Wednesday, September 27, 2023

D/FW Radio: The Dumb Zone Podcast Case Has Been Resolved

The case between Susquehanna Radio and Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp of The Dumb Zone podcast has been resolved, with no further trial, motions or hearings pending.

A new episode of The Dumb Zone was released shortly after the judge's ruling Tuesday, where Kemp read a statement short saying the resolution was "mutually agreed upon."

Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp, co-hosts of The Dumb Zone podcast and former KTCK 1310 The Ticket radio hosts, are recording and releasing new episodes at a fairly steady rate. 

Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp

The former hosts of 1310 The Ticket’s midday The Hang Zone program left the station over the summer, announcing their status on July 20 on YouTube after prolonged contract negotiations fell apart. The pair, who had been together as co-hosts since 2020, quickly moved to start their new podcast venture, unveiling their first The Dumb Zone episode on July 25 for the nice price of $6.90 a month.

3Q Cable Ratings: The Five Wins..Again

New quarter, similar result: The Five is the top-rated cable news show, marking its eighth consecutive quarter (two consecutive years) as the most-watched daily cable news program.

According to TV Newser citing live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen for the third quarter of 2023, the 5 p.m. news talk panel show program averaged 2.66 million total viewers per original broadcast.

Jesse Watters Primetime was the second most-watched daily cable news show in Q3, averaging more than 2.34 million viewers at 7/8 p.m. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, which airs weekly, averaged 2.63 million viewers at 9 p.m.

Hannity was the third most-watched daily cable news show (2.225 million at 9 p.m.), with The Ingraham Angle (1.87 million at 10/7 p.m.) and Gutfeld! (1.86 million at 11/10 p.m.) rounding out the top five in average total viewers.

David Berson To Succeed Sean McManus At CBS Sports

Sean McManus, one of the most integral executives in TV history, will retire as the chairman of CBS Sports early next year, The NY Post has learned.

McManus will be succeeded by his longtime No. 2, David Berson, who will retain his president’s title and add CEO of the division.

McManus, Berson

McManus began as the head of CBS Sports in 1996.

Two years later, McManus defined his legacy by leading CBS’ re-acquisition of the NFL package in 1998.

In 1993, before McManus was at the helm, CBS lost its rights to NFC games to Fox.

In the aftermath of losing the NFL, CBS, as a network, plummeted in the ratings, but its fortunes changed when football returned to Sundays.

Nearly a quarter-century later, the NFL is still at the core of CBS Sports and Paramount+’s plans — which also includes March Madness, the Masters and major college football.

McManus will stay on through the Super Bowl, which is on CBS, and the Masters.

“The timing just feels right to me,” McManus, 68, told The Post. “I’m proud of the fact that George [Cheeks, CBS president] and Bob Bakish, [president of Paramount Global] are in complete agreement that this timing is perfect. So I feel really good about it, and I have total and complete faith in David.”

SiriusXM Has Liberty Media's Proposal Under Consideration

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Tuesday acknowledged that the special committee of independent directors of the board of SiriusXM received a non-binding proposal from Liberty Media Corporation regarding a potential transaction involving the Company. The potential transaction would consist of the separation of the assets and liabilities attributed to the Liberty SiriusXM tracking stock group from Liberty Media through the split-off of a newly formed company ("Newco") and the subsequent combination of Newco and SiriusXM, as a result of which the holders of Liberty SiriusXM tracking stock and SiriusXM common stock would all hold one class of common stock of the combined company (the "Proposal").

The Special Committee, together with its advisors, Solomon Partners Securities, LLC and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, is evaluating the Proposal. There can be no assurance that the Proposal, or any other transaction, will be completed or, if so, as to the terms and conditions of any such transaction. The Company does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this matter until such time as the Special Committee and the Company's board of directors approves a transaction or the Special Committee otherwise deems further disclosure appropriate, except as required by law or other regulatory requirements.

FOX Business Marks 6th Straight Quarter Topping CNBC

  • “Kudlow” and “Varney & Co.” Reign Supreme as Top Two Business Programs for Sixth Straight Quarter
  • FBN’s Primetime Hours Post Triple Digit Growth Year-Over-Year and Nab Highest-Rated Quarter with Primetime Since 2020
FOX Business Network (FBN) closed out the third quarter of 2023 as the number one network in business day viewers, easily outpacing CNBC, according to Nielsen Media Research. The network continued to place the top two business news programs, while also delivering the highest-rated quarter with primetime (8-11 PM/ET) since 2020 as well as the highest-rated quarter of 2023 with total day viewers across the board (6 AM-6 AM/ET).

FBN was the go-to network for breaking business news, surpassing CNBC with a 4% advantage in business day viewers (FBN 194,000 P2+ vs. CNBC 186,000 P2+) for the quarter. FBN’s market-open and close programming once again led the industry in viewers with Kudlow (weekdays, 4 PM/ET) and Varney & Co. (weekdays, 9 AM-12 PM/ET) leading the business news rankers. Stuart Varney’s Varney & Co. notched 246,000 total viewers, securing a 25% advantage over CNBC’s Squawk on the Street and leading its competition for the sixth consecutive quarter, while Kudlow was the most-watched show in business news with 274,000 viewers (a 69% advantage over CNBC’s Closing Bell’s 162,000 total viewers). This quarter marks Larry Kudlow’s eighth quarterly win over the competition. Notably, the two programs have ranked the top two business programs for six straight quarters.

