Saturday, September 3, 2022

Here's To America's Workers..

 Labor Day, is a legal holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Canal Zone, and the Virgin Islands.

Canada also celebrates Labour Day on the same day.

What Labor Day Means

For most people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and a chance to say goodbye to the summer. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.

"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Who started Labor Day?

Like most cultural events, there is still some doubt over its origination. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor working men and women. But many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday.

Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear however is that the Central Labor Union adopted the Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

In the USA, governmental recognition first came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year,

Still, it wasn't until the May 1894 strike by employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company and the subsequent deadly violence related to it that President Grover Cleveland suggested making Labor Day a national holiday. On June 28th 1894, as a way of mending fences with workers, he signed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

There is a tradition of not wearing white after Labor Day. This fashion faux pas dates back to the late Victorian era. The Emily Post Institute explains that white indicated you were still in vacation mode, so naturally when summer ended so did wearing white.

Sources: US Department of Labor, PBS, US Census

September 5 Radio History

➦In 1910...Kenneth Howard Delmar born in Boston (Died at age 73 - July 14, 1984, Stamford, Connecticut). He was an actor active in radio, films, and animation. An announcer on the pioneering radio news series The March of Time, he became a national radio sensation in 1945 as Senator Beauregard Claghorn on the running "Allen's Alley" sketch on The Fred Allen Show.

Kenny Delmar
The character Delmar created was a primary inspiration for the Warner Bros. cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn.

By the late 1930s, Delmar was an announcer on such major radio series as The March of Time and Your Hit Parade. He played multiple roles in The Mercury Theatre on the Air's October 1938 radio drama The War of the Worlds.

Delmar is notable for creating the character Senator Beauregard Claghorn on Fred Allen's radio program Allen's Alley, which he did while also serving as the show's regular announcer. Senator Claghorn made his radio debut October 7, 1945, and six months later was called "unquestionably the most quoted man in the nation" by Life magazine. The role inspired the Warner Bros. animated character Foghorn Leghorn, first seen in the Oscar-nominated cartoon Walky Talky Hawky (1946).

"During the late 1940s, Mr. Delmar captivated 20 million radio listeners every Sunday night with his burlesque of a bombastic, super-chauvinistic legislator who drank only from Dixie cups and refused to drive through the Lincoln Tunnel," wrote The New York Times. "His stock expression, 'That's a joke, son,' was for many years one of the nation's pet phrases, mimicked by children and businessmen alike.

Delmar was also announcer and voice performer on The Alan Young Show in 1944. In 1953 he returned to radio replacing Hans Conried's character on My Friend Irma, as the Professor's cousin, Maestro Wanderkin and as Conried's Schultz on Life with Luigi.

➦In 1938…'Life Can Be Beautiful' began airing.  It was a daytime drama broadcast on NBC and CBS during its 16-year run. The program was billed as "an inspiring message of faith drawn from life" and remained one of the leading soap operas through the 1940s. Sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Spic and Span, it premiered September 5, 1938 on NBC and moved two months later to CBS, where it was heard from November 7, 1938 to June 21, 1946. Concurrently, it was also airing on NBC from 1939 to 1941. The final run was on NBC from 1946 to 1954.

➦In 1957...WPOW 1330 AM became one of the first NYC stations to air Rock & Roll regularly. Today the station airs a Spanish Christian music and teaching format and is owned by Radio Vision Cristiana Management.

➦In 1966...The Monkees released their first single--"Last Train to Clarksville".

➦In 1987...“American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark on ABC, was cancelled after 30 years on network television, largely due to MTV's influence. The show limped along on the USA cable channel and in syndication for another three years, with a different host.

➦In 1989...Mike and the Mad Dog debuted on Emmis' WFAN 660 AM in NYC. The station was looking for hosts to replace Pete Franklin during PM drive time and program director  Mark Mason, floated the idea of teaming Mike Francesa with Chris Russo. At first, the station management thought the idea was crazy because they were no-names at that time.  However, because of Francesa and Russo's popularity on the weekends and on Imus in the Morning individually, the station management decided to pair the two together.

The show aired WFAN from September 1989 to August 2008 and featured Francesa and Russo talking about sports and taking phone calls from listeners. From 2002 the show was simulcast on television on the YES Network. On the radio, the show was simulcast beginning 2007 on WQYK in Tampa, Florida and from 2004 until 2007 on WROW in Albany, New York.

➦In 2002...John Daly "Jackie" Kelk died at age 79 from a lung infection (Born - August 6, 1923). He was a stage, radio, film, and television actor and stand-up comedian. Kelk was best known for portraying the role of Homer Brown on the radio series The Aldrich Family and as the original voice of Jimmy Olsen on The Adventures of Superman.

➦In 2012...Joe South, singer, songwriter and guitarist who did "Games People Play" and "Walk a Mile in My Shoes", died of heart failure in Buford, Georgia at age 72.  South also wrote songs for Elivs Presley, Deep Purple, the Osmonds, Gene Vincent, Lynn Anderson ("Rose Garden") and Billy Joe Royal and worked with Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Tommy Roe and others.

