Saturday, October 15, 2022

October 16 Radio History

In 1923...Prolific songwriter Bert Kaempfert born in Hamburg, Germany. He wrote "Strangers in the Night" for Frank Sinatra, "Spanish Eyes" by Al Martino, "Danke Schoen" for Wayne Newton, "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole, and many others) and performed "Wonderland By Night" in 1960 and signed The Beatles to a recording contract.

In 1939...Listeners first heard "The Right to Happiness” to the NBC Blue Network. The 15-minute daytime drama turned out to be one of the longest-running radio shows of its kind. It moved over to CBS in 1941, then back to NBC in 1942. Fourteen years later “Right to Happiness” returned to CBS where it stayed until its final days in 1960

In 1951...Singer Richard Penniman, known as Little Richard, made his first recordings for RCA Camden at the studios of WGST Radio in Atlanta. It took another four years and working in New Orleans' French Quarter to turn him into a rock 'n' roll star.

In 1954...Elvis Presley made his famous first radio appearance on the KWKH Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, LA. He appeared weekly for $18. His sidemen, Bill Black and Scotty Moore, were paid $12 each.

In 1960...Sportscaster Arch McDonald died at age 59 from a heart attack (Born - May 23, 1901). He served as the voice of Major League Baseball's Washington Senators from 1934 to 1956 (with the exception of 1939, when he broadcast the New York Yankees and Giants).

McDonald was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. During the early 1930s, he broadcast for the Chattanooga Lookouts, and won the first The Sporting News "Announcer of the Year" award in 1932—a remarkable achievement, considering that the Lookouts were a Class A team. Senators owner Clark Griffith jumped him straight to the big club in 1934, and he immediately became a hit. He was one of the first to use "ducks on the pond" as a term for players on base, and was notable for singing an old country tune, "They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree", after a big Senators play.

He was best known, however, for his studio re-creations of road games—a common practice in the 1930s, when line charges were too expensive for live road coverage. The radio listeners would hear the click of the ticker tape code for HR, and the announcer would convey, "It's a long fly ball to deep center, going, going ....... gone. It's a Home Run" For many years, it was common for Senators fans to crowd around McDonald's studio at a drug store on G Street to watch his recreations.

In 1939, he became the first full-time voice of the Yankees and Giants, working the second half of the season alongside a young Mel Allen. In that same year, he aired the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame on CBS. However, his homespun style didn't play well in New York, and he was back in Washington for the 1940 season.

For the most part, McDonald called losing baseball; the Senators only finished higher than fifth four times during his tenure. However, he was named "Announcer of the Year" again in 1942. During the 1940s, he began calling Washington Redskins and college football games.

McDonald was forced off Senators broadcasts by a sponsor change in 1956, but remained behind the mic for the Redskins.

In 1984…Announcer Kenneth Lee Carpenter died at age 84 (Born - August 21, 1900). He was best known for being the announcer for singer and actor Bing Crosby for 27 years.

Rupert Murdoch Explores Reuniting His Media Empire

Rupert Murdoch is exploring options to recombine his Fox Corp. and News Corp. businesses, putting back together a media empire that he split in 2013, reports Bloomberg..

Both companies have set up special committees of independent directors to study a potential deal and evaluate possible terms, according to statements they put out late Friday. There’s no certainty an agreement will be reached, the companies said.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting discussions involve an all-stock merger that would require approval by a majority of the non-family shareholders, according to people familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Murdoch initiated the discussions, one of the people said.

A combination would involve cost savings, the people said. It could also result in more opportunities to promote new businesses, such as sports betting, across a broader array of media outlets, including print, TV and online.

Both companies have changed dramatically since their split almost a decade ago. Fox sold most of its entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. in 2019 and is largely focused on broadcasting and cable television, led by the Fox News Channel. It also owns the Tubi streaming service. News Corp., owner of the Wall Street Journal, has diversified into new areas like online real estate services. The Journal broke the news of the deliberations earlier on Friday.

L-A Radio: KNX Announces Lineup for “LA’s Morning News”

Audacy announces the launch of “LA’s Morning News” on KNX News (97.1 FM / 1070 AM), the next generation of the iconic brand’s all-news morning show about the stories that matter to millions of Southern Californians. The show will be heard weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT beginning October 17.

Longtime KNX News anchor and podcaster Mike Simpson moves to mornings to host the fast-paced show alongside co-host Vicky Moore and veteran traffic reporter and news personality Jennifer York. The moves follow the retirement of legendary morning news anchor Dick Helton, 80,  after 24 years at KNX and 53 years of continuous service in all-news radio. Helton was previously an anchor at Audacy Chicago sister station WBBM Newsradio (WBBM-AM).