During the pre-market hours, Maria Bartiromo’s Mornings with Maria (weekdays, 6-9 AM/ET) drew in 106,000 total viewers and placed amongst the top 20 business news programs for the quarter. The program outranked CNBC’s Squawk Box for the second consecutive quarter. CAVUTO: Coast to Coast (weekdays, 12 PM/ET) anchored by Neil Cavuto, placed among the top 10 business programs, with 152,000 total viewers. FBN’s The Big Money Show (weekdays, 1 PM/ET) drew in 132,000 viewers and grew 2% quarter-over-quarter. Making Money with Charles Payne (weekdays, 2 PM/ET) and The Claman Countdown (weekdays, 3 PM/ET) anchored by Liz Claman each increased 6% quarter over quarter with viewers and posted double-digit growth with the advertiser coveted 25-54 demo.

During post-market coverage, Elizabeth MacDonald’s The Evening Edit with Elizabeth MacDonald (weekdays, 5 PM/ET) bested its competition for the fifth consecutive quarter and brought in 153,000 viewers, a 4% advantage over CNBC. The Bottom Line (weekdays, 6 PM/ET) earned 130,000 total viewers and marked its third consecutive quarter beating CNBC. Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street (Fridays, 7-7:30 PM/ET) saw a 6% advantage over CNBC’s Last Call (FBN: 83,000 viewers vs CNBC: 78,000 viewers) and Barron’s Roundtable (Fridays, 7:30-8 PM/ET) secured 57,000 viewers. Notably, FBN’s 7 PM/ET rerun of Kudlow (Monday-Thursday) also outpaced CNBC’s Last Call by 6% for the quarter.

In primetime, FBN posted triple digit growth year-over-year across the board (100% growth with total viewers; 244% growth with 25-54 demo; 152% growth with the 36-64 demo). The fourth season of FBN Prime, FOX Business Network’s weekday primetime programming slate, performed exceedingly well with reruns of the iconic series COPS (Thursday and Friday, 8-11 PM/ET) outranking CNBC’s Shark Tank/American Greed with double-digit advantages in both the 25-54 demo and 35-64 demo.

FBN ended the quarter delivering five of the top 10 cable news programs with affluent audiences among the 25-54 demo. Mornings with Maria placed first with viewers’ incomes totaling a median of $176,600. Varney & Co., The Claman Countdown, Making Money with Charles Payne and The Big Money Show rounded out the top 10 programs with median incomes greater than $134,100. Kudlow, The Evening Edit and CAVUTO: Coast to Coast placed amongst the top 20 programs tallying $127,100 or greater.

9/27 WAKE-UP CALL: Trump Deals Called Fraud

A New York judge ruled Donald Trump committed fraud in valuing his real-estate empire's assets. The judge ordered the cancellation of legal certificates that have allowed the Trumps to do business in New York. The ruling sided with state Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, on part of her civil-fraud case against the former president ahead of a trial that is set to begin next week. Trump has denied the allegations and attacked the case as politically motivated. A lawyer for Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

If not successfully appealed, the decision will revoke the Trump Organization’s “business certificates,” preventing the 77-year-old from conducting business in the Empire State until the revocation is rescinded. “The decision today is a final decision that fraud is proven, The judge made this decision on the basis of Trump’s own documents. The evidence is Trump’s own documentation,” Andrew P. Napolitano, former New Jersey Superior Court judge, told The Post. “These are indisputable facts — the case is based entirely on the documents his lenders and his insurance companies produced.”

➤HUNTER BIDEN SUES RUDY GIULIANI: Hunter Biden filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday against Rudy Giuliani and his former attorney, claiming they caused “total annihilation” of his digital privacy and violated federal and state computer privacy laws through their alleged efforts to hack his devices. In the lawsuit filed in federal court in California, Hunter Biden accuses Giuliani and Robert Costello of spending years “hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from” his devices.

🍁CANADA HOUSE SPEAKER RESIGNS: The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons, Anthony Rota, resigned on Tuesday amid a spiraling scandal over his having led Parliament in a standing ovation Friday for a 98-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who turns out to have fought in a Nazi unit during World War II. Since the Forward reported Sunday morning on the background of the 98-year-old veteran, Yaroslav Hunka, Jewish groups and Canadian lawmakers have condemned the ovation, and the Polish minister of education said he had “taken steps” toward an extradition of Hunka for any potential atrocities committed against Poles and Jews during the war.

➤WRITERS HEADED BACK TO WORK: The Hollywood screenwriters' strike, one of two strikes that have stalled movie and TV productions for nearly five months, will officially end Wednesday. The Writers Guild of America board unanimously voted Tuesday to affirm the strike-ending deal, announced Sunday, with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations. "Today, our Negotiating Committee, WGAW Board, and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement," the Writers Guild West announced on X, formerly Twitter. "The strike ends at 12:01 am." The agreed-upon three-year contract extension will go to the full WGA membership for a ratification vote. But the leadership board lifted the restraining order to allow writers to work during the ratification process. The members will vote between Oct. 2 and 9.

TV Ratings: The Taylor Swift Effect Captured Viewers

After weeks of speculation about a connection between Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, who broke up with the actor Joe Alwyn this year, she attended Kelce’s game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, watching from a luxury suite with his mother as the Chiefs trounced the Chicago Bears. Fox cameras panned to Swift’s reaction nearly every time Kelce touched the ball. The singer’s devoted swarm of fans also tuned in, with several posting on social media that they were watching football for the first time.

