Saturday, December 10, 2022

December 11 Radio History

➦In 1899...The fame of radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi took a leap forward on this day when William Preece, the Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office, gave a public lecture in London called "Telegraphy without Wires", praising the Italian's ideas. Marconi had left his native Italy earlier in the year believing that his work was unappreciated by his countrymen. Aged 21, he thought he would have more success in the United Kingdom.

Preece became involved when he was alerted by a Customs officer at Dover who found electrical apparatus in Marconi's case. The Post Office man became fascinated by the Italian's experiments and they formed a friendship which led to Preece's lecture. From then on Marconi's fame grew, culminating in the first transatlantic radio communication in December 1901. It was transmitted from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, and received at St John's Newfoundland. An excited Marconi later wrote about the experience:

"I placed the single earphone to my ear and started listening. The receiver on the table before me was very crude – a few coils and condensers and a coherer; no valves, no amplifiers, not even a crystal.

➦In 1936... King Edward VIII, decided to abdicate the British throne.  He made the announcement in a worldwide radio broadcast.

He famously said, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

He added that the "decision was mine and mine alone ... The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course".

Edward departed Britain for Austria the following day; he was unable to join Simpson until her divorce became final, several months later. His brother, the Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI. George VI's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth (currently Queen), became heir presumptive.

➦In 1944..."The Chesterfield Supper Club," a 15-minute weekday program airing at 7:00 p.m. (ET), debuted on NBC Radio. Initially, Perry Como hosted all the shows. Beginning with the second season, he reduced his schedule to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Jo Stafford hosted Tuesdays and Thursdays. In 1948, Peggy Lee took over the Thursday broadcast. In September 1949, the show aired weekly and it was extended to 30-minutes.

➦In 1954...Allan Waters purchased 10-year old Toronto radio station CHUM 1050 AM from patent medicine king Jack Part, for shares Waters held in Part’s companies, and $500 a month.

CHUM was a 1000 watt daytime-only station, which Waters built into a 50,000 watt top 40 juggernaut.

Less than three years after Waters acquired the station, and soon after bringing the new full-time transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and the Beatles (1964, 1965, and 1966).

The station rose in popularity in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s; though it never supplanted perennial Toronto ratings champ CFRB at the top of the ratings chart, it was still a major broadcasting powerhouse with a particular appeal to the teen market. As the station became more successful, it also built yet another new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power once again to its current 50,000 watts around the clock.

➦In 1964...Soul and gospel singer 33-year-old Sam Cooke was shot to death. He  died at the Hacienda Motel, in Los Angeles. Answering separate reports of a shooting and of a kidnapping at the motel, police found Cooke's body, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes but no shirt, pants or underwear. He had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, which was later determined to have pierced his heart. The motel's manager, Bertha Franklin, said she had shot Cooke in self-defense after he broke into her office residence and attacked her. Her account was immediately disputed by Cooke's acquaintances.

Sam Cooke
The official police record states that Franklin fatally shot Cooke, who had checked in earlier that evening. Franklin said that Cooke had broken into the manager's office-apartment in a rage, wearing nothing but a shoe and a sports coat, demanding to know the whereabouts of a woman who had accompanied him to the motel. Franklin said the woman was not in the office and that she told Cooke this, but the enraged Cooke did not believe her and violently grabbed her, demanding again to know the woman's whereabouts. According to Franklin, she grappled with Cooke, the two of them fell to the floor, and she then got up and ran to retrieve a gun. She said she then fired at Cooke in self-defense because she feared for her life. Cooke was struck once in the torso.

According to Franklin, he exclaimed, "Lady, you shot me," before mounting a last charge at her. She said she beat him over his head with a broomstick before he finally fell, mortally wounded by the gunshot.

➦In 1985
...General Electric Corp., long eager to enter the broadcasting business, announced it would purchase RCA Corp., parent of the NBC radio and the television network, for $6.28 billion in cash.

RCA has been the subject of takeover talk for months, fueled by the improved fortunes of NBC and the wave of mergers and acquisitions that has taken place in the broadcast industry.

A takeover of RCA meant that all three national networks have been the subject of merger activity this year. American Broadcasting Cos. is being acquired by Capital Cities Communications. CBS successfully fought off a takeover by cable entrepreneur Ted Turner but, in the process, was forced to take on substantial debt and sell off a number of assets.

Ironically, RCA was organized in 1919 by Westinghouse and General Electric as a means of entering the new field of radio broadcasting. The company was spun off by the two in 1930.

➦In 1991...Robert Q. Lewis died at age 71 (Born Robert Goldberg; April 25, 1920).  He was a radio and television personality, game show host, and actor.

Robert Q Lewis
Lewis is perhaps best known for his game show participation, having been the first host of The Name's the Same and regularly appearing on other Goodson-Todman panel shows. He also hosted and appeared on a multitude of television shows of the 1940s through the 1970s.

Lewis made his radio debut in 1931, at age 11, on a local radio show, "Dr. Posner's Kiddie Hour". In 1942 he left to enlist in the U.S. Army during the second world war and became a radio operator in the Signal Corps,  After the war, he became an announcer and disc jockey. He had stints WNEW 1130 AM , WNBC 660 AM, both in NYC.  Also KHJ, 1961-62; KFI, 1972-75; KRLA, 1975 in Los Angeles.

