Saturday, June 4, 2022

June 5 Radio History

➦In 1910
...Radio, TV character actor Herb Vigran was born in Cincinnati.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1939, and with his unique voice was frequently cast in scores of network radio dramas and variety shows, performing with the likes of Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Jimmy Durante.

He appeared in more than 350 TV shows and bigscreen films, most notably in Dragnet, Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy.

He died of complications from cancer Nov. 29 1986 at age 76.

➦In 1956...Elvis Presley appeared on The Milton Berle Show, causing a national uproar with his hip-swiveling performance of "Hound Dog. When Presley appeared next on Ed Sullivan’s show on CBS TV, he was pictured only from the waist up.

➦In 1973…following news that the American Red Cross had run out of money as a result of aid efforts for recent natural disasters, Gordon Sinclair of CFRB in Toronto recorded what would become his most famous radio editorial, "The Americans." While paying tribute to American success, ingenuity, and generosity to people in need abroad, Sinclair decried that when America faced crisis itself, it often seemed to face that crisis alone.

At the time, Sinclair considered the piece to be nothing more than one of his usual items. But when U.S. News & World Report published a full transcript, the magazine was flooded with requests for copies. Radio station WWDC-AM in Washington, D.C., started playing a recording of Sinclair's commentary with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" playing in the background. Sinclair told the Star in November 1973 that he had received 8,000 letters about his commentary.

With the strong response generated by the editorial, a recording of Sinclair's commentary was sold as a single with all profits going to the American Red Cross. "The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion)" went to No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the 73-year-old Sinclair the second-oldest living person ever to have a Billboard U.S. Top 40 hit.

A transcript of the commentary was also recorded by Byron MacGregor, news director of Windsor, Ontario, radio station CKLW-AM Windsor-Detroit, and it became an even bigger hit in the U.S., climbing to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sinclair was said to be annoyed by MacGregor's recording, which was released as a single before Sinclair's authorized version. 

➦In 1977…DJ Charlie Van Dyke did his last show on 93KHJ, Los Angeles.

➦In 1982…DJ Cousin Brucie returned to New York City Radio on WCBS 101.1 FM.

➦In 1998...actress Jeanette Nolan died following a stroke at age 86.  During the golden age of radio she played a variety of characters on such programs as “The March of Time”, “Cavalcade of America“, “The Court of Missing Heirs”, “The Adventures of Mister Meek”, “Life Begins” and “Manhattan at Midnight”.  She appeared in more than 300 television shows, including “Perry Mason” (1957), “I Spy” (1965), “MacGyver” (1985), “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (1955), and as a regular on “The Richard Boone Show” (1963) and “The Virginian” (1962).

Ronald Reagan
➦In 2004...Ronald Reagan died of Alzheimer's disease at age 93.  In the '30s, Reagan held jobs as a radio announcer at several radio stations. While at  WHO radio in Des Moines he was  an announcer for Chicago Cubs baseball games. His specialty was creating play-by-play accounts of games using only basic descriptions that the station received by wire as the games were in progress.

While traveling with the Cubs in California in 1937, Reagan took a screen test that led to a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers studios. He spent the first few years of his Hollywood career acting in B-grade movies, in the '50s and early '60s, he hosted Death Valley Days & GE Theatre on TV, and who 1n 1980 was elected the 40th President of the U-S.

➦In 2013…Radio personality Don Bowman died at age 75.  He was original host of the syndicated American Country Countdown from 1973 to 1978, During his career, he was a personality at  KDEO-San Diego, KEWB-Oakland-San Francisco, KDWB-Minneapolis-St. Paul, WKDA-Nashville, KRZK-Branson.

Bill Hayes Is 97


  • Actor-singer Bill Hayes (“Days of Our Lives,” “Your Show of Shows”) is 97. 
  • News correspondent Bill Moyers is 88. 
  • Country singer Don Reid of the Statler Brothers is 77. 
  • Guitarist Fred Stone of Sly and the Family Stone is 75. 
  • Singer-performance artist Laurie Anderson is 75. 
  • Country singer Gail Davies is 74. 
  • Financial expert Suze Orman (“The Suze Orman Show”) is 71. 
  • Drummer Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden is 70. 
  • Jazz drummer Peter Erskine (Steps Ahead, Weather Report) is 68. 
  • Saxophonist Kenny G is 66. 
  • Singer Richard Butler of Psychedelic Furs is 66. 
  • Actor Beth Hall (“Mom,” ″Mad Men”) is 64. 
  • Liza Weil is 45
    Actor Jeff Garlin (“The Goldbergs,” ″Curb Your Enthusiasm”) is 60. 
  • Actor Ron Livingston (“Sex and the City,” ″The Practice”) is 55. 
  • Singer Brian McKnight is 53. 
  • Musician Claus Norreen (Aqua) is 52. 
  • Actor-singer Mark Wahlberg is 51. 
  • Actor Chad Allen (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) is 48. 
  • Bassist P-Nut of 311 is 48. 
  • Actor Navi Rawat (“Numb3rs”) is 45. 
  • Actor Liza Weil (“How To Get Away With Murder,” ″Gilmore Girls”) is 45. 
  • Bassist Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy is 43. 
  • Guitarist Seb Lefebvre of Simple Plan is 41. 
  • Actor Chelsey Crisp (“Fresh Off The Boat”) is 39. 
  • Actor Amanda Crew (“Silicon Valley”) is 36. 
  • Musician Harrison Mills of Odesza is 33. 
  • Musician DJ Mustard is 32. 
  • Actor Sophie Lowe (“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”) is 32. 
  • Actor Hank Greenspan (“The Neighborhood”) is 12.
  • Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president (1981-1989), died on this day in 2004 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93.
  • American fashion designer Kate Spade committed suicide on this day in 2018. She was 55.

