Saturday, February 4, 2023

February 5 Radio History

➦In 1916...Pioneering radio, TV engineer Ernst Alexanderson successfully tested the multiple tuned antenna.  He was a pioneer in radio and television development. Alexanderson designed the Alexanderson alternator, an early longwave radio transmitter, one of the first devices which could transmit modulated audio (sound) over radio waves.  Alexanderson also created the amplidyne, a direct current amplifier used during the Second World War for controlling anti-aircraft guns. During some 45-years working for General Electric,  he was responsible for 322 patents.

➦In 1924...the BBC time signal was first transmitted at 9.30pm, introduced by Sir Frank Dyson, the Astronomer Royal. Ever since that date, equipment at the Greenwich Observatory generates six short “pips” starting at five seconds to the hour and ending exactly on the hour. The pips have been generated by the BBC since 1990 to mark the precise start of each hour.

➦In 1931... Eddie Cantor‘s long radio career got underway as he made his first appearance on Rudy Vallee’s “The Fleischmann Hour” on NBC. By September of 1931 he would be headlining his own variety hour for Chase & Sanborn. The show established Cantor as a leading comedian.

➦In 1940... one of the many Frank and Anne Hummert radio soap operas, ‘Amanda of Honeymoon Hill‘ began it six-year run, the first half on NBC Blue, and then on CBS. It was a 15-minute daily radio soap opera.

➦In 1940...WTIC-FM was one of the two pre-World War II FM stations in Connecticut, signing on the air originally as W1XSO and using a frequency of 43.5 MHz. In December 1941, it became a commercial operation using the call letters W53H. In 1943, the call letters were changed for the last time to WTIC-FM. On April 17, 1948, the station moved to 96.5 MHz where it has remained, and switched to a classical music format. It switched from classical to CHR/Top 40 on May 12, 1977; the first song played as a Top 40 station was "Feels Like The First Time" by Foreigner.

The station's classical music library was donated to the University of Hartford radio station WWUH a few months later.

WTIC 96.5 FM (20 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area

The station switched to its current Hot AC format on June 15, 1994. This was done in order to remove controversial rap music from its playlist.

After the switch, the station's sound has become decidedly softer in subsequent years compared to its past, though this has changed in recent years, as the Hot AC format as a whole has embraced more upbeat music. Since 1977, the station has referred to itself on the air variously as "Hot Hits 96 Tics","96TIC-FM", and "The New 965 TIC-FM".

The original WTIC-FM Top 40 format in the late 1970s consisted of only current hit songs (no oldies) in a high-energy, jingle-heavy presentation designed by consultant Mike Joseph, and it was an instant success. Joseph would later term this formatic approach "Hot Hits" and put it into use at other stations around the United States, most notably WBBM-FM in Chicago.

The station is now owned by Audacy Communications.

➦In 1941...WNYC FM signed on as W39NY and was located at 43.9mc in the early FM band. On September 21, 1943, it became WNYC and in 1946 it moved over to 98.1 on the current FM band. By 1948, it settled on its current position of 93.9 FM.

Most Support Increased Tech Industry Regulation

According to a recent YouGov survey, Americans are only somewhat aware of these job losses, with most seeing the tech industry's job market as comparable to the U.S. job market overall. 

At the same time, about half of Americans believe that the tech industry is currently in a "bubble," with companies being overvalued, and many believe that the bubble is already bursting or will burst within the next year. Support for increased government regulation of the tech industry exists among majorities of Americans belonging to each of a wide range of groups.

Most people also want the government to play a larger role in the functioning of the U.S. tech sector. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the tech industry should be more strictly regulated, including 29% who say it should be much more regulated and 35% who say it should be somewhat more regulated. Just 10% support less regulation and 8% want no change. Majority support for at least some increase in regulation of the tech industry is found within all political parties, age groups, and education levels examined.

Jax Radio: Dex and Barbie T Get Wake-Up Duty At WAPE-FM

Cox Media Group has announced 95.1 WAPE is launching “The Dex and Barbie T Morning Show,” starting February 6 at 6 a.m.

Hosted by Dex Mitchell and Barbie T Whitmire will bring their unique brand of humor and entertainment to Jacksonville. 

“Dex and Barbie T are a fantastic addition to the Jacksonville market,” said Director of Branding and Programming, Jud Heussler. “I know our listeners will love the energy and chemistry that these two bring to will bring to WAPE every morning!”

Mitchell and Whitmire have been hosting mornings together since July 2017, where they started at Hot 98.1 WHZT in Williamston, South Carolina. By 2019, the show was syndicated to Knoxville. In this time, Whitmire hosted middays at WHZT, while Mitchell also tracked afternoons at SummitMedia Hot AC “Mix 97.3” WPYA Birmingham and previous co-hosted a second morning show at “Power 104.3” KPHW Honolulu with Candace Kay from 2020 through January 2022.

Prior to joining WHZT, Dex had previous stops at Saga Hot AC “Mix 96.5” WOXL Asheville, Galaxy Communications Rock “K-Rock” WKRL/WKLL/WKRH Syracuse/Utica NY as well as Audacy Rock “Planet Radio 93.3” WTPT Greenville. Whitmore dedicated her entire ten-year radio career to WHZT, previously hosting mornings with Tone Hollywood and Mike Klein prior to Mitchell’s arrival.

“An outstanding morning team is built on creativity, drive, and connection—and that is exactly what Dex and Barbie T deliver,” said CMG Jacksonville Operations Manager, Jules Riley. “That is why we’re thrilled to have them join the legendary WAPE and CMG Jacksonville team.”

“We’re extremely excited to fall in love with Jacksonville and explore all of the wonderful things this city has to offer,” said Whitmire.

Mitchell added, “It’s truly a blessing to be part of a station as iconic as WAPE and we are ready to work with such an amazing team.”

đź“»Listeners can hear “The Dex and Barbie T Morning Show” weekday mornings on 95.1 WAPE from 5 am to 10am!

Disney May Sell More Content to Rivals

Walt Disney Co. is exploring the sale of more of its films and television series to rival media outlets as pressure grows to curb the losses in its streaming TV business, reports Bloomberg.

The Burbank, California-based entertainment giant is seeking to earn more cash from its content library, according to people familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. The move would represent a shift in strategy, as Disney has in recent years tried to keep much of its original programming exclusively on its Disney+ and Hulu streaming services.

Disney is under pressure to improve its financial performance and change its streaming strategy. Last year, the company turned in its worst stock market results in decades. After Disney reported a $1.5 billion loss for its online video business in the third quarter, the board fired Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, replacing him with Bob Iger, who had previously held that job for 15 years. Among his many challenges, Iger must also cope with a proxy fight by activist Nelson Peltz, who’s seeking a seat on Disney’s board and pushing for better performance.

Iger, 71, will share more of his plans when the company reports financial results on Feb. 8, but he has has already taken steps to reverse decisions made by his predecessor. He offered free photos and more lower-price tickets to theme-park guests irked by rising fees.

John Malone, Charter Directors Settle Time Warner Deal Lawsuit

Liberty Media's John Malone and his former colleagues on Charter Communications Inc.’s board have settled claims the billionaire unfairly benefited from the $79 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable that he helped finance, according to a securities filing, reports Bloomberg.

Charter told the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week that it had reached a “tentative agreement,” pending court approval, that will result in a net payment to Charter to resolve a shareholder lawsuit against directors of the cable company over their handling of the 2016 deal.

A trial was set to start in Delaware Chancery Court on Feb. 6 but has now been taken off the docket, court officials said.

Money Goes to Company

Charter shareholder Matthew Sciabacucci accused the cable provider’s directors of allowing Malone, then on the board, to reap unfair tax benefits from stock he got in the merger through a side deal. Malone has been called the “cable cowboy” because of his extensive holdings in the industry.

In such derivative lawsuits, as they’re called, shareholders sue company directors, and any money awarded in a trial or settlement goes back to the company rather than to the investors who filed the suit. It is often paid by insurance covering board members.

Malone’s Liberty Broadband owned 26% of Charter, making it the cable company’s largest shareholder at the time of the acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Besides Malone, Liberty had the right to appoint three more directors to Charter’s board.

The acquisition was financed partly with $4.3 billion from Liberty, while a related $10 billion deal for Bright House Networks LLC was paid for partly with another $700 million from Liberty.

Ralph Tresvant To Host Long-Running 'Love and R&B' Show

Urban One Inc’s Reach Media and Radio One announced that Ralph Tresvant, lead singer of famed supergroup New Edition, is now the new host of the network’s long-running syndicated show “Love and R&B,” heard nightly on all affiliate stations, effective February 13.

David Kantor, CEO of Urban One’s Reach Media and Radio One audio divisions, says, “Ralph Tresvant brings us a timeless brand filled with style, charisma, and star power. He’s a great communicator with vast musical knowledge who will be creating real and riveting radio. Ralph gives us the complete brand who can quickly build a large, loyal following with must listen-to moments each and every night.”

Ralph Tresvant
Not coincidentally, the “Love and R&B with Ralph Tresvant” show debuts right before Valentine’s Day, building on the show’s legacy of playing classic slow jams and love songs by artists that are keeping traditional R&B music alive and well.

“I’m excited to show a side of me that I’ve never shared before through the embodiment of true R&B music,” says Tresvant. “I love the medium of radio and as a kid growing up in Boston, I was inspired by the great radio hosts I heard. I’ve learned how important it is to be on both sides of the mic. Growing up in this business, I’ve learned to be vulnerable and relatable but will also bring that New Edition excitement to the airwaves! I’m ready to connect with my fans and communities all around the US like never before! Everyone says real R&B is gone… I’m thrilled to have a radio show that will change the musical landscape.”

Boston Radio: The Sports Hub Extends Marc Bertrand

Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub has announced that Marc Bertrand, co-host of the popular Zolak & Bertrand show, has signed a multiyear contract extension.

Marc Bertrand
Bertrand, or “Beetle” as he’s affectionately known, became a co-host of the highly rated program in February 2015. The Zolak & Bertrand show, along with Rob “Hardy” Poole, have consistently maintained their #1 midday ranking in the market.

“We are very pleased to have Marc continue on with the Sports Hub for the coming years,” said Program Director Rick Radzik. “Marc, Zo & Hardy have been entertaining Boston sports fans since 2015. To have that relationship continue for the coming years is a win for everyone.”

“I’m thrilled to be continuing at 98.5 The Sports Hub. I take great pride in having been a part of the station since its inception,” said Bertrand. “I’m fortunate to have great teammates on Zolak & Bertrand and as a group, we are incredibly thankful for our loyal listeners. It is their support & engagement that makes this job fun every single day.”

“The chemistry between Beetle, Zo and Hardy is off the charts,” said VP and Market Manager, Mary Menna. “It is no wonder that the show is such a fan favorite and that they dominate the market in middays and were voted the #1 Midday Sports Show in the country by Barrett Sports Media last year.”

FOX Sports Radio Ready For Super Week Coverage

FOX Sports Radio (FSR), a division of Premiere Sports Network providing 24/7 live programming, has announced plans for its 23rd annual Super Week coverage beginning Monday, February 6. Featuring interviews with NFL players, newsmakers and celebrities, FSR will deliver comprehensive coverage before, during and after the Big Game in Arizona to listeners 24/7 via more than 600 local stations, and iHeartRadio.

Bringing all the excitement from Arizona to millions of listeners across the country, FSR will feature remote broadcasts from its industry-leading weekday lineup, including signature programs The Dan Patrick Show (9am-12pm ET/6am-9am PT), originating from Scottsdale Stadium from February 6 – 10, and The Herd with Colin Cowherd (12pm-3pm ET/9am-12pm PT), live from State Farm Stadium on February 9 and 10. Plus, Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn & Jonas Knox (6am-9am ET/3am-6am PT), The Doug Gottlieb Show (3pm-5pm ET/12pm-2pm PT), Covino & Rich (5pm-7pm ET/2pm-4pm PT), and The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker (7pm-10pm ET/4pm-7pm PT) will feature week-long broadcasts from Radio Row at the Phoenix Convention Center.

In addition to coverage from Arizona, The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon (10pm-2am ET/7pm-11pm PT) will broadcast live from the Wynn Las Vegas Resort on February 9 and 10, providing unique insight for both sports bettors and sports fans, including breaking news and the best prop odds, picks, lines and point spreads prior to the biggest sports betting event of the year.

Visit for more information, and follow the network on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube for updates and highlights.

Audacy Stations To Air Super Bowl

Audacy has a little extra to be excited for this Super Bowl, as it just so happens that they’re the home of both teams in this year’s big game. Sports Radio 94WIP in Philadelphia serves as the official radio partner of the Eagles, while 106.5 The Wolf WDAF-FM in Kansas City is the home of Chiefs Kingdom all year long.

And while millions of Americans will catch the action on television, many fans may be on-the-go this year. Thanks to Westwood One, listeners can tune in to the Big Game for free on the Audacy app across the country and on the dial in 20 markets nationwide.

What: Super Bowl LVII
Who: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, February 12, 6:30 p.m. ET

đź“»How to listen to local broadcasts: Available nationwide via Audacy app, 106.5 The Wolf (WDAF-FM) in Kansas City and Sports Radio 94WIP (WIP-FM) in Philadelphia.

BetQL Network to Broadcast Live at New BetMGM Sportsbook

Through its partnership with BetMGM, Audacy’s BetQL Network – the company’s network of sports betting content heard across its broadcast portfolio and digital platforms – will broadcast 51 hours of live audio and video programming exclusively from the new BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale, AZ, on February 6-10. The sportsbook is located next to State Farm Stadium, where Kansas City and Philadelphia will battle in the professional football championship on February 12.

“We’re proud to leverage our partnership with our friends at BetMGM to bring sports bettors and our listeners over 50 hours of live, premier audio content – more than any other sports betting network – to get them ready for the biggest game in American sports,” said Mike Dee, President of Sports, Audacy. “When we launched BetQL Network a few short years ago, we were bullish on giving sports bettors of all experience levels a home for informed and entertaining sports betting content, and this on-site, front-row access to the pinnacle of football embodies that commitment.”

Twin Cities Radio: WCCO Raises $44k+ for Second Harvest

Jason DeRusha and Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch at Second Harvest Heartland's Distribution Center

Audacy raised over $447,000 to benefit Second Harvest Heartland during WCCO 830 AM “Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon,” presented by Lindus Construction, Land 'O Lakes and Compeer Financial. The amount raised during the 14th annual radiothon held on February 2 brought the overall fundraising total to over $3.5 million since 2009.

“Year after year, our fans open up their hearts to those in need,” said Jeff Gonsales, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Minneapolis. “Lives are being impacted in significant ways, and we are incredibly grateful. WCCO’s long-standing partnership with Second Harvest Heartland means so much to us and to so many people who are helped by this community effort.”

“This community is great at showing up for one another, and today’s 14th annual ‘Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon’ was no exception," said Allison O'Toole, Chief Executive Officer, Second Harvest Heartland. “It takes all of us to keep our neighbors fed and we’re so grateful to WCCO listeners, radiothon callers and our sponsors from Compeer Financial, Land O’ Lakes and Lindus Construction for going above and beyond to end hunger. What a day!”

The radiothon was conducted onsite at Second Harvest facility in Brooklyn Park, MN, live on 830 WCCO on February 2 from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT. Station hosts spoke with members and clients of Second Harvest Heartland, current board members and other leaders in the community fighting against hunger. Interviews for the day included: restaurateur, chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch, Minnesota hockey legend Lou Nanne, former NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, Minnesota Twins radio voice Cory Provus, and former Vikings and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kyle Rudolph. Listeners were encouraged to donate via phone banks.

Chicago Radio: WTMX Listeners Treated To Acoustic Performance

Fitz and the Tantrums took a break from their current U.S. Tour to hang with Chicago’s #1 morning show: 101.9 The Mix’s Morning Mix. Fitz performed a special acoustic performance at 167 Green Street for a select group of MIX listeners as part of a benefit for the American Cancer Society – North Central Region.

Photo (L to R): Jeremy Ruzumna, Noelle Scaggs (Tantrums), Nikki Chuminatto (MIX Mornings – Co Host), Fitz, Chris Petlak (MIX Mornings – Host), Violeta Podrumedic (MIX Mornings – Traffic), Joe Karnes (another Tantrum), Whip (MIX Mornings – News)

February 4 Radio History

➦In 1927...KGA-AM, Spokane, Washington signed-on.

For many years, KGA was a successful country music outlet. In 1994 it switched to a news/talk format. It now airs a sports format and simulcasts on a translator at 103.5 FM. KGA was a 50,000 watt clear-channel Class A station for most of its life, and could be heard after sunset around the Pacific Northwest, plus part of Western Canada.

On July 15, 2008, KGA reduced its nighttime power from 50,000 watts to 15,000 watts, surrendered its status as a Class A to Class B, and changed its directional antenna system. Class A stations have the widest coverage areas and best protection from interference from other stations. All of this was done so that its sister station, KSFN in Piedmont, California, could increase its nighttime power from 230 watts to 2,400 watts. The justification for this change was gaining several hundred thousand potential listeners in the San Francisco Bay Area while sacrificing KGA's smaller potential audience in the Pacific Northwest.

KGA 1510 AM (50Kw-D, 15Kw-N) Red=Local Coverage

➦In 1935...the CBS Radio Network first aired “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch”, one of the many soap operas written by Frank & Anne Hummert. It moved to NBC that September but was cancelled 27 months later.  The plot:  Mrs. Wiggs, facing eviction, scrabbles for survival with her number of children and hopes for the return of her husband, who left many years before, looking for gold in the Klondike.

➦In 1940...'Amanda of Honeymoon Hill' was a 15-minute daily radio soap opera produced by Frank and Anne Hummert. Broadway actress Joy Hathaway had the title role, sometimes described as "the beauty of flaming red hair." The series was broadcast from February 5, 1940, until April 26, 1946, initially on the Blue Network at 3:15 p.m. until August 1942. It then moved to CBS, airing at 10:30 a.m. until 1943 when it was heard at 11 a.m.

➦In 1977…, Fleetwood Mac‘s 11th album “Rumours” was released. The LP became their second to top Billboard’s album chart, staying #1 for 31 weeks. More than 17 million copies have been sold in the U.S.

➦In 1983...singer Karen Carpenter died at her parent’s home in Los Angeles of heart failure caused by chronic anorexia nervosa. Her death, at the age of 32, brought about more public awareness of the disease, characterized by a loss of appetite brought on by mental illness.

➦In 1983…radio announcer & actor Jim Ameche succumbed to lung cancer at age 68.  He was radio’s first “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy,” and announcer for many network programs out of Chicago. The younger brother of Don Ameche later was director for the filmed TV series Julia.

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Grammys To Be Awarded Sunday

The Grammys will pay homage to lives of Loretta Lynn, Migos rapper Takeoff and Christine McVie with star-studded performances during Sunday’s ceremony. AP News reports the Recording Academy announced Wednesday that the ceremony will honor the three musicians who died last year with special performances during its in memoriam segment.

Kacey Musgraves will perform “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in tribute to Lynn. Quavo and the Maverick City Music will hit the stage to honor his nephew Takeoff with the song “Without You.” Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt will collaborate to perform “Songbird” to remember McVie.

The academy also announced Wednesday that presenters will include first lady Jill Biden, Viola Davis, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Billy Crystal, James Corden, Olivia Rodrigo and Cardi B.

Trevor Noah will return for a third time to host the ceremony, which will air live from Arena on Sunday on CBS and Paramount+ beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Number of Viewers For The Grammys - Source: Statista

If BeyoncĂ© takes home at least four prizes during Sunday’s 65th Grammy Awards, the singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, actor, designer and hot-sauce lover will become the winningest person in Recording Academy history, reports The L-A Times. More winning than Michael Jackson, more than Paul McCartney, more than Stevie Wonder and U2 and Aretha Franklin. And with a leading nine nominations this year — a haul that brought her even with her husband, Jay-Z, for the most nods (88) of all time — BeyoncĂ© could set the record even if she loses more Grammys than she wins as she sits among the stars assembled at Arena.

Yet for all the different ways she might get to her 32nd Grammy — Georg Solti, the late classical conductor, holds the current record with 31 — many eyes will be on just one prize: album of the year, for which BeyoncĂ© is nominated with “Renaissance,” her sprawling and meticulous homage to the history of Black and queer dance music.

iHM Names Clyde Bass Area President For TX/Ark Area

iHeartMedia announced today that Clyde Bass has been named Area President for the newly formed Texas/Arkansas Area, effective immediately. 

Clyde Bass
As Area President, Bass will be responsible for all operations over the 10 markets in the newly formed Texas/Arkansas Area, including Beaumont, Waco, Bryan, McAllen and Corpus Christi in Texas and Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Little Rock, Arkansas along with Wichita, Kansas and Springfield, Missouri. He will report to Nick Gnau, Division President for iHeartMedia.

“I am so excited to add Clyde’s leadership to an already strong cluster of markets in Texas. Clyde’s passion for our industry, his knowledge of our products and the success he has shown through many roles with iHeartMedia make him the perfect fit to lead this newly formed Area. I look forward to seeing these Areas continue to succeed as one,” said Nick Gnau.

Clyde Bass joins the Texas/Arkansas Area from the Arkansas Area, where he most recently served as the Area President.

“It’s been my honor to be involved for the last ten years with some of the legendary stations that I grew up listening to here in Arkansas, and now to be reunited as Area President with the team in Texas makes me even more energized over what iHeartMedia provides to advertisers and listeners,” said Bass.

Trouble On The 'CNN This Morning' Set As Lemon Screams

Poppy, Don and Kaitlan

According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, the 56-year-old Lemon approached 30-year-old Collins following the show’s Thursday Dec. 8 broadcast — and unloaded on her in front of staffers as he accused her of “interrupting” him on air, reports The NY Post.

“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” one source with knowledge of the skrimish said.

News of the explosive incident made its way up to CNN CEO Chris Licht, who is said to have been appalled by Lemon’s behavior, according to a source. A second source said a producer talked to Lemon at the behest of Licht and told the anchor to take the next day off to “cool off.”

The following night, the three co-hosts were slated to get drinks and arrive together at a White House Christmas party for the press, a source said. But the pre-party gathering never happened after the emotional day and they trickled-in to the bash separately, an insider with knowledge said. After the party, Lemon had a late-night dinner with his agent, Jay Sures, according to sources.

The situation was especially awkward because Collins — a rising star who had most recently served as CNN’s youngest chief White House correspondent — is also represented by the powerful and well-connected Sures. While he dined with Lemon, Collins met up with the show’s other co-anchor Poppy Harlow, the sources said.

“At this point, Kaitlan wants to be on set with Don as little as possible,” a source with knowledge of the situation added. “It’s messy.”

Neither Lemon nor Collins responded to requests for comment.

Wake-Up Call: Suspected China Spy Balloon Tracked Over U-S Airspace

Daily Mail US Composite (2/3/23)

The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down over concerns of hurting people on the ground, officials said Thursday. The discovery of the balloon puts a further strain on U.S.-China relations at a time of heightened tensions.  A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has “very high confidence” it is a Chinese high-altitude balloon and it was flying over sensitive sites to collect information. One of the places the balloon was spotted was Montana, which is home to one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, provided a brief statement on the issue, saying the government continues to track the balloon. He said it is “currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground.” The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground. Instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years. Once the balloon was detected, the US government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information," Ryder said.

NY Post Composite (2/3/23)

Russia’s top diplomat issued a chilling warning Thursday that Moscow “will do everything” to “gain the world’s attention” on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine — as the Kremlin was said to be preparing to launch a new offensive with up to 500,000 conscripts. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Moscow would take great measures to overshadow anti-Russia events allegedly being planned by the West to mark the war’s anniversary on Feb. 24. “Our diplomacy will do everything to ensure that the anti-Russian sabbaths planned for the end of February — as if timed to coincide with the anniversary of the special military operation, both in New York and at other sites that the West is now actively working on together with the Kyiv regime — so that this will not turn out to be the only events that will gain the world’s attention,” the country’s top envoy said in a wide-ranging interview to state TV Russia 24 and RIA Novosti.

  Mind-numbing wind chills set to wallop New England “could be the coldest felt in decades,” the Weather Prediction Center said. More than 15 million people are under wind chill warnings or advisories in the Northeast. The alerts begin to go into effect early Friday morning and last through Saturday afternoon. “This is an epic, generational Arctic outbreak,” said the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine. “The air mass descending on the area Friday into Friday night is the coldest air currently in the Northern Hemisphere.” Such extreme conditions can cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. Fortunately, the brutal blast will only last about 36 hours. Temperatures across most of the Northeast are expected to rise by Sunday afternoon. But farther south, cities paralyzed by a deadly ice storm this week got a final encore of nasty weather before a weekend warmup.

Apple Sales Shrink as Pandemic Rally Ends

Apple Inc. reported disappointing quarterly results that ended its three-year streak of sales and profit records, capping an earnings season in which the world’s biggest technology companies mostly struggled to shake off a post-pandemic hangover.

The Wall Street Journal reports the iPhone maker announced its first quarterly revenue decline in nearly four years as manufacturing disruptions in China curbed its ability to deliver premium iPhones. Its results came the same day that Inc. reported growth that, while beating expectations, nonetheless moderated in its online shopping and cloud computing businesses, and Google parent Alphabet Inc. said it was hit by a broad slowdown in the digital ad market.

The results reflect how tech giants continue to struggle with wobbly consumer demand and weakness in business spending on areas like digital advertising—prompting company leaders to emphasize cost cutting and other measures to improve efficiency and stabilize their businesses.

The reports came a day after Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. issued results and guidance that—along with an expanded share-buyback plan—elated investors in a stock that was hammered last year. Meta’s stock soared 23% Thursday, its biggest one-day percentage gain since 2013, helping lift other tech shares.

Shares in Apple, Amazon and Alphabet gave back some or all of those increases in after-hours trading following their results. All three companies cited economic pressures as a challenge. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an interview that “the wind was in our face for the fourth quarter.” 

Alphabet Misses Revenue Expectations

Alphabet missed on both top and bottom lines when it reported fourth quarter earnings after the bell Thursday. The company’s stock dropped nearly 4% after hours, erasing some of the 7.28% it gained in normal trading hours. Here’s how the numbers stacked up according to CNBC:

  • Earnings per share (EPS): $1.05 vs $1.18 per share expected
  • Revenue: $76.05 billion vs. $76.53 billion expected
  • YouTube advertising revenue: $7.96 billion vs. $8.25 billion expected
  • Google Cloud revenue: $7.32 billion vs. $7.43 billion expected
  • Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $12.93 billion vs. $13.32 billion expected

The company said it would take a charge of between $1.9 billion and $2.3 billion, mostly in the first quarter of 2023, related to the layoffs of 12,000 employees it announced in January. It also expects to incur costs of about $500 million related to reduced office space in Q1, and warned that other real-estate charges are possible going forward.

CFO Ruth Porat said during the company’s earnings call that Alphabet added 3,455 people during the quarter, the majority of which were technical roles.

Amazon’s Advertising Business Grew 19%

Amazon’s advertising business continues to grow despite a general slowdown in digital advertising, which has hurt companies like Google parent Alphabet, Facebook parent Meta and Snap.

The online retail giant’s advertising services unit brought in $11.6 billion in sales for the fourth quarter, representing a 19% year-over-year increase, according to its earnings report Thursday.

Although Amazon’s advertising unit still constitutes a small fraction of the $149.2 billion in revenue the company recorded in its fourth quarter, it represents a fast-growing area that analysts believe could be a crucial player in the digital advertising market.

Indeed, while investors were pleased that Meta is cutting costs, sales in the company’s fourth quarter dropped 4% year-over-year to $32.17 billion.

Sony Music’s Revenue Hit $2.6B on Streaming and Publishing Gains

Harry Styles, Mariah Carey and big streaming gains helped Sony Music Entertainment finish 2022 with a bang. Styles’ album Harry’s House and Carey’s typically strong holiday performance drove SME’s revenues up 22.9% to 363.7 billion yen ($2.57 billion at quarter’s average exchange rate) in its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2022, according to Billboard.

Styles’ 2022 release Harry’s House and 2019 album Fine Lines were among SME’s top performing titles of the quarter. Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” topped the U.S. Hot 100 chart for four weeks (chart dates of Dec. 17, Dec. 24, Dec. 31 and Jan. 7). The company also pointed to strong sales and streams by Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights, SZA’s SOS, Future’s I Never Liked You, Chris Brown’s Indigo, Beyonce’s Renaissance and Bruce Springsteen’s Only the Strong Survive.

Quarterly operating income improved 14.3% to 63 billion yen ($445 million). Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were 80 billion yen ($565 million).

The recorded music division’s revenues improved 30.1% to 239 billion yen ($1.69 billion). Streaming revenue grew 33.2% to 159.1 billion yen ($1.12 billion) and accounted for 66.6% of recorded music revenue, up from 65% in the prior-year period. Download revenue, up 14.3%, accounted for just 4.7% of digital revenues compared to 5.5% a year earlier. Physical sales declined 6% to 31.1 billion yen ($219.1 million) and accounted for 13% of total recorded music revenue, down from 18%.

SoundExchange Hails Reintroduction of AMFA

SoundExchange hailed Thursday's Senate and House reintroduction of the Music Fairness Act (AMFA) as a monumental step toward achieving respect and equity for music creators. The early introduction of the legislation reflects how momentum is building to finally rectify a decades-long injustice: the refusal of broadcast corporations to pay creators for AM/FM radio plays.

"Music creators have been forced to give away their work for far too long. It is time for Congress to demonstrate that they stand behind the hard-working Americans that provide the music we all love by finally passing the American Music Fairness Act," said Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. 

"This bill has the broad support of artists, labels, small broadcasters, unions, and others because it strikes a fair balance by respecting creators for their work and protecting truly local broadcasters. No more excuses, no more waiting in line for their turn. Music creators demand the economic justice AMFA provides."

Rogers Tops Estimates On Wireless, Media Strength

Canada's Rogers Communications Inc , on Thursday beat estimates for quarterly revenue, profit and phone subscriber growth, benefiting from higher roaming charges and promotional offers during the holiday quarter, reports Reuters.

Rogers' push to expand its 5G network and bundle subscriber plans has helped it win customers from rivals in a competitive market where wireless charges are among the highest in the world.

The telecom operator added 193,000 monthly bill paying wireless phone subscribers to top FactSet fourth-quarter estimate of 146,800, sending its shares up 1% at C$65.34 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Orlando Radio: Ashley Williams New Director of Sales For CMG

Cox Media Group HAS announced Ashley Williams has been promoted to Director of Sales. In this new role, Williams will be responsible for leading the sales team while driving the implementation of sales and marketing strategies that align with the Orlando stations’ objectives.

Ashley Williams
Williams has been with CMG for 15 years, crossing divisions from Radio, Corporate Digital, and Television. Williams started her career with CMG in 2007 as a Television Sales Assistant and quickly grew to a Digital Sales Specialist. In 2015, she joined the Corporate Digital Team in a pilot role as the first Local Solutions Specialist and was later promoted to Sales Marketing Manager. She returned to the local market joining the Orlando Radio Sales team in 2019 as a Local Sales Manager and was promoted to Integrated Sales Manager in 2020.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Orlando Radio sales team,” said Williams. “We have an incredibly talented group, and I look forward to taking our team to the next level.”

JC Campese, VP and Market Manager of CMG Orlando Radio, stated, “I am extremely excited for our sales team and our wonderful clients to have Ashley Williams as CMG Orlando’s new Director of Sales. Her diverse background with CMG and the trust she has built, both internally and externally, makes her the perfect choice to lead CMG Orlando sales into the future.”

Houston Radio: Sports Talk 790 Adding Stan Norfleet

iHeartMedia Houston’s Sportstalk 790 KBME, Houston’s Home for Your Astros, Your Rockets, & Your Home Teams, announced Thursday that Stan Norfleet will join the lineup from 10am-12pm weekdays, effective February 13.

Norfleet, an NFL prospect, played football at the University of Virginia and Texas Southern University. Norfleet later worked for the Houston Texans and the Houston Rockets before transitioning into broadcasting as a host, analyst and sideline reporter.

“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family.. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” said Norfleet. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

San Antonio Radio: ESPN Radio Arrives On KZDC 1250 AM

Alpha Media USA in San Antonio today launched KZDC ESPN 1250, the 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio in San Antonio. Alpha Media is proud to extend our partnership with ESPN Radio on AM 1250 for all San Antonian’s. As the home of the NBA, MLB, NFL, with Keyshawn, JWill & Max in mornings and Greeny immediately following at nine, ESPN Radio is the leading national distributor of sports entertainment in America.

Alpha Media USA is also home to 94.1 San Antonio’s Sports Star, the “Live & Local” home for San Antonio sports fans, with R&R in the Morning, Jimenez & Spence at 12 and the Blitz at 3pm. 94.1 San Antonio’s Sports Star is also the Home of the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

The combination of ESPN 1250 and 94.1 San Antonio’s Sports Star, makes Alpha Media in San Antonio the one stop shop for everything sports.

February 3 Radio History

➦In 1927...a forerunner of the FCC, the Federal Radio Commission, was created by a law signed into effect by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge.The FRC was a government body that regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934. The Commission was created to regulate radio use "as the public interest, convenience, or necessity" requires. The Radio Act of 1927 superseded the Radio Act of 1912, which had given regulatory powers over radio communication to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The Radio Act of 1912 did not mention broadcasting and limited all private radio communications to what is now the AM band.

WEAV 960 AM (5Kw DA-2)
➦In 1935...WEAV-AM, Plattsburgh NY signed-on as WMFF (1935-1948), owned by Plattsburgh Broadcasting Corporation (in turn controlled by the Bissell family), and operating on 1310 kHz. The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement in 1941 moved the station to 1340 kHz.

On October 23, 1948,  the station changed its call letters to WEAV and relocated again, this time to the current 960 kHz. At one time an affiliate of ABC Radio  and its predecessor, the Blue Network, WEAV switched to CBS Radio in the late 1950s.

The station inaugurated FM service on February 3, 1960, with the launch of WEAV 99.9. FM (now WBTZ-FM) as a simulcast of the AM station.

WEAV-AM currently airs Sports Talk as 960 AM The Zone.

➦In 1935...Martin Block started at WNEW-AM (now WBBR 1130 AM) in NYC at a salary of $20 per week. In 1935, while listeners to New York's WNEW in New York were awaiting developments in the Lindbergh kidnapping, Block built his audience by playing records between the Lindbergh news bulletins.

This led to his Make Believe Ballroom, which began February 3, 1935 with Block borrowing both the concept and the title from West Coast disc jockey Al Jarvis, creating the illusion that he was broadcasting from a ballroom with the nation’s top dance bands performing live. He bought some records from a local music shop for the program as the radio station had none. Block purchased five Clyde McCoy records, selecting his "Sugar Blues" for the radio show's initial theme song.

Because Block was told by the station's sales staff that nobody would sponsor a radio show playing music, he had to find himself a sponsor. Block lined up a producer of reducing pills called "Retardo"; within a week, the sponsor had over 3,000 responses to the ads on Block's radio show. Martin Block's style of announcing was considerably different than the usual manner of delivery at the time. Instead of speaking in a voice loud enough to be heard in a theater, Block spoke in a normal voice, as if he was having a one-on-one conversation with a listener.

Abbott & Costello
When one of Block's sponsors offered a sale on refrigerators during a New York snowstorm, 109 people braved the elements for the bargain Block advertised; by 1941 potential sponsors for his show had to be put on a waiting list for availabilities.

➦In 1938... the kids radio adventure drama Challenge of the Yukon (about Sgt. Preston & his ‘wonder dog’ Yukon King) debuted in a 15 minute format on WXYZ Detroit.  It completed George W. Trendle’s trilogy of juvenile adventures preceded by The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet.  

The show went to the networks (ABC, then Mutual) in 30 minute form 1947 to ’55, and was retitled as Sgt. Preston of the Yukon beginning in 1951.

➦In 1938...the comedy team of Abbott & Costello made their debut as cast members on CBS Radio’s “The Kate Smith Hour.” Their routine "Who's on First?" is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time in the world, and set the framework for many of their best-known comedy bits.

➦In 1959… it was “the day the music died,”  as Don McLean named it in his 1972 hit, “American Pie.”  22-year-old Buddy Holly, 28-year-old J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and 17-year-old Ritchie Valens died in a chartered plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.