➦In 2015…MLB Baseball broadcaster Gene Elston died at age 93. He called Colt .45s/Houston Astros games for 25 years starting in 1962 and the CBS Radio Game of the Week from 1987 until 1995, and also called postseason NLDS games on CBS Radio in 1995, 1996, and 1997.

In 2006, Elston was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. The award is given annually to a baseball announcer who has given major contributions to the game. Elston was healthy enough, at the age of 84, to accept the award in person at Cooperstown.

Bob Newhart is 93

  • Comedian-actor Bob Newhart is 93. 
  • Broadway actor Carol Lawrence is 90. 
  • Actor Lucille Soong (“Fresh Off the Boat”) is 87. 
  • Actor William Devane (“Jessie Stone,” ″24″) is 83. 
  • Actor George Lazenby is 83. 
  • Actor Raquel Welch is 82. 
  • Singer Al Stewart is 77. 
  • Actor-director Dennis Dugan (“Big Daddy,” “Happy Gilmore”) is 76. 
  • Singer Loudon Wainwright the Third is 76. 
  • Racquel Welch is 82
    Saxophonist Mel Collins of King Crimson and of Kokomo is 75. 
  • Cartoonist Cathy Guisewite (“Cathy”) is 72. 
  • Actor Michael Keaton is 71. 
  • Drummer Jamie Oldaker of The Tractors is 71. 
  • Actor Debbie Turner-Larson (“The Sound of Music”) is 66. 
  • Actor Kristian Alfonso (“Days of Our Lives”) is 59. 
  • Singer Terry Ellis of En Vogue is 59. 
  • Drummer Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine (and of Audioslave) is 54. 
  • TV personality-musician Dweezil Zappa is 53. 
  • Actor Rose McGowan is 49. 
  • Actor Carice Van Houten (“Game of Thrones”) is 46. 
  • Keyboardist Kyle O’Quin of Portugal. The Man is 37. 
  • Actor Andrew Ducote (“Dave’s World”) is 36. 
  • Actor Skandar Keynes (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) is 31.

September 4 Radio History

➦In 1918...Paul Harvey Aurandt born (Died at age 90– February 28, 2009). Best  known as Paul Harvey he was a radio broadcaster for ABC Radio Networks. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments. From 1952 through 2008, his programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 American Forces Network stations, and 300 newspapers.

Paul Harvey
Harvey was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of a policeman who was killed by robbers in 1921. He made radio receivers as a young boy, and he attended Tulsa Central High School where teacher Isabelle Ronan was "impressed by his voice". On her recommendation, he started working at KVOO in Tulsa in 1933 helping to clean up when he was 14. He eventually was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and the news.

He continued working at KVOO while attending the University of Tulsa, first as an announcer and later as a program director. He spent three years as a station manager for KFBI AM, now known as KFDI, a radio station that once had studios in Salina, Kansas. From there, he moved to a newscasting job at KOMA in Oklahoma City, and then to KXOK in St. Louis in 1938.

Harvey then moved to Hawaii to cover the United States Navy as it concentrated its fleet in the Pacific. He was returning to the mainland from assignment when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He eventually enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces but served only from December 1943 to March 1944.

Harvey then moved to Chicago, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR (now WLS-AM). In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR. Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946.

On April 1, 1951,  the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment each weekday at 12 Noon". Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey's introduction. Later, the Sunday program moved to Saturdays. The program continued until his death.

In the latter half of his career, Harvey was also known for the radio series The Rest of the Story, described as a blend of mystery and history, which premiered on May 10, 1976. The series quickly grew to six broadcasts a week, and continued until Harvey's death in 2009.

In November 2000, Harvey signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with ABC Radio Networks. A few months later, after damaging his vocal cords, he went off the air, but returned in August 2001.

His success with sponsors stemmed from the seamlessness with which he segued from his monologue into reading commercial messages. He explained his relationship with them, saying "I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is."

➦In 1959...WCBS 880 AM stopped airing “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin.  The reason? Recent street violence in NYC.

➦In 1961...The short-lived "Carol Burnett-Richard Hayes Show" premiered on CBS Radio. The series was a 20 minute musical variety show. Burnett was also a regular on "The Garry Moore Show" on CBS and singer Hayes had been on Arthur Godfrey's daily radio show.

➦In 1962...The Beatles entered EMI's Abbey Road studios for their first formal recording session, rehearsing "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me."

➦In 1970...George Harrison released the single "My Sweet Lord" single to U-S radio.

➦In 2009…Robert Garnett "Buddy" Blattner died from lung cancer at age 89 ( Born February 8, 1920). Known also as "Bud" Blattner, was a baseball player and radio and television sportscaster

Buddy Blattner
Blattner turned to broadcasting after his retirement as a player, teaming with Dizzy Dean on St. Louis Browns radio as well as nationally on the Liberty and Mutual networks, and on the televised baseball Game of the Week on ABC (1953–54) and CBS (1955–59).

Blattner was replaced on CBS by Pee Wee Reese following a dispute with Dean. He continued to broadcast baseball for the Cardinals (1960–61), Los Angeles/California Angels (1962–68), and Kansas City Royals (1969–75) as well as on NBC in 1969. He also called games for the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association in the '50s.

