Saturday, May 7, 2022

May 8 Radio History

Arthur Q Bryan

➦In 1899...Arthur Quirk Bryan born (Died from a heart attack at age 60 – November 18, 1959). He is best remembered for his longtime recurring role as well-spoken, wisecracking Dr. Gamble on the radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly and for creating the voice of the Warner Brothers cartoon character Elmer Fudd.

In the late 1920s, Bryan was an announcer at WOR radio in New York City. Contemporary radio listings in a daily newspaper indicate that he was still at WOR as late as September 13, 1931. In October 1931, he began working as an announcer at WCAU in Philadelphia, and in 1933 he moved to Philadelphia's WIP.  By 1934, he was heard on WHN in New York. In 1938–1939, he was a regular on The Grouch Club on the CBS Pacific network and was featured in some short-subject films made by the group.

Bryan's work in animation did not go unnoticed by radio producers. Although his first forays into that medium were accompanied by instructions that he use the Fudd voice, Bryan soon came to the attention of Don Quinn and Phil Leslie, the production and writing team responsible for Fibber McGee and Molly and their supporting characters, two of whom spun off into their own radio hits, The Great Gildersleeve and Beulah. The Gildersleeve character, played by Harold Peary, became series broadcasting's first successful spin-off hit; that plus the onset of World War II (which cost Fibber McGee & Molly their Mayor La Trivia, when Gale Gordon went into the Coast Guard in early 1942, and "The Old Timer" Bill Thompson was drafted almost a year later) nabbed nearly every other remaining male voice.

Bryan was first hired for the new Great Gildersleeve series, to play the part of Cousin Octavia's secretary/assistant, Lucius Llewellyn (using the Elmer Fudd voice), and later one of Gildersleeve's cronies, Floyd Munson, the barber. His work on the series (in Bryan's natural voice) so impressed Quinn and Leslie, that Bryan was added to the cast of their main show, Fibber McGee and Molly, in 1943.

In the early 1940s, Bryan played Waymond Wadcliffe on the Al Pearce & His Gang program on CBS. Bryan starred as Major Hoople (from June 22, 1942 to April 26, 1943) in The Charlotte Greenwood Show. and played Lt. Levinson on radio's Richard Diamond, Private Detective (from September 6, 1950 to June 29, 1951). In the mid-1940s, he had the role of Duke on Forever Ernest.

➦In 1915...John Archer was born in small town Nebraska.  He is best remembered as the radio voice of Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, for a year in the 1940’s.  Later in life, as a resident of Greater Seattle he was a founding member of REPS, the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound.  He died of lung cancer Dec. 3 1999 at age 84.

➦In 1940...Eric Hilliard "Rick" Nelson born (Died – December 31, 1985).  He starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1957 he began a long and successful career as a popular recording artist.

As one of the top "teen idols" of the 1950s his fame led to a motion picture role co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks's western feature film Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and its predecessors, between 1957 and 1973, including "Poor Little Fool" in 1958, which was the first #1 song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart. He recorded 19 additional Top 10 hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987.

Nelson began his entertainment career in 1949 playing himself in the radio sitcom series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1952, he appeared in his first feature film, Here Come the Nelsons. In 1957, he recorded his first single, debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, and released the #1 album titled Ricky. In 1958, Nelson released his first #1 single, "Poor Little Fool", and in 1959 received a Golden Globe nomination for "Most Promising Male Newcomer" after starring in Rio Bravo. A few films followed, and when the television series was cancelled in 1966, Nelson made occasional appearances as a guest star on various television programs.

He, his fiancee & 5 others were killed in a plane crash Dec 31, 1985 enroute to a New Year’s Eve performance in Dallas.  Nelson was 45.

➦In 1959...NBC Radio aired the final broadcast of “One Man’s Family” after being on the air 27 years. The Carleton E. Morse creation had completed 3,256 episodes since its beginnings in San Francisco back in 1932.

➦In 1962…Beatles manager Brian Epstein had a chance meeting with engineer Ted Huntly at a London record store. After Epstein related his discouragement about the Decca label rejecting the band, Huntly suggested he send a demo recording of the Beatles to EMI and, in particular, to one of their producers, George Martin.

➦In 1968...George Dewey Hay died at age 72 (Born -November 9, 1895).  He was the founder of the original Grand Ole Opry radio program on WSM-AM in Nashville, Tennessee, from which the country music stage show of the same name evolved.

George D Hay
Hay was born in Attica, Indiana. In Memphis, Tennessee, after World War I, he was a reporter for the Commercial Appeal, and when the newspaper launched its own radio station, WMC-AM, in January 1923, he became a late-night announcer at the station. His popularity increased and in May 1924 he left for WLS-AM in Chicago, where he served as the announcer on a program that became National Barn Dance.

On November 9, 1925, he moved on to WSM-AM in Nashville. Getting a strong listener reaction to 78-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson that November, Hay announced the following month that  formed a booking agency.