Lewis made his radio debut in 1931, at age 11, on a local radio show, "Dr. Posner's Kiddie Hour". He enrolled in the University of Michigan in 1938, where he was a member of the Phi Sigma Delta fraternity. He left to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1942 and became a radio operator in the Signal Corps.

➦In 1992...After 58-years, WNEW 1130 AM, New York City signed-off.  Upon the breakup of the Metromedia Radio network in 1986, WNEW-AM was sold to outside investors.  Over the next couple of years the station changed hands again, ultimately ending up with Michael Bloomberg.  WNEW-AM was shut down on December 15th, 1992, and the Bloomberg Financial Radio was launched.

WNEW ended live programming on December 11, 1992 at 8pm.

Brenda Lee is 78
  • Actor Rita Moreno is 91. 
  • Singer David Gates of Bread is 82. 
  • Actor Donna Mills (“Knots Landing”) is 82. 
  • Singer Brenda Lee is 78. 
  • Singer Paul Beasley of The Blind Boys of Alabama is 78. 
  • Actor Lynda Day George (TV’s “Mission: Impossible”) is 78. 
  • Actor Teri Garr is 75. 
  • Actor Bess Armstrong is 69. 
  • Singer Jermaine Jackson is 68. 
  • Bassist Mike Mesaros of The Smithereens is 65. 
  • Bassist Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue is 64. 
  • Actor Ben Browder (“Stargate SG-1”) is 60. 
  • Singer-bassist Justin Currie of Del Amitri is 58. 
  • Bassist David Schools of Widespread Panic is 58. 
  • Actor Gary Dourdan (“C.S.I.”) is 56. 
  • Actor-comedian Mo’Nique is 55. 
  • Actor Max Martini (“The Unit”) is 53. 
  • Rapper-actor Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) is 49. 
  • Actor Rider Strong (“Boy Meets World”) is 43. 
  • Actor Xosha Roquemore (“The Mindy Project”) is 38. 
  • Actor Karla Souza (“How To Get Away With Murder”) is 36. 
  • Actor-singer Hailee Steinfeld is 26.

Mystery: Journalist Drops Dead Covering The World Cup

Daily Mail US Composite 12/10/22

Grant Wahl, a highly regarded soccer journalist who wrote extensively on the game, died Friday in Qatar, where he was covering the World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands.

The NY Times reports Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, confirmed the death in a phone interview on Friday night. Scanlan said that Wahl had been in the press box in the closing minutes of the match when he went into acute distress.

He is believed to have died, Scanlan said, at a hospital in Qatar or while he was being taken to one, after feeling unwell as the tournament proceeded.

“He wasn’t sleeping well, and I asked him if he tried melatonin or anything like,” Scanlan said. “He said, ‘I just need to like relax for a bit.’”

According to two New York Times journalists who were present, medical personnel performed chest compressions and other treatment for about 20 minutes before Wahl was taken out of Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Wahl was in the midst of his eighth men’s World Cup, with an aggressive schedule of reporting stories and recording podcasts.

Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, also confirmed the death in a post on Twitter. A family friend said that Gounder asked for privacy, and would leave all public comment to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar and the United States Soccer Federation.

Wahl collapsed during a game Friday, according to brother Eric in an Instagram video he posted. Eric, who is gay, said through tears that he believes his brother - who had been detained before the United States' tournament opener against Wales for wearing a rainbow flag shirt - may have been killed. 

He covered American soccer on Substack and previously worked for  CBS Sports, NBC News, Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated.

67 Journalists And Media Staffers Killed in 2022

Sixty-seven journalists and media staff have been killed so far this year while performing their duties, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists said Friday in its annual report documenting reporters’ deaths.

The Washington Post reports the grim toll is an uptick from last year, when 47 were killed, and is the highest since 2018, when 95 journalists and media staff died due to “targeted killings, bomb attacks or crossfire incidents.” Ukraine was the most dangerous place for journalists this year, with 12 media fatalities there due to the ongoing war.

“The surge in the killings of journalists and other media workers is a grave cause of concern and yet another wake up call for governments,” IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger said in a statement, calling journalism a critical pillar of democracy.

The fallen include Brent Renaud, an award-winning American journalist who was shot while reporting near Kyiv in March. Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old who was working in Ukraine as a fixer, one of journalism’s most dangerous and thankless jobs, died with Pierre Zakrzewski, a Fox News cameraman, (right) when their vehicle was hit by incoming fire the same month.

In the United States, Jeff German, an investigative journalist at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead in front of  his home, apparently stabbed to death, in September. His colleagues did reporting and on-the-ground detective work to help authorities find the suspected killer.

In the West Bank, Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran correspondent wearing a helmet and protective vest labeled “PRESS” in large white letters, was shot and killed in May.

Mexico, historically one of the most dangerous places for the media, was where at least 11 journalists were killed this year. Among them were Sheila Johana GarcĂ­a Olivera and Yesenia Mollinedo Falconi, who were shot in a car outside a convenience store. Mollinedo Falconi’s brother said she had received threats for her work, The Washington Post reported.

At least 375 journalists and media workers are behind bars around the world, the group said. That figure is a new high since the IFJ started publishing lists of jailed journalists two years ago, it added. There were at least 84 media workers imprisoned in mainland China and Hong Kong, topping the list, while Myanmar came second with 64 and Turkey third with 51.

Pro Democracy Media Mogul Sentenced To 5 Years+ In Prison

A Hong Kong court sentenced Jimmy Lai to five years and nine months in prison, local media reported, adding to the media mogul’s growing jail time as the city cracks down on high-profile dissidents.

