Saturday, November 19, 2022

November 20 Radio History


➦In 1907
...actress Fran Allison was born in Iowa. She played the folksy tale-telling Aunt Fanny for decades on ABC radio’s Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club.  On TV she was a co-star (with Burr Tillstrom & his puppets) on Kukla Fran & Ollie.

She died of bone marrow failure June 13 1989 at age 81.

➦In 1928…WGH-AM in Newport News, Virginia began signed-on.  The WGH call letters were not used from 9/1/83 to 12/10/84.

The earliest ancestor of WGH Radio was WPAB, granted a license by the Radio Division, Bureau of Navigation, United States Department of Commerce on December 4, 1926.  The licensee was the Radio Corporation of Virginia in Norfolk.  On December 6, 1926, WPAB signed on the air at 1040 kilocycles with a power of 100 watts.  WPAB later became WRCV and broadcast programming mostly of a religious nature.

In January 1927, the Radio Corporation of Virginia put another station on the air, WSEA, which transmitted on the frequency of 1370 kilocycles with a power of 500 watts.  In April 1927 WSEA began broadcasting from the brand new Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach but was dark by the middle of 1928, the Radio Corporation of Virginia having gone bankrupt.  WSEA, however, had one shining moment on June 10, 1927 when Norfolk Mayor S. Heth Tyler became the first American to extend coast to coast radio congratulations to aviator Charles Lindbergh after his successful solo flight from New York to Paris.  Lindbergh heard the message on WSEA as he was passing over the Cape Henry Lighthouse.

Tom Little moved the WSEA allocation to Newport News and changed the call letters to WNEW (signifying its new city of license, Newport News) on August 8, 1928.  Facilities were in the Tidewater Hotel at 2400 Washington Avenue in Newport News.  The studio was on the ground floor, directly behind the front desk and switchboard for the hotel, and the transmitter and antenna were on the top floor.  Shortly thereafter  a new licensee, Hampton Roads Broadcasting Company, changed the frequency  to 1430, and government authorization came through on October 8, 1928.

The WNEW calls lasted for only a few weeks, when they were changed to WGH ("World's Greatest Harbor").  It was also among the first 100 radio stations on the air in the United States.  By 1928, however, the station was gone and the available WGH call letters were requested by Hampton Roads Broadcasting.  An application to the Federal Radio Commission was approved on November 19 of that year and the station began identifying itself as "WGH" the next day.

In early 1959, a new era was ushered in with a switch to "Top-40" programming under the "Color Radio" banner.  Late 1950's performers included Jim Stanley, Jack Fisher, Lou Nelson, Dick Lamb, Jack Krueger, Frank Drake, Bob Calvert, Dean Collins (who went on to WPGC in Washington as Dean Griffith and later to New York as Dean Anthony, one of the WMCA "Good Guys"), Don Owens, Roger Clark, Bob Calvert's alter ego (and the inspiration for Wolfman Jack) "Baron Bebop", Throckmorton Quiff, and Gene Creasy.  Early newscasters included Ed Meyer, Dick Kidney, Pete Glazer, Bud Buhler and Art Merrill.

By 1960, the station was broadcasting at 5,000 watts from a non-directional daytime tower at the Newport News Small Boat Harbor, switching to the three-tower directional site in Hampton during the evening hours. Today, WGH operates with 20,000 watts by day and 5,000 watts at night.

➦In 1929… The radio program "The Rise of the Goldbergs," first aired with Gertrude Berg as Molly, was heard on the NBC Blue radio network. Later, the title would be shortened to The Goldbergs. Mrs. Berg, incidentally, wrote the first scripts for the 15-minute program and starred in the show — for $75 a week. The program continued until 1945 (it returned for one more radio season in 1949-1950).  The show also aired on TV first on CBS, then NBC, the Dumont Network, and syndication – between 1949 and 1956.

➦In 1940..The iHeartMedia FM station now known as WRVE in Albany NY has a much longer history as one of the nation's pioneering FM radio stations. A by-product of the station being owned by General Electric with similarly pioneering sisters WGY (AM) and WRGB (TV), WRVE traces its history to W2XDA Schenectady and W2XOY New Scotland, New York - two experimental frequency modulation transmitters on 48.5 MHz, which signed on in 1939. The two were merged into one station with the W2XOY call-letters on November 20, 1940 with the station then taking the W57A designation, and finally the long-running WGFM call-letters in the mid-1940s.

The station eventually settled on 99.5 MHz when the FM band was relocated to the 88-108 MHz portion of the radio spectrum.

On June 1, 1961 at 12:01 AM (EDT), WGFM became the first FM station in the United States to broadcast in stereo.

➦In 1954...when his career as America’s most successful singing cowboy was almost over, Gene Autry appeared for the first time on radio’s “Grand Ole Opry.”

Autry was easily the most popular country singer of the 1930’s and ’40s, with such hits as “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine,” “South of the Border” and “Tweedle-O-Twill.” Autry’s trio of million-selling children’s records — “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Peter Cottontail” — were recorded in the late ’40s.

➦In 1955...Sun Records owner and producer Sam Phillips sells Elvis Presley's contract to RCA for $35,000.  Elvis received $13,500 of the total.

➦In 1959… Early rock-n-roll personality Alan Freed was fired from New York's WABC 770 AM after refusing to sign a statement saying he had never accepted "payola" or gifts from record labels in exchange for airplay, a move that triggered his eventual downfall.  This was about two years before it evolved into one of America's great Top 40 stations by launching its "Musicradio" format.

