Saturday, February 26, 2022

February 27 Radio History

➦In 1891...David Sarnoff born (Died: December 12, 1971 at age 80).  He was a businessman and pioneer of American radio and television. Throughout most of his career he led the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in various capacities from shortly after its founding in 1919 until his retirement in 1970.

David Sarnoff

He ruled over an ever-growing telecommunications and media empire that included both RCA and NBC, and became one of the largest companies in the world. Named a Reserve Brigadier General of the Signal Corps in 1945, Sarnoff thereafter was widely known as "The General."

Sarnoff is credited with Sarnoff's law, which states that the value of a broadcast network is proportional to the number of viewers.

Unlike many who were involved with early radio communications, viewing radio as point-to-point, Sarnoff saw the potential of radio as point-to-mass. One person (the broadcaster) could speak to many (the listeners).

When Owen D. Young of the General Electric Company arranged the purchase of American Marconi and turned it into the Radio Corporation of America, a radio patent monopoly, Sarnoff realized his dream and revived his proposal in a lengthy memo on the company's business and prospects.

His superiors again ignored him but he contributed to the rising postwar radio boom by helping arrange for the broadcast of a heavyweight boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier in July 1921. Up to 300,000 people heard the fight, and demand for home radio equipment bloomed that winter. By the spring of 1922 Sarnoff's prediction of popular demand for broadcasting had come true, and over the next eighteen months, he gained in stature and influence.

In 1926, RCA purchased its first radio station (WEAF, New York) and launched the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the first radio network in America. Four years later, Sarnoff became president of RCA. NBC had by that time split into two networks, the Red and the Blue. The Blue Network later became ABC Radio.

Sarnoff was instrumental in building and established the AM broadcasting radio business which became the preeminent public radio standard for the majority of the 20th century. This was until FM broadcasting radio re-emerged in the 1960s despite Sarnoff's efforts to suppress it.

➦In 1940...Actor Howard Hesseman born. He is best known for his role as anti-disco disc jockey John "Dr. Johnny Fever" Caravella on the television sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati from 1978 to 1982, a role Hesseman prepared for by working as a DJ in San Francisco at KMPX-FM for several months.

He was nominated for a Prime-Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1980 and 1981 for his portrayal of Fever. He reprised the role in nine episodes of The New WKRP in Cincinnati, and also directed several episodes of the 1991-93 series revival.

Hesseman died on January 29, 2022.

➦In 1965...Personality Murray the K aired his last show at 1010 WINS-AM.

Murray The K
By the end of 1964, Murray found out that WINS was going to change to an all news format the following year. He resigned on the air in December 1964 (breaking news about the sale of the station and the change in format before the station and Group W released it) and did his last show on February 27 prior to the format change that occurred in April 1965.

A year later, in 1966, the FCC ruled that AM and FM radio stations could no longer simply simultaneously broadcast the same content, opening the door for Murray to become program director and primetime DJ on WOR-FM — one of the first FM rock stations, soon airing such DJs as Rosko and Scott Muni in the new FM format. Murray played long album cuts rather than singles, often playing groups of songs by one artist, or thematically linked songs, uninterrupted by commercials. He combined live in-studio interviews with folk-rock — he called it "attitude music" — and all forms of popular music in a free-form format. He played artists like Bob Dylan and Janis Ian, the long album versions of their songs that came to be known as the "FM cuts". Al Aronowitz quotes Murray as saying about this formula, "You didn't have to hype the record any more. The music was speaking for itself."

WOR switched to an oldies format and Murray the K left New York radio to host programs in Toronto - on CHUM -and on WHFS 102.3 FM in Bethesda, MD in 1972. He returned to New York after his short stint on WHFS on the weekend show NBC Monitor and as a fill-in morning dj, and then in 1972 moved to a regular evening weekend program on WNBC radio where Don Imus was broadcasting; he was joined there by the legendary Wolfman Jack, a year later.

Although it was low-key, Murray's WNBC show featured his own innovative trademark programming style, including telling stories that were illustrated by selected songs, his unique segues, and his pairing cuts by theme or idiosyncratic associations.  In early 1975, he was brought on for a brief stint at legendary Long Island alternative rock station WLIR, and his final New York radio show ran later that year on WKTU-FM after which — already in ill health — he moved to Los Angeles. The syndicated show Soundtrack of the 60s mentioned below was heard in New York City on WYNY-FM. Gary Owens succeeded Murray as its host.

➦In 1984...WRC radio in Washington gave up its iconic 3-letter call and became WWRC.  The station was originally licensed in April 1923 as WRC, whose call letters were a shortened version of the original owner's name, the Radio Corporation of America. The station's original frequency was 469 meters (equal to 640 kc.), and it was shared with another Washington station, WCAP. The time-sharing arrangement between the two stations continued until 1926.

The station moved to 980 AM in 1941. RCA's broadcasting arm, NBC, built companion stations WRC-TV (channel 4) and WRC 93.9 FM in 1947. WRC-FM dropped the call sign in 1974. NBC sold WRC-AM to Greater Media in 1984. At the time, two stations could not share the same three-letter base call sign if they had different owners. As NBC kept WRC-TV and the right to the call sign, 980 AM added a W and became WWRC.

The WWRC call sign was moved from 980 to 570 in 1998, from 570 to 1260 in 2001, and from 1260 to 570 in 2017. 1260 AM branded as "1260 WRC" from 2010 to 2014, although it never had any connection to WRC-TV.

➦In 2003...Fred McFeely Rogers died (Born-March 20, 1928). He was a TV personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was known as the creator, composer, producer, head writer, showrunner and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968–2001).

➦In 2008...Myron Sidney Kopelman died at age 79 (Born-January 23, 1929). He was known professionally as Myron Cope, was a sports journalist, radio personality, and sportscaster. He is best known for being "the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers".

Myron Cope
Cope was a color commentator for the Steelers' radio broadcasts for 35 years. He was known for his distinctive, nasally voice with an identifiable Pittsburgh accent, idiosyncratic speech pattern, and a level of excitement rarely exhibited in the broadcast booth. Cope's most notable catch phrase was "yoi". Cope was the first football announcer inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

In 1968, Cope began doing daily sports commentaries on what was then WTAE-AM radio in Pittsburgh. His unique nasal voice, with a distinctive Pittsburgh area accent, was noticed by the Steelers' brass, and he made his debut as a member of the Steelers' radio team in 1970.

During Cope's 35-year broadcasting career with the Steelers—the longest term with a single team in NFL history—he was accompanied by only two play-by-play announcers: Jack Fleming, with whom he broadcast until 1994, and Bill Hillgrove.

➦In, voiceover announcer John Harlan died at age 91. He was a staff announcer for ABC Radio, and for TV he announced the game shows Password, Tattletales, Queen for a Day, You Don’t Say, The New Truth or Consequences, American Gladiators and Press Your Luck.  He also was heard working on numerous Bob Hope TV specials.

Neal Schon is 68

  • Actor Joanne Woodward is 92. 
  • Actor Barbara Babcock is 85. 
  • Actor Debra Monk is 73. 
  • Guitarist Neal Schon of Journey is 68. 
  • Guitarist Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden is 65. 
  • Actor Timothy Spall (“Sweeney Todd,” ″Enchanted”) is 65. 
  • Keyboardist Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is 62. 
  • Singer Johnny Van Zant (Van Zant, Lynryd Skynyrd) is 62. 
  • Percussionist Leon Mobley of Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals is 61. 
  • Actor Adam Baldwin (TV’s “Chuck”) is 60. 
  • Actor Grant Show (“Devious Maids,” ″Melrose Place”) is 60. 
  • Lindsey Morgan is 32
    Guitarist Mike Cross of Sponge is 57. 
  • Actor Noah Emmerich is 57. 
  • Actor Donal Logue is 56. 
  • Singer Chilli of TLC is 51. 
  • Keyboardist Jeremy Dean of Nine Days is 50. 
  • Singer Roderick Clark (Hi-Five) is 49. 
  • Actor Brandon Beemer (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 42. 
  • Drummer Cyrus Bolooki of New Found Glory is 42. 
  • Singer Bobby V (Mista) is 42. 
  • Singer Josh Groban is 41. 
  • Banjoist Noam Pikelny of Punch Brothers is 41. 
  • Drummer Jared Champion of Cage The Elephant is 39. 
  • Actor Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) is 39. 
  • Reality show star JWoww (Jenni Farley) (“Jersey Shore”) is 36. 
  • Actor Lindsey Morgan (“The 100”) is 32.

Kyiv Post Manages To Report Ukraine's Biggest Story

Ukrainian news organizations on the ground continue to work to provide accurate information to their audiences so that they can make informed decisions. Amid the assault on Ukraine, the country's journalists have continued – under extraordinary circumstances – to do their jobs: reporting the news.

One such outlet is the Kyiv Post, which has carried on with its duties, despite facing such challenges. Bohdan Nahaylo, the paper's editor-in-chief, spoke with CNN's Oliver Darcy by phone on Friday and described the multitude of obstacles that the outlet has had to overcome to continue its operations.

Nahaylo said that when Ukraine faced its first wave of attacks, the Kyiv Post was knocked offline by a DDoS cyberattack, which he suspects was executed by Russia. "We were getting huge hits that were incapacitating our systems," he told me. Nahaylo said that, during that time, the paper continued to publish the news by posting shortened stories on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

"Then the other problem was that fear and uncertainty affected the staff," Nahaylo explained to me. "Obviously they had families and some decided to leave and so they were evacuating and stuck in traffic. Some were in bomb shelters. It was a logistical nightmare created by both the missile strikes, people not being in their places as as result, the system not functioning, and it being much more difficult to communicate amongst one another."

But the Kyiv Post has continued to pull through, with its staff posting about 25 to 30 stories a day. "We feel it is very important to provide up to date, reliable, objective information," Nahaylo said. "There is a lot of demand. People read what you are putting out."

Nahaylo and the journalists who work for him know that there are real risks to their safety right now. "We want to get the news out, but we put the safety of the staff first," he told me. Nahaylo closed the paper's offices earlier this week and instructed staff to work from home. "Some of them have left Kyiv. Some are in villages, some have gone to the west of the country, some have left the country," he said. "So we are very dispersed, but united at will to continue."

"I've told several of my colleagues not to use their names when reporting on the latest developments, to just file as 'Kyiv Post,'" Nahaylo added. "Because we don't want them targeted immediately if there is to be a short-term occupation." Nahaylo said the paper has also backed up its systems so that its archives are not lost. For now, staffers are communicating via Slack, which he described as "very effective," but also have backup methods that they can use.

"With the spotlight on Ukraine," Nahaylo said, "It has been a really good opportunity for us to shine and show the world what we can do."

An ESPN Aikman Deal Has Al Michaels, Joe Buck Implications

NY Post 2/25/22

After the pending seismic broadcasting move of Troy Aikman from Fox to ES
PN, the next tremors are expected to reverberate from the NFL sidelines to some of sportscasting’s all-time biggest names, reports The NY Post.

From Sean Payton’s exit from coaching to a potential musical chairs of play-by-players, involving legendary announcers Al Michaels and Joe Buck, NFL TV free agency could become even more chaotic.

Amazon has been trying to close a deal with Michaels to make him its lead play-by-player when it starts its exclusive broadcasting of “Thursday Night Football” next fall, but it has been stuck at the 1-yard line, as Michaels has waited to see whom Amazon would bring in as his partner.

After Cris Collinsworth agreed to a $12.5 million a year deal to team with Mike Tirico on NBC’s next iteration of “Sunday Night Football,” Collinsworth was crossed off for Thursdays with Michaels.

Amazon was in striking distance to sign Aikman in recent weeks but was unable to close, allowing ESPN to swoop in and steal Aikman by surpassing the average annual salary of Tony Romo and CBS’ 10-year, $180 million contract.

Meanwhile, Buck is atop ESPN’s list to pair with Aikman, according to Post sources. The two had been a team at Fox for more than two decades.

ESPN is expected to first see if it can land Buck. If not, it is likely to turn its attention to Michaels, according to sources. ESPN has known that Michaels wanted to work with Aikman and felt it needed to sign the right analyst to even really consider going after Michaels.

ESPN has done that. For Michaels, it would be a storybook return to his “Monday Night Football” roots.

On the other hand, Amazon already has signed up Michaels’ producer of choice, NBC’s Fred Gaudelli, which will allow Michaels to easily slide in there, if he has an analyst he likes.

After Aikman’s departure, Fox will try its hardest to keep Buck, but it does like its depth. On play-by-play, it has up-and-comers Kevin Burkhardt, Adam Amin and Joe Davis. It brought in Greg Olsen as its No. 2 game analyst last year with the idea that he could one day be a No. 1. That day could be upon us, though, it is not a done deal yet.

Fox has already talked to Sean Payton about a studio job, according to sources. Both Fox and Amazon still like the potential of NBC’s Drew Brees, despite his poor playoff game. And Tom Brady will receive calls from Amazon and Fox.

Adding to its mix and matching possibilities, Fox has Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt as its No. 1 college team.

Sean Payton Talking To FOX Sports For Top Analyst Gig

Former New Orlan Sainta coach Sean Payton may not be waiting that long to make his return to NFL stadiums, but it might be in a drastically different role. 

The former New Orleans Saints coach is in negotiations with Fox Sports and could sign on to become its No. 1 game analyst, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Times-Picayune.

Sean Payton

The 58-year-old Payton is competing against former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen for the spot in the booth next to top play-by-play man Joe Buck, according to the source.  

The deal is not yet in place, but according to a Front Office Sports report, Payton could earn up to $10 million annually. 

The role Payton is vying for at Fox belonged to Troy Aikman for the past 20 seasons, but Aikman reportedly agreed to a massive deal to join ESPN's Monday Night Football crew. 

It would be a dramatic dive into the broadcasting world for Payton, who in January stepped down after 16 years as the Saints head coach.

His experience in the broadcasting world mostly has been limited to guest appearances he's made on several forms of media.  But the lack of experience, specifically as an in-game analyst, is not necessarily a big mark against him considering recent precedent.

The move to the booth would not be a surprise. Payton made clear in both his farewell news conference and in the weeks that followed that he was highly interested in pursuing a career as a broadcaster. 

Although Payton stepped away from his coaching post, he is still under contract with the Saints for the next three seasons. If Payton decided to pursue a head coaching position with another team during that timeframe, that team would need to fairly compensate the Saints to make the hire. 

Payton is the winningest coach in Saints history by a wide margin, winning 152 regular-season games and seven NFC South titles in 15 seasons.  

Liberty Media Swings to Fourth-Quarter Operating Profit

Liberty Media Corporation Friday reported fourth quarter and year end 2021 results. In terms of operating income, Liberty SiriusXM Group swung from a $527 million loss to a $450 million profit for the fourth quarter, the Braves’ loss narrowed from $35 million to $1 million, and the Formula One operating result swung from a loss of $41 million to a profit of $62 million.

Headlines include:

Attributed to Liberty SiriusXM Group
  • SiriusXM reported strong full year 2021 results
  • SiriusXM's 2021 revenue reached a record $8.70 billion; an increase of 8% compared to 2020
  • Full-year 2021 net income climbed to $1.31 billion; diluted EPS of $0.32
  • Record full-year 2021 adjusted EBITDA(2) of $2.77 billion, an increase of 8% year-over-year
  • SiriusXM exceeded all 2021 financial & operating guidance; issued new 2022 guidance on February 1st
  • SiriusXM announced a special dividend of $0.25 per share, returning an additional $1 billion to stockholders
  • Estimated proceeds to Liberty of approximately $770 million, net of distributions to exchangeable bondholders
  • Liberty Media’s ownership of SiriusXM was 81.2% as of January 28, 2022
  • From November 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022, Liberty repurchased 3.8 million LSXMA/K shares at an average price per share of $49.57 for total cash consideration of $189 million
  • Settled exchanges of the 2.25% Live Nation exchangeable debentures on January 21, 2022 for total consideration of $664 million
Attributed to Formula One Group
  • F1 successfully completed record 22 race calendar in 2021
  • Planning for a new record 23 race calendar in 2022, beginning in Bahrain on March 20th
  • Audience figures grew across TV and digital platforms
  • Cumulative TV viewers up 4% to 1.55 billion; average TV viewers per race was 70.3 million
  • Cumulative viewership in US up 58%
  • Social media followers up 40% to 49 million with 1.5 billion aggregate social engagements
  • Announced multiple renewals with race promoter partners, including China, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Spain, Bahrain and the United States
  • From November 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022, Liberty effectively repurchased 2.2 million FWONA/K shares at an average price per share of $58.59
  • Repurchased 472 thousand FWONA shares
  • Repurchased $64 million face value of 1% FWONK cash convertible notes due 2023, effectively retiring 1.7 million underlying FWONK shares
Attributed to Braves Group
  • Completed sale of minor league teams in January 2022; teams remain affiliates of Braves for future player development
Greg Maffei
“It was a strong end to 2021 for the Liberty companies. The finish to the Formula 1 World Championship could not have been more suspenseful. The compelling action on the track continues to power the business’s flywheel and we recently made numerous announcements around value-creating agreements. SiriusXM hit record revenue and adjusted EBITDA levels and announced a $1 billion special dividend. The Atlanta Braves are still basking in the glory of their World Series title. Live Nation benefited from incredible fan demand in the back half of the year and all leading indicators point to record performance in 2022,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO. 

“We enter this year energized and excited for the next areas of growth across the board.”

Milwaukee Radio: WYMS Launches Urban Alternative Format

Radio Milwaukee’s WYMS 88.9 FM new Urban Alternative channel will be called HYFIN, a name that signals the full spectrum of Black music that will be played, the station announced Friday.

“A hyphen is a connector that bridges the gap between words or parts of words, bringing them together,” HYFIN Program Director Tarik Moody said. “That’s how HYFIN will function – as a bond between multiple styles of Black music, connecting the culture.”

HYFIN will offer an eclectic radio experience, celebrating the full spectrum of Black music and the power of public radio. It will have an on-air presence and use a multi-platform digital approach online. Radio Milwaukee’s current programming on 88.9FM will also continue on-air and on its digital platforms.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is providing a $450,000 grant to Radio Milwaukee to help create the new channel. HYFIN is slated to launch on June 19, which is Juneteenth Day, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.

Radio Milwaukee partnered with creative director DeChazier Pykel on the name and brand identity for the channel. A Milwaukeean with his own multi-hyphenated background, DeChazier has 18 years of experience helping to build more socially conscious and culturally relevant brands.

In building the brand identity for HYFIN, Radio Milwaukee was mindful of the ways the mark can be creatively adapted by artists in the future. Additional colors and textures will be added to the brand as HYFIN prepares for launch.

HYFIN is intentionally written in all capital letters to emphasize that “FIN” is also an acronym for “Future is Now.”

“As Radio Milwaukee celebrates its 15th birthday, we are incredibly thankful for the supportive community that has given us the opportunity to launch another channel of music for Milwaukee and listeners anywhere,” Radio Milwaukee Interim Executive Director Danae Davis said. “And we are unapologetic in our desire for HYFIN to be a channel that amplifies and celebrates all that’s good in Milwaukee’s Black community.”

Gannett Hits 1.6M Digital-Only Subscribers

News giant Gannett now reports having 1.63m digital-only subscribers, up 49% over the past year.

The Press-Gazette reports the publisher, which owns USAToday and hundreds of news brands across the US as well as Newsquest in the UK, expects to top 2m digital subs by the end of this year.

Reporting its fourth-quarter results, the company said its total revenues in 2021 were $3.2bn, down from $3.4bn in 2020. Digital revenues accounted for $1bn, or 32%, of the total.

Gannett has been building its US local news digital subscriptions business for several years. The publisher put its American national title, USA Today, behind a paywall last year. In the UK, Newsquest rolled out digital subscriptions for 70 of its largest sites in spring 2020.

Gannett chief executive Mike Reed told investors in a call that the company sold more than 100 real estate properties in 2021 to repay company debt.

He also said the company had offloaded “70 very small, non-strategic properties across our newspaper portfolio – properties that either were not profitable or didn’t fit at all” within its digital strategy. Some of these sales have been reported on by Poynter. 

“The sales… allowed us to exit markets with a low total digital addressable market and with an over-dependence on print.”

Overall, these sales meant that the company lost around 27,000 digital subscriptions, said Reed, which meant Gannett just missed its target for the year.

“The disposals were 100% the right strategic move, but had we not done those, we would have ended the year with 1.66m paid digital subscribers. Our goal, previously stated, was 1.65m paid digital subscribers.”

The next goal, he said, would be to hit 2m to 2.2m paid digital subscribers by the end of 2022. The company expects to reach 6m by 2025.

In January, Gannett announced more than half its papers across the US would soon begin publishing digital-only Saturday offerings. Reed told investors on the call the change would take effect “in the majority of our markets late in the first quarter of 2022”.

The hope, Reed said, was to net more digital subscribers and expand the company’s value for advertisers.

San Antonio Radio: Alpha Flips KLEY to Tejano

Alpha Media launched KLEY Tejano 95.7 FM and announced legendary Tejano radio voices have joined the on-air staff including Jonny Ramirez and Bo Corona.

Tejano music and fans will now have a full market FM signal that will celebrate the music, artists, and culture of Tejanos in a way that is uniquely San Antonio.

“San Antonio has long been known as the Capital of Tejano music and we are proud to bring it back to San Antonio,” said Alfonso Flores, Tejano 95.7 Program Director, in a press release.

Alpha Media re-branded Regional Mexican radio station La Ley 95.7 FM to Tejano on Tuesday at 11 a.m. and quickly went to work adding to bring names and voices that are synonymous with Tejano music and culture in San Antonio. The first to sign on was legendary morning on-air talent Jonny Ramirez, who will helm the Tejano 95.7 morning show weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m.

Ramirez remarked, “Tejano is a part of everything we do in San Antonio and the people deserve to have a strong solid signal with talent that reflects the Tejano community and I am extremely proud to be a part of this.”

R.I.P.: Joni James, '50s Singer Sold 100M Records


Joni James, the soul-bearing pop singer who had hits in the 1950s with “Why Don’t You Believe Me?,” “How Important Can It Be?” and a cover of Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” has died. She was 91, reports Billboard.

James died February 20 of natural causes in a hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida, her family announced.

Signed by MGM Records, the waiflike Chicago native came out of the gate with “Why Don’t You Believe Me?,” which reached No. 1 on the three Billboard charts in late 1952 and stayed there for weeks.

Her recordings of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” in 1953 and “How Important Can It Be?” in 1955 each made it to No. 2, and “Have You Heard?” climbed to No. 4 in 1953.

She had other top 10 hits with “You Are My Love” (No. 6 in 1955), “My Love, My Love” (No. 8 in 1953) and “Almost Always” (No. 9 in 1953).

Nicknamed the “Queen of Hearts,” the down-to-earth James recorded more than 40 albums and sold more than 100 million records during her career. She had a longing sound and style that reviewers described as tender, confidential and urgent, and Barbra Streisand was an admirer who often performed “Have You Heard?” at auditions.

One of six children, Giovanna Carmella Babbo was born in Chicago on Sept. 22, 1930. Her father died when she was 5. She studied ballet and was set to dance in Bloomer Girl, a Broadway musical that had come to her town, but those plans were scuttled by an emergency appendectomy.

Still planning on becoming a dancer, she picked up money singing at a beer garden in Indiana and in Chicago hotels and clubs. She performed “Let There Be Love” on WGN-TV accompanied by pianist Johnny Ray and was signed by Lew Douglas of MGM Records.

“Why Don’t You Believe Me” was originally titled “You Should Believe Me,” but James tweaked the lyrics, and, with the help of a 23-piece orchestra, she found immediate success and sales of more than 2 million records.

She put her career on hold for nearly two decades to care of Tony Acquaviva, her husband, conductor, arranger and manager who had taken ill with diabetes. The two MGM recording artists had married in 1956 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

Her second husband was Bernard Schriever, a retired Air Force general who shepherded the development of the intercontinental ballistic missile program and established a framework for the Air Force’s space program. They were married from 1997 until his death in 2005 at age 94.

February 26 Radio History

➦In 1919...Mason Adams born (Died - April 26, 2005 at age 86). He was a character actor and voice-over artist.

Adams was heard on many radio programs during Radio's Golden Age. A notable recurring role was that of Pepper Young in Pepper Young's Family, which aired from 1947 to 1959. He also portrayed the deadly Nazi Atom Man in a classic 1945 serial on the radio version of The Adventures of Superman.

Mason Adams
Adams is perhaps most famous for his role as Managing Editor Charlie Hume in the television series Lou Grant, which aired from 1977 to 1982.

During the 1960s, he was ubiquitous as a voiceover actor in television commercials for foods and household products, most notably for Chiffon margarine and Crest toothpaste ("Helps stop cavities before they start"). He also did the vocal part of the television commercials for Smucker's preserves ("With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good!"), a role he resumed in his later years. Beginning in the 1980s, Adams provided the voiceover for Cadbury Creme eggs, which were advertised on television with Adams' catchy slogan, "Nobunny knows Easter better than him [the Cadbury Bunny]."

In addition, Adams was the narrator for Kix commercials in the 1990s as well as a few Dentyne commercials and a few Swanson commercials. He was also the announcer for a 1992 WCBS-TV news promo, as well as a 1986 Lysol commercial. In the early 1990s, he narrated The Discovery Channel series on milestones of aviation called "Frontiers of Flight". In one of the early episodes of Sesame Street, he voiced a cartoon featuring a "jazzy" triangle and a "square" square. He voiced those two, as well as being the narrator, with jazz music in the background.

➦In 1932...Singer Johnny Cash Born (Died September 12, 2003 at age 71).  He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide.  Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

➦In 1951...WMCA-FM changed call letters to WHOM-FM in NYC

According to NYC City FM History, the station, purchased by WHOM 1480 AM, initially featured a foreign-language format of 13 languages, including some not widely spoken ones such as Swiss-German, Carpatho-Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and Chinese.

In August 1961, WHOM-FM began a syndicated classical music format under the "Heritage" name. This continued until June 15, 1962 when WHOM-FM began simulcasting the mostly Spanish programming from WHOM-AM.

Charles Baltin, VP of WHOM, noted the many Spanish-speaking listeners moving to New York and said the "WHOM-FM signal will extend farther than the WHOM-AM signal, providing listeners with a radio service they could not otherwise obtain." The simulcast continued until 1970, when the FCC refused an extension of its permit to simulcast the AM.

The station then started broadcasting the "Romantic Sounds Of Stereo," a Latin-type beautiful music program service with Spanish and English announcers, but continued to simulcast the AM station from 5a-9a and all day Sunday.

By 1975, the station had evolved into a Pop/Rock leaning AC format, with calls of WKTU.

On July 24, 1978, WKTU abruptly switched to an "All Disco" format as "Disco 92", which eventually evolved into more of a Rhythmic CHR by the Fall of 1979.

In the summer of 1984, WKTU became a mainstream CHR.

Then, in July of 1985, after airing the Live Aid concert, the station switched to a mainstream AOR format, featuring new and classic rock as WXRK "K-Rock".

In September 1985, Howard Stern (who had been fired from WNBC earlier that year) joined the station, initially for afternoons and in early 1986 switched to mornings.

In 1987, WXRK had instituted a classic rock format and on January 5, 1996, evolved into an alternative/active rock format.

On April 4, 2005, WXRK debuted a mainstream rock format, encompassing music from the 60's to today.

On December 16, 2005, Howard Stern broadcast his last show on the station, before his anticipated move to Sirius Satellite Radio on January 9, 2006.

Howard Stern
On January 3, 2006, 92.3 became an "all-talk" station (with the exception of weekends when it features a rock format) using the "Free FM" slogan and featuring David Lee Roth in mornings.

Calls were officially changed to WFNY on January 1.

In April 2006, David Lee Roth was replaced with Opie & Anthony.

On May 24, 2007 at 5pm, "K-Rock" returned to 92.3.

Calls were changed back to WXRK on May 31, 2007.

On March 11, 2009, 92.3 switched to a CHR format as "92.3 Now FM", with the "K-Rock" format moving to 92.3's HD2 channel.

92.3 changed calls to WNOW on November 8, 2012.

On May 22, 2014 at 2pm, 92.3 re-branded themselves as "92.3 AMP."

Calls changed to WBMP on June 23, 2014.  On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom. The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was completed on November 17.  On that day, at 10 a.m., after playing "Too Good at Goodbyes" by Sam Smith and "Encore" by Brooklyn native Jay-Z, WBMP flipped back to alternative as Alt 92.3, launching with "My Hero" by The Foo Fighters. The switch marked the return of the format to the market for the first time since 2012. The station call letters are now WNYL-FM.

➦In 1955… Billboard reported that, for the first time, the 45rpm single recording was outselling the 78rpm format. The 45 rpm was named for the number of revolutions the record made during a minute.  Physical singles declined in the United States during the '90s, and many record companies stopped releasing them altogether to concentrate more on album sales.

Since the establishment of the Billboard Hot 100, singles were not eligible to enter the chart unless they were available to purchase as a physical single. By the late 1990s, several popular mainstream hits never charted on the Hot 100. No Doubt's 1996 hit "Don't Speak" spent 16 weeks at number one on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, but it never charted on the Billboard Hot 100. On 5 December 1998, Billboard changed the rule to allow airplay-only songs onto the chart.

Aaliyah's "Try Again" (2000) was the first single ever to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on radio airplay.

➦In 1973...WHN 1050 AM NYC changed to country music. After researching the market, Storer Broadcasting converted WHN to a country format in 1973. Mutual bought WHN in the late 1980s. WYNY- FM  flipped to country from 1980 to 1984, hurting WHN’s ratings.

Doubleday Broadcasting bought WHN in 1985, and Emmis Communications bought it the following year. Emmis added sports talk in the evenings, keeping the country format during the day.

In 1987, Emmis announced WHN would become all-sports WFAN.  When Emmis purchased NBC’s New York radio stations in 1988, the company moved WFAN from 1050 AM to 660 AM, formerly occupied WNBC.

Spanish Broadcasting System purchased the 1050 AM license and became WUKQ, a Spanish Adult Contemporary station.  Spanish Broadcasting System wanted to swap 1050 AM with cash for the Jewish Daily Forward’s FM station, WEVD 97.9 FM.  The deal was approved in 1989.

WEVD’s call letters and programming moved to the 1050 AM frequency.  The station mainly carried a brokered format of ethnic programs, talk shows and foreign-language programming.  By the mid-1990s, WEVD moved to a left-leaning news-talk format.

An agreement with ABC/Disney brought ESPN’s “The Dan Patrick Show” to WEVD in 2001.  On September 2, 2001, WEVD became “1050 ESPN Radio.”

The call letters were changed to WEPN in 2003, competing directly with WFAN’s all-sports format.  In 2012, WEPN’s programming moved to 98.7 FM.  ESPN Deportes later moved the 1050 AM frequency.

➦In 1976...Jay Reynolds does last show at 77 WABC NYC almost 6-years to the date when he started.

➦In 1983...Michael Jackson's scored another Number One Album with 'Thriller'. It stayed atop the album charts in the U-S for 37-weeks.

In just over a year, Thriller became the world's best-selling album, having sold an estimated 66 million copies. It is the second-best-selling album in the United States, behind the Eagles' album Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975).

➦In 2006...Radio personality and actor Jack Lazare, a Hartford, CT resident for two decades, died. He was 83.

In the 1950s heyday of Big Bands, Lazare was host of the popular "Milkman's Matinee" on WNEW in New York. His studio guests included Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.

Jack Lazare
Lazare's radio career later took him to Boston, hosting "Music 'til Dawn" on WEEI, and "Sounds in the Night" and a talk show on WHDH.

Born in New York City, Lazare studied communications at the University of California at Berkeley. After serving in the Navy as a pilot, he went on to become executive producer of programming for the Voice of America, supervising 17 Southeast Asia language desks.

\As an actor, Lazare was in the film "See How She Runs," starring Joanne Woodward, and "The Defection of Simas Kudirka," starring Alan Arkin.

The New England representative for the Screen Actors Guild of America, Lazare moved to Essex in 1985 and purchased a Meriden-based radio station, WMMW. He also worked in Farmington as program director for WRCH-WNEZ.

➦In 2015…After more than a year of public debate, the Federal Communications Commission passed "net neutrality" rules. Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate, has been an issue of contention between network users and access providers since the 1990s.

A core issue to net neutrality is how ISPs should be classified under the Communications Act of 1934, if they should be Title I "information services" or Title II "common carrier services". The classification affects the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) authority over ISPs: the FCC would have significant ability to regulate ISPs if classified as Title II common carriers, but would have little control over them if classified as Title I. Because the Communications Act has not been amended by the United States Congress to account for ISPs, the FCC has the authority to designate how ISPs should be treated in addition to what regulations they can set on ISPs. The makeup of the 5-member FCC has changed with each new administration, leading to the state of net neutrality flipping back and forth over the last two decades.

In 2005, the FCC adopted network neutrality principles "to preserve and promote the vibrant and open character of the Internet as the telecommunications marketplace enters the broadband age."

Between 2005 and 2012, five attempts to pass bills in Congress containing net neutrality provisions failed. Opponents claimed that these bills would have benefited industry lobbyists instead of consumers. In response to legal challenges from ISPs challenging the FCC's ability to set net neutrality principles, the FCC in 2015 issued the Open Internet Order which reclassified ISPs as Title II services and giving them authority to enforce net neutrality. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the FCC's new rules in a legal challenge raised by advocate groups representing ISPs.

Upon becoming FCC chairman in April 2017 as part of the Trump Administration, Ajit Pai proposed to repeal the neutrality policies, returning to the previous classification of ISPs as Title I services.

Mitch Ryder is 77


  • Actor-director Bill Duke is 79. 
  • Actor Marta Kristen (“Lost in Space”) is 77. 
  • Singer Mitch Ryder is 77. 
  • Keyboardist Jonathan Cain of Journey is 72. 
  • Taylor Dooley is 29
    Singer Michael Bolton is 69. 
  • Actor Greg Germann (“Ally McBeal”) is 64. 
  • Actor Mark Dacascos (“Hawaii Five-0”) is 58. 
  • Actor Jennifer Grant is 56. 
  • Bassist Tim Commerford (Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine) 54. 
  • Singer Erykah Badu is 51. 
  • Actor Maz Jobrani (“Superior Donuts”) is 50. 
  • Singer Rico Wade of Society of Soul is 50. 
  • Singer Kyle Norman of Jagged Edge is 47. 
  • Actor Greg Rikaart (“The Young and the Restless”) is 45. 
  • Drummer Chris Culos of O.A.R. is 43. 
  • Singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 43. 
  • Singer Nate Ruess of fun. is 40. 
  • Latin singer Natalia Lafourcade is 38. 
  • Actor Alex Heartman (“Power Rangers Samurai”) is 32. 
  • Actor Taylor Dooley (“The Adventures of Shark Boy and a Lava Girl in 3-D”) is 29.

Friday, February 25, 2022

TV News Bringing Invasion To Mobile Devices

CNN's Clarissa Ward (left)

CNN’s Clarissa Ward has been in war zones throughout her career as a foreign correspondent. But reporting from an underground subway platform in a large European city filled with Ukrainians seeking refuge from a possible air strike was a throwback to another era.

“It reminded me of World War II scenes we’ve been shown in the U.K. of people taking shelter in tube stations during the Blitz,” Ward said in an interview Thursday from Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine.

According to Stephen Baatalgio of the L-A Times,  Ward’s report created what are likely to be among the lasting iconic images of the international crisis that will fill hours of TV news coverage in the coming weeks as Ukraine gets pounded by Russian forces.

“We are on as high alert as a news organization can be,” said Janelle Rodriguez, editorial senior vice president for NBC News.

Broadcast networks broke into entertainment programming, turning to their news anchors, whose somber tones portended the historic nature of what viewers were about to see.

“We may be witnessing now what is the beginning of the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II,” said “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell alongside video of Ukrainian cities where explosions were heard Wednesday night.

The 24-hour cable news networks — which used provocative opinion hosts to draw audiences in recent years — have leaned on their correspondents to provide real-time reporting on the assault.

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin

While they don’t get the attention received by Fox News Channel’s stars who talk politics, Jennifer Griffin, the network’s senior national security correspondent, and veteran international reporters Steve Harrigan, Mike Tobin and Greg Palkot are a long-running team with experience in covering the region and logging significant airtime.

Fox News’ conservative hosts and commentators have been harshly critical of President Joe Biden’s handling of the situation. But Griffin, who saw Russian President Vladimir Putin close-up when she was based in Moscow during the late 1990s, has not been afraid to contradict them when their views or theories conflict with her reporting and vast historical knowledge of the region.

“I’ve always been a fact-based reporter,” said Griffin, who has been based at the Pentagon for 14 years. “That’s my job. That’s what they pay me to do. My goal every day is to figure out the truth and share it with our audience. The reason my audience trusts me is I don’t give my opinion.”

NBC News made its feed from cable news channel MSNBC available over the NBC News Now streaming channel. Consumers typically need a pay TV subscription to watch MSNBC online. CNN has dropped the pay wall in similar circumstances.

The approach also aimed at ensuring the safety of correspondents. Doing a single live report that airs across broadcast, cable and streaming limits their exposure in dangerous situations.

Cable networks are altering their schedules as well to deal with the crisis.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is returning early from her monthlong hiatus to appear on the network’s prime-time coverage on Thursday. She is also scheduled to be back in the studio Monday and Tuesday to cover President Biden’s State of the Union address.

Fox News has preempted its late-night comedy talk show “Gutfeld!” to provide straight news coverage of the conflict with anchor Shannon Bream.

Crude Oil Could Hit Record High

Soaring US gas prices are likely to get even worse after Russia launched a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine — with some experts warning that costs could climb to $5 per gallon or higher in the coming months, reports The NY Post.

As crude oil prices continue to surge, the national average of a gallon of gasoline could hit $3.75 within the next two weeks — a level that could be just “the tip of the iceberg,” according to Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan. The current national average is about $3.54, according to AAA.

Prices could surge even higher if Russia responds to severe sanctions from the US and its allies by curbing oil exports — a move that could push the global cost per barrel to record highs.

“Oil could go up $20, $40, $60 per barrel,” De Haan told The Post regarding that scenario. Right now, a barrel is $92 in the US and close to $100 in London. If oil spikes even higher, the national average could hit $4.50 a gallon, he said. And though $5-a-gallon gas “feels improbable” at the moment, De Haan warned that it’s “not impossible.”

US drivers are already paying steep prices at the pump with inflation at a four-decade high. The US benchmark oil index surged to near $100 per barrel on Thursday after Russia — a key global fuel supplier — defied warnings from the international community and sent troops across the border. By late afternoon in New York, it had settled back down to just over $92.

Some industry analysts predict prices will jump even higher if a prolonged military conflict between Russia and Ukraine ensues.

Energy Word founder Dan Dicker is among those predicting a record surge in consumer gas prices. He has warned that oil prices could reach $150 per barrel — the highest on record.

Senate Committee Sets Vote Date For FCC Nominee

Gigi Sohn
Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has set March 3 for a vote in her committee on the nomination of Gigi Sohn for the open Democratic seat on the FCC, reports

Sohn has had two nomination hearings but as yet no vote in the committee on whether to favorably report her to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Signaling that there would not be enough Democratic votes to secure a favorable report of her nomination to the full Senate, the scheduled February 2 vote on her nomination was pulled from that executive session.

The holdup was the stroke suffered by committee Democrat Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), who likely represents the deciding vote since Republicans are unlikely to vote for Sohn after pushing back on some of her positions on copyright and network neutrality.

Also scheduled for a vote out of committee March 3 is the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya to be commissioner of the FTC, which like the FCC is currently at a 2-2 political tie.

If Sohn is voted out of committee and confirmed by the full Senate, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel can proceed to tackle nonpartisan issues like broadcast regulation and re-imposing net neutrality rules on ISPs.

Jan '22 PPMs Day 3: Portland, Orlando, K-C +9 More Markets Released

Nielsen on Thursday, February 24, 2022  released the third batch of January 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: Russians Advance On Kyiv

Daily Mail graphic

Just one day after the invasion of Ukraine began, Russia's advance moved to the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv early Friday, with explosions heard in the city and thousands of citizens sheltering in subway stations. Russia launched airstrikes on military bases and some cities on Thursday, and moved in troops from Russia, Belarus and Crimea. 

As part of their advance, they won control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at least 137 Ukrainians were killed on the first day, both soldiers and civilians, and 316 wounded.

 Zelenskyy said they had information that what he called "subversive groups" were encroaching on Kyiv, and that he was their Number 1 target, with his family being Number 2. That's in line with what U.S. officials believe is Putin's aim of deposing the president and his government and installing a puppet regime. Zelenskyy called for even stronger sanctions and assistance from other nations as he ordered a full military mobilization of Ukrainian forces.

President Biden announced new, even tougher sanctions than the ones announced earlier this week, as did other Western nations, targeting Russian banks, oligarchs, state-controlled companies and high-tech sectors, as he repeatedly blasted Putin's invasion. He also announced he was sending additional U.S. forces to Germany, intended to bolster eastern NATO nations, again emphasizing that he's not sending any troops to Ukraine, and said he'd do everything he could to limit gas price increases for Americans due to the crisis. Biden will be meeting this morning in a virtual summit with other NATO leaders.

Anti-war protesters took to the streets in 53 cities in Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, but police were quick to move in, with more than 1,700 people arrested, according to a protest monitoring group, Politico reported.

USA Today roundup of sites and apps through which you can help Ukrainians:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will today significantly loosen the federal mask-wearing guidelines, with most Americans to no longer be advised to wear masks in indoor public places, the Associated Press reported, citing sources. The CDC will announce a change in how it determines whether to recommend masks, moving from Covid-19 case counts to a more holistic view of risk to the community that will also take into account hospitalizations and local hospital capacity.