Swift, wearing a red-and-white outfit that matched Kansas City’s colors, was then seen leaving the stadium with Kelce.

The singer's presence at the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 3 home win against the Chicago Bears reportedly led to a significant boost in viewership, as well as merchandise sales and the social media presence of tight end Travis Kelce amid speculation of a potential relationship between the two.

Week 3’s national @NFLonFOX window also ranked first among F12-17, F18-34, F18-49 and F2+ demos this week.

A spokesperson for the sports apparel website Fanatics told the Associated Press that Kelce's jersey sales saw "a nearly 400% spike" since Swift appeared as his guest in an Arrowhead Stadium luxury box alongside his mother, Donna Kelce, on Sunday (September 24). 

Despite Kelce’s relative fame in the sports world, becoming part of the frenzied conversation around Swift’s every move is another ballgame. Kelce now has 3.2 million followers on Instagram. Swift has 273 million.

FCC To Reset Its Net Neutrality Crusade

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said she plans to reinstate net neutrality oversight of broadband providers that was rescinded under former president Donald Trump.

Bloomberg reports Rosenworcel announced the effort Tuesday at the National Press Club, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report and kicking off a renewed fight over regulation. She is proposing the FCC take the first steps to commit to rules that would treat broadband internet as an essential service, putting it on par with water, power and phone service.

The proposal largely mirrors original rules adopted in 2015 under then-President Barack Obama and adds a clause on national security to close a loophole that allows foreign adversaries to access US broadband services.

NYC Radio: NY Public Radio Plans 12 Percent RIF

New York Public Radio, the parent organization of the WNYC news station, said on Tuesday that it was planning to cut its work force by about 12 percent.

The NY Times reports LaFontaine Oliver, New York Public Radio’s president and chief executive, said in a memo to employees that a “free fall in the advertising market” had led to the decision to cut staff.

“I know this news is hard to hear, and knowing macroeconomic factors have led to this moment doesn’t soften the blow when national trends land on your own doorstep,” Mr. Oliver said.

New York Public Radio, a nonprofit, operates WNYC, the classical music station WQXR and the Gothamist local news site. It has about 340 full-time and part-time employees. Staff members affected by the job cuts will be notified next week; Mr. Oliver didn’t say in his memo which areas of the organization would be hardest hit, but said the organization would preserve its journalism and music efforts. New York Public Radio is also planning to eliminate a majority of open positions, Mr. Oliver said in his memo.

Many public radio stations have had to adjust to changes in how audiences listen to their programming, with many people shifting to newer platforms, such as Spotify. The Covid-19 pandemic sped up some of those changes as fewer people commuted to work, a segment that had long been a staple of traditional listenership.

New York Public Radio is among the vanguard of public radio stations that have sought to embrace changing listener behaviors. Its WNYC Studios arm produces “Radiolab,” a popular podcast that explores themes of curiosity and the natural world, and “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” a podcast version of the magazine.

Buffalo Radio: Longtime Morning host Tom Donahue To Sign-Off

After 55 years in Buffalo radio, Tom Donahue will deliver his last morning show this Friday September 29th on the BIG WECK.

Prior to WECK, Buffalo’s Oldies Station, Tom’s radio career includes a stop in Utica, but most of his broadcast career has been in Buffalo, NY with stints at KB Radio 1520, WGR 550, WYSL 1400, WKSE 98.5, WNUC 107.7, WHTT 104.1 and WLKK 107.7. Tom has been hosting the morning show at BIG WECK 1230am /102.9fm /100.1fm /100.5 fm for the past 15 years.

Tom Donahue
Tom’s roles have varied from an on-air personality to news anchor, program director and production director. Tom was also the sole host of the rating giant “Original Saturday Night All-Request Oldies Show “on WKBW radio from 1981-1986. While Tom as at WGR on August 16th, 1977, he received a call from Memphis DJ George Klein and one of Elvis’ best friends discussing the passing of Elvis Presley who had died hours earlier. The phone was then passed to Elvis’ father Vernon for a few brief comments. Recalling that day, Tom says” Everyone was in shock, the King had passed.”

In addition to his broadcast roles, Tom served as an Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Buffalo State University for over 35 years, where he propelled many of his students in creating their own broadcast careers. Pros like Tom Calderone, Dave McKinley, Claudine Ewing, Dan Rinelli, Susan Rose, Chris “Bulldog” Parker, Howard Simon along with many others.

Big WECK owner Buddy Shula says “Tom is a throwback to when broadcasters would do anything and everything just to be in the business of broadcasting. That is not a learned skill. It’s in your DNA. Either you have it, or you don’t. Tom always has. He is a statesman for the radio industry, hard-working, professional, and always a gentleman.” Shula continued.

Green Bay Radio: CHR WIXX Adds Andy Gardner For Evenings

Midwest Communications CHR 101 WIXX announces its newest evening on-air personality, Andy Gardner, from part-time status on the station.

Andy Gardner
“We’re excited to add Andy’s experience, professionalism and dependability to our team,” said Corey Carter, WIXX Brand Manager. Andy knows radio and our market well and will fit in perfectly.”

“Many thanks to Carter, Operations Manager Jason Hillery and V.P. of Programming Jeff McCarthy for giving me this opportunity,” Gardner said. “WIXX continues to prove that a live and local nighttime radio show can still be impactful. I look forward to building on the success of my predecessor!”

