Saturday, November 26, 2022

November 27 Radio History

➦In 1901...Early radio sportscaster Ted Husing was born in the Bronx NY.

At age 16, he joined the National Guard and during World War I was assigned to stand watch over New York's harbor. Following the war, he floated between jobs such as carnival barker and payroll clerk. After he won an audition over 500 other applicants for announcer at New York City radio station WHN, Husing found his life's calling. He was schooled under the tutelage of pioneer broadcaster Major J. Andrew White. There he covered breaking news stories and political conventions and assisted White during football commentaries.

Ted Husing
By 1926, Husing was working at WJZ and his  rapid manner of speech earned him the nickname Mile a Minute Husing. His use of descriptive language combined with a commanding voice made his broadcasts must-listen events. By 1927, he was voted seventh most popular announcer in a national poll. Following a pay dispute, he moved to Boston, where he broadcast Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves) baseball games.

Later in 1927, he returned to New York and helped his mentor, J. Andrew White, start the new CBS chain.  After cigar mogul William S. Paley bought the cash-strapped network in 1928, Ted Husing rose to new heights of glory and fame.

At CBS, Husing took on a wide variety of events. In 1929, he was named studio director of WABC (the CBS flagship station) in addition to continuing his work as an announcer for the network.

In addition to his sports preeminence, Husing also did news/special events coverage for the CBS Radio Network. In the 1930s, he gave early tutelage to a budding CBS Radio announcer, Mel Allen, who, like Husing, would become a legendary sportscaster. (And, like Husing, Allen would also understudy in news, with Robert Trout.) In 1933-1934, he was host of the Oldsmobile Program, providing sports news to complement music from other participants on the program.

In both sports and special events areas, Husing developed a bitter rivalry with rising NBC announcer Bill Stern. When the two became the sports stars of their rival networks (and eventually their networks' sports directors), they would battle fiercely not only for events but also for broadcast position.

Husing could be arrogant, coarse, and opinionated. He was the first to bring a candid, editorial style to sports play-by-play.


In 1946 Husing moved from CBS to WHN 1050 (later WMGM) to pursue a career as a disk jockey. (He was succeeded as CBS Radio's sports director by Red Barber.) Husing's popular music show the Ted Husing Bandstand ran from 1946 to 1954. He continued to busy himself with sports assignments, including boxing on CBS and DuMont television, one year (1950) as the radio voice of New York Giants football, and as host of DuMont's Boxing From Eastern Parkway from May 1952 to March 1953. Perhaps he was best known as the voice of Army football from 1947 to 1953. By that time, Husing's yearly salary was close to half a million dollars.

In the spring of 1954, an operation to treat a malignant brain tumor left him blind and forced him to retire. He died at age 60 in 1962.

In 1963, Husing became the second inductee of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.  In 1984, Husing was part of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame’s inaugural class which included sportscasting legends Red Barber, Don Dunphy, Graham McNamee and Bill Stern.

➦In 1926...KXL AM in Portland, Oregon signed-on with 50 watts of power. Today, the station is owned by Alpha Media, it calls are KXTG and the station airs sports talk at 750 AM.  KXL-FM airs news/talk on 101.9 FM.

R.I.P.: Irene Cara, Singer Of 'Oh What A Feeling'

Irene Cara, the Oscar-winning singer of the title tracks to "Fame" and "Flashdance," has died at age 63, her publicist announced late Friday.

Cara died in her Florida home of an undisclosed cause.

"It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara," publicist Judith A. Moose wrote.

Cara was trained in music, dance and acting as a child and appeared on stage and on television, including appearances on PBS and on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show," at a young age in the 1970s.

But she rocketed to fame when she was cast in the 1980 musical "Fame." She was initially cast as a dancer but then had the role of Coco Hernandez written for her and she sang the title track.

R.I.P.: Charles Koppelman, Storied Music Executive

Charles Koppelman (1940-2022)

Charles Koppelman — the famed music executive who was the head of EMI Records, as well as Martha Stewart and Steve Madden’s companies, during his storied career — passed away on Friday at age 82, his family said.A source told Page Six at The NY Post that Koppelman died after a long illness and spent his last days surrounded by friends and family.

Koppelman’s career in entertainment and beyond was legendary.

After beginning in a band called The Ivy Three — which performed the 1960 hit, “Hey, Yogi” — he became a songwriter for industry vet Don Kirshner, along with famed tunesmiths Gerry Goffin and Carole King. But, a pal joked that Koppelman was, “the worst songwriter in [Kirshner’s] stable,” so he wound up instead running Kirshner’s Aldon Music at age 24.

He then was managing director of Screen Gems/Columbia Music before starting his own imprint.

Along the way, Koppelman identified “Here You Come Again” as a song for Dolly Parton, and helped guide the country star’s crossover into pop. He also helped discover recording artists as diverse and successful as the Lovin’ Spoonful, Vanilla Ice, Wilson Phillips and Tim Hardin. He co-produced Bobby Darin’s groundbreaking song, “If I Were A Carpenter,” and executive produced half a dozen of Barbra Streisand’s albums.

'Sunday Night Football' Remains TV's Highest-Rated

TV network shows -- especially top non-sports TV series -- continue their steady decline so far this season, and have now fallen under a key viewer level.

With the exception of some high-profile series, no non-sports TV series averaged more than 10 million viewers through the first eight weeks of the broadcast TV season, according to MediaPost citing Nielsen live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing.