Cathy Lewis
➦In 1968..radio actress and Spokane native Cathy Lewis died of cancer at age 50. Half of “the first couple of radio” (with husband Elliot Lewis) she was featured as Jane Stacy on My Friend Irma on both radio & TV.  She was one of the most oft-used stars on CBS radio’s Suspense series.  When Fibber McGee & Molly came (briefly) to TV, she was cast as Molly.

➦In 1994…Former KFWB-AM morning host, Bruce Hayes, died.

In 1958, the original "Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen" turned KFWB into a rock & roll powerhouse in Los Angeles. Under new owners Crowell-Collier Broadcasting, program director Chuck Blore pioneered the Top 40 format on AM 980, calling it Channel 98 Color Radio. KFWB became one of the most listened-to stations in the Southland and a leader in the Top 40 format around the country.

The air staff during the glory days included Roger Christian (songwriter), Bill Ballance, B. Mitchel Reed, Bruce Hayes, Al Jarvis, Joe Yocam, Elliot Field, Ted Quillin and Gene Weed.

Hourly updates were delivered by a staff of respected newscasters, including Cleve Herrmann, Charles Arlington, John Babcock, Beach Rogers, Mike Henry, Hal Goodwin, Al Wiman, Bill Angel, J. Paul Huddleston and Jackson King.

In the mid-1960s, KFWB was overtaken by rival KRLA. Then KRLA was put in second place by the launch of "Boss Radio" at KHJ, and this relegated KFWB to the position of the third-place Top 40 music station in the L.A. market.

Hayes also worked at KDAY, 1962; KHJ, 1963-64; KFWB, 1965-67; KFI, 1969.

➦In 2000...organist Gaylord Carter died of Parkinson’s at age 95.  Born in Wiesbaden Germany, his family moved to the US when he was a child.  He became active in playing music for bigtime radio, notably “Hollywood Hotel”, “The Packard Show”, “The Second Mrs. Burton”, and “Breakfast In Hollywood”. Carter will always be associated in the public mind with “The Amos & Andy Show”.  For seven years on radio he introduced the show by playing its theme, “The Perfect Song”.  After the war he played for both radio & TV, including “Bride & Groom”, “The Big Payoff”, and “The Pinky Lee” TV show.

➦In 2004…Longtime Toronto radio personality Tom Rivers died of cancer at the age of 57.  In the 90’s he had several gigs in Edmonton, and a talk show on Calgary’s CHQR.

Bo Derek is 66
🎂HAPPY BIRTHDAYS:
  • Actor Estelle Parsons (“The Connors,” “Roseanne”) is 95. 
  • Comedian Dick Smothers is 84. 
  • Singer Norman Greenbaum is 80. 
  • Actor Veronica Hamel is 79. 
  • Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is 76. 
  • Musician Joe Walsh is 75. 
  • Actor Richard Masur (“One Day at a Time”) is 74. 
  • Actor Bo Derek is 66. 
  • Drummer Jimmy Brown of UB40 is 65. 
  • Actor Sean Young is 63. 
  • Pianist Jim Brickman is 61. 
  • Actor Ming-Na (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” ″Mulan”) is 59. 
  • Rapper Mike D of the Beastie Boys is 57. 
  • Rapper Sen Dog of Cypress Hill is 57. 
  • Actor Callie Thorne (“Rescue Me,” “Homicide: Life on the Street”) is 53. 
  • Actor Sabrina Lloyd (“Numb3rs”) is 52. 
  • Actor Joel McHale (“Community”) is 51. 
  • Actor Marisa Ryan (“New York Undercover”) is 48. 
  • Country singer Dierks Bentley is 47. 
  • Actor Joshua Gomez (“Chuck”) is 47. 
  • Country singer Josh Turner is 45. 
  • Actor Nadine Velazquez (“My Name Is Earl”) is 44. 
  • Actor Jacob Pitts (“Sneaky Pete,” “Justified”) is 43. 
  • Actor Jeremy Jordan (“Supergirl”) is 38. 
  • Actor Ashley Fink (“Glee”) is 36. 
  • Bassist Jared Followill of Kings of Leon is 36. 
  • Actor Jaina Lee Ortiz (“Station 19”) is 36. 
  • Actor Cody Linley (“Hannah Montana”) is 33. 
  • Guitarist Michael Clifford of 5 Seconds of Summer is 27.

TV Ratings Are Mixed So Far For the NFL


The NFL kicked off the second half of its 2022 season lasrt weekend with a bang, achieving two TV milestones on the same day, reports frontofficesports.com. 

NFL Network’s Sunday morning telecast of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks from Munich was the network’s most-watched international game on record.

The league’s first-ever regular-season game in Germany averaged 5.8 million viewers across TV/digital.

That was up 5% from Packers vs. New York Giants in London in Week 5, up 19% from Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints in London during Week 4, and a 63% increase from New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons in London last season.

Later that afternoon, Fox Sports’ national coverage of the Green Bay Packers’ 31-28 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys was the most-watched NFL game across any network this season.

Packers-Cowboys averaged a mammoth 29.2 million viewers, up 25% from last year’s comparable game window.

The Minnesota Vikings’ wild 33-30 OT win over the Buffalo Bills, meanwhile, averaged 16.2 million viewers in Fox’s regional game window.

Taylor Swift: 'Difficult..To Trust An Outside Entity'


Taylor Swift has responded to the Ticketmaster debacle that blocked many of her fans this week from getting tickets to her tour, saying Friday that it was “excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Millions of fans swarmed Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s Ticketmaster site Tuesday, causing it to crash. Many trying to get presale tickets for the “Eras Tour” didn’t get them or had to wait for hours.

