Saturday, January 14, 2023

January 15 Radio History

➦In 1899...Goodman Ace born Goodman Aiskowitz (Died  – March 25, 1982).  He was a humorist, radio writer and comedian, television writer, and magazine columnist.

Goodman Ace and wife Jane
"Goody" (as he was known to friends) is not always the most recognizable writer/performer of his era by today's reader or listener, but his low-key, literate drollery and softly tart way of tweaking trends and pretenses made him one of the most sought after writers in radio and television during the 1930s through the 1960s.

In 1930, Ace took on a job reading the Sunday comics on radio station KMBC in Kansas City and hosting a Friday night film review and gossip program called Ace Goes to the Movies. Ace was not initially a volunteer for the job. An editor at the Kansas City Journal-Post had the idea that having an employee read the newspaper's comics on the air for children would increase circulation for the paper. Taking the job meant an extra $10 per week in one's paycheck, but none of the newsroom staff was interested.

One night the recorded fifteen-minute show scheduled to air after Ace's timeslot failed to feed. With an immediate need to fill fifteen minutes' more airtime and his wife having accompanied him to the station that night, Ace slipped into an impromptu chat about a bridge game the couple played the previous weekend and invited Jane to join the chat which soon enough included discussion of a local murder case in which a wife murdered her husband over an argument about bridge. Loaded with Goodman's wry wit and Jane's knack for malaprops, the couple's surprise improvisation provoked a response enthusiastic enough to convince KMBC to hand them a regular fifteen-minute slot, creating and performing a "domestic comedy" of their own.

At first, the show that became known as Easy Aces centered around the couple's bridge playing, according to John Dunning in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998): "Ace was not wild about Jane's bridge game, on the air or off, and he kept picking at her until she lost her temper and threatened to quit. The show settled into a new niche, a more universally based domestic comedy revolving around Jane's improbable situations and her impossible turns of phrase."

Written by Goodman Ace, who cast himself as a harried real estate salesman and the exasperated but loving husband of deceptively scatterbrained, malaprop-prone Jane ("You've got to take the bitter with the better"; "Time wounds all heels"), Easy Aces became a long-running serial comedy (1930–1945) and a low-keyed legend of old-time radio for its literate, unobtrusive, conversational style and the malaprops of the female half of the team.

While writing Easy Aces, Ace also wrote for other radio shows, earning $3,000 per week.

➦In 1945...Canadian-born Art Linkletter starred on the CBS radio debut of “House Party”. The show continued on the air for 22 years, including a long stint on CBS television. Linkletter wrote books about experiences with kids on the show. Remember, “Kids Say the Darndest Things?” This segment of the show — and Art’s resulting books — were among the most popular of early daytime television, and were also syndicated on Canadian radio.

➦In 1953...Harry S. Truman became the first U.S. President to use Radio and TV to deliver his farewell upon leaving office.

➦In 1955...At the "Louisiana Hayride" in Shreveport, "Colonel" Tom Parker got his first look at a young singer named Elvis Presley singing "Hearts Of Stone," "That's All Right," and "Tweedle Dee."

Indy Radio: Man Charged With Attempting To Murder Ron Sexton

Ron Sexton

The man accused of shooting at a local radio personality now faces an attempted murder charge, reports WTHR TV...

IMPD investigators say Paul Berkemeier shot at an SUV driven by Ronald Sexton early in the morning of Dec. 11 on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

Sexton, a stand-up comedian who is known for his "Donnie Baker" character on "The BOB & TOM Show," said after the shooting he counted nine holes in his rental car and that he believed he knew the shooter.

In court documents released this week, Sexton told police he had driven to Indianapolis after performing in Portland, Indiana and made plans to meet Berkemeier's wife, with whom he was having an affair. Sexton, who is also married, referred to Mrs. Berkemeier as his "girlfriend" during an interview with an IMPD detective.

Twitter Offers Free Ads As Incentive

Twitter Inc. is offering advertisers a new incentive in an attempt to woo brands back to the social-media platform, which has seen its ad business deteriorate following Elon Musk‘s $44 billion takeover. 

The Wall Street Journal reports the tech company is dangling free ad space by offering to match advertisers’ ad spending up to $250,000, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The full $500,000 in advertising must run by Feb. 28, the emails said. 

Ad buyers said that the incentive could be used to buy promoted tweets that run during Super Bowl week, a key selling period for Twitter. Advertisers in recent years have flocked to Twitter during the Super Bowl to generate buzz around their big game marketing efforts. The Super Bowl is Twitter’s biggest revenue day of the year, the Journal has reported. 

Twitter is facing financial pressure to lure back the many advertisers that have paused their spending since Mr. Musk acquired the company in late October. Advertisers bolted largely because of fear over what they said was Mr. Musk’s approach to content moderation and concerns that their ads would end up appearing near controversial content. 

Musk said in November that Twitter had suffered “a massive drop in revenue” and was losing $4 million a day. 

Persuading advertisers to return to Twitter is critical. Almost 90% of Twitter’s $5.1 billion in revenue in 2021 came from ads.

