Saturday, December 17, 2022

December 18 Radio History

➦In 1890...Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City. He was an early radio pioneer and also the inventor of FM, Frequency Modulation. A motorcycle visit to the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ, the world's first FM radio tower.

Rather than varying ("modulating") the amplitude of a radio wave to encode an audio signal, the new method varied the frequency FM enabled the transmission and reception of a wider range of audio frequencies, as well as audio free of "static", a common problem in AM radio. (Armstrong received a patent on wide-band FM on December 26, 1933.

Edwin H Armstrong
In 1934 Armstrong began working for RCA at the request of the president of RCA, David Sarnoff. Sarnoff and Armstrong first met at a boxing match involving Jack Dempsey in 1920. At the time Sarnoff was a young executive with an interest in new technologies, including radio broadcasting. In the early 1920s Armstrong drove off with Sarnoff's secretary, Marion MacInnes, in a French sports car. Armstrong and MacInnes were married in 1923. While Sarnoff was understandably impressed with Armstrong's FM system, he also understood that it was not compatible with his own AM empire. Sarnoff came to regard FM as a threat and refused to support it any further.

From May 1934 until October 1935, Armstrong conducted the first large scale field tests of his FM radio technology from a laboratory constructed by RCA on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building. An antenna attached to the spire of the building fired radio waves at receivers about 80 miles away.  However RCA had its eye on television broadcasting, and chose not to buy the patents for the FM technology.  A June 17, 1936, presentation at FCC headquarters made headlines nationwide. He played a jazz record over conventional AM radio, then switched to an FM broadcast. "[I]f the audience of 50 engineers had shut their eyes they would have believed the jazz band was in the same room. There were no extraneous sounds," noted one reporter. He added that several engineers described the invention "as one of the most important radio developments since the first earphone crystal sets were introduced."

In 1937, Armstrong financed construction of the first FM radio station, W2XMN, a 40 kilowatt broadcaster in Alpine, New Jersey. The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.

➦In 1920...broadcaster Willis Conover was born in Buffalo. He was known as the man who “fought the Cold War with cool music.”  For 40 years he presented American jazz heard round the world on The Voice of America.  He died May 17 1996 at age 75.

➦In 1956...Former shortstop Phil Rizzuto signed-on to be a New York Yankee radio-TV play-by-play announcer, a job he held for 40 years.

➦In 1967...Radio Personality Scott Muni started at WNEW 102.7 FM NYC.

Musk Lifts Journalists' Twitter Suspension

Elon Musk said on Saturday he will reinstate the Twitter accounts of several journalists that were suspended in a controversy over publishing public data about the billionaire' s plane.

The move to lift the bans early Saturday came after Musk faced a firestorm of criticism from prominent political figures, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, for suspending the accounts.

The NY Post reports the Twitter CEO said he allowed the users back on the platform based on the results of a 24-hour Twitter survey that he posted Thursday night where he asked if the accounts should be reinstated immediately or in seven days. More than 58% of voters urged him to unsuspend the journalists “now.”

“The people have spoken,” Musk tweeted at 12:18 a.m. Saturday. “Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now.”

New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and other journalist’s accounts were reinstated after Musk made the announcement.

“I want to thank everyone for all the support and kind words over the past day and some change,” said independent journalist Aaron Rupar, one of those who had been suspended.

NBC News Pulls Reporter Off Air For Bashing Musk

NBC News pulled tech journalist Ben Collins from covering Twitter and Elon Musk after he bashed the Chief Twit in tweets deemed not 'editorially appropriate.' 

Sources familiar with the matter told that NBC heads made the decision to pull Collins earlier this month after reviewing his jabs at Musk on Twitter.

While the source said the Collins was free to make pointed criticisms at Musk, they said some of his tweets were inappropriate given he covers the billionaire and his social media company. 

One of the problematic tweets, the source said, came on October 30 when Quartz reporter Scott Nover remarked that Musk could stand to lose a lot of money through his Twitter takeover. 

Collins replied: 'Unless he's trying to tank this place on purpose, I've never seen somebody more out of their depth in my life. The dog has caught the car and is now demanding the car pay for gas.' 

The source added that the suspension against Collins is still ongoing.  

While Collins was pulled from covering Twitter on NBC and MSNBC, he continues to post about the latest developments on his account. 

Collins has repeatedly criticized Musk ever since the billionaire announced his interest in purchasing the social media platform in April. 

His last on-air appearance came on December 2 on MSNBC, Fox News reports.

NYC Radio: Scott Shannon Signs-Off At WCBS-FM "Bye Buckaroos"

Scott Shannon, Patty Steele Friday

Scott Shannon — the legendary DJ who blew up radio in the early ’80s with his "Morning Zoo" format — will wrapped a nearly 40-year New York run Friday morning. His last broadcast for WCBS/101.1 FM, where he's co-hosted the morning show with Patty Steele since 2014, originated from Valhalla, Westchester County-based Blythedale Children's Hospital, for which he and Steele have raised millions in various charity drives over the years.

Shannon, 75, surprised listeners in late October when he said on his show that he would leave by the end of the year, immediately raising some questions — health-related or a contract dispute with radio giant Audacy, which owns the historic station? Shannon said in a phone interview earlier this week that "my health is fine," but he declined to comment on Audacy, reports Newsday. (He'll continue to host the nationally syndicated "America's Greatest Hits,'' which airs on WCBS-FM on Sunday mornings, and his "True Oldies Channel'' on WCBS-FM HD3.)

Nevertheless, he did not exactly rule out a return to weekday morning radio either. Shannon has, in fact, retired and unretired before, notably at the end of a long run at WPLJ in 2014 before joining CBS-FM.