The 75-year-old was sentenced by Judge Stanley Chan in the District Court on Saturday after he was convicted on two counts of fraud in October. He was also fined HK$2 million ($257,000) and is forbidden to work in management for any company for eight years, media including online news portal HK01 reported.

Lai pleaded not guilty to using the former headquarters of his Next Digital Ltd. media company for purposes not specified in the lease. Prosecutors said the activity benefited Lai’s now-defunct Apple Daily newspaper, which closed last year under pressure from the city’s China-drafted national security law.

“Illegal demonstration, fraud, national security crimes — the diversity of the charges against Jimmy Lai, and the staggering severity of the sentences imposed on him, show how desperate the Chinese regime is to silence this symbolic figure of press freedom in Hong Kong,” CĂ©dric Alviani, East Asia bureau head for Reporters Without Borders, said in a statement Saturday.

He urged the international community to increase pressure on Beijing and Hong Kong to “secure Lai’s release alongside all other journalists and press freedom defenders detained in Hong Kong and in the Mainland.”

Court cases against Lai have fanned concern about press freedom in the once-freewheeling city. Several pro-democracy media outlets closed after the introduction of the security law, which has been used to jail much of the city’s political opposition. Hong Kong has fallen 68 places from a year earlier to No. 148 in Reporters Without Borders’ most recent World Press Freedom Index.

ABC Pulls Backstreet Boys Special

“A Very Backstreet Holiday,” the Backstreet Boys’ Christmas special filmed this month in Los Angeles, will no longer air on ABC, Variety has confirmed. The news comes amid allegations that singer Nick Carter raped a 17-year-old girl during the band’s 2001 tour.

The special was set to air on ABC on Dec. 14, featuring Carter, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough as they celebrate the season and perform hits from their 10th album “A Very Backstreet Christmas.” Seth Rogen, Meghan Trainor, Rob Riggle, Nikki Glaser, Ron Funches and Atsuko Okatsuka were scheduled to appear.

On Thursday, a 39-year-old woman, Shannon “Shay” Ruth, filed a sexual battery lawsuit accusing the singer of raping her and infecting her with HPV when she was 17. She alleged the assault took place in February 2001 following a Backstreet Boys concert in Tacoma, Wash. Ruth, who identified herself as autistic and living with cerebral palsy, detailed the alleged assault along with her attorneys during a press conference held at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel.

Elton Drops Twitter

British musician Elton John quit Twitter on Friday, the latest high-profile celebrity to leave the social media platform following its acquisition by billionaire Elon Musk.

John, who is currently on his last-ever global tour, blamed Twitter's recent policy change as a reason for quitting.

The 75-year-old activist and singer of hits such as "Tiny Dancer" and "Rocket Man" joins a long list of celebrities who have quit Twitter recently including supermodel Gigi Hadid, writer Shonda Rhimes and former White Stripes guitarist Jack White

WB Discovery Ousts Two More Leaders

Daniels and Latman

Two of Warner Bros. Discovery executives leading TV channels left the company as part of ongoing restructuring at the media giant, according to Reuters citing an internal memo.

Nancy Daniels, who led the Turner network and number of Discovery channels including Animal Planet, and Jane Latman of HGTV overseeing Food Network left the company, according to the memo sent by Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer of US Networks Group.

After Daniels' departure, content for the D-Nets - Discovery, Animal Planet and Science Channel - will be overseen by Howard Lee, while he retains content leadership for TLC and Travel Channel. Jason Sarlanis, who oversees content at ID and HLN crime content, will oversee TBT/TBS/Tru.

With Latman stepping down as president, home & food content for HGTV and Food Network, creative oversight for programming content will move to content executives Betsy Sanne Ayala for Food and Loren Ruch for HGTV.

The company "needs to make additional adjustments for the future as we evolve to a more streamlined operating model", the memo said.

MA-NH Radio: Morning Host Monte Belmonte Exits WRSI

Monte Belmonte
After 17 years on Saga's  WRSI 93.9 The River morning show, beloved radio personality Christopher “Monte” Belmonte will host his final show on Friday.

“It was time, and that being said, it is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” Belmonte, 44, of Turners Falls, said of his decision to retire from the show. “It’s like still being in love with someone, but it still being time to move on.”

The Daily Hampshire reports Belmonte said he made his decision in an effort to “manage being normal.” His schedule would often involve him waking up at around 2 a.m. to prepare for his 6 a.m. show, a routine he said has worn down his mental and physical health over time. While he is committing himself to figuring out “a different way of doing things,” his departure from the morning show is far from a retirement from radio.

Aside from planning to continue appearing on WRSI in a different capacity, Belmonte cited big plans that he is currently keeping as a surprise.

Belmonte said he took up his position on Jan. 2, 2006 after working as a DJ and production director. WRSI, which was around 25 years old at the time, had featured “many morning show hosts over the years,” including current MSNBC show host Rachel Maddow, who Belmonte credited as a mentor.

“All of us have had a different take on how the show has been carried out over the years,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte said his “take” involved “bringing a human and family dynamic” to the program. This began with him moving interviews out of the “sterilized” studio environment and into more natural, relevant settings. He also made an effort to involve his family in the show, bonding with listeners as they grew closer to his personal life.