Mariah Carey Sued Over Her Iconic Christmas Song

Mariah Carey was hit with a copyright lawsuit Friday over her hit song “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which allegedly infringed the rights to a song with the same name written by Andy Stone of the country pop group Vince Vance & the Valiants, reports Bloomberg.

Stone is demanding no less than $60 million in damages for alleged copyright infringement, unjust enrichment, and violations of the Lanham Act.

The complaint said Stone co-wrote and recorded the song “All I Want For Christmas Is You” in 1989, five years before Carey’s song was released on her “Merry Christmas” album. Stone’s song received “extensive airplay” during the 1993 Christmas season and began making appearances on the Billboard Music Charts, according to the complaint.

Copyright violations have a three-year statute of limitations under the Copyright Act.

Carey’s enormously popular song has become synonymous with the Christmas holiday and continues to dominate that music category. Her song makes up one of every 50 Christmas song streams on Spotify.

The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, alleged Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff exploited “the popularity and unique style” of Stone’s song, “causing confusion as to the association” between the two songs in violation of the Lanham Act.

The complaint said the parties were unable to “come to any agreement over usage” of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” The defendants didn’t comply with cease-and-desist requests from Stone, the complaint said.

Fox News Finishes May As Cable's Highest-Rated Net

FOX News Channel (FNC) finished May of 2022 as cable’s most-watched network in total day viewers and notched its second highest-rated May with total day viewers in network history, behind only May 2020. 

According to Nielsen Media Research, FNC surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined across the board and outpaced the competition in weekday total day viewers and the key 25-54 demographic for the 10th consecutive month. FNC also ranked number one in all of basic cable in total day viewers for the 15th month in a row and notched 118 of the top 119 cable telecasts for the month. 
  • Notably, FNC was the only cable news network to post gains versus May of 2021 in viewers, while CNN and MSNBC experienced double-digit declines across the board in all categories. 
  • Notably, MSNBC experienced its lowest-rated month with total day demo since November 1999 and its lowest-rated in primetime demo dating back to May 2004. 
  • In total day, FNC delivered 1.5 million viewers, 229,000 with the 25-54 demo and 140,000 with the 18-49 demo. In primetime, FNC netted 2.3 million viewers, 351,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 214,000 with the 18-49 demo. 
  • The network also delivered the top seven programs in cable news with viewers and the top 15 programs in the 25-54 and 18-49 demo.
Graphic Courtesy of roadMN (w/permission)

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, FNC has remained the go-to destination for breaking news coverage, earning double digit advantages over CNN and widening to triple digits over MSNBC across the board. FNC’s cable news audience share increased to 56% across total day and 57% with primetime viewers and according to Nielsen MRI Fusion data, continues to be the most watched network among all political spectrums. FNC is watched by more Independents than MSNBC and CNN in total day and primetime demo and is the preferred network of Democrats, with more tuning into FNC than both MSNBC and CNN in total day and primetime 25-54 demo.

At 5 PM/ET, FNC’s late afternoon offering The Five continued to make television history, earning the top-rated spot in viewers for the month and finishing the last five out of six months leading cable news. The roundtable program averaged 3.3 million viewers and 447,000 with 25-54 demo, outpacing every show on CNN and MSNBC across the board. At 8 PM/ET, Tucker Carlson Tonight continued as the highest-rated program in cable news in the younger 25-54 demo, averaging 3.2 million viewers and 522,000 in the demo, as well as 319,000 in the 18-49 category throughout May. Hannity at 9 PM/ET scored 2.7 million viewers, 428,000 in the 25-54 demo and 255,000 among adults 18-49, topping MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and CNN combined in both categories. At 10 PM/ET, The Ingraham Angle’s Laura Ingraham remained the most-watched female in cable news, garnering 2.3 million viewers, 382,000 in the 25-54 demo and 231,000 in 18-49.

Graphic Courtesy of RoadMN

FNC’s late night program, Gutfeld!, continued as the second most-watched late night show in all of broadcast and cable. Airing at 11 PM/ET, the program also topped every show on CNN and MSNBC in total viewers and the younger 25-54 demo. Gutfeld! averaged over 2 million viewers 359,000 with A25-54 this month, outpacing ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in total viewers. Additionally, the program surpassed CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on several occasions in viewers throughout May. FNC’s late night show also topped Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee across the board in total viewers and the younger 25-54 demo. Gutfeld! also has the highest median income in all of late night television (ABC, CBS and NBC) in the younger 25-54 demo as well as the most upscale audience in total viewers and A25-54.

FCC Wants More Details On $5.4B Sale of Broadcaster Tegna

The FCC is seeking more information about Standard General LP’s proposed $5.4 billion acquisition of TV station owner Tegna Inc., according to Bloomberg.

Questions posed by the agency in a letter posted online Friday include whether the companies plan to coordinate with private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc., which is helping to finance the deal. The New York-based investment firm is acquiring preferred equity in the transaction that doesn’t have governance rights.

Standard General, a private equity firm led by its chairman, Soo Kim, agreed to acquire Tegna in February for $24 a share, consummating a years-long takeover saga for the television broadcaster.

On May 20, the FCC allowed critics of the proposed acquisition more time to make their case, after a union and consumer advocates said the deal would let private equity firms increase the prices Tegna charges pay-TV providers to carry its stations, raising costs for consumers.

Questions from the FCC in its June 3 letter included possible strategies for negotiating agreements with cable providers for rights to carry the signals. The agency also asked about “anticipated staffing reductions” and how the deal would improve local broadcasting. The agency set a June 13 deadline for responses.

Shares of McLean, Virginia-based Tegna fell as much as 1.9% to $21.57 in New York

Rogers Communications Looking For Dismissal Of Anti-Trust Suit

Rogers Communications Inc. asked Canada’s merger court to dismiss the antitrust suit against its $16 billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., saying there’s “no basis” to block the deal because it’s willing to sell Shaw’s wireless division.

