Saturday, January 21, 2023

January 22 Radio History


➦In 1889...The Columbia Phonograph Company began selling Edison phonograph cylinders and players in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. It derived its name from the District of Columbia, which was its headquarters.

➦In 1940...“The Right to Happiness” written by radio soap diva Irna Phillips was first aired on the CBS Radio Network. The daytime serial had begun on NBC Blue three months earlier. And it would switch between CBS & NBC two more times during its 21 year run.

➦In 1956..."Fort Laramie", a CBS Radio Western series starring Raymond Burr as Captain Lee Quince, debuted.. It aired Sunday afternoons January 22–October 28, 1956, at 5:30pm ET. The 41 episodes starred Raymond Burr as Lee Quince, captain of the cavalry. One year later, Burr became a television star as Perry Mason.

➦In 2011...Radio Pioneer Ruth Ann Myer WMCA (PD), WMGM, WHN (PD), WNEW (PD) NYC died at age 80.

Remembering Philly's 'Geater' Jerry Blavat

Blavat, Dionne Warwick, FMQB's late Kal Rudman

Jerry Blavat, the fast-talking Philadelphia DJ and impresario known as “The Geator with the Heater,” died Friday morning at 82. His tireless promotion of pioneering Black artists of the 1950s and 1960s shaped the pop music culture of the city where he maintained an iconic presence for seven decades.

According to Don DeLuca at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Blavat first came to fame as a dancer on the teen-targeted pop music television show Bandstand in the 1950s. Having learned to jitterbug watching his mother, aunts, and uncles dance to Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey records — ”The Italians, when the radio was on, they would start to dance,” he said — he quickly established himself as one of the stars of the show, then hosted by Bob Horn.

Having heard Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” and Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” — played by Black DJs like Jocko Henderson and George Woods on Philadelphia station WDAS — he advised Horn to play the originals, rather than the watered down versions sung by the likes of Pat Boone.

Little Richard later said of Blavat: “For a white boy, the Geator’s got too much soul. And can that boy dance! I remember doing his TV show and he jumps on the piano and starts to do The Slop. … There’s only one Geator.”

He went on to make his mark as a band manager, record store and club owner, TV host, concert promoter, DJ, friend to the famous, and a living, breathing, irreplaceable repository of Philadelphia music history.

NYC Radio: Sweeny Murti Exits WFAN


A new voice will guide WFAN listeners through their Yankees news and updates this year as Sweeny Murti announced Friday as his last day with New York's top sports talk radio station.

Murti is the latest departure of familiar fixtures at WFAN. In the past three years, the station has seen the retirements of sports Mike Francesa, Steve Somers, Joe Benigno (back in a limited role), Eddie Coleman, Tony Paige and update guys John Minko and Harris Allen. 

Murti also is a contributor on SNY and MLB Network.

Cox Media Appoints Elroy Smith As Director of Urban Content


Cox Media Group (CMG) has announced that Elroy Smith has been promoted to Director of Urban Content, effective immediately. 

Smith will partner with programming leaders to develop content, programming, and brand strategies for the company’s R&B and Urban stations in Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville.

Elroy Smith
Since 2021, Smith has served as Program Director for Star 94.5 (WCFB) Orlando and Program Director for Hot 99.5 / Power 106.1 Jacksonville. Throughout his career, he has held key programming positions at legendary stations in San Francisco, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Smith was recently named one of the top radio programmers in America by Radio Ink Magazine.

“I am filled with jubilation to be given this opportunity. I look forward to learning and collaborating with leaders at our Urban stations in Atlanta and Miami,” said Smith. “I’m extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity.”

“Elroy’s programming experience and success speaks for itself. In his time with CMG, he’s helped to grow audiences for our Orlando and Jacksonville stations,” said Chris Eagan, VP Of Audience and Operations. “I am excited to watch him apply his knowledge and expertise to our highly-rated, award-winning brands in Atlanta and Miami.”

San Diego Radio: Clint August Joins KGB-FM Morning Show


iHeartMedia San Diego’s 101.5 KGB FM, San Diego’s Classic Rock, announced today the debut of “KGB Mornings with Sarah, Boyer and Clint,” starting Monday, January 23, 2023. “KGB Mornings with Sarah, Boyer and Clint” will broadcast weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The new show will team longtime 101.5 KGB-FM afternoon drive personality, Clint August with two former members of the legendary “DSC” morning show, Sarah Beebe and Chris Boyer. The trio will co-host a morning show that helps San Diegans start their day with a good dose of humor, their favorite classic rock, the latest news and sports reports from former NFL offensive guard, Rich Ohrnberger.

Clint August has been a fixture in San Diego radio for the past 24 years. He got his start in broadcasting as a morning show sidekick known for making crank calls with his spot-on impersonations of popular celebrities. Clint is an avid motorcyclist and active supporter of military causes, which lead him to create an annual motorcycle ride and event to benefit Home Front San Diego.