A year ago, during a similar time frame, there were two shows over the 10 million mark: CBS’ “NCIS” (11.7 million) and NBC’s “Chicago Fire” (10.1 million).

This year, there are eight non-sport TV series over the 9 million viewer mark -- with “NCIS” still leading in this prime-time series category -- now at 9.74 million viewers (down 17% from the year before).

This was followed by "FBI" at 9.61 million (down 3%), "Blue Bloods" at 9.55 million (also slipping 3%), NBC’s "Chicago Fire" with 9.39 million (off 7%), CBS' "60 Minutes" at 9.23 million (down 2%), and CBS' "Young Sheldon" at 9.13 million (down 0.4%).

Coming in at eighth place was CBS' "Ghosts," a rare gainer among TV network series in its second season at 9.09 million viewers -- 16% higher over its rookie season.

The best-performing show on ABC, "The Good Doctor," came in at 6.19 million (down 14% from a year ago). For Fox, its best performer is "911" at 7.47 million (off 11%). For the CW, the top show is "Walker" at 1.38 million (falling 22%).

Twitter Launching ‘Verified’ Service Next Week

Elon Musk said Twitter Inc. will once again try to roll out a new verification service next week that its billionaire owner has championed despite a fumbled launch and numerous problems, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

He said Friday that Twitter would use a new color system for verified accounts, departing from the platform’s ubiquitous blue check mark. Companies would get gold check marks and government accounts would get gray check marks, he said. All individuals, whether they are celebrities or not, would have blue check marks. 

Musk said starting on Friday next week, the company would append a check mark to accounts it had manually authenticated. He didn’t say if users would have to pay to be verified.

He has been trying to revamp Twitter’s verification service since he closed his $44 billion takeover of the company last month. He has said he wants every user to be verified unless they are a bot account.

The new check-mark system has been plagued with issues. Days after launching it earlier this month, Twitter stopped giving out check marks as people were using the designation to impersonate companies, brands and celebrities. Thousands of users saw fake tweets from accounts including those posing as LeBron James demanding a trade, George W. Bush attacking Iraqis and Eli Lilly & Co. cutting insulin prices to zero.

Baltimore Sun Giving Up Building This Month

Baltimore Sun reporters and editors must clear out their desks by Nov. 30 as the newspaper publisher is moving out of its Port Covington location completely by the end of the month.

The Batimore Business Journal reports Maryland's largest daily is moving on — again — to an uncertain future. For now, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Trif Alatzas told his staff in an email this week to work remotely as negotiations for a new headquarters remain in the works. That announcement came two months after the developers behind the Port Covington project — which was recently renamed Baltimore Peninsula — said the paper had rejected a lease extension there.

It is the latest blow to The Sun since May 2021 when Tribune Publishing sold it and several other newspapers in the chain for $633 million to hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Local papers also owned by Alden in Annapolis and Carroll County have been working remotely since 2020 when their newsrooms shuttered for good.

Many Sun workers are already working remotely outside the newsroom as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper has been at its location in Port Covington since 2018 after its former owner sold the previous offices at 501 N. Calvert St. to a developer who then leased much of it to the Baltimore Police Department.

Jordan Bitove Will Take Full Ownership of Torstar

Toronto Star
publisher Jordan Bitove has taken sole control of the newspaper's parent company effective Thursday as part of an arbitration deal with co-owner Paul Rivett, according to Torstar Corp., bringing to a close a tense dispute between the former partners.

Bitove said in a press release Thursday evening that the two went into their partnership with the best of intentions, but they were ultimately unable to resolve the areas of disagreement that surfaced.

Bloomberg reports Rivett congratulated Bitove for "choosing to own the Star and Metroland," and thanked the arbitrator for what he said was a fair and quick process.

Torstar Corp. also owns the Metroland newspaper group and local newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator.

The settlement comes two months after Rivett filed an application to the Ontario Superior Court seeking a court order to dissolve NordStar Capital Inc., which purchased Torstar in 2020 for $60 million.

Northern CA Radio: KZRO Truly A One Man Show

Dennis Michaels at KZRO

It's no secret that we live in a time when the media landscape is changing dramatically, and the world of radio is no expectation. But Northern California can claim something of an antique: it's rock 'n' roll radio done the old fashioned way and, for one man, that means doing it the hard way, reports CBS News San Francisco.

"ZZ Top on Northern California's home of the classics, The Z Channel,"  KZRO 100 FM owner Dennis Michaels said into one of the microphones in the station's Mount Shasta studio.

For anyone who has ever made their way along Interstate 5 in the Shasta area and gone searching for some music on the radio, it's a station that, at first glance, may sound like normal classic rock radio. Only this isn't just a radio station. It's the work of one single person and it might be hard to find anyone else doing anything quite like it. 

KZRO 100.1 FM (12.5 Kw)

"I don't know. Nobody?" Michaels laughed. "Nobody else is stupid enough to do it."

By that, Michaels means running the whole show by himself. He picks the songs, records the jingles, even produces a lot of the commercials. He also does all of the maintenance and just about everything else.

"Music programming," he added. "Traffic. I don't do sales. I suck at sales. So basically, I program everything right here. Three or four software programs that kind of commingle. I send that over to the server which is down here. This is what's on there now. Chili Peppers. Styx up next."

