Saturday, August 6, 2022

August 7 Radio History

➦In 1885...Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke born (Died at age 84 – May 14, 1970). She was professionally known as Billie Burke and was famous on Broadway, on radio, early silent film, and subsequently in sound film. She is best known to modern audiences as Glinda the Good Witch of the North in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie musical The Wizard of Oz (1939).

Billie Burke and Judy Garland

Burke was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1938 for her performance as Emily Kilbourne in Merrily We Live and is also remembered for her appearances in the Topper film series. Her high-pitched, wavering, aristocratic voice was her trademark, which made her a frequent choice to play dim-witted, spoiled society types.

Billie Burke was the wife of Broadway producer and impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. founder of dance troupe and theatrical revue (and adapted to a radio program from 1932 and 1936), the Ziegfeld Follies which operated from 1914 until his death in 1932.

On CBS Radio, The Billie Burke Show was heard on Saturday mornings from April 3, 1943, until September 21, 1946. Sponsored by Listerine, this situation comedy was initially titled Fashions in Rations during its first year. Portraying herself as a featherbrained Good Samaritan who lived "in the little white house on Sunnyview Lane," she always offered a helping hand to those in her neighborhood. She worked often in early television, appearing in the short-lived sitcom Doc Corkle (1952). She was a guest star on several TV and radio series, including Duffy's Tavern.

➦In 1886...Louis Hazeltine, who  invented the neutrodyne circuit, was born. (Died - May 24, 1964).

➦In 1906...Actress/singer Ernestine Wade born (Died at age 76 – April 15, 1983). She is best known for playing the role of Sapphire Stevens on both the radio and TV versions of The Amos 'n' Andy Show.  Ernestine began playing Sapphire Stevens in 1939, but originally came to the Amos 'n' Andy radio show in the role of Valada Green.  In her interview which is part of the documentary Amos 'n' Andy: Anatomy of a Controversy, Wade related how she got the job with the radio show. Initially there for a singing role, she was asked if she could "do lines". When the answer was yes, she was first asked to say "I do" and then to scream; the scream got her the role of Valada Green.

Stan Freberg
➦In 1926...Stan Freberg was born (Died – April 7, 2015). He was an author, actor, recording artist, voice artist, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director, whose career began in 1943. He remained active in the industry into his late 80s, more than 70 years after entering it.

His best-known works include "St. George and the Dragonet", Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, his role on the television series Time for Beany, and a number of classic television commercials.

Freberg began making satirical recordings for Capitol Records, beginning with the February 10, 1951, release of "John and Marsha", a soap opera parody that consisted of the title characters (both played by Freberg) doing nothing but repeating each other's names (with intonations to match the moods).  Some radio stations refused to play "John & Marsha," believing it to be an actual romantic conversation between two real people. In a 1954 follow-up, he used pedal steel guitarist Speedy West to satirize the 1953 Ferlin Husky country hit, "A Dear John Letter", as "A Dear John and Marsha Letter".  A seasonal recording, "The Night Before Christmas"/"Nuttin' for Christmas", made in 1955, still remains a cult classic.

The popularity of Freberg's recordings landed him his own program, the situation comedy That's Rich. Freberg portrayed bumbling but cynical Richard E. Wilt, a resident of Hope Springs, where he worked for B.B. Hackett's Consolidated Paper Products Company. Freberg suggested the addition of dream sequences, which made it possible for him to perform his more popular Capitol Records satires before a live studio audience. The CBS series aired from January 8 to September 23, 1954.

The Stan Freberg Show was a 1957 replacement for Jack Benny on CBS radio.

➦In 1941...TV station WNBT, Channel 4 in New York City, broadcast the first audience-participation show. Studio guests played charades as part of the fun.   Now known as, NewsChannel 4, the station signed on the air as WNBT on July 1, 1941, at 1:29 p.m. This historic event was the beginning of commercial television in the United States. But the imminent start of WWII for America put TV on the back burner for another five years.

➦In 1969...Charlie Greer aired his last show on WABC 770 AM New York.

Charlie Greer (1923-1996) did mid-days and overnights. Given WABC's 50,000 clear channel signal, Greer became a popular all-night disc jockey heard on more than 38 states punching his way through famous tongue twister commercials for an all night men's clothing store called Dennison's in Union, New Jersey.

Greer also spent time with New York City's WCBS-FM in 1973, then and became part of WCBS-FM's Rock and Roll Radio Greats Weekend in the '80s and '90s.

From WAKR in Akron Ohio, Charlie started at WABC on December 7, 1960. He moved back and forth between overnights and middays a couple of times. He was one of the original Swingin’ Seven from Seventy Seven.

He moved to Philadelphia's WIP in 1969 and then back to the New York area to WRKL in New City for a short while, and later worked at WHAM in Rochester, before returning to Akron.

➦In 1971... 93KHJ - Los Angeles early evening DJ/personality - “Humble’ Harve Miller pleaded guilty to second degree murder of his adulterous wife Mary. In a short statement, he said he accidentally shot his wife and still loved her. Miller was the subject of a 13-day nationwide search after the murder in May.

"Humble" Harve Miller began his career in 1958 at WAAT in Trenton, NJ. Soon after, he moved to WIBG 990 AM in Philadelphia, where he worked from 1958 to 1962. Miller subsequently moved to Los Angeles, California, and became part of the enormous hit station KHJ as part of the "Boss Radio" DJ teams working under Bill Drake and other executives.

Humble Harve was the top-rated nighttime DJ throughout a five year period, and also did commercials, voice-over work, and narrated the 1967 counterculture documentary film Mondo Mod. He also narrated the late-1969 syndicated version of KHJ's The History of Rock and Roll 48-hour special, which aired throughout the early 1970s.

