Saturday, May 14, 2022

May 15 Radio History

 ➦In 1923...WJZ moved to New York City.

The WJZ call sign was first used on what is now WABC in New York City. The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, located originally in Newark, New Jersey.

WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York, and in 1926 WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network.  NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942. ABC later established WJZ-FM and WJZ-TV at the same time in 1948.

In 1953 ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, and changed the call letters of their New York area stations to WABC, WABC-FM (now WPLJ) and WABC-TV. Four years later, Westinghouse Broadcasting acquired Baltimore television station WAAM (channel 13) and changed its call letters to WJZ-TV, which remained an ABC affiliate until 1995 when the station switched to CBS.

➦In 1933...the radio serial “Today’s Children” was heard for the first time.  The woman who would soon become a soap opera icon, Irma Phillips, who was an NBC Blue network program-features writer, starred in the role of Mother Moran.  Today’s Children became the #1 radio soap by 1938.

➦In 1961...Peter Tripp of WMGM 1050 AM in NYC found guilty of 35 counts of "commercial bribery".  Tripp was a Top-40 countdown radio personality from the mid-1950s, whose career peaked with his 1959 record breaking 201 hour wakeathon (working on the radio non-stop without sleep to benefit the March of Dimes). For much of the stunt, he sat in a glass booth in Times Square. After a few days he began to hallucinate, and for the last 66 hours the observing scientists and doctors gave him drugs to help him stay awake. Tripp suffered psychologically, after the stunt, he began to think he was an imposter of himself, and kept that thought for some time.

His career soon suffered a massive downturn when he was involved in the payola scandal of 1960. Like several other disc jockeys (including Alan Freed) he had been playing particular records in return for gifts from record companies. Indicted only weeks after his stunt, it emerged that he had accepted $36,050 in bribes. Despite his claim that he "never took a dime from anyone", he was found guilty on a charge of commercial bribery, receiving a $500 fine and a six-month suspended sentence.

Even his wakeathon record did not endure for long. Other DJs had quickly attempted to beat it (such publicity stunts being common in radio broadcasting at the time) and Dave Hunter, in Jacksonville, Florida, soon claimed success (225 hours). Six years after Tripp's record, it was smashed by high school student Randy Gardner, who lasted 11 days.

Peter Tripp
After leaving WMGM, Tripp was unable to re-establish himself in the world of radio, drifting from KYA in San Francisco to KGFJ in Los Angeles and finally WOHO in Toledo, Ohio, before quitting the medium in 1967. Returning to L.A., he had more success working in physical fitness sales and marketing. He diversified into freelance motivational speaking, writing and stockbroking before settling into a Palm Springs, California retirement.

Overall he had spent twenty years in broadcasting: he began with WEXL in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1947 then on to Kansas City, Missouri in 1953 where he worked for KUDL (where he adopted the nickname "The Bald Kid In The Third Row", apparently a description made by a parent upon spotting him among many rows of new-borns in a hospital shortly after his birth) and then WHB (restyling himself as "The Curly-headed Kid In The Third Row"; he was not, in reality, bald) where he was pioneer in the Top-40 format. It was in 1955 that he landed his ill-fated job with WMGM in New York, presenting "Your Hits of the Week".

Tripp died in 2000 at the age of 73 following a stroke, leaving two sons and two daughters. His four marriages all ended in divorce.

➦In 1984...Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair suffered a heart attack following his regular midday broadcast on CFRB Toronto; he died two days later, two weeks short of his 84th birthday.  He is best remembered for his many years on CBC-TV’s Front Page Challenge.

➦In 2001...XM Satellite Radio completes satellite system

XM Satellite Radio (XM) is one of two satellite radio (SDARS) services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It also provided pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service included 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM channels were identified by Arbitron with the label "XM" (e.g. "XM32").

From 2008...

The company has its origins in the 1988 formation of the American Mobile Satellite Corporation (AMSC), a consortium of several organizations originally dedicated to satellite broadcasting of telephone, fax, and data signals. In 1992, AMSC established a unit called the American Mobile Radio Corporation dedicated to developing a satellite-based digital radio service; this was spun off as XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc. in 1999. The satellite service was officially launched on September 25, 2001.

From 2005...

On July 29, 2008, XM and former competitor Sirius Satellite Radio formally completed their merger, following Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, forming SiriusXM Radio, Inc. with XM Satellite Radio, Inc. as its subsidiary. On November 12, 2008, Sirius and XM began broadcasting with their new, combined channel lineups. On January 13, 2011, XM Satellite Radio, Inc. was dissolved as a separate entity and merged into Sirius XM Radio, Inc.

Fred White
➦In 2013…Longtime Kansas City Royals broadcaster Fred White died of complications from cancer at 76.

White was best known for the 25 years, 1974-98, that he teamed with Denny Matthews in the Royals' radio booth.

White, originally from Homer, Ill., did his first baseball broadcasts calling American League games in Hastings, Neb.