➤THREE EX-OFFICERS IN GEORGE FLOYD CASE FEDERAL TRIAL FOUND GUILTY: Three former Minneapolis police officers who were with former Officer Derek Chauvin when he kneeled on George Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, leading to his death, in May 2020, were found guilty of violating Floyd's civil rights in their federal trial yesterday. Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were convicted of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care, and Thao and Kueng were also convicted of failing to intervene to stop Chauvin. The defense had argued that the Minneapolis police department's training was inadequate and there was a culture that emphasized deference to senior officers like Chauvin. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. The three men will face a separate trial on state charges in June on charges that they aided and abetted murder and manslaughter.

➤BIDEN HAS REPORTEDLY DECIDED ON SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: President Biden has reportedly decided on who he will nominate to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, and he could reveal who it is as early as today, according to reports. CNN reported that announcement will come no later than Monday, the day before Biden delivers the State of the Union address. Biden has promised that he will nominate the first Black woman to serve on the nation's highest court.

➤LOWEST NUMBER OF AMERICANS COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT SINCE 1970: The Labor Department reported yesterday (February 24th) that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 17,000 to 232,000 for the week ending February 19th, the third straight week of declines after having risen for five straight weeks amid the omicron variant-driven coronavirus surge. The data also showed that a total of 1,476,000 Americans were collecting jobless benefits in the week ending February 5th, down about 112,000 from the week before, and dropping to its lowest level since March 1970, 52 years ago.

➤MEDICATION ABORTIONS MAJORITY IN U.S. FOR FIRST TIME: The majority of abortions in the U.S. were medication abortions for the first time, according to data out yesterday (February 24th) from the Guttmacher Institute, which found 54 percent of abortions in 2020 were done via the medication process that involves taking two pills. It was just 39 percent in the last survey, from 2017. Medication abortions were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, whose guidelines say they are safe to use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

SEAN PENN FILMING DOCUMENTARY IN UKRAINE: Sean Penn is in the Ukraine filming a documentary about the country’s conflict with Russia amid the invasion that began Wednesday night. Penn is shooting the film for Vice, and met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky this week. According to the Daily Mail, Penn also attended a government press briefing Thursday (Feb. 24th).

➤SALLY KELLERMAN DEAD AT 84: Sally Kellerman died Thursday morning at the age of 84. Her son, Jack Crane, told The Hollywood Reporter that the actress, best known as “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the film M*A*S*H, passed away in California after a battle with dementia.

🏠MORE SINGLES BUYING HOMES:  A growing number of single people are buying homes on their own, with data from the National Association of Realtors showing that single women now make up nearly one-fifth of buyers, 19 percent, up from 18 percent in 2020 and 15 percent in 2015, and single men are nine percent of buyers. Bank of America senior vice president for affordable housing programs told Reuters there are societal factors behind the trend, including that Americans are getting married and having children later, that the gender wage gap has been closing over decades, giving single women more financial resources, and that single people represent a growing proportion of the country. Social scientist Bella DePaulo, who wrote the book, Singled Out, told Reuters, "More and more single people are embracing their single lives, and living their single years fully." At the same, putting together a down payment and getting approved for a mortgage can be harder for single person, particularly in the current very competitive housing market.

🐶DOG OWNERSHIP MAY WARD OFF DISABILITY:  Owning a dog might help you avoid disability. Researchers from the National Institute for Environmental Studies looked at data from over 11,000 Japanese adults ages 65 to 84, and found an association between dog ownership and a lower risk of disability, that held even after the researchers accounted for other disability risk factors, such as marital status, chronic diseases, and time spent outdoors. In addition, owning a dog was linked to a lower risk of frailty, and past research has shown that frailty significantly increases the risk of future disability. Study author Yu Taniguchi adds, “The daily care, companionship and exercise of a pet dog may have an important role to play in successful aging.” The team said the findings could help guide efforts to promote successful aging and suggest that future research could examine the physical and mental ways that dog ownership might reduce the risk of disability.

⚾FOUR DAYS LEFT FOR MLB-PLAYERS DEAL BEFORE SEASON AFFECTED: There was another day of negotiations between MLB and the players' union Thursday that didn't accomplish much, and now there are only four days left for a deal on a new labor agreement to be reached before MLB says days will begin to be cut from the regular season since it won't be able to start on time. The two sides will be meeting again today for a fifth straight day, the 86th day of the players being locked out.

🏀NBA'S TWO UKRAINIAN PLAYERS RELEASE STATEMENT ON INVASION: The NBA's two Ukrainian players, Alex Len of the Sacramento Kings and Svi Mykhailiuk of the Toronto Raptors released a joint statement yesterday condemning Russia's invasion of their country. They said, in part, "A great tragedy befell our dear homeland Ukraine. We categorically condemn the war. Ukraine is a peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to decide their own destiny. . . . Dear fellow Ukrainians, Hold on! Our strength is in unity! We are with you!" The Kings and the visiting Denver Nuggets later held a moment of silence and linked arms in a show of solidarity with Len before their game last night.

🏒ISLANDERS' CHARA BREAKS NHL RECORD FOR GAMES BY A DEFENSEMAN: The New York Islanders' Zdeno Chara broke the NHL record for games by a defenseman in his 1,652nd regular season game last night. The 44-year-old, 24-season veteran broke the mark that had been held by Hall of Famer Chris Chelios. Chara got a standing ovation from the San Jose Sharks' home crowd when his accomplishment was announced during a play stoppage, and the Sharks played a congratulations video from former San Jose forward Patrick Marleau, who holds the NHL record for games by any player. The Islanders lost 4-3.

🏀DEROZAN CONTINUES NBA RECORD STREAK: The Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan continued his NBA-record streak for getting at least 35 points while shooting 50 percent or better to eight straight games last night, as the Bulls topped the Atlanta Hawks 112-108. DeRozan scored 37 points and made 15 of 21 shots, as the NBA returned to play after the All-Star break.

🎾MEDVEDEV TAKES OVER TENNIS' NUMBER 1 SPOT FROM DJOKOVIC: Daniil Medvedev took over the Number 1 spot as the world's top men's tennis player yesterday, reaching it when a loss by Novak Djokovic at the Dubai Championships meant he fell to second place. That happened even before Medvedev reached the semifinals at the Mexico Open by winning his match. The accomplishment by Medvedev, who is Russian, happened on the same day as Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and when asked about it, the 26-year-old said, "Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy. By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world. We play in so many different countries; I’ve been in so many countries . . . I’m all for peace."