75% of Gen Z View Their Vehicle as a Third Space, Xperi Reports

DTS, Inc., a global leader in next-generation audio, imaging and sensing technology and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi, Inc has released a new report, “The Vehicle as a Third Space.” The report discusses the increasing importance of the vehicle as a third space, as well as uncovers drivers' preferred in-cabin features and functionality.

Based on results from a national consumer CARAVAN® survey conducted by Big Village, the report finds that 75% of Gen Z drivers (ages 18 to 25 years), and 49% of drivers overall, are more likely to view their vehicle as a third space today, compared to pre-Covid. A third space was defined to survey respondents as a place outside of work and the house, a place to relax, enjoy hobbies, escape the stresses of work – a coffee shop, library, park, or vehicle; the first space as home; and the second space as workplace.

“Automotive has conquered the vehicle exterior, butthe next evolution is all about solving the vehicle interior, especially its role as a third space,” said Jeff Jury, Xperi senior vice president and general manager, Connected Car. “Consumers, especially younger drivers, are moving from viewing their vehicle as simple transportation toward seeing it as a space where they can relax and escape. This demands technology that can merge safety with a vehicle cockpit that meets their entertainment, comfort, personalization and wellness needs. It is the future of the connected car industry.”

Key Survey Takeaways:

Buffalo Radio: Audacy Stations Raise $80K+ For SPCA

Audacy raised over $80,000 for The SPCA Serving Erie County during “The SPCA Radiothon,” hosted by Star 102.5 (WTSS-FM), WBEN (WBEN-AM) and 107.7 The Wolf (WLKK-FM). The amount donated during the 20th annual radiothon brought the overall fundraising total to over $2.8 million since 2002.

“We take the opportunity to support the amazing and important work the SPCA carries out each and every day in our community very seriously and express incredible gratitude for our listeners who rally to help fund the SPCA’s mission to make a difference,” said Tim Holly, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Buffalo.

“The SPCA Radiothon” was broadcast live on December 8. Throughout the day, programming featured interviews and stories that showcased the impact that The SPCA Serving Erie County has in the Buffalo community.

The SPCA of Serving Erie County’s mission is to create a more humane community through education, rescuing, protecting and enhancing the lives of animals, and nurturing the bond between animals and people.

đŸ“»Listeners can tune in to Star 102.5 (WTSS-FM), WBEN 930 (WBEN-AM), and 107.7 The Wolf (WLKK-FM) in Buffalo on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website.

Miami-Based Reporter Accused Of Ripping-Off Mother

Cathy Areu
Cathy Areu, a journalist and former periodic Fox News guest known as the “Liberal Sherpa,” has been arrested in Miami on accusations that she kidnapped and financially exploited her elderly mother. 

The Miami Herald reports Areu, 51, was booked into a Miami jail early Friday on a host of felonies, including kidnapping, elderly exploitation and organized scheme to defraud. Miami-Dade police detectives had been trying to arrest her since June, when a judge signed a warrant for her arrest. 

According to a Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office press release, she is believed to have been evading arrest and even took off to Mexico for a time.

Areu, who also goes by Cathy Areu Jones, remained jailed on Friday afternoon and was being held with no bond. Investigators say they believe Areu may have made off with over $224,000 of her 88-year-old mother’s finances, including proceeds of a reverse mortgage from the mother’s house. Investigators also believe Areu made bank withdrawals from her mother’s bank accounts and opened credit cards in her name.

December 10 Radio History

➦In Ray Collins was born in Sacramento.  Although best remembered as Lt. Tragg in 86 episodes of TV’s Perry Mason, he was a prominent member of Orson Welles Mercury Players beginning in radio.  He played 3 roles in CBS Radio’s legendary 1938 War of the Worlds. For several seasons he played Commissioner Weston on Mutual Radio’s The Shadow.   He died of emphysema July 11 1965 at age 75.

David Brinkley, Chet Huntley

➦In 1911...Newscaster Chester Robert "Chet" Huntley born (Died at age 63 from lung cancer – March 20, 1974). He is best known for co-anchoring NBC's evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, for 14 years beginning in 1956.

Huntley began his radio newscast career in 1934 at Seattle's KIRO AM, later working on radio stations in Spokane (KHQ) and Portland. His time (1936–37) in Portland was with KGW-AM, owned by The Oregonian, a Portland daily newspaper. At KGW he was writer, newscaster and announcer. In 1937 he went to work for KFI in Los Angeles, moving to CBS Radio from 1939 to 1951, then ABC Radio from 1951 to 1955.[5] In 1955, he joined the NBC Radio network, viewed by network executives as "another Ed Murrow".

In 1956, coverage of the national political party conventions was a major point of pride for the fledgling broadcast news organizations. NBC News executives were seeking to counter the growing popularity of CBS' Walter Cronkite, who had been a ratings success at the 1952 conventions. They decided to replace their current news anchor, John Cameron Swayze, but there was a disagreement on who the new anchorman should be. The two leading contenders were Huntley and David Brinkley. The eventual decision was to have both men share the assignment. Their on-air chemistry was apparent from the start, with Huntley's straightforward presentation countered by Brinkley's acerbic wit.

This success soon led to the team replacing Swayze on the network's nightly news program. It was decided to have the two men co-anchor the show; Huntley from New York City, Brinkley from Washington, D.C. The Huntley-Brinkley Report began in October 1956 and was soon a ratings success. Huntley and Brinkley's catchphrase closing of "Good night, David"—"Good night, Chet... and good night for NBC News" was developed by the show's producer, Reuven Frank. Although both anchors initially disliked it, the sign-off became famous. Huntley and Brinkley gained great celebrity themselves, with surveys showing them better known than John Wayne, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart or the Beatles. The gregarious Huntley remained the same, a friend commenting in 1968 that "Chet is warm, he's friendly, he's unaffected, he's—well, he's just so damned nice."