The Justice Department is investigating Live Nation over whether the company has violated antitrust laws, according to people familiar with the matter. Live Nation, in a statement late Friday, said it didn’t engage in behavior that warranted litigation or an order to change its business practices. The New York Times earlier reported the investigation, which predates this week’s outcry over glitches during Ms. Swift’s presales.

Swift, who didn’t publicly address the situation until Friday, in her comments appeared to blame Ticketmaster without naming the company directly.

“It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties,” she wrote on Instagram.

Report: The Post Takes Aim At Trump


Since Election Day last week, The New York Post’s front pages have been merciless to former President Donald J. Trump. First, the paper heralded his political rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, as “DeFUTURE.” A day later, it illustrated Mr. Trump as Humpty Dumpty about to have a great fall.

Then, reports The NY Times, on Wednesday, the paper relegated Mr. Trump’s announcement about his latest run for president to a small headline at the bottom of the page: “Florida Man Makes Announcement.”

All three covers shot around social media, putting the 221-year-old tabloid at the center of the national discussion about Trump’s future and elevating its print front page from New York City newsstands to Twitter’s global public square.

The covers also had the news media and political worlds talking about whether the recent Trump coverage was another sign that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, which includes The Post and Fox News among other news organizations, had broken permanently from the former president after supporting him for years.

Trump weighed in himself on his Truth Social site, criticizing “the no longer great New York Post.” He added, “Bring back Col!,” a reference to Col Allan, the paper’s former editor in chief.

FOX News Most-Engaged News Organization on Social Media


FOX News Digital finished October 2022 as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views, according to Comscore. 

This marks 20 straight months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital closed out October reaching over 2.5 billion total multiplatform minutes, 1.5 billion total multiplatform views, and 80 million multiplatform unique visitors.* Additionally, the FOX News Mobile App reached 6.1 million unique visitors in October.

FOX News remained the most engaged brand on social media in the competitive set in October, with 30.9 million total social interactions, notching the 98th consecutive month FOX News has placed on top, according to Emplifi. FOX News drove 8.9 million interactions on Facebook, 18.4 million Instagram interactions and 3.6 million Twitter interactions. On Instagram, total interactions were up 12% compared to the prior month. On YouTube, FOX News secured the top spot among news brands in video views for the 21st month in a row with over 269 million according to Shareablee.

FOXBusiness.com drove 142 million multiplatform views, topping CNN Business for the 7th consecutive month. Additionally, the business network delivered over 261 million multiplatform minutes (+3% versus the prior year) and 19 million multiplatform unique visitors.*** FOX Business’ videos on YouTube remained the most viewed among the business news competitive set for the 11th straight month, driving over 55.1 million views in October, and up 88% over the prior year, according to Shareablee.

OCTOBER 2022 FOX NEWS DIGITAL VS. CNN.COM AND NYTIMES.COM

FCC Releases Broadband Coverage Map


A new federal broadband map published Friday shows roughly 2% of American residential addresses lack access to broadband internet service, though officials said that figure could change as their database improves.

The Federal Communications Commission released the map, as ordered by a 2020 law, showing millions of addresses with information about their access to broadband internet service from a variety of companies, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The officials said members of the public can review information about their communities and correct any inaccuracies they find through an online challenge process.

Rough data from the system Friday showed nearly 98% of U.S. home addresses could access fixed internet service over the 25 megabit-per-second download speed threshold federal officials consider adequate for broadband. That coverage figure counted service from satellite-internet providers like ViaSat, EchoStar Corp.’s Hughes and SpaceX’s Starlink as well as cable and fiber-optic companies.

'News Deserts' Expanding In U-S


News deserts are spreading worldwide, publishing professionals say. 

Of those working in English-speaking news and publishing, 60% say news deserts are a problem, and over 25% say they are an increasingly significant one, according to the Local News Deserts Survey Report Factsheet from PressReader. Only 15% see no issue.

And while 86% agree that local news is vital to democracy, 45% believe that access to it has decreased in the past decade. Almost 50% are pessimistic about the industry’s ability to reverse the problem.

But 32% are confident that the publishing industry can deal with the issue of news deserts and reverse this threat to democracy. 

Meanwhile, 64.6% feel Big Tech has had a negative impact on news access, while 23.1% say it has had a positive effect. Yet 48.2% believe technology might help increase profits in the news and publishing industry, while 27.3% are pessimistic about that. 

Similarly, 42.5% are optimistic technology can help journalists remain independent, 35% are dubious. 

In addition, 52.1% believe social media has had a negative impact, and 38.8% feel it has had a positive one. 

Pittsburgh Radio: WESA, WYEP Staffers Unionize


Content staffers at the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp. voted Thursday to form a union with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Employees at WESA and WYEP, the stations operated by PCBC, voted 26-1 in favor of forming the union, the group said on Twitter. 

“Pittsburgh is a union town, and we believe employees should have a say in our working conditions,” the organizing committee said in a press release. “We look forward to forming a representative bargaining committee and moving forward to ratifying our first contract.” 

“With the backing of a union, PCBC employees can create a career path that allows for growth, advancement and longevity. It allows us to better invest in, not only our work, but the community we serve,” Rosemary Welsch, a WYEP host, said in the release.

The staffers announced in August their intention to form a union, citing concerns about transparency, wages and workplace culture in their petition to management. 

“We believe we should have meaningful input into our role in the station’s future, and this is best accomplished through a formal collective-bargaining process,” the staffers said in the petition.