“Mike, Vicky, and Jen are the perfect team to build upon the legacy of integrity, credibility, and humanity in our great shared experience - the morning commute in LA.,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Audacy Southern California. “We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Dick, as his decades of service to our communities are unrivaled.”

NYC Radio: Correspondent Peter Haskell Resigns From WCBS-AM

Peter Haskell (photo courtesy of WCBS-AM)

Peter Haskell has been a staple of local news coverage in New York for three decades but the award winning reporter has announced he’s leaving his position at WCBS Newsradio 880, according to a posting on the station's website.

As a journalist known for his dogged reporting and the humanity in his storytelling, Haskell announced he is resigning because of a progressive vocal disorder

In a note to staff, Haskell said he has been suffering from a rare disorder of the voice or "spasmodic dysphonia," which has forced him to step away from his career as a radio reporter.

“I’ve come to the realization that what I’ve been doing is unsustainable. As much as I’ve tried, I just can’t overcome the problems with my voice,” Haskell said.

The veteran reporter also reflected on his long career at WCBS in his email calling it “the journey of a lifetime.”

A few years back, Haskell said he developed spasmodic dysphonia which diminished his on air performance to the point where it was simply unsustainable. He called his situation “life altering” but not “life threatening.”

Atlanta Radio: What Did iHM Know And When Did They Know It?

Drew Lauter, president of  iHeartMedia Atlanta, has been let go after a video surfaced of him appearing to say racial slurs.

WSB-TV2, which procured the video, said it shows Lauter using a common slur against Black people multiple times in front of other iHeartMedia employees in a car after a charity event in August 2021. Employees were informed of his departure Thursday.

Attorney Jason Castle, who represents the unnamed Black employee who recorded the video, told WSB-TV that this isn’t the first time Lauter has uttered racially insensitive language.

A spokesperson for iHeartMedia told WSB-TV that “allegations of this nature go against our company values and our policies and we take them very seriously.”

Lauter couldn’t be reached for comment.

Philly Radio: Lay-offs Reflect 'Current Economic Challenges'

Two months after competitor Audacy enacted layoffs in response to economic headwinds, Beasley Broadcast Group has done the same thing. The Naples, Florida-based radio company, which operates six stations in the Philadelphia market, instituted an unspecified number of layoffs reports Jeff Blumenthal at the Philly Business Journal.

“Like other publicly traded organizations, we are restructuring our operations to reflect the reality of the country’s current economic challenges,” Beasley said in a statement.

CEO Caroline Beasley
Asked for the number of jobs impacted, Beasley said, “As a matter of company policy, we do not discuss personnel matters in the media.”

On-air talent at Beasley's Philadelphia stations are among those caught up in the staff reductions.

Jamie Lynch, co-host of 97.5 The Fanatic’s morning drive show led by Jon Kincade, confirmed recent media reports that he was laid off last week. And this week, 93.3 WMMR afternoon drive disc jockey Paul Jaxon and country music station 92.5 WXTU midday disc jockey Charlie Maxx both confirmed on social media the recent reports that they were also laid off.

Prior to the layoffs, Beasley chose in May to part ways with one of its best-known and highest paid on-air personalities, Mike Missanelli. The longtime afternoon drive host at The Fanatic was replaced this summer by three younger and presumably cheaper hosts. The company did re-sign top-rated WMMR morning show hosts Preston & Steve to a new contract in May.

Beasley saw its second quarter earnings swing to a $4.5 million loss from a $5.8 million gain in the same period of 2021 despite a revenue jump of 8.8% to $64.8 million from $59.6 million. The company attributed much of that to an $8.6 million non-cash impairment loss. The company also noted that Philadelphia was among 11 of its 13 markets that enjoyed revenue increases.

Prime Is A Fountain of Youth For NFL

Nielsen data for the first four “Thursday Night Football” contests on the tech giant’s Prime Video streaming platform shows they’re drawing a larger percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds than NFL games shown on traditional TV, according to The L-A Times.

Prime Video is carrying “Thursday Night Football,” the first time an NFL package of games has been exclusively available on a streaming platform. While younger viewers have flocked to streaming for video entertainment, most NFL games are on traditional TV, where they still draw massive audiences that tower over those for other programming.

But the trend away from pay TV subscriptions — which pay for much of the $9 billion a year networks will shell out to the NFL in new media rights deals — is continuing.

According to a new report from MoffettNathanson, pay TV households declined 6.1% in the third quarter of 2022. The report also said 42% of homes that stream video don’t have a pay TV subscription.