Over the past 25 years he's built his own music library and runs the 24-hour-a-day schedule with the help of nine different computers.

"Every time I hear something I like," he explained, "I place it in the rotation. I think we do well. We're tracking about 22,000 cities on the Internet. Australia, Barbados, Germany, Canada. Russia I track it because I can see ... right where the server is and it's always right at the Kremlin."

All of those people, including the fans in Moscow, are listening to one man's playlist of 8,000 songs but it's really been a lifetime of music. Michales started as a teenager on AM radio in Chicago before his career took him to Los Angeles.

SLC Radio: Suspect Arrested In Murder Of Personality

KRMI personality Gaby Ramos

A 35-year-old man accused of killing a woman last year in Taylorsville and then fleeing the country has been arrested in Mexico.

Taylorsville City Police Department, Manuel Omar Burciaga-Perea was apprehended in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Nov. 24 “with the assistance of federal and state agents in Mexico and the United States Marshals Service.”

He is accused of shooting and killing Gabriela Sifuentes-Castilla, on October 17, 2021.  Sifuentes Castilla also was known by her on-air name Gaby Ramos. She had worked as a host on the radio station La Más Picosita on KRMI 1550 AM since March 2020. .

“Sifuentes-Castilla was shot seven times in the chest, arm and head, according to charging documents,” the release stated.

Police said Burciaga-Perea and Sifuentes-Castilla had been in a relationship but were not together at the time of her death.

R.I.P.: Johnny Walker, Legendary Austin Rock Personality

Johnny Walker
Former KLBJ deejay Johnny Walker, regarded as one of the most vibrant and respected personalities in Austin rock radio for more than a decade, passed away Monday.

He was 68, according to The Austin Chronicle.

His sister, Cissy Walker, confirmed to the Chronicle today that Walker had suffered a series of strokes in recent months that caused a gradual deterioration in his health. The impactful voice on Austin airwaves was born Darek Walker and grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. He is survived by his son, Tyler.

Cissy likened her brother to the “hippie always looking for the next van ride to the next show.” After working in radio across Lubbock, Albuquerque, Reno, and Spokane, Wash., Walker landed in Austin in 1987 as part of a Z102 morning show called The Breakfast Flakes. Walker then moved to KLBJ-FM in 1991, where he found his true home on the city’s main rock & roll station.

His profile grew largest during his KLBJ afternoon show, where he was an avid supporter of local acts such as Soulhat, Joe Rockhead, and many more. Soulhat’s “extended bone” nine-minute cut of the song “Bonecrusher” became a staple of Walker’s Friday broadcasts, played at 5 pm to mark the official end of the work week for listeners.

Walker’s standing at KLBJ suffered after the Johnson family sold the station, and a group of sister stations, to Emmis Broadcasting in 2003. The following year, Walker was moved to part-time with a prerecorded evening show, and was released for good in 2007. At the time, in a feature entitled “The Last Rock & Roll Deejay: KLBJ cans the legendary Johnny Walker,” the Chronicle’s Kevin Brass wrote:

In many ways, it was the end of an era. Walker is a member of a disappearing breed of hard-rock deejays, grounded in Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers, who lived the music as much as the bands and fans. On the air, they were conversational and honest, making it OK to share stories of late-night concerts, hangovers, and one toke over the line, sweet Jesus.

Walker never returned to radio, working in sales while also pursuing acting and voiceover work in subsequent years. He also dealt with the recovery from an earlier series of strokes that impacted his health.

November 26 Radio History

➦In 1912...CBS newsman & commentator Eric Sevareid was born in Velva, ND (Died at age 79 from stomach cancer  – July 9, 1992). He was one of a group of elite war correspondents who were hired by CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and nicknamed "Murrow's Boys". Sevareid was the first to report the Fall of Paris when the city was captured by the Germans during World War II.

Eric Sevareid
Traveling into Burma during the war, his aircraft was shot down, and he was rescued from behind enemy lines by a search and rescue team that had been established for that purpose. He was the last journalist to interview Adlai Stevenson II before his death.

He followed in Murrow's footsteps as a commentator on the CBS Evening News for 12 years, for which he was recognized with Emmy and Peabody Awards.

At the age of 18, Sevareid entered journalism as a reporter for the Minneapolis Journal, while a student at the University of Minnesota in political science. He continued his studies abroad, first in London and later in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he also worked as an editor for United Press. He then became city editor of the Paris Herald Tribune. He left that post to join CBS as a foreign correspondent, based in Paris; he broadcast the fall of Paris, and followed the French government from there to Bordeaux and then Vichy, before leaving France for London and finally Washington.

Bill Baldwin
➦In Bill Baldwin was born in Pueblo Colorado. He became the radio and television voice of hundreds of products, and was a war correspondent for the NBC Blue network in WWII.   He served as national president of the American Federation of Radio & TV Artists (AFTRA) in the early 70’s. As an actor he appeared in a number of TV series, including ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ ‘Ironside,’ ‘The Beverly Hillbillies,’ and ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’  He succumbed to cancer Nov. 17 1982, nine days short of his 69th birthday.

➦In 1933...singer Robert Goulet was born Stanley Applebaum  in Lawrence, Mass,  but within months his family moved to Northern Alberta.

