Saturday, November 27, 2021

November 28 Radio History

➦In 1917...Elliott Lewis was born in New York City (Died from cardiac arrest at age 72 – May 23, 1990). He was active during the Golden Age of Radio as an actor, writer, producer and director, proficient in both comedy and drama. These talents earned him the nickname "Mr. Radio".

Elliot Lewis - 1954
Elliott Lewis made his radio debut in 1936, at the age of 18, in a bit part on a True Boardman-produced biography of Simon Bolivar. Lewis' role was to scream and bang metal chairs, in an earthquake scene.

As an actor, Lewis was in high demand on radio, and he displayed a talent for everything from comedy to melodrama. He gave voice to the bitter Harvard-educated Soundman on the 1940-41 series of Burns and Allen and several characters (Rudy the radio detective, the quick-tempered delivery man, and Joe Bagley) on the 1947-48 series, many characters on The Jack Benny Radio Show (including the thuggish "Mooley", and cowboy star "Rodney Dangerfield"), a variety of comic and serious characters on the Parkyakarkus show, and Rex Stout's roguish private eye Archie Goodwin, playing opposite Francis X. Bushman in The Amazing Nero Wolfe (1945). He played adventurer Phillip Carney on the Mutual Broadcasting System's Voyage of the Scarlet Queen, and appeared on many episodes of Suspense and The Whistler.

But perhaps Lewis' most famous role on radio was that of the hard-living, trouble-making left-handed guitar player Frankie Remley on NBC's The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.

During the run of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, Lewis took over as a director of the well-known radio series Suspense.

In the 1970s, Lewis produced radio dramas during a brief reincarnation of the medium. In 1973-74, he directed Mutual's The Zero Hour, hosted by Rod Serling. In 1979, he and Fletcher Markle produced the Sears Radio Theater, with Sears as the sole sponsor. Lewis wrote the episodes "The Thirteenth Governess" and "Cataclysm at Carbon River" (the latter was pulled by CBS due to its subject matter of a nuclear disaster, and was never aired), and acted on the episodes "Getting Drafted", "The Old Boy", "Here's Morgan Again", "Here's Morgan Once More", and "Survival". [11]

In 1980, the series moved from CBS to Mutual and was renamed The Mutual Radio Theater, sponsored by Sears and other sponsors. Lewis scripted the episodes "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" and "Our Man on Omega", and acted on the episodes "Interlude", "Night", "Hotel Terminal", and "Lion Hunt".

➦In 1925..."The Grand Ole Opry" debuted on WSM, Nashville under the name "Barn Dance". The first artist to perform on the show was fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson.

George Hay
In June 1928, the Opry got its name by an unusual coincidence: Soon after Program Director George D. Hay started his show, WSM radio joined the NBC radio network. Since the program followed a performance on the network called the Metropolitan Grand Opera. So, Hay decided to call his program the Grand Ole Opry.

Hay was born in Attica, Indiana. In Memphis, Tennessee, after World War I, he was a reporter for the Commercial Appeal, and when the newspaper launched its own radio station, WMC, in January 1923, he became a late-night announcer at the station. His popularity increased and in May 1924 he left for WLS in Chicago, where he served as the announcer on a program that became National Barn Dance.

On November 9, 1925 he moved on to WSM in Nashville. Getting a strong listener reaction to 78-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson, Hay announced the following month that WSM would feature "an hour or two" of old-time music every Saturday night. He promoted the music and formed a booking agency.

In the 1930s the show began hiring professionals and expanded to four hours; and WSM, broadcasting by then with 50,000 watts, made the program a Saturday night musical tradition in nearly 30 states. In 1939, it debuted nationally on NBC Radio. The Opry moved to a permanent home, the Ryman Auditorium, in 1943. As it developed in importance, so did the city of Nashville, which became America's "country music capital". The Grand Ole Opry holds such significance in Nashville that its name is included on the city/county line signs on all major roadways. The signs read "Music City | Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County | Home of the Grand Ole Opry".

Membership in the Opry remains one of country music's crowning achievements. Such country music legends as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Roy Acuff, the Carter family, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells and Minnie Pearl became regulars on the Opry's stage. In recent decades, the Opry has hosted such contemporary country stars as Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton and the Dixie Chicks. Since 1974, the show has been broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry House east of downtown Nashville, with an annual three-month winter foray back to the Ryman since 1999.

The Grand Ole Opry is broadcast live on WSM 650 AM at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday nights.

The Opry can also be heard live on Willie's Roadhouse on channel 59 on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. A condensed radio program, America's Opry Weekend, is syndicated to stations around the United States. The program is also streamed on WSM's website.

➦In 1932...Groucho Marx performed on radio for the first time. Besides, his film work Marx is best know for  his show 'You Bet Your Life' debuted in October 1947 on ABC radio (which aired it from 1947 to 1949) and then on CBS (1949–50), and finally NBC. The show was on radio only from 1947 to 1950; on both radio and television from 1950 to 1960; and on television only, from 1960 to 1961.

The show proved a huge hit, being one of the most popular on television by the mid-1950s. With George Fenneman as his announcer and straight man, Marx entertained his audiences with improvised conversation with his guests. Since You Bet Your Life was mostly ad-libbed and unscripted—although writers did pre-interview the guests and feed Marx ready-made lines in advance—the producers insisted that the network prerecord it instead of it being broadcast live.

There were two reasons for this: prerecording provided Marx with time to fish around for funny exchanges and any intervening dead spots to be edited out; and secondly to protect the network, since Marx was a notorious loose cannon and known to say almost anything.

The television show ran for 11 seasons until it was canceled in 1961.

➦In 1960...The CBS Radio Network expanded its Top of the Hours newscasts from 5 to 10 minutes.

➦In 1987...Pat St. John debuted on WNEW 102.7 FM, New York City. He was previously at WPLJ. In April 1973, St. John began an almost 15-year stint at New York's WPLJ. For most of his years at WPLJ he was rated by Arbitron as the most-listened-to afternoon radio personality in America. He survived the station's transition from AOR to top 40 in 1983.

He left WPLJ in 1987, and returned to his rock roots on WNEW-FM, which had been WPLJ's rival during its AOR years. He became the station's program director in the early 1990s while continuing his mid-day show until being asked to do morning-drive (which he did from 1994 through 1996) and then moved to afternoons where then followed Scott Muni who moved to mid-days). St. John remained with the station until it switched to a hot talk format in 1998.

➦In 1993...Radio, TV host Garry Moore died of emphysema at age 78 (Born - January 31, 1915).

Starting in 1937, he worked for Baltimore radio station WBAL as an announcer, writer and actor/comedian.  He began a long career with the CBS network on radio in the 1940s and was a television host on several variety and game shows from the 1950s through the 1970s.

He hosted several daytime and prime time TV programs titled The Garry Moore Show, and the game shows I've Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth. He was instrumental in furthering the career of comedic actress Carol Burnett. He became known for his bow ties and his crew cut fashion  early in his career.

Berry Gordy is 92


  • Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. is 92. 
  • Singer-songwriter Bruce Channel is 81. 
  • Singer Randy Newman is 78. 
  • Musician Paul Shaffer (“Late Show With David Letterman”) is 72. 
  • Actor Ed Harris is 71. 
  • Actor S. Epatha Merkerson (“Law and Order”) is 69. 
  • Country singer Kristine Arnold of Sweethearts of the Rodeo is 65. 
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead is 37
    Actor Judd Nelson is 62. 
  • Director Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma,” “Gravity”) is 60. 
  • Drummer Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden) is 59. 
  • Actor Jane Sibbett (“Friends, “Herman’s Head”) is is 59. 
  • Comedian Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”) is 59. 
  • Actor Garcelle Beauvais (“NYPD Blue,” ″The Jamie Foxx Show”) is 55. 
  • Singer Dawn Robinson (En Vogue, Lucy Pearl) is 53. 
  • Actor Gina Tognoni (“The Young and the Restless”) is 48. 
  • Musician of Black Eyed Peas is 47. Actor Malcolm Goodwin (“iZombie”) is 46. 
  • Actor Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”) is 45. 
  • Actor Aimee Garcia (“Lucifer”) is 43. 
  • Rapper Chamillionaire is 42. 
  • Actor Daniel Henney (“Criminal Minds”) is 42. 
  • Keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) is 38. 
  • Singer-keyboardist Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees is 38. 
  • Singer Trey Songz is 37. 
  • Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”) is 37. 
  • Actor Scarlett Pomers (“Reba”) is 33. 
  • Actor-rapper Bryshere Gray (“Empire”) is 28.

Live Nation In Deep Trouble, Astroworld Lawsuits Top $3B

Three weeks after 10 people died and hundreds of others were injured at the Astroworld Festival tragedy, the number of lawsuits, plaintiffs and named defendants continues to mount. The Houston Chronicle reports the claims for damages now top $3 billion and the lawyer headcount exceeds six dozen, including some of the most prominent law firms in Texas.

Meanwhile, the attorneys representing the victims have told their clients to reject the offer by rapper Travis Scott, whose legal name is Jacques Bermon Webster II, to pay for funeral costs and medical expenses.

Lawyers also say they are eager to learn just how much Scott, the concert promoter Live Nation, the operators of the NRG Stadium property and other named defendants have in insurance coverage. Some lawyers, though, worry that recent lawsuits seeking incredibly high damage awards — up to $2 billion — could drive some corporate defendants into bankruptcy, which would mean significantly less money for victims.

The newest attorneys to the litigation are prominent Houston trial lawyer Richard Mithoff, who filed a complaint late Wednesday on behalf of a 14-year-old who died at the concert, and the high-powered Houston law firm Susman Godfrey, which was hired this week by Live Nation to represent the concert promoter in the 150 or so lawsuits pending against it.

“Susman Godfrey is one of the best trial law firms in the U.S., with incredibly smart and talented lawyers,” said Chad Pinkerton, a Houston lawyer who represents about 75 victims in the Astroworld cases. “For Live Nation to hire the Susman firm shows that the company knows it is in deep trouble and is preparing for a bet-the-company litigation fight.”

Susman Godfrey has about 120 lawyers who specialize in high-stakes, bet-the-company litigation. Its law partners represent large corporate clients such as CenterPoint Energy and Walmart and charge hourly rates of $1,300 or more — though the firm is usually paid through alternative fee arrangements contingent on success.

ASM Global, which manages NRG Stadium for the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., has hired Norton Rose Fulbright as its defense counsel in the Astroworld litigation.

While Live Nation and Scott have received nearly all the attention, the 150 lawsuits name another 15 businesses and individuals as defendants, including Texas-based concert promoters, public relations firms that worked on the Astroworld Festival, and companies hired to provide private security and first aid. The most recent lawsuits have included Apple, which streamed the concert around the world.

“The defenses that these companies will employ are very predictable,” Mithoff said Thursday. “They will claim that the tragedy was not foreseeable, that they hired experts to tell them the number of people who should be allowed to attend and the number of security guards who should be hired and none of those experts gave them a warning that this could happen.”

R.I.P.: Stephen Sondheim, Theater Royalty Dead At 91

Stephen Sondheim, whose quick-witted lyrics made Broadway audiences sit up and listen in the 1950s and whose cerebral, ground-breaking shows from “Company” in 1970 to “Merrily We Roll Along” more than a decade later thrust the American musical into the modern era, has died. He was 91.

Bloomberg reports his death was announced by F. Richard Pappas, his lawyer and friend, according to the New York Times, saying it was “sudden.” Sondheim had a Thanksgiving dinner with friends the day before, the paper said. Pappas couldn’t be immediately reached in his office in Austin, Texas.

Broadway productions for which he was both composer and lyricist that won Tony awards for best musical included “Passion,” “Sweeney Todd,” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” His “Sunday in the Park with George” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

A student of the composer Milton Babbitt and protege of the romantic lyricist Oscar Hammerstein, Sondheim wrote shows that shimmered -- and sometimes shivered -- in the crawlspace between sentiment and existentialism. He was, as one of his most famous lyrics put it, the quintessential “Broadway baby,” able to please an audience with rousing anthems and plangent ballads.

He was also Broadway’s most fearless innovator, constantly staking out new musical territory, whether or not the audience could be cajoled into joining him on the journey.

Neither as popular as Rodgers and Hammerstein nor the Gershwins, and not a box-office sensation like his younger contemporary, Lloyd Webber, Sondheim nonetheless set the standard for contemporary American musicals.

“Send in the Clowns,” from 1973 Tony winner “A Little Night Music,” was arguably the only standard in his vast catalog of songs. Renditions by Judy Collins and Frank Sinatra became hits.

Others, from “The Ladies Who Lunch” (“Company”) to “I’m Still Here” (“Follies”) and “Move On” (“Sunday in the Park with George”) became mainstays of cabaret singers.

Sondheim also wrote songs for several films, including “Reds,” “Dick Tracy” and “The Birdcage.”

Trained as a composer, he earned his first Broadway billing as lyricist for 1957’s “West Side Story.” His far more experienced collaborators were Leonard Bernstein, who composed the music; Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book; and Jerome Robbins, who staged and choreographed the landmark show.

Two years later, he collaborated with composer Jule Styne on “Gypsy” and the result was another high point in the pantheon of Broadway musicals.

With “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” Sondheim finally got billing as both composer and lyricist. A giddy travesty of comedies by the Roman playwright Plautus that was also staged by Robbins, the hit starred Zero Mostel as a slave desperate for freedom and sex, not necessarily in that order.

But it was Sondheim’s decade-long partnership with producer-turned-director Hal Prince, beginning in 1970 with the musical comedy “Company,” that solidified his place in the first rank of Broadway visionaries.

Stephen Joshua Sondheim was born March 22, 1930, the son of Herbert Sondheim, a dress manufacturer, and his chief designer, the former Janet Fox. They lived on Manhattan’s Central Park West, until the parents divorced when he was 10.

As a youth, Sondheim became friendly with Jamie Hammerstein. In Jamie’s father, Oscar, he found a lifelong mentor. Oscar Hammerstein’s principles of lyric writing would later take on biblical significance for Sondheim even as he rebelled against the form that Hammerstein and his last great partner, composer Richard Rodgers, had themselves redefined for Broadway audiences.

TV Ratings: Macy's Parade Audience Grows

The 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade welcomed back fans and an extra million viewers compared to last year’s spectator-free edition. Thursday’s annual Holiday season kickoff drew 21.7 million viewers on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon, in addition to a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49, according to The Wrap citing Nielsen fast nationals.

Last year’s parade drew 20.7 million total viewers, the annual event’s smallest TV audience since 1996, the last time the Manhattan march was last below 20 million total TV viewers.

When adding an encore telecast, NBC drew 25.4 million viewers and a 6.4 demo rating. That was slightly down from last year’s all-inclusive figure.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a consistent and reliable ratings hit for NBC. In 2013, the parade topped 25 million viewers, the largest sum of this grouping.

The 2021 National Dog Show followed Santa Claus’ parade arrival, and fetched 11.2 million total viewers to go along with its 2.8 demo rating from noon to 2 p.m. That was down some from last year (11.3 million viewers, 3.4 demo rating).

Lee Enterprises Makes Move to Guard Against Alden Takeover

Lee Enterprises Inc. said its board has approved a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill, that would prevent hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC from acquiring more than 10% of the company as it considers Alden’s hostile bid for the newspaper publisher.

The Wall Street Journal reports the plan will be in effect for a year. Lee Enterprises Chairman Mary Junck said the plan would give the company’s board and its shareholders time to assess the acquisition proposal without undue pressure.

“Consistent with its fiduciary duties, Lee’s Board has taken this action to ensure our shareholders receive fair treatment, full transparency and protection in connection with Alden’s unsolicited proposal to acquire Lee,” Ms. Junck said in a statement.

Alden Global last Monday offered to acquire Lee in a deal that would value the Davenport, Iowa-based publisher at around $141 million. Alden’s pursuit of Lee is the hedge fund’s third effort to acquire a large local-news publisher in roughly two years, following a failed bid to acquire USA Today owner Gannett Co. in 2019 and a successful move to purchase New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune owner Tribune Publishing earlier this year.

Alden Global has been criticized by employees of its media properties and industry experts for aggressive cost-cutting, while its executives say the reductions help preserve newspapers. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last year, Heath Freeman, a top executive at Alden Global, said the hedge fund has never closed a paper, though it has merged titles to cut costs.

Lee Enterprises is one of a few American newspaper chains of considerable size that isn’t owned by Alden Global, whose MediaNews Group unit publishes roughly 70 daily newspapers, including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News.

Lee, which owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, says its daily newspapers and other local news products reach over 77 markets in 26 states. Its holdings also include the Buffalo News, which it purchased last year as part of an acquisition of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s media-group newspaper business for $140 million.

Spotify Is Testing A TikTok-Like Music Video

Spotify is testing a TikTok-like music video feed in its app, becoming the latest company to experiment with integrating a platform for short video clips.

Insider reports the feature, which is currently in beta-mode for select users, will be accessible by tapping a new fourth tab labeled "Discover" in the lower navigational toolbar. The page displays full-screen music videos to songs as users scroll through, along with the option to "like" or "skip" similar to the widely-popular social media platform TikTok, according to TechCrunch.

"At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience," a spokesperson told TechCrunch. "Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don't have any further news to share at this time."

The feature was first spotted by Spotify user Chris Messina, who shared a video to Twitter on Wednesday showing the new video feed in Spotify's beta version for iOS on TestFlight, an app that allows developers to test versions of their programs.

November 27 Radio History

➦In 1901...Early radio sportscaster Ted Husing was born in the Bronx NY.

At age 16, he joined the National Guard and during World War I was assigned to stand watch over New York's harbor. Following the war, he floated between jobs such as carnival barker and payroll clerk. After he won an audition over 500 other applicants for announcer at New York City radio station WHN, Husing found his life's calling. He was schooled under the tutelage of pioneer broadcaster Major J. Andrew White. There he covered breaking news stories and political conventions and assisted White during football commentaries.

Ted Husing
By 1926, Husing was working at WJZ and his  rapid manner of speech earned him the nickname Mile a Minute Husing. His use of descriptive language combined with a commanding voice made his broadcasts must-listen events. By 1927, he was voted seventh most popular announcer in a national poll. Following a pay dispute, he moved to Boston, where he broadcast Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves) baseball games.

Later in 1927, he returned to New York and helped his mentor, J. Andrew White, start the new CBS chain.  After cigar mogul William S. Paley bought the cash-strapped network in 1928, Ted Husing rose to new heights of glory and fame.

At CBS, Husing took on a wide variety of events. In 1929, he was named studio director of WABC (the CBS flagship station) in addition to continuing his work as an announcer for the network.

In addition to his sports preeminence, Husing also did news/special events coverage for the CBS Radio Network. In the 1930s, he gave early tutelage to a budding CBS Radio announcer, Mel Allen, who, like Husing, would become a legendary sportscaster. (And, like Husing, Allen would also understudy in news, with Robert Trout.) In 1933-1934, he was host of the Oldsmobile Program, providing sports news to complement music from other participants on the program.

In both sports and special events areas, Husing developed a bitter rivalry with rising NBC announcer Bill Stern. When the two became the sports stars of their rival networks (and eventually their networks' sports directors), they would battle fiercely not only for events but also for broadcast position.

Husing could be arrogant, coarse, and opinionated. He was the first to bring a candid, editorial style to sports play-by-play.


In 1946 Husing moved from CBS to WHN 1050 (later WMGM) to pursue a career as a disk jockey. (He was succeeded as CBS Radio's sports director by Red Barber.) Husing's popular music show the Ted Husing Bandstand ran from 1946 to 1954. He continued to busy himself with sports assignments, including boxing on CBS and DuMont television, one year (1950) as the radio voice of New York Giants football, and as host of DuMont's Boxing From Eastern Parkway from May 1952 to March 1953. Perhaps he was best known as the voice of Army football from 1947 to 1953. By that time, Husing's yearly salary was close to half a million dollars.

In the spring of 1954, an operation to treat a malignant brain tumor left him blind and forced him to retire. He died at age 60 in 1962.

In 1963, Husing became the second inductee of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.  In 1984, Husing was part of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame’s inaugural class which included sportscasting legends Red Barber, Don Dunphy, Graham McNamee and Bill Stern.

➦In 1926...KXL AM in Portland, Oregon signed-on with 50 watts of power. Today, the station is owned by Alpha Media, it calls are KXTG and the station airs sports talk at 750 AM.  KXL-FM airs news/talk on 101.9 FM.

➦In 1930...“First Nighter” was first heard on NBC. It was a long-running 30-minute radio anthology comedy-drama series broadcast from November 27, 1930, to September 27, 1953. The host was Mr. First Nighter (Charles P. Hughes, Macdonald Carey, Bret Morrison, Marvin Miller, Don Briggs and Rye Billsbury (later known as Michael Rye).

Ad for FM Radio, NY Times 11/27/60: $24.95

➦In 1960...the CBS Radio Network canceled "Have Gun Will Travel".  It was a Western series that was produced and originally broadcast by CBS on both television and radio from 1957 through 1963.

The television version of the series was rated number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings every year of its first four seasons, and it is one of the few shows in television history to spawn a successful radio version.  That radio series debuted November 23, 1958, more than a year after the premiere of its televised counterpart.

This series follows the adventures of a man calling himself "Paladin" (played by Richard Boone on television and voiced by John Dehner on radio), taking his name from that of the foremost knights in Charlemagne's court. He is a gentleman investigator/gunfighter who travels around the Old West working as a mercenary for people who hire him to solve their problems.

NY Times article 11/27/60

➦In 1960...Veteran announcer, newsman Tony Marvin joined the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Tony Marvin
Marvin's first job in radio was at WNYC in New York City. From there, he went to CBS as a staff announcer, beginning October 1, 1939.  A 1959 article in Radio and Television Mirror reported that at CBS "Tony did everything from daytime serials to symphonies and in 1946, when the Arthur Godfrey morning show was sustaining, Tony was assigned to it." When Godfrey's activities expanded from Arthur Godfrey Time to include Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and Arthur Godfrey and his Friends, Marvin did the announcing for those shows as well.

Godfrey at times stirred controversy with his firing of his show's personnel. Marvin was the last of Godfrey's supporting players to go. He had been with Godfrey 12 years when he learned in 1959 that Godfrey would not need an announcer for the coming year.  Marvin's departure was widely perceived as a more amicable parting than Godfrey's previous dismissals of cast members, which were often abrupt.

Marvin branched out in 1958, adding a two-hour, Monday-Saturday disc jockey show on WABC to his other duties.

➦In 1962...In London, the Beatles recorded their first BBC radio session, performing "Twist and Shout," "Love Me Do," and "P.S. I Love You." The tracks aired later on the BBC program "Talent Spot."

➦In 1975...Bill Winters WCBS 101.1 FM personality died at age 35.

Bill Winters
Winters worked in Tampa Bay in the early to mid 1960’s, first at WALT (mid-days) in 1963-64, and then WLCY. He also went on to work at Miami’s WQAM. During his short career, he held down shifts at some pretty impressive stations, including wakeup duty beginning in early 1968 at WPOP Hartford. There, he achieved the station’s highest Pulse ratings ever and, as a pivotal member of its “BOSS”ketball team, once broke two toes during a benefit game.

During a year out to serve with Uncle Sam, Bill worked part-time at WFBS in Spring Lake, NC, and then returned to mornings at WPOP. This time, he was billed as “The Big Kahuna – World Champion Surfer and 14th Degree Black Belt with Red Strikers.”

Early in his career, Bill worked at some fairly small stations, paying his dues at WCEC, WFMA-FM, and WEED AM/FM, all in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina, WGAI Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and WHAP Hopewell, Virginia. Later stops (and bigger stations) included WKYC Cleveland, CKLW Detroit, WCAO Baltimore, WBZ Boston, WCBS-FM New York (mid-days), and WIBG Philadelphia.

➦In 1979...Chuck Leonard aired his last show at WABC.  During his over 40-year career in broadcasting, Leonard worked virtually every shift and played all styles of music at stations including WWRL, WABC, WXLO, WRKS, WBLS, WQEW, WNSW-AM and WJUX. He has been inducted in the Museum of Television & Radio and is known as the first African-American disc jockey to work on a mainstream radio station.

Leonard was at WWRL for just seven weeks, before WABC's Dan Ingram heard him and convinced WABC to hire him. He was the first African-American broadcast personality on a major market Top 40 station.

Leonard began at ABC's flagship New York radio station, Musicradio 77 WABC (AM), under program director Rick Sklar in 1965. He broke the color barrier for all who followed — the first African-American to cross over from black R&B radio to (then-mostly white) mass-appeal radio.

Leonard began in the 11 p.m. to midnight slot, and continued working late nights and Sundays at the station until November 27, 1979. He did the 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. shift following “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and later George Michael. He also gladly handled weekend and fill-in work.

Leonard was the host of "Sneak Preview," a five-minute Monday-through-Saturday evening program on ABC's American Contemporary Radio Network, which featured newly released songs. After WABC, he worked at WXLO and WRKS.

➦In 1984...Radio personality, Jack Carney, died. He is best remembered for his stints at WIL and KMOX in St. Louis.

Jack Carney
Carney took his first radio job in New Mexico and moved from job to job at small stations throughout the southwest early in his career. Carney then became a rock n’ roll disc jockey serving up the hits to teens in Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Boston.

Carney’s first job in St. Louis came on WIL Radio from 1958-1960. While at WIL, Carney came up with his alter ego character “Pookie Snackenburg.” Carney was lured away from WIL to work for a short time at WABC Radio/New York.

Carney’s second stint in St. Louis was at KMOX where he established a following. Taking over the morning spot from Jack Buck in 1971, Carney was an instant hit.

During his KMOX years, virtually every celebrity that passed through St. Louis stopped by to say hello to Jack Carney. His show was a fixture in St. Louis for 13 years. Jack Carney died of a sudden heart attack at age 52.

Jack Carney was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001.

➦In 2006...Sportscaster and radio sports talk host Kenneth "Casey" Coleman, Jr., son of play-by-play announcer Ken Coleman and a broadcaster in Cleveland for almost 30 years, died after a 14-month struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 55.

Casey Coleman
Coleman began his broadcasting career in Fall River, MA, hosting an evening sports talk show on WSAR 1480 AM. In 1978, he arrived Cleveland to host a radio sports talk show on WERE 1300 AM (now at 1490 AM), where he ended each broadcast by saying, "I'm rounding third and heading home.", a phrase he would carry over in to his TV career.

From 1984-1996, Coleman worked for WJW TV 8 as the main sports anchor. He was awarded four Cleveland Emmy Awards while at WJW.

Following the death of Browns play-by-play voice Nev Chandler, Coleman became the team's main announcer in 1994, and held that job for the final two seasons of the Art Modell era before Modell moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 and renamed them the Ravens.

Coleman joined WTAM 1100 AM in July 1997, and became a part of the morning talk show "Wills, Webster and Coleman in the Morning" in October 1998.

After the Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL in 1999 as a new expansion franchise, Coleman served as radio sideline reporter for WMJI (and WTAM's coverage of the its games until 2005, when he began showing signs of the illness which would ultimately cause his premature death.


  • William Fichtner is 65
    Director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) is 70. 
  • TV personality Bill Nye (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”) is 66. 
  • Actor William Fichtner (“Mom,” “Invasion”) is 65. 
  • Guitarist Charlie Burchill of Simple Minds is 62. 
  • Actor Michael Rispoli (“The Rum Diary,” “To Die For”) is 61. 
  • Jazz musician Maria Schneider is 61. 
  • Drummer Charlie Benante of Anthrax is 59. 
  • Drummer Mike Bordin (Faith No More) is 59. 
  • Actor Fisher Stevens (TV’s “Early Edition,” film’s “Short Circuit”) is 58. 
  • Actor Robin Givens is 57. 
  • Actor Michael Vartan (“Alias”) is 53. 
  • Actor Elizabeth Marvel (“Homeland,” “House of Cards”) is 52. 
  • Rapper Skoob of DAS EFX is 51. 
  • Actor Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe,” “Oz”) is 50. 
  • Rapper Twista is 49. 
  • Actor Jaleel White (“Family Matters”) is 45. 
  • Actor Lashana Lynch (“No Time To Die”) is 34.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Here's Why CMG Won't Sell WPYO, WSUN To SBS

Cox Media Group has defended a petition to extend by one year the looming deadline it has to sell alternative “97X” WSUN Tampa and CHR “Power 95.3” WPYO Orlando. 

According to InsideRadio, CMG told the FCC efforts by Spanish Broadcasting System to hold Cox to the Dec. 17 deadline, which was set two years ago, are part of a strategy to force Cox to accept its low-ball offer to buy WPYO.

“SBS believes it can obtain an artificially below-market price if it can force a sale now under an impending regulatory deadline,” said Cox in a filing with the FCC on Tuesday.

Earlier this week SBS revealed it made three separate offers to Cox since August to buy WPYO. But each was rejected, and Cox’s counteroffer was several million dollars above the highest appraised value of $6 million that SBS said it received for WPYO. That led SBS to tell the FCC that it believed Cox “had no serious intention” of selling the stations before the FCC-mandated Dec. 17, 2021 deadline.

But Cox said the economic impacts of the pandemic have been far reaching, with a significant disruption that led to a “basically non-existent” radio deal market with several potential bidders remaining on the sidelines. It notes that even SBS did not approach with a bid for WYPO until three months before the divestiture deadline was already in sight. Cox said if it’s forced to quickly find a buyer, it would amount to the FCC requiring it to accept an artificially low price.

In support of its position that next month’s deadline should not be pushed back, SBS filed with the Commission more than 200 letters of support. But Cox accuses SBS of trying to sway the FCC with “the blunt instrument of political pressure” rather than facts and legal precedent. It also said many of the comments come from individuals and groups with direct ties to SBS while others are from groups and people from outside the Orlando area.

Meanwhile, NIA Broadcasting President Neal Ardman says his company has been trying to negotiate with Cox for the Tampa station. “We are happy to pay a legitimate market value but Cox won’t return calls,” Ardman told Inside Radio. “We are planning to file an objection with the FCC also.”

WSUN and WPYO have been in the Elliot Evers-run trust since 2019 after Cox Media Group was swallowed by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management as part of a pair of deals totaling $3.6 million, giving the firm 56 radio stations across 11 markets. As part of its approval of the deals, the FCC gave Evers/CMG two years to sell the FMS.

Senate Panel To Meet Over FCC Nomination

Gigi Sohn
The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a Dec. 1 hearing to consider the nomination of Gigi Sohn for the open FCC seat and look for some Republicans to push back hard on the progressive candidate. Though despite her strong support for Title II-based net neutrality rules and other positions Republicans oppose, she also has friends among Republicans who respect her intellect and skill.  

At the same hearing, the committee plans to vote on the nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel for another five-year term, paving the way for her to become the first female full-time FCC chair. She is expected to have no trouble being favorably reported to the full Senate, which must vote on her nomination before the end of the year or she would have to leave the commission.

Sohn's path to confirmation could be more problematic given that she represents the third Democratic vote and the majority Rosenworcel will need to tackle things like net neutrality and potential media ownership reregulation, reports

Sohn is the former top advisor to then FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and founder of Public Knowledge, the iconic fair use public interest group. Atop that group, she was at the table when FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski struck a compromise approach to net neutrality rules that were not based in Title II, but under Wheeler, Sohn, who appeared always to prefer the Title II route, became a strong advocate for that approach, which was ultimately reversed under Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, a move strongly opposed by Rosenworcel.

Miami-SoFL Radio: SBS Launches Salsa Format On 106.3 FM

Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc., the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned and targeted media and entertainment entity announced today the launch of Salsa 106.3FM on WRAZ-FM Leisure City/Homestead and 106.3 W292GE Miami via 92.3 WCMQ-HD2.  

The station is targeting South Florida’s young Hispanic adults in the highly sought-after 18-34, 25-64 demographic. 

Salsa 106.3FM provides its listeners with a wide variety of salsa, in the tropical format including international stars like, Marc Anthony, Willy Chirino, Oscar D’ Leon and other tropical (salsa) sounds, from artists such as Luis Vazquez, Frankie Negron and many more. WRAZ-FM SALSA 106.3FM launched on November 25, 2021, at midnight celebrating Thanksgiving with its new listeners.

WRAZ-FM 106.3 FM (50 Kw)

Salsa 106.3FM’s captivating format primarily features salsa music. Salsa 106.3FM’s unique combination of rhythms positions the station as the most innovative and cutting-edge format in the marketplace. Salsa 106.3FM becomes the second SBS Radio station broadcasting a market-specific version of “Z93” format, a sister station in Puerto Rico with similar format ranks among the top 3 on the island.

W292GE 106.3 FM (55 watts)
“We are very excited to introduce Salsa 106.3FM to South Florida,” stated Donny Hudson, EVP of Local Media for SBS Radio, TV and Digital Operations, VP & GM of SBS Miami. “With this refreshing of the brand and format we will meet the needs of the wide variety of Hispanics in South Florida that love the tropical genre Salsa.”

In addition to its revolutionary music format, Salsa 106.3FM will also feature some of the hottest and most dynamic on-air talent in South Florida. Talent line-up will be announced in the coming days.

“Our extensive research in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market has confirmed that this covered segment was looking for a distinct format that fits the diversity, passion and energy of one of the hottest cities in America,” stated Jesus Salas, EVP of Programming of SBS Radio. “We are certain Salsa 106.3FM will become an instant favorite in South Florida for all the Salsa lovers.”

Salsa 106.3FM joins the SBS Radio Miami family with sister stations such as WXDJ-FM EL ZOL 106.7FM, WCMQ- Z92.3FM and WRMA- RITMO 95.7FM, CUBATON Y MAS.

Seattle Radio: Todd Herman To EXIT Talk KTTH

The Todd Herman Show on KTTH 770 AM will end on Dec. 1, 2021.

Todd Herman
Host Todd Herman announced Wednesday, Nov. 24, that Dec. 1 will be his last show on KTTH airwaves. He is moving his program to a private podcast after that date.

The new host for the morning timeslot on KTTH has not yet been announced, but Todd expressed his hope that his current listeners give the new host “lots of fair shakes” and grace.

“The program that I hear in my mind is centered on God almighty with politics wound into it. What we do here is politics with God on the side — that’s not who I am anymore,” Todd said Wednesday.

He also shared that he has looked into becoming a pastor.

The Infinite Dial 2021 U-K To Be Released December 2

The Infinite Dial® 2021 UK from Edison Research, sponsored by Bauer Media and Spotify, will debut in a webinar on Thursday, December 2 at 2 PM GMT, and registration is now open.  

The Infinite Dial is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America, tracked annually since 1998, and The Infinite Dial 2021 UK will mark the first time the study has been conducted in the United Kingdom. 

Over its 20+ year history, it has become the survey of record for a number of important media channels, including streaming audio, podcasting, and social media, and is relied upon by its audience of content producers, media companies, agencies, and the financial community. The Infinite Dial study has been conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and South Africa.

Click here to register for The Infinite Dial 2021 UK

Larry Rosin, Edison Research President, will present the latest findings on digital media behaviors in the United Kingdom.  

Attendees will be the first to learn about the latest trends in the UK regarding media usage and consumption habits for streaming audio, podcasting, radio, mobile media, smart speakers, social media behaviors, and more. 

Black Friday Shoppers Try to Get a Headstart

by Felix Richter

Following a nice Thanksgiving feast with family and friends, many Americans will hit the bed early tonight to be ready for an early wake up call. As many retailers open at 5am on Black Friday, sleeping in may also mean missing out on the best deals.

According to data from Statista’s Holiday survey, many Americans are trying to get a headstart on Black Friday, planning to hit the stores between 5 and 8am. Thankfully, a phenomenon called “Black Friday creep” that saw retailers open their doors at the stroke of midnight or even earlier on Thanksgiving evening, hasn’t taken hold.

In fact, many retailers have returned to closing for Thanksgiving, giving anxious shoppers a chance to enjoy the holidays before the shopping rush.

Infographic: Black Friday Shoppers Try to Get a Headstart | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

Nashville Radio: Dave Ramsey Sells Home At Discount

Dave Ramsey, the syndicated personal finance whiz, has sold his Franklin, TN, estate for $10.2 million—over $5 million less than he had initially hoped to snag, reports

He placed his palatial residence on the market in February for $15.45 million. A deal closed at 34% off Ramsey’s asking price in August, according to property records.

In 2008, the radio show host picked up a parcel of land for $1.5 million, in what was reportedly an all-cash transaction. He then proceeded to build a chateau-inspired mansion on the land. Over the years, he also purchased two adjacent lots, for a total of 14.38 wooded acres.

Dave Ramsey
Upon its completion, he and his wife, Sharon Ramsey, lived in the custom mansion for over a decade. However, a hot housing market proved too tempting for the financial guru to ignore.

“The Nashville real estate market is so great right now, Dave and Sharon are taking the opportunity to build on land they own south of the city,” a Ramsey Solutions spokesperson told a local news station.

While he was savvy in his timing, Ramsey realized a smaller upside than he hoped, but the buyers scored a sweet deal.

The new owners may want to introduce themselves to the neighbors: The huge estate happens to be next door to the former crib of the singer LeAnn Rimes.

Ramsey kept the door shut on interior shots of his home, but we have plenty of views of the sprawling grounds. So let’s take a tour.

Set in a secluded and gated neighborhood, the hillside estate sits at an elevated 1,150 feet, well placed for views and sunsets.

Some People Are Stressed By Holiday Hits

It’s supposed to be "the most wonderful time of the year," but for many people, the holidays are a stressful time. 

For some people, that stress can be compounded by the prevalent – and in some cases, inescapable – Christmas music, reports Fox News.

Though there hasn’t been any intensive research on the topic, a few surveys in the last decade have found that some portion of Americans don’t really like Christmas music. 

An often-cited Consumer Reports survey from 2011 found that 23% of respondents said they dread seasonal music around the holidays. 

Meanwhile, a 2017 survey by Soundtrack Your Brand found that 17% of U.S. shoppers dislike Christmas music. That survey also found that 25% of retail staff in both the U.S. and the U.K. combined say that Christmas music makes them feel "less festive," and 16% of retail staff say Christmas music "dampens their emotional well-being," according to the survey. 

Elaine Rodino, PhD, who is in private practice in State College, Pennsylvania, told Fox News that music can have a significant impact on people, particularly related to their memories and emotions.

For some people, if they feel stressed out by Christmas music, it might be because the songs remind them of a bad memory or negative experiences from their past, even as far back as their childhoods, Rodino said.

"Music has a way of stirring emotions and memories," Rodino told Fox. "So in terms of Christmas, many people don't have good memories of the holiday. And so it does stir up the not-so-good memories."

Christmas music can also become mentally draining, or worse, when its played non-stop for weeks on end, according to a report by Inc.

Holiday tunes can also be a reminder to some people of all the other holiday-related stresses they might experience, such as buying presents, attending or hosting holiday parties, gathering with relatives, cooking the right meals or just trying to meet other people’s expectations.

Billboard chart 11/21

Of course, if Christmas music stresses you out, you can avoid listening to it when you’re at home or in the car. However, if you’re at the mall or the grocery store and a stressful song comes on, Rodino suggests putting your own headphones or earbuds in and playing your own music. 

"That would certainly drown out the other music," Rodino said. "And...realize the music is not making them do anything, it's just creating a memory...and it'll be gone as soon as they walk out of the store."

What About Public Radio Appeals to Listeners?

Radio reaches the largest audience of any medium — approximately 9 in 10 US adults every week. Two-fifths of the time Americans spend listening to audio is done via AM/FM radio, and, per a new report from Jacobs Media in conjunction with the Public Radio Program Directors Association, 1 in 5 (19%) AM/FM radio listeners say they’ve listened to public radio more in the last year than they have in the past.

The survey of more than 22,800 AM/FM radio listeners found that three-quarters (74%) listen to public radio because it provides the most trustworthy and objective programming. Others say they turn to the medium to be informed (71%) and because they enjoy learning new things (69%).

While those individuals listening to more public radio are doing so because of its availability on multiple platforms (37%) and because they feel the need to support public radio (36%), most are turning to public radio because of the current political climate (52%) and due to a lifestyle change (52%).

Notably, these are the same reasons some are choosing to listen to less public radio. Among the slim 12% who say they have listened to less public radio in the past year, less time in the car (62%) is their main reason for cutting down on their listening time, while more than half (57%) say they have listened less because of a lifestyle change, and one-fifth (18%) due to the current political climate.

Although a contentious 2020 election and a barrage of bad news might drive people to listen to public radio less, the survey indicates otherwise. Only one-third (34%) of respondents say they are following the news less closely since the election and even fewer (16%) say they are listening to less public radio to get a break from the news.

Smart Speakers Impact Radio Listening

Some 3 in 10 AM/FM radio listeners surveyed say they have a Smart Speaker. While common uses for Smart Speakers include checking the weather or automating tasks, listening to audio appears to be a popular use for them. Some two-fifths of Smart Speaker owners surveyed say they use their device to listen to AM/FM radio stations (41%) and for streaming music (39%).

Furthermore, nearly one-quarter (23%) of Smart Speaker owners surveyed say they have listened to AM/FM radio more since purchasing their device, with 11% saying they have listened a lot more.

Grand Rapids Radio: WHTS Morning Host Crowned 'Mrs. America 2022'

WHTS' Jackie Green

Jackie Blankenship, known on-air as Jackie Green, co-hosts the Gray and Green show on WHTS 105.3 HOT FM has been crowned Mrs. American 2022

She won the Mrs. America Pageant in Las Vegas last weekend, reports WZZM-TV13.

"I actually was first runner up, I was second place. But the woman who did win had some health issues and had to step down," she said. "So, they said 'hey, you're now the winner.' They give you this whole spiel at a pageant, where if a winner can't fulfill their duties, then first runner up will take over. They say that, but who ever thinks that's gonna happen?"

"I thought 'this is my time, I'm going to Mrs. America and competing with 49 women who did win their state,'" she said.

"I kind of went in with the mentality that I'm just gonna have fun, because I wasn't even supposed to be here."

In the end, Blankenship had a great time and took home the crown. She will compete next in the Mrs. World Pageant 2022, which will also be held in Las Vegas.