Saturday, March 11, 2023

March 12 Radio History

➦In 1900...Early radio announcer Harlow Wilcox born (Died - September 24, 1960 at age 60).

Harlow Wilcox
Radio shows for which Wilcox was announcer included Amos 'n' Andy, The Baby Snooks Show, Ben Bernie, Fibber McGee and Molly, Frank Merriwell, Hap Hazard, Hollywood Premiere, Suspense, The Victor Borge Show,  Your Electric Servant, Blondie, Boston Blackie and The Passing Parade.

Wilcox came from a show business-oriented family, with a father who played in the Ringling Brothers circus band and a sister who played violin both in vaudeville and in classical concerts. Harlow took vocal lessons and briefly performed on stage. His first radio work was for station WGES in Chicago in 1930. In January of 1934, he was signed as a Chicago staff announcer by NBC.

An April 1944 article in Radio Mirror magazine reported:  Wilcox was one of the masters of the integrated commercial, a technique that was popularized on Ed Wynn's and Jack Benny's shows. Instead of stopping the story for the mid-show commercial, Wilcox would just show up and work his plug into the plot, much to Fibber's consternation. Fibber tagged Wilcox with the nickname "Waxy" for his ability to turn any conversation topic to Johnson's Wax.

➦In 1912... orchestra leader Paul Weston was born Paul Wetstein in Springfield Mass.  First big break was as arranger for Rudy Vallee’s Fleischmann Hour on NBC Radio.  Worked as arranger for Tommy Dorsey, Dinah Shore and Bob Crosby, then joined Capitol Records, where he met & married singer Jo Stafford. He worked on radio with Johnny Mercer’s Music Shop, his wife’s Chesterfield Supper Club, & the Joan Davis & Duffy’s Tavern sitcoms.  In TV Weston was musical director for Danny Kaye, Jonathan Winters, Jim Nabors, etc. He died Sep 20, 1996 at age 84.

➦In 1917...Georgia Ellis was born (Died – March 30, 1988). She was an actress who is best known for her recurring role of Kitty in the Western radio drama Gunsmoke.  Other featured radio credits include Dragnet, Dr. Kildare, Escape, Romance, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, This is Your FBI, and dozens of lesser known series.

➦In 1923...Radio pioneer Dr. Lee DeForest developed a sound-on-film optical recording system called Phonofilm and demonstrated it in theatres between 1923 and 1927. Although it was basically correct in principle, its operating quality was poor, and he found himself unable to interest film producers in its possibilities. Paradoxically, within a few years’ time, the motion-picture industry converted to talking pictures by using a sound-on-film process similar to de Forest’s.

➦In 1933...President Franklin D Roosevelt spoke to American in his first fireside chat, just days after his inauguration. The chats were a series of 30 evening radio addresses given between 1933 and 1944. Roosevelt spoke with familiarity to millions of Americans about the promulgation of the Emergency Banking Act in response to the banking crisis, the recession, New Deal initiatives, and the course of World War II.

On radio, he was able to quell rumors and explain his policies. His tone and demeanor communicated self-assurance during times of despair and uncertainty. Roosevelt was regarded as an effective communicator on radio, and the fireside chats kept him in high public regard throughout his presidency.  The name 'Fireside Chats' was coined by CBS newsman, Robert Trout.

➦In 1953...Rufus Thomas, rhythm-and-blues, funk, soul and blues singer, songwriter, dancer, DJ and comic entertainer from Memphis, signed with Sun Records.

➦In 1985...Orchestra leader Eugene Ormandy died at age 85 (Born November 18, 1899). He was a Hungarian-American conductor and violinist, best known for his association with the Philadelphia Orchestra, as its music director. The maestro's 44-year association with the orchestra is one of the longest enjoyed by any conductor with a single orchestra. Under his baton, the Philadelphia Orchestra had three gold records and won two Grammy Awards.

➦In 2001...Sean Morton Downey died at age 68 (Born - December 9, 1932). He better known as Morton Downey Jr., was a radio, television talk show host of the late-1980s who pioneered the "trash TV" format on his program The Morton Downey Jr. Show

He was a program director and announcer at radio station WPOP in Hartford, Connecticut in the 1950s. He went on to work as a disc jockey, sometimes using the moniker "Doc" Downey, in various markets around the U.S., including Phoenix (KRIZ), Miami (WFUN), Kansas City (KUDL), San Diego (KDEO) and Seattle (KJR).