He worked as disk jockey on Edmonton’s CKUA for two years and was a semi-finalist on CBC TV’s “Pick the Stars” in 1952.  He spent a summer at Vancouver’s Theatre Under the Stars.  In 1955 he became a regular on CBC TV’s Cross Canada Hit Parade. He was awarded a Grammy as the best new artist of 1962.  His best-selling album was the million-selling 1964 release “My Love Forgive Me,” which reached No. 5.

Goulet died awaiting a lung transplant Oct. 30 2007 at age 73.

➦In 1945...the daily radio program, “Bride and Groom”, debuted on the NBC Blue network. It is estimated that 1,000 newly-wed couples were interviewed on the program before it left the airwaves in 1950.

➦In 1962…At EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, the Beatles recorded "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why."

➦In 1969…At EMI's Abbey Road studios in London, John Lennon spent the afternoon mixing the Beatles songs "What's The New Mary Jane" and "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" with the intention of releasing them as the two sides of a Plastic Ono Band single. When this plan fell through, "Number" was released as the b-side of the Beatles' "Let It Be" single making it the last song of the Fab Four that John worked on.

➦In 2003...Eddie Gallaher, 88, the veteran radio broadcaster whose reassuring baritone was familiar to generations of Washington, DC listeners, died Nov. 26 of complications from hip surgery.

Gallaher's career began on WTOP-AM in 1947. He stayed on the air in one market for 53 years, working at two other stations before retiring in 2000.was the last of the low-key gentleman deejays who dominated Washington's radio scene in its heyday. When he retired from WGAY in 2000, he was the only one from that era still hosting a daily show. He survived major changes in the broadcasting industry, managing to stay on the air for 53 years despite losing vision and mobility in his final decade.

Gallaher also worked for the stations WWDC and WASH. He did Washington Redskins play-by-play and entertainment broadcasting for WTOP-TV.  Gallaher spent 21 years at WTOP, when WTOP switched to a news and talk format in 1968, Gallaher moved to WASH-FM.

His radio programs were beamed largely to the mainstream, attracting admirers of orchestrated music and of acts that included Frank Sinatra, the Mills Brothers, Patti Page and the Carpenters. In the 1950s and '60s, he was credited with helping turn records into local hits, playing songs by Percy Faith, Lawrence Welk and Ella Fitzgerald well before his rivals secured copies. He was a devoted fan of Broadway musicals.

➦In 2014…After surrendering to Toronto police, former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of choking in a sexual assault investigation. The CBC had fired the 47-year-old broadcaster a month earlier amid sexual misconduct allegations against him and what the company termed  "graphic evidence" that he had physically injured a woman.   After a trial in February 2016, the judge acquitted Ghomeshi of all charges saying there was insufficient evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Rich Little is 84
  • Impressionist Rich Little is 84. 
  • Singer Tina Turner is 83. 
  • Singer Jean Terrell (The Supremes) is 78. 
  • Bassist John McVie of Fleetwood Mac is 77. 
  • Actor Marianne Muellerleile (Film’s “Memento,” TV’s “Life With Bonnie”) is 74. 
  • Actor Scott Jacoby (“That Certain Summer”) is 66. 
  • Actor Jamie Rose (“Falcon Crest,” “St. Elsewhere”) is 63. 
  • Country singer Linda Davis is 60. 
  • Actor Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”) is 57. 
  • Actor Kristin Bauer (“True Blood”) is 56. 
  • Actor Peter Facinelli (“Nurse Jackie”) is 49. 
  • Actor Tammy Lynn Michaels (”The L Word,” “Popular”) is 48. 
  • Hip-hop artist DJ Khaled is 47. 
  • Actor Maia Campbell (“In the House”) is 46. 
  • Country singer Joe Nichols is 46. 
  • Musicians Randy and Anthony Armstrong of Red are 44. 
  • Actor Jessica Bowman (“Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman”) is 42. 
  • Singer Natasha Bedingfield is 41. 
  • Actor Jessica Camacho (“Taken,” “The Flas”) is 40. 
  • Singer-guitarist Mike Gossin of Gloriana is 38. 
  • Drummer Ben Wysocki of The Fray is 38. 
  • Singer Lil Fizz of B2K is 37. 
  • Singer Aubrey Collins (Trick Pony) is 35. 
  • Singer-actor Rita Ora is 32. 
  • Actor Aubrey Peeples (“Nashville,” “Sharknado”) is 29.

Friday, November 25, 2022

TV Ratings: Yellowstone’ Stays Strong In 2nd Week


“Yellowstone” was the top-rated entertainment program for the second time in the two weeks its fifth season has aired and one of only two to average more than 7 million viewers. The Kevin Costner-starring neo-Western averaged a combined 8.832 million viewers on Paramount Network and CMT, sixth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs between Nov. 14 and Sunday, according to The L-A Times story citing  live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen.

The CBS crime drama “FBI” was second among entertainment programs and seventh overall, averaging 7.313 million viewers.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched program for the 10th time in its 11 games, with the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-27 victory over the Chargers averaging 17.886 million viewers, sixth among the season’s “Sunday Night Football” games.

Spanish-language coverage of Sunday morning’s World Cup opener between Ecuador and Qatar averaged 4 million viewers on Telemundo, the Peacock streaming service and Telemundo Deportes’ digital platforms. English-language coverage on cable’s FS1 and Fox Sports streaming services averaged 3.228 million.

The CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” was the highest-ranked non-sports program for the eighth time in the 9-week-old 2022-23 prime-time television season, averaging 9.95 million viewers, fourth for the week behind “Sunday Night Football,” ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and the ”Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show.

The only time this season “60 Minutes” was not top of the ratings for non-sports programs was the week of Nov. 7-13, when the season premiere of “Yellowstone” averaged 12.493 million viewers on seven Paramount Global cable networks.

The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and its three “Chicago” series made NBC the top-ranked network for the seventh time in the season, averaging 5.53 million viewers. The only weeks NBC did not win this season came when Fox aired the World Series.

CBS was second, averaging 5.32 million viewers. ABC was third among broadcast networks and fourth overall behind ESPN, averaging 2.82 million.

ABC’s ratings leader was “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” 34th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs and 28th among non-sports programs, averaging 4.467 million viewers.

Fox averaged 2.49 million viewers. The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s top-ranked non-sports program for the seventh time in its eight episodes of the season, averaging 4.939 million viewers, 25th for the week and 20th among non-sports programs.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; “60 Minutes”; “Yellowstone”; seven CBS scripted programs; NBC’s three “Chicago” series and both episodes of its singing competition “The Voice”; and last Tuesday’s edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Hannity,” which included coverage of former President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would seek a second term.


ABC's David Muir, CBS' Norah O'Donnell, NBC's Lester Holt

ABC, NBC and CBS’ evening newscasts gained viewers during the week of November 14, 2022.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir had an especially strong week, reports TV Newser. It held onto its No. 1 ranking — meaning it has now defeated its evening news competition from NBC and CBS 207 of the past 208 weeks in average total viewers—and 136 of the last 138 weeks among adults 25-54.

Not only that, but according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for this past week, World News Tonight’s 8.91 million total linear viewers represents the newscast’s largest audience since February and the second-largest audience of any U.S. TV show, excluding sports programming.


Graphic Courtesy of RoadMN

Marketing Leaders Are Somewhat Optimistic About The Economy

A new Insider Intelligence study finds senior marketing leaders are somewhat optimistic about their fortunes in 2023—while simultaneously realizing they will need to shift priorities and embrace agility.

Economic outlook: In terms of their personal outlook for the US economy in 2023, a plurality (43.5%) of the 177 leaders surveyed expect GDP to start to rise; 27.0% expect it to stay the same; and 22.6% expect it to slow but avoid a recession. Only 7% expect a mild or deep recession.

Just under half (45.3%) expect inflation to continue to go up; 33.1% expect it to stay the same; and 20.1% expect a slight decline.

A hazy economic outlook and increased uncertainty have forced marketers to become more nimble than ever and adjust their strategic plans.

Adapt or die: Given signs of economic slowness in the US, marketers are looking to implement a number of changes in the next six months:

Nearly half (48.6%) are planning to reduce the amount they spend with outside agencies, with 35% saying they’ve already done so.

Users Claim ESPN Inflates YouTubeTV Subscription Prices

Four YouTube TV subscribers sued Walt Disney Company have filed a lawsui5t that challenges the bundled model of channels long found in American cable, satellite and now live streaming services.

 Sportico reports Biddle v. Walt Disney Company, which could become a class action, argues that the entertainment conglomerate has negotiated anti-competitive carriage agreements for ESPN and its 
related channels, and wields too much power over pricing for streaming live pay television (SLPTV) providers.

The subscribers blame Disney for the “near doubling of their subscription prices.” The base package for YouTube TV, which is controlled by Google, has increased from $35/month when it debuted five years ago to $65/month. The subscribers also note that when Google and Disney were unable to reach a new contract in late 2021, Google briefly dropped Disney channels (including ABC, FX, Freeform, Nat Geo, History and ESPN among others) and lowered the price to a more affordable $50. (The two sides later reached a deal, and the price was brought back to $65.)

Disney controls Hulu + Live TV, the second-largest competitor in the SLPTV market after YouTube TV. It also owns 80% of ESPN, which is said to be the most expensive channel on basic cable and streaming plans; some estimates price it at $9 or more per month.

AP's Internal Messages Show What Led To Retracted Missile Story

Leaked internal messages from the Associated Press reveal the reporter canned for filing the erroneous story that Russian-fired missiles crossed into Poland may have been a scapegoat for mistakes made by the outlet’s editors, according to The NY Post.

AP’s security reporter James LaPorta penned the story on Nov. 15 that Russian missiles were fired into Poland, killing two people. The news organization retracted the story the next day once it came to light that Ukraine likely fired the anti-missile rockets during Russia’s wave of bombings.

LaPorta was fired Monday, but messages about the incident between him and his editors on AP’s internal Slack channel, obtained by Semafor, cast doubt on who is to blame for publishing the bogus story.

LaPorta sent a Slack message to AP European desk editor Lisa Leff on Nov. 15, saying the report came from a US source vetted by AP vice president of news and investigations Ron Nixon. 

“From a senior intelligence official (vetted by Ron Nixon) yes, Russian missiles crossed into Poland. At least two people dead from initial reports,” LaPorta wrote.

“Can we alert from that or would we need confirmation from another source and/or Poland?” Leff answered. 

James LaPorta
“That call is above my pay grade,” LaPorta responded. 

“Yes should be ok I see source vetted by @rnixon,” AP deputy European news editor Zeina Karam chimed in via Slack.

Within 10 minutes of LaPorta’s first message, the AP sent out an alert on the Russian missile strike. 

However, Nixon never saw the tip attributed to the intelligence official, according to Semafor.

“While Nixon had approved the use of that specific anonymous source in the past, people involved said, Nixon was not aware of that tip or that story,” the online publication wrote. “LaPorta did not exactly claim that Nixon had approved the source in this case, but his words were interpreted by the editors to mean that he did.”

Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus to Co-Host NY's Eve Special on NBC

She may spend Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, but come New Year's Eve, Dolly Parton is going to Miami — to celebrate with her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus.

The country music legend (and newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer) has been tapped to co-host the second annual "Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party," airing Dec. 31 on NBC and Peacock.

In what we assume is a first, she's following in the footsteps of Pete Davidson, who co-hosted with Cyrus last year.

Of course, Parton and Cyrus have shared the stage and screen for decades now. Those who grew up watching "Hannah Montana" remember the times "Aunt Dolly" came to visit, and Cyrus has covered her several of her godmother's biggest hits over the years.

They'll also be seen together a few weeks prior on NBC, as Cyrus appears in Parton's upcoming "Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas," premiering Dec. 1 on the network.

Parton recently told The Tennessean she's going to make "a rock and roll album," inspired by her induction into the Rock Hall's 2022 class, and added that "Miley's got to be on one of the songs, for sure."

Shaw CEO Says Company Needs Merger With Rogers

Shaw Communications Inc. says it doesn't have the scale and size to give customers the services and products they want, which is why it made the decision to merge with Rogers Communications Inc.

Reuters reports Shaw CEO Bradley Shaw told the Competition Tribunal Wednesday during the hearing on the $26-billion proposed deal with Rogers, that Shaw is being outspent by prime competitor Telus, has been losing market share to them in wireline and hasn't made a dollar of free cash flow from its wireless investment.

He said the decision to sell was "extremely difficult," and that the company looked at every option.

He said Shaw is three-to-four times smaller than all of its competitors and won't be able to invest properly and innovate longer term.

Shaw's comments echo that of chief financial offer Trevor English, who spoke before the tribunal Monday evening and was cross-examined Tuesday. English said there isn't a viable path forward for Shaw as a standalone company.

Cartoonists To Honor ‘Peanuts’ Creator

Cartoonists across the nation are celebrating the 100th birthday of “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz as only they can — with cartoons.

AP News reports more than 75 syndicated cartoonists have tucked tributes, Easter eggs and references to “Peanuts” in Saturday’s funny papers to honor the creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and company.

“It’s a tribute to probably the world’s greatest cartoonist,” said cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, who creates the daily strip “Mutts” for 700 newspapers. “After ‘Peanuts,’ the cartoon world changed. I think most working cartoonists today would say he was the inspiration for them to become cartoonists.”

The list of participating strips ranges from “B.C,” “Dennis the Menace” and “Rhymes With Orange” to “Zippy the Pinhead” and “Zits.” Each artist was encouraged to come up with their own way to honor Schulz, who was known as “Sparky.”

Philly Radio: WMMR Raises 2.8M Pounds of Food + $1M Dollars

Beasley Media Group’s 93.3 WMMR-FM proudly announces that the 25th Annual Preston & Steve Camp Out For Hunger event raised over 2.8 million pounds of food and over $1 million dollars cash to benefit needy individuals and families residing throughout the greater Philadelphia area. 

Proceeds will directly benefit local hunger relief organizations through Philabundance – Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, which acquires, rescues, and distributes food to help feed those in need, while also advocating for policies that increase food access.

Beginning at 6am on Monday, November 7th through 11am on Friday, November 11th, 2022, Radio Hall of Fame morning personalities Preston and Steve camped out and broadcast live outside of Xfinity Live!, located within the Wells Fargo Center Complex in South Philadelphia, in an effort to collect food and monetary donations from listeners and businesses throughout the tri-state area.

The award-winning radio duo started their food drive back in 1998 after recognizing that hunger was a real issue in the Philadelphia area. Their initial goal was to raise one ton of food.

November 25 Radio History

Norman Tokar
➦In 1919
...Writer, producer Norman Tokar born (Died from a heart attack at age 59 – April 6, 1979). He directed many of the early episodes of Leave it to Beaver, and found his greatest success directing over a dozen films for Walt Disney Productions, spanning the 1950s to the 1970s.

After a career as an actor on Broadway in the early 1940s, Tokar moved into radio, most notably The Aldrich Family, where he played Henry Aldrich's friend Willie at the microphone and wrote several episodes as well. Tokar then went into television direction on such sitcoms as The Bob Cummings Show and The Donna Reed Show, and the drama Naked City.

In the early 1960s, Tokar’s success working with the juvenile actors on 93 episodes of the TV sitcom Leave it to Beaver encouraged Walt Disney to hire him to direct family features for his studio, which frequently used children in key roles.

WJAX mics at March 1936 news event.
Future FL Gov. Warren Fuller is third person from the right

➦In 1925...City of Jacksonville FL launched a broadcast station. The city appropriated $19,960 to put the station on the air and operate it through 1926. The station manager/engineer, John T. Hopkins was paid $250 a month and his assistant, James Brock made $165. The station, WJAX, made its first broadcast on Thanksgiving 1925 operating on 890 Kc. with 1000 watts using an antenna wire strung between two large tapered towers. WJAX shifted to 880 Kc. in 1928 and 900 Kc. in 1930.(Jacksonville radio historian Billy Williams).   Today, the station is WFXJ, branded as Sports Radio 930 AM and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.

➦In 1944...The FBI in Peace & War began a 14-year run on CBS Radio. 

➦In 1949..."Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" first appeared on the hit music charts. The song was written by Johnny Marks based on the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer published by the Montgomery Ward Company.

In 1939 Marks's brother-in-law, Robert L. May, created the character Rudolph as an assignment for Montgomery Ward and Marks decided to adapt the story of Rudolph into a song.

The song was first sung by crooner Harry Brannon on New York City radio in early November 1949, before Gene Autry's recording hit No. 1 in the U.S. charts during Christmas 1949. The song was suggested as a "B" side for a record Autry was making. Autry rejected the song. His wife convinced him to use it.

Autry's version of the song also holds the distinction of being the only chart-topping hit to fall completely off the chart after reaching No. 1. The official date of its No. 1 status was for the week ending January 7, 1950, making it the first No. 1 song of the 1950s.

Autry‘s rendition is the most popular, 80 different versions of the song have been recorded, with nearly 20,000,000 copies sold.

➦In 1960...CBS radio axed five daytime serials from the airwaves, including The Second Mrs. Burton (after 14 years), Whispering Streets, Young Dr Malone & Right to Happiness (both after 21 years) and Ma Perkins (after 27 wonderful years.)

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people, according to The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism, and the traditional fare of the Thanksgiving meal typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. With respect to vehicular travel, the holiday is often the busiest of the year, as family members gather with one another. 

Thanksgiving Day did not become an official holiday until Northerners dominated the federal government. While sectional tensions prevailed in the mid-19th century, the editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, Sarah Josepha Hale, campaigned for a national Thanksgiving Day to promote unity. She finally won the support of President Abraham Lincoln. On October 3, 1863, during the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.

The holiday was annually proclaimed by every president thereafter, and the date chosen, with few exceptions, was the last Thursday in November. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, however, attempted to extend the Christmas shopping season, which generally begins with the Thanksgiving holiday, and to boost the economy by moving the date back a week, to the third week in November. But not all states complied, and, after a joint resolution of Congress in 1941, Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1942 designating the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving TV At Its Best: The WKRP Turkey Drop

Plenty of beloved TV comedies have great Thanksgiving episodes. The episode of Cheers that devolves into a food fight is an all-timer. Multiple Thanksgiving episodes of Friends are now considered holiday classics. The Simpsons’ “Bart vs. Thanksgiving” is as much of a must-watch every year, at least for me, as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. More recent sitcoms — like The Office, Bob’s Burgers, Veep, Black-ish, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt — have delivered great hat tips to Turkey Day, too.

But, according to, the most quintessential, uproarious Thanksgiving episode of a sitcom remains “Turkeys Away,” the WKRP in Cincinnati masterpiece of bird-dropping pandemonium that first aired in 1978. Four decades later, at least among those of a certain age or those possessing a certain amount of Thanksgiving pop-culture knowledge, it remains a touchstone. That’s partly because the jokes still hold up and partly because it ends with a perfectly quotable mic drop of a last line, spoken by the late Gordon Jump as clueless radio station manager Arthur Carlson: “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

For those who have not seen it, “Turkeys Away” starts off with a straightforward plot that careens abruptly into dark comedy. Mr. Carlson, who runs the station owned by his wealthy, domineering mother, decides he needs to get more involved in day-to-day operations and comes up with an idea for a publicity stunt that will shine more attention on WKRP, which has recently changed formats from easy listening to rock. But he keeps the details of his plan a secret from his employees, with the exception of Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner), the skeezy ad-sales guy who becomes his right-hand man in this Thanksgiving fiasco. As his taste in leisure suits attests, Herb’s judgment is no better than Carlson’s.

In the episode’s second act, as WKRP newsman Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) broadcasts live from the Pinedale Mall, what Mr. Carlson has done becomes clear, in real time, to Les, his colleagues back at the station, and everyone watching WKRP in Cincinnati: Mr. Carlson has chosen to drop 20 live turkeys from a helicopter with a “Happy Thanksgiving from WKRP” banner attached to it, above a busy shopping center parking lot. This … does not go well.

Feeling left out by all the recent changes, Mr. Carlson decides to launch his own Thanksgiving promotion. With the aid of Herb and Les, the Big Guy turns a routine turkey give-away into a comic catastrophe.

November 24 Radio History

➦In 1890... French inventor Edouard Branly coined the term "radioconductor"; the first use of the word "radio".

Experiments with tubes of metal filings, as reported in "Il Nuovo Cimento" in 1884, led to the development of the first radio wave detector, the coherer, by Branly some years later. It was the first widely used detector for radio communication. This consisted of iron filings contained in an insulating tube with two electrodes that will conduct an electric current under the action of an applied electrical signal. The operation of the coherer is based upon the large electrical contact resistance offered to the passage of electric current by loose metal filings, which decreases when direct current or alternating current is applied between the terminals of the coherer at a predetermined voltage. The mechanism is based on the thin layers of oxide covering all the filings, which is highly resistive. The oxide layers are broken down when a voltage is applied of the right magnitude, causing the coherer to "latch" into its low-resistance state until the voltage is removed and the coherer is physically tapped.