Huntley's last NBC News broadcast was aired on July 31, 1970. He returned to Montana, where he conceived and built Big Sky, a ski resort south of Bozeman, which opened in December 1973.

➦In 1913...pianist, composer, conductor, and arranger Morton Gould was born at Richmond Hill NY.  In the 1930’s & 40’s he was musical director for national programs originating at WOR Mutual, and CBS Radio.  He moved on to composing Broadway & Hollywood film scores, winning a Grammy & Pulitzer Award along the way.   Gould died Feb 21, 1996 at age 82.

1938 issue
➦In 1914...actress/singer Dorothy Lamour was born in New Orleans.  In the early 30’s she had her own quarter-hour NBC radio show out of Chicago, and in the late 40’s she was singing hostess of NBC’s weekly Sealtest Variety Theatre from Hollywood. Besides her movie career, which included the “Road” series with Bob Hope & Bing Crosby, she made guest appearances on numerous TV series, including Damon Runyon Theatre, the Steve Allen Show, Burke’s Law, I Spy, Name of the Game, Marcus Welby MD, Hart to Hart, & Murder She Wrote.  She died of a heart attack Sep 22, 1996 at age 81.

➦In 1961...John, Paul George and Pete Best met for the third time with their new manager Brian Epstein.  They eventually signed a five-year contract with Epstein on 24 January 1962 giving Epstein 10 to 15 per cent of their income. They signed a new contract in October 1962 which gave Epstein 15, 20, or 25 per cent of revenues, depending on how much he helped the band earn.  The Beatles would then share any income after various expenses had been deducted. Epstein then formed a management company, NEMS Enterprises.

On October 1, 1962, four days before the release of "Love Me Do", Epstein signed Lennon and McCartney to a three-year NEMS publishing contract.

In 1963, Epstein advised the creation of Northern Songs, a publishing company that would control the copyrights of all Lennon–McCartney compositions recorded between 1963 and 1973. Music publisher Dick James and his partner Charles Silver owned 51 per cent of the company, Lennon and McCartney 20 per cent each, and Epstein 9 per cent.

Epstein's death in 1967 marked the beginning of the group's dissolution and had a profound effect on each Beatle. In 1997, McCartney said, "If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian."

Beatles' Manager Brian Epstein was interviewed in New York City by Murray the K for WOR-FM Radio in March 1967.

➦In 1963..."The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" featured a story about the new British pop music sensations, the Beatles. The report originally had been scheduled to air November 22 but was delayed because of extended news coverage of the presidential assassination.

Friday, December 9, 2022

TV Ratings: NFL Beats World Cup For Viewers

In the latest unsurprising example of the NFL’s popularity and the gap that soccer has to close to catch up, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” drew more viewers than either of last week’s two U.S. World Cup games on Fox.

The Dallas Cowboys’ 54-19 blowout over the Indianapolis Colts averaged 18.13 million viewers, finishing first among prime-time programs airing between Nov. 28 and Sunday and seventh among the season’s 13 “Sunday Night Football” games, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday.

Its total viewership — which also includes viewing on the Peacock streaming service, and NBC Sports app — was 19.3 million viewers, topping 14 of the last 17 December or January “Sunday Night Football” games.

An NFL program has been at the top of the ratings each week of the 11-week-old 2022-23 prime-time television season, reports The L-A Times.

The U.S.’ 1-0 group play victory over Iran Nov. 29 that assured it a spot in the knockout round averaged 12.01 million viewers on Fox. The game averaged 959,004 viewers on streaming platforms, the most for a World Cup game in Fox Sports history.

Another 3.5 million watched the Spanish-language coverage on Telemundo, Peacock and other streaming platforms for a total audience of 16.47 million.

The Americans’ 3-1 loss to Netherlands in a round of 16 Saturday averaged 12.97 million viewers on Fox. The streaming coverage averaged 596,850 viewers, the second-most streamed game of the tournament.

“60 Minutes” was the top-ranked non-sports program for the ninth time in the season, averaging 10.46 million viewers, its third-highest total among its 12 editions of the season. (The CBS news magazine began its 55th season one day before the start of the season.)

“60 Minutes” was sixth for the week behind “Sunday Night Football” and its pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; Fox’s coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game; and the 17-minute third segment of “Football Night in America” preceding the “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show.

“Yellowstone” was the highest-rated entertainment program for the fourth time in the four weeks of its fifth season, averaging 8.44 million viewers on Paramount Network and CMT, seventh for the week.

The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and four of the five most-watched entertainment programs put NBC at the top of the network rankings for the ninth time in the season, averaging 5.68 million viewers.  CBS finished second, averaging 4.38 million viewers. Fox was third, averaging 4.36 million viewers. ABC was fourth, averaging 3.03 million.

The top 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; four NFL pregame shows; two college football games on Fox; one college football pregame show; one college football postgame show; “60 Minutes”; “Yellowstone”; both episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice”; NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” and “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas”; two CBS scripted programs and its alternative series “Survivor”; and Fox’s “9-1-1.”

Chicago Radio: Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against Hubbard

Former Morning Host Eric Ferguson

A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit stemming from alleged sexual misconduct by former WTMX  radio personality Eric Ferguson.

The Chcago Sun-Times reports the suit had been filed by Cynthia DeNicolo against her former employer, Hubbard Radio Chicago, the company that brings “The Mix” to the airwaves at 101.9-FM.

The defamation suit stems from a separate, and still pending, lawsuit filed in 2021 in which DeNicolo alleged Ferguson used his position as her boss to coerce her into a sexual relationship that he lorded over her in humiliating fashion.

Ferguson, DeNicolo
Her pending suit alleges Ferguson would say he “needed a backrub” as code words for unwanted demands for oral sex.

The accusations against its morning radio star prompted Hubbard Radio to state that it found no evidence to corroborate allegations of illegal workplace conduct.  DeNicolo’s defamation claim against the radio company claimed its statement amounted to calling her a liar.

U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama, in an opinion filed Nov. 28, disagreed with DeNicolo and found that Hubbard’s statement did not defame her. The judge wrote the company’s statement “did not address DeNicolo’s conduct as an employee or reflect on her job as a radio producer” and do not fall in the category of “actionable defamation.”

Biden Team Asked CBS News To Keep Held Griner Release Quiet

CBS News said it learned last week of the US-Russian prisoner swap that set WNBA star Brittney Griner free on Thursday but held off on reporting it at the request of the White House.

Margaret Brennan, the moderator of the Sunday morning show “Face the Nation,” appeared on the network’s morning show on Thursday to break the news of Griner’s release from Russian captivity.

Griner, 32, returns to the US after the Biden administration agreed to send back Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death” who was serving a sentence in federal prison.

Disney+ Streaming Service Launches With Major Advertisers

The ad-supported version of the Disney+ service launched Thursday, attracting major advertisers from different sectors, bringing in new revenue as Walt Disney Co strives to push its streaming business into profitability, reports Reuters.

Disney Advertising President Rita Ferro said more than 100 brands, from Mattel Inc to Marriott Hotels & Resorts, are participating in the launch, which Disney has been promoting to marketers and ad buyers since its May.

The company is under pressure to turn a profit on its streaming business, which posted a $1.5 billon loss in the company's most recent quarter. Investor unhappiness about deepening losses hammered the company's stock and helped set the stage for the ouster last month of Chief Executive Bob Chapek, and return of longtime Disney leader, Bob Iger.

Advertising introduces a second source of revenue for Disney+, to supplement subscription fees. The company's other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, already have commercials.

A $3-a-month price increase also took effect Dec. 8, bringing the price for the ad-free version of Disney+ to $10.99. Disney+ with ads costs $7.99. Researcher Kantar projects that one out of four Disney+ subscribers could switch to the less-expensive version of the service with advertising.

R.I.P.: Jerry Thomas, Former Cincy Radio Personality, Programmer

Jerry Thomas (1939-2022)
Jerry Thomas woke up Greater Cincinnati radio listeners with "punch lines you missed" and quips from his "Granny" character for four decades on WKRC–AM, and helped build sister station WKRQ-FM (Q102) into a rock powerhouse with the hiring of a young programmer named Randy Michaels.

He died Thursday morning at age 83.  Cincy Media Watcher John Kiesewetter at WVXU. org reports the news was announced by his son Brian Thomas, who took over the WKRC-AM morning show after his father's retirement in 2006.

"Dad passed away early this morning. He was a wonderful father and husband," he wrote.

The 1957 Elder High School graduate was a WKRC-AM fixture for 44 years, including when his morning show was No. 1 for most of the 1980s — a significant accomplishment considering the station broadcasts on 5,000 watts, compared to WLW-AM's 50,000 watts, with an AM sound quality inferior to FM radio.

Thomas survived by adapting with the industry, playing hits by Madonna on the radio in the 1980s, then going home and listening to Stan Kenton and other jazz artists.

After retiring in 2006 at 67, Thomas continued to be heard voicing commercial endorsements on Cincinnati radio for years, often on his son's morning show.

"I believe he was the best pitch man in the business," says John Phillips, the longtime traffic reporter and radio personality who started his career at WKRC in 1974. "He related so well to the listener. If Jerry said it was worth it, you could take it to the bank."

Wake-Up Call: TWH..It Was Griner Or No One

The Swap

Joe Biden’s move to exchange a notorious arms dealer for WNBA Star Brittney Griner, without a deal for former US Marine Paul Whelan, was celebrated by much of his party while opening the president to criticism the deal was lopsided and risks detentions of more Americans abroad. Biden announced the deal Thursday, saying Griner was on a flight home after the US swapped Viktor Bout, the so-called “merchant of death,” whom Russia has been working for years to free.

 The Kremlin quickly characterized the swap as an example of Russian President Vladimir Putin one-upping Biden, with human rights ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova calling Bout’s return “a true Christmas present.” Putin could also point to Griner’s release as a humanitarian gesture even as his military assault on Ukraine continues. Kevin McCarthy, who is in line to become Speaker of the House next month, said that trading Bout without getting Whelan is an “unconscionable” move and a “a gift to Vladimir Putin.”

