Saturday, February 12, 2022

February 13 Radio History

➦In 1914...the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.  A rival performing rights organization, Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), was formed in 1939.

Tennessee Ernie Ford

➦In 1919...Singer Tennessee Ernie Ford was born in Bristol, Tenn.  He began his career as a radio announcer at hometown station WOPI, and continued after WWII at stations in San Bernardino & Pasadena. He joined Cliffie Stone’s Dinner Bell Roundup on KXLA radio, and his Hometown Jamboree TV show. In 1950 he had his first crossover song hit with Kay Starr, I”ll Never Be Free.  His big smash five years later was Sixteen Tons, which propelled him to a six year prime time show on NBC TV.  He has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of fame, for records, television, and radio.

A First Lieutenant, he served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan.

After the war, Ford worked at radio stations in San Bernardino and Pasadena, California. At KFXM, in San Bernardino, Ford was hired as a radio announcer. He was assigned to host an early morning country music disc jockey program, Bar Nothin' Ranch Time. To differentiate himself, he created the personality of "Tennessee Ernie", a wild, madcap, exaggerated hillbilly. He became popular in the area and was soon hired away by Pasadena's KXLA radio.

At KXLA, Ford continued doing the same show and also joined the cast of Cliffie Stone's popular live KXLA country show Dinner Bell Roundup as a vocalist while still doing the early morning broadcast. Cliffie Stone, a part-time talent scout for Capitol Records, brought him to the attention of the label. In 1949, while still doing his morning show, he signed a contract with Capitol. He became a local TV star as the star of Stone's popular Southern California Hometown Jamboree show. RadiOzark produced 260 15-minute episodes of The Tennessee Ernie Show on transcription disks.

He released almost 50 country singles through the early 1950s, several of which made the charts.

Ford eventually ended his KXLA morning show and in the early 1950s. He became a household name in the U.S., largely as a result of his portrayal in 1954 of the 'country bumpkin', "Cousin Ernie", on three episodes of I Love Lucy. His big hit in 1955 was Sixteen Tons, which propelled him to a six year prime time show on NBC TV.  He has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of fame, for records, television, and radio.

A heavy drinker off stage, Ernie died of increasing liver problems Oct. 17 1991 at age 72.

➦In 1919...Early radio singer Joan Edwards was born in New York City (died at age 62 from an apparent heart attack August 27, 1981).  She was perhaps best known for her work on the radio version of Your Hit Parade. She also was a vocalist for Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.

Edwards' early appearances on radio came "via small stations in New York City."Her first network appearance was on Fred Allen's program.

Beginning March 3, 1941, Edwards had her own program, Girl About Town, on CBS. The 15-minute show was broadcast Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. Although her singing was featured, she played the piano for one song in each episode.

In December 1941, Edwards was selected as the new female soloist on Your Hit Parade. Three years later, an article in Tune In magazine observed, "Joan Edwards sets something of a record, lasting through the regimes of three male singers -- Barry Wood, Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Tibbett -- in a three-year period."

Her tenure on the program eventually reached five years, and the list of male singers' names grew to include Dick Todd and Johnny Mercer. She was dropped from Your Hit Parade in 1947 when the sponsor, American Tobacco Company, changed format, using guest stars rather than regular soloists.

On March 3, 1952, Edwards began a morning disc jockey program on WCBS-AM in New York City

➦In 1934
...WNEW 1130 AM NYC Signed on

The station's origins go back to 1922 as WAAM and 1925 as WODA. A radio institution throughout the majority of the 20th century, WNEW was known for its music selection as well as its staff of radio personalities including Martin Block, Dee Finch, Gene Rayburn, Gene Klaven, Ted Brown and William B. Williams. WNEW is credited with pioneering the role of the disc jockey, as well as for developing the modern morning radio show format and debuting the first all-night radio show. In addition to its music and entertainment programming, WNEW featured an award-winning news desk and became "the voice of New York sports" for its coverage of New York Giants football games. After years of declining ratings and management changes in the 1980s, WNEW was purchased by Bloomberg L.P. in 1992 and changed call letters to WBBR.

WODA was acquired in 1934 by advertising executive Milton Biow and watch manufacturer Arde Bulova after the Amalgamated Broadcasting System failed and began selling off its radio stations.

The call letters were changed to WNEW for “the NEWest thing in radio”.

Transmitter site 1939

The station was launched in a ceremony performed on February 13th at 9 pm by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  From the White House the president pushed a button and moments later a lamp illuminated in a New Jersey transmitter room. As the light shined, soprano Yvonne D’Arle sang the Star Spangled Banner and WNEW 1130 AM officially went on the air.

New York socialite Bernice Judis was hired as WNEW's first General Manager.

As a small, independent radio station, WNEW lacked the funds larger networks Columbia Broadcasting System, Mutual Broadcasting System, and the National Broadcasting Company used to produce daily programming common for that time such as comedy shows, soap operas and dramatic programs. However, Judis was not discouraged, and even welcomed the opportunity to develop her own schedule of innovative programming that included playing recordings of popular music throughout the day, creating the first all-night radio show, Milkman's Matinee, and cultivating a line-up of popular morning radio show personalities.

In 1935, WNEW pioneered the concept of a disc jockey when staff announcer Martin Block needed to fill time between new bulletins during his coverage of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial of Bruno Hauptmann. Block did not have access to a live orchestra to play music during the breaks as most network stations did, so he played records instead.  Soon afterward, he piloted a 15-minute experimental show called the Make Believe Ballroom, during which he played records from popular bands and singers, posed as a live performance in an imaginary ballroom. During Block's tenure as host of Make Believe Ballroom, the show attracted 25% of the listening audience in New York City. The show continued in sporadic runs until the station's end in 1992.

➦In 1947... “Family Theater” was heard for the first time on Mutual radio. Jim Ameche and Loretta Young starred in the program’s first episode, “Flight from Home”.  The overtly-Christian stories were directed at Roman Catholic families. Production ceased in 1956 but reruns continued through the 1960’s.