Bloomberg reports Toronto-based Rogers has been trying to acquire Shaw for C$40.50 a share in what would be one of the largest mergers in Canadian history. Matthew Boswell, Canada’s commissioner of competition, has sued to try to block it, arguing that it will weaken competition in Canada’s wireless industry, where Rogers and two other companies already control 87% of the market.

The company has found buyers for Shaw’s Freedom Mobile division, but Boswell has argued that’s an inadequate solution to maintain competition.

“The Commissioner’s assertion that the transaction would substantially lessen or prevent competition even with the divestiture of Freedom is wrong,” Rogers said in a filing to Canada’s Competition Tribunal. “It is premised, in large part, on the claim that Freedom’s competitiveness is dependent on ‘leveraging’ Shaw’s wireline assets.”

“That claim is not grounded in technical or commercial reality and ignores that Freedom was a stand-alone business when Shaw acquired it and has been operated as such ever since,” the filing said.

The antitrust agency filed the case to block the proposed acquisition last month, saying it’s worried that consumers “are likely to pay higher prices” after the deal.

Earlier this week, the two companies agreed not to close their deal until antitrust problems are dealt with and said they’re working to negotiate a solution to satisfy regulators’ concerns.

Sacramento Radio: Mike Buhrman Exits Audacy

Mike Buhrman

Mike Buhrman has announced his exit from Audacy and his positions as Brand Manager at CHR KUDL 106.5 The End and Rhythmic CHR KSFM 102.5 FM.  He also served as Regional Brand Manager for Audacy's Rhythmic format stations.

In a social media post, Buhrman wrote:

Previously, Buhrman was Assistant Program Director and Music Director for co-owned Rhythmic CHR KQKS-FM (KS107.5)/Denver and Program Director for KQKS-HD2 (Comedy 103.1) also in Denver. Buhrman remains onboard while the company moves into new facilities.

D/FW Radio: Former Radio Host Sentenced, Justin Frazell Avoids Jail

Justin Frazell

A longtime North Texas country radio host who was arrested and charged with sex crimes last year has pleaded no contest to an indecent assault charge in Denton County, according to the Star-Telegram

Justin Barrett Frazell, 48, entered his plea Wednesday in Denton to the misdemeanor charge which occurred in December 2020. 

He was sentenced to 18 months of deferred-adjudication probation with 80 hours of community service. 

In April, Frazell pleaded guilty to a separate charge of sexual assault in Tarrant County. He was sentenced to seven years of deferred adjudication probation in that case involving a teenage victim at his Mansfield home in December 2020, must register as a sex offender, cannot own any firearms and cannot use drugs or alcohol, according to officials with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. 

In the Denton County case, a woman told a deputy that she was at the Lucky Spur Ranch Retreat in Justin for an event that was being hosted by Frazell. Her statement was in a warrant. The woman said that after the event ended in December 2020, she was lying on top of the covers in her bedroom, with her date asleep next to her, when Frazell — wearing a T-shirt and underwear — walked into the room and began fondling her. Frazell later left when she began to wake up her date. 

In the Tarrant County case, a warrant written by Mansfield Detective S. Peacock gave this brief account of the allegations: Several people were at Frazell’s Mansfield home on New Year’s Eve in December 2020 for the celebration. 

Adults were there along with teens who were allowed to drink, according to the warrant. Children also were at the home. The teens were hanging out in a bedroom when one of them was left alone in one of the rooms. That girl began to FaceTime with a friend, which lasted for hours. Her parents left the party, but she was allowed to stay overnight. 

At some point, Frazell entered the room, gave her a drink and said, “This is between us. Don’t say I never do anything for you,” according to the warrant. She drank a little of the Whiteclaw (an alcoholic seltzer). She fell asleep, but the girl told Mansfield police Frazell pulled off the blankets and committed sex acts on her without her consent, the warrant states. Frazell stopped when he heard a child at a bathroom. Frazell went to the door and told the child that he was in the bedroom checking on the girl. He then left the bedroom, and the girl began texting relatives at about 5 a.m. on Jan. 1, trying to reach someone to come get her from the home.

Outkick Adding Tomi Lahren Show

Well-known conservative commentator Tomi Lahren is joining the OutKick team as host of the evening program Tomi Lahren is Fearless, beginning later this month, senior vice president Gary Schreier announced in a company release.

Lahren has more than eight million followers on social media and her OutKick show promises to include her usual bold takes on everything from politics to pop culture.

Tomi Lahren
Fearless will also consist of guest interviews with newsmakers in sports, entertainment and social media and feature Lahren’s “Final Thoughts” commentary, in which she gives what the release described as a “candid and no-nonsense style” in dissecting a hot topic.

“I am thrilled to bring my voice to OutKick and look forward to sharing my take on the pressing issues of the day and engaging with the platform’s audience in this new role,” Lahren said.

New episodes are slated to air every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday — and will also be available on-demand on the OutKick YouTube channel and website.

“Tomi has amassed a loyal following throughout her career, and we are excited to bring her signature style and insights to our highly-engaged audience at OutKick where she will be an invaluable addition to our expanding programming lineup,” Schreier said.

Lahren has served as host of FOX Nation’s Final Thoughts and No Interruption and provided commentary across FOX News Media’s programming since joining the company in 2017. 

Las Vegas Radio: Brent Musberger Cut From Radio Team

Brent Musberger

Brent Musberger’s short, but memorable, stint as the radio voice of the Las Vegas Raiders is apparently over, according to

The legendary broadcaster announced on Twitter on Friday morning that he will no longer be part of the Raiders’ broadcast ream.

There are no details about Musberger’s departure or whether his broadcast partner, former Raiders’ offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy, will return to the team’s booth or not. No replacement for Musberger has been announced, either and the team has not made any comments about Musberger’s departure yet.

Musberger became the voice of the team in 2018, signing a three-year deal. He replaced Greg Papa, who was very popular among the team’s fan base, In total, Musberger worked four seasons in the Raiders’ broadcast booth. Musberger turned 83 last week. Musberger has been one of the most recognizable in sports broadcasting for more than 50 years.

Musberger’s signature call the past two season in which the Raiders have been located in Las Vegas — where Musberger is based — was “Jackpot, baby” when the team scored a touchdown or won a game.

June 4 Radio History

➦In 1917
...CBS News correspondent Charles Collingwood born (Died – October 3, 1985).  He was  an early member of Edward R. Murrow's group of foreign correspondents that was known as the "Murrow Boys". During World War II he covered Europe and North Africa for CBS News. Collingwood was also among the early ranks of television journalists that included Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, and Murrow himself.  Retiring from CBS in 1982, he died from cancer Oct 3, 1985 at age 68.

➦In 1942…Songwriter Johnny Mercer founded Capitol Records with financial help from songwriter and film producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs, owner of Wallichs Music City. Mercer raised the idea of starting a record company while golfing with Harold Arlen and Bobby Sherwood and with Wallichs at Wallichs's record store.

It was Wallichs, Capitol's manager, who invented the art of record promotion by sending free copies of new releases to disc jockeys.

Clem McCarthy

➦In 1962...Pioneeering sportscaster Clem McCarthy died at age 79 (Born - September 9, 1882.  He also lent his voice to Pathe News's RKO newsreels. He was known for his gravelly voice and dramatic style, a "whiskey tenor" as sports announcer and executive David J. Halberstam has called it.

As Halberstam's book Sports on New York Radio notes, McCarthy is considered one of horse racing's great callers, setting the stage for well-known voices. He was the first to announce the running of the Kentucky Derby back in 1928 and called every Derby through 1950.

In addition to being a race caller for racetracks and NBC Radio, he was a top boxing announcer, too. His most often replayed boxing sportscast is probably his NBC radio call of the 1938 Joe Louis-Max Schmeling rematch at Yankee Stadium:

McCarthy's career also included work at local radio stations, beginning at KYW in Chicago in 1928. From there, he went to WMCA in New York City.

➦In 1962...The Beatles signed their first record contract with EMI, though it's merely to produce a series of demos.

➦In 1963…"Pop Go the Beatles" was first broadcast on BBC radio.  Each edition of Pop Go The Beatles began and ended with a rock ‘n’ roll version of the nursery rhyme Pop Goes The Weasel recorded by The Beatles.

➦In 1973…WNBC 97.1 FM  (now Urban WQHT-NYC) switched format to “The Rock Pile”

➦In 1998… WNWK NYC changes call letters to WCAA (Now Public Radio WQXR).

The station first came on the air on 105.9 FM in 1964 as WHBI, which was originally owned by Hoyt Brothers Inc.. In the 1980s, the station - by then property of Multicultural Radio Broadcasting - went by the call letters WNWK, and aired leased-access ethnic programming.

Ray Erlenborn

➤In 2007
...Radio sound effects genius Ray Erlenborn, a former child vaudeville singer and silent film actor whose career in the CBS sound department spanned the late 1930s on radio to the late 70’s on television, died at age 92.

➦In 2010...Himan Brown died at age 99 in NYC.He created immensely popular radio dramas like “Inner Sanctum Mysteries,” “CBS Mystery Theatre,” “The Adventures of the Thin Man” and “Dick Tracy,” employing an arsenal of beguiling sound effects that terrified or tickled the listeners.

➦In 2019...Legendary Top40 personality Humble Harve Miller died at age 84.  He began his long and illustrious career in 1958 at radio station WAAT in Trenton, New Jersey. Miller then switched to WIBG in Philadelphia,, where he worked from 1958 to 1962. Humble Harve subsequently moved to Los Angeles in 1965 and initially established himself in the market at KBLA-Burbank (AM 1500) then achieved his greatest fame working as the nighttime disc jockey for "Boss Radio" 93KHJ. He narrated the enjoyable counterculture documentary "Mondo Mod" in 1967. In 1971 Miller murdered his adulterous wife Mary and wound up serving a stretch in prison for manslaughter. He was hired by KKDJ after getting out of jail.

Among the other Los Angeles radio stations Humble Harve worked for throughout the years are KIQQ, KIIS, KUTE, KRLA, KRTH, KCBS-FM, and KZLA. In addition, Miller also worked again for WIBG in Philadelphia 1985 and KVI in Seattle, Washington from 1986 to 1989.

Moreover, he lent his deep, smooth, and soothing voice to countless syndicated radio specials. Humble Harve appeared in two movies for director Floyd Mutrux as a disc jockey: He's Dr. J in "The Hollywood Knights" and the Beard in "There Goes My Baby." In 1995 Miller was inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. Humble Harve towards the end of his disc jockey career could be heard in syndication on various radio stations as well as on the internet with special shows and programs that mainly focused on the oldies.

Bruce Dern is 86

  • Actor Bruce Dern is 86. 
  • Singer-actor Michelle Phillips (The Mamas and The Papas) is 78. 
  • Jazz saxophonist Anthony Braxton is 77. 
  • Bassist Danny Brown of The Fixx is 71. 
  • Actor Parker Stevenson is 70. 
  • Actor Keith David (“Barbershop”) is 66. 
  • Blues musician Tinsley Ellis is 65. 
  • Singer El DeBarge is 61. 
  • Actor Julie White (film’s “Transformers,” TV’s “Grace Under Fire”) is 61. 
  • Bar Refaeli is 37
    Actor Lindsay Frost (“Crossing Jordan”) is 60. 
  • Actor Sean Pertwee (“Gotham”) is 58. 
  • Singer Al B. Sure! is 54. 
  • Actor Scott Wolf (“Party of Five”) is 54. 
  • Ron Huebel (“What To Expect When You’re Expecting”) is 53. 
  • Comedian Horatio Sanz (“Saturday Night Live”) is 53. 
  • Actor James Callis (“Bridget Jones”) is 51. 
  • Actor Noah Wyle (“ER”) is 51. 
  • Bassist Stefan Lessard of The Dave Matthews Band is 48. 
  • Actor Russell Brand is 47. 
  • Actor Angelina Jolie is 47. 
  • Actor Theo Rossi (“Sons of Anarchy”) is 47. 
  • Actor Robin Lord Taylor (“Gotham”) is 44. 
  • Bassist JoJo Garza of Los Lonely Boys is 42. 
  • Model Bar Refaeli is 37. 
  • Drummer Zac Farro (Paramore) is 32.

  • Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden, who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA, died on this day in 2010. He was 99.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Latino Media Network To Acquire 18 TelevisaUnivision Radio Stations

Today, Latino Media Network (LMN), a media company focused on content creation, talent incubation, and distribution across multiple platforms announced its formation. Founded by social entrepreneurs Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto and backed by several Latino luminaries, they also announced their first major deal with Univision to acquire a set of radio assets to reach nearly a third of the US Latino population.

In one of the largest capital raises of a Latina owned & operated startup in the U.S with over $80m in capital raised from a diverse set of investors, Latino Media Network will be a media company serving the Latino community, owned by Latinos for Latinos.

To coincide with its launch, LMN also announced that they have signed a definitive agreement with TelevisaUnivision to purchase 18 radio stations in 10 cities from coast to coast in a $60 million all cash deal. This deal is one of the largest single acquisitions of stations by a Latino owned and operated company in history.

The 18 stations in the deal are a combined set of AM and FM stations in the largest US markets, and 8 of the top 10 Latino markets, reaching 33% of U.S. Latinos.  The stations included are:
  • New York - WADO-AM 1280
  • Los Angeles - KTNQ-AM 1020
  • Chicago - WRTO-AM 1200
  • Dallas  - KFLC-AM 1270; KFZO-FM 99.1
  • Houston - KLAT-AM 1010
  • Miami - WAQI-AM 710; WQBA-AM 1140
  • Fresno - KOND-FM 107.5; KRDA-FM 92.1; KLLE-FM 107.9
  • Las Vegas - KLSQ-AM 870; KISF-FM 103.5; KRGT-FM 99.3
  • San Antonio - KXTN-AM 1350
  • McAllen - KGBT-AM 1530; KGBT-FM 98.5; KBTQ-FM 96.1
Transition of the stations will happen following FCC approval and a one year transition agreement between TelevisaUnivision and Latino Media Network, which is expected to conclude in Q4 of 2023. LMN is in the process of recruiting outstanding talent and will make an announcement about the senior management team later this year. LMN intends to retain current TelevisaUnivision employees who work at the stations included in this acquisition.

Jess Morales Rocketto and Stephanie Valencia

“As Latinos drive population growth in the United States they continue to navigate the ocean of information on what is happening in the world and their place in it. With minority media on the decline, now is the time to be investing in more resources to create content for Latinos by Latinos. Through the unique combination of creative content and new and existing media platforms to serve our community, we can embrace cultural pride and collectively empower Latinos,” said LMN Founder Stephanie Valencia. “I want to thank TelevisaUnivision for the great work they have done building these stations in Latino communities and entrusting us to grow them moving forward.”

“Our company, and these stations, are for our community,” said LMN Founder Jess Morales Rocketto. “We believe in the power and reach of radio and it remains a main source of media for a significant number of our community. We hope to create relevant content for radio and other audio platforms with content that our community can trust and rely on. Latino Media Network is going to ensure that the Latino community continues to be served with the news and information that local communities deserve.”

Norah O’Donnell’s Salary Slashed At ‘CBS Evening News’

Norah O'Donnell

“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell’s pay package got slashed by more than half this spring amid a brutal round of cost cuts at the third-place network, The NY Post reports.

According to insiders, CBS News re-signed the 48-year-old anchor in April with a yearly salary of $3.8 million — down from the previous $8 million — following reports that the network had been casting around for a replacement as O’Donnell’s ratings continue to sag.

CBS execs gave O’Donnell a “low ball” offer during the hard-knuckle negotiations, which they “expected O’Donnell to reject,” according to a source briefed on the talks. When she accepted it, some executives appeared surprised, the source added.

Insiders said O’Donnell’s capitulation came after months of clashes with Neeraj Khemlani, the sharp-elbowed, cost-slashing co-president of CBS News who had been openly looking for a new anchor to replace her during the months before her contract was up in April.

Neerai Khemlani
Khemlani reached out to former MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, who turned him down, according to a report from CNN. He also considered NBC’s Craig Melvin and, as reported by The Post, even mulled promoting Tony Dokoupil, her old co-anchor at “CBS Mornings,” to the role.

Insiders said Dokoupil’s candidacy was particularly galling for O’Donnell, as Khemlani in January assigned the 41-year-old morning show host to anchor a special broadcast from from Washington, DC, on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 capitol riots. And shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, CBS News again set tongues wagging by initially sending Dokoupil instead of O’Donnell to Poland to cover the unfolding war.

A spokesperson for CBS News denied Khemlani was seeking to dump O’Donnell.

“Wrong again. Neeraj led the effort to retain and re-sign about a dozen of our biggest anchors and correspondents over the last year including Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King — and recruited a few new ones like Nate Burleson and Robert Costa,” the spokesperson said.

In the last two months, “Evening News” has dipped below 5 million in total average daily viewers. according to Nielsen. O’Donnell’s show grabbed 5.4 million in the first quarter, trailing “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “ABC World News Tonight,” which nabbed 7.8 million and 8.9 million, respectively.

Wake-Up Call: Biden Urges Action On Gun Violence

President Biden urged Congress to take action on gun violence in a nationally-televised address yesterday evening in which he declared, "How much more carnage are we willing to accept?" and repeatedly said, "Enough."