"I'm going to take a month off to relax, play a little golf and think about my life. I'm not one of those guys who sits around meditating. I enjoy working. I tell people I think I do have a little Tom Brady in me. I might have a few touchdowns left in me. But I've got to think about it and do the right thing. I also don't want to be one of those guys who comes back and who everyone feels sorry for. It's got to be the right thing."

Holiday Music Puts Shoppers In A Buying Mood

Whether you consider it torture or treasure, blaring Christmas music has become a reliable part of the holiday shopping season, reports Bloomberg.

From malls to grocery stores, highly curated playlists are all part of the bigger scheme to create the best consumer experience possible, one where customers are put in the mood to buy.

“Retailers definitely lean in,” said Radhika Giri, the senior vice president for emerging business at SiriusXM, which has a few enterprises devoted entirely to providing playlists for retail stores. During her more than 12 years at the company, she’s seen demand for such songs only increase. “Every year one of the requests we would get is whether we would start playing holiday music earlier and earlier.”

Nearly all of SiriusXM’s playlists for businesses begin streaming on Nov. 1, and have names ranging from “Jingle Jamz” to “Country Christmas.” With a market value of $23 billion, SiriusXM, which bought Pandora Media in 2019 for $3.5 billion, is one of the largest audio providers in North America. Both entities have teams devoted entirely to creating playlists for stores, and last January, the company expanded further into the arena by buying Cloud Cover Media, a company that has dominated the space of curating music for national brands, like McDonald’s and Party City.

The bulk of national brands opt to outsource their playlists in part because of how cumbersome it can be to deal with music licensing in order to play songs in public spaces, according to Giri. Whole teams of business experts and musicologists work together behind the scenes at companies like SiriusXM to determine the delicate balance of striking a perfect mood for customers.

Dan Bongino Says He's Not Renewing Contract With Westwood One

Conservative media talker Dan Bongino said he will end his nationally broadcast radio show when his contract is up.

The Washington Examiner reports Bongino, whose show is heard on weekdays on Cumulus Media's Westwood One stations across the country, made the announcement on Friday.

He said the decision "really sucks because I spent a lot of time building this and I love it and it's grown on me."

He told listeners that the company approached him following the death of Rush Limbaugh in 2021, and at the time, he wasn't interested in trying to fill the talk legend's shoes.

"I said, 'No, I don't want it,'" Bongino said, adding that reconsidered after thinking back to Limbaugh's final show. "And I changed my mind. I said, 'You know what? I'll take it, but for a limited amount of time.'"

Bongino and Cumulus Media have had public fights in the past, notably over the company's vaccine mandate during the pandemic. The host took a hiatus from his program in protest of the policy.

Fox News Digital Posts Best Month

FOX News Digital finished November 2022 as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views, according to Comscore. This marks 21 straight months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital closed out November reaching over 2.9 billion total multiplatform minutes, 1.8 billion total multiplatform views, and 97 million multiplatform unique visitors.* 

Additionally, this marked the best month of multiplatform views and multiplatform unique visitors for FOX News Digital this calendar year. The FOX News Mobile App reached 6.8 million unique visitors in November, while posted its best month since launch with multiplatform views.

FOX News remained the most engaged brand on social media in the competitive set in November, with 37.9 million total social interactions, notching the 99th consecutive month FOX News has placed on top, according to Emplifi. FOX News drove 10.6 million interactions on Facebook, 21.4 million Instagram interactions and 5.9 million Twitter interactions. This marked the highest month with Twitter interactions for FOX News since October 2018. On YouTube, FOX News secured the top spot among news brands in video views for the 22nd month in a row with over 266 million according to Shareablee.

Jax Radio: Chris Ganoudis Named GSM For Cox Media Cluster

Chris Ganoudis
Cox Media Group (CMG) appoints Chris Ganoudis as named Director of Sales for its cluster in Jacksonville. 

He brings over 35 years of media sales expertise and marketing knowledge to the company. Ganoudis began his career with Shamrock Communications before transitioning to CMG Orlando, where he served as General Sales Manager for over 17 years. 

Most recently, Ganoudis worked at Curtis Media Group in Raleigh, NC as the General Manager.

"I'm looking forward to working with Chris to build the future of our Jacksonville market," said CMG Jacksonville Vice President & General Manager Jimmy Farrell. "We have ambitious growth aspirations, and Chris's experience will be invaluable in helping us to hit those aggressive goals."

"This is a double homecoming for me -- not only am I back with the outstanding CMG team, but I'm back in Jacksonville where I grew up," added Ganoudis. "It's evident that this team is fully dedicated to serving our listeners, clients, and community. I'm truly energized by their passion, and I look forward to enhancing CMG for the years to come."

R.I.P.: Dino Danelli, Drummer and Co-Founder of The Rascals


Dino Danelli, the drummer for the 1960s band The Rascals, has died. He was 78.

His death was announced Dec. 15 by Danelli's spokesman Joe Russo on Danelli's Facebook page.

"Our beloved Dino passed away today. I will say more in the near future about his incredible talent and share experiences from his life he relayed to me, as well as ones we spent as friends and collaborators," the statement began. 

"I hope you will all continue to appreciate his talent and send him your love. Thank you for supporting his various endeavors throughout his career," it continued. "You all made it possible for him to live his dream, which was to be a musician and artist. Blessings to you all." 

Danelli's friend and Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish shared his sadness with fans on social media writing, "It is with a broken heart that I must tell you of the passing of Dino Danelli. He was my brother and the greatest drummer I’ve ever seen. I am devastated at this moment. Rest In Peace Dino I love you brother."

Danelli and Cornish co-founded the band as the Young Rascals in 1965 with keyboardist Felix Cavaliere and percussionist Eddie Brigati. The New Jersey band debuted with "I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore." They went on to release eight Top 20 singles, including the No. 1 hits "Good Lovin,’" "Groovin’" and "People Got to Be Free."