Audacy, Steve Harvey Morning Show Partner To Deliver Turkeys


Audacy and “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” are teaming up to provide families with meals this holiday season. 96.3 The Block (WFBC-HD2) in Greenville, SC, 97.1 QMG (WQMG-FM) in Greensboro, NC, 95.7 R&B (WVKL-FM) in Norfolk, VA and 106.5 The Beat (WBTJ-FM) in Richmond, VA will participate in “The Annual Steve Harvey Morning Show Turkey Giveaway” to deliver Thanksgiving meals to over 800 families in need.

“We’re delighted to once again leverage the unique connection we have with our local communities to spread some good this holiday season,” said Doug Abernethy, Regional President, Audacy. “We’re proud to continue lending our reach throughout the Carolinas and Virginia to help those in need.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege for all of us at ‘The Steve Harvey Morning Show’ to help those in need,” said Steve Harvey during a recent broadcast. “Happy Thanksgiving and God bless you all this holiday season.”

Program details for each participating station below:

R.I.P.: Jay Randolph Jr., St. Louis-Based Sports Voice

Jay Randolph Jr
Jay Randolph Jr., a popular golf commentator and sportscaster in St. Louis, died Friday after a battle with liver cancer, reports KSDK TV5.

Randolph Jr. was formerly a commentator for the PGA Tour Network and hosted a show on 590 The Fan. More recently, he made frequent appearances on "The Morning After" radio show on 105.7 HD-2.

Randolph Jr. was the son of Jay Randolph, the sports director of 5 On Your Side from 1967 to 1988, and the grandson of U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph. "Jay Junior" is survived by his father.

Randolph Jr. announced the diagnosis on "The Morning After" on Nov. 9. He said he was given three to four months to live.

"It's a shock for someone who is 53," Randolph Jr. said on that program. "I can't imagine the shock it would be to somebody that's 53 and hasn't had the unique, distinct opportunities that this 53-year-old has had to enjoy life."

November 19 Radio History


➦In 1919...Radio, TV Personality Alan Young was born in England.

He moved to Vancouver at 6, and had his own CBC Radio show by the age of 17.   He got a big break when he was hired as the 1944 summer replacement for Eddie Cantor’s NBC radio show.

He hit the big time in TV as co-star to the talking horse on the Mr. Ed series. He also has done voices for many cartoon characters, notably Scrooge McDuck. Happy 96th Birthday, Mr. Young!

➦In 1933…Radio, TV talk show host, Larry King was born Larry Zeiger in Brooklyn. (Died January 23, 2021)

Larry King
King got his first job in radio in 1957, when the manager of a small station, WAHR (now WMBM 1490 AM) in Miami Beach, hired him to clean up and perform miscellaneous tasks. When one of their announcers quit, they put King on the air. His first broadcast was on May 1, 1957, when he worked as the disc jockey from 9 a.m. to noon. He also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. He was paid $55 a week.

He acquired the name Larry King when the general manager Marshall Simmonds said that his real last name Zeiger was too ethnic and difficult to remember, so Larry chose the surname King, which he got from an ad in The Miami Herald for King's Wholesale Liquor, minutes before air.

He started doing interviews on a mid-morning show for WIOD 610 AM, at Pumpernik's Restaurant in Miami Beach.  He would interview anyone who walked in. His first interview was with a waiter at the restaurant. Two days later, singer Bobby Darin, in Miami for a concert later that day, walked into Pumpernik's as a result of coming across King's show on his radio; Darin became King's first celebrity interview guest.

Circa 1960
His Miami radio show launched him to local stardom. A few years later, in May 1960, he hosted Miami Undercover, airing Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. on WPST-TV Channel 10 (now WPLG). On the show, he moderated debates on important issues of the time.

King credits his success on local television to the assistance of comedian Jackie Gleason, whose national TV variety show was being taped in Miami Beach during this period. "That show really took off because Gleason came to Miami," King said in a 1996 interview he gave when inducted into the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame. "He did that show and stayed all night with me. We stayed till five in the morning. He didn't like the set, so we broke into the general manager's office and changed the set. Gleason changed the set, he changed the lighting, and he became like a mentor of mine."

In 1978, King went national, inheriting the nightly talk show slot on the Mutual Broadcasting System, broadcast coast-to-coast, that had been "Long John" Nebel's until his death, and had been pioneered by Herb Jepko. King's Mutual show developed a devoted audience.

It was aired live Monday through Friday from midnight to 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time. King would interview a guest for the first 90 minutes, with callers asking questions that continued the interview for another 90 minutes. At 3 a.m., he would allow callers to discuss any topic they pleased with him, until the end of the program, when he expressed his own political opinions. That segment was called Open Phone America.

The show was successful, starting with relatively few affiliates and eventually growing to more than 500. It ran until 1994.

For its final year, the show was moved to afternoons. The afternoon show was eventually given to David Brenner and radio affiliates were given the option of carrying the audio of King's new CNN evening television program. The Westwood One radio simulcast of the CNN show continued until December 31, 2009.

➦In 1954…The First practical transistor pocket radio, the Regency TR-1 went on sale.

Friday, November 18, 2022

SiriusXM Upgrades Mobile App, Web Player


SiriusXM has introduced a refreshed design for the SXM App for iOS and Android that delivers an even more amazing SiriusXM audio entertainment experience on mobile devices.

New and existing users who update the SXM App for iOS and Android will enjoy a clean, colorful, and easy-to-use interface with expanded personalization features, simplified navigation, a richer dark display that puts the focus on content, and other enhancements.