“It’s an honor to be a part of a heritage radio station like 101.5 KGB in any capacity but the move to mornings is truly is a game changer for me,” said Clint August. “Who wouldn’t want to goof around on a microphone with good friends like Sarah and Boyer? They encouraged me to go for this, so I’m forever grateful to them, my co-workers and to management for allowing me to be a part of this exciting new chapter. I can’t help but feel tremendous gratitude to the listeners over the past twelve years who’ve been so supportive.”

“Clint in my mind was always on the back burner as a candidate only because I viewed him as the perfect afternoon drive host. Boy was I wrong,” said Shauna Moran, Director of Rock Programming for iHeartMedia San Diego. “During the first audition on air with Sarah and Boyer I knew in my gut there was something really special there. It was seamless. Then, with overwhelming feedback from the listeners — many who were P1 ‘DSC’ show listeners — it just sealed the deal. There was no denying he was the right person for the job.”

“What a perfect transition for KGB to move Clint August into mornings alongside Sarah and Boyer. Our audience has spoken and we have listened,” said Noreen Ippolito, Market President, iHeartMedia San Diego. “Clint is one of the great radio stories, having grown up in the radio business. He is a true San Diegan and has a heart for all members of the community, particularly for the military and our veterans. We look forward to this new morning trio waking up our friends in San Diego and beyond on the iHeartRadio App.”

Charlotte Radio: 102.5 FM Imports Amanda Seales For Middays

Amanda Seales

Amanda Seales, comedian, multi-hyphenate, and social justice advocate, has added syndicated radio host to her growing list of achievements. The Amanda Seales syndicated radio show premieres Monday, January 23rd on WOSF-HD1 FM – 102.5 The Block.

“I am beyond excited to be partnering with Radio One and Reach Media Inc. to launch The Amanda Seales Show. After years of sticking with my brand of comedy and academy to cultivate a community, this feels like more than an opportunity, but a purpose-filled possibility to empower and change minds using humor to translate the truth,” said Amanda Seales.

Jeff “Uzi D” Anderson, Operations Manager for Radio One, Inc. – Charlotte added, “We’re excited to welcome Amanda Seales, who has proven herself as a brilliant mind, a talented actress, comedian, and an outspoken voice of the culture who is certain to make a huge impact in Charlotte.”

With an uncanny knack for using humor to make serious topics (racism, politics, rape culture, sexism, police brutality, etc.) relatable and interesting, Seales combines intellectual wit, silliness, and a pop culture obsession to create her unique style of “smart funny” content for the stage, screen, and now, radio. Joined by co-host, Marc “DJ Nailz” Dixon of Power 105.7 Columbus, audiences will get a full dose of the comedian’s unfiltered opinions, fact-based insights, and hilariously real point of view each day.

Colby Tyner, Senior VP Programming of Urban One’s Radio One and Reach Media divisions, who worked to bring the parties together said, “From her Smart Funny & Black show to HBO’s Insecure, Amanda is an exceptional creative force who uses her comedic and social media skills to entertain but also enlighten audiences.”

The New 102.5 The Block Weekday Line-Up

  • The Morning Hustle 6am – 10am
  • Amanda Seales 10am – 2pm
  • DJ ACE 2pm – 7pm

Shake-Up: CNN This Morning Producer OUT


The executive producer for “CNN This Morning” has been ousted — just months after the revamped morning show launched, according to The NY Post citing multiple reports.

Ryan Kadro, a top lieutenant to CNN president Chris Licht, informed staffers of the move during a meeting Thursday, the Wrap reported, citing a network insider with knowledge of the situation.

The executive producer, Eric Hall, was reassigned from his gig at “CNN This Morning” to a new role at the 11 p.m. hour of “CNN Tonight.”  Executives have yet to name a replacement for Hall at “CNN This Morning” after the abrupt shakeup.

It’s unclear what prompted Licht to make the change — though the move comes as CNN’s leadership scrambles to boost ratings for the network’s morning programming, which has long lagged behind its cable rivals.

Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” is averaging 1.33 million viewers, while MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” is averaging 905,000.

A refreshed morning lineup has been a top priority for Licht, who has led an aggressive push at CNN toward centrist, nonpartisan coverage since he took over as network president last year.

“CNN This Morning” debuted just before the midterm elections on Nov. 1, with Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow serving as the program’s co-anchors. Lemon joined the lineup after getting booted from his primetime slot.

So far, the overhauled morning show has averaged approximately 400,000 viewers a day, according to Nielsen data. By comparison, its predecessor in the same time slot, “New Day,” averaged about 412,000 viewers.

NYC Radio: The Breakfast Club Suggests Biden Be Tested For Dementia


Charlamagne Tha God and co-host Raashaun Casey, known as DJ Envy, claim U.S. President Joe Biden 'should be tested for dementia' and that he 'talked to a ghost' ahead of 2024 election bid reports The Daily Mail US. 