 Biden was speaking out after a recent spate of mass shootings, including the one in Texas last week in which 19 children and two teachers were killed and another in Buffalo a week earlier in which 10 people were killed. The president laid out several actions that he said should be taken to combat gun violence, including restoring a ban on the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, or at least raising the minimum age to buy assault-style weapons from 18 to 21, but also insisted, "This is not about taking away anyone's guns, it's not about vilifying gun owners." 

He also called for strengthening background checks to buy weapons, passing safe storage laws, enacting red flag laws, eliminating the immunity the gun industry has from legal liability, and addressing the nation's mental health crisis. Biden also said that if Congress fails to pass any legislation to address gun violence, quote, "I believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote."

A 46-year-old convicted murder who's been a fugitive since escaping from a prison bus after stabbing its driver late last month was shot and killed by police yesterday night in Jourdanton, Texas, after he killed a Houston family of five at their weekend cabin and stole their truck. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said, "Law enforcement in Atascosa County located the stolen vehicle, disabled it with spike strips, and gunfire ensued." Gonzalo Lopez was killed, but no officers were injured. The bodies of one adult and four minors were found at the cabin, and it's thought they arrived there Thursday morning and were killed by Lopez in the afternoon. They had no link to him.

➤TEXAS SENATOR SAYS UVALDE SCHOOLS POLICE CHIEF DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT CHILDREN'S 911 CALLS: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez said yesterday that the Uvalde, Texas, schools police chief who's come under intense criticism for keeping law enforcement in a school hallway outside the room where students were trapped with a gunman last week who in the end killed 19 of them and two teachers didn't know that children were making 911 calls from inside. Gutierrez called it a "system failure" that school district police Chief Pete Arredondo didn't know about the calls from the trapped children at Robb Elementary School. The lawmaker, who represents Uvalde, said no single person or entity was fully to blame for the massacre.

➤TULSA GUNMAN KILLED SURGEON OVER PAIN AFTER BACK OPERATION: The gunman who killed four people at a Tulsa medical office before taking his own life Wednesday had targeted his surgeon who he blamed for the ongoing pain he had after a recent back operation, police said Thursday. The gunman, 45-year-old Michael Louis, killed Dr. Preston Phillips, as well as another physician, Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn, and another patient, William Love. Police said Louis bought the AR-style rifle he used hours before the attack. He's reportedly called the clinic repeatedly complaining that he was in pain, and had a letter with him that said he wanted to kill Phillips.

➤AMBER HEARD CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY DAMAGES: Amber Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredhoft revealed on Thursday’s episode of Today that Heard can “absolutely not” afford to pay the $10.35 million in damages awarded to Johnny Depp. She also added that the Aquaman actress has “excellent grounds” to appeal the verdict, explaining that the jury was likely influenced by clips of the case that appeared on social media. The attorney told Savannah Guthrie, “They went home every night, they have families. The families are on social media. We had a ten-day break — there is no way they couldn’t have been influenced.”

➤AVENATTI SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR STEALING FROM STORMY DANIELS: Attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday for stealing book proceeds from Stormy Daniels, the porn actress he rose to fame representing in her legal battles with then-President Donald Trump. Avenatti, who is already serving time on another fraud conviction, was also ordered to pay $148,000 in restitution and forfeit the roughly $297,000 that prosecutors say he stole from Daniels. Avenatti said in courtroom statement that he'd, quote, "disappointed scores of people and failed in a cataclysmic way."

➤HARINI LOGAN WINS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE IN FIRST TIE-BREAKER: Texas 14-year-old Harini Logan won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night in its first-ever lightning-round tiebreaker over Vikram Raju. The San Antonio eighth-grader spelled 21 words correctly during the 90-second spell-off, beating Vikram by six words. The winning word, according to Scripps, was "moorhen," which means the female of the red grouse, because that was the one that moved her past Vikram.

➤STUDY: FORGOTTEN SUBSCRIPTIONS COST CONSUMERS $133 MORE THAN THEY REALIZE A new study demonstrates that the average consumer spends more than they realize on monthly subscriptions. C+R Research found that shoppers spent an average of $133 more than they realized. 74% said they struggled to remember recurring payments. Mobile phone subscriptions were the most forgotten category, followed by internet subscriptions.

🏀CELTICS WIN GAME 1 OF NBA FINALS 120-108 WITH FOURTH-QUARTER COMEBACK OVER WARRIORS: The Boston Celtics won Game 1 of the NBA Finals 120-108 last night with a big fourth-quarter comeback over the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco. Boston went into the fourth quarter 12 points behind Golden State, but then they outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the final quarter, the most lopsided fourth quarter in NBA Finals history. Al Horford led the Celtics with 26 points and Jaylen Brown had 24, while Stephen Curry scored 34 points in a losing effort for Golden State. Game 2 is on Sunday, also in San Francisco.

🏒AVALANCHE SHUT OUT OILERS 4-0 TO TAKE 2-0 WESTERN CONF. FINALS LEAD: The Colorado Avalanche shut out the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 last night at home in Denver to take a 2-0 lead in the NHL Western Conference Finals. Backup goaltender Pavel Francouz stopped 24 shots for his second career playoff shutout, filling in for Darcy Kuemper, who left Game 1 with an upper-body injury. Game 3 is Saturday in Edmonton.

🎾AMERICAN GAUFF MAKES IT TO FRENCH OPEN FINAL: American Coco Gauff beat Martina Trevisan of Italy in straight sets in their French Open semifinal match yesterday to reach her first Grand Slam final. The 18-year-old, who is seeded 18th, is the youngest player to reach a major title match since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004 at age 17. Gauff will play Number 1 Iga Swiatek for the French Open title on Saturday, after Swiatek defeated Daria Kasatkina in their semifinal, also in straight sets. The men’s semifinals are today, with Rafael Nadal playing Alexander Zverev, and Marin Cilic facing Casper Ruud.