➦In 1949...'Pat Novak for Hire', a radio detective drama series debuted. It was produced at KGO in San Francisco program and in 1949 as a nationwide program for ABC. The regional version originally starred Jack Webb in the title role, with scripts by his roommate Richard L. Breen. When Webb and Breen moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles to work on an extremely similar nationwide series, 'Johnny Madero Pier 23', for the Mutual network, Webb was replaced by Ben Morris and Breen by other writers.

➦In 1956...Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca Records, signed a deal with NYC radio personality Alan Freed to curate four rock 'n' roll dance and party albums.

➦In 1956...KYW 1060 AM in Philadelphia PA gave call letters to WTAM Cleveland. Philadelphia’s KYW has a long (and mobile) history.

KYW began in 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. It was jointly owned by Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Commonwealth Edison. Westinghouse later bought out ComEd's share and became sole owner of the station. In 1927, Westinghouse aligned its four radio stations (KYW, KDKA in Pittsburgh, WBZ in Boston and WBZA in Springfield, Massachusetts) with the NBC Blue Network, which originated from former sister station WJZ (the present-day WABC) in New York City. Westinghouse had been a founding partner of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC's original parent company.

In 1934, the assignment of clear channels took a frequency away from Illinois and gave it to Pennsylvania, resulting in Westinghouse moving KYW to Philadelphia.  Upon arriving, KYW supplanted WFI and WLIT (which merged as WFIL in 1935) as Philadelphia's Blue Network affiliate – an affiliation that lasted 20 years (according to the June 14, 1940 edition of the Philadelphia Daily News, KYW used the frequency of 1020 AM at the time).

In March 1941, KYW changed frequencies to 1060 AM as part of a nationwide shift of radio frequencies mandated by the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. KYW and the other Westinghouse radio stations remained with NBC after RCA was ordered by the FCC to break up its radio networks, aligning with the former Red Network (the predecessor of modern-day NBC) in 1942. KYW acquired a television counterpart when Westinghouse bought WPTZ (channel 3) – the nation's third commercial television station and NBC's second television affiliate – in 1953.

In June 1955, Westinghouse agreed to trade KYW and WPTZ to NBC in exchange for the network's properties in Cleveland, WNBK television and WTAM-AM-FM. Westinghouse also received $3 million in cash compensation.  The main impetus for the trade was NBC's desire to acquire an owned-and-operated television station in the fourth-largest American television market. NBC had to seek a waiver for the swap since KYW and NBC Radio's New York City flagship, WRCA (now sister station WFAN) were both clear channel stations; at the time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) normally did not allow common ownership of clear-channel stations with overlapping nighttime coverage. After clearing final regulatory hurdles, the swap went into effect on February 13, 1956. NBC took over the Philadelphia stations, rechristening 1060 AM as WRCV (for the RCA-Victor record label), and Westinghouse moved the KYW call letters to Cleveland.

However, almost immediately after the trade was finalized, Westinghouse complained to the FCC and the United States Department of Justice about NBC's coercion and an lengthy investigation was launched.  In August 1964, NBC's license for WRCV radio and television was renewed by the FCC – but only on the condition that the 1956 station swap be reversed.[9] Following nearly a year of appeals by NBC, Westinghouse regained control of WRCV-AM-TV on June 19, 1965 and subsequently restored the KYW call letters to the radio station (the television station became KYW-TV at this point).   To this day, the KYW stations insist that they "moved" to Cleveland in 1956 and "returned" to Philadelphia in 1965. However, the two stations' facilities remained the same.

On September 21, 1965, shortly after Westinghouse regained control of 1060 AM, the newly rechristened KYW once again dropped its NBC radio affiliation and was converted into one of the first all-news stations in the country.

Today KYW, Philadelphia is owned by Audacy Communications.

➦In 2007...Premiere Radio Networks announced that American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest had passed the 400-station mark worldwide. Seacrest also enjoyed a #1 rating in New York and Los Angeles with the target demo of adults 18-34.  In January 2004, Seacrest became the new host of the syndicated weekly countdown show, created and formerly hosted by Casey Kasem. A month later, Seacrest became host of Los Angeles radio station KIIS 1027 FM morning show, replacing long-time host Rick Dees.

➦In 2019...the Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group announced the formation of a regional channel called the Marquee Sports Network to carry the team’s games starting the following spring.

Peter Gabriel is 70


  • Actress Kim Novak is 87. 
  • Actor George Segal (“Just Shoot Me”) is 86. 
  • Actor Bo Svenson (“Walking Tall”) is 79. 
  • Actress Stockard Channing is 76. 
  • Talk-show host Jerry Springer is 76. 
  • Mena Suvari is 41
    Singer Peter Gabriel is 70. 
  • Actor David Naughton is 69. 
  • Bassist Peter Hook of New Order and Joy Division is 64. 
  • Actor Matt Salinger is 60. 
  • Singer Henry Rollins is 59. 
  • Actor Neal McDonough (“Boomtown”) is 54. 
  • Singer Freedom Williams (C & C Music Factory) is 54. 
  • Actress Kelly Hu (“Martial Law”) is 52. 
  • Singer Matt Berninger of The National is 49. 
  • Bassist Todd Harrell (3 Doors Down) is 48. 
  • Drummer Scott Thomas of Parmalee is 47. 
  • Singer Feist is 44. 
  • MC Natalie Stewart of Floetry is 41. 
  • Actress Mena Suvari is 41. 
  • Drummer Dash Hutton of Haim is 35.

NYC Radio: Scott Shannon Talks About Worst-To-First Z100

The world of radio in the nation’s largest media market changed forever on Aug. 2, 1983, as WHTZ Z100 hit the airwaves and started “serving the universe,” led by an unknown, overconfident out-of-towner named Scott Shannon.

Many lived through it. But if you didn’t, and you love music, “Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York” is the movie for you, CBS2’s Chris Wragge reports.

The biggest revolution in radio history was underway. Last place WHTZ hit the airwaves with the brand new “Z Morning Zoo” led by Shannon, a radio jock hired from Tampa.

“I was a cocky, confident guy on one hand and on the other hand I was scared to death,” Shannon said.

The slogan, “Serving the universe from the top of the Empire State Building,” became synonymous with Z100.

But it was more like “Coming to you from a little building in Secaucus, New Jersey.” Of course, no one needed to know that.

“You didn’t know Staten Island from Long Island at that point,” Wragge said to Shannon. “So what was it about you that this market was able to identify with?”

“I knew that the suburbs were people that I understood,” Shannon said. “That was the battle plan.”

The plan, the music and the cash giveaways worked. Seventy-five days after debuting in last place, Z100 was in first place.

Streaming Wars Entering A New Phase

The battle for consumer eyeballs has intensified in recent years, particularly with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the impact of the pandemic on daily lives receding, a new era in the streaming wars may be beginning, reports Barron's.

Walt Disney ’s subscriber growth has been slowing in recent quarters but it managed to turn the tide in its fiscal first quarter.

Disney added 11.8 million new subscribers in the quarter, beating expectations as well as Netflix ’s 8.3 million net adds. There is an opportunity for Disney to beat its streaming rival in the current quarter too, as Netflix projected 2.5 million new subscribers, well below expectations.

Amazon ’s decision to raise the price of Prime for the first time since 2018 could also have an impact on subscriber dynamics, perhaps further opening the door for Disney.

But is this a changing of the guard? Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he doesn’t anticipate subscriber growth to necessarily be linear, but he expects stronger growth in the second half of the fiscal year, citing new market launches and fresh original content.

Looking more closely, however, Disney worked a bit of magic worthy of Aladdin’s Genie. The company’s strategic decision to include Disney+ and ESPN+ as part of a Hulu Live subscription accounted for two million of the 4.1 million new domestic subscribers.

Disney’s Theme Parks, Streaming Subscribers Lift Results

Disney beat analysts’ expectations for fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue, driven by a burst in spending at its theme parks and growth in Disney+ streaming service subscribers. Its shares, which had lost about 25% over the past year, were up more than 7% in premarket trading Thursday.

Disney’s theme parks, which have largely reopened across the globe, generated $7.2 billion in revenue—more than double the year-ago total—with almost $2.5 billion in operating profit. Analysts had expected a 77% recovery, with $6.4 billion in revenue and $1.4 billion in operating profit.

Chapek said theme parks had their second-best quarter ever. Disney raised ticket prices early in the quarter, and more than one-third of domestic park guests purchased services that help visitors avoid waiting in lines for rides.

Disney+ added 11.7 million subscribers during the quarter for a total of 129.8 million, Hulu added 1.5 million subscribers, and ESPN+ added 4.2 million. Disney+ hits included the animated feature Encanto and the three-part documentary The Beatles: Get Back.

What’s Next: Wall Street expects Disney+ subscriber growth to accelerate in the second half of its 2022 fiscal year, because of new original content and expansion into more countries. Disney is still aiming for between 230 million and 260 million Disney+ subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024.

MA Radio: After 30 Years, John O'Brien EXITS WAQY

John O'Brien
John O'Brien says he no longer works for WAQY 102.1 FM or its parent company, Saga Communications. The 62-year-old O’Brien sat at the helm of the show with co-host Mike Baxendale for 26 years, and more recently with producer Steve Nagle reports

“I can tell you my leaving was not voluntary,” O’Brien said. “It’s disappointing because, after 30 years at the station, I would have liked to go out on my own terms.”

O’Brien’s image and references to the now-defunct morning show have been scrubbed from the company’s website. Baxendale declined to comment.

WAQY general manager David Oldread confirmed O’Brien no longer works for either entity, but would not comment further this week. The morning show has been renamed “The Rock 102 Morning Show.”

“We don’t comment on personnel issues for the privacy of our employees,” Oldread said.

But, O’Brien has never been a particularly private person. While the show had a somewhat bawdy edge — with public and political figures frequently in the crosshairs — O’Brien has also discussed on-air the failings of personal relationships, and struggles with cancer and mental health over the years, including bouts of depression. He was an early fan of medical marijuana before the topic became mainstream and trendy. Not much was off-limits.

O’Brien said his employment ended on Jan. 21 while he was in the midst of seeking mental health treatment, and after a medical leave. He said he had developed a somewhat fraught relationship with the parent company after several bouts with cancer, and seeking accommodations to record the show remotely from his second home in Florida during the winter months.

O’Brien, an Enfield, Connecticut, native, began working in broadcast when he was just 20. His first ambition was to be a police officer, but said his vision prevented him from doing that, so he turned to the airwaves, working for four stations in Springfield and Connecticut before joining WAQY three decades ago.

“What I expected when I was 20 was to move around the country to different markets, and I never expected to be a morning drive-time guy. But that’s how it ended up,” O’Brien said. “I never left.”

Jury Gets Palin vs NYTimes Case

Jurors began considering whether to hold the New York Times liable for defaming Sarah Palin, after her lawyer on Friday accused the newspaper of falsely associating her in a 2017 editorial with a mass murder, a link that a Times lawyer called an honest mistake reports Reuters..

In his closing argument in federal court in Manhattan, Palin's lawyer Kenneth Turkel said the Times and its former editorial page editor, James Bennet, turned a "blind eye" to the facts as it smeared the reputation of Palin, a former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate.

"The Times resurrected a horrific, false accusation (that) in its simplest form accused Governor Palin of inciting the murder of six people," he said. "She's got thick skin. This one crossed the line."

In response, Times lawyer David Axelrod said the editorial amounted to an "honest mistake" andwas not meant as a "political hit piece."

He also said Palin did not show it harmed her reputation, citing her continued public appearances after it was published.

"The criticism was of the New York Times for messing something up," Axelrod said. "You saw no evidence that anyone criticized Governor Palin for what was written in the editorial. None, zip, zilch."

He also urged jurors to consider the need for a robust press to cover news and express opinion, citing protections afforded by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Jurors will resume deliberations on Monday, after meeting for 2-1/4 hours on Friday. The trial has lasted seven days.