In 1971, Miller's career took a dramatic turn when he was found guilty of murdering his adulterous wife Mary and wound up serving a ten-year prison sentence for manslaughter. In 1980, Harve was released from prison and soon found work at LA station KKDJ.

Among the Los Angeles radio stations Humble Harve has worked for throughout the years are KIQQ, KIIS, KUTE, KRLA, KRTH, KCBS-FM, and KZLA. In addition, Miller also again worked for WIBG in Philadelphia in 1985 and KVI in Seattle, Washington from 1986-1989, and also narrated a variety of syndicated radio specials during the 1980s and 1990s.

In 1995 Miller was inducted into the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He died in June 2019.

Cousin Brucie - Then

➦In 1974...Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow) aired his final show on MusicRadio 77WABC and moved over to WNBC 660 AM.

Morrow worked for WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he transferred to rival radio station WNBC; after three years there, he quit performance to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of radio stations.

Morrow - Today
In 1982, Morrow resumed working as a radio announcer, for New York's oldies WCBS 101.1 FM. Initially, he filled in for Jack Spector every third Saturday evening for the Saturday Night Sock Hop program. After Spector's resignation during 1985, Morrow became the main performer for the program and renamed it the Saturday Night Dance Party. The station also added his nationally syndicated show Cruisin' America. During 1986, he began working the Wednesday evening shift, where he hosted The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown. During 1991, the Wednesday show became The Yearbook, emphasizing music from the years between 1955 and 1979. Cousin Brucie was also the "breakfast presenter" on Atlantic 252 from 1992 to 1996.

When the radio program Cruisin' America ended during December 1992, Morrow continued hosting a WCBS radio program named Cruising with the Cuz Monday evenings until the end of 1993. After that program ended, he hosted the Saturday night and Wednesday night programs there until the station's change to an adult hits format named Jack FM on June 3, 2005. Soon thereafter, he signed a multi-year deal to host oldies SiriusXM Satellite.  Morrow can now be heard on 77WABC NYC hosting a Saturday evening oldies show.

➦In 1981...FCC established General Radiotelephone Operator License and ceased issuing First and Second Class Operator licenses.

➦In 2000...NYC's WADO 1280 AM increased power to 50 Kw Day / 7.2 Kw Night-DA.

➦In 2015…Art Finley died of a heart attack at age 88. (Born Arthur Finger 1926). He was a TV and radio personality, mostly in San Francisco and Vancouver, until his retirement in 1995.

His broadcasting career began at KXYZ Houston in 1943.   During the last half of his 50-year career, Finley returned to radio as a newsman and talk-show host. He relied on his wife Geraldine as his career advisor, researcher and editor throughout their 56-year marriage. She died in 2006.

In the U.S., Finley's station affiliations were primarily in San Francisco: 10 years at KGO, and KCBS. Three interim years were spent at XTRA in San Diego and WNIS in Norfolk. Two radio stations in Vancouver, B.C., needed a talk-show host.  He spent five years at CKNW, and later, six years at CJOR. He retired in 1995; his final years in broadcasting were as a KCBS news anchor.

Art Finley served as Master of Ceremonies for San Francisco's official celebration of Independence Day for 14 years between 1960 and 1979.

Charlie Theron is 47

  • Humorist Garrison Keillor is 80. 
  • Actor John Glover (“Smallville”) is 78. 
  • Actor David Rasche (“Sledge Hammer!”) is 78. 
  • Country singer Rodney Crowell is 72. 
  • Actor Caroline Aaron (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) is 70. 
  • Sydney Penny is 51
    Actor Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld”) is 67. 
  • Singer Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden is 64. 
  • Actor David Duchovny (“Californication,” ″The X-Files”) is 62. 
  • Actor Delane Matthews (“Dave’s World”) is 61. 
  • Actor Harold Perrineau (“Lost,” ″Oz”) is 59. 
  • Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts is 59. 
  • Country singer Raul Malo of The Mavericks is 57. 
  • Actor David Mann (“Madea” films) is 56. 
  • Actor Sydney Penny (“The Thorn Birds,” ″All My Children”) is 51. 
  • Actor Greg Serano is 50. Actor Charlize Theron is 47. 
  • Drummer Barry Kerch of Shinedown is 46. 
  • Actor Eric Johnson (“Fifty Shades Darker,” ″Smallville”) is 43. 
  • Actor Liam James (TV’s “Psych,” film’s “The Way, Way Back”) is 26.

Alex Jones Must Pay Extra $45 Million in Punitive Damages

A Texas jury on Friday ordered Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook victim, a day after he was ordered to pay $4.1 million in actual damages for claiming that the school shooting was a hoax, reports Bloomberg. 

The combined award —which is likely to be reduced—is well below the $150 million that parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis sought for the InfoWars host’s assertions that the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., was fabricated. Their six-year-old, Jesse Lewis, was killed in the shooting.

“Punitive damages are typically more of a bellwether or a barometer of where we are culturally; they are more iconic messages sending verdicts from the public to the defendant directly,” Jamie Abrams, law professor at American University, told Bloomberg Law. “And so, on that front, this trial is uniquely interesting, because it really is a political barometer of how much misinformation the public is willing to accept.”

Friday’s damages are punishment for Jones’ statements, while Thursday’s damages were meant to compensate the parents for economic and noneconomic damages like emotional distress.

“I am asking you to take the bullhorn away from Alex Jones and all others who believe they can profit off fear and misinformation,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Wesley Ball said during closing arguments Friday.

Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the 459th District Court in Travis County may reduce the punitive damages given those caps, and Jones’ attorneys said immediately after the verdict that they would file a motion to reduce the punitive award.