The coherer became the basis for radio reception, and remained in widespread use for about ten years, until about 1907. British radio pioneer Oliver Lodge made the coherer into a practical receiver by adding a "decoherer" which tapped the coherer after each reception to dislodge clumped filings, thus restoring the device's sensitivity. It was further developed by Guglielmo Marconi, then replaced about 1907 by crystal detectors.

Irene Wicker

➦In 1905...Ireene Wicker born (Died at age 81  – November 17, 1987). She was best known to young radio listeners in the 1930s and 1940s as “The Singing Lady”, which was the title of her radio program. She added the second 'e' in her first name on the advice of an astrologer.

Her radio show was first sponsored by the Kellogg Company, beginning in 1931. Her show was promoted as America’s first radio network program for children. Despite the title of her show, The Singing Lady, most of it involved Wicker telling adaptations of stories for children, ranging from fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen through to Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Also in the 1930s and early 1940s, she portrayed Jane Lee on the serial Judy and Jane on NBC-Blue.

In the 1940s, Wicker was a regular on Deadline Drama on NBC and the Blue Network. In the 1950s, she told stories on Big Jon and Sparkie on ABC radio.

Wicker came to television at WJZ-TV in 1949 with The Ireene Wicker Show in which she told fairy tales. She also had a program, The Singing Lady, on ABC-TV (1948-1950).

➦In 1906...Actor Don MacLaughlin was born in Webster, Iowa.  MacLaughlin originated the role of lawyer Chris Hughes on As the World Turns in 1956, and played the role until his death in 1986.

Prior to TV, MacLaughlin was active on radio, beginning in 1933. He starred as the title character on radio's David Harding, Counterspy in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1945, he joined the cast of The Romance of Helen Trent, in the role of Dwight Swanson, "a rancher who becomes interested in Helen Trent."

Howard Duff
He died at age 79 on May 28 1986.

➦In 1913...Radio-TV-Film actor Howard Duff was born in Bremerton, WA.

Duff's most memorable radio role was as Dashiell Hammett's private eye Sam Spade in The Adventures of Sam Spade (1946–50).With his TV and film career starting to take hold, he ultimately left the program in 1950 at the start of its final season; Stephen Dunne took over the voice role of Spade.

He died following a heart attack July 8, 1990 at age 76.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

FCC Greenlights Sale Of 18 Stations To Latino Media Network

A liberal group linked to billionaire George Soros has been cleared by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to purchase Spanish-language radio stations throughout the country, rekindling concerns that a "radical political agenda" will influence information provided to Hispanic voters, according to Fox News Digital

Miami’s iconic, Spanish-language conservative talk radio station Radio Mambi is one of the 18 stations the Soros-backed Latino Media Network will purchase from Televisa Univision for a reported $60 million. Radio Mambi, which is historically linked to the Cuban exile community and offers an anti-communism view, will be controlled by liberals once the deal is finalized. 

Latino Media Network Principals: Rockette, Valencia

Latino Media Network, which is partially financed by an investment group affiliated with Soros Fund Management, is controlled by Jess Morales Rocketto, a former Hillary for America and AFL-CIO employee, and former Obama White House staffer Stephanie Valencia. 

The FCC rejected a petition to block the proposed sale. 

"We have reviewed the applications and find that Univision is qualified to assign, and LMN is qualified to hold, the licenses for the stations," FCC Audio Division chief Albert Shuldiner said in a decision released on Monday and first reported by Inside Radio. 

Spanish-language stations in other major markets, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Antonio are also set to be controlled by the Soros-linked group. Some conservatives, particularly right-leaning Hispanics, have called it an attempt by the left to control the information made available to Spanish-speaking voters. 

George Soros
Radio Mambi staffers have been furious for months, and some of the station’s biggest stars walked away before the FCC even paved way for the deal to happen. Conservative host Lourdes Ubieta quit in July, saying she would never accept a paycheck from anyone connected to Soros. 

"America is a free country. Even an avowed global socialist with a clear radical political agenda can buy our media outlets to silence their opposition," Ubieta told Fox News Digital.

"It’s also a country where we can leave such a workplace, start our own radio station at Radio Libre, and beat the pants off that socialist in the ratings," Ubieta continued. "George Soros tried talk radio once before with Radio America and failed miserably. And today Miami market ratings show he’s on his way to defeat again, even before he gets started."

Audacy's new Radio Libre 790 launched in September in advance of the planned Soros takeover, offering Miami’s Spanish-language conservative talk radio market an alternative. Former Radio Mambi hosts Nelson Rubio, Dania Alexandrino and Ubieta are all on the new station that broadcasts content from upstart Americano Media. 

Big Shareholders Opposition Complicates News Corp-Fox Combo

Variety graphic

A major outside shareholder in News Corp and Fox Corp. opposes a plan by Rupert Murdoch to recombine the companies and wants other alternatives considered, including a breakup of News Corp.

The Wall Street Journal reports Independent Franchise Partners, a London-based investment firm and one of the largest non-Murdoch holders of both News Corp and Fox, said it told a special committee of News Corp’s board last month that it thought a combination on its own would fail to realize the full value of the company. It believes any combination should be done in conjunction with the sale of some of News Corp’s most valuable business units.

Murdoch’s family trust controls roughly 40% of the voting rights of both companies. Both have dual-class structures, with the family trust mainly holding class B shares, which have more powerful voting rights.

News Corp, in addition to owning The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and HarperCollins Publishers, is a major player in online real-estate listings through and other properties. It also owns Australian cable-television network Foxtel.