➦In 2014…Longtime Chicago broadcaster LeRoy Stewart Leonard died at age 83. (Born - January 19, 1931). Best known as Roy Leonard, he hosted WGN's midday radio show from Chicago for 31 years and for his appearances on WGN-TV's news and Christmas specials. He also hosted Family Classics after Frazier Thomas died.

➦In 2014…Bruce Alexander Morton died (Born - October 28, 1930). He was TV news correspondent for both CBS News and CNN in a career which spanned over 40 years.

Bruce Morton
Morton was born in Norwalk, Connecticut but grew up in Chicago. Morton graduated from Harvard University in 1952 and spent the next three years in the U.S. Army. While still at Harvard, he was a newscaster for a Boston radio station. After leaving the service, Morton went into television news, first as a behind-the-scenes assistant at New York City's WRCA-TV, then on air for a local station in Pittsburgh.

He joined ABC News in 1962 as a London-based reporter. In 1964, he joined CBS News, where he would stay for the next 29 years. He was based in Washington, D.C., where he was a Congressional correspondent. During his tenure with CBS, he also co-anchored the CBS Morning News (with Hughes Rudd) from 1974 to 1977. Longtime CBS correspondent Roger Mudd, in his 2008 memoir The Place To Be, acknowledged Morton as the best writer in the CBS Washington Bureau during the years they worked together.

After leaving CBS in 1993, Morton went to work for CNN, where he stayed until his retirement in 2006. Continuing to be based in Washington, his title at CNN was national correspondent.

Mitzi Gaynor is 91


  • Actor Mitzi Gaynor is 91. 
  • Singer Sonny Charles of the Checkmates, Ltd. Is 82. 
  • Actor Kenneth Kimmins (“Coach”) is 81. 
  • Singer Merald “Bubba” Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips is 80. 
  • TV personality Dr. Jan Pol (“The Incredible Dr. Pol”) is 80. 
  • Actor Jennifer Salt (“Soap”) is 78. 
  • Bassist Ronald LaPread (The Commodores) is 72. 
  • Actor Judith Ivey is 71. 
  • Drummer Martin Chambers of The Pretenders is 71. 
  • Actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (“Welcome Back, Kotter”) is 69. 
  • Actor Khandi Alexander (“ER,” ″NewsRadio”) is 65. 
  • Actor-comedian Damon Wayans is 62. 
  • Guitarist Kim Thayil of Soundgarden is 62. 
  • Actor Richard Speight Jr. (“The Agency”) is 53. 
  • Actor Noah Taylor (2005′s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” ″Game of Thrones”) is 53. 
  • Beyonce is 41
    Actor Ione Skye is 52. 
  • DJ-music producer Mark Ronson is 47. 
  • Singer Richard Wingo of Jagged Edge is 47. 
  • Bassist Ian Grushka of New Found Glory is 45. 
  • Actor Wes Bentley (“American Beauty”) is 44. 
  • Actor Max Greenfield (“New Girl”) is 43. 
  • Country singer Granger Smith is 43. 
  • Singer Dan Miller of O-Town is 42. 
  • Singer Beyonce’ Knowles is 41. 
  • Singer-guitarist Tom Gossin of Gloriana is 41.
  • Actor Whitney Cummings (“Whitney”) is 40. 
  • Comedian Kyle Mooney (“Saturday Night Live”) is 38. 
  • Multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek (The Lumineers) is 36. 
  • Singer James Bay is 32. 
  • Actor Trevor Gagnon (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is 27.

  • Australian wildlife expert and naturalist Steve Irwin, host of the TV show The Crocodile Hunter, was killed when he was stung by a stingray on this day in 2006. He was 44.
  • Veteran comedian Joan Rivers died on this day in 2014 of complications she suffered during a medical procedure. She was 81.
  • Willard Scott, the longtime weather forecaster on NBC's Today show, died on this day in 2021. He was 87. Scott got his start on children's shows and appeared as Bozo the Clown in the 1960s.
  • Actor Herve Villechaize, who played Tattoo on Fantasy Island, committed suicide on this day in 1993. He was 50.

FCC Sticks With Proposed 2022 Regulatory Fees

The Federal Communications Commission has issued its Fiscal Year 2022 Regulatory Fees Report and Order, which rejects arguments by the NAB and state broadcasters that the FCC should revamp the way it calculates regulatory fees, reports TV Technology.

The FCC did, however, issue a Notice of Inquiry stating that “the Commission seeks further comment on its methodology for allocating indirect FTEs, as raised in the FY 2022 NPRM.  While we found above that the record supported a limited correction to the method used for calculating the fees associated with certain indirect FTEs in the Universal Service Fund context, we seek to more broadly explore these issues outside of the short timeframe necessitated by the annual regulatory fee proceeding. The responses we receive will help us determine if there are lines of inquiry worth exploring in order to further revise our methodology. Finally, we hope that the comments and replies will allow interested parties to gain a better understanding of the regulatory fee process and the issues of importance to the various groups affected by our regulatory fee policies.”

The FCC is required to cover its entire budget from regulatory fees. The NAB and state broadcast associations had raised a number of objections to the way those are calculated, including arguments that broadcasters were paying “burdensome” fees for the work the FCC does on broadband. 

"We decline to modify our methodology to continue to exempt broadcasters’ from the costs associated with the Commission’s broadband work,” the FCC said in the order.