Downey Jr.
Like his father, Downey pursued a career in music, recording in both pop and country styles. He sang on a few records and then began to write songs, several of which were popular in the 1950s and 1960s.  In the 1980s, Downey was a talk show host at KFBK-AM in Sacramento, California, where he employed his abrasive style. He was fired in 1984. He was replaced by Rush Limbaugh, who has held the time slot ever since, later via his national syndication.

Downey also had a stint on WMAQ-AM in Chicago.  His third – and final – attempt at a talk radio comeback occurred in 1997 on Cleveland radio station WTAM in a late evening time slot.  It marked his return to the Cleveland market, where Downey had been a host for crosstown radio station WERE in the early 1980s prior to joining KFBK. This stint came shortly after the surgery for lung cancer that removed one of his lungs. At WTAM, Downey abandoned the confrontational schtick of his TV and previous radio shows, and conducted this program in a much more conversational and jovial manner.

Barbara Feldon is 90
  • Actor Barbara Feldon (“Get Smart”) is 90. 
  • Actor-singer Liza Minnelli is 77. 
  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 75. 
  • Singer Bill Payne of Little Feat is 74. 
  • Actor Jon Provost (TV: “Lassie”) is 73. 
  • Bassist Steve Harris of Iron Maiden is 67. 
  • Actor Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) is 67. 
  • Singer Marlon Jackson of The Jackson Five is 66. 
  • Actor Courtney B. Vance is 63. 
  • Actor Titus Welliver (“Deadwood”) is 61. 
  • Actor Julia Campbell (“Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”) is 60. 
  • Actor Jake Weber (TV’s “Medium,” film’s “Dawn of the Dead”) is 60. 
  • Actor Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight”) is 55. 
  • Guitarist Graham Coxon of Blur is 54. 
  • Drummer Tommy Bales of Flynnville Train is 50. 
  • Actor Rhys Coiro (“Hostages,” “Entourage”) is 44. 
  • Country singer Holly Williams is 42. 
  • Actor Samm Levine (“Freaks and Geeks”) is 41. 
  • Actor Jaimie Alexander (TV’s “Blindspot”) is 39. 
  • Actor Tyler Patrick Jones (“Ghost Whisperer”) is 29. 
  • Actor Kendall Applegate (“Desperate Housewives”) is 24.
  • In 1971..Roy Glenn, Radio and screen character actor (Rocky Jordan; The Jack Benny Show; Amos 'n' Andy; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • In 1985..Eugene Ormandy [Jenő Blau], Hungarian-American violinist and conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra, 1936-80), dies of pneumonia at 85
  • In 1987..Woody Hayes, College Football Hall of Fame coach (National C'ship 1954, 57, 61, 68, 70; Ohio State), dies of a heart attack at 74
  • In 1993..June Valli, Singer (Crying in the Chapel), dies of cancer at 62
  • In 2022..Barry Bailey, Rock guitarist (Atlanta Rhythm Section), dies from complications of multiple sclerosis at 73

Set Clocks AHEAD One Hour Saturday Night

Daylight Saving Time in the United States is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the warmer part of the year, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Most areas of the United States currently observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation, which does observe daylight saving time), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

From 1970 until 2006, most of Indiana in the Eastern Time Zone did not observe daylight saving time, but the entire state started to do so in April 2006 after eight counties in western Indiana were shifted from the Eastern Time Zone to the Central Time Zone.

Daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November, with the time changes taking place at 2:00 a.m. local time. With a mnemonic word play referring to seasons, clocks "spring forward and fall back"—that is, in spring (technically late winter) the clocks are moved forward from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., and in fall they are moved back from 2:00 am to 1:00 am.

Proponents of Daylight Saving Time argue that most people prefer a greater increase in daylight hours after the typical "nine-to-five" workday.   Supporters have also argued that DST decreases energy consumption by reducing the need for lighting and heating, but the actual effect on overall energy use is heavily disputed.