➤WORRIES INCREASE ABOUT SAFETY OF INFRASTRUCTURE: Shots were fired near a Duke Energy Corp. hydropower plant in Ridgeway, South Carolina, Wednesday evening — the second incident in the past week of gunfire at a US power facility after armed attacks on two substations knocked out electricity for about 45,000 homes and businesses in neighboring North Carolina. Law enforcement agencies are investigating at least eight incidents in four states in the past month, an unusual uptick of violence for power plants, which don’t typically see many physical attacks. Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said he couldn’t recall another month with this many physical threats to the US electric grid.  “The attacks continue to demonstrate the grid is vulnerable and we haven’t adequately protected it from physical attacks,” Wellinghoff said.  As of now, it’s unclear whether the shots fired in different states are in any way connected. Richard Maness, the sheriff’s office chief deputy for Moore County, North Carolina, said investigators are looking into all the national incidents for any possible links. His office is also working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he said. 

đŸ‘„SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RIGHTS BILL CLEARS CONGRESS: House lawmakers approved legislation Thursday that would cement same-sex marriage rights into federal law, a Democratic-led measure that has moved through Congress with some Republican support despite misgivings among conservatives. The vote was 258 to 169, with all Democrats present joined by 39 Republicans in backing the measure. It now goes to President Biden for his signature. Supporters said the proposal marks the most significant gay-rights measure to pass in Congress since lawmakers agreed in 2010 to repeal the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which required gay service members to keep their sexual orientation to themselves.

Twitter Files 2.0: Suits Controlled 'Visibility Filtering'

The second installment of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” dropped Thursday night and reveals how the social media giant was secretly “blacklisting” conservative tweets and users.

The NY Post reports independent journalist Bari Weiss detailed in a series of posts how Twitter used so-called “shadow banning” to limit the visibility of tweets coming from far-right users.

Conservative talk show host Dan Bongino, Stanford University’s anti-COVID lockdown advocate Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and right-wing activist Charlie Kirk were among the users targeted for suppression by Twitter, according to Weiss.

The former New York Times and Wall Street Journal writer said that the blacklists were built “in secret” and “without informing users.” 

She notes that the company strayed from its original mission of giving “everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers” by developing the methods to suppress specific individuals. 

Dr. Bhattacharya’s account, for example, was flagged as being on a “trends blacklist,” according to Weiss, who shared an image of his account from Twitter’s point-of-view with the yellow tag indicating the restriction. 

Indy Radio: Dan Dakich OUT At Sports WFNI

Dan Dakich in an undated photo

Dan Dakich, the often controversial midday sports radio host on WFNI 107.5 The Fan is no longer with the station, reports The Indy Star.

An email sent to employees Thursday by operations manager David Wood read: "Today was Dan Dakich's last day with Radio One. We wish him well in their future endeavors."

Dakich, a former Indiana University basketball player, assistant coach and one season interim head coach, has hosted The Dan Dakich show for 14 years. He also has a show called "Don't @ Me with Dan Dakich" on Outkick, which describes itself as a "fearless sports media company founded by Clay Travis." 

Dakich tweeted a statement Thursday afternoon. 

D/FW Radio: Kurt Rongey Names APD At Classical WRR

KERA has announced  Kurt Rongey as Assistant Program Director of WRR 101.1 FM. As Assistant Program Director, Rongey will help lead the classical music station’s overall sound, as it converts to an all-classical, noncommercial format under the management of KERA.

“There couldn’t be a better time to welcome Kurt back to WRR,” says Christopher Wagley, KERA’s Chief Operations Officer. “KERA and WRR’s future has never been brighter, as we together deepen the classical music format and our connection to North Texas audiences. The whole team is excited to bring back Kurt’s familiar voice and exceptional enthusiasm for classical music programming.”

Longtime listeners of WRR will recognize Rongey, who previously worked at WRR for 17 years. In addition to serving as Operations Manager for 10 years, Rongey was the longtime host of the Going Home Show, and developed and produced many different programs and features, including the popular “Road Rage Remedy.”

“Since returning, I’ve been so impressed by the organization-wide effort that KERA has put forward to ensure WRR’s future, both as a radio oasis for classical music and as a catalyst for the creative arts in North Texas,” says Rongey. “We’ll be able to move forward with more classical music than ever, and with far less interruptions. I’m extremely excited by the opportunities to expand and diversify the WRR audience that this partnership with KERA offers. The listeners will truly be getting more of what they love best about the station.”

Premiere Networks Promotes Annie Zidarevich

Premiere Networks announced Thursday the promotion of Annie Zidarevich to Senior Vice President, West Coast Operations, effective immediately. Based in Los Angeles, Zidarevich will continue to report to Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks.

In her new position, Zidarevich will continue to oversee all programming operations for the West Coast, optimizing the company’s resources to best serve its industry-leading roster of national radio shows and services. As part of her role, Zidarevich manages Premiere’s team of broadcast engineers, not only at her home base in Los Angeles, but also in various cities across the country. She also oversees all aspects of the company’s Network Operations Center and staff for the 24/7 operation. Additionally, she manages Premiere’s Los Angeles-based technical producers and associate producers.

December 9 Radio History

➦In 1902.
..Brace Beemer born  (Died from a heart attacked at age 62 – March 1, 1965). He was a radio actor and announcer at radio station WXYZ-AM, Detroit.

He is best known as the radio voice of the Lone Ranger.  Beemer became the third radio voice of the Lone Ranger on April 18, 1941, and remained so until the series' last new episode on September 3, 1954. During the 13 years and 3,000 episodes that Beemer played the title character, he was required by contract to restrict his radio acting to that one role until the program left the air.

The experienced and popular Western film actor, Clayton Moore, was chosen to take over the role for the TV series. Although Beemer had the right voice and had made many public appearances as the Ranger, he had no experience as a film actor, as he preferred live action to television. However, Beemer's voice as the character was so familiar that Moore imitated his sound in the earliest TV episodes.

Beemer also portrayed "Sergeant William Preston" of the Yukon on Challenge of the Yukon, for a brief time after the Lone Ranger series ended.

Beemer's last TV appearance, was an interview in 1965 with former film actor, Bill Kennedy on his "At the Movies" show on CKLW TV9 from Windsor, Ont., Canada. Brace Beemer died the very next day.

➦In 1921...Ted Rogers Sr., who would later invent the first alternating-current vacuum radio tube, and give birth to Toronto’s CFRB Radio, became the first amateur radio operator in Canada to successfully transmit a signal across the Atlantic. He was taking part in a competition sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

➦In 1933...Talk show host Morton Downey Jr. was born in Los Angeles.  Unsuccessful as a pop & country singer, in the 1960’s he turned to deejaying at radio stations in Bakersfield, San Diego, and Miami as “Doc Downey the DJ.”

He perfected the abrasive, right-wing populist style of talk radio at Sacramento’s KFBK before transferring it to TV out of New York. (He was replaced at KFBK by Rush Limbaugh.)

Downey died from lung cancer Mar 12, 2001 at age 67.

➦In 1940...the radio panel show that originated with joke-telling sessions at the Friar’s Club, 'Can You Top This' debuted on WOR New York.  It would hit the networks 22 months later, and run on first NBC, then Mutual, ABC, and then NBC again, until 1954.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Report: BBC Preparing To Go Online-Only Over Next Decade

The BBC is preparing to shut down its traditional television and radio broadcasts as it becomes an online-only service over the next decade, according to the director general, Tim Davie.

“Imagine a world that is internet-only, where broadcast TV and radio are being switched off and choice is infinite,” he said. “A switch-off of broadcast will and should happen over time, and we should be active in planning for it.”

The Guardian reports Davie said the BBC was committed to live broadcasting but Britons should prepare for the closure of many standalone channels and radio stations by the 2030s: “Over time this will mean fewer linear broadcast services and a more tailored joined-up online offer.”

The future will involve “bringing the BBC together in a single offer”, possibly in the form of one app combining everything from television programs to local news coverage and educational material. This could ultimately see the end of distinct brands such as BBC One or BBC Radio 4, although the programs they currently air could continue online.

L-A TV: Five Newscasters Making Mass Exit From KNBC Channel 4

KNBC-TV Channel 4 is losing five popular newscasters, including Chuck Henry, the evening news co-anchor.

Henry, along with veteran reporters Beverly White, Vikki Vargas, Kim Baldonado and Angie Crouch, have accepted “voluntary early retirement” buyouts and will be leaving the station at the end of this month, according to two station insiders who were not authorized to comment. Vargas announced her retirement on social media Wednesday night, reports The L-A Times.

Company-wide, NBCUniversal has been offering incentives to encourage some longtime staff members to exit amid a dramatic round of cost-cutting. Television companies industrywide have been bracing for a lean 2023 because of an advertising downturn, fears of a possible recession and rising programming costs, including increases in sports rights fees.

Chuck Henry
Earlier this fall, KNBC-TV management told staff members that it hoped enough volunteers would accept the buyouts to reduce the number of layoffs at KNBC-TV and its sister Telemundo station, KVEA-TV Channel 52, according to three people familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly. Despite the five prominent broadcasters volunteering for early retirement last month, it wasn’t enough to spare the station from the layoffs, the sources said.

On Wednesday, several executives and staff members learned they were part of the layoffs, according to the sources.

It was not immediately clear who will replace Henry, the affable, Emmy-winning anchor who has worked alongside co-anchor Colleen Williams for more than a decade. Williams is expected to stay on.

For KNBC viewers, the departures of so many familiar faces at the same time could be jarring and upsetting. The exits come two years after one of KNBC’s most distinctive and beloved personalities, meteorologist Fritz Coleman, retired after providing weather reports for the station for 39 years, and a year after longtime reporter Patrick Healy signed off after 37 years.

NBC News' Ben Collins Repeatedly Attacks, Ridicules Elon Musk

NBC News senior attack dog Ben Collins has repeatedly and openly criticized Elon Musk and his handling of Twitter, raising questions into whether he can report impartially on the topic. 

Ben Collins

Fox News Digital reports the left-leaning Collins covers "disinformation, extremism and the internet," according to NBC News’ website. He describes his job as covering the "dystopia beat" on his Twitter bio, and Collins has emerged as a chief antagonist of Musk’s Twitter leadership and has repeatedly scolded him during TV appearances and on his own social media.

Recent NBC News reports headlined, "There’s an exodus of Twitter executives, including the head of trust and safety, as Musk’s chaotic reign continues," "Musk fires Twitter engineers after critical posts on Twitter and Slack" and "Should I delete my DMs? What Twitter has on you, and what you can and can't do about it" were either written by Collins, or he contributed to them. 

But while NBC News bills itself as a nonpartisan source of trusted information, Collins hasn't bothered to hide his disdain for Musk, whose poking of the media, digs at political correctness and dalliances with right-wing figures online have made him into a villain on the left. On Tuesday night, Collins mocked the Tesla mogul for declaring he recently found out Twitter hired a former FBI attorney to serve as in-house counsel before he purchased the tech giant.