Allen for the summer months. In the fall of ’42 they began a seven year run with their own Thursday night show. In 1952 Abbott and Costello produced 52 episodes of one of the most successful and repeated programs in TV history.

    ➦In 1955...Tom Clay, a Buffalo DJ on WWOL-AM, staged a famous billboard publicity stunt in Shelton Square in Buffalo.

    Tom Clay
    Clay in the 1950s was a popular radio personality in the Detroit area on WJBK-AM both as a DJ, and for his on-air comic characterizations. In the early 1950s Clay, using the pseudonym "Guy King," worked for WWOL-AM/FM in Buffalo, New York; on July 3, 1955, he conducted the stunt in which he played "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets repeatedly from atop a billboard in Buffalo's Shelton Square, an incident that led to his firing and arrest.  In the mid-1950s he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and was equally popular.

    He was caught up in the payola scandal of the late 1950s, and admitted to having accepted thousands of dollars for playing certain records. After being fired from WJBK, Clay worked at the short-lived Detroit Top 40 station WQTE (now WRDT 560 AM) only to be fired again when the station changed format to easy listening music in 1961. After moving to Los Angeles and becoming a popular personality on KDAY and KRLA, Clay returned to the Detroit area and found work at CKLW 800 AM at the time one of the foremost Top 40 stations.

    Clay is best remembered for his single on Motown's MoWest label "What the World Needs Now Is Love"/"Abraham, Martin and John", a compilation of clips from the two popular records, interviews, and speeches of Jack and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King emphasizing tolerance and civil rights. It went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

    Clay died in 1995 of stomach and lung cancer at the age of 66, in Valley Village, Los Angeles.

    ➦In 1961...Dan Ingram did his first show on WABC 770 AM, New York. He filled in for Chuck Dunaway.

    ➦In 1972...Bob Crane went back to radio - but only for one week.

    He was filling in for Dick Wittinghill - his former archrival on KMPC 710 AM in Los Angeles beginning July 5. Wittinghill and Crane battled it out for the morning ratings in Los Angeles from 1956 to 1965, when Crane left to star in “Hogan’s Heroes.”

    ➦In 1976...The Los Angeles comedy radio team of Hudson and Landry split.

    Bob Hudson wanted to keep it together with their KFI 640 AM radio show, nightclub appearances and possibly more comedy records, but Ron Landry wanted to go into television as a writer and producer. Ron Landry says – “Doing this show was a lot of fun. We had five great years and, I think we did some interesting things in broadcasting.”

    ➦In 1978...Supreme Court ruled 5-4, FCC had a right to reprimand non-com WBAI in NYC for broadcasting George Carlin's "Filthy Words".

    ➦In 1983...KNX-FM – Soft rock in Los Angeles changes calls and format to KKHR (Hit Radio), direct competition for KIIS-FM.

    ➦In 1986...Singer and bandleader Rudy Vallée died (Born - July 28, 1901). He was one of the first modern pop stars of the teen idol type.

    In 1929, Vallée began hosting The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, a popular radio show with guests such as Fay Wray and Richard Cromwell in dramatic skits. Vallée continued hosting radio shows such as the Royal Gelatin Hour, Vallee Varieties, and The Rudy Vallee Show through the 1930s and 1940s.

    When Vallée took his contractual vacations from his national radio show in 1937, he insisted his sponsor hire Louis Armstrong as his substitute.  This was the first instance of an African-American hosting a national radio program. Vallée wrote the introduction for Armstrong's 1936 book Swing That Music. For his work in radio, he was inducted into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011.

    In 1929, Vallée made his first feature film, The Vagabond Lover for RKO Radio.

    ➦In 1986...It was announced that Howard Stern, the often controversial New York City DJ/talker, would be syndicated weekly by DIR to other stations.

    Stern, who joined rocker WXRK NYC in '85, had seen his ratings rise from a 1.2 to a 3.4 and up to a 5.2 share in the recent ratings. “The Howard Stern Show” will mix music and talk equally. At WXRK, Stern plays about 6 songs per hour.

    ➦In 1993…Sports broadcaster Don Drysdale died following a heart attack at age 56.

    ➦In 2006...Seattle area native Smilin’ Jack Smith, who crooned on his own nightly CBS Radio show from 1945 to 52, then went on to host TV’s You Asked For it over a more-than-30-year span, died of leukemia at age 92.

    ➦In 2014...the SiriusXM radio team of Opie & Anthony was forever broken up, as the network fired Anthony Cumia for making a series of tweets following an alleged off-air incident with a black woman on the street. Cumia tweeted that he was punched by the woman while attempting to take a picture in Times Square. The tweets were described by Sirius XM as “racially-charged and hate-filled.”

    Judith Durham is 78

    • Actor Michael Cole (“The Mod Squad”) is 81. 
    • Singer Judith Durham of The Seekers is 78. 
    • Actor Kurtwood Smith (“That 70s Show”) is 78. 
    • Country singer Johnny Lee is 75. 
    • Writer Dave Barry is 74. 
    • Actor Betty Buckley is 74. 
    • Actor Jan Smithers (“WKRP In Cincinnati”) is 72. 
    • Actor Bruce Altman (“Blue Bloods”) is 66. 
    • Talk show host Montel Williams is 65. 
    • Country singer Aaron Tippin is 63. 
    • Synthesizer player Vince Clarke of Erasure is 61. 
    • Olivia Munn is 41
      Actor Tom Cruise is 59. 
    • Actor Thomas Gibson (“Criminal Minds,” ″Dharma and Greg”) is 59. 
    • Actor Hunter Tylo is 59. 
    • Actor Connie Nielsen (“Gladiator”) is 57. 
    • Actor Yeardley Smith (“The Simpsons”) is 57. 
    • TV chef Sandra Lee is 55. 
    • Singer Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler of Digable Planets is 52. 
    • Keyboardist-guitarist Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies is 52. 
    • Actor Shawnee Smith (“Saw,” ″Becker”) is 52. 
    • Actor-singer Audra McDonald (“Private Practice”) is 51. 
    • Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 46. 
    • Actor Andrea Barber (“Full House”) is 45. 
    • Comedian Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”) is 43. 
    • Singer Tonia Tash of Divine is 42. 
    • Actor Olivia Munn (“The Newsroom”) is 41. 
    • Actor Shoshannah Stern (“Jericho”) is 41. 
    • Singer Elle King is 32. 
    • Actor Grant Rosenmeyer (TV’s “Oliver Beene”) is 30.

      Friday, July 2, 2021

      Report: Sinclair Makes Offer For NBC Sports Networks

      Sinclair Broadcasting Group, already the nation’s dominant owner of regional sports networks, has made an offer to acquire NBCUniversal’s seven regional sports networks, The NY Post reports.

      If Sinclair succeeds in buying the RSNs, it would add dozens of popular National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball teams to its already vast collection of sports broadcast rights, including the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Capitals, Golden State Warriors, and San Francisco Giants.

      A deal would also give Sinclair an 8-percent stake in SportsNet New York, which broadcasts Mets games, sources said.

      The preliminary offer, for an amount that could not be immediately ascertained, was made as part of a June 28 deadline for first round bids, two sources familiar with the talks told The Post.

      That means the offer could easily come to naught because Sinclair has not yet been privy to all of the financial details around NBC’s RSNs, which will only be provided to bidders that make it through to the auction’s next round.

      As first reported by the Wall Street Journal in May, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has been exploring a sale of its RSNs as it struggles to figure out the next steps for a business segment that’s being slowly dismantled by cord cutting.

      RSNs relies on cable and satellite TV customers, who have been in decline thanks to the growth of streaming video. The pandemic worsened the problem because consumers found themselves being billed extra to watch sports despite a ban live sporting events.

      Sinclair is making its offer despite significant pressure on its own RSN business, which gives it the right to broadcast the games of 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams, and 12 National Hockey League teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dallas Mavericks.

      Ex-FOX Newser Ed Henry Also Going After CNN and NPR

      Ex-Fox News Host Ed Henry filed two more defamation lawsuits today in US District Court in New York, naming National Public Radio’s David Folkenflik and CNN’s Alysin Camerota and Brian Stelter (as well as their CNN parent, TBS) for their allegedly defamatory commentary and reporting on his firing by Fox News.

      Ed Henry
      Deadline reports the filings follow a similar lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York against Fox News and the channel’s CEO Suzanne Scott. That lawsuit also alleged defamation.

      One of the new complaints alleged that Folkenflik, Camerota and Stelter have “longstanding grudges against Fox News and/or individuals associated with the company,” causing them to repeat false allegations on the reasons why Henry was dismissed from Fox News relating to alleged sexual misconduct.

      The suit claims the defendants acted with malice toward Henry by “intentionally or recklessly making false statements about him.”

      The other complaint names some minor websites and Twitter users (referred to by their handles) that repeated the allegations. It also named Thrive Media, which published an article by Jennifer Eckhart, who made the original misconduct allegations against Henry, which he has vigorously denied.

      The legal papers can be viewed at the below links.

      Lawsuit Complaint 1

      Lawsuit Complaint 2

      Live Music Events Heating Up Summer

      While the summer concert season of of live music, starting with Fourth of July weekend, will be less robust than pre-pandemic levels, some expect the concert business to bounce back as soon as August or September, reports The Wrap.

      Sam Hunt, executive vice president and managing executive for Wasserman Music, predicts a return to 2019 levels by fall, when the weather is still good and outdoor concerts usually remained in full swing even pre-pandemic.

      “By Labor Day weekend, it’s going to be regular volume,” Hunt told TheWrap. “I don’t think you are going to find many venues that have holes in their calendar by September.”

      Rob Ellin, chairman and CEO of LiveXLive premium live music streaming network, said, “I don’t think you are going to see the tentpole, Rolling Stone-type touring” this summer because pre-vaccine COVID uncertainty scrambled the ability to make long-term plans: “It takes time to build those out and do extended tours with artists and bands of those levels.”

      But on the bright side, Ellin said pent-up demand is serving nimble performers who can take advantage of last-minute bookings and one-stop gigs.

      “Small venues, smaller festivals are just booming…the thirst and hunger for music festivals and music events I think is higher than ever,” he said. “There’s going to be an 18-month to two-year boom that’s going to look very much like the Roaring Twenties.”

      A sampling of Fourth of July weekend offerings around the country include Kool & the Gang with fireworks at Hollywood Bowl, Foreigner at Treasure Island Amphitheatre in Welch, Minnesota and a multi-performer country music extravaganza at Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Some in the touring business say that even in a non-pandemic year some top artists tend to avoid holiday weekend tour stops to avoid competing with fireworks, fairs and family events.

      Madison Radio: Ex-WWQM Morning Host Pleads Not Guilty

      Matthew Jones
      A former Madison radio DJ pleaded not guilty Wednesday in court to 10 possession of child pornography allegations.

      According to court documents, Matthew Jones faces 10 felony charges. Nine of those charges were added on April 9.

      NBC15 reports the 40-year-old Mt. Horeb man, who went by Jackson Jones on air, had co-hosted Today’s Q106 Morning Show on country WWQM.

      He was arrested in mid-February as the Mt. Horeb Police Department, along with other agencies, executed a search warrant at his home.

      According to a criminal complaint, the Mt. Horeb Police Dept. launched an investigation in December after it received a tip about child pornography and an associated Tumblr account. After serving a subpoena to Charter Communications about the account, investigators were able to trace the account to two addresses.

      The first address was in the 100 block of Ridge Drive, in the Village of Mt. Horeb, corresponding with Jones’ address, while the second address was in the 700 block of Rayovac Drive, which is the same block as the Mid-West Family of Companies building, which owns Q106.

      Wake-Up Call: Trump Org, CFO Charged With Tax Fraud

      Former President Donald Trump's company, the Trump Organization, and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg, were charged with tax fraud Thursday in what prosecutors called a "sweeping and audacious" 15-year scheme "orchestrated by the most senior executives" at the company. The Trump Organization and Weisselberg are accused of conspiring to pay senior executives "off the books" compensation on which tax wasn't paid, including rent, car payments and tuition. Weisselberg was claimed to be one of the largest beneficiaries, who allegedly hid nearly $1.8 million in this type of compensation from tax authorities. Trump himself wasn't charged, but prosecutors noted he signed some of the checks involved in the case. The most serious charge against Weisselberg carries a prison sentence of five to 15 years, and the Trump Organization could have to a pay a fine of double the amount of unpaid taxes. The case could also make it harder for the company to get bank loans or make deals. Both Weisselberg and attorneys for the Trump Organization pled not guilty.

      ➤BIDEN MEETS WITH FAMILIES OF SURFSIDE CONDO RESIDENTS, SEARCH RESUMES AFTER SAFETY PAUSE: President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden yesterday met for more than three hours with family members of still-missing residents of the Surfside, Florida, condominium that partially collapsed one week earlier. Biden also met with and thanked first responders looking for survivors in the rubble from the 12-story Champlain Towers South building and stopped by a memorial wall covered in flowers and photos of the missing. He additionally received a briefing from officials, which was also attended by Governor Ron DeSantis, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, and the state's two U.S. senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Biden pledged continued federal help and also said he believed the federal government has, quote, "the power to pick up 100 percent of the cost" of the search and cleanup. 

      Meanwhile, the search efforts at the site resumed yesterday evening after they'd been stopped for 15 hours over safety concerns about the stability of the remaining part of the tower that's still standing. They began again after the site was evaluated by structural engineers. The confirmed death toll remains at 18, with 145 people still missing.

      ➤GARLAND ORDERS TEMPORARY STOP OF FEDERAL EXECUTIONS: Attorney General Merrick Garland announced last night that he'd ordered a temporary stop of federal executions while the Justice Department conducts a review of its related policies and procedures. He said, "The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely. That obligation has special force in capital cases." Under former Attorney General William Barr, the Justice Department resumed federal executions in 2019 after a 17-year halt, and carried out an historic run of executing 13 people in six months near the end of former President Donald Trump's term.

      ➤SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS VOTING LIMITS: The Supreme Court's conservative majority yesterday upheld voting limits that had been imposed in Arizona, overturning a lower court ruling that found they were discriminatory under the federal Voting Rights Act. The 6-3 ruling said that the state's restrictions on who can return early ballots for another person and refusing to count ballots cast in the wrong precinct aren't racially discriminatory. The federal appeals court had found the measures disproportionately affected Black, Hispanic and Native American voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, but Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority that the state’s interest in the integrity of elections justified the measures and voters faced, quote, "modest burdens" at most. He wrote that showing a law disproportionately affects minority voters isn't enough to prove a violation of law. Justice Elena Kagan condemned the majority's decision, charging that it had weakened the Voting Rights Act for the second time in eight years.

      ➤PELOSI NAMES MEMBERS, INCLUDING CHENEY, OF COMMITTEE TO PROBE CAPITOL ATTACK: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday named eight members of a new select committee that will investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Included are seven Democrats and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who was removed from the House Republican leadership in May for being too critical of former President Donald Trump. Cheney said she was honored to serve on the committee, and that her duty is to the Constitution. Her appointment came after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to strip Republican members of their committee assignments if they accepted an appointment from Pelosi to the panel. Leading the select committee will be Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

      🏡SACRAMENTO CONSIDERS 'RIGHT TO HOUSING' INITIATIVE FOR HOMELESS:  Sacramento, California, Mayor Darrell Steinberg has proposed a first-of-its-kind measure to deal with homelessness in his city which combines a "right to housing" with homeless people being required to accept housing when it's offered. The "right to housing" part of the plan Steinberg put forward during his State of the City address this week addresses federal rulings that have made it increasingly difficult to enforce laws against homeless camps if there isn't alternative housing for the people who are living in them. Under it, Sacramento would create 5,000 housing spaces by July. In the other part of the plan, people who are homeless could face civil enforcement if they decline housing that they are offered. Steinberg said a penalty hasn't been determined, but likely ones could include education or treatment of some kind. While Bob Erlenbusch of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness said he backs the requirement to accept offered housing, although he questions the enforcement, the legal director of the National Homelessness Law Center, Eric Tars, spoke against the requirement, saying, "The right to housing is based on the inherent dignity of the individual, so a straightforward obligation to accept whatever is offered undermines that."

      ➤GENES DETERMINE WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY: Genes can determine a lot about a person, including when they lose their virginity. A team of scientists led by the University of Oxford have identified 371 regions of our genetic code that appear to influence not only when men and women first have sex, but also when they have their first child. Genetics underlying early sex and fertility were related to behavioral disinhibition, the team found, like ADHD, addiction and early smoking. Meanwhile, those genetically prone to postpone sex or first birth had better later life health outcomes and longevity. Additionally, having a first child later in life was linked with living longer and being free of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

      ➤PANDEMIC MAY HAVE PERMANENTLY CHANGED RUSH HOUR: Rush hour isn’t quite so rushed in the early morning hours anymore. And it’s not just an hour, either. While Americans are gradually getting back to some semblance of normal, traffic data suggests that the morning drive has changed drastically – and it may never go back to pre-COVID patterns. In short, rush-hour traffic is more spread out and, generally, has shifted later in the morning as Americans are more able to avoid heavy traffic periods due to remote work, according to traffic data analyzed for USA TODAY by Wejo, which tracks data from connected vehicles. To be sure, as the pandemic continues to subside, many Americans are expected to return to the office after Labor Day, likely increasing overall traffic volumes. But traffic experts expect that increasingly flexible work arrangements are likely to give many Americans the ability to avoid the old-fashioned blitz to the workplace altogether.

      ➤BRANSON ANNOUNCES HE'LL BEAT BEZOS INTO SPACE BY NINE DAYS: In the battle of the billionaires to reach space first, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company announced yesterday (July 1st) that its next test flight will be on July 11th and that Branson will be among the six people on board. That means Branson will beat Amazon founder Jeff Bezos into space by nine days. Bezos had announced last month that he would be going into space on July 20th in his space company Blue Origin's debut launch. Virgin Galactic launches its rocket ship from an aircraft and Blue Origin launches its New Shephard rocket from the ground. Both go to the edge of space on flights that last about 10 minutes.

      ➤82-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ILL GO INTO SPACE WITH BEZOS: Trailblazing woman aviator Wally Funk, 82, will join Jeff Bezos this month on the first crewed spaceflight for the billionaire's company Blue Origin. The trip is 60 years overdue for Funk, who was one of the Mercury 13 -- the first women trained to fly to space from 1960-1961, but excluded because of their gender. On July 20 she will become the oldest person ever to go to space when she takes part in the journey aboard the New Shepard launch vehicle along with Bezos, his brother Mark and one other traveler.

      ➤BOY SCOUTS REACH $850 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH CHILD SEX ABUSE VICTIMS: The Boy Scouts of America have reached an $850 million agreement with attorneys representing some 60,000 victims of child sex abuse. The Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year as it faced mounting legal costs to defend against the claims of sexual abuse against boys. NBC News cited Ken Rothweiler, an attorney at Eisenberg Rothweiler, which represents the largest group of claimants, as saying the settlement is a start. The insurance rights for the past 40 years will be put into a trust that the survivor’s group will control and that could amount to billions more for the victims.

      ➤PRINCES WILLIAM AND HARRY UNVEIL PRINCESS DIANA STATUE: Brothers Prince William and Prince Harry put aside their differences yesterday as they joined together to unveil a statue of their late mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. The statue, showing a standing Diana surrounded by three children, was commissioned by the brothers in 2017, and is located in the Sunken Garden, which was one of Diana's favorite places at Kensington Palace. The brothers said in a joint statement, "Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character -- qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better. Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy." Diana's two sisters and her brother were also on hand for the private ceremony.

      🏀BUCKS DEFEAT HAWKS IN GAME 5, DO IT WITHOUT GIANNIS: The Milwaukee Bucks were without star Giannis Antetokounmpo last night, who had hyperextended his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday, but they managed to get the win over the Atlanta Hawks, 123-112, to take a 3 games to 2 lead. Brooks Lopez stepped up to lead the Hawks with a playoff career-high 33 points. Game 6 is Saturday in Atlanta.

      🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from Conference Finals yesterday:
      Milwaukee Bucks 123, Atlanta Hawks 112 - Milwaukee leads series 3 games to 2

      🏈WASHINGTON FINED $10 MILLION BY NFL AFTER MISCONDUCT PROBE: The Washington Football Team was fined $10 million by the NFL yesterday after an independent investigation found the organization had a "highly unprofessional" workplace, particularly for women. Owner Dan Snyder is also stepping away from day-to-day operations for several months. The probe found that Washington's ownership and senior officials paid little attention to sexual harassment and other workplace issues, with NFL special counsel for investigations Lisa Friel describing the culture as "very toxic." Attorney Beth Wilkinson, who carried out the investigation, recommended the organization create protocols for reporting harassment, a disciplinary action plan, and regular training for employees, and also said the cheerleading team -- which is now a co-ed dance team -- needed to be protected.

      ⚾DODGERS' BAUER EXPECTED TO START SUNDAY AMID WOMAN'S ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS: L.A. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Thursday that pitcher Trevor Bauer is still expected to start on Sunday against the Washington Nationals, even as both police and MLB are investigating a woman's assault allegations against him. Roberts said the issue is, quote, "out of our hands," saying he was following the recommendation of MLB to go forward with the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner as the game's starter. The accuser, who has also obtained an order of protection against Bauer, claims he assaulted her during two sexual encounters, including choking her to the point of unconsciousness, punching her repeatedly in the face, and punching her in her genitals. His attorney denies the claims, saying they had a, quote, "brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship."

      ➤REPORTS: U.S. SPRINTER RICHARDSON TESTED POSITIVE FOR MARIJUANA, LIKELY WILL MISS OLYMPICS: Sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson, who finished first in the 100 meters in the U.S. Olympic trials and was a medal favorite for the Tokyo Olympics later this month, tested positive for marijuana, according to multiple reports last night, and will likely not be able to compete in Tokyo. Richardson reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the Olympic Trials, which would disqualify her. It's unclear whether she could appeal and still compete in the Olympics. Richardson had posted a tweet earlier Thursday that said only, "I am human."

      🎾MEDVEDEV, FEDERER, BARTY, GAUFF AMONG DAY'S WINNERS AT WIMBLEDON: Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev, Number 6 Roger Federer, top-seeded woman Ash Barty, and 20th-seeded American Coco Gauff were among the winners on Day 4 at Wimbledon yesterday (July 1st). In the day's biggest upset, Number 3 Elina Svitolina fell to unseeded Magda Linette in straight sets. With Svitolina's departure, eight of the top 11 women in the WTA rankings are out due to being defeated, withdrawal or injury.

      Atlanta Radio: 96 Rock(s) Again

      iHeartMedia Atlanta announced today the return of 96 Rock. 

      The legendary station returns digitally after a 15-year hiatus and can now be heard nationwide via the iHeartRadio app as well as, and smart speakers everywhere.

      Starting immediately, 96 Rock will be streaming a wide variety of classic rock including songs from artists like AC/DC, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and many more. The station will also feature some of the voices that have contributed to making 96 Rock a legendary station in the Atlanta market and the industry. Former 96 Rock talent Larry Wachs, Tim Rhodes and Willard have lent their voices to the station.

      “Righting a wrong has never felt better… You’re welcome,” said Drew Lauter, President of iHeartMedia Atlanta. “96 Rock was an iconic rock station in Atlanta for decades, serving the community with some of the best rock and roll ever recorded. I’m thrilled that listeners nationwide can now experience this station again anytime and anyplace.

      “96 Rock is a legendary brand,” said Meg Stevens, Senior Vice President of Programming. “Multiple generations grew up with 96 Rock in their lives and it was a staple to the Atlanta community. Having it back will allow new generations to enjoy the station on a digital platform while allowing us to engage the audience in new cutting edge ways.”

      Birmingham Radio: McElroy & Cubelic Get Wake-Up Duty At WJOX-FM

      CUMULUS MEDIA has announced that it will kick off Birmingham, AL’s newest morning radio show for sports fans on WJOX Jox 94.5 FM Monday, July 12th, hosted by two Alabama gridiron greats, both premier national sports commentators.

      The show will air Monday through Friday from 7am–10am, hosted by Greg McElroy, former Alabama quarterback and ESPN college football color commentator, and Cole Cubelic, former Auburn University offensive lineman and captain and sports analyst on SEC Network and ESPN.

      Greg McElroy led the University of Alabama to the 2010 BCS National Championship, won an SEC Championship and was an MVP in 2009. He finished his college career with a 24-3 record, was drafted by the NFL’s New York Jets in 2011. McElroy graduated from the University of Alabama in three years with a degree in Business Marketing and earned a Master of Science degree in Sports Management in
      2010 with a 4.0 GPA. He was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist in 2010. He joined ESPN in 2014 as one of college football’s premier analysts.

      Cole Cubelic joined SEC Saturday Night, the franchise that features SEC Network’s marquee college football game each Saturday, as an expert sideline reporter in 2017, alongside Jordan Rodgers and Tom Hart. Cubelic joined WJOX-FM in 2018 as Co-Host of 3 Man Front. He graduated from Auburn University in 2001 with a B.S. degree in Communication and Media Studies.

      Greg McElroy
      Pat Smith, a 25-year sports media broadcaster heard on both radio and television, will be a contributor to the new morning show. Smith is the creator of the nation's number one college football radio/television program, “Finebaum”, hosted by Paul Finebaum. Smith is also a popular play-by-play broadcaster for college and high school football. He is Assistant Program Director of Jox 94.5 and will continue daily hosting duties on the station’s 3 Man Front from 10am-12Noon.

      Damian Mitchell rounds out the team from behind the glass as Producer, while adding humor and wit to the program every morning.

      Greg McElroy said: “After seven years on satellite, I’m so excited to be come to work in my adopted hometown of Birmingham. College football is my passion and being able to cover it from my own backyard will be incredibly rewarding. WJOX has long been the home for college football and I’m fired up to join their lineup of talented hosts. Also, I’m very excited to finally have the opportunity to team up with Cole to share our love for football with the best CFB fans in America.”

      Cole Cubelic
      Cole Cubelic commented: “I have worked with Greg on multiple occasions across different platforms and am thrilled to share the airwaves with someone who has accomplished all that he has in this field. I truly believe with the JOX brand behind us that Greg and I can develop the most informed college football show on the planet!”

      Ryan Haney, Operations Manager, Cumulus Birmingham, remarked: “This is a show that I have wanted to put together for a long time and I am excited to get started. Greg and Cole are two of the top college football minds in the country. Having them in mornings on Jox 94.5 in America’s number one college football market is huge.”

      James Robinson, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Birmingham, noted: “I’m excited to partner with the two premier sports personalities in the country that are committed to Birmingham and Jox 94.5, the southeast’s top sports station. We think Birmingham sports fans will love what they hear each weekday morning on Jox 94.5!”