The refreshed design introduces new SXM App features like Personalized Carousels, which give users easy access to their most recently-played content, as well as a wide array of personalized recommendations that help listeners discover even more music, news, sports, talk, and other programming to love based on their listening history.

The Gauge: Cable Usage Is Down 8.6% Y2Y


The arrival of new broadcast programming had a significant impact on television viewing in October, which grew by 2.2% in overall usage compared to September, but not enough to alter the continued momentum of streaming, according to Nielsen and it's October 22 edition of The Gauge.. 

Following the September arrival of a new football season, the influx of new fall programming across broadcast channels in October resulted in a 9.8% jump in viewing, boosting broadcast’s share of total TV usage to 26% (up from 24.2% in September). Sports continued to attract big audiences (19% gain in viewing volume), but the general drama category leapfrogged sports with a 42% rise in viewing volume to account for 26.7% of broadcast viewing. Despite the gains, however, broadcast usage during the month was down 6.2% from a year ago.



Having maintained more than one-third of total TV usage since June 2022, streaming usage continued to grow in October, but at a much slower pace (3.3% in usage; 0.4 share point). After a busy summer of new content across streaming services, viewership share remained largely consistent in October.

Compared with broadcast and streaming, cable viewing was fairly flat in October, with usage down 0.7% from September. News remained the largest driver of cable viewing (19.6%) and increased 3.3% during the month, while sports was the biggest mover, jumping 25% to represent 9.6% of all cable viewing. On an annual basis, cable viewing is down 8.6% in usage and 4.1 share points.

Twitter Fact-Checking More Progressive Tweets


Twitter users have been wondering whether a surge in new fact-checks of progressive figures is part of a new egalitarian business model for Elon Musk’s social media site, which has previously been slammed for targeting conservative accounts before going private. 

Many on the political left and in the media expressed strong displeasure at the idea of Elon Musk taking control of Twitter. But one apparent change noted by many since it became official on Oct. 26 is an uptick in fact checks of liberal politicians like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Additionally, false claims about Republicans, such as one implying racism against Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, have also been debunked.

CNN's Chris Licht Talks About His Uphill Battle


Chris Licht faces an uphill battle at CNN. 

He got the CEO gig in the midst of a prickly merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery and right after the shocking exit of beloved long-time boss, Jeff Zucker. In his first six months, he’s shut down CNN+, ousted Brian Stelter, and shuffled anchors around, including Don Lemon and Jake Tapper. This week, the network chief held an internal town hall meeting where he faced a staff of thousands and discussed upcoming layoffs. 

Shortly afterwards, he sat down with Kara — who grilled him, of course.


A key takeaway:

“The competition for me in cable is not MSNBC or Fox. Hopefully, what we’re doing is so different and unique that we are attracting people who perhaps have found cable news to be irrelevant in their lives,” Licht said.

“My competition is frankly Kathleen’s HGTV and Netflix,” Licht continued, referring to Kathleen Finch, chief officer of lifestyle brands at Discover Inc.

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone Talks To CNBC


CNBC’s David Faber sits down exclusively with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone to discuss his outlook for streamers as competition grows for content, sports rights, and more.


Two Takeaways:

On streaming: "At the moment, there is a lot of blood flowing down the gutters of people who are streaming. Some of them can afford it, and some of them can’t."

► On CNN: "I have met Chris [Licht] the new head of CNN once. I was quite impressed that he saw it sort of the way the board saw it. That being in the global news business, you needed to make sure that news portion of your programming ... should be extremely trustworthy, solid, not spun, not manipulated in any way. ... And the company can even have an editorial policy ... They need to separate it from the hard journalism. And I would love to see the core of it be hard journalism. And CNN has some great journalists. So none of this was ever an attack on the vast majority of journalists that work at CNN."

Wake-Up Call: Nancy's Had Enough


The first female Speaker will continue to serve in Congress, representing California’s 12th district. “For me, the hour’s come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” she said in a speech that garnered a lengthy standing ovation from Democrats and Republicans. The GOP clinched a narrow majority of seats in the House last night. Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York is seen as the front-runner to lead the caucus.

In an emotional speech before the House, Speaker Pelosi said she had enjoyed working with presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. She did not mention Donald Trump.


  • Pelosi’s likely successor is Hakeem Jeffries, who is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and has represented a New York City district since 2013. 
The Democratic Party leadership in the House is undergoing a generational change. In addition to Pelosi, who is 83, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 83, and Majority Whip James Clyburn, 82, are declining to seek party leadership positions in the next session of the House, which will be led by Republicans.

➤BIDEN PUSHES BACK ON IKRAINE CLAIMS: President Biden pushed back on Ukraine’s claims that a missile that struck Poland wasn’t its own. NATO previously said that the missile was likely from a Ukrainian air-defense system, and that there was no indication Poland was targeted. Russia denied responsibility. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his military ID’ed the missile as Russian and that Ukraine would apologize if evidence showed it was Ukrainian. Poland said it would be better for Europe if the missile wasn’t Russian because that would have forced a response. Meanwhile, Moscow agreed to renew an arrangement with Kyiv, Turkey and the U.N. to allow Ukrainian agricultural exports through the Black Sea.

➤ADMINISTRATION SAYS SAUDIA CROWN PRINCE HAS IMMUNITY:  The Biden administration told a U.S. court that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s status as a sitting head of government shields him from a civil lawsuit brought by the fiancĂ©e of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

➤UVALDE POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS: Mariano Pargas, who was acting police chief in Uvalde, Texas, during the Robb Elementary School massacre, has resigned from the force. He had been suspended while his conduct during the May 24 shootinge is being investigated. Media reports indicate that Pargas prevented his officers from entering the building during the critical period when some of the 19 child victims were still alive.

➤IDAHO STUDENTS URGED TO ‘STAY VIGILANT’: Students at Idaho University and residents of Moscow, Idaho, are being urged to stay vigilant as police continue to investigate the gruesome murders of four students in an off-campus house early last Sunday. No suspect has been identified and no weapon has been found.

 
➤KARI LAKE REFUSES TO CONCEDE LOSS: The Republican candidate for Arizona governor refuses to concede the election to Democrat Katie Hobbs. In a video released yesterday, Kari Lake said she has a team of lawyers “exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week.” Hobbs was projected to be the winner of the race on Monday, when the vote was 50.4% to 49.6% with 97 percent of the vote counted.

Twitter Staffers Leaving In Droves


Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that staffers sign up for "long hours at high intensity," or leave, reports Reuters.

In a poll on the workplace app Blind, which verifies employees through their work email addresses and allows them to share information anonymously, 42% of 180 people chose the answer for "Taking exit option, I'm free!"

A quarter said they had chosen to stay "reluctantly," and only 7% of the poll participants said they "clicked yes to stay, I'm hardcore."

Musk was meeting some top employees to try and convince them to stay, said one current employee and a recently departed employee who is in touch with Twitter colleagues.

While it is unclear how many employees have chosen to stay, the numbers highlight the reluctance of some staffers to remain at a company where Musk has hastened to fire half its employees including top management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture to emphasize long hours and an intense pace.

Right-Leaning Mobile News Consumption Soared


  • Right leaning news consumption up 86% on mobile devices ahead of US midterm elections, whereas left leaning media consumption down 23% over same period
  • Overall news consumption up 18% on mobile with men driving the growth in readership of right leaning outlets

New data reveals that Americans’ use of mobile devices to consume right leaning news has skyrocketed up 86%, far exceeding its high point during the previous election cycle.

In stark contrast, consumption of left leaning media has declined by 23% during that time and has lagged behind right leaning outlets since November 2021, despite being consistently more popular for the previous two years, and in the last election.

The research was conducted by mobile insights consulting firm Global Wireless Solutions and is based on mobile usage trends of 200,000 adult smartphone users with 54 million data points analyzed daily. The study found that this increase was part of a wider rise in the consumption of media since the 2020 election. At its peak during this midterm election cycle total mobile news consumption is up 18% compared to its high point in January 2021 with Americans now spending 93 minutes a week reading the news on mobile devices.

Ticketmaster Postpones Swift Tix Sales


Ticketmaster canceled Friday's planned ticket sales to the general public for Taylor Swift's 2023 U.S. concert tour as 3.5 billion ticket requests from fans, bots and scalpers overwhelmed the website with record demand, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile customer complaints mounted over high prices and poor service, and prominent members of the U.S. Congress backed public pleas for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Ticketmaster on antitrust grounds.

The American singer's highly anticipated "Eras" tour, her first in five years, had already set the entertainment industry abuzz. In the "presale" round on Tuesday, over 2 million tickets were sold, the most ever for an artist in a single day, Ticketmaster said.

Even so, the experience left many fans frustrated with long wait times and site outages, and many unable to obtain tickets.

It was not immediately clear when the remaining tickets might go back on sale.

Liberty Media Spins Off Atlanta Braves As Separate Unit


The MLB Atlanta Braves are now a separate publicly traded company.

Owner Liberty Media announced that its board of directors has authorized management to pursue a split-off of the Braves and The Battery Atlanta into a new tracking stock. It will be known as Atlanta Braves Holdings. The move is pending approval from the current Braves Group holding and MLB, reports ajc.com.

“We plan to split off the Atlanta Braves into an asset-backed stock to better highlight its strong value,” Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement Thursday.

Atlanta Braves Holdings would hold all of the businesses, assets and liabilities currently attributed to the Braves Group, which is the direct or indirect owner and operator of the Braves, certain assets and liabilities associated with the Braves’ stadium, Truist Park, and mixed-use development project, The Battery Atlanta, and corporate cash. In connection with the split-off, Liberty Media would redeem each outstanding share of its Series A, Series B and Series C Liberty Braves common stock for one share of the corresponding series of common stock of Atlanta Braves Holdings. As a result of the split-off, Liberty Media and Atlanta Braves Holdings would be separate publicly traded companies.

In a split-off, the parent company offers shareholders the option to keep their current shares or exchange them for shares of the divesting company.

The move is expected to increase the value of the Braves. As of Thursday morning, following the announcement, Liberty Media stock was up about 10% to nearly $34 a share.

Maffei has talked about the real possibility of a split-off as far back as 2016, but said several times in the following years that it wasn’t on the horizon. Thursday’s move toward a split-off could facilitate the possible eventual sale of the Braves by eliminating some complicated tax issues.

Audacy To Stream The NFL On Thanksgiving Day


The in-laws are great if it were not for their support of the wrong football team on Thursday. We estimate (totally made up) that post-dinner naps on Thanksgiving are not due to tryptophan from Turkey but from your inability to watch the wrong team take the field.

Since nearly 55 million Americans will travel during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (an actual stat), Audacy is making sure football fans don’t miss a second of their team’s action.

Thanks to Audacy’s partnership with Westwood One, all three Thanksgiving Day games broadcasts will be available free on the Audacy app and on air via local market flagship stations. Local blackouts will apply.