After their first three albums, the band changed their name to The Rascals for their fourth record, "Once Upon A Dream" in 1968, reports Fox News Digital.

December 17 Radio History

Katherine Raht, House Jameson

➦In 1902 House Jameson was born in Austin, Texas.

Success on Broadway led to a starring role in CBS Radio Network's 'Renfrew of the Mounted', and the part for which he is beloved, playing father over the 14 year run of NBC Radio’s 'The Aldrich Family'.  When the family comedy went to TV in 1949 he was the only radio cast member to move with it.  His many guest appearances on TV through the 1960’s were highlighted by recurring roles on the soaps The Edge of Night and Another World.

He died April 23 1971 at age 68.

➦In 1926...WCBS NYC signed-on (as WABC).

The station's history traces back to 1924, when Alfred H. Grebe started WAHG at 920 AM. WAHG was a pioneering station in New York, and was one of the first commercial radio stations to broadcast from remote locations including horse races and yachting events. Two years later, in 1926, Alfred Grebe changed the station's call sign to WABC (for his Atlantic Broadcasting Company) after concluding a business arrangement with the Ashland Battery Company (which had owned the call sign for a station in Asheville, NC) and moved his studios to West 57th Street, which would not be the last time the station would operate from 57th Street.

In 1928, General Order 40 moved the station's frequency to 970 AM, and the station became a part-time affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System, which was looking for a full-time radio presence in New York City (CBS's first flagship was WOR). After a short time broadcasting CBS programming three days a week, CBS president William S. Paley purchased WABC and it became a subsidiary of CBS.

Soon after this purchase the station moved to a new frequency, this time to 860 AM, and would eventually increase its transmitting power from 5,000 to its present 50,000 watts. The station also moved its studios into the CBS headquarters at 485 Madison Avenue (on the corner of 52nd Street).

The station, still operating as WABC, featured a mix of local interest programming, ethnic content and music programs from CBS's national feed.

As time went by, WABC turned more and more to the national programming provided by CBS and its affiliates, and its broadcast day was influenced by CBS's growing interest in news programming.

In 1939, the broadcasting operations were moved across 52nd Street from the headquarters to the new CBS Studio Building. In 1941, WABC moved to the frequency it currently occupies, 880 AM, and changed its call letters to WCBS on November 2, 1946, to identify more closely with its parent network, the Columbia Broadcasting System or CBS, and avoid possible confusion with the rival network of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), which had begun operation in 1943.

As a result, this station had no relation to the longtime ABC radio flagship station on 770 AM that began in 1921 as WJZ, and has operated as WABC since 1953.

➦In 1926...KYA San Francisco, California was licensed.  It signed-on 12/18/1926.

KYA went on the air on December 18, 1926, with 500 watts on 970 kHz from the Clift Hotel in San Francisco. The owners were Vincent I. Kraft of Seattle, who had started KJR-AM  and Frederick C. Clift of San Francisco. It got a license for 1000 watts on 850 kHz in November 1927. Its studios moved to the Warfield Theatre Building at 988 Market Street, but the transmitter stayed at the Clift Hotel.

In November 1928 moved to 1230 kHz as part of a nationwide frequency reshuffling, and joined the Columbia Broadcasting System. The station licensee went bankrupt in August, and KYA was transferred to a new corporation by the end of 1929. Having moved to various locations around the radio dial during the chaotic early days of broadcasting, KYA was assigned permanently to 1260 kHz as a result of NARBA in 1941.

"The Boss of the Bay" - KYA as a Top 40 Rock Station

In the mid-1950s, KYA made its mark as a Top40 station. KYA was for many years the leading Top 40 music radio station in the Bay Area, until the stronger-signalled KFRC switched to the format in 1966.

From time to time, up through 1970, KYA would again beat KFRC in the Arbitron ratings, but KYA's dominance was truly over after the mid-60's.  Former KYA morning man and legendary radio programmer Bill Drake went on to consult KFRC to its ratings success; it was at KYA that Drake first made his mark as program director. KYA was also instrumental in the careers of future sportscaster Johnny Holliday, audio and electronics store pitchman Tom Campbell, Hall of Fame disc jockey and underground radio pioneer Tom Donahue (a/k/a "Big Daddy"), and Tommy Saunders, who retired from KYA's successor, KOIT, in 2006.

Other notable disc jockeys who plied their trade on KYA's airwaves in the 1960s included Les Crane, (air name Johnny Raven), Casey Kasem, Jim Stagg, Bobby Mitchell, Norman Davis, "Emperor" Gene Nelson, Peter Tripp, Tony Bigg, Russ "The Moose" Syracuse, Chris Edwards, Ed Hider, Johnny Holliday, Bill Holley (a cousin of Buddy Holly), Bwana Johnny, and Gary Shaffer. The 1970's saw a staff that included Christopher Cain, Roger W. Morgan, Jay Stone, Scott Thomas, Steve Jordan, Jimmy "Jet" Powers, Gary Mora, and Michael Rivers.

In December 1979, KYA AM & FM flipped to a light album rock format under the title "Easy Rock 93." Within months the AM station would flip again, this time to an oldies format while the FM station would continue the light album rock format as KLHT (K-LITE). Morgan, Mora, and Syracuse would be brought back to revive the station from its heyday. This format would hold until the station was sold in 1983.

KYA's dominance was basically over by the late 1960s when FM stations began playing rock 'n' roll and gained larger audiences.

In mid-2007, Bonneville reached an agreement to sell the 1260 AM frequency to IHR Educational Broadcasting. IHR took over station operations in December of that year under a time-brokerage agreement, and officially closed on the station on February 1, 2008.

In 2007, KOIT-AM, the former 1260/KYA, became KSFB, a Catholic-oriented station owned by Immaculate Heart Radio. Ironically, KYA's chief Top 40 rival in the 1960s and 1970s, KFRC (610 AM), is now the Christian-oriented KEAR (the KFRC call letters would return in January 2009, this time at 1550 AM replacing KYCY and the station is owned by CBS Radio).

