Saturday, January 29, 2022

January 30 Radio History

➦In 1882...the future 32nd US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born at Hyde Park NY.  Not only was he the only President elected 4 times, he was the first to use broadcasting (radio) to effectively communicate with his constituency (Fireside Chats)

➦In 1918...David Opatoshu (January 30, 1918 – April 30, 1996) was born in New York City.  His father was the Yiddish writer Joseph Opatoshu.  He delivered the evening news in Yiddish on New York radio during the World War II years on WEVD.   In a span of 40 years guesting on TV he appeared repeatedly in Philco Playhouse, Studio One, Dr. Kildare, The FBI & Medical Center.  He died April 30 1996 at age 78

➦In 1927...WADO 1280 AM in NYC signed on as WGL.

This station was owned by the International Broadcasting Corporation. WGL president Colonel Lewis Landes stated on the inaugural broadcast, "The International Broadcasting Corporation's aim is to adhere to truth, to be free of partisanship, religious or political."

WGL was the first station to protest the frequency allocations of the Federal Radio Commission in May 1927. WGL was authorized to move to 1170 AM, but wanted to go to 720, occupied by WOR. When WOR was awarded the 710 frequency, both stations went to court, with WOR eventually winning the case. Finally in June 1927, WGL moved to 1020 AM and shared time with Paterson station, WODA.

In August 1927, studio manager Charles Isaacson announced one of the city's first attempts at local news coverage. WGL was organizing listeners to volunteer as radio reporters and call the station with breaking news stories.

On September 16, 1928, WGL changed calls to WOV and was sold to Sicilian-born importer John Iraci. The WGL call sign was then picked up by a Fort Wayne station, which uses them to this very day.

WOV's initial programming was aimed at a general audience, but by the mid-1930s, it strengthened its ethnic ties and expanded its Italian-language programming to fill the daytime hours. WOV soon became the dominant Italian voice in the Northeast through its affiliation with share-time station WBIL and Iraci's WPEN in Philadelphia.

The station was owned by WOV Broadcasting until 1959, when it was sold to Bartel Broadcasters, at which time the station was renamed WADO. During the day, WADO broadcast R&B music. At night, they ran Italian programming. By 1962, some Spanish programming was run on weekends. By 1963, the only English programming found on WADO was in Sunday religious broadcasts.

In 1964, WADO began broadcasting completely in Spanish from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Italian from 8 p.m. to Midnight. Overnight, Asian programming was run. By 1970, Spanish had replaced the Asian format.

➦In 1933..."The Lone Ranger" was first heard on WXYZ radio in Detroit. The radio show conceived either by WXYZ (Detroit) radio station owner George W. Trendle or by Fran Striker,  the show's writer.

The radio series proved to be a hit and spawned a series of books (largely written by Striker), an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, comic books, and several movies.

The title character was played on the radio show by George Seaton, Earle Graser, and Brace Beemer. Clayton Moore portrayed the Lone Ranger on television, although during a contract dispute, Moore was replaced temporarily by John Hart, who wore a different style of mask. On the radio, Tonto was played by, among others, John Todd and Roland Parker; and in the television series, by Jay Silverheels, who was a Mohawk from the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada.

The show was picked up by the Mutual Broadcasting System radio network, and on May 2, 1942 by NBC's Blue Network, which soon became ABC. The last new episode was broadcast September 3, 1954. Recorded repeats of the 1952–53 episodes continued to be aired on ABC until June 24, 1955. George Seaton was the first voice of the Lone Ranger. Jack Deeds and Earle Graser followed in the role.

However, it was Brace Beemer who is best remembered as former Texas Ranger, John Reid. On radio he played the part of the black-masked Ranger, fighting for frontier justice, for thirteen consecutive years.  The program ran for 2,956 episodes and finished in 1955.

➦In 1969...Their rooftop concert was the final public performance of the English rock band The Beatles. The band, with keyboardist Billy Preston, surprised a central London office and fashion district with an impromptu concert from the roof of the headquarters of the band's multimedia corporation Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row. In a 42-minute set, the Beatles played nine takes of five songs before the Metropolitan Police asked them to reduce the volume.

The set was performed in the following order:

  • "Get Back" (take one)
  • "Get Back" (take two)
  • "Don't Let Me Down" (take one)
  • "I've Got a Feeling" (take one)
  • "One After 909"
  • "Dig a Pony"
  • "I've Got a Feeling" (take two)
  • "Don't Let Me Down" (take two)
  • "Get Back" (take three)

➦In 1978... the Mutual Radio network began airing the Larry King Show from midnight to 5:30 am Eastern time.  The first weeks of the talk show originated in Miami, before Larry relocated to Washington DC.

➦In 1999...announcer Ed Herlihy died at age 89.  He is best remembered as the voice of Universal-International Newsreels, and  a staff announcer for NBC Radio & Television.  He was the commercial voice of Kraft Foods from 1947 through the early 1980’s.

In his early successes, few could recall his name or know what he looked like. But to moviegoers who saw the Universal newsreels in the 1940's, his was one of the voices that told of the Allies' early setbacks against the Axis powers, then of the successes that led to victory in 1945. His two principal competitors were his fellow announcer Harry Von Zell of Warner Pathe and the radio commentator Lowell Thomas of Fox Movietone News.

In 1947 Herlihy started his association with Kraft Foods on radio and continued it when the company sponsored the ''Kraft Television Theater'' on television in the 1950's. A dramatic offering, all of it done live, the show featured everything from Shakespeare to Rod Serling; it was at the center of what critics would come to call television's Golden Age.

Ed Herlihy 1959
During commercials for Kraft products (''Good food and good food ideas,'' Mr. Herlihy would say), audiences heard only his voice, a voice he said he tried to make sound friendly. It was an avuncular, next-door-neighbor, deep, mellow kind of voice, a digestive guide through the preparation of all manner of souffles, dips, marshmallow salads and fondues.

Educated at Boston College, graduating in 1932, he gained his first radio job in his home town, at Boston's WLOE. When he was hired by NBC in 1935, he decamped for New York, along with his friend, fellow Boston announcer Frank Gallop, who was hired by CBS. In their early days as network announcers, Herlihy and Gallop shared an apartment on West 45th Street. Herlihy was immediately successful in network radio, at that time in its sharpest ascendancy.

Herlihy's voice was also heard announcing myriad radio shows in the 1930's and 40's. Among them were ''America's Town Meeting,'' a public affairs program; ''The Big Show,'' with Tallulah Bankhead; ''The Falcon'' and ''Mr. District Attorney,'' both crime dramas, and ''Just Plain Bill,'' a soap opera about a small-town barber. Mr. Herlihy was also the master of ceremonies for radio's ''Horn & Hardart Children's Hour'' in 1948. He continued with the show on television.

In addition to his work for Kraft, Mr. Herlihy's early television credits included Sid Caesar's ''Show of Shows,'' ''As the World Turns'' and ''All My Children.'' When he worked for Mr. Caesar, he met Woody Allen, then a fledgling writer. Mr. Allen was so impressed with Mr. Herlihy's voice that he used him in some of his films in the 1980's, including ''Hannah and Her Sisters,'' ''Radio Days'' and ''Zelig.'' His other film credits included Martin Scorsese's ''King of Comedy'' and ''Pee-wee's Big Adventure.''

He was also the host of Recollections At 30, which was a special NBC Radio series created for the network's 30th birthday.

Phil Collins is 71


  • Actor Gene Hackman is 92. 
  • Actor Vanessa Redgrave is 85. 
  • Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 85. 
  • Country singer Norma Jean is 84. 
  • Horn player William King of The Commodores is 73. 
  • Musician Phil Collins is 71. 
  • Actor Charles S. Dutton (“Roc”) is 71. 
  • Actor Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) is 66. 
  • Comedian Brett Butler (“Anger Management,” ″Grace Under Fire”) is 64. 
  • Danielle Campbell is 27
    Singer Jody Watley is 63. 
  • Actor Wayne Wilderson (“Veep”) is 56. 
  • Country singer Tammy Cochran is 50. 
  • Actor Christian Bale is 48. 
  • Guitarist Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket is 48. 
  • Actor Olivia Colman (“The Night Manager”) is 48. 
  • Singer Josh Kelley is 42. 
  • Actor Wilmer Valderrama (“That ’70s Show”) is 42. 
  • Actor Mary Hollis Inboden (“The Real O’Neals”) is 36. 
  • Actor Kylie Bunbury (“Big Sky,” “Pitch”) is 33. 
  • Actor Jake Thomas (“Lizzie McGuire,” ″AI”) is 32. 
  • Actor Danielle Campbell (“Tell Me A Story,” “The Originals”) is 27.

Seattle Radio: KOMO To Rebrand As 'Northwest Newsradio'

KOMO Radio, 95 years on the air, 1000 on the AM dial, a brand name associated with such slogans as “You’re in KOMO Country” and “Your Husky station,” isn’t going to be KOMO anymore.

It’s just business. Radio and TV stations get bought and sold all the time, reports The Seattle Times.

What happened is that there is KOMO the news and talk radio station, which was sold in May 2021 by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. And there is KOMO the TV station, which Sinclair has kept.

The radio sale did not include the KOMO brand name.

Sinclair is the Maryland behemoth that owns 185 TV stations across the country. Back in 2013, it paid $373 million to Fisher Communications for KOMO-TV and 19 other television stations.

The 2013 sale included “Newsradio” KOMO-AM and FM, “Star 101.5” KPLZ and “Talk Radio” 570 KVI.

But Sinclair’s core business is television, and it sold the radio stations to Lotus Communications of Los Angeles for $18 million in cash and “other consideration.”

Lotus specializes in radio, with 48 stations in the West. On its website the company touts its “vision of producing local programming.”

Meanwhile, KOMO Radio, as it still is called for these next few days, is figuring out a marketing plan, says Rick Van Cise, the program director and afternoon news co-host.

“There won’t be any difference in the sound of the radio station,” he says. “The personalities, the reporters are all staying the same.”

And, really, the only time listeners will hear the new call letters KNWN is at the top of the hour, as mandated by FCC rules.

Joni Mitchell Removes Her Music From Spotify

Joni Mitchell

➤Barry Manilow Denies Reports

Joni Mitchell announced Friday that she will join her friend Neil Young in pulling her music off of Spotify, reports The L-A Times.

Mitchell, 78, said in a statement posted to her website, “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Mitchell, who like Young survived polio as a child, also linked to an open letter signed by hundreds of doctors and medical professionals who said that Spotify’s top podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” promotes “baseless conspiracy theories and has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mitchell, this year’s MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, is one of folk and rock’s most beloved songwriters, with a vast catalog that includes some of popular music’s most acclaimed albums, such as 1971’s “Blue,” which Rolling Stone deemed the third-best LP of all time.

Barry Manilow
Mitchell’s and Young’s careers, which began in Canada in the ‘60s and continued in the L.A. folk-rock scene of the ‘70s, are deeply intertwined, with songs such as “The Circle Game” and “Sweet Joni” inspired by each other. Both are signed to Reprise, an imprint of Warner Music. 

Meanwhile, Barry Manilow said he’s keeping his music on Spotify refuting rumors on social media after Neil Young pulled his songs from the company.

“I recently heard a rumor about me and Spotify,” the singer said Friday in an emailed statement. “I don’t know where it started, but it didn’t start with me or anyone who represents me.” 

Manilow’s comments suggest Spotify isn’t seeing a wave of musicians joining Young in solidarity. Young accused podcaster Joe Rogan of spreading vaccine misinformation on his show distributed by Spotify, and removed his music from the service in protest, prompting the hashtag #spotifydeleted to trend on social media. 

Joe Rogan’s Podcast Puts Scientists on Edge

The biggest podcast in the world became a venue this week for what climate scientists see as classic disinformation about the widely used forecasts that ground the response to global warming, reports Reuters.

It started Monday with Joe Rogan’s interview of prominent Canadian psychologist and author Jordan Peterson for the Spotify podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” thats among the biggest with audiences. “There’s no such thing as climate, right?” Peterson said, before addressing a familiar criticism at climate scientists: “Your models are based on a set number of variables. So that means you’ve reduced the variables — which are everything — to that set. But how did you decide which set of variables to include in the equation if it’s about everything?”

Jordan Peterson
That is a common, and debunked, argument used by those trying to undermine the basic methods of climate forecast and policy. The “Climategate” email scandal of more than a decade ago, in which skeptics claimed that the science attesting to manmade global warming had been falsified, also focused on the work of climate modeling.

Rogan didn’t challenge Peterson on his assertions. But some climate scientists, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, eventually took to social media to do so.

Zeke Hausfather, director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland., Calif.-based environmental research group, pointed out that climate models since the 1970s have been accurate at predicting temperature increases.

In an interview, Hausfather said this wasn’t the first time someone like Peterson, who isn’t a climate scientist, had used the show “as a venue to cast doubt on well-established science.” A previous Rogan interview with Randall Carlson also included what Hausfather considered misinformation.

Other episodes of the show have featured well-regarded climate communicators. Rogan hosted journalist David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth, and gave him a generous amount of time to discuss his research on the potential catastrophic implications of a warming planet.

With roughly 11 million downloads daily, “The Joe Rogan Experience” has an outsized reach—reaching a far lager audience than someone like Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, who draws a little more than 4 million nightly viewers. Rogan has already drawn criticism for spreading misinformation about Covid-19 on his show, and in response he has said that he’s not anti-vaccine and wasn’t presenting himself as an expert: “I’m not a respected source of information even for me. But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”

The focus on Rogan’s show intensified during the week after the musician Neil Young asked Spotify Technology SA to pull his music because of Rogan’s show. The company is removing Young’s music from the streaming service.

Gayle King To Stay With ‘CBS Mornings’

Gayle King told listeners of her SiriusXM radio program Thursday that she has signed a new deal with CBS News, ending speculation that she might be heading elsewhere in the short term.

Her current deal was set to end in April.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but King earns around $13 million a year — one of the highest salaries in TV news — said a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to comment.

Gayle King
“I officially signed on the dotted line,” King said. “So I will be with CBS a little bit longer.”

King, 67, was wooed by CNN to take over Chris Cuomo’s spot on the cable news channel’s prime-time lineup, according to reports in the New York Times and New York Post

Cuomo was fired from the network in December after management determined he had been too involved in managing the sexual harassment scandal that forced his brother Andrew Cuomo to resign as New York governor. A former colleague at ABC News also accused Chris Cuomo of sexual assault, which he denied.

Without citing CNN, King acknowledged there were discussions with other suitors.

King has been with CBS News since 2012, when it first launched “CBS This Morning.” The show’s ratings grew as she sat alongside Norah O’Donnell and Charlie Rose in the first several years of the program.

The program’s momentum stopped once Rose departed amid sexual harassment allegations. But King did emerge as one of the biggest stars of CBS News, especially after her provocative interview with R&B music star R Kelly about the sexual assault charges he faced.

King is now the lead host on the program, renamed “CBS Mornings” last year, with Tony Dokoupil and Nate Burleson. The program ranks behind NBC’s “Today,” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” averaging 2.6 million viewers.

CBS News also recently announced King will front a new series, “CBS Reports,” for its CBS News Streaming platform.

King told her SiriusXM listeners that a recent presentation by CBS News and Stations co-presidents Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy MacMahon on the revamp of the division’s streaming service was a factor in her decision to stay.

“They believe in swinging for the fences, and I’ m thinking ‘I wanna play,’” King said.

California’s Net Neutrality Law Is Upheld

A federal appeals court has upheld California’s net neutrality law, rejecting an attempt by telecommunications industry groups to prevent the state from enforcing it.

The L-A Times reports the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling, which means the status quo stays and the state can continue to enforce the law. This means California can continue its ban on internet providers slowing down or blocking access to websites and applications that don’t pay for premium service.

California’s net neutrality law was signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018. That came after regulators during the Trump administration killed federal net neutrality rules designed to prevent AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other major internet providers from exploiting their dominance to favor certain services or apps over others.

In response, seven states and Puerto Rico enacted their own net neutrality policies. The most expansive effort was in California, which started enforcing the law last year, with potentially significant consequences for the rest of the U.S.

Big telecom companies oppose the stricter regulation that comes with the net neutrality rules and have fought it fiercely in court. They say such regulation can undermine investment in broadband and introduce uncertainty about acceptable business practices.

They say they prefer a national approach rather than a state-by-state one, but the industry has fought prior federal net neutrality rules. And with a Senate divided 50-50 between the political parties, legislation in Congress may not draw enough support to pass.

L-I Radio: WNET Group Expands Coverage With FM Translator

The WNET Group, home to Long Island's only NPR Station WLIW-FM, announced the acquisition of the FM translator W245BA on 96.9 FM based in Manorville, New York. The purchase, which was approved by the FCC, will allow The WNET Group to expand the terrestrial broadcast reach of the Southampton based WLIW-FM to western Suffolk.

"We are excited that more Long Islanders will now have access to WLIW-FM over the air on 96.9," said Long Island native and resident Diane Masciale, Vice President & General Manager of WLIW21 and WLIW-FM. "We look forward to continuing to bring our expanded audience the quality programming and conversations they expect from public media. In the weeks ahead we'll be examining an even broader range of local topics to address the issues that are unique to the Long Island community."

W245BA 96.9 FM (100 watts)

The WNET Group acquired 88.3 WPPB in March 2020. The purchase, which was approved by the FCC and the New York State Attorney General's office, made WLIW a dual licensee, operating both a PBS television station and NPR radio station. In June 2020 The WNET Group introduced the new WLIW-FM. The station is available for listeners to stream on Long Island and beyond at and other streaming platforms.

R.I.P.: Mike Stevens, Longtime Hartford Area Radio Personality

Mike Stevens
Michael Joseph Zawacki, who was known on WDRC and WJMJ  as Mike Stevens, died Jan. 23 at the age of 62. He was a Lyman Hall graduate and also attended Quinnipiac College and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

Mike Stevens spent much of his adult life at WDRC. Over 22 years he wore many hats including weekend music director, overnight jock, promotions director, production manager and operations manager.

According to Patch, Marianne O'Hare, a former morning show co-host at WDRC-FM wrote, "On the backside of DJ Day - losing one of our finest compatriots is such a sad moment to process. Mike Stevens you made all of us better, and never wasted an opportunity to spread joy. Rest In Power my friend. Please let us know where we can find you on the angelic dial...."

Renee DiNino, currently an on-air radio/TV personality who works at The River 105.9, wrote "Rip Mike Stevens what a class act all the way. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing and sending deepest condolences to his family and friends. Just can't believe it, always kind and cheerful and supportive. A great man for sure and a lasting legend on Connecticut airwaves."

Stevens was also known for his deep commitment to giving back to the community and was "instrumental in helping to raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations; most notably Connecticut Children's Medical Center, The Connecticut Street Rod Association, March of Dimes, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Connecticut Breast Health Initiative, Toys for Tots, Wallingford Wishing Well, and The Pink Ladies Foundation," according to his obituary.

Mike hosted the morning show on WDRC FM along with news anchor Beth Bradley; their partnership began in February, 1999 after the departure of Marc Sommers. Mike left DRC FM on August 1, 2005 and was replaced on the morning show by John Saville.

He returned on May 20, 2006 replacing Scott Michaels on the 7PM-midnight shift. In late June 2009 Mike returned to the morning shift, sharing wakeup duties with Jerry Kristafer until Jerry was let go on October 4, 2013. Mike continued hosting the Big D FM morning show with newsperson Kim Zachary. Mike was let go along with the rest of the FM airstaff when Connoisseur Media took over from Buckley Broadcasting on July 7, 2014.

January 29 Radio History

➦In 1929...Newspaper gossip columnist Walter Winchell was  first heard on radio.  But it would be more than a year before he got his own show on local New York radio, which led to national success.

Walter Winchell
The show, entitled Saks on Broadway, was a 15-minute feature that provided business news about Broadway. He switched to WJZ,  (later to be renamed WABC, now WCBS-AM) and the NBC Blue (in the '40s to become ABC RadioNework),  in 1932 for the Jergens Journal.

Winchell opened his radio broadcasts by pressing randomly on a telegraph key, a sound that created a sense of urgency and importance, and using the catchphrase "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press." He would then read each of his stories with a staccato delivery (up to a rate of 197 words per minute, though he claimed a speed of well over 200 words per minute in an interview in 1967), noticeably faster than the typical pace of American speech. His diction also can be heard in his breathless narration of The Untouchables television series as well as in several Hollywood films.

Winchell found embarrassing stories about famous people by exploiting his exceptionally wide circle of contacts, and trading gossip, sometimes in return for his silence. His uniquely outspoken style made him both feared and admired, and his newspaper column was syndicated worldwide. In the 1930s, he attacked the appeasers of Nazism, and in the '50s aligned with Joseph McCarthy in his campaign against communists. The McCarthy connection in time made him deeply unfashionable, his talents did not adapt well for television, and his career ended in humiliation.

➦In 1942...The 1st broadcast of Roy Plomley‘s “Desert Island Discs” was heard on the BBC.  It went on to become the longest running UK radio show.

➦In 1945...Lionel Barrymore took over the host duties temporarily on the “Lux Radio Theatre” on CBS radio. This after longtime host Cecil B. DeMille refused to join the radio performers union.

➦In 1951...Major League Baseball signed a 6 year agreement for radio-TV  rights garnering a million dollars a year.

➦In 1956...the show "Indictment" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network. The well-produced show remained on the air for three years.

➦In 1964...The No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles. This first American release by the Beatles was one of the biggest selling British singles of all time with worldwide sales of 15 million copies.

➦1980...a true entertainer who conquered vaudeville, radio & TV Jimmy Durante, who was confined to a wheelchair following a 1972 stroke, died of pneumonia at age 86.

On September 10, 1933, Durante appeared on Eddie Cantor's NBC radio show, The Chase and Sanborn Hour, continuing until November 12 of that year. When Cantor left the show, Durante took over as its star from April 22 to September 30, 1934. He then moved on to The Jumbo Fire Chief Program (1935–1936).

Durante teamed with Garry Moore for The Durante-Moore Show in 1943. Durante's comic chemistry with the young, brushcut Moore brought Durante an even larger audience. "Dat's my boy dat said dat!" became an instant catchphrase, which would later inspire the cartoon Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. The duo was one of the nation's favorites for the rest of the decade. Their Armed Forces Radio Network Command Performance with Frank Sinatra remains a favorite of radio-show collectors today. Moore left the duo in mid-1947, and the program returned October 1, 1947 as The Jimmy Durante Show. Durante continued the show for three more years and featured a reunion of Clayton, Jackson and Durante on his April 21, 1948 broadcast.

Although Durante made his television debut on November 1, 1950, he continued to keep a presence in radio, as a frequent guest on Tallulah Bankhead's two-year NBC comedy-variety show The Big Show. 

Several times in the 1960s, Durante served as host of ABC's Hollywood Palace variety show, which was taped live (and consequently included ad-libs by the seasoned vaudevillian).  His last regular television appearance was co-starring with the Lennon Sisters on Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters Hour, which lasted for one season on ABC (1969–1970).

➦In 2000...Detroit radio legend Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg – known by her trademark phrase “I betcha” – died in hospital at age 69. Steinberg was a local fixture on Motor City airwaves for nearly 40 years.

Her first radio job was on Memphis’ WDIA starting in 1954m where she was one of the first female disc jockeys in the U-S, airing R&B hits along with "household hints".

Martha Jean Steinberg
In 1963 she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she became a larger-than-life figure on the air and in the black community.  Steinberg cultivated a 46-year career and is a member of the Black Radio Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

During Detroit’s 1967 civil disturbance she remained on-air for 48 straight hours, imploring listeners to stay off the streets. That event evolved into a regular call-in show with the city’s police commissioners called “Buzz the Fuzz.”

In 1972, Steinberg became an ordained minister and founded a church called the Home of Love. Her shows became even more spiritual in nature, tagged by her sign-off, “God loves you and I love you.”

In 1982, Steinberg and several partners bought a Detroit AM station, changed its format to gospel and talk, and changed the call letters to WQBH (which many say stood for “Queen Broadcasts Here”). She bought the station outright in 1997 and remained its star broadcaster until her death three years later. Her impact on the station and its listeners was so profound that WQBH continued airing daily recordings of the Queen’s programs for years after her death. The station was sold in 2004 to Salem Broadcasting and is now a conservative talk station, WDTK.

➦In 2010... former NFL lineman and sportscaster Tom Brookshier, who was partnered with Pat Summerall on CBS’s #1 NFL playbyplay team throughout the 1970’s, succumbed to cancer at age 78.  When Brookshier was promoted to play-by-play in 1981, John Madden moved into his old spot beside Summerall.

➦In 2013...WRXP 94.7 FM, NYC changed call letters to WNSH.

➦In 2017...Radio Personality Herb Oscar Anderson died at age 81 at a hospital in Vermont.  He was one of the original Swingin' Seven deejays when WABC 770 AM went to a Top40 Format in late 1960.

A longtime fixture on the New York radio station, popular in the metro area and beyond, Anderson began his tenure at WABC in 1960 at a time when the station was honing its Top 40 format. Anderson, who was a fan of big band music, was one of the station’s “Swingin’ 7” on-air personalities, WABC’s answer to the “Good Guys” on rival station WMCA 570 AM, where Anderson previously worked.

Anderson, who was born on May 30, 1928, in South Beloit, Illinois, was raised along with his four siblings at the Odd Fellows orphanage in nearby Lincoln because his widowed mother was too poor to support them. He and his mother were eventually reunited.  He eventually moved to Wisconsin, where he worked as a newspaper reporter. The parent company also owned WCLO radio.  He soon applied for a position at the station, figuring that announcing a sports story for 30 seconds would be more fun than spending three hours writing his high school sports column for the newspaper. After a three-year stint in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Anderson was hired in 1956 by St. Paul, Minnesota, radio station WDGY to host a Top 40 program.

The huge immediate success at the Storz Top40 WDGY prompted CBS, which had WCCO in the Twin Cities area, to get Herb out of the market by giving him a job at its Chicago station, WBBM.

HOA - 1970
Before long, he was hired at WABC in New York City.  In the late 1950s, Herb then went on the ABC network and was part of a line-up that included legendary talk show host and game show creator Merv Griffin, actor Jim Backus and singer Jim Reeves.

Herb hosted a show and sang before a live band, but the show didn’t work out.   However, a short time later, he received a telegram from WMCA offering him a job.

In December 1960, he rejoined WABC as one of the original "Swingin’ Seven" air personalities when the station started its Top 40 format.

Unhappy with changing musical tastes, Anderson left WABC in 1969. his son later stated that a key reason for his father’s departure was because station owner ABC broke its promise to let Anderson host his own talk show. Anderson followed his WABC gig as a DJ at AM radio stations WOR 710 AM and WHN 1050 AM in the ’70s.

Judy Norton is 64


  • Actor Katharine Ross is 82. 
  • Actor Tom Selleck is 77. 
  • Singer Bettye LaVette is 76. 
  • Actor Marc Singer is 74. 
  • Actor Ann Jillian is 72. 
  • Drummer Louie Perez of Los Lobos is 69. 
  • Singer Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band is 69. 
  • Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 68. 
  • Country singer Irlene Mandrell is 66. 
  • Actor Diane Delano (“The Ellen Show,” ″Northern Exposure”) is 65. 
  • Actor Judy Norton (“The Waltons”) is 64. 
  • Guitarist Johnny Spampinato of NRBQ is 63. 
  • Kelly Packard is 47
    Drummer David Baynton-Power of James is 61. 
  • Bassist Eddie Jackson of Queensryche is 61. 
  • Actor Nicholas Turturro (“NYPD Blue”) is 60. 
  • Singer-guitarist Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera is 58. 
  • Director-actor Ed Burns is 54. 
  • Actor Sam Trammell (“True Blood”) is 53. 
  • Actor Heather Graham is 52. 
  • Actor Sharif Atkins (“White Collar,” ″ER”) is 47. 
  • Actor Sara Gilbert is 47. 
  • Actor Kelly Packard (“Baywatch”) is 47. 
  • Actor Justin Hartley (“This Is Us”) is 45. 
  • Actor Sam Jaeger (“Parenthood”) is 45. 
  • Former “The View” co-host Jedediah Bila is 43. 
  • Actor Andrew Keegan (“Party of Five”) is 43. 
  • Actor Jason James Richter (“Free Willy”) is 42. 
  • Guitarist Jonny Lang is 41. 
  • Singer Adam Lambert (“American Idol”) is 40. 
  • Country singer Eric Paslay is 39.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Comcast To Ramp-Up Content Spending On Peacock

Comcast plans to spend billions of dollars more on content for its Peacock streaming service, aiming to lure paying subscribers to its mostly ad-supported streaming service.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the media giant expects to double content spending on Peacock this year to $3 billion, with a goal of ramping that up to $5 billion domestically over the next couple years, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Thursday. The new strategy comes after the NBC streaming service finished 2021 with 24.5 million monthly active accounts, higher than company executives said they expected but still well below the dominant streaming services.

Peacock launched in July 2020 with a different streaming strategy from its rivals. Rather than seek more revenue from consumers through higher subscription fees, Comcast aimed to attract viewers with cheap or free content and show them ads. Peacock offers free and paid tiers of $5 and $10 a month.

“What we’ve learned so far is that we started with the right business model,” Roberts said during an earnings conference call with analysts. He said the company’s research suggests the vast majority of consumers prefer an ad-supported service over a higher-cost, ad-free subscription offering.

Still, Roberts said Comcast believes “the most valuable end state for Peacock is to have two revenue streams.” To that end, Comcast plans to increase and reallocate programming spending to drive further growth in paid subscribers, “which we believe is the right path to creating long-term value,” Roberts said.

Comcast will still spend significantly less on streaming content than some of its rivals. Netflix reportedly planned to spend $17 billion on content in fiscal 2021. Amazon spent $11 billion on content for Prime Video and music in 2020.

Earlier in the day, Comcast reported an adjusted earnings loss of $559 million for Peacock during the fourth quarter. NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said the planned investment increase will likely result in an adjusted loss of $2.5 billion.

Comcast reported Thursday that it signed up far fewer internet customers during the fourth quarter last year than in 2020 but continued to see theme parks rebound after they were pummeled by the pandemic. Fourth-quarter profits fell 9.6% to $3.06 billion, or 66 cents per share, from nearly $3.4 billion a year earlier. The company’s revenues rose 9.5% to $30.3 billion, beating analysts expectations.

After COVID-19 upended NBCUniversal in 2020, the entertainment unit saw revenues rise 25.6% to $9.3 billion during the fourth quarter. Theme parks had their most profitable fourth quarter on record, as revenue jumped 191% to $1.9 billion, despite limited international guest attendance. Over in Europe, Sky’s fourth-quarter revenue was down 2.4% to $5.1 billion.

Apple Posts Best Quarterly Results Ever

Apple Inc. posted quarterly results Thursday that shattered previous records, answering the concerns of jittery investors about the toll supply chain constraints are having on the world’s biggest company, reports The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ Graphic
Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an interview those challenges are improving. Shares rose more than 4% after markets closed Thursday in New York, following Apple’s report that October-to-December revenue hit $123.9 billion and profit reached $34.6 billion, both company records that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The iPhone maker had previously cautioned that sales growth in the important holiday quarter would be affected in the period as tech and auto industries face parts shortages, in particular a lack of microprocessors, amid disruptions from the global pandemic.

“We saw supply constraints across most of our products,” Mr. Cook said in an interview Thursday as the company released its results. “We’re forecasting that we will be less [constrained] in March than we were in the December quarter.”

Apple should see year-over-year revenue growth in the quarter that runs January through March, he said, while remaining circumspect about when the industry’s supply issues will clear up long-term. “We’re not projecting that,” Mr. Cook said. “You need to know a lot of things to be able to make an accurate forecast there, like how are other people’s demands in addition to what kind of supply we can squeeze out.”

Investors have been debating the extent to which Apple’s revenue would be affected by supply chain problems or waning interest in its latest iPhone lineup. Apple’s iPhone 13 models are very similar to versions introduced in October 2020, something that in the past has been linked to slower sales.

Year-over-year iPhone sales rose 9% to $71.6 billion during the fiscal first quarter that ran through December, the company said. That beat Wall Street expectations for a 3% gain, according to the average estimate from analysts surveyed by FactSet. Analysts project iPhone revenue will rise less than 1% this fiscal year compared with the preceding year, when sales rose 39% and helped fuel Apple’s greatest year ever.

FCC Nominee Signs Recusal Intention

Gigi Sohn

FCC nominee Gigi Sohn has pledged to recuse herself temporarily from two broadcast regulatory issues if confirmed by the Senate to an agency seat, reports Bloomberg Law.

Sohn agreed to recuse herself from matters involving retransmission consent or television broadcast copyright for the first three years of her term, in a letter to P. Michele Ellison, the FCC’s acting general counsel.

Sohn also said she would recuse herself for four years from a docket concerning the rules governing retransmission consent or any related FCC dockets, according to the letter obtained by Bloomberg Law.

As president of Public Knowledge, Sohn in 2010 signed a petition for rulemaking urging the FCC to amend and supplement the rules governing retransmission consent that became the basis for that docket.

Though her ethics agreement does not require Sohn to recuse, she wrote, she would “to avoid any appearance of impropriety and in interest of ensuring that the public has full confidence that policymakers will make decisions free of bias.”

The National Association of Broadcasters has pushed for Sohn to recuse from certain broadcast issues, citing concerns about her tenure as a board member of Locast, a nonprofit that was ordered to shut down after illegally streaming programming.

“Ms. Sohn’s recusal agreement resolves the concerns NAB raised regarding her nomination,” NAB said in a statement.

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is scheduled to vote on Sohn’s nomination Feb. 2.

Report: Olympic Advertisers Laying Low

Just a week before the opening ceremony of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, U.S. television viewers can be forgiven for forgetting the date, or even that it is taking place in Beijing, China.

Unlike any Games in recent memory, the nearly 20 official international and national Olympic sponsors have laid low, ducking the press and viewers by holding back on the advertising blitz that typically kicks off months ahead the "let the Games begin" pronouncement.

By Wednesday, only two spots had launched, both of which focus on athletes with no mention of the host country, with which the United States is feuding on diplomatic and economic fronts.

Over the course of the Games, ad agency executives and advertisers told Reuters that viewers should expect ads to continue to downplay the location and ignore any hint of politics to avoid drawing attention to geopolitical conflict and the hot glare of the Chinese government.

Corporate sponsors and advertisers for the Beijing Olympics, which begin on Feb. 4 and run through Feb. 20, have come under fire for what human rights groups say is the enabling of China's alleged abuses against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the country. China denies those allegations.

Global Olympic sponsors were grilled by a bipartisan congressional panel in July, which accused the companies of putting profits ahead of accusations of genocide in China.

"The halo is tarnished," said Mark DiMassimo, founder of New York-based ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein, which represents brands that are not official sponsors but plan to air commercials during the Olympics.

He said his clients decided to strip from their campaigns mentions of traditional Olympic themes - friendly competition, global unity and good sportsmanship - shortly after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics last month.

When Reuters asked the global and Team USA sponsors about marketing plans for the Olympics, only two responded, one of which declined to comment.

This year's response is a big departure from Olympics past, when advertisers crafted ads that embraced the spirit of the Games and honored the culture of the host country.

With the political controversy and the pandemic once again preventing spectators from traveling to the Games, viewers this time around can expect to see fewer mentions of the host city, said Jeremy Carey, managing director of ad agency Optimum Sports, a unit of Omnicom Media Group.

"It's a challenge, quite frankly," he said. "The connection isn't as prevalent as it would normally be."

Focusing on the athletes competing on the global stage is considered the safest strategy for brands, experts said.

Holiday '21 PPMs: Charlotte, Orlando, Cleveland +9 More Markets

Nielsen on Thursday, January 27, 2022  released the third batch of Holiday 2021 PPM data for the following markets:

21  Portland Or

23  Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC

25  San Antonio

27  Sacramento

28  Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo

29  Pittsburgh

30  Orlando

31  Las Vegas

33  Cincinnati

34  Kansas City

35  Cleveland

36  Columbus OH

📻Click Here to view Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Wake-Up Call: Biden Promises Black Woman Nominee

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's planned retirement was officially announced Thursday, one day after it had been reported, and in a joint White House appearance with Breyer, President Biden reaffirmed his campaign trail pledge to nominate a Black woman to the high court. Biden, who said he'll make his choice by the end of February, stated: "I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be somebody of extraordinary qualifications, character and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It is long overdue."

Breyer, who will retire at the end of the current term after serving since 1994, spoke briefly, talking about what he called the "miracle" of America's constitutional democracy. Speaking to what seems to be an ever more divided nation, Breyer spoke about the concept of American democracy as an experiment, saying, "It’s an experiment that’s still going on."

Daily Mail Graphic 1/28/22

President Biden warned in a phone call to Ukraine's president yesterday that there is a, quote, "distinct possibility" that Russia could invade his country in February, according to the White House, and also repeated U.S. and allied support for Ukraine. The U.S. has warned of devastating sanctions against Russia if it invades, and senior U.S. officials said yesterday that Germany won't allow a newly-built gas pipeline from Russia to Germany to begin operations if there's an invasion. For its part, a Kremlin spokesman said there was, quote, "little ground for optimism" after the U.S. and NATO responded in writing this week saying they won't meet Moscow's demands on Ukraine. However, he also said, "there always are prospects for continuing a dialogue, it’s in the interests of both us and the Americans."

🤑U.S. ECONOMY GREW AT FASTEST PACE LAST YEAR SINCE 1984: The U.S. economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 1984, with the Commerce Department reporting yesterday, that the nation’s gross domestic product, which is its total output of goods and services, expanded 5.7 percent. As the economy bounced back from the short but deep coronavirus-caused recession, the economy actually grew in the last quarter, from October through December, at 6.9 percent, as businesses replenished their inventories. Growth is expected to slow from that pace this year, however, due to factors including inflation, the omicron variant, and the Federal Reserve's plans to raise interest rates in an effort to combat inflation.

➤COAST GUARD SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR MISSING MIGRANTS FROM CAPSIZED BOAT: The Coast Guard last night suspended its search for migrants who were on a boat that capsized off the eastern cost of Florida late Saturday. A total of five bodies were found, leaving 34 missing who were on the boat headed from the Bahamas to Florida. The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the case as a human smuggling operation. The lone survivor was found clinging to the overturned boat about 40 miles off Fort Pierce. He said no-one on the overloaded boat had been wearing a life jacket.

➤DEFENSE SECRETARY ORDERS PLAN FOR IMPROVING LIMITING CIVILIAN CASUALTIES FROM AIRSTRIKES: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin yesterday ordered his staff to develop a plan within 90 days for improving how the Pentagon limits and responds to civilian casualties caused by U.S. airstrikes. He called protecting civilians "a strategic and a moral imperative." The move comes after criticism of a U.S. airstrike in Kabul last August 29th as the U.S. was in the last days of its withdrawal from Afghanistan in which 10 civilians were killed. The Pentagon later acknowledged that the strike was a mistake, with the person targeted not a militant, as had first been claimed.

➤AVENATTI, REPRESENTING HIMSELF, BEGINS QUESTIONING STORMY DANIELS IN HIS TRIAL: Attorney Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame when he represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against Donald Trump in 2018 and became a cable news favorite for his brash attacks on the then-president before his fall over allegations of embezzlement, began questioning his former client yesterday in his trial for allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 of her autobiography advance. Avenatti, who is representing himself, began questioning Daniels near the end of the day, and she is due back on the stand today. Earlier, Daniels had said she felt, quote, "betrayed and stupid" when she was told Avenatti had stolen from her. Among his questions, Avenatti asked Daniels how he was supposed to have been paid for his work for her since their contract only called for her to pay him $100. She said it was supposed to come from a crowd-funding website that raised $650,000 for her legal expenses, as well as a share of any proceeds won in her lawsuits against Trump. She said they didn't agree on any other compensation. He's claimed the money from the book was part of his compensation.

➤NYC MAYOR CRITICIZES PALIN FOR EATING AT CITY RESTAURANTS AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID: New York City Mayor Eric Adams criticized Sarah Palin yesterday after she was seen eating at multiple restaurants in Manhattan this week after testing positive for Covid-19. The former Alaksa governor is in New York for her libel trial against the New York Times, but it was postponed Monday after she tested positive for Covid. Before testing positive, the unvaccinated Palin had eaten at a restaurant called Elio's without showing proof of vaccination, which is required in New York City. Then, she ate at Elio's again -- this time outside -- and at another Italian restaurant outside after testing positive. Adams' spokesperson said yesterday, "By repeatedly flouting CDC guidelines, Ms. Palin has shown a complete disregard for the health and safety of small business workers and her fellow patrons."

➤NYC MAYOR WANTED TO PAY BROTHER $210k FOR SECURITY JOB:  A controversy over office-holders hiring family members for high-paid city jobs erupted within days of New York's City's new mayor taking office on January 1st when Mayor Eric Adams wanted to hire his brother to a $210,000 city job managing his security detail. In response, Adams asked for guidance from the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board and said he'd follow its determination. The ruling was made public yesterday -- and it's not happening, at least not the way Adams wanted. His brother, Bernard Adams, can still work for the city, but he'll be paid just $1 a year. Additionally, he won't be "executive director of mayoral security" within the New York Police Department, but will instead be "senior adviser for mayoral security" within the office of mayor. The NYPD will continue to oversee the mayor's security detail, while Bernard will advise the mayor on his security and community engagement issues. Further, no city personnel will be allowed to report to him, and he can't have any command authority at the police department. Bernard will continue to receive his city pension for the 20 years he worked as a police officer before his 2006 retirement.

📱SECRET BUTTON’ ON IPHONES A BIG HIT AFTER GOING VIRAL ON TIKTOK:  A TikTok post has gone viral after claiming the iPhone has a “secret button.” TikTok creator @ellyawesometech explains the “Back Tap” feature is available on any iPhone running at least iOS 14. It allows users to tap the back of their phone near where the Apple logo is, and their phone will do whatever feature they’ve programmed it to do through the settings menu. You could set the Back Tap feature to open the camera, take a screenshot, or even control the volume of your device, for example.

 To set it up, go to Settings, scroll to Accessibility, go to Touch, and then at the bottom hit “Back Tap.” You can choose whether you want to enable a two tap, three tap, or both, and then choose from the options to pick what the secret button can do for you. The Back Tap feature even works with a phone case on the device. Even though this is not a new feature, many are claiming this is the first time they’ve heard of it.

➤TWITTER BANS A BOT ACCOUNT THAT LEAKED THE ‘WORDLE’ ANSWER TO MILLIONS OF EAGER PLAYERS: It seems like everyone is playing Wordle. The popular online word puzzle only offers one puzzle per day on its website and now has millions of players after coming online in October. But a Twitter user is trying to ruin all the Wordle fun. User @wordlinator has been ruining the game by posting upcoming winning words, it’s thought they came up with the words by looking at the Wordle web page’s source code. The mean-spirited account automatically responded to accounts posting their Wordle scores with the message: “Guess what. People don’t care about your mediocre linguistic escapades. To teach you a lesson, tomorrow’s word is..” followed by the next day’s answer. Twitter suspended the account Wednesday, and notes it does not tolerate its platform being used to harass other users.

🏈ROETHLISBERGER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced his expected retirement Thursday, saying in a video message that it was, quote, "time to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats." The 39-year-old said, "[I] know with confidence I have given my all to the game; I am overwhelmed with gratitude for what it has given me." Roethlisberger spent his entire 18-year career with the Steelers, leading them to two Super Bowls, and has an almost-certain Hall of Fame nod ahead of him. He had a 165-81-1 record as a starter, fifth-most in league history, and is in the all-time top 10 in yards passing and touchdown passes.

🎾NADAL TO PLAY IN AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINAL, AMERICAN COLLINS IN WOMEN'S FINAL: Sixth-seeded Rafael Nadal will play in the Australian Open final, hoping to win a men's record 21st Grand Slam singles title, after beating Number 7 Matteo Berrettini in their semifinal match early today in four sets. He'll play for the championship against the winner of today's semifinal between second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and Number 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas. On the women's side, American Danielle Collins, who's seeded 27th, will face off against top-seed Ashleigh Barty in the final on Saturday. Barty beat American Madison Keys in her semifinal and Collins topped seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek.

🏀NBA NAMES ALL-STAR GAME STARTERS: The NBA named the All-Star Game starters yesterday with the L.A. Lakers' LeBron James chosen for the 18th straight time and returning as a captain for the Western Conference. Making their All-Star Game debuts will be Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins and Memphis' Ja Morant. The others voted as starters from the Western Conference were Nikola Jokic of Denver and Golden State's Stephen Curry. The starters from the Eastern Conference were: Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Atlanta's Trae Young, and Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan. Durant will be the captain for the Eastern conference as he, like James, had the most votes in his conference. They will draft players for the rosters for the February 20th All-Star Game.

🏈BRONCOS REPORTEDLY HIRING HACKETT AS HEAD COACH: The Denver Broncos are hiring Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach, according to media reports yesterday. It will be the first time as head coach for the 42-year-old Hackett. He'll be replacing Vic Fangio, who was fired after a 7-10 season, Denver's sixth in a row without making the playoffs. The news about Hackett sparked speculation that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who's contemplating his future, might join him in Denver.

🏈BEARS HIRE EBERFLUS AS HEAD COACH: The Chicago Bears announced last night that they'd hired Matt Eberflus as their new head coach. It will be the first NFL head coaching position for Eberflus, who was the Indianapolis Colts' defensive coordinator for the past four years. The Bears fired coach Matt Nagy after a 6-11 season.

⛄NEW ENGLAND BRACING FOR SNOW:  Massachusetts is getting ready for a snowstorm that could bring more than 20 inches to some communities in the eastern part of the state, though forecasters are cautioning that there is still some uncertainty about the storm’s track and intensity.

The “powerful coastal storm” is expected to arrive Friday night and stick around through Saturday night, forecasters with the National Weather Service said in an online discussion forum. There will be “significant” snowfall across eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the potential for “near blizzard” conditions for southeastern Massachusetts.