The Texas law “protects companies and bad actors like Alex Jones, so that they’re never going to be punished to the full extent that would be needed to truly deter them from future actions and to teach other people that this is bad behavior,” said Carrie Goldberg of the C.A. Goldberg Law Firm in New York. “Texas is unusual.”

Ex-CNN anchor Felicia Taylor Arrested For Alleged Hit-and-Run

Former CNN anchor Felicia Taylor has been arrested in Palm Beach over an alleged hit-and-run.

Felicia Taylor
The NY Post reports the retired anchor-correspondent who worked for CNN International’s “World Business Today“ was arrested on July 28 after she allegedly hit another car while driving her white Mercedes, causing injury to the other driver, then leaving the scene, Palm Beach Police said. She denies the charges.

According to the incident report, Taylor, 57, struck the rear bumper of a black Ford, driven by a 24-year-old man, which was stopped in traffic ahead of her Mercedes.

“His vehicle was struck from behind by the white Mercedes. The impact caused [him] to strike the steering wheel, causing multiple complaints of injuries,” the report states.

However, following the impact, Taylor’s Mercedes was seen “fleeing the scene of the accident without rendering aid or stopping to provide information,” the report adds.

Taylor was then seen twice driving past the scene of the crash in her car, which had “sustained heavy front end damage” without stopping, the report said.

She was then pulled over by a police officer who stated, “Taylor acknowledged being involved in a traffic crash and the other driver was ‘OK.’

“Taylor continued to state that she wanted to go back to her house . . . and the accident was ‘not a big deal.'”

Liberty Media Reports "Impressive Results" Despite Challenges

Liberty Media Corporation Friday reported second quarter 2022 results. Headlines include:

Attributed to Liberty SiriusXM Group

  • SiriusXM reported second quarter 2022 financial results
  • Revenue of $2.25 billion; increase of 4% year-over-year
  • Net income of $292 million; diluted EPS of $0.07
  • Adjusted EBITDA(2) of $679 million
  • Year-to-date capital returns to SiriusXM stockholders of $1.6 billion
  • SiriusXM reiterated full-year financial guidance on July 28th; expect positive full-year self-pay net subscriber additions
  • Liberty Media’s ownership of SiriusXM was 82.3% as of July 26th
  • From May 1st through July 31st, Liberty repurchased 2.4 million LSXMA/K shares at an average price per share of $38.84 for total cash consideration of $93 million

Attributed to Formula One Group

  • Announced extension of Australian Grand Prix through 2035
  • Secured renewal with Bandeirantes for exclusive broadcast rights in Brazil through 2025
  • Renewed deal with Netflix for fifth and sixth seasons of Drive to Survive
  • F1 reiterated commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2030 and to introduce 100% sustainable drop-in fuel with new engine formula in 2026
  • Repurchased $146 million face value of 1% FWONK cash convertible notes due 2023, effectively retiring 3.95 million underlying FWONK shares

Attributed to Braves Group

  • At the end of the second quarter, Braves attendance was up 23% compared to 2019 season
  • 24 game sellouts as of All-Star break

“SiriusXM generated impressive financial results despite the challenges in the auto market. Live Nation continues to capitalize very well on the exceptional consumer demand for live experiences. Formula 1 is making the most of our growing worldwide popularity as evidenced by race attendance, TV viewership and engagement across platforms,” said Greg Maffei (right), Liberty Media President and CEO. “The Braves have played excellent baseball the past two months and have successfully driven attendance growth compared to 2019 off of an already high base.”


SiriusXM is a separate publicly traded company. SiriusXM reported its stand-alone second quarter results on July 28, 2022.

Atlanta Radio: WVEE updates Line-Up

Greg Street

Audacy has announced an updated programming lineup for V-103 (WVEE-FM) in Atlanta. As part of the changes, on-air host Greg Street will now host the station’s afternoon drive, weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. Midday host Ramona DeBreaux will extend her show until 3:00 p.m. ET and Lil Bankhead will succeed Street in the station’s 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET time slot. All moves are effective August 8.

“Greg Street has been one of Atlanta's and this country's most influential radio personalities and has entertained, engaged and inspired an entire generation,” said Rick Caffey, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Atlanta. “We are excited to feature Greg more prominently in a primetime weekday daypart."

“Here we go…the ride home will never be the same,” said Street. “I'll be rocking at 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 5 o'clock and 6 o’clock. It’s time for Greg Street to rock on V-103.”

Street is veteran radio personality with nearly 30 years of experience, joining V-103 in June 1995. From 2003 to 2005, Street split his time with the station and K-104 in Dallas, before returning to V-103 full time in 2005. Previous on-air roles include KMJQ-FM in Houston, TX, WBLX-FM in Mobile, AL and WORV-WJMG in Hattiesburg, MS. Street has released several successful music projects including “Good Day,” one of the most recognized songs in movies, television shows and national commercials. The song has been heard in “Secret Life of Pets,” “Neighbors,” “Child Life Murders” and “Abbott Elementary,” as well as commercials for brands like Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Papa John’s and more.

In 2018, Audacy Atlanta renamed its market-wide community service award after Street in honor of his work in the local community. In 2006, Street started “We Need 2 Read,” a reading initiative for school-aged children that rewards kids who have improved reading scores in local schools with cash, toys and video games.

Updated V-103 weekday programming lineup is as follows.

➤Listeners can tune in to V-103 (WVEE-FM) in Atlanta on air nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

SiriusXM's DJ Love Dinero Charged With Trafficking

Lance Holmes
A disc jockey who worked for a SiriusXM Pandora was one of two people charged in connection with a multi-state narcotics trafficking scheme this week, according to The Desk.