On December 10, 2007, a religious format came to 1260 AM; the call sign was changed to KSFB. KSFB is part of one of the largest Catholic radio network in America, and its daily broadcasts include daily mass and rosary.

➦In 1936...ventriloquist Edgar Bergen kidded around with his little wooden pal, Charlie McCarthy, for the first time on network radio. The ventriloquist act debuted on “The Rudy Vallee Royal Gelatin Hour” on NBC. Soon, Bergen became one of radio’s hottest properties, and was regarded as Vallee’s greatest talent discovery.

➦In 1955...singer/songwriter Carl Perkins wrote “Blue Suede Shoes”. Within 48 hours he had recorded it at Sun Records in Memphis. The track quickly became one of the first to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.

➦In 1963...Carroll James Jr. became the first American Disc-Jockey to air a Beatles record on radio station WWDC in Washington, DC. That was two months before the Beatles were on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” Carroll played ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, which he’d obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from the UK.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Boston Radio: Sports WEEI Confirms Line-Up Changes

Audacy has announced a series of programming updates for WEEI 93.7 FM in Boston. 
  • Christian Fauria will move from afternoons to host the station’s midday show alongside Andy Gresh, weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. 
  • Current midday show co-host Rich Keefe will transition to host nights from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET and serve as pregame host for Red Sox baseball broadcasts. 
All moves are effective January 3.

Additionally, Lou Merloni is departing his role as afternoon host. Merloni will join the station’s flagship coverage of the Boston Red Sox, calling at least 60 regular season and 10 spring training games in the broadcast booth, and joining the station’s offseason talk-show programming. Merloni will serve as WEEI’s Red Sox insider and make regular appearances on the station programming as team news breaks.

“These changes will further strengthen the news, information and entertainment that Boston sports fans count on every day,” said Mike Thomas, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Boston. “Lou grew up here, played for the Sox and has been our ‘baseball guy’ for more than a dozen years. His move to the booth will make our gameday coverage even better for Red Sox fans across New England.”

Fauria, a 13-year NFL veteran, spent four years with the Patriots from 2002 to 2005 and helped New England win two Super Bowl championships at SB XXXVIII and XXXIX. He has been a full-time host at WEEI since 2014, and is currently a co-host for Patriots pre- and postgame shows on WBZ-TV.

Keefe was born in Worcester and grew up in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. He graduated from Hobart College in upstate New York where he played wide receiver for the football team. Keefe’s professional radio career began at WGAM in Nashua, NH, leading to seven years at The Sports Hub and then WEEI in 2017. Keefe has also done play-by-play for local colleges, appeared on pre and postgame shows for both the New England Revolution and, filled in as a color analyst on Boston Celtics broadcasts, and is a contributor to NBC Sports Boston.

Merloni enjoyed a 10-year MLB career that included a six-year stint with the Red Sox. Merloni was one of the top utility players in the Sox organization, having the ability to play multiple positions well. Nicknamed "Sweet Lou" by Red Sox fans, he graduated from Providence College in 1993 and still holds several single-season records for the Friars baseball team. Merloni joined WEEI in March 2008, first appearing on Glenn Ordway’s “Big Show” before moving into full-time roles hosting in both midday and afternoon drive. Merloni has also worked in television as a Red Sox analyst for both NESN and NBC Sports Boston.

Concurrently, Joe Castiglione, who has been a part of WEEI’s Red Sox broadcast team since 1983, will call 81 games in 2023.

After 40 years and over 6,000 game broadcasts, my wife of 51 years, Jan, and I think that this is the right time to step back and work a reduced schedule of games while we are both in good health,” said Castiglione. “This will give us the opportunity to spend more time with our children and six grandchildren as well. I’d thank both Mike Thomas and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy for being amenable and thanks to my agent, Steve Freyer, for working out the details.”

Meghan Ottolini and Christian Arcand will continue to host the station’s afternoon show.

đź“»Listeners can tune in to WEEI (WEEI-FM) in Boston on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Nielsen: TV Usage Surges In November

They say a rising tide lifts all ships, and according to Nielsen's The Gauge that’s exactly what happened with TV viewing in November. 

With the four-day Thanksgiving weekend in play, Americans spent 7.8% more time with TV during the month than they did in October, watching almost 106 billion minutes of content on Thanksgiving alone.

Total viewing aside, streaming continues to claim more of our TV time, breaking another record in November by earning 38.2% of total usage. And given audiences’ appetite for streaming content, viewing volume increased across virtually every measured service, with Netflix (+13.1%), HBO Max (+12.2%) and YouTube (+11.8%) leading the way. On a year-over-year basis, streaming usage is up more than 41%, and perhaps more importantly, there is no single route to viewership growth. 

For example, Netflix, HBO Max and YouTube, the top gainers in November, each gained viewing volume through different approaches—all to the benefit of the audiences. 
  • Netflix benefited from blockbuster original content, like Wednesday, Manifest and The Crown.
  • HBO Max leaned on popular library content, including Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones.
  • YouTube, including YouTube TV, benefited from contributions from contributors, music and other sources and claimed 8.8% of TV in November.

Miami Radio: Monica Rabassa Named VP/GM For New Salem Cluster

Salem Media Group, Inc. has announced the appointment of long-time Miami broadcast executive Monica Rabassa as Vice President and General Manager of its soon to be acquired cluster of radio stations in Miami.

Monica Rabassa
Rabassa comes to Salem after more than 20 years in executive positions with Univision. Prior to joining Univision, she was Marketing Research Director for Cisneros Television Group. Rabassa’s career highlights also include being named “Woman of the Year” by the Association of Women in Communications, and “Radio Corporate Employee of the Year” by Univision in 2010. In 2014, she was recognized as a “Hispanic Woman of Distinction” for her work in the South Florida community. 

Most recently, she has been honored as one of the “Most Influential Women in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine (2015 through 2020) and as “Marketer of the Year” with the prestigious “Medallas de Cortez” Award in 2015. She received Univision’s UNICO award for her outstanding contributions to the company.

Wake-Up Call: Fed Judge Rules On Biden's Border Crisis

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas stayed the termination until legal challenges by Texas and Missouri are settled but didn't order the policy reinstated. The impact on the program wasn't immediately clear. “It’s a common sense policy to prevent people from entering our country illegally,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted after the ruling. “Texas wins again, for now.” The ruling could prove to be a temporary setback for the Biden administration, which may appeal.

➤U-S NOT READY FOR NEXT GLOBAL HEALTH CRISIS: U.S. intelligence agencies are unprepared for the next global health crisis, a congressional panel concluded. They must improve their ability to analyze vast amounts of data to determine if a disease—undetected or concealed by foreign authorities—might be emerging, according to the House Intelligence Committee. The report, based on reviews of classified reports, criticized the early 2020 Covid-19 response by both the intelligence community and then-President Donald Trump. A spokeswoman for Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines declined to comment, and Trump’s representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment. Over in the Senate, lawmakers worked to wrap up plans for a vote on a $858 billion defense policy bill.

➤SENATE, HOUSE SEND SPENDING BILL TO BIDEN: The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, sending the must-pass defense funding bill to President Joe Biden's desk. Senators voted 83 to 11 for the NDAA, with a top line that includes a $45 billion bump on the $813 billion total requested by Biden earlier this year. That additional sum came out to be funding increases for procurement; research, development, test and evaluation; operation and maintenance; military construction; and defense-related nuclear programs.

➤FTX CUSTOMERS OUT IN THE COLD:  Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest offers cold comfort to FTX customers. The crypto exchange’s new management has said it is working to recover as much as it can for stakeholders. The former CEO stole billions of dollars from clients in one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history, alleged prosecutors and regulators. A spokesman for Bankman-Fried, who was charged with criminal fraud and conspiracy. this week, said he’s “considering all of his legal options.”

➤RETAIL SPENDING DROPPED IN NOVEMBER: U.S. retail spending and manufacturing weakened in November, signs of a slowing economy as the Federal Reserve continues its battle against high inflation.  November retail sales fell 0.6% from the prior month for the biggest decline this year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Budget-conscious shoppers pulled back sharply on holiday-related purchases, home projects and autos. Manufacturing output declined 0.6%, the first drop since June, the Fed said in a separate report.  The Fed on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate 0.5 percentage point to a 15-year high and signaled plans to continue lifting rates through the spring. Fed officials have increased rates at the fastest pace since the 1980s to cool the economy and bring down inflation, which is running near a 40-year high.

Twitter Suspends Reporters Accounts Over Doxxing

Daily Mail Composite 12/16/22

Twitter on Thursday suspended the accounts of several prominent journalists who recently wrote about its new owner Elon Musk, with the billionaire tweeting that rules banning the publishing of personal information applied to all, including journalists.

The accounts suspended included Ryan Mac of The New York Times; Drew Harwell of The Washington Post; Aaron Rupar, an independent journalist; Donie O’Sullivan of CNN; Matt Binder of Mashable; Tony Webster, an independent journalist; Micah Lee of The Intercept; and the political journalist Keith Olbermann.

Responding to a Tweet on the account suspensions, Musk, who has described himself as a free speech absolutist, tweeted: 

More Women Are Becoming Regular Podcast Listeners

In the earlier days of the podcast industry, the stereotype of the average listener was thought of as “an older white man wearing a massive set of headphones, likely sitting at his computer,” Melissa Paris, VP of sales research and analytics at SXM Media, wrote in a post about a new report from the company.

Nowadays, not so much. Women made up about half (48%) of monthly podcast listeners in the US, according to The Women’s 2022 Podcast Report, a study conducted by Edison Research on behalf of SXM Media by surveying 1,500 US adults who identify as women. That’s up from 44% in 2017.

Additionally, more than one in three (35%) US women over the age of 18 said they listened to a podcast in the past month, aka an estimated 47 million women.

Ad opportunity: Women podcast listeners were more likely to consider, recommend, purchase, and spend more on brands they hear advertised on podcasts with hosts or producers who are women compared to other podcasts, according to the report.

Edison Unveils Top 50 Most Listened To Podcasts

Edison Research has announced the comprehensive U.S. Top 50 Podcast chart for Q3 2022. This list ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, among weekly podcast listeners, based on Edison Podcast Metrics.

The top 10 shows based on measurement from Q4 2021 – Q3 2022 are as follows:
  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. Crime Junkie
  3. The Daily
  4. This American Life
  5. The Ben Shapiro Show (up from #7 in Q2)
  6. Stuff You Should Know
  7. My Favorite Murder (down from #5 in Q2)
  8. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast (up from #9 in Q2)
  9. Dateline NBC (up from #11 in Q2)
  10. Office Ladies
The Joe Rogan Experience remains the most-listened-to podcast in the U.S. and has taken the top spot since Edison Research began reporting in 2020.

Triton Digital Releases It's November Podcast Ranker

Triton Digital
®, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio, podcast, and broadcast radio industries, announced today the release of its November 2022 reporting period (October 31 – November 27, 2022), U.S. Podcast Ranker, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.

Yet again, Stitcher Media remained in the #1 spot on the Top Sales Networks Report for the month of November, with 54.7M Average Weekly Downloads and 15.5M Average Weekly Users. NPR came in at #2 with 34.3M Average Weekly Downloads and 6.6M Average Weekly Users, followed by Audacy Podcast Network at #3 with 31.7M Average Weekly Downloads and 8.6M Average Weekly Users.

For this reporting period, the top three podcasts based on downloads included Crime Junkie (audiochuck), climbing to #1, NPR News Now (NPR) at #2, and The Ben Shapiro Show (Cumulus Podcast Network), climbing to #3.

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

Katz Survey Finds Holiday Theme Boost Ad Effectiveness

Radio offers brands festive, engaging, and wildly popular environments during the holiday season. Stations that flip to all holiday music stand to see massive increases in listenership - a sampling of stations in top 10 markets saw an average cume increase of +46% last year (Nielsen PPM data). But what about brands? Can audio advertisers benefit from a holiday flip of their own regarding their ad creative? Katz surveyed adults across the U.S. in December to see how different versions of audio creative resonated with them during the holiday season.


The holiday season is renowned for consumers' joyful consumption of all things festive - experiences, media, food, and goods - and the holidays offer an advantage for brands that tap into this enjoyment. Katz found that 7 in 10 adults enjoy this time of year "very much," and believe it is a good idea for brands to embrace it as well. 72% of consumers feel that advertising is more effective when a holiday theme is added.



Katz tested two versions of audio ads for advertisers from financial, insurance, recruitment, and specialty retailer/service provider categories in order to compare the impact of generic, non-holiday themed ads to those with holiday elements, such as music or sound effects. Results showed that while every tested ad improved brand consideration, ads that incorporated “holiday spirit” into the copy averaged a +27% boost in effectiveness.

“Chachi Loves Everybody” Podcast Releases Year-End Episodes

Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover, programming, podcasting and jingles, announces the release today of two new episodes of Chachi Loves Everybody, an original podcast produced by Benztown and featuring Benztown President and audio brand builder Dave “Chachi” Denes. 

The first new episode features Chachi’s recent video chat from Benztown’s Los Angeles studios with Jeff Smulyan, Founder and Chairman of Emmis Communications and author of the newly released book, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down. Smulyan is a former director of the NAB, former chair of the RAB, and former owner of the Seattle Mariners. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his work in broadcasting.

The second new episode features Tim Richards, a broadcast executive specializing in talent coaching and development. Through his programming consultancy, Tim Richards Media, Richards helps build winning station brands and leads great talent to ratings and revenue success. Richards is a “connector” with an innate ability to identify and nurture talent on-air and off. He has worked with some of the biggest personalities in the industry, including Mojo in the Morning, Mancow, Johnjay & Rich and The Morning Mess, as well as some of the biggest station brands, including Mix in Boston, Q101, Chicago, WKQI, Detroit, KALV, KZZP & KMLE in Phoenix and many more.

To listen to the new podcast episodes, visit:

W Palm Radio: Trey Brazier Joins WMBX As APD

Hubbard Radio has announced Trey Brazier will be joining the WMBX X102.3 team as a Brand and Community Ambassador/APD. 

In this new unique roll, Trey will oversee the community outreach efforts for the station, which includes building, managing, and cultivating new and existing relationships with community organizations and the listeners. 

Trey Brazier
Trey, also previously known as “Trey The Choklit Jok”, was most recently the Operations Manager for Townsquare Media in Temple/Killeen Texas. He is also well known for his time in Chicago at WGCI and Power 92.

WMBX Program Director, Mark McCray said, “X-102.3 has a rich history of uplifting, educating and serving our South Florida audience. Trey’s passion for community service, programming and on-air experience makes him a perfect fit for this important position. We are excited to have him contribute to the continued success and bright future of WMBX.”

Des Moines Radio: Country KJJY Raises Nearly $134K During Radiothon

Cumulus Media announces that Des Moines Country radio station 92.5 KJJY’s Two Days of Compassion Radiothon benefiting Variety – The Children’s Charity, raised a grand total of $133,998 on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 13th and 14th, from 6am-6pm on 92.5 KJJY. The radiothon also put 569 teddy bears into the arms of children in local hospitals.

Variety’s Compassion Fund benefits families with hospitalized children at Mercy Des Moines and Blank Children’s Hospital and allows social workers to identify needs and distribute funds directly to families who are struggling financially. The Compassion Fund was designed to help alleviate the stress and financial burden a family faces while their child is hospitalized. Expenses covered by the Compassion Fund may include gas cards, meals for a parent, help with utility bills, care for siblings of a sick child, a birthday cake for a hospitalized child and Sleep Sacks to help prevent SIDS in newborn babies in Des Moines area hospitals.

Three Strikes & You're Out! MLB Cards Voice Loses Gig

Dan McLaughlin, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals for nearly a quarter century, is out of the job after being charged with his third DWI, reports The NY Post.

McLaughlin, who was previously arrested for DWI in 2010 and 2011, was pulled over and arrested by police in Creve Coeur, a town about 20 minutes outside St. Louis, earlier this month after they received two reports about a driver failing to maintain a single lane.

The Cardinals, Bally Sports Midwest and McLaughlin announced in a joint statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday that it was a “mutual decision” for McLaughlin to leave the role after 24 years behind the microphone.

“Dan McLaughlin will not return as the Cardinals television play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports Midwest,” the MLB team and its TV partner said together. “Dan has been the voice of memorable Cardinals moments for 24 years. We thank him for his contributions to Cardinals baseball, to Cardinals fans and for his many charitable efforts.”

McLaughlin, who said after his second DWI that he understood that keeping his job was “as last-chance as it gets,” said his “sole focus” will be on his recovery.

December 16 Radio History

➦In 1898...Bandleader Lud Gluskin was born in NYC.  He became director of music at CBS in 1937, and his work was heard all over the radio dial on programs originating in Hollywood for the next 15 years.  He led the orchestra for a year or two of Amos ‘n’ Andy, Suspense, My Friend Irma, Life with Luigi, My Little Margie, Sweeney & March, The Philip Morris Playhouse, Campana Serenade, and dozens of lesser-known, lower-budget programs. He died Oct. 13 1989 at age 90.

➦In 1901...Guglielmo Marconi was officially notified by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company that it would take legal action against him unless he immediately ceased his wireless experiments and removed his equipment from Newfoundland.

Anglo-American had a fifty-year monopoly on electrical communications in Newfoundland, that began in 1858, and it was determined to hinder radio telegraphy, which was a serious threat to its transatlantic electric telegraph business operated by submarine cables.

Marconi soon decided to move his base of operations to Cape Breton Island, and was welcomed there on Dec. 26 with open arms.

Eugenia H Farrar
➦In 1907...opera star Eugenia H. Farrar became the first singer to broadcast over the radio, courtesy of inventor Lee De Forrest.  Her performance originated from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York where she sang.  Farrar performed two selections, including “I Love You Truly.”

➦In listeners would soon be freed from their earphones after the first dynamic loudspeaker was designed by Chester Rice and Edward Kellogg.

➦In 1926...In Omaha, Nebraska, the Woodmen of the World Society changed the call sign of it radio station WOAW to WOW. The call sign had become available with the retirement of the steamship Henry J Bibble.

The original operating power was a maximum of 500 watts, with an increase to 1,000 watts in 1927. Later, on October 1st, WOW became affiliated with the Red network of the National Broadcasting Company

In 1928, WOW was forced to share the 590 frequency with Nebraska Weslayan College station WCAJ. WOW was permitted to use the frequency six-sevenths of the time, with the college using the remaining seventh. In 1930, WOW applied for full time use of the frequency, finally winning its battle in 1933.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

WaPo Announces Layoffs..Publisher Walks Out of Town Hall

NY Post composite 12/15/22

The Washington Post’s all-hands meeting turned chaotic Wednesday after the newspaper’s publisher announced looming layoffs – and then left the room as concerned employees shouted questions.

The Jeff Bezos-owned broadsheet will conduct a round of layoffs during the first quarter of 2023, publisher Fred Ryan announced during what was supposed to be an hour-long meeting.

The NY Post reports Ryan blamed the cuts on worsening economic conditions, according to an account published on the newspaper’s website.

Video taken from inside the internal meeting and shared by Washington Post national correspondent Annie Gowen showed despondent employees peppering Ryan with questions about the job cuts to no avail.

“We’re not going to turn the town hall into a grievance session,” Ryan declared, speaking over a crowd of frustrated employees.

One worker could be heard referencing the Washington Post’s recent decision to end its Sunday magazine. The magazine’s 10 employees were given pink slips when that move was announced in late November.

“Fred, you talked about positions getting eliminated. What are you going to do to protect people’s jobs? Are they going to be treated like the magazine staffers were?” the worker asked.

“We’ll have more information as we move forward. Thank you very much,” Ryan replied.

Journalists for the paper that boasts the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” were left flabbergasted as their boss stormed out of the room.

2022 in Google Internet Searches

by  Martin Armstrong, Statista

2022 has been eventful, to say the least, and a look at the biggest trending Google searches this year can serve as a reminder for some of the events and situations that have shaped our world over the last 12 months.

At the top of the trending new searches was of course Ukraine. The war, started when Russia invaded its sovereign neighbor on February 24, also led to Vladimir Putin being one of the people garnering the largest volume of new global search interest in 2022. The passing of Queen Elizabeth was also major news when Britain's longest reigning monarch died in September.

In less earnest events, a large number of us were greatly entertained by the world of film in 2022 - but not just on the silver screen. Off it, actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard captivated audiences in a very different way during their much publicized defamation trial. Will Smith also caused controversy at the Oscars when he slapped comedian and actor Chris Rock during the high-profile awards ceremony.

Among all of this it's easy to forget that the United States had a key (mid-term) election, the emergence of monkeypox had us worried about the next pandemic, and one lucky person won a world record $2.04 billion in the United States' Powerball lottery.

Infographic: 2022 in Google Searches | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

Rochester NY Radio: Morning Host Corey James Exits WPXY and Radio

Corey James

On Friday, Dec. 16, after nearly a decade as host of the WPXY 97.9 FM morning show, Corey Moran, known on the air as Corey James, will sign off for the final time to fully focus on his real estate career, reports The Democrat & Chronicle.

“I feel extremely blessed,” said the 39-year-old Canandaigua resident. “I feel like I have a bit of a charmed life.”

And a busy life, especially lately.

In April 2021, while helming “#TeamPXY” on the hit music station from 5:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays with Briana “Breezy” Sloth, Moran launched a second career in residential real estate.

Upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic had caused him to think more about his future.

“When COVID hit, that was so difficult for our industry and for so many industries,” said Moran, who grew up in Endicott, west of Binghamton, and had his first run on WPXY, better known as 98PXY, in the mid-2000s as Corey Kincaid before returning in 2014 as morning-show host. “It wasn’t clear how things were going to pan out. So, I thought about what other things I might be suited to.”

He talked with his wife, Courtney, with whom he shares sons Mason, 3 and Ashton, 1. And because of his ability to connect with people — a skill he began to cultivate at SUNY Brockport before graduating in 2006 and honed during his radio career — real estate sales was one of the ideas that emerged.

“It’s a different kind of connection, but they’re both relationship businesses,” Moran said.

Trump Sues Pulitzer Prize For Defamation

Former President Donald Trump has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Pulitzer Prize board for jointly awarding the New York Times and Washington Post the 2018 National Reporting prize over their coverage of the Russia collusion scandal.

The NY Post reports Trump’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Okeechobee County, Florida, claims that the “demonstrably false connection was and remains the stated basis” for the papers’ award-winning coverage.

“A large swath of Americans had a tremendous misunderstanding of the truth at the time the Times’ and the Post’s propagation of the Russia Collusion Hoax dominated the media,” the complaint states. “Remarkably, they were rewarded for lying to the American public.” 

The Washington Post and the Times received the award for their “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration,” according to the Pulitzer website. 

Buffalo TV: Sportswriter Loses 3 Jobs For What He Said

Jerry Sullivan
Buffalo sportswriter Jerry Sullivan, who writes for the local CBS affiliate’s website along with two newspapers, has been fired after making sexist comments on a livestream podcast Monday night.

WIVB, along with the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union Sun & Journal, let Sullivan go after he told a caller on the local podcast Trainwreck Tonight in part, “The worst fans really are the women. They don’t get critical journalism. They’re all wannabe cheerleaders. You know what I mean? It’s always … It’s a dangerous avenue to go down to criticize women in general, because they’re better than men generally, but they don’t get it as fans.”

Buffalo News media writer Alan Pergament said a source told him, “Sullivan was fired Tuesday afternoon, but Channel 4’s owner, Nexstar, has no plans to announce it. As of Tuesday afternoon, Sullivan was no longer listed on the station’s website.”

AccuRadio Offers A Stuffed Santa Pack Of Holiday Stations

AccuRadio, the world’s No. 1 independent brand of personalized radio, announces that it is now featuring 105 different and exciting Christmas and holiday music channels with more to come, topping the world record set by AccuRadio with last holiday season’s 100 Christmas channels. Each year since the Chicago-based digital radio network’s launch in 2000, AccuRadio has taken holiday entertainment to an unprecedented level, gifting its now more than 1 million monthly global listeners with more fun and variety than any other audio service. The service will add even more channels of holiday music through December 25th. And all AccuRadio stations are programmed by people — music lovers, not computer algorithms or AI generated.

AccuRadio holiday channels span virtually every imaginable genre, theme, and mood, from Christmas standards, R&B, Country, and Latin music to Rock, Jazz and beyond. The holiday programming offers a nearly limitless choice of music to lift the mood – plus some extra channels designed to enable listeners to truly personalize their holiday listening experience.

Kurt Hanson, CEO and Founder, AccuRadio, said: “Holiday music programming at AccuRadio goes much deeper and wider than broadcast radio stations or other digital radio providers. Though AccuRadio’s most popular Christmas music channel is "Holidays Radio," we offer our listeners a treasure trove of musical choices, guaranteed to set the perfect festive mood throughout the holidays and beyond.”

TV Ratings: Viewers Are There for Harry & Meghan, But NFL Scores

“Harry & Meghan” set a Netflix viewership record for a documentary title, with viewers worldwide spending 81.55 million hours watching the first three episodes in the first four days they were available, according to The L-A Times citing figures released by the streaming service.

The series profiling Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle was Netflix’s second most-streamed program between Dec. 5-11 behind “Wednesday.” The eight episodes of the supernatural-infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years at Nevermore Academy were watched for 269.67 million hours in their third week of release, one week after they were watched for 411.29 million hours, the most for an English-language television series in the service’s history.

“Wednesday” was watched for 1.02 billion hours in its 19 days of release through Sunday, the third Netflix program to top the 1-billion-hours mark within its first 28 days, joining the fourth season of “Stranger Things” and “Squid Game.”

“Troll” was Netflix’s most popular movie, with 52.27 million hours watched in its first full week of release, one week after it set the record for most hours viewed for a non-English-language film when viewers spent 75.86 million hours watching the Norwegian action-adventure film in the first four days it was available.

“Yellowstone” was the top-ranked entertainment program for the fifth time in the five weeks of its fifth season and the week’s highest rated non-sports program, averaging a combined 9.064 million viewers on Paramount Network and CMT. It placed fifth for the week behind two NFL games, the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show and Fox’s 28-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT.”

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” drew its second-smallest audience of the season’s 14 games but still led the prime-time ratings for the week of Dec. 5-11, with the Chargers’ 23-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins averaging 15.757 million viewers.

The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and three of broadcast television’s four top entertainment programs put NBC atop the network ratings for the 10th time in the season, averaging 5.57 million viewers.

The only weeks NBC did not win this season came when Fox aired coverage of the World Series.

The Tuesday edition of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” was 11th, averaging 6.479 million viewers.

CBS was second, averaging 4.25 million. Fox was third, averaging 2.77 million viewers. ABC was fourth, averaging 2.73 million.

CBS’ ratings leader was “60 Minutes,” averaging 7.825 million viewers to finish seventh overall and second among non-NFL programs.  CBS also had the top comedy, the most popular program beginning at 10 p.m. and the highest-ranked new series.

“Young Sheldon” averaged 7.179 million viewers, eighth overall and third among non-NFL programs. “Young Sheldon” has led all comedies for each of its eight first-run episodes this season.

“Blue Bloods” averaged 6.057 million viewers, 15th for the week and 10th among non-NFL programs. The Tom Selleck-starring police drama has been the highest-rated 10 p.m. show for all eight of its first-run episodes this season.

“Fire Country” averaged 5.59 million viewers, 16th for the week and 11th among non-NFL programs. It has been the most-watched new series for six of its eight episodes.

Fox’s ratings leader was “The OT,” fourth for the week, averaging 9.508 million viewers. Its non-sports programs were led by “The Simpsons,” which followed “The OT” and was 35th, averaging 3.419 million viewers.

ABC’s ratings were topped by “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” 30th for the week, averaging 3.839 million viewers.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; “The OT”; “Yellowstone”; “60 Minutes”; six CBS scripted programs and its alternative series “Survivor”; all three elements of NBC’s “Chicago” franchise; and both episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice.”

The Dec. 5 “Monday Night Football” game on ESPN topped the cable rankings, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 17-16 victory over the New Orleans Saints averaging 10.132 million viewers, third for the week.