Saturday, February 18, 2023

February 19 Radio History

➦In 1878...Inventor Thomas Alva Edison got patent for the phonograph.  Edison began his career as an inventor in Newark, New Jersey, with the automatic repeater and his other improved telegraphic devices, but the invention that first gained him wider notice was the phonograph in 1877. This accomplishment was so unexpected by the public at large as to appear almost magical. Edison became known as "The Wizard of Menlo Park," New Jersey.

His first phonograph recorded on tinfoil around a grooved cylinder. Despite its limited sound quality and that the recordings could be played only a few times, the phonograph made Edison a celebrity.

Joseph Henry, president of the National Academy of Sciences and one of the most renowned electrical scientists in the US, described Edison as "the most ingenious inventor in this country... or in any other". In April 1878, Edison traveled to Washington to demonstrate the phonograph before the National Academy of Sciences, Congressmen, Senators and US President Hayes. The Washington Post described Edison as a "genius" and his presentation as "a scene... that will live in history". Although Edison obtained a patent for the phonograph in 1878, he did little to develop it until Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, and Charles Tainter produced a phonograph-like device in the 1880s that used wax-coated cardboard cylinders.

"Mary had a little lamb" were the first words that Edison recorded on the phonograph and he was amazed when he heard the machine play them back to him. In 1878, Edison established the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company to sell the new machine.

Edison 1878

Edison suggested other uses for the phonograph, such as: letter writing and dictation, phonographic books for blind people, a family record (recording family members in their own voices), music boxes and toys, clocks that announce the time, and a connection with the telephone so communications could be recorded. How many of these uses have become a reality today?

Many of the uses Edison suggested for the phonograph have become a reality, but there were others he hadn't imagined. For example, the phonograph allowed soldiers to take music off to war with them. In 1917, when the U.S. became involved in World War I, the Edison Company created a special model of the phonograph for the U.S. Army. This basic machine sold for $60. Many Army units purchased these phonographs because it meant a lot to the soldiers to have music to cheer them and remind them of home. This is an audio clip of Edison himself in which he expresses his pride in the soldiers and reminds Americans of the enormous sacrifice and contribution made by the other allied nations.

➦In 1922...Comedian, Ed Wynn became the first vaudeville star to agree to a radio contract.

In the early 1930s Wynn hosted the popular radio show The Fire Chief, heard in North America on Tuesday nights, sponsored by Texaco gasoline. Like many former vaudeville performers who turned to radio in the same decade, the stage-trained Wynn insisted on playing for a live studio audience, doing each program as an actual stage show, using visual bits to augment his written material, and in his case, wearing a colorful costume with a red fireman's helmet. He usually bounced his gags off announcer/straight man Graham McNamee; Wynn's customary opening, "Tonight, Graham, the show's gonna be different," became one of the most familiar tag-lines of its time; a sample joke: "Graham, my uncle just bought a new second-handed car... he calls it Baby! I don't know, it won't go anyplace without a rattle!"

Wynn  reprised his Fire Chief radio character in two movies, Follow the Leader (1930) and The Chief (1933). Near the height of his radio fame (1933) he founded his own short-lived radio network the Amalgamated Broadcasting System, which lasted only five weeks, nearly destroying the comedian. According to radio historian Elizabeth McLeod, the failed venture left Wynn deep in debt, divorced and finally, suffering a nervous breakdown.

Wynn died June 19, 1966 in Beverly Hills, California of throat cancer, aged 79.

➦In 1935...the longtime iconic voice of the Seattle Mariners Dave Niehaus was born in Princeton Indiana. For 34 years, from the start of the franchise, he led the M’s play-by-play coverage on radio & TV. He suffered a massive heart attack and died Nov. 10, 2010 at age 75. “My oh my!!”

➦In 1981... George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for ‘subconscious plagiarism.’  The court found his song, “My Sweet Lord” was strikingly similar to the Chiffons early 1960s hit, “He’s So Fine.” He claimed to have used the out-of-copyright "Oh Happy Day", a Christian hymn, as his inspiration for the melody.

➦In 2007...the SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio services announced their intention to merge.

Uproar Hits CNN Over Don Lemon's 'Distraction'

Don Lemon, the CNN morning-show anchor, faced an internal rebuke from the chairman of his own network on Friday after his on-air comments about women and aging set off an uproar inside the cable news channel.

The NY Times reports CNN’s chairman, Chris Licht, opened his daily 9 a.m. editorial call by saying the remarks by Mr. Lemon, which were widely viewed as sexist and insensitive, had left him “disappointed.”

“His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization,” Mr. Licht told his staff, according to a recording of the call obtained by The New York Times.

It is unusual for a network chief to criticize a star anchor in such stark terms — but the situation involving Mr. Lemon and CNN’s struggling morning show is approaching a crisis point just months after its debut.

Lemon, a CNN veteran with a history of televised gaffes, roiled colleagues on Thursday when he asserted on the air that Nikki Haley, the 51-year-old Republican presidential candidate, “isn’t in her prime, sorry.”

“A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” Mr. Lemon said, to the visible dismay of his “CNN This Morning” co-anchors, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. He refused to back down after Ms. Harlow questioned his remarks, telling her to “look it up.”

On Friday, a far more contrite-sounding Lemon addressed the matter in a six-minute monologue to the CNN newsroom.

“I am sorry,” Lemon said. “I did not mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone.” He added that “the people I’m closest to in this organization are women,” citing a list of female colleagues including the anchors Dana Bash and Erin Burnett.

Lemon was absent on Friday from his program’s broadcast, though he had previously said he was scheduled to take the day off; he dialed into the Friday call from Miami. A CNN spokesman said Lemon had not been formally suspended. The spokesman declined to comment further on personnel matters.

Report: Fox News Feared Newsmax

In the weeks after the 2020 election, Fox News faced an existential crisis. The top-rated cable news network had alienated its Donald Trump-loving viewers with an accurate election night prediction for Joe Biden and was facing a terrifying ratings slide, not to mention the ire of a once-loyal president, according to The Washington Post.

Concern came from the very top: “Everything at stake here,” Rupert Murdoch messaged Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott.

The billionaire founder was eager to see the Republican candidate prevail in the coming Senate runoff in Georgia — “helping any way we can,” he wrote. But he also advised Scott to keep an eye on the uptick in ratings for a smaller, more conservative channel whose election skepticism suddenly seemed to be resonating with pro-Trump viewers.

Newly released messages show Fox executives fretting that month over an uncomfortable revelation: that if they told their audience the truth about the election, it could destroy their business model.

“Getting creamed by CNN!” Murdoch wrote to Scott on Nov. 8, a day after most news organizations declared that Biden had won. “Guess our viewers don’t want to watch it.”

What Fox’s loyal viewers wanted to watch — and what Fox News was willing to do to keep them — emerged this week as a central question in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought against the network by Dominion Voting Systems.

A stunning cache of internal correspondence and deposition testimony obtained by the software company and made public on Thursday in a Delaware court filing showed high-level Fox executives and on-air stars privately agonizing over the wild and false claims of a stolen election that Trump allies promoted on Fox airwaves in the weeks after the 2020 election. “Sidney Powell is lying,” prime-time star Tucker Carlson wrote to his producer about a Trump lawyer who had appeared on Fox and spewed baseless accusations. “There is NO evidence of fraud,” anchor Bret Baier wrote to one of his bosses.

The Dominion filing also lends ammunition to their long-held argument: that Fox allowed the false claims to air because it was fearful of losing viewers to Newsmax, an ever more pro-Trump news channel.

Meta Gives Thousands of Workers Subpar Reviews

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. gave thousands of employees subpar ratings in a recently concluded round of performance reviews, a signal that more job cuts may be on the way, people familiar with the matter said.

The Wall Street Journal reports the company also cut a bonus metric, the people said, one of several steps senior executives are taking after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg declared 2023 would be a “year of efficiency.” 

Meta’s leadership expects the ratings to lead more employees to leave in the coming weeks, the people said. The company will consider another round of layoffs if not enough depart, the people said. About 11,000 workers, or about 13% of employees at the company, were recently laid off.

Meta’s performance review process is in keeping with what the company has communicated to employees, a Meta spokesman said. “We’ve always had a goal-based culture of high performance, and our review process is intended to incentivize long-term thinking and high-quality work, while helping employees get actionable feedback,” he said.

The recently wrapped performance reviews were seen as a return to form for Mr. Zuckerberg, who before the pandemic had developed a reputation for delivering direct feedback to workers, people familiar with the process said.

Since last year, Meta executives have suggested that low performers wouldn’t last at the company. “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mr. Zuckerberg said at a town hall in June.

Disney Corporate Staffers Rebel

Thousands of Disney workers are reportedly pushing back on their boss Bob Iger’s strict return-to-office plan – arguing in a petition that the four-day-per-week requirement will have “unintended consequences” for the company.

The NY Post reports the petition has already drawn signatures from more than 2,300 corporate employees across the Mouse House’s businesses, including ABC, Pixar, Marvel Studios and others. Iger’s mandate is set to take effect on March 1.

The disgruntled workers say the mandate is “likely to have unintended consequences that cause long-term harm to the company” by forcing out “hard-to-replace talent and vulnerable communities,” according to a copy of the petition obtained by the Washington Post.

“This policy will slow, or even reverse, our post-COVID recovery and growth by creating critical resource shortages and causing irreplaceable institutional knowledge loss,” the petition adds.

Disney’s return-to-office plan – one of the strictest of its kind in the entertainment media sector – comes as Iger attempts to lead a turnaround at the struggling company. Prior to the change, employees were expected to work on site for just two or three days per week.

Organizers reportedly submitted the petition to upper management alongside hundreds of testimonials from employees affected by the policy change – with some claiming they plan to resign if Iger follows through on its implementation. Others say they feel as though the policy will effectively force them to leave.

The workers want Iger to invest in remote work support for Disney’s workforce while simultaneously fostering a work culture through in-person events and networking opportunities.

Philly Radio: Farewell..Angelo Cataldi, Iconic WIP Morning Host

Angelo Cataldi

Lots of Philly sports fans hate him. Another huge group loves him. Just about everyone listens to him. And on Friday, The Philly Inquirer reports they all heard Angelo Cataldi host his long-running sports talk radio show for the final time.

Cataldi, the lead host of 94.1 WIP’s morning show, has retired after a broadcast career spanning more than three decades. His unprecedented run as Philadelphia’s highest-rated sports talker was preceded by six years as a sportswriter at The Inquirer, where his coverage of Buddy Ryan’s Eagles was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1987.

Cataldi was hoping to ride off into the sunset — if the Eagles won Super Bowl LVII, he planned on hosting his last show the day of the Birds’ parade. Instead, he’s saying goodbye the week following another championship loss, which seems oddly appropriate.

“Let’s do the math — 33 years of four sports, I guess that’s 132 seasons. And we won two championships,” Cataldi said. “So it’s more natural for me to end my time complaining about how the Eagles should have won the Super Bowl and blew it because the defense collapsed.”

Friday’s show was filled with special guests and clips of Cataldi during his 33-year run, including an acknowledgment of Wing Bowl, the notoriously sleazy promotion that lasted 26 years before WIP pulled the plug in 2018. 

Leading up to his retirement, Cataldi has drawn congratulations from his WIP colleagues and notable Philadelphia sports figures, including Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman and team president Don Smolenski.

“In some ways, it’s kind of humbling. And then in other ways, it’s like you’re at your eulogy at your own funeral,” Cataldi said. “You hearing people say things they would say when you’re gone.”

Greg Gutfeld Beats MSNBC, CNN Twice In One Day

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld dominated ratings this week with his late-night show Gutfeld! and the network’s early evening round-table show, The Five, which he co-hosts.

Gutfeld! was the sixth-most-watched cable news program on Tuesday, with 2.2 million total viewers and 376,000 viewers in the key 25 to 54 age demographic, according to cable news ratings.

SNBC failed to notch one million viewers during the same hour, with 972,000 total viewers, while CNN garnered a dismal 371,000 total viewers.

Gutfeld!, which featured Roseanne Barr blasting woke culture’s “cowardly” fear of comedy, came in second to The Five for the day’s total viewership.

The Five brought in 3,373,000 total viewers on Tuesday to lead the day for cable news viewership. Tucker Carlson Tonight, Jesse Watters Primetime, Special Report, and Hannity completed the top five.

Gutfeld’s dominance on Fox News recently earned him the nickname “King of Late Night” in his own Super Bowl ad.

Gutfeld! has outperformed other late-night comedy shows, including those hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert.

Philly Radio: 'Open House' Week At 95.5 The Fanatic

Beasley Media Group Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM) is pleased to announce details for The John Kincade Show’s Open House Week. Morning hosts John Kincade, Bob Cooney and Pat Egan have invited listeners to join them in-person from Monday, February 20th thru Friday, February 24th at the Beasley Media Group’s performance studio in Philadelphia.

Listeners can register to reserve a spot with a guest at .

“More than any show in Philly sports radio, we have always been interested in getting out and interacting with our listeners,” said Kincade. “This is a great way for us to welcome our listeners behind the scenes at our brand-new performance studio to get even better connected with the show.”

The week will be filled with prizes, surprises, and engaging sports talk. Special guests scheduled to join the show include Philadelphia Union Coach Jim Curtin, Sixers Radio Announcer Tom McGinnis, Sixers TV Announcer Kate Scott, former Phillies Players Tommy Greene and Mickey Morandini, Flyers Radio Broadcasters Tim Saunders and Steve Coates, Zach Berman from The Athletic, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Survey: Social Media Becoming News Source

by Anna Fleck

Social media is the most commonly used news source among U.S. respondents that consume the news daily, according to a poll by Morning Consult. This was followed by network news (26 percent), cable news networks (21 percent) and radio (20 percent).

As our chart shows, high usage doesn’t necessarily equate to a strong perception of trustworthiness. Where the radio was considered the most reliable source - despite being listened to regularly by a smaller group - the opposite was true of social media, which had a higher usage but half the share of people that trusted it.

A 2021 UNICEF-Gallup survey drew a similar conclusion, this time looking at several countries around the world. It found that while a higher share of young people (15-24 year olds) relied on social media rather than other sources to stay informed about current events, they did not necessarily trust the information they found there.

Infographic: Americans Turn To Social Media For News, Despite Lower Trust | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

Not included in the chart but still worthy of note is the generational divide between go-to news sources. According to Morning Consult’s data, older adults were more likely to opt for traditional media such as cable news networks (32 percent for 65+, 24 percent for 45-64 year olds, 18 percent for 35-44 year olds, 12 percent for 18-34 year olds) and newspapers (21 percent of 65+, versus 9-10 percent in the other age groups), while younger audiences were most drawn to social media platforms (45 percent for 18-34 year olds, 44 percent 35-44 year olds, 33 percent 45-64 year olds, 24 percent 65+).

R.I.P.: Kyle Jacobs, Nashville Songwriter-Producer

Kyle Jacobs (1973-2023)
Nashville songwriter/producer Kyle Jacobs — who wrote hits for Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw and co-starred on TV with his wife, country singer Kellie Pickler — died Friday at his home in Nashville.

Metro Nashville Police Department say Jacobs, 49, died of an apparent suicide, reports The Tennessean.

The Minnesota native arrived in Nashville in 2000, and found his first major success with Brooks' 2007 single "More Than a Memory." He went on to co-write hits for Tim McGraw ("Still") and Eli Young Band ("Dust"), and co-produced Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck," which earned him an ACM award.

Jacobs married Pickler, a former "American Idol" contestant and country star, in 2011. The pair co-starred on the 2015 CMT reality TV series, "I Love Kellie Pickler."

Jacobs remained active on social media through Thursday, when he celebrated Brice's recent platinum success with "Hey World." In December he made an Instagram post celebrating 46.5 million Spotify streams as a songwriter in 2022. Many of them came from "Rumor," a 2017 Brice hit he co-wrote with Ashley Gorley.

"Kinda cool seeing how a song created in a little room on Music Row can reach so many people," he wrote. "Feeling very blessed right now…Thank you Jesus!"

February 18 Radio History

➦In 1920...Bill Cullen born (died from lung cancer July 7, 1990).

He was a radio and television personality whose career spanned five decades. His biggest claim to fame was as a game show host; over the course of his career, he hosted 23 shows, and earned the nickname "Dean of Game Show Hosts". Aside from his hosting duties, he appeared as a panelist/celebrity guest on many other game shows, including regular appearances on I've Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth.

Cullen's broadcasting career began in 1939 in Pittsburgh at WWSW radio, where he worked as a disc jockey and play-by-play announcer or color commentator for Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Hornets games. In 1943, Cullen left WWSW to briefly work at rival station KDKA before leaving Pittsburgh a year later to try his luck in New York. A week after arriving in New York, he was hired as a staff announcer at CBS.

His last regular radio job was as one of the hosts of NBC Radio's Monitor from 1971–73.

➦In 1922...WOC-AM, Davenport, Iowa, went on the air. WOC is widely known as the radio station where future U.S. President Ronald Reagan got his start re-creating Chicago Cubs baseball games.

Ronald Reagan
WOC traces its roots to 1907, when Robert Karlowa began an experimental station in Rock Island, Illinois. The station was known under several call-signs, including 9-BC, 9-XR and 9-BY.

On February 18, 1922, the government assigned the fledgling station the WOC call letters, and full-time broadcasting commenced. Historians believe WOC to have been the first commercial radio station west of the Mississippi River, and certainly the first in Iowa.

Karlowa continued to operate the station, but the costs quickly became too great. In March, he sold the station to Col. B. J. Palmer, who operated the Palmer School of Chiropractic, later the Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Davenport. The equipment was moved to a small studio on Palmer's Brady Street campus, and a family connection was started that lasted almost 75 years.

  • WOC was known for many firsts in the radio industry. A short list might include:
  • Broadcasting from the Iowa Legislature.
  • On-air and studio personnel being required to keep logs of such things as electrical consumption and on-air programming (to the second). The programming log also helped the station begin programs on an absolute "minute-and-second" schedule.
  • Use of a fader panel, allowing use of several microphones in the studio at one time.
  • On January 26, 1925, WOC formed a network and joined forces with radio station WEAF. In September 1927, WOC became a charter member of the new NBC radio network.
In 1933, Ronald Reagan got his first broadcasting job at WOC as a sportscaster. Reagan returned to WOC in 1988, when WOC and FM-affiliate KIIK 104 dedicated its new studios on East Kimberly Road.

Courtesy of Faded Signals

Early radio stations often shared frequencies.  One station often would broadcast during the day and the other station at night.

According to Faded Signals, beginning in 1930, WOC in Davenport, Iowa, shared a frequency with WHO in Des Moines.  In 1933, WHO signed on a 50,000-watt transmitter.  The two stations shared the transmitter until 1934 when the owner of WOC-WHO, B.J. Palmer, was able to move WOC back to a full-time frequency in Davenport.

Today, both stations are owned by iHeartMedia.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Nielsen: Streaming Soars 31.8 Percent YoY

While broadcast viewing got its usual boost in January from heavy NFL sports viewing, on a year-over-year basis it was down 6% from January 2022, according to MediaPost citing the latest Nielsen Gauge, which measures total day viewing by persons two years of age and up.

Broadcast content rose 2.1% in January from December, which gave it a 24.9% share.

Streaming maintained its industry-leading dominant 38.1% share -- up 1.2% from December. A year ago, in January 2022, streaming had a 28.9% share. That means year-over-year, time spent watching streaming content grew 31.8%.

YouTube maintained its leading position as the top individual streaming platform with a 8.6% share, followed by Netflix with 7.5%; Hulu, 3.5%; Amazon Prime Video, 2.9%; Disney+ 1.7%; Peacock, 1.0% and Pluto TV with 0.8%.

Disney+ dropped nearly 10% in viewing as a result of comparisons to December, when it benefited from holiday-film consumer viewing.

CNN's Don Lemon Is MIA

CNN's Don Lemon takes the day off from The Morning Show just one day after he apologized for his 'sexist' remarks about women being 'past their prime' - amid mounting pressure for him to be fired, reports The Daily Mail.

Lemon, 56, made the comments on Thursday's episode of the show as he and his co-hosts discussed Nikki Haley's proposal that politicians ages 75 and up should face mental competency tests.

Kaitlan Collins opened the show by saying that their co-host 'has the day off' as Poppy Harlow joked that she was going to 'complain to bosses' after going to the all-star NBA game in Utah.

Lemon was replaced for the day by Audia Cornish, with the show not acknowledging the comments that he made the day before despite rising calls for him to be squeezed.

It is not the first time in recent weeks that Lemon has found himself in hot water, with CNN boss Chris Licht reportedly coming under pressure to do something about the host's behavior.

Nikki Haley Calls Out CNN Anchor Don Lemon

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley is hitting back at CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is walking back comments he made about her age, reports Bloomberg.

“Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job,” tweeted Haley, 51, who announced this week that she will seek the GOP nomination for president in 2024.

Haley has positioned herself as part of a “new generation” and a young leader who will “move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past.”Lemon and his fellow hosts of CNN This Morning were discussing her calls for competency tests for politicians over age 75, when Lemon opined on her own age. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” he said on the program. “If you Google ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s.”

A furious Poppy Harlow walked off the “CNN This Morning” set following the tense exchange with Lemon, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. One of the sources said Harlow took a “well-timed” bathroom break and was followed into the restroom by co-host Kaitlan Collins. The tense relationship between Lemon, Collins and Harlow has “been smoldering for months,” the source added.

A few hours later, he said he regretted the comments. “The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant,” Lemon wrote on Twitter. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her personally or professionally.” Lemon's apology failed to even mention the GOP presidential candidate’s name or the word “sorry.”

Celebs Say NYTimes Needs To Be Educated On Trans Issues

Judd Apatow, Margaret Cho, Wilson Cruz, Tommy Dorfman, Lena Dunham, Jameela Jamil, Gabrielle Union-Wade and Jonathan Van Ness are among the celebrities who have signed an open letter from GLAAD to the New York Times criticizing what the LGBTQ+ advocacy group isays is “irresponsible, biased coverage of transgender people,” according to The L-A Times.

“It is appalling that the Times would dedicate so many resources and pages to platforming the voices of extremist anti-LGBTQ activists who have built their careers on denigrating and dehumanizing LGBTQ people, especially transgender people,” says the letter, delivered Wednesday.

“While there have been a few fair stories, mostly human interest stories, those articles are not getting front-page placement or sent to app users via push notification like the irresponsible pieces are.”

Wake-Up Call: No Widespread GA Election Fraud Found

A special grand jury in Georgia has concluded unanimously that there was no widespread voting fraud during the 2020 presidential election. But, it said, it believes that one or more of the witnesses called to testify before it committed perjury during their testimony. In excerpts from their report that were released yesterday, the panel recommended that unnamed witnesses be indicted for lying to the grand jury. The panel was created to look into whether former President Donald Trump and his allies tried to unlawfully interfere with the election results in Georgia but that matter was not addressed in the portion of the report that was made public.

 Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should “seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling,” according to portions of the special grand jury’s final report that were released on Thursday. Those sections are silent on key details, including who the panel believes committed perjury and what other specific charges should be pursued. But it marks the first time the grand jurors’ recommendations for criminal charges tied to the case have been made public. And it’s a reminder of the intensifying legal challenges facing the former president as he ramps up his third White House bid amid multiple legal investigations. 

Trump is also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for holding classified documents at his Florida estate.

➤KARI LAKE LOSES ANOTHER ARIZONA ELECTION CHALLENGE: An appeals court has rejected Arizona Republican governor candidate Kari Lake’s challenge of her election defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs last November. It is the second court ruling to find no evidence to support Lake’s claims that she actually won the election. Lake said she’ll appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.

➤OFFICIALS 'REASSURE' RESIDENTS: State and federal officials including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan visited East Palestine on Thursday to speak to residents and assess the response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment. At a press conference, officials sought to reassure residents that they would have access to aid and health monitoring and that the company would be held responsible for the accident. “All families deserve access to clean air and safe drinking water,” Mr. Regan said. Lawmakers from Ohio and Pennsylvania separately sent a letter Thursday to Alan Shaw, chief executive of Norfolk Southern, asking for details on determining financial compensation for towns, residents and businesses and how it manages staffing and train inspections.

➤ONE SPY BALLOON AND THREE UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS: President Joe Biden yesterday said that three of the four aerial objects brought down by the U.S. military recently are believed to be unconnected with any nation’s surveillance operations. These three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions,” the president said in his first formal remarks on the incidents. The fourth object, a large balloon, has been identified as a Chinese spy balloon. Biden said he ordered the objects brought down because they could have endangered civilian air traffic and might have had a foreign surveillance purpose. We may never know. The three objects have been lost while pieces of the Chinese balloon are still being recovered.
  • In possibly related news, the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade says that one of its balloons went missing in the same area of Alaska where the U.S. military took down one of the flying objects with a Sidewinder missile. The FBI is reported to be speaking to members of the hobby group.

➤BIDEN SET FOR 'BALLOON' TALK WITH XI: President Joe Biden said on Thursday he expects to speak with China's president, Xi Jinping, about what the United States says was a Chinese spy balloon that a U.S. fighter jet shot down early this month after it transited the United States. "We are not looking for a new cold war," Biden said. Biden, in his most extensive remarks about the Chinese balloon and three unidentified objects downed by U.S. fighters, did not say when he would speak with Xi, but said the United States was continuing to engage diplomatically with China on the issue.

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. is developing “sharper rules” to track, monitor and potentially shoot down unknown aerial objects, following three weeks of high-stakes drama sparked by the discovery of a suspected Chinese spy balloon transiting much of the country. The president has directed national security adviser Jake Sullivan to lead an “interagency team” to review U.S. procedures after the U.S. shot down the Chinese balloon, as well as three other objects that Biden said the U.S. now believes are most likely “benign” objects launched by private companies or research institutions.

➤BIDEN TERMED 'FIT' FOR AN 80-YEAR-OLD: President Joe Biden is a 'healthy' and 'vigorous' 80-year-old who is fit for office, his doctor said after his annual physical on Thursday at Walter Reed. White House physician Colonel Kevin O'Connor provided an update on his health amid concerns over his age as he prepares to announce a 2024 run for president. The results were largely unchanged from last time, aside from a lesion on his chest that has been sent for cancer screening.   O'Connor said Biden's gait 'remains stiff', but insisted it has not worsened since the last examination. There was also a detailed 'neurologic exam' that found nothing 'consistent with any cerebellar or central neurological disorder'. 

Court Filing: Fox News Knew Vote-Rigging Claims Were B-S

Fox News repeatedly broadcast lies about vote-rigging claims that it knew were “total bs,” Dominion Voting Systems said in a filing made public on Thursday, as part of the election technology company's $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit.

The media giant countered that the suit was an assault on a free press and that Dominion could not prove its claims, reports Reuters.

"From the top down, Fox knew 'the dominion stuff' was 'total bs,'" Dominion wrote, citing a sealed exhibit. “Yet despite knowing the truth - or at minimum, recklessly disregarding that truth - Fox spread and endorsed these 'outlandish voter fraud claims' about Dominion even as it internally recognized the lies as 'crazy,' 'absurd,' and 'shockingly reckless.'"

The filing seeks summary judgment, a court ruling in its favor without the need for a trial.

Dominion sued Fox News Networks in March 2021 in Delaware state court, alleging the cable TV network amplified false claims that Dominion voting machines were used to rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election against Republican Donald Trump and in favor of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who won the election.

FCC Probes Broadband Claims

US regulators are investigating whether broadband-service providers exaggerated their level of coverage to authorities preparing to distribute billions of dollars in subsidies.

Bloomberg reports the FCC has multiple investigations involving several service providers, an agency spokesperson told Bloomberg News. The agency declined to say which providers it is investigating.

At issue are claims by carriers that they already provide high-speed internet service to rural and other underserved areas where it’s not actually available. The Biden administration is awarding $42.5 billion to increase access in these locations. Areas served and unserved are being marked on a map compiled by the FCC.

State and local officials, consultants and federal lawmakers have accused wireless providers of overstating the breadth and quality of their service in their reports to regulators. Broad claims of coverage could block potential rivals from obtaining subsidies that would let them more aggressively compete with the established providers.

Cumulus Media's $1M Payment Settles Lawsuit

Cumulus Media Inc., has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by seven former employees who said the fee practices and investment selections of the company's 401(k) plan violated ERISA.

The settlement, which requires court approval, was filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in Atlanta in Dean et al. vs. Cumulus Media Inc. et al.

"Defendants specifically deny any such liability and wrongdoing and state that they are entering into this settlement agreement to eliminate the burden and expense of further litigation," the settlement document said.

The plaintiffs believe that all claims "have merit," but they decided to settle due to "the inherent risks, difficulties and delays in complex ERISA litigation such as this," the document said.

Country Consultant Mike O'Malley To Release First Novel

Country Radio Consultant Mike O’Malley’s first novel, LAST BUT NOT FLEECED, a funny, paranormal mystery set in Atlantic City, NJ in 1972, releases Friday, March 3, on Amazon. It is the first in a series.

Stan, a full-time psychic and part-time amateur sleuth, knows firsthand that the Boardwalk is anything but boring. How could it be when tacky tourists, looney locals, and the spirits of the dearly departed are as plentiful as shells on the beach?

Mike O'Malley
But all is not well. An ex-con is in town seeking revenge on Stan’s acquaintance, Pinky and is also plotting scam for good measure. Worse, he’s reached out to the darker side of the psychic community for help.

Stan reluctantly agrees to get involved, as does his pulp-detective-loving girlfriend Mo. Mo’s as quick to pick up on a hot lead as she is to deliver hard-boiled parody lingo.

Also on the case is Stan’s spirit-helper—the ghost of the wildly popular 1960s DJ Fabulous Frankie, who only speaks in rhymes and delivers his clues as riddles, just as he did on his old radio game Fabulous Frankie’s Hanky Pankies.

But when the case takes a dangerous and personal turn, Stan calls on his psychically gifted friends to help before everything he holds dear goes out with the tide.

The hilarious read takes readers through Atlantic City’s dive bars and swanky night clubs, pizza joints and fancy restaurants, and down the Boardwalk and up back alleys.

Little Progress For Women Noted In MIW Gender Analysis

The latest Gender Analysis Study from Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) shows the percentage of females in leadership positions at local radio stations was flat in 2022, compared to 2021.

Data gathered for their annual MIW Gender Analysis Study specifically tracks the progress of female professionals holding General Manager, Sales Manager and Program Director & Brand Manager positions.

The MIW Gender Analysis Study has been consistently released analyzing the raw data for all commercial radio stations in the United States since the organization's start in 2000. The figures and percentages shown below represent the calendar year 2022 and are reflective of 11,215 AM and FM radio stations across America, as accounted for by PrecisionTrak as of December 31, 2022.

Atlanta Radio: Erick Erickson Extends With CMG

Erick Erickson

Talk radio host Erick Erickson and Cox Media Group announce that Erickson will continue hosting his popular show for three more years on WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta “95.5 WSB.” 

He is also heard on CMG news/talk stations WDBO, Orlando; WGAU, Athens, Georgia; KRMG-FM, Tulsa; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, and WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton. 

WSB director of branding and programming Ken Charles says, “For more than a decade, Erick has done a great job of entertaining and informing the WSB audience about the biggest news stories of the day. I’m proud we’ll continue our partnership for another three years, and I’m excited about what new things we can create moving forward. The best is yet to come!” 

Erickson says, “‘95.5 WSB’ is not just home, it’s the gold standard of talk radio, with incredible leadership from Ken Charles and Jaleigh Long. I fell into the role by accident 12 years ago. It’s not just the longest job I’ve had, it’s three hours of joy every day working with the best people in radio. I simply cannot imagine doing anything else anywhere else with any team other than the hard-working talent at ‘95.5 WSB.’”

Triad Radio: Mix 99.5 Launches Scotty & Hannah Morning Show

Scott & Hannah

iHeartMedia Greensboro AC WMAG (Mix 99.5) announced today that on-air personalities Scotty Blaisdell and Hannah Tyler will join the new Mix 99.5 morning airwaves with the debut of a new show, “The Mix Morning Show with Scotty and Hannah” effective immediately. “The Mix Morning Show” will broadcast weekdays from 5:30 a.m.-10 a.m.

On-air personalities Scotty and Hannah are true local content enthusiasts, and both have their own take on topics and viewpoints that will deliver a fun and interactive morning show for the Triad region in North Carolina.

“I am so excited to welcome Scotty & Hannah to the Triad and iHeartMedia,” said Zac Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Greensboro. “They each have experience with prior iterations of morning shows and bring these assets with them, along with a fresh perspective on things that affect our life-group here in the Triad. I appreciate how quickly they make a strong personal connection with their audience, are passionate to lean into and embrace their local community and provide a place where listeners can come together.”

“I’m thrilled we’re able to bring an upbeat and fun morning show to the Triad community. It’s perfect for active adults, at-work listening and safe for the whole family,” said Kellie Holeman, President for iHeartMedia Greensboro. “We are elated about the next phase of 99.5’s evolution to provide a great mix of music, local content and continued emphasis on serving our Triad listeners, advertisers and community.”

“I’m stoked to live life to the full as my family puts down our roots in The Triad. Working with Hannah and the amazing iHeart team is gonna be a blast!” said Scotty.

BFA Names Honor For Broadcaster Edward F. McLaughlin

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has announced the renaming of its annual Lifetime Achievement Award to the Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award, in honor of the iconic broadcaster, who passed away in 2018. The Edward F. McLaughlin Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made invaluable contributions to the television and radio industries. As previously announced, this year’s award will be presented to Richard Wiley during the Golden Mike Award gala on Monday, March 6, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

McLaughlin is widely recognized for discovering Rush Limbaugh, which led to the creation of the News/Talk format and the revitalization of AM Radio. He was a longtime supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation and its mission to provide aid to people in radio and television who are in acute need. He served as the Foundation’s Chairman for many years and held the title of Chairman Emeritus when he passed away in 2018.

Edward F McLaughlin
“Ed was known as a leader and innovator,” noted Scott Herman, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation. “He recognized talent and daringly pushed forth new ideas that propelled network and AM radio forward. It’s fitting that the Lifetime Award be named in his honor.”

As president of the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin implemented the multi-network concept, obtained the first exclusive live network radio rights to the Olympic Games, and acquired programs such as American Top 40 with Casey Kasem and American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley. He founded EFM Media Management in 1987 to syndicate The Dr. Dean Edell Show and shortly thereafter launched the national syndication of local Sacramento radio host Rush Limbaugh.

R.I.P.: Bobby OJay, Legendary WDIA Memphis Radio Personality

Bobby OJay, known as the King of Memphis radio, has passed away, according to a release from iHeartMedia Market President Kevin Klein.

The WDIA DJ passed away Tuesday morning. The cause of death hasn't been released, reports Fox13 Memphis.

OJay's career spanned nearly four decades on Americas first Black radio station, and he was one of the most familiar voices on the radio in Memphis. The local legends career behind the microphone led him to interview legends like Muhammad Ali, Whitney Houston, Sherman Hensley: AKA George Jefferson, Rufus Thomas, Johnny Cochran, and The Temptations.

Born in Batesville, Mississippi, OJay was one of 9 siblings who said he was born to do radio. His career started in Montgomery, Alabama, and since 1972, he sat behind the microphone.

In February 1983, he joined WDIA in Memphis, Americas first Black radio station.  Just last year, his career took him to another level in history. In July, OJay was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

February 17 Radio History

➦In 1908...Walter Lanier "Red" Barber born (died October 22, 1992 at age 82).  Barber was a sports commentator, nicknamed "The Ol' Redhead", was primarily identified with radio broadcasts of Major League Baseball, calling play-by-play across four decades with the Cincinnati Reds (1934–1938), Brooklyn Dodgers (1939–1953), and New York Yankees (1954–1966). Like his fellow sports pioneer Mel Allen, Barber also gained a niche calling college and professional American football in his primary market of New York City.

Red Barber 1934
Barber was born in Columbus, Mississippi. The family moved to Sanford, Florida in 1929, and at the age of 21, he hitchhiked to Gainesville and enrolled at the University of Florida, majoring in education. It was there in January 1930 that Barber got his start in broadcasting.

An agriculture professor had been scheduled to appear on WRUF, the university radio station, to read a scholarly paper over the air. When the professor's absence was discovered minutes before the broadcast was to begin, Barber, who working as a janitor, was called in as a substitute. It was thus that the future sportscaster's first gig was reading "Certain Aspects of Bovine Obstetrics". After those few minutes in front of a microphone, Barber decided to switch careers. He became WRUF's director and chief announcer and covered Florida football games that autumn. Then he dropped out of school to focus on his radio work. After four more years at WRUF he landed a job broadcasting the Cincinnati Reds on WLW and WSAI when Powel Crosley, Jr., purchased the team in 1934.

Joe Kearns
➦In 1947...The US government’s Voice of America began shortwave transmissions to the Soviet Union.  It targeted the Soviet citizens in Russia under the pretext of countering "more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies". The Soviet Union responded by initiating electronic jamming of VOA broadcasts on April 24, 1949.

➦In Joseph Kearns, one of bigtime radio’s busiest regulars, best remembered as Mr. Wilson in TV’s Dennis the Menace, died after a cerebral hemorrhage at age 55.   He was The Man in Black in the early years of CBS Radio’s ‘Suspense,’ and played Ed the security guard for Jack Benny’s underground vault.  Kearns joined the staff of radio station KSL in Salt Lake City in 1930 remaining there until 1936 when he moved to Los Angeles, where found regular work in network radio.

➦In 1972...after getting their hands on some stolen tapes Los Angeles radio station KDAY played two unreleased Rolling Stones songs non-stop for 18 hours. The outraged Stones got a cease-and-desist court order the next day. The tapes were stolden from the home of producer Marshall Chess home.

➦In 1979…after five years airing locally on Minnesota Public Radio, Garrison Keillor‘s variety show “A Prairie Home Companion” was first broadcast nationally as part of NPR’s “Folk Festival America.”  It's first local radio broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio in 1974.

➦In 1991…Radio Personality Gary Gears died from a heart attack at age 46.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

R.I.P.: Tim McCarver, Longtime Sportscaster, Former MLB Player

Tim McCarver (1941-2023)

Tim McCarver, the man from Memphis whose touch of a Southern accent was a lifelong trademark, died there Thursday of heart failure. He was 81 and his passing was announced by the Baseball Hall of Fame, in which he was a member as a broadcaster, reports

McCarver had a record 34-year stretch of broadcasting big-league baseball at the highest level. He called 24 of the 29 World Series from 1985-2013, across three networks, wrapping up the unprecedented run with 14 in a row. In one stretch, he called postseason contests for 29 consecutive years. He also did 22 All-Star games, another record for an analyst.

McCarver had stints in the booths of the Phillies, Mets, Yankees and Giants that were mixed in with or before his national duties, and all of those assignments contributed to him being honored in 2012 with the Ford C. Frick Award — presented annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting the sport.

He worked with some of the best to ever call the game, including Jack and Joe Buck, Al Michaels, Bob Costas. McLaughln has said he is proud that he was McCarver's final broadcast partner, calling it "humbling.

“I truly believe that the games we did together were some of the best TV games that Cards TV has ever had," McLaughlin said. "I really felt when he was added to the Cardinals games, it was important to bring him back into the family. ... It was important to me to draw on his enormous wealth of Cardinals knowledge and experiences and to bring it out in a light that maybe people weren’t accustomed to. I’m really proud that we did that and then some. I thought it was a special pairing.”

McCarver had 21 seasons as a big-league player, from the time he was called up by the Cardinals in 1959 until wrapping it up by playing in six games for the Phillies in 1980 — making him one of the few to have played in four decades. He was inducted into the Cardinals' Hall of Fame in 2017.

McCarver was a two-time All-Star and National League MVP runner-up to teammate Orlando Cepeda in the Cardinals' World Series championship season of 1967, when he hit .295 with 14 homes and 69 RBIs in an MLB season lacking offense while backstopping the pitching staff. In 1966, his 13 triples led the National League.

Beasley Reports Revenue Increases, Loss Narrows


Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. today announced operating results for the three- and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2022.

1Operating loss, net loss and net loss per diluted share for the three months ended December 31, 2022 include $44.2 million of non-cash impairment losses related to FCC licenses, goodwill and franchise rights. Operating loss, net loss and net loss per diluted share for the twelve months ended December 31, 2022 include $54.7 million of non-cash impairment losses related to FCC licenses, goodwill and franchise rights. Net loss and net loss per diluted share in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2021 reflect a $10.0 million gain on forgiveness of long-term debt. Net loss and net loss per diluted share in the twelve months ended December 31, 2021 reflect a $5.0 million loss on extinguishment of long-term debt.

Net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2022 increased 1.8% to $72.0 million, primarily reflecting a year-over-year increase in digital revenue, political revenue and other revenue, partially offset by a slight decrease in audio revenue related to softness in the national agency business.

Beasley reported an operating loss of $33.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to operating income of $6.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, primarily due to $44.2 million of non-cash impairment losses and higher operating expenses related to digital, partially offset by lower corporate and depreciation and amortization expense.

Ryan Seacrest Leaving ‘Live’ And Kelly Ripa

Ryan Seacrest is leaving “Live with Kelly and Ryan” — and Kelly Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, is taking his place.

The NY Post reports Seacrest broke the “bittersweet” news 16 minutes into Thursday’s episode of the morning talk show.

“This is something that [Kelly] and I have been talking about for a long time, and it was a tough, tough decision. Last year we spoke, and I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host,” he told viewers.

“What I plan to do is once ‘American Idol’ starts from Los Angeles later this spring, I’ll head out to the West Coast and host that show,” Seacrest explained of the timeline of his exit, vowing to return “to guest host and fill in” at times.

Calling her outgoing co-host “one of [her] best friends,” Ripa, 52, noted that Seacrest, 48, was only “supposed to be here for three years” but ended up staying for six. She then shared the news that Consuelos, 51, will permanently replace her longtime pal.

“The only person I can think of that is capable of holding [Ryan’s] torch the way [he has] held it would be my husband, Mark Consuelos, in what Ryan and I are calling the nation’s weirdest social experiment,” she joked.

Ripa previously worked alongside Regis Philbin from 2001 to 2011 followed by Michael Strahan from 2012 to 2016.