CNN Host Confronts Zucker Over Hunter Biden Story

Former CNN boss Jeff Zucker was confronted by CNN host Michael Smerconish in a conversation about media, with Smerconish telling him it was 'partisan' to not give much air time to the scandal surrounding Hunter Biden's laptop.

The Daily Mail reports Smerconish grilled the two former bosses at one point over the Hunter Biden controversy and asked if they 'regret' the coverage - or lack thereof - they gave the story. 

Smerconish said that regardless of not knowing all the facts, 'I think that we looked partisan by not giving it some air,' to which Zucker replied 'I don't disagree with that.' 

Albuquerque Radio: 'The 80s Are Back' On 93.7 FM, 1110 AM

K.M. Richards Programming Services’ signature format The Eighties Channel™ re-launched in Albuquerque on KRKE 11210 AM and its translator K229CL 93.7 FM at noon Friday.  This marks a return to the market where it had a successful test run in 2014-15, with the same station group, Vanguard Media LLC, that had partnered with Richards originally.

“93-7 KRKE is benefitting from significant retooling and refining of The Eighties Channel™ since we were last heard in The Duke City,” said K.M. Richards, who created and programs the format.  “It’s great to be working with Don Davis at Vanguard again and we are both confident that we’ll be even more successful than before.”

In an on-air announcement which is playing hourly during the relaunch weekend, Davis says that “since The Eighties Channel™  left the air on September 27, 2015, I have continued to believe that there was – and still is – a need for a station that plays nothing but the best music from the 1980s ... the decade with the most memorable hits of music history. Now, I've asked K.M. to bring back what we did back then ... even better than ever.”

SiriusXM Radio: New NBA Season Tips Off Tuesday

SiriusXM will provide NBA fans with extensive coverage of the 2022-23 NBA season, offering live play-by-play of every game from Opening Night through The Finals, plus daily in-depth talk and analysis on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

The NBA begins its season on Tuesday, October 18, with an All-Star loaded doubleheader on SiriusXM NBA Radio (channel 86). At 7:30 pm ET the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers in a clash of Eastern Conference contenders, then at 10:00 pm ET the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, led by 2022 NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry, will host the Los Angeles Lakers and four-time NBA MVP LeBron James. Canadian basketball fans can catch the Toronto Raptors, who will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30pm ET on October 19.

NBA programming is available to subscribers nationwide in their car and on the SXM App. With the SXM App fans get access to the official radio broadcasts of all 30 NBA teams, ensuring they can hear their favourite team's announcers for every game. All 30 NBA team play-by-play channels are also available in vehicles equipped with next generation SiriusXM with 360L radios. Channels for games on SiriusXM can be found at

In addition to live play-by-play, SiriusXM NBA Radio offers fans the most extensive and in-depth NBA coverage available on radio, including live game broadcasts and a daily schedule of NBA-focused news and talk.

Alex Jones Vows To Fight Defamation Verdict

Alex Jones

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has vowed to fight a nearly $1 billion defamation verdict against him, but experts say neither bankruptcy nor an appeal of a Connecticut jury’s findings on Wednesday are likely to salvage his personal fortune and media empire, reports Reuters.

A jury in Waterbury, Connecticut, state court found Jones and the parent company of his Infowars website must pay $965 million to numerous families of the 20 children and six staff members slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 for claiming they were actors who faked the tragedy as part of a government plot.

The verdict could grow substantially when a judge decides how much to award in punitive damages next month. It also comes three months after a Texas jury awarded two Sandy Hook parents $49.3 million in a similar case.

Jones has said he will fight the verdict on appeal and use the recent bankruptcy of his company, Free Speech Systems LLC, to avoid paying. It is unclear if he and his companies could ever pay the verdicts in full, but attorneys for the plaintiffs have vowed to prevent him from shielding any of his assets.

EMF Promotes Mandy Young, Troy West

Educational Media Foundation (EMF), the parent ministry and programmer of the world’s two largest Christian music radio networks, announces promotions for Mandy Young and Troy West.

Mandy Young
Effective immediately, Mandy Young takes on the role of vice president of radio. Mandy joined EMF in 2009 and throughout her tenure has served as Air1 morning show co-host, midday host, assistant program director, music director, and in 2018, Air1 program director. In 2020, Mandy’s role expanded again when she was named EMF radio group program director, leading the programming for both Air1 and K-LOVE.

“Mandy’s vision for K-LOVE and Air1, and her heart for the Gospel, has come into full focus,” said Jim Houser, EMF chief content officer. “Her leadership in the creation of a ground-breaking worship format on Air1 and her steering of the K-LOVE on-air sound is shaping the future of both networks. With great colleagues on the team in place, Mandy is ready to bring her incredible intuition, intellect, and experience to additional pieces of EMF’s radio brands.”

Mandy will focus her time on long-term vision, strategies, and projects for the networks and help the ministry navigate the ever-changing landscape of radio. She continues to report directly to Jim Houser.

October 15 Radio History

➦In 1909...Radio, TV news anchor Robert Trout was born Robert Albert Blondheim (Died at age 91 November 14, 2000). He is best remembered for his radio work before and during World War II for CBS News. He was regarded by some as the "Iron Man of Radio" for his ability to ad lib while on the air, as well as for his stamina, composure, and elocution.

Robert Trout
Trout was born in Washington, D.C.; he added the Trout name early in his radio career. He entered broadcasting in 1931 as an announcer at WJSV, an independent station in Alexandria, VA. In the summer of 1932 WJSV was acquired by CBS, bringing Trout into the CBS fold. (WJSV is now WFED 1500 AM in Washington, D.C.) He was the man who used the on-air label "fireside chat" in reference to radio broadcasts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression and World War II.

Trout was behind the microphone for many of broadcasting's firsts. He was the first to report on live congressional hearings from Capitol Hill, first to transmit from a flying airplane and, by some definitions, the first to broadcast a daily news program, creating the news anchorman role.

It was Bob Trout in the mid-1930s who passed on to a then-new CBS executive, Edward R. Murrow, the value of addressing the radio audience intimately, as if the announcer was talking to one person. Trout played a key role in Murrow's development as a broadcaster, and the two would remain colleagues until Murrow departed the network in 1961, and friends until Murrow's death in 1965.

On Sunday night, March 13, 1938, after Adolf Hitler's Germany had annexed Austria in the Anschluss, Trout hosted a shortwave "roundup" of reaction from multiple cities in Europe—the first such multi-point live broadcast on network radio. The broadcast included reports from correspondent William L. Shirer in London (on the annexation, which he had witnessed firsthand in Vienna) and Murrow, who filled in for Shirer in Vienna so that Shirer could report without Austrian censorship.

The special gave Trout the distinction of being one of broadcasting's first true "anchormen" (in the sense of handing off the air to someone else as if it were a baton). It became the inspiration for the CBS World News Roundup, a forerunner of television's CBS Evening News, which began later in 1938 and to this day continues to air each weekday morning and evening on the CBS Radio Network.

Trout anchored the network's live early morning coverage of the June 6, 1944 Normandy invasion on D-Day by the allied forces and was behind the microphone when the bulletins announcing the end of World War II in Europe, and later Japan, came over the air.

One overlooked aspect of Trout's career was his annual appearance on bandleader Guy Lombardo's New Year's Eve specials on CBS-TV. From 1955 through 1961, Trout would report from Times Square during the broadcast, and count down the final seconds to midnight (Eastern Standard Time) for the start of the new year.

Trout remained at CBS through the early 1970s. He later worked for ABC, serving mostly as a correspondent based in Madrid, where he lived for most of the last two decades of his life.

In 1914...ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) was founded

In 1935...In Seattle, radio station KCPB became KIRO, as new owner Saul Haas increased the power to 500 watts on 650 kc.  Now with 50,000 watts at 710 kHz, and with sister stations on the FM and TV spectrums, the KIRO call letters are among the best known and most revered on the West Coast.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Atlanta Radio: iHM's Drew Lauter Fired After Video Emerges

iHeart Media's Atlanta president Drew Lauter is coming under fire after video that appears to show him using racial slurs surfaced, reports WSB-TV2.

A spokesperson for iHeartMedia confirmed to Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Ashli Lincoln on Thursday that Lauter is no longer employed by the company.

Drew Lauter
The video shows Lauter riding in the backseat of car and appearing to repeatedly use the “n-word.”

The same spokesperson says “allegations of this nature go against our company values and our policies and we take them very seriously.”

Employees were notified of his separation from the company Thursday, though the video dates back to August of last year.

New Jersey and Texas based attorney Jason Castle, says he and Roosevelt Jean represent the employee who recorded that cell phone video.

Wake-Up Call: J6 Committee Subpoenas Trump

The House committee tasked with investigating the January 6th 2020 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously yesterday to subpoena former President Donald Trump. The vote was taken at the end of what is expected to be the last public meeting of the committee before it issues its final report.

During yesterday’s televised hearing, the committee showed previously unreleased video of protesters storming into the U.S. Capitol interspersed with footage of House members from both parties calling for the assistance of law enforcement and the National Guard in regaining control of the building.

Trump responded to the news with a post on his Truth Social app but did not say whether he would honor the subpoena. His post read: “Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago? Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting? Because the Committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to further divide our Country which, by the way, is doing very badly - A laughing stock all over the World?”