The NAB and state broadcast associations had argued they were paying “burdensome” fees for the work the FCC does on broadband.

In response to the FCC's Fiscal Year 2022 Regulatory Fees Report and Order, the NAB issued the following statement from NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt:

"NAB is very appreciative of the hard work and thoughtfulness shown by the Commissioners and their staffs to reduce the exorbitant increase broadcasters faced in the FCC's draft regulatory fees order. We are also grateful to the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who voiced their opposition to overly burdensome regulatory fees that would jeopardize local broadcasters' ability to provide local news, emergency information and community service to millions of Americans.

"Despite these important advances, there is more work to do. We hope the Notice of Inquiry serves as a springboard to a thorough modernization of the FCC's regulatory fee methodology to ensure all parties that utilize and benefit from the Commission's work pay their fair and appropriate share. It is no longer good enough to tinker around the edges. We remain committed to working with the FCC, lawmakers and stakeholders to create a regulatory fee structure that promotes fairness, parity and consistency."

Open Letter To Radio: Repatriate Lost Listening

For the seventh consecutive Labor Day, Andrew Curran, President of DMR/Interactive and an outspoken advocate for radio has issued another 'Open Letter' To radio.

"For years leading up to COVID, radio has watched listening levels decline. With these diary market insights on how much listening is truly available, radio has a golden opportunity. Recapturing just 50% of this lost listening is enough to be ranked #1 and #2 in a market with the coveted A25-54 audience."

The letter also cites the increasingly permanent shift to remote and hybrid schedules for office workers as a cautionary tale. Millions of employees in downtown buildings and suburban office parks no longer commute five days per week, which hampers the organic recovery of listening.

Curran writes:

"It’s “game on” for radio in both diary and PPM markets.

For all of the ongoing concerns about PUMM levels and the permanent shift to remote work, help is within reach.

With limited marketing budgets, your first priority is correctly spent focusing on existing heavy radio listeners.

However, as you plan for 2023, there’s an opportunity to develop a one-two punch by also funding the marketing investments necessary to repatriate listening back to your key revenue brands. With a unique and sustained messaging strategy that targets select listeners who have drifted away from radio, there’s significant ratings and revenue growth potential.

The existing marketing messages that resonate with your current audience won’t carry the day with people who have moved away from radio. You need to understand the daily life of these listeners and develop a compelling and personalized value proposition that forms the basis of your marketing strategy to recapture lapsed radio listeners."

Read the entire open letter, HERE 

CNN’s John Harwood Quits

Left-leaning John Harwood, the veteran White House correspondent for CNN, announced he is leaving the embattled cable network on Friday.  The NY Post reports Harwood is the latest high-profile departure under new boss Chris Licht.

Harwood tweeted “personal news,” announcing “today’s my last day at CNN.”

The 65-year-old former editor-at-large for CNBC — whose resume includes stints as a reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal — tweeted he was “proud of the work” and that he was “lucky to serve the best in American media.”

“Look forward to figuring out what’s next,” Harwood tweeted.

Harwood’s exit comes weeks after CNN fired media reporter Brian Stelter and pulled the plug on his long-running media criticism show, “Reliable Sources.”

Licht, who has been at the helm of CNN for a few months, has been given a mandate by his corporate bosses at Warner Bros. Discovery to steer the cable network away from opinion-based programming and more toward hard news.

Harwood was a fierce critic of former President Donald Trump. Earlier this year, Harwood characterized the 45th president as “mentally unwell.”

After Stelter’s departure, the Daily Beast reported that Licht was looking to “blow up” the network’s “New Day” morning show.

Licht, who took over CNN after leaving his post as executive producer of Stephen Colbert’s late-night show on CBS, has tasked Ryan Kadro, another former CBS hand, with leading the overhaul of the network’s morning lineup.

In May, Licht told an upfront presentation that CNN wanted to “reimagine” its morning show, though he gave no details.

Woke Nashville PR Firm Parts Ways With Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean and wife Brittany Aldean

After representing the multi-Platinum singer for 17 years, The GreenRoom publicity firm has parted ways with Jason Aldean, MusicRow has confirmed.

In a statement provided to Billboard, GreenRoom co-owner Tyne Parrish shared, “Music has always been and remains The GreenRoom’s core focus, so we had to make the difficult decision after 17 years to step away from representing Jason.”

“We aren’t the best people for the gig anymore, but will always be big fans of his music—he is one of the greatest live entertainers in country music,” the statement continues.

While Parrish didn’t mention it in her statement, the split comes after a media firestorm ensued following an Instagram post made by Aldean’s wife and social media influencer Brittany on Aug. 23. In a reel, Brittany is seen putting on make up with the caption, “I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life.”

A few days later, singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope seemingly subtweeted Brittany, saying, “You’d think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging. But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their ‘tomboy phase’ to someone wanting to transition. Real nice.”

A few hours later, country star Maren Morris replied to Pope’s tweet saying, “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”

Since then, other artists have shown support to both sides, and multiple national media outlets have picked up the story.

Firing Of Canadian News Anchor Sparks Controversy

The firing of Canadian news anchor Lisa LaFlamme from CTV News has sparked controversy online and companies to make statements on aging, according to NBC News.