Daylight saving has caused controversy since it began. Winston Churchill argued that it enlarges "the opportunities for the pursuit of health and happiness among the millions of people who live in this country" and pundits have dubbed it "Daylight Slaving Time". Historically, retailing, sports, and tourism interests have favored daylight saving, while agricultural and evening entertainment interests have opposed it, and its initial adoption had been prompted by energy crisis and war.

Proponents of DST generally argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening (in summer), and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime, or is good for business. Groups that tend to support DST are urban workers, retail businesses, outdoor sports enthusiasts and businesses, tourism operators, and others who benefit from increased light during the evening in summer.

Opponents argue that actual energy savings are inconclusive, that DST increases health risks such as heart attack, that DST can disrupt morning activities, and that the act of changing clocks twice a year is economically and socially disruptive and cancels out any benefit. Farmers have tended to oppose DST.

R.I.P.: Jerry Samuels, aka Napoleon XIV, Performer-Songwriter

Jerry Samuels (1938-2023)

 Jerry Samuels, who as “Napoleon XIV” wrote and recorded one of pop music’s most unusual hit singles, 1966’s “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!,” died Friday (March 10, 2023). Samuels, 84, had operated a Philadelphia-based talent agency for the past four decades, reports 

Jerry Samuels
News of his passing was shared by his wife, Bobbie Samuels, on her Facebook page. “My friends,” she wrote, “Jerry died early this morning. He was my rock and the greatest love of my life. He taught me to be strong.”

Samuels, born May 3, 1938, was a recording engineer in New York City. He came up with an idea: a song about a poor guy who’s so distraught over his girlfriend leaving him that he’s driven to madness. He took on the name Napoleon XIV, credited his composition to N. Bonaparte and somehow got Warner Bros. Records to agree to release it in July 1966. With only a snare drum and a tambourine as accompaniment, Samuels recites—never sings—his tale of woe.

The single’s B-side was “!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT ot gnimoC er’yehT,” the same recording played backwards.

A few years earlier, Sammy Davis Jr. earned a #1 R&B / #17 pop hit with a Samuels composition, “The Shelter of Your Arms.”

NYC Radio 77WABC Adds Two Sunday Shows

77 WABC welcomes two new additions to its Sunday line-up, bringing more live and local programming and big-name hosts to its listeners. The new programs are Cut to the Chase with Laura Curran, from 4PM to 5PM, and Positively Ernie & Patricia with Ernie Anastos and Patricia Stark, from 5PM - 6PM. Both shows debuted this past Sunday.

Laura Curran began working with WABC several months ago for her Cut to the Chase with Laura Curran podcast and did vacation fill-in on the air for Cats at Night (now Cats & Cosby). Curran was the ninth county executive in Nassau County and the first woman to hold the office. Earlier in her career she was a reporter for The Daily News and The New York Post. That combination gives Laura a unique perspective on the current events that are affecting listeners on a local and national scale.

As was previously announced, TV news personality Ernie Anastos joined 77 WABC just last month for his twice daily feature Positively Ernie with Ernie Anastos. Now, Anastos partners with Patricia Stark to find the positive outlook in news and events that shape our world. Anastos is best known as a respected TV news anchor at ABC 7, CBS 2, and FOX 5 in New York. Stark is a Certified Personal & Executive Coach who heads Patricia Stark Communications and specializes in helping clients build their Calmfidence® in interviews, on-camera, and in daily life.

“At 77 WABC, we’re doing radio the way it’s supposed to be.... live, local, and BIG,” said John Catsimatidis, owner of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC. “We got rid of all the brokered weekend programs, and we’re replacing them with big-name hosts like Ernie and Laura. I know we’re doing radio the right way because we’re winning!”

Chad Lopez, President of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC, said, “I’m excited about Ernie’s and Laura’s Sunday programs. They each bring a passion for New York to their shows that connects with our listeners. It’s terrific content and I’m proud to welcome them.”

For the full 77 WABC on-air lineup and a list of our podcasts, please visit

Disgraced and Bankrupt: Alex Jones Wants $520K Salary

Alex Jones' media company has proposed a bankruptcy plan that would still allow him to be paid $520,000 per year, reports Insider.