The 2022 NFL Thanksgiving Day schedule (to help plan when you should have everything packed in Tupperware and back in the fridge):

➤12:30 p.m. ET: Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills
*Available nationwide and locally on 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM) in Detroit and WGR 550 (WGR-AM) in Buffalo areas

➤4:30 p.m. ET: Giants vs. Cowboys
*Available nationwide and locally on 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM) in Dallas area

➤8:20 p.m. ET: Vikings vs. Patriots
*Available nationwide excluding Minneapolis and Boston markets

Audacy will also carry pre-game and post-game programming for Lions vs. Bills on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit and WGR 550 in Buffalo, Cowboys vs. Giants on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas and WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM (WFAN-FM/AM) in New York, and Vikings vs. Patriots on WEEI (WEEI-FM) in Boston.

NRTS Relaunches The MBA Talent Institute


National Radio Talent System (NRTS), a division of the Radio Advertising Bureau, announces a relaunch of the original Missouri Broadcasters Association (MBA) talent institute at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Hubbard Radio and MBA are the underwriters making the new Hubbard/MBA Radio Talent Institute possible. The institute will take place in person July 17 - 26, 2023.
The talent incubator spans ten days and is led by broadcast professionals that bring their real-world industry knowledge from around the state and country to educate students.

College students from universities throughout the state and region apply to be accepted into the Hubbard/MBA Radio Talent Institute. This provides an ideal networking pool for students with a wide variety of potential interests within the classroom for industry professionals to identify and actively recruit from. Upon completion of the Institute, students can further their networking opportunities due to the ability to access the National Radio Talent System’s Career Center.

“We are delighted to have the Missouri Broadcasters Association back as a partner along with Hubbard Radio,” said Erica Farber, president and chief executive officer, RAB. “Collaborating with Mark Gordon at the MBA and a world-class broadcasting company like Hubbard Radio enables us to relaunch the program to further help develop the next generation of broadcasters.”

NAB Launches Future Leaders Fund


The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF) today launched The Future Leaders Fund, a new fundraising campaign in support of the foundation’s mission to create a more diverse, innovative and vibrant workforce.

 
NABLF board member and broadcast ambassador Tamron Hall kicked off the campaign with a video message encouraging broadcasters to donate to The Future Leaders Fund this holiday season.

The Future Leaders Fund will help advance NABLF’s mission by supporting groundbreaking initiatives that seek to increase diversity in broadcasting and train the next generation of industry leaders.


Programs such as the Media Sales Academy, Technology Apprenticeship Program, Broadcast Leadership Training Program and the new Emerson Coleman Fellowship impart skills, mentorship and resources to broadcasters from diverse backgrounds at all stages of their careers.

Triton Digital Ranks NPR News Now As Top Download


Triton Digital®, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio, podcast, and broadcast radio industries, has announced  the release of its October 2022 reporting period (October 3 – October 30, 2022), U.S. Podcast Ranker, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.

For this reporting period, Stitcher Media remained in the #1 spot on the Top Sales Networks Report for the month of October, with 59.8M Average Weekly Downloads and 15.5M Average Weekly Users. NPR came in at #2 with 35.3M Average Weekly Downloads and 6.5M Average Weekly Users, followed by Audacy Podcast Network at #3 with 33M Average Weekly Downloads and 8.6M Average Weekly Users.

The top three podcasts based on downloads included NPR News Now (NPR) again at #1, Crime Junkie (audiochuck) again at #2, and Dateline NBC (NBCUniversal News Group) climbing to #3.

For listeners, the top 3 podcasts in October included Crime Junkie (audiochuck) again at #1, Dateline NBC (NBCUniversal News Group) climbing to #2, and Up First (NPR) at #3.

New shows debuting during this period for downloads included Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra (NBCUniversal News Group) and All There Is with Anderson Cooper (WarnerMedia). New shows debuting for listeners include Buried Bones (Wondery), Normal Gossip (Audioboom), The TryPod (Audacy Podcast Network), The Mel Robbins Podcast (Stitcher Media), and more.

For the month of October, there were 241.5M average weekly downloads for the top 20 publishers.

Detroit Radio: WDRQ-FM Presents Acoustic Christmas X2 Concerts


Cumulus Media has announced that Detroit Country radio station New Country WDRQ 93.1 FM will present New Country Acoustic Christmas X2, two exciting live Country music concerts to celebrate the holiday season and help make the holidays brighter for local children in need. 

The first concert will feature Country superstar Chris Young on Tuesday, December 6th at Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel. Two nights later, New Country 93.1 FM will present Elle King and Nate Smith on Thursday, December 8th at The Crofoot in downtown Pontiac. The New Country Acoustic Christmas X2 concerts will benefit Toys for Tots of Metro Detroit.

The only way into both concerts is to win tickets on New Country 93.1 and at https://www.newcountry931.com/

Pittsburgh Radio: Tom Hanks To Program WYEP On Hanksgiving Day


Tom Hanks is making it another beautiful day by programming the music played on Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation AAA 91.3 WYEP Pittsburgh PA on Thanksgiving Day!

Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks is taking over 91.3 WYEP on November 24th for a special “Hanks Giving” day of music. All of the music on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. will be songs hand-picked by Tom Hanks exclusively for WYEP’s listeners.

Hanks is not only a beloved star of cinema, but he’s also a music fan with a far-ranging knowledge and appreciation of early- and mid-1960s rock ‘n’ roll—and the wealth of music that has been informed by those formative sounds of surf rock, R&B, and vocal pop that typified the era. His directorial debut, 1996’s That Thing You Do!, was an exuberant ode to that music and those musicians.

R.I.P.: Pat Ryan, Longtime Asheville Sports Host

Pat Ryan
Longtime Asheville sports radio host, Pat Ryan, has passed away, reports WLOS-TV13.

Ryan was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2018. During the pandemic, his cancer returned to a point where more chemo was necessary.  Ryan hosted The WISE Guys in WISE Sports radio 1310 and 970.

Former News 13 Sports Director Stan Pamfilis appeared many times on The WISE Guys show and said Ryan's love of local sports was just one of his many talents.

"He gave voice to everybody," Pamfilis said of Ryan. "I don't care what the sport was. You might think it's trivial, he never did. If kids were competing, coaches were coaching, and they were in our area -- he loves our area -- then he would put something on or try to promote it or try to make it even bigger than it was, and so that was a special gift he had. He's one of those universally loved guys."

Pat also formerly worked at ABC News 13 and was an outstanding bass player in a local band.

He remained positive throughout the treatment process and served as an inspiration to others undergoing cancer treatment.

November 18 Radio History


➦In 1951…Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly  launched one of the most highly-praised TV productions in history. The newsmagazine, documentary "See It Now' debuted on CBS. The aired for more than six years. On that first program, which evolved out of Murrow’s radio (and Columbia Records) series Hear It Now, we saw a live camera shot of the Atlantic Ocean, followed by a live shot of the Pacific, then Murrow said, “We are impressed by a medium through which a man sitting in his living room has been able to look at two oceans at once.”  In April of 1952, See It Now moved into an evening time slot.

➦In 1954...ABC radio and TV banned “Mambo Italiano,” a hit by Rosemary Clooney for so-called “offensive lyrics,” most likely due to the exaggerated Italian vernacular, including the words “goombah” and “gidrool.”

➦In 1963…The Beatles got their first exposure on U-S TV in a feature story on NBC-TV's "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" it included a film clip of the band performing in England.

➦In 1985...Howard Stern returned to the New York radio scene (after his firing by WNBC660 AM). He debuted on WXRK 92.3 FM in the afternoon, but made a permanent switch to mornings 3 months later.

➦In 1987...CBS Inc. announced that it had agreed to sell its record division to Sony Corp. for approximately $2 billion.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Edison: Weekends Are For Music Listening


Spoken word audio is getting plenty of press time lately, as well it should, but the Edison Research Share of Ear database reminds us that nearly three-quarters of daily audio time among those age 13+ in the U.S. is spent with music. For most people most of the time, music is their audio choice.

Weekdays and weekends might blur together for some, since remote working has changed life for many commuters, and the overall population is mobile, but there are still clear differences in weekdays and weekends when it comes to music listening.

The graph below illustrates the average number of minutes per hour devoted to music listening on weekdays. From 6am-7am, listeners average around 11 minutes of music listening. Bear in mind, this is among all Americans age 13 and over, including those who aren’t listening to anything. Plenty of people are not even be awake in this hour. The graph shows similar amounts of listening through the morning with a few fluctuations, then a little dip from noon-1p. Music listening peaks in the 3pm-4pm hour on weekdays.





Anecdotally, think of your own average 3pm hour during the week. Office workers may be taking a break from a day of meetings. Parents may be enjoying some peace, or starting after-school carpool chores. Often, the 3pm hour is referred to as a lull. Maybe some listeners need music to go with their afternoon pick-me-up coffee.

Weekends tell a different story.

As this second graph shows, the music-listening pattern is different on weekends. Listening gets a bit of a slower start, as expected, but increases steadily through the morning. Music listening peaks in the 10am-11am hour on weekends. The weekend graph has a decidedly different shape from our weekday graph.




Again, picture your typical weekend morning. Whether it be cleaning, errands, relaxing, or activities, Americans listen to the most music in the 10am hour on the weekends. The second peak is in the 2pm-3pm hour, when 14 minutes of music audio is consumed.

When both graphs are combined, it’s easy to see that once the hourly weekend listening surpasses weekday levels, it stays that way until well into the evening. From 9am to 11pm, music listening on weekend days outstrips music listening on weekdays.




The places where weekday and weekend music listening differ most? During 7am-8am, weekdays are the farthest ahead of weekends. During 10am-11am, weekends most definitely have the edge with the biggest lead over weekdays.

The weekday peak of 3pm-4pm isn’t quite enough to match weekends during the same hour, supporting the idea that weekends were made for music.

Joe Gassmann Exits 'Free Beer & Hot Wings' Morning Show


A popular Grand Rapids-based morning talk radio show syndicated to dozens of states, including Michigan, has announced the departure of an on-air host, reports WZZM TV13.

Free Beer and Hot Wings shared a short update about the future of their show Wednesday morning.

After weeks of Joe Gassmann not appearing on the show, founding member and host Gregg "Free Beer" Daniels shared an update with listeners. 

Joe Gassmann
He said the show is limited on what they can share, but did read a statement from Joe through his attorney. 

"After a 20-year career in radio, Joe Gassmann has decided to leave the Free Beer and Hot Wings show. Joe thanks Greg, Chris, Steve, and Kelly, the loyal listeners and everyone who worked behind the scenes. He looks forward to following the show's success in the years to come," Daniels read.

"Townsquare Media wishes Joe well going forward." 

The show began in 1997 at a radio station in Omaha, Nebraska. Founding members took the show all over the country before landing full syndication in 2004 with the addition of WGRD in Grand Rapids. 

"We had a lot of good times. That is a fact. But we still have to do this job, and we're lucky to do this job," Daniels said.