Andy will occupy the weekday evening time-slot, replacing Jayson Slade, who was promoted to the Midday shift earlier this month. Andy’s first official night show in this position was Monday, Sept. 18th.

Fresno Radio: KMJ, ABC30 Start Cooperative News Effort

Radio Listeners can now catch Action News reports on TV, online and now, inside your car by tuning into KMJ radio weekday mornings on 580 AM and 105.9 FM.

"Our goal at ABC30 is to always provide Central California families with the best news, weather and information," says ABC30 General Manager Michael Carr. "This partnership with KMJ is going to allow us to reach even more people all the time through this radio partnership. It's a big win for the Valley."

KMJ radio host Christopher Gabriel handles the morning drive.

He says ABC30 is always on in the studios, so he welcomes the opportunity to work together to help listeners stay connected.

Fresno Radio: KMJ Raises $620K for Food Bank

Cumulus Media announces that Cumulus Fresno News/Talk station KMJ 580AM/105.9FM raised $620,000 for the Central California Food Bank during KMJ’s 10th Annual Feeding Families Fund Drive, a one-day community collection drive on Friday, September 22, 2023. 

In the last decade, KMJ’s Feeding Families Fund Drive has raised a total of over $4.4 Million to help feed area families in need through the Central California Food Bank. The fundraiser is conducted every year in partnership with the Musson family at Gar Bennett, which very generously matches 50% of the total funds raised through the drive. This year’s “Gar match” continues through the end of September, and KMJ is still collecting donations that will accrue to the total raised this year. Those wishing to donate may do so at

Patty Hixson, Regional VP/Market Manager, Cumulus Fresno, said: "Every year this event gets bigger, and every year KMJ listeners respond with jaw-dropping generosity. Our very special thanks to the Musson family at Gar Bennett for their always unbelievable support and 50% match, which puts this drive over the top every year.”

Blake Taylor, Program Director, KMJ, said: "Bringing our community together for the greater good is truly inspiring. Feeding so many families in need as we head into the holidays is the best feeling, and we couldn’t do it without our generous listeners and sponsors Gar Bennett, Fresno-Madera Farm Credit, Amazon, and our host, The Market. A special thanks to Kym Dildine and the staff at Central California Food Bank, an incredible organization that helps so many in our community.”

To donate to the Central California Food Bank with Gar Bennett’s 50% matching gift through the month of September, visit:

Savannah Radio: Cumulus Stations Team For Successful Diaper Drive

                   DJ Rax, Operations Manager, Cumulus Savannah; Jennifer Graham from Shelter From the Rain;
                  Wildlyfe Beezy, On-Air Host, Nights, E93/WEAS-FM, and Lencia from Shelter From the Rain.

Cumulus Media
 announces that Cumulus Savannah radio stations I-95/WIXV-FM (Rock), KIX96/WJCL-FM (Country), Magic 103.9/WTYB-FM (Urban AC), and E93/WEAS-FM (Urban) hosted a successful Diaper Drive for Savannah families in need on Saturday, September 23rd during National Diaper Need Awareness Week. 

The community drive benefited local charities Shelter From the Rain and Over The Moon Diaper Bank with event sponsor, CareSource. Together, they collected 1,914 diapers, 1,458 baby wipes, and $117 in monetary donations. The event was held from Noon-8:00pm at Walmart on 1955 E. Montgomery Cross Road in Savannah.

DJ Rax, Operations Manager, Cumulus Savannah, said: "We would like to thank the city of Savannah and surrounding areas for assisting us this year with our local Diaper Drive. We worked with local organizations Shelter from the Rain, CareSource, and Over The Moon Diaper Bank and made a very successful day of it. Every Cumulus Savannah radio station promoted and executed the drive, and it became a very big deal. Once again, we thank our generous listeners and partners. We could not have done it without them, and we got to help our neighbors along the way. We look forward to next year's event."

Houston Radio: Audacy Stations Raise $100K+ for Literacy Foundation

Audacy Houston raised over $100,000 for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation during the 4th annual Giving Week campaign. 

The campaign, in support of one of the Foundation’s signature programs, My Home Library, raises funds to provide home libraries to economically disadvantaged children in Houston. Audacy Houston, the Foundation and Audacy Houston stations Mix 96.5 (KHMX-FM), 100.3 The Bull (KILT-FM), 95.7 The Spot (KKHH-FM), Sports Radio 610 (KILT-AM) and Mega 101 FM (KLOL-FM) led the campaign from September 18 to September 22.

Radio History: September 27

William Conrad
➦In 1920
...William Conrad born (Died from heart failure at age 73. – February 11, 1994). His  career spanned five decades in radio, film, and television, peaking in popularity when he starred in the detective series Cannon (1971–1976).

Conrad estimated that he played more than 7,500 roles during his radio career.

Most prominently, Conrad's deep, resonant voice was heard in the role of Marshal Matt Dillon on CBS Radio's gritty Western series Gunsmoke (April 26, 1952 – June 18, 1961). The producers originally rejected him for the part because of his ubiquitous presence on so many radio dramas and the familiarity of his voice, but his impressive audition could not be dismissed, and he became the obvious choice for the role. Conrad voiced Dillon for the show's nine-year run, and he wrote the June 1953 episode "Sundown." When Gunsmoke was adapted for television in 1955, executives at CBS did not cast Conrad or his radio costars despite a campaign to get them to change their minds.