In a press release issued on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in New York state said Lance Holmes, 40, of Queens was indicted by a local grand jury on drug possession and conspiracy charges related to the scheme.

According to the indictment, Holmes worked with a mail carrier employed by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to sell fentanyl along the mail carrier’s route. Holmes purportedly received drug shipments from California to various addresses in the New York metropolitan area; at one point, he called the Postal Service after a shipment intended for one of the locations was intercepted by authorities, charging documents said.

Holmes, who was known on-air by his stage name DJ Love Dinero, worked as a rap and R&B DJ for the SiriusXM satellite radio channel Shade 45, according to information reviewed by The Desk. It was not clear if the satellite radio service had placed him on leave. His next show was tentatively scheduled for Saturday.

The DJ was arraigned earlier this week and entered a not guilty plea. His bail was set at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash. His next court hearing is scheduled for August 18.

VA Beach Radio: Audacy Presents 'Oceanfront Concerts"

Audacy announces the inaugural “Audacy Oceanfront Concerts at the Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship presented by Vans” in Virginia Beach, August 25 to 28. Part of 60th annual East Coast Surfing Championships (ECSC), Audacy will host a multi-day concert series with Ava Max, The Offspring, Third Eye Blind, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Charlotte Sands, Nicky Youre, Yung Gravy, Judah & the Lion, Mod Sun, Meg Myers and more.

“The ECSC brings the very best of the surfing community together and we’re excited to join the festivities on the beach through this concert series,” said Bennett Zier, Audacy Virginia. “This collection of talent will surely add energy and excitement to this legendary event and we can’t wait for the surfing and singing this summer.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Audacy to the Coastal Edge ECSC and bring these talented artists to the sand, adding yet another fun layer to this iconic event,” said Robert M. Dyer, Mayor, Virginia Beach. “We look forward to celebrating another exciting surf championships this year.”

The ECSC, which runs in its entirety from August 21 to 28, will also feature surf contests, volleyball, a 5k run, various contests including street skate and ramp, and concessions. The ECSC is the longest continually running surfing championship in the world.

➤For more information, including ticket information, please visit Z104 (WNVZ-FM), 94.9 The Point (WPTE-FM), 95.7 R&B (WVKL-FM) or 2WD 101.3 (WWDE-FM) station websites.

R.I.P.: Judith Durham of The Seekers

Judith Durham (July 3, 1943 – August 5, 2022)

Judith Durham, one of Australia's best-loved entertainers and the former lead singer of The Seekers, has died at the age of 79.

Durham is believed to have died in hospital on Friday night from an undisclosed illness. She sang with The Seekers between 1962 and 1968 plus some reunion concerts

They were one of Australia's first successful musical exports

Durham and other members of The Seekers were honored as Officers of the Order of Australia in 2014. 

Born in Essendon in Victoria, Durham recorded her first EP at 19 and went on to worldwide fame with The Seekers, selling more than 50 million records.

As part of The Seekers, Durham was one of the first Australian artists to achieve international success, with songs like Georgy Girl, I’ll Never Find Another You, A World Of Our Own, Morningtown Ride and The Carnival Is Over.

The Seekers — comprising Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger in addition to Durham — moved to the UK in 1964, having formed in 1962.

After recording I'll Never Find Another You at EMI's Abbey Road Studios — known as the domain of The Beatles — The Seekers went to number one in the UK and Australia.

With their first three releases going to the top of the British charts, the previously unknown group from Melbourne knocked The Beatles off the number one spot.  They also had three top-20 singles and two top-20 albums in the US — a market notoriously difficult to crack for Australian artists.

August 6 Radio History

➦In 1881...gossip columnist Louella Parsons was born in Freeport Illinois.  She was featured on a succession of big budget star vehicles on network radio, including Hollywood Hotel & Hollywood Premiere.  For six years she also had a 15 minute show business gossip show on Sunday night.  She died of arteriosclerosis Dec 9, 1972 at age 91.

➦In 1911...Lucille Désirée Ball born (Died  – April 26, 1989). She was an actress, comedian, model, entertainment studio executive and producer.

Lucille Ball
She was the star of the self-produced sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy, as well as comedy television specials aired under the title The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

Ball's career began in 1929 when she landed work as a model. Shortly thereafter, she began her performing career on Broadway using the stage names Diane Belmont. She later appeared in several minor film roles in the 1930s and 1940s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures, being cast as a chorus girl or in similar roles.

During this time, she met Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, and the two eloped in November 1940. In the 1950s, Ball ventured into television. In 1951, she and Arnaz created the sitcom I Love Lucy, a series that became one of the most beloved programs in television history. The same year, Ball gave birth to their first child, Lucie Arnaz, followed by Desi Arnaz Jr. in 1953. Ball and Arnaz divorced in May 1960, and she married comedian Gary Morton in 1961.

She died of an aortic aneurism April 26, 1989 at age 77.

➦In 1915...Jim Ameche born in Kenosha, WI (Died  at age 67 – February 4, 1983). He was a familiar voice on radio, including his role as radio's original Jack Armstrong on Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy.

Jim Ameche
When his older brother, Don, left his position as the host and announcer for The Chase and Sanborn Hour in the early 1940s, Jim took over for the remainder of the show's run. He also was heard as mountie Jim West on ABC's Silver Eagle (1951–55). Other shows Ameche was heard on included Grand Hotel, Hollywood Playhouse, and Big Sister. In the 1940s, he had several programs on WGN radio in Chicago.

He was heard on stations in Los Angeles and Palm Springs in the late 1950s and early 60s. For many years he was a popular local radio personality in the New York City area. By the late 1960s, he was working as an announcer on New York's WHN 1050 AM and the TV pitchman for a Longines Symphonette Society mail-order record album featuring clips of old-time radio broadcasts. In the 1960s he also read radio advertisements for Gibson wines.

For many years, he was the afternoon announcer on WQXR, the classical radio station of The New York Times, and was a familiar and beloved voice.

➦In 1939...1st broadcast of "Dinah Shore Show" on NBC radio.

➦In 1973...Wolfman Jack first aired on WNBC 660 AM, New York.

Wolfman Jack
The Wolfman was paid handsomely to join WNBC in New York in August 1973, the same month that American Graffiti premiered, and the station did a huge advertising campaign in local newspapers that the Wolfman would propel their ratings over that of their main competitor, WABC, which had "Cousin Brucie" (Bruce Morrow).

The ads would proclaim, "Cousin Brucie's Days Are Numbered", and they issued thousands of small tombstone-shaped paperweights which said, "Cousin Brucie is going to be buried by Wolfman Jack".

After less than a year, WNBC hired Cousin Brucie, and Wolfman Jack went back to California to concentrate on his syndicated radio show.

➦In 1982....WQXI (Atlanta) was first to use Harris Corp AM stereo system

➦In 1991...Broadcast journalist Harry Reasoner died at age 68 (Born - April 17, 1923). Reasoner workedfor ABC and CBS News, known for his inventive use of language as a television commentator, and as a founder of the 60 Minutes program. Over the course of his career, Reasoner won three Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award in 1967.

Harry Reasoner
He served in the Army during World War II and after the war, he then resumed his journalism career with The Minneapolis Times.  After going into radio with CBS in 1948, Reasoner worked for the United States Information Agency in the Philippines. When he returned to the US, he went into television and worked at station KEYD (later KMSP) in Minneapolis. Reasoner later joined CBS News in New York, in 1956, where he eventually hosted a morning news program called Calendar from 1961 to 1963, on top of doing commentator and special news narration duties.

In 1968, Reasoner teamed up with Mike Wallace to launch 60 Minutes, a new newsmagazine series. On 60 Minutes and elsewhere, he often worked with producer and writer Andy Rooney, who later became a well-known contributor in his own right.

In 1970, Reasoner was hired away from CBS by ABC to become an anchor on the network's newly revamped nightly newscast. At the time of his hire, the network's New York-based broadcast, ABC News, was anchored by Howard K. Smith and Frank Reynolds, both former colleagues of Reasoner at CBS. Beginning in December 1970, Reasoner was moved into Reynolds' position and the newscast became known as ABC Evening News.

Reasoner anchored the news alongside Smith until 1975, when he took the sole anchor position while Smith moved into a commentary role. The next year, however, ABC decided to pair Reasoner with a new co-anchor, former Today Show co-host Barbara Walters; ABC had gone to great lengths to hire her away from NBC. Walters and Reasoner did not enjoy a close relationship; Reasoner did not like sharing the spotlight with a co-anchor and also was uncomfortable with Walters' celebrity status.

➦In 1998…Sportscaster John Beasley "Jack" Brickhouse died of heart failure at age 82 (Born - January 24, 1916). Known primarily for his play-by-play coverage of Chicago Cubs games on WGN-TV from 1948 to 1981, he received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1985, Brickhouse was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame along with the Voice of the Yankees Mel Allen and Red Sox Voice Curt Gowdy. Brickhouse served as the organization's Secretary/Treasurer and was a member of its board of directors.

He began his long broadcasting career when only eighteen, at Peoria radio station WMBD in 1934. Chicago radio station WGN hired him in 1940 to broadcast Cubs and White Sox games, largely on the recommendation of their top announcer, Bob Elson. His was the very first face shown when WGN-TV, Chicago's Channel 9, began broadcasting in 1948.

➦In 2008...Once known as  WWDJ in the '70s, 970 AM  WHTT became WNYM, under the ownership of the Salem Media Group. This change included adopting a conservative talk format.

John R. Gambling hosted a midday show on WNYM from April 2014 until September 2016.

➦In 2011...Songwriter and broadcaster Fred Imus, the younger brother of Don Imus, was found dead  in Tuscon, AZ at age 69.  Imus was a country music host on SiriusXM Radio.

➦In 2012...R. Peter Straus died at age 89 (Born February 15, 1923). He was a media proprietor and was president of WMCA 570 AM, and chairman of Straus News, a publisher of newspapers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He was the director of Voice of America from 1977 to 1979.

R Peter Straus
Straus, who took over WMCA in the late 1950s and turned it into one of the nation’s most innovative radio stations, broadcasting what are regarded as the first radio editorials and political endorsements and helping to popularize rock ’n’ roll.

The son of a radio entrepreneur and the scion of a family steeped in public service, Straus counted diplomats, cabinet officials, legislators and philanthropists among his forebears. He became a United Nations official, director of the Voice of America and administrator of American aid to Africa.

WMCA pioneered public service radio in New York. It was the first station in the country to run editorials on political and civic issues, with Mr. Straus himself reading opinions on the air, and the first to endorse a presidential candidate, backing John F. Kennedy in 1960.

In December 1963, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” wailed out over WMCA, and Beatlemania, with a big boost from the station, soon engulfed the region. It was hardly a surprise. WMCA had been playing rock ’n’ roll since the 1950s, and WMCA’s Top 40 format, along with that of its fierce rival WABC, dominated the New York airwaves through the 1960s. WMCA’s disc jockeys, known as the Good Guys, became almost as well known as the stars whose records they played.

After Straus converted the station to an all-talk format in 1970, WMCA was known for years as a forum for liberal causes. It was the first station to call for the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in the Watergate scandal, the first to ban cigarette advertising and the first to accept ads from abortion rights advocates and makers of contraceptives.

It broadcast “Call for Action” programs featuring an ombudsman to help listeners who had problems with government agencies, corporations and landlords, and “Crime Stoppers,” to help the police solve crimes.

Catherine Hicks is 71


  • Children’s music performer Ella Jenkins is 98. 
  • Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 84. 
  • Actor Louise Sorel (“Days of Our Lives”) is 82. 
  • Actor Ray Buktenica (“Rhoda”) is 79. 
  • Actor Dorian Harewood is 72. 
  • Actor Catherine Hicks (“Seventh Heaven”) is 71. 
  • Singer Pat MacDonald of Timbuk 3 is 70. 
  • Geri Halliwell Horner is 50
    Actor Stepfanie Kramer (“Hunter”) is 66. 
  • Actor Faith Prince is 65. 
  • Singer Randy DeBarge of DeBarge is 64. 
  • Actor Leland Orser (“ER”) is 63. 
  • Actor Michelle Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) is 60. 
  • Country singers Peggy and Patsy Lynn of The Lynns are 58. 
  • Actor Jeremy Ratchford (“Cold Case”) is 57. 
  • Actor Benito Martinez (“American Crime,” “The Shield”) is 54. 
  • Country singer Lisa Stewart is 54. 
  • Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”) is 52. 
  • Actor Merrin Dungey (“Summerland,” ″Alias”) is 51. 
  • Singer Geri Halliwell Horner of Spice Girls is 50. 
  • Actor Jason O’Mara (“Life on Mars”) is 50. 
  • Actor Vera Farmiga (“Up In The Air,” ″The Departed”) is 49. 
  • Actor Soleil Moon Frye (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” ″Punky Brewster”) is 46.
  • Actor Melissa George (“Alias,” ″Grey’s Anatomy”) is 46. 
  • Singer Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes is 41. 
  • Actor Leslie Odom Jr. (stage: “Hamilton,” TV: “Smash”) is 41. 
  • Bassist Eric Roberts of Gym Class Heroes is 38.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Audacy Earnings: Net Revenue Increased 5 Percent

Audacy, Inc. today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2022.

David J. Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “After a very strong first quarter in which we grew revenues by 14% and significantly increased margin, our second quarter results were adversely impacted by declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds which reduced our top line growth to 5%. 

David Field
"While we navigate the turbulent current market conditions, we are excited by our future growth potential across our scaled, multi-platform businesses, capitalizing on a number of important recent developments that include an enhanced national sales organization, expanded podcast and streaming audio networks, and during the second half of this year, the rollout of a new, reimagined digital platform and ad tech capabilities that will enable us to unlock pools of ad demand and supply that we can't effectively monetize today. Our transformational development over the past couple of years has meaningfully enhanced our competitive position, strengthening our capacity to serve listeners and customers and enabling a powerful set of opportunities for revenue and EBITDA growth in the dynamically growing audio market.”

Second Quarter Summary
  • Net revenues for the quarter were $319.4 million, up 5% compared to $304.5 million in the second quarter of 2021
  • Core spot revenues were $200.5 million and were flat compared to the second quarter of 2021
  • Digital revenues were $69.3 million, up 19% compared to the second quarter of 2021
  • Total operating expenses for the quarter were $296.2 million, compared to $282.8 million in the second quarter of 2021
  • Operating income for the quarter was $23.3 million, compared to $21.7 million in the second quarter of 2021
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $38.5 million, compared to $39.9 million in the second quarter of 2021

Recent Company Developments
  • Reimagined Digital Platform: On July 19th, Audacy launched initial enhancements to its digital platform, including its app and website. These are the first phase of a roadmap that will see additional features, interactivity and content added to Audacy’s app and website over the next several months. As part of this first release, Audacy added enhancements to its patented Rewind technology, curated discovery of content, a redesigned website and seamless cross-device experience and enriched podcast listening. Over the coming months, Audacy will continue to rollout more features that will make Audacy a premium destination for curated discovery of music and podcasts, plus the best local radio – live and on-demand – together in one app.
  • BetMGM Partnership Expansion. BetMGM became the official sportsbook of the BetQL Network, Audacy’s network of sports betting content heard across its broadcast portfolio and digital platforms. This exclusive multi-year partnership is a significant expansion of the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. BetMGM will have category exclusivity of the network’s full slate of programming. BetQL Network’s weekly lineup will distribute approximately 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms. Audacy will also produce content for live audiences at various MGM Resorts across the country who will host the network inside of BetMGM sports books.
  • CBS Sports Deal. Audacy will be the exclusive, multi-year, ad sales and distribution partner for CBS Sports' leading network of sports podcasts, with well-known titles like Fantasy Football Today, Pick Six, Morning Kombat, and the college focused network of 247Sports podcasts. The addition of the CBS Sports podcast network content to Audacy's slate will further bolster our position as the leading home of local and national sports audio content.

Audacy, CBS Sports Digital Partner For Content, Sales

Audacy and CBS Sports Digital have announced a partnership where Audacy will be the exclusive, multi-year ad sales and distribution partner for CBS Sports' leading network of award-winning sports podcasts.

“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with CBS Sports in the podcasting space - properties I know well from my time spent there,” said Ken Lagana, Executive Vice President of Digital Sales, Audacy. “Adding this family of content to our roster provides Audacy with a number of the leading sports, fantasy sports and betting podcasts, areas we have enjoyed significant success to date and are important to our clients. This partnership could not come at a better time with football season fast approaching.”

“We are continuing to heavily invest in our podcast network and the creation of award-winning audio content at a time our network is experiencing sustained periods of audience growth and engagement,” said Jeffrey Gerttula, Executive Vice President, Digital, CBS Sports and CBS News and Stations. “We’re excited to partner with Audacy, an industry leader in ad sales and delivering premium opportunities for advertisers, to bring impactful integrations and campaigns to the podcast market.”

CBS Sports Digital has grown to reach more than 90 million monthly active users, making it the second-largest sports group in the U.S, and with more than 65 shows and nearly 100 million downloads in 2021, CBS Sports also has one of the largest multi-platform sports podcast networks. Its shows include Pick Six, The Early Edge, Fantasy Football Today, the Cover 3 College Football Podcast and Attacking Third as well as the network of 247Sports podcasts.

Audacy's podcast network reaches nearly one-third of all monthly U.S. podcast listeners, and over 40 million monthly listeners globally, in addition to over 30 million monthly sports fans across Audacy's broadcast and digital sports assets. Audacy is the nation’s leading collection of radio play-by-play coverage with over 90 professional and Division 1 collegiate teams.

Wake-Up Call: Key Dem Lawmaker Supports Economic Plan

Senator Kyrsten Sinema
U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said last night that she will support a sweeping economic package that President Joe Biden sent to Congress for approval. Her vote means almost certain passage for the plan. A vote as early as Saturday is expected.

Senator Gillibrand demanded-and got-removal of a proposed new tax on hedge fund managers’ profits, but she added a tax on corporate stock buybacks. The bill includes the nation’s largest-ever investment in energy and climate programs.
  • It extends health care insurance subsidies for three more years.
  • It imposes a 15% minimum income tax on big corporations.
  • It gives the Medicare program the power to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time.

No Republicans are expected to vote in favor of the bill. That means all 50 Senate Democrats will have to vote in favor to pass it.

➤ALEX JONES ORDERED TO PAY SANDY HOOK PARENTS $4 MILLION: The parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook will receive a little over $4 million in compensatory damages for the harassment and threats they endured from people who believed the claims of talk show host Alex Jones that the elementary school massacre was a hoax. A separate decision on punitive damages will follow.

➤CHINA LAUNCHES MILITARY ‘DRILLS’ IN TAIWAN’S WATERS AND AIR SPACE: China has launched a series of aggressive military drills—using live ammunition—in the waters and airspace around the nation of Taiwan. The hostile action is an apparent response to an official visit to Taiwan by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who arrived earlier in the week to underline American support for the nation’s independence. The Chinese action included launching 11 ballistic missiles, five of which Japan said landed in their waters. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.

➤CLEAN SWEEP FOR MAGA CANDIDATES IN ARIZONA: Kari Lake has won the Republican Party nomination for governor of Arizona, according to a CNN projection. Lake, a former television journalist, had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. She’s the fourth of the Arizona candidates Trump endorsed for statewide office to win nomination this week.

➤FOUR OFFICERS FACE CHARGES IN BREONNA TAYLOR’S DEATH: The U.S. Justice Department has brought federal charges against four police officers who were involved in the night-time raid during which Louisville, Kentucky, resident Breonna Taylor was killed. Three officers were charged with entering false information into an affidavit used to justify the raid. A fourth was charged with firing blindly into Taylor’s apartment and one next door. The death of Taylor, who was Black, set off a nationwide series of racial justice protests.

➤DICK CHENEY ENTERS THE FRAY: Former Vice President Dick Cheney has stepped forward to defend his daughter, Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, from the wrath of former President Donald Trump. In a campaign ad for his daughter, Cheney said that Trump “tried to steal the last election using lies and violence to keep himself in power after the voters rejected him.” He called Trump a “coward” and said: “there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump.” The former president has targeted Representative Cheney for defeat in Wyoming’s Republican state primary, scheduled for August 16th.

⛽OIL PRICES SLIDE TO 6-MONTH LOW: Prices in the oil market slid to a six-month low of under $90 a barrel yesterday. Oil traders were reacting to a government report that indicates that the oil supply is rising and demand for gasoline is cooling. The average nationwide price at the pump has declined for 51 straight days, hitting $4.14 yesterday.

💸MORTGAGE RATES DROP A LITTLE: Home mortgage interest rates dipped under 5 percent this week for the first time since April. The interest on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.99%, still well above the 2.7% rate available just one year ago.

Brittney Griner
WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony yesterday. She also was fined a million rubles, which is about $16,300 U.S. After the sentence, President Joe Biden pledged to “work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue” to gain her release. Griner is accused of bringing less than a gram of cannabis oil into the country last February. The U.S. is reported to be trying to swap Griner and another American being held in Russia with a Russian arms dealer now in prison in the U.S.

🏈NFL PICKS JUDGE FOR APPEAL OF WATSON PENALTY: The NFL has picked former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey to hear the appeal of the six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. The NFL wants Watson to be suspended for at least a year for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

🏈DIONTAE JOHNSON GETS A DEAL WITH THE STEELERS: Wide receiver Diontae Johnson has accepted a two-year, $36 million contract extension to stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Johnson is in the final year of his rookie contract.

🏀LEBRON JAMES IN ‘PRODUCTIVE TALKS’ WITH LAKERS: LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are said to be in “productive talks” about a contract extension. If they don’t reach an agreement, James will become a free agent on June 30, 2023. James has his heart set on playing with his oldest son, a high school basketball star, before he retires, but “Bronny” won’t be eligible to play for the NBA until 2024.

⚾BASEBALL CARD GOES FOR $7.25 MILLION: A Honus Wagner baseball card has shattered sales records, drawing $7.25 million in a private sale. Only 200 of the cards were printed by the American Tobacco Company from 1909 to 1911. That’s when Wagner, known as “the Flying Dutchman,” was playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

➤U.S. EAST COAST AND SOUTH ARE GETTING ROASTED: Dangerously high temperatures continued for a third day in much of the East Coast and the South yesterday. It was close to 110 degrees in Washington D.C. and near 100 degrees in New York City, according to the National Weather Service. Both cities expected thunderstorms and a slight cooldown this weekend.

Saga Communications Reports Revenue Increased 6.3 Percent

Saga Communications, Inc. reported today that net revenue increased 6.3% to $29.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 compared to $28.0 million for the same period last year. 

Station operating expense increased 3.7% for the quarter to $21.8 million compared to the same period last year. For the quarter, station operating income increased 10.6% to $9.3 million and operating income was $5.4 million compared to $4.6 million for the same quarter last year. Free cash flow was $3.2 million for the quarter compared to $4.2 million for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the quarter were $2.6 million compared to $921 thousand for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the quarter included the $1.1 million purchase of a building in Norfolk, VA that will replace our existing leased studio and office facility. Net income was $3.8 million for the quarter compared to $3.3 million for the second quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.63 in the second quarter of 2022.

Net revenue increased 8.8% to $54.8 million for the six-month period ended June 30, 2022 compared to $50.3 million for the same period last year. Station operating expense increased 6.0% for the six-months to $42.4 million compared to the same period last year. For the six-month period, station operating income increased 13.2% to $14.8 million and operating income was $7.1 million compared to $5.5 million for the same period last year. Free cash flow was $5.1 million for the six-months compared to $6.0 million for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the six-months were $3.6 million compared to $1.5 million for the same period last year. Net income was $5.0 million for the six-month period compared to $4.0 million for the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.83 in the first six-months of 2022.

The Company’s balance sheet reflects $52.3 million in cash and short-term investments as of June 30, 2022 and $54.4 million as of August 1, 2022. The Company expects to spend approximately $5.5 – 6.0 million for capital expenditures during 2022.

2 Cumulus Media Hosts To Be Inducted Into Texas Radio Hall

Cumulus Media today announced that popular radio personality Roula Christie, host of “The Roula & Ryan Show” on Cumulus Houston’s 104.1 KRBE-FM and host of the Westwood One nationally syndicated weekend radio program, “Weekends With Roula,” and Steve Harmon, morning show host on Westwood One’s 24/7 Mainstream Country Network, are among 20 Texas broadcast professionals named to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2022. 

The honorees will be officially inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore, TX. The new inductees were selected by voting members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

Roula is on-air host of “The Roula & Ryan Show,” one of the most-listened-to morning shows in Texas, and has been a Houston radio fixture since 2003. She also hosts Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Weekends with Roula,” a three-hour-long weekend radio show which airs weekly on more than 60 U.S. radio stations and originates from 104.1 KRBE-FM. 

Steve Harmon
Roula earned a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for Weekend Host/Personality (Radio - Nationally Syndicated Commercial), recognizing her for her work on “Weekends with Roula” and another for “The Roula & Ryan Show.” Roula’s radio shows are upbeat and motivational, as she helps listeners find fun in the madness of juggling work and family. She also mixes pop culture and entertainment news with hilarious conversations between her kids and her mom. Roula is a native Houstonian.

Harmon is morning host on Westwood One’s Mainstream Country, the largest and most popular 24-hour music network in America. He will be inducted into the 2022 Texas Radio Hall of Fame as part of the duo “Harmon & Evans,” who broadcast together and achieved great ratings success and garnered many industry awards while at KPLX-Dallas. In addition to being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, Harmon has won a CMA Award for Air Personality of the Year, been named Billboard Magazine Personality of the Year three times, earned recognition from the American Women in Radio and TV as Personality of the Year, and has also been nominated nine times for ACM Major Market Personality of the Year. In 2020, Harmon won the International Voice Tracker of the Year Award.


Jury: Alex Jones Ordered To Pay Family $4.1M

Infowars founder Alex Jones must pay the family of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old victim of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, $4.1 million, an Austin jury decided Thursday afternoon, reports Fox Digital News.

The decision came in a defamation trial against Jones, who theorized that the shooting — which left 20 children and six teachers dead — was a hoax meant to destabilize the gun industry.

"Today we secured $4.1 million on behalf of Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis," attorney Mark Bankston told Fox News Digital in a statement. "Having already secured $1.5 million in fines from Mr. Jones, the plaintiffs are now due $5.6 million that Alex Jones will have to pay them."

The Texas jury must still decide how much to award in punitive damages.

Jesse Lewis
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis suing Jones, were seeking at least $150 million in damages. Jones’ attorney had asked the jury to limit damages to $8 — one dollar for each of the compensation charges they are considering — and Jones himself said any award over $2 million "would sink" him and his company.

"Neil and Scarlett are thrilled with the result and look forward to putting Mr. Jones’ money to good use," Bankston said. "Mr. Jones on the other hand will not sleep easy tonight. With punitive damages still to be decided and multiple additional defamation lawsuits pending, it is clear that Mr. Jones’ time on the American stage is finally coming to an end."

The parents testified Tuesday about how they've endured a decade of trauma, inflicted first by the murder of their son and what followed: gun shots fired at a home, online and phone threats, and harassment on the street by strangers. They said the threats and harassment were all fueled by Jones and his conspiracy theory spread to his followers via his website Infowars.

"It seems so incredible to me that we have to do this — that we have to implore you, to punish you — to get you to stop lying," Lewis told Jones.

Thursday's ruling marked the first time the Infowars host has been held financially liable for repeatedly claiming the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history was a hoax

It might not be the last such judgment against him, as a judge in Connecticut has already ruled against him in a similar lawsuit.