Saturday, June 11, 2022

June 12 Radio History

➦In 1851...Early Radio pioneer, Oliver Joseph Lodge, was born in England (Died - August 22, 1940).

Oliver Lodge
He was a British physicist and writer involved in the development of key patents in wireless telegraphy.

On 14 August 1894, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University, Lodge gave a lecture on the work of Hertz (then-recently deceased). 

There he conducted a demonstration of Hertzian (radio) based wireless telegraphy, transmitting messages between two buildings, showing their potential for communication.   

This was one year before Marconi demonstrated his system for radio wireless telegraphy.

➦In 1911...the consummate radio actress Claudia Morgan was born in Brooklyn.

Throughout the 1940’s she played Nora Charles opposite Les Tremayne in The Adventures of the Thin Man. She was married to radio announcer and actor Ernest Chappell, and performed with him on the late ’40s horror show, “Quiet Please.” She was also a regular on The O’Neills, David Harum, Ford Theatre, Joyce Jordan, M.D., The Right to Happiness, Grand Central Station, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, On Stage and Dimension X.  In the early ’70s, Morgan was heard on Himan Brown‘s CBS Mystery Theater.  She died Sept. 17 1974 at age 63.

➦In William Lundigan was born in Syracuse NY.

He began as an adolescent announcer for a hometown radio station in a building owned by his father. He spent thirteen years as announcer before being discovered by a Universal film executive in 1937.  When big screen roles dried up in the mid-50′s he returned to announcing as host of TV’s dramatic anthology Climax, and Shower of Stars, on which he did commercials for the sponsor Chrysler. He also starred in the 1959 TV series Men into Space.

He died of heart failure Dec 20, 1975 at age 61.

➦In 1928....singer/radio-TV host Vic Damone was born in Brooklyn. He entered the talent search on CBS Radio’s Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and won in April 1947. This led to his becoming a regular on Godfrey’s show. By mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records. In 1948, he got his own weekly CBS radio show, Saturday Night Serenade. In January 1950 he made his first of several guest appearances on Ed Sullivan‘s Toast of the Town, including a duet with future TV hostess Dinah Shore. Over the next thirty years he became a regular featured guest on every major variety series on network television.

He died Feb. 11, 2018 from complications of respiratory illness at age 89.

➦In 1955Monitor debuted on the NBC Radio Network. The weekend program "Monitor," the brainchild of NBC radio and television network president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, began its 19½-year run on NBC Network Radio. The initial broadcast lasted eight hours. After an introduction by Weaver, news headlines from Dave Garroway and a routine by Bob and Ray, Garroway cued a music remote featuring live jazz by Howard Rumsey and the Lighthouse All-Stars at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach, California.

➦In 1972...the Sound Broadcasting Act was passed in the United Kingdom, providing for 21 new commercial radio stations, the very first legal competition for the state-owned BBC.

➦In 1989…Vivian Carter, a former DJ and co-founder of Vee Jay records died following a stroke. (Born March 25, 1921). She co-founded Vee-Jay Records with her future husband, Jimmy Bracken (they married in 1953) . Vee Jay, an independent record label, became the first successful black-owned recording company in the United States. It released original music from artists of the 1950s and 1960s in a variety of genres, including rhythm and blues, doo-wop, pop, and gospel.

Vivian Carter
In 1948 Carter won a talent contest conducted by Al Benson, a DJ at Chicago's WGES radio station. The prize was an opportunity to host a fifteen-minute segment on WGES, which launched her radio career. Carter worked at WGES for three months, but struggled financially and returned to Gary to work in a local millinery shop until she landed a job at WJOB (AM) in Hammond, Indiana. In 1952 Carter moved to WGRY and in 1954 to WWCA in Gary, where she hosted the "Livin' with Vivian" show six nights a week. Carter aired a mix of musical genres, including blues, gospel, jazz, and what became known as doo-wop.

In 1950 Carter and Bracken opened Vivian's Record Shop at 1640 Broadway in Gary's Midtown district. In 1953 Carter and Bracken borrowed $500 to establish a new record company, Vee-Jay Records, taking its name from the initials of their first names. The Spaniels recording of "Baby It's You" became Vee Jay's first release for the group. However, with no capacity to distribute the record, Vee Jay leased the recording to Chance Records.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, under Carter's and Bracken's ownership, Vee-Jay became a major independent record label with acts including The Spaniels, Jimmy Reed, the El Dorados, John Lee Hooker, Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler, Dee Clark, The Staple Singers, and The Four Seasons, among others.

Vee Jay secured the American distribution rights to The Beatles in 1963, but contract loopholes and lawsuits caused the company to lose them to Capitol Records. Meanwhile, Carter continued to work as a radio DJ, a key factor in attracting musical talent to the label.

➦In 2007…Citadel took  control of Disney/ABC radio stations.

➦In 2013…Veteran personality and programmer Bill Bailey died from a heart attack at age 66. He had stints are WLS-AM Chicago, WDRQ Detroit, WXTR-Washington, WIZF-Cincinnati, WLHT, WTRV and WGVU Grand Rapids.