Lisa LaFlamme before & after

LaFlamme, who was chief news anchor and senior editor for the station, was let go after 35 years at CTV, according to an Aug. 15 release. Prior to serving as an anchor, the 58-year-old was a national affairs correspondent.

“With an unfailing commitment to delivering the stories that matter most to Canadians as part of Canada’s leading news team, Lisa has deftly guided viewers through both turbulent times and celebration, and we wish her nothing but the best as she begins a new chapter," Karine Moses, senior vice president of content development at news for Bell Media, said in a statement.

In a video posted to Twitter Aug. 15, LaFlamme announced her departure, saying she was "blindsided" and is "still shocked and saddened" by the decision.

"On June 29, I was informed that Bell Media made a 'business decision' to end my contract, bringing to a sudden close my career with CTV News...I was also asked to keep this confidential from my colleagues and the public until the specifics of my exit could be resolved," she said.

"At 58, I still thought I’d have a lot more time to tell more of the stories that impact our daily lives. Instead, I leave CTV humbled by the people who put their faith in me to tell their story," LaFlamme continued.

Bell Media has not explicitly detailed why it parted ways with LaFlamme, though in the release, the company listed “changing viewer habits” as part of its “business decision to move its acclaimed news show, CTV NATIONAL NEWS, and the role of its Chief News Anchor in a different direction.”

However, controversy came about after The Globe and Mail reported the head of CTV News, Michael Melling, raised questions about LaFlamme's hair.

At a meeting, Melling allegedly asked who approved the decision to "let Lisa's hair go grey," the publication reported from a senior CTV official who was in the room. According to The Globe and Mail, LaFlamme's hair color was an issue another day on set when Melling said the studio lighting was "taking on a purple hue."

In CTV's year-in-review special, the publication noted the journalist explained that because of the pandemic, she couldn't see her hair colorist and was spraying her roots before going on the air.

“I finally said, ‘Why bother? I’m going gray.’ Honestly, if I had known the lockdown could be so liberating on that front I would have done it a lot sooner," she said.

CTV declined to comment further on LaFlamme's departure and instead pointed TODAY to an Aug. 26 LinkedIn post from Mirko Bibic, the president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.

R Kelly Will Not Testify In HIs Defense

R. Kelly’s lawyers began mounting a defense Thursday in Chicago against federal charges of child pornography, enticement of minors for sex and fixing his 2008 state trial, with an initial witness contending the singer was himself a victim of blackmail.

The presentation to jurors won’t include Kelly taking the witness stand, reports The L-A Times.

Judge Harry Leinenweber asked Kelly directly on Thursday morning if he would testify, and the Grammy Award winner responded that he would not.

The judge raised the issue minutes before attorneys for Kelly and two co-defendants began calling their first witnesses, in an effort to to counter two weeks of government testimony — including from four women who accused Kelly of sexual abuse.

Co-defendant Derrel McDavid, a longtime Kelly business manager, is accused of helping Kelly rig the 2008 trial, at which Kelly was acquitted. McDavid said he will testify. Co-defendant Milton Brown is charged with receiving child pornography. Like Kelly, Brown said he wouldn’t testify.

Testifying would have been risky because Kelly has exploded in anger under tough questioning, which could hurt his defense.

He lost his cool in a 2019 interview with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning.” As she pressed him about accusations of sexual abuse, he jumped up, crying and gesticulating. “I didn’t do this stuff!” he shouted. “This is not me! I’m fighting for my ... life!”

Lawyers for all three defendants are essentially sharing witnesses. McDavid’s legal team called the first defense witness, McDavid friend and former police officer Christopher G. Wilson. He testified that McDavid told him in 2001 that a merchandizing agent for Kelly, Charles Freeman, was trying to blackmail the R&B star.

Freeman testified earlier for the government that Kelly and his associates agreed to pay him $1 million to hunt down and return a video that featured Kelly, describing how he was handed bags full of cash as payment. He said the money was for services rendered, not an extortion bid. Prosecutors say the payments were part of a conspiracy to obstruct investigators leading up to Kelly’s 2008 trial.

Under cross-examination, Wilson conceded he didn’t directly witness anyone trying to extort Kelly, saying he was relying on what McDavid told him.

NFL Broadcasts Bringing in Record Ad Sales

Broadcasters paid astronomical prices for NFL rights — and early returns on ad prices are showing why, reports Kirby Lee at USAToday Sports.

Media buyers are seeing record in-game rates for the upcoming season, and companies have been quick to buy up available inventory.

Ad sales could bring in a total of around $7 billion in revenue.  30-second spots on national broadcasts have sold for as high as $860,000.

National rates are up around 7% from last year.

More than 90% of available spots were bought during upfront ad sales. Much of that inventory was moved during the second quarter, as companies vied to get in early and avoid being shut out.

CBS, NBC, Disney, Fox, and Amazon are paying more than $110 billion to broadcast the league for 11 years.  Amazon’s deal for “Thursday Night Football” kicks off this season, though the company expects lower broadcast numbers, as viewers adjust to the league’s first streaming-only property. Disney has also reportedly sold out 90% to 95% of its inventory for the upcoming NBA and NHL seasons on ABC and ESPN.

Sales Already Super

Fox began selling ads for next February’s Super Bowl 18 months before the game, seeking over $6 million for a 30-second window. Most of the available inventory has reportedly been snapped up. 

NBCUniversal saw ad real estate reach as high as $6.5 million for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl LVI earlier this year.

Report: Biden Team Worked To Censor Social Media Content


A pair of attorneys general said this week that they have unearthed the Biden administration‘s sprawling effort to censor and suppress content online, which was revealed through the private communications of dozens of government officials with social media companies, reports The Washington Times. 

The attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana, who are working with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, made details of the communications public in a court case seeking access to records that the federal government is withholding. In a court filing, they said the communications reveal that federal officials engaged in a “Censorship Enterprise” spanning 11 federal agencies.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the Justice Department refused to produce communications between its officials and social media companies, so lawyers filed a petition with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to compel the government to produce the documents.

“We have already received a number of documents that clearly prove that the federal government has an incestuous relationship with social media companies and clearly coordinate to censor freedom of speech, but we’re not done,” Schmitt said in a statement.

Anthony Fauci
“The Department of Justice is cowering behind executive privilege and has refused to turn over communications between the highest-ranking Biden administration officials and social media companies,” he added.

Schmitt published some of the records on Twitter. One example shows a White House official asking Facebook employees to take down the Instagram account “anthonyfauciofficial,” which Schmitt said was a parody of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Any way we can get this pulled down?” wrote Clarke Humphrey, COVID-19 response digital director at the White House. “It is not actually one of ours.”

“Yep, on it!” replied a Facebook official whose name is redacted.  

Schmitt said other emails show the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency reaching out to Google, Facebook’s parent company Meta, Microsoft and Twitter after the rollout of the Department of Homeland Security’s disinformation governance board, which was paused and then killed amid public outcry.

Got A Hot Cellphone? Resist The Fridge

Most of the time if your phone gets toasty, it’s because of some fairly benign reason — you’re playing a game that pushes the device’s processor, perhaps, or it’s connected to a high-speed charger. Other times, overheating can arise from an app or apps misbehaving, or even a specific kind of chip design. The point is, running hot isn’t unusual for phones, and they’re generally pretty good at compensating for it.

But when hot summer days — or a full-blown heat wave — arrive, your phone may start to have trouble shedding the extra heat inside. Once that happens, you may eventually find yourself unable to use your phone at all until it cools down, and that’s not good for anyone.

From Chris Velazco at The Washington Post, Here’s some tips to keep a cellphone from overheating:

➤Keep your phone out of the sun

Using your phone out under the sun — say, snapping some photos — means it can quickly absorb heat. And if it’s especially sunny, your phone might try to crank up the brightness of its screen to make it easier to read. That can be helpful, sure, but that also means your phone is expending more power, which increases the odds that the phone will shut down to protect itself.

➤Don’t push your phone too hard

Ideally, that means staying off your phone entirely, though we get that’s a lot harder than it sounds. If you can’t quite tear yourself away — or if you have a good reason you need to be on your phone — the next best thing is to limit what you do with it.

Avoiding using your phone's camera is a good example, especially for shooting videos.

Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is another common way to heat things up quickly; I’ve seen my iPhone offer up the dreaded temperature warning on a not-even-that-hot San Francisco day after pulling hotspot duty. Skip it, if at all possible. Ditto for graphically rich games: these can require a lot of oomph from your phone’s processors, and avoiding that load will keep your device cooler for longer.

➤Pop that case off

Some cases could make it more difficult for phones to effectively dissipate the heat building up inside them. If you routinely keep your phone enshrined in a case, consider removing it and storing the device in a bag or a pocket that doesn’t directly touch your body.

➤Use low power mode

Beyond limiting what you do on your phone, you can also limit what your phone is doing on its own. That’s where its low-power or power-saving mode comes in.

Among other things, Low Power Mode on an iPhone disables 5G (if applicable), makes your device lock faster, dims your screen and disables some background processes. These tweaks are ostensibly meant to make your battery last longer, but since they prevent from trying to handle lots of things once, it can help prevent overheating, too.

Android phones have a similar feature, and it’s usually called Battery Saver or Power Saving Mode depending on the company that built your device.

➤If all else fails, turn it off

The one sure-fire way to keep your phone from overworking itself — and overheating in the process — is to turn it off and stow it in the coolest place available to you.

➤Should I put my phone in the fridge?

Smartphones tend to cool off pretty quickly, and you’ll probably have a functioning phone again in just a few minutes if you just leave it alone. But if your phone is overheating right now and you absolutely have to use it, can you cool it down with a quick trip to the kitchen?

Maybe, but it comes with some potential hazards.

“I would not recommend putting a device into a refrigerator to cool it,” says Jon-Erik Hylle, a project manager at the repair resource website iFixit . “Rapid cooling in a moist environment could cause condensation and short the device. Also, going from very hot to very cold in a short amount of time creates its own risks.”

NEPA Radio: WILK's Frank Andrews Ends Long Broadcasting Career

A Northeastern Pennslyvania broadcaster whose career spanned 53-years on radio and TV has officially hung-up his headphones.

Frank Andrews (Skimkus) aired his final show Friday on Audacy's News-Talk  WILK 103.1 FM in the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre market. 

For decades, Skimkus was a news anchor at WNEP-TV 16 and also served as a State Representative and mayor of Throop, a suburban city.

The 70-year-old Shimkus stated that although he was under contract until October 2023, Shimkus requested an early release. With six young children and 19 grandchildren, Shimkus said he decided it was time to spend more time with his family, especially his 6-year-old special needs daughter, Harper. 

According to recently unsealed court documents, Shimkus and his wife received a $19 million settlement for their daughter, who suffered severe brain damage, which they alleged was caused by a delay in delivering her in 2016. The settlement earmarked nearly $10.6 million for the child's lifetime care and about $1.3 million personally for the Shimkuses. The 2019 lawsuit named Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and several physicians.

Frank Andrews graduated from the University of Scranton in 1973 with a degree in English. He then went into broadcasting, despite the misgivings of his father (who thought broadcasters were carnies). After working as an announcer at WEJL in Scranton and WCAU in Philadelphia, he went into television. He served as an anchor and reporter at WNEP-TV16 in Scranton from 1980 to 1998, doubling for much of that time as news director. After a brief two-year hiatus, he moved to WYOU-TV22 as anchor and assistant news director.

Shimkus resigned from WYOU in March 2006 to run for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, winning a 5-way Democratic primary to succeed the retiring Gaynor Cawley in a district that included almost 60 percent of Scranton. He went on to easily win the general election.

He served as the state representative for the 113th house district from 2006 to 2008 and the mayor of Throop from February 2017 until he resigned to join WILK in October 2017.

September 3 Radio History

➦In Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs Arkansas.  His career began in radio in 1935 and he went on to star in films, of which Shane was the highlight.  When his short stature caused his movie career to wind down he returned to radio.

He had short term stints at MGM and RKO, but got regular professional acting work only when he turned to radio. Ladd's rich, deep voice was ideal for that medium and in 1936 he ended up being signed by station KFWB as its sole radio actor. He stayed for three years at KFWB, working as many as twenty shows a week.

Depression and alcoholism contributed to his early death Jan. 29 1964 at age 50.

➦In 1939…Two days after Germany invaded Poland, England's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that Britain and France had declared war on Germany.

➦In 1954...“The Lone Ranger” aired a new episode for the final time on ABC Radio Network. It premiered on WXYZ, Detroit, Michigan, on January 30, 1933. Repeat episodes were aired by ABC in 1955 and on NBC in 1956.

➦In 1965... Los Angeles radio personality Gary Owens (right) KMPC 710 AM was signed to be the voice of Roger Ramjet, humorous super hero of a new animated TV series.

Owens performed several other voices on the show in addition to the leading character. Roger Ramjet is a super astronaut who fights assorted evildoers with the help of a high- powered “proton” energy pill.

➦In 1966...the final “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” TV show (co-starring son Rick Nelson) aired on ABC.  The show launched October 8, 1944 on CBS, it moved to NBC in October 1948, then made a late-season switch back to CBS in April 1949. The final years of the radio series were on ABC (the former NBC Blue Network) from October 14, 1949 to June 18, 1954.

In total 402 radio episodes were produced.

In an arrangement that exemplified the growing pains of American broadcasting, as radio "grew up" into television, the Nelsons' deal with ABC gave the network the option to move their program to television. The struggling network needed proven talent that was not about to defect to the more established and wealthier networks like CBS or NBC. The show moved to TV in 1952.

The Nelsons' sons, David and Ricky, did not join the cast until the radio show's fifth year (initially appearing on the February 20, 1949 episode, ages 12 and 8, respectively). The two boys were played by professional actors prior to their joining because both were too young to perform.

➦In 1970... WMCA NYC announced the hiring of Los Angeles talk host Bob Grant to do a daily show starting September 22. The station had also recently announced it was going full-time talk radio ending a long run of playing Top40 music.

➦In 1972...Radio personality Mike Kelly of Cleveland's WIXY 1260 AM spent 21 days, 3-hours and 58-minutes on a ferris wheel at nearby Cedar Point Amusement park.

➦In 1976...The FCC ordered radio station KOIL 1290 AM and sister KEFM in Omaha off the air. Licenses for the two stations, plus WIFE 1300 AM in Indianapolis and KISN in Vancouver Washington were revoked by the FCC on grounds of misconduct by operator Don Burden – board chairman and majority stockholder of Star Broadcasting. It was the FCC’s most severe action to date. Revoking the license meant he couldn't sell his stations.

Burden (left) was charged with a long list of violations, including running phony contests on the air, billing advertisers twice, and giving free airtime to some political candidates.

➦In 1979...Don Imus returned to the air in mornings at 66WNBC NYC.  By this time, Imus had started to use cocaine until he quit in 1983.   In April 1981, Imus renewed his contract with WNBC with a five-year deal worth $500,000 a year with bonuses if he surpassed ratings targets. Following the addition of Howard Stern in afternoons in 1982, he and Imus began a longtime feud though both were paired on WNBC print and television advertisements.

After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus originally moved to NYC and WNBC in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label '1200 Hamburgers to Go', including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and 'One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax', a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis and one for the Bang label.

Imus had been fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK. During that year, Imus commuted between Cleveland and New York to tape a TV talk show, Imus Plus at WNEW-TV.