American Mina Harigae is at the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the U.S. Women's Open yesterday at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in North Carolina. Harigae shot a 7-under 64, one stoke ahead of Sweden's Ingrid Lindblad, who shot the lowest round by an amateur in the 77-year history of the U.S. Women’s Open.

🏀NIKE'S KNIGHT MADE OFFER TO BUY NBA'S TRAIL BLAZERS: Nike founder Phil Knight and MLB'S L.A. Dodgers part-owner Alan Smolinisky have made an offer of more than $2 billion to buy the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN reported yesterday, citing sources as saying the two plan to remain aggressive in trying to acquire the team. However, a Trail Blazers spokesman said in a statement, "An offer was made by Phil Knight. The team remains not for sale." ESPN's report said that Knight has a long and close relationship with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and both he and Smolinisky have had conversations with the league office on a possible bid for the team.

NYC Radio: WBLS-FM Fires On-air Personality Shaila Scott

Listeners  wondering why Shaila Scott hasn’t been on her usual WBLS-FM midday shift for the last few weeks, the radio silence is over, reports The NY Daily News.

Affectionately known as “New York’s Sweetheart,” Scott announced Thursday that she was fired from her longtime post.

The award-winning 34-year broadcasting veteran said the station’s parent company, MediaCo Holding Inc., decided not to renew her contract.

“Sadly, MediaCo decided not to renew my contract and advised me that ‘The station is going in a different direction,’ " she said in an Instagram post on Thursday.

Shaila Scott
“Sadly, MediaCo decided not to renew my contract and advised me that ‘The station is going in a different direction,’ " she said in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“As a native New Yorker, it has been a pleasure to be your radio relative, and I am humbled to have been rewarded with consecutive #1 rankings in the 12 and over, 18-49, and 25-54 age demographics,” Scott wrote, before thanking her fans for “trusting me to deliver content that touched and concerned our communities.”

The Harlem-reared Buffalo State College alum, who got her start at WBLK in Buffalo, had been a beloved staple on the once-Black owned radio station.

Scott gained a notable following while serving as a jock in various time slots at former WBLS rival 98.7 Kiss, which merged with the company in 2012. Both stations served contemporary urban and Black music lovers for decades before the merger.

In 2019, MediaCo bought a controlling stake of WBLS and its hip-hop sister station Hot 97 from Emmis Communications for a reported $91.5 million in cash.

Fellow radio vet and former 98.7 Kiss alum Fred “Bugsy” Buggs has been filling in middays for Scott until a permanent replacement is announced.

“My objective was to use the power of that microphone to speak into the spirit of the village that raised me,” Scott added in her post. ”Although this is the end of my journey with WBLS, it is, of course not the end of OUR journey. Stay Tuned!”

She continues, “My objective was to use the power of that microphone to speak into the spirit of the village that raised me. Thank You! for allowing me to do that for 3 decades. I appreciate every one of you that made this epic journey possible. Thanks to my legendary radio family for being a source of inspiration, my beautiful children for sharing me with millions and never complaining & Thank God for giving me the strength to endure it all. Although this is the end of my journey with WBLS, it is, of course not the end of OUR journey. Stay Tuned! Love Shaila New York’s Sweetheart.”

Chicago Radio: Annalisa Added To Line-Up At WXRT

Audacy welcomes renowned radio personality Annalisa to 93XRT (WXRT-FM) in Chicago. Annalisa will be heard weekdays beginning June 13.

“Annalisa brings the knowledge, passion and respect for the music that 93XRT listeners appreciate and expect,” said Laura Duncan, Brand Manager, 93XRT. “We are thrilled that Annalisa will be joining us as her integrity and relatability are a perfect match with the current team of personalities and the iconic brand that is XRT.”

“Joining the legendary 93XRT lineup is an absolute dream gig for a music geek like me,” said Annalisa. “I love radio and this heritage station with its storied past and an ear for the future. I can’t wait to come to Chicago.”

Annalisa has over three decades of on-air experience, most recently as afternoon drive host for WXRV in Boston. Prior to that, Annalisa spent two decades as midday host for KFOG in San Francisco.

Philly Radio: Jeff Kurkjian To Join WXTU Morning Show

Jeff Kurkjian
Beasley Media Group announces Jeff Kurkjian has been named as the new Co-host of The Andie Summers Show on Country 92.5 WXTU-FM in Philadelphia. He will begin his new position on July 1, 2022.

Kurkjian has been serving as the Co-host of the Jeff and Aimee Morning Show on Beasley Media Group’s 102.7 The Coyote KCYE-FM in Las Vegas since March of 2018. His last day on the air at the station will be June 3rd, 2022.

Previously, he was heard doing mornings at Audacy’s Q 104 WQAL in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Jeff is a tremendous talent who has an amazing ability to create relatable and entertaining content for the Country format audience,” said Beasley Media Group Chief Content Officer Justin Chase. “I believe he will help us improve the already highly successful Andie Summers Morning Show and the XTU brand overall.”

“The opportunity to work with Beasley’s legendary WXTU, a station so beloved by our late founder, George Beasley, is a real honor, said Kurkjian. “I am looking forward to coming home to the east coast while continuing my journey in country radio with the incredible Andie Summers and the entire XTU family.”

“We are excited to have Jeff join the XTU Team,” said Vice President and Market Manager Joe Bell. “His contributions to KYCE in Las Vegas make him the “right guy” to add another dimension to the Andie Summers Show. Jeff is a transplanted East Coaster so we’re glad to bring him “back home” to continue his career.”

The Darnestown, Maryland native received a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science from Syracuse University.