This plan would also see the far-right conspiracy theorist and podcaster paying less than 4% of what he owes the families of the Sandy Hook victims, over the next five years.

Jones owes around $1.5 billion to the relatives of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. They sued him after he called the 2012 massacre a hoax and said the families of 20 murdered children were crisis actors. 

He Wants Money
Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems — which he fully owns — filed for bankruptcy separately in December and July, respectively.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Free Speech Systems filed a reorganization proposal on Tuesday. In the proposal, the company said it expects to make around $30 million annually from selling nutrition supplements like vitamin gummies and fish oil.

But only around $7 million to $10 million of that money would go to creditors each year, per the plan filed in the Texas Southern Bankruptcy Court, seen by Insider.

The rest of the money will be used for the cost of goods and operations expenses, as well as paying $520,000 each to Jones and a potential new chief operating officer.

Another $560,000 would be reserved for "executive incentive" bonuses. The plan states that these bonuses can be increased to a $1.26 million per year payout, by 2027.

Happy Anniversary: CBS World News Roundup

Robert Trout at the mic

CBS News Radio will mark the 85th anniversary of the groundbreaking radio program WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP, with special programming throughout the day on Monday, March 13, 2023. “World News Roundup” is the nation’s longest-running news broadcast.

When it launched on March 13, 1938, WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP changed broadcasting forever by being the first program to feature correspondents stationed around the globe reporting for one live broadcast. The first broadcast was anchored by Robert Trout and featured reporting by Edward R. Murrow, then a CBS executive, making his debut reporting on the show from Vienna. Hitler’s German army was invading Austria and becoming a growing threat to all of Europe. This was the first comprehensive broadcast that linked America with a world careening toward war.

Today, Steve Kathan is the anchor of WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP, and Jennifer Keiper anchors “World News Roundup Late Edition.” The broadcasts are heard on 156 CBS News Radio affiliates around the country and nationwide on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S Ch 124.

As part of the anniversary celebration, CBS News Audio is launching the new CBS NEWS ROUNDUP podcast, which combines broadcasts of WEEKEND ROUNDUP, WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP, WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP LATE EDITION, and KALEIDOSCOPE into one. Listen to the trailer HERE. Also, CBS will release a remastered WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP broadcast from 1938. The program is considered the birth of broadcast journalism. Experience the first WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP in a special episode as part of CBS’ new combined podcast.

WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP has earned the Edward R. Murrow Award for “Best Newscast” 14 times over the last 21 years, including the last nine consecutive years.

CBS News Radio provides news, talk, information, and special events coverage to over 700 stations in the United States, with affiliates in 24 of the top 25 markets. CBS News Radio programming is available on digital platforms, the CBS News Radio app, Amazon’s Alexa service, and online.

TV Ratings Bounce Expected For The Oscars

With several box office smashes up for best picture and other awards at Sunday night’s Oscars, film industry experts expect ratings for this year’s Academy Awards to rise over last year, according to Forbes.

Of course, leftover buzz from one of 2022’s biggest moments, when Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith (Smith’s wife,) could help propel ratings even higher, as people want to witness similar moments that go viral on social media.

“Theoretically and logically, you would think the bigger the gross overall box office for the collective grouping of best picture nominees, the greater the interest in seeing the telecast, and I think that’s true,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “This year, you have Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis and Top Gun: Maverick, three blockbuster movies, in the mix. That’s one of the biggest blockbuster crops ever to be up for best picture, with two films over $500 million domestically.”

Dergarabedian notes that Avatar and Maverick, both sequels to popular films from more than a decade ago, combined to gross over $3.7 billion internationally. Elvis added another $300 million, pushing the three movies to over $4 billion worldwide gross. That means millions of people went to see them in theaters, boding well for ABC, which carries the Oscars broadcast.

The most-watched Academy Awards of all time dovetail with years when blockbuster movies are up for awards. The ceremony pulled some of its best viewership numbers in 1983 (Gandhi), 1998 (Titanic) and 2004 (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). By contrast, years without big hits (including 2021, when Covid all but shut down the box office) tend to post lower Oscars ratings.

Last year’s broadcast averaged 13.7 million total viewers, according to comScore data, the second-lowest since 2017 but up 52% over the previous year’s all-time low of 9 million. Last year CODA, an AppleTV+ movie with a streaming-focused release that grossed just $2 million domestically, won best picture.

Chicago Radio: WDRV Promotes Byrd To PM Drive

Hubbard Radio's WDRV 97.1 FM The Drive Chicago has promoted Byrd to permanent afternoon show host at The Drive. 

Before temporarily filling the afternoon slot in December, 2022, Byrd aired in evenings since 2020 and was weekend and fill-in host since 2012. 

Prior to The Drive, he spent a decade at WLUP 97.9 The Loop where he held every position from mornings to nights. 

Byrd also had stops in St. Louis, Baltimore, Washington DC, Toronto and Las Vegas before landing in Chicago.

Byrd said, "I'm incredibly excited, honored and humbled to take on this new role in afternoons at the legendary 97.1 The Drive in Chicago as the next chapter in my odyssey. Much gratitude to Keith Hastings, Jeff England, Greg Strassell, Fred Jacobs, Ginny Morris and the entire Hubbard Chicago family for the belief and the opportunity. Can't wait to get started."Brand & Content Director Keith Hastings commented, "Byrd has been a Chicago fixture at the format for over 20 years, and an important part of The Drive team for over 10 of those. He's more than earned this prime opportunity and I'm excited about his role in this natural evolution of our legacy brand."

St. Louis Radio: Brooke Grimsley Joins Opening Drive On 101.1 FM

It’s March Madness time, and appropriately for the peak of the college basketball season sportscaster Brooke Grimsley is playing the transition game, according to

She’s in a career transformation, moving from television to radio as she is leaving KMOV (Channel 4), most recently in the lead sports role, to co-host the popular “Opening Drive” show that airs from 7-10 a.m. weekdays on sports-talker WXOS 101.1 FM.

Grimsley wrapped up her full-time television duties last week, though she will continue to appear occasionally through March 29, and on Monday started her first full-time week on 101. She is teamed with Randy Karraker and Carey Davis. But Karraker has been off this week and will be gone for jury duty at the beginning of next week, so Grimsley hasn’t been able to fully start settling in to her new role. And given that she still has a few TV responsibilities left, this month for her really is as full of twists and turns similar to what basketball tournaments can have.

Easing the transition is that she has done fill-in work on 101 in recent months, and said radio is her first broadcasting love. So returning to that branch of the media, on which her career began in her native Tennessee, is appealing to her.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation,” she said. “I’ve always loved radio. ... It always has been a goal, more of a dream, of mine to get back into radio. It’s so much fun, it’s an absolute blast.”

A three-hour radio show certainly provides much more opportunity to expound than does than the typical two-minute sports segment that airs on KMOV — which does not have a sports report in its typical 5 p.m. newscasts.

“That’s nothing against Channel 4 or TV in general, it’s just the way it is,” she said. “With radio you’re able to show more of your sports knowledge, go more in depth and have fun and show people more of your personality.”

Popular TikTok Clip Credited for Cass Elliott Resurgence

A whole new generation of music fans are learning about The Mamas and the Papas singer Cass Elliot thanks to a meme that's been going viral on TikTok.

The meme in question features a clip from the 2022 film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which has star Nicolas Cage looking at a carefree Pedro Pascal as they ride in a convertible, set to Cass' 1969 song "Make Your Own Kind of Music."

According to Rolling Stone, the meme, which folks are using to illustrate various disagreements between people, is so popular that the song has been featured in at least 46,000 videos, with over 32.1 million views.

And Elliot's daughter, Owen Elliot-Kugell, is thrilled by the resurgence of her mother's tune.

"It's the coolest thing I could possibly even conceptualize," she tells the mag. "I'm a total TikTok junkie, and I'm loving, in particular, the context that people are using the song because it's completely accurate in the whole attitude."

She adds, “‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ is really about like ‘f*** you. I’m gonna do whatever I want, no matter what anybody thinks.’”

Prompted by the meme’s popularity, some folks on social media have taken to trying to educate younger music fans about Cass and the challenges she faced as an overweight woman in the music industry, something her daughter is also happy about.

“One of my main goals in my life is to make sure that her legacy stays prominent and alive,” she says. “The thing that people connect with about my mom is the idea of triumphing over adversity. She was a woman in a man’s world who paved the way for other women of size. And that’s important.”

R.I.P.: Dan Frtiz, Longtime KRNO Reno PD

Dan Fritz , PD at KRNO Sunny 106.9 Reno, died Thursday, March 9, a day before he would have been 64-years-old. 

“Dan was a great talent and led what became our flagship station to ratings and financial success,” said Reno Media Group President Tom Quinn. “Over the past two decades many of us became close friends of Dan’s and his sudden death is shocking and extraordinarily sad.”

Quinn said Fritz had not been feeling well for the past week and visited a doctor yesterday. Afterwards, he told a colleague the doctor diagnosed pneumonia and prescribed a medication. Fritz died in his sleep early this morning.

In addition to programming and hosting afternoon drive on KRNO, Fritz also oversaw Reno Media Group’s two Spanish-language stations, Juan 101.7 and Suave 96.9. He previously programmed the company’s AM stations KBZZ and KZTQ.

Before joining what was then called Americom Broadcasting, Fritz was assistant program director and afternoon drive personality at KYMX/Mix 96 in Sacramento. Earlier in his career he worked in Monterey and Palm Springs as a disc jockey, talk show host and programmer.

R.I.P.: Lewis Largent, Former KROQ and MTV Personality

Lewis Largent
Lewis Largent, who helped bring alternative rock to the American mainstream with his work at Los Angeles’ KROQ-FM and at MTV, died on Feb. 20. He was 58, reports the L-A Times.

His death, which came after a long illness and which was first reported by Variety, was confirmed by a source close to Largent’s family, who didn’t specify an exact cause or say where Largent died.

Largent, who grew up in Southern California, began his music career in the mid-1980s with an internship at KROQ, the taste-making modern-rock station that was crucial to breaking acts including Jane’s Addiction, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bad Religion. By 1989 he’d become KROQ’s music director, but he left the station just a few years later to go to MTV, where in 1992 he took over as host of the video channel’s Sunday-night alternative-music showcase, “120 Minutes.” Among the many era-defining acts he interviewed on the show were PJ Harvey, Pavement, Björk and the Goo Goo Dolls.

In 1995, Largent handed off hosting duties to Matt Pinfield, who wrote Friday on Twitter that he was “completely gutted” by news of Largent’s death. Largent stayed at MTV as director of music programming and was later promoted to vice president of music and artist development at the influential cable network. He left MTV in 1999 to take a senior A&R position at Island Def Jam Records, where he worked with Sum 41 and former House of Pain rapper Everlast, among other acts. He resigned from the label in 2004.

According to Variety, Largent — whose survivors include his wife, Atlantic Music Group Chairman and Chief Executive Julie Greenwald, and their two children — received degrees in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College following his career in the music industry.

March 11 Radio History

➦In 1903... Lawrence Welk born in Strasburg, ND (Died May 17, 1992).  He was a musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted the TV program The Lawrence Welk Show from 1951 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large audience of radio, television, and live-performance fans (and critics) as "champagne music"

During the 1920s, he performed with various bands before forming an orchestra. He led big bands in North Dakota and eastern South Dakota, including the Hotsy Totsy Boys and the Honolulu Fruit Gum Orchestra. His band was also the station band for the popular radio programming WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota.

When he settled in for 10 years at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, his dance remotes developed a national radio following. In 1951 Welk began weekly appearances on KTLA Los Angeles, which led to an ABC television show beginning in 1955. His show was near the top of the ratings throughout the 1950’s and ’60s.

His big hit was the 1961 million seller, Calcutta.

➦In 1969...After several failed auditions for Motown Records, Berry Gordy Jr. signed The Jackson Five to a contract.  Gordy sent them to Hollywood in July, hiring Suzanne de Passe to become their mentor.

Starting in August, the Jackson Five performed as the opening act for the Supremes, whose lead singer Diana Ross was planning to leave for a solo career at the end of the year. The group then recorded their first single "I Want You Back", written by the Corporation which consisted of Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, and Alphonzo Mizell with Gordy as a fourth partner. In October, their first single for Motown was released and the group promoted it while performing at the Hollywood Palace with Ross hosting. In December, the brothers made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and their debut album 'Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5' was released that same month.

➦In 2009...WXRK 92.3 FM NYC changed to Top40.

At 5PM on March 11, 2009, WXRK changed to a Contemporary Hit Radio format known as "92.3 Now FM". The last song played on K-Rock was "Right Now" by Van Halen. It was followed with the sound of a ticking clock, an announcement that K-Rock was moving to 92.3 FM HD2, and a montage of bumpers from stations such as WNBC, WABC, WMCA, WXLO, WQHT, and WHTZ, with a promotion saying in the following minutes, "it will be now".

An introductory montage was then played, followed by the launch of "Now" with the commitment to play "10,000 songs in a row, with zero minutes of commercials", beginning with "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas.  It has been speculated in online forums and trade journals that CBS Radio will continue to unfold or tweak towards similar Top 40 radio stations in other major markets in the coming months leaning towards younger listeners. The station ended the "10,000 Songs in a Row" promotion in early April 2009.

WXRK/WNOW had only held a 2 share trailing Hertiage Top40 WHTZ. In addition, WXRK/WNOW has had a constant turnover of program directors and airstaff, including the sudden releasing of all the then-current airstaff (with the exception of midday host Niko and evening host Toro) on May 21st, 2014, as rumors of a complete rehauling of 92.3's format abounded. The following day at 2 PM, after stunting by giving away $1,000 to callers every 9 minutes for 2 hours, WNOW-FM relaunched as 92.3 AMP Radio, launching with commercial-free weekends until Labor Day weekend.

The final song on "Now" was "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, while the first song on "AMP" was "Summer" by Calvin Harris. On June 23, 2014, WNOW-FM changed its call letters to WBMP to match the "AMP" branding.

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom. The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was completed on November 17. On that day, at 10 a.m., after playing "Too Good at Goodbyes" by Sam Smith and "Encore" by Brooklyn native Jay-Z, WBMP flipped back to alternative as Alt 92.3, launching with "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters.

The switch marked the return of the format to the market for the first time since 2012, when WRXP switched to a simulcast of WFAN as WFAN-FM after its sale to CBS. On June 12, 2018, the call letters were changed to WNYL to match their format.

➦In talk show host Glenn Beck singled out Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born In The USA” as a perfect example of the progressive politics he said were destroying the country. On his show Beck read the lyrics to the ’84 hit about the down and out experiences of a Vietnam era vet, concluding that it’s time to “wake up out of the propaganda.”

Friday, March 10, 2023

Fox CEO On Dominion Lawsuit Battle: 'A Lot of Noise'

During the 2023 Morgan Stanley Technology Conference Thursday, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch commented on the current legal battle with Dominion Voting:

Q: Morgan Stanley/Ben Swinburne – “How would you describe the relative strength of the brand and the business today particularly relative to CNN and MSNBC?”

A: Lachlan Murdoch -- “It's doing very well. The position of FOX News is and if you research or you talk to either focus groups with any of our viewers, they see FOX News as not just a news channel, but really a channel that speaks to sort of middle America and respects the values of middle America as a media business that is most relevant to them as opposed to simply a news channel. So, the brand is incredibly strong, and that's why we've launched new businesses off of FOX News.

Lachlan Murdoch
So, under the FOX News Media umbrella, we've launched FOX Weather, which is doing incredibly well as a FAST channel, advertising focused channel and FOX Nation which is a small SVOD subscription video on demand service for FOX News that sits alongside as complementary programing to FOX News. Those businesses have done incredibly well, but obviously that's really because the core business is incredibly strong. If I look at just February, so a few days ago, the end of February, I know we finished February, not only beating MSNBC and just specific to your point of your question, MSNBC and CNN combined, but we finished February as the highest rating channel, not just news channel, but channel in all of cable television in the United States. And this is really led off the strength of our programing, the strength of shows like The Five, people would be surprised, but the number one news show in America is The Five. And it’s a great energetic show, panel show that has opinions from all sides of politics. It’s probably one of the reasons why FOX News has the best demographics and the best diversity of any news channel. 

You know, we have more Democrats and Independents watