Saturday, December 3, 2022

December 4 Radio History

➦In 1889...Isabel Randolph born  (Died at age 83 – January 11, 1973). She was a  character actress in radio and film from the 1940s through the 1960s and on TV from the early 1950s to the middle 1960s.

She gained nationwide popularity on the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly (on the air 1935-1959), where she began in various "snooty" roles January 13, 1936, eventually becoming a long-running series character, the pompous Mrs. Abigail Uppington, a snooty society matron whom Fibber addressed as "Uppy," and whose pretensions Fibber delighted in deflating. She stayed with the comedy series for seven years until the show began its eighth season in the fall of 1943.

She also starred as the wife in NBC's soap opera Dan Harding's Wife (on the air January 20, 1936 through February 10, 1939), and was in the cast of two other NBC serials, One Man's Family (on the air 1932-59) during the 1940s.

In the early days of TV her credits include Our Miss Brooks, The Andy Griffith Show, Meet Millie, The Abbott & Costello Show, and Perry Mason.

Even while young, Randolph specialized in middle-aged "grand dame" roles on stage and radio, continuing in these roles when she entered films in 1940.

➦In 1915...Newscaster  Alan Jackson was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was the head anchor at CBS Radio News in New York City. (Jackson died April 26, 1976, from complications following an operation.)

Jackson began his 33-year career during the Second World War, reading the 6:00 PM national evening news (then the network's main news program) and anchoring coverage of many of the major news headlines of the day. He anchored CBS News's coverage of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, of the joining of US and Soviet forces in April 1945, and of V-E Day in May of that year.

He was one of the first national radio newscasters to announce the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. According to former CBS News Correspondent Dan Rather in his book "The Camera Never Blinks" and in the 2003 book "President Kennedy Has Been Shot", Rather had advised CBS news headquarters in New York from Dallas that there were unconfirmed reports that the President was dead. Jackson was handed a slip of paper reading "JFK DEAD" and immediately went on air with the announcement, reporting Kennedy's death as a fact (which had not yet been confirmed, although it was true that Kennedy was already dead), and playing the U.S. national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

He died in April 1976 at age 60. from complications after gall bladder surgery.

Deanne Durbin 'Something In the Winds' 1947

➦In 1921...Edna Mae Durbin born (Died at age 91 – April 17, 2013), known professionally as Deanna Durbin, was a Winnipeg, Canadian-born actress and singer, later settled in France, who appeared in musical films in the 1930s and 1940s. With the technical skill and vocal range of a legitimate lyric soprano, she performed many styles from popular standards to operatic arias.  However she established genuine radio credentials as a singing star of the popular Eddie Cantor Show.

Musk, Travis Rip NYTimes For Ignoring Twitter Expose

Elon Musk blasted the New York Times Saturday for its refusal to cover the ongoing firestorm over political censorship at Twitter — damning the newspaper as a “lobbying firm for far-left politicians.”

The NY Post reports the slam came in response to a tweet from conservative radio host Clay Travis, who had posted that “not one single article about @elonmusk or the @twitter email release” that dropped Friday had appeared in the Gray Lady’s pages or on its website.

“That is because The New York Times has become, for all intents and purposes, an unregistered lobbying firm for far-left politicians,” Musk responded.

The bombshell report documenting Democratic pressure that led Twitter censors to silence The Post and its coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election remained absent from the Times’s website — as well as that of its main competitor, the Washington Post — Saturday afternoon.

“Whatever your politics are,” Travis continued, “if you’re in media and you don’t think new revelations about the most severe censorship of a newspaper’s story in big tech history isn’t a story worthy of covering you aren’t a journalist you’re a propagandist.”

Atlanta Radio: WNNX Rock 100.5 In Stunt Mode

Cumulus Media-owned WNNX Rock 100.5 FM is stunting by playing the Verve’s 1997 alternative rock hit “Bittersweet Symphony” in a loop with the verbal tease: “It’s coming. Same As It Ever Was. Monday 6 a.m,” reports Rodney Ho at

Nine months ago, Rock 100.5 added syndicated morning show “Elliot in the Morning” and moved “Southside” Steve Rickman and Axel Lowe to afternoons.

The tease implies that the rock station may bring Rickman and Lowe back to mornings. Or there might be some sort of 99X-related revival in the works since “same as it ever was” is a reference to a Talking Heads song “Once in a Lifetime.” 

Rickman and Lowe
99X was once the dominant alt rock station in Atlanta from 1992 into the 2000s and now remains as a music-only new music station on 98.9 with a modest signal.

Rock 100.5 boss Brian Phillips (who helped launch 99X 30 years ago) really liked Elliot Segal’s free-wheeling morning show, which didn’t follow a normal syndicated clock. Segments would go on until Segal felt like taking a break. Segal has been on DC 101 in Washington, D.C., since 1999.

But Atlantans didn’t take to it, according to Ho, citing Nielsen data.

Rock 100.5 as a station has a weaker signal than its closest rival 97.1/The River, which dominates the rock space in Atlanta and has been the No. 1 station in Atlanta overall for several months.

The River’s ratings were six times bigger than Rock 100.5 in October, 8.4 to 1.4. In November, Rock slumped even more, falling to 1.2 while The River held its top spot with an 8.2.

Biden Admin May Move-On To New FCC Nominee

U-S Senate leadership is not expected to line up a confirmation vote for FCC nominee Democrat Gigi Sohn in this year’s lame-duck session, according to statements being made by multiple legislators.

“Bills will likely get the priority” in the Senate’s December calendar, said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. Cantwell, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee and has voiced support for Sohn, said she would continue looking for an opportunity for a confirmation vote.

For many Republicans, Sohn is a divisive nominee. They’ve cited concerns about her social media posts where she published tweets calling FOX News “state-sponsored propaganda.” Sohn said that comment would not make her biased in her role.

President Biden selected Sohn as his FCC nominee in October 2021.

The Wireless Estimator reports if Sohn isn’t approved before the current session of Congress comes to a close, Biden would need to nominate her for a second time when the new Congress convenes in January, requiring her to be vetted again.

Less polarizing nominees are being considered if Sohn isn’t confirmed. One potential nominee is Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat who lost her second campaign as Georgia Governor last month.

“Names of new potential candidates to supplant Sohn are circulating, including Schumer aide Didier Barjon, lobbyists said. 2022 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams has also been lobbying the White House to be Biden’s next FCC pick, lobbyists said,” Communications Daily reported on Thursday.

They stated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office, and Abrams didn’t comment. However, a spokesperson for Abrams, Michael Holloman, informed Fox News: “No, Stacey has not applied for or sought out a position on the FCC.”

Holloman’s denial contradicts a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence this week that a former FCC official informed them that “Abrams is also being considered for the FCC.”

Report: Apple To Cut Back Production In China

In recent weeks, Apple Inc. has accelerated plans to shift some of its production outside China, long the dominant country in the supply chain that built the world’s most valuable company, say people involved in the discussions. It is telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam, they say, and looking to reduce dependence on Taiwanese assemblers led by Foxconn Technology Group, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Turmoil at a place called iPhone City helped propel Apple’s shift. At the giant city-within-a-city in Zhengzhou, China, as many as 300,000 workers work at a factory run by Foxconn to make iPhones and other Apple products. At one point, it alone made about 85% of the Pro lineup of iPhones, according to market-research firm Counterpoint Research. 

Wall Street Journal 12/3/22
The Zhengzhou factory was convulsed in late November by violent protests. In videos posted online, workers upset about wages and Covid-19 restrictions could be seen throwing items and shouting “Stand up for your rights!” Riot police were present, the videos show. The location of one of the videos was verified by the news agency and video-verification service Storyful.

The Wall Street Journal corroborated events shown in the videos with workers at the site.

Coming after a year of events that weakened China’s status as a stable manufacturing center, the upheaval means Apple no longer feels comfortable having so much of its business tied up in one place, according to analysts and people in the Apple supply chain.

The Twitter Files: Post Story Censored Behind Dorsey's Back

Twitter “just freelanced” its baseless decision to censor The Post’s bombshell Hunter Biden laptop scoop in the run up to the 2020 election — with top-level workers at the social media giant agreeing that controversial decision was “f–ked,” damning insider communications released by CEO Elon Musk Friday reveal. 

The NY Post reports the chaos and confusion behind closed doors at Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the October 2020 Hunter Biden expose show that a small group of top-level execs decided to label the Post’s story as “hacked material” without any evidence — behind the back of then-CEO and founder Jack Dorsey. 

Musk tweeted a link to the account of independent journalist Matt Taibbi shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, who shed light on Twitter’s shady censorship decision by posting what appeared to be redacted emails between Twitter employees. 

The decision to censor The Post’s story was made “at the highest levels of the company,” according to Taibbi, but without Dorsey’s involvement. 

As Taibbi put it: The internal communications reveal “just how much was done without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, and how long it took for the situation to get ‘unf–ked’ (as one ex-employee put it) even after Dorsey jumped in.” 

According to Taibbi, Twitter’s former head of legal, policy, and trust Vijaya Gadde played a “key role” in the censorship decision. 

Damning emails and comments from former Twitter employees showed that “everyone knew”  the social media giant’s suppression of The Post’s scoops about Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. “was f—ed.”

The company’s shaky rationale for taking the extraordinary censorship step was that the story violated the company’s “hacked materials” policy, according to Taibbi — which was questioned by many insiders. 

Several Twitter sources reportedly told Taibbi that they remember hearing about a “general” warning from federal law enforcement in the summer of 2022 about foreign hacking, but no evidence has been found about government involvement specifically centered on The Post’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop. 

Matt Taibbi
“Hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it,” the ex-employee added. 

“They just freelanced it,” a former employee told Taibbi about how the decision came about. 

The decision left high-level executives puzzled. 

“I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe,” Trenton Kennedy, a communications official wrote in an apparent internal email to colleagues. 

Musk’s stance on The Post vs. Twitter

Musk, the world’s richest man who purchased Twitter last month, has previously insisted full disclosure was needed to determine why the company decided to block the bombshell report about President Biden’s son in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election. 

The 51-year-old billionaire, who has vowed to turn Twitter into a bastion of free speech, had been teasing the release of the internal files for several days, arguing the “public deserves to know what really happened.” 

NYTimes Newsers Ready To Walk-Out

  • No Contract, No News

More than 1,000 union employees at the New York Times have pledged to walk out for 24 hours if the news publisher does not agree to a 'complete and equitable contract' by December 8, reports The Daily Mail US..

NYT NewsGuild Unit Chair Bill Baker issued the walkout threat in a letter to Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien on Friday, a copy of which the union also posted on Twitter.

Arguing that their paychecks have been 'eviscerated by soaring inflation' while the company enjoys fat profits, the union members demanded 'wages that keep up with inflation and are commensurate with the value of our work.'

At the end of last year, regulatory filings show the Times had about 5,000 workers, including roughly 2,000 in newsroom roles, meaning the walkout would leave a skeleton crew in place to maintain the Times' website and produce the newspaper.

A NYT spokesman insisted the walkout would not stop the presses, telling 'While we are disappointed that the NewsGuild is threatening to strike, we are prepared to ensure The Times continues to serve our readers without disruption.'

'We remain committed to working with the NYT NewsGuild to reach a contract that we can all be proud of,' the spokesperson added. 'Our current wage proposal offers significant increases.'

But the union argues management has negotiated in bad faith, dragging out bargaining sessions for a new contract over the past 20 months.

GMA3's Hanky Panky: Uh-Oh! Amy Isn't TJ's First Butt Pat

TJ's Angels: Amy and Natasha

As could be out for The Cheater...

Before T.J. Holmes started a relationship with his GMA3 co-anhor Amy Robach, he had a three-year affair with married “Good Morning America” producer Natasha Singh that started in 2016.

Multiple sources told Page Six at The NY Post confided in Robach about their infidelity.

Another source disputed that Robach was their confidante and insisted “she didn’t know about the affair until it was in its final stages. They told her about it right at the end.”

TJ's helping hand...
Their affair started off long distance with Holmes based in New York and Singh working as a producer for the show from Los Angeles.

Holmes was just a “GMA” correspondent at the time and we’re told they’d meet up for romps during his travels.

Singh, who is also a yoga teacher and mediator, left the show in 2018 and moved to New York, where she started working as a producer for CBS Mornings. That’s when she and Holmes started spending even more time together.

“She fell in love with him. He had a key to her apartment,” another insider told us.

Holmes’ wife, Marilee Fiebig, found out about the affair in 2019 after discovering several emails.

Chris Fallica Jumping To FOX Sports

Chris Fallica Leaving 'College Game Day'

Chris Fallica, a popular voice on ESPN’s “College GameDay,” is leaving the network for Fox Sports, The NY Post has confirmed.

A spokesperson for Fox declined to comment. The news was first reported by Awful Announcing.

Fallica, an everyman who resonates with football fans across America, will join Fox’s “Big Noon Kickoff,” the college football pregame show that the network launched in 2019 to compete with “GameDay.”

The pregame show was created in synergy with FOX’s strategy of putting the best game of their slate on at noon ET, where there has traditionally been less competition against big games on other networks.

“Big Noon Kickoff” features host Rob Stone alongside analysts Urban Meyer, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Charles Woodson.
The move is somewhat of a stunner as Fallica has been at ESPN so long he is almost like furniture. 

He started at ESPN as a production assistant at ESPN radio in 1995, and then joined “GameDay” as a researcher in 1996.

He worked on the program, and a number of other ESPN properties, behind the scenes until 2013, when he began making game picks on the show.

Philly TV: CBS3 Shakes Up The Weather Team

CBS3’s Eyewitness News is shaking up its weather team, moving chief meteorologist Kate Bilo from nights to daytime and replacing her with newcomer Bill Kelly, report the Philly Business Journal.

Beginning January 9, Kelly will supplant Bilo as chief meteorologist, working the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m newscasts on CBS3, and the 10 p.m. newscast on the CW Philly (WPSG-TV) and the CBS News Philadelphia streaming channel.

Kelly was most recently the chief meteorologist for WJLA-TV, the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., since 2017.

Bill Kelly
Prior to joining WJLA, Kelly was the chief meteorologist at stations in Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix, Arizona; and Spokane, Washington. He has also worked at TV stations in Sacramento, California; Cincinnati, Ohio; Medford, Oregon; and Eureka, California. He graduated from California State University-Sacramento with a degree in broadcast news communications and completed the broadcast meteorology program at Mississippi State University. He has won 12 regional Emmy Awards, six Associated Press awards, and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for technological innovation during his 20-year career.

Bilo, who replaced Kathy Orr as chief meteorologist in 2015 as part of a major overhaul, will transition to daytime in large part to address the growing demand for weather coverage on the CBS News Philadelphia streaming channel, according to the station. Bilo will also appear on the noon and 4 p.m. weekday television newscasts.

A Phoenixville native, Bilo returned to the region in October 2010 when she joined CBS3 (KYW-TV) from AccuWeather in State College, where she had been a meteorologist since 2004.

Edison Research: 47M Women Listen To Podcasts

An updated report from Edison Research and SXM Media indicates some 47-million women are listening to Podcasts.  The Women’s 2022 Podcast Report captures the listening behaviors of women across the nation to determine and explore new growth, emerging themes and established demographics. 

The report is a result of SXM Media’s endeavor to elevating underrepresented voices.  The report surveyed 1,500 Americans who self-identify as women, aged 18+ in August of 2022 and who listen to podcasts monthly.

Among the Key Takeaways:

Podcast Listenership Among Women is Up
  • Over 1 in 3 U.S. Women 18+ (35%) have listened to a podcast in the past month. This is up 67% over the past 5 years, and now represents an estimated 47 million women.
  • Over the past 5 years, women have started closing the gender gap in a medium that once skewed heavily male. In 2017, only 44% of U.S. 18+ monthly podcast listeners were female. In 2022 48% are female, more closely mirroring the U.S. population.
  • As we see with podcast listeners overall, women monthly podcast listeners stand out from total U.S. women ages 18+. They are:Younger (48% more likely to be ages 18-34)
  • More likely to be in the workforce (47% more likely to be employed full time)
  • Higher income (36% more likely to have household income of $100k or more)
  • Highly educated (22% more likely to have a college degree)
  • More likely to be Moms (33% more likely to have children under 18)

Tampa Radio: Orlando's Toy Drive Airs On WLLD

Beasley Media Group announces WLLD WiLD 94.1 FM’s Freak Show Personality and Program Director Orlando Davis’ will host the station’s 11th Annual Toy Drive Tower event to benefit The Children’s Home Network in Tampa, Florida.

Now through Saturday, December 10th at 5pm, Orlando will climb the Toy Drive Tower, an outdoor constructed platform which will be elevated 30 feet in the air overlooking the City of Tampa and Westshore Plaza Mall (250 Westshore Blvd), where he will remain for eight days.

Orlando will encourage listeners to stop by and donate unwrapped toys, bicycles, gift cards and monetary donations to benefit The Children’s Home Network. In addition, the Freak Show will join him from the tower and broadcast live every morning from December 5th-9th, 2022.

The WiLD 94.1 FM Morning Show Personality hopes to break last year’s donation collection record, which included more than 658 bicycles, 4 Full POD containers of toys and over $81,219.00 in cash and gift cards!

“After the year that we’ve all experienced, it’s nice to get a chance to get back to the sweetest space of sharing… with our community,” said Davis. “This is where our audience, business community and friends put their best giving gloves on and do an incredible thing – together. To see families and company staffers all beam with joy for the kids of The Children’s Home Network is a blessing to witness. I’m proud of Tampa Bay every year!”

The Children’s Home Network is a non-profit organization that serves as a sanctuary for abused, neglected or abandoned children in the community.

SW FLA Radio: WXKB Stuff-A-Bus Benefits Salvation Army

Beasley Media Group’s WXKB-FM B103.9, in collaboration with The Salvation Army of Lee County, are collecting toys to benefit Southwest Florida’s Families during the B1039 Stuff-A-Bus Toy Drive.

The station will broadcast live from a SWFL Waste Management Truck located on site at the Wal-Mart located at 19975 S Tamiami Trail in Estero, Florida from 6:00am – 10:00am on Friday, December 9, 2022.

On-air personalities will encourage listeners and businesses to stop by and donate a bike and toys to benefit children residing throughout the local community. In addition, Achieva Credit Union team members will be on site lend a hand with toy donations.

“Santa can use a little help sometimes, and our communities are full of the Christmas Spirit,” said Budman from The Wild Bunch. “I know we’ll make Santa proud by spreading Holiday magic and joy to the kids of Southwest Florida!”

“Christmas is all about the kids and with the last few months, especially, being difficult for so many families in SWFL, we are excited to spread the joy of the holiday season,” said Marija from The Wild Bunch. “There’s nothing like seeing the face of child light up at the sight of gifts under the tree and we’re happy to help make that a reality for kids in our community this year!”

December 3 Radio History

➦In 1927...singer Andy Williams was born in smalltown Iowa.   After singing with three siblings in The Williams Brothers quartet on midwest radio as early as 1938, he became a featured soloist on NBC-TV’s Tonight Show, hosted in the early 50’s by Steve Allen.  Later he was host of his own TV series (1962-71) and a number of Christmas specials on NBC.  Most of his 44 albums were featured on MOR radio stations throughout his life.  He succumbed to bladder cancer Sept. 25 2012 at age 84.

➦In 1928…NBC radio gave birth to what would be the longest run of any semi-classical music broadcast.  It began as The Firestone Hour, evolving soon into the 30-minute Voice of Firestone, which aired o Monday evenings for 28-years.  It was also a simulcast on NBC TV beginning in 1949, it moved to ABC in 1954 and ended its almost 35-year run on ABC-TV in 1963.

➦In 1948...Bing Crosby's song "White Christmas" debuted on the U.S. music charts. That was 7 years after it was first sung on a radio show sponsored by the Kraft Company on Christmas Day, 1941.

A Young Paul Harvey
➦In 1950...ABC Radio began airing Paul Harvey news and comment nationwide.

Paul Harvey Aurandt broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays on the ABC Radio Network.  He also voiced his famous "The Rest of the Story" segments. From the 1950s through the 1990s, Harvey's programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers.

Harvey made radio receivers as a young boy. He attended Tulsa Central High School where a teacher was "impressed by his voice." On her recommendation, he started working at KVOO in Tulsa in 1933, when he was 14. His first job was helping clean up. Eventually he was allowed to fill in on the air, reading commercials and the news.

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

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

Harvey then moved to Chicago, where in June 1944, he began broadcasting from the ABC affiliate WENR. In 1945, he began hosting the postwar employment program Jobs for G.I. Joe on WENR.

Harvey added The Rest of the Story as a tagline to in-depth feature stories in 1946.

On April 1, 1951, the ABC Radio Network debuted Paul Harvey News and Comment "Commentary and analysis of Paul Harvey each weekday at 12 Noon". Paul Harvey was also heard originally on Sundays; the first Sunday program was Harvey's introduction. Later, the Sunday program would move to Saturdays.

Harvey died on February 28, 2009, at the age of 90 at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

➦In 1955...Elvis Presley's first single release for RCA Victor.  No, it wasn’t ‘Hound Dog’ or ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’ The first two sides were actually purchased from Sam Phillips of Sun Records: ‘Mystery Train’ and ‘I Forgot to Remember to Forget.’  RCAVictor called Elvis "The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years."

➦In 1961…The Beatles met Brian Epstein for the first time at his Liverpool record store, NEMS. That evening they discuss Epstein's management of the group.

➦In 1968...Elvis' comeback TV special aired on NBC. Taped the previous summer, it included Elvis’s first appearance before an audience in more than seven years. The special was a powerful performance after years of generally mediocre movies.

➦In 1979...Shadow Traffic made its debut in the NYC market.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Robin Meade, Entire Atlanta HLN News Operations Nixed

Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. is ending live programming on CNN’s sister channel HLN, the latest cost-cutting move aimed at reducing the company’s debt.

Bloomberg reports starting Dec. 6, HLN, once known as Headline News, will simulcast the new CNN morning show hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins in place of its current morning news program.

HLN also aired true-crime shows through much of the day. While its live programming will go away, the staff will join forces with the company’s ID network and develop or acquire true-crime programming for both channels, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a memo to staff Thursday, CNN chief Chris Licht also said CNN will cut an undisclosed number of jobs in programming and marketing and, in some cases, merge teams for daytime and weekend shows. CNN’s US newsroom is laying off some staff and also adding new roles to cover the country more broadly, he said.

CNN Staff Memo Details Changes

Hundreds of CNN employees were notified of layoffs Thursday as part of CEO Chris Licht’s efforts to transform the cable news network.

CNN had about 4,400 employees. The layoffs affected hundreds of staffers, but amounted to a “single-digit percentage” of staff, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. That would mean no more than about 400 staffers were let go.

Licht sent a memo to all staffers Thursday afternoon after the news was delivered to employees, which included long-time HLN anchor Robin Meade and reporter Chris Cillizza. Licht wrote in the memo he will hold a town hall next week to answer any questions.

Read the full memo here:

SiriusXM to Cut Staffers

SiriusXM Holdings Inc., the satellite radio service controlled by billionaire John Malone, plans to fire staff in the coming weeks amid faltering sales growth, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Witz is looking to reduce costs and get ahead of any potential economic slowdown, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the company it still assessing how deep the cuts will be.

Sirius had 5,590 employees at the end of last year, according to filings. The number of cuts wasn’t immediately known.

Sirius gets a lot of customers from the automotive industry. Its so-called “trial funnel” of new listeners slipped to about 7 million in the third quarter, reflecting weaker auto sales in the period.

The company warned of potential cuts in a Nov. 28 town hall with employees, saying it was conducting a review of ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

NYC Radio: WCBS-FM's Patty Steele Plans Career After Scott Shannon

Scott Shannon and Patty Steele

Upon her co-host Scott Shannon announcing his retirement from WCBS-FM, Patty Steele moves on from the 101.1 FM New York City morning show to consider all current and future options.

Live from the Blythedale Children’s Hospital, their last show together will be Dec. 16, after which Steele will devote more time to her award-winning podcast, The Deep 6. She’ll also explore new opportunities that have been presented in radio and digital, as well as public speaking and writing, all real passions of hers.

“My career in New York City has been in blocks, three of which were with Scott at Z100, then WPLJ, and now WCBS-FM,” says Steele. “I fully support his decision and look forward to pursuing new career opportunities and diving deeper into my own creative endeavors.”

Steele is a legendary figure in the radio broadcast industry, who for years in New York City, has been the one and only woman to co-host shows with such icons as Elvis Duran, Scott Shannon and John Lander on dominant stations including Z100, WPLJ, and currently WCBS-FM where she co-hosts Scott Shannon in the Morning with Patty Steele.  

She has also anchored news for WCBS Newsradio 880, 1010WINS and WOR.  In 2015, she launched her first podcast called News on the Rocks with Patty Steele, which was featured on the BBC.  In 2021, she launched her second, award-winning podcast with WLS Chicago’s Steve Cochran, The Deep 6, available at  Currently, she’s producing another podcast based on her love of history as a storytelling medium.

Throughout her on-air career, Steele made an impact as a voice-over talent for television, film, Broadway shows and blue-chip advertisers. Radio and television stations also sought her out for imaging. 

Alex Jones Files For Personal Bankruptcy

Infowars host Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy after being ordered to pay more than $1 billion to families of Sandy Hook massacre victims, court papers show, reports Bloomberg.

The far-right talk show host listed liabilities of at least $1 billion in a bankruptcy court petition filed in Texas. Jones has been under intense legal pressure in recent months after courts in Texas and Connecticut found him financially liable for spreading falsehoods about the 2012 school shooting that killed 20 children and 6 school staffers.

Jones has been ordered by courts to pay well over a billion dollars in total for his lies about the massacre. But the conspiracy theorist hasn’t disappeared from the airwaves: just yesterday, Jones’ show featured an appearance from Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, who spoke positively about Adolf Hitler.

Wake-Up Call: Twitter Says Nay To Ye

Daily Mail US Composite 12/2/22

Kanye West has been booted off Twitter after new owner Elon Musk said the rapper had 'gone too far' for sharing an image of a swastika inside a Star of David as his 'presidential campaign symbol'. West's account was initially locked for 12 hours, and later suspended. It's unclear whether the suspension is temporary or permanent. He shared what appears to be a text message exchange with the billionaire tech entrepreneur during his wild social media meltdown on Thursday night. Musk, who reinstated West's banned Twitter account just last month after taking control of the company, said the rapper was encouraging violence. 'I tried my best,' Musk wrote on his social media platform after Twitter deleted West's offending tweet and temporarily locked his account. Shortly afterward, Musk tweeted 'FAFO' which are initials for the term 'f*** around, and find out.'

➤APPEALS COURT RULES OUT SPECIAL MASTER IN TRUMP CASE: A federal appeals court has stopped a third-party review of documents seized by the government from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. A lower court judge had allowed appointment of the so-called “special master” to review thousands of documents and decide which could be seen by federal investigators, The documents allegedly include confidential government records.

"The law is clear," the three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. "We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so." The judges had told Trump’s lawyers during oral arguments that the traditional way to challenge what becomes part of an investigation through a government seizure is to challenge the evidence after charges have been filed, which they have not. 

➤ JUSTICES ACCEPT STUDENT LOAN CASE: The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the Biden administration can cancel student-loan debt for millions of Americans. The justices didn’t act on the administration's emergency request to move forward with the debt relief immediately and instead set arguments on the matter for this winter. A final ruling could come by June. Republican officials in six states brought the lawsuit, claiming that the program is an unlawful exercise of presidential authority that would affect state revenues and tax receipts.

➤OCTOBER SAW A JUMP IN CONSUMER SPENDING: The seasonally adjusted 0.8% is the strongest gain since June, the Commerce Department said. Spending outpaced inflation, but the personal saving rate hit its lowest level since 2005, a sign that rising prices are squeezing household budgets. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, dropped to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. That was near the 2019 weekly average of around 218,000, when the labor market was also robust. U.S. stocks were mixed.

➤CHINA EASES UP ON ‘ZERO COVID’ POLICY: China’s government is sending signals that it may ease up on its tough “no COVID” policies, apparently in response to huge demonstrations in a number of cities. China has reported only 6,000 deaths due to COVID among its 1.4 billion people. But that success came at the cost of severe restraints on citizens, including repeated forced lockdowns and mass testing requirements.

➤CHINA CLAMPS DOWN ON INTERNET: China clamped down on internet access in an effort to end Covid-19 demonstrations. The country's online regulators told tech companies to expand their censorship efforts and remove sales postings and information about VPNs, or virtual private networks, which protesters and their supporters have used to circulate videos, according to people familiar with the matter. A heavy police presence across major cities has kept demonstrators off the streets, and investigators are using cellphone data and social media sites to find participants opposed to China’s zero-Covid policies.

Powerful Lawmaker Urges Auto Makers To Keep AM Radio

As automakers move swiftly to meet rising consumer demand for electric vehicles (EVs), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Thursday sent letters to 20 car manufacturers requesting that they maintain AM radio in their vehicles, including new EV models. 

Sen. Ed Markey
In his letter, Senator Markey explained that consumers still value AM radio and stressed that free broadcast radio is a critical, reliable channel for local, state, and federal government officials – including the President of the United States, governors, mayors, and emergency management and public safety officers – to communicate with the public. Senator Markey further urged automakers to adopt technological solutions to address any electromagnetic interference that EVs cause with AM radio signals.

“Despite innovations such as the smartphone and social media, AM/FM broadcast radio remains the most dependable, cost-free, and accessible communication mechanism for public officials to communicate with the public during times of emergency. As a result, any phase-out of broadcast AM radio could pose a significant communication problem during emergencies,” Senator Markey wrote. “Although the auto industry’s investments in electric vehicles are critical to addressing the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, automakers need not sacrifice the benefits of radio in the process.”

Cold, Dark Winter For News Media

CNN is laying off hundreds of employees in a cost-cutting effort that illuminates the financial challenges facing a wide array of media companies as the economy teeters toward a possible recession.

The cuts began on Wednesday and finished on Thursday, with affected employees notified in person or via Zoom, reports The Washington Post.

“It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team,” CNN chief executive Chris Licht wrote in a Wednesday staff memo obtained by The Washington Post, describing the cuts as a “gut punch.”

Chris Cillizza, who joined CNN as a politics reporter and editor-at-large in 2017, confirmed to The Post that he has been laid off. Susan Glasser, a CNN global affairs analyst, also said that she was “one of many” part-time commentators affected by the cuts. Rachel Metz, a senior technology writer, said she was “devastated” to have been laid off on Thursday.

Political analyst Chris Cillizza, 46, who has been covering national politics, the White House and Congress for the cable giant and who came over to the network from The Washington Post in 2017 was among those who were let go this week, Variety reported. Business correspondent Alison Kosik, 51, who covers the New York Stock Exchange and has been at the network since 2007 was terminated. Alexandra Field, 31, who covers major breaking news events for CNN and CNN International, and has reported from more than 20 countries was dismissed. Martin Savidge, 64, an anchor and correspondent for CNN based in the network's world headquarters in Atlanta, who returned to the network in 2011 was let go. Mary Ann Fox, Vice President of Northeast News, who also oversaw the editorial direction and day-to-day operations of the New York Bureau, and had been at CNN since 2014, was also sacked this week. The cable new giant also scrapped all of HLN's live programming.

Other television networks are planning cost-cutting measures over the winter. 

Apple CEO Ignores Reporter On Capitol Hill

Tim Cook cornered

The CEO of tech giant Apple refused to comment on the ongoing protests in China, a political development with serious implications for his company.

FOX Business caught up with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday as he arrived for meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

Cook – asked by FOX Business whether he supported the Chinese people's right to protest and his thoughts on the factory workers beaten by authorities – remained silent.

Cook further remained silent when asked if he regretted Apple reportedly restricting AirDrop access that protesters used to evade surveillance of the Chinese government.

Cook also refused to comment on whether he stood by his company's business dealings with the Chinese Communist Party.

D-C Radio: Salem's Tom Moyer Retiring As GM

Salem Media Group, Inc. has announced Tom Moyer, General Manager of Salem Media Group’s cluster of stations in Washington, D.C. will retire at the end of the year. Tom is a 30-year veteran of the Salem DC management team, playing a major role in the growth and development of the cluster.

Tom Moyer
Salem Media Group Chief Executive Officer Dave Santrella commented, “Our cluster of stations in Washington DC, and particularly WAVA-FM, are crown jewels in Salem’s portfolio of stations. Tom Moyer has been a tremendous leader for us, holding fast to the principles that have guided our company and allowing these stations to be glimmering examples of what a Salem radio station should be in any community. We will miss him and wish him great success in the next chapter.”

Moyer commented, “I’m very grateful for my time at Salem. For my wife Sharon and me Salem has been such an important part of our lives for 30 years. There is certainly a sadness in my heart in moving on, but I have confidence that the timing is right.”

Salem Media Group Senior Vice President Allen Power also commented, “It is not an overstatement to say Tom Moyer has been a part of the very fiber of our DC cluster over the past 30 years. Replacing a longtime leader like Tom is no small task so we considered all the stakeholders of Salem Media DC in deciding on a succession plan.”

With Moyer’s Retirement, David Howard will be promoted from General Sales Manager to General Manager for the market. Additionally, Chuck Olmstead will move from Local Ministry Director to the new role of Station Manager for WAVA-AM/FM and Sirius XM Family Talk.

Milwaukee Radio: Sandy Maxx To Co-Host PM Drive At WTMJ

Sandy Maxx
Good Karma Brands' Newsradio 620 WTMJ announced Thursday Milwaukee broadcast veteran, Sandy Maxx will co-anchor the station’s iconic afternoon show, Wisconsin’s Afternoon News. Maxx will join On-Air Host John Mercure, Sports Director Greg Matzek, and Traffic Reporter Debbie Lazaga weekday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. beginning on Monday, December 12th.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sandy to the WTMJ team,” said Ryan Maguire, director of content, Newsradio 620 WTMJ. She continued, “Her perspective is unique, her energy is infectious, and her love for Milwaukee is truly genuine. Our fans and partners can expect Sandy to make an entertaining and enlightening addition to ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’, and we can’t wait for her to get started.”

TV News Hanky Panky Grabs Headlines

Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes have reunited to co-anchor Good Morning America's third hour for the first time since their secret love affair was revealed.

Robach, 49, made an awkward return to the show on Thursday, taking her usual seat between her co-star lover and GMA correspondent Jennifer Ashton after her mysterious absence yesterday. The hosts appeared determined to show it was business as usual at ABC studios, with T.J. and Amy jumping straight into the broadcast without addressing their romance.

It comes after Holmes delivered a very awkward broadcast Wednesday as he was left to anchor the show alone shortly after his secret romance with Robach was exposed. 

The normally charismatic Holmes, 45, was visibly on edge as he kicked off GMA's lunchtime spinoff, GMA3: What You Need to Know, Wednesday afternoon without Robach or fellow correspondent Jennifer Ashton by his side. He fidgeted in his seat with his eyes shifting left and right before swiftly and awkwardly addressing his co-stars' absence on air, claiming the two were 'on assignment.'

Meanwhile, the couple arrived to work on Thursday feeling no shame about their relationship scandal that shocked the media industry a day before.

Houston Radio: Lauren Sessions Joins KKBQ For PM Drive/APD

Lauren Sessions
Cox Media Group Houston has announced Lauren “Lo” Sessions has been named the new Afternoon Drive Host and Assistant Program Director/Music Director.

Sessions joins KKBQ 93Q with a dynamic background in major market experience across multiple formats. She started her radio career at iHeart Media Tampa Bay on WFLZ and later spent time with West Virginia Radio Corporation’s 102 WVAQ. Most recently, she served as the Marketing Director in San Antonio for Alpha Media USA.

Sessions was recently chosen as one of four mentees for the MIW Mildred Carter Mentoring Program’s Class of 2022.

“Cue Alan Jackson, she’s gone country folks!” said Sessions. “The only word I can describe how I’m feeling is excitement. I’m excited to join a group of talented individuals, work alongside one of the best Country programmers in the industry, and experience the magic of what this format not only brings to the great city of Houston, but across the country. My sincere thanks to Travis Moon, Stephanie Callihan and the CMG team for this incredible opportunity. I’m truly looking forward to bringing The Lo Show & KKBQ to new heights in the Space City. Also, a girl can never have too many pairs of boots, right?!”

“I am beyond pumped to have Lo join the 93Q team. She is a rising programming star with such a creative and engaging on-air personality,” said Travis Moon, CMG Houston’s Director of Operations. “I’m looking forward to seeing her amazing connection come to life with 93Q’s passionate country listeners in Houston.”

Rochester NY Radio: Nik Rivers Joins Stephens Media

Nik Rivers
Stephens Media Group has named Nik Rivers as Operations Manager for the 3-station cluster in Rochester, NY effective December 16th.

Rivers, former Program Director for WZNE Rochester is returning to the building as Operations Manager for the cluster, this time overseeing programming for all 3 of the Stephens Media properties.

“After eight years in Buffalo, I am beyond excited to make the move back to Rochester and rejoin the amazing team at Stephens Media Group,” commented Rivers. 

“I am looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Warm 101.3 (WRMM), 94.1 The Zone (WZNE), and Fickle 93.3 (WFKL). The stations, and the cluster as a whole, are market leaders, and I am looking forward to continuing the great run of success that they have had in Western New York while bringing a new attitude and passion to the group to help lead it into the future. I want to thank Stephens Media Group’s SVP of Programming Bob Thornton, Rochester General Manager Mike Ninnie, and Alternative Format Captain Josh Venable for entrusting me to lead SMG Rochester, and for the chance to come back home.”

The new position reunites Rivers with General Manager Mike Ninnie as well as several veteran staff members. Current OM Mike McCoy recently moved to Phoenix for family reasons and will relinquish the post.

NBC to Stream RSNs on Peacock

Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal plans to begin streaming the broadcaster’s regional sports networks later this year on Peacock, bolstering the programming lineup of its online video service, reports Bloomberg.

The company has been negotiating streaming rights with teams and leagues, Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said Thursday at a conference sponsored by Sports Business Journal.

December 2 Radio History

➦In Ezra Stone was born in New Bedford Mass.  ezra-stone His major acting success was as the teenaged son, Henry, in the popular radio comedy The Aldrich Family. As director he shot that show when it came to TV, as well as The Munsters & Lost in Space. He died at age 76 in an auto accident Mar 3, 1994.

➦In 1932..."The Adventures of Charlie Chan" first aired on the NBC Blue Radio Network. The Chinese detective became even more popular on the movie screen in the 1930s and 1940s.

On radio, Charlie Chan was heard in several different series on three networks (the NBC Blue Network, Mutual, and ABC) between 1932 and 1948.  Walter Connolly initially portrayed Chan on Esso Oil's Five Star Theater.  Ed Begley, Sr. had the title role in NBC's The Adventures of Charlie Chan (1944–45), followed by Santos Ortega (1947–48). Leon Janney and Rodney Jacobs were heard as Lee Chan, Number One Son, and Dorian St. George was the announcer.

➦In 1963...Jay Nelson aired his first morning show on CHUM 1050 AM Toronto.

Born Frank Coxe in Scranton, Pa., Nelson was a disc jockey there before arriving in  Buffalo, where WKBW was riding the crest of rock's surging popularity.

He joined Joey Reynolds, Danny Neaverth, Fred Klestine and a handful of other star disc jockeys who were kings of radio and school record hops. Owing to the station's 50,000 watts of power, their irreverent voices and record selections boomed into homes up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

On weekends Nelson changed into a pith helmet and khakis for his role as host of WKBW-TV's "Jungle Jay Show," a humorous audience participation series that aired on Saturday morning.

The program was a hit with Canadian viewers as well, and it was Nelson's cross-border popularity that earned him the morning job at CHUM.

Nelson had a 17 year run in morning drive at CHUM, finally stepping down in 1980.

Nelson went on to gigs at CITY-TV, CKFM, CKEY, CHFI and CJEZ and was teaching radio at George Brown College in Toronto shortly before his death.

On February 18, 1994, Toronto radio fans were shocked at the news that long-time CHUM morning man Jay Nelson had died.

➦In 1971...Don Imus started at 660 WNBC, New York City.

Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis.  After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California.