The radio hosts of 'The Breakfast Club' on WWPR 105.12 FM and syndicated nationwide said Biden seemed to be suffering from the degenerative disease which impacts brain functioning and questioned whether American's oldest president to date should run again in 2024.

Biden earlier this month said he was 'all in' for another shot at the White House but would be 86 by the end of the second term if he won. He's yet to announce the 2024 bid officially.

Charlamagne suggested the 80-year-old politician stalwart should hold off but former MSNBC host Tiffany Cross and liberal ex-CNN commentator Angela Rye, both defended him asking the pair for better alternatives.

'Don't you think its ambitious of Biden to be announcing his future plans?' asks Charlamagne.

'I was going to ask you, do you think he should be tested before he's able to announce that he should be able to run?' DJ Envy adds.

'Tested? What do you mean tested?' asks Cross. 'Dementia,' DJ Envy replies.

'Have you seen something that suggests that he has dementia?' Cross asked the hosts of The Breakfast Club.

'I [saw] him talking to a ghost,' Charlamagne said, in an apparent reference to when Biden seemingly forgot about the death of Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, R., at an event in Sept last year.

'This is silly. This is silly. This is silly,' Rye repeated three times to shut down the conversation.

'Can y'all be honest?' Charlamagne asked, speaking to his guests. 'Y'all don't want Biden to run again.'

United Stations Adds Eric V Romero As CFO

Eric V Romero
United Stations has  announced the addition of Eric V. Romero in the role of Chief Revenue Officer. In his new role, Romero will oversee all of the company’s advertising sales efforts which range from the traditional radio network business to the ever-expanding audio and video revenue streams available to advertisers and marketing partners via the company’s varied digital platforms. 

Eric V. Romero joins United Stations fresh from a successful stint as the Sr. Director of Network Sales for FĂștbol de Primera, the exclusive Spanish audio-rights holder for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Romero has a long history in audio advertising sales dating back to his entry into the field in 1989 at WPOW, Miami. He then sold local and national airtime in the Hispanic television space for CBS, Petry Television, Univision, and HBO Latin America. Eric re-entered the audio world as a corporate sales executive at Univision Radio, leading to a series of sales roles at the ABC Radio Networks and ESPN Radio.

Meanwhile, Romero’s predecessor at United Stations, Greg Janoff, will remain with the company in a consulting role. Janoff joined United Stations in 2019, and his overall knowledge of the company’s properties, inventory management and client relationships will be valuable assets to Romero and the rest of the sales team moving forward.

Regarding these moves, United Stations Chairman/CEO Verbitsky commented, “We want to thank Greg for his contributions and leadership and are thrilled to continue having him as an advisor to United Stations. Eric is a talented and energized sales executive whose commitment to serving the advertising community is well documented. His ability to create marketing partnerships for some of the world’s biggest companies and his understanding of event programming is a perfect fit with our current mission.” 

Romero adds, “United Stations has an incredible trajectory, and impressive leadership starting from the top. I am both eager, and enthusiastic to shape their future as part of the team.” Romero may be reached at eromero@unitedstations.com.

S-C Radio: WTPT's Rise Guys Brew Craft Beer Launch


Audacy announces "The Rise Guys’" new craft beer launch in partnership with Steel Hands Brewing in Cayce, SC. The Rise Guys P1 Lager is inspired by the wildly popular and irreverent rocking personalities of the top-rated “Rise Guys” morning show on 93.3 Planet Rocks (WTPT-FM) in Greenville, SC.

Rise Guys P1 Lager is an easy-drinking lager brewed with German Lager yeast with the finest Pilsner malt mixed with German Vienna and Munich malts, providing a bright, crisp and refreshing finish. Rise Guys P1 Lager is distributed in the Upstate by KW Beverage and Budweiser of Spartanburg.

“'The Rise Guys’ have a huge and loyal audience, are irreverent and entertaining, and deliver consistently high ratings,” said Steve Sinicropi, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy South Carolina. “We wanted a fantastic beer at the level of the show, and we found it with The Rise Guys P1 Lager from the talented brewers at Steel Hands Brewing. ‘The Rise Guys,’ great beer and the excellent distribution partners are a great combination.”

“We were honored and thrilled when approached by Audacy to brew a beer dedicated to the Rise Guys’ most loyal P1 listeners,” said Will Hofmann, Director Sales & National Accounts, Steel Hands Brewing. “In collaboration with Mattman and Nine, we developed a 4.5% ABV easy-drinking craft lager with a crisp, clean refreshing taste. Rise Guys P1 Lager is brewed for fans by fans!”

