Saturday, July 31, 2021

August 1 Radio History

Alice Frost
➦In 1905...Radio actress Alice Dorothy Margaret Frost born (Died  at age 92 – January 6, 1998). She was an inaugural member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre on radio and the stage, she later performed the role of Pamela North on the radio series Mr. and Mrs. North for nearly 10 years

Frost debuted on radio at age 16 as a singer, participating in a duet with a friend on a Minneapolis station. By 1933, she was a member of the cast of The Criminal Court. In 1934, she was "one of the ghost voices during CBS-WABC's Forty-Five Minutes In Hollywood."

➦In 1937...Mutual radio debuted “The Goodwill Hour”, with its familiar phrase, “You have a friend and advisor in John J. Anthony.”  The show began in 1932 as a 30-minute talk program, possibly  the first advice program of any kind. He offered advice and counseling on domestic problems. It was loosely based on a radio show called the Goodwill Court.

➦In 1940...WOR-FM NYC signed-on as W2XOR

➦In 1963...WABC 95.5 FM first aired stereo programming.

In the early 1960s, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily. Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market.

Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfuss
➦In 1973…"American Graffiti" premiered in Los Angeles.  It starred Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, and Wolfman Jack.

➦In 1973...DJ John R Richbourg aired his final show on WLAC 1510 AM, Nashville, Tennessee after refusing to go along with a format change from R&B to Top 40. He resigned.

John R
In the mid-1950s, John R. became an influential figure in the fledgling black music trade by featuring ground-breaking R&B and early rock performers like Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on his program. Later John R capitalized on his reputation by becoming a manager to several artists, an occasional record producer, and later entrepreneuir in Nashville's booming studio industry. Nashville has long had a national reputation for country music. It. also has always had studio facilities devoted to soul, R&B, and gospel.

Richbourg may have gained his most enduring reputation as a pitchman who used "down-home" phrasing to ad-lib copy for advertisers. One example: Now, friends, I know you got some soul. If you didn't, you wouldn't be listenin' to ol' John R., 'cause I got me some soul. I'll tell you somethin', friends. You can really tell the world you got soul with this brand-new Swinging Soul Medallion, a jewelry pendant.

John R sold exotic or unusual products, such as baby chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery, family Bibles, hot-rod mufflers, and so on. According Wes Smith's book, The Pied Pipers of Rock 'n' Roll: Radio Deejays of the 50s and 60s (Longstreet Press, 1989), many such products turned out to be defective and/or scams, but few irate customers ever sought action against the station or manufacturers. One legitimate sponsor was Ernie's Record Mart, owned by a record label entrepreneur who specialized in recording local Nashville R&B acts.

Despite the popularity of newer Euro-American performers such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Richbourg continued to play chiefly African-American artists.

➦In 1981...MTV premiered. "Video Killed The Radio Star".

MTV's pre-history began in 1977, when Warner Cable (a division of Warner Communications from Warner Bros.), and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (WASEC) launched the first two-way interactive cable television system, QUBE, in Columbus, Ohio. The QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight On Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs; with the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite songs and artists.

The original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who later became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MTV Networks. Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC in the late 1970s.

Pittman's boss, WASEC Executive Vice President John Lack, had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format by the late 1970s.  The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network, Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge (few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live).

The first images shown on MTV were a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing

On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack, and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia, which took place earlier that year, and of the launch of Apollo 11.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing various colors, textures, and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit.  Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", this was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

➦In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM NYC changed call letters to WRKS. Today Sports WEPN-FM.

➦In 1988…Cincinnati's WCVG-AM became the first all-Elvis radio station. The format lasted for a little more than a year.

Rush Limbaugh
➦In 1988...Rush Limbaugh started syndication based at flagship station 77 WABC NYC.

In 1984, Limbaugh started as a regular talk show host on AM radio station KFBK in Sacramento, California, after several years of employment with the Kansas City Royals and in the music radio business, which included hosting a program at KMBZ in Kansas City. He succeeded Morton Downey, Jr. in the time slot.

Based on his work in Sacramento, Limbaugh was signed to a contract by EFM Media Management, headed by former ABC Radio executive Edward McLaughlin. Limbaugh's show was drawing five million listeners after two years of syndication. Lacking a name for the network during the early years, he coined the name "EIB Network," which has remained associated with the show even after joining an actual radio network.

Limbaugh died February 17, 2021 at age 70 from lung cancer.

  • Singer Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is 90. 
  • Jennifer Gareis is 51
    Blues musician Robert Cray is 68. 
  • Singer Michael Penn is 63. 
  • Singer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard is 62. 
  • Rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy is 61. 
  • Guitarist Suzi Gardner of L7 is 61. 
  • Rapper Coolio is 58. 
  • Singer Adam Duritz of Counting Crows is 57. 
  • Director Sam Mendes (“Skyfall,” “American Beauty”) is 56. 
  • Country singer George Ducas is 55. 
  • Guitarist Charlie Kelley (Buffalo Club) is 53. 
  • Actor Jennifer Gareis (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 51. 
  • Actor Tempestt Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”) is 48. 
  • Actor Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) is 42. 
  • Singer Ashley Parker Angel (O-Town) is 40. 
  • Actor Taylor Fry (“Kirk,” ″Get a Life”) is 40. 
  • Actor Elijah Kelley (2007′s “Hairspray”) is 35. 
  • Actor James Francis Kelly (“Rocky Balboa”) is 32.

    Millennials Trust Radio Ads Most

    While US adults, in general, have shown trust in traditional forms of advertising such as television and radio, young adults find some digital advertising platforms at least somewhat trustworthy as well, per the most recent The Nielsen Total Audience Report.

    Looking at the level of trust consumers have in the advertising platforms they currently use, the youngest group of adults (ages 18-34) exhibit the highest level of trust for traditional media platforms. Some 54% of those who listen to AM/FM radio and 51% of those who watch TV find advertising they encounter on these platforms to be very/somewhat trustworthy.

    This same age group also appears to find advertising on some digital media platforms trustworthy. An equal share (50%) of those who listen to streaming music services and/or podcasts find the advertising they hear on these platforms to be trustworthy. What’s more, only a small share of these young adults find the ads they hear on streaming music services (13%) and podcasts (14%) to be very/somewhat untrustworthy. And, young adults that use apps/websites (excluding social) find ads are twice as likely to find ads on them trustworthy (45%) than untrustworthy (21%).

    Social media is one platform where trust in advertising is fairly low. About one-third (32%) of 18-34-year-olds who use social media say the ads they see on these platforms are untrustworthy, while only two-fifths (39%) believe the ads to be trustworthy.

    Levels of distrust in social media advertising are actually highest among respondents ages 50 and older. Some 44% of adults in this age group who use social media rate advertising on the platforms to be very/somewhat untrustworthy.

    As for adults ages 35-49, although their level of trust across platforms is similar to that of their younger cohorts, a larger share rate the trust in ads they encounter on TV (59%), AM/FM radio (60%), streaming music services (55%) and apps/websites (53%) as very/somewhat trustworthy.

    Nielsen’s data shows that in Q2 2020 COVID-themed TV ads accounted for 18% of all television advertising. That share decreased over the ensuing quarters, falling to 12% in Q3 and 11% in Q4.

    In the first months of the pandemic, Ace Metrix research found that an extraordinary share of COVID-19 related ads scored on their Empowerment metric, which measures the positive impact of purpose-driven advertising, showing that early on COVID-related advertising was seen in a positive manner among consumers.

    Similarly, Nielsen’s more recent study found that consumers tend to look favorably upon TV ads that display current COVID behaviors such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Some 6 in 10 found these ads very/somewhat favorable.

    Spotify Rolls Out New Ways To Monetize Podcasts

    Spotify Technology SA is rolling out new ways for podcasters to make money from their shows, stepping up efforts after a recent move by Apple Inc. to attract talent to its platform, reports Bloomberg.

    The Stockholm-based company debuted a feature Tuesday that lets podcasters mark episodes as only for subscribers. Users can then keep 100 per cent of the revenue they get over the next two years, with a 5 per cent fee coming in 2023. The option will be available in the U.S. to start, and then in other countries in the following months.

    The audio-streaming company also is launching an open-access platform that lets podcasts with content on other services share their material on Spotify. And it looks to make it easier for customers to find advertisers for their shows with a new ad marketplace called the Spotify Audience Network.

    The rollout follows Apple’s announcement this month that it would let podcasters charge for their programs on its app, with the company taking a 30 per cent cut. The tech giant has been trying to get more of its revenue from services, which brought more than US$50 billion in its last fiscal year.

    The move also comes with Cupertino, California-based Apple set to face a European Union antitrust complaint as soon as this week, escalating a probe into Spotify’s allegations that App Store rules are unfair, according to a person familiar with the case.

    Spotify’s advertising business is booming. The company credited both podcasts and direct sales for the 110 per cent year-over-year jump in advertising sales to 275 million euros. Advertising now contributes about 12 per cent of total revenue after accounting for less than 10 per cent for most of Spotify’s existence.

    The company has spent billions of dollars attempting to expand its service from just music into all kinds of audio. Aggregate consumption of podcasts rose 95 per cent on Spotify from a year ago. That number was 30 per cent on a per user basis.

    Olympics: Too Many Platforms Could Be Why TV Ratings Are Down

    Broadcasters will not be taking home any gold medals for how many people have watched the Tokyo Olympic Games so far.

    Reuters reports the TV audience has fallen since 2016, as viewing becomes more fragmented and athletes compete in Japan when audiences are mostly asleep in the United States and Europe.

    Ratings data from the opening ceremony and first few nights of events indicate that the Tokyo Games are currently the least watched Olympics in recent history across Europe and in the United States. However, TV viewership is up in Australia and Japan.

    Comparisons with previous Olympic Games are imperfect given the different times zones, the COVID pandemic and fewer streaming options in past Games, but a downward trend is clear.

    The opening ceremony last Friday drew 16.9 million U.S. TV viewers, the smallest audience for the event in the past 33 years, according to Nielsen data provided by NBCUniversal. read more

    That audience declined 36% from 2016, when 26.5 million people watched the Rio de Janeiro Games opener, and 58% from 2012, when 40.7 million people watched the London ceremony.

    U.S. TV viewership hit a high of 19.4 million on Sunday night but has been downhill since then, dropping to 15.7 million on Tuesday.

    In a call with analysts on Thursday, Jeff Shell, the chief executive officer of NBCUniversal - which paid $7.65 billion to extend its U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympics through 2032 - attributed record-low ratings to several factors.

    “We had a little bit of bad luck, there was a drumbeat of negativity, we got moved a year, no spectators,” Shell said. “And that has resulted in a little bit of linear ratings being probably less than we expected.”

    NBCUniversal is airing the Games across two broadcast networks, six cable networks, and multiple digital platforms including its Peacock streaming service. But that scope has led to confusion: It did not stream the opening ceremony on Peacock, for example. And while all of Peacock’s Olympics programming is available to stream for free, viewers need to pay for the $4.99 premium tier to watch men’s basketball live.

    “The viewing experience needs to be streamlined,” said credit analyst Patrice Cucinello. “It’s confusing from a user experience, to go: ‘Wait a second. Do I have to watch it on the NBC app? Can I watch it on Peacock? When am I going to watch it? Why can’t I watch it on demand?’ You need a simplified user experience or people get frustrated.”

    TV Ratings Forcing NBC To Haggle With Sponsors

    Since the opening ceremony of the Olympics last week, NBC has been busy negotiating with anxious advertisers, offering ways to make up for the games’ steep drop in viewers, people familiar with the matter say, reports Bloomberg.

    Haggling over “make-goods” isn’t unusual in TV. But the discussions show that NBC’s ambitious Olympics effort from Tokyo is drawing a smaller audience than the broadcaster or advertisers expected. With the coverage nearing its halfway point, average nightly viewership through Tuesday was down 42% from the 2016 Summer Games across all of NBC’s outlets.

    A decline through the second week threatens to eat into the revenue that NBCUniversal counts on to cover expenses and turn a profit from the games. The company, part of Comcast Corp., sold more than $1.25 billion in commercials for this year’s Olympics, a record. It’s paying about $1.1 billion for the broadcast rights.

    The decline from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro partly reflects the long-running drop in traditional TV audiences, which have been lured away by streaming. And while sports ratings have bounced back this year from 2020, many events are down from pre-pandemic levels.

    Meanwhile, some fans have said on social media they are confused about where to find the programming, which airs across two broadcast channels, six cable channels and multiple digital platforms.

    While the ratings are down from 2016, what matters most to advertisers is what NBC promised them. Ad deals are based on either the number of viewers or “brand lift,” a term for how audiences perceive a brand compared with competitors. Each deal with advertisers is different.

    “We know our platform will deliver for advertisers in delivery and impact,” Mark Marshall, NBCUniversal’s president of advertising and partnerships, said in a statement. “Our teams are speaking to our partners every single day to ensure we help them achieve their goals throughout the games.”

    Networks plan for the possibility of make-goods. NBC set aside extra advertising inventory before the Olympics began in case ratings were lower than expected and the company was forced to give sponsors additional commercial time to meet its obligations.

    In a call with investors Thursday, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell said he expects to turn a profit from the games.

    The network still has time to make up for the early ratings decline. The Olympics run until Aug. 8.

    TWH Bashes WaPo, NY Times Over Alarmist Reporting

    A spokesman for the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response team bashed both the New York Times and the Washington Post Friday for alarmist tweets about the data that led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend the re-imposition of mask mandates in much of the US.

    The Ny Post reports Ben Wakana, the deputy director of strategic communications and engagement for the White House unit, initially directed his ire at the Washington Post over their headline about a study of a COVID-19 outbreak among hundreds of people — most of them fully vaccinated — in Provincetown, MA over the July 4 holiday.

    “Vaccinated people made up three-quarters of those infected in a massive Massachusetts covid-19 outbreak, pivotal CDC study finds,” read the Post Tweet.

    “Completely irresponsible,” Wakana tweeted in response, adding: “3 days ago the CDC made clear that vaccinated individuals represent a VERY SMALL amount of transmission occurring around the country.

    “Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated,” Wakana added. “Unreal to not put that in context.”

    Minutes later, Wakana turned his ire on a New York Times tweet from Thursday night, when the CDC data was initially leaked prior to its wider release Friday.

    Nearly three-quarters of all US counties were experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission as of Friday, according to the CDC. Meanwhile, the agency said that more than 190 million Americans aged 12 and older had received at least one vaccine dose, with 164.2 million considered fully vaccinated.

    Chicago Radio: Bob Pittman Talks 40 Years of MTV

    It may have been forty years since the iconic television program launched, but people are still saying, “I want my MTV!” To celebrate the ruby anniversary of one of the most influential pop culture mediums in history, iHeartRadio CEO and MTV founder Bob Pittman, with the help of his fellow founders John Sykes, Judy McGrath, Fred Seibert, Tom Freston, and Jarl Mohn, tell the real story of how they launched MTV on this special compilation episode of Math & Magic. 

    They spill all the juicy details, like how much the business struggled in the beginning, how the famous logo spent some time in the trash can, and why Van Halen can’t be trusted with contest winners.

    July 31 Radio History

    ➦In 1912...Irving "Irv" Kupcinet born (Died at 91  – November 10, 2003) was an newspaper columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, television talk-show host, and radio personality. He was popularly known by the nickname "Kup".

    His daily "Kup's Column" was launched in 1943 and remained a fixture in the Sun-Times for the next six decades. In addition to writing his newspaper column and talk-show hosting duties, from 1953 to 1977 Kupcinet provided commentary for radio broadcasts of Chicago Bears football games with Jack Brickhouse (and was affectionately mocked for the signature phrase, "Dat's right, Jack").

    Bill Todman

    ➦In 1916...Game show producer Bill Todman was born in New York City.  Todman teamed up with Mark Goodson for radio shows.

    According to radio historian J. David Goldin, among their early work together was the show Treasury Salute, a program syndicated by the Treasury Department that honored military members. They later collaborated in producing game shows for radio, then moved into television, where they produced some of the longest-running game shows in history.

    Their many shows included Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, Family Feud, Match Game, Password, Tattletales, The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth and What's My Line?.

     He died from a heart condition July 29 1979, two days short of his 63rd birthday.

    ➦In 1919...Curtis Edward Gowdy born (Died from leukemia at age 86 – February 20, 2006). He was a sportscaster, well known as the longtime "voice" of the Boston Red Sox and for his coverage of many nationally televised sporting events, primarily for NBC Sports and ABC Sports in the 1960s and 1970s. His accomplishments include coining the nickname "The Granddaddy of Them All" for the Rose Bowl Game, taking the moniker from the Cheyenne Frontier Days in his native Wyoming.

    Curt Gowdy
    In November of 1943, recovering from back surgery, Gowdy made his broadcasting debut in Cheyenne calling a "six-man" high school football game from atop a wooden grocery crate in subzero weather, with about 15 people in attendance. He found he had a knack for broadcasting, and worked at the small KFBC radio station and at the Wyoming Eagle newspaper as a sportswriter (and later sports editor).

    After several years in Cheyenne, he accepted an offer from CBS's KOMA radio in Oklahoma City in September 1945. He was hired primarily to broadcast Oklahoma college football (then coached by new-hire Bud Wilkinson). In 1947-1948, in addition to calling football and basketball on KOMA, Gowdy was also broadcasting the baseball games of the Texas League Oklahoma City Indians, on station KOCY. When Gowdy announced in early 1949 that he was leaving Oklahoma to work in New York, his replacement was fellow Oklahoma City sportscaster Bob Murphy.

    Gowdy's distinctive play-by-play style during his broadcasts of minor league baseball, college football, and college basketball in Oklahoma City earned him a national audition and then an opportunity with the New York Yankees in 1949, working with (and learning from) the legendary Mel Allen for two seasons.

    Gowdy began his Major League Baseball broadcasting career working as the No. 2 announcer to Mel Allen for New York Yankees games on radio and television in 1949–50. There, he succeeded Russ Hodges, who departed to become the New York Giants' lead announcer when the Yankees and Giants decided to broadcast a full slate of 154 games, instead of sharing the same radio network and announcers for the 77 home games of each team that had been broadcast (no away games of either team were broadcast).

    In April 1951 at the age of 31, Gowdy began his tenure as the lead announcer for the Red Sox. For the next 15 years, he called the exploits of generally mediocre Red Sox teams on WHDH radio and on three Boston TV stations: WBZ-TV, WHDH-TV, and WNAC-TV (WBZ and WNAC split the Red Sox TV schedule from 1948 through 1955; WBZ alone carried the Red Sox from 1955 through 1957; and WHDH took over in 1958). During that time, Gowdy partnered with two future baseball broadcasting legends: Bob Murphy and Ned Martin. He also did nightly sports reports on WHDH radio when his schedule permitted.

    Gowdy called Ted Williams' final at-bat where he hit a home run into the bullpen in right-center field off Jack Fisher of Baltimore. He also called Tony Conigliaro's home run in his first at-bat at Fenway Park on April 17, 1964 at the age of 19.

    He left WHDH after the 1965 season for NBC Sports, where for the next ten years he called the national baseball telecasts of the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week and Monday Night Baseball during the regular season (and the All-Star Game in July), and the postseason playoffs and World Series in October.

    ➦In 1933...Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy first aired.  It was a radio adventure series which maintained its popularity from 1933 to 1951. The program originated at WBBM in Chicago on July 31, 1933, and was later carried on CBS, then NBC and finally ABC.

    Armstrong was football hero at fictitious Hudson High School who saved the day from dastardly villains. Somehow, these adventures would take Jack and his cousins, Betty and Bill Fairfield, to exotic locales where they would make use of industrialist Uncle Jim’s yacht and a hydroplane they referred to as the Silver Albatross.

    ➦In 1964...Country Music Hall of Famer James Travis Reeves died (Born - August 20).  With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music). Known as "Gentleman Jim", his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died in the crash of his private airplane.

    Jim Reeves
    Reeves began to work as a radio announcer in 1943, and sang live between songs. Influenced by such Western swing-music artists as Jimmie Rodgers and Moon Mullican, as well as popular singers Bing Crosby, Eddy Arnold and Frank Sinatra, it was not long before he was a member of Moon Mullican's band, and made some early Mullican-style recordings like "Each Beat of my Heart" and "My Heart's Like a Welcome Mat" from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.

    He eventually obtained a job as an announcer for KWKH-AM in Shreveport, Louisiana, then the home of the popular radio program Louisiana Hayride.

    Reeves scored his greatest success with the Joe Allison composition "He'll Have to Go", a success on both the popular and country music charts, which earned him a platinum record. Released during late 1959, it scored Number 1 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Songs chart on February 8, 1960, which it scored for 14 consecutive weeks.

    On Friday, July 31, 1964, Reeves and his business partner and manager Dean Manuel (also the pianist of Reeves' backing group, the Blue Boys) left Batesville, Arkansas, en route to Nashville in a single-engine Beechcraft Debonair aircraft, with Reeves at the controls.   While flying over Brentwood, Tennessee, they encountered a violent thunderstorm. According to Larry Jordan, author of the 2011 biography, Jim Reeves: His Untold Story, musician Marty Robbins, recalled hearing the wreck happen and alerting authorities to which direction he heard the impact.

    When the wreckage was found some 42 hours later, it was discovered the airplane's engine and nose were buried in the ground due to the impact of the crash. The crash site was in a wooded area north-northeast of Brentwood approximately at the junction of Baxter Lane and Franklin Pike Circle, just east of Interstate 65, and southwest of Nashville International Airport where Reeves planned to land.

    ➦In 1970…News Anchor Chet Huntley retired from NBC-TV, ending the 14-year run of the popular "Huntley-Brinkley Report." The network renamed the program the "NBC Nightly News".

    Huntley began his radio newscast career in 1934 at Seattle's KIRO AM, later working on radio stations in Spokane (KHQ) and Portland. His time (1936–37) in Portland was with KGW-AM, owned by The Oregonian, a Portland daily newspaper. At KGW he was writer, newscaster and announcer. In 1937 he went to work for KFI in Los Angeles, moving to CBS Radio from 1939 to 1951, then ABC Radio from 1951 to 1955. In 1955, he joined the NBC Radio network, viewed by network executives as "another Ed Murrow".  He died in 1974.

    ➦In 1977...Johnny Dark aired his final show on WRKO 680 AM, Boston.

    Johnny Dark
    Dark grew up in South Florida and went on to become one of radio’s many jocks named Johnny Dark. This one, however, started out along Florida’s west coast and was Program Director, Music Director, and jock at Sarasota’s WYND in 1966. After a couple years there, he wanted to get closer to home, so he took at job on the air at Top 40 WSRF 1580 AM in Ft. Lauderdale and handled the music for its then-sister station, Easy Listening/AC WSHE.

    Johnny moved to another Miami outlet, WMYQ 96.3 FM, in 1972 and then on to Bartel’s legendary WOKY, The Mighty 92, in Milwaukee in 1974 as combo Music Director and afternoon drive jock. The next year he landed at Boston’s WRKO where he survived five PD’s in three and a half years before leaving for WNBC in New York in 1978.

    In 1985 it was back to Beantown as Johnny segued to CBS-owned WHTT 103.3 FM. (1985 Aircheck) He also made the dream of owning his own station a reality with WHQO Oldies 108 in Skowhegan, Maine. By 1990 it was time to move back home to South Florida so he began what turned out to be 12 years doing afternoon drive for Miami’s 97.3 WFLC, South Florida’s Coast.

    ➦In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM NYC adopted its “Kiss” format.

    ➦In 1995…Disney announced the $19-billion acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC.  Created in a merger in March, 1985, Capital Cities/ABC owned the most profitable TV network, eight of the best-managed television stations in the country--which reach 25% of the nation’s viewers--21 radio stations, the ESPN sports cable networks, a gaggle of trade magazines and interests in cable networks, including Lifetime and A&E.

    ➦In 2010...Mitch Miller, the Coluimbia Records executive who nurtured the early careers of Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney died at the age of 99.  As part of the CBS Symphony, Miller participated in the musical accompaniment on the infamous 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Welles's Mercury Theater on the Air production of The War of the Worlds. He also hosted a Sunday evening CBS Radio interview show in the late 1950’s, headed up the early 60’s NBC TV show ‘Sing Along with Mitch’.