In January 1956, Conrad was the announcer on the debut broadcast of The CBS Radio Workshop.

➦In 1933..."Waltz Time" debuted . It remained on the NBC Radio network until 1948. The show features Abe Lyman (August 4, 1897 – October 23, 1957) and his band, which was popular from the 1920s to the 1940s. He made recordings, appeared in films and provided the music for numerous radio shows, including Your Hit Parade.

➦In 1938...Comedian Bob Hope introduce a new song, "Thanks For The Memory".  It was introduced in the 1938 film The Big Broadcast of 1938 by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross. In the film, Ross and Hope's characters are a divorced couple who encounter each other aboard a ship. Near the film's end, they poignantly sing one of the many versions of this song, recalling the ups and downs of their relationship (then they decide to get back together).

➦In 1985...The Howard Stern Show aired for the last time on 66 WNBC NYC.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Liberty Media Proposes SixiusXM Merger

Billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media  is looking to combine the business that contains its stake in SiriusXM with the rest of the radio company, in a deal to create a publicly listed firm controlled by the conglomerate.

CNBC reports the proposal aims to spin off Liberty SiriusXM Group or LSXM, the group through which it owns a 83% stake in SiriusXM, into a new unit that would merge with the radio company.

“SiriusXM minority shareholders will also benefit from enhanced trading dynamics, including increased liquidity and likelihood of future index inclusion,” Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said.

SiriusXM said it was evaluating the offer.

After the proposed merger, minority investors of SiriusXM would own about 16% of the new company, while Liberty Media would own the rest.

Shares of SiriusXM fell 9% in premarket trading, while LSXM, series A shares of Liberty Media’s tracking group for the radio company’s stock, rose about 10.4%.

A tracking stock depends on the financial performance of the segment of the business it “tracks,” which refers to SiriusXM here. They trade separately from the parent company’s stock.

Liberty Media also has publicly listed tracking groups for its interest in Formula One and event ticketing firm LiveNation.

Audacy Unveils Premiere Holiday Tour

Audacy has announced the return of its premier holiday concert tour to San Jose, Houston, Boston, Denver, Baltimore, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Hartford this December. 

“Alice in Winterland” and “Deck The Hall Ball” events, featuring performances from Jelly Roll, Alanis Morissette, Matchbox Twenty, ONEREPUBLIC, Train, Parmalee, The Band Camino, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Benson Boone, Phillip Phillips, JP Saxe and more, are sure to spread holiday cheer across the country. All show pre-sale tickets begin Thursday, September 28 at 10:00 a.m. local time. 

On-sale begins Friday, September 29 at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Trump Labels Mainstream Media 'Dishonest and Corrupt'

Donald Trump says the news media will be “thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage” should he return to the White House for a second term. In a post on his Truth Social platform Sunday night, Trump said the news media “are almost all dishonest and corrupt” and should be investigated for “country threatening treason,” according to Forbes.

Trump has long disparaged journalists, at times calling them the “enemy of the people,” but on Sunday he threatened that news organizations are not “entitled to use the very valuable Airwaves of the USA for free.”

“I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events,” he said.

It’s unclear what sparked Trump’s outburst, which was initially directed at NBC News and MSNBC, which he said provided “endless coverage of the now fully debunked SCAM known as Russia, Russia, Russia and much else,” saying the reporting was “one big Campaign Contribution to the Radical Left Democrat Party.”

In a later message, Trump attacked ABC News, accusing the network of covering a new presidential poll without noting that the poll found Trump leading President Biden in a head-to-head matchup by 10 points, which ABC did, in fact, report Sunday morning. “This is what Fake News is all about,” Trump said, “and the public has quickly gotten wise to it.”

What Turns Off More Listeners Than Commercials?

This summer’s NuVoodoo Research Ratings Prospects Study 22 showed several things more likely to cause tuneouts than commercial breaks. 

Among those who are regular broadcast radio listeners in their sample of 2,504 respondents ages 14-54 nationwide, 38% cited commercial breaks as a reason to tune out. As many said songs being repeated multiple times in a few hours caused tune out. A few more (1%) cited talk about things that don’t interest them as a thing that caused tune-out. 

But the worst offender, at 45% of the radio listeners in the sample, was too many bad songs. Burned out songs caused tune-out for 36%. Horizontal repetition, songs repeated at the same time from one day to another, caused tune-out for 34%. The same vibe, songs that all sound the same, was a problem for 33%.

Just over a fifth of the research-friendly respondents in NuVoodoo sample model as being likely to empanel with Nielsen if offered into a meter or diary sample. They’re labeled “RPS Yes” in the tables below and deserve our attention, since they’re the people who give stations their report cards. You might expect them to be less likely to find reasons to tune out, but actually they’re more likely to find reasons to tune out.

At 58%, it’s nearly 3 in 5 “RPS Yes” ratings likelies who cited too many bad songs as a reason they’ve tuned out – eight points worse than commercial breaks. For music radio, getting everything just right is so incredibly important. It’s hard enough to get a playlist right for one person, but radio does it for thousands of people.

Veteran Radio Personality Cory Dietz Unveils Plans To Retire

Cory Dietz
Veteran radio personality  Corey Deitz of 100.3 The Edge in Little Rock, AR has announced via Facebook that he would be retiring from radio at the end of the year. 