He became the voice of Kansas State University athletics in the 1960s-70s and was sports director of WIBW in Topeka. He was nationally known for his TV basketball coverage, notably in the Big Eight and later the Big 12.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler is 41


  • Actor-singer Anna Maria Alberghetti is 86. 
  • Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 86. 
  • Singer Lenny Welch is 83. 
  • Actor-singer Lainie Kazan is 80. 
  • Actor Gunilla Hutton (“Petticoat Junction,” ″Hee Haw”) is 80. 
  • Lenny Welch is 83
    Actor Chazz Palminteri (“Analyze This,” ″Mulholland Falls”) is 76. 
  • Musician Brian Eno is 74. 
  • Actor Nicholas Hammond (“The Sound of Music”) is 72. 
  • Musician Mike Oldfield is 69. 
  • Actor Lee Horsley (“Matt Houston”) is 67. 
  • Rapper Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five is 61. 
  • Actor David Charvet (“Melrose Place”) is 50. 
  • Actor Russell Hornsby (“Grimm”) is 48. 
  • Actor David Krumholtz (“Numb3rs”) is 44. 
  • Bassist David Hartley of The War On Drugs is 42. 
  • Actor Jamie-Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”) is 41. 
  • Actor Alexandra Breckenridge (“The Walking Dead,” ″American Horror Story”) is 40. 
  • Guitarist Brad Shultz of Cage the Elephant is 40. 
  • Guitarist Nick Perri (Shinedown) is 38.

FLA Radio: Tommy BoDean Named Brand Manager For WRUF AM/FM

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) has announced that radio veteran Tommy BoDean will join the College as brand manager and talent for radio stations WRUF-FM and GHQ, starting on May 24, 2022.

Tommy BoDean
WRUF-FM 1037, The Gator
is the 100,000-watt commercial country-formatted radio station operated in conjunction with WRUF-AM, the ESPN/sports formatted station that is the flagship for Florida Gators athletics and provides immersive experience for UFCJC students interested in sports journalism and sports broadcasting. 

GHQ is a student-run radio station that provides students with exposure to the radio industry in a Top-40/contemporary format.

BoDean will be responsible for all programming and operations for “The Gator” and “GHQ,” and lead new efforts to expand the immersive opportunities for CJC students.

WRUF 103.7 FM (100 Kw)

BoDean joins UFCJC with 20 years of commercial radio programming and operations leadership and experience. Most recently, he was the Operations Manager of Cumulus Media’s commercial radio cluster in Melbourne, Florida. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President/Programming with oversight of eight radio stations for iHeart Media in Jacksonville, Florida. He has programmed various radio stations that have been nominated for NAB Marconi Radio Awards and has led a number of stations that have been named “Best of” in markets including Jacksonville, Madison, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina.

Dayton Radio: Gina Ferraro Joins Line-Up At iHM's WZDA

iHeartMedia Dayton’s New Country WZDA 103.9 today announced the addition of Gina Ferraro to the on-air lineup. Gina’s show will broadcast weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gina Ferraro
“We’re really excited to add Gina to the station’s lineup of ‘The Bobby Bones Show,’ ‘After Midnight with Granger Smith,’ Wazz in the afternoon, and Kasper at night,” said Jeff Stevens, Senior VP Programming for iHeartMedia Dayton. “We know how involved Gina will be in the community and how much fun she’ll be while you listen to her during the day.”

“Gina is a talent ready to engage listeners both on the air and through an expanding social media presence on day one,” said Scott Sands, Area Senior VP Programming for OH & WV. “Her energy and personality will really shine in Dayton.”

“I used to listen to my country music in the car with my mom growing up and that really started my love for country music,” Ferraro said. “The lyrics of country songs are really hard to match and have touched my soul through the years.”

Ferraro began her career in Dayton after graduating from Wright State University and worked in larger markets like Chicago and Cincinnati before returning home to Dayton’s New Country 103.9.

D/FW Radio: KERA To Manage Classical WRR-FM

KERA and the City of Dallas, Office of Arts and Culture are in the final confirmation process of a management agreement for Dallas-based classical music station WRR 101.1 FM — the first licensed broadcast station in Texas and one of the nation’s oldest operating radio stations. KERA has submitted a proposal in an open procurement process and has finalized a contract with the City. The proposed contract will go to the Dallas City Council for approval.

The management agreement ensures WRR remains a locally programmed classical station, operated by KERA and owned by the City of Dallas. Keeping WRR a classical station is not only a requirement of the City’s RFP — it is KERA’s explicit goal. The agreement also ensures WRR will continue to operate out of its Fair Park studios in South Dallas for the next seven years.

“KERA is honored to be considered to manage WRR and deepen its commitment to classical music,” says Nico Leone, President & CEO of KERA. “Together we can help WRR grow and serve diverse audiences in Dallas and across North Texas, ensuring WRR’s sustainability for generations to come. And given our own commitment to arts and culture, and our strong partnerships both locally and nationally, KERA is well positioned to build on the success that WRR has achieved in its incredible 101-year history.”

WRR 101.1 FM (100 Kw)

KERA is an ideal management partner to help WRR grow its audience, keep up with industry and technology trends, and ensure audiences receive the highest-quality classical music programming possible. For more than 60 years, KERA has served the people of North Texas with the best in public broadcasting programming. And like WRR, KERA has a longstanding legacy of supporting the arts in North Texas — from in-depth arts reporting on 90.1 KERA News and Art&Seek, to inspiring performances on KERA TV and 91.7 KXT. Additionally, KERA reaches more than 2.6 million people each week through its public service platforms and broadcast channels. That coverage is also shared statewide through The Texas Newsroom, and nationally on NPR.

“WRR is a beloved station in the Dallas and North Texas community,” says Sylvia Komatsu, Chief Content and Diversity Officer of KERA. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to deepen our shared commitment to the arts and classical music in North Texas, and together engage with previously underrepresented communities in the classical space.”

