Saturday, August 28, 2021

R.I.P.: COVID Claims Marc Bernier, Daytona Beach Talker

Marc Bernier, a talk radio host in Daytona Beach for 30 years, died after a three-week battle with COVID-19, WNDB and Southern Stone Communications announced Saturday night.

He was 65 according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Bernier has been remembered in recent days as a conservative who sought out and aired others' points of view while airing a morning comment, three-hour afternoon show, weekend shows and specials, such as remote town halls and political debates. He interviewed countless governors, senators, mayors, sheriffs, journalists, historians and authors. He also was an outspoken opponent of vaccinations. 

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, a longtime guest on Marc Bernier's WNDB radio show, said a representative of the station confirmed to him that Bernier died Saturday night sometime after 6 p.m.

"I'm numb," Chitwood said. "To me, this is a death in the family."

Chitwood said he had appeared regularly on Bernier's show for the last 15 years, first as Daytona Beach police chief and then as sheriff. He said the two didn't always agree on everything, but that never got in the way of their friendship. 

Jim Rose, a retired attorney who hosted his own weekly show on WNDB for 15 years and was an occasional guest on Bernier's "Volusianaries" segment, recalled Bernier as a good interviewer who made guests feel at ease.

"God, that's a terrible loss to the community," Rose said Saturday night.

Justin Gates, a vice president at Sports Network International in Ormond Beach, said he first met Bernier when the radio host, a native of Rhode Island, was new in the Daytona Beach area some 30 years ago.

Gates was a listener who called in a couple of times and found himself getting a beer with Bernier. He ended up as best man at Bernier's wedding.

They co-hosted the "Weekend Around the House" show for a time, and last December they reunited for a Saturday morning show where they bounced around to a wide range of topics and banter. Both are conservatives, but found themselves disagreeing on some issues.

"He gives all sides," Gates said. "He's not going to bully and throw punches or do potshots or do things for ratings. That's why he's so popular."

Aug 29 Radio History

➦In 1892...Broadcast Pioneer Harry Read was born in Seattle, WA.. He was a co-founder  of KXL Portland OR. Read was Secretary-Treasurer of KXL Broadcasters and, General Manager & Chief Technician KXL Radio.  Today KXL is known as KXTG 750 AM and airs a sports talk format.  It's sister-FM station uses the KXL calls and airs news/talk. Both are now owned by Alpha Media Group.

Willard Waterman
➦In1914...Radio actor Willard Waterman was born in Madison Wisconsin (Died at age 80 - February 2, 1995).  He was versatile supporting actor. He  replaced Harold Peary, on "The Great Gildersleeve," radio program after Peary was unable to convince sponsor and show owner Kraft Cheese to allow him an ownership stake in the show.

He began his radio career at WIBA in Madison, singing in a quartet that performed "musical interludes between programs." and moved to NBC in Chicago in early 1936.

➦In 1936...ABC news anchor Peter Jennings was born in Toronto (Died was age 68 - August 7, 2005). The son of a CBC newsman/exec he had his own half-hour Saturday radio program at age 9.  Before his 30th birthday he anchored briefly for CTV and ABC TV, but was considered too young with insufficient gravitas.  After much reporting from world hot spots he became sole anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight in 1983, an assignment he continued until just before his death from lung cancer.

➦In 1943...summertime replacement show 'Paul Whiteman Presents' was heard on NBC radio for the last time. The hostess was Dinah Shore, and Whiteman led a 35-piece orchestra. His well-known theme song was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Bwanna Johnny
➦In 1946...Bwana Johnny was born in Oregon (Died at age 59 in 2005).  Bwana, whose real name was Richard Johnson, had been a popular disc jockey at the old 1260/KYA back in the late 1960s. Most recently, he had worked in production with Jones Radio Networks in Seattle before his illness forced him into a care facility.

Before coming to the Bay Area in 1969, "Beautiful Bwana" worked at KLOG/Kelso, Wash., WUBE/Cincinnati and KJR/Seattle.

He moved on to WWDJ/New York as music director and afternoon-drive jock (1971-1973) and spun records for a year at WFUN/Miami before returning to his hometown, Portland, Ore., as "Crazy Dick Simms" on the Rose City's legendary KISN in 1975.

➦In 1957...The ABC radio network purchased KQV 1410 AM in August 29, 1957 for $700,000. ABC hired two executives from Storz Broadcasting to launch the top 40 format in Pittsburgh  They hired Dale Maudy who had been an executive engineer for the Stroz group and Ralph Beaudin, who had been a KOWH sales executive, as the KQV general manager.

The station was one of the oldest in the U-S and went silent on December 31, 2017 For more on KQV: Click Here.

➦In 1966...The Beatles played what would prove to be their last concert before a paying audience at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, to a sold-out crowd of 25,000. John and Paul, knowing what the fans do not (that this will be the last concert ever) brought cameras on stage and took pictures between songs. (Their lone remaining public performance was the 1969 rooftop appearance in London).

➦In 1972..Even back then...Guess who was #1 in Knoxville, TN?

➦In 1979...Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchased the Mutual Black Network

The Mutual Black Network or MBN was founded by the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1972, as the first national full-service radio network aimed at African Americans. It broadcast an hourly 5 minute newscast at 50 minutes past the hour. It also aired sports and feature programs, and for one year beginning in the spring of 1974, a 15-minute daily soap opera called Sounds Of The City. Some of its special programing focused on African American history, much of which was researched, written and narrated by MBN news anchor Ben Frazier.

Programming is what separated the Mutual Black Network from the rest of the pack. But its highest mark was made in the coverage of hard news and it’s savvy advocacy style of journalism. This was the genre of journalism, practiced by news anchors Ben Frazier, Glen Ford, John Askew and others. They would interview black news-makers who had previously been ignored by the traditional mass media outlets.

The Mutual Black Network was later sold to Sheridan Broadcasting which was a minority stockholder in MBN, becoming the Sheridan Broadcasting Network. By 1991, it would merge with the National Black Network, forming the present-day American Urban Radio Networks.

Lowell Thomas
➦In 1981...Lowell Jackson Thomas died at age 89 (Born - April 6, 1892). He was a writer, actor, broadcaster, and traveler, best remembered for publicizing T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). He was also involved in promoting the Cinerama widescreen system.

In 1930, he became a broadcaster with the CBS Radio network, delivering a nightly news and commentary program. After two years, he switched to the NBC Radio network but returned to CBS in 1947.

In contrast to today's practices, Thomas was not an employee of either NBC News or CBS News. Prior to 1947, he was employed by the broadcast's sponsor Sunoco. He returned to CBS to take advantage of lower capital-gains tax rates, establishing an independent company to produce the broadcast which he sold to CBS.

He hosted the first-ever television news broadcast in 1939 and the first regularly scheduled television news broadcast (even though it was just a camera simulcast of his radio broadcast) beginning on February 21, 1940 over local station W2XBS (now WNBC) New York.  The television news simulcast was a short-lived venture for him, and he favored radio.

Indeed, it was over radio that he presented and commented upon the news for four decades until his retirement in 1976, the longest radio career of anyone in his day (a record later surpassed by Paul Harvey).

Thomas is also known for two television programs: 'High Adventure', a series of travelogue specials filmed in the late 1950s for CBS; and 'Lowell Thomas Remembers', a 1970s PBS series that reviewed major news events from 1919 through 1975 on a year-by-year basis using newsreel footage, including some that Thomas originally narrated for Movietone.

Later in his career, Thomas formed a group of broadcast stations that would become known as Capital Cities. The company expanded through the years, and bought ABC in 1985. ABC is now owned by Disney.

Thomas was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

Lea Michele is 34

  • Actor Betty Lynn (“The Andy Griffith Show”) is 95. 
  • Movie director William Friedkin is 86. 
  • Actor Elliott Gould is 83. 
  • Actor Deborah Van Valkenburgh (“Too Close For Comfort”) is 69. 
  • Keyboardist Dan Truman of Diamond Rio is 65. 
  • Deborah Van Valkenburgh is 69
    Actor Rebecca DeMornay is 62. 
  • Bassist-singer Me’Shell NdegeOcello is 53. 
  • Singer Carl Martin of Shai is 51. 
  • Actor Carla Gugino is 50. 
  • Guitarist Kyle Cook of Matchbox Twenty is 46. 
  • Actor John Hensley (“Nip/Tuck”) is 44. 
  • Actor Kate Simses (“Dr. Ken”) is 42. 
  • Bassist David Desrosiers of Simple Plan is 41. 
  • Actor Jennifer Landon (“As the World Turns”) is 38. 
  • Actor Lea Michele (“Glee”) is 34. 
  • Actor Charlotte Ritchie (“Call the Midwife”) is 32. 
  • Singer Liam Payne who got his start in One Direction is 28.

Chicago Radio: WIND Host Accused Of Spreading COVID Misinformation

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and a WIND 560 AM talk host butted heads this week while discussing COVID-19, with the governor declaring, "You are spreading misinformation."

After a press conference in Chicago where Pritzker signed legislation expanding access to mental healthcare, the governor fielded questions from reporters, reports FOX32.

WIND Morning co-host Amy Jacobson asked Pritzker about whether he would shut down in-person learning at schools again should COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. The governor, although adamant he would not want to do such a thing, would not rule out a move should a "widespread" outbreak occur.

"If all of a sudden we started to see that there was a widespread delta— or something that was overcoming, for example, the vaccine that people have already taken, and sending people to the hospital who are already vaccinated, then we would have to look at a whole new set, the bottom of the list, you know things that we left far in the distance last year — that we might have to revisit those things. But that’s not something that I would say is highlighted on that menu of options," Pritzker said.

As Pritzker concluded his remarks and stepped away from the podium, Jacobson fired back before being cut off by the governor's press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh.

"You had a protest out there this morning and parents were crying, screaming ‘oh my God’ — you know as governor you should try and calm people’s nerves maybe, or can you because there are low risk groups," Jacobson was in the middle of saying before Abudayyeh cut her off.

"Amy, as a supposed reporter, you should probably stop the misinformation, we are done here. Thank you. You know how you prevent schools from being closed? You stop complaining about the mask wearing," Abudayyeh said.

Visibly frustrated by the exchange, Pritzker returned to the podium to address Jacobson's line of questioning.

"You are spreading misinformation. I wish you would stop spreading misinformation. You come in here with a political agenda and you spread misinformation and I just think you should stop. We now need to protect our children. We need to protect the people in our communities. Parents, grandparents, teachers — you are working against that. And it is extremely upsetting for all of us who are trying to keep the rest of the state safe," Pritzker concluded.

FCC Scraps Plan To Hike Radio Fees

The FCC has issued a Report and Order adopting a schedule of regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2021 that offers broadcasters some victories in the arguments they had made against higher fees. 

The order says that broadcasters won’t have to pay a share of the $33 million in additional funding that was specifically appropriated by Congress to implement the Broadband DATA Act and create new broadband maps. That decision will however increase fees for cable operators, telcos and others involved in broadband.  

The FCC also noted in the order that “we seek comment on whether we should adopt new regulatory fee categories and on ways to improve our regulatory fee process regarding any and all categories of service. Some commenters suggest that we impose fees on particular industry participants, essentially asking that we consider new fee categories. For example, NAB asks that unlicensed spectrum users, especially large technology companies, be required to pay regulatory fees, and we seek comment on this proposal. We seek comment on the legal basis for assessing regulatory fees on such users, consistent with the precedent interpreting our section 9 authority.”

In recent months, the NAB had pushed back against FCC proposed regulatory fee increases, saying in a statement that “its original regulatory fee proposal...would have required local radio and television broadcasters to subsidize unrelated work at the Commission.”

In response to the order by the FCC setting regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2021, NAB Senior Vice President of Communications Ann Marie Cumming issued the following statement:

“NAB greatly appreciates the FCC’s efforts to revise its original regulatory fee proposal that would have required local radio and television broadcasters to subsidize unrelated work at the Commission. The change is not only the right outcome, but critical to the many broadcasters’ ongoing service to their local communities.

"NAB and our members look forward to working with the FCC in the coming year to take a deeper look at the regulatory fee process to ensure all stakeholders that benefit from the Commission’s work are paying their fair share and that those currently subsidizing the Commission are no longer paying for work unrelated to their industries.”

On background: Under the FCC's initial regulatory fee proposal for Fiscal Year 2021, broadcasters faced a 5-15% increase in regulatory fees, despite the Commission’s general salary and expenses budget increasing by only 0.5%. In its comments and reply comments, NAB said the proposed increase was based on the FCC’s decision to make broadcasters pay for a significant portion of the $33 million in additional funding that was specifically appropriated by Congress to implement the Broadband DATA Act and other inequities in the FCC’s approach.

In its meetings with FCC Commissioners and staff, NAB urged the Commission to:
  • adjust its proposal so that only the beneficiaries of the Commission’s Broadband DATA Act initiatives pay for the associated costs;
  • ensure that the wireless industry pays for its fair share of the Commission’s costs;
  • expand the base of fee payers to include Big Tech and other unlicensed spectrum users that use a substantial amount of the Commission’s resources and benefit from its activities; and
  • refrain from moving forward with its proposal to change broadcast television fees from a more accurate, individual population-based fee to a less precise tiered system.

Ida Expected To Reach Cat 4 Status

Daily Mail screenshot 8/28/21

The storm hit Cuba with roof-ripping force and sustained winds of up to 80 miles per hour on Friday, prompting evacuations of flood-prone New Orleans neighborhoods and oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Ida first hit Cuba's small Isle of Youth, off the southwestern end of the Caribbean island nation, toppling trees and tearing roofs from buildings soon after it was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane. 

The storm made its way towards the province of Pinar del Rio on mainland Cuba where more than 10,000 people had been evacuated and the electricity was cut off before it hit as a precaution. 

There were no deaths or major reports of damage as of Friday night. The National Weather Service said it expects Hurricane Ida to intensify significantly before coming ashore as a major hurricane in Louisiana on Sunday.

Report: ESPN Explores $3B Sports-Betting Deal

NY Post Graphic 8/28/21

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN is seeking to license its brand to major sports-betting companies for at least $3 billion over several years, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter, aiming to capitalize on the fast-growing online gambling industry.

The sports-media giant has held talks with players that own major sportsbooks, including casino operator Caesars Entertainment Inc. and online gambling company DraftKings Inc., the people said. ESPN has existing marketing partnerships with both companies.

On offer is the right for a suitor to use the ESPN name for branding purposes and potentially rename its sportsbook after the leading sports TV network in the U.S., the people said. A deal could come with an exclusive marketing commitment that would require the sports-betting firm to spend a certain amount of money advertising on ESPN’s platforms, one of the people said.

There is no guarantee ESPN will reach a deal. It remains to be seen whether gaming companies have an appetite to pay for the ESPN name when they are already investing to establish their existing brands.

ESPN has been cautious about entering the sports-betting arena. It has struck partnerships to integrate odds and betting-related content into some of its shows, and has podcasts and telecasts dedicated to gambling, including “Daily Wager.” But executives have said they want the company to avoid being directly involved in gambling transactions.

A brand-licensing deal would allow ESPN to profit from the boom in sports gambling without taking bets and making payouts to winners, which requires licenses in individual states.

Sports-betting is on track to generate revenue of about $4 billion in the U.S. in 2021, said Chris Grove, a gambling-industry analyst at research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. The industry has grown since a 2018 Supreme Court decision cleared the way for states other than Nevada to legalize sports betting. Now, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized wagering on sports.

The major players in the online sports-betting industry include DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. There has been a flurry of deals in the industry and investors have been piling into companies with the potential to be major players.

ESPN has been the dominant sports-media player for decades and a growth engine for Disney, having profited handsomely off the growth of cable television. The erosion of the cable TV market, as consumers cut the cord and switch over to streaming, is pressuring ESPN along with all other major networks.

Kabul: Glenn Beck Offering Aid To Afghan Christians

As the United States government struggles to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies from Kabul before its Aug. 31 deadline, private nonprofits are stepping up to save persecuted people of faith.

Deseret News reports thousands of Afghan Christians have left Afghanistan with the help of nongovernmental organizations, including The Nazarene Fund, which is led by Operation Underground Railroad’s Tim Ballard and syndicated radio personality Glenn Beck, among others.

Beck is currently in the Middle East assisting with these evacuation flights, and he’s been offering regular updates about his efforts on social media and his radio show.

Attacks on the Biden administration are sprinkled throughout Beck’s posts. The media personality alleges that the U.S. government is doing more to hinder than to help The Nazarene Fund’s rescue missions.

Reporting from World magazine, Catholic News Agency and other outlets has similarly emphasized headaches created by bureaucratic red tape.

Nadine Maenza, chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told World that communication problems between different governmental agencies have left Afghan Christians in the lurch.

“At this point we are having to run operations against our own government to get people into the airport,” she said.

Similarly, Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, told Catholic News Agency, that she’s been directing people in need to Beck’s organization rather than to American officials.

“I’ve started receiving panicked emails from Afghan Christians through their Western contacts. They are not being allowed to board USG (U.S. government) flights in Kabul. I’m advising them to try to board Glenn Beck’s flights instead,” she said.

Christians are among those endangered by Taliban rule because of the group’s commitment to an extreme form of Islam. Earlier this month, Taliban leaders reportedly sent letters to Afghan churches saying, “We know who you are and we’re coming for you.”

Boston Radio: WEEI Jimmy Fund Raises $3.8M+

Audacy helped raise over $3.8 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the 19th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon,” presented by Arbella Insurance. 

This year’s event brought the fundraising total to over $62 million since the radio-telethon’s inception. The radio-telethon was started by WEEI, The Jimmy Fund and the Boston Red Sox in 2002. New England Sports Network (NESN) joined the event in 2003.

“We’re completely inspired to see the New England community from so many different walks of life come together to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s selfless mission,” said Tim Clarke, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Boston. “The annual ‘Jimmy Fund’ event is synonymous with this region and, in a year where we’ve faced adversity unlike any other, being able to unite with our audience to help strike out cancer is a true testament to our resiliency.”

The event was part of a 36-hour live broadcast during WEEI weekday programming, “The Greg Hill Show,” “Gresh & Keefe,” and “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” on August 24 and 25. The three shows, which were simulcast on NESN, combined to welcome Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patients and their families, doctors, researchers, nurses and executives; Jimmy Fund director of patient & family programs Lisa Scherber; Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker; executives and/or coaches from the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics and Boston College; current and former Boston athletes including David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Chris Sale, Tuuka Rask, Xander Bogaerts, Charlie Coyle, Roger Clemens and more; local celebrities to share stories of inspiration and hope. Additionally, the radio-telethon was broadcast on the WEEI Sports Radio Network and NESN during two Red Sox game broadcasts and postgame programming.

For more information on this year’s event, including a full list of guests featured on WEEI, photos, videos and audio clips, please visit

August 28 Radio History

➦In 1922...In February, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) announced it planned to begin establishing stations that would be dedicated to selling their airtime to interested parties, which AT&T called "toll broadcasting".

Its primary station, WEAF in New York (now WFAN), aired its first paid $100 for a 10-minute radio commercial on August 28, 1922 for the Queensboro Corporation, advertising a new apartment complex in Jackson Heights, Queens, near the just-completed #7 subway line.

Based on a series of industry cross-licensing agreements, AT&T initially claimed that its patent rights gave it a monopoly on commercial radio transmissions. Although the courts upheld this contention, the practice was widely disliked, and AT&T soon came up with a licensing scheme to allow individual stations to begin selling airtime.

➦In 1954...Elvis Presley got Memphis airplay on his first official release “That’s All Right (Mama)” b/w “Blue Moon of Kentucky”.  Local DJ Dewey Phillips had debuted the single on his “Red Hot and Blue” radio show on WHBQ.

In 1961...Cousin Brucie Morrow started at 77WABC. 

 Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer."

Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on AM 770 powerhouse WABC, another Top 40 outlet. Morrow's return to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the Baby Boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast. His main competition came from his previous station WINS, which featured "Murray the K."

"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.

He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC.

➦In 1966...the Beatles played Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was their next-to-last live performance.  The Beatles performed before 45,000 people in Los Angeles. Tickets were priced at $3, $4.50, $5.50 and $6. The cheapest were reserved for members of the US Army.

The support acts for the concert were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. The Beatles performed a set consisted of 11 songs: Rock And Roll Music, She's A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby's In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer and Long Tall Sally.

➦In 1967...WCBS 880 AM flipped to all news.

By the early sixties, WCBS had evolved into a Middle of the road (MOR) music and personality format, which included limited talk programming. Personalities included legendary morning host Jack Sterling, Bill Randle and Lee Jordan. Like many MOR stations at the time, WCBS did mix in softer songs by rock-and-roll artists, as its ratings at the time were ordinary compared to the higher ratings at WOR and WNEW, both of which also had MOR formats and more distinct identities. Through it all, the variety show "Arthur Godfrey Time" remained a weekday mid-morning staple. Eventually, WCBS gained a foothold in local news coverage (WOR and WNEW's strengths) bolstered by its standing as CBS's flagship radio station.

During the 1960s, CBS chairman William S. Paley was concerned about the station's low ratings, and that concern started a process that would lead to the creation of a news radio format that would become known as "Newsradio 88". This format debuted on August 28, 1967. Lou Adler and Harvey Hauptman -- both veterans of the previous WCBS MOR/weekday daytime talk mix -- were there from Day 1 of Newsradio.  The original roster of anchors also included Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley, Robert Vaughn (not related to the actor of the same name) and Pat Summerall. Also, first phase of Newsradio was a block from 5:30am - 8pm.

Initially, the station ran news in the drive time periods but maintained an MOR format during the midday and overnight hours, and within a couple of years, it ran all-news programming for much of the broadcast day except for overnights. "Newsradio 88" began its transformation into an all-news format in 1970, when the overnight American Airlines-sponsored Music Till Dawn ended in January of that year, and completed the process in 1972, when Godfrey's weekday morning variety show came to an end. The station built a reputation as an all-news powerhouse during the 1970s, and has continued with an all-news format to this day.

Although 1010 WINS has usually received the higher Arbitron ratings of the two all-news stations, WCBS has had the stronger ratings in the outlying suburbs because of its broadcast-signal pattern. Its traffic reports and news coverage includes more of Long Island and the northern and western suburbs of New York City than WINS, and it occasionally allows room for longer interviews and analysis pieces than does WINS. The station is less tightly formatted than WINS, and formats at a half-hour cycle instead of a 20-minute cycle.

Courtesy of

WCBS-AM Newsradio88 debuted inauspiciously on its little-heard FM Station on August 28, 1967, because a small plane demolished the transmitter tower on High Island in a fatal crash, knocking the AM station off the air. Interestingly, the debut begins with a staff announcer reading the WCBS-FM sign-on, followed by the "Star Spangled Banner." Then, anchorman Steve Porter reads an account of the air crash. Pat Summerall delivers the sports, Gordon Barnes the weather. The rather ponderous presentation includes few if any commercials, and virtually no news audio. Charles Osgood takes over from Steve Porter at 6:00 A.M. The producer of the broadcast was Mike Ludlum, the editor was Al Wasser. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan, Manager of On-Air Promotion, WCBS.

Part One 8/28/67

Part Two 8/28/67

Courtesy of

30th ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST WCBS's LET'S FIND OUT -- 8/3/97. Hosted by Rich Lamb, this special broadcast looks back at 30 years of Newsradio88. With Charles Osgood, Lou Adler, Art Athens. First of two broadcasts. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan (30:00) Part One: Click Here.

30th ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST WCBS's LET'S FIND OUT -- 8/10/97. Hosted by Rich Lamb, this special broadcast looks back at 30 years of Newsradio88. With Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Rita Sands, Gary Maurer, Ben Farnsworth, Bill Fahan, Neil Busch. Second of two broadcasts. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan (30:00) Part Two: Click Here

➦In 1987...Superjock Larry Lujack knew when it was time to leave The Big 89WLS. ABC had already bought out Lujack's contract amid sliding ratings and on Friday August 28, 1987, after a slew of televison cameras, newspaper and magazine reporters joined him for his farewell, a tearful Larry Lujack signed off from radio and from WLS. His tenure at the station spanned three decades.

Larry Lujack 8/28/87
Despite Lujack's cynical on-air persona, he was actually quite easy to work with, his former boss John Gehron said.

"He was a professional, worked hard at what he did," Gehron said.

"He was one of those personalities that surprisingly didn't cause any problems. His feeling was, you pay me and I'll do the job for you, and he worked very hard at it."

Lujack signed off thanking listeners "not just for listening, but also for caring."

➦In 2012…Boston radio personality David MacNeill, "the voice of the Boston Pops," died at age 80.   He worked classical WCRB 102.5 FM for 57 years. In the late 1950's he spent two years at KCBH 98.7 FM, Los Angeles but returned back to Boston where he forged a long radio career. He was best known for being the voice of the Boston Pops on WCRB Radio for countless years including broadcasts from Tanglewood. He is believed to be one of the longest running radio personalities in Boston history.

➦In 2016...83-year old Charles Osgood announced his retirement. He  is best known for being the host of CBS News Sunday Morning, a role he held for over 22 years from April 10, 1994, until September 25, 2016. Osgood also hosted The Osgood File, a series of daily radio commentaries, from 1971 until December 29, 2017.

Charles Osgood
Immediately after graduating from Fordham, Osgood was hired as an announcer by WGMS (AM) and WGMS-FM, the classical music stations in Washington, D.C. (today WWRC and WTOP-FM respectively). Shortly afterward, however, he enlisted in the military to be the announcer for the United States Army Band.

Stationed adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery at Fort Myer during his service with the U.S. Army Band, using pseudonyms Osgood worked as an announcer for radio stations in the Washington area to supplement his income and experience. He hosted the morning show on WEAM (WZHF today) as "Charlie Woods."  At WGMS, he called himself “Carl Walden.” At WPGC (AM) (WJFK (AM) today), a rock station, he referred to himself as “Chuck Forest.”

When his tour with the U.S. Army Band was completed, in October 1957 Osgood returned to WGMS full-time as announcer Charles Wood and as a special assistant to the general manager. Before the end of 1958, WGMS promoted him to program director.

Actress Barbara Bach is 75
  • Actor Sonny Shroyer (“The Dukes of Hazzard”) is 86. 
  • Actor Marla Adams (“The Young and the Restless”) is 83. 
  • Actor Ken Jenkins (“Scrubs”) is 81. 
  • Actor David Soul (“Starsky and Hutch”) is 78. 
  • Actor Barbara Bach is 75. 
  • Actor Debra Mooney (“The Practice,” ″Everwood”) is 74. 
  • Singer Wayne Osmond of The Osmonds is 70. 
  • Actor Daniel Stern is 64. 
  • Actor Emma Samms is 61. 
  • Actor Jennifer Coolidge is 60. 
  • Actor Amanda Tapping (“Stargate: Atlantis,” “Stargate SG-1”) is 56. 
  • Country singer Shania Twain is 56. 
  • Actor Billy Boyd (“Lord of the Rings”) is 53. 
  • Actor-singer Jack Black of Tenacious D is 52. 
  • Actor Jason Priestley (“Beverly Hills, 90210″) is 52. 
  • Actor Daniel Goddard (“The Young and the Restless”) is 50. 
  • Actor J. August Richards (“Kevin (Probably) Saves The World,” ″Angel”) is 48. 
  • Singer-bassist Max Collins of Eve 6 is 43. 
  • Shania Twain is 56
    Actor Carly Pope (“Outlaw,” ″24,”) is 41. 
  • Country singer Jake Owen is 40. 
  • Country singer LeAnn Rimes is 39. 
  • Actor Kelly Theibaud (“General Hospital”) is 39. 
  • Actor Armie Hammer (“The Lone Ranger,” ″The Social Network”) is 35. 
  • Singer Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine is 35. 
  • Actor Shalita Grant (“NCIS: New Orleans”) is 33. 
  • Singer Cassadee Pope (“The Voice”) is 32. 
  • Actor Katie Findlay (“How To Get Away With Murder”) is 31. 
  • Actor Samuel Larsen (“Glee”) is 30. 
  • Actor Kyle Massey (“Cory in the House,” ″That’s So Raven”) is 30. 
  • Actor Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) is 18. 
  • Reality personality Honey Boo Boo (Alana Thompson) (“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”) is 16.

    Friday, August 27, 2021

    Report: Joe Rogan Influence Hurt By Spotify Exclusive

    A new data investigation by The Verge finds that the powerful podcaster’s influence has waned since he went behind Spotify’s wall. His show has declined as a hype vehicle for guests, and Joe Rogan’s presence as a mainstay in the news has plummeted.

    Because Spotify doesn’t share how many plays each podcast gets, or how many unique listeners regularly tune in, The Verge looked instead at a secondary metric: how much of a promotional boost Rogan gives his guests. To do this, they pulled data from the analytics tool Social Blade to track the Twitter following of every guest who went on Rogan’s podcast between December 2019 and July 2021. Guests generally see a surge of new followers after appearing on the show, with some gaining as many as 18,000 new followers in the week following their chat, and that effect has grown over time as The Joe Rogan Experience gained popularity. While we can’t attribute every new follower to Rogan — guests might have been on a media tour to promote a new movie or book, for instance — the bump after a Rogan appearance is constant.

    Searches for Joe Rogan dropped off after he went to Spotify

    The Verge found that prior to going exclusive, from December 2019 to November 2020, Rogan’s guests could expect to gain around 4,000 Twitter followers in the week after their episode premiered. After he went exclusive, that number declined by half to around 2,000, suggesting a drop in listeners. To isolate the effect, we focused on people who had under 500,000 followers when going on Rogan’s show, since bigger names — someone like Dave Chappelle or Elon Musk — were likely to bring more attention to Rogan than vice versa.

    Ashley Carman, The Verge senior reporter, joined ‘TechCheck’ on CNBCto discuss the story.

    Taken altogether, The Verge’s data findings suggest that Rogan has lost impact and relevance since going exclusive to Spotify. A sizable portion of his audience likely didn’t follow him when he made the jump.

    Broadcasters Betting On $105B NFL Payoff

    America’s media giants in March hitched their wagons to the NFL for another decade. And reports Bloomberg, next month they’ll find out whether that $105 billion was money well spent.

    The new NFL season, which begins Sept. 9, will provide a crucial stress test of the popularity of TV’s biggest attraction. Last year, NFL regular season viewership fell 7%, marking the first drop in three years. But it was hard to tell if fewer people watched because of declining interest in the sport or due to COVID-related disruptions including an unusually crowded sports calendar, games played without fans and players sidelined by the coronavirus.

    Now, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Inc. will get a clearer picture of what they will be paying for through 2033: an entertainment property largely immune to the pressures facing the rest of TV or one that’s also starting to slip.

    “The first four weeks of the season will be very telling,” said Patrick Crakes, a consultant and former Fox Sports executive. “If the NFL ratings are flat and everything else on TV is down 20% that will justify the investments they made.”

    Hans Schroeder, executive VP of NFL Media, said it wasn’t unusual for NFL ratings to dip during an election year, like 2020. He expects viewership to be strong this season, citing higher preseason ratings, intriguing matchups between high-profile teams and the return of fans to stadiums.

    NFL broadcasters will experiment this season with new formats and distribution. ESPN is enlisting former NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning to take part in an alternate, fraternal Monday Night Football telecast. For the first time, NBC will stream Sunday night games on Peacock, and the online service will air a new postgame show afterward. It will be the last season that Amazon shares Thursday night broadcasts with Fox and the NFL Network before it takes over the exclusive rights in 2022.

    Anxious sports broadcasters will be looking to the NFL for some reassurance. Major sporting events are drawing more viewers this year than in 2020. But, for the most part, the ratings are down significantly from pre-pandemic times. Compared with 2019, the NBA playoffs fell 18%, the March Madness final declined 14% and the final round of the Masters golf tournament dropped 13%. The Summer Olympics viewership slumped to its lowest mark in over 30 years. The NHL regular season sank to its smallest audience in at least a decade, and the Super Bowl fell to its lowest level since 2007.

    This year’s NFL ratings could determine how much media and tech giants are willing to pay for a separate package of games known as NFL Sunday Ticket. The rights to those games could leave DirecTV when its contract expires at the end of next season. The bidding process is set to begin in the coming months, with Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, Amazon and Apple Inc. seen as potential buyers.

    Glenn Beck Says U-S Blocking Efforts To Save Afghan Christians

    Syndicated radio talk host Glenn Beck has claimed the US State Department is blocking his efforts to rescue Afghan Christians from being burned alive or crucified.

    The Daily Mail reports Beck told Tucker Carlson that he is currently in a Muslim Middle Eastern country, and that his organization, the Nazarene Fund, has flown 5,100 Christians and other refugees, out of Afghanistan since it fell to the Taliban earlier this month. 

    The broadcaster refused to say which country he was in, or name two other Muslim countries he says have accepted his refugees, over fears the US State Department will hobble his rescue operation.  

    Beck also said Islamic countries - which he refused to name over fears of US government meddling - had been far more welcoming to the people he'd saved than America. 

    He said: 'I mean, it's really interesting. We have open borders and closed airports. One group of people are exploited, raped, and killed by drug cartels and the other group of people are raped, exploited or crucified by terrorists. It seems to be a pattern with the Biden administration.' 

    The broadcaster said Thursday morning he had about 500 refugees - mainly women and children - get through the gate to board one of the Nazarene Fund's flights, only to be told by a United States soldier to go back.

    'We believe that our state department is directly responsible for what we believe were some of these people,' Beck told Fox News, 'I don't know how many survived.'

    'The State Department has blocked us every step of the way,' he continued. 

    Beck answered: 'This country that I'm in, I begged them last night to let me tell them -- tell the world who they are. They have more compassion for these Christians than our American government. It is insulting, embarrassing, and wrong. 

    'So I believe what our government is doing now is out and out evil.' 

    Milwaukee Radio: Longtime WTMJ Sports Voice Ted Davis Retires

    Ted Davis
    Ted Davis, the radio voice of the NBA Milwaukee Bucks, is retiring from his role announcing games for WTMJ radio after 24 years.

    Davis, a Texas native who previously served as announcer for nine seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, joined broadcasts on WTMJ and the Bucks Radio Network in 1997. He gets to go out on top, having narrated the franchise's first championship in 50 years, reports

    “This is a good time for me to move into the next phase of life,” Davis said in a Bucks release. “I’m 65 and still good at what I do, but young enough to enjoy what’s next. It’s been an honor to call Bucks games for 24 seasons. When I was a younger man, I had two goals: do play-by-play on the major league level and do it for a long time. Thirty-three years and 3,000 games later, I leave with a championship call in my last game. Not bad! Thanks to all who listened. My dream came true!”

    The award-winning Davis began work in radio at age 17, then called games on the Southwest Conference radio network for TCU and Texas A&M in addition to work at Dallas-area radio stations. He also covered the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments for CBS Radio in the 1980s before starting in the NBA.

    Ted Davis served as Bucks radio play-by-play announcer for 24 years before announcing his retirement after the 2021 championship.

    Davis' familiar phrases have included "How about that?" for sensational plays and "It's in the bank, and earning interest" for games that went the Bucks' way.

    His retirement follows in the footsteps of long-tenured TV announcer Jim Paschke, who announced earlier this year the 2020-21 season would also be his last. Paschke, 70, had been a Bucks announcer for 35 years.

    Boston Radio: WEEI's Glenn Ordway Signs-Off

    Glenn Ordway (Boston Globe Photo)

    Glenn Ordway has left WEEI. The legendary New England sports talker bid the audience and his OMF co-hosts goodbye on Thursday, reports Barretts Sports Media.

    Ordway announced in June that he was planning to retire. He waited until after the station’s annual Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon to make it official and walk away.

    “It was a blast doing this show. It has just come to a point for me, you know, you gotta watch four games every night and you’ve got to study. Everyone thinks you have an easy job,” Ordway said during his final segment alongside Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria. “It’s a lot of commitment.”

    Ordway’s tenure at WEEI began in 1987 when he came to the station along with the Boston Celtics’ radio broadcast. He was at the station until 2013. He returned a year later.

    “I have emotional ties to this radio station. I was there from day one,” Glenn Ordway said on Thursday, explaining that he will not be completely absent from WEEI. He is still planning to be a part of New England Patriots gameday broadcasts. He will also be a part of special projects for the station.

    “He was the station’s first program director and oversaw some of the most dominant years in Boston radio,” Audacy Regional President Mark Hannon said during the summer. “He has been an enduring on-air presence and has been side-by-side talking to Boston sports fans through the best and worst times. Glenn will go down as one of the most influential players in sports radio format history, and thankfully his presence will continue on the station into the future.”

    As Thursday’s episode of OMF came to an end, Ordway thanked Merloni and Fauria, saying he is happy that they became friends off the air and expects their relationship to continue. He also shined a spotlight on Doug Lane, who he called “by far, the best technical producer in the business.”

    Wake-Up Call: 13 U-S Troops, 60 Others Killed in Kabul Terror Attack

    Thirteen U.S. troops and at least 60 Afghans were killed in a terrorist attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday carried out by two suicide bombers and gunmen. Eighteen servicemembers were injured as were more than 140 Afghans. The attackers struck in the crowds outside the airport, which have been chaotic scenes of people trying to get in as the U.S. has been carrying out the airlift evacuation of Americans and at-risk Afghans. One blast took place near one of the airport gates, and the other at or near the Baron Hotel nearby, where many were told to gather in recent days before going to the airport.

    The U.S. and other Western officials had warned hours earlier of a possible attack, and U.S. officials had repeatedly spoken about the threat on the airlift operation from ISIS-K, the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan. ISIS in fact claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban, which has taken over Afghanistan, is not believed to have been involved and condemned the terror attack.

    President Biden spoke emotionally from the White House, calling the U.S. troops who died "heroes," and vowing reprisals, saying to the attackers, "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay." The president also said that the U.S. wouldn't be intimidated from its mission, and that the evacuation would continue. He has said an August 31st deadline. Biden held a moment of silence during his remarks, and has ordered U.S. flags to half-staff across the country.

    ➤SEVERAL STATES HAVE RECORD NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZED COVID PATIENTS: Kentucky and Texas have joined a growing number of states that now have a record number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, more than at any other time since the pandemic began. At least six other states -- Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi and Oregon -- have already broken their hospitalization records, and New Mexico health officials warned on Wednesday that the state is about a week away from having to ration health care. Deaths nationwide are now at more than 1,100 a day, the highest since mid-March, and new cases per day are around 152,000, numbers last seen at the end of January.

    ➤SUPREME COURT ALLOWS EVICTIONS TO RESUME: The Supreme Court is allowing evictions to resume, blocking a temporary ban yesterday that had been instituted by the Biden administration due to the ongoing pandemic. The high court said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the authority to reimpose the eviction moratorium on August 3rd without congressional authorization after it had expired days earlier. The three liberal justices dissented from the unsigned opinion. The administration has called on state and local officials to more quickly distribute $46.5 billion in rental assistance approved by Congress, only about 11 percent of which has been given out, and for state and local courts to issue their own moratoriums.

    ➤SEVEN CAPITOL POLICE OFFICERS SUE TRUMP, ALLIES, EXTREMISTS OVER JANUARY 6TH ATTACK: Seven U.S. Capitol police officers who were attacked and beaten during the January 6th attack on the Capitol filed suit yesterday against former President Donald Trump, his allies, including Roger Stone, and members of far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The suit accuses its targets of intentionally sending a violent mob to disrupt Congress' certification of the presidential election results. It alleges Trump, quote, "worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power."

    Hurricane watches were issued for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama yesterday for Tropical Storm Ida, which is threatening to hit along the northern Gulf Coast as a major hurricane by the end of the weekend. Major hurricanes are those that are Category 3 or higher. 

    The National Hurricane Center issued a warning late yesterday afternoon that said, "there is an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge, damaging hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday, especially along the coast of Louisiana."

    ➤POLL...HALF OF U-S WORKERS SUPPORT VAXX AT THE WORKPLACE:  With employers wanting to get people back in their workplaces and the pandemic surging again, many are considering or have already put in place a requirement that employees be vaccinated against Covid-19. Now a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs poll finds that half of Americans workers agree with a vaccine mandate for their workplaces. People who are working remotely were more in favor of vaccine requirements in their workplaces, at 59 percent, compared to 47 percent support among those currently working in person. Around one-quarter of remote and in-person workers are opposed to it. The percentages were similar when it came to mask requirements for workplaces, with 59 percent of remote workers in favor and 50 percent of in-person workers, with 29 percent opposed. The poll was conducted before the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's vaccine, which some experts are hoping will convince more people to get vaccinated and support mandates.

    ➤CALIFORNIA WANTS TO PAY ADDICTS NOT TO USE DRUGS:  California wants to try paying addicts not to use drugs, as the state tries to battle continuing increases in overdose deaths. In particular, overdose deaths from stimulants in California nearly quadrupled between 2010 and 2019, and it's continued to get worse. Governor Gavin Newsom has asked the federal government for permission to use tax dollars to pay for the effort, which is called "contingency management," through Medicaid. Although California would be the first state to do this, it's been used by the federal government with military veterans for years, and research shows it's one of the most effective ways to help people stop using stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. Under this type of program, people get small incentives or payments for every negative drug test over a period of time. Most of them who complete the treatment can without any lapses can earn a few hundred dollars.

    ➤CAPITOL HILL OFFICER WHO FATALLY SHOT BABBITT COMES FORWARD: The U.S. Capitol Police Officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the January 6th attack has came forward, revealing his identity during an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt that aired yesterday, despite the threats against him and his family that sent him into hiding for months. Lieutenant Michael Byrd, a 28-year veteran, defended his actions, saying, "I know that day I saved countless lives. I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger." Byrd described repeatedly yelling at the rioters to stop before they entered the Speakers Lobby, just outside the House chamber. Babbitt was shot as she tried to climb through broken glass in the barricaded door. He said, "If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress." The Capitol Police announced earlier this week that an internal investigation had found his actions lawful and there wouldn't be any discipline, and federal prosecutors declined to file charges against him in April. Babbitt‘s family has threatened to file a lawsuit against the Capitol Police over the shooting.

    ➤TIME'S UP CEO TCHEN RESIGNS OVER ANDREW CUOMO SCANDAL: Tina Tchen, the president and CEO of the sexual harassment victims' advocacy group Time's Up, resigned yesterday amid anger after it was revealed that the group's leaders advised former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration after he was first accused of sexual misconduct last year. Tchen said she was stepping down because her leadership position had, quote, "become a painful and divisive focal point." Her departure comes after the chair of Time's Up, Roberta Kaplan, left for the same reason. Cuomo resigned earlier this week, after an investigation overseen by the state attorney general found that he'd sexually harassed at least 11 women.

    The federal jail in Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in 2019 as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls is temporarily shutting down for an undisclosed period of time due to ongoing problems there. The Metropolitan Correctional Center has faced a number of controversies in recent years over its squalid conditions and chronic understaffing, and the shutdown is taking place so those issues can be resolved, according to the Justice Department. There's currently less than half of the normal population at the facility.

    ➤STUDY..2 IN 5 18-YEAR-OLDS DON’T HAVE LICENSES AS INTEREST IN DRIVING WANES:  Being a teen these days seems a lot different than it used to be. The Federal Highway Administration collected data that shows in 2018 approximately 61 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, down from 80 percent in 1983. The number of 16-year-olds with licenses decreased from 46 percent to 25 percent in the same period. It’s a trend that started with millennials and continues with Gen Z, with teens giving a slew of different reasons for putting off or avoiding getting a driver license. Some say they prefer more environmentally friendly transportation options, some found driving too stressful, and some said they just don’t care about cars.

    🏈COVID OUTBREAK ON TITANS NOW UP TO NINE: The Covid-19 outbreak on the Tennessee Titans had grown to nine people yesterday, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill. General manager Jon Robinson said that Tannehill, tight end Geoff Swaim and linebacker Justin March-Lillard joined four other players on the reserve/Covid-19 list. Additionally head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman had also been affected, and Vrabel himself tested positive on Sunday.

    ⚾BOSTON'S SALE JOINS KOUFAX AS ONLY PITCHERS WITH THREE IMMACULATE INNINGS: Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox last night joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers to have three immaculate innings, after striking out the side against the Minnesota Twins on nine pitches. An immaculate inning is when the pitcher strikes out all three batters in an inning using the minimum of nine pitches. Sale's two other immaculate innings were both in 2019, one in May and the other in June. Koufax had his three between 1962 and 1964.
    ⚾PHILLIES' HOSKINS, LEADING IN HOMERS, RBIs, OUT FOR REST OF THE SEASON: Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who's leading the team in home runs and RBIs, will miss the rest of the season with an abdominal tear that requires surgery, he announced yesterday. Hoskins has been dealing with an abdominal injury all season, but recently aggravated it. The news is a blow to the Phillies' hopes of making the playoffs.

     🏒CANADA BEATS U.S. 5-1 IN WOMEN'S WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP: Canada defeated the U.S. 5-1 last night (August 26th) in the women's world hockey championship, ending the American women's 29-game winning streak in the event, dating back to 2013. The win set up Canada in a quarterfinal against Germany, and the U.S. will face Japan. The U.S. has won the last five championships, and nine of the last 11 overall.

    ➤OLYMPICS GYMNASTICS GOLD MEDALIST SUNNI LEE TO BE ON 'DANCING WITH THE STARS': Sunni Lee, who won the women's all-around gymnastics gold medal for the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics, is going to be on Dancing with the Stars. Lee was one of two of the upcoming season's contestants -- along with JoJo Siwa -- that the show announced early yesterday (August 26th). The 18-year-old, who's now a freshman at Auburn University, told USA Today that going on the show, quote, "was one of my goals after the Olympics." Other U.S. Olympic gymnasts who've been on Dancing with the Stars include Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Shawn Johnson, Mary Lou Retton, Laurie Hernandez and Nastia Liukin.