"Today I announced on-the-air I'm going to retire from radio in December. Here's a transcript: I have some personal news that I'd like to share with you. It's a bittersweet moment for me, but I've made a big decision and I want to tell you personally. After much contemplation and reflection with my wife and family, I have decided to retire at the end of December. This decision was not easy, and it's one that I've thought about for some time. But, I believe it's the right time for me to do this."

Dietz added, "I've been doing morning radio in Central Arkansas for the past 25 years and it's been a great run. For most of the past 43 years, I've been getting up at about 3 a.m. to do a morning show. Actually, in total, including college, I've been doing radio for the past 50 years. The good news is: I finally think I've got it down! "

9/26 WAKE-UP CALL: Gov't Shutdown Showdown Coming

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is due to try to advance steep spending cuts this week that stand no chance of becoming law and could force a partial shutdown of the U.S. government by next Sunday. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sought to avoid that scenario when he hammered out a spending agreement with Democratic President Joe Biden this spring. But some members of his own party have threatened to depose him if he does not support steeper cuts that are sure to be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed and a wide range of services, from financial oversight to medical research, will be suspended if Congress does not provide funding for the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

Congress typically misses that deadline and passes stopgap spending bills to avoid disruption while they finish their work. But McCarthy has been unable so far to muster support for a temporary spending extension as a group of hardline Republicans have refused to go along. Republicans control the House by a narrow 221-212 majority and have few votes to spare.

➤MENENDEZ SAYS HE WON'T QUIT:  Sen. Bob Menendez said he won’t quit the Senate. The New Jersey lawmaker’s refusal to resign after being indicted by federal prosecutors in a sweeping bribery scheme creates a headache for Democrats headed into 2024, where they are fighting to hang on to a 51-49 majority in the Senate. In his first public remarks, Menendez said the more than $480,000 in cash investigators found hidden in his house last year was withdrawn from his personal savings account for emergencies. He also referenced his family’s experience with confiscation in Cuba; Menendez was born in the U.S. in 1954 to Cuban immigrant parents. Many House Democrats have said he should step down, but only one Democratic senator—John Fetterman of Pennsylvania—has joined those calls. The senator didn’t say if he plans to run for re-election.

➤VENEZUELAN FLAG PLANTED ON TEXAS LAND: A Venezuelan flag was planted in the middle of the Rio Grande at the US-Mexico border at Eagle Pass before it was promptly taken down by Texas officials over the weekend. In just two days an astonishing 4,000 migrants entered Eagle Pass, a small border town of fewer than 30,000. Most have been released after being processed and will remain free as they wait for their asylum appointments - a process that could take years. According to local reports, most of the asylum seekers are Venezuelans who say they had to leave their home country because of the economic and social collapse of the South American nation under the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro. 

➤TOP RUSSIAN OFFICIAL DEMANDS UKRAINE SURRENDER: A top Russian official warned that Ukraine must surrender on Moscow's terms or the country will "cease to exist," and Ukraine claimed to have killed a top Russian admiral in Crimea as the war dragged into its 20th month with no solution in sight. USAToday reports Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, told Russian state media that President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and other Western officials have poured massive amounts of time, effort, money and military might into the war. Nineteen months after Russia's invasion began, the West has made little headway while its economies struggle and support dwindles, Volodin said. "The simple facts are these: The West is experiencing weapons and ammunition shortages, people in Europe and the U.S. have lost trust in politicians, and the Kyiv regime’s counteroffensive has failed," Volodin said.

Fox News' Sean Hannity To Moderate DeSantis vs. Newsom Debate

Governors Ron DeSantis & Gavin Newsom

FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity will moderate a red vs. blue state debate between Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis and Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom on November 30th. The 90-minute debate, which will take place at location to be determined in Georgia, will air on FNC’s Hannity at 9 PM/ET.

Hannity first raised the prospect of a debate with Governor Newsom during his exclusive sit-down this past June, following which, Governor DeSantis officially signed on to participate in July. This will mark the first time the two prominent governors will face off in a debate.

In commenting on the announcement, Hannity said, “I’m looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American.”

For more than two decades, Hannity has been known for his provocative style and unique connection with his audience. Each night, his primetime program features a signature monologue where he breaks down trending topics of the day, followed by headline-generating interviews. Hannity ended August 2023 as the number one rated program in cable news in the 25-54 demo and averages 2.4 million viewers each night year-to-date, routinely ranking in the top five programs overall.

Throughout his FNC tenure, he has interviewed numerous key newsmakers and political figures, including most recently actor and director Sean Penn, former President Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then-President George W. Bush, then-Vice President Dick Cheney, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), Reverend Jesse Jackson, as well as Sylvester Stallone, Roseanne Barr, Kim Kardashian, Mel Gibson, Michael Moore, Michael Phelps, Richard Petty, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts.

The show’s ratings success has spanned each of his primetime timeslots for more than 25 years. His eponymous program has dominated the cable news landscape, ranking number one in its time slot with both viewers and in the 25-54 demo for 13 consecutive years since launching as a solo hour in January 2009, according to Nielsen Media Research. His debut program, Hannity & Colmes with the late Alan Colmes, became a ratings hit and overtook Larry King after just five years of its existence, ranking as top-rated program in its timeslot beginning in 2002 in the key demo and in 2003 with viewers. From 2017 to 2019, Hannity reigned as the most-watched program in all of cable news in the coveted 25-54 demo and marked four consecutive years as the most-watched show in total viewers (2017-2020).

GOP Presidential Candidates To Skirmish Wednesday

Donald Trump’s dominance over the Republican primary field is on the precipice of no return. Fox News is approaching this week’s debate as if it’s now or never for everyone else.

“It’s crunch time for them,” Fox News host Dana Perino told POLITICO ahead of Wednesday’s debate. “They have supporters and donors who want to see a breakout moment.

During the first debate in August, candidates spent more time attacking Democratic President Joe Biden than they did the GOP front-runner. Perino says if they want to succeed on the stage in California, they may have to go after Trump.

“They all agree about Joe Biden. The way to have a breakout moment is not about what you’re going to say about the current president. It’s about how you think that you would be a better president than the one we have now, or the one that we’ve had before that is running again,” Perino said.

Trump won’t be there to parry any attacks, should his rivals decide to deliver them. The former president is bypassing the second debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California for his own rally in Detroit, where he’s expected to speak to over 500 union workers representing different trades, including autoworkers, amid the ongoing UAW strike.

Trump’s decision to skip the debate — after he opted out of the first in favor of a sit-down interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson — is unsurprising, given the venue. Just days before the event, board members and advisers at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute described Trump as a “spoiled brat in a sandbox” and compared him to Voldemort.

The White House contenders, in alphabetical order, are North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur and political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Fox News was able to draw 12.8 million viewers during the first debate in Milwaukee. While those numbers reflected an interest in GOP candidates other than Trump, they didn’t outpace the first GOP debate in August 2015 during his first run at the White House.

Whether that interest will pull in high ratings for Fox the second time around remains to be seen, Perino said. But many voters are still hoping to avoid a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024.

Spotify To Use AI To Replicate Podcasters’ Voices

Spotify on Monday announced a new artificial intelligence-powered feature that can translate podcasts into different languages using the host’s own voice.

CNBC reports the company said the feature relies on OpenAI’s voice generation technology, which was also announced Monday. The technology can create “realistic synthetic voices” from just a few seconds of speech, OpenAI said in a release. Spotify said it will help make the podcast listening experience more authentic and natural by maintaining podcasters’ “distinctive speech characteristics.”

The company worked with podcasters such as Dax Shepard, Lex Fridman, Monica Padman, Steven Bartlett and Bill Simmons on a select number of past and upcoming episodes. Spotify said the episodes were initially translated into Spanish, French and German, and they will be available to both free users and paid subscribers in the coming days and weeks, according to the release.

A spokesperson said these are some of the most popular languages for users who listen to podcasts on the platform, and that the pilot stage has focused first on Spanish and will “follow quickly” with German and French.

Spotify did not share specific details about the cost of the new feature with CNBC. A spokesperson added that the company is exploring opportunities to “bring this service to even more podcasters globally.” The company is already working on comedian Trevor Noah’s upcoming new podcast, for instance.

Radio Is A Great Place To Promote Podcasts

Podcast fans and AM/FM radio listeners have a lot in common. Namely, they love audio, and they want more of it. This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® blog outlines a case study recently done with Cumulus Podcast Network podcasts that reveals why AM/FM radio is a great place to promote podcasts.

  • A majority of the podcast audience also listens to AM/FM radio and vice versa: Edison’s “Infinite Dial” study reveals of the weekly AM/FM radio audience 45% listen to podcasts weekly, 55% listen to podcasts monthly, and 77% have ever listened to podcasts.
  • Edison’s “Share of Ear” study finds in a typical day, two-thirds of podcast listeners also listen to AM/FM radio.
  • As podcast reach soars, promoting podcasts on AM/FM radio becomes a stronger marketing platform: According to Edison’s just released Q2 2023 “Share of Ear” study, the 25-54 daily reach of podcasts has exploded over the last three years. Currently, nearly one out of three American 25-54s listen to podcasts each day.
  • The greater the time spent with AM/FM radio, the greater the awareness for the promoted podcasts: Overall, 54% of the Cumulus radio audience was aware of the eight Cumulus Podcast Network podcasts. A much larger promotion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners (67%) were aware of the podcast titles.

  • Specific podcast promo awareness: Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, there is 3X more awareness for specific podcasts promoted on AM/FM radio versus light AM/FM radio listeners.
  • Podcast tune-in consideration: One out of four heavy AM/FM radio listeners and 29% of heavy AM/FM radio streaming listeners said they were likely to try listening to the promoted podcasts.

WI Radio: Shaun Ridderbush To Pull Shifts On WVTY, WMBZ

Shaun Ridderbush

Milwaukee personality Shaun “Ridder” Ridderbush is back on the radio. Ridder is on WVTY 92.1 VTY Country from 8A–12P and WMBZ 92.5 Buzz Country from 10A–2P.

Magnum Media’s WVTY broadcasts from Racine which covers the southern to central part of the Milwaukee Market and 92.5 Buzz Country from West Bend which covers the northern to central portion. The two stations can also be heard by downloading the free Magnum Media app, on and plus via TuneIn and Alexa.

“Ridder” said, “Between VTY and Buzz we cover a lot of territory. I’m excited to be back on the air connecting with people. I’d done it for seven years, so I really missed it. The great people of the Milwaukee area are my life. My life is here, and I never want to leave. So, this fit feels sooo good.”

Dave Magnum stated, “We found out during Ridder’s first week with us how dedicated he is. One of the days he wasn’t able to work from a studio, so he did his shows from his truck. We knew about his CMA recognition, that he’s fast paced, topical, and engaging, but that made us smile even more.”