Marv Albert is 81


  • Disney composer Richard Sherman is 94. 
  • Sports announcer Marv Albert is 81. 
  • Actor Roger Aaron Brown (“The District”) is 73. 
  • Actor Sonia Manzano (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”) is 72. 
  • Drummer Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick is 71. 
  • Country singer-guitarist Junior Brown is 70. 
  • Singer-songwriter Rocky Burnette is 69. 
  • Actor Timothy Busfield is 65. 
  • Singer Meredith Brooks is 64. 
  • Actor Jenilee Harrison (“Dallas,” ″Three’s Company”) is 64. 
  • Accordionist-keyboardist John Linnell of They Might Be Giants is 63. 
  • Jenilee Harrison is 64
    Actor John Enos (“Days of Our Lives,” ″Young and the Restless”) is 60. 
  • Rapper Grandmaster Dee of Whodini is 60. 
  • Actor Paul Schulze (“Nurse Jackie”) is 60. 
  • Actor Eamonn Walker (“Chicago Fire,” ″Cadillac Records”) is 60. 
  • Bassist Bardi Martin (Candlebox) is 53. 
  • Actor Rick Hoffman (“Suits”) is 52. 
  • Actor-comedian Finesse Mitchell (“Roadies,” ″Saturday Night Live”) is 50. 
  • Actor Jason Mewes (“Clerks”) is 48. 
  • Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 45. 
  • Actor Timothy Simons (“Veep”) is 44. 
  • Actor Wil Horneff (“The Yearling”) is 43. 
  • Singer Robyn is 43. 
  • Singer-guitarist John Gourley of Portgual. The Man is 41. 
  • Country singer Chris Young is 37. 
  • Actor Luke Youngblood (“Galavant”) is 36.

  • Black civil rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated on this day in 1963 outside his Mississippi home. He was 37. After being set free because two all-white juries deadlocked, white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith was convicted of the murder over 30 years later, in 1994.
  • Mafia turncoat Henry Hill, whose story was told in the movie Goodfellas, died on this day in 2012. He was 69.
  • Actor Gregory Peck died on this day in 2003. He was 87.
  • Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of football star O.J. Simpson, was murdered outside her house on this day in 1994 along with her friend, Ronald Goldman. She was 35 and Goldman was 25. O.J. was acquitted of the murders in his criminal trial, but found guilty in a civil trial.

Justin Bieber’s Face Paralyzed

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is experiencing paralysis in his face after being diagnosed with a rare disorder, reports The NY Post.

“I wanted to update you guys on what’s been going on. Obviously, as you can probably see from my face, I have, a, this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome and it is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” the pop star, 28, said in an Instagram video posted Friday. 

According to New York’s Mount Sinai hospital, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is marked by a painful rash around the ear, on the face or on the mouth. It manifests when the varicella-zoster virus infects a nerve in the head, sometimes causing paralysis. 

“As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move, so there’s full paralysis on this side of my face,” Bieber continued, gesturing to the right side of his face.  

“So for those who are frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically obviously not capable of doing them. This is pretty serious as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body’s telling me I gotta slow down.”

With some time off from the tour, which is scheduled to run though March 2023, Bieber told fans on Friday that he plans to “just rest and relax” so that he can “get back to 100 percent.” 

TV Ratings: 20M Tune-In For Prime-Time Congressional Hearing

An estimated 20 million people tuned in to live U.S. television broadcasts of Thursday's hearing by lawmakers probing the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, reports Reuters citing the Nielsen ratings.

The viewership across 12 networks ranked below other political events such as President Biden's State of the Union address, which pulled in 38 million viewers in March, but higher than most congressional hearings.

The first televised hearing of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump, for example, attracted about 14 million viewers on 10 networks in 2019. It was held during the day, when TV viewership is lower.

The committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by Trump supporters is holding rare primetime hearings to spotlight the findings of its nearly year-long investigation. Broadcasters including ABC, CBS and NBC interrupted regular programming to show the event.

Nielsen's figures included people who watched via traditional television or streamed through Internet-connected TVs, but they do not capture the full extent of online viewing via social media.

The tally also does not include Fox News Channel, which opted to run its regular opinion programming during the hearing. Fox Business Network covered the hearing live.

Of the 20 million viewers, 15.2 million were age 55 and older, Nielsen said. Less than 1 million people age 18 to 34 watched via the TV networks.

TV Newser reports MSNBC was the most-watched cable network and the second-most-watched network overall, averaging more than 4.3 million total viewers. CNN averaged more adults 25-54 than the cable competition, 747,000. Fox News was the only major network that declined to carry the entirety of the hearing live, instead sticking with regular primetime programming and occasionally showing the hearing in a split-screen. The network averaged 3.5 million viewers and 546,000 adults 25-54 from 8-10 p.m., which is pretty consistent with what the network typically draws on Thursday in that time period. Fox News drew a larger total audience than CNN, but fewer adults 25-54 than CNN and MSNBC.

Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum covered the hearings live on Fox Business Network. Their coverage attracted 223,000 viewers – roughly double the audience for a typical FBN program, but a significantly smaller audience than what the respective hosts draw on Fox News. Other Nielsen-measured cable networks that carried the primetime hearing live were CNBC, Newsmax, CNNe, NewsNation and NBC LX. Those networks totaled roughly 600,000 total viewers.

Inflation: Tampa Leads U-S Cities

NY Post 6/11/22

So much for the idea that inflation had already peaked.

Bloomberg reports May’s consumer price index showed that inflation is still very much roaring in the US economy, straining fragile budgets even further. Costs for things from baked goods and haircuts jumped, underscoring the broad-based nature of price pressures.

Nearly every category in Friday’s report showed prices continued to rise at a rapid clip. Here are some of the highlights, or lowlights, rather:

While Americans can’t get around sky-high prices for necessities like food and gas, a few discretionary categories came off the boil -- including for men’s pants and jewelry.

Bloomberg Graphic

Consumer prices in Tampa, Florida, surged by more than 11% in May from a year earlier, as torrid inflation rates continued to engulf the South and Southwest.

While inflation accelerated across the US, major metropolitan areas in the Sunbelt have had it even worse, driven in part by housing prices. Consumer prices in Dallas accelerated to 9.1%, according to government data released Friday.

Gasoline prices surged to a record $6.30 per gallon in Riverside, California, today, up more than $2 from a year earlier. In Tampa, gasoline is cheaper, but year-over-year rent growth was among the fastest of any city in May.

The overall US inflation rate rose to 8.6% in May. The government tracks prices in 23 metro areas, with New York, Los Angeles and Chicago reporting inflation every month and the other cities alternating every other month. Phoenix and Atlanta led big metro areas that reported prices in April, at record 11% and 10.8%, respectively.

Media, Tech Stocks Drop

Financial markets took a sharp tumble again Friday, with media and tech stocks falling across the board amid new fears on Wall Street of a looming recession triggered by a new report on rising inflation.

Variety reports major market indexes had their worst declines for the week since January. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 880 points, or 2.7%, to close at 31,392.79. The S&P 500 fell 2.9% and the tech-concentrated Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3.5%, to 11,340.02.

Netflix shares slid 5.1%, to close at $182.94 — the streamer’s stock is down 69% year to date on concerns that its growth is stagnating. Also fueling the sell-off in Netflix was a downgrade by Goldman Sachs, which on Friday cut its rating “neutral” to “sell” and slashed its 12-month price target from $265 to $186/share.

In a research note about Netflix, Goldman Sachs’ Eric Sheridan wrote, “We have concerns around the impact of a consumer recession as well as heightened levels of competition on demand trends, both in the form of gross adds and churn, margin expansion and levels of content spend.”

Shares of Roku, meanwhile, tumbled 10.5% Friday, erasing gains from earlier in the week driven by a speculative rumor that Netflix may be interested in acquiring the company. Sources tell Variety there is no truth to chatter about Netflix potentially being interested in buying Roku.

Media stocks posting losses Friday included Disney (-3.8%), Warner Bros. Discovery (-4.9%), Paramount Global (-3.6%), Comcast (-1.3%), Lionsgate (-6.6%) and Fox Corp. (-3.3%). Shares of big tech companies also sank, with Amazon down -5.6% for the day, Apple dropping -3.9%, Meta off -4.6% and Alphabet slipping -3%.

💸For the year, iHeartMedia shares are down 53%, Click Here For More

The broad market declines came after the Labor Department on Friday morning reported the fastest annual increase in the consumer-price index in May 2022 — up 8.6% compared with a year earlier — since 1981.

Ft. Myers Radio: Tom Calococci To Program Beasley's WJPT-FM

Beasley Media Group has  announced Tom Calococci has been named Program Director of Beasley Media Group’s WJPT-FM Sunny 106.3 in Fort Myers.

Calococci most recently served as the Program Director of Beasley Media Group’s KOAS/Jammin’ 105.7 in Las Vegas. Previously, he spent 4 years as the Affiliate Relations and Content Creator for Sheet Happens Prep, an industry radio show preparation resource.

Tom Calococci
“Tom has a successful history with Beasley, much of that time programming in South Florida,” said Beasley Media Group Chief Content Officer Justin Chase. “He’s highly creative, strategic, forward-thinking and a respected leader in our business. We’re very happy to welcome Tom back to Beasley!”

“Tom has a great history of success with Beasley in some of our other markets,” said Vice President and Market Manager AJ Lurie. “We are excited for him to bring that winning spirit to Southwest Florida.”

“I can’t wait to get back to work for this incredible company and the great team that Beasley has in Fort Myers,” said Calococci. “I want to thank AJ Lurie, Adam Star, Justin Chase and Brian Beasley for their support. I am so happy to be back in South Florida!”

June 11 Radio History

➦In 1900.. Lawrence E Spivak born (Died at age 93 – March 9, 1994).

He was a publisher and journalist who was best known as the co-founder, producer and host of the prestigious public affairs program Meet the Press. He and journalist Martha Rountree founded the radio program in 1934 as a promotion for Spivak's magazine, The American Mercury, and it became the longest-running continuous network series in television history. During his 28 years as panelist and moderator of Meet the Press, Spivak was known for his pointed questioning of policy makers

Spivak sold Meet the Press to NBC in 1955 but remained as moderator, producer and panelist.

➦In Gerald Mohr was born in New York City. The radio, film and television character actor appeared in over 500 radio plays, including the title role in Raymond Chandler’s “Adventures of Philip Marlowe.”  He made 73 films and over 100 television shows, including westerns “Maverick”, “Cheyenne”, “Bronco”, “Sugarfoot” and “Bonanza”, as well as episodes of “Perry Mason”, “77 Sunset Strip”, “Hawaiian Eye”, “Lost in Space” etc, and did announce/narration for early episodes of “The Lone Ranger.”   He died of a heart attack Nov 9 1968 in Stockholm at the age of 54.

➦In 1953...the all-black TV sitcom “Amos ‘n Andy,” which had begun on radio in 1929 with two white men playing all the parts, was driven from the air in the heat of the civil rights movement, for its so-called stereotypical characterizations.  This was the last time it was seen on CBS, though the radio series on which it was based ran until 1960.

➦In 1972...KRE-AM, Berkeley, California changed call letters to KPAT-AM.

➦In 1985...WJW-AM, Cleveland, Ohio changed its call letters to WRMR-AM.

WJW began broadcasting as WLBV in Mansfield, Ohio on November 13, 1926 under the ownership of John F. Weimer.    In 1928, the call letters were changed to WJW, reflecting the owner's initials.   By 1931, the station had been sold to Mansfield Broadcasting Association, and it was broadcasting at 1210 kHz with 100 watts.

WJW moved to Akron in 1932.  By 1936, the station was owned by WJW, Inc.   On March 29, 1941, WJW, like most stations around the country changed its frequency with the implementation of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. As of 1942, the station was broadcasting with 250 watts at 1240 kHz.

On November 13, 1943, William M. O'Neill purchased the station and moved it to Cleveland, with facilities in the Guardian Building (now the National City–East 6th Building at 619 Euclid). Marvin Cade signed on the station that Saturday and was the evening news announcer. On the 11 of June 1985, Marvin Cade was invited to sign off WJW Radio for the final time when it switched over to WWWE at 1100 kHz.

WJW became Cleveland's fifth radio station after WHK, WTAM, WGAR (AM) and WCLE.

The frequency was moved to 850 kHz, and power was increased to 5,000 watts. The station became an affiliate of the Blue Network, soon to be ABC. WJW also brought the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts to Cleveland. The station also featured news commentary by Dorothy Fuldheim, and for a short period in the early 1950s was home to a disc jockey called Soupy Hines, later known as Soupy Sales.

A young disc jockey named Alan Freed joined WJW in 1951 from WAKR in Akron, Ohio. Shortly thereafter, Alan began making broadcasting history with his shows in which he was known as the "Moondog." Freed played rhythm-and-blues music by black artists for a largely white teen-age audience. He is purported to have given the music the name by which it is known today – rock and roll.

In addition to his radio program, Freed also organized local concerts by early rock artists, called the Moondog Coronation Ball, which many consider to be the first rock concert in American history. The concert on March 21, 1952 at the Cleveland Arena turned into a riot when far too many listeners filled the hall, causing Freed to apologize on the air the next day.

Freed left WJW in September 1954 for WINS New York.

On July 3, 2001, WRMR was one of seven Northeast Ohio radio stations involved in a complex exchange between three radio companies. Although generally reported as a "frequency swap", in reality these seven radio stations mostly traded call signs along with their respective formats and staffs – all to facilitate the transfers of ownership of four of the seven stations. As part of this complex exchange, Salem Communications changed the WRMR call sign to WKNR. In effect, this new WKNR 850 AM licensed to Cleveland became the successor to the previous WKNR 1220 AM licensed to Cleveland, now WHKW. Today WKNR is owned by Good Karma and airs Sports Talk.

➦In 2003...David Brinkley died of complications from a fall at age 82 (Born - July 10, 1920). He was an newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997.

From 1956 through 1970, he co-anchored NBC's top-rated nightly news program, The Huntley–Brinkley Report, with Chet Huntley and thereafter appeared as co-anchor or commentator on its successor, NBC Nightly News, through the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, Brinkley was host of the popular Sunday This Week with David Brinkley program and a top commentator on election-night coverage for ABC News. Over the course of his career, Brinkley received ten Emmy Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He wrote three books, including the 1988 bestseller Washington Goes to War, about how World War II transformed the nation's capital. This social history was largely based on his own observations as a young reporter in the city.

➦In 2014…Country Radio Hall of Famer Lee Rogers died at age 67 following a stroke. Lee Rogers has worked in the radio business for more than 40 years.

His first job in the Country format came in 1970 at KBAM in Longview, Wash. His career includes stops at KMPS (Seattle, Wash.), K102 (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.), WQIK (Jacksonville, Fla.) and KCBQ (San Diego, Calif.). For 13 years, Rogers was operations manager and morning show host at Portland, Oregon's KUPL. Combining his Country radio career with his love of live music, Rogers has toured and performed with artists including Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Don Gibson, Keith Whitley, Minnie Pearl, Dwight Yoakam and Charlie Daniels.

Rogers retired from KUPL in 2009.

➦In 2018...SiriusXM Radio announced an agreement to pay $150 million to SoundExchange to settle two lawsuits claiming that the satellite-radio giant underpaid royalties for recordings.  The funds were later distributed to rights owners and artists whose music was programmed from 2007 to 2017.

Hugh Laurie is 63


  • Singer Joey Dee of Joey Dee and the Starliters is 82. 
  • Adrienne Barbeau is 77
    Actor Roscoe Orman (“Sesame Street”) is 78. 
  • Actor Adrienne Barbeau (“Maude”) is 77. 
  • Drummer Frank Beard of ZZ Top is 73. 
  • Singer Graham Russell of Air Supply is 72. 
  • Singer Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special and of Van Zant is 70. 
  • Actor Peter Bergman (“The Young and the Restless”) is 69. 
  • Actor Hugh Laurie (“House”) is 63. 
  • Talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz (“The Dr. Oz Show”) is 62. 
  • Singer Gioia Bruno of Exposé is 59. 
  • Bassist Dan Lavery of Tonic is 56. 
  • Country singer Bruce Robison is 56. 
  • Actor Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) is 53. 
  • Bassist Smilin’ Jay McDowell (BR5-49) is 53. 
  • Actor Lenny Jacobson (“Nurse Jackie”) is 48. 
  • Bassist Tai Anderson of Third Day is 46. 
  • Actor Joshua Jackson (“Fringe,” ″Dawson’s Creek”) is 44. 
  • Actor Shia LaBeouf is 36.

  • Actor DeForest Kelley, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy of TV's original Star Trek, died on this day in 1999. He was 79.
  • Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed by the federal government on this day in 2001. He was 33
  • Actor John Wayne died on this day in 1979. He was 72.