➤SUPREME COURT REJECTS TRUMP DOCUMENTS CASE: The Supreme Court denied a request from former President Trump to intervene in his dispute with the government over classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago home in August. The court’s refusal to act means that a special master appointed in the case will not be permitted to review 100 documents marked “classified” that were removed in the FBI raid.

San Diego Radio: KBZT Adds Ian Camfield To Morning Show

Audacy has added Ian Camfield to morning drive on ALT 94.9 (KBZT-FM) in San Diego. Camfield will be heard weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT beginning October 17.

Ian Camfield
“Ian Camfield is a world-class on-air talent who has proven can entertain his audience while connecting them to the music he plays,” said Michael Valenzuela, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy San Diego. “We're very excited to have Ian join the ALT 94.9 air staff.”

“When I lived in England, I would visit San Diego and tell ALT 94.9 management they should hire me! It's long been one of my favorite stations in one of my favorite cities,” said Camfield. “I'm very excited to be joining an excellent team.”

Camfield broke into the industry at 16, where he hosted overnights on London station Country 1035. He then moved on to Heart 106.2, London’s premier Female AC station, where he stayed for a year – learning the craft of radio by introducing Celine Dion songs. 

Family Affair: Seven Mountains Media To Acquire Forever

Seven Mountains Media will acquire 34 radio stations from Forever Media, including stations in Johnstown, Altoona, and State College, the company’s owner said on Thursday.

Although no money will exchange hands, the deal is valued at about $17.4 million. Seven Mountains will assume Forever Media’s debt.  According to an FCC filing, Kristin Cantrell’s Seven Mountains Media is picking up 46 Pennsylvania stations from her father Kerby Confer’s Forever Media.

“We plan to serve more local radio – more, more, more, nothing less,” Seven Mountains Media owner and CEO Kristin Cantrell said.

The Johnstown Democrat reports Cantrell lives in Kentucky, but previously lived in Johnstown and worked in the Johnstown and Altoona markets from 2003 to 2007.

Seven Mountains Media’s Pennsylvania headquarters is in State College. The company also has stations in New York, she said.

Montgomery Radio: Cumulus Promotes Paula Divello To VP/MM

Cumulus Media announces that it has promoted Paula Divello to Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Montgomery, AL. 

Paula Divello
Divello rises from her previous role as Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Abilene, TX, a position she has held since January 2019. With over 25 years of experience as a media sales executive, Divello joined Cumulus Media in January 2018 as Director of Sales for Cumulus Shreveport, LA. Prior to that, she was Director of Sales for Townsquare Media in Lufkin, TX, and was Digital Marketing Manager and Senior Account Executive for Raycom Media.

Cumulus Media owns and operates five radio stations in Montgomery, including: MIX 103.3/WMXS-FM (Adult Contemporary), NewsRadio 1440/WLWI-AM (News/Talk), Sports Radio 740/WMSP-AM (Sports), and I-92 92/WLWI-FM (Country).

'Giants Of Broadcasting' To Be Honored

The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation will honor nine industry icons for lifetime achievement November 15 at New York's Gotham Hall during LABF's Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts annual awards ceremony. The event, to be hosted by ABC News' "Nightline" co-anchor Juju Chang, will be produced for LABF by the International Radio and Television Society Foundation.

The Giants of Broadcasting celebration was created by LABF, a charity dedicated to preserving American broadcasting's rich history. The event honors those creators, innovators, performers and journalists who have left an indelible mark on the field of electronic arts.

Edison Research To Update Spoken Word Audio Consumption

Spoken word audio consumption in the U.S. continues to grow as the number of spoken word audio listeners has increased by 26 million in the last eight years. The Spoken Word Audio Report 2022 from NPR and Edison Research explores specific types of spoken word content, various spoken-word platforms, and devices used to consume spoken word content. With young people in the U.S. listening to spoken word audio more than ever, this year’s study includes a special focus on Gen Z consumption.

Join Lamar Johnson, VP of Sponsorship Marketing at National Public Media, and Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research, on Thursday, October 27th at 2:00 p.m. ET for a live webinar presentation of the findings from the fourth annual Spoken Word Audio Report.

Click here to register for The Spoken Word Audio Report 2022 webinar

October 14 Radio History

In 1934..."Lux Radio Theater" premiered.

Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS Radio (1935-54), and NBC Radio (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.

Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934, on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922–24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show's fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors. Anthony appeared as Garrick from the premiere 1934 episode until June 30, 1935. Garrick was portrayed by Albert Hayes from July 29, 1935 to May 25, 1936, when the show moved to the West Coast.

Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.

Lux Radio Theatre strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie's stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.

➦In 1939...BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) formed

In 1943...RCA (Radio Corporation of America) sold the NBC Blue Radio Network to Edward Noble for $8 million dollars. It was renamed ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

NBC Reporter Responds To Criticism Over Fetterman Interview

NBC News reporter Dasha Burns defended herself Wednesday against criticism over her interview with Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman.

Spectrum News reports the interview was broadcast Tuesday on “NBC Nightly News” largely focused on the Democrat’s health five months after suffering a stroke. The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, who faces former TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican, next month in the general election, is experiencing auditory-processing and word-retrieval issues but insists he’s fit to serve in Congress.

Fetterman required a computer monitor with real-time closed captioning for the interview, saying the system helps him precisely understand what someone is saying.

But it was Burns’ comment to anchor Lester Holt just before the interview aired that sparked debate over whether she was accurately describing Fetterman’s mental acuity. 

“In small talk before the interview without captioning, it wasn't clear he was understanding our conversation,” Burns said.

TikTok Sets Sights on Spotify With Music-Streaming Expansion

TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. has begun talks with music labels about expanding its music-streaming service globally to compete with industry leaders including Spotify Technology SA, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the discussions.

Significant hurdles remain in the negotiations, the people said, but ByteDance wants the service to eventually be integrated within TikTok and to serve as a major platform for distributing music around the world.

ByteDance has discussed in recent months launching its Resso music streaming service, which is currently only available in India, Indonesia and Brazil, in more than a dozen additional markets, according to some of the people. The U.S. wouldn’t be part of this next phase of expansion but ByteDance has said it wants the service to be available globally so that users can discover songs on the short-form video app and then easily subscribe to music, they said.

ByteDance is negotiating with a music business that has been on a rapid upswing for several years, thanks to streaming growth as well as the establishment of standard rates for music licensing.

Megyn Kelly Slams MSNBC Host As ‘Most Racist Person on TV’

Megyn Kelly eviscerated MSNBC host Tiffany Cross as a “moron” and “dumbass,” calling her “the most racist person on television” for suggesting Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is black.

The Hawaiian-born NFL star — whose parents are from the South Pacific island of Samoa — was allowed to play in the Sept. 29 game between the Dolphins and Bengals just days after sustaining an apparent concussion.

During the Bengals game, Tagovailoa was slammed to the ground and remained down for more than seven minutes before being stretchered off the field.

While on the ground, Tagovailoa appeared to display the fencing response, with his splayed fingers frozen in front of his face.

Cross said during her MSNBC show Saturday that the Tagovailoa incident showed the NFL’s casual attitude toward the health of its players — a majority of whom are black.

R.I.P.: Al Ries, Father of Positioning

Al Ries (1927-2022)

Al Ries, known as the father of positioning, died on Oct. 7 at age 95, according to Ad Age.

Along with his then-partner Jack Trout, Ries burst onto the advertising scene in the early 1970s with the radical concept of positioning, which held that rather than focus on brand benefits, marketers must instead fix a place for the brand in the consumer’s mind.

“Success depends on finding an open hole in the mind and becoming the first to fill the hole with a brand,” Trout & Ries wrote in a landmark series of articles published in Ad Age on the subject.

That led to a book, “Positioning: A Battle for Your Mind,” the first of many co-authored by Ries, including “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” and “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR,” written with his daughter and business partner, Laura Ries.

Wake-Up Call: West Rushes Defensive Systems To Ukraine

In just two days this week, Russian forces fired more than 100 cruise missiles and dozens of exploding drones at cities across Ukraine, far more than the nation’s aging air defenses were ever expected to encounter. And yet fewer than half made it to their targets, Ukrainian officials say.

Ukraine’s success in knocking down those projectiles, and the death and destruction caused wherever missiles slipped through, has reinvigorated calls by officials in Kyiv for Western countries to provide more sophisticated defensive weapons systems. At a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, the United States and other allies readily agreed, pledging to rapidly provide the weaponry.

Germany began delivery of four units of a missile defense system so advanced even its own forces have yet to use it. The Netherlands promised millions of dollars in air-defense missiles, and President Emmanuel Macron of France said his country would send “radars, systems and anti-air missiles.”  And a day after the Biden administration said it was working to speed up delivery of two advanced missile systems, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said, “The systems will be provided as fast as we can physically get them there.”

➤RUSSIA MAY BE RUNNING OUT OF AMMO: The director of Britain’s top spy agency says Russia may be running out of weapons, ammunition and cruise missiles to use against Ukraine. In an interview on BBC News, Sir Jeremy Fleming said that sanctions against Russia had deprived it of supplies and munitions that would be needed.