San Antonio Radio: Sports Star Simulcasting On 94.1 FM

Sports radio fans across the city have struggled to access crystal clear programming from San Antonio's Sports Star. Now, fanatics of the Alamo City can hear higher quality sports talk with the station moving from long hosted 94.5 FM to 94.1 FM, according to The News-Express.

"Time to change your preset button," wrote Jason Minnix in a blog post for his show, The Blitz. Minnix preceded to thank listeners and sponsors for allowing the station to grow. 

According to Minnix, the switchover is a huge milestone, as the signal on 94.1 is 37 times stronger than the signal of their previous domain.

"This is like a band that started playing clubs, moved to arenas and is now playing massive stadiums. Like going from Wolff Stadium to Jerry’s World," he wrote. "This is like moving from Alamo Ranch to the Dominion."

Under the leadership of Lance Hawkins and Greg Martin, San Antonio's Sports Star station officially launched in February 2008 on AM1250  and the signal has steadily grown stronger ever since. Back in December 2014, they connected with 94.5 FM, becoming the only sports station on San Antonio's FM dial. 

The big switch elevates the San Antonio sports station to one of the strongest in the state with other major cities like Austin and Houston hosting sports stations with weaker signals, according to Minnix.

"I will never hear you complain that you can’t get us in certain parts of town or you get bleed through from another station," concluded Minnix during his victory post. "And if I do, I know you are heading out of town and about an hour into your road trip."

San Diego Radio: Jim Rome Added At The Mightier 1090

The Jim Rome Show has returned to San Diego and Southern California at its new home XERPS The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio. The show will air from 12-3 p.m. PT daily.

“You know the saying, “You can never go home again.”? Lie. I’m calling B.S. on that. You can. And I am! And I am hyped beyond belief for the opportunity. The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio is getting after it on the daily in San Diego and when Bill Hagen and Scott Kaplan asked me if I wanted to be part of this, I asked, “When the hell do we start?!” San Diego is where the Jungle really took hold. It’s where I met my wife. And where I experienced some of the greatest moments of my entire life. There is no better town, no better market and you absolutely CAN go home. And that’s what I plan on doing. And I can’t wait. Let’s do this!” said Jim Rome.

Rome has long been one of the most popular and consistent voices on radio. He began his sports talk radio career in the early 1990s as a weeknight host at San Diego’s all-sports station, XTRA Sports 690, the predecessor to The Mightier 1090. Early on, the show was nicknamed “The Jungle” by Rome and his loyal listeners. The Jungle later moved to middays in San Diego and Southern California and became known as The Jim Rome Show. It was first syndicated in 1996 from XTRA Sports 690.

The Jim Rome Show has been off the air in San Diego since February 2022. Its new home, The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio, is Southern California’s newest ESPN-Radio affiliated station. It has one of the strongest signals in North America with the ability to reach more than 24 million California residents from Baja to San Diego and up to Orange County, Los Angeles and the Central Coast. The 1090 AM broadcast signal has been active for more than 80 years.

Report: Burnout Got To Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg, Tom Bernthal
Sheryl Sandberg’s departure from Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. came as a surprise even to many people close to the tech giant. In reality, reports The Wall Street Journal, it was the culmination of a years-long process in which one of the world’s most powerful executives became increasingly burned out and disconnected from the mega-business that she was instrumental in building.

More recently, there was a fresh irritation: Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal contacted Meta about two incidents from several years ago in which Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer, pressed a U.K. tabloid to shelve an article about her former boyfriend, Activision Blizzard Inc. Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, and a 2014 temporary restraining order against him.

The episode dovetailed with a company investigation into Ms. Sandberg’s activities, which hasn’t been previously reported, including a review of her use of corporate resources to help plan her coming wedding to Tom Bernthal, a consultant, the people said. The couple has been engaged since 2020.

As of May, that review was continuing, the people said.

Everything is now a tech thing. Columnist Joanna Stern is your guide, giving analysis and answering your questions about our always-connected world.

“None of this has anything to do with her personal decision to leave,” said Caroline Nolan, a Meta spokeswoman. She earlier said that the Kotick matter had been resolved.

Sandberg has been telling people that she feels burned out and that she has become a punching bag for the company’s problems, the people said. “She sees herself as someone who has been targeted, been tarred as a woman executive in a way that would not happen to a man. Gendered or not, she’s sick of it,” said one person who worked alongside Sandberg for many years.

San Jose Radio: Bay Country Adds Brooks Wenzel As APD

Alpha Media hires 10-year radio vet Isaac "Brooks" Wenzel as Assistant Program Director-Country for Bay Couuntry (KBAY-KKDV) in San Jose. He'll also become the station's first local afternoon personality. 

Beginning Monday, June 20, Brooks will be hosting 2-6pm weekdays on Bay Country and follows recently named local midday personality Emily Harlan from 10am-2pm.

Brooks Wenzel
Most recently, Brooks served as the Music Director and afternoon host for Country WFMS-FM/Indianapolis. Prior stops include WMAD/Madison, KQYB/La Crosse and WLXR/La Crosse. Outside of the studio, Brooks has built a large digital following through his online series "Beers with Brooks" and creating content on TikTok.

Wenzel commented, "This is a special opportunity that I'm extremely grateful for. I cannot wait to share my love for Country Music with the Bay Area as the first ever Afternoon Host on Bay Country. Thank you to Bo Matthews, David Drutz and Alpha Media EVP of Content Phil Becker for believing in me."

Alpha Media/San Jose Operations Manager and Program Director Bo Matthews said, "Brooks is perfect for Bay Country. It's fitting in Silicon Valley to have a personality that's not only a pro on the air but also top of his class in delivering digital content and engaging with listeners via social media. Bay Area Country Music fans are going to love Brooks."

Alpha Media San Jose VP/Market Manager David Drutz added, "Brooks is the ideal fit for what we've already built and will continue to build with Bay Country. I know Country Music fans will share my excitement in hearing him throughout the Bay Area."