➦In 1979...WLUP Chicago DJ Steve Dahl’s “Do Ya Think I’m Disco” reportedly sold more than 200,000 copies nationwide in two weeks and many radio stations were playing the anti-disco record. In Detroit  - WWWW morning DJ’s have organized a Death to Disco Ducks society, In Los Angeles, KROQ’s own insane Daryll Wayne is burying disco albums at the beach.  In Kansas City – KYYS DJ Max Floyd is recruiting listeners for an anti-disco “Rock ‘n’ Roll Army.

➦In 1985...Johnny Marks, who wrote the Christmas classics Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and A Holly Jolly Christmas, died at age 75.

Bob Sievers
➦In 2007...long time Fort Wayne, IN radio personality, Bob Sievers, died at age 90.

Sievers worked for WOWO 1190 AM for more than 50 years.

During his five decades with WOWO, he earned the title of “Mr. WOWO” as host on the popular morning show “Little Red Barn Show” that aired from 5 to 7 a.m., and the Bob Sievers show that aired from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Saturdays.

“I can’t think of anyone more influential in this town, and I’ve been here 35 years,” said Ron Gregory, a close friend and former WOWO radio announcer. “I can’t think of anybody who comes close to the impact that Bob Sievers had. It’s definitely the end of an era.”

Bob at age 90
In the days when the station’s 50,000-watt signal was not competing with the number of stations it does today, Sievers’ voice – and popularity – stretched across the country and around the world.

WOWO listeners could be found in 28 states and even overseas, and Sievers would often receive letters from devoted listeners across oceans, like missionaries in Africa, Gregory said.

➦In 2017...Steely Dan guitarist and co-founder Walter Becker died just four months after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer at age 67.  Together with Donald Fagan in 1971 he formed Steely Dan  and introduced a unique sound in rock, with hits such as “Do it Again” and “Reeling’ in the Years.”

Al Jardine is 80

  • Actor Pauline Collins is 82. 
  • Singer-guitarist Al Jardine of The Beach Boys is 80. 
  • Actor Valerie Perrine is 79. 
  • Jennifer Paige is 49
    Drummer Donald Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad is 74. 
  • Guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols is 67. 
  • Actor Steve Schirripa (“The Sopranos”) is 65. 
  • Actor Holt McCallany (“Lights Out,” ″CSI: Miami”) is 58. 
  • Guitarist Todd Lewis of The Toadies is 57. 
  • Actor Costas Mandylor (“Picket Fences”) is 57. 
  • Actor Charlie Sheen is 57. 
  • Singer Jennifer Paige is 49. 
  • Musician Redfoo of LMFAO is 47. 
  • Actor Ashley Jones (“True Blood”) is 46. 
  • Actor Nichole Hiltz (“In Plain Sight”) is 44. 
  • Actor Joel Johnstone (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) is 44. 
  • Actor Nick Wechsler (“Revenge,” ″Roswell”) is 44. 
  • Guitarist Tomo Milicevic of 30 Seconds To Mars is 43. 
  • Actor Garrett Hedlund (“Tron”) is 38. 
  • Singer August Alsina is 30.

  • The Green Mile actor Michael Clarke Duncan died of a heart attack on this day in 2012. He was 54.
  • Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, after whom the Super Bowl trophy is named, died on this day in 1970. He was 57.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Report: Comcast To Cut Up to $1B From TV Network Budgets

Comcast Corp. is looking to cut as much as $1 billion from the budget of the TV networks in its entertainment division, NBCUniversal, money it can use to boost other parts of the business, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell has asked his top deputies to find savings at its legacy cable and broadcast TV networks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been finalized. Executives have explored many ways of cutting costs -- including layoffs, trimming budgets for the development of new programs and changing the mix of programs on TV to produce more low-cost shows.

Comcast is in the middle of setting its budget for next year, and Shell has yet to make final decisions about how many cuts he will make or where they will occur. Those decisions are expected in the next couple weeks. Reallocating money from profitable but slow-growing TV networks could allow Comcast to invest more resources into its streaming service, Peacock, as well as its theme parks.

Bankers, analysts and executives have been speculating about what Comcast will do to boost its media business. NBCUniversal is one of the largest entertainment companies in the world -- the owner of the NBC broadcast network, along with Universal’s movie studio and theme parks. It has a suite of cable channels, such as Bravo and E!, but has been one of the slowest of the major media companies to build up its streaming operations.

Peacock, at 13 million subscribers, showed no growth in the most recent quarter. It lost close to $500 million. To make matters worse, Comcast, the largest US cable TV provider, also reported no new customers for its internet access business.

Investors once rewarded media companies for spending billions of dollars on unprofitable but growing streaming services. The recent struggles of Netflix, exacerbated by fears of a looming recession, have prompted investors to be more focused on profit than growth.

The companies can’t cut from streaming, their fastest-growing segment and one widely viewed as the future of the entertainment industry. They now need to find ways to cut budgets at their traditional TV networks without making them unappealing to viewers. Comcast’s TV networks still generate billions of dollars in profit a year.

Shell has been encouraging the company to prioritize Peacock, as evidenced by its higher spending and losses. But he’s still working to better integrate his different teams and divisions so that his direct reports are invested in Peacock’s success.