Canada Antitrust Watchdog Open to Deal On Rogers Bid for Shaw

Canada's competition bureau said on Friday that its decision to start litigation to block a C$20 billion ($15.5 billion) bid by Rogers Communications for Shaw Communications does not mean a settlement cannot be reached, reports Reuters.

The Canadian antitrust agency this week rejected the proposed deal, saying it would undermine competition in a country that has some of the world's steepest wireless rates.

It also dismissed a proposed full divesture of Calgary-based Shaw's wireless business, Freedom Mobile, saying this was insufficient to address competition concerns. read more

A Competition Bureau spokesperson said in a statement sent to Reuters on Friday that proposed divestitures "will not eliminate the substantial lessening of competition and any remedy proposal would be assessed individually".

But it also left the door open to a settlement.

"The commencement of litigation does not prevent the parties and the Bureau from reaching an agreement to remedy the competition concerns at any time," it added.

Shares in Shaw extended gains after the Reuters report and were up as much as 2.8% to a high of C$34.74 for the day, although they are trading 14.2% below Rogers' offer price of C$40.50, reflecting the uncertainty over the deal.

Meanwhile, shares in Rogers fell 1%, underperforming the benchmark Canada share index, which was up 2%.

Some lawyers and analysts say the deal could find support from the bureau if Rogers and Shaw propose additional remedies.

Antitrust lawyers expect Rogers and Shaw to bring in buyers with a proven record in running the business, and propose a sale of some stores or spectrum to overcome the bureau's concerns.

A spokesperson for Rogers told Reuters on Monday that it will continue to engage with regulators to reach a resolution.

Rogers and Shaw have 45 days to respond to the bureau's concerns, which includes proposing a new buyer for Freedom Mobile. Reuters reported this week that Montreal-based Quebecor (QBRb.TO) is seen as a credible buyer.

Quebecor said on Thursday that the proposed deal between Rogers and Shaw allowed it to look "with increasing favour" on the expansion of its wireless business, given it will have the alternative of buying Shaw's wireless assets.

Bezos-Biden In Twitter Spat Inc. founder Jeff Bezos on Friday accused President Joe Biden of “misdirection” on Twitter in response to the US leader’s tweet saying inflation could be tamed by making wealthy corporations “pay their fair share”, reports Bloomberg.

The exchange began Friday evening with Biden’s tweet: 

Amazon, which paid $3.7 billion in US taxes in 2021 on global revenue of $469 billion, is often criticized for not contributing enough in federal levies, given its size. Still Bezos, the world’s second-wealthiest man who is often held up as a poster boy for income inequality, wasn’t ready to sit by and start taking heat for inflation as well.

“The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead,” Bezos tweeted, referring to the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board announced in April. “Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”

Bezos and Amazon were frequent Twitter targets of former President Donald Trump, who often tried to blunt critical investigative stories by the Bezos-owned Washington Post by attributing it to his personal feud with Bezos.

This is the Amazon founder’s first public spat with Biden and came on a day when Bezos was quite active on the social-media platform. In addition to sparring with Biden about inflation, Bezos engaged in conversations with other Twitter users about space squirrels and dyslexia.

Reporter Heckles Psaki During Final WH Briefing

NY Post graphic 5/14/22

White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s final briefing with reporters went off the rails Friday after one reporter repeatedly shouted a question about fair access in the room.

As Psaki began to take questions — after fighting back tears as she thanked members of the administration and the press corps — Simon Ateba, the chief White House correspondent for Today News Africa, was heard yelling from the back of the press briefing room.

“Why don’t you take questions from across the room?” Ateba asked as Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller attempted to get things started with a query about the ongoing baby formula shortage. 

“Why don’t you take questions from across the room? Because that’s not what you’ve done for the past 15 months,” Ateba shouted again. 

Psaki was not initially fazed by Ateba’s lack of decorum. However, the reporter shouted over his colleagues again minutes later.

“Jen, can I ask you a question from the back?” he was heard saying. “Jen, can I ask you a question from the back?” 

As Ateba continued to speak over reporters in the front row who attempted to question Psaki, NPR’s Tamara Keith turned around and urged him to desist.

“Simon, please, stop,” she said. 

Ateba did not oblige and continued to shout over other reporters in the room, until Psaki finally turned to him to say, “Simon, if you can respect your colleagues and other media and reporters in here, that would be greatly appreciated.”

Psaki has been criticized in the past for strictly sticking to answering questions from reporters in the first few rows of the briefing room, often missing out on questions from outlets such as The Post, the Washington Examiner, Al Jazeera and other foreign media.

MSNBC on Friday night refused to deny that White House press secretary Jen Psaki - who delivered her final briefing on Friday - was about to join their network and host a streaming show. 

In April news broke that she was in talks with various news broadcasters about a post-White House role, and it rapidly emerged that she was in exclusive talks with MSNBC. Questions were asked how she could continue to do her job impartially while in contractual negotiations with one of the media outlets she dealt with daily. 'I took steps and have taken steps, as I've had any discussions with any future employer, that go over and above any requirements by government, recusing myself of any discussions as well, and I'm proud of that,' Psaki said last Sunday.

Melania Trump: Shortage of Baby Formula 'Heartbreaking'

Daily Mail graphic 5/14/22

Melania Trump has described the shortage of baby formula nationwide as 'heartbreaking' - using her first interview since leaving the White House to say the crisis was down to 'leadership', reports The Daily Mail.

The former first lady sat down with Fox News's Pete Hegseth for an interview to be aired in full on Sunday.

In a clip released on Friday night, Hegseth asked for her views on the baby formula problem.

