Saturday, October 23, 2021

October 24 Radio History

In 1861…The transcontinental telegraph line across the United States was first completed.

Rudy Vallee

In of radio’s first “really big shows” The Fleishmann Hour starring Rudy Vallee was broadcast for the first time over NBC radio. Actually, the Rudy Vallee show had several different titles over the years, all of which were referred to by the public as The Rudy Vallee Show. Megaphone-totin’ Rudy and his Connecticut Yankees band were mainstays on radio into the late 1940s.

In 1930...Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson Jr. born (Died – February 3, 1959). He was known as The Big Bopper, he was a musician, songwriter, and disc jockey. His best known compositions include "Chantilly Lace" and "White Lightning", the latter of which became George Jones' first number-one hit in 1959. 

He was killed in a plane crash in Iowa in 1959, along with fellow musicians Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens and the pilot Roger Peterson. The accident was famously referred to as "The Day the Music Died" in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie".

Richardson worked part-time at Beaumont, Texas radio station KTRM (now Gospel KZZB). He was hired by the station full-time in 1949 and quit college. He soon was promoted to supervisor of announcers at KTRM.

In March 1955 he was drafted into the United States Army and did his basic training at Fort Ord, California. He spent the rest of his two-year service as a radar instructor at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

Richardson returned to KTRM radio following his discharge as a corporal in March 1957, where he held down the "Dishwashers' Serenade" shift from 11 am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday. One of the station's sponsors wanted Richardson for a new time slot, and suggested an idea for a show. Richardson had seen college students doing a dance called The Bop, and he decided to call himself "The Big Bopper". His new radio show ran from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and he soon became the station's program director.

From the Dick Clark Sarturday Night Show on ABC-TV in 1958...

Richardson is credited for creating the first music video in 1958, and recorded an early example himself.

In 1989...Hank Ballard, Bobby Darin, the Four Tops, the Four Seasons, Holland-Dozier-Holland, the Kinks, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the Platters, the Who, plus Simon & Garfunkel were all inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2002...Atlantic Records producer/engineer Tom Dowd died of emphysema. In his 77 years he’d recorded albums by many top artists including: Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Cream, Lulu, Chicago, The Allman Brothers Band, The J. Geils Band, Meat Loaf, Sonny & Cher, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Kenny Loggins, Dusty Springfield, The Drifters and Otis Redding.

➦In 2003...Radio Personality-Programmer, Dean Anthony died from cancer at age 68. He programmed WHLI-AM, Long Island for 22 years.

Anthony played country music at WJRZ (later WWDJ) in Hackensack, N.J., from 1970 until 1971 when he began a 10-year stint at WTFM New York. During a labor strike at WTFM in 1981, Anthony picked up part-time work at WHLI Hempstead, N.Y. He stayed there 22 years, twice being named program director of the year by Barnstable Broadcasting.

He was so well-liked that WHLI held a 10-hour tribute to him on the fifth anniversary of his death.

Anthony was also one of the original jocks during the '60's hey days of NYC radio at WMCA (Aircheck: Click Here) . Known by his listeners as 'Dean-O On The Radio' he was an original "WMCA Good Guy" who welcomed the Beatles, Rolling Stones, plus the entire Motown and British Invasion into the "Big Apple", as well as into the USA.

Before coming to WMCA, Anthony was program director and afternoon personality at WPGC Washington, D.C., from 1960 to 1964 as Dean Griffith. Prior to that, he was at WGH Norfolk, Va.

In 2016...Bobby Vee, the 60’s teen idol who had Hot 100 hits with “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Run to Him” and “Rubber Ball,” died following a five-year bout with Alzheimer’s disease at age 73. In 2013 Bob Dylan called Vee “the most meaningful person I’ve ever been onstage with.”

In  2017...Fats Domino, a pioneer of rock & roll, died in his hometown of New Orleans at age 89. A contemporary of Elvis, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis, Domino was among the first acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, thanks to a titanic string of 11 top ten hits between 1955 and 1960.

Bill Wyman is 85


  • Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman is 85. 
  • Actor F. Murray Abraham is 82. 
  • Actor Kevin Kline is 74. 
  • Actor Doug Davidson (“The Young and the Restless”) is 67. 
  • Actor B.D. Wong is 61. 
  • Actor Zahn McClarnon (“Reservation Dogs,” “Hawkeye”) is 55. 
  • Singer Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope is 44. 
  • Drummer Ben Gillies of Silverchair is 42. 
  • Singer Monica is 41. 
  • Singer-actor and co-host of “The Real” Adrienne Bailon Houghton of 3LW (“The Cheetah Girls”) is 38. 
  • Actor Tim Pocock (TV’s “Camp,” film’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) is 36. 
  • Rapper-actor Drake is 35. 
  • Actor Shenae Grimes (“90210”) is 32. 
  • Actor Eliza Taylor (“The 100”) is 32. 
  • Actor Ashton Sanders (“Moonlight”) is 26. 
  • Actor Hudson Yang (“Fresh Off the Boat”) is 18.

R.I.P.: Jay Black, Lead Singer for The Americans

Jay Black
Jay Black, also known as “The Voice,” whose height of fame came in the 1960s when he was the lead singer of the band Jay and the Americans, has died. 

He was 82 years old.

The band had numerous hits including “Cara Mia”, “Come a Little Bit Closer”, “This Magic Moment”, and “Only in America.”

Jay Black was the second, and more widely known, Jay to lead the band Jay and the Americans, the first being Jay Traynor. He had previously come from the doo-wop group The Empires, where he had sung lead on their 1962 lone Epic Records single “Time and a Place” b/w “Punch Your Nose”. He had previously used David Black as his professional name, but changed his first name to suit the band’s existing name. He would later bill himself as “Jay Black and the Americans” after the original band had broken up.

Black was born David Blatt in New York City and grew up in Brooklyn in the neighborhood of Borough Park. In his later career, he has become known for touring New York State and Florida, singing, mainly solo. Jay and his brother speak Yiddish fluently. In 1966, he recorded a Yiddish song “Where Is My Village” about the Holocaust.

Black had previously used David Black as his professional name, but changed his first name to suit the band's pre-existing name. He would later bill himself as "Jay Black and the Americans" after the original band had broken up.

Report: 'Nothing Works' After Cyberattack At Sinclair

In the early hours of Sunday morning, hackers took down the corporate servers and systems of Sinclair Broadcast Group, a giant U.S. TV conglomerate that owns or operates more than 600 channels across the country. reports days later, inside the company, “it's pandemonium and chaos,” as one current employee, who asked to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak to the press. 

“There is no work right now. Nothing works.”

Sinclair has released very few details about the attack since it was hacked Sunday. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the group behind the attack is the infamous Evil Corp., a ransomware gang that is believed to be based in Russia and which was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury department in 2019.  

The ransomware attack interfered with several channels’ broadcast programming, preventing them from airing ads or NFL games, as reported by The Record, a news site owned by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. It has also left employees confused and wondering what's going on, according to current Sinclair workers.

“Whoever did this, they either by accident or by design did a very good job,” a current employee said in a phone call, explaining that there are some channels that haven’t been able to air commercials since Sunday. “We're really running in the blind [...] you really can't do your job.”  

Employees did not have access to their emails until Tuesday morning, according to the two employees and text messages seen by Motherboard. The office computers, however, are still locked by the company out of precaution, and Sinclair told employees not to log into their corporate VPN, which they usually used to do their jobs. 

Until Thursday, the company was communicating with employees via text, according to the sources, who shared some of the texts sent by the company. In one of them, they called for an all hands meeting. The meeting, according to the two current employees, was quick and vague. 

A Sinclair spokesperson declined to answer a series of detailed questions based on what the current employees said. Instead, the spokesperson sent the following statement: “Sinclair Broadcast Group continues to work diligently to restore the business operations that were disrupted by the recent cybersecurity incident. We are bringing the systems involved back online quickly and securely, and in a way that prioritizes critical business operations. All of our stations and Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are currently on the air and broadcasting. While we are still working to return to our complete regular programming schedule and to resolve all programming issues that may arise, network and major sports programming has aired as scheduled, a large portion of other programming has and is airing as scheduled, and all our news stations are providing news programming to our viewers. Our teams are continuing to work around the clock to address this situation, and we appreciate our colleagues’ and viewers’ patience and support.”

The other current employee said that the stations he works on are not airing any commercials at all.

FOX Weather Streaming Service Goes Live Monday

FOX Weather, FOX News Media’s 24/7 ad-supported streaming weather service will launch on Monday, announced its president, Sharri Berg. The new service marks FOX News Media’s eighth platform under the leadership of CEO Suzanne Scott as its original linear network FOX News Channel celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. 

FOX Weather is a free service that will be available at and through the FOX Weather app for iOS and Android. FOX Weather will also be available on internet-connected TVs via FOX NOW, the FOX News app, and Tubi.

Utilizing FOX News Channel’s expansive newsgathering units along with FOX Television Stations’ unrivaled team of 120 meteorologists, FOX Weather will offer users a comprehensive suite of weather products featuring local, regional, and national reporting, in addition to live programming. The platform will also showcase an innovative approach to forecasting, optimizing multiple radar systems, including an immersive, state of the art 3D radar to deliver the most informative coverage surrounding all weather patterns, from immediate to long-term.

Fox Weather will also aim to make the science of meteorology more relevant to people’s lives, reports Bloomberg. Users can get alerts for 42 kinds of weather. They can learn about funnel clouds or graupel, a type of soft hail. When planning upcoming life events, Berg said, they can track forecasts several months into the future using the same data that many companies rely on to predict what supplies to buy for the following year. 

“I think wedding planners are going to want to advertise on this,” Berg said.

By squaring off against a well-established incumbent like the Weather Channel, Murdoch’s new venture calls to mind some of the most audacious and successful gambits of his career, from challenging ABC, CBS and NBC with the advent of the Fox broadcast network in 1986 to taking on CNN with the launch of Fox News in 1996. 

Fox Weather is moving into a market dominated by long-time players like The Weather Channel and AccuWeather — both of whom have been busy building their own new products — as well as aggressive niche players, reports The Associated Press.

When Berg scrolls through weather apps, she said she sees many specialty services that concentrate on things like surf conditions or wind. Besides convenience and clarity, Berg said one of Fox’s chief selling points will be offering a single destination for people to get many things — local forecasts (with 3-D radar), severe weather warnings, weather-related news stories and a video stream that operates like a traditional TV network.

“It’s not so much reinventing the way you tell the weather story, it’s just improving upon it,” said Steve Baron, Fox Weather senior vice president for digital products and strategy.

Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel, sounded almost giddy at the prospect of another challenger.

“I’m just a kid from Detroit pinching myself, to be in competition with Rupert Murdoch, one of the greatest media moguls of all time,” Allen said. “That’s an honor for me.

“I would have been disappointed if he didn’t come into the weather space, because it’s a great space, and it’s an important space,” he said. “We certainly don’t mind the competition.”

The Weather Channel next year is introducing subscription-based streaming services so people who have abandoned cable will have access to their programming. It will also launch a Spanish-language streaming service.

Allen pointed to consumer surveys that rate The Weather Channel highly as a source of information. “They know we are reliable and trusted,” he said. “You don’t get that overnight. It is earned.”

During Capitol Riot, Facebook Struggled With Its Own Insurrection

After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, far-right activists launched an online campaign to form what they called a Patriot Party as an alternative to the Republican Party.

Facebook Inc. worked to kill it, citing information it said showed the movement was being pushed by white nationalists and self-styled militias who had worked to instigate the riot, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook engineers made it harder for organizers to share Patriot Party content, restricted the visibility of groups connected to the movement and limited “super-inviters” from recruiting new adherents, according to a March review.

“We were able to nip terms like Patriot Party in the bud before mass adoption,” said another memo.

The surgical strike was part of a strategy Facebook adopted early this year to stop what it calls “harmful communities” from gaining traction on its platform before they spread too far. Rather than just taking action against posts that violate its rules, or that originate with actors such as Russia-based trolls, Facebook began putting its thumb on the scale against communities it deemed to be a problem. In April, based on the same policy, it took aim at a German conspiracy movement called Querdenken.

Internal Facebook documents show that people inside the company have long discussed a different, more systematic approach to restrict features that disproportionately amplify incendiary and divisive posts. The company rejected those efforts because they would impede the platform’s usage and growth.

According to Bloomberg,  Facebook said it ran the largest voter information campaign in U.S. history and took numerous steps to limit content that sought to delegitimize the election, including suspending Donald Trump’s account and removing content that violated company policies. 

Facebook spent more than two years preparing for the 2020 election with more than 40 teams across the company and removed more than 5 billion fake accounts that year, according to a company statement. In addition, from March to Election Day, the company removed more than 265,000 pieces of Facebook and Instagram content in the U.S. for violating voter interference policies. It also deployed measures before and after Election Day to keep potentially harmful content from spreading before content reviewers could assess them, which the company likened to shutting down an entire town’s road and highways to respond to a temporary threat, according to the statement. 

Over the 24 hours that followed the insurrection, employees — whose names are redacted in the documents— used the internal version of Facebook to debate the company’s performance in frank terms. Among the criticisms: that Facebook failed to aggressively act against “Stop the Steal” groups that coalesced around the false notion that former President Trump had won the election.  And that the company's leaders repeatedly let down rank-and-file employees fighting to more aggressively curtail misinformation and other harms.

Decline of the Facebook Brand Has Been Steady

Facebook’s brand reputation in the United States is on a steady downward slope, as whistleblower Frances Haugen adds to the pile of controversies that have engulfed the social media giant in recent years, according to Morning Consult

But these scandals aren’t dragging down Facebook’s advertisers, and the platform is still boasting healthy favorability ratings abroad and usage metrics in the United States.

When considering brand reputation, it’s important to keep two things in mind: News doesn’t always penetrate as deep as you might think, and consumers have short memories. Most brand scandals cause temporary, mostly online uproar, and are largely forgotten six months later.

For Facebook, however, it’s not one imbroglio, but a constant drumbeat of scandals that has caused its reputation to slowly decline in the United States.

Facebook’s favorability rating slump started in March 2018, when news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

Prior to this major news event, just 18 percent of U.S. adults held a negative view of the company. That has steadily increased to 35 percent today. The brand’s net favorability in the United States has halved since Morning Consult began tracking it in October 2016, from 40 percentage points then to 20 points today. This data is pulled from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, which tracks thousands of brands in more than a dozen countries.

Rogers Communications Disrupted With Family Spat

The ousted chairman of Canada's Rogers Communications Inc has laid out plans to regain control of the board in the latest twist to a feud over who should lead one of Canada's biggest telecoms companies, reports Reuters.

The aggressive move late Thursday by Edward Rogers, the only son of late founder Ted Rogers, comes just hours after the company's board voted to remove him as chairman while family members fight among themselves for control of the company.

Rogers will remain a director, the company said. He also chairs the Rogers Control Trust, the family-controlled entity that holds voting control in Rogers Communications.

He proposed the removal of five directors, including John MacDonald who replaced him as chair, with his own candidates, saying that as the chair of the trust he "believes that it would be in the best interests of RCI to reconstitute the Board".

Rogers' exit adds another layer of uncertainty for the company after he attempted to replace Chief Executive Officer Joe Natale with the company's now former chief financial officer in late September. The move put him at odds with his sisters and mother, all of whom are fellow board directors and said they supported Natale.

The family spat, rare in the Canadian corporate landscape, sparked a review of Rogers' corporate governance, with experts saying the tussle highlighted the need for strong independent directors.

Earlier on Thursday, Natale told analysts that the board meeting to consider third-quarter earnings had "a very strong, collaborative and thoughtful discussion" on the future of the business, including the C$20 billion ($16.2 billion) bid for smaller rival Shaw Communications.

That deal would further boost its position in Canada's highly concentrated telecoms market and has attracted scrutiny from multiple government regulators over whether it will decrease competition.

On Tuesday, Edward Rogers said there was "room for improvement" in the company's long-term performance following a report he had held talks with potential candidates to replace board members.

Rogers added 175,000 subscribers who pay a monthly bill as demand rebounded on easing pandemic-led travel restrictions, while wireless service revenue increased 3%.

D-C Radio: Jen Richer Returns To iHM As APD

Jen Richer
iHeartMedia Washington D.C. announced Frday that Jen Richer has been named cluster Assistant Program Director, effective November 1. 

As Assistant Program Director, Richer will be responsible for assisting the region Program Directors with their day-to-day programming responsibilities and digital operations for all seven radio stations. She will report to Jeff Kapugi, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.

Richer returns to the Washington, D.C. Region from WMAL-FM, where she most recently served as the Executive Producer for “The Vince Coglianese Show.” 

Throughout her career she has held several programming roles including stints as Executive Producer for iHeartMedia Washington D.C.’s 104.7 WONK- FM’s “Reaction Zone,” News Director for iHeartMedia Washington D.C., Co-host and Executive Producer of “The Tommy Show” on WIAD-FM; and Host and Executive Producer of “The Fresh Perspective Show” on WIAD-FM. She began her career at WMAL-FM in 2006 and is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jen Richer back to the iHeartMedia Washington, D.C. team in this newly created position,” said Kapugi. “Jen’s passion and dedication to radio and all things Washington, D.C. are an incredible asset – we can’t wait to see her back in action.”

“I am so excited to rejoin the team at iHeartMedia Washington, D.C. for this incredible new opportunity to work with such a talented team of programmers and talent,” said Richer. “There couldn’t be a more important time for radio to connect with our listeners as we start transitioning into the ‘new normal,’ and I am looking forward to helping deliver an awesome experience for the Washington D.C community through these landmark stations.”

Poll: America's Most Favorite Candy

On Halloween night, American adults favor Original M&M candy, with the colorful, chocolate pack winning 76.1% of the match-ups it was shown in. The classic candy was followed by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in second place, with a 74.4% win rate. These two were also the top two candies chosen, in reverse order, by the 8- to 14-year-olds whom YouGov surveyed, making them clear overall winners for people who want to fill their trick-or-treat bowls with nationally popular items. Just get ready to refill often.

➤Adults in the United States pick M&Ms as the best Halloween treat 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are followed by crispy Kit Kat bars (72.8% win percentage) in third place. The top five is rounded out by Peanut M&Ms and Butterfinger bars, which each won about 70% of their match-ups. Chocolate dominated: It was the main flavor in each of the top 18 adult picks. 

➤The best Halloween candy to steal from your kids

Of course, most adults aren’t trick-or-treating on Halloween night (unless they are taking kids). With that in mind, we looked at the differences in taste between adults and kids, which might make it a little easier to decide what candies considerate but hungry parents ought to swipe first from their kids, and which candies to leave behind. 

Adults prefer certain chocolates — such as dark chocolate, mint chocolate, or nutty chocolate — much more than kids do. The adults we polled were much more likely than kids to choose Dove Dark Chocolate bars, Andes Chocolate Mints, and Almond Joys, for instance. 

Kids are much more likely to select sour candies, fruit-flavored candies, or chewy candies. More than adults, they love Sour Punch Twists, sparking Pop Rocks, chewy AirHeads, or the straight sugar rush of Pixy Stix.

October 23 Radio History

In 1904...David Ford Bond born (Died at age 57 – August 15, 1962). He was the announcer for several popular radio shows in the 1930s and 1940s, earning him a spot on the This Is Your Life television show.  For his work on radio, Bond has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6706 Hollywood Blvd.

Bond began working on radio at WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky, and joined NBC in 1928. For 20 years in the 1930s and 1940s, he was the announcer for several radio soap operas and other shows, including the advertising voice for a sponsor's product called Bab-O. He was also a sports announcer for NBC radio in the 1930s, calling college football games as well as the 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and 1934 World Series.

For almost 30 years, Bond was the spokesman for Cities Service petroleum company, "the longest sponsor-announcer association in the history of radio".

In 1928…RCA announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company, more commonly known as RKO, with David Sarnoff (general manager of RCA) as its chairman of the board.

In 1932...the "Fred Allen Show" premiered on radio.  Allen's radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio.

Fred Allen
His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it was only part of his appeal; radio historian John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote that Allen was radio's most admired comedian and most frequently censored.

A master ad libber, Allen often tangled with his network's executives (and often barbed them on the air over the battles), while developing routines whose style and substance influenced fellow comic talents, including Groucho Marx, Stan Freberg, Henry Morgan and Johnny Carson; his avowed fans also included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and novelists William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Herman Wouk (who began his career writing for Allen).

➦In 1940...Ellie Greenwich, songwriter with Jeff Barry on "Leader Of The Pack" by the Shangri-Las, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, "River Deep, Mountain High" for the Supremes & Four Tops and many others, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Ellie Greenwich
Joining forces with legendary producer Phil Spector, a string of legendary hits were created, including: "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Chapel Of Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High." With Barry, this trend continued with number one smashes, such as "Hanky Panky," "Do Wah Diddy" and the epic "Leader Of The Pack," co-written with Shadow Morton.

Also, during these years, Greenwich reigned as one of New York's top demo/session singers and vocal arrangers, working with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. One of her most exciting sessions was re-arranging the background vocals on Aretha Franklin's "Chain Of Fools" and working with Cissy Houston and the 'Sweet Inspirations.'

During one of her many demo sessions, Greenwich met and "discovered" Neil Diamond and went on to co-produce all his early hits such as "Cherry, Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman," doing background vocals as well.

She died of a heart attack in New York City August 26, 2009.

In 1972...WOR 98.7 FM becomes WXLO. (Now WEPN 98.7 FM ESPN)

In 2001...Apple introduced the iPod.

➦In 2013…Longtime New York City Radio/TV sportcaster/program host "the Amazin'" Bill Mazer, who earlier in his career worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Buffalo, died at the age of 92.

Mazer's broadcasting career began in 1942, broadcasting in Grand Rapids, Michigan before joining the United States Military that same year.

His career as a sportscaster began in Buffalo, New York in 1947, where he signed on as a sportscaster on WKBW. In 1947, he was also the commercial announcer on the CBS William L. Shirer Newscast, as well as the commercial announcer for the soap opera, When a Girl Marries.

By 1948, he had also become the sports director for WGR radio and served as principal sports anchor for WGR-TV from the time that station signed on in 1954 through the early 1960s. Mazer dominated the airwaves in Buffalo, broadcasting the hockey and baseball Buffalo Bisons, the All-American Football Conference Buffalo Bills and Little 3 Basketball. With years of play-by-play and sports commentary in Buffalo under his belt, Mazer arrived in New York City in 1964 when WNBC (AM) went to its first all-talk format. His show was one of the pioneer examples of the modern sports talk show in America.

After filling in for Hugh Downs on the NBC game show Concentration, he was given his own show, Reach for the Stars, in January 1967, but the show was quickly cancelled. Mazer also filled in for segments of Monitor, even hosting on occasion.

Mazer served as a color analyst and intermission host, working alongside Dan Kelly on CBS' National Hockey League coverage from the late sixties until the early seventies, broadcasting the Stanley Cup playoffs a few times. Golf was another Mazer specialty on NBC, including the U.S. Open and Bing Crosby tournaments in the mid-1960s. ABC used Mazer for its regional New York football lineup in the late 1960s. Mazer also did sideline reporting for CBS coverage of the NFL in the late 1960s.

'Weird Al' Yankovic


  • Singer Barbara Ann Hawkins of The Dixie Cups is 78. 
  • Director Ang Lee is 67. 
  • Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 65. 
  • Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 65. 
  • Director-actor Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man” films) is 62. 
  • Singer “Weird Al” Yankovic is 62. 
  • Bassist Robert Trujillo of Metallica is 57. 
  • Singer David Thomas of Take 6 is 55. 
  • Drummer Brian Nevin of Big Head Todd and The Monsters is 55. 
  • Meghan McCain is 37
    Singer Junior Bryant of Ricochet is 53. 
  • Actor John Huertas (“Castle”) is 52. 
  • Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 49. 
  • Bassist Eric Bass of Shinedown is 47. 
  • “So You Think You Can Dance” host Cat Deeley is 45. 
  • Actor Ryan Reynolds is 45. 
  • Actor Saycon Sengbloh (TV’s “In The Dark”) is 44. 
  • Singer Matthew Shultz of Cage The Elephant is 38. 
  • Former “The View” host Meghan McCain is 37. 
  • Actor Masiela Lusha (“George Lopez”) is 36. 
  • Singer Miguel is 36. 
  • Actor Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) is 35. 
  • Actor Inbar Lavi (“Imposters,” ″Prison Break”) is 35. 
  • Actor Jessica Stroup (“90210”) is 35. 
  • Trumpeter Allen Branstetter of St. Paul and the Broken Bones is 31. 
  • Actor Taylor Spreitler (“Kevin Can Wait”) is 28. 
  • Actor Margaret Qualley (TV’s “Fosse/Verdon”) is 27. 
  • Actor Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) is 23.

Friday, October 22, 2021

NYC Radio: Audacy Drops Country for R&B Throwbacks on 94.7 FM

UPDATE 1PM Friday: Official...

Audacy today announced the immediate launch of 94.7 The Block, New York’s new No. 1 for throwbacks. The station will feature a wide collection of classic hip-hop hits and throwbacks, including favorites from Jay-Z, Fugees, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé, LL Cool J, The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige and more.

“94.7 The Block will provide a compelling soundtrack for New York’s biggest music fans, offering songs and artists that are synonymous with New York’s iconic hip-hop culture and that still strongly resonate with listeners today across all generations,” said Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy New York. “This was an opportunity to add a quintessential New York sound to our audio portfolio that has been missing in the area, while at the same time continuing to engage with our New York country audience thru HD and digital platforms.”

94.7 The Block will launch with 25,000 throwback songs in a row, commercial-free. More programming details and local on-air talent will be announced in the coming months.

Listeners can tune in to 94.7 The Block in New York on air, as well as nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Listeners can still listen to New York’s Country on air at WNSH-FM 94.7 HD2 and nationwide via the Audacy app and website. Fans can remain connected with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

UPDATE 12:50 PM Friday: No official word from Audacy..but checkout this logo:

UPDATE 12:30 PM Friday: Audacy announced on air that the country format would be moving 'one click over' to 94.7 FM HD2.  No word on a format for the main frequency.

Earlier Story...

It became apparent this morning that a format switch is coming, perhaps today at Audacy's Country station WNSH 94.7 FM.

On-air personalities reportedly are saying their goodbye today, with country format celebrities calling in.

Listen Here 

The station flipped to a country format when owned by Cumulus Media. On February 13, 2019, Cumulus announced that WNSH would be traded to Entercom, as part of an exchange of WNSH and several stations in Springfield, Massachusetts for Entercom stations in Indianapolis; in the same announcement, Cumulus revealed the separate sale of sister station WPLJ and other outlets to Educational Media Foundation.

Entercom (now Audacy) assumed control of the station beginning March 1, 2019 under a local marketing agreement and WNSH maintained its country format.  The swap was finalized on May 9.

On March 25, 2019, WNSH rebranded as New York's Country 94.7, with no change in lineup or programming.

Sacramento Radio: Sportscaster Sues Bonneville

Grant Napear

Grant Napear, the former NBA announcer who parted ways with Sports KHTK 1140 AM in Sacramento after tweeting "All Lives Matter" in the middle of racial tension amid the death of George Floyd, has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Bonneville the station’s parent company on Thursday.

FOX News reports Napear, who was the Sacramento Kings’ play-by-play announcer since 1988, filed the suit against Bonneville International alleging wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation, FOX40 Sacramento reported. Napear is seeking damages, including lost future wages and emotional distress.

The 62-year-old New York native tweeted in response to a question from former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins days after Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

"While we appreciate Grant’s positive contributions to KHTK over the years, his recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do not reflect the views or values of Bonneville International Corporation," the company said.

Bonneville International didn’t comment on the Napear lawsuit.

Last October, Napear didn’t appear to have any regrets over the tweet.

"And I said ‘all lives matter, every single one’, because I meant it. Do the lives of Black people matter? Hell yeah, the lives of Black people matter," Napear told FOX 40 Sacramento.

Grant Napear Complaint by FOX40 News

iHeartMedia Issues Memo On New Work Environment

iHeartMedia says it will maximize its technology to create a new team work environment at stations nationwide. iHM's Bob Pittman, Chariman/CEO, and Rish Bressley, President/CFO have authored a memo regarding re-populating its offices as the pandemic loosens it grip on the nation.

According to the memo, some will continue to operate in work from home, while other workers will operate under what the company calls a "new work environment," utilizing the skills and new ways of working learned over the past 18 months that have increased productivity.

Here's the widely circulated  memo:

Ever since the pandemic hit there has been a great deal of discussion about "Return to Office." We initially thought that, once the worst of the pandemic was over, we'd all be returning to our offices and using them as a "home base" for our work environment in the same way as we always have.

But clearly that construct fails to take into consideration everything we've learned in the last year and a half -- from new skills and new ways of working to maximizing our technology to enable us to communicate, innovate and work together as a team. So we will never "return to the office" as we all knew it; instead, we'll be returning to a "new work environment."

At iHeart we expect this new work environment will enable greater productivity and at the same time be more responsive to how you live your life. It's an important new approach to reinventing the work environment for our company, and we think it will allow us to continue to better innovate and move more quickly than others can. Although we'll start as a hybrid of working from home and some use of the office, we know it will evolve as we learn together. We should all think about the office as a productivity tool, vs. that more rigid "home base" we've been used to - and the office will always be open for your use.

For example, there are some essential jobs for which employees have been in the office every day, and many of those will continue to be in the office. Some people have not been in the office at all over the last year and a half, and we anticipate that a few of those will continue that way. However, overall we think most people will have a hybrid approach, one in which they'll spend a period of time in the office every week, depending on what their team's needs are. And even that schedule may vary week to week, or even month to month, depending on what you are working on.

As we think about the office as a productivity tool, the primary values of productivity are collaboration and innovation -- and many of you are going to return to offices that have been redesigned and rebuilt over the past year to focus on collaboration at their heart. We have all found that if we need private time for task work we can do it from home - but the primary value of being in the office is to be around others, to collaborate and share and build ideas, so we're designing our new spaces to maximize interaction and collaboration.

Of course there will be some hurdles we'll need to address as we move forward, like tracking and measuring productivity, giving you the feedback you need, etc. - but as the number one audio company in America we want to be at the forefront of innovation in the work environment, and the fear of those hurdles should not restrain us from moving forward in any way.

On a practical note, your individual schedule will be developed with your managers, built around the needs and timetables of each location and function, and hopefully tailored to everyone's specific talents and jobs. In this process, the most important thing we can do is protect your wellbeing. To that end, we would encourage you to follow the latest recommendations for both vaccines and office protocols. We'll remain committed to providing you support through all our office and company policies.

We would not be able to implement this new way of working if you hadn't been so successful in executing at such a high level over the last 18+ months in such challenging circumstances, and we're extremely proud of what you all continue to build and accomplish. Our ability to evolve to this new kind of workplace is a testament to all the people who work here and your unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation. iHeartMedia is a true one of a kind company that leads, not follows - including envisioning and delivering the New Work Environment built around our core company values, which you'll find attached. We believe those values are more relevant and important than ever before and remain at the foundation of our company - including our new work environment.

Bob and Rich

Report: ABC Meghan McCain's 'Toxic' Comments Are B.S.

Meghan McCain (TMZ graphic)

Meghan McCain still seems to be stirring controversy at ABC months after her exit from The View. After McCain raised a number of allegations about a "toxic" workplace and co-hosts during her four-year tenure on the long-running daytime talk show, ABC bosses are reportedly "furious," pushing back against her claims behind-the-scenes, according to

The upset was sparked this week amid promotion for McCain's new memoir, Bad Republican, portions of which were obtained by Fox News media correspondent Howard Kurtz. In the audiobook, McCain claimed she faced "toxic, direct and purposeful hostility" during her time on the show, specifically calling out her former The View co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, whom she said "grew meaner and less forgiving" throughout the course of Donald Trump's presidency. 

McCain wrote she felt her colleagues began to see her "as if I had become an avatar for everything they hated about the president." McCain raised similar allegations in an interview with Variety, where she described The View as "unhinged and disorganized and rowdy" and a place that made her feel isolated "because of my political ideology" as her co-hosts would take "out their anger on the administration on" her.

However, the truth behind the allegations reportedly paints a very different picture, according to sources close to production who spoke to TMZ. According to those sources, ABC executives, who are reportedly "furious" over McCain's remarks, have said McCain was largely responsible for the on-set toxicity on The View. The sources claimed an internal investigation into the "toxic" environment was carried out, "but mostly due to Meghan's behavior on and off camera, not her coworkers." During the investigation, ABC News President Kim Godwin met with key stakeholders, with the "thorough" investigation finding that McCain "was the source of a lot of the in-fighting" and McCain "was, more often than not, the instigator of" those heated on-air disputes.

The sources also hit back at McCain's claims that McCain left the long-running talk show of her own volition. In both her memoir and in an interview with Variety, McCain claimed that it was a Jan. 5 comment from Behar upon her return from maternity leave that prompted her decision to leave. However, TMZ, citing those sources, reported "the network was ready to move on too" and her exit "was a long time coming," as many at the network reportedly felt McCain's exit should have come sooner, but former boss James Goldston neglected to move on that due to fear of "conservative backlash. The sources alleged the findings of the internal investigation "essentially forced" McCain out of her role.

Wake-Up Call: Prop Discharges On Set, Baldwin Kills Crew Member

Daily Mail 10/22/21

Alec Baldwin discharged a “prop firearm” while filming in New Mexico on Thursday (Oct. 21st), killing the director of photography and wounding the director.

According to a Santa Fe Sheriff’s department press release, authorities responded to the incident at Bonanza Creek Ranch just before 2 p.m. local time following 911 call indicating that someone had been shot on set.

The director of photography, 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, died at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque and 48-year-old director Joel Souza was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center where he was receiving emergency care.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Baldwin, who both produces and stars in the film, was seen outside of the sheriff’s office headquarters “distraught and in tears” while on the phone.

A spokesperson for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department told Deadline, “Mr. Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released. No arrests or charges have been filed. This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

Rust Movie Productions LLC also issued a statement to the outlet saying that production has been halted and they are cooperating with the sheriff’s department’s investigation.

➤COVID CASES AND DEATHS ARE DECLINING: The Delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be easing in the U.S. An average 79,000 new cases per day were reported as of October 19th, a drop of 22 percent over the previous two weeks. Deaths have fallen by 14 percent during the same period. The numbers are expected to decline further through the next few weeks.

In another bit of good news, Hawaii will reopen fully to leisure and business visitors as of November 1st. In August, Governor David Ig had urged visitors to stay away because the state's hospitals were overflowing with patients. New COVID cases there have fallen 50 percent in just two weeks.

➤DEATH OF FUGITIVE LAUNDRIE CONFIRMED: Partial human remains found earlier this week in a Florida wilderness park have been confirmed by the FBI to be those of Brian Laundrie, the fugitive from justice. Laundrie was suspected in the murder of Gabby Petito, who was found dead in a remote part of Wyoming after going on a road trip with Laundrie.

➤BANNON HELD IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS: Steve Bannon, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has been held in contempt of Congress in a vote of the House of Representatives. He has refused to respond to a subpoena to testify before a House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The House vote was 229-202 and included nine Republicans in favor. The vote may lead to criminal charges being brought against Bannon by the Department of Justice.

➤RECORD CLOSE FOR S&P 500: The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at a record high of 4,550 yesterday, following the Dow Jones Index on its upwards trajectory. Strong profits and year-end optimism are fueling the stock rally, which wiped out a two-month swoon.

➤MOSCOW BACK IN LOCKDOWN: Russia is enduring its worst-ever surge in COVID-19 cases, and the city of Moscow is imposing a universal 10-day lockdown starting next week in response. Unvaccinated people over 60 or suffering from chronic diseases have already been ordered to stay home for four months.

➤CLEARED AFTER 19 YEARS IN PRISON: Kim Hoover-Moore spent nearly 19 years in prison after being convicted of killing a baby in her care. Now, new evidence in the case has led to her release. A new analysis of the evidence showed that an earlier undetected injury could have led to the bleeding that killed the nine-month-old baby who was being cared for by Hoover-Moore at the time of her death in 2002.
A number of convictions for shaken baby syndrome have been scrutinized recently as new evidence emerges to challenge the diagnosis.

➤ABOUT THAT FIREBALL OVER THE MIDWEST: That fireball that streaked through the sky over the Midwest in the early hours Wednesday has been identified by NASA as a satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and fragmented. That's almost disappointing since many observers saw an eruption of green, yellow, red and white lights across the sky during the event, which occurred at 12:43 AM. According to The Detroit News, Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell believes the object was a Russian spy satellite called Kosmos-2552 that failed at launch on September 9th and has been orbiting the Earth ever since. His conclusion has not been corroborated.

➤SHOPPERS ARE PARTLY TO BLAME FOR AMERICA’S CRIPPLING LABOR SHORTAGES: There’s a labor shortage happening in the U.S., and it’s been blamed on lazy workers, or workers being disincentivized by expanded federal unemployment benefits. But survey results suggest another group should take some of the blame: consumers who have treated workers poorly. A poll of restaurant workers earlier this year found 80 percent said they had experienced hostile behavior from customers who didn’t want to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. About 50 percent said they were considering leaving their jobs, and of that group, 40 percent said it was because of customer hostility and harassment. A survey of restaurant workers released in August showed similar results—more than 66 percent said a key reason for the labor shortage was customer disrespect. Stores such as Gap and H&M are trying to rebalance the power between customers and workers by launching campaigns to shield workers from hostile customers. Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School says, “Workers will understandingly seek a best decision for themselves, something they haven’t had the luxury of in the past.

⚾THE DODGERS STAY IN THE GAME: The Los Angeles Dodgers are not done yet. Thanks to three home runs by Chris Taylor, they defeated the Atlanta Braves 11-2 last night. They still trail the Braves 3-2 heading into Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in Atlanta tomorrow night.

➤ENES KANTER VS. CHINA: China is in a snit over criticism of its human rights record from Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter. So, it has blocked highlights of the team's games from the Chinese internet. Kanter posted a video on social media voicing his support for Tibet and calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator." China has a history of intimidating political dissidents and religious leaders in Tibet, supposedly an autonomous region of China.

🏀BEN SIMMONS IN TALKS WITH 76ERS MANAGEMENT: Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons is expected to meet with the team's leadership today. Simmons requested a trade four months ago and has shown little enthusiasm for his job since. Most recently, he got thrown out of a practice session and barred from this week's 76ers game against the New Orleans Pelicans. He is officially listed as "doubtful" for tonight's game against the Brooklyn Nets.

🏈WASHINGTON HIRES TWO NEW COACHES: Washington State is hiring two new coaches to fill the giant hole in its coaching staff, The Athletic reports. Quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison and offensive line coach Dennis McKnight, both formerly with Hawaii and SMU, are expected to join the Cougars staff. Washington State fired head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

➤LONGHORN LINEBACKER DIED OF OVERDOSE: University of Texas student and Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger's death in May was due to an accidental drug overdose, according to a statement from his family. He had taken the prescription medication Xanax laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. Ehlinger was 20 years old.

CNN Won't Apologize For 'Bruising The Ego' of Joe Rogan

CNN refused to apologize to podcaster Joe Rogan for their claims that he took 'horse dewormer' ivermectin for his COVID-19 infection last month, even after the network's own doctor Sanjay Gupta groveled over the incident on Rogan's podcast.

In a statement to the Washington Post, the media network wrote, 'The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so.'

The Daily Mail reports CNN had gone after Rogan for promoting the anti-parasitic medication, along with other treatments prescribed by doctors, to fight the COVID infection he caught in September.

The podcast giant earned two victories in the past week after CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta admitted his colleague's should not have said Rogan took horse dewormers while on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast last week.

Then, one of CNN's political commentator's, Mary Katherine Ham, spoke out against her employer and defended Rogan. 

Despite this, CNN's Don Lemon continued to criticize Rogan earlier this week, and the company said in a statement on Thursday that their issue with Rogan's claims has 'never been about livestock versus human dosage of Ivermectin.'

'The issue is that a powerful voice in the media, who by example and through his platform, sowed doubt in the proven and approved science of vaccines while promoting the use of an unproven treatment for covid-19 — a drug developed to ward off parasites in farm animals.'

The battle between Rogan and CNN heated up last Wednesday when Rogan grilled Gupta about the broadcaster's coverage of his use of the drug after he was diagnosed with Covid-19, which he claims he recovered from in five days.

After a tense back-and-forth, Gupta eventually agreed that the anti-parasite drug, which was prescribed to Rogan by a doctor, should never have been described by CNN as a horse de-wormer.

'Calling it a horse de-wormer is not the most flattering thing, I get that,' Gupta said.

'It's a lie,' Rogan responded.

'It's a lie on a news network … and it's a lie that they're conscious of. It's not a mistake. They're unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine.'

Ivermectin can be used as a horse dewormer, but is also used to treat people, with Rogan given the correct prescription by his doctor.  

Studies have shown that Ivermectin decreases viral loads and may prevent COVID deaths, but the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control recommend against using it for COVID, saying further studies are needed. 

According to FOX News, CNN did not concede any wrongdoing in a statement to Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple. 

"The heart of this debate has been purposely confused and ultimately lost," CNN told Wemple on Thursday. "It’s never been about livestock versus human dosage of Ivermectin. The issue is that a powerful voice in the media, who by example and through his platform, sowed doubt in the proven and approved science of vaccines while promoting the use of an unproven treatment for covid-19 — a drug developed to ward off parasites in farm animals." 

"The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so," the network added. 

Wemple appeared shocked by the statement, which he acknowledged made "some good points" but added it "sounds more like the work of an advocacy group than a journalism outfit."

Notably, the statement did not acknowledge Gutpa's stunning admission.

Ex-ESPNer Says Vaxx Mandates Something A Dictator Would Say

Former ESPN reporter Allison Williams compared President Biden’s comments on vaccine mandates to something a dictator would say, according to The Hill.  

Williams, who left ESPN because of the network's vaccine mandates, offered the opinion during an appearance on SiriusXM’s "The Megyn Kelly Show" on SiriusXM.

“I have never been so jarred by anything a president said,” Williams told Kelly. “To hear the leader of the free world stand up and say, ‘this isn’t about your freedom,' I thought ‘oh my god, it is always about our freedom.’ ”

“If we don’t have freedom over our own bodies … we aren’t free,” Williams said. “That was scary to me, that is something a dictator says. That is not something a leader of free people says.”

The Biden administration announced last month that all private employers with 100 or more employees will be required to mandate COVID-19 vaccine and daily testing, requiring vaccines for federal workers and contractors as well. 

COVID-19 cases and deaths spiked across the country throughout the summer primarily among the unvaccinated. The U.S. trails a number of western countries in its vaccination rate.

Vaccines have proven effective in keeping people from dying or being hospitalized, and vaccination rates have ticked up as various businesses have imposed vaccine mandates.

But that has also triggered a backlash among GOP officials, who have opposed mandates.

Williams announced on Instagram on Sunday that she’s leaving ESPN after she refused to get vaccinated.

Williams said she decided not to get vaccinated because she and her husband are planning to conceive a second child.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.