First Amendment experts are closely watching Palin's case, which touches on longstanding protections for U.S. news media against defamation claims by public figures.

NYC Radio: Anthony Weiner Teams With WABC's Curtis Sliwa

Anthony Weiner, whose serial sexting scandals upended his promising political career and ultimately sent him to prison, will team up with Curtis Sliwa in a weekly two-hour radio show on WABC 770 AM starting on Saturday, reports the NY Daily News.

Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels and last year’s Republican mayoral nominee in New York City, said that the show will touch on sports, politics and the publicly accessible penis photos that plunged Weiner’s career into chaos.

“He’s done talk radio — but that was right before he imploded completely,” Sliwa said of Weiner, a Democrat who was jailed in 2017 after prosecutors found he had sent sexually suggestive texts to a 15-year-old.

Weiner, 57, said he has a “very New York relationship” with Sliwa: They have long kept in touch privately, criticizing each other when they disagree. In 2016, they briefly worked together on the radio when Sliwa’s co-host Ron Kuby was on a break.

The show is set to air on WABC-AM’s 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. slot on Saturdays. Sliwa said Friday morning that the show had come together within the last 72 hours and compared the concept to CNN’s long-running TV series “Crossfire,” describing it as classic right-left debate.

Weiner described himself as “nervous” about the show, noting that he is rusty as a speaker and does not follow politics as closely as he once did.

“Curtis is good at radio. He’s probably one taco short of a combo, but he’s good at this,” Weiner added. “It’s me that I’m not so sure of.”

A charismatic cat-loving character who once faked crimes to boost the Guardian Angels, Sliwa was more bullish on the new project.

“Two Brooklyn boys: we know pretty much all the same people, so we know where the bones are buried and who buried them, on all angles,” Sliwa told The News.

“We’ll be discussing not only the politics of the city, which we know as well as anybody — from different perspectives,” Sliwa, 67, promised. “But also his own problems, the resurrection that he’s got to make.”

Armed with a roaring mouth and an ability to get in front of cameras, Weiner was a rising political star representing Brooklyn in Congress when he posted an explicit image to Twitter in 2011.

The reaction was swift and harsh, and he resigned from New York’s 9th Congressional District seat in the House.

Joe Rogan To The Media: You Need To Do Better

Podcast giant Joe Rogan offered advice to the legacy media as efforts to get him deplatformed from Spotify continue, reports Fox News. 

On Thursday's installment of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Rogan spoke about the "problem" various news sources have with him that "more people believe me or trust me or want to listen to me talk."

"The answer is not to silence me, the answer is [for] you to do better," Rogan said. "The answer is for you to have better arguments. When you're on television talking about how I'm taking horse paste, and you know that's not true. 'He's taking horse dewormer.'"

"What you should have said, ‘How did Joe Rogan get better so quick? How come he got COVID that’s killing everybody and he was better in five days, negative in five days, working out in six days?' How come that's never discussed?" Rogan asked. 

Joe Rogan
After clarifying he believed the monoclonal antibodies he took did more to help him during his bout with COVID than ivermectin, he pivoted to CNN, which heavily pushed the "horse dewormer" falsehood. 

"If you're in business and your business is the news, and you want to get more people to pay attention, you should be honest," Rogan said. "And my thoughts for CNN, my advice to them … I don't hate CNN. I used to go to them every day for the news until they start f---ing hating on me

"If you want to do better, just f---ing change your model, change the way you do it. Stop this editorial perspective with guys like Brian Stelter and Don Lemon that nobody listens to. Nobody is like chiming in saying, ‘Oh, yeah, finally we get the voice of reason.’ Nobody thinks that," Rogan continued. "Have people that give out effective news, objective news, rather, and I'll support you. I would turn around 100% … and I'll be one of the people that tells people, 'I saw this on CNN, watch this on CNN."

Last year, several CNN stars accused Rogan of taking "horse dewormer" after the podcast host announced he had COVID and had taken ivermectin, prescribed to him by a doctor, among other treatments during his recovery. 

Jon Stewart Defends Joe Rogan

 Jon Stewart is coming to the defense of fellow podcaster Joe Rogan over the uproar surrounding “misinformation” about vaccines that has prompted calls for Spotify to sever ties with its $100 million star, reports The NY Post.

Stewart, the former star of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” who is now hosting his own podcast on Apple’s streaming service, said Thursday that “canceling” Rogan would be akin to banning Stewart from television for his opposition to the Iraq war in 2003.

“The New York Times, right, was a giant purveyor of misinformation, and disinformation,” Stewart said of the newspaper’s editorial support for the Iraq war.

“And that’s as vaunted a media organization as you can find, but there was no accountability for them.”

No such weapons were ever found in Iraq after American troops removed Saddam from power and installed a friendly government in Baghdad.

Stewart said Thursday that while he was “very vocal” in opposing the Iraq war in 2003, he was in the minority.

“Couldn’t I have gone down and fallen down this — if Viacom or Comedy Central had wanted to censor me — or had wanted to take me off the — look, I’m not owed a platform. Nobody is,” he said.

Stewart then added: “But my point is, these are shifting sands, and I think I get concerned with, well, who gets to decide?”

Rogan has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks after rocker Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify to protest the podcaster’s show. Young and others have assailed Rogan for interviewing medical officials who have been accused of “spreading vaccine misinformation.”

TX Radio: NTPB Adds Benji McPhail, Promotes Jeff Penfield

North Texas Public Broadcasting (NTPB) has announce Benjamin (Benji) McPhail is joining its Triple-A music station, KXT 91.7 FM, as Program Director.

“We are delighted to welcome Benji to lead KKXT as Program Director,” says Christopher Wagley, Chief Operations Officer of NTPB, which owns and operates KKXT, KERA News and KERA TV. “His creativity, industry knowledge and passion for music discovery are exciting assets to bring to the station and North Texas’ thriving music community.”

Benji McPail
McPhail joins KXT with extensive experience in both music and radio, including serving as Program Director of The Colorado Sound since the launch of the music discovery station in 2016. Under his leadership, The Colorado Sound became one of the fastest growing radio stations in the country. McPhail is also a member of NPR Music’s Slingshot Editorial Committee and a regular contributor to NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation series. In 2017, McPhail was named Program Director of the year by FMQB magazine.

“I am so excited to be the next Program Director for KXT,” says McPhail. “The entire organization is first class. We share the same vision of wanting to create a radio station that is a community resource for our members and listeners. The future for KXT is bright. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

Jeff Penfield
NTPB was assisted in the search by Mike Henry, CEO of Paragon Media Strategies. Henry, who has worked with KXT since its launch in 2009, will continue to work with McPhail and the KXT team to deepen their commitment to music and the arts in North Texas.

As NTPB welcomes McPhail, the organization is also pleased to announce the promotion of Jeff Penfield to Program Director of KERA News 90.1 FM. Penfield, who has served as Manager of Radio Operations for KERA and KXT since 2019, will report to McPhail. Together, they will ensure both stations serve and reflect the diverse and growing population of North Texas through in-the-moment programming that is enlightening and entertaining.

KERA and KXT serve the fifth-largest media market in the country, with a combined average monthly audience of over 1 million listeners. KERA and KXT can be found over the air, online and across digital platforms.

TN Radio: Ex-Radio Voice Jailed For 40-Years For Sexual Assault

Ken Mallard
Longtime Lexington radio personality Kerry Mallard received a 40-year sentence in prison for a guilty verdict of one count of continuous abuse of a child on Friday in Henderson County Circuit Court.

The Jackson Sun reports Mallard was charged in October 2019 with sexual abuse of a minor.

Mallard’s wife operated a daycare out of their home, and the alleged incidents occurred there during daycare hours.

The child’s mother said the child was instructed by Mallard not to tell anyone, and the child was reportedly called a liar by Mallard and his wife.

The child’s father read an emotional statement to the court.

“I challenged myself to protect my children,” the statement said. “Kerry Mallard has prevented that and has groomed and overstepped his boundaries for his sexual gratification.”

The father said his child was very trusting of Mallard and referred to him as “my buddy.”

Mallard has 22 other convictions of continuous sexual assault for which the sentencings were merged to cause the 40 years’ sentencing.

But he will have another court appearance on April 8 for a sexual battery case related to the 22 other counts.

Mallard served as advertising and sports director for WBFG-FM 96.5, a major West Tennessee sports station operated by Lexington Broadcasting. He also broadcasted Lexington High School sports games on the company's country music station WZLT-FM 99.3. 

R.I.P.: Ian MacDonald, Founding Member of King Crimson, Foreigner

Ian McDonald, the multi-instrumentalist who was a founding member of both King Crimson and Foreigner, has died at the age of 75, reports Ultimate Classic Rock.

McDonald’s death was confirmed via press release, which noted that the rocker “passed away peacefully on February 9, 2022 in his home in New York City, surrounded by his family.”

McDonald co-founded King Crimson in 1968, alongside Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake and lyricist Peter Sinfield. The famed prog-rock group’s debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, was released in 1969. McDonald’s fingerprints were all over the LP, with saxophone, flute, clarinet, Mellotron, harpsichord, piano, organ, vibraphone, backing vocals and production among his contributions.

Ian McDonald
“When we made it -- and I was basically at the forefront of the production -- I wanted to make sure if I could deliver everything that went into the record would bear repeated listening and hopefully stand the test of time,” McDonald recalled during a 2019 interview with UCR.

”Those early shows were fantastic,” he continued, looking back at King Crimson’s beginnings. “They were a mixture of arranged songs and group improvisations. One of the songs, [Donovan’s] 'Get Thy Bearings,' was a vehicle for improvisation. ... They could be quite adventurous, quite wild sometimes. And the arranged songs such as 'The Court of the Crimson King' and 'Epitaph,' were more structured. Speaking of 'Epitaph,' I think that's my favorite successful song in terms of the writing and structure and production and everything else.”

The multi-instrumentalist departed the band following their first U.S. tour. The final performance to feature King Crimson’s original lineup took place at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on Dec. 16, 1969.

Years later, McDonald would help launch another legendary act, Foreigner. The band’s initial lineup included guitarist Mick Jones, singer Lou Gramm, drummer Dennis Elliott, keyboardist Al Greenwood and bassist Ed Gagliardi, with McDonald providing rhythm guitar, woodwinds and additional keyboard. The multi-instrumentalist’s tenure lasted until 1980 and included three hugely successful, multi-platinum LPs: Foreigner, Double Vision and Head Games. “Feels Like the First Time”, “Cold As Ice”, “Hot Blooded” and “Double Vision” are just some of the classic tracks which featured McDonald’s playing, while the rocker also co-wrote several of the band’s deeper album cuts.

Detroit Radio: Retired WJR Host Frank Beckmann In Hospice

Frank Beckmann
Longtime WJR 760 AM radio host and University of Michigan football play-by-play man Frank Beckmann is in critical condition at an Oakland County hospice facility, his family said Friday.

Karen Beckmann, his wife, told The Detroit News that doctors give him days to live.

The 72-year-old longtime media personality has been suffering from vascular dementia, a rare and untreatable brain disease.

“The doctors said they don’t expect him to last until Monday," his wife said. 

Beckmannvretired from WJR last March, when his contract ended. The next month, he started exhibiting behavior unusual for him. By June, he had been diagnosed, his family said.

In October, he suffered a severe stroke and was hospitalized for 35 days. In December he was transferred to hospice and has since had four more strokes. He is currently semi-comatose, Karen Beckmann said.

He called UM football games for 33 years and spent several seasons as an announcer for both the Detroit Tigers and the Lions.

Beckmann also hosted a conservative-leaning morning talk show later in his career, when his topics included casting doubts about global warming, discussing the latest in politics, discussing "American Idol" and hosting weekly trivia contests.

February 12 Radio History

➦In talent show host Ted Mack was born William Edward Maguiness in Greeley Colorado. Mack died July 12, 1976 at age 72.

Mack succeeded Major Bowes as host of The Original Amateur Hour for the period 1948-52 on radio, and until 1970 on TV.  His discoveries include Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, & Teresa Brewer.  He also hosted TV’s Ted Mack Family Hour, a show similar to Ed Sullivan.

The Original Amateur Hour began on radio in 1934 as Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, and ran until the 1946 death of its creator, Major Bowes. Mack, a talent scout who had directed the show under Bowes, revived it in 1948 for ABC Radio and the DuMont Television Network.

The show lasted on radio until 1952 and until 1970 on television, where it ran on all four major networks, ending as a Sunday afternoon CBS staple. A success in the early days of television, the program set the stage for numerous programs seeking talented stars, from The Gong Show to Star Search to American Idol to America's Got Talent.

➦In 1909...singer/producer Barry Wood was born in New Haven Conn. He was the singing star of radio’s Lucky Strike Hit Parade in the early 40’s just ahead of Frank Sinatra, and went on to perform in lesser-known radio shows.  In the TV era he was host of several shows including Places Please & Backstage with Barry Wood, and producer for The Bell Telephone Hour & Wide Wide World.   He died July 19 1970 at age 61.

➦In 1910...Longtime radio announced Ken Roberts born (died at age 99 June 19, 2009).  He was known for his work during the Golden Age of Radio and for his work announcing the daytime television soap operas The Secret Storm, Texas and Love of Life, each for a two-decade span.

Ken Roberts
His first announcing job was at WMCA in New York lasting three weeks. Next at WLTH in Brooklyn. In an interview for the book The Great American Broadcast, Roberts told Leonard Maltin that he had started at the Brooklyn station in 1930, where his responsibilities included answering phones and sweeping the floors, in addition to on-air roles playing piano and reading poetry.

During the 1930s and 1940s, at the height of the radio era, Roberts' voice appeared widely in live programming to introduce programs, moderate game shows and do live reads for commercials. Despite his Errol Flynn-like good looks and the frequent broadcasts featuring his voice, as often as several times each day, few listeners knew who he was or would have recognized him in public.

Radio credits include The Shadow (including the 1937-38 season on the Mutual Broadcasting System with a 22-year-old Orson Welles starring in the role of Lamont Cranston), the comedy Easy Aces, along with soap operas Joyce Jordan, M.D. and This is Nora Drake. In 1941, he achieved his goal of hosting his own quiz show, with Quick As a Flash on the Mutual network.

He also announced or hosted a number of game shows, such as What's My Name? and the parody It Pays to Be Ignorant, in which he would pose questions to actors portraying contestants such as "Who came first: Henry I or Henry VIII?" that would be answered incorrectly. At various times, he performed on eponymous programs for Fred Allen, Milton Berle, Victor Borge and Sophie Tucker.

In 1941, he achieved his goal of hosting his own quiz show, with Quick As a Flash on the Mutual network.

➦In 1912..Bigtime radio announcer Del Sharbutt was born in Cleburne Texas.

Del Sharbutt
His first appearance on radio was in 1929 as a singer on WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas.  He became a staff announcer for CBS Radio in 1933, and is best remembered as spokesman for Campbell’s Soup (“Mmm mmm Good!”) beginning in the ’30’s.  He was also TV announcer for Your Hit Parade, and worked until retirement in 1976 as newscaster for the Mutual Radio network.  He died April 26, 2002 at the ripe old age of 90.

Old-time radio shows for which Sharbutt was an announcer included The Man I Married, Lavender and Old Lace, Guy Lombardo, Jack Pearl, Ray Noble, Bob Hope, The Song Shop, Hobby Lobby, Myrt and Marge, The Hour of Charm, Melody and Madness, Colgate Ask-It-Basket, Lanny Ross, Amos 'n' Andy, Club Fifteen, The Jack Carson Show, Lum and Abner, Your Hit Parade, The Campbell Playhouse, Request Performance, Meet Mr. McNutley and Meet Corliss Archer.

In 1958,Sharbutt became a disc jockey on 77WABC in New York City. He and another old-time radio announcer, Tony Marvin, began "hosting afternoon record shows in their distinctively deep voices."

He died April 26, 2002 at the ripe old age of 90.

➦In 1915...newscaster/actor Lorne Greene was born in Ottawa.  He was called “The Voice of Doom” as the nightly newsreader on CBC Radio during World War Two.(1939-42)  On TV he starred in Bonanza, Battlestar Gallactica & Code Red. He died Sept 11, 1987 after an operation for a perforated ulcer, at age 72.

➦In 1924…The Eveready Hour was the first commercially sponsored variety program in the history of broadcasting. It premiered February 12, 1924 (other sources: December 4, 1923 or November 4, 1923) on WEAF Radio (now WFAN) in New York City. Radio's first sponsored network program. it was paid for by the National Carbon Company, which at the time owned Eveready Battery

In early 1924 The Eveready Hour began to be carried simultaneously by a second station, WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island, and the number of outlets was expanded to a group of Eastern and Midwestern stations "as quickly as WEAF could add stations" to its "WEAF chain" radio network. On election night, November 4, 1924, the program, hosted by Wendell Hall, was carried by 18 stations, with Will Rogers, Art Gillham, Carson Robison and the Eveready Quartet entertaining between election returns given by Graham McNamee. Joseph Knecht led the Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orchestra.

The Bowery Boys were featured on the Eveready Hour

In 1926 the WEAF chain operations were purchased by the Radio Corporation of America, becoming the basis of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in early 1927. The Eveready Hour continued as a featured broadcast on NBC until 1930.

Calvin Coolidge

➦In 1924...President Calvin Coolidge became the first President to make a political speech on the radio. It originated from New York City and was broadcast on five radio stations to an audience of an estimated 5M listeners.  During his presidency, Coolidge made around 50 broadcasts. He soon learned how to make best use of the new technology, adding a consultant to his staff to help him polish his radio persona.

While Coolidge was a radio pioneer, the American president most associated with radio is Franklin D. Roosevelt. From 1933 to 1944, Roosevelt delivered 30 “fireside chats,” in which he addressed the American people in a friendly, plainspoken manner about his efforts to bolster the depressed economy through innovative government programs and about global challenges in the run-up to World War II.

➦In 1940…New York radio station WOR presented the first broadcast featuring the comic-strip hero, “Superman“. The 15-minute juvenile adventure became a feature of the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1942, three times a week to start, then daily.

\On Mutual, it was broadcast from August 31, 1942, to February 4, 1949, as a 15-minute serial, running three or, usually, five times a week. From February 7 to June 24, 1949, it ran as a thrice-weekly half-hour show. The series shifted to ABC Saturday evenings on October 29, 1949, and then returned to afternoons twice a week on June 5, 1950, continuing on ABC until March 1, 1951. In all, 2,088 original episodes of The Adventures of Superman aired on American radio.

The Man of Steel first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938. When Superman was first heard on radio less than two years after the comic book appearance, the character took on an added dimension with Bud Collyer in the title role.

During World War II and the post-war years, the juvenile adventure radio serial, sponsored by Kellogg's Pep, was a huge success, with many listeners following the quest for "truth and justice" in the daily radio broadcasts.

➦In 1951...Radio Personality, Pat St. John, was born in Detroit.

Pat St John age 18
In early 1969, at the age of 18, he landed his first gig as a radio personality on Windsor's CKLW, where he also worked for CKLW's 20/20 news doing newscasts one day a week, and part-time booth announcing on CKLW-TV Channel 9. In late 1970 he moved across the border to WKNR and was then hired in early 1972 at the ABC-owned album-oriented rock (AOR) station WRIF until 1973.

In April 1973, St. John began an almost 15-year stint at New York's WPLJ.  He survived the station's transition from AOR to top 40 in 1983.

He left WPLJ in 1987, and returned to his rock roots on WNEW-FM, which had been WPLJ's rival during its AOR years. He became the station's program director in the early 1990s.  St. John remained with the station until it switched to a hot talk format in 1998.

After the demise of WNEW's rock format, St. John was one of the first programmers hired by CD Radio in October 1998 as the Director of classic Rock Programming. CD Radio would later change its name to Sirius Satellite Radio, and then after acquiring XM Satellite Radio become known as SiriusXM, where he remains today as one of their most popular personalities on its '60 Gold Oldies channel.

He also joined WCBS 101.1 FM in 2002, followed by moving to WAXQ in 2004 where he stayed until late 2006. In July 2007, he returned to the re-incarnated WCBS-FM. For the first decade of the new century he was the announcer for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. He continues to do voiceover work for radio and TV commercials as well as station imaging for radio and television as well as narration.

In March 2015, St. John announced that he was leaving WCBS-FM and that he and his wife were moving to California to be closer to their grandson. He aired his final show on April 12, 2015 marking the end to a legendary career in New York City radio.

In March 2015, St. John announced that he was leaving WCBS-FM and that he and his wife were moving to California to be closer to their grandson. He aired his final show on April 12, 2015 marking the end to a legendary career in New York City radio.

St. John is known for his conversational on-air style with interspersed bits of music trivia, along with "Collectible Cuts" from his extensive record library. Pat has been called a "walking encyclopedia" when it comes to his knowledge of music.

➦In 1964...The Beatles made their third appearance in the U-S. They played two 25-minute concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City, concluding a very successful American tour. There was such a demand for tickets that some extra seating was arranged surrounding the stage. Tickets went for between $1.65 and $5.50.  The New York Times review claimed it was the frenzied audience that put on the show and the Beatles merely accompanied them

The late promoter Sid Bernstein speaks about Brian Epstein, The Beatles , their first trip to America in 1964 and Carnegie Hall.

➦In 1999... the longtime voice of the Cleveland Indians Jimmy Dudley, also the lead announcer for the Seattle Pilots for their lone year (1969), died at age 89.

He began broadcasting in the late 1930s, starting out at a Charlottesville VA radio station. He moved up to calling Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox games from 1938–1941 before serving as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

Dudley was the Cleveland Indians' lead announcer from 1948 until his firing by the club in January 1968. In 1969, Dudley broadcast for the expansion Seattle Pilots; when the club moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers the following year, he did not join them.

Dudley broadcast for a number of minor league teams in the 1970s before retiring. As an announcer, Dudley was known for his friendly, homespun style and his signature catchphrases: "Hello, baseball fans everywhere" (to start a broadcast), "The string is out" (describing a full count on a hitter), "A swing and a miss!-he struck him out", "That ball is going...going...gone!" (to describe a home run) and "So long and lots of good luck, you hear?" (signing off at the game's end). Dudley called the 1954 World Series and All-Star Game for the Mutual network, and 1961's first All-Star Game for NBC Radio

In addition to baseball, Dudley also broadcast football at various times for the Ohio State University, the University of Washington, and the NFL's Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts.

Dudley was presented with the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

➦In 2015...Gary Owens, veteran of KFWB in the Top 40 heyday, two decades with the Station of the Stars 710/KMPC, KPRZ, KKGO, KFI, KLAC, and KGIL, died February 12, 2015, at the age of 80. A diabetic since the age of 8, Gary died in his home surrounded by family.

Gary Owens

Gary was voted the #1 disc jockey for the second half of the 20th century, by readers of Los Angeles Radio People. He was nationally known for holding his cupped hand over his ear while announcing the comedy breakthrough show Laugh-In. Gary is one of the most famous broadcasters in Los Angeles radio history.

Gary was born Gary Altman in Plankenton, South Dakota. He started on the air at KORN radio, worked at KMA-Shenandoah, Iowa, and KOIL-Omaha. It was at KOIL that Gary changed his name to Owens. After stops at KIMN-Denver, KILT-Houston, KTSA-San Antonio, WNOE-New Orleans, WIL-St. Louis, and KEWB-San Francisco, he moved to KFWB in 1961, where "G.O." became the morning man, with number one ratings.

A year later, he moved to KMPC, staying for two decades. Gary has made over 1,000 national on-camera tv appearances, been on over 10,000 radio shows, nearly 3,000 cartoon episodes, 35 videos, 20 albums and CDs (six Grammy nominations), 12 books on tape, thousands of commercials (he has won over 50 Clio awards) and appeared in 12 motion pictures.

Gary worked every episode of the Emmy award-winning Laugh In, making famous the phrase "Beautiful Downtown Burbank" which he had been using for years on his radio show. R&R and Billboard called him "a legend." Advertising Age and Adweek said he’s "the most decorated man in broadcasting." He was the emcee for the 1969 Grammy ceremony and the nighttime host of The Gong Show.

Gary's comedy writing included Bullwinkle and Fractured Flickers. He was the voice of Roger Ramjet. The Times named Gary 1968 Disc Jockey of the Year. At KFI he teamed with longtime friend Al Lohman. Gary was inducted into The National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, The National Radio Hall of Fame, The NAB Hall of Fame, and The South Dakota Hall of Fame - all in the same year. In 1979 he was the first radio personality to be inducted into the Hollywood Hall of Fame. In 1980, he was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. He received the NAB Radio Award for lifetime achievement. In late 1995, Gary was listed in Vanity Fair's TV Hall of Fame as one of the legendary voices in the history of television. Gary was one of the original voices for the "Music Of Your Life" format and in early 1997, he became the announcer on the Rosie O’Donnell Show.  (Previous content used by permission from Don Barrett at

“Humor has helped protect me from the bruises of life, in addition to a daily supply of fantasy, illusion and talcum powder."

A gifted punster, Owens became known for his surrealistic humor. Among his trademarks were daily appearances by The Story Lady (played by Joan Gerber); the Rumor of the Day; myriad varieties of "The Nurney Song"; and the introduction of the nonsense word "insegrevious", which was briefly included in the Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary.

“Humor has helped protect me from the bruises of life, in addition to a daily supply of fantasy, illusion and talcum powder."

 A gifted punster, Owens became known for his surrealistic humor. Among his trademarks were daily appearances by The Story Lady (played by Joan Gerber); the Rumor of the Day; myriad varieties of "The Nurney Song"; and the introduction of the nonsense word "insegrevious", which was briefly included in the Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary.

Owens also did amusing radio promotions, such as sending in for "Yours", which turned out to be a postcard from him at the radio station which simply said "Yours" on it; autographed pictures of the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles; and his famous "Moo Cow Report", in which Gary and his character Earl C. Festoon would describe where cows were moving inbound on the crowded freeways of Los Angeles.

Joanna Kerns is 69


  • Actor Joe Don Baker is 86. 
  • Country singer Moe Bandy is 78. 
  • Actor Maud Adams (“Octopussy”) is 77. 
  • Actor Cliff DeYoung is 76. 
  • Actor Michael Ironside is 72. 
  • Chynna Phillips is 54
    Guitarist Steve Hackett (Genesis) is 72. 
  • Singer Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) is 70. 
  • Actor Joanna Kerns is 69. 
  • Actor Zach Grenier (“The Good Wife,” ″Deadwood”) is 68. 
  • Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 66. 
  • Actor John Michael Higgins (“Raising the Bar,” ″A Mighty Wind”) is 59. 
  • Actor Raphael Sbarge (“Once Upon A Time,” “Mass Effect”) is 58. 
  • Actor Josh Brolin (“True Grit,” ″No Country for Old Men”) is 54. 
  • Singer Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips is 54. 
  • Bassist Jim Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies is 52. 
  • Keyboardist Keri Lewis of Mint Condition is 51. 
  • Actor Jesse Spencer (“House”) is 43. 
  • Rapper Gucci Mane is 42. 
  • Actor Sarah Lancaster (“Chuck”) is 42. 
  • Actor Christina Ricci is 42. 
  • Actor Jennifer Stone (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) is 29. 
  • Actor Baylie and Rylie Cregut (“Raising Hope”) are 12.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Westwood One Presents Super Bowl LVI Game-Day Coverage

CUMULUS MEDIA's Westwood One, America’s largest audio network and the official network radio partner of the NFL, will present comprehensive live coverage and play-by-play of Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13, 2022, when the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals face the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams at home in SoFi Stadium. 

Super Bowl LVI will be the 35th consecutive year and the 49th time overall Westwood One will broadcast America’s biggest sporting event.

Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the 12th straight year, with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner returning for the fourth consecutive year as lead analyst. Former NFL referee turned rules analyst Gene Steratore will also join the radio broadcast booth for this year’s Super Bowl.

For the third time Laura Okmin will patrol the sidelines, along with former defensive lineman Mike Golic, who will make his Super Bowl debut with Westwood One’s broadcast crew. Scott Graham will anchor Westwood One’s pregame, halftime, and postgame show coverage, in his 13th Super Bowl with the network. He will be joined by NFL Network analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest.

Gameday coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET, with “Super Bowl Preview,” co-hosted by Scott Graham, Mike Golic, and Kurt Warner, followed by “Super Bowl Insider” at 3:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage from the stadium will kick off at 4:00 p.m. ET with “Super Sunday,” the Super Bowl LVI pregame show, also hosted by Scott Graham. The Super Bowl game broadcast will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET, with kickoff expected at approximately 6:30 p.m. ET.

Millions of listeners around the globe will tune in to Westwood One’s Super Bowl LVI coverage across more than 600 radio stations nationwide. Fans can also hear the broadcast on SiriusXM, on TuneIn, and through NFL Game Pass, which is available on and the NFL App.

The broadcast can also be heard worldwide via the American Forces Radio Network, which provides programming to America’s military forces. The network serves over one million men and women in uniform, Department of Defense personnel, American Embassies and Consulates in over 175 countries and territories, as well as on more than 200 U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Military Sealift Command ships at sea.