Report: Lisa Marie Was Brain Dead Before Her Heart Stopped

Lisa Marie Presley died on Thursday after suffering two cardiac arrests, it has emerged. 

The first, while she was at her Calabasas home, saw her collapse in a bedroom and be discovered by her housekeeper. Her ex-husband Danny Keough, who also lived at the house, performed CPR until the paramedics arrive. They were able to restart her pulse, but on arrival at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center she was brain dead. 

Her mother Priscilla, 77, arrived at the hospital and a decision was made to sign a ‘do not resuscitate’ form.   The 54-year-old suffered a second cardiac arrest, and was pronounced dead.  

'It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,' Priscilla said in a statement on Thursday evening. 'She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.'

PA Radio: Seven Mountains Media Closes on 34 Stations

With the new year, several radio stations in Meadville, Titusville and Franklin, PA are under new ownership.

The Meadville Tribune reports Seven Mountains Media of Frankfort, Kentucky, has completed its purchase of a total of 34 full-power radio stations and 12 FM translators in Pennsylvania in a $17.37 million non-cash deal from Forever Media of Bridgeville.  According to the Federal Communications Commission filing, Seven Mountains will assume Forever Media’s outstanding debt.

Seven Mountains has acquired FM stations Froggy 101.3 WGYY, Rocky 94.3 WRQI and Majic 104.5 WXMJ of Meadville; FM translators at 100.7 of Meadville and 105.3 of Titusville; and AM stations 1490 WMGW of Meadville and 1230 WTIV of Titusville.

Seven Mountains also now owns FM stations Froggy 98.5 WGYI, Rocky 107.7 WRQW and Majic 99.3 WHMJ, and AM station 1450 WFRA, all of Franklin, and FM translator 98.1 of Franklin.

The remaining stations acquired are in Altoona, Johnstown, Lebanon, New Castle and State College.

The deal was first announced in October 2022 and closed on Jan. 2.

Memphis Radio: Tracy Bethea Named PD For Iconic WDIA-AM

iHeartMedia Memphis has  announced Tracy Bethea has been named Program Director for 1070 WDIA, The Heart & Soul of Memphis. 

As Program Director, Tracy Bethea will be responsible for the station’s music content, marketing, promotion, events, and new on-air material. Bethea will report to Sue “Bis Sue” Purnell, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Mid-South Area.

Tracy Bethea
“Tracy was the perfect choice as the Program Director for WDIA,” says Market President Kevin Klein. “She understands the legacy of being the first black programmed radio station in America.  As WDIA celebrates 75 years of black programming this year, Tracy’s sense of history and her relationship with Stan Bell and Bev Johnson will only keep WDIA strong for years to come”.

Tracy Bethea joins 1070 WDIA from sister station 95.7 Hallelujah FM, where she also served as Program Director. She began her career when she was 19 years old at WDIA in the news department, hired by the late Bobby O’Jay.

“This is a truly an honor,” says Tracy Bethea. “My radio legacy was created at this station, and it was Bobby O’Jay that afforded me the opportunity when I was 19 years old. I look forward to returning to my roots and continuing the legacy of what makes WDIA so special to its listeners”.

MSNBC Shakes Up Weekday Lineup

Hallie Jackson, Chris Jansing

MSNBC is expanding Hallie Jackson’s daily anchoring duties on streaming as the network retools its weekday and weekend lineups heading into the new year. The move comes roughly 24 hours after CNN announced a revamp of its daytime schedule, MSNBC made a similar announcement.

Jackson, who had recently been anchoring an hourlong program on cable at 3 p.m., will now focus solely on her streaming show, picking up an extra hour while hosting a show on “NBC News Now” that will run from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays starting on Feb. 13, NBC News Executive Vice President Janelle Rodriguez wrote in a memo to network staff obtained by The Hill on Thursday.

Jackson joined NBC as a reporter in 2014 and had already been hosting an hourlong show on the network’s streaming service since 2021.

With Jackson’s departure from cable, anchor Chris Jansing is picking up an extra hour and will host “Chris Jansing Reports” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Anchor Katy Tur will replace Jackson in the 3 p.m. slot, while José Díaz-Balart will move in his anchoring duties from 10 am to 11 am, according to the memo.

Anchor Katie Phang will begin MSNBC’s live programming on weekends beginning at 8 a.m., while Jonathan Capehart will expand his hosting duties to include both both Saturdays and Sundays, beginning at 9 a.m. 

“We are working diligently to create a smooth transition,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones wrote in a separate note to staff. “I want to thank all of you for your effort and dedication as we embark on a new chapter.”

The moves also come the same week that NBC announced Noah Oppenheim, who had led its news division for the last several years, would step down to work for NBCUniversal in a new capacity, developing scripts and longform productions.

BetQL Network Plans Special Professional Football Playoff Content

Audacy has announced special programming for the professional football playoffs and upcoming Big Game on BetQL Network, the company’s network of sports betting content heard across its broadcast portfolio and digital platforms.

To get listeners ready for each professional football playoff game, You Better You Bet – the No. 1 sports betting podcast in the U.S. – and hosts Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley will host “BetQL's Countdown to Kickoff” playoff specials that will offer a blend of both analysis and entertainment. The duo will welcome a rotation of special guests to add expert opinions leading up to that weekend’s slate of games.

“So much betting content is focused on giving bettors picks the day of the game, with many important factors towards making a valuable bet not taken into account,” said Nick Kostos, host, You Better You Bet. “But what we do differently is we start handicapping games on Mondays for the weekend to come, aiming to capture the best number and tracking line movement throughout the week. Ken and I look forward to keeping our audience informed for the most critical point of the NFL season, while offering our unique Wagertainment angle to keep them entertained along the way.”

“BetQL's Countdown to Kickoff” will air on the following dates and times and will be available on BetQL Network, the Audacy and BetQL apps, and air across Audacy’s sports stations nationwide, including WFAN in New York, 670 The Score in Chicago, SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia, The Bet in Washington D.C. and more.

CNN Center Shutters In Atlanta

After more than 35 years, CNN is leaving its downtown mainstay in stages this year, with the entire operation moving back to renovated space at the 30-acre Turner Techwood campus in Midtown, according to citing a CNN spokeswoman.

CNN Center for many years served not only as a corporate headquarters but also an international calling card for Atlanta. It was equal parts home to Ted Turner’s original 24/7 news channel and tourist attraction — the network’s logo a fixture of the Atlanta skyline.

But CNN’s move out of its namesake office building has been years in the making. CNN effectively moved its headquarters to New York years ago, and the hulking CNN Center has been slowly hollowed out.

AT&T, CNN’s former parent company, sold CNN Center in 2021 to Florida-based real estate firms CP Group and Rialto Capital Management for nearly $164 million as a cost-saving move. Neither company responded to requests for comment Thursday on how CNN’s announcement will affect the building’s operations, its other tenants and its food court.

CNN’s new owner, Warner Bros. Discovery, is now prepping smaller space at its Midtown Techwood property, which Ted Turner purchased in 1979 to start CNN. Techwood houses departments for other cable networks including TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network and truTV as well as sports programming.

RTDNA Foundation Announces First Amendment Award Honorees

The RTDNA Foundation will honor nine individuals at the 32nd annual First Amendment Awards, recognizing their efforts to promote responsible journalism and preserve the constitutionally guaranteed rights to do so.

The nine recipients of the 2023 First Amendment Awards will join 132 previous recipients who stood for the values of the First Amendment.  Honorees will be recognized at the 32nd annual First Amendment Awards, March 2 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC.

“We are so grateful to have the opportunity to honor these individuals at the First Amendment Awards,” said RTDNA Foundation President Dan Shelley. “This year’s recipients feature some trailblazing pioneers, visionary leaders, brave reporters, and brilliant journalists. All are people who helped push journalism forward.”

In addition to recognizing responsible journalism, the First Amendment Awards Dinner & Show is the Foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser, enabling the Foundation to ensure the broadcast and digital news profession remains a critical part of our nation’s free press for generations to come and supporting scholarships for journalism students.

“One of the great privileges of the RTDNA Foundation is honoring true journalism heroes at the First Amendment Awards,” said RTDNA Foundation Chair Allison McGinley. “The First Amendment is enshrined in our Bill of Rights to protect the type of work these honorees have helped produce.”

The honorees at this year’s First Amendment Awards are:

Rochell Sleets Exits Chicago Tribune For L-I Newsday

Veteran Chicago Tribune editor Rochell Sleets is leaving the newspaper after 16 years to become managing editor of Newsday, the Long Island-based daily newspaper.

Sleets, 45, who rose through the editorial ranks to become co-news director at the Chicago Tribune, will head up the daily news operation at Newsday, a venerable tabloid once owned by Tribune’s former parent company.

“It was a really difficult decision,” Sleets said Wednesday. “I’ve broken history here as the first Black person to be news director. To have that opportunity to be able to make that impact in a beautiful, complicated city, I don’t take for granted.”

Rochell Sleets
A New Jersey native, Sleets joined the Tribune in 2007 as a design editor, becoming deputy director of features in 2018. In 2020, Sleets was named co-news director at the Tribune, overseeing coverage of arts and entertainment, business news, education and other topics.

She previously worked as an editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Kansas City Star.

“Obviously, it is disappointing to see such a talented journalist and passionate leader leave our newsroom,” Mitch Pugh, executive editor of the Tribune, said in a memo to employees. “Rochell’s influence on the Tribune has been profound.”

Ban On Non-Competes Supported by Majority of Americans

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its chair Lina Khan are going after noncompete clauses: Contractual clauses that prevent workers from moving from one company to a another  supposed direct competitor.

One out of every five American workers is bound by a noncompete, which Khan argues is restricting their individual liberty and inflicting harm across the economy.

In the day after the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) proposed new rule that would prohibit employers from having their employees sign noncompete agreements, an Ipsos poll finds that over one in three Americans (38%) have heard of the FTC's announcement. After given more information, the public and employed Americans alike are split on whether noncompete agreements are good or bad for the American economy. However, three in five Americans (61%), including two-thirds of those who are currently employed (66%), support the FTC's proposed ban on non-competes.

January 14 Radio History

William Bendix

➦In William Bendix was born in New York City.  Identified as one of the “most cherished” actors in the history of radio, Bendix starred in “The Life of Riley” on NBC Radio from 1944-51, and the TV version from 1953-58. He also had an impressive big screen resume. He died from lobar pneumonia Dec 14, 1964 at age 58.

➦In 1907...Dr. Lee DeForest patented the Audion tube. De Forest is generally thought of as the "Father of Radio". The Audion tube allowed amplification which made Radio transmission more practical for voice and music.

The Audion was the fastest electronic switching element of the time, and was later used in early digital electronics (such as computers). The triode was vital in the development of transcontinental telephone communications, radio, and radar until the 1948 invention of the transistor.

➦In 1927…Jack Benny married Sadye Marks. Five years later, Marks started playing Mary Livingstone, a character on Benny's radio show, and became so identified with the part that she legally changed her name to Mary Livingstone.

➦In 1939..."Honolulu Bound", was heard for the first time on CBS radio. Phil Baker and the Andrews Sisters were featured on the show.

➦In 1955...disc jockey Alan Freed held his first Rock `n’ Roll Party stage show in New York. Acts included the Clovers, Fats Domino and the Drifters.

➦In 1957...Hollywood Star Humphrey Bogart, who co-starred with his wife Lauren Bacall in the wildly successful syndicated radio show “Bold Venture,” died from esophagus cancer at age 57.

➦In 1973...Elvis Presley drew the largest audience for a single TV show to that time — an estimated one billion viewers in 40 countries. “Elvis – Aloha From Hawaii”, a live, worldwide concert from Honolulu International Center Arena (later known as the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena). Performed at 12:30 a.m. Hawaiian Time, it was beamed live via Globecam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Vietnam and other countries, and was seen on a delayed basis in approximately 30 European countries. The first North American airing was April 4th on NBC-TV. The show was also released as a two-record album, and became one of Elvis’s top-selling LPs.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Boston Radio: Jones Joins WEEI-FM, Laird Named Brand Manager

Audacy welcomes Adam Jones as afternoon show co-host on WEEI (WEEI-FM) in Boston. Jones will join co-hosts Meghan Ottolini and Christian Arcand weekdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. “Jones & Mego” with Christian Arcand begins on January 30.

Additionally, Ken Laird has been promoted from Operations Manager to Brand Manager of the station, effective immediately. In this role, Laird will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station.

Adam Jones
“This is the 3rd run for Adam and I working together. He's talented, opinionated, informed and funny. Miss a day and miss a lot. Afternoons on WEEI will be can't miss entertainment,” said Mike Thomas, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Boston. “Ken has stepped up and really proven himself as a leader this past year, and I'm very happy to elevate him in this new role. I know the best is yet to come.”

“Joining the team at WEEI is a lifelong dream come true,” said Jones. “For 10 years, I have approached nights like afternoon drive. I can't wait to get started with Meghan and Christian.”Jones joins WEEI from 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, where he hosted the station’s night show since 2013 and co-hosted “The Dan Shaughnessy Show” from 2009-10. Other previous roles include host for ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio (2011-12) and updates anchor for 890 ESPN Boston (2006-2008).

NYC Radio: WEPN Producer Not Buying Michael Kaye's Explanation

Michael Kay

Gregg Giannotti is not buying Michael Kay’s “performative” explanation, reports The NY Post.

Over the last week, WEPN  98.7 FM ESPN New York has had a civil war between their morning and afternoon drive shows. On “DiPietro and Rothenberg” in the morning, producer Ray Santiago took a shot at “The Michael Kay Show,” saying they were on the decline. Kay came back with threats that he could have Santiago fired with one phone call. Kay later acknowledged being genuinely upset, but claimed the job threats were “performative.”

On WFAN’s “Boomer & Gio” Thursday morning, Giannotti said that it was “clear that Kay was legitimately angry” with Santiago. He didn’t buy Kay’s explanation that the threat to get him fired was a “performative” bit, and mocked Kay’s co-hosts Peter Rosenberg and Don La Greca for comparing people who thought Kay was being serious to those who think the same of pro wrestling.

Philly Radio: Al Morganti Stays with 94 WIP in New Role

With SportsRadio 94 WIP announcing new morning drive and midday hosts in advance of ratings kingpin Angelo Cataldi’s pending retirement at the conclusion of Eagles season, listeners have wondered about the fate of Cataldi’s longtime morning drive co-host Al Morganti.When Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie were named to succeed Cataldi in October, WIP owner Audacy said Morganti would be staying with the station but did not specify in what capacity. At the time, Morganti would only say he was excited at the prospect of no longer waking up in advance of the start of his 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekday shift with Cataldi.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports Morganti, 69, filled in the blanks Thursday by saying on-air that he has agreed to a new five-year deal with WIP to launch a hockey-themed podcast and work weekend shifts at the station.

Al Morganti
An Audacy spokesman said Morganti will host his hockey podcast twice a week during the NHL season and once a week in the offseason. The podcast will be produced by 2400Sports, the new podcast studio launched in January 2021 to house Audacy's digital sports audio content, including both new and existing original podcasts. The studio — named in honor of Audacy’s headquarters at 2400 Market St. in Philadelphia — was started on the heels of Audacy becoming the official audio and podcast partner of Major League Baseball.

In addition to his podcast role, the spokesman said Morganti will handle some weekend shifts, but it does not appear that he will have a regular show like Glen Macnow’s program with Mike Sielski and Jody McDonald on weekend middays.

News Corp Wants Staffers Back In The Office

Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp., urged employees to return to the office in a memo Thursday, saying working from home doesn’t allow for the “subtleties of body language and the nuances of knowing glances.”

Bloomberg reports Thomson didn’t specify how many days employees are expected to be in the office but said he would like to see them in more than they are now.

“There is some room for flexibility in the work environment, but that flexibility is not boundless,” Thomson said in the memo seen by Bloomberg News. “Attendance is an absolute imperative as collaboration and cooperation are priorities for each of our business.”

News Corp., the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers, joins a long list of companies, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Apple Inc. and Walt Disney Co., that have asked workers to return to offices following the Covid-19 pandemic. News Corp. competes with Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg News and another proponent of office work, in providing financial news and information.

The company, controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, recently extended its lease on Manhattan skyscraper. Thomson called that move “indicative of our global commitment to working together in the office.”

Corus Entertainment 1Q Profit Declines

Corus Entertainment Inc. on Friday reported a larger decline than expected in its first quarter of fiscal 2023 as lower ad dollars dragged revenue, reports The Wall Street Journal.

For the three months ended Nov. 30, the Canadian mass media company reported net income of 31.4 million Canadian dollars ($23.5 million), or C$0.16 a share, compared with C$76.2 million, or C$0.36 cents a share, a year earlier.  Analysts polled on FactSet expected earnings to fall to C$0.25 a share.

Revenue fell to C$431.2 million from C$463.9 million, virtually in line with analyst forecasts of C$432.1 million for the period.

Radio revenue was $29.7 million, up from $29.1 million a year earlier.

Advertising continued to be a thorn in the company's side, weighing on its television segment, which saw revenue decline by 8% to C$401.5 million in the period.

Corus said it expects the trend of uncertain macroeconomic conditions to persist and lower ad spend to continue to affect the business in the year, but the rate of decline should improve in the calendar year.

Free cash flow was also lower in the period. The company generated C$20.8 million in free cash flow in the quarter compared with C$80 million in the prior-year period, mainly due to a decrease in cash provided by its operating activities and more cash used in investing activities.

Wake-Up Call: DOJ A-G Launches Doc Probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at an unsecured office in Washington dating from his time as vice president. Robert Hur, a onetime U.S. attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump, will lead the investigation and plans to begin his work soon. His appointment marks the second time in a few months that Garland has appointed a special counsel, an extraordinary fact that reflects the Justice Department’s efforts to independently conduct high-profile probes in an exceedingly heated political environment.

Both of those investigations, the earlier one involving Trump and documents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, relate to the handling of classified information, though there are notable differences between those cases.

During a 2016 appearance on Jay Leno's Garage, Biden, then vice president, bragged that his sons Hunter and Beau had gotten the engine of the Corvette completely rebuilt as a Christmas present. In addition to the documents found in the garage, a separate document was found in a library in the Wilmington home. The same home that Hunter's driver's license was associated with in 2018 and 2019.

Karine Jean-Pierre was forced to defend Joe Biden against charges of hypocrisy on Thursday as she was grilled in her press briefing on why the White House waited nearly a month to reveal there were additional classified documents in the president's private possession. The White House press secretary was specifically interrogated - for the majority of her time at the podium - about Biden's promise to have a transparent administration in the wake of new details provided by the Justice Department in its probe of the president's classified cache.

➤LAWMAKER SUSPCICIOUS OF 'PLANT': Meanwhile, a Democratic lawmaker is planting seeds of suspicion about President Biden’s classified documents.  Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who once worried Guam could sink from overpopulation, floated a conspiracy theory on Thursday that sensitive papers found at Biden’s Delaware home and an office he used at a Washington, DC, think tank could have been “planted.”  Johnson, 68, told Fox News he was “suspicious” that the 80-year-old president’s lawyers “conveniently” discovered the material from his days as vice president during the Obama administration.

➤CHICAGO MAYOR ON THE DEFENSIVE: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot apologized after her campaign asked public school teachers to support her re-election, a move that drew harsh criticism from her opponents. At a press conference on Thursday, Lightfoot blamed a member of her campaign staff for sending the request, saying it was “clearly a mistake.” The apology came after local news reports that she had emailed Chicago Public Schools teachers asking them to encourage students to volunteer help her win a second term.  The request drew criticism from her opponents, with candidates Paul Vallas and Kam Buckner calling for an investigation into the matter. Sophia King, and alderman who is also running for mayor, said she was “flabbergasted” and questioned the ethics of the request.

Consumer prices are coming down just a little. The Consumer Price Index fell 0.1 percent in December, the biggest decrease since April 2020. On an annual basis, inflation was 6.5 percent year to year. A sharp decrease in gasoline prices took some pressure off prices.

➤GEORGE SANTOS JUST WON’T QUIT: George Santos, the newly-elected Congressman from New York who can’t seem to stop making stuff up, vows that he won’t quit his job no matter what. This time, we can probably believe him. Members of his own Republican Party have called on him to resign after revelations that he fabricated or embellished much of his resume. The Republican leaders of Congress, wary of losing a crucial seat, are standing by him for now. Santos was sworn in last Saturday.

A massive storm system whipping up severe winds and spawning tornadoes cut a path across the U.S. South, killing at least seven people in Georgia and Alabama, where a twister damaged buildings and tossed cars in the streets of historic downtown Selma. Authorities said a clearer picture of the extent of the damage and a search for additional victims would come Friday, when conditions were expected to clear. After the storm began easing Thursday night, tens of thousands of customers were without power across the two states. In Selma, a city etched in the history of the civil rights movement, the city council used lights from cellphones as they held a meeting on the sidewalk to declare a state of emergency.

R.I.P.: Lisa Marie Presley, the Daughter of Elvis Presley

Lisa Marie Presley suffered cardiac arrest at home

Lisa Marie Presley, the singer-songwriter and only child of Elvis Presley, died on Thursday after a medical emergency and a brief hospitalization. She was 54. reports The NYTimes.

“Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie,” Sam Mast, a representative for Priscilla Presley, her mother, said in a statement. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

Earlier in the day, Priscilla Presley said in a statement that her daughter had been receiving medical attention but did not share more information.

The daughter of one of the most celebrated artists in history, Ms. Presley followed the career path of her father, Elvis Presley. She released three albums in which she set out to distinguish her rock sound while also paying homage to the man who forever changed the American soundscape by blending blues, gospel, pop and country.

The enormous legacy of her father was a constant presence throughout her life. On Tuesday, she was again celebrating him at the Golden Globes, telling Extra TV that Austin Butler, who won the lead acting award for drama for his performance in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis,”  had perfectly captured the essence of her father.

Lisa Marie Presley 1968-2023
“I was mind-blown, truly,” said Ms. Presley, who was 9 years old when her father died in 1977. “I actually had to take, like, five days to process it because it was so spot on and authentic.”

On Sunday, Ms. Presley was at Graceland, Elvis’s estate in Memphis, to commemorate what would have been her father’s 88th birthday, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis reported.

The father and daughter were extremely close, with Elvis once flying her out to Idaho after she said she had never seen snow. Her father named his 1958 Convair 880 private jet “the Lisa Marie.”

Ms. Presley owned Graceland and her father’s artifacts. She also owned 15 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

R.I.P.: Robbie Bachman, Drummer For BTO, Dead at 69

Robbie Bachman (1954-2023)

Robbie Bachman, co-founding member and drummer of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has died at the age of 69.

Randy Bachman announced the death of his brother and bandmate in a social media post: “Another sad departure. The pounding beat behind BTO, my little brother Robbie has joined Mum, Dad & brother Gary on the other side. Maybe Jeff Beck needs a drummer! He was an integral cog in our rock ‘n’ roll machine and we rocked the world together.”

Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s core lineup consisted of Randy and Robbie Bachman and Fred Turner, following a previous run under the band name Brave Belt (which Randy formed after he quit The Guess Who). Another Bachman brother, Tim, was also a founding member of BTO, but was replaced after a couple of years by Blair Thornton.

During their heyday in the 1970s, BTO released several hit albums, including 1974’s chart-topping Not Fragile. Among the Canadian band’s most popular hits are the ubiquitous “Taking Care of Business” and the No. 1 single “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” Another one of their memorable tunes, “Roll On Down the Highway,” which Robbie co-wrote, peaked at No. 14 in the US.

After BTO disbanded in early 1980, Robbie didn’t return to the band when they reunited in 1983 due to business conflicts with Randy and the other members. However, he did come back in 1988 and remained with the band until 2005.

CBS News Chief Under HR Review

The cost-cutting CBS News boss who clashed with Norah O’Donnell is facing an internal human-resources review over complaints about his sharp-elbowed management style, The NY Post reports

Neeraj Khemlani
CBS News co-president Neeraj Khemlani — who was accused of being “rude” and “micromanaging” as he pared jobs and paychecks including those of “CBS Evening News” anchor O’Donnell — lately has been slapped with a spate of human resources complaints — the latest by an HR executive, sources said.

The complaint led to a larger internal review headed by CBS corporate HR exec Whitney Delich. The review, which began several months ago, is focused on how Khemlani speaks to women and employees of color.

Prior to the investigation Khemlani had been subjected to a “360 performance review” by his bosses and direct reports. As a result, Khemlani was required to attend counseling in order to learn how to speak to employees “without sarcasm” while using “friendly body language,” multiple sources said. Staffers said that they noticed changes after the exec met with department heads over the summer to make sure he’s “communicating” clearly and that they “understand their roles.” 

iHM Names 3 To Sales Positions

iHeartMedia announced Thursday that Amy Leimbach has been named Region Senior Vice President of Sales for the newly-created Greater Texas Region, and Steve Earnhart has been named Region Senior Vice President of Sales for the newly-created Greater Arizona Region, both effective immediately. Additionally, Breeanna Malik has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Unified Partnerships.

In their new roles, Leimbach and Earnhart will be responsible for driving client success, leading their sales management teams, working closely with sellers and growing revenue in their respective Regions – Leimbach in the greater Texas Region which includes Dallas, Austin and San Antonio reporting to Paul Corvino, Region President; and Earnhart in the greater Arizona Region including Phoenix and Tucson reporting to Linda Little, Region President.

“It’s rewarding when you can promote from within your organization,” said Scott Hopeck, Division President. “The strong track records of these leaders combined with their response to ongoing coaching and development have made these promotions easy decisions. I’m excited to see how Amy and Steve transform our organization with their creativity and their commitment to client success.”

Westwood One Airs NFL Wild Card Games

CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One, America’s largest audio network and the official network radio partner of the National Football League, will present live play-by-play coverage of the NFL Super Wild Card Playoffs.

Westwood One’s schedule will feature two Wild Card games on Saturday, three on Sunday, and the final Wild Card game on Monday night. Scott Graham will host the pregame/halftime/postgame shows for the Saturday and Sunday games. Rich Eisen will be the studio host for the Monday night playoff game. Westwood One’s NFL Wild Card Playoff schedule includes:

  • 4:00 p.m. ET: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - Bill Rosinski (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst), and Amber Theoharis (sideline reporter)
  • 8:00 p.m. ET: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Jason McCourty (analyst), and Max Starks (sideline reporter)

  • 12:30 p.m. ET: MIAMI DOLPHINS at BUFFALO BILLS - Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (analyst), and Aditi Kinkhabwala (sideline reporter)
  • 4:15 p.m. ET: N.Y. GIANTS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Mike Mayock (analyst), and Scott Kaplan (sideline reporter)
  • 8:00 p.m. ET: BALTIMORE RAVENS at CINCINNATI BENGALS - Ryan Radtke (play-by-play), Mike Golic (analyst), and Ryan Harris (sideline reporter)
  • 7:30 p.m. ET: DALLAS COWBOYS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Kurt Warner (analyst), and Laura Okmin (sideline reporter)
Westwood One will broadcast every postseason NFL game, from Super Wild Card Weekend through Super Bowl LVII on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Listeners can hear each of Westwood One’s NFL broadcasts on approximately 500 terrestrial radio stations nationwide as well as on, SiriusXM, NFL+ and via the NFL App.

R.I.P.: Tim Girton, Former Louisville Radio Personality

Tim Girton
A longtime Louisville radio host Tim Gerard Girton has died at age 58.  He formerly hosts on WMJM Magic 101.3 and WGZB B96.5. He died Monday at the age of 58.  

Fellow radio personalities have been posting tributes to Girton on social media including many who worked with him.

"Passion is the word that best describes Tim. Passion about radio. Passion about his family and passion about anything he chose to do. As far as I'm concerned, one of the best and underrated talents to come from Louisville," said Mark Gunn, Vice, President of Programming at Aircom Media.

Former Louisville morning man George Lindsey, who is now at the "Morning Bull Morning Show" in Houston, said Girton was a pro. "Tim Gerard (Girton) was one of the kindest and most gifted radio professionals I’ve worked with in my career. His incredible, natural voice made him an icon in Louisville Radio, but his soul made him one of the best people I’ve known," Lindsey said.

January 13 Radio History

➦In 1905..."Scientific America" published an advertisement for the "Telimco", a device guaranteed to received signals for as far as one mile. It cost $7.50.

The Telimco system included a battery-operated spark transmitter, shown on the left, plus a tapping-coherer receiver, also battery operated, shown on the right. (The use of a spark transmitter and tapping-coherer receiver meant it could only be used to send and receive telegraphic dots-and-dashes, and not full audio.) This small ad--which measured just 2-1/4 inches wide by 1-1/8 inches high (60 by 28 millimeters)--appeared on the back pages of the magazine, mixed in with the advertisements for sundry offering by numerous other small firms. It is generally believed that this was the first-ever advertisement run by a company selling complete radio systems to the general public.

The Telimco brand name was a contraction of The Electro Importing Co. In addition to Telimco Wireless Telegraph Outfits, you could also buy Telimco Experimental X-Ray Outfits, Telimco-meters, Telimphones, etc.

➦In 1910...Opera was first aired during an experimental broadcast, courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The first public radio broadcast consisted of performances of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. Riccardo Martin performed as Turridu, Emmy Destinn as Santuzza, and Enrico Caruso as Canio. The conductor was Egisto Tango. This wireless radio transmission event of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso of a concert from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City is regarded as the birth of public radio broadcasting.

The New York Times reported on January 14, 1910,

"Opera broadcast in part from the stage of the New York City Metropolitan Opera Company was heard on January 13, 1910, when Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn sang arias from Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, which were "trapped and magnified by the dictograph directly from the stage and borne by wireless Hertzian waves over the turbulent waters of the sea to transcontinental and coastwise ships and over the mountainous peaks and undulating valleys of the country." The microphone was connected by telephone wire to the laboratory of Dr. Lee De Forest. ”

The few radio receivers able to pick up this first-ever "outside broadcast" were those at the De Forest Radio Laboratory, on board ships in New York Harbor, in large hotels on Times Square and at New York city locations where members of the press were stationed at receiving sets. Public receivers with earphones had been set up in several well-advertised locations throughout New York City. There were members of the press stationed at various receiving sets throughout the city and the general public was invited to listen to the broadcast.

The experiment was considered mostly unsuccessful.  The microphones of the day were of poor quality and couldn't pick up most of the singing done on stage. Only off-stage singers singing directly into a microphone could be heard clearly. The New York Times reported the next day that static and interference kept the homeless song waves from finding themselves.

➦In 1913...producer/host Ralph Edwards was born near Merino Colorado.  Best known as producer/host of TV’s This is Your Life, he came to prominence as the host of radio’s zany Truth or Consequences, a game show which ran for 38 years on radio & TV.  As producer he brought to the airwaves TV’s The People’s Court, still on the air 25 years later.  He died of congestive heart failure Nov. 25 1997 at age 84.

➦In Steve Dunne was born in Northampton Mass. He succeeded Howard Duff on radio as the star of The Adventures of Sam Spade.  On TV he starred in the series Professional Father & The Brothers Brannigan, and appeared repeatedly on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Brady Bunch, The Millionaire & Lux Video Theatre.  He died Sept. 2 1977 at age 59.

➦In 1922...WHA 970 AM in Madison, Wisconsin began broadcasting.

Book available from Amazon
WHA's history dates back to 1914 when Professor Edward Bennett started using the call sign 9XM. A year later, the call sign was transferred to the University of Wisconsin and used for many experiments in the physics department. Professor Earle M. Terry managed many of these tests, and he eventually decided that the station should start making regular weather broadcasts. From December 4, 1916 onward, the station transmitted regular reports in Morse code.

While most early radio stations in the United States were shut down when the country entered World War I, 9XM's early transmissions were considered important enough to continue, spending much of the war broadcasting weather information to ships sailing on the Great Lakes.

Regularly scheduled audio broadcasts began in February 1920. A six-day-per-week schedule began on January 3, 1921, notable for the introduction of the first radio broadcast of a weather forecast. The station received its WHA call sign on January 13, 1922.

➦In 1928… Ernst F. W. Alexanderson gave the first public demonstration of television at Schenectady NY, using a perforated scanning disk and high-frequency neon lamps.The first public demonstration of television was given by Ernst F. W. Alexanderson.

➦In 1934...a comedy-variety hit of early radio The Al Pearce Show debuted on NBC Blue, after 5 successful years on KFRC San Francisco.

➦In 1958...St. Louis radio station KWK (now KXFN 1380 AM) declared Rock n’ Roll dead. After giving their rock records a final play, the station staff broke them

Thursday, January 12, 2023

As The Dust Settles..What's Going On At NBC News?

Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News since early 2017, will leave the organization in an unorthodox shake-up that will elevate three different executives, effectively separating the massive news outlet into different pieces, all of which will report to Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal’s portfolio of news assets, reports Variety.

Under a new structure, Libby Leist, the NBC News executive who oversees “Today,” and Janelle Rodriguez, the NBC News executive who supervises the streaming outlet NBC News Now, will both report to Conde. They will be joined by Rebecca Blumenstein, a senior editor at The New York Times who will take up the role of president of editorial for NBC News and who will also report to Conde. Blumenstein is charged with oversight of editorial, news gathering, bureaus, field operations, booking, “Meet the Press,” “Dateline,” and NBC News Studios. 

The reorganization means that NBC News’ most popular programs will no longer be under the oversight of a single editorial executive. “Today” will continue to be led by Leist, while Rodriguez will oversee “NBC Nightly News.” The New York Times previously reported Blumenstein’s move to NBC and Oppenheim’s decision to step down.

News organizations face a different set of challenges than they have in the past, given the disruption forced upon them by streaming video and social media. Since taking the reins of NBCUniversal’s news operations in May of 2020, Conde has spurred the development of a portfolio of different products, some ad-supported, some subscription-based. The separation of different assets under specific executives might allow each to guide them on their own bespoke strategy.

Speculation about Oppenheim’s departure has swirled among agents and NBC News personnel for weeks, though NBC News spokespeople have professed to have no knowledge of the matter. But the executive, who had carved out a career as a screenwriter before rejoining NBC News to take the helm of “Today” in 2015, has been in talks with NBCUniversal on a departure plan since the fall, according to a person familiar with the situation. He is known to have several projects in the works with other parts of NBCUniversal, including a potential series based on the news business.