Friday, June 10, 2022

iHeartMedia Stock Tumbles

There’s trouble coming in the advertising market, and that is not good news for investors in iHeartMedia, the largest U.S. operator of radio stations.

Barron's reports IHeart shares are getting clobbered on Friday after Morgan Stanley media analyst Benjamin Swinburne cut his rating on the company to Underweight from Equal Weight, with a new price target of $11, down from $25. IHeart stock was down 10.2%, at $9.85, in recent trading.

💸For the year, iHeart shares are down 53%.

Swinburne says a possible recession and the company’s highly leveraged business—the company has more than $5 billion in net debt, with a market cap of just $1.5 billion—creates “outsized risk to the equity.” He also sees the company’s core broadcast radio business “as structurally challenged by shifting consumer listening habits.” And he notes that while iHeart’s digital audio business is growing impressively, it has lower margins than the core broadcast business.

Swinburne’s downgrade was part of a broader cautious call on the outlook for the advertising business. He reduced his 2023 ad spending outlook to price in “a mild recession.” And he adds that “decelerating ad growth with recession risk” also points to pressure on valuation multiples.

The analyst also cut his rating on Lamar Advertising, a billboard company, to Equal Weight from Overweight, with a new target of $103, down from $135. He also trimmed price targets on Outfront Media (OUT), Clear Channel Outdoor CCO, Interpublic Group, and Omnicom Group. All of those stocks are down 4% or more on Friday, excepting Omnicom, which is down 3.8%. He also reiterated his Underweight rating on Sirius XM Holdings SIRI, where he is cautious on the ad outlook for its Pandora streaming radio business.

iHM Names Kim Guthrie Division President/Florida

iHeartMedia announced today that Kim Guthrie has been named Division President for iHeartMedia Florida, replacing Linda Byrd who enters her retirement effective July 15th.

As the Florida Division President for the iHeartMedia Markets Group, Guthrie will oversee the operations of the Florida Division for iHeartMedia. She will report directly to Hartley Adkins, President of iHeartMedia Markets Group.

“At iHeart we pride ourselves on being a ‘talent first’ company, and this decision reflects that commitment. It’s rewarding to find someone who both understands what our listeners need and how to operate in a multi-platform environment. Kim checks every box and more, we’re thrilled she chose to bring her talents to iHeart,” said Adkins. “Her CEO experience at Cox Media Group makes her uniquely qualified for this position.”

Kim Guthrie
Guthrie comes to iHeart with over three decades of experience in the industry. 

She most recently served as President/Chief Executive Officer of Cox Media Group, a role she ascended to in late 2016. She was instrumental in the evolution and growth of CMG since she first joined the company in 1998 as VP/General Manager for its Long Island, NY radio station group before working her way up through the ranks. Before ascending to CEO, Guthrie further expanded her skills by serving as Executive Vice President of CMG’s National Ad Platforms, where she oversaw the country’s biggest television rep firm. As CEO of CMG, she had complete oversight of the company, including nearly 100 broadcast TV and radio stations, dozens of digital assets and newspapers. She started her career in the Midwest, where she worked as a television news reporter and anchor for several ABC affiliates.

“I am very excited to announce my ‘un-retirement!’ iHeart has become a true employment destination and I am thrilled to be part of America’s #1 audio company,” says Guthrie. “I greatly admire what Bob and Rich have done to transform and expand the company since they took over a decade ago. iHeart’s leadership has built a culture of respect, transparency and innovation, and the entire team has made me feel like I can make a difference here. iHeart’s leadership team and vision for the future are a great fit for me and where I feel I can bring the most value.”

And the 2022 Radio Mercury Award Winners Are...

Winners at the 2022 Radio Mercury Awards were announced this evening at the 31stannual awards presentation held virtually and in-person at Sony Hall in New York. This year’s Best of Show award was presented to FCB Chicago for their Go RVing radio commercial.

“It’s been an honor to be at this year’s Radio Mercury Awards and to award the incredible lineup of winners,” said Ale Ortiz, executive creative director, Campbell Ewald and chief judge, Radio Mercury Awards. “The final round jury and I were very impressed by the winners’ ability to not only entertain listeners but tell stories through radio and audio.”

“This year’s awards once again proved the power of sound and demonstrated the strength of radio and audio in conveying a brand’s message,” noted Erica Farber, president and chief executive officer, Radio Advertising Bureau, and chair of the Radio Creative Fund. “This was an incredible night for radio, and it was so great to celebrate with everyone both in person and online."

FCB ChicagoAle Ortiz, Justin Enderstein, Andrés Ordóñez and Erica Farber

The lively hybrid ceremony included the following presenters from this year's final round jury and advisory council: Larissa Kirschner-Chaney, freelance creative consultant; Josh Grossberg, McCann Health; Nicky Lorenzo, Taylor Global; Ciro Sarmiento, Weber Shandwick and Joyce King Thomas, King Thomas

In attendance were numerous leaders from the creative and advertising community including Arnold Worldwide, McCann New York and Detroit, The Martin Agency, Oink Ink Radio, Sound and Fury, BBDO, Pomann Sound, Barkley, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and more, along with clients Motel 6 and the Colon Cancer Coalition.

Event sponsors of this year’s event were Audacy and iHeartMedia. Dedicated sponsors included CBS News Radio, Hubbard Broadcasting and World Wide Wadio. General sponsors were Beasley Media Group, CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One, Katz Media Group, Salem Media Group, Skyview Networks, Sound and Fury and WideOrbit along with Friends of the Mercuries sponsors Forcht Broadcasting, Neuhoff Media, Nielsen, Triton Digital and vCreative.

Below is the list of the winning work. To listen to all of the winners at tonight’s ceremony, go to

WaPo Fires Felicia Sonmez After Twitter Battles

The Washington Post fired political reporter Felicia Sonmez on Thursday after she spent the last week sharply criticizing her colleagues and the paper’s leadership, according to The NY Post citing multiple reports.

Sonmez did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Her firing was reported by CNN, the Daily Beast and New York Times reporter Katie Robinson

Kris Coratti Kelly, The Washington Post’s chief communications officer, told The New York Post: “We do not discuss personnel matters.” 

Sonmez, who has been at the paper for a decade, made headlines last Friday when she blasted fellow political reporter Dave Weigel for retweeting a sexist joke. Weigel subsequently apologized and was suspended without pay for a month.  

On Tuesday, Washington Post Executive Editor Sally Buzbee warned reporters to maintain a “collegial” workplace and refrain from attacking colleagues on Twitter. 

But Sonmez took to the social media platform again Thursday to blast Post reporters who sent out tweets praising the Jeff Bezos-owned paper as a “collegial” workplace and “downplaying the Post’s workplace issues.”

The Harvard-educated journalist noted that the reporters who “issued synchronized tweets … are all white” and are “among the highest-paid employees in the newsroom, making double and even triple what some other National desk reporters are making, particularly journalists of color.”

Many of her colleagues had been getting fed up with Sonmez’s social media onslaught, Vanity Fair reported on Wednesday 

“Working at a huge news organization — the Post, the New York Times, CNN — is like living in a big city where there are always emergencies,” one staffer told the outlet.

“As a colleague, you probably should be trying to help fund the fire department or city services and make it a better place to live; at worst, you’re not paying your taxes,” another said.

“And then you have Felicia, who is essentially pouring gasoline on every fire and inviting people to watch.”

Forecast: Streaming Has Plenty of Growth Ahead

Is music streaming reaching subscriber maturity? Digital Music News reports not according to the bullish Merck Mercuriadis, who outlined aggressive streaming growth projections on Thursday.

There are more than 550 million paying music subscribers worldwide, according to estimates from MIDIA Research. Of that, Spotify claims 182 million, according to the company’s latest disclosures. But how many more paying subscribers are out there?

According to Hipgnosis Songs founder and CEO Merck Mercuriadis, more than 1.5 billion people have yet to initiate paid music streaming accounts. In a keynote discussion at Canadian Music Week in Toronto on Thursday, Mercuriadis rattled off some bullish projections over the next 10-15 years.

“When I presented [the Hipgnosis] investment case to the financial community, I told them that this was going to be a great way to make money, because Spotify and streaming was going to go from having 30 million paid subscribers to having 100, 200, 300, 400, now we’re at 500 million,” Mercuriadis relayed.

“By the time we get to the end of this decade, we’ll be over a billion. And by the time we get well into the next decade into the 30s, we’ll be at 2 billion subscribers. And that money is coming from all over the world.”

But what about the music industry’s hand-wringing over the ‘streaming plateau’ and ‘post-streaming’ monetization problems? During the most recent quarter, Spotify tacked on a modest 2 million subscribers from 2021, albeit with 1.5 million subscribers purged from Russia. That suggested a possible slowdown, with high-dollar markets like the United States and Western Europe potentially reaching their saturation points. That is shifting the focus towards emerging markets like Africa, India, and Latin America — all of which offer less revenue per user (or ‘ARPU’).

But when asked whether streaming growth is leveling off, Mercuriadis offered a far different analysis. “I’m quite certain it’s not the case,” Mercuriadis told Digital Music News. “You’ve probably seen Spotify’s Investor Day yesterday in which they were quite bullish that they’ll have a billion users themselves by the time you get to 2030.”

“I think what is plateauing [for Spotify] is because of the negative stance that they’ve taken on songwriters — and because of being preoccupied with some other things. I think Spotify perhaps isn’t going to end up with the same share of the global market that I expected them to have.”

Spotify’s erosion in market share could create distortions in the broader marketplace analysis, according to Mercuriadis. “If you’d asked me two years ago, I would have expected Spotify to have one-third of the global market by the time you get to 2030,” Mercuriadis continued. “I think at this point they may have 25%, or somewhere between 20-25%, and because people are looking at Spotify’s data rather than overall streaming data around the world, they think that perhaps streaming is plateauing.”

Wake-Up Call: Hearing Fingers Trump As Instigator

In the first of a series of televised hearings, a bipartisan House committee investigating the January 6th, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol began to lay out their case that President Donald Trump instigated the assault through his words, actions, and Tweets. The presentation included videotaped depositions of Trump associates, testimony from people on the scene, and never-before-seen video from the event.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said Trump had encouraged the assault in order to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected president and remain in power, thwarting a process that had prevailed for 220 years:

“Unlike in 1814, it was domestic enemies of the Constitution who stormed the Capitol and occupied the Capitol, who sought to thwart the will of the people, to stop the transfer of power. And they did so at the encouragement of the president of the United States. The president of the United States trying to stop the transfer of power. A precedent that had stood for 220 years even as our democracy had faced its most difficult test."

Representative Liz Cheney, the Republican co-chair of the committee, said a Tweet from Trump inviting his followers to come to Washington on January 6th set off a chain of events that led directly to the attack:

“President Trump sent the Tweet on the screen now, telling people to come to Washington on January 6th. ‘Be there,’ he said. ‘Will be wild.’ As you will see, this was a pivotal moment. This tweet initiated a chain of events. The Tweet led to the planning for what occurred on January 6th, including by the Proud Boys who ultimately led the invasion of the Capitol and the violence on that day. The indictment of a group of Proud Boys alleges that they planned ‘to oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States.’ And according to the Department of Justice, on January 6th, 2021, the defendants directed, mobilized and led members of the crowd onto the capitol grounds and into the Capitol, leading to the dismantling of metal barricades, the destruction of property, the breaching of the Capitol building, and the assaults on law enforcement.”