Jury Orders Alex Jones to Pay $965M in Damages

The families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims on Wednesday won nearly $1 billion in damages from the Infowars fabulist Alex Jones, a devastating blow against his empire and a message from the jury that his lies and those of his followers have crippling consequences, according to The NY Times.

Jones, who for years said the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators in Newtown, Conn., was a government hoax, now faces financial ruin. But it is unclear how much money the families will ultimately collect.

The families and their lawyers sat in stunned silence as the court clerk read one by one the sums awarded to each of 15 plaintiffs in the case. After court was adjourned, they hugged one another quietly, weeping.

CNN To Launch New Morning Show Nov 1

CNN says it will debut its new morning show on Nov. 1, before a new set is even built but with a new name, to get it in front of viewers a week before the midterm election.

The show will be called “CNN This Morning,” the network said on Wednesday. The program, with Kaitlan Collins, Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon as hosts, replaces the current “New Day” and will air weekdays at 6 to 9 a.m. Eastern.

It’s the first big programming move by CNN’s new chief executive, Chris Licht. “CNN This Morning” echoes the since-renamed “CBS This Morning,” which both Licht and Ryan Kadro, now senior vice president of content strategy at CNN, produced.

Bay Area Radio: Bonneville Promotes Several At KOIT, KBLX

Edwin Herrera, who is handling programming producer responsibilities for KOIT and KBLX, will add “Music Director” stripes to Highway 1 (KOIT-HD2). 

Edwin has been super at developing relationships with the music industry, has a strong ear for new music and is executing our strategy flawlessly. Edwin will continue to produce audio and video content for the programming department and will soon take on additional support initiatives. Submit AAA and ALT music product to

Richie Brown has proven that he can not only execute day-to-day programming for KUFX, but also generate great ratings as well. 

He’s been a key asset to building the Highway 1 (KOIT-HD2) brand and developing label relationships alongside Edwin. Richie is officially named the Assistant Program Director for KUFX and Highway 1. Submit AAA, ALT and Rock music product to

Our Assistant Operations Director Hope Bidegainberry will add “KOIT/KBLX Music Director” to her title. 

KOIT has consistently been the most-listened-to radio station in the market, and Hope has played a key role in the daily music product. A much-deserved title upgrade! Submit AC, Urban AC and Gospel music product to

D/FW Radio: Lesley James To Program Triple-A KKXT-FM

Lesley James
KKXT 91.7 FM
D/FW  has announced that Lesley James is joining the nonprofit, Triple-A music station as Assistant Program Director.

“Rarely do you find a candidate who checks all the boxes you are looking for,” says Benji McPhail, Program Director of KXT. “We found that with Lesley — a strong on-air talent who knows the music backward and forward, with a passion for the industry unmatched by anyone I’ve met. We can’t wait for her to join the team.”

Lesley began her extensive career in the music industry as Program Director for the independent, alternative station WWCD in Columbus, Ohio. After 12 years on the air, she moved to Los Angeles to become head of U.S. Radio and Streaming Promotion for UK’s East City Management. 

BMI Changing Business Model To For-Profit

There’s a significant change afoot at US-based performance rights company BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), reports

BMI revealed on Wednesday that its not-for-profit business model, under which it has operated since the PRO was founded in 1939, is changing to a for-profit model.

The news was announced by the company in a post published to its website, which includes a note sent by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill to the organization’s affiliates.

Within his note, O’Neill writes that the decision to change BMI’s business model comes “after a comprehensive and careful assessment on how best to position our company for the future”.

He argues that the move “will open up new and important opportunities for us to invest in our business”.

Louisville Radio: Chris Allison To Manage SummittMedia Cluster

SummitMedia, LLC names Chris Allison president and market manager of its Louisville operation.

Allison moves from SummitMedia’s Wichita, Kansas, cluster, where he served as General Sales Manager since 2020. Prior to that, he was both sales director and on-air host at The Game, ESPN Charlotte. He brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience including Sports Director and Sales Representative.

Fayetteville NC: Babydoll to Host MIddays at WZFX-FM

Beasley Media Group announces Victoria Johnson aka Babydoll has been named the new Midday personality at Foxy 99/WZFX-FM in Fayetteville. She will begin her new position immediately.

She most recently served as the part-time night talent on the station. In her new role, she will be heard on the air during middays from 10am-3pm.

“I recognize the blessing in being able to love what you do for a living and for that I thank God,” said Babydoll. “I would like to thank Kenny J for consistently molding and coaching me. I also would like to show my gratitude to Tee Gentry & Katy Lollis for this opportunity. I’m thrilled to be growing with the BBGI family!

“We’re extremely excited to have Babydoll in the driver seat for Midday on Foxy 99,” said station Program Director Kenny J. “Her ability to generate on air and online relevant, timely content is amazing! Babydoll’s approach, positive attitude, and willingness to learn is TOP NOTCH! Congrats well deserved!”

Gannett Begins More Cost-Cutting Measures

Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S., has begun cost-cutting measures as the company enters the last quarter of the year, including a hiring freeze, a suspension of 401k matches, a six-month sabbatical and a mandatory unpaid five-day leave for every employee this December.

TheWrap reports the publisher also offered voluntary severance for those who would like to leave the company or retire, as well as an optional four-day workweek. The hiring freeze will concern “all positions not considered critical or key revenue and operating roles.”

“We’ve been transparent about the need to take immediate action given the uncertain and challenging economic environment,” a spokesperson for Gannett told TheWrap. “While difficult, we are confident these decisions will ensure Gannett’s future.” 

The cost-cutting changes come two months after Gannett laid off roughly 400 employees, or 3% of its U.S. workforce, according to USA Today, a brand owned by Gannett, who also reported that the media conglomerate employed close to 14,000 U.S. employees at the end of 2021, with an additional 2,500 staffers based outside of the country. 

October 13 Radio History


Bruce Morrow
In 1935...Bruce Morrow (born Bruce Meyerowitz) known to many listeners as Cousin Brucie was born.

Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer."

Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on powerhouse 77WABC. Morrow's returned to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the Baby Boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast at the onset of the British Invasion.

"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors like Thom McAn shoes, local clothing outlets in the New York and New Jersey areas, and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.

He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC 660 AM; after three years there, he left the airwaves to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of stations, which included WALL; WKGL, now WRRV, in Middletown, New York; WJJB, later WCZX, in Poughkeepsie, New York; WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts; WOCB in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts; WRAN (now dark) New Jersey 1510 in Randolph, New Jersey; and television station WATL Atlanta. The group later purchased WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1982, Morrow returned to the DJ role with New York's WCBS 101.1 FM. Initially, he filled in for Jack Spector every third Saturday evening for the Saturday Night Sock Hop program. Following Spector's resignation in 1985, Morrow took over the show and renamed it the Saturday Night Dance Party. The station also added his nationally syndicated show Cruisin' America. In 1986, he took on the Wednesday evening slot, where he hosted The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown. In 1991, the Wednesday show became The Yearbook, focusing on music from a year between 1955 and 1979. Cousin Brucie was also the "breakfast presenter" on Atlantic 252 from 1992 to 1996.

When Cruisin' America ended its run in December 1992, Morrow continued hosting a WCBS show called Cruising with the Cuz Monday evenings until the end of 1993. After that show ended, he hosted the Saturday night and Wednesday night shows there until the station's change to the adult hits format called Jack FM on June 3, 2005. Shortly thereafter, he signed a multi-year deal to host oldies programming and a weekly talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Morrow recently hosted programs for Sirius XM satellite radio, on the '60s on 6 channel. Today Cousin Brucie is hosting a Saturday evening oldies show on former Musicradio 77WABC in NYC.

➦In 1963...the term 'Beatlemania' was coined, as The Beatles made their first major TV appearance from the London Palladium. The BBC had an audience of 15 million tuned in. Thousands of delirious fans jammed the streets outside the theater to voice their support of the Fab Four. A few months later, Beatlemania would sweep the U.S. as well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Comcast Names Mike Cavanaugh As President

Comcast Corp. has promoted Mike Cavanagh to be the company's third president in its 59-year history.

The Philly Business Journal reports Cavanagh has served as CFO since 2015, and will continue in that role in addition to his promotion to president. In addition to being chairman and CEO, Brian Roberts had also previously held the title of president. Prior to Roberts becoming president in 1990, the title had been held by his dad, Comcast founder Ralph Roberts, who was also chairman and CEO.

Mike Cavanaugh
As president, Comcast says Cavanagh will "work closely with CEO Brian Roberts to manage the businesses and teams across the company."

Before coming to Philadelphia, Cavanagh served in various C-suite positions at JPMorgan Chase. From 2012-2014, he was co-CEO of JPMorgan Chase's Corporate and Investment Bank. Prior to that, Cavanagh was CFO of JPMorgan for six years. He also was CEO of the banking giant’s Treasury & Securities Services division, head of strategy and planning and COO of Middle Market Banking.

Roberts said that the "promotion will come as no surprise."

"[Cavanagh] is admired and trusted by those who know and work with him,” Roberts said. “[Cavanagh] has brought incredible operational and financial expertise to Comcast and is an integral part of our special company. He’s an outstanding partner and together we are focused on continuing to create new and exciting opportunities for growth.”