WSM would feature "an hour or two" of old-time music every Saturday night. He promoted the music ahe show was originally named WSM Barn Dance, and Hay billed himself as "The Solemn Old Judge."  The Barn Dance was broadcast after NBC's Music Appreciation Hour, a program featuring classical music and grand opera. One day in December 1927, the final music piece on the Music Appreciation Hour depicted the sound of a rushing locomotive. After the show ended, "Judge Hay" opened the WSM Barn Dance with this announcement:

“ Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch [host of the program] told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'. ”  Hay then introduced the man he dubbed "The Harmonica Wizard," DeFord Bailey, who played his classic train song, "The Pan American Blues," named for the crack Louisville and Nashville Railroad passenger train The Pan-American. After Bailey's performance, Hay commented, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the Grand Ole Opry."

During the 1930s, he was involved with Rural Radio, one of the first magazines about country music, developing the Opry for NBC and working on the movie Grand Ole Opry (1940). He was an announcer with the radio show during the 1940s and toured with Opry acts, including the September 1947 Opry show at Carnegie Hall. He was featured in Hoosier Holiday, a 1945 film from Republic Pictures, in a cast that also included Dale Evans.

➦In 1982...Personality Ron Lundy aired final regular show at 77 WABC, prior to format change to Talk.

Ron was on the air in New York City starting in September 1965, first on the overnight shift at WABC before shifting to mid-days in 1966. He remained at WABC right up until its last day as a music station on May 10, 1982.

In February 1984, Lundy resurfaced at New York's oldies station WCBS 101.1 FM in the mid-morning slot, following former WABC colleague Harry Harrison. According to program director Joe McCoy, the station created the slot especially for Lundy, reducing other shifts from four hours to three.

Lundy retired from WCBS-FM on September 18, 1997.  He died at the age of 75 in Bruce, Mississippi on May 15, 2010.

Melissa Gilbert is 58

  • Singer Toni Tennille is 82. 
  • Country singer Jack Blanchard is 80. 
  • Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is 77. 
  • Actor Mark Blankfield (“Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” ″The Incredible Shrinking Woman”) is 74.
  • Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and of Tom Tom Club is 71. 
  • Singer Philip Bailey (solo and with Earth, Wind and Fire) is 71. 
  • Country musician Billy Burnette is 69. 
  • Joe Bonamassa is 45
    Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 69. 
  • Actor David Keith is 68. 
  • Actor Raoul Max Trujillo (“Mayans M.C.”) is 67. 
  • “The NFL Today” commentator and former NFL coach Bill Cowher is 65. 
  • Actor Melissa Gilbert is 58. 
  • Drummer Dave Rowntree of Blur is 58. 
  • Drummer Del Gray of Little Texas is 54. 
  • Singer Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) is 50. 
  • Singer Enrique Iglesias is 47. 
  • Singer Joe Bonamassa is 45. 
  • Actor Matt Davis (“The Vampire Diaries”) is 44. 
  • Actor Domhnall Gleason (“Peter Rabbit,” ″Unbroken”) is 39. 
  • Drummer Patrick Meese of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats is 39. 
  • Actor Julia Whelan (“Once and Again”) is 38.

R.I.P.: Mickey Gilley, Country Music Legend

Country music legend Mickey Gilley has died at 86.   Gilley died Saturday in Branson, Missouri, where he helped run the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre. He had been performing as recently as last month, but was in failing health over the past week.

Pasadena, Texas Mayor Jeff Wagner announced the news via Facebook and Saturday and called the star a "true legend". 

"It was my great honor to know this man most of my life. Mickey was a true musical talent who charted 42 singles in the Top 40 Country Charts over a span of two decades. His talent and larger-than-life personality helped ignite a new interest in country music as he introduced the world to Pasadena through his dance hall and "Urban Cowboy" in 1980. We were so honored to have Mickey perform at our State of the City in February, 2020. Our prayers for comfort and peace are with Mickey’s family, his loved ones and his fans.

It's unclear what Gilley’s cause of death is, but just a week ago, he shared on his Facebook page that he had to cancel upcoming shows due to health concerns.

News Corp, Emmis, Media Stocks Tank

News Corp., the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, fell the most on record Friday, leading a steep decline in media stocks, reports Bloomberg..

Shares of News Corp., controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, slumped as much as 16% to $16.54 in New York, the biggest one-day decline since 2013, when the company began trading separately from the Murdoch family’s Fox Corp. entertainment interests.

Media stocks were in sharp decline Friday, with publishers, film and TV companies retreating more than broader indexes like the S&P 500. Major players including Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. hit lows for the year.

Among the other big losers: Dish Network Corp., a pay-TV provider that slid as much as 14%, and Emmis Communications Corp., a broadcaster and publisher, which fell as much as 10%.

After markets closed on Thursday, New York-based News Corp. said revenue for the fiscal third quarter rose 6.7% to $2.49 billion, in line with the $2.5 billion average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company said subscription-video-service revenue in the quarter decreased, due in part to a negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. Adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share beat Wall Street estimates.

In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley observed that earnings growth had decelerated at News Corp. 

“Industry-wide, we expect revenue and earnings growth likely becomes more challenging in a rising interest rate environment,” analyst Andrew McLeod wrote, “making further steps on corporate simplification more important” to the company’s share performance.

Rogers, Shaw Say Competition Bureau To Oppose $16B Deal

Canada's Commissioner of Competition intends to oppose Rogers Communications Inc's proposed C$20 billion ($16 billion) merger with Shaw Communications Inc, the companies said in a statement early Saturday, reports Reuters.

The Commissioner of Competition notified the companies on Friday afternoon of its intention to file applications to the Competition Tribunal opposing the merger.

The companies have proposed full divesture of Shaw’s wireless business, Freedom Mobile, to address concerns regarding the possible impact of the merger deal on Canada’s competitive wireless market.

"Rogers and Shaw are engaged in a process to sell Freedom Mobile, with a view to addressing concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and ISED," the companies said in the statement, adding that they remain committed to the merger.

Rogers announced last year that it was buying Shaw in a deal that would create Canada's second-largest cellular and cable operator, however, investors and analysts believed that regulatory risks were imminent. read more

Fred Savage Fired From ‘Wonder Years’ Reboot

Fred Savage, star of the original “Wonder Years,” has been fired as executive producer and director of the ABC reboot following an investigation into charges of inappropriate behavior, a spokesman for 20th Television confirmed to TheWrap on Friday.

“Recently, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fred Savage, and as is policy, an investigation was launched. Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his employment as an executive producer and director of ‘The Wonder Years,'” the rep said in a statement.

While no specifics about the allegations were released, Deadline reports that Savage’s misconduct on “The Wonders Years” set included “verbal outbursts and inappropriate behavior.”

Fred Savage
Savage was previously accused of sexual harassment in 2018 by a woman in the costume department on the Fox series “The Grinder.” At the time, he dismissed the charges as “completely without merit and absolutely untrue.” The lawsuit was settled out of court.

Also in 2018, Alley Mills, who played the mom of Savage’s character Kevin, claimed that the 1993 cancellation of the original series came after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against the then 16-year-old actor and his TV brother Jason Hervey, who was 20 at the time.

Mills told Yahoo, it was a “completely ridiculous sexual harassment suit that was going on against Fred Savage” and that the actor was “the least offensive, most wonderful, sweet human being that ever walked the face of the earth.”

The “Wonder Years” reboot debuted on ABC in September 2021. It stars Elisha “EJ” Williams as Dean Williams, a boy grows up in Montgomery, Alabama, in the late 1960s. Don Cheadle narrates the series as the adult Dean looking back on his childhood.

Live Nation Revenue Jumps

Concert promoter and venue operator Live Nation said it logged its “best first quarter ever,” thanks to a resurgence in concert going, which juiced sales at its Ticketmaster division, reports The NY Post.

Ticket sales giant, Ticketmaster recorded its second highest gross transaction volume in its history with an estimated 111,292 in the three months ended March 31. The division added seven million net new tickets in the quarter. 

Overall, quarterly revenue at Live Nation, which runs music festivals like Lollapalooza and Governors Ball, jumped to $1.8 billion, up from $290 million in the year-earlier quarter. 

Michael Rapino
“Concert fans are showing no signs of slowing down – they are paying more for the best tickets, attending the shows, and spending more onsite as they create lifetime memories,” Michael Rapino, president and chief executive of Live Nation said Friday.

The CEO said inflation doesn’t appear to be impacting demand or pricing on ticket sales, adding that concert “no-show rates” have returned to pre-Covid-19 levels.

The company said it registered roughly 11 million fans attending shows in the quarter, down from 15 million in the first quarter of 2019, which the company said was its most comparable period since the pandemic.

High demand has goosed sponsorship sales, which are up double-digits compared to this point in 2019. As a result, the company said it has already sold 90% of its planned sponsorship for 2022.

Live Nation took a hard hit during the pandemic and was forced to cancel all its tours. The firm said today the coronavirus is having less of an impact on planned events, noting that it only canceled about 1% of planned concerts in March.

Liberty Media To Buy $240M Property In Las Vegas

Formula One's commercial rights holders Liberty Media are buying a plot of land in Las Vegas for $240 million to locate the pit and paddock complex for a grand prix next year, they said on Friday.

The floodlit race, to be held on a Saturday, will be the third U.S. round on the calendar after Austin and Miami.

Formula One and Liberty Media are self-promoting the race with their Live Nation entertainment company and local stakeholders, reports Reuters. 

"Liberty Media did enter an agreement to acquire 39 acres east of the Strip to lock in circuit design and create capacity for the pit and paddock," Liberty CEO Greg Maffei told analysts on a first quarter earnings call.

"I expect that transaction will close in the second quarter and the purchase price was $240 million. It will be funded by cash on hand at the Formula One Group level."

McLaren team boss Zak Brown, responding to the news at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, said it was a positive step for the sport.

"I think Liberty's commitment to Formula One has been awesome," the American told reporters. "I think the fact that Liberty is putting skin in the game in certain parts of the business shows their commitment.

"And they are doing that because they think it will help it grow, which is good for them and good for us."

The Las Vegas Grand Prix's 6.12km track will see drivers roar past landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains and Caesars Palace for an event expected to attract 170,000 fans.

Liberty Media, the holding company controlled by John Malone which includes SiriusXM (and its Live Nation subsidiary), Formula One and the Atlanta Braves baseball team, reported solid first-quarter earnings on Friday, bolstered by SiriusXM and “record-breaking demand” for Live Nation events.

Liberty posted revenue of $2.19 billion in Q1, with an operating income of $484 million, up 111 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. Much of that was due to the performance of SiriusXM and its subsidiaries, with CEO Greg Maffei saying that the satellite radio company delivered “robust financial results while navigating well through challenging macroeconomic conditions and supply chain issues.”

Morgan Murphy Media Promotes Tery Garras To New Role

Tery Garras
Morgan Murphy Media has promoted 30-year veteran Tery Garras to Vice President of Radio, overseeing all radio operations for the company. 

Garras has served as Market Manager for MMM's radio cluster and digital agency in Spokane, WA since 2015 and has worked for the company for 21 years. 

She'll continue to run the day-today operations in Spokane in addition to her expanded corporate role.Garras started her radio career at KIOK-FM in Kennewick, WA on the administrative side of the business. She's held various sales and leadership roles with a demonstrated track record of audience and revenue growth.

"I am proud and honored to lead this group of live and local radio stations," said Garras. 

"The dedication to the business of serving our communities, audiences and advertisers is what drives our teams to succeed every day."

"Radio is a dynamic business and we need an enterprising leader," commented MMM Executive Vice President/COO Brian Burns. "Tery has shown she can deliver audio to audiences wherever they want it and is skilled at creating revenue-driving solutions for our advertisers."

Chicago Radio: Steve Cochran Set For Wake-Up Duty On WLS-AM

Steve Cochran, the veteran Chicago radio personality who’s been off the air for two and half years, will be heard again in morning drive next week. From 5:30 to 9 a.m. next Monday through Friday, Cochran will guest host on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890 AM, according to media reports.

The morning slot has been open since early April when the station dropped Bruce St. James.

A fixture on Chicago radio since 1993, Cochran previously hosted mornings on Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM. Bob Sirott replaced him when Cochran’s contract was not renewed in December 2019. 

Since he left WGN, Cochran has been hosting the twice-weekly podcast "Live From My Office." 

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey WLS tied for 24th in mornings with a 1.1 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 88,400.

May 7 Radio History

➦In 1941..."Chattanooga Choo Choo" was recorded by the Glenn Miller Band. The song by Mack Gordon and composed by Harry Warren was featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade. It was the first song to receive a gold record, presented by RCA Victor in 1942, for sales of 1.2 million copies.

➦In 1945...On radio Americans learned that the war in Europe was over...

NY Times 5/7/45

There were two sources of news during the World War II era - newspapers and radio.  Radio was faster, just as the internet and social media are (generally) faster with the news today.

NY Times 5/8/45

On May 7, an Associated Press reporter broke an embargo and sent first word of the German surrender to his wire service, ostensibly to be passed on to newspapers (the news was supposed to be embargoed to allow the leaders of the three Allied nations - the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union - to jointly announce the surrender on May 8.  But radio stations and networks also subscribed to the AP wire, and as soon as the news was reported, it was on the radio - hours before it could be printed in a paper.  Thus began a long period, though short by today's cable news endless coverage standards, of reporting about the end of the first half of the war.

➦In 1946...Sony, originally known as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering was founded with around 20 employees.

➦In 1955...Decca Records released, for the second time, “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets. It was first issued in May 1954 as a B-side to "Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town)."  While the song did make the American Cashbox music charts (contrary to popular opinion that it was a flop), it was considered a commercial disappointment. It was not until 1955, when "Rock Around the Clock" was used under the opening credits of the film Blackboard Jungle, that the song truly took off.

Many versions of the story behind how "Rock Around the Clock" was chosen for Blackboard Jungle circulated over the years. Recent research, however, reveals that the song was chosen from the collection of young Peter Ford, the son of Blackboard Jungle star Glenn Ford and dancer Eleanor Powell. The producers were looking for a song to represent the type of music the youth of 1955 was listening to, and the elder Ford borrowed several records from his son's collection, one of which was Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" and this was the song chosen.

The version of "Rock Around the Clock" that was used in the movie Blackboard Jungle differs from the hit single version. The difference is in the two solo breaks. The record has the guitar solo taking the first break and the sax solo taking the second break. The movie version is just the opposite with the sax solo coming first.  In 2004 the song finished at #50 in AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

➦In 1982...Dan Ingram aired his final music show on 77WABC (Sound quality is fair, it was recorded 100 miles from NYC.). WABC would change to Talk Radio three days later.

➦In 1996...Don McNeill died at age 88 (Born - December 23, 1907).  He is  best known as the creator and host of The Breakfast Club, which ran for more than 35 years.

McNeill began his radio career in Milwaukee in 1928, first as a script editor and announcer at The Milwaukee Sentinel's WISN, and later working for crosstown competitor WTMJ, owned by Sentinel rival The Milwaukee Journal. McNeill moved on to Kentucky, working for the Louisville Courier-Journal's station, WHAS. This was followed by working in San Francisco as a comedy act with singer Van Fleming, called "The Two Professors." following a failed career move to New York City, McNeill returned to Illinois in 1933.

McNeill applied for a job at NBC and was sent to Chicago to audition. He was assigned to host an un-sponsored early morning variety show called The Pepper Pot, which had an 8 AM time slot on the NBC Blue Network (later to become ABC radio). McNeill re-organized the hour show as The Breakfast Club, dividing it into four segments he called "the four calls to breakfast."

The show premiered on June 23, 1933, with informal talk and jokes based on topical events, and often included audience interviews. In its final form, the show featured piano music and vocal groups and soloists, with recurring comedy performers. McNeil gained a sponsor, Swift and Company. McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable format in radio. (Countless local shows even now refer to themselves as The Breakfast Club).

McNeill attempted to transfer the show to television as Don McNeill's TV Club (1950–1951). The Breakfast Club was simulcast on television in 1954-1955. McNeill appeared occasionally on game shows, and in 1963 hosted a short-lived game show Take Two, built around photo comparisons. McNeill's radio series finally ended in 1968, when McNeill retired from entertainment and public life.

 McNeill is credited as the first performer to make morning talk and variety a viable radio format.

The program featured Fran Allison (later of Kukla, Fran and Ollie fame) as "Aunt Fanny", plus Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers and various comedy bits. Every quarter-hour came the "Call to Breakfast" -- a march around the breakfast table. A featured vocalist on the show, under her professional name of Annette King, was Charlotte Thompson Reid, who later became an Illinois congresswoman for five terms (1962–71).

From 1993....

After ABC Radio was split into four networks in 1968, The Breakfast Club was moved to the new American Entertainment network, and was known for its last months on the air as The Don McNeill Show.

➦In 2002...WYNY 107.1 FM NYC dropped its country music format.

Traci Lords is 54


  • Singer Thelma Houston is 79. 
  • Actor Robin Strasser (“One Life to Live,” “Passions”) is 77. 
  • Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff (Starland Vocal Band) is 76. 
  • Drummer Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead is 76. 
  • Drummer Prairie Prince (The Tubes) is 72. 
  • Alexander Ludwig is 30
    Director Amy Heckerling (“Clueless,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) is 70. 
  • Actor Michael E. Knight (“All My Children”) is 63. 
  • Guitarist Phil Campbell of Motorhead is 61. 
  • Actor Traci Lords is 54. 
  • Actor Morocco Omari (“Empire”) is 52. 
  • Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 51. 
  • Actor Breckin Meyer (“Herbie: Fully Loaded,” “Road Trip”) is 48. 
  • Drummer Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys is 36. 
  • Comedian Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”) is 35. 
  • Actor Alexander Ludwig (“Vikings,” “The Hunger Games”) is 30. 
  • Actor Dylan Gelula (“Jennifer Falls,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) is 28.

Friday, May 6, 2022

MTP Daily Booted To NBC News Now Streaming

NBC News NOW is adding new anchors and original shows to its lineup of daily programming. The new lineup will include Meet the Press NOW, anchored by Chuck Todd, streaming at 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 6.

In addition, NBC News senior investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen will join NBC News NOW anchor and NBC News correspondent Morgan Radford as co-host of NBC News NOW Live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on NBC News NOW and NBC News NOW anchor and NBC News correspondent Aaron Gilchrist will begin anchoring NBC News NOW Live from 2 to 4 p.m.

Veteran award-winning journalist and MSNBC Senior National Correspondent Chris Jansing will begin anchoring MSNBC Reports at 1 p.m. on May 26.

Since launching in 2019, NBC News NOW has seen substantial growth, with an average of 100 million views each month and more than 30 million hours streamed each month. In March, NBC News NOW reached 120 million video views and more than 40 million hours watched, up 130 percent from March 2021. Featuring more live original programming than any other news streaming network, viewers get free access to the day’s headlines, world-class reporting, and breaking news from the nation’s most trusted journalists.

The streaming network is profitable and continues its rapid expansion as the fastest-growing streaming news network in the U.S. and the first U.S. streaming news network with an international linear distribution. Since 2020, average monthly hours watched on NBC News NOW are up 125%. This significant growth follows NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde’s announcement last summer of a significant investment to accelerate the organization’s premier streaming programming and digital platforms.

iHeartMedia Reports Quarterly Loss

iHeartMedia brought in $69 million in podcast revenue during the first quarter while total revenue reached roughly $843.5 million, surpassing Wall Street expectations.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company’s digital audio group, which includes podcasts, accounted for roughly 25 percent of iHM’s total revenue for the quarter, though broadcast radio remained one of the strongest drivers of revenue bringing in a total of $416.5 million during the quarter. Still, iHM swung to a $48.7 million net loss for the quarter.

The company has continued to expand its presence in the podcast space and, in February, led a Series A investment round in the podcast platform Sounder. The investment came roughly a year after iHeart acquired Triton Digital, an audio ad tech firm, for $230 million.

“We’re pleased to report another quarter of strong results, and believe our performance is further evidence of the successful execution of our digital transformation and multiplatform strategy,” Bob Pittman, the chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, said in announcing the results. “We remain committed to building on iHeart’s transformation into a data-led, digitally-focused business; to investing in areas with high growth potential; and to continuing our focus on innovation and being at the forefront of new technologies and digital platforms which create incremental growth opportunities for audio.”

Second Quarter Pacing Up 10% to 14%

The double-digit revenue growth is on track to continue in the second quarter, management said. The company is calling for 10% to 14% year-over-year growth with April revenue up 8%, and May and June currently pacing up in the mid-to-high teens. Second quarter earnings are expected to clock in between $225 million and $245 million, according to Inside Radio.

Moms & Media 2022: Radios Fading From Home

As the country moves out of the COVID pandemic and back into a lifestyle outside the home, Moms are showing adjustment once again in their media habits according to this year’s Moms and Media 2022 report.

Click here to download Moms and Media 2022

The latest installment of the annual report combines data from the Infinite Dial series from Edison Research, Wondery and ART19, with recent data from an additional online survey of moms. This Moms and Media 2022 report highlights device usage and media consumption of Moms in the United States, now two years into COVID and entering a much awaited phase of normalcy. In addition, from the online supplemental survey, Moms and Media puts the spotlight on some key questions about children and social media.

Moms self-reported using the internet for 16 minutes less than they did in 2021, for a total of four hours. This decrease is indicative of another lifestyle change, one that no longer is completely homebased because of COVID-19.

Smart speakers have found their place with moms. In 2022, half of all moms now report owning some kind of smart speaker. As seen in last year’s report, these devices proved to be true little helpers for moms.

They are so functional to moms that most need more than one. In 2022, 67% of moms report owning at least two smart speakers, with 43% saying they own three or more.

The main draw to smart speakers is the ability to accomplish tasks hands free.  That technology carries over to other devices and moms are taking advantage.  This year’s report shows a healthy increase in the number of moms choosing hands free, with 76% saying they use some kind of voice-operated personal assistant over the 63% reported last year.

Moms are embracing the hands free technology and adding smart speakers to their home, but what they are not adding, are actual radios.  Just about 4 in 10 (38%) moms do not have a single radio in their home while 62% report they have at least one.  In contrast, ten years ago, 88% of moms had at least one radio at home and just 12% reported not having one at all.

Report: Morale Low Among CBS News Staffers

CBS CEO George Cheeks

CBS CEO George Cheeks is scrambling to shore up morale at CBS News, dialing back demands that staffers work nights and weekends as they lament conditions under the struggling network’s hard-driving boss, The NY Post has learned.

Results from an annual “well-being survey” about employee satisfaction at Paramount Global — home to CBS, Showtime, MTV and Comedy Central — revealed particularly bad scores from CBS News employees, according to one source close to the company.

That’s on the heels of The Post’s reports of rank-and-file complaints about CBS News co-president Neeraj Khemlani, who was hired last year with orders to slash costs and who has since clashed with high-paid newsroom stars including Norah O’Donnell.

Insiders said newsroom morale has plunged as Khemlani — who some sources have branded as “micromanaging” and “rude” — barrages employees with around-the-clock questions and criticism over their performance.

Neeraj Khemlani
“Neeraj schedules meetings at 7 at night and doesn’t care about people’s lives,” said one source.

The survey yielded similar complaints, sources said, prompting Cheeks to take the rare step of sending out an email and video message to staffers last Thursday about improving the work-life balance at the division, according to insiders.

“We need to set a goal avoid sending emails, texts or otherwise engaging on routine matters after hours or over the weekend,” Cheeks said in the video, which was reviewed by The Post.

He added that he’s encouraging managers to implement “no-meeting days” or “no-meeting blocks” within a day. He also encouraged employees to take “real time off” to “recharge,” after workers griped in the survey about not getting the chance to fully unplug.

A CBS spokesman noted that Cheeks’ written memo and video message weren’t specifically addressed to the CBS News division. The spokesman declined to comment on whether complaints at CBS News were especially high versus other divisions.

Khemlani has also caught flack for his dealings with former London bureau chief Andy Clarke, who left amid multiple disagreements over budget cuts, as well as a flap over his brother’s consulting firm FTI overseeing plans for CBS News’ corporate reorganization.

News Corp Revenue Boosted by Gains in Dow Jones

News Corp said revenue and segment earnings rose in the March quarter, driven by gains in its Dow Jones and digital real-estate units.

The New York-based media company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers and news organizations in the U.K. and Australia, reported revenue of $2.5 billion, up 7% from the year-earlier period. Segment earnings, which exclude interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and restructuring charges, among other items, rose 20%.

News Corp posted net profit of $82 million, or 14 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $79 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier.

Dow Jones, the publisher of the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch, posted 16% revenue growth, boosted by circulation and subscription gains, as well as higher ad sales. Excluding the acquisitions of Investor’s Business Daily and the Oil Price Information Service business, currency fluctuations and other items, revenue grew 9%.

Digital advertising revenue jumped 21% at Dow Jones, driven by improvement in the financial-services and technology categories, while print advertising sales increased 18%, thanks to a rebound from pandemic-related weakness last year. Overall, ad revenue increased 20%.

“While the conflict in Ukraine had a short-term impact on advertising, given that certain advertisers did not want juxtaposition with war coverage, overall trends remain favorable,” News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said on an earnings call.

The Journal averaged more than 3 million digital subscriptions in the quarter, up from over 2.9 million in the previous quarter. Including the print edition, the Journal averaged 3.7 million subscriptions in the period. Total average subscriptions to Dow Jones consumer products reached over 4.8 million, the company said.

News Corp’s other news publications, which include the New York Post, the Sun and the Times in the U.K. and many papers in Australia, reported a 5% increase in revenue.

The company’s digital real-estate services division reported a 19% gain in revenue. Segment earnings increased 17%. News Corp has a majority stake in REA Group Ltd., a publicly traded digital real-estate company, as well as an 80% stake in Move Inc., an online real-estate business based in Santa Clara, Calif., that primarily operates the website

Gannett Grows Digital Circulation Revenue 30% In A Year

Local news giant Gannett has pushed up its digital circulation revenue by a third in a year, reports The Press-Gazette. It is the latest development in the publisher’s campaign to refocus its business from print to digital.

The Virginia-incorporated company owns USA Today, hundreds of titles across the US and Newsquest, one of the UK’s major local news chains.

The three months to March 2022 saw Gannett’s digital-only paid subscriber numbers increase 44% compared to the same quarter in 2021.

It is the fifth consecutive quarter that Gannett has recorded more than 40% growth in its digital-only subscriber total, which now stands at 1.75 million.

The company hopes to get the figure higher than 1.85 million before the end of June, and between 2 million and 2.2 million before the year’s end.

Digital-only circulation revenue for Q1 2022 was $30.1m, up 30% year-on-year. Digital revenue in general was up 8.7% year-on-year to $251.1m, accounting for 34% of total revenue.

Its digital marketing solutions services grew similarly, up 7.3% year-on-year to $109.7m.

The first quarter included the launch of Gannett’s “Digital Saturday” initiative in March, which saw it drop Saturday papers in 136 markets in favor of offering subscribers access that day to the entire USA Today digital network.

The company said the launch “has resulted in an increase to the Company’s Saturday digital e-Edition usage by 55% with 351,000 average Saturday digital users.”

Outside its digital growth, the picture in Thursday’s earnings release was more mixed.

Operating revenues were down 3.7% for the first quarter, from $777.1m in 2021 to $748.1m this year.

Wake-Up Call: Ukranian Fighters At Steel Plant Refuse Surrender

The Ukrainian forces who have been holed up at the steel plant in Mariupol that has been the last pocket of resistance in the devastated port city are refusing to surrender, even as they are fighting Russian troops who've now gotten into the tunnels under the sprawling plant. The wife of one commander said after speaking to him by phone that he'd vowed to "stand till the end," and that he'd said to her what, quote, "seemed like words of goodbye." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address, "There are many wounded [fighters], but they are not surrendering. They are holding their positions." A few hundred civilians are also believed to still be in bunkers under the plant. 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that Russian forces are still making only, quote, "plodding" progress in the eastern Donbas region, where they have refocused their fight, and that the U.S. has assessed that Russia is behind schedule and not making the progress it expected in Donbas. Meanwhile, Ukraine's chief of defense siad that they could begin a counteroffensive to push Russian forces away from the cities of Kharkiv and Izyum. Ukrainian forces have in recent days been able to driven the Russians about 25 miles east of Kharkiv.

An American official said yesterday that the U.S. shared intelligence with Ukraine about the location of a Russian flagship before Ukraine's strike last month that sank it. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. has provided a "range" of intelligence to Ukraine, including the location of warships, but that it was wholly Ukraine's decision to target the Moskva missile cruiser in the high-profile incident.

Putin Apologizes to Israeli PM Over Foreign Minister's Holocaust Remarks: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said yesterday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had apologized during a phone conversation with him for recent controversial remarks made about Jews and the Holocaust by Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov had been questioned about Russia's rationale for the war that they are "denazifying" Ukraine, asked how that could by true as President Zelenskyy is Jewish. Lavrov said there could still be Nazi elements and then said Adolf Hitler had, quote, "Jewish origins." That angered Israelis, who said it appeared that Lavrov was blaming the Holocast on the Jews themselves.

➤SUPREME COURT'S ROBERTS CALLS LEAK "APPALLING" IN FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE: In his first public appearance yesterday since the stunning leak three days earlier of a draft opinion that would strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts called it "absolutely appalling," but also said he hopes, quote, "one bad apple" won't change "people's perception" of the nation's highest court. Speaking at a meeting of lawyers and judges of the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, Roberts further said that it whoever was behind the leak thinks it will affect the work of the Supreme Court, they are, quote, "foolish."

➤THREE ISRAELIS FATALLY STABBED NEAR TEL AVIV: Three Israelis were fatally stabbed in the town of Elad near Tel Aviv last night when two Palestinians went on a stabbing rampage, also wounding four others. The attackers then fled in a vehicle, and a massive manhunt was on for them. The two suspects came from Jenin in the West Bank, according to police. This was the latest in string of deadly attacks in Israel in recent weeks, and came on Israel's Independence Day. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, however the Palestinian militant group Hamas praised it.

➤U.S. LIMITS WHO CAN GET JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID VACCINE DUE TO BLOOD CLOT RISK: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday imposed new limits on who can get Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine due the continuing risk of rare but serious blood clots. Now, only adults who can't get a different vaccine or who specifically request the J&J vaccine can get it. U.S. regulators have for months already been recommending that people get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead of Johnson & Johnson's. The blood clot risk is there only in the first two weeks after getting the J&J vaccine.

Amber Heard recounted several violent incidents with Johnny Depp while on the stand Thursday, including a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in Australia shortly after they were married.

A tearful Heard detailed the time she claims he violated her with a glass bottle. She told the jury, “I didn't know if the bottle that he had inside me was broken. I couldn't feel it. I didn't feel pain, I didn't feel anything. I looked around and I saw so much broken glass I didn't know if he would know if it was broken or not and I remember thinking please 'God please, I hope it's not broken.'”

The Aquaman star also told the jury that Depp was insanely jealous. She says he accused her of having affairs with costars like Eddie Redmayne and James Franco and testified that he nearly broke her nose after the 2014 Met Gala because he thought she was flirting with another woman.

While on the stand, Heard also recalled accusing Depp of cheating on her with a woman he had been with years prior. She said she immediately confronted the actor and admitted that she took a swing at him - and landed her first blow – right before he hit her back.

A spokesperson for the Pirates of the Caribbean actor issued a statement Thursday saying, "As Mr. Depp's counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver ‘the performance of her life' in her direct examination," the statement read. "While Ms. Heard's stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp's recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made."

Heard’s team issued their own statement saying that Depp and his legal team are unable to “distinguish fact from fiction.” They added, "Mr. Depp's behavior in this trial has been as pitiful as it was in their marriage. Apparently, they feel they must double-down on their demonstrably losing two-part strategy: distract the jury and demonize the victim."

💰30-YEAR MORTGAGE RATE NOW HIGH SINCE 2009:   If you're looking to buy a home using a mortgage, it's continuing to keep getting more expensive, with the key 30-year mortgage rate reaching 5.27 percent, up from 5.1 percent last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported yesterday, its highest point since 2009. One year ago, it was 2.96 percent. The increase was in the week before the Federal Reserve announced an increase in the benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point and signaled more hikes are coming as they try to tame high inflation, which will bring even higher costs for mortgages. The rising rate adds to difficulties prospective home buyers are already facing of high home prices amid a tight supply. Because of those factors, some economists suggest the red-hot housing market could calm down this year with as much as a 10 percent fall in home sales from 2021.

📺GOP SENATORS URGE TV CONTENT RATINGS:  Five Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board Wednesday urging that it "update" its guidelines to indicate to parents if a show has content related to sexual orientation or gender identity. The letter from Senators Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Steve Daines of Montana said, "In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria." The lead author of the letter, Marshall, emphasized in a follow-up email that he's especially concerned about gender dysphoria and "the promotion of cosmetic treatments" for it. When asked by the Kansas City Star for examples, Marshall named Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

💕STUDY: THIS KIND OF FLIRTING WORKS BEST:  If you want to employ the best flirting method right off the bat you’ll want to use humor. Researchers from the US and Norway say we flirt to attract a potential partner, regardless of whether we stop before it gets that far or not, and there are many methods of flirting, but one is most effective. Researcher Leif Kennair explains, “People think that humor, or being able to make another person laugh, is most effective for men who are looking for a long-term relationship. It’s least effective for women who are looking for a one-night stand. But laughing or giggling at the other person’s jokes is an effective flirtation tactic for both sexes.” Study co-author Rebecca Burch adds, “It’s not only effective to be funny, but for women it is very important that you show your potential partner that you think they are funny.” The researchers say while humor is very important in flirting, but you shouldn’t necessarily lead with it. Kennair says, “Smiling and eye contact are important. Then you can build your flirting skills from that base, using more advanced tactics.”

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round games yesterday:
  • New York Rangers 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 - Series tied 1-1
  • Florida Panthers 5, Washington Capitals 1 - Series tied 1-1
  • Colorado Avalanche 2, Nashville Predators 1 (OT) - Colorado leads series 2-0
  • Dallas Stars 2, Calgary Flames 0 - Series tied 1-1

⚾METS HAVE SEVEN-RUN NINTH-INNING COMEBACK TO BEAT PHILLIES 8-7: The New York Mets stunned the Philadelphia Phillies last night with a seven-run comeback in the ninth inning to win the game 8-7. The Mets had entered the ninth inning in Philadelphia down 7-1 before mounting their comeback, the first time they've trailed by at least six runs in the ninth and won since September 13th, 1997, and just the third time they've done it in franchise history.

⚾OHTANI STRIKES OUT 11, GETS TWO HITS IN FENWAY PARK PITCHING DEBUT: The Los Angeles' Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 Boston Red Sox players last night and got two hits as he made his pitching debut at Boston's historic Fenway Park. Ohtani whiffed 11 in seven shutout innings in the 8-0 win, and one of his hits banged off left field's "Green Monster" so hard that it knocked his Number 17 out of the manual scoreboard.

🏀GRIZZLIES' BROOKS SUSPENDED ON GAME FOR FLAGRANT FOUL ON PAYTON: The Memphis Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks was suspended for one game by the NBA yesterday for the flagrant foul that led to the Golden State Warriors Gary Payton II fracturing his elbow in the Game 2 of the second-round playoff series and Brooks being ejected. Brooks hit Payton across the head in the air as he was chasing him down from behind and Payton fell hard to the floor. Brooks will miss Game 3 on Saturday, while Payton, who also suffered ligament and muscle damage, is out indefinitely.