The evening’s most compelling testimony came from Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured during the assault:

“What I saw was just a war scene. It was something like I had seen out of the movies. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I mean, I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people’s blood. I was catching people as they fell. It was carnage. It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle.”

➤MICHIGAN GOVERNOR CANDIDATE ARRESTED: Ryan Kelley, the Republican candidate for governor of Michigan, was arrested by the FBI yesterday on misdemeanor charges related to the January 6th, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. He was released on a personal recognizance bond after a hearing. Prosecutors filed four charges against Kelley: knowingly entering a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct; knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and willfully injuring or committing depredation against federal property.

➤NASA JOINS SEARCH FOR UFOS: NASA has joined the search for extraterrestrial objects. The space agency is putting together a team to study data on “"events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective," a statement said. Its interest is in the safety and security of its space missions.

➤DAUGHTER OF SLAIN COUPLE FOUND ALIVE: The baby daughter of a young couple who were murdered in Texas 41 years ago has been found alive and well. DNA evidence only recently led to a positive identification of the remains of Harold Clouse Junior and Tina Gail Linn Clouse, who disappeared near Houston in 1981. The same evidence led to the identification of their infant daughter Holly. The full story of her disappearance is still unfolding, but Holly is now in contact with her very delighted grandmother.

➤MAN SHOT DEAD OUTSIDE SCHOOL: A man was shot and killed by police outside of an Alabama elementary school in Gadsden, Alabama, yesterday. The man was apparently involved in a dispute with a school resource officer and had tried to get into the school. At one point, he tried to force his way into a police cruiser and grab an officer’s gun. There were 34 children in the Walnut Park Elementary School at the time of the incident.

➤FIVE MARINES DEAD IN CRASH: All five Marines aboard a military aircraft died when it crashed during a training mission near Glamis, California, the Marine Corps said in a statement yesterday. Rumors that there were nuclear materials on board the MV-22B Osprey aircraft were flatly denied.

💒BRITNEY SPEARS AND SAM ASGHARI TIE THE KNOT AS HER EX IS ARRESTED FOR CRASHING WEDDING: Britney Spears and Sam Asghari exchanged nuptials in a small ceremony in front of about 60 guests on Thursday (6-9) evening. Some of her famous friends in attendance included Madonna, Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore, Maria Menounos, and Paris Hilton. Britney wore a Donatella Versace dress.

Britney’s brother, Bryan, was there... but her mom, dad, sister, and two sons did not attend. A statement from her sons read “The boys are happy for Britney and wish her and Sam all the best going forward."

The couple has been together since 2016 and engaged since last September.

And there was drama… Her first ex-husband, Jason Alexander was arrested after breaking into her home, which was also the wedding venue. The 40-year-old livestreamed himself on Instagram as he roamed around the property, revealing their wedding decorations, which were still being arranged by party planners. He was yelling her name and claiming to security that he was invited. He said, “I’m here to crash the wedding.”

🏒TAMPA BAY DEFEATS RANGERS 3-1: The New York Rangers got hit by lightning last night as Tampa Bay blew past them with two goals late in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The final score was Tampa Bay 3, New York 1.

🏌PGA TOUR LOWERS THE BOOM ON RIVAL LEAGUE PLAYERS: The PGA Tour organization has suspended any and all players who compete on the new rival LIV tour. That’s 17 pro golf players, and more likely in the future. Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter are among those banned from PGA events including the FedEx Cup and the Presidents Cup. The LIV Tour management issued a statement: “The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London and beyond.” The first LIV event aired yesterday on YouTube, Facebook, and The major broadcasters declined to cover it.

🏀STEPH CURRY WILL BE THERE: Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry is determined to play in the critical Game 4 of the NBA finals tonight. He suffered a leg injury in the fourth quarter of Game 3 when he and Boston Celtics forward Al Horford crashed into each other while diving for a ball. He says a good rest and some ice did the trick.

🏀LEBRON JAMES HAS HIS EYE ON VEGAS: LeBron James has said he wants to own an NBA team after retiring from playing. Now he’s narrowed down the preferred location of the team to Las Vegas. There are no plans to expand the NBA to Vegas. But what LeBron wants, LeBron mostly gets. His personal fortune has been estimated at more than $1 billion.

⚾SANCHEZ MAKES A DEAL WITH THE TWINS: Minnesota Twins catcher Gary Sanchez has agreed to accept a $9 million one-year contract with the team. The talks had been headed to arbitration. Chicago Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras also made a deal yesterday, agreeing to a $9.625 million salary.

🏈PEYTON MANNING MAY JOIN NEW BRONCOS ORGANIZATION: Peyton Manning is in talks with the new owners of the Denver Broncos about a potential advisory and ownership role in the organization, according to KDVR in Denver. The Walmart family has a deal to buy the team for about $4.5 billion.

'Talkers 2022' Starts Today

It is a meeting of the minds — and the voices. “Talkers 2022” — a sizable national conference of both on-air and behind-the-scenes forces of the nation’s talk radio realm — is underway Friday, reports The Washington Times.

Some 60 speakers will man the microphone at an undisclosed location in New York, the event boasting contributions from such high-profile folks as Premiere Networks host Sean Hannity, Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade, Salem Network’s Mike Gallagher, Key Networks commentator Bill O’Reilly and Newsmax primetime host Rob Schmitt.

Michael Harrison
“People are there to feel a sense of community, to learn things from each other and be inspired by each other. They are ready to tackle some of the existential issues facing talk radio — and the media in general,” Michael Harrison, editor and publisher of Talkers Magazine and the organizer of the event, told Inside the Beltway.

“I am very optimistic about talk radio. It is among the most dynamic venues for free speech, and it takes a lot to shake it up. I think talk radio will persevere,” said Mr. Harrison, who has organized the annual conference for the last 25 years.

“People enjoy meeting their competition. There’s a sense of camaraderie out there, even among those who sound like they hate each other when they’re on the air. They don’t. All of them have an authentic love of the medium. This is actually one of the most civil meetings between those who back left or right leaning political causes that you could imagine,” Mr. Harrison said.

“Talk radio is a cousin to cable TV news. Actually, cable news was born from talk radio in many ways. What we have here is a gathering of the tribes, ready and able to talk about the issues the industry faces,” he added.

Chicago Radio: WSHE Taps Rick Hall for Hosting/MD

Hubbard Radio Chicago’s WTMX 101.9 THE MIX Vice President of Brand and Content, Jimmy Steal, has announced the appointment of Rick Hall as On-Air Afternoon Personality / Music Director at WSHE SHE 100.3

Rick Hall
Hall comes to Hubbard Radio Chicago from Moody Radio Network where he served as On-Air Personality and Manager of Digital Audio.

Hall says, “I can’t wait to join the new SHE 100.3, and the entire team of innovators at Hubbard Radio Chicago. Given the past few years, it’s never been more obvious that the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s were THE time to be alive and that’s what SHE is all about”.

Vice President Market Manager Jeff England added, “Rick is a multi-talented, personality/programmer who’ll bring great value to our SHE listeners, advertisers, and community. We’re thrilled Rick is joining Hubbard Chicago on SHE 100.3 as our Afternoon host and Music Director”.

Disney Boots TV Exec As For Not Being 'Good Fit'

Bob Chapek and Peter Rice

In a surprise shake-up, Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday fired Peter Rice, a top television executive, just months after renewing his contract, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.

The company said Thursday morning that Rice would be replaced in his role as chairman of general entertainment content by Dana Walden, his longtime deputy.

In a separate statement Thursday, Susan Arnold, chairman of Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors, stated the board’s support for Chief Executive Bob Chapek, who has been under pressure from investors, employees and lawmakers as the company’s share price has tumbled by nearly half this year and the company has become ensnared by political controversies across the country.

Disney gave no reason for Mr. Rice’s firing, but people familiar with the matter say that Mr. Chapek called Mr. Rice into his office on Wednesday and informed him that he was no longer a “good fit” for the company.

Rice wrote a final note to his staff after he was dismissed in which he said he’s “sad that this will be the last ‘weekend read’” he would send, according to a copy of the note reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. He also thanked his colleagues, lauded the work they did together and ended it with a parting thought to “remain committed to excellence.”

Rice’s name had been floated as a possible successor to Robert Iger when he was still helming Disney, but senior Disney officials often shot down that talk. Executives in Hollywood and some news reports had also mentioned Mr. Rice’s name in recent months as a possible successor to Mr. Chapek, the CEO.

Mr. Rice is the second top executive to be ousted from Disney in the past six weeks. In late April, Geoff Morrell, the company’s head of corporate affairs and top communications executive, resigned from the company. In a letter to subordinates, Mr. Morrell also said that it had become clear that he wasn’t a “good fit” for the company.

West Palm Radio: WBZT Becomes 'The Gambler'

iHeartMedia West Palm Beach has announced the debut of the new Sports Radio WBZT 1230 The Gambler. 

The new station will broadcast real-time sports betting news and analysis covering every major sport from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network. VSiN content currently airs on more than 140 terrestrial radio stations in 31 states nationwide.

New Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler will air 22 hours of live VSiN programming daily, which provides unique coverage of daily sports betting markets. This VSiN content will air on The Gambler outside of live sporting events, including Miami Marlins baseball games and University of Florida football and basketball matchups. Additionally, The Gambler will feature “The Greek Zone” live from South Florida, weekday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to bring this informative and entertaining brand of sports talk to local sports fans,” said Brian Mudd, Program Director for New Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler. “Sports betting as a 24/7 format, and specifically the expert analysis from VSiN and our very own Greek, is a perfect choice for The Gambler.”

VSiN delivers real-time sports betting content to its audience, comprised of both sharp bettors and those brand new to sports betting action, setting the stage for the day’s biggest sports betting events and sharing expert tips and predictions across college and pro football, college and pro basketball, hockey, baseball, golf, tennis and more. VSiN offers bettors unique analysis and insights from one of the industry’s most knowledgeable teams, including morning talk personalities Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard, sports betting analytics expert Gill Alexander, former pro football executive Michael Lombardi, former NFL players Shaun King and Mike Pritchard, and sportscasting legend Brent Musburger.

“As VSiN continues to broaden its distribution footprint, we’re thrilled to be working with the innovative content providers at iHeartRadio’s New Sports Radio 1230 The Gambler to bring sports betting programming to West Palm Beach and its passionate sports fans,” said Brian Musburger, founder and CEO of VSiN. “As regulated sports betting continues its expansion across the U.S., we’re proud to be The Gambler’s choice to help educate and entertain the incredibly passionate sports fans in this top 50 media market.”