Saturday, April 30, 2022

May 1 Radio History

➦In 1907...Kate Smith born in Greenville, VA (Died – June 17, 1986).  She was considered to be The First Lady of Radio, best-known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She had a radio, television, and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the 1940s. Smith became known as The Songbird of the South after her endearing popularity during World War II.

Smith was a major star of radio, usually backed by Jack Miller's Orchestra. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (1935–36), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).

The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.

Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

➦In 1918...Jack Paar born in Canton, OH (Died at age 85 – January 27, 2004). He is best known for his stint as the second host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962.

He first worked near home as a radio announcer at WIBM in Jackson, Michigan, and later as a humorous disc jockey at Midwest stations, including WJR in Detroit, WIRE in Indianapolis, WGAR in Cleveland, and WBEN in Buffalo. In his book P.S. Jack Paar, he recalled doing utility duty at WGAR in 1938 when Orson Welles broadcast his famous simulated alien invasion, The War of the Worlds, over the CBS network (and its WGAR affiliate). Attempting to calm possibly panicked listeners, Paar announced, "The world is not coming to an end. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you?"

Paar was drafted into the military in 1943 during World War II, interrupting his tenure as host of WBEN's morning show The Sun Greeter's Club (he opted not to return to the station at war's end, instead seeking opportunities in network radio and film). He was assigned to the U.S.O. in the South Pacific to entertain the troops.  He was a clever, wisecracking master of ceremonies whose impersonations of officers  nearly got him into trouble.

After World War II, Paar worked in radio as a fill-in on Don McNeil's  Breakfast Club show and appeared as a panelist on The $64,000 Question. He got his big break when Jack Benny, who had been impressed by Paar's U.S.O. performances, suggested that Paar serve as his 1947 summer replacement.  Paar was enough of a hit on Benny's show that Benny's sponsor, the American Tobacco Company, decided to keep him on the air, moving him to ABC for the fall season.

➦In 1931...Kate Smith began her radio show on the CBS Radio Network.

➦In 1935...the first radio tube to be made of metal was produced in Schenectady, New York.

➦In 1957...Larry King got his first job in radio. The manager of a small station, WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach, hired him to clean up and perform miscellaneous tasks.  When one of the station's announcers abruptly quit, King was put on the air. His first broadcast was on May 1, 1957, working as the disc jockey from 9 a.m. to noon. He also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. He was paid $50 a week.

He acquired the name Larry King when the general manager, Marshall Simmonds, claimed that Zeiger was too ethnic and difficult to remember, so minutes before airtime, Larry chose the surname King, which he got from an advertisement in the Miami Herald for King's Wholesale Liquor. Within two years, he legally changed his name to Larry King.

Larry King
He began doing interviews on a mid-morning show for WIOD, at Pumpernik's Restaurant in Miami.  He would interview whoever walked in. His first interview was with a waiter at the restaurant. Two days later, singer Bobby Darin, in Miami for a concert that evening, walked into Pumpernik's having heard King's radio show; Darin became King's first celebrity interview guest.

King's Miami radio show brought him local notoriety. A few years later, in May 1960, he hosted Miami Undercover, airing Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. on WPST-TV Channel 10 (now WPLG). On the show, he moderated debates on important local issues of the day.

King credited his success on local television to the assistance of comedian Jackie Gleason, whose national television variety show was being taped in Miami Beach during this time.   

During this period, WIOD gave King further exposure as a color commentator for the NFL Miami Dolphins, during their 1970 season and most of their 1971 season. However, he was dismissed by both WIOD and television station WTVJ as a late-night radio host and sports commentator as of December 20, 1971, when he was arrested after being accused of grand larceny by a former business partner.  The charges were dropped. Eventually, King was rehired by WIOD.  For several years during the 1970s, he hosted a sports talk-show called "Sports-a-la-King" that featured guests and callers.

On January 30, 1978, King went national on a nightly Mutual Broadcasting System coast-to-coast broadcast. King's Mutual show rapidly developed a devoted audience.

King died January 23, 2021.

➦In 1957...WBBR (Watchtower Brooklyn Broadcasting Radio) changed call letters to WPOW, NYC.  The station is now known as WWRV and airs Spanish Christian music and teaching format.

➦In 1972...the Mutual Black Radio Network launched.

The network signed on May 1, 1972 with 32 affiliates, including flagship New Jersey station WNJR, KCOH Houston, KWK St. Louis, and WIGO Atlanta. It was an easy start-up: vice-president Stephen McCormick said all he had to do was hire the staff - 15 black newsmen, six editors, supervisors and salesmen. The news director was Shelton Lewis, once of New York's WPAT; working with him in New York was Robert Nichols, Joe White and Gerald Bentley. Staffing the Washington bureau was Ed Castleberry, Larry Dean, John Askew and Abby Kendrick.

The network fed five-minute news and sports broadcasts hourly from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day, some 100 programs a week. By June 1972, the 32 affiliates had grown to 55; by September, there were more than 80.

Among MBN's program offerings: "Dr. Martin Luther King Speaks," a weekly 20-minute program produced by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference featuring excerpts from Dr. King's speeches, along with comments of black leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy, and Benjamin Hooks; and "The Black Experience," a daily feature profiling black Americans and their contributions to American life.

Jonathan Schwartz
➦In 1976...NYC Personality Jonathan Schwartz aired his final show on WNEW 102.7 FM.

Schwartz worked at New York's WNEW-FM from 1967 to 1976, followed by stints at WNEW, WQEW, and eventually WNYC-FM. Schwartz also served as programming director for XM Satellite Radio's now-defunct High Standards channel, and later appeared on Sirius XM's Siriusly Sinatra and '40s on 4 channels. His last SiriusXM program was on August 2, 2013.

Here's an audio clip from Sept. 2013, Schwartz talks about the old WNEW-AM and personality Ted Brown:

In his talk during the shows, Schwartz will discuss many famous pop songwriters and singers, and jazz artists.

➦In 1982...First WCBS-FM NYC Top 20 Countdown (1966).

Joe McCoy
The Countdown debuted during the tenure of Joe McCoy as program director. In 1981, began to gradually shift its focus to the 1964–1969 era, but would also feature a more pre-1964 oldies than most other such stations. The station continued to also feature hits of the 1970s and some hits of the 1980s while cutting future gold selections to one per hour.

Also in the 1980s, after WABC 770 AM and later WNBC 660 AM abandoned music in favor of talk, WCBS-FM began employing many disc jockeys who were widely known on other New York City stations (and sometimes nationally), most notably Musicradio WABC alumni Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Chuck Leonard and Harry Harrison, as well as Dan Daniels and Jack Spector.

➦In 1984...Gordon Hill Jenkins died of Lou Gehrig's disease at age 73. (Born May 12, 1910), He was an arranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with The Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Harry Nilsson, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others.

He had been very active in network radio and also worked as musical director at Decca & Capitol Records where he recorded with some of the top stars of the day, including Frank Sinatra & Nat Cole.

➦In 1988...the man who played “Fibber McGee” on network radio for more than a quarter century, Jim Jordan, died at age 91.

➦In 2006...Seattle’s  KSLY 92.5 FM closed down their Adult Top 40 format at noon with Semisonics’s “Closing Time.”  Then the call letters changed to KQMV (MOVIN’); its first song was The C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now.)”

Abby Huntsman is 36


  • Singer Judy Collins is 83. 
  • Actor Stephen Macht (“Suits,” ″General Hospital”) is 80. 
  • Singer Rita Coolidge is 77. 
  • Singer-bassist Nick Fortuna of The Buckinghams is 76. 
  • Rita Coolidge is 77
    Actor Dann Florek (“Law and Order: SVU”) is 71. 
  • Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 68. 
  • Actor Byron Stewart is 66. 
  • Actor Maia Morgenstern (“The Passion of the Christ”) is 60. 
  • Actor Scott Coffey (“Mulholland Drive,” ″The Outsiders”) is 58. 
  • Country singer Wayne Hancock is 57. 
  • Actor Charlie Schlatter (“Diagnosis Murder”) is 56. 
  • Country singer Tim McGraw is 55. 
  • Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky (Smashing Pumpkins) is 54. 
  • Director Wes Anderson is 53. 
  • Actor Julie Benz (“No Ordinary Family,” “Dexter”) is 50. 
  • Singer Tina Campbell of Mary Mary is 48. 
  • Actor Darius McCrary (“Family Matters”) is 46. 
  • Actor Jamie Dornan (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) is 40. 
  • Actor Kerry Bishe (“Argo”) is 38. 
  • TV personality Abby Huntsman (“The View”) is 36. 
  • Actor Lizzy Greene (“A Million Little Things”) is 18.

R.I.P.: Naomi Judd, Matriarch of Country Music's The Judds

Naomi Judd

Grammy-winning country vocalist Naomi Judd -- the matronly half-of mother-daughter duo The Judds, has died at 76. 

Judds' daughters Wynonna and Ashley announced her death on Saturday in a statement provided to The Associated Press.

Wynona and Naomi Judd arrive for the CMT Music Awards at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, April 11, 2022.

"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.

The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday.

The duo achieved 14 No. 1 over three decades, splitting as a performing act in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi Judd with hepatitis.

Between 1984 and 1991, the Judds achieved twenty Top Ten hits, including fourteen number-one singles. As well, they also tallied five Grammys, nine CMA Awards, and seven ACM Awards.

Since arriving in Music City in 1979, Naomi Judd -- and her family -- were foundational staples of country music's continued pop evolution through the 1980s and beyond.

Seattle Radio: Danny Bonaduce Takes Medical Leave From KZOK

Danny Bonaduce KZOK

Danny Bonaduce, who rose to the fame as a child star on 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family,” is taking a medical leave from “The Danny Bonaduce & Sarah Morning Show” on Seattle’s Classic Rock KZOK 102.5 FM , he announced on Friday.

“Some news to share,” the 62-year-old wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of himself with a cane. “I’m taking a temporary medical leave from my radio show. I’ll share more when I know more. I’m still working towards receiving a diagnosis. What I know is, I need time to focus on my health. I love my job and talking to you guys & I’ll be back on the air soon.”

Tweet photo
With his trademark humor still intact, he quipped, “Charlie Chaplin, Willy Wonka, Danny Bonaduce. I’ve joined the club of cool guys with canes.”

In 1990, he was arrested while attempting to buy cocaine while in Florida to host a D.A.R.E event. In 1991, Bonaduce was arrested in Phoenix for beating and robbing a prostitute, whose nose he broke.

In 2007 he was the subject of a felony battery investigation after, at the Fox Reality Awards, he threw former Survivor contestant Johnny Fairplay over his shoulder after Fairplay hugged him onstage. The L.A. D.A. later concluded that Bonaduce had acted in self-defense.

Along with The Partridge Family, Bonaduce appeared in a string of popular shows as a child, including Bewitched, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and Mayberry R.F.D.

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, he found work on Eight Is Enough, Fantasy Island and CHiPs, on which he had a four episode run.

After that, the roles became fewer and farther between. While still working occasionally in film and TV, he transitioned to radio in the late ’80s.

St. Louis Radio: KYKY's Jen Myers Steps Away For Cancer Battle


Jen Myers
After 20 years of riding the STL radio waves, Jen Myers of KYKY 98.1 FM is taking a break, to get better, reports

Diagnosed with breast cancer about six years ago, Myers' last day working a mic at the station was Friday, when she will appeare on the morning show from 7 to 11 a.m.

In a Facebook post, Myers explained her situation in gloves-off terms:

"My breast cancer metastasized to my lungs in 2018, advancing to Stage 4. I recently started a new chemo regimen that is not pretty," she said in her post. "I hope this treatment will help, but it is also not a cure for this disease. We are betting a lot right now on hope."

Myers has the rare distinction, especially in the world of radio, of having spent all 20 years of her STL career at one station — surviving layoffs, shift changes, an ownership swap and even working as the station's music director and program director.

In 2017, fashion publication Gazelle STL named Myers as one of its "Top 50 Women in St. Louis." The list lauded local women for their contributions in business, communications, politics and philanthropy.

In her recent post, Myers said it was after much deliberation that she "made the decision to step away from my job in order to focus 100% of my energy on my health and my family."

"I hope we can all raise a toast in the future to this cancer being in remission," Myers said. "Until then, this very public cancer story is going to be very much private.

“I recently started a new chemo regimen that is not pretty,” she continued. “I hope this treatment will help, but it is also not a cure for this disease. We are betting a lot right now on hope.”

Jen, 47, has been with Y98 since she was “just a baby,” she said.

Now, 20 years later, “I marvel that I have been able to work at one radio station for so long. My job going forward needs to be my health, and spending as much time with these 3 people as I can,” she said.

Twin Cities Radio: Covid Hits KFAN's Barreiro, Rosen

Three of the Twin Cities' most popular media personalities have been hit by COVID-19, according to The Star-Tribune.

KFAN's Dan Barreiro and former sports anchor Mark Rosen both announced Friday on Twitter that they are feeling effects from the virus.

"It was bound to happen. Bit by Covid," tweeted Rosen, who retired from WCCO-TV in 2019. "Mostly dealing with exhaustion issues, and some coughing. Sleeping."

Barreiro, who hosts the sports station's top show, made his announcement about an hour later.

"I too finally get nailed by COVID," he wrote. "Came on fast and hard, big-time fever, chills and cough. Am on the mend, though my recuperative powers not enhanced by new Vikings GM being infected by Spielman draft-day virus."

Justin Gaard filled in for Barreiro on Friday.

EMF Promotes Ed Lenane To VP/Programming

Ed Lenane
Educational Media Foundation (EMF) announces the promotion of Ed Lenane to vice president of programming operations.

Having served EMF in multiple roles throughout the past 25 years, Ed now oversees the news, regional public affairs, audio production, board operations and traffic teams for the K-LOVE and Air1 radio networks, reaching 18 million listeners weekly.

Ed’s career in radio spans four decades and includes operations, programming and on-air roles in music and news formats in top markets, including New York and Atlanta.

“Ed’s broadcast and programming knowledge are critical to our success, and his kindness, deep faith, dependability and humility make him a pleasure to work alongside,” said Mandy Young, EMF radio group program director.

Mandy and Ed will both continue to report to Jim Houser, chief content officer at EMF. “Ed was one of the early pioneers that launched the format of Christian hit music on radio,” said Jim. “We’re fortunate to learn from his extensive experience in the industry.”

Ed joined EMF as local program manager in 1997 and helped oversee the Northern California-based air staff. He then went on to launch the news department and deliver news on-air during the morning drive.

In 2010, Ed relocated from Rocklin, Calif., to Indianapolis to run operations and assist in programming. He became national promotions director, leading promotions teams in multiple states across the country before returning to Rocklin in 2017 to direct programming operations, the department for which he now serves as vice president.

Disney Changes PR Chief Amid Florida Furor

Kristin Schake

Walt Disney Co.’s new head of corporate affairs, Geoff Morrell, is leaving after just three months on the job amid the furor over the company’s opposition to a Florida bill restricting discussion of sexual orientation in schools, reports Bloomberg.

“It has become clear to me that for a number of reasons it is not the right fit,” Morrell said in a statement.

Kristina Schake, hired earlier this month, will replace him as head of communications, Disney said in a statement Friday. She is a former public relations director for Instagram and served as a spokeswoman for First Lady Michelle Obama. Government relations will now be run by General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez.

Geoff Morrell
Morrell, a former chief of communications at oil giant BP Plc and spokesman for the Pentagon, joined Disney in January, replacing longtime public relations chief Zenia Mucha, who retired.

Since then, Disney has become embroiled in one of its worst-ever public-relations crises, taking heat from critics on the left and right. Disney’s opposition to Florida legislation banning discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms with kids third grade and younger prompted Governor Ron DeSantis and other Republican to terminate a special municipal district the company has operated in Florida since the 1960s.

“I am not comfortable having one company with their own government and special privileges, when that company has pledged itself to attacking the parents in my state,” DeSantis said Thursday at a town hall meeting organized by Fox News. “Walt Disney would not want that. And so get back to the mission. Do what you did great.”

Disney’s troubles began in early March, when Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek put out a statement saying the company wouldn’t take a position on the bill.

Company employees began publicly protesting the decision, and Chapek reversed course two days later, saying he’d work to get the legislation stopped.

With its Orlando resort and theme parks, Disney is one of Florida’s biggest employers, and is in the process of relocating about 2,000 workers there.

April 30 Radio History

➦In 1908....actress Eve Arden was born Eunice Quedens in Mill Valley Calif. She won an Emmy for her star-making turn as “Our Miss Brooks”, which she introduced on CBS Radio in 1948 and on CBS-TV in 1952.  It continued  weekly on television through 1956 and on radio through 1957.  She died from arteriosclerotic heart disease Nov 12, 1990 at age 82.

➦In 1917...Beatrice Ruth Wain born in the Bronx (Died at age 100 – August 19, 2017).  She was a Big Band-era singer and radio personality.

Bea Wain had a number of hits with Larry Clinton and his Orchestra. After her marriage she and her husband became involved in radio, helming a show titled "Mr. and Mrs. Music". Wain made her debut on radio at age six as a "featured performer" on the NBC Children's Hour. As an adult, she sang regularly on The Larry Clinton Show (NBC 1938), Monday Merry-Go-Round (NBC Blue 1941-1942), Starlight Serenade (Mutual 1944) and Your Hit Parade.

She was married to radio announcer André Baruch. They were married for 53 years. Baruch died in 1991.

Following her musical career, the couple worked as a husband-and-wife disc jockey team in New York on WMCA, where they were billed as "Mr. and Mrs. Music". In 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where for nine years they had a top-rated daily four-hour talk show from 2 PM to 6 PM on WPBR before relocating to Beverly Hills. During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of Your Hit Parade, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings.

➦In 1938...Historic CBS Columbia Square Studios Dedicated. Click Here for the full story on this, and all the CBS studios in California.

➦In 1945...“How would you like to be queen for a day?!” was heard for the first time, as Jack Bailey introduced the show “Queen For a Day” on Mutual radio. The show later moved to television, where it ran locally in the Los Angeles area from 1948 through 1955, on the NBC Television network from January 3, 1956 to September 2, 1960, and on the ABC network from September 5, 1960 to October 2, 1964.

Jack Bailey
Each episode started with a different introduction, but inevitably the opening would resolve when Bailey pointed to the camera (and the audience) and loudly asked, "Would you like to be Queen for a Day?" as the live audience, mostly women, cheered.

Prior to his success with Queen for a Day, Bailey had a varied career, including "playing with jazz bands, directing musical comedy, tent shows and barking for the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933." He was an announcer for several radio programs, including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Duffy's Tavern, and Meet the Missus.

Bailey also hosted the television game shows Place the Face (1953 – February 1954) and Truth or Consequences from 1954 to 1956. His run as host on that show followed Ralph Edwards as host (1940–1957 on the radio and 1950–1954 on television). In time Bailey was succeeded by Bob Barker (1956–1975) Bob Hilton (1975–1978), and Larry Anderson (1987–1988). The television version of the show ran on CBS, NBC, and also in syndication.

He was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one for his radio career, at 1708 Vine Street, and one for his work in television, at 6411 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

➦In 1945...Arthur Godfrey began his CBS Radio Network morning show. It aired for 27 years until the very same day in 1972.  Arthur Godfrey Time was a Monday–Friday show that featured his monologues, interviews with various stars, music from his own in-house combo and regular vocalists. Godfrey's monologues and discussions were usually unscripted, and went wherever he chose.

➦In 1957…Elvis Presley recorded "Jailhouse Rock" at Radio Recorders in Hollywood.

➦In 2004...Radio/TV Newscaster Rolf Hertsgaard died at age 81.

Hertsgaard was born in Minneapolis to first-generation Norwegian-Americans. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and by his early 20s he had gone into broadcasting. He worked at WCCO-AM in Minneapolis until 1955.

Hertsgaard anchored the evening newscasts of WBAL from 1958, when they were only fifteen minutes long, until 1973, when a shift to so-called "happy talk" news led to his dismissal.

The cause of death was complications from prostate cancer.

➦In 2012...WEPN NYC moved to 98.7 FM, when the Walt Disney Company and Emmis Communications agreed to a 12-year-lease of the 98.7 FM frequency for an undisclosed price.

Peter Thomas

➦In 2016...Peter Addenbrooke Thomas died  at age 91 (Born in Pensacola FL - June 28, 1924). He was an announcer and narrator of television programs, including shows such as Nova and Forensic Files.

Thomas began his career at 14 as an announcer on a local radio show. Since the station could not pay him, due to his age, they arranged for the sponsor, Piper Aircraft, to give him flying lessons in a Piper Cub. Within just a few years, Thomas would be hosting big band remotes.

With the onset of World War II, he served with  Armed Forces Radio, and served with the First Infantry Division in five major campaigns, including the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He was issued a Battle star for each of the five campaigns. He was also awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Unit French Croix de guerre, and Belgian Fourragère.

Thomas received many awards for his work but cited, as one of his best, the Oscar won by a documentary he narrated, One Survivor Remembers. The film, produced by HBO, chronicles the personal experience of Gerda Weissman Klein, who was interned at the Nordhausen Concentration Camp when she was a teenager; Thomas' unit participated in the liberation of Nordhausen.

He was also a news anchor at WCBS-TV, and did voiceover commercials for Coca-Cola, IBM, Valvoline, NBC, United Technologies, Burger King, etc., and ESPN Monday Night Football commercials.

➦In 2017…Classical music radio announcer June LeBell, who logged almost 30 years as a host on New York's WQXR, died of ovarian cancer at 73.

She became a familiar voice on the station, hosting “IBM’s Salute to the Arts” and “Kitchen Classics,” which coupled her favorite subjects, music and food.

LeBell was 29 when she joined WQXR, an FM station then owned by The New York Times Company, becoming what the station described as its first full-time female host and the first woman on the staff of any major commercial classical radio station.

Willie Nelson is 89


  • Singer Willie Nelson is 89. 
  • Actor Burt Young is 82. 
  • Actor Perry King (“Riptide”) is 74. 
  • Singer-guitarist Wayne Kramer of the MC5 is 74. 
  • Singer Merrill Osmond of The Osmonds is 69. 
  • Director Jane Campion is 68. 
  • Kirsten Dunst is 40
    Actor-director Paul Gross (“Due South”) is 63. 
  • Bassist Robert Reynolds of The Mavericks is 60. 
  • Actor Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) is 57. 
  • Singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla) is 55. 
  • Rapper Turbo B of Snap is 55. 
  • Guitarist Clark Vogeler of The Toadies is 53. 
  • Singer Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple of Soul for Real is 51. 
  • Guitarist Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down is 51. 
  • Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 51. 
  • Actor Lisa Dean Ryan (“Doogie Howser, M.D.”) is 50. 
  • Singer Akon is 49. 
  • Singer Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees is 49. 
  • Actor Johnny Galecki (“The Big Bang Theory,” ″Roseanne”) is 47. 
  • Actor Sam Heughan (“Outlander”) is 42. 
  • Actor Kunal Nayyar (“The Big Bang Theory”) is 41. 
  • Rapper Lloyd Banks is 40. 
  • Actor Kirsten Dunst is 40. 
  • Country singer Tyler Wilkinson of The Wilkinsons is 38. 
  • Actor Dianna Agron (“Glee”) is 36. 
  • Singer Brandon Lancaster of LANCO is 33. 
  • Rapper Travis Scott is 31.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Chicago Radio: News Vet Bill Cameron Returns To WLS For Show

Cumulus Media announces that legendary Chicago political reporter Bill Cameron will rejoin Cumulus Chicago’s 890 WLS-AM as Producer and Host of “Take 1 with Bill Cameron,” a new weekly radio program and podcast that debuts on Sunday, May 1st, and airs every Sunday from 5:00p-6:00pm. 

Cameron retired from full-time reporting in August 2021 after more than 50 years of covering Chicago politics. “Take 1 with Bill Cameron” will present Cameron’s unedited interviews with Chicago newsmakers and discussions about local breaking news. His first guest on Sunday, May 1st, is Senator Dick Durbin

“It’s impossible to walk away from Chicago,” Cameron said. “This is the city with politics that wouldn’t be believable in a movie script, architecture that architects worldwide come to study, Nobel Prize-winning intellectuals, nationally renowned restaurants, performing arts, and museums, eight professional sports teams that alternately thrill and confound diehard fans, and more than 200 diverse neighborhoods in 78 community areas.”

“Take 1 with Bill Cameron” is the kind of program ideally suited to radio,” Cameron said. “Ask a question, get out of the way, don’t interrupt, and let interesting people tell their stories – no sound bites, no spin, no shouting, no editing.”

Stephanie Tichenor, Program Director, 890 WLS-AM, commented: ““We are delighted to welcome back Bill Cameron to the Big 89. The news doesn’t stop and neither does Bill.”

Cameron, a longtime fixture in Chicago broadcasting, has won local and national recognition throughout his esteemed career – including a Peabody Award, two Edward R. Murrow awards, two Gabriel Awards, and more than a score of awards from the Associated Press and United Press International.

Pittsburgh Radio: WBZZ-FM Is Feeling Frzy

Audacy announced the launch of “Feeling FRZY” on 100.7 Star (WBZZ-FM) in Pittsburgh as part of the station’s weeknight programming. Beginning May 2, “Feeling FRZY,” featuring Emmy award-winning Pittsburgh artist Frzy, will be heard weekdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

“Feeling FRZY” is all about how Frzy is feeling on various topics from music, movies, video games, pop culture and social issues. It’s an inside take on being a national music artist in the industry, pop culture connoisseur and a Pittsburgh native.

“We’re excited to have Frzy officially join the Audacy Pittsburgh family,” said Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Pittsburgh. "He’s been a friend of the station and we’re fortunate to have an opportunity to bring a talented on-air personality with Pittsburgh roots to our 100.7 Star listeners every day.”

“I am so excited and honored to be joining the Star family,” said Frzy. “It’ll be fun to add my energy to an already bright STAR. They have always treated me like family but now we’re officially blood.”

Frzy is an Emmy Award winner, member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYS and Guinness World Record holder for longest freestyle rap.

Wake-Up Call: Russia Strikes Kyiv

NY Post photo

Russia launched strikes against Kyiv on Thursday, the first on Ukraine's capital since Russian forces retreated from the area weeks ago. The strikes, which killed one person and wounded others and hit a residential high-rise and another building, came barely an hour after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a news conference with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who toured some of the destruction in an around Kyiv and condemned the attacks on civilians. Guterres met in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin earlier this week.

There were also explosions in other locations across the country, and Ukrainian authorities reported "intense" Russian fire in several places in the eastern Donbas region that Moscow has refocused on as its main objective, and near the northeastern city of Kharkiv. Still, Russia continues to have so far made only minor gains, and Britain’s Defense Ministry said Friday that the limited territorial gains by Russia have come at significant cost to their forces.

Biden Asks Congress for $33 Billion for Ukraine: President Biden asked Congress yesterday for a $33 billion aid plan for Ukraine, signaling a longer U.S. commitment as the war continues. It includes some $20 billion in defense spending for Ukraine and U.S. allies in the region, $8.5 billion to keep Ukraine's government providing services and salaries, and $3 billion in global food and humanitarian programs, including money to help Ukrainian refugees and to encourage U.S. farmers to grow wheat and other crops to replace the large amounts of food Ukraine normally produces. Administration officials estimate the package will last five months. The initial $13.6 billion aid package passed early last month is now almost depleted.

➤MODERNA ASKS FDA FOR APPROVAL FOR COVID-19 VACCINE FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE SIX: Moderna asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday to approve low-dose shots of its Covid-19 vaccine for children under six years old, what would be the first Covid vaccine approved for that age group. Moderna submitted data showing two low-dose shots can protect these youngest children, although the effectiveness isn't nearly as high in children tested during the omicron variant surge than it was earlier in the pandemic. Moderna said the two doses are about 40 to 50 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid. Currently, only children ages five and older can be vaccinated in the U.S., using Pfizer's vaccine.

➤SOUTHWESTERN STATES BRACING FOR RETURN OF WEATHER CONDITIONS THAT FUEL WILDFIRES: Even as firefighters were continuing to make progress against wildfires in the southwestern U.S. yesterday, they were bracing for the return today of the same weather conditions that fueled the fires last week, quickly spreading them. Amid drought conditions in the region, winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour are forecasted for today, with fire behavior specialist Stewart Turner saying at a briefing last night near the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico, "It's a very, very dangerous fire day tomorrow." Red flag warnings are in place for all of New Mexico and parts of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Firefighters were battling wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico Thursday, with the biggest wildfire currently burning in the U.S. in northeastern New Mexico after beginning on April 22nd.

➤JUSTICE DEPT. SUES MANAFORT FOR NEARLY $3 MILLION: The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort yesterday, seeking to recover nearly $3 million from undeclared foreign bank accounts. The suit asks a judge to require Manafort to pay fines, penalties and interest after prosecutors say he failed to file federal tax documents for more than 20 offshore bank accounts and to disclose the money on his tax returns. Manafort's attorney said in a statement, "Mr. Manafort . . . has tried for months to resolve this civil matter. Nonetheless, the Government insisted on filing this suit simply to embarrass Mr. Manafort." Manafort was convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his political consulting work in Ukraine. Then-President Trump pardoned him in December 2020.

President Biden came under fire Thursday for the creation of a “dystopian” disinformation bureau created under his Homeland Security department, which critics are blasting as just a way for the government to police free speech online.

The NY Post reports Conservatives slammed the Department of Homeland Security’s Orwellian new “Disinformation Governance Board” – with some suggesting the timing is convenient given Elon Musk vowed to make Twitter a free speech haven after his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform notorious for selectively censoring right-leaning points of view.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called the new board a “disgrace” that was designed to “monitor all Americans’ speech.”

 The newly formed panel will target supposed misinformation aimed at key points of vulnerability for Biden and Democrats such as southern border migrants, as well as monitor and prepare for Russian disinformation threats as this year’s midterm elections near, the DHS said.

The board will be led by Nina Jankowicz – a disinformation expert who has been criticized for repeatedly casting doubt on The Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Sixteen U.S. states, two large climate organizations, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union are suing the U.S. Postal Service in an effort to block its purchase of more than 140,000 new mail delivery trucks over environmental issues, according to The Washington Post. The new vehicles would improve working conditions for USPS workers, but they wouldn't significantly improve fuel consumption or carbon emissions. The suit cites the potential environment impact of the new fleet and the USPS paying Wisconsin contractor Oshkosh to begin production without first conducting a thorough climate-based analysis, according to the Post. The UAW joined the suit after Oshkosh announced it would build the new mail trucks in South Carolina rather than a union state. California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in announcing the suit that the USPS is, quote, "doubling down on outdated technologies," stating, "Once this purchase goes through, we'll be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets, serving homes across our state and across the country, for the next 30 years."

➤FDA TO BAN MENTHOL CIGARETTES, FLAVORED CIGARS: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its plan yesterday to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, citing the health effects on Black smokers and young people. Menthol cigarettes make up about one-third of cigarettes sold in the U.S., and are particularly used by Black smokers and young smokers. The cooling effect of menthol masks the throat harshness of smoking, which makes it easier to start smoking and harder to quit. The FDA also plans to ban cigars with menthol and other flavors like grape and strawberry, which are increasingly popular with young people, especially Black teenagers. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement, "The proposed rules would help prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers and help adult smokers quit." The FDA proposals are unlikely to be finalized until next year

➤STUDY: LONELINESS LEADS TO A HIGHER RISK OF FUTURE UNEMPLOYMENT: Being lonely could be bad for your financial future. University of Exeter researchers found people who reported “feeling lonely often” were significantly more likely to encounter unemployment later. They also confirmed the reverse to be true—people who were unemployed were more likely to experience loneliness later. Study co-author, Dr. Ruben Mujica-Mota says, “While previous research has shown that unemployment can cause loneliness, ours is the first study to identify that lonely people of any working age are at greater risk of becoming unemployed. Our findings show that these two issues can interact and create a self-fulfilling, negative cycle. There is a need for greater recognition of the wider societal impacts of loneliness in the working age population.”

➤TEENAGERS’ BRAINS START TUNING OUT THEIR MOTHERS’ VOICES AROUND THE AGE OF 13: Talking to a teenager can sometimes feel like talking to a brick wall, and a new study confirms that's how it is for parents. Stanford University researchers used brain scans to find that teenagers’ brains start tuning out their mothers’ voices around the age of 13 because they no longer find it “uniquely rewarding.” Lead study author Daniel Abrams explains, “Just as an infant knows to tune into her mother’s voice, an adolescent knows to tune into novel voices. As a teen, you don’t know you’re doing this. You’re just being you: You’ve got your friends and new companions and you want to spend time with them. Your mind is increasingly sensitive to and attracted to these unfamiliar voices.” And though the study found that in some ways, teens’ brains are more receptive to all voices, it also found that the reward circuits and the brain centers that prioritize important stimuli are more activated by unfamiliar voices than by those of their mothers. Senior study author Vinod Menon adds, “A child becomes independent at some point, and that has to be precipitated by an underlying biological signal. That’s what we’ve uncovered: This is a signal that helps teens engage with the world and form connections which allow them to be socially adept outside their families.”  

🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round games yesterday:
  • Philadelphia 76ers 132, Toronto Raptors 97 - Philadelphia wins series 4-2
  • Phoenix Suns 115, New Orleans Pelicans 109 - Phoenix wins series 4-2
  • Dallas Mavericks 98, Utah Jazz 96 - Dallas wins series 4-2

🏀PHILLY, PHOENIX, DALLAS WIN FIRST-ROUND NBA PLAYOFFS: The Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks all wrapped up their first-round NBA playoffs to advance last night, each winning their games for 4 games to 2 series victories. The 76ers routed the Toronto Raptors 132-97, the Suns topped the New Orleans Pelicans 115-109, with Chris Paul going 14 for 14 in the best shooting night in NBA playoff history, and the Mavericks edged the Utah Jazz 98-96. Philadelphia will play the Miami Heat in the second round, and Dallas will take on the Suns.

🏈JAGUARS TAKE TRAVON WALKER WITH NUMBER ONE NFL DRAFT PICK: The Jacksonville Jaguars took Georgia defensive end Travon Walker with the Number One overall pick in the NFL draft last night in Las Vegas, kicking off the event at which it was the first time in 31 years that no offensive player was taken in the first five picks. Another defensive end, Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, was taken with the second pick by the Detroit Lions, and the Houston Texans chose LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. third. Rounding out the top five, the New York Jets took Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner fourth, and the New York Giants chose Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux fifth. No quarterbacks were taken until the 20th pick, when the Pittsburgh Steelers took University of Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett.

🏈TITANS TRADE STAR RECEIVER BROWN TO EAGLES FOR DRAFT PICKS: The Tennessee Titans traded star receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday for the 18th and 101st overall picks in the NFL Draft that began last night. The 24-year-old Brown, who was entering the final year of his rookie deal with the Titans, agreed to a four-year, $100 million deal with the Eagles. Tennessee used the 18th pick to take Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks.

⚾CARDINALS' ARENADO, CABRERA SUSPENDED OVER BRAWL WITH METS: St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado and pitcher Génesis Cabrera were suspended by MLB yesterday over a benches-clearing brawl with the New York Mets Wednesday. Arenado was suspended for two games and Cabrera for one, and both were fined. Arenado ducked away from a high fastball from Mets reliever Yoan López in the eighth inning and shouted at the pitcher. Arenado then threw aside catcher Tomás Nido as players from both dugouts rushed the field. Cabrera grabbed the Mets' Pete Alonso by the collar during the brawl, contributing to him falling. López was fined over the pitch, which came an inning after Mets hitter J.D. Davis was hit on the foot.

🏌REPORT: TIGER WOODS PLANS TO PLAY IN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Tiger Woods plans to play in the PGA Championship next month, Golf Digest reported yesterday, citing a source as saying he'll compete, quote, "barring any setbacks" from the serious leg injuries he suffered in a February 2021 car crash. Woods played in the Masters earlier this month, his first competitive tournament since the accident, finishing in 47th place. The PGA Championship is from May 19th to 22nd at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Charlotte Radio: Neal Sharpe Returns To WLNK As PD

Neal Sharpe
Radio One Charlotte’s Hot AC WLNK-FM Mix 107.9 welcomes veteran Program Director Neal Sharpe back to Charlotte Radio!

For the last 10 years, Neal has been with Saga Communications in Asheville, NC overseeing

their 7 station cluster as Operations Manager/Program Director. Prior to that he was with Magic 107.3 and Fox Sports WFXJ in Jacksonville Florida. He was at 107.9 The Link in Charlotte for ten years, from January 2000- September 2010.

Radio One Charlotte Regional Vice President Marsha Landess stated, “With the launch of Mix 107.9 last April, we knew we needed a strong leader with experience, fun and creative ideas, a commitment to community service and the drive to increase our listener engagement both on-air and online. Neal has been living in Charlotte, knows the market, has experience with our team and is the perfect choice to take us to the next level.”

“I’m excited to return to WLNK and work with the great Radio One Charlotte team that’s just loaded with talent. It’s a special station with an incredible history, that is ready for it’s next chapter of super serving our listeners and advertisers with entertainment, information, and results. A huge thank you to Marsha Landess, Terry Foxx and Radio One for their support and this incredible opportunity,” added Neal Sharpe.

Neal’s first day was April 25th. We are thrilled to have him a part of the Radio One Charlotte family.

Jacobs Media to Present the Techsurvey 2022 Results

Jacobs Media will present its Techsurvey 2022 results in a free webinar on Tuesday, May 10 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific. This year’s annual study, Radio: A Return to “Normal?”, yielded nearly 31,000 participants from more than 470 participating stations and explores the media consumption choices and patterns of core radio listeners as some behaviors return closer to pre-pandemic levels, while others may have changed permanently.

Techsurvey 2022 took a deeper look into radio’s competition from other audio sources. Overall, about three-quarters (74%) choose their favorite station first when seeking the content that station primarily plays (music / news and information / sports). Other audio options including other area stations, SiriusXM satellite radio, digital streaming providers such as Spotify and Apple Music, and listeners’ own music comprise about one-fourth of radio users’ first choice. Sports radio fans exhibit the most P1 station centricity (86% saying their favorite station is their first choice over other audio), with Alternative radio partisans most apt to seek content from other audio platforms (56% choose their P1 station first). 

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs comments, “This year’s Techsurvey reveals fascinating data on which audio platforms radio listeners choose first, including their motivations for listening and the situations in which they listen. This deeper understanding of listener choices can help radio programmers better navigate the ever-changing, and seemingly endless, choices the current media environment offers. We hope you can join our webinar Tuesday, May 10 as we reveal these significant insights and more.”

Click Here to join the webinar.

Amazon Shares Fall On Bleak Forecast

Amazon shares dropped as much as 10% in extended trading on Thursday after the company issued a revenue forecast that trailed analysts’ estimates, reports CNBC.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: $7.38 per share, adjusted, vs. $8.36 expected
  • Revenue: $116.44 billion vs. $116.3 billion expected,
Here’s how other key Amazon segments did during the quarter:
  • Amazon Web Services: $ 18.44 billion vs. $18.27 billion expected
  • Advertising: $7.88 billion vs. $8.17 billion expected
  • Amazon recorded a $7.6 billion loss on its Rivian investment after shares in the electric vehicle company lost more than half their value in the quarter. That resulted in a total net loss of $3.8 billion.
  • Revenue at Amazon increased 7% during the first quarter, compared with 44% expansion in the year-ago period. It marks the slowest rate for any quarter since the dot-com bust in 2001 and the second straight period of single-digit growth.

The second-quarter forecasts suggests growth could dip even further, to between 3% and 7% from a year earlier. Amazon said it projects revenue this quarter of $116 billion to $121 billion, missing the $125.5 billion average analyst estimate, according to Refinitiv.

Like Google and Facebook earlier this week, Amazon is attributing much of the slowdown to macroeconomic conditions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The pandemic and subsequent war in Ukraine have brought unusual growth and challenges,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement. He added that the company is “squarely focused” on offsetting costs in its fulfillment network now that staffing and warehousing capacity are at normal levels.

Amazon has been navigating a host of economic challenges, including rising inflation, higher fuel and labor costs, global supply chain snarls, and the ongoing pandemic. To offset some of those costs, Amazon earlier this month introduced a 5% surcharge for some of its U.S. sellers, the first such fee in its history. And last quarter, Amazon hiked the price of its U.S. Prime membership for the first time in four years to $139 from $119.

Profits are still taking a hit. The company’s operating margin, or the money that’s left after accounting for costs to run the business, dipped to 3.2% in the first quarter from 8.2% a year earlier.

Amazon is the latest company to join the pack in reporting disappointing ad revenue. Still, the segment grew 23% year over year, faster expansion than its ad peers. Google’s ad revenue increased 22%, slowed down by YouTube, which recorded weaker-than-expected growth of 14%. Facebook’s ad revenue rose by just 6.1%, the weakest expansion in the company’s 10-year history as a public company.

Amazon’s cloud-computing unit continues to hum along, as the company fends off competition from Microsoft and Google. Sales at Amazon Web Services increased 36.5% from a year earlier to $18.44 billion, above the $18.27 billion projected by Wall Street.

AWS generated 57% growth in operating income to $6.5 billion, while total operating income for Amazon fell to $3.7 billion from $8.9 billion a year ago. The Rivian markdown produced the company’s first net loss in a quarter since 2015.

Amazon also confirmed Thursday that this year’s Prime Day will take place in July. Last year, Amazon held Prime Day in June. By moving the two-day discount event to the third quarter, it could potentially hurt year-over-year comparisons for revenue in the second quarter while boosting third-quarter results.

Despite Shortages, Apple Has Record 1Q

Apple Inc. grew faster than expected last quarter, generating record sales for a non-holiday period, but the company still had to contend with chip shortages and inflationary pressure that threatened profit margins, reports Bloomberg citing an inteview with Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. 

Though supply constraints in the March quarter were significantly lower than in the holiday period, they still affected several products, including the iPad, Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Cook blamed the tight supply on industrywide chip shortages.

“We grew in each of our categories except for iPad, where we had very significant supply constraints,” Cook said.

Apple warned of more headwinds Thursday, with supply constraints costing the company $4 billion to $8 billion in the current period. Covid-19 lockdowns in China are again roiling supply chains, forcing tech giants like Apple to adjust.

Sales of the iPad declined 2.1% to $7.65 billion last quarter, though that wasn’t quite as severe a drop as Wall Street was projecting. Apple has said that the device is getting especially hard hit by shortages.

Even with the problems, the tablet line reached an all-time high in terms of its user base, Cook said. And half of iPad customers in the quarter were new to the device. The iPad Air, which was updated with 5G in March, also has been well received, he said.

Cook, 61, added that the company is seeing inflationary pressure. Rising costs have taken a toll on operating expenses and gross margins, he said, but Apple is “navigating that the best we can.”

Demand for the iPhone 13 and SE models helped that business grow 5% last quarter, Cook said. And the company had a record number of iPhone upgraders in the period. 

Despite setbacks for video streaming services like Netflix Inc., Cook said he remains very upbeat about his company’s Apple TV+ platform, citing recent Oscar wins for “CODA” and a strong response to original shows, such as “Severance.” 

“We’re very bullish,” he said. “Our philosophy for TV+ from the beginning -- and it continues unchanged -- is to create high-quality original content that aligns well with our values and to be one of the most desired platforms for storytellers, and I feel we are doing a pretty good job of that.”