“This is simple. We have an incredible, loyal fan base and our ratings are at an all-time high. Steel Hands is a first class operation and Budweiser, well, they’re the king,” said Mattman, host, ‘The Rise Guys’ Morning Show. “This is a collaboration of epic proportions especially considering Spinx is now involved, too. But aside from all of that, the beer is so good, really crisp, clean and refreshing!”

Vox Media Layoffs 7 Percent of Workforce


Vox Media Inc., the publisher of properties like Vox.com, Eater, The Verge and New York Magazine, laid off 7% of its workforce on Friday, reports Bloomberg.

Affected groups include revenue, editorial, operations and core services, according to a memo to staff from Chief Executive Officer Jim Bankoff obtained by Bloomberg News. Bankoff referenced other companies’ difficulties in the media and tech space and said even a steep slowdown in hiring and reduced spending hasn’t staved off the need to cut more costs.

“Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we’re not able to sustain projects and areas of the business that have not performed as anticipated, are less core to where we see the biggest opportunities in the coming years, or where we don’t have enough rationale to support ongoing investment in what could be a prolonged downturn,” he wrote. “In spite of the dedication of the many talented people involved in these initiatives, we need to scale back.”

The company, like other tech and media firms, has had to compete with a decline in the digital ad market as more platforms vie for brands’ business and a shaky economic outlook deters companies from spending more.

This is the third round of layoffs, and the largest, for Vox Media in less than a year. It axed 3% of its staff after acquiring Group Nine Media Inc., publisher of Thrillist and NowThis, last March and cut 39 employees in July, citing reduced advertising budgets.

The company was last valued at $1 billion in 2015. In the years since, it acquired Group Nine Media, New York Magazine and podcast publisher Cafe Studios.

Other media companies have made similar moves in the last few months. Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., AMC Networks Inc., Paramount Global, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Co. all announced this past year that they would cut costs through staff reductions.

R.I.P.: Alan Komissaroff, Fox News VP/News & Politics

Alan Komissaroff
Fox News Senior Vice President of News & Politics Alan Komissaroff died on Friday after suffering a heart attack at his home earlier this month. He was 47 years old. 

"This is an extremely difficult day for all of us who worked closely with Alan, and we are completely heartbroken," FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and FOX News Media President Jay Wallace wrote in a memo to colleagues. 

"Alan was a leader and mentor throughout FOX News Media who was integral to our daily news operations and played an indispensable role in every election cycle. The recent midterm election coverage was easily one of the finest nights of special coverage he produced throughout his career. And he was the ultimate producer: breaking news, politics, special events — there was no steadier or more trusted colleague to be with in the control room during the most consequential events of our time, and his incisiveness and passion for news made our work better," Scott and Wallace wrote. 

Komissaroff was a proud "FOX News original," having started at the network when FNC launched in 1996. It was his first job after college. 

"He would joke that he was a guy from ‘real Brooklyn’ and rose through the ranks to become a writer, producer, showrunner and eventually Senior Vice President of News & Politics, overseeing all political coverage," Scott and Wallace wrote. "His sharp sense of humor and quick wit throughout his incredible career also led to the many lifelong friendships he made here."

January 21 Radio History


➦In 1919...actress/radio-TV host Jinx (Eugenia) Falkenburg was born in Barcelona Spain. She was a movie actress & popular model before & during World War II , after which she and her husband Tex McCrary were hosts of “Meet Tex and Jinx” a local radio talk show on WEAF, WNBC they conducted from Peacock Alley in New York’s Waldorf Astoria. They also hosted NBC TV’s At Home show, while she was a regular on TV’s charades show Masquerade Party. She died a month after her husband Aug 27, 2003 at age 84.

➦In 1927...the first opera broadcast on a national Radio network occurred. Radio listeners in Chicago, Illinois heard music from Faust.

➦In 1935...WFI-AM in Philadelphia merged with WLIT to become WFIL.

WFIL was formed by a merger of two stations that were launched in 1922. One used the call letters WFI, the other was originally WDAR. Each was owned by a major Philadelphia department store; WFI was operated by Strawbridge and Clothier, while WDAR was run by Lit Brothers.

While operated independently of each other, the two were able to work out amicable share-time agreements (hundreds of other American stations at the time were unable to do so, and frequently engaged in "jamming wars"). Around 1924, WDAR applied for and received the custom call-sign WLIT. By the late 1920s, the two stations were working jointly on various programs, promotions, and sponsorship efforts. In 1935, the two operators agreed to merge with each department store having representation on the new board of directors.

The new call-sign became WFIL, a combination of the two previous identifiers (the fact that the new call letters were close to a phonetic spelling of "Philadelphia" was merely a happy coincidence).

➦In 1938...the legendary deejay known as Wolfman Jack was born Robert Weston Smith in Brooklyn. His unique radio style made him an icon of ’60s radio, broadcasting from XERF, then XERB in Mexico and heard throughout a major part of the U.S.; On TV he was announcer for NBC’s The Midnight Special. He died following a heart attack July 1, 1995 at age 57.

Smith was the younger of two children of Anson Weston Smith, an Episcopal Sunday school teacher, writer, editor, and executive vice president of the Financial World, and his wife Rosamond Small. His parents divorced while he was a child. To help keep him out of trouble, his father bought him a large Trans-Oceanic radio, and Smith became an avid fan of R&B music and the disc jockeys who played it, including "Jocko" Henderson of Philadelphia, New York's "Dr. Jive" (Tommy Smalls), the "Moon Dog" from Cleveland, Alan Freed, and Nashville's "John R." Richbourg, who later became his mentor.

After selling encyclopedias and Fuller brushes door-to-door, Smith attended the National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. Graduating in 1960, he began working as "Daddy Jules" at WYOU in Newport News, Virginia. In 1962, he moved to country music station KCIJ 1050 AM in Shreveport, Louisiana as the station manager and morning disc jockey, "Big Smith with the Records". He married Lucy "Lou" Lamb in 1961, and they had two children.

Disc jockey Alan Freed had played a role in the transformation of black rhythm and blues into rock and roll music, and originally called himself the "Moon Dog" after New York City street musician Moondog. Freed both adopted this name and used a recorded howl to give his early broadcasts a unique character. Smith's adaptation of the Moondog theme was to call himself Wolfman Jack and add his own sound effects. The character was based in part on the manner and style of bluesman Howlin' Wolf. It was at KCIJ that he first began to develop his famous alter ego Wolfman Jack.

Wolfman Jack played role of a DJ in 'American Graffiti'

According to author Philip A. Lieberman, Smith's "Wolfman" persona "derived from Smith's love of horror flicks and his shenanigans as a 'wolfman' with his two young nephews. The 'Jack' was added as a part of the 'hipster' lingo of the 1950s.

'The Fat Man'

➦In 1946...“The Fat Man” began its 5-year run on ABC radio. J. Scott Smart, who played the portly detective, weighed in at 270 pounds in real life.

➦In 1978... the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever” reached #1 on the album charts — a position it held for the next 24 weeks. It sold over 30 million copies world wide, making it the best selling soundtrack album of all time.

➦In 1984...singer Jackie Wilson died at the age of 49. He had been in a coma since his 1975 heart attack during a concert in New Jersey. His funeral was held in Detroit.

Friday, January 20, 2023

TV Ratings: NFL Sunday Night Football Scores For NBC


NBC’s coverage of Sunday’s Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens NFL wild-card playoff game drew the largest prime-time audience for any program since Super Bowl Sunday — customary for a Sunday night wild-card game — but was surpassed one day later by the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reports The L-A Times citing Nielsen data.

The Bengals’ 24-17 victory averaged 26.87 million viewers, the most for a prime-time program since NBC’s 15-minute Super Bowl LVI postgame show averaged 54.065 million viewers on Feb. 13, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday. Viewership on Peacock and NFL digital properties boosted the audience to 28.6 million.

The simulcast of Monday’s night’s Dallas-Tampa Bay playoff game averaged 31.2 million viewers on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 and was ABC’s largest audience for an NFL playoff game outside of Super Bowls.  Sunday’s broadcast viewership was down 7.1% from the 28.935 million average for last season’s Sunday prime-time wild-card game, the Kansas City Chiefs’ 42-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. That game was also the highest prime-time program since its preceding Super Bowl Sunday.

“NCIS” led all non-sports prime-time programs between Jan. 9 and Sunday, averaging 7.927 million viewers, seventh behind two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows, ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff title game and Fox’s 11-minute NFL postgame show. The episode began a crossover with the two other elements of the CBS franchise, which accounted for three of the week’s six top rated non-sports programs. “NCIS: Hawai’i” which followed, was third among non-sports programs, averaging 7.357 million viewers, ninth overall. “NCIS: Los Angeles” averaged 6.804 million viewers, sixth among non-sports programs, 12th overall and first among programs beginning at 10 p.m., when broadcast television viewing is customarily lower.

Two prime-time NFL playoff games gave NBC the largest weekly viewership of any network during the 17-week-old 2022-23 television season, averaging 9.57 million viewers, topping the previous high of 8.31 million by Fox the week of Oct. 31-Nov. 6, when it aired 19 hours of prime-time programming, including four World Series games. NBC has finished first 14 times this season.

CBS was second, averaging 4.96 million viewers. Fox was third, averaging 4.2 million viewers and ABC was fourth, averaging 2.43 million viewers.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; one NFL postgame show; ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff title game; nine CBS scripted programs and “60 Minutes”; NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med” and its coverage of the Golden Globe Awards.

Alphabet Says 12,000 Layoffs Coming


Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said on Friday that it plans to cut 12,000 jobs, becoming the latest technology company to reduce its work force after a hiring spree during the pandemic and amid concerns about a broader economic slowdown.

The NY Times reports the job cuts are the company’s largest ever,   amounting to about 6 percent of the company’s global work force. Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive, said the company expanded too rapidly during the pandemic, when demand for digital services boomed, and now must refocus on products and technology core to the company’s future, like artificial intelligence.

“We hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Mr. Pichai said in a note to employees posted on the company’s website.

Google joins a list of other technology companies that have laid off workers after concluding they had overextended under the belief that the pandemic-fueled boom represented a new normal. Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Twitter are among others who have announced thousands of job cuts.

R.I.P.: Jerry Blavat, Philly Radio's 'Geator With The Heater'

Jerry Blavat (1940-2023)

Jerry Blavat, the self-proclaimed “Geator with the Heater” and the “Boss with the Hot Sauce” for his 70-year career as a disc jockey and entertainer in Philadelphia, has died, according to our news partner NBC10. He was 82, reports The Philly Business Journal.

6ABC, which was first to report the news, said Blavat died at 3:45 a.m. Friday at hospice at Jefferson-Methodist Hospital from the effects of myasthenia gravis and related health issues.

Health issues forced Blavat to cancel an annual performance at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts this month. On Jan. 10, he posted a message on his website saying this year's show planned for Jan. 28 was canceled due to issues he described as being related to “torn shoulders” that had plagued him since Labor Day weekend.

Wake-Up Call: Baldwin Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter


Alec Baldwin was charged Thursday with two federal counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the Western “Rust.” The October 2021 incident — in which Baldwin allegedly shot a prop gun loaded with a real bullet — took place on a movie set, where extreme precautions are normally taken around prop weapons. Here are some of the alleged twists and turns that took place before and after the shooting.

On-set complaints before the shooting: It’s now known that, hours before the shooting, several crew members walked off set — reportedly fed up about various issues. They complained about being forced to either sleep in their cars or drive an hour to a hotel because lodging near the Bonanza Creek Ranch was deemed too expensive.

Daily Mail US Composite 1/20/23

Meanwhile, Mickey Rourke on Thursday came to the defense of his friend Alec Baldwin, insisting that the 64-year-old could not be blamed for the October 2021 shooting of a camerawoman on-set. Baldwin, who starred in and produced Rust, was handed a prop gun and pointed it at Hutchins on set in New Mexico. The gun went off, killing the 42-year-old and wounding director Joel Souza. On Thursday the Santa Fe district attorney announced that both Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed would be charged with involuntary manslaughter - and face 18 months in prison if convicted. If the pair are found guilty of firearm enhancement, they could be sentenced to five years. 'I usually never put my 2 cents in about what happens on someone's movie set,' wrote Rourke on Instagram. 'It's a terrible tragedy what happened to a cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. But no way in hell actor Alec Baldwin should be charged with any negligence whatsoever.'

BIDEN: C'MON MAN' THERE'S NO THERE THERE': A frustrated President Joe Biden said Thursday there is “no there there” when he was persistently questioned about the discovery of classified documents and official records at his home and former office. “We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said to reporters who questioned him during a tour of the damage from storms in California. “We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department.” Biden said he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly.” “I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there,” he said. “There’s no there there.” The White House has disclosed that Biden attorneys found classified documents and official records on four occasions in recent months — on Nov. 2 at the offices of the Penn Biden Center in Washington, and then in follow up searches on Dec. 20 in the garage of the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and on Jan. 11 and 12 in the president’s home library.

Netlflix Ends Year With Strong Performance


Here are the results:

  • EPS: 12 cents vs 45 cents per share, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $7.85 billion $7.85 billion, according to Refinitiv survey.
  • Global paid net subscribers: 7.66 million adds, compared to 4.57 million subscribers expected.

“2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish,” Netflix said in its quarterly letter to investors, adding that it has a clear path to reaccelerate its revenue growth. It ended the year with 230.8 million subscribers globally.

Netflix shares were up more than 7% in after-hours trading, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Revenue rose 1.9% year-over-year to $7.85 billion in the fourth quarter while net profit plunged 91% to $55.3 million. The net-profit decline was the result of an unrealized loss from a Eurobond currency hedge that dinged the company as foreign-exchange markets shifted.

The earnings report caps a tumultuous year for Netflix. It surprised Wall Street in early 2022 with two back-to-back quarters of customer losses before rebounding in the September quarter with 2.4 million new subscribers.

The company spent much of the year focused on starting an advertising-supported tier, controlling costs and finding ways to make money from the more than 100 million Netflix viewers who watch content using someone else’s account.

Netflix Co-Founder Reed Hastings Steps Aside As CEO


Netflix Inc. co-founder Reed Hastings is stepping aside as chief executive officer of the company he’s led for more than two decades, leaving the position to his two longtime associates, Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters, reports Bloomberg.

Sarandos, who was already co-CEO, is the company’s public face in Hollywood while Peters, previously chief operating officer, has overseen its product development and push into advertising. Hastings, 62, will serve as executive chairman of the company.

“Our board has been discussing succession planning for many years (even founders need to evolve!),” Hastings said in a blog post. “The board and I believe it’s the right time to complete my succession.”

Audacy Names 3 To Alternative Leadership Positions


Audacy has announced leadership updates for its alternative format. 
  • Christine Malovetz has been elevated to Vice President, Alternative Programming and Operations. She will remain Regional Vice President for ALT 98.7 (WDZH-FM) in Detroit and ALT 92.3 (WINS-HD2) in New York.
  • Ross Mahoney steps into the Regional Vice President position for 104.3 The Shark (WSFS-FM) in Miami, while continuing to oversee alternative programming at ALT 96.5 (KRBZ-FM) in Kansas City, FM 101.9 (WQMP-FM) in Orlando, and ALT 102.1 (WRXL-FM) in Richmond.
  • Brad Steiner joins Ross as Regional Brand Manager for ALT 102.1 in Richmond, and maintains the same role at ALT 98.7 in Detroit, 104.3 The Shark in Miami and ALT 92.3 in New York.
According to the company, these moved moves recognize the talent and leadership of Christine, Ross and Brad and better align us to our goals for growing our Alternative brands in 2023 and beyond.

Audacy also provided some bio information:

Christine, Ross, Brad

Sacramento Radio: Sports KHTK Adds Local Shows


Sactown Sports KHTK 1140 AM welcomes Dave “Deuce” Morgan and Morgan Ragan, also known to fans as Deuce and Mo, to its live and local lineup beginning Monday, Jan. 23. The duo will broadcast live weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Deuce and Mo are a fabric of the Sacramento Kings,” Steve Cottingim, SVP/Market Manager, said of the addition. “Being able to bring their brand to Sactown Sports as we extend our live sports coverage from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day is very exciting.”

Morgan Ragan is the Sacramento Kings pre and postgame host on NBC Sports California, NBA G-League Color Analyst for the Stockton Kings, and cohost of the Deuce & Mo podcast. Deuce Mason is an NBC Sports contributor, NBA G-League Play-by-Play Host for the Stockton Kings, Sacramento Kings Radio broadcaster, and cohost of the Deuce & Mo podcast. The two also host Sacramento Kings postgame chats on their YouTube page.


“We’re excited to connect with this community on a different platform,” Ragan said. “Being able to work in our hometown market has been a dream come true.”

“I’m born and raised in Sacramento, so the chance to do a show in my hometown means the world to me,” Mason added.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 23, the Sactown Sports on-air line-up will be:
  • The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross from 6 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Deuce and Mo from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Cattles and Ramie from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sactown Sports is available at 1140AM, 96.1 HD2, Sactownsports.com, or the free Sactown Sports App.

Fayetteville Radio: Sarah Weaver Named PD At Country WKML


Beasley Media Group announces Sarah Weaver has been promoted to Program Director at WKML 95.7 in Fayetteville, North Carolina

Weaver began her radio career in 2013 at KMVN in Anchorage, AK before joining Beasley Fayetteville in 2016 as the Midday Personality on WKML. She was named Co-Host of the Big Wake Up morning show in August of 2017 and assumed the Music Director and Assistant Program Director duties shortly thereafter.

“Sarah has worked hard for this promotion and I’m so happy that she has accepted the position of program director at the legendary 95.7 WKML,” said Tee Gentry, Beasley Media Group Vice President of Brand Strategies and Regional Operations Manager of the company’s Augusta and Fayetteville radio clusters. “Sarah has a strong passion for local radio and country music. I can’t wait to cheer her on as she does great things with Beasley Media Group!”

WH Reporters Getting No Answers, But Increasing Frustrations

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Frustration is mounting among White House correspondents attempting to get answers from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, as her deflections and obfuscations over questions about Prsident Biden's handling of classified documents wear thin, reports Fox News Digital.

"The White House press corps is incredibly frustrated with Jean-Pierre for refusing to answer any questions about this issue at the briefing room," a White House reporter told Fox News Digital. "It's very insulting to reporters especially when she repeatedly says she has answered a question when she very clearly has not. But overall, it's clear the White House is challenging the fundamental purpose of the briefing room which is why reporters continue to be aggressive."

Biden's personal attorneys found classified documents improperly stored at the president's old office in the Penn Biden Center, which was reported in the media months after the White House became aware. Additional news reports days later revealed that more documents were discovered at the president's personal home in Wilmington, Delaware.

WaPo 'Uh-Oh': The Owner Is In The Building

WaPo photo

A Washington Post staffer confronted billionaire owner Jeff Bezos face-to-face about the newspaper's pending layoffs when he visited its offices on Thursday, Fox News Digital has learned.

Bezos' unexpected presence at the paper this week has caused a buzz at the outlet as job cuts are expected to be announced in the coming days; founder of Amazon and one of the world's richest men, Bezos' appearances come with security in the Post's halls. An insider shared a conversation from the Washington Post Guild's Slack channel, where the unnamed staffer ran into Bezos and called out publisher Fred Ryan for not answering questions about the layoffs.

The employee, a union member, asked Bezos why the newspaper wasn't at least offering buyouts.

He told the employee he was there to listen and not take questions, adding, "I'm committed. Believe me, I'm committed." 

Bezos was in the offices to visit with senior leadership and sit in on an editorial meeting, although he has said he does not weigh in on decision-making around content. Bezos met with some section editors and executive editor Sally Buzbee this week, in addition to the paper's embattled publisher.

The Washington Post is coming off a tough year, with reports of subscriber losses, prominent departures of key journalists, a social media fiasco ending in reporter Felicia Sonmez's firing and now pending layoffs amid widespread job losses in the media industry.

R.I.P.: David Crosby, Two-Time Rock Hall of Famer

 


Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby, has died, sources confirm to Billboard. He was 81. Cause of death is unknown.

Crosby was a seminal figure in the folk-rock scene for more than six decades as a member of The Byrds,  Crosby, Stills & Nash and then Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He also had a prolific solo career, especially in recent years, releasing new music at an almost frenetic pace. 

Crosby, a Los Angeles native and son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, joined the Byrds in 1964 and in 1965, the band, known for its jangling guitars and layered harmonies, took two songs to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100: the Bob Dylan-penned “Mr. Tambourine Man” and Pete Seeger’s “Turn!Turn!Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season).”

Due to feuding with his bandmates Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman,” Crosby left the Byrds in 1967. In 1968, after meeting Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, the trio formed Crosby, Stills & Nash, appearing at Woodstock in August, 1969, for only their second gig. 

January 20 Radio History

 


➦In 1896
...legendary entertainer George Burns (right) was born Nathan Birnbaum in New York City. After a lengthy apprenticeship in vaudeville, in 1932 George & wife Gracie became a long running hit in radio, films & then TV with The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show [“Say goodnight, Gracie.”] On Gracie’s retirement he returned to a solo act, winning an Oscar with The Sunshine Boys, followed by another hit film Oh, God! He died Mar 9, 1996 at age 100.

➦In 1920...A US Patent was for a magnetic amplifier was granted to Ernst Alexanderson. Magnetic amplifiers were important as modulation and control amplifiers in the early development of voice transmission by radio. Also, the ability to control large currents with small control power made magnetic amplifiers useful for control of lighting circuits, for stage lighting and for advertising signs. Saturable reactor amplifiers were used for control of power to industrial furnaces. Magnetic amplifiers are still used in some arc welders.  Alexanderson also designed the Alexanderson alternator, an early longwave radio transmitter, one of the first devices which could transmit modulated audio (sound) over radio waves.

He had been employed at General Electric for only a short time when GE received an order from Canadian-born professor and researcher Reginald Fessenden, then working for the US Weather Bureau, for a specialized alternator with much higher frequency than others in existence at that time, for use as a radio transmitter.

Ernst Alexanderson
Fessenden had been working on the problem of transmitting sound by radio waves, and had concluded that a new type of radio transmitter was needed, a continuous wave transmitter. Designing a machine that would rotate fast enough to produce radio waves proved a formidable challenge. Alexanderson's family were convinced the huge spinning rotors would fly apart and kill him, and he set up a sandbagged bunker from which to test them.

In the summer of 1906 Mr. Alexanderson's first effort, a 50 kHz alternator, was installed in Fessenden's radio station in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. By fall its output had been improved to 500 watts and 75 kHz. On Christmas Eve, 1906, Fessenden made an experimental broadcast of Christmas music, including him playing the violin, that was heard by Navy ships and shore stations down the East Coast as far as Arlington. This is considered the first AM radio entertainment broadcast.

Alexanderson and G.E. continued improving his machine, and the Alexanderson alternator became widely used in high power very low frequency commercial and Naval wireless stations to transmit radiotelegraphy traffic at intercontinental distances, until by the 1930s it was replaced by vacuum tube transmitters.

Alexanderson was also instrumental in the development of television. The first television broadcast in the United States was to his GE Plot home at 1132 Adams Rd, Schenectady, NY, in 1927. In 1928, WRGB then W2XB was started as world's first television station. It broadcast from the General Electric facility in Schenectady, NY. It was popularly known as "WGY Television".

Over his lifetime, Mr. Alexanderson received 345 US patents, the last filed in 1968 at age 89. The inventor and engineer remained active to an advanced age, working as a consultant to GE and RCA in the 1950s. He died in 1975 and was buried at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, New York.

➦In 1933...."The Lone Ranger" He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either by WXYZ (Detroit) radio station owner George W. Trendle and by Fran Striker, the show's writer.