Saturday, January 22, 2022

January 23 Radio History

➦In 1941...WOR-AM moved from Newark NJ to NYC.

WOR began broadcasting on February 22, 1922, using a 500-watt transmitter on 360 meters (833 kc.) from Bamberger's Department Store in Newark, NJ. The station's first broadcast was made with a home made microphone which was a megaphone attached to a telephone transmitter, while Al Jolson's "April Showers" was played. Louis Bamberger's sale of radio sets to consumers explained their affiliation with the station.

The WOR call sign was reissued from the U.S. maritime radio service. The station initially operated limited hours, sharing time with two other stations, WDT and WJY, which also operated on 833 kc.

WOR changed frequency to 740 kc. in June 1923 and shared time with WJY until July 1926, when WJY signed off for good and WOR received full use of the frequency. In December 1924, WOR acquired a studio in Manhattan. On June 17, 1927, as a result of General Order 40, WOR moved to 710 kc., the channel it currently occupies (unlike most stations, it was not affected by NARBA).

Later in 1926, WOR moved from its New York City studio on the 9th floor of Chickering Hall at 27 West 57th Street to 1440 Broadway, two blocks from Times Square.

➦In 1954...WNBC 660 AM NYC switched from classical to pop

WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF, owned by AT&T Western Electric. It was the first radio station in New York City.

The calls are popularly thought to have stood for Western Electric AT&T Fone or Water, Earth, Air, and Fire (the 4 classical elements). However, records suggest that the call letters were assigned from an alphabetical sequence. The first assigned call was actually WDAM; it was quickly dropped, but presumably came from the same alphabetical sequence.

➦In 1969.. in Memphis, Elvis Presley recorded what would be his last #1 song, “Suspicious Minds.” During the 8th take, the producer used a premature fade-out and fade back in near the end of the track. He felt the fade out, fade in reflected the way Elvis performed the song during his Las Vegas acts.

➦In 1969...working at the Apple studios in London, The Beatles (with Billy Preston on keyboards) recorded ten takes of ‘Get Back.’ However, Preston performances were never used. Four days later, 14 more takes of the song were recorded and eventually Take 11 was spliced together with the best take recorded a day later.

➦In 1977... Carole King‘s landmark album, “Tapestry”, became the longest-running album to hit the charts, as it reached its 302nd week on the album lists. In 2020 it remains #5 on the longevity list.

➦In 1978....founder and guitarist Terry Kath of the band Chicago died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a pistol he didn’t think was loaded. He was a week short of his 32nd birthday.

➦In 1984...In NYC....Country WKHK 106.7 FM in became WLTW "Lite FM".

In 1980 Viacom bought the Sonderling chain, and the station adopted a country music format. The station was known as "Kick 106.7 FM." The format change, from jazz to country, took place in the middle of the night. The change brought many protests from New York jazz fans, and a petition to the FCC to deny the station's license renewal, which was denied. (The WRVR calls were moved to a radio station in Memphis, TN, that had once been owned by Viacom, but is now owned by Entercom.) However, ratings were low, as they were unable to compete with WHN, which also had a country music format at the time.

Then, on January 23, 1984, Viacom dropped country and changed the calls to WLTW. The station became an MOR station known as "Lite FM 106.7 WLTW". Initially, they were an easy listening station without anything that would be classified as "elevator music". At this point, the station played music from such artists as Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, the Carpenters, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Barry Manilow, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, and the Stylistics. The station also played softer songs from such artists as Elton John, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, the Righteous Brothers and Billy Joel. The station wouldn't play any new music except for new songs by artists that were familiar to listeners of the station. With this format change, ratings did increase from its previously low levels.

(Almost immediately after the call letter switch, the WKHK calls were picked up by an FM station at 95.3 in Colonial Heights, Virginia that was also doing a country format. That station still has the WKHK calls and is now Heritage-owned Richmond, Virginia Country station "K95".)

By the late 1980s, WLTW started to play songs from such artists as Whitney Houston, Chicago, Foreigner, the Doobie Brothers and Bruce Springsteen. As other competing New York City stations changed their focus, the station stayed with their Soft/AC format, even though they were phasing out songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and the Carpenters. At this point, the station's ratings were at or near the top compared with other New York City radio stations.

➦In 1986...after more than a year of planning, the first annual induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. Those inducted included Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

➦In 1987... Bob "Bob-A-Loo" Lewis - WABC - WABC FM - WCBS FM died at age 49.

Lewis possessed a very unique and natural delivery with a little show business, which is a style people liked.

A native of Queens, Bob began doing the overnight show which he called The All-Night Satellite - at Musicradio77 in 1962 after making stops at WNHC in New Haven, Conn; and WMGM and WINS in New York City.

Eventually Bob insisted on being taken off the demanding all-night shift and spent much of the rest of his tenure at the station, which lasted until 1969, doing weekends and fill-in work.

Bob also spent some time working at WABC-FM in the late 1960s, which is now WPLJ-FM, and was among the first wave of progressive air personalities in the Big Apple. FM offered an opportunity, and he was the kind of person who could adapt very easily. He loved all kinds of music. Bob later worked at WCBS-FM, before it adopted an oldies format, and then went to WNEW-FM as it emerged as a leader in the progressive rock movement.

Bob Lewis was one of the best jocks ever to work for WABC. Bob wanted his freedom and he wanted to be on his houseboat, which was docked near 72nd Street. Bob wasn't interested in being a superstar. He was happy with what he was doing with his radio work and with his voiceover career. He became one of the top voiceover artists, handling work for clients like Certs, Volkswagen and IBM.

➦In 2005...late-night TV icon Johnny Carson died from complications from emphysema in Los Angeles. He was 79.

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

Johnny Carson - 1970
The wife of one of the Omaha political figures Carson spoofed owned stock in a radio station in Los Angeles, and in 1951 referred Carson to her brother, who was influential in the emerging television market in Southern California. Carson joined CBS-owned Los Angeles television station KNXT. In 1953, comic Red Skelton—a fan of Carson's "cult success" low-budget sketch comedy show, Carson's Cellar (1951 to 1953) on KNXT—asked Carson to join his show as a writer.

In 1954, Skelton accidentally knocked himself unconscious during rehearsal an hour before his live show began. Carson then successfully filled in for him. In 1955, Jack Benny invited Carson to appear on one of his programs during the opening and closing segments. Carson imitated Benny and claimed that Benny had copied his gestures.

Carson hosted several shows besides Carson's Cellar, including the game show Earn Your Vacation (1954) and the CBS variety show The Johnny Carson Show (1955–1956). He was a guest panelist on the original To Tell the Truth starting in 1960, later becoming a regular panelist from 1961 until 1962. After the primetime The Johnny Carson Show failed, he moved to New York City to host ABC-TV's Who Do You Trust? (1957–1962), formerly known as Do You Trust Your Wife? There, Carson met his future sidekick and straight man, Ed McMahon. Although he believed moving to daytime television would hurt his career, Who Do You Trust? was a success. It was the first show where he could ad lib and interview guests, and because of Carson's on-camera wit, the show became "the hottest item on daytime television" during his six years at ABC.

Anita Baker is 64

  • Actor Chita Rivera is 89. 
  • Actor-director Lou Antonio (“Cool Hand Luke”) is 88. 
  • Jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton is 79. 
  • Actor Gil Gerard is 79. 
  • Singer Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters is 74. 
  • Tiffany Thiessen is 48
    Bassist-keyboardist Bill Cunningham of The Box Tops is 72. 
  • Actor Richard Dean Anderson (“MacGyver”) is 72. 
  • Singer-guitarist Robin Zander of Cheap Trick is 69. 
  • Singer Anita Baker is 64. 
  • Bassist Earl Falconer of UB40 is 63. 
  • Actor Peter Mackenzie (“black-ish”) is 61. 
  • Actor Boris McGiver (“House of Cards,” ″Boardwalk Empire”) is 60. 
  • Actor Gail O’Grady (“American Dreams,” ″NYPD Blue”) is 59. 
  • Actor Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) is 58. 
  • Singer Marc Nelson (Az Yet) is 51. 
  • “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell is 48. 
  • Actor Tiffani Thiessen (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) is 48. 
  • Bassist Nick Harmer of Death Cab For Cutie is 47. 
  • Actor Lindsey Kraft (“Living Biblically”) is 42.

NPR Reporter Defiant Over Debunked Story

NY Post graphic 1/20/22

NPR's chief legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg has been ridiculed for defiantly standing by a report that received unprecedented blowback from three Supreme Court justices and was even criticized by her own public editor, reports Fox News. 

NPR public editor Kelly McBride addressed the ongoing controversy involving Totenberg’s story published Tuesday that alleged Justice Neil Gorsuch refused to wear a mask despite being asked by Chief Justice John Roberts due to the health concerns of their colleague Sonia Sotomayor, who is vulnerable to COVID because of diabetes. 

All three of them refuted NPR's reporting. McBride declared Totenberg's story "merits a clarification, but not a correction."

"After talking to Totenberg and reading all justices' statements, I believe her reporting was solid, but her word choice was misleading," McBride wrote. 

Nina Totenberg
McBride zeroed in on a specific excerpt from Totenberg's report regarding how the Supreme Court justices' adjustments to COVID precautions had changed following the holiday break during the omicron surge.

"According to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form or other, asked the other justices to mask up," Totenberg had written.

McBride, who was named NPR’s public editor in 2020 and aims to "respond to audience concerns and suggestions" about the organization’s reporting, noted that later Tuesday, the word "asked" was changed to "suggested."

Totenberg has since dismissed McBride’s criticism herself in an interview with the far-left Daily Beast. 

"She can write any goddamn thing she wants, whether or not I think it’s true… she’s not clarifying anything," Totenberg said. "I haven’t even looked at it, and I don’t care to look at it because I report to the news division, she does not report to the news division.

NPR has continued to stand by Totenberg's widely refuted report despite criticism from its own public editor.

Many Fans Of Adele Are Livid

Adele is under fire from fans who are livid they shelled out thousands of dollars for ticket and travel expenses to attend her Las Vegas residency, which was canceled just one day before it was set to begin.

FoxBusiness reports the singer's 24-date Las Vegas residency was scheduled to begin on Friday, January 21. But in a tearful video posted to her social media accounts on Thursday night, the chart-topping British singer cited pandemic delays as the reason behind the cancellation.

"I’m so sorry but my show ain’t ready," a tearful Adele said in a video message posted on social media.

"We’ve tried absolutely everything that we can to pull it together in time and for it to be good enough for you, but we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and COVID," she continued, adding that "half my team are down with" the virus.

However, several fans voiced their anger and disappointment online late Thursday into Friday. Many claim the singer's announcement came much too late. Several concertgoers said they'd already traveled to Las Vegas or were making their way there for the show's opening weekend.

"I love Adele, but she needs to refund at least a part (if not all) of peoples travel expenses. Imagine having flown in from outside the US? The amount of money for the flights alone. You can't do this a day before the first show..." one Twitter user wrote.

"Super bummed that Adele has postponed all of her shows in Las Vegas. I've already spent $1200 between airfare, hotel, and the concert tickets. Not to mention vacation time from work. Trying to decide now on either getting a refund or sitting tight for the new dates," another fan wrote.

"This breaks my heart, for you and for me," another person who purchased tickets said on Twitter. "I know how hard it is to put on a show, especially with a pandemic. But it’s also hard to save enough money, to get time off work from a hospital, that is short staffed, book a flight and hotel, fly in two days early and find out 30 hrs before the show, when we are already here, that the reason we came for is not going to happen. The people with first weekend show tickets may not be able to afford the time or money to reschedule something like this."

In a tweet, Caesars Palace said it understood fans’ disappointment but added: "Creating a show of this magnitude is incredibly complex. We fully support Adele and are confident the show she unveils at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will be extraordinary."

Judge: Byron Allen McDonald's Lawsuit Can Move Forward

A federal judge has denied McDonald Corp.’s request to throw out a discrimination lawsuit brought by media mogul Byron Allen, reigniting a campaign helmed by the businessman to gain more advertising for Black-owned media companies.

Bloomberg reports the McDonald’s motion was denied “for improperly referencing materials outside the pleadings,” U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles said in his ruling Friday. The ruling requires McDonald’s to respond to Allen’s lawsuit by Jan. 27.

In May, Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. sued McDonald’s, claiming the fast food chain discriminates against Black-owned television networks like his Weather Channel by almost exclusively spending its advertising dollars with White-owned stations. The lawsuit, which seeks $10 billion in damages, is part of a movement by Allen to correct what he deems is a long-running bias against Black-owned businesses.

“We look forward to presenting our enormous evidence in court, which will prove the systemic racism at McDonald’s,” Allen said in a statement. “And I firmly believe the board at McDonald’s should fire the CEO Chris Kempczinski immediately.”

McDonald’s spends less than $5 million, or 0.3% of its annual $1.6 billion advertising budget, with Black-owned media companies, according to the original complaint. The TV producer and entrepreneur, who is African-American, has said advertisers should spend at least 5% of their budgets with companies such as his.

CRS Announces Honorees, Scholarship Recipients

The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. (CRB) announces the 2022 Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award recipient and individuals selected to receive the Rusty Walker and Lisa McKay Women in Radio Scholarships.

Heather Froglear
Heather Froglear has been named the 2022 Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award recipient. Froglear will be recognized with the award during the New Faces of Country Music show, held during CRS 2022. Froglear has spent 28 years on the air at KFRG and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and the Country Radio Seminar’s Agenda Committee. She is the creator of K-Frogger’s for Kids Radiothon, benefiting Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. In its 20th year, K-Frogger’s for Kids Radiothon has cumulatively raised over $7 million. Froglear has involvement in several organizations supporting veterans, law enforcement, children, and more. These organizations include Lifestream, the Riverside Police Officer’s Association, the American Cancer Society Inland Empire Chapter, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and more.  

Every year, the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award is given at the discretion of the CRB Board of Directors to recognize an individual in the Country Radio industry who has displayed a magnanimous spirit of caring and generosity in service to their community. The Tom Rivers Award is named in honor of CRB Board member Tom Rivers. Rivers, known for his work at WQYK, Tampa/St. Petersburg and WUSN, Chicago, was highly regarded for his public service. Past recipients of the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award include Lon Helton, “Dollar” Bill Lawson, Dan Halyburton, Peter Smyth, Jeff Smulyan, Mary Quaas, George G. Beasley, and more.

CRB/CRS Board President Kurt Johnson remarks, "Heather is the kind of person this award was made for. She's not about prestige or celebrity, but she has lots of both and personally commits to using them for good. The power of her empathy raises the lives of people who need her. And we all need people like her. CRS is proud to recognize Heather's significant and very real service."

Receiving this year’s Rusty Walker Scholarship are Kyle Matthews (APD/MD, KFGE, Lincoln, NE), Spencer Campbell (Account Executive, WLVK Ft Knox, KY), and Morgan Taylor (On-Air Talent, KGRT, Las Cruces, NM), and set to receive the first-ever Lisa McKay Women in Radio Scholarship is Jacqueline Dunn Pailizzi (PM Drive and APD, WCJC, Marion, IN).  Each recipient will receive complimentary registration, hotel, and airfare for CRS 2022. Scholars will also be recognized at CRS 2022 during CRS Honors, which is the kick-off to the 3-day event.

CRS Executive Director, RJ Curtis, comments "CRS has a decades-long mantra of 'growth through sharing,' and today's award recipients fully live up to that spirit. Tom Rivers was an unselfish and empathetic broadcaster whose humanitarian acts were done with sincerity and humility. Heather Froglear is the perfect honoree for 2022 and lives up to Tom's namesake and legacy, as her impressive list of initiatives proves. Rusty Walker and Lisa McKay were two of our industry's most passionate and involved mentors, encouraging younger broadcast professionals to learn, excel, and lead. CRS is proud to host these aspiring and deserving industry professionals in 2022, and we believe Rusty and Lisa would be proud." 

Paisley Dunn
The Rusty Walker Scholarship Program honors former CRS board member, Rusty Walker. Walker was a Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee, an influential programmer and consultant, and mentor in the music industry. After his shocking passing in 2012, the scholarship program was developed to continue his legacy of supporting bright, young minds in the business. 

2022 marks the Lisa McKay Women in Radio Scholarship program debut and honors the late Lisa McKay, who successfully programmed WQDR/Raleigh for 16 years and was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2018. McKay was integral in helping the CRB launch the well-established annual Rusty Walker Scholarship program, formed to mentor up-and-coming programmers. The scholarship serves to advance younger females pursuing leadership roles in radio programming. 

CRS will be held Wednesday, February 23 through February 25, 2022, and will feature a jam-packed schedule that includes Country Radio Seminar’s most anticipated events, including educational panels, virtual networking, and workshops designed to provide instant, actionable takeaways.

OAN Urging Fans To Pressure DirecTV

The founder of One America News Network, the conservative cable outlet, called on viewers to pressure pay-TV providers to carry the channel after DirecTV decided to drop it, reports Bloomberg.

In a new video, Chief Executive Officer Robert Herring Sr. said he learned about DirecTV’s decision when he read about it in the news last Friday, calling it “a major surprise.”

“We don’t know exactly what we are going to do yet,” Herring said in the video, which was posted on the website of the left-leaning group Media Matters for America. “But don’t worry, we have a lot of options.”

On Jan. 14, DirecTV, one of the largest U.S. pay-TV providers, said it plans to drop OAN, which has been criticized for spreading misinformation about the pandemic and the 2020 election. DirecTV’s decision was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Robert Herring Sr.
The satellite-TV provider said it notified OAN’s owner, Herring Networks Inc., that it plans to stop carrying the company’s two channels when their contract expires. 

DirecTV’s contract with Herring Networks expires in early April, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Herring urged viewers to reach out to the cable-TV providers in their area -- including Charter Communications Inc., known as Spectrum, and Dish Network Corp. -- and “let them know that you would like for them to carry One America News.”

“We only charge 10 cents per household per month,” Herring said. He called that a bargain “given all of the amazing content our team puts out.”

OAN relied heavily on revenue from millions of DirecTV customers paying for it, whether they watched its programming or not. In 2020, an OAN lawyer said in court that if the channel’s DirecTV contract ended, “the company would go out of business tomorrow,” Reuters has reported.

The channel is still carried on Verizon Fios and smaller pay-TV providers, according to its website. Verizon didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether it will continue to carry OAN.

DirecTV’s decision has been met with praise by left-leaning groups who have pushed for pay-TV providers to stop giving a platform to the channel. It was also met with derision by right-leaning politicians. Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, said he canceled his DirecTV subscription, while former President Donald Trump suggested at a rally that his supporters boycott AT&T.

DirecTV is owned by AT&T and TPG through a joint venture.

Former Martell Foundation VP/GM Facing Embezzling Charges

Melissa Ann Goodwin, the former Exec. VP/General Manager for the TJ Martell Foundation, has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly embezzling nearly $4 million from the charity, according to a report from Billboard.

The TJ Martell Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by music executive Tony Martell in 1975 after his son TJ died from leukemia. The organization has been heavily supported by the music industry, having held multiple charity events in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. The organization has raised more than $280 million in support of medical research grants, and helped secure more than $1 billion in additional research funding.

Melissa Goodwin
Nashville-based Goodwin joined TJ Martell in 2005 as Special Events Manager, and rose to Exec. VP and GM in 2018. According to a federal charging document obtained by Billboard and filed by acting U.S. attorney Mark Wildasin in Tennessee federal court, from July 2018 to April 2020 Goodwin allegedly abused her power of overseeing all finance operations to make fraudulent charges and allegedly embezzled nearly $4 million from the foundation.

The alleged fraud was initially discovered in 2020, when TJ Martell’s then-CEO Laura Heatherly asked the organization’s accountants to copy her on all correspondence with Goodwin, after the long-term employee had become delinquent in filing financial statements and expense reports. Lynn-Anne Huck, who has been acting as TJ Martell’s interim CEO since late 2020, oversaw the review that unearthed the extent Goodwin’s activities.

Goodwin allegedly turned some items over to the founder/owner an auction company, listed in the filing as Individual One, to resell for profit for themselves, misappropriating more than $4.2 million of foundation funds. TJ Martell, which makes a portion of its money from auctioning items, had previously legitimately used Individual One’s business to provide items to auction. Individual One has since been named as Darran Brown, the founder/owner of auction companies Executive Sports Group (ESG) and Go Charity.

According to Billboard‘s report, Goodwin, Brown and the auction companies are all accused of fraud, conspiracy and conversion. Goodwin is also accused of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

Goodwin faces up to 20 years in prison, a forfeiture of $3.7 million, and a fine of up to $250,000, if convicted, according to Music Row.

Compass Media Promotes Doug Ingold

Doug Ingold
Compass Media Networks has announcd the promotion of Doug Ingold to Vice President of Affiliate Sales for Entertainment & Music Programming.

Doug, who just celebrated his 8th anniversary with Compass Media Networks, will continue to be based out of the Company’s Los Angeles office and shall continue to spearhead distribution of some of the Company’s leading entertainment shows, including Big D & Bubba, Dave & Mahoney, Free Beer & Hot Wings, Rick Dees, Pop Crush Nights, Taste of Country, Ultimate Classic Rock and many others.

Doug Ingold comments, “Compass Media Networks commitment to Music & Entertainment Programming is strong and I’m grateful to be contributing to its long-term growth. It’s a privilege to serve our affiliates and partners with a tremendous roster of talent, shows and digital assets. Many thanks to our team for their support and much gratitude to Peter Kosann, Hiram Lazar, and Adam Wilbur.”

“Doug is a real pro and trusted adviser to help stations and groups achieve great success with syndication.” said Adam Wilbur, Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales for Compass Media Networks.

Prior to joining Compass Media Networks Doug managed the day-to-day affiliations of leading radio shows such as Adam Carolla, Kevin & Bean, LOVELINE, and the MTV Radio Networks. Also, as a Record Label executive, orchestrated national promotion campaigns for multi-platinum artists Tool and The White Stripes.

Netflix Fails to Halt the Subscriber Additions Decline

by Martin Armstrong, Statista

After massive gains during the first stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, net paid subscriber growth at Netflix took a hit in 2021. The latest quarterly results exceeded expectations, but when comparing to 2020's Q4 subscriber additions, the 8.28 million added globally in Q4 2021 represent a continued decline which led directly to a 20 percent fall in share price off of the news.

You might remember the Q3 results though, and how Squid Game had "helped Netflix reboot subscriber growth". Those figures had co-CEO Reed Hastings feeling optimistic for the future: “We’re in uncharted territory. We have so much content coming in Q4 like we’ve never had, so we’ll have to feel our way through and it rolls into a great next year also.” So what now? While Q3 had provided a glimmer of hope for the streaming giant, the Squid Game effect was only temporary and Q4 has pulled things back into perspective. As this infographic shows, The final quarter of the year has brought in a smaller and smaller volume of new paid subscribers since 2018.

Infographic: Netflix Fails to Halt the Subscriber Additions Decline | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Looking ahead to Q1, Netflix said: "For Q1’22, we forecast paid net adds of 2.5m vs. 4.0m in the year ago quarter. Our guidance reflects a more back-end weighted content slate in Q1’22 (for example, Bridgerton S2 and our new original film The Adam Project will both be launching in March). In addition, while retention and engagement remain healthy, acquisition growth has not yet re-accelerated to pre-Covid levels. We think this may be due to several factors including the ongoing Covid overhang and macro-economic hardship in several parts of the world like LATAM."

January 22 Radio History

➦In 1889...The Columbia Phonograph Company began selling Edison phonograph cylinders and players in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. It derived its name from the District of Columbia, which was its headquarters.

➦In 1940...“The Right to Happiness” written by radio soap diva Irna Phillips was first aired on the CBS Radio Network. The daytime serial had begun on NBC Blue three months earlier. And it would switch between CBS & NBC two more times during its 21 year run.

➦In 1956..."Fort Laramie", a CBS Radio Western series starring Raymond Burr as Captain Lee Quince, debuted.. It aired Sunday afternoons January 22–October 28, 1956, at 5:30pm ET. The 41 episodes starred Raymond Burr as Lee Quince, captain of the cavalry. One year later, Burr became a television star as Perry Mason.

➦In 2011...Radio Pioneer Ruth Ann Myer WMCA (PD), WMGM, WHN (PD), WNEW (PD) NYC died at age 80.

Ruth Ann Meyer
In 1960, WMCA began promoting itself by stressing its on-air personalities, who were collectively known as "The Good Guys". Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

In the early 1960s, the top 40 format was still young, and the field was crowded in New York City. Two major 50,000-watt stations, WMGM 1050 AM (frequency now occupied by WEPN-AM) and 1010 WINS, had battled each other, playing pop music for years. Then in 1960, WABC joined the fray and started featuring top 40 music. Ultimately, it was WMCA's earnest competition with rival WABC that forced WMGM (in early 1962) and then WINS (in spring 1965) to abandon the top-40 format. There was so much attention on the high-profile WMCA-WABC battle that WMGM and WINS were each summarily forced to find new formats.

➦In 2012...Sportscaster Andy Musser, voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for 26 years, died at age 74.

Andy Musser
He was part of a team, with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas, which broadcast Phillies games on both radio and television for 21 consecutive seasons from 1976 to 1997. He retired after the 2001 season.

Musser worked for WCAU radio and television in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1971. During this time, he served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Eagles football as well as 76ers and Villanova Wildcats basketball. One of the youngest lead broadcasters in the National Football League at the time, he covered the Eagles games with Charlie Gauer for four years until the station lost the broadcast rights to WIP-AM in 1969. Musser also called various events for CBS Radio, including Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl VIII.

Musser was the lead voice for Chicago Bulls telecasts on WSNS from 1973 through 1976, pairing with Dick Gonski in the first two seasons and Lorn Brown in the third. Musser would call New York Knicks games with Cal Ramsey on WOR-TV (away) and Manhattan Cable Television (home) for the next four seasons from 1976 to 1980. He handled all the matches in the first three years, but only the home ones in the fourth.

Jim Irwin
➦In 2012...WTMJ Milwaukee Sportscaster Jim Irwin died from kidney cancer at age 87. (Born - February 7, 1934). He is probably best known as having been the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers for 30 years. He worked with former Packer Lionel Aldridge, and was paired for 20 seasons with Super Bowl I hero Max McGee. Irwin also called Milwaukee Brewers baseball, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball games.

He joined the Packers radio broadcasts as a color commentator in 1969 and assumed play by play duties in 1975, a position he held until his retirement after the 1998 season, along with morning sportscasting and commentary duties on WTMJ's morning program. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2003. Irwin continued to contribute occasionally to WTMJ after he retired.

Prior to his longtime career as the voice of the Packers, Irwin began his broadcast career in 1964 as sports director at WLUK-TV in Green Bay.

➦In 2016…Chicago broadcasting pioneer Jim Conway, who for nearly 40 years worked in both radio and early television, died at age 94. His career included stints in news anchoring and program hosting at WBBM and WMAQ Radio, as well as TV at WBBM, WLS and WGN. He co-anchored the first half-hour nightly news show on WGN, and hosted the first local morning talk show on WLS.

Steve Perry is 73


  • Actor Piper Laurie is 90. 
  • Singer Steve Perry (Journey) is 73. 
  • Bassist Teddy Gentry of Alabama is 70. 
  • Beverly Mitchell is 41
    Actor John Wesley Shipp (“The Flash,” ″Dawson’s Creek”) is 67. 
  • Actor Linda Blair is 63. 
  • Actor Diane Lane is 57. 
  • Country singer Regina Nicks of Regina Regina is 57. 
  • Rapper-actor DJ Jazzy Jeff is 57. 
  • Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 54. 
  • Actor Olivia D’Abo (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” ″The Wonder Years”) is 53. 
  • Actor Katie Finneran (“The Michael J. Fox Show”) is 51. 
  • Actor Gabriel Macht (“Suits”) is 50. 
  • Actor Balthazar Getty is 47. 
  • Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 42. 
  • Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 42. 
  • Singer Willa Ford is 41. 
  • Actor Beverley Mitchell (“Seventh Heaven”) is 41. 
  • Guitarist Ben Moody of The Fallen (and formerly of Evanescence) is 41. 
  • Actor-singer Phoebe Strole (“Glee”) is 39. 
  • Rapper Logic is 32. 
  • Actor Sami Gayle (“Blue Bloods”) is 26.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Report: NBC News Claims It's Not Pushing Advocacy Journalism

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim insists his network is not in the business of "advocacy journalism," according to Fox News.

In an interview with the Poynter Institute published Wednesday, Oppenheim said NBC News is "ferociously defending the traditional approach to journalism" and that its mission is "to hold the middle ground and be objective and nonpartisan."

"When we go and interview a national figure, whether it’s Vice President Harris or if it had been Vice President Pence three years ago, we’re going to go into each of those interviews with the exact same mentality, which is these are the folks who are running our country," Oppenheim told Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones. "They need to be held to account. What are the toughest questions that we should be asking in order to accomplish that?"

He added, "I still believe in that old-school approach to journalism and being just as tough on both sides. And looking for truth and facts. Our mission is to illuminate and not advocate."

Oppenheim was then asked about "advocacy journalism," which he said "certainly has a place in the menu of available offerings in the world for people who are looking for it" but not at NBC News. 

Noah Oppenheim
"It’s not what we do, though. It’s not what NBC News does," Oppenheim said.

Except NBC News hasn't necessarily practiced what Oppenheim preaches, writes Joseph A. Wulfsohn at Fox News

Last month, the Peacock network announced it had hired Yamiche Alcindor as a Washington correspondent. Alcindor has earned a reputation from critics for being a liberal activist between her overly hostile coverage of the Trump administration during her tenure at PBS and her over-the-top gushing for the Biden presidency.

In July, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt raised eyebrows for declaring "fairness is overrated."

"I think it’s become clear that fairness is overrated ... the idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in," Holt said while receiving a journalism award. "That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention … Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of agenda, in fact, it’s just the opposite."

In 2018, "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd dedicated an entire broadcast on the subject of climate change but was vocal about his rejection of any climate change skeptics.

"We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not," Todd told viewers at the time.

➤Read More Here

Peacock Starts Streaming Local News

Looking to stay competitive with CBS, Amazon and other streaming rivals, NBCUniversal is adding free, 24/7 access to NBC-owned news channels for all Peacock users in seven major markets, reports MediaPost.

Peacock streaming access launched on Jan. 20 for five markets/stations: NBC 5 Chicago (WMAQ), NBC 10 Philadelphia (WCAU), NBC10 Boston (WBTS) and New England Cable Network (NECN), and NBC 6 Miami (WTVJ).

News channels from two more NBC stations will launch on Peacock in the months ahead, according to NBCU: NBC 4 New York (WNBC) and NBC 4 Los Angeles (KNBC).

The new channels titled NBC Chicago News, NBC Philadelphia News, NBC Boston News and NBC South Florida News offer Peacock subscribers around-the-clock access to comprehensive, local news coverage.

In Philadelphia, The Inquirer reports  there are some major limitations. The NBC Philadelphia News channel is only live when NBC10 News is airing a new broadcast. Otherwise, users will see a rerun of a previous newscast.

When watching Thursday morning while the Today show was airing, NBC Philadelphia News was streaming NBC10′s 5 a.m. broadcast without noting it wasn’t live, which meant the newscast’s weather and traffic reports were two hours old.

Also, there is no way to pause or rewind the broadcast in Peacock. So if you missed something, you’re out of luck. And the new station doesn’t include programming from NBC Sports Philadelphia, so don’t expect any local sports coverage outside of what appears during a normal newscast.

Local news is becoming a competitive differentiator in the ongoing streaming wars.

For instance, CBS’s CBSN streaming news service is available live, 24/7 via and on all CBS News mobile apps.

As of October 2021, Amazon Fire TV’s free news app was serving 158 U.S. cities through 259 channels.

NBCUniversal announced earlier this month it would stream every event from the 2022 Winter Olympics, including its studio coverage, live on Peacock to subscribers. That’s significantly different than how they handled the Tokyo Olympics last year, when the company only streamed gymnastics, track and field, and a handful of other events live. The Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin Feb. 4.

Comcast has been tight-lipped about how many people have subscribed to Peacock since its debut in April 2020. Over the summer, the company revealed it had 54 million sign-ups, which is different than paid subscribers to the platform’s premium tier.

Networks And Advertisers Want To Replace Nielsen

With Nielsen under fire and the TV advertising upfronts only a few months away, several prominent content providers have announced partnerships with alternative audience measurement companies and partnering with ad agencies to evaluate the results, reports Brad Adgate at Forbes.

Billie Gold, a media research specialist notes, “The measurement solution gates were thrown wide open when Nielsen lost MRC accreditation, however it remains to be seen if any one of the companies vying for a piece of the currency pie (currently all not fully accredited) can be a one size fits all solution for advertisers.” 

Citing the need for audience measurement independence, last August NBCU issued 54 RFPs to ad tech companies and wound up with over 100 responses. This month, NBCU reached a multi-year agreement with iSpot.TV as an audience measurement provider, this extends an existing relationship begun in 2014. NBCU said they would be undergoing a “test and learn” process with iSpot.TV. 

The test will include next month’s Winter Olympics from Beijing and Super Bowl LVI. It was also announced that media holding company Publicis will invite some clients to participate in the test. NBCU is also seeking new audience measurement tools for the 2022-23 upfront negotiations which will typically start in the late Spring. NBCU plans on using audience data from iSpot.TV in helping to determine advertising rates.

One of the issues NBCU and other networks have been having with Nielsen is lower ratings. For example, the Tokyo Olympics averaged 15.6 million primetime viewers, the lowest average audience in decades. Last year’s Super Bowl on CBS averaged 96.4 million viewers, including a record high 5.7 million who streamed the game. Nonetheless, the audience was a decline from 102 million viewers the previous year and the lowest TV household rating (38.2) since 1969. For the 2020-21 broadcast season, NBC reported a decline in primetime audiences of 18%.

NBC along with other broadcast and cable networks cited Nielsen’s inability to bolster their nationwide People Meter panel during COVID for the sharp drop-off in viewership. At issue was Nielsen’s inability to enter panelists’ households during the lockdown resulting in a smaller People Meter sample causing a declining ratings and ad revenue.

Report: Meat Loaf Dead From COVID

Daily Mail graphic 1/21/22

American singer Meat Loaf, known for hits including Bat Out Of Hell, has died at the age of 74 after selling more than 100million albums worldwide and starring in 65 movies, his family announced today.

The NY Daily News reports Meat Loaf was seriously ill with COVID.

The Daily Mail reports the singer, whose real name was Michael Lee Aday, died with his wife Deborah at his side. He had an extraordinary career over six decades with the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy among his most popular musical offerings.

In 2016 he was honored with the Hero Award at the annual Q Awards music ceremony, which he dedicated to everyday heroes and called on people to 'bring love back into this world'.

A statement by his family posted on the star's Facebook page this morning said: 'Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.

'His amazing career spanned six decades that saw him sell over 100 million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne's World. Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top ten selling albums of all time.'

The post added: 'We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man. We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls... don't ever stop rocking!'

Wake-Up Call: Biden Again Warns Putin

President Biden again warned Russia against invading Ukraine Thursday, saying that any movements over the border would amount to an invasion and Russia would, quote, "pay a heavy price." Biden was trying to further clear up comments he'd made during a news conference a day earlier that a, quote, "minor incursion" would draw a lesser response, which drew criticism, including from Ukrainian officials. It was clarified Wednesday that Biden by "minor incursion" meant a non-military action, such as a cyberattack, and the president yesterday sought make clear any invasion wouldn't be tolerated, saying, "I’ve been absolutely clear with President [Vladimir] Putin. He has no misunderstanding: Any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion," and it would lead to a, quote, "severe and coordinated economic response." 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will today meet in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in another attempt to ease tensions. Meanwhile, the U.S. announced new sanctions against four Ukrainian officials who Washington says are part of a Russian disinformation effort to set a pretext for invasion, two of them members of Ukraine's parliament and two former government officials.
Daily Mail graphic 1/21/22

President Joe Biden mocked Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich (inset) for asking: 'why are you waiting on Putin to make the first move, sir?'. The president, chuckling, responded to her query with: 'What a stupid question'. The exchange comes as Biden faces widespread criticism for claiming US retaliation for Russian aggression in Ukraine would depend on the details. Biden also has a history of lashing out at the press when he doesn't like their questions.

An NBC News poll also released Thursday shows Biden overall approval rating among adults at 43 per cent and disapproval at 54 per cent.  A third poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows the president at 56 per cent disapproval and to 43 per cent approval.  

It also reveals that only 28 per cent of Americans – and 48 per cent of Democrat respondents – want Biden to run for reelection in 2024.  When broken down further by issues, Americans are becoming less and less happy with the way the Biden administration is handling some key issues like the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. 

➤JAN. 6TH HOUSE COMMITTEE ASKS IVANKA TRUMP FOR INTERVIEW: The House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday requested an interview next month with Ivanka Trump, former President Donald Trump's eldest daughter who was also a senior adviser to him as president. Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said in the letter that Ivanka was in direct contact with her father during key moments on January 6th, and among the things the committee wants to ask her about is testimony that she repeatedly urged him to call on his supporters to stop the violence during the attack. The letter is the committee's first attempt to get information from a member of Trump's family. A spokesperson for Ivanka said, "Ivanka Trump just learned that the January 6 Committee issued a public letter asking her to appear. As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally."

➤SUPREME COURT DOESN'T ALLOW CASE OVER TEXAS' SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN TO BE SPED UP: The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday rejected an effort to speed up the case over Texas' ban on abortions after six weeks, declining to order a federal appeals court to return the case to a federal judge who had temporarily blocked the law’s enforcement. The three liberal justices on the high court dissented. The decision means the law will remain in effect for the foreseeable future, since the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the case sent to the Texas Supreme Court. That court is entirely controlled by Republican justices and doesn't have to act immediately. Abortion providers challenging the law had asked the Supreme Court to block the appeals court's order, saying it was intended only to delay the legal proceedings and keep the law in effect.

➤U.S. MAN CHARGED WITH HUMAN SMUGGLING AFTER FOUR FOUND DEAD IN CANADA NEAR BORDER: A 47-year-old Florida man was charged with human smuggling yesterday after four people were found dead near the U.S. border in Canada. Officials believe they died during an attempt to illegally cross the border during a blizzard. Seven Indian nationals were also found in the U.S. According to court documents, U.S. Border Patrol in North Dakota stopped a van just south of the border Wednesday that Steve Shand was driving, and he was allegedly with two undocumented Indian citizens. Around the same time, five other people were seen in the snow nearby, who were also Indian nationals. They told officers they'd been walking in the freezing conditions for more than 11 hours, and that a family had been separated from the group. A search began in Manitoba, Canada, and the bodies of a man, woman, teenage boy and baby were found just 10 meters from the border. They were believed to have died from exposure. It's alleged in court documents that Shand has likely been involved in other illegal border crossings.

➤PELOTON REPORTEDLY PAUSES PRODUCTION OF ITS BIKES AND TREADMILLS: Peloton saw sales of its stationary bikes soar after the pandemic began as people stuck at home and unable to go to the gym bought them to stay in shape. But nearly two years later, that sales bump has faded, and CNBC reported yesterday that it was temporarily stopping production of its main stationary bikes for two months, and will stop making its main treadmill machine for six weeks. This comes after Peloton cut the price of its main stationary bike last August by $400. Among the reasons for Peloton's falling sales are new competitors selling cheaper bikes, Americans returning to their gyms, and many high-end gyms now offering virtual classes, which had been Peloton's biggest feature.

🏠HOME PRICES UP 16.9 PERCENT IN 2021, HIGHEST ON RECORD: Among a high level of sales, the median U.S. home sales price was $346,900 in 2021, up 16.9 percent from 2020, the highest on record going back to 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors. Home sales had their biggest year since 2006, with 6.12 million homes sold, up 8.5 percent from the year before. Part of the reason is that inventory is at an all-time low, with the number of unsold existing homes falling to a record low of 910,000 at the end of December, which is only a 1.8-month supply at the current pace, which is also a record low.
➤WHERE ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO CATCH COVID? NEW STUDY HIGHLIGHTS HIGH RISK LOCATIONS:  COVID-19 is still a risk, and a new study that highlights activities that run the highest risk of you catching it. Researchers analyzed outbreaks and super spreader events and studied factors that hinder and aid the virus’ spread to design a mathematical model that takes many factors into account before giving a percentage risk of infection. The percentage isn’t a perfectly accurate estimate, but does help give us an idea of the highest-risk situations, and the lowest-risk as well. 

For example, in a crowded movie theater with poor ventilation and mostly unmasked audience there’s a 14 percent chance of getting infected if everyone remains silent before, during, and after the movie. If people talk, the risk of infection when unmasked jumps to 54 percent. If the crowd is masked, the risk of infection drops to 5.3 percent without talking and 24 percent with talking. Researchers say that given that COVID-19 spreads primarily through airborne particles, masks, ventilation, the number of people in a room or building and time spent in that space all factor heavily into the equation. 

Not surprisingly, being outdoors, masked, and surrounded by silence is the best way to avoid coronavirus. In many situations, changing just one single factor can be the difference between being relatively safe or likely infected. For example, if you work out unmasked in a well-ventilated gym you have a 17 percent chance of infection, but if it’s poorly ventilated the risk jumps up to 67 percent.

💘THE PROBLEM WITH BEING A ‘HOPELESS ROMANTIC’, ACCORDING TO RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS:  Are you a hopeless romantic? Psychologist Dana McNeil explains, “A hopeless romantic can often be described as someone who is in love with being in love. They believe that love conquers all.” You might be a hopeless romantic if you: profess to be an eternal optimist, have strong destiny beliefs, continue to wear rose-colored glasses even in the face of truly chronic issues, you’re too easily willing to let hurtful words or actions go (and you’ve silenced your truth), and believing that being in a relationship will improve your life. Psychologist Lauren Cook adds that hopeless romantics are often coping with anxious attachment, which goes hand-in-hand with a fear of abandonment, and that hopeful romantics can see when a relationship is working and when it isn’t. To go from being hopeless to hopeful, Cook says you must cultivate self-love and commit to self-work, and it could also be helpful to work with a mental health care provider.

⚾MLB NIXES TAMPA BAY RAYS 'SISTER CITY' IDEA:  Major League Baseball HAS rejected the Tampa Bay Rays' so-called "sister city" proposal that would have had them split their home schedule between the Tampa Bay area and the city of Montreal. Team officials had spent two-and-a-half years on the proposal, which they saw as the best way to increase revenue without permanently moving the franchise. Despite their success on the field, the Rays' home attendance has been near the bottom among MLB teams over the last decade. The sister city idea had been that it would take advantage of ideal weather in both cities, and the belief was it would lead to higher revenue because of increased demand for limited tickets. Under the plan's most recent version, the Rays would play the first two months of the season in the Tampa Bay area, then move to Montreal in early June. The cities would alternate hosting during the postseason, and both would get new ballparks. But Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Rays earlier this week that the idea had been rejected, according to ESPN, mainly because the logistics were too complex and it was too risky to make long-term commitments on the concept. So with the lease on Tropicana Field expiring after the 2027 season, and the sister city proposal nixed, the Rays will now consider new stadium options in the Tampa Bay area or moving to another city.

🎾MEDVEDEV, KREJCIKOVA ADVANCE AT U.S. OPEN: Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev won his second round match at the Australian Open yesterday and fourth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, the reigning French Open champion, won in the third round to advance. Other winners included seventh-seeded Mario Berretini for the men and fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari among the women, as well as American Madison Keys, who made it to the fourth round.

🏈ESPN: DALLAS QB PRESCOTT FINED $25K FOR COMMENTS ABOUT REFS: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been fined $25,000 by the NFL for his comments after last Sunday's wild-card game loss to the San Francisco 49ers approving of fans throwing things at the refs, ESPN reported yesterday. Prescott tweeted an apology on Tuesday, saying, in part, "I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair."

⚾MLB TO EXPAND ROBOT UMPIRES TO TRIPLE-A: MLB is expanding its experimental use of robot umpires -- meaning an automated strike zone -- to several teams in Triple-A this season, the highest level of the minor leagues. AP reported MLB's website has a hiring notice for seasonal employees to operate the system for a number of Triple-A teams. The automated system was used in eight of nine ballparks in the Low-A Southeast League last season.

➤DOCTOR: U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM 100 PERCENT VACCINATED AGAINST COVID: The U.S. Olympic team's top doctor said the entire team heading to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics next month, more than 200 athletes, are all vaccinated against Covid-19, with none of them having asked for a medical exemption. Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Finnoff told the Associated Press that the 21-day quarantine the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is requiring for unvaccinated athletes, as well as the education the U.S. Olympic Committee has provided, quote, "really resonated with the athletes."

💵ARBITRATOR: UCONN IMPROPERLY FIRED BASKETBALL COACH OLLIE, MUST PAY $11 MILLION: An arbitrator has ruled that the University of Connecticut improperly fired former men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie in 2018, and must pay him more than $11 million. Ollie was fired after the school reported numerous NCAA violations in his program. His attorney said the ruling shows the NCAA sanctions were "erroneous and unfounded." But UConn said it a statement that the ruling only said the school should have waited for the NCAA's decision before firing Ollie. It said it did not have, quote, "the luxury of waiting more than a year before terminating Ollie for the misconduct the university was aware he had engaged in.''