'It's heartbreaking to see that they are struggling and the food is not available for children in 21st century in the United States of America,' she said.

Asked what was causing the shortages, took aim at Joe Biden's administration and replied: 'Leadership.'

When Hegseth asked if she meant a lack of leadership, she said: 'Yeah.'

The 52-year-old has kept a low profile since leaving the White House in January 2021, with only rare sightings by members of Mar-a-Lago. 

Daily Mail graphic 5/14/22

Melania Trump has also spoken out against Vogue editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour. 

The former first lady never graced the cover of the magazine while at White House. Jill Biden and Kamala Harris were both been on the front cover during 2021. Michelle Obama posed for three covers during her husband's two terms. 

Hillary Clinton was the first wife of a President to pose on the cover in 1998, but plenty of others haven't appeared including Laura Bush and Barbara Bush.

CNN Sent Branded 'Welcome' Gifts To Former CNN+ Staffers

NY Post graphic 5/14/22

A week after the CNN+ streaming service collapsed in April, laid-off employees received a welcome package from the network filled with branded gifts and notes from the failed platform.

Hundreds of CNN+ employees were laid off when the streaming service shut down less than five weeks after launching in March 2022. Days after the mass layoff, a number of former staffers received welcome gift packages from the network, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Daily Caller reports the packages contained gear branded with the CNN+ logo, including pens, headphones, food containers, and even popcorn makers, the WSJ reported. Some of the packages also came with welcome notes, one of which read, “this is an incredible time to be part of CNN,” the outlet continued. “Build relationships and take time to connect with colleagues and learn so that you make the most of your time here.”

CNN has since said that the gifts were sent mistakenly. More than 400 employees were employed by the streaming platform, which only brought in 150,000 subscribers with a $5.99-a-month subscription fee, the WSJ reported.

Only 5,000 to 10,000 people watched CNN+ at any given time, people familiar with the situation told the WSJ.

Netflix To Woke Staffers: Quit If You Don't Like It

In light of internal dissension triggered by productions like Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special, Netflix has reportedly issued a memo to its disgruntled staffers, underscoring that the streaming behemoth values the “artistic expression” of its content creators over each employee’s personal thoughts, beliefs and lifestyles. 

And any worker who doesn’t like it can ’Flix off. 

“As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values,” read the memo, titled “Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence.”

Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful,” the communiqué continued. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Dave Chappelle
The note, dispatched Thursday, follows ongoing personnel protests of Chappelle’s barbs regarding transgender individuals in the Netflix special “The Closer,” which debuted on the digital platform in October. 

During his hourlong chuckle fest, Chappelle, 48, fired off a string of wisecracks about trans women’s genitalia, insisted that “gender is a fact” and deemed the LGBTQ+ community “too sensitive.”

Shortly after the show’s premiere, vexed Netflix staff members staged a walkout in an effort to demonstrate their collective disapproval of the comedian’s digs. 

But the mutiny failed to sway Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who maintained his support of Chappelle and continued to air the special.  

And as a warning to any remaining discontented cogs, the company’s freshly distributed letter underlined its commitment to prioritizing artistic expression.   

“Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view,” stated the lengthy proclamation. “So we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative.”

“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful.”

“To help members make informed choices about what to watch,” it added, “we offer ratings, content warnings and easy to use parental controls.”

And although the streaming giant acknowledged that its content may be problematic for some viewers, it remains firm that it will not silence the voices of its artists.

R.I.P.: Richard Wald, Veteran TV News Executive for ABC and NBC

Richard Wald
Richard Wald, a longtime journalist and TV executive who guided the programs and anchors that helped shape network news over several decades, died Friday at 92, The L-A Times is reporting.

Wald suffered a massive stroke Sunday night.

Wald was a print journalist who moved into television in the 1970s. He spent the bulk of this TV career at ABC News working alongside the division’s high-profile chief Roone Arledge. Together they transformed ABC News from also-ran status to being the dominant player in TV news through the 1980s and 1990s.

During Wald’s ABC run from 1977 to 1999, Peter Jennings emerged as the most-watched evening news anchor and the network’s special event coverage regularly topped the competition in the Nielsen ratings.

The network also launched two popular newsmagazine shows during the period, “20/20,” which still airs Friday nights, and “PrimeTime Live,” and poached a number of major TV news stars, including David Brinkley from NBC and Diane Sawyer from CBS.

Previous to his ABC years, Wald was president of NBC News where he managed a key transition for the network’s morning franchise “Today.” Wald hired a 24-year-old Jane Pauley to replace Barbara Walters, who had departed for ABC, and paired her with Tom Brokaw, then an up-and-coming Washington correspondent.

At ABC News, Wald oversaw the launch of “Nightline,” the nightly news program first anchored by Ted Koppel. The program, which Wald named, evolved out of ABC’s nightly special reports on the capture of 66 American citizens at the U.S. Embassy in Iran by militants. “Nightline” was the first expansion of nightly news programming by any network since evening newscasts went from 15 minutes to a half-hour in the early 1960s.

May 14 Radio History

➦In 1910...Actor Paul Sutton born (Died from muscular dystrophy at age 59 – January 31, 1970), He was a film actor, appearing mostly in uncredited roles, and most often in low budget B-movies during the 1930s and 1940s. He is perhaps best known as one of the actors who portrayed Sergeant William Preston on the radio serial Challenge of the Yukon. He departed his acting career in 1947, and later entered politics. In 1954 and 1956 he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives from Michigan.

➦In 1916...Musician and bandleader Skip Martin was born in Robinson Ill. He began on staff at radio station WLW in Cincinnati, before playing alto and baritone sax for a series of big bands, including Charlie Barnett, Jan Savitt, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman. He had stints with NBC & CBS radio in New York before arranging the theme and incidental music for the 1958-59 TV series, “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.”  He died in Feb 1976 at age 59.

Billie Burke and Judy Garland

➦In 1970..Actress Billie Burke, best remembered as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, who had her own Saturday morning CBS radio sitcom (1943-46), died of heart failure at age 85.

➦In 1976...Lowell Thomas ended a 46-year career as a network radio reporter.

Lowell Thomas
In 1930, he became a broadcaster with the CBS Radio network, delivering a nightly news and commentary program. After two years, he switched to the NBC Radio network but returned to CBS in 1947. In contrast to today's practices, Thomas was not an employee of either NBC News or CBS News. Prior to 1947 he was employed by the broadcast's sponsor, Sunoco. When he returned to CBS to take advantage of lower capital-gains tax rates, he established an independent company to produce the broadcast which he sold to CBS.

He hosted the first-ever television-news broadcast in 1939 and the first regularly scheduled television news broadcast (even though it was just a simulcast of his radio broadcast), beginning on February 21, 1940, on NBC Television. While W2XBS New York carried every TV/radio simulcast, it is not known if the two other stations capable of being fed programs by W2XBS, W2XB Schenectady and/or W3XE Philadelphia carried all or some of the simulcasts.

In the Summer of 1940, Thomas anchored the first live telecast of a political convention, the 1940 Republican National Convention, which was fed from Philadelphia to W2XBS and on to W2XB. Reportedly, Thomas wasn't even in Philadelphia, instead anchoring the broadcast from a New York studio and merely identifying speakers who were about to or who had just addressed the convention.

However, the television news simulcast was a short-lived venture for him, and he favored radio. Indeed, it was over radio that he presented and commented upon the news for four decades until his retirement in 1976, the longest radio career of anyone in his day (a record later surpassed by Paul Harvey).  His signature sign-on was "Good evening, everybody" and his sign-off "So long, until tomorrow," phrases he would use in titling his two volumes of memoirs.

➦In 1984...Ron Lundy started at WCBS 101.1 FM

➦In 2006...Lew Anderson, the Howdy Doody Show's final Clarabell the Clown, died at the age of 84. Earlier in his career, he sang on radio with a group known as the Honey Dreamers.

Lew Anderson as Clarabell The Clown

➦In 2015…Riley B. B. King died at age 89 (Born - September 16, 1925), He was an blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists.

B B King

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues".

King was born on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, and later worked at a cotton gin in Indianola, Mississippi. He was attracted to music and the guitar in church, and began his career in juke joints and local radio. He later lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and Chicago, and toured the world extensively.

In November 1941, "King Biscuit Time" first aired, broadcasting on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. It was a radio show featuring the Mississippi Delta blues. King listened to it while on break at a plantation. A self-taught guitarist, he then wanted to become a radio musician.

In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John's Gospel Singers of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi.

(Getty Images)

He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop an audience. King's appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a ten-minute spot on the Memphis radio station WDIA. The radio spot became so popular that it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club.[18]

He worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, where he was given the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "Blues Boy", and finally to B.B.

Miranda Cosgrove is 29


  • Guitarist Gene Cornish of The Rascals is 78. 
  • Movie director-producer George Lucas is 78. 
  • Actor Meg Foster (“Cagney and Lacey”) is 74. 
  • Director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” ″Back to the Future”) is 71. 
  • Musician David Byrne (Talking Heads) is 70. 
  • Actor Tim Roth is 61. 
  • Guitarist C.C. DeVille of Poison is 60. 
  • Singer Ian Astbury of The Cult is 60. 
  • Actor Danny Huston (“John Adams” miniseries) is 60. 
  • Danny Wood is 53
    Musician Fabrice Morvan of Milli Vanilli is 56. 
  • Bassist Mike Inez of Alice In Chains is 56. 
  • Singer Raphael Saadiq (Tony! Toni! Tone!) is 56. 
  • Actor Cate Blanchett is 53. 
  • Singer Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block is 53. 
  • Director Sofia Coppola (“Lost In Translation”) is 51. 
  • Actor Gabriel Mann (“Revenge”) is 50. 
  • Singer Natalie Appleton of All Saints is 49. 
  • Singer Shanice is 49. 
  • Actor Carla Jimenez (“Growing Up Fisher”) is 48. 
  • Guitarist Henry Garza of Los Lonely Boys is 44. 
  • Singer Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show is 44. 
  • Singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys is 43. 
  • Bassist Mike Retondo of Plain White T’s is 41. 
  • Actor Amber Tamblyn (“Two and a Half Men,” ″Joan of Arcadia”) is 39. 
  • Actor Lina Esco (“S.W.A.T.”) is 37. 
  • Actor Miranda Cosgrove (“iCarly”) is 29.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Musk Reaffirms Commitment to Twitter Acquisition

Elon Musk said his deal to buy Twitter was on hold, raising questions about the takeover and sending shares of the messaging service lower, but he later added that he remains committed to the acquisition.

Musk said on Friday he was putting a temporary halt on his much-anticipated deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, sending shares in the social media giant plummeting, reports The NY Post.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” the Tesla CEO said in a tweet.

The stunning announcement sent Twitter stock tumbling 20 percent in premarket trading, while Tesla — which Musk had proposed using to help fund the mega-deal — jumped 5 percent.

In his tweet, the billionaire included a link to a May 2 Reuters article quoting Twitter’s filing on Monday.

“Twitter Inc estimated in a filing on Monday that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter,” the Reuters article said.

It was unclear whether the fake account issue could scuttle the Twitter deal. Investors have had to weigh legal troubles for Musk, as well as the possibility that acquiring the platform could be a distraction from running the world’s most valuable automaker.

Wall Street investors now see a less than 50% chance that the deal closes, according to Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush. He added that Musk’s move amounts to a “Twitter circus show” since Wall Street will likely view this deal as “likely falling apart” or Musk negotiating for a lower deal price.”

Ives said that Musk could be trying to rearrange the financing of the deal so that he doesn’t have to be relying on leveraged shares of his electric car company, Tesla. Alternatively, Ives said that Musk could simply walk away from the deal and pay a $1 billion breakup fee.

C-SPAN Challenged By Cord-Cutting

C-SPAN has been walloped by cord-cutting, a phenomenon that has slashed its revenues and audience while hammering the cable companies that fund the network. 

Politico reports the brutal environment has lately forced major changes on the 43-year-old Washington institution, including staff cuts and once-unthinkable business deals. Formerly in nearly 100 million homes, the network’s TV offerings are now in fewer than 70 million. C-SPAN’s brand new app, its website and its social media channels will need to make up the difference — but, compared to the cable channels, all face much more competition.

How did an advertising-free nonprofit that hasn’t even used Nielsen ratings come to sweat about how some hearing-room video performs on Twitter? It begins with the business model. Until a few years ago, C-SPAN — underwritten by the nation’s cable television providers — was living the dream: Roughly six cents of every monthly cable bill in the country went to the network, a guaranteed income stream that that helped the company grow beyond the Capitol’s feed of gavel-to-gavel congressional coverage to include broadcast footage of political events around the country, a radio platform and its own proprietary books and history coverage, with enough left over for educational ventures like the C-SPAN bus.

But the last decade has pounded the cable industry, and C-SPAN along with it. Revenue from cable fees has tumbled from upward of $70 million at peak to what is projected to be less than $50 million this year. According to Politico, they’ve had to trim the sails: There was a buyout last year, as staff size fell from roughly 235 to about 200. The bus was quietly mothballed.

More interestingly, reports Politico, cable providers’ troubles have also forced a certain amount of culture change at a Washington institution that once seemed insulated from the grubby business of commerce. Peter Kiley, the network’s vice president for affiliate relations and communication is pushing to get C-SPAN on streaming services such as YouTube TV and Hulu Live. There are now advertisements on the website, the YouTube channel and the app. They’re hiring their first chief digital officer and thinking about ways of licensing content and possibly cultivating donors a la public radio.

Wake-Up Call: Finland Moves To Join NATO

Finland's president and its prime minister announced Thursday that their county should apply right away to join NATO, and even though Finland's Parliament still has to weigh in, it's now almost certain they will apply and be admitted. Sweden is also considering joining NATO and could do the same within days. It's a big turnaround for both countries, with Finland having adopted neutrality after World War Two and Sweden having avoided military alliances for more than two centuries, but their thinking and public opinion shifted dramatically after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, which led to fears they could be in Moscow's sites as well because of their proximity to Russia. That's a blow to Russia, as President Vladimir Putin had hoped to divide and push back NATO in Europe, but the invasion has caused the opposite to happen. Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned yesterday in response to Finland's announcement that it quote, "will be forced to take retaliatory steps of military-technical and other characteristics in order to counter the emerging threats to its national security."

In developments in the fight in Ukraine, 12 Russian missiles hit an oil refinery and other infrastructure in the central industrial city of Kremenchuk, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy charged in his nightly address that Russian strikes had hit schools in the Chernihiv region, stating, "All Russian commanders who give such orders are simply sick, and incurable." Ukrainian officials claimed to have struck a Russian logistics ship in the Black Sea as it was trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island. An adviser to Zelenskyy said the ship was badly damaged, but not believed to have sunk.


Meanwhile, the first war crimes trial of a Russian soldier since the invasion is set to begin today in Kyiv, with a captured member of a Russian tank unit accused of shooting and killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian man in the opening week of the war. The attorney for Sergeant Vadim Shyshimarin said yesterday that his client had not yet decided how he will plead. The coordinator of Ukraine's largest human rights group, the Center for Civil Liberties, said they will monitor the trial to ensure the soldier’s legal rights are protected.

➤BIDEN HOSTS ASEAN SUMMIT, FIRST IN WASHINGTON: President Biden hosted the first day of the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit yesterday, the first time it's been held in Washington. Biden welcomed leaders from eight ASEAN nations for a dinner to start the summit, as the administration seeks to show the U.S. hasn't lost focus on the Pacific region even while it's been dealing with the war in Ukraine. The White House announced that the U.S. would commit to more than $150 million in new projects to bolster Southeast Asia’s climate, maritime and public health infrastructure. The summit is being held ahead of Biden's trip next week to South Korea and Japan, his first visit to Asia as president.

➤JAN. 6TH COMMITTEE SUBPOENAS HOUSE REPUB. LEADER MCCARTHY, FOUR OTHER GOP LAWMAKERS: The House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas yesterday to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republican members of Congress, a highly unusual step. The panel wants to speak to McCarthy about his conversations with then-President Donald Trump on the day of the attack, and with the other four lawmakers -- Reps. Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks -- about meetings they had with the White House ahead of January 6th as Trump and his aides worked to overturn the presidential election result. McCarthy said afterward that had hadn't, quote, "seen a subpoena," and accused the panel of not conducting a "legitimate investigation" and wanting to go after political opponents. There are seven Democrats and two Republicans on the panel. The subpoenas were issued when all five lawmakers wouldn't agree to requests to voluntarily testify. McCarthy didn't say whether he would comply with the subpoena.

➤AFTER ACKNOWLEDING COVID OUTBREAK, NORTH KOREA SAYS SIX HAVE DIED, EXPLOSIVE SPREAD: One day after North Korea acknowledged having a Covid-19 outbreak for the first time during the pandemic, the country's state media said Friday (May 13th) that six people have died and 350,000 have been treated for a fever that has spread, quote, "explosively" across North Korea. However, the North said it didn't know the cause of the mass fevers. North Korea imposed a lockdown Thursday, and leader Kim Jong Un criticized officials for failing to prevent, quote, "a vulnerable point in the epidemic prevention system."

Daily Mail Graphic

➤POLL..ECONOMY, ABORTION ARE VOTER'S TOP CONCERNS: With the midterm elections just under six months away, a new Monmouth University poll out Thursday that asked about voters' top concerns found they were the economy and abortion. When asked to choose the single most important issue from among six policy options, the economy and abortion were at the top as the biggest concerns, with the economy named by 26 percent and abortion by 25 percent. The abortion issue has come into central focus since the leak early last week of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating the high court is poised to overturn the five-decade-old decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Next was health care at 16 percent, followed by immigration at 14 percent, gun control at nine percent, and taxes at eight percent. It's been well reported that President Biden has a negative approval rating from voters, but this poll shows they feel even less good about Congress, whose members they will vote for this fall. Just 15 percent of those surveyed approve of the job Congress is currently doing, down from 21 percent in March, with disapproval at 77 percent.

🛫PASSENGERS ARE UNHAPPY AS AIRLINES GET BACK TO POST-PANDEMIC SCHEDULES:  Many Americans are taking to the skies again after spending the last two years at home, and it seems many are unhappy. The new J.D. Power survey of airline passenger satisfaction is out, and it shows overall satisfaction is 798 out of 1,000, down more than 20 points from a year ago. And there were many reasons—passengers expressed dissatisfaction with the flight crews, and the ongoing suspension of alcohol service in premium classes. But the thing making passengers most dissatisfied was the cost of flights, which has increased 20 percent so far this year. Overall satisfaction with cost and fees fell 66 points for premium economy passengers, 33 points for economy passengers, and 21 points for first and business class passengers. JetBlue was the highest-ranking airline in customer satisfaction, taking the top honors in the first/business class segment as well as premium economy, topping last year’s winner: Delta.  

➤STRANGE DREAMS MIGHT HELP YOUR BRAIN LEARN BETTER:  What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had? Researchers exposed a computer brain simulation to different dreams during the three known phases of sleep: wakefulness, non-REM sleep, and REM sleep. They found the three phases appear to have complementary functions for learning: experiencing the stimulus, solidifying the experience, and discovering semantic concepts. Lead study co-author Jakob Jordan adds, "While non-REM dreams resemble waking experiences quite closely, REM dreams tend to creatively combine these experiences.” Lead study co-author Nicolas Deperrois adds, “We think these findings suggest a simple evolutionary role for dreams, without interpreting their exact meaning. It shouldn't be surprising that dreams are bizarre: this bizarreness serves a purpose. The next time you’re having crazy dreams, maybe don't try to find a deeper meaning - your brain may be simply organizing your experiences.

🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Miami Heat 99, Philadelphia 76ers 90 - Miami wins series 4-2
  • Dallas Mavericks 113, Phoenix Suns 86 - Series tied 3-3

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round games yesterday:
  • St. Louis Blues 5, Minnesota Wild 1 - St. Louis wins 4-2
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Toronto Maples Leafs 3 (OT) - Series tied 3-3
  • Boston Bruins 5, Carolina Hurricanes 2 - Series tied 3-3
  • Edmonton Oilers 4, L.A. Kings 2 - Series tied 3-3

🏀HEAT DEFEAT 76ERS TO ADVANCE TO EASTERN CONF. FINALS: The Miami Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 99-90 last night to win their second round playoffs series 4 games to 2 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Jimmy Butler lead the Heat with 32 points. Miami will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks-Boston Celtics series, which the defending NBA champion

🏒BLUES TOP WILD TO ADVANCE TO SECOND ROUND: The St Bucks are leading 3 games to 2 with Game 6 tonight. . Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 last night to win their first-round playoff series 4 games to 2 and advance to the second round for the first time since 2019. The Blues will play the Colorado Avalanche in Round 2.

🐴KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER RICH STRIKE WON'T RACE IN THE PREAKNESS: There won't be a Triple Crown winner this year, after Rich Dawson, the owner of surprise Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, announced Thursday (May 12th) that the horse won't run in the Preakness on May 21st. Dawson said he and trainer Eric Reed agreed to stick with their initial plan before Rich Strike's huge Derby upset to rest him for five weeks before running in the Belmont Stakes on June 11th, instead of doing the short two-week turnaround and race in the Preakness.

🏈RAMS TO HOST BILLS IN NFL SEASON OPENER ON SEPTEMBER 8TH: The Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams will host the Buffalo Bills to kick off the season on Thursday night, September 8th, it was revealed yesterday as the 2022-23 NFL schedule was released. In addition to the three Christmas Day games, there will be a Christmas Eve game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and there will be 14 games on New Year's Day, which is a Sunday, which will force some college football bowl games to move away from January 1st.

⚾GUARDIANS PITCHING COACH TO MANAGE AFTER COVID OUTBREAK SIDELINES FRANCONA, COACHES: The Cleveland Guardians said Thursday pitching coach Carl Willis will be acting manager for a three-games series this weekend against the Minnesota Twins after manager Terry Francona and five coaches were sidelined due to a Covid-19 outbreak. The Guardians' game on Wednesday was postponed due to the outbreak, however Cleveland said there were no new cases on Thursday, on a day when the team was off. So far, no Guardians players have tested positive.

🏌GOLFER MUNOZ SHOOTS 60 AT BYRON NELSON, FIRST TO DO SO TWICE IN A SEASON: Colombian golfer Sebastian Munoz shot a 60 in the first round of the Byron Nelson in Texas, becoming the first player in PGA Tour history to have two rounds of 60 in the same season. Munoz also had a 60 in the opening round of the RSM Classic in November. He's currently at the top of the leader board, ahead by four shots.

➤THESE STATES ARE IN FOR AN ALARMINGLY HOT SUMMER:  Summer is supposed to be hot, but a new government report predicts it’s going to be really hot in several states. The Climate and Health Outlook report, from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) government agencies, predicts which states and counties are expected to experience “extremely hot days.” They define this as when the daily maximum temperature is above the 95th percentile value of the historical temperature distribution in that area. They predict this will happen in 203 counties across 14 states, but Texas is being hit particularly hard—with the state accounting for over half of the extremely dire weather threats. And in general, the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) predicts the average temperature will be 1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above-normal for most of the continental U.S., with Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska experiencing a higher 90-day average temperature of 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insights: Marketers, Agencies Commute Less Than Average American

The Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® (AAG) has released an analysis of two recently conducted commuter studies as America reemerges from the COVID pandemic.

The first study, conducted by Nielsen in March 2022, looked at 1,000 American adult 18+ consumers. The second study is from Advertiser Perceptions, the gold standard research firm of marketer and media agencies sentiment, commissioned by the Audio Active Group® and fielded in April 2022. The study probed the personal commuting habits among 300 marketers/media agency personnel as well as their perceptions of how average Americans are commuting.

“The average American will be exposed to billboard and radio ads more often than individuals working in marketing and at media agencies. This is because twice as many people employed by agencies and brands are working from home when compared with the average American,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “Companies are navigating how and when their employees should return to the office. This first-ever look at the commuting patterns of marketing and agency personnel gives our peers a chance to understand how the industry is reacting, as well as compare those commuting habits to the average American.”

Highlights of the analysis of these two studies include:
  • Marketing and agency personnel are commuting to work less than the average American. According to Nielsen, 86% of U.S. pre-COVID commuters are commuting to work. Advertiser Perceptions finds only(63%) of marketers and agencies are commuting.
  • The percentage of pre-COVID commuters working outside the home has steadily increased from 48% in April 2020 to the 86% high in March 2022, according to Nielsen.
  • Advertiser Perceptions reports 37% of marketers and media agencies are working from home compared to only 14% of average Americans who commuted before the pandemic (Nielsen).
  • Advertiser Perceptions finds marketing and agency employees who are commuting are averaging three days a week in the office. Smaller brands and agencies see higher rates of employees commuting to the office (3.54 days on average among firms with 1-999 employees) versus larger organizations with 1,000+ employees (2.88 days on average).
  • Among marketing and agency personnel who are working from home, one in three does not plan to return to the office full time. For those partially commuting, 25% do not plan to return to the office full time.
  • Advertiser Perceptions data also reveals 41% of marketing/agency personnel have resumed in-person media vendor meetings and 33% are already attending in-person conferences/events.
  • Perception vs. reality: Marketers and agency personnel underestimate how many Americans are working outside the home. They perceive 72% of employed Americans are commuting while the Nielsen reality demonstrates that number is higher at 86% and believe 28% of Americans are working from home when only 14% of pre-COVID commuters are still working from home.
The complete analysis of is available at This information is available on the blog as part of Cumulus Media’s commitment to share insights and research findings with the marketing community.

Des Moines Radio: STAR 102.5's Colleen Powell To Exit

Colleen Kelly Powell announced this month that she's leaving KSTZ STAR 102.5, where she's co-hosted a morning radio show since 2000, reports The Des Moines Register.

An official departure date has not yet been determined, but Powell will leave the “Ken, Colleen, & Kurt in the Morning,” which plays from 5 to 10 a.m. weekdays, when her contract expires next month. 

“Everybody is probably like, 'Why?’ and most of you probably know why," Powell said when she made the announcement on air May 5. "The alarm going off at 3:50 in the morning is just getting increasingly difficult."

The morning radio show will continue with Ken Auge and Kurt Van Auken as Powell explores new opportunities in her career that are yet to be determined.

Powell didn't say what she'll do next professionally but said she plans to be more present for her growing children.

“The kids are getting older and they no longer go to bed at 7 or 8 o’clock and they want to stay up — and I don’t know about you guys, but my kids just start talking,” Powell continued. “I know they’re putting off bedtime but it’s when they want to talk to me and I want to enjoy that, I don’t want to rush it, I don’t want to be the tired mom all the time. I want to be real present for it.”