Report: ESPN To Close Down Studios On Both Coasts

The industry publication Puck reports Friday that ESPN plans to close its Seaport studios in New York City no later than two years from now and is “likely” to do the same to its Los Angeles production center. The moves are said to be part of ongoing cost cutting measures at Disney.

Staffers currently working in the Seaport studios would reportedly relocate to a new building at 7 Hudson Square, while those in Los Angeles would either work remotely or move east. The Seaport studio opened in 2018 and is home to most of ESPN’s daily studio programs.

The Los Angeles production center opened in 2009 and plays host to the overnight editions of “SportsCenter” and additional studio programming. ESPN has already begun scaling back its West Coast footprint this year after moving out of its Las Vegas studio. 

R.I.P.: David McCallum , Ducky Mallard On ''NCIS'

David McCallum (1933-2023)

David McCallum, who played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on CBS procedural “NCIS” and Illya Kuryakin on ’60s series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” has died at 90. The actor died “peacefully” of natural causes surrounded by family at New York Presbyterian Hospital on Monday, CBS announced.

“He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father. He always put family before self. He looked forward to any chance to connect with his grandchildren, and had a unique bond with each of them,” his son Peter McCallum shared in a statement on behalf of the family. “He and his youngest grandson, Whit, 9, could often be found in the corner of a room at family parties having deep philosophical conversations.”

The statement continued, “He was a true renaissance man—he was fascinated by science and culture and would turn those passions into knowledge. For example, he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and (if needed) could actually perform an autopsy, based on his decades-long studies for his role on NCIS.”

“After returning from the hospital to their apartment, I asked my mother if she was OK before she went to sleep. Her answer was simply, 'Yes. But I do wish we had had a chance to grow old together.' She is 79, and dad just turned 90. The honesty in that emotion shows how vibrant their beautiful relationship and daily lives were, and that somehow, even at 90, Daddy never grew old.” 

Radio History: September 26

➦In 1887…Inventor Emile Berliner was granted his first patent for what he called the "Gramophone". The patent described recording sound using horizontal modulation of a stylus as it traced a line on a rotating cylindrical surface coated with an unresisting opaque material such as lampblack, subsequently fixed with varnish and used to photoengrave a corresponding groove into the surface of a metal playback cylinder.

In practice, Berliner opted for the disc format, which made the photoengraving step much less difficult and offered the prospect of making multiple copies of the result by some simpler process such as electrotyping, molding or stamping. Soon Berliner was using a more direct recording method, in which the stylus traced a line through a very thin coating of wax on a zinc disc, which was then etched in acid to convert the line of bared metal into a playable groove.

Ted Weems band on set of Fibber McGee & Molly - 1937

➦In 1901...Bandleader Ted Weems born in Pitcairen, PA (Died at age 61 - May 6, 1963). His work in music was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Weems moved to Chicago with his band around 1928. The Ted Weems Orchestra had chart success in 1929 with the novelty song "Piccolo Pete", which rewarded him with his second Gold Record, and the #1 hit "The Man from the South". The band gained popularity in the 1930s, making regular radio broadcasts. These included Jack Benny's Canada Dry program on CBS and NBC during the early 1930s, and the Fibber McGee & Molly program in the late 1930s.

In 1936, the Ted Weems Orchestra gave singer Perry Como his first national exposure; Como recorded with the band (on Decca Records), beginning his long and successful career.

The first season of the Beat the Band radio show on the NBC Red Network (1940–1941) included Weems and his orchestra as part of the cast.

In 1940, Weems and his orchestra were featured on Beat the Band on the NBC-Red radio network.

➦In 1908...Saturday Evening Post ad for a Victor 'talking machine'.

➦In 1919...Actress Barbara Britton born Barbara Maurine Brantingham (Died from pancreatic cancer at age 60 – January 17, 1980). She is best known for her Western film roles opposite Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Gene Autry and for her two-year tenure as inquisitive amateur sleuth Pam North on the television and radio series Mr. and Mrs. North.

➦In 1960…John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon squared off in the first televised presidential debates in American history. The debates were staged at the studios of WBBM-TV in Chicago. The Kennedy-Nixon debates not only had a major impact on the election’s outcome, but ushered in a new era in which crafting a public image and taking advantage of media exposure became essential ingredients of a successful political campaign. They also heralded the central role television has continued to play in the democratic process.

Moderated by newsman Howard K. Smith, the debate was seen on TV by more than 69 million people, while another 17 million heard the debate on radio.

➦In 1962...Talk-Music radio formats was most-preferred according to a survey released by the CBS radio network released a yearlong survey on the most popular radio features of the day. The survey noted news, interviews, discussions, talks, sports and also had a minimum-to-moderate interest in music but do not tune in primarily for music. It also concluded that rock'n'roll listeners have the lowest education and income levels of all listener groups.

Gary Owens
➦In 1962...L-A Radio personality Gary Owens started at KMPC 710 AM. Owens had been at Top40 KFWB and KMPC played more middle-of-the rod music as in Frank Sinatra.

He replaced previous host Johnny Grant and remained for the next two decades working the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. shift, M-F.

A gifted punster, Owens became known for his surrealistic humor. Among his trademarks were daily appearances by The Story Lady (played by Joan Gerber); the Rumor of the Day; myriad varieties of "The Nurney Song"; and the introduction of the nonsense word "insegrevious", which was briefly included in the Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary.