Saturday, October 2, 2021

October 3 Radio History

In 1901...The Victor Talking Machine Company, was incorporated.  In 1929 it was bought by the Radio Corporation of America and became RCA Victor.

The famous Victrola phonograph logo, with Nipper the dog, and the words “His Master’s Voice”, appeared on all RCA Victor phonographs..

In 1946...singer Dennis Day, a popular tenor featured on The Jack Benny Show, started his own NBC show, A Day in the Life of Dennis Day (1946–1951). Day having two programs in comparison to Benny's one was the subject of numerous jokes and gags, usually revolving around Day rubbing Benny's show, and sometimes other cast members' and guest stars' noses in that fact (e.g., "Dennis, why do you have two horns on your bicycle?" "Why shouldn't I? I've got two shows!"). His last radio series was a comedy and variety show that aired on NBC's Sunday afternoon schedule during the 1954–55 season.

In 1949...Radio station WERD 860 AM Atlanta became the first to be owned and programmed by African Americans.

In 1952...The sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet started airing on ABC-TV.  It continued until April 23, 1966 The show starred Ozzie Nelson and his wife, singer Harriet Nelson, and their sons, David and Ricky.

In the early 1930s, a booking at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York gained national network radio exposure for Ozzie Nelson's orchestra. After three years together with the orchestra, Ozzie and Harriet signed to appear regularly on the radio show, The Baker's Broadcast (1933–1938), hosted first by Joe Penner, then by Robert Ripley (famed for Ripley's Believe it or Not!) , and finally by cartoonist Feg Murray. The couple married on October 8, 1935 during this series run, and realized working together in radio would keep them together more than continuing their musical careers separately.

In 1941, the Nelsons joined the cast of The Red Skelton Show, also providing much of the show's music. The couple stayed with the series for three years. They also built their radio experience by guest appearances, together and individually, on many top radio shows, from comedies such as The Fred Allen Show, to the mystery titan Suspense, in a 1947 episode called "Too Little to Live On".

When Red Skelton was drafted in March 1944, Ozzie Nelson was prompted to create his own family situation comedy. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet launched October 8, 1944 on CBS Radio, it moved to NBC in October 1948, then made a late-season switch back to CBS in April 1949. The final years of the radio series were on ABC (the former NBC Blue Network) from October 14, 1949 to June 18, 1954. In total 402 radio episodes were produced.

In an arrangement that exemplified the growing pains of American broadcasting, as radio "grew up" into television, the Nelsons' deal with ABC gave the network the option to move their program to television. The struggling network needed proven talent that was not about to defect to the more established and wealthier networks like CBS or NBC.

The Nelsons' sons, David and Ricky, did not join the cast until the radio show's fifth year (initially appearing on the February 20, 1949 episode, ages 12 and 8, respectively).

➦In 1954…"Father Knows Best," starring Robert Young, began its eight-year run on television, first on CBS, then moving to NBC in 1956.

The series began August 25, 1949, on NBC Radio. Set in the Midwest, it starred Robert Young as the General Insurance agent Jim Anderson. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl. The Anderson children were Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson), and Kathy (Norma Jean Nilsson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran, and Sam Edwards. Sponsored through most of its run by General Foods, the series was heard Thursday evenings on NBC until March 25, 1954.

On the radio program, the character of Jim differs from the later television character. The radio Jim is far more sarcastic and shows he really rules over his family.   In an interview published in the magazine Films of the Golden Age (Fall 2015), Young revealed about the radio program: "I never quite liked it because it had to have laughs. And I wanted a warm relationship show.... When we moved to TV I suggested an entirely new cast and different perspective."

Young was the radio show's only cast member to make the transition to the TV version. He was joined by actors Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray and Lauren Chapin who played Anderson family members Margaret, Betty, Bud and Kathy, respectively.

➦In 1985...CBS newsman Charles Collingwood died (Born - June 4, 1917).  He was an early member of Edward R. Murrow's group of foreign correspondents that was known as the "Murrow Boys". During World War II he covered Europe and North Africa for CBS News. Collingwood was also among the early ranks of television journalists that included Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, and Murrow himself.

Charles Collingwood

Collingwood covered World War II for United Press in London and was soon recruited to CBS by Murrow in 1941. He established himself as an urbane and spontaneously-eloquent on-air journalist.

On D-Day he landed at Utah Beach hours after the first wave of soldiers had hit the beaches. Of the CBS reporters accompanying the ground invasion, he recorded a report on June 6 that made it to broadcast two days later.

When General Omar Bradley told Collingwood that the French Resistance was about to rise up and liberate Paris, Collingwood prepared and sent a recording with news of the liberation to CBS in London so that it would be ready when the city was actually freed. The recording bore a label that said to hold it back until Paris was actually liberated, but the technician at CBS did not read the label and immediately aired the recording. On that day, August 22, there were still thousands of German troops in Paris, and the Resistance fighters who were fighting and dying did not appreciate that the world was told that Paris had been liberated. The city would not be actually liberated until three days later, on August 25.

➦In 1988...WBMW-FM, Washington, D.C. changed calls to WJFK

➦In 2011…Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr., who transformed the company his father founded in 1923 into an international leader in ratings and research, died at the age of 92. Nielsen became president of the A. C. Nielsen Company in 1957 and its chairman in 1975. He presided over the company’s growth from a modest operation, generating less than $4 million a year in revenue, to one with revenue of more than $680 million.

➦In 2014...Radio programmer Kevin Metheny died (Born - June 6, 1954).  He began his career as on-air talent and went on to direct programming and audience research at many radio stations and in a number of broadcast conglomerates. During the 1980s, Metheny helped develop cable entertainment networks MTV and VH1 as vice-president in charge of Music Programming and Production; he later served as vice-president of VH1 before returning to broadcast radio

Kevin Metheny
Metheny became weekend air talent at Album Rock KWHP-FM in Edmond, Oklahoma in 1970. The next year, he moved to WKY in Oklahoma City, serving as weekend and fill-in talent during his senior year at John Marshall High School. Pat O'Day, General Manager of KJR/KISW-FM Seattle, hired Metheny as evening talent for  KJR. Following O'Day's 1975 departure, Metheny left KJR and became afternoon drive talent/music director at WNOE-FM, New Orleans, where he was promoted to Program Director. He next served as Program Director of KDEO in El Cajon, California, changing the AM Album Rock station to Top-40 KMJC, also known as "Majic 91".

Metheny became Director of Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) Research, working closely with its initial RAM client Fairbanks Broadcasting's Adult Contemporary WIBG in Philadelphia. He accepted the position of Program Director at WIBG (later known as WZZD, now WNTP). He went on to be named Program Director of Hearst Corporation's Top-40 WXKX, Pittsburgh, then of WEFM in Chicago, followed by KSLQ-FM in St. Louis.

Metheny was named Program Director of The National Broadcasting Company's WNBC (NYC) in 1980. In 1986, Metheny became Program Director of KTKS Dallas. He subsequently moved to Savannah as Vice President/General Manager at WSOK/WAEV-FM. He accepted the Operations Director position of Bedford Broadcasting's San Francisco Oldies and Adult Standards stations KFRC-FM & AM followed by Oldies KQQL (Minneapolis).

Metheny then moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he combined programming and marketing operations of WQIK-FM and News/Talk WJGR with newly acquired Urban properties WSOL-FM, WJBT, and WZAZ. Metheny transferred to head programming for Jacor Communications' Cleveland area radio group, consolidating operations at their combined six Cleveland stations, WAKS, WGAR-FM, WMJI, WMMS, WMVX, and WTAM.

Following Jacor's merger with Clear Channel Communications Metheny was promoted to Regional Vice President of Programming, in which role he advised local Market Managers and Program Directors of 59 Ohio radio stations.

Simultaneously with the 2008 acquisition of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, Metheny left Clear Channel to become Program Director of the Tribune Company's sole radio property, News/Talk WGN, where he stayed until November 2010. In January 2013, he was named program director at WJR Detroit. In June 2014, Metheny was named operations manager at San Francisco stations KGO and KSFO owned by Cumulus Media, a position he held until his death of an apparent heart attack at age 60.

Chubby Checker is 80


  • Composer Steve Reich is 85. 
  • Singer Chubby Checker is 80. 
  • Actor Alan Rachins (“Dharma and Greg”) is 79. 
  • Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 72. 
  • Jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws is 71. Blues singer Keb’ Mo’ is 70. 
  • Actor Hart Bochner (“Breaking Away”) is 65. 
  • Actor Peter Frechette (“Profiler”) is 65. 
  • Actor-comedian Greg Proops is 62. 
  • Megan Holder is 37
    Actor Jack Wagner is 62. 
  • Drummer Tommy Lee of Motley Crue is 59. 
  • Actor Janel Moloney (“The West Wing”) is 52. 
  • Singer Gwen Stefani of No Doubt is 52. 
  • Singer Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys is 50. 
  • Singer G. Love is 49. 
  • Actor Keiko Agena (“Gilmore Girls”) is 48. 
  • Actor Neve Campbell is 48. 
  • Actor Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) is 48. 
  • Singer India.Arie is 46. 
  • Rapper Talib Kweli is 46. 
  • Actor Alanna Ubach (“Legally Blonde” movies) is 46. 
  • Actor Seann William Scott (movie “Dukes of Hazzard,” ″American Pie”) is 45. 
  • Actor Shannyn Sossamon (TV’s “Moonlight,” Film’s “The Rules of Attraction”) is 43. 
  • Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers is 42. 
  • Guitarist Mark King of Hinder is 39. 
  • Actor Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”) is 38. 
  • Country singer Cherrill Green of Edens Edge is 38. 
  • Country singer Drake White is 38. 
  • Actor Meagan Holder (“Pitch”) is 37. 
  • Actor Christopher Marquette (“Barry,” “Joan of Arcadia”) is 37. 
  • Singer-actor Ashlee Simpson is 37. 
  • Rapper A$AP Rocky is 33. 
  • Actor Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl,” “Ex Machina”) is 33. 
  • Actor Noah Schnapp (“Stranger Things”) is 17.

Chicago Radio: New Allegation Surfaces Against WTMX's Ferguson

WTMX Morning Host Eric Ferguson

A second female former employee of WTMX 101.9 FM has come forward to say longtime on-air host Eric Ferguson engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct, alleging in a Thursday court filing that he groped her at the station’s Christmas party in full view of her husband and co-workers in 2003.

The Chicago Tribune reports the woman, Kristen Mori of Ohio, a former sales employee who left the station in 2004, said in the filing she was “shocked and disturbed by Ferguson’s offensive touching” and alleged management “turned a blind eye toward (his) inappropriate and offensive conduct” because of the revenue generated by his popular morning show.

The new complaint is separate from an earlier suit in which DeNicolo, 43, sued Ferguson, alleging he coerced sexual favors from her for several months in 2004 until she “summoned the courage” to put an end to it. Hubbard is not named as a defendant in the first suit.

Attorneys for Ferguson, 54, have denied DeNicolo’s allegations against the host of “Eric in the Morning” on 101.9 FM. Attorney Peter Donati said Friday he was reviewing the allegations in the latest filing and could not offer immediate comment.

Ferguson, DeNicolo
Hubbard Radio Chicago vice president and market manager Jeff England said Friday, “We are aware of the suit and are reviewing it.”

In DeNicolo’s earlier lawsuit against Ferguson, filed in May, she alleged he demanded she perform oral sex about twice a month in 2004 using the code words “I need a backrub.” She said in her suit that he blocked promotions and orchestrated her dismissal in May 2020, some 16 years after she refused to resume the “unwelcome sexual relationship.”

Kristen Mori stated in the court filing that she worked closely with Ferguson while employed at The Mix in sales from 1998 to 2004.

“On multiple occasions while I worked at The Mix, I observed Ferguson behave inappropriately toward women, including me,” she wrote.

Mori provided two examples. In fall 1999, when she was 29, Ferguson asked her if her breasts were real when the two drove back to the station following a work lunch, according to her declaration. She said yes, hoping her answer would put an end to the conversation, she wrote.

Kristen Mori
“Ferguson responded that for him to believe me he would need to feel my breasts,” Mori wrote. “I was disgusted by Ferguson’s words and immediately left the car after he said that.”

Mori’s declaration also said that at an office Christmas party in December 2003 Ferguson “greeted me by hugging me, and while he was hugging me, he slipped his hands under my jacket and very clearly grabbed my breasts.”

Mike Mori, identified as an account executive with WDRV-FM 97.1 at the time, stated he saw Ferguson “rubbing my wife’s breast with his hand” and that Ferguson stopped when he approached.

“I was furious and considered punching Ferguson for groping my wife,” he wrote. “However, I did not do anything for fear of causing a scene that would result in me and my wife losing our jobs.”

Like DeNicolo, Kristen Mori said she did not report the alleged behavior to management for fear of losing her job.

Kathy Hart, longtime co-host of the “Eric & Kathy” show on WTMX, left in 2017 without explanation. Another co-host, Melissa McGurren, exited Ferguson’s show in December 2020 without publicly disclosing a reason.

Pandemic's Disruptive Effect Continues For Radio Listening

In partnership with the Public Radio Program Directors Association, Jacobs Media has released Public Radio Techsurvey 2021 (“PRTS”), its latest annual study exploring the ongoing digital media revolution and its impact on public radio. 

In last year’s PRTS study, there was a dramatic shift in listening patterns due to the pandemic and summer 2020’s politically and socially charged environment. In PRTS 2021, we examine how a path to “normal” through the pandemic and a new political administration have impacted the behaviors and attitudes of Public Radio’s core listeners.

About one in three study respondents (34%) says they are following the news less closely now since the 2020 Election. Nearly one in five (19%) says they are listening to more Public Radio now than a year ago. But in 2020, Public Radio momentum was greater thanks to a news cycle on COVID and political steroids.

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs notes, “This year’s Public Radio Techsurvey, our 13th study of core Public Radio listeners, follows up the impactful shifts we saw in last year’s listening behaviors. The research covers media usage patterns returning to pre-COVID levels, as well as those that appear to have permanently shifted thanks to the pandemic.”

Abby Goldstein, president of PRPD comments, “Looking beyond the extreme obstacles 2020 brought to the Public Radio ecosystem, this year’s PRTS study reveals insights into the opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead for the rest of this year…and beyond, as programmers and managers seek actionable information to help stations meet the audience where they are.”

PRTS 2021 data was gathered online from June 25-July 25, 2021. Overall, 56 public radio stations across the U.S. participated, contributing 22,858 respondents, most of whom are members of these stations’ databases and are core listeners to Public Radio.

Lehigh Valley Radio: Joe Bonadonna To Program, Host On WZZO

iHeartMedia's Rock WZZO 95.1 FM in Allentown has named Joe Bonadonna as Program Director and afternoon host (3-7pm),. 

He will continue to work with iHeartMedia's National Programming Group on many of the company's Classic Rock brands. Bonadonna is a veteran programmer and air talent in Southeast PA, best known for his 22 years at WMMR in Philadelphia.

Joe Bonadonna
"There are few names more legendary in rock radio than Joe Bonadonna," said iHeartMedia National Programming Group Executive VP of Programming Jeff Hurley. "Pairing Joe's incredible programming experience with 95.1 ZZO's 40 plus years of rocking the Lehigh Valley is a match made in heaven."

"It is an incredible honor to have someone of Joe's talent and pedigree to steward the Lehigh Valley's heritage rocker, 95.1 ZZO," added iHeartMedia Pennsylvania Area President Brit Goldstein. "Bringing Joe back to the area is incredibly exciting, and we are eager hear his voice and see his influence, elevating our brands to even greater heights."

Bonadonna spent more than two decades at WMMR, from January 1977 to June 1999, including 10 years as Program Director. 

From there he joined Sandusky Broadcasting in Phoenix to program rock KDKB, classic rock KSLX and oldies KAZG. He then spent the next four years at SiriusXM as Senior Director, Classic Rock before joining iHeart predecessor Clear Channel as PD of classic rock WBGG Miami, later rising to National Classic Rock Brand Coordinator. He programmed stations in Rochester, NY for iHeart and joined its National Programming Group in August 2016. He began his career at WLIR-FM Long Island and is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology.

Digital OZY Media Abruptly Shutters

Ozy Media, the digital media company that came under intense scrutiny for its business practices in recent days, announced on Friday that it was shutting down, following a sudden flight of investors and advertisers and bringing to a close a strange chapter in the annals of online journalism, reports The NY Times.

It was a precipitous fall for a company that was once a darling of Silicon Valley investors who believed in the vision of its leader, the former MSNBC anchor Carlos Watson. Watson had aimed to create a sparkling multiplatform media company that would appeal to a diverse generation of younger readers looking for the kind of content not provided by establishment news organizations.

When the end came, it came swiftly, five days after The NY Times published an article that raised questions about the company and its leadership team. The report detailed an episode in which a top executive at Ozy appeared to have impersonated a YouTube executive during a conference call with Goldman Sachs bankers in February while the company was trying to raise $40 million.

The abrupt collapse riveted media observers not because Ozy had a large number of loyal readers — that, in the end, was the problem — but because many had wondered how the company had managed to survive. The answer had to do with a charismatic and relentless founder, a great story and a slick brand that was perfectly tuned to appeal to noted Silicon Valley investors and powerful advertising executives.

Ozy, whose motto was “the new and the next,” had its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., not far from the start-ups that had built themselves into multibillion-dollar giants. It employed roughly 75 people to create articles, videos, podcasts and newsletters on a range of topics, from espionage to the appeal of Grandma’s kitchen. Many of the videos and television shows that Ozy also sold starred Mr. Watson in conversation with politicians and pop culture celebrities, a group that included Joseph R. Biden Jr., Hillary Clinton and John Legend.

Ozy’s appearance of success depended to some degree on the performance of its videos on YouTube. On the conference call in February, the person posing as a YouTube executive told the Goldman Sachs team that Ozy was a great success on the platform.

Also Friday, Ozy Media CEO and founder Carlos Watson has resigned from the NPR board, the latest in a series of setbacks for the embattled media organization.

NPR reported that Watson’s resignation letter arrived to the board’s chairman just prior to the governance committee meeting later in the day to determine his status. Watson joined NPR’s board in 2016 and was re-elected for his second, three-year term on the board, which would have begun this month.

Alex Jones Loses Sandy Hook Defamation Lawsuits

Alex Jones, the Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist who claimed that the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 was a hoax, has lost two defamation lawsuits filed in Texas by victims’ families because he failed to provide requested information to the court, filings show.

The NY Times reports Judge Maya Guerra Gamble issued the rulings on Monday in the Civil District Court of Travis County. They were made public on Thursday, HuffPost reported. A lawyer for the parents of children killed in the attack, Mark D. Bankston, provided copies of the filings to The New York Times on Friday.

The defendants, including Mr. Jones and his digital channel, Infowars, had made “persistent discovery abuses” by failing to turn over documents as required and by failing to carry out other obligations required by the court, Judge Guerra Gamble wrote in the filings.

Mr. Bankston said the next step would be a trial scheduled for March 28, when a jury will decide the damages.

This week’s rulings were the latest twist in the legal battles against Mr. Jones since he and his Infowars media operation began spreading false claims that the shooting that killed 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was an elaborate hoax.

In 2018, after the families of the victims were stalked and threatened, parents of two children killed at Sandy Hook accused Mr. Jones of defamation in lawsuits filed in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based.

One was filed by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose 6-year-old son, Noah, was killed at the school. Another lawsuit was filed by Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, was also fatally shot. Scarlett Lewis, Jesse’s mother, filed a third lawsuit.

In 2019, the Texas Court of Appeals rejected Mr. Jones’s efforts to have all three cases dismissed on free speech grounds. The same year, Judge Scott Jenkins of Travis County District Court held Mr. Jones in contempt for failing to produce records in Mr. Heslin’s suit, ordering Mr. Jones to pay $25,875 in lawyer fees.

Comcast Drops Rangers, Knicks Games b/c No One Watches

Madison Square Garden Network traded barbs with Comcast on Friday as the two media companies dispute over rights fees that halted pro sports content on the service.

The broadcast deal between MSG Networks and Comcast expired on Sept. 30, leaving sports viewers in the New Jersey and Connecticut areas without content featuring the New York Knicks and the National Hockey League’s Rangers. Both are controlled by MSG. The network also airs Devils, Islanders and Major League Soccer games. The NBA season starts on Oct. 19, while the NHL season starts on Oct. 12.

MSG called the failed negotiations “disappointing,” claiming Comcast attempted to “force us to accept terms they’d never agree to for their own regional sports networks, including SNY in New York,” a MSG statement to CNBC said. SNY is another regional sports network that airs Mets MLB games.

MSG’s statement also said Comcast rejected proposals similar to deals MSG has with other carriers.

MSG Networks also planted a banner across its website alerting consumers of the dispute. The network is owned by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., which trades on the New York Stock Exchange and has a $2.4 billion market cap.

It’s not clear how much Comcast pays MSG to distribute its channels. The network generated total revenues of $166.1 million, according to its fourth-quarter earnings report last August. But the report added its “affiliation fee revenue decreased $9.7 million, primarily due to the impact of a decrease in subscribers of approximately 7%.”

Comcast, the parent company of CNBC, defended its decision to drop MSG. In a statement, it wrote its internal data shows “95% of all customers who received MSG over the past year did not watch more than 10 of the approximately 240 games it broadcast.” Comcast doesn’t serve residents of New York City, who instead get cable from companies including Charter, Altice USA and Verizon.

Said Comcast: “We don’t believe that our customers should have to pay the millions of dollars in fees that MSG is demanding for some of the most expensive sports content in the country with extremely low viewership in our markets.”

On Xfinity’s website, the company wrote it would lower its regional sports network (RSN) fees to customers in “applicable areas” impacted by the decision to drop MSG Networks.

In media circles, this dispute could be a sign RSNs that could impact local pro team revenues.

Natalie Morales to EXIT NBC News

Natalie Morales
Natalie Morales is leaving NBC News. The “Dateline” correspondent and “Today” show anchor has been with the group for 22 years. She will be joining CBS’ daytime talk show “The Talk,” an individual with knowledge of her decision told TheWrap.

Morales will take over the vacated slot left by Carrie Ann Inaba, who departed in August. Reps for “The Talk” declined to comment.

Morales will remain with “Today” for the next few weeks. She will continue to appear on “Dateline” throughout the remainder of 2021.

Morales informed the NBC News staff of her decision to depart during a Friday afternoon meeting.

Morales’s departure was announced in a memo to NBC News staff and obtained by TheWrap:

How do you begin to say thank you for 22 amazing years? I struggle to find the right words and there are way too many people I need to thank for a wonderful career at NBC News. I think back to my early days cutting my teeth at WVIT in Hartford, CT then taking the huge and – at the time- petrifying leap to MSNBC and alas— scoring the golden tickets to the Today Show and Dateline. Never in a million years did I imagine this when I dreamed of what I wanted to be when I grew up!

Tom Mazzarelli, the executive producer of the Today show, said in a note to Today staff that Morales has “been offered an opportunity she’s passionate about,” which contributed to her decision to leave Today.

Pat Robertson Stepping Away From '700 Club'

Pat Robertson, who turned a tiny Virginia television station into a global religious broadcasting network, is stepping down after a half-century running the “700 Club” on daily TV, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced on Friday.

The Associated Press reports the 91-year-old Robertson said in a statement that he hosted the network’s flagship program for the last time on Friday, and that his son Gordon Robertson will take over the weekday show starting Monday.

“I will no longer be the host of the ‘700 Club,’” Robertson said on the show Friday, although he vowed to return from time to time, if he’s had a “revelation” he needs to share. “I thank God for everyone that’s been involved. And I want to thank all of you.”

Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network started airing on Oct. 1, 1961 after he bought a bankrupt UHF television station in Portsmouth, Virginia. The “700 Club” began production in 1966.

Now based in Virginia Beach, CBN says its outreach extends to more than 100 countries and territories in dozens of languages through TV and video evangelism, online ministry and prayer centers. The “700 Club” talk show can be seen in the vast majority of U.S. television markets.

“Pat Robertson had an enormous impact on both American religion and American politics,” said John C. Green, an emeritus political science professor at The University of Akron.

One of Robertson’s innovations with the “700 Club” was to use the secular talk-show format, which was a break from more traditional broadcasts of revival meetings or church services.

R.I.P.: John Rigas, Once-Jailed CableTV Pioneer

John Rigas
John Rigas, the cable television pioneer who devoted half a century to building Adelphia Communications Corp. into the nation’s sixth-largest operator, only to be convicted of looting the company and driving it into bankruptcy, has died. He was 96.

Bloomber reports his death was confirmed by William Brennan Jr., a funeral director at the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, where Rigas lived.

A federal jury in 2004 convicted Rigas and his son, Timothy, of bank and securities fraud, finding they had lied about the source of $1.6 billion used to buy Adelphia stock and debt and had stolen $51 million in cash advances. John Rigas was sentenced to 12 years in prison; his son, the company’s former chief financial officer, was sentenced to 17 years. They began serving their terms in 2007.

The U.S. Supreme Court twice rejected their appeals, most recently in October 2010. At the time, both father and son were at the low-security Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina. John Rigas was granted a compassionate release from prison in Waymart, Pennsylvania, in February 2016, due to his failing health. His son was released in 2019.

The criminal charges stunned those who knew the chatty and self-effacing Rigas, who adhered so much to small-town values that he removed racy adult programming from the big-city cable systems he acquired.

Rigas had kept his corporate headquarters in Coudersport, with a population of about 2,600, where he began his cable TV company in 1952.  They signed their first cable customer in 1953.

October 2 Radio History

Groucho Marx
In 1890...Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx born in New York City (Died – August 19, 1977). He was a comedian, writer, stage, film, radio, and television star. A master of quick wit, he is widely considered one of America's greatest comedians.

"The one, the only" made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.

You Bet Your Life debuted in October 1947 on ABC radio (which aired it from 1947 to 1949), and then on CBS (1949–50), and finally NBC. The show was on radio only from 1947 to 1950; on both radio and television from 1950 to 1960; and on television only, from 1960 to 1961. The show proved a huge hit, being one of the most popular on television by the mid-1950s. With George Fenneman as his announcer and straight man, Marx entertained his audiences with improvised conversation with his guests.

Since You Bet Your Life was mostly ad-libbed and unscripted—although writers did pre-interview the guests and feed Marx ready-made lines in advance—the producers insisted that the network pre-record it instead of it being broadcast live. There were two reasons for this: pre-recording provided Marx with time to fish around for funny exchanges and any intervening dead spots to be edited out; and secondly to protect the network, since Marx was a notorious loose cannon and known to say almost anything. The television show ran for 11 seasons until it was canceled in 1961.

He died from pneumonia Aug 19, 1977 at age 86.

Bud Abbott

In 1896...William Alexander "Bud" Abbott born (Died – April 24, 1974). He was an actor, best known for his film comedy double act, as straight man to comedian Lou Costello.

Groucho Marx declared Abbott "the greatest straight man ever."  Bud outlived his partner by 15 years, succumbing to cancer Apr 24, 1974 at age 77

In 1900...Radio actor William Barton Yarborough born (Died – December 19, 1951).  He had worked rked extensively in radio drama, primarily on the NBC Radio Network. He is famous for his roles in the Carlton E. Morse productions I Love a Mystery, where he played Doc Long, and One Man's Family, where he spent 19 years portraying Clifford Barbour. In addition, Yarborough spent three years as Sgt. Ben Romero on Jack Webb's Dragnet.

He started work on the Dragnet TV series in 1951, but the day after he filmed the second episode, he suffered a heart attack and died four days later Dec. 19, 1951 at age 51.

In 1928...DeFord Bailey made the first professional recordings in Nashville at the Victor Records studios.

DeFord Bailey
Bailey was an American country music and blues star from the 1920s until 1941. Bailey was both the first performer to be introduced as playing on the Grand Ole Opry and also the first African-American performer on the show. He played several instruments but is best known for his harmonica tunes.

Bailey also had several records issued in 1927-1928, all of them harmonica solos. In 1927 he recorded for Brunswick records in New York City, while in 1928 he recorded eight sides for Victor in Nashville, of which three were issued on several labels, including Victor, Bluebird and RCA. Emblematic of the ambiguity of Bailey's position as a recording artist is the fact his arguably greatest recording, John Henry, was released separately in both RCA's 'race' and 'hillbilly' series.

He was a pioneer member of the WSM Grand Ole Opry, and one of its most popular performers, appearing on the program from 1927 to 1941. During this period he toured with many major country stars, including Uncle Dave Macon, Bill Monroe, and Roy Acuff.  Like other black stars of his day traveling in the South and West, he faced many difficulties in finding food and accommodation because of the discriminatory Jim Crow laws.

Bailey was fired by WSM in 1941 because of a licensing conflict with BMI-ASCAP, which prevented him from playing his best known tunes on the radio. This effectively ended his performance career, and he spent the rest of his life shining shoes and renting out rooms in his home to make a living. Though he continued to play the harp, he almost never performed publicly. One of his rare appearances occurred in 1974, when he agreed to make one more appearance on the Opry. This became the occasion for the Opry's first annual Old Timers' Show.

He died on July 2, 1982 in Nashville and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

In 1930...The Lutheran Hour,  a U.S. Christian radio program in North America, first aired as an outreach ministry of Lutheran Hour Ministries. Beginning in 2018, Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler became the Speaker of The Lutheran Hour.

The Lutheran Hour is the flagship program for Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), which is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches.  It is the longest running Christian broadcast in the world.

In 1933...“Red Adams” was heard for the first time on NBC radio. Later, the program was retitled, “Red Davis” (starring Burgess Meredith), “Forever Young,” and, finally, in 1936, “Pepper Young’s Family” (starring Mason Adams, who would later find TV fame as Lou Grant’s boss, and the voice of Smucker’s Jams.) Pepper Young’s Family kept daytime radio listeners tuning in for another 23 years.

Pepper Young's Family was one of radio's more popular daytime drama series, with various format and title changes during its long run from 1932 to 1959. It was created and written by short story author and playwright Elaine Sterne Carrington. With Burgess Meredith in the title role, the program began as Red Adams, about high school athlete Red Adams, his family and friends.

The 30-minute series was broadcast on the Blue Network, airing on Sunday nights at 10:30pm. When Beech-Nut Gum signed as a sponsor, they wanted no mention of their competition, Adams gum, so the title changed to Red Davis, a 15-minute series heard three times a week from 1933 to 1935. The series was again retitled, and the 15-minute Forever Young was heard on NBC weekdays at 3pm from January 13 to June 26, 1936. Three days later, on June 29, it became Pepper Young's Family, continuing on NBC for the next 23 years with Procter & Gamble's Camay as the sponsor.

In 1939...the most celebrated portrayal of Sherlock Holmes came to the US airwaves, as Basil Rathbone debuted in the title role on The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on the NBC Blue network. As in the movies, Nigel Bruce played the bumbling Dr. Watson.

The show first aired on the Blue Network but later moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System. The series was originally broadcast from Hollywood. During World War II, the show was also broadcast overseas through the Armed Forces Radio Service.

In 1942...the juvenile western radio drama The Cisco Kid starring Jackson Beck debuted on Mutual.  After the network run ended in 1946 another cast headed by Jack Mather was syndicated 1947 thru 1956.  Yet another cast featuring Duncan Renaldo produced a 156-episode syndicated TV run beginning in 1950.

In 1949...the popular family comedy,  The Aldrich Family, became one of TV’s first hits, as the longtime radio show appeared on NBC-TV for the first episode in a 4-year run.  It thus earned the distinction of being the very first TV sitcom.

After finding an audience with Kate Smith's radio listeners, The Aldrich Family was launched in its own series as a summer replacement program for Jack Benny in NBC's Sunday night lineup, July 2, 1939, and it stayed there until October 1, 1939, when it moved to Tuesday nights at 8 p.m., sponsored by Jell-O, which also sponsored Jack Benny at the time. The Aldriches ran in that slot from October 10, 1939 until May 28, 1940, moving to Thursdays, from July 4, 1940 until July 20, 1944. After a brief hiatus, the show moved to CBS, running on Fridays from September 1, 1944 until August 30, 1946 with sponsors Grape Nuts and Jell-O before moving back to NBC from September 5, 1946 to June 28, 1951 on Thursdays and, then, as a Sustaining program in its final run of September 21, 1952 to April 19, 1953 on Sundays.

Beginning on July 5, 1946, the program ran for 10 weeks on Friday nights as a summer replacement for Kate Smith Sings. The sponsor, General Foods, used the time to "promote its salt product ... instead of Grape Nuts".

The show was a top-ten ratings hit within two years of its birth (in 1941, the show carried a 33.4 Crossley rating, landing it solidly alongside Jack Benny and Bob Hope).

In 1962...Johnny Carson made his debut as host of the The Tonight Show.   Carson began his broadcasting career in 1950 at WOW radio and television in Omaha. Carson soon hosted a morning television program called The Squirrel's Nest. One of his routines involved interviewing pigeons on the roof of the local courthouse that would report on the political corruption they had seen. Carson supplemented his income by serving as master of ceremonies at local church dinners, attended by some of the same politicians and civic leaders whom he had lampooned on the radio.

The wife of one of the Omaha political figures Carson spoofed owned stock in a radio station in Los Angeles, and in 1951 referred Carson to her brother, who was influential in the emerging television market in Southern California. Carson joined CBS-owned Los Angeles television station KNXT.

In 1953, comic Red Skelton—a fan of Carson's "cult success" low-budget sketch comedy show, Carson's Cellar (1951 to 1953) on KNXT—asked Carson to join his show as a writer. In 1954, Skelton accidentally knocked himself unconscious during rehearsal an hour before his live show began. Carson then successfully filled in for him. In 1955, Jack Benny invited Carson to appear on one of his programs during the opening and closing segments. Carson imitated Benny and claimed that Benny had copied his gestures.

Carson hosted several shows besides Carson's Cellar, including the game show Earn Your Vacation (1954) and the CBS variety show The Johnny Carson Show (1955–1956). He was a guest panelist on the original To Tell the Truth starting in 1960, later becoming a regular panelist from 1961 until 1962.

After the primetime The Johnny Carson Show failed, he moved to New York City to host ABC-TV's Who Do You Trust? (1957–1962), formerly known as Do You Trust Your Wife? On Who Do You Trust?, Carson met his future sidekick and straight man, Ed McMahon. Although he believed moving to daytime television would hurt his career, Who Do You Trust? was a success. It was the first show where he could ad lib and interview guests,[15] and because of Carson's on-camera wit, the show became "the hottest item on daytime television" during his six years at ABC.

NBC's Tonight was the late-night counterpart to its early-morning show Today. Originating in 1954 with host Steve Allen, Tonight was somewhat experimental at the time, as the only previous network late-night program was NBC's Broadway Open House which starred Jerry Lester and Dagmar. Tonight was successful, and when Allen moved on to primetime comedy-variety shows in 1956, Jack Paar replaced him as host of Tonight. Paar left the show in 1962.

In 1998...Radio actor Lon Clark died at age 87.  He had the title role in Nick Carter, Master Detective on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1943 to 1955. He was also a familiar voice on such programs as the weekday serial Mommie and the Men, the frontier serial adventure Wilderness Road, the World War II dramas Words at War (1943–45) and Soldiers of the Press (1942–45), the quiz show Quick as a Flash, the soap opera Bright Horizon, the science fiction series 2000 Plus and Exploring Tomorrow, Lights Out, The Mysterious Traveler, The Kate Smith Hour, The March of Time, The Adventures of the Thin Man and Norman Corwin Presents, playing opposite such performers as Fred Allen, Art Carney, Helen Hayes and Orson Welles.

In 1998…'The Singing Cowboy' Gene Autry died of lymphoma at the age of 91.  Autry was a singer, songwriter, actor, musician and rodeo performer who gained fame largely by singing in a crooning style on radio, in films, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s.

 Autry was the owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films, and between 1950 and 1956 hosted The Gene Autry Show television series. During the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre's development after Jimmie Rodgers. His singing cowboy films were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience.

In addition to his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again", and his hit "At Mail Call Today", Autry is still remembered for his Christmas holiday songs, most especially his biggest hit "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as well as "Frosty the Snowman", "Here Comes Santa Claus", and "Up on the House Top".

Autry is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars in all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for film, television, music, radio, and live performance.  The town of Gene Autry, Oklahoma, was named in his honor.

In 2014...CBS Radio, Beasley Media agreed to swap stations.  Beasley announced that it entered into an asset exchange agreement with CBS Radio, whereby Beasley will exchange five stations in Philadelphia and Miami for fourteen CBS Radio stations in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia.

Don McLean is 76


  • Critic Rex Reed is 83. 
  • Singer Don McLean is 76. 
  • Country singer Jo-el Sonnier is 75. 
  • Actor Avery Brooks (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) is 73. 
  • Guitarist Mike Rutherford of Genesis and Mike and the Mechanics is 71. 
  • Musician Sting is 70. 
  • Actor Robin Riker (“General Hospital,” ″The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 69. 
  • Actor Lorraine Bracco (“The Sopranos”) is 67. 
  • Guitarist Greg Jennings of Restless Heart is 67. 
  • Tiffany is 50
    Singer Phil Oakey of Human League is 66. 
  • Singer Freddie Jackson is 65. 
  • Singer-producer Robbie Nevil is 63. 
  • Drummer Bud Gaugh of Sublime and Long Beach Dub All-Stars is 54. 
  • Musician Gillian Welch is 54. 
  • Actor Joey Slotnick (“Boston Public,” ″The Single Guy”) is 53. 
  • Country singer Kelly Willis is 53. 
  • Singer Dion Allen of Az Yet is 51. 
  • Actor-talk show host Kelly Ripa (“Live With Kelly and Michael,” ″All My Children”) is 51. 
  • Guitarist Jim Root of Slipknot is 50. 
  • Singer Tiffany is 50. 
  • Singer LaTocha Scott of Xscape is 49. 
  • Singer Lene Nystrom (Aqua) is 48. 
  • Actor Efren Ramirez (“Napoleon Dynamite”) is 48. 
  • Gospel singer and former “American Idol” contestant Mandisa is 45. 
  • Bassist Mike Rodden of Hinder is 39. 
  • Actor Christopher Larkin (“The 100”) is 34. 
  • Singer Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes is 33. 
  • Actor Samantha Barks (“Les Miserables is 31. 
  • Actor Elizabeth McLaughlin (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 28.

Friday, October 1, 2021

The Holiday Season Returns With iHR's Jingle Ball Tour

  • Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion and More Top Artists Lead All-Star Lineups in Major Cities Across the U.S. Including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • “The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One” Will Broadcast on December 15 as an Exclusive Network Television Special on The CW Network
iHeartMedia will celebrate the holiday season across the nation with its annual “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One” – the season's spectacular music event, which captures the music and holiday spirit of the iHeartRadio app with performances by this year’s biggest artists including Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion and more. The 2021 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One is back live in front of fans and will stop in Dallas/Ft. Worth; Los Angeles; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Philadelphia; New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Atlanta and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

“What started as a local show 26 years ago is now a globally televised holiday music event featuring the biggest hit artists and songs of the year,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia. “And, for those who can’t get a ticket to the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, they can watch on The CW Network, who will bring this music celebration to millions of fans’ living rooms with a two-hour TV broadcast special.”

Each year, iHeartMedia stations across the country host iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concerts in local cities that feature performances by the year’s most iconic artists as well as emerging talent. Z100's Jingle Ball in New York on Friday, December 10 will be carried live across the country on all iHeartRadio CHR stations nationwide and will livestream exclusively via The CW App and In addition, The CW Network will broadcast the event as an exclusive nationwide television special on Wednesday, December 15 at 8 p.m. EST/PST. The CW Network television special will also air again on Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

“The nation’s most iconic holiday event is back live on stage in front of screaming music fans with performances from some of today’s hottest artists,” said Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. “After being virtual last year, we’re excited to be able to celebrate the end of the year with artists and music fans across the country in person again.”

The 2021 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One Schedule Includes:
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth – Tuesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. CST – 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at Dickies Arena  The star-studded lineup features Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, The Kid LAROI, AJR, Tate McRae, Bazzi and Dixie D’Amelio
  • Los Angeles – Friday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. PST – 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at The Forum  The star-studded lineup features Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, The Kid LAROI, Saweetie, Black Eyed Peas, Tate McRae, Bazzi and Dixie D’Amelio
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul  – Monday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. CST – 101.3 KDWB's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul  The star-studded lineup features Lil Nas X, The Kid LAROI, Saweetie, Black Eyed Peas, Tate McRae, Bazzi, Dixie D’Amelio and Tai Verdes
  • Philadelphia  – Monday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST – Q102's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at Wells Fargo Center  The star-studded lineup features Doja Cat, Saweetie, AJR, Kane Brown, Tate McRae, Monsta X, Bazzi, Dixie D’Amelio and Tai Verdes
  • New York  – Friday, December 10, at 7 p.m. EST – Z100's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at Madison Square Garden  The star-studded lineup features Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Saweetie, AJR, Kane Brown, Tate McRae, Bazzi and Dixie D’Amelio  Z100’s Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One will air as a television special on The CW Network on Thursday, December 15 at 8 p.m. EST/PST. The CW Network will also video stream the mega-concert live exclusively on and The CW App.
  • Boston – Sunday, December 12, at 6 p.m. EST – KISS 108's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at TD Garden   The star-studded lineup features Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Black Eyed Peas, Tate McRae, Bazzi, Dixie D’Amelio and Tai Verdes
  • Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. EST – Hot 99.5's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at Capital One Arena   The star-studded lineup features Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Black Eyed Peas, Saweetie, AJR, Tate McRae, Monsta X, Bazzi, Dixie D’Amelio and Tai Verdes
  • Chicago  – Tuesday, December 7, at 7:30 p.m. CST – 103.5 KISS FM's Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at Allstate Arena   The star-studded lineup features Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Black Eyed Peas, Saweetie, AJR, Tate McRae, Bazzi and Dixie D’Amelio
  • Atlanta  – Thursday, December 16, at 7:30 p.m. EST – Power 96.1’s Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at State Farm Arena  The star-studded lineup features Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Black Eyed Peas, Tate McRae, Monsta X, Bazzi, Dixie D’Amelio and Tai Verdes
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Miami – Sunday, December 19, at 7 p.m. EST – Y100 Jingle Ball 2021 Presented by Capital One at FLA Live Arena, Ft. Lauderdale   The star-studded lineup features Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Black Eyed Peas, AJR, Saweetie, Tate McRae, Monsta X, Bazzi and Dixie D’Amelio 
For the eighth consecutive year, nine cities on the tour, including Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Boston; Philadelphia; New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Atlanta; and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale will partner with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring today's youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives. In addition, iHeartRadio’s 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball in Dallas will work with the Kidd's Kids program of the Kraddick Foundation, whose mission is to provide hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions. Each event will allocate a portion of ticket sales to its benefiting organization as well as offer exclusive packages through online auctions leading up to the events.

Artists and/or events subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Katie Couric Loved Getting Under Diane Sawyer's Skin

Katie Couric slammed Diane Sawyer in her new memoir, saying she was so desperate to beat her in the morning TV wars that she declared of her rival: “That woman must be stopped.”

This message was even emblazoned on a cushion for Couric by a “Today” colleague, she wrote in the forthcoming book, “Going There,” which isn’t out until October but was obtained by The NY Post.

In her sensational tell-all about her decades in cutthroat TV news, Couric, 64, admitted that competition between them was at one point careening out of control.

“I loved that I was getting under Diane’s skin,” she writes, although she freely admits that Sawyer got under hers just as much.

Couric spared nothing while discussing all her former co-stars, including Matt Lauer and Deborah Norville, alongside the producers that helped her find fame, as well as celebs such as Prince Harry and Martha Stewart.

But she saves particular venom for former “Good Morning America” anchor Sawyer, 75, whom she says was everything she wasn’t — tall, blonde, with a voice “full of money.”

Couric wrote that her one-time rival Sawyer portrayed herself as a devoted family woman to score an interview with abducted teens, Jacqueline Marris and Tamara Brooks.

But Couric’s booker ultimately won the interview back by pointing out that Sawyer was a step-mother and Couric a widowed mother of two young girls.

While Little, Brown and Company described the book, out Oct. 26, to The Post as “heartfelt, hilarious and very honest,” at times, it gets brutal.

For instance, when Sawyer scored a big interview with a woman who’d given birth to twins at 57, Couric pondered: “I wonder who she had to blow to get that.”

Although a joke, she said it didn’t seem that way when it ended up in the pages of the newspapers.

“I’m pretty sure I speak for Diane when I say neither of us ever resorted to actual fellatio to land an interview,” she wrote, “but we both engaged in the metaphoric kind — flattering gatekeepers, family members, and whoever else stood in the way of a big get.”

Dave Ramsey Company Facing Federal Suit

A new lawsuit has been filed in federal court after a lesbian employee at Ramsey Solutions felt forced to resign from her position due to the company "not recognizing homosexuality."

The Tennessean reports former employee Julie Anne Stamps, who lives in Rutherford County, came out as a lesbian while working in the customer care department, according to the complaint filed Sept. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. When she was hired, Stamps was married to a man and presented as straight.

But last spring, the lawsuit says Stamps came to terms with her sexuality, which she had questioned since middle school. She and her husband divorced in May 2020. 

Julie Ann Stamps
Stamps was encouraged to speak with her supervisor and confide in her during this time, the lawsuit says. She eventually opened up to her supervisor about the root of her divorce and shared her sexuality. The supervisor encouraged Stamps to see a Christian counselor who "saved" another person from homosexuality, the suit says.

Stamps later asked her supervisor about coming out to her coworkers and asked what would happen to her employment, according to the lawsuit. Stamps claims that her supervisor informed her that she wouldn't be permitted to bring a woman partner to any company outings, nor could she share her sexuality on social media. Ramsey Solutions, owned by financial titan Dave Ramsey, is known for a culture of conservative Christian beliefs.

When Stamps said that she'd be sharing her sexuality anyway, her supervisor told her she'd have to choose whether to stay with the company or not, the suit alleges.

She planned for her last day to be June 19, 2020, but after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the Bostock v. Clayton County case on June 15 ruling that discrimination based on homosexuality was a violation of Title VII, Stamps was terminated on June 17, according to the lawsuit. During her exit interview, she was told that Ramsey didn't agree "with that lifestyle," the suit alleges.  

"As Ms. Stamps knows, she left Ramsey Solutions voluntarily and on good terms to pursue another career opportunity," a Ramsey Solutions spokesperson said in a statement to The Tennessean. "Months later, Ms. Stamps changed the story to falsely accuse her former supervisor and friend of discrimination. While we are saddened by Ms. Stamps’ sudden reversal, we look forward to defending the company and her supervisor."

Wake-Up Call: Infrastructure Bill Vote Delayed

The House delayed a vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill negotiated this summer last night as Democrats continued to work on trying to reach agreement on President Biden's $3.5 trillion Build Back Better legislation. Centrist Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have been holdouts on reaching consensus because of concerns about the cost, and an eventual deal if reached almost certainly will have a lower price tag, with Manchin saying he doesn't want it to be more than $1.5 trillion. 

Progressives were refusing to vote in favor of the infrastructure bill without there also being a deal on the larger measure as well. Work will continue today, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying in a statement, "A great deal of progress has been made this week, and we are closer to an agreement than ever. But we are not there yet[.]"
  • Meanwhile, Congress passed and Biden signed legislation yesterday to keep the government funded and avoid a partial shutdown that would start today. The extension will keep the government funded until December 3rd.
➤NORTH KOREA CARRIES OUT ANOTHER MISSILE TEST: North Korea carried out another missile test Friday, it's fourth in less than a month, saying it had test-fired a new anti-aircraft missile. The missile tests that began in September have been North Korea's first in six months. South Korea, Japan and the U.S. usually confirm North Korea's missile tests soon after they take place, but didn't for this latest one, which AP said may indicate it wasn't a major weapons test. This test comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week expressed willingness to restore communication hotlines with South Korea, but called U.S. offers to restart stalled nuclear talks, quote, "cunning ways" to try to hide its hostility against the North.

➤NEW U.S. COVID CASES DOWN 25 PERCENT IN TWO WEEKS: New coronavirus cases in the U.S. have fallen 25 percent over the past two weeks, with experts cautiously optimistic that the delta wave may have finally peaked, according to Axios. Deaths, however, are still rising, up two percent over the past two weeks to an average of 2,000 per day, as they are they last indicator to decrease when a wave subsides. With the holidays coming up and colder weather driving people indoors, there will likely be localized outbreaks that could put strains on hospitals, particularly in areas with low vaccination rates.

➤ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW RULES LIMITING DEPORTATIONS: The adminstration yesterday announced new rules requiring pursuit for deportation only of those who recently entered the country illegally or who pose a threat to public safety. Those who entered recently under the rules is defined as after November 1, 2020, and being a threat to public safety is determined as being a national security threat or due to "serious criminal activity." Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters the policy is based on the reality that the U.S. can’t go after all people in the country without legal status and shouldn’t try to because many, quote, "have been contributing members of our communities for years."

➤CALIFORNIA SYNAGOGUE SHOOTER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR ATTACK THAT KILLED ONE: A 22-year-old white supremacist who opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle at a Southern California synagogue on the last day of Passover in April 2019, killing one person and wounding three others, was sentenced to life in prison without parole yesterday (September 30th). The sentence was expected, after a deal with prosecutors had spared John T. Earnest from the death penalty. Just after the shooting at Chabad of Poway near San Diego, Earnest had called 911 to say he did it to save white people, saying, "I’m defending our nation against the Jewish people, who are trying to destroy all white people."

➤SCHOOL BOARD GROUP ASKS FOR FEDERAL HELP OVER THREATS: The National School Boards Association, which represents school board members around the country, yesterday asked President Biden for federal help to investigate and stop threats that have been made against members over policies, including mask mandates. School board meetings across the country have been scenes of confrontation and threats by protesters during the pandemic. The association asked for the federal government to investigate when threats of violence could be handled as violations of federal laws protecting civil rights, and asked the Justice Department, FBI, Homeland Security and Secret Service to help monitor threat levels and assess risks to students, teachers, board members and school buildings, stating, "the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes." White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that while responsibility for protecting school boards is largely the purview of local law enforcement, they're "continuing to explore if more can be done from across the administration."

➤MILITARY SUICIDES UP 15 PERCENT LAST YEAR: The number of U.S. military suicides spiked by 15 percent last year, driven by significant increases in the Army and Marine Corps, according to data released yesterday. Although suicides in the armed forces have long been a problem, military leaders have previously said they believe the pandemic was adding stress to an already strained force. Since the pandemic began, troops have been involved in helping provide testing and vaccines, while dealing with the virus themselves and among family and friends, all on top of continued war zone deployments and response to national disasters and civil unrest. But Pentagon press secretary John Kirby acknowledged they can't fully explain the increases in suicides in recent years. Military leaders have been trying for years to reduce the stigma of getting mental health help.

➤STRANGERS LESS AWKWARD, MORE INTERESTED IN DEEP CONVERSATION THAN PEOPLE THINK: Conversations with strangers don’t typically get very deep, but a new study suggests that maybe they should. University of Chicago researchers found that people overestimate the awkwardness of deeper conversations and underestimate their enjoyment. But, researcher Nicholas Epley says if people could get past these misconceptions they could form more meaningful connections. He adds, “As the pandemic wanes and we all get back to talking with each other again, being aware that others also like meaningful conversation might lead you to spend less time in small talk and have more pleasant interactions as a result.”

➤THESE ARE THE DAYS IN THE YEAR YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO HIT A DEER:  It’s Autumn now, and your chance of hitting a deer with your car when driving on roads in rural areas is rising. Deer cause over one million motor vehicle accidents in the US each year, resulting in more than $1 billion in property damage, about 200 human deaths, and 29,000 serious injuries. Researchers figured out that your chances of hitting a deer or other hoofed animal increase when traffic is heavy, drivers are least alert, and driving conditions are poorest for spotting the animals. They specifically found that deer-vehicle accidents are eight times more frequent per hour of dusk than they are during daylight hours, and that they are four times more frequent at dusk than after nightfall. During the week, accidents happen most frequently on days with the most drivers on the road at dawn or dusk, and over the span of the month, most deer-vehicle accidents occur during the full moon, and at the time of night when the moon is brightest. Over the course of a year, the highest number of deer-vehicle accidents are in autumn, particularly during the rut, or mating season for deer. You’re also more likely to hit a deer when daylight saving time ends, which is on November 7th, 2021 in the US. Overall, experts say it’s important to remember that deer-vehicle accidents can occur at any time of day or night, on any day of the year, and that deer can show up in urban areas as well as rural ones.

➤PARENTS ARE WARNED CHILD KIDNAPPINGS MOST LIKELY ATTEMPTED DURING THESE DISTINCT TIMES OF DAY:  School is back in session, and experts say parents should make sure their kids know how to keep themselves safe. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) says that school-age children are at the greatest risk of an attempted abduction on school days compared to weekends, and that attempted abductions are most-likely to be carried out by non-relatives or strangers. Most attempted-abductions of school-age children were most likely to happen before school (7 a.m.- 9 a.m.) and after dinner (6 p.m.- 7 p.m.). Experts say you should also always report any attempted abduction to police, as even if there is no arrest, the NCMEC takes information from specific cases and uses it for its educational programming that it has for parents and children.

🏈BENGALS BEAT JAGUARS 24-21 ON FIELD GOAL AS TIME EXPIRES: The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-21 last night, getting the win on a 35-yard field goal by Evan McPherson as time expired. Cincinnati came back from being down 14-0 at halftime for the win. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow passed for 348 yards and two touchdowns, while Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, the top pick in the 2021 draft, is still looking for his first NFL win, with his team off to an 0-4 start.
🏀76ERS' EMBIID CALLS SIMMONS SITUATION 'BORDERLINE KIND OF DISRESPECTFUL': Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid yesterday called the situation with Ben Simmons, who's refused to report to training camp and plans to hold out for a trade, "disappointing" and, quote, "borderline kind of disrespectful" to the rest of the team. Embiid made the comments to reporters at training camp following a report by The Athletic that said Simmons feels his partnership with Embiid has, quote, "run its course." Embiid said that he believes the 76ers are better with Simmons, but stated, "[I] kind of owe it to these guys to worry about what we have here."

🏀ESPN..NBA COVID VACCINATION RATE NOW UP TO 95 PERCENT: The Covid-19 vaccination rate among NBA players has now risen to 95 percent, ESPN reported Thursday, citing league sources. The report said there's been a steady increase since the opening of training camps this week, a boost since it was around 90 percent near the start of camps. Unvaccinated players will face stringent restrictions during the season, and unvaccinated players whose home teams are in New York City and San Francisco may not be able to play in home games due to local government mandates.

⚾IOWA'S 'FIELD OF DREAMS' SITE LED BY GROUP HEADING BY HALL OF FAMER FRANK THOMAS: The "Field of Dreams" site in Iowa, where the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees played the "Field of Dreams Game" in August, has been bought by a group headed by baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. Thomas was at the site yesterday (September 30th), where the 1989 movie Field of Dreams was filmed, to annouce that he and his business partners had purchased a controlling stake in the site. He's expected to be CEO, while Dan Evans, the former general manager of the L.A. Dodgers, will be chief operating officer. Thomas said, "On the heels of last month's successful Field of Dreams game . . . the time is right."