    Geraldine Chapman is 77


    • Actor Don Murray is 92. 
    • Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell is 90. 
    • Actor Susan Flannery (“Bold and the Beautiful”) is 82. 
    • Actor France Nuyen (“South Pacific”) is 82. 
    • Singer Lobo is 78. 
    • Actor Geraldine Chaplin is 77. 
    • Singer Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis and the Playboys is 76. 
    • Actor Lane Davies (“Lois and Clark”) is 71. 
    • Actor Barry Van Dyke (“Murder 101,” “Diagnosis Murder”) is 70. 
    • Actor Alan Autry (“In the Heat of the Night,” “Grace Under Fire”) is 69. 
    • Jazz pianist-actor Michael Wolff (“The Naked Brothers Band’) is 69. 
    • Actor James Read (“Legally Blonde”) is 68. 
    • Actor Michael Biehn (“The Terminator,” ″Aliens”) is 65. 
    • Zac Brown is 43
      Singer-guitarist Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets, Bauhaus) is 64. 
    • Actor Dirk Blocker (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is 64. 
    • Drummer Bill Berry (R.E.M.) is 63. 
    • Actor Wesley Snipes is 59. 
    • Country singer Chad Brock is 58. 
    • Musician Fatboy Slim is 58. 
    • Guitarist Jim Corr of The Corrs is 57. 
    • “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is 56. 
    • Actor Dean Cain (“Lois and Clark”) is 55. 
    • Actor Jim True-Frost (“American Odyssey,” ″The Wire”) is 55. 
    • Actor Loren Dean (“Space Cowboys”) is 52. 
    • Actor Eve Best (“Nurse Jackie”) is 50. 
    • Actor Annie Parisse (“How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days”) is 46. 
    • Actor Robert Telfer (“Saved by the Bell”) is 44. 
    • Country singer Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band is 43. 
    • Actor B.J. Novak (“The Office”) is 42. 
    • Rapper Lil Uzi Vert is 27. 
    • Actor Rico Rodriguez (“Modern Family”) is 23.

    Friday, July 30, 2021

    ESPN Fires Back At Big 12 Conference

    ESPN fired back at the Big 12 on Thursday with a letter disputing the allegations made by the conference and commissioner Bob Bowlsby, reports Yahoo! Sports.

    The Big 12 sent ESPN a cease and desist letter on Wednesday saying the network "has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN." The Big 12 also said that ESPN was working with an unnamed conference — the American, per Yahoo Sports sources — to absorb remaining members of the Big 12 after Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC.

    ESPN said Thursday that the Big 12's claims were baseless.

    “The accusations you have made are entirely without merit," a letter from ESPN's Burke Magnus to the Big 12 said. "Apart from a single vague allegation that ESPN has been ‘actively engaged in discussions with at least one other’ unnamed conference, which ESPN disputes, your letter consists entirely of unsubstantiated speculation and legal conclusions. To be clear, ESPN has engaged in no wrongful conduct and, thus, there is nothing to ‘cease and desist.’”

    ESPN owns the SEC Network and the ACC Network and would stand to benefit from the addition of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. While ESPN owns some Big 12 football rights, Fox is the league's primary rights holder and has the first choice of Big 12 games along with Big Ten games. 

    Adding OU and Texas would mean ESPN would pay more for SEC rights — but also have more inventory and the ability to charge more for ads and subscriptions. A dissolution of the Big 12 would also mean that ESPN wouldn't be on the hook for the remainder of its TV contract with the conference. 

    Charlotte Radio: Ace & TJ Morning Show EXITS WHQC

    It's happened again.  Another heritage morning show is losing its home in Charlotte.

    After 13-years, the Ace & TJ Show is losing its anchor station at iHeartMedia's WHQC Hits 96.1 FM. The guys made the announcement during a live 'town hall' meeting Friday morning. 

    The duo has called WHQC home since January 2012 after a 13-year run at CHR WNKS 95.1 FM. iHM has not announced morning show plans for WHQC; however, Ace & TJ have a vision. 

    Besides continuing to air in syndication in 14 other markets, the morning show is going online September 1st and they're branding the new effort as 'Ace TJ 5G'.  They claim the show will be the first radio show in the U-S made for 5G with continuing content available on five platforms: Radio, Streaming Podcast, Social Media and the Web. The show will also continue to be syndicated to eight markets.

    The loss of Ace & TJ on WHQC follows the May departure of the Bob & Sheri’s Show from their longtime flagship 107.9 WLNK 107.9 FM.  They found a new home in Beasley Media's AC “K104.7” WKQC. 

    For more information on Ace & TJ. contact Adam Goodman at 843 212-6522.

    Trending: Chains Selling Off Smaller Local Newspapers

    As chain consolidation brings new uncertainty to an already fluid news landscape, another trend is emerging in which local investors buy news outlets from large chains and seek to reverse what they see as decades of disinvestment, according to Mark Jacobs, writing for local initiative at

    Sara April, whose firm Dirks, Van Essen & April brokers the sale of newspaper companies, expects to see more news outlets go into local hands as some big chains focus on their larger products and spin off their smaller ones.

    “It’s definitely safe to say that there is a trend of some newspapers returning to local ownership,” April said. “… It made sense for these large newspaper companies to build when they did, but now it’s making sense for them to peel off these papers and put them in the hands of people who can really operate them in this day and age.”

    In some ways, large chains can be beneficial for local news consumers. They often bring website expertise, technical support and consistent business practices. And they may have a greater ability to recruit talent.

    But local owners’ strong presence in the community may be more important, according to Penny Abernathy, creator of the influential “news deserts” reports and visiting professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

    In the wake of the Gannett-GateHouse merger in November 2019, Gannett is selling off some of its smaller news outlets. And industry observers are watching for what comes out of Alden Global Capital’s recent acquisition of Tribune Publishing and whether any of Tribune’s news outlets will end up in the hands of local owners.

    Gannett’s strategy appears to be focused on its bigger properties, with some smaller ones up for sale.

    April, whose firm represents Gannett in many transactions, cited a number of recent deals. The Reid family purchased three Gannett outlets in February, adding them to its group of small papers in Oklahoma. Larry and Sharon Hiatt acquired Gannett’s Cherokee County News-Advocate in Baxter Springs, Kansas, in March. Former Guam Lieutenant Governor Kaleo Moylan bought the Pacific Daily News from Gannett in February. (Dirks, Van Essen tracks newspaper transactions on its website.)

    Gannett declined an interview request about its strategy but did issue a statement from Bernie Szachara, President of U.S. Publishing Operations.

    “Having been approached by prospective buyers, we’ve carefully considered what was best for both our company and the community, and we’re pleased that in several situations, a local owner will continue to lead these brands into the future,” Szachara said.

    Pittsburgh Radio: KDKA-AM Plans Coverage Of High School Football

    NewsRadio KDKA 100.1 FM / 1020 AM, Pittsburgh’s broadcast leader in live, local, community-oriented original programming, is pleased to announce a further commitment to its high school sports programming schedule for the 2021-22 scholastic sports season.

    “High school sports is deeply woven into the fabric of our community, much like KDKA Radio has been for 100 years,” said KDKA Radio Senior Vice President and Market Manager Michael Spacciapolli.  “KDKA Radio and high school football are a perfect match for the community, and the type of live and local programming that KDKA is built on.”

    For the third consecutive year, KDKA Radio will broadcast the marquee high school football game of the week in the WPIAL with coverage beginning August 27 and lasting through the PIAA State Championships in mid-December.  

    The veteran announcing crew of Dan Zangrilli (play-by-play), ‘Coach’ Johnny Lee (color analysis) and Robert Mangino (sideline reporter) return.  Joining the lineup in 2021 is WPIAL Hall of Famer and former Pitt Panthers All-American Dorin Dickerson, who will host a new pre-game show every week.  Each Friday evening at 6:00 p.m., Dickerson will take the air as host of the “KDKA Kickoff” preparing listeners for the night’s action.  Also joining the Friday night coverage is Cale Berger as a social media correspondent.  Berger will provide unique, exclusive, behind-the-scenes digital content for high school football fans throughout the week and on game nights, providing Western, Pa high school football fans with an unprecedented Friday night lights experience.

    KDKA Radio will exercise a twelve-day flex scheduling window to ensure fans hear the best matchups during the second half of the regular season.

    FCC Upholds Max Fines for Sinclair Broadcast

    The Federal Communications Commission has upheld imposing the maximum per-violation fine of $512,228 on 17 of 18 Sinclair Broadcast TV stations identified as having violated the FCC’s good-faith requirement in retransmission consent negotiations, reports Mediapost.

    The fines are based on an FCC’s Forfeiture Order from September 2020 — the first ever issued for failure to negotiate retrans agreements in good faith.

    The penalties resulted from a June 2019 complaint by AT&T and its DirecTV DBS service, charging that the Sinclair stations had intentionally and unreasonably delayed retrans negotiations, in part by failing to respond to AT&T’s proposals.

    In its complaint, AT&T said that all of the stations involved were "managed and controlled by Sinclair Broadcast Group through some type of shared services agreement."

    In December 2019, the FCC found that all 18 Sinclair stations had “willfully and repeatedly” violated its good-faith negotiation standards.

    In September 2020, it rejected an appeal by the eight station groups involved: Deerfield Media, GoCom Media, Howard Stirk Holdings, HSH, Mercury Broadcasting, MPS Media, KMTR Television, Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting.

    The FCC also rejected a subsequent response from the stations arguing that they should be fined no more than $25,000 per station.

    However, the agency did reduce the forfeiture penalty for one station, Mercury, to $30,000, citing the station’s “demonstrable inability to pay” the maximum fine.

    The 18 stations’ fines total more $8.74 million.

    This is not Sinclair’s first run-in with the FCC — or its first scrutiny for negotiations behavior.

    In May 2020, Sinclair agreed to pay a record $48 million civil penalty and abide by a “strict compliance plan” to close three open FCC investigations.

    The penalty was the largest ever imposed on a broadcaster in the agency’s 86-year history, and twice the previous record fine for a broadcaster — $24 million paid by Univision in 2007 — according to the FCC.

    Wake-Up Call: Biden Wants Vaxxes, Testing For Federal Workers

    President Biden yesterday announced new requirements for federal workers and contractors aimed at increasing coronavirus vaccination rates as the highly-contagious delta virus continues to spread. Federal workers will now have to either attest that they've been vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and comply with mandatory mask wearing, distancing, and other requirements. In addition to pushing the millions of federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated, the step is also meant to set an example for private employers. 

    Speaking from the White House about the stalled vaccination rate, Biden said, "This is an American tragedy. People are dying who don’t have to die." He also was more forceful in his comments about those who refuse to get vaccinated, saying, "you present a problem to yourself, to your family and those with whom you work." Biden additionally addressed the frustration of Americans, saying, "I know it's exhausting to think we’re still in this fight. I know we hoped this would be a simple straightforward line, without problems or new challenges. But that isn’t real life."

    ➤ADMINISTRATION TO LET EVICTION MORATORIUM EXPIRE: The administration announced yesterday that it will let the nationwide eviction moratorium expire on Saturday, saying it has no choice after the Supreme Court indicated it could only be extended to the end of the month. However, President Biden called on Congress to extend it, as the White House said he would've liked to be able to do so because of the coronavirus' delta variant. The Democrats are reportedly working on legislation to extend the moratorium, but it's unclear if it will happen. The halt on evictions was put in place amid the height of the pandemic last year to protect people who'd lost their jobs and was extended several times.

    ➤NAVY CHARGES SAILOR WITH STARTING FIRE THAT DESTROYED SHIP LAST YEAR: The U.S. Navy charged a sailor yesterday with starting a fire in July of last year on the USS Bonhomme Richard while it was docked off San Diego. The amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days and had to be scrapped due to extensive damage. More than 60 sailors and civilians suffered minor injuries, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. A spokesperson for the U.S. 3rd Fleet said that the sailor, who wasn't named, was a member of the crew at the time. No motive was given. The sailor was charged with aggravated arson and the willful hazarding of a vessel.

    ➤EX-CARDINAL MCCARRICK CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TEENAGER: Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was once a high-profile member of the U.S. Catholic Church, has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a 1974 wedding reception in Massachusetts, The Boston Globe reported yesterday. The 91-year-old McCarrick was defrocked in 2019 after a Vatican investigation found he'd sexually molested children and adults. Court records show that the now-adult victim says the abuse began when he was a young boy and that McCarrick was close to his family. The alleged incident happened during the boy's brother's wedding reception, and the man said there was more abuse over the years, including when he was an adult. McCarrick, who currently lives in Missouri, has an arraignment on September 3rd in Massachusetts.

    🏫NEBRASKA MOSTLY DROPS PLAN FOR GENDFER I-D LESSONS:  Nebraska Department of Education officials said Thursday that they've dropped most plans to teach gender identity lessons in public schools after strong opposition from many parents, school boards, state lawmakers and Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. The original draft of proposed sexual standards from the Nebraska Department of Education -- which would have been voluntary -- suggested lessons for kindergartners about family structures, including same-gender families, discussions about gender identity and stereotypes for first-graders, lessons on a range of gender identities for sixth-graders, and lessons about different types of sex and how diseases are transmitted for seventh graders. Most of those were removed in the new draft, but seventh-graders would still be taught that biological sex and gender identity may not be the same. LGBTQ advocates were unhappy that most of the original draft was removed, with Abbi Swatsworth, executive director of OutNebraska, saying, "The fact that LGBTQ+ people exist should not be controversial." But many conservatives were upset that any gender identity content remained.

    ➤POLL..MAJORITY DON'T LIKE BIG TECH ANYMORE:  Americans aren't feeling very good about Big Tech companies these days, with a new Change Research poll out this week finding that Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon all had net unfavorable ratings. Additionally, a majority were open to regulating and even breaking the companies up. Approval for breaking up Big Tech companies was found among a majority of both Republicans and Democrats. Public Citizen's Jane Chung told The Hill, "I think the honeymoon phase of the American public with Big Tech is over," and contended the results are a, quote, "clear sign that voters are fed up with the abuse of the Big Tech companies and internet companies at large."

    ➤FIRST LADY TREATED FOR FOOT PUNCTURE WOUND AT WALTER REED: First Lady Jill Biden was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center yesterday for a puncture wound in her foot, which she suffered while walking on the beach in Hawaii last weekend after she'd stopped in the state on the way back from the Tokyo Olympics. A spokesperson for Mrs. Biden said it was "unclear" what she'd stepped on. Debris was flushed out of the wound during the treatment, with the spokesperson saying afterward, "The wound is now clean, free of infection and it is anticipated that it will heal nicely." President Biden was with his wife at Walter Reed, and they both went back to the White House last night.

    ➤FORMER SENATOR CARL LEVIN, LONGEST-SERVING EVER FROM MICHIGAN, DEAD AT 87: Former Democratic Senator Carl Levin, the longest-serving senator ever from Michigan, died Thursday at age 87. No cause of death was given, but he'd been diagnosed with lung cancer when he was 83. Levin was first elected to the Senate in 1978 and was re-elected five more times before he decided against running for a seventh term in 2014. The U.S. Navy named a destroyer after Levin to honor his years of public service. Levin's memoir, Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate, was just published in March.

    🎵'NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP' REACHES ONE BILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE: Rick Astley's 1987 hit, "Never Gonna Give You Up," which found new life with the "Rickrolling" prank, one of the earliest YouTube memes, passed one billion views on YouTube Wednesday since it was uploaded almost 12 years ago. Astley tweeted a video to mark reaching the milestone, in which he called it "mind-blowing," and said, "The world is a wonderful and beautiful place, and I am very lucky." "Never Gonna Give You Up" is only the fourth music video from the 1980s to have one Billion views, along with Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine," A-ha's "Take on Me," and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."

    ➤DISNEY SUED OVER 'BLACK WIDOW'S' STREAMING DEBUT: Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney, claiming that they cost her money by releasing Black Widow on Disney+ at the same time it debuted in theaters.

    According to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Disney is in breach of contract because streaming the film siphoned potential theatergoers, costing her potential compensation tied to the movie’s theatrical revenue.

    A Disney spokesperson told Deadline, “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”

    Black Widow debuted on Disney+ and in theaters on July 9th and has grossed nearly $320,000,000 worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

    ➤TOKYO OLYMPICS Highlights:
    • American Lee Wins Wins Women's Gymnastics All-Around Gold - Sunisa Lee won the gold medal in the women's gymnastics all-around competition, continuing the streak of American women winning the all-around for the fifth straight Olympics. The 18-year-old beat Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, who won silver after stepping out of bounds twice in the floor exercise, the final event, and the Russian Olympic Committee's Angelina Melnikova, who won bronze.
    • Biles Says Has the 'Twisties' - Simone Biles said in a series of Instagram Stories yesterday that she's struggling with the "twisties," and posted two since-removed videos showing her struggling with dismounts on the uneven bars in practice. The "twisties" is gymnastics-speak for a mental block that causes the gymnasts to lose awareness of their location, and control of their bodies, when they're in the air. Biles said it started the morning after the preliminary competition in Tokyo. She wrote, "It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync." She said it's happened to her before, but only on the vault and floor exercise, but now it's happening with every event. She said that in the past, her twisties have lasted for two or more weeks. It's still unknown if Biles, who withdrew from the team and all-around competitions, will be able to compete in the individual apparatus events next week.
    • U.S. Women's Basketball Team Beats Japan - The U.S. women's basketball team beat Japan 86-69 for a 2-0 record so far in Tokyo.
    • South African Swimmer Sets World Record - South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker set the first individual swimming world record of the Tokyo Olympics in her gold medal swim in the women's 200-meter breaststroke. Her time of two minutes, 18.95 seconds broke the previous record of two minutes, 19.11 seconds set in the 2013 world championships by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen. American teammates Lilly King and Annie Lazor won the silver and bronze, respectively.
    • U.S. BMX Racer Taken Off in Stretcher After Crash - American Connor Fields, the 2016 Olympics BMX racing gold medalist, was carried off in a stretcher after crashing in the third semifinal heat. The 28-year-old had landed hard off a jump heading into the first turn and lay on the track. Medical personnel attended to him for several minutes before he was carried off the course. He qualified for the final, but wasn't able to race. The USA's cycling team's doctor said in a later update, "We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake and awaiting further medical evaluation. We will share additional updates as they become available."
    MEDAL COUNT: (As of 3:30 a.m. ET) - The U.S. is in first place with 41 medals, followed by China with 34 and the Russian Olympic Committee with 31. In the gold medal count, China leads with 16, Japan in second with 15, and the U.S. is third with 14.  ESPN'S MEDAL TRACKER:


    🏀PISTONS TAKE CUNNINGHAM WITH FIRST PICK IN NBA DRAFT: The Detroit Pistons chose Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham with the first pick in the NBA Draft last night at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The Houston Rockies chose G League Ignite team shooting guard Jalen Green with the second pick.
    • USC center Evan Mobley was taken third by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    • Florida State forward Scottie Barnes was chosen fourth by the Toronto Raptors.
    • Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs was picked fifth by the Orlando Magic.

    🏀ESPN: WESTBROOK GOING TO LAKERS: The L.A. Lakers have agreed to a deal with the Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the Number 22 pick in last night's NBA draft, ESPN reported yesterday. The Wizards are also giving the Lakers 2024 and 2028 second-round picks. Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in a season four times in his career, including this past season. The deal can't officially be announced until August 6th, when the salary cap becomes official, but Westbrook posted a thank you message to Washington, D.C. on social media last night.

    🏈SEC INVITES TEXAS, OKLAHOMA TO JOIN CONFERENCE IN 2025: The Southeastern Conference university presidents voted unanimously Thursday to invite Texas and Oklahoma to join the league effective July 1, 2025. This came two days after the two schools requested to join the SEC in 2025, when their media rights agreement with the Big 12 expires. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who had accused ESPN of trying to destabilize his conference, said after yesterday's vote, "Today’s SEC announcement reaffirms that these plans have been in the works with ongoing discussions between the parties and television partner for some time." ESPN's president of programming and content called Bowlsby's accusations against the sports network "entirely without merit."

    ⚾INDIANS' MANAGER FRANCONA LEAVING FOR REST OF SEASON WITH HEALTH CONCERNS: Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is leaving for the rest of the season to deal with health issues. The 62-year-old said yesterday, "I’ve got to get healthy or I can’t do this job." Francona has been wearing a boot on his right foot after having toe surgery for a staph infection in February, and that has made his hip problem worse, for which he has to have hip replacement surgery. After recovering from that, he'll have a rod inserted in his foot. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will take over on an interim basis for the rest of this season.

    Nashville Radio: Phil Valentine Placed On Ventilator

    Radio talk show host Phil Valentine, who is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, has now been placed on a ventilator, reports WKRN-TV2.

    According to a tweet from Nashville’s SuperTalk 99.7 WWTN, the move to the ventilator was made “out of an abundance of caution.”

    Brother of Phil Valentine: ‘We haven’t turned the corner to recovery yet’ in COVID-19 battle 

    The station’s tweet goes on to say the host made the decision to be put on a venilator to give his body some “much needed rest.”   Valentine had previously been on oxygen.

    The statement from the radio station, which is home to The Phil Valentine Show, also states they are confident he will pull through, and thank everyone for continued prayers.

    In a July 11 Facebook post, Valentine confirmed that he had tested positive for COVID. He spoke about his battle with the virus on his radio show.

    “I think I’m on the other side of it,” Valentine said of the virus days later, as he described coughing, congestion, and fatigue that “hurts like crap.”

    Valentine had previously expressed his disagreement with mask mandates, stating that hospitals were never in danger of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. He has also been critical of the virus vaccines, voicing his concerns over their safety.

    Amazon Reports Mixed Q2 Earnings, Inc. has announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2021.
    • Operating cash flow increased 16% to $59.3 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $51.2 billion for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2020.
    • Net sales increased 27% to $113.1 billion in the second quarter, compared with $88.9 billion in second quarter 2020. Excluding the $2.5 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 24% compared with second quarter 2020.
    • Operating income increased to $7.7 billion in the second quarter, compared with $5.8 billion in second quarter 2020.
    • Net income increased to $7.8 billion in the second quarter, or $15.12 per diluted share, compared with $5.2 billion, or $10.30 per diluted share, in second quarter 2020.
    According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon. com Inc. reported strong financial results that showcased its dominance even as a slight slowdown in e-commerce sales highlighted the challenge of sustaining the unfettered growth it has logged during the pandemic.

    The Seattle-based tech giant took home almost $30 billion in profit in the past year as millions of consumers moved online to meet their shopping, entertainment and work needs, adding to its power. Amazon’s cloud-computing business picked up speed after a period of slower expansion, and its advertising business continued to grow rapidly.

    But as with other large technology companies, investors have begun to question whether such momentum can be maintained. Amazon posted second-quarter sales of $113.1 billion, slightly less than the $115.4 billion predicted by analysts polled by FactSet. Profit was $7.8 billion, or $15.12 a share, exceeding analysts expectations of $12.28 a share.

    Amazon finance chief Brian Olsavsky said Thursday he expects the step-down in sales results to continue as the economy opens more and sales stabilize from their outsize growth earlier in the pandemic.

    Amazon’s online store sales, which had been growing at a high double-digit rate, eased to 16% year-over-year growth for the quarter. The decline came even as Amazon moved up the date of its annual Prime Day shopping event, which is usually held in the third quarter.

    The April-to-June stretch marked Amazon’s last quarter under Jeff Bezos as chief executive; the company’s founder left the role on July 5 to become executive chairman. Andy Jassy —an Amazon lifer who headed its cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services—is expected to bring an ultra-detail-oriented management style to the company’s top position, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

    Demand for computing power has long bolstered Amazon’s earnings. Such needs have grown during the pandemic, as more companies look to boost server capacity and software tools. Amazon Web Services, which offers such tools, generates a significant portion of Amazon’s operating income. Its sales, which had been slowing in recent quarters, picked back up to start the year. Sales for the cloud unit totaled $14.8 billion in the second quarter, a 37% increase from a year earlier.

    Amazon has also become a dominant force in advertising behind Google and Facebook Inc. The company’s ad unit, which has been expanding at a high double-digit clip. grew 87% year-over-year in the second quarter.

    Amazon’s trillion dollar valuation hasn’t stopped it from trying to add businesses to its empire, even as its power has received more scrutiny from policy makers. Amazon in May announced it had agreed to acquire the Hollywood studio MGM in a deal valued at $8.45 billion. The acquisition is being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission.