Saturday, October 30, 2021

October 31 Radio History

➦In 1912...actress & singing cowgirl Dale Evans was born as Lucille Wood Smith in Uvalde, TX (Died of congestive heart failure at age 88 – February 7, 2001) She was the third wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers.

She had a tumultuous early life. Her name was changed to Frances Octavia Smith while she was still an infant. She spent a lot of time living with her uncle, Dr. L.D. Massey, a general practice physician, in Osceola, Arkansas. At age 14, she eloped with and married Thomas F. Fox, with whom she had one son, Thomas F. Fox Jr., when she was 15. A year later, abandoned by her husband, she found herself in Memphis, Tennessee, a single parent, pursuing a career in music. She landed a job with local radio stations (WMC and WREC), singing and playing piano. Divorced in 1929, she took the name Dale Evans in the early 1930s to promote her singing career.

➦In 1942..."White Christmas" by Bing Crosby hit No. 1 on the pop singles chart for the first time.

➦In 1942...CBS radio debuted 'Thanks To The Yanks', a wartime themed game show starring Bob Hawk, the quizmaster who had introduced Take it Or Leave It to radio, the original $64 Question show.

➦In 1963...The Beatles returned to London from Sweden to be greeted by hundreds of screaming fans and a mob of photographers. Ed Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow, and was struck by the sight of Beatlemania in full swing. This was the day he determined to have the Fab Four appear on his Sunday night CBS TV variety show, thus introducing The Beatles to North America.

➦In 1968
..'The War of the Worlds' was a radio drama, was aired by Buffalo, New York radio station Top40 WKBW 1520 AM.

It was a modernized version of the original radio drama aired by CBS in 1938.

WKBW program director Jefferson Kaye (d. 2012), a big fan of the original Orson Welles version from three decades earlier, wondered what The War of the Worlds would sound like if it was made using up-to-date (for 1968) radio news equipment, covering the "story" of a Martian invasion. Up until this point, most radio renditions of the 1938 broadcast were simply script re-readings with different actors or had minor variations to account for significantly different geographical locations. Kaye decided to disregard the original script entirely, move the action to Grand Island, New York, and use actual WKBW disc jockeys and news reporters as actors.

Other changes reflected the changing state of the industry: instead of the old-time radio programming fare of the 1930s, WKBW's War of the Worlds broadcast was interwoven into the station's Top40 programming.

Initially, a script was written for the news reporters to act out; however, upon hearing the rehearsals, it was evident that the news reporters were not adept at scripted radio acting. So instead, Kaye wrote an outline based on the events that were to occur, and the news reporters were then asked to describe the events as they would covering an actual news story. The results were much more realistic for its time, and this was the process used for the actual broadcast.

Jeff Kaye
Despite an exhaustive advertising campaign by WKBW for this show, several people were still convinced upon listening to it that the events unfolding in the show were genuine. Among those fooled included a local newspaper, several small-town police officers and even the Canadian military, which dispatched troops to the Peace Bridge. Although the public concern over the legitimacy of the broadcast was not as great as in 1938, creator Kaye and director Dan Kriegler feared that they were going to lose their jobs as a result of the broadcast; Kaye claimed that he actually submitted his resignation, certain that he was going to be fired the next day. However, no one involved in the broadcast was fired and the resignation was not accepted.

It was a generally conceived notion before the broadcast that a mass hoax, even one as unintentional as the 1938 program, could never be duplicated again by a lone radio broadcast. The rise of television as a preferred news medium was a factor in this notion that radio could no longer produce such a drastic response from its audience. The fact that the WKBW broadcast could unintentionally re-create that response on a smaller scale surprised many people and garnered a lot of post-broadcast attention on the radio station. In this way, it was a successful marketing gimmick.

➦In 1981...NBC Radio produced its first live radio drama in 25 years (“Halloween Story.”)

Ken Niles
➦In 1988
..Radio Announcer Ken Niles died (Born - December 9, 1906 or 1908, in Livingston, Montana)   Niles debuted in radio on KJR in Seattle, WA in the late 1920s.

Niles also served as commercial announcer and foil for Bing Crosby in the Bing Crosby Entertains series (1933-1935) and also on several series sponsored by Camel Cigarettes, notably The Abbott and Costello Show.  Niles was frequently paired in comedy skits opposite Elvia Allman as his fictitious wife Mrs Niles. Niles was also the announcer for The Amazing Mrs. Danberry.

For his work in radio, he received a "Star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as did his brother Wendell, making them the first brothers to be so honored. Ken Niles' star is at 6711 Hollywood Avenue, in the Radio section. It was dedicated February 8, 1960.

➦In 2008...Louis "Studs" Terkel died (Born - May 16, 1912). He was an author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for The Good War and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago.

A political liberal, Terkel joined the Works Progress Administration's Federal Writers' Project, working in radio, doing work that varied from voicing soap opera productions and announcing news and sports, to presenting shows of recorded music and writing radio scripts and advertisements. His well-known radio program, titled The Studs Terkel Program, aired on 98.7 WFMT Chicago between 1952 and 1997. The one-hour program was broadcast each weekday during those forty-five years.

Dan Rather is 90


  • Actor Lee Grant is 96. 
  • Anchorman Dan Rather is 90. 
  • Folk singer Tom Paxton is 84. 
  • Actor Ron Rifkin (“Alias”) is 83. 
  • Actor Sally Kirkland is 80. 
  • Actor Stephen Rea (“The Crying Game,” ″V For Vendetta”) is 75. 
  • Actor Deidre Hall (“Days Of Our Lives”) is 74. 
  • Journalist Jane Pauley is 71. 
  • Broadway performer Brian Stokes Mitchell is 64. 
  • Director Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”) is 60. 
  • Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 is 60. 
  • Guitarist Johnny Marr of Modest Mouse (and The Smiths) is 58. 
  • Actor Dermot Mulroney is 58. 
  • Drummer Mikkey Dee of Motorhead and of Scorpions is 58. 
  • Holly Taylor is 24
    Actor Rob Schneider is 58. 
  • Country singer Darryl Worley is 57. 
  • Actor Mike O’Malley (“Glee”) is 56. 
  • Guitarist Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys is 55. 
  • Musician Rob Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) is 54. 
  • Guitarist Rogers Stevens of Blind Melon is 52. 
  • Singer Linn Berggren of Ace of Base is 51. 
  • Reality show host Troy Hartman (“Extreme Survival,” ″No Boundaries”) is 50. 
  • Gospel singer Smokie Norful is 48. 
  • Actor Piper Perabo is 45. 
  • Actor Samaire Armstrong (TV’s “Resurrection”) is 41. 
  • Keyboardist Tay Strathairn of Dawes is 41. 
  • Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas (“American Pie”) is 41. 
  • Guitarist Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) is 40. 
  • Actor Justin Chatwin (“American Gothic”) is 39. 
  • Actor Holly Taylor (“The Americans”) is 24. 
  • Actor Danielle Rose Russell (“Legacies,” “The Originals”) is 22. 
  • Singer-actor Willow Smith is 21.

Chicago Radio: Eric Ferguson EXITS Mix 101.9 FM

Eric Ferguson exits WTMX

Chicago radio host Eric Ferguson is leaving the popular morning program he led at WTMX 101.9 FM for 25 years following allegations of inappropriate behavior by female former colleagues.

Ferguson was sidelined from “Eric in the Morning” after the Chicago Tribune reported in late September that a former assistant producer, Cynthia DeNicolo, had sued him earlier in the year. DeNicolo’s lawsuit alleged he coerced sexual favors from her in 2004, then retaliated against her for years because she refused to resume the “unwelcome sexual relationship.”

More allegations followed from three other women who used to work at The Mix, including former co-host Melissa McGurren, who said in court filings that she left the show after Ferguson created an unbearably hostile work environment.

On Friday, a statement from Ferguson was circulated to station employees.

“I feel that returning to the air at this time, in this environment, will be an unfair distraction to my colleagues, and the rest of the morning show members who work so hard,” Ferguson wrote.

“As a result, and after discussions with Hubbard leadership, we’ve decided it is best that I step away from the show. I’m energized to move forward and defend myself against claims made against me and the station, and look forward to seeing them through to their conclusion. I am confident that at the end of the day the courts will rule and the right outcome will prevail.”

A representative for Hubbard Radio Chicago, which owns and operates The Mix, did not respond to a Tribune request for comment Friday. The four women who have come forward allege management of 101.9-FM protected Ferguson because of the popularity of his show.

An attorney for Ferguson, 54, declined to comment. His lawyers previously denied DeNicolo’s allegations in a motion to dismiss her lawsuit. A judge is expected to rule on the motion by Dec. 23, court records show.

During Ferguson’s absence from the airwaves, show colleagues Nikki Chuminatto, Brian “Whip” Paruch and Violeta Podrumedic continued to broadcast “Eric in the Morning.” Ferguson said in his statement “it will be fun to listen to their success.”

Station management initially said Ferguson would be off the air through October. Ferguson, in his statement, said he has not decided what’s next. He said he’s taken time to focus on himself and his family and reflect on his career.

An Elburn native, Ferguson joined The Mix in 1996 after stops that included Rock Island, Rockford and Denver. He told the Tribune in 2004 that it took him 10 years of “traversing the country doing morning shows in different size markets” before he was able to make it back to Chicago.

The Mix struck gold when it paired Ferguson with Kathy Hart. The former co-hosts of “Eric & Kathy” are widely considered the most successful morning radio team in Chicago history and, during a 21-year run, won radio’s biggest awards. The duo was inducted into the Museum of Broadcast Communications’ Radio Hall of Fame in 2016, and their faces were formerly plastered on billboards throughout the Chicago area.

Less than a year after the Hall of Fame induction, Hart departed the adult-contemporary station without explanation. Ferguson’s rebranded show, “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip,” increased the role of McGurren and Paruch and remained a ratings juggernaut.

McGurren left the show last December, saying at the time that the truth would come out eventually about her reasons.

DeNicolo was laid off from 101.9 in May 2020. In her lawsuit, filed a year later, she alleged Ferguson blocked raises and promotions before orchestrating her dismissal, in addition to her allegations of sexual misconduct.

Talker Dan Bongino vs. Cumulus Seems To Be A Stand-Off

Radio host  and TV host Dan Bongino's standoff with Cumulus Media over the broadcast giant's vaccine mandate continued Friday with The Dan Bongino Show's fifth straight absence from the airwaves.  Bonino's radio show is syndicated by Cumulus Media's Westwood One division.

Bongino opened Friday on his podcast, which is separate from his live radio show,  talking about the future of his radio show in quite uncertain terms. Bongino made the comments as he was discussing an idea he had for the program, but said he'd do it "if and when I get back to" the radio show. 

Bongino, who has been in "best of" mode this week after speaking out against the company's vaccine mandate, continued to do so. He urged his audience, "Do not kneel before these leftist tyrants." And he gave the "double-barrel middle finger" to those who are not in favor of speaking out about election results and vaccine mandates.  On another podcasts espisode earlier this weekend Bongino  said negotiations with Cumulus were turning "ugly". Reruns of his show have been aired in his slot instead of a live show this entire week.

On Friday's podcast Bongino said President Trump will be joining him on his podcast on Election Day Tuesday.

The former Secret Service agent turned commentator is opposed to vaccination mandates on the grounds of bodily autonomy, although he himself is vaccinated.

Spotify Finally Singing a Different Tune

Spotify Technology has learned a new song: “Ka-Ching!” 

Barron's reports after years of losses, the audio streamer, which went public at $132 a share in 2018, is in the black. Spotify even surprised analysts, most of whom projected an operating loss. Its shares rose 15% on the week, to $291.

Spotify’s problem has always been that it pays most of its revenue back to music labels, whose concentrated ownership of popular song catalogs gives them leverage. But Spotify has added nonlabel content like podcasts and drawn in more listeners. In the third quarter, the company reported a two million euro ($2.3 million) profit, on €2.5 billion in revenue. On a per-share basis, Spotify lost 48 cents, largely because of changes in the value of warrants and exchangeable notes that fluctuate with the shares, which it can’t control.

Spotify’s user growth rebounded after a weak 2021 start. Monthly active users and premium subscribers both rose 19%, year over year, to 381 million and 172 million, respectively. Gains could accelerate in the fourth quarter; Spotify expects monthly users to climb to 400 million to 407 million.

The most promising sign: podcasts and better targeting drove ad revenue up 75%, year over year. The gross margin, which had hung around 25%, hit 26.7% in the quarter, up nearly two percentage points in the past year. Spotify also raised prices, boosting margins on premium subs to 29.1%. The result: €75 million in operating income, versus a loss of €40 million a year ago.

Spotify 'Car Thing' Struggling To Meet Demand

Spotify fans hoping to get their hands on a Spotify Car Thing will need to be patient – more than two million people have signed up to the wait list to buy the in-car entertainment device, reports

According to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, "the no.1 constraint for us at this particular moment... is chip shortages. We just can't make enough [Car Things] to get them out there to consumers".

Sound familiar? Recent chip shortages have led to a lack digital cameras, electric cars smartphones and, of course, games consoles.

Spotify began offering Car Thing to its Premium subscribers on an "invite only" basis in April, before launching it on a "limited" basis two weeks ago. The $80 device lets you play Spotify in your car without taking out your phone. 

The gadget works in a similar fashion to Amazon's Echo Auto; you can speak to control Car Thing using voice search – just say "Hey Spotify" followed by your request and it'll do the rest. There's also a physical dial that allows you to scroll through menus and select items, or you can use the touchscreen.

Car Thing is currently only available in the US and is unlikely to launch in the UK or Australia anytime soon, what with the chip shortage and the lengthy waiting list. If you just have to have a Spotify Car Thing, click the 'Put me on the list' button here. 

Elsewhere, the Swedish music streaming giant has said it will launch Spotify HiFi, it's long-anticipated entry into CD-quality streaming, this year.

Rogers Board Never Voted to Oust CEO Natale

Key Players at Rogers Communications

The chairman of Rogers Communications Inc. said the board never voted to oust the company’s chief executive officer, accusing family scion Edward Rogers of falsehoods and a pattern of meddling at the Canadian telecommunications giant, reports Bloomberg. 

In an affidavit filed late Friday, John MacDonald contested Edward Rogers’s claims that the board and his family members had voted last month 10-1 to terminate CEO Joe Natale, accusing him of multiple statements that were “untrue.”

The board had believed Natale had “exceeded his goals” and harbored misgivings about Edward Rogers’s pick to replace him -- Tony Staffieri, the company’s chief financial officer at the time. 

“It was far from clear that Mr. Staffieri would be the person best suited for the position if Mr. Natale were to leave,” said MacDonald, who replaced Edward Rogers as the company’s chairman last week. 

The attempt to replace Natale with Staffieri ignited an unprecedented boardroom showdown that has fractured one of Canada’s wealthiest families and created confusion about who is in charge of Rogers Communications, even as the company navigates a pending $16 billion takeover of rival Shaw Communications Inc.

On Sept. 19, Edward Rogers -- who heads the family trust which controls about 97% of the company’s voting shares -- sidestepped the board and fired Natale, MacDonald said. He presented the CEO’s departure as a fait accompli and misled MacDonald into believing the family supported the move, according to the filing. 

When the board met later that week, it approved Natale’s exit package -- not his departure because it had never been given an opportunity to weigh in on that decision, MacDonald said.

Country's Morgan Wallen Not Invited To AMAs

Country artist Morgan Wallen’s fallout with the music industry continues as the singer has been banned from attending the 2021 American Music Awards, despite receiving two nominations.

The Wrap reports the fan-voted awards show, which will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, announced the decision on Thursday.

“Morgan Wallen is a nominee this year based on charting. As his conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting),” a statement from MRC Live & Alternative read.

“We plan to evaluate his progress in doing meaningful work as an ally to the Black community and will consider his participation in future shows,” the statement concluded.

Wallen was nominated this year for male country artist and country album, as determined by “key fan interactions with music (including streaming, album sales, song sales, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data,” per a release.

In February, a video of Wallen using the N-word surfaced, prompting swift backlash from listeners and the recording industry.

The AMAs is not the first awards show this year to take action against the “Whiskey Glasses” singer. In April, he was not invited to the Billboard Music Awards despite landing six nominations (three of which he won). He is also prohibited from attending the Country Music Association Awards this coming November.

Olivia Rodrigo and The Weeknd lead this year’s AMA nominations, which were announced on Thursday. The ceremony will air Nov. 21 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Rapper Fetty Wap Busted For Drug Distribution

Mr. Fetty Wap
The rapper Fetty Wap and five other men have been charged with running a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking ring that distributed more than 100 kilograms of deadly opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, on Long Island and in New Jersey, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Newsday reports William Junior Maxwell II, 30, of Paterson, New Jersey, also known as Fetty Wap, and the others — including three from Suffolk County — were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances, according to a superseding indictment unsealed Friday.

Prosecutors said the other defendants were also charged with using firearms in connection with a drug trafficking crime.

"As alleged, the defendants transported, distributed and sold more than 100 kilograms of deadly and addictive drugs, including heroin and fentanyl, on Long Island, deliberately contributing to the opioid epidemic that has devastated our communities and taken too many lives," U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.

Maxwell, a two-time Grammy nominee who gained notoriety with the 2014 hit single "Trap Queen," was arrested late Thursday afternoon by FBI agents at Citi Field in Queens, where he was billed as a performer at the Rolling Loud music festival. U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Locke ordered Maxwell held without bail during a virtual arraignment in federal court in Central Islip.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Kubetz, who requested a delay to the speedy trial statute that requires the government to bring a case to trial 70 days from a defendant's initial court appearance, told the judge: "I also understand that defense counsel would like the opportunity to engage in plea negotiations with us."

Kubetz added that Maxwell, if convicted, could face 10 years to life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

Defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio, who represented Maxwell during the arraignment, did not object to Maxwell's detention without bail. Maxwell confirmed to the judge he waived his right to a speedy trial until Nov. 24.

Denver Radio: KKSE-AM To Air VSiN Sports Betting Network

Altitude Sports Radio KKSE 950 AM has announced that the station will convert to a 24/7 sports betting information format, airing VSiN, The Sports Betting Network. Launching November 1st, Altitude Sports 950 AM will broadcast VSiN’s real-time sports betting news and analysis across every major sport 24/7, outside of live sporting events.

“With hundreds of millions of dollars bet on sports in Colorado, credible sports betting information and analysis is increasingly valuable to Denver sports fans,” said Dave Fleck, GM/SVP at Altitude Sports Radio. “Our listeners have repeatedly told us that they want informative, quality content focused on sports gaming. We’re responding to those listeners by bringing them some of the most knowledgeable sports betting talk in the business, as we become the home of VSiN in Denver.”

VSiN programming on Altitude 950 AM will deliver real-time sports betting views and analysis across every major sport driven by leading media and industry experts including morning talk personalities Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard, former Denver Bronco and Denver radio host, Mike Pritchard, sports betting analytics expert Gill Alexander, former pro football executive Michael Lombardi and sportscasting legend Brent Musburger.

“We couldn’t be more excited to team with Altitude Sports Radio and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to offer Denver sports fans with premium sports betting content around the clock,” said Brian Musburger, founder, and CEO of VSiN. “VSiN has assembled a quality roster of sports betting experts that will deliver an innovative brand of sports talk in a state that has been at the forefront of legalized sports betting.”

VSiN was acquired by DraftKings Inc. in March and continues to deliver the news, analysis, and insights sports bettors need to make informed wagering decisions.

R.I.P.: Jovita Moore, WSB-TV Atlanta News Anchor, Dead At 53

Jovita Moore (1967-2021)

Jovita Moore, an award-winning news anchor at WSB-TV in Atlanta died Thursday, seven months after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, reports USAToday.

Moore, who was 53, was with WSB-TV since 1998. Prior to joining the station, she worked at WMC-TV in Memphis and KFSM in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Fort Smith Arkansas.

Moore received several Emmy Awards during her career at WSB-TV in Atlanta and covered decades of major news events, including former President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.

The longtime journalist was diagnosed with glioblastoma earlier this year. She went to a doctor in April after feeling forgetful and disoriented, including describing feeling faint in a grocery store parking lot.

“I was really concerned about why all of a sudden I was forgetful, disoriented and just not feeling myself. Feeling like I was in a fog and really wanting to get out of that fog,” Moore said earlier this year.

Doctors discovered that she had two small masses in her brain, and she underwent surgery to remove them. Treatment can slow the brain cancer's progression, but a cure for glioblastoma is often not possible.

Moore's death prompted an outpouring of mourning and support on social media. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shared in a statement on Twitter that her family is "deeply saddened by the loss of our friend."

"Even those who did not know her personally felt a deep and personal connection to Jovita," the mayor shared.

The Baltimore Banner Hires Editor-In-Chief

Kimi Yoshino, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, is leaving the newspaper to become editor in chief of the digital Baltimore Banner.

The new nonprofit publication, funded by Baltimore-area hotel magnate Stewart Bainum Jr., announced this week that it was hiring the 21-year veteran of The Times to build up a newsroom of roughly 50 journalists focused on local news and launching in 2022, with a goal of expanding in size the following year.

The L-A Times reports Yoshino, 49, has been managing editor of The Times since April 2020, serving as the second in command of the newsroom alongside Scott Kraft and Shani Hilton. Together, Yoshino and Kraft, as co-managing editors, led The Times through the first half of 2021 while the search for the paper’s new executive editor, Kevin Merida, was underway.

“I’ve learned and grown and had a lot of opportunities here at the L.A. Times,” Yoshino said, “but this opportunity in Baltimore is something I couldn’t turn down.”

Bainum founded the Banner after a failed attempt this year to buy the Baltimore Sun for $65 million from Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that has become one of the largest news companies in the nation after its takeover of Sun owner Tribune Publishing. Bainum has pledged $15 million as a budget for its first year and created an umbrella organization, the Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, to house the project. Yoshino is the Banner’s first editorial hire.

“I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like to work for bad ownership — it’s bad for a community,” Yoshino said. “What Alden is doing to newspapers it now owns is heartbreaking, and it’s unconscionable.

Yoshino joined The Times in 2000 as a metro reporter for the Orange County bureau, following stints at the Fresno Bee and Stockton Record. On her first day at the paper, she was assigned to cover the story of Brandon Zucker, a 4-year-old crushed under a ride at Disneyland, and spent her inaugural year chasing the story of Disney’s accountability for dangerous accidents.

Yoshino’s new digital-only project is part of a recent wave of nonprofit newsrooms that have proliferated in recent years, as foundations and wealthy individuals try to fill the gap in local news coverage left by newspapers stripped to skeleton staffs by budget cuts and corporate mismanagement. 

October 30 Radio History

➦In 1745...Invention of the Leyden jar (the first capacitor) by Dean Ewald Jurgen von Kleist of the Cathedral of Cammin.

➦In 1907...Actor and songwriter Renzo Cesana was born in Rome Italy.  He is best remembered as The Continental, the suave debonair “latin lover” host of his own early TV series. He is also credited with creating the radio programs “Art Linkletter’s House Party”, “Stop That Villain”, and the “Radio Hall of Fame.” Cesana succumbed to lung cancer November 8 1970 at age 63.

Fred Friendly with Edward R Murrow

➦In 1915...Broadcaster Fred W. Friendly was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in NYC (Died from a series of strokes at age 82 – March 3, 1998). He was a president of CBS News and the creator, along with Edward R. Murrow, of the documentary television program 'See It Now'.  He originated the concept of public-access television cable TV channels.

He entered radio broadcasting in 1937 at WEAN in Providence, Rhode Island, where he reversed the order of his middle and last names, and began using Friendly as his last name. In World War II, he served as an instructor in the Army Signal Corps and reported for an Army newspaper in the Pacific Theater (The CBI Roundup) before mustering out as a master sergeant in 1945.

By the late 1940s, Friendly was an experienced radio producer. It was in this role that Friendly first worked with Murrow on the Columbia Records historical albums, I Can Hear It Now. The first entry in the series, released on Thanksgiving Day 1948, covered the crisis and war years 1933–1945. It was a ground-breaker in that it used clips of radio news coverage and speeches of the major events from that twelve-year time span. Friendly created the concept after noticing the new use of audiotape in regular radio news coverage, as opposed to wire or disc recordings that had been an industry standard. Periodically, Friendly created recordings of news events when such recordings didn't exist or, recreated ones that were considered too chaotic to use on an album.

Although Murrow was an established CBS name and at the time Columbia Records was owned by CBS, Friendly's next full-time work came as a news producer at NBC. It was there that Friendly originated the idea for the news-oriented quiz show Who Said That?, first hosted by NBC newsman Robert Trout, followed by Walter Kiernan, and John Charles Daly. The program, which Friendly edited, ran irregularly on NBC and then ABC between 1948 and 1955.

Friendly later wrote, directed, and produced the NBC Radio series The Quick and the Dead during the Summer of 1950. It was about the development of the atomic bomb. It featured Trout, Bob Hope, and New York Times writer Bill Laurence, who had won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Manhattan Project.

➦In 1925...KUT-AM in Austin Texas began broadcasting.

The actual beginning date of radio broadcasting on the UT-Austin campus has never been fully substantiated. There is an unofficial reference to an on-campus radio operation as early as 1912. But the most reliable information indicates that the first broadcast license — bearing the call letters 5XY — was issued to the University on March 22, 1921.

A year later, a new license was issued, bearing new call letters WCM, which the station used to identify itself until 1925.

In these first years, the station was used for a number of purposes, beginning as a demonstration project in the Physics Department, whose Professor Simpson L. Brown had persuaded the administration to let him build the station in the first place.

Beginning in 1923, though, funding concerns prompted a transfer of operational control to the University's Extension Division for extension teaching. One of the stipulations of the transfer agreement was that funds would be provided for operations and maintenance to put the station in a "first-class" condition. The funds, however, did not materialize and broadcasting suffered until a state agriculture official needed a means to broadcast daily crop and weather reports.

A deal between the official and UT's Extension Division allowed agriculture broadcasts for one hour per day in exchange for equipment maintenance. At other times of the day, the University would broadcast items of interest from the campus, including a number of faculty lecture series.

But by the end of 1924, the Physics Department decided it wanted the station back, and with the approval of the Board of Regents, the Physics Department regained control in the summer of 1925. They had a new license granted on October 30 and it bore, for the first time, the call letters KUT.

KUT's early years were ambitious but, by 1927, ambition had outrun the funding. The expense of operating and maintaining the station had simply become too great for the Physics Department to sustain. University President Harry Benedict appointed a committee to study the matter, and the committee recommended that the project be discontinued. The station was dismantled and the equipment returned to the Physics labs for experimentation.

KUT would not re-emerge for 30 years.

➦In 1931...NBC began installing a TV transmitter on top of New York’s Empire State Building. The first experimental TV broadcast from the building was on December 22, 1931.

➦In 1938...Orson Welles's radio adaptation of HG Wells's War Of The Worlds caused panic in the US by convincing many listeners that Martians had really landed in New Jersey.

During the '30s, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.  Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air.

Welles reflected in February 1983:

"Radio is what I love most of all. The wonderful excitement of what could happen in live radio, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was making a couple of thousand a week, scampering in ambulances from studio to studio, and committing much of what I made to support the Mercury. I wouldn't want to return to those frenetic 20-hour working day years, but I miss them because they are so irredeemably gone."

In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio's Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series' April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish's verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.

In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables, which he did with great success. Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio.  Les Misérables was one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements on radio, and marked the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre.

That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.

After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited the 23-year-old Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

The Mercury Theatre's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame.

When the show began at 8 p.m., a voice announced, “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells."  In 1938, Sunday evenings were prime time in the golden age of radio and millions of Americans had their radios turned on.

On Sunday nights in 1938, most Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the audience had missed the introduction and the story of the Martian invasion was well underway.

Welles introduced his radio play with a spoken introduction, followed by an announcer reading a weather report. Then, seemingly abandoning the story-line, the announcer took listeners to “the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Amon Raquello and his orchestra.” Dance music played for some time, and then the scare began.

An announcer broke in to report that “Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory” had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the dance music came back on, followed by another interruption in which listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grover’s Mills, New Jersey.

The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question.  Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion.

When news of the real-life panic leaked into the CBS studio, Welles went on the air as himself to remind listeners that it was just fiction. There were rumors that the show caused suicides, but none were ever confirmed.

The Federal Communications Commission investigated the program but found no law was broken. Networks did agree to be more cautious in their programming in the future.

Welles's growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.

➦In 1943...WINS switched to 1010 AM.

The station began broadcasting first during 1924 on 950 kHz as WGBS, named after and broadcasting from its owner, Gimbel's department store. It moved to 860 kHz sometime around 1927, and to 600 around 1930, settling on 1180 around 1931. The station was bought by William Randolph Hearst in 1932, and it adopted its present callsign (named after Hearst's International News Service) the same year, effective January 15.

WINS relocated from the Hotel Lincoln to the WINS Building, 114 East 58th Street, June 19, 1932.

It changed its frequency from 1180 to 1000 on March 29, 1941 as part of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement and then eventually to 1010 on October 30, 1943. The Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation announced its purchase of the station from Hearst in 1945, though it would be over a year before Crosley would take control of WINS, in July 1946

➦In 1967...WNEW-FM adopted a 'progressive rock' radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry.

The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

Disc jockeys would broadcast in ways that bore out their personalities:

  • morning fixture Dave Herman was not afraid to mix Erik Satie or Donna Summer into the playlist;
  • noontime stalwart Pete Fornatale promoted the Beach Boys when it was not fashionable and later started his eclectic weekend Mixed Bag program;
  • afternoon legend Muni would use his gravelly voice to introduce largely unknown British artists on his "Things from England" segments;
  • nighttime host Schwartz was a raconteur who would sneak in the Sinatra pop standards that he not-so-secretly liked better than rock;
  • overnight presence Steele would play space rock groups in between readings of her equally spacey poems;
  • weekend personality Vin Scelsa started his idiosyncratic Idiots' Delight program, which soon gained a devoted following.
  • Other well-known disc jockeys who worked at the station included Dennis Elsas, Pete Larkin, brothers Dan Neer and Richard Neer, Jim Monaghan, Pam Merly, Thom Morrera, Meg Griffin, and John Zacherle.

WNEW-FM was among the first stations to give Bruce Springsteen significant airplay, and conducted live broadcasts of key Springsteen concerts in 1975 and 1978; Springsteen would sometimes call up the DJs during records. Later, Dave Herman featured a "Bruce Juice" segment each morning. John Lennon once stopped by to guest-DJ along with Dennis Elsas and appeared on-air several other times during his friend Scott Muni's afternoon slot. Members of the Grateful Dead and other groups would hang out in the studio; Emerson, Lake & Palmer's visit to Muni's show is often credited for popularizing the group in America.

➦In 1996...Leon Lewis, a radio talk show host for WMCA-AM, New York, died at age 81.

Lewis was the nighttime voice of WMCA from 1970 to 1980. On ''The Leon Lewis Talk Show,'' he took calls from listeners, debated public issues, offered advice to the troubled or merely provided a sympathetic ear, greeting each caller with a soothing ''Hello, my friend.''

Before he joined WMCA, Mr. Lewis was the moderator of ''Community Opinion,'' a call-in show on WLIB in Harlem. In 1967, the station won a George Foster Peabody award for the show, which was credited with helping to defuse racial tension.

Lewis, who was born in Bloomington, Ind., began his radio career at WABY in Albany. After working as a disk jockey and in advertising sales, he moved to New York City in 1954 and became circulation manager for The Amsterdam News. He left the paper in 1957 and joined radio station WWRL as news director before moving to WLIB.

➦In 2000...Radio/TV personality Steve Allen died of a heart attack resulting from a minor automobile accident earlier in the day. Autopsy results concluded that the accident had caused a blood vessel in his chest to rupture, causing blood to leak into the sac surrounding his heart. He was 78.

Allen's first radio job was on station KOY in Phoenix, Arizona, after he left Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University) in Tempe, while still a sophomore. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was trained as an infantryman. He spent his service time at Camp Roberts, California, and did not serve overseas.

Steve Allen 1977
Allen became an announcer for KFAC in Los Angeles and then moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1946, talking the station into airing a five-nights-a-week comedy show, Smile Time, co-starring Wendell Noble. After Allen moved to CBS Radio's KNX in Los Angeles, his music-and-talk half-hour format gradually changed to include more talk on a full-hour, late-night show, boosting his popularity and creating standing-room-only studio audiences. During one episode of the show reserved primarily for an interview with Doris Day, his guest star failed to appear, so Allen picked up a microphone and went into the audience to ad lib for the first time.  His radio show attracted a huge local following, and in 1950 it replaced Our Miss Brooks, exposing Allen to a national audience for the first time.

Allen's first television experience had come in 1949 when he answered an ad for a TV announcer for professional wrestling. He knew nothing about wrestling, so he watched some shows and discovered that the announcers did not have well-defined names for the holds. When he got the job, he created names for many of the holds, some of which are still used today.

After CBS radio gave Allen a weekly prime time show, CBS television believed it could groom him for national small-screen stardom and gave Allen his first network television show. The Steve Allen Show premiered at 11 am on Christmas Day, 1950, and was later moved into a thirty-minute, early evening slot. This new show required him to uproot his family and move from LA to New York, since at that time a coast to coast program could not originate from LA. The show was canceled in 1952, after which CBS tried several shows to showcase Allen's talent.

Allen achieved national attention when he was pressed into service at the last minute to host Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts because Godfrey was unable to appear. Allen turned one of Godfrey's live Lipton commercials upside down, preparing tea and instant soup on camera and then pouring both into Godfrey's ukulele. With the audience (including Godfrey, watching from Miami) uproariously and thoroughly entertained, Allen gained major recognition as a comedian and host.

Leaving CBS, he created a late-night New York talk-variety TV program in 1953 for what is now WNBC-TV. The following year, on September 27, 1954, the show went on the full NBC network as The Tonight Show, with fellow radio personality Gene Rayburn (who later went on to host hit game shows such as Match Game, 1962–1982) as the original announcer. The show ran from 11:15 pm to 1:00 am on the East Coast.

While Today developer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver is often credited as the Tonight creator, Allen often pointed out that he had previously created it as a local New York show. Allen told his nationwide audience that first evening: "This is Tonight, and I can't think of too much to tell you about it except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever... you think you're tired now. Wait until you see one o'clock roll around!"

It was as host of The Tonight Show that Allen pioneered the "man on the street" interviews and audience-participation comedy breaks that have become commonplace on late-night TV.

➦In 2007...Alberta-raised singer and actor Robert Goulet, while awaiting a lung transplant, died at age 73. His career began as an announcer at Edmonton radio station CKUA; he went on to sing frequently on CBC-TV.

His Broadway debut in Camelot launched an award-winning stage and recording career (If Ever I Would Leave You, My Love Forgive Me).  As well as starring in numerous televised musicals (Carousel, Brigadoon, Kiss Me Kate) he appeared 16 times on Ed Sullivan, and starred in a short-lived ABC WW2 series, Blue Light.

Grace Slick is 82

  • Songwriter Eddie Holland of Holland-Dozier-Holland is 82. 
  • Singer Grace Slick is 82. 
  • Singer Otis Williams of The Temptations is 80. 
  • Actor Henry Winkler is 76. 
  • TV journalist Andrea Mitchell is 75. 
  • Bassist Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles (and Poco) is 74. 
  • Actor Harry Hamlin is 70. 
  • Actor Charles Martin Smith (“American Graffiti”) is 68. 
  • Fiona Dourif is 40
    Country singer T. Graham Brown is 67. 
  • Actor Kevin Pollak is 64. 
  • Singer-guitarist Jerry De Borg of Jesus Jones is 61. 
  • Actor Michael Beach (“Soul Food,” ″Third Watch”) is 58. 
  • Singer-guitarist Gavin Rossdale of Bush is 56. 
  • Actor Jack Plotnick (“Reno 911!”) is 53. 
  • “Cash Cab” host Ben Bailey is 51. 
  • Actor Billy Brown (“How To Get Away With Murder,” “Dexter”) is 51. 
  • Actor Nia Long is 51. 
  • Country singer Kassidy Osborn of SHeDAISY is 45. 
  • Actor Gael Garcia Bernal (“Babel,” ″The Motorcycle Diaries”) is 43. 
  • Actor Matthew Morrison (“Glee”) is 43. 
  • Actor Fiona Dourif (“When We Rise,” ″True Blood”) is 40. 
  • Actor Shaun Sipos (“Melrose Place”) is 40. 
  • Actor Tasso Feldman (“The Resident”) is 38. 
  • Actor Janel Parrish (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 33. 
  • Actor Tequan Richmond (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 29. 
  • Actor Kennedy McMann (TV’s “Nancy Drew”) is 25.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Facebook To Focus on Metaverse

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company changed its name to Meta to reflect growth opportunities beyond its namesake social-media platform in online digital realms known as the metaverse, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“Over time I hope our company will be seen as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said Thursday. He unveiled the name, formally Meta Platforms Inc., for the company that also includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other products during Facebook’s annual developer event, where he detailed his vision for the metaverse that he sees as key to the tech giant attracting younger users.

Facebook is already investing heavily in creating that new reality of shared online spaces inhabited by digital avatars, with projects ranging from virtual-reality glasses to an e-commerce platform. “We expect to spend many billions of dollars for years to come,” Zuckerberg said.

The company on an earnings call Monday already said that Facebook Reality Labs, which encompasses augmented-reality and virtual-reality products and services, is becoming a separate reporting unit and that spending for it would reduce this year’s total operating profit by $10 billion. Zuckerberg at the time said Facebook was “retooling our teams to make serving young adults their North Star.”

At Thursday’s event the Facebook chief also addressed the decision to discuss emerging plans while the company faces such scrutiny. “I know some people will say this is not a time to focus on the future,” Zuckerberg said, but argued that it is important to move forward even if mistakes are made along the way.

The company’s shares, starting Dec. 1, are slated to trade under the stock symbol MVRS, giving up the two-letter format it had with FB.

Tech Giants Signal Unhappy Holiday Season

Apple Inc. and Inc. reported disappointing quarterly results in a sign that the global supply-chain crisis is hobbling even the mightiest companies, erasing hundreds of billions of dollars from their combined market valuations, reports Bloomberg. 

Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, is suffering because of a surge in the cost of labor and fulfillment. Apple, meanwhile, is taking a hit because it can’t meet demand for its products. 

But added together, the tech giants delivered a clear message to investors: This holiday season is going to be difficult. As the economy emerges from the worst pandemic in a century, getting enough products to consumers is a daunting challenge for nearly everyone. 

In its latest quarter, Apple reported lower revenue than projected, sending its shares down as much as 5.3% in late trading Thursday. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told investors that sales would have been $6 billion higher without supply constraints -- most notably, a lack of semiconductors.

The shortage is affecting “most of our products,” he said on a conference call. “Demand is very robust.”

The company has a slew of new devices that it needs to get into consumers’ hands before the holidays, a period that’s expected to set sales records. In addition to the iPhone upgrade, Apple has rolled out new watches, iPads, Mac computers and other items.

Supply-chain constraints will make many of those items harder to get. Cook expects the problem to eclipse the $6 billion toll it took last quarter. 

At Amazon, preparing for the holidays will be a costly endeavor. The company warned Wall Street that it will have to spend billions of dollars hiring workers, paying them more and even speeding partly empty trucks to their destinations -- all to ensure that supply-chain snarls don’t derail the holiday shopping season. 

The massive outlays could wipe out Amazon’s profit during the last three months of the year, executives said. The company also reported third-quarter revenue and earnings that fell short of projections. The shares declined about 4% in extended trading.

Revenue will be $130 billion to $140 billion in the period ending in December, the Seattle company said, a lower forecast than analysts were expected. Operating income could be as low as zero, Amazon said, a setback for a company that’s reaped billions of dollars in profit each quarter going back to early 2018.

Amazon had signaled that slower sales growth -- and high spending in areas such as wages and new warehouses -- would persist through the end of the year.

R.I.P.: Mike Trivisonno, Influential Cleveland Talk-Show Host

WTAM 1100 AM Screenshot

Longtime talk-show host Mike Trivisonno was remembered warmly as an influential colleague, great friend, wise guy and charitable donor Thursday afternoon after news of his death was reported.

Trivisonno was 74, according to

Radio and sports personalities on WTAM 1100 AM broke up while offering memories about their colleague, who wouldn’t pass up a poker game and supported many charities, including Coats for Kids.

“He could talk to anyone,” said morning host Bill Wills, who with Trivisonno formed a dual daily radio presence – Wills anchoring morning talk and Trivisonno patrolling the afternoons. “He could be a curmudgeon – ‘get off my lawn!’ He hated paying taxes; I can hear him now. But he was one of the kindest souls. If a guy needed a buck, he was there.”

Throughout his career, the station reported Trivisonno raised more than $5 million for local charities.

Born on the east side of Cleveland, Trivisonno was a caller before going into radio. He started his radio career in 1986. Early on, he covered sports but eventually moved into politics and other news topics. He was known for his outspoken and often conservative stances on issues.

In an interview, longtime sports radio host Greg Brinda recalled meeting Trivisonno years ago. At the time, Brinda was sports director at WERE, and sister station WNCX was seeking a morning sports guy.

“They didn’t want a sportscaster; they wanted a fan to talk about sports,” Brinda said. “And they said, ‘Do you know of anybody?’ I said, ‘Yeah, Mr. Know It All – this Mike Trivisonno guy has been calling talk shows, first with Pete Franklin and then he’s been calling me. He’s been doing this a long time. I think he’s the ultimate fan.’ … We got in touch with him and hired him.”

A cause of death was not given. Trivisonno did a show Wednesday, Brinda said, and he seemed OK.

“As a broadcaster he understood an audience and fostered it to the point where it became very large and loyal,” Brinda said. “That’s not easy to do in radio.” He added in the last 15 to 20 years Trivisonno had transitioned out of sports talk almost completely, save for the occasional Monday-morning chatter about the Cleveland Browns.

Tom Hamilton, who calls Indians games on WTAM, said Trivisonno was “a guy to go in a foxhole with, that’s for sure.”

He also made news occasionally. Previously a heavy smoker, Trivisonno filed a class-action lawsuit against the tobacco industry in 2001 trying to outlaw tobacco sales in the United States; the suit subsequently was dismissed. In 2012, Trivisonno made a critical comment about sharing the road with cyclists. The comment led to a letter of protest to Clear Channel Media, and the company offered free airtime and discounted billboards promoting bike safety.

In recent years, Trivisonno rang out a mantra with his incredulous acknowledgment of “living in a world I don’t understand.”

He was a huge listener of radio, Wills said, and knew the simple secrets to success in the industry: He worked hard, and he was himself.

That be-yourself persona translated to ratings.

“Pure and simple, ratings and sponsors equal success, and he had both of them,” Brinda said.

Boston Radio: Ramiro, Pebbles & Melissa Reach 20-Year Milestone

The Get-Up Crew

Beasley Media Group Congratulates Ramiro, Pebbles and Melissa who will celebrate their 20th anniversary working as The Get-Up Crew on WBQT Hot 96.9 FM in Boston on Friday, October 29th. They all began together back on October 29th, 2001.

“20 years ago, when I started doing the show with Pebbles and Melissa, I felt like we had something special even though I had never done a morning show before,” said Ramiro. “To be able to still do this two decades later with the same girls and our amazing listeners in my hometown is a blessing. Thank you for making us part of your morning routine!”

“Wow, 20 years! My first thought is that I can’t believe I’ve been getting up at 4am for that long,” said Pebbles. “Seriously though, it has been the adventure of a lifetime with Ramiro and Melissa. We’ve been through so much together both on-air and off, have seen each other through tough times, celebrated the good times, and I’m so grateful for it all.”

“I can’t imagine my life without Ramiro terrorizing me daily and Pebbles trying to keep me out of trouble,” said Melissa. “20 years is longer than most relationships, and I’m glad I’ve been able to spend the majority of my career with two of the most professional and inspiring people I know.”

“Ramiro, Pebbles and Melissa have spent 20 years together waking up Bostonians and helping them start their day with laughter and fun,” said Beasley Media Group Boston Vice President and Market Manager Mary Menna. “This is an incredible accomplishment and true testament to their friendship, talent, and deep relationships with listeners. Congratulations to Ramiro, Pebbles and Melissa for two decades of success!”

“From their first show together 20 years ago, Ramiro, Pebbles and Melissa have been developing and deepening their bond with the audience and each other on a daily basis,” said Cadillac Jack, Beasley Media Group Vice President of Strategy & Analytics and Director of Boston Programming. “I’m so proud of their success and commitment to growth over the years, and thankful to see that trajectory continue well into the future at HOT 96.9!”

Wake-Up Call: Cuomo Accused in Criminal Complaint

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was accused in a criminal complaint yesterday of forcible touching, a misdemeanor sex crime. The complaint comes two months after Cuomo resigned from office under pressure due to his sexual harassment scandal. The complaint, filed by an investigator with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, accused Cuomo of putting his hand under a woman’s shirt on December 7, 2020. Although the woman isn't named, Cuomo was publicly accused of groping aide Brittany Commisso around that date. However, the office of the county's DA office, which would handle any prosecution, said it was caught off guard by the filing and Commisso's attorney said she hadn't been given a chance to decide whether she wanted to go through with a case. The Albany Times Union cited unnamed officials as saying the complaint had been issued "prematurely," before a final decision had been made about whether to charge Cuomo.

➤BIDEN IN ROME FOR FIRST OF TWO SUMMITS, SAYS FRAMEWORK REACHED FOR BBB LEGISLATION: President Biden is in Rome for the first of two summits, leaving Washington late Thursday (October 28th) after announcing he and congressional Democrats had reached a "historic" framework for his Build Back Better package. Biden, an observant Catholic, will meet with Pope Francis today, ahead of meetings associated with the Group of 20 summit. After the G-20, Biden will on Sunday head to Glasgow, Scotland, for a global climate conference. Back home, even though Biden announced the framework for the legislation Democrats have struggling to reach agreement on, a vote commitment from all 50 Democratic senators has not yet been reached on what's now a $1.75 trillion package of social services and climate change programs.

NY Post screenshot 10/29/21
➤REPORT: U.S. CONSIDERING PAYMENTS TO MIGRANT FAMILIES SEPARATED UNDER TRUMP: The U.S. is considering making payments of some $450,000 per person to migrant families who were separated from their children at the border during former President Donald Trump's administration, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The administration is in talks to offer the payments as several lawsuits have been filed on behalf of migrant parents and children who were separated, according to the report. The lawsuits that have been filed charge that separated children were kept in inadequate housing, and that many are now dealing with mental health issues like anxiety and fear of strangers as a result of the separation from their parents.

U-S TO PAY $88 MILLION TO VICTIMS' FAMILIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA BLACK CHURCH SHOOTING: The U.S. Justice Department has reached an $88 million settlement with the families of nine people killed in a 2015 racist attack at a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and with five survivors over a botched background check that allowed Dylann Roof to buy the gun he used to carry out the mass shooting, it was announced Thursday. Four months before the June 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church, Roof was arrested by Columbia, South Carolina police on the drug possession charge. That should have prevented him from being able to buy the gun he used in the church killings, but a series of clerical errors and missteps allowed him to be approved.

➤SEC PROBE OF SENATOR BURR FOR POSSIBLE PANDEMIC-RELATED INSIDER TRADING: The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Senator Richard Burr and his brother-in-law for possible insider trading related to the pandemic, according to recent federal court filings. The North Carolina Republican was among several lawmakers accused of using inside information in early 2020 about the coming pandemic and its economic threat obtained as members of Congress to carry out aggressive stock trades, which would be illegal. The Justice Department investigated Burr for selling $1.6 million of his portfolio in January and February of 2020, and he was cleared of wrongdoing on January 19th of this year, the day before Donald Trump left office. The SEC investigation continued, however. A SEC timeline shows Burr sold most of his portfolio on February 14, 2020, about one week before the stock market tanked. The SEC alleges that was at a time when he had access to nonpublic information about the coronavirus and its potential economic impact that he obtained as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and from former staffers directing the coronavirus response. After Burr told his broker to sell his stocks, he called his brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth on the phone, and one minute later, Fauth called his brokers to tell them to sell shares in his wife's account, according to the SEC.

➤CIVIL TRIAL OVER CHARLOTTESVILLE 'UNITE THE RIGHT' RALLY GETS UNDERWAY: The civil trial over the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, got underway Thursday with opening arguments. Nine people suing over the physical and emotional injuries they received charge that some of the country's most well-known white nationalists conspired to commit violence at the August 2017 rally, which was ostensibly held to protest the city's plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Karen Dunn, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told the jury yesterday that white nationalists planned the violence for months. However, an attorney for the lead organizer of the rally, white nationalist Jason Kessler, said the online communications being used by the plaintiffs are protected by the First Amendment. One woman was killed in Charlottesville when James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. He's serving a life sentence.

➤U-S TRAFFIC DEATHS UP 18 PERCENT IN FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR: The number of people killed in traffic deaths in the U.S. rose 18.4 percent in the first half of this year from the same period in 2020, the biggest six-month increase since the Department of Transportation began tracking federal crash data, the federal government reported yesterday. The 20,160 deaths was also the highest first-half total since 2006. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said behavioral research from March through June showed that speeding and not wearing a seat belt remain higher than they were before the pandemic. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the department will develop a national strategy to help reduce traffic deaths.

➤SCHOOL BANS MOM FROM VOLUNTEERING AFTER HER ONLYFANS ACCOUNT IS DISCOVERED: A Florida mother says she was banned from volunteering at her children's school after her OnlyFans account was discovered. Victoria Triece, whose five-year-old and 10-year-old children go to Sand Lake Elementary School in Orange County, has been volunteering at the school for five years, but was told two weeks ago she could no longer do it. She now plans to sue for $1 million, telling local station WESH, "Nobody has the right to judge what other people do for a living. I feel judged, and so isolated." The school learned about Triece's OnlyFans account when someone sent images from the site to school administrators. Her attorney, Mark NeJame, told the station, "What authoritarian mentality allows somebody to point a discriminating finger at somebody and say we don't approve of you and you can't be around children. That becomes frightening."

👻THERE HAS BEEN AN UPTICK IN GHOST SIGHTINGS: People have been seeing more ghosts since the coronavirus pandemic started. Teen Vogue reports that since the world shut down in March 2020, ghost hunters have been inundated with requests to investigate hauntings and psychics and mediums have seen an uptick in business. Chris French, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, told the outlet, “There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that … all forms of magical thinking tend to increase at times of stress and uncertainty.” He also added that because of the incredible loss during the pandemic, people may find comfort in ghosts because it makes death seem less final.

PANDEMIC STRESS HAS MADE DECISION MAKING MORE DIFFICULT: The stress of the coronavirus pandemic is making it more difficult for adults to make both day-to-day and major life decisions in comparison to life before the pandemic. According to the American Psychological Association survey, millennials have been affected the most. More than 60 percent agreed that the pandemic has made them rethink how they were living their life while 63 percent said uncertainty about the near future causes them stress. Around half said the pandemic had made planning for the future feel impossible.

🏈PACKERS TOP CARDINALS 24-21 FOR ARIZONA'S FIRST DEFEAT OF SEASON: The Green Bay Packers topped the Arizona Cardinals 24-21 last night, handing Arizona its first loss of the season to end its status as the last undefeated NFL team. The Cardinals looked like they were going to rally for the win at home, but Green Bay's Rasul Douglas intercepted Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray's throw on second-and-goal with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers have now won seven straight games after dropping their season opener.

🏒PANTHERS COACH QUENNEVILLE RESIGNS AFTER NHL COMMISH MEETING: Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned yesterday, shortly after meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in the wake of a report about the Chicago Blackhawks' response to a claim from player Kyle Beach that he was sexually assaulted in 2010 by then-Chicago assistant coach Brad Aldrich. Quenneville, the second-winningest coach in NHL history, was the Blackhawks' head coach at the time, and the results of an investigation released Tuesday said he and others in the organization didn't prioritize Beach's allegations, presumably because the team was playing towards a championship at the time. Quenneville said he resigned with "deep regret and contrition," stating that the Blackhawks, quote, "failed Kyle and I own my share of that." Andrew Brunette, who was a Panthers assistant coach, is taking over as interim coach.

⚾PADRES REPORTEDLY HIRE OAKLAND'S MELVIN AS NEW MANAGER: The San Diego Padres have hired the Oakland A's Bob Melvin as their new manager, according to media reports yesterday (October 28th). Melvin, who'd been with Oakland for a decade, is a veteran MLB manager who's three times been named Manager of the Year. He will replace Jayce Tingler, who was fired earlier this month after the Padres' second-half collapse this season.

🏈NFL COMMISH GOODELL MADE NEARLY $128 MILLION IN PAST TWO YEARS: Just how good does being NFL commissioner pay? The New York Times reported last night that Roger Goodell made a total of nearly $128 million over the past two years in a combination of salary, bonuses and other benefits, saying the amount was disclosed at the just-ended owners meetings this week. The Times cited sources as saying Goodell's hefty pay was about 90 percent based on bonuses and due to the work he led in helping reach a new labor deal and a massive media rights package.

🏌REPORT...NEW GOLF LEAGUE BACKED BY SAUDI ARABIA WITH NORMAN AS COMMISH TO BE ANNOUNCED: Golfweek has reported that a new professional golf league backed by Saudi Arabia with retired pro golfer Greg Norman as commissioner will be announced next week. Sports Illustrated said it's unknown if the tour will be a handful of events, a week-to-week circuit that competes directly with the PGA Tour and European Tour, or some other format. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan told players in May that they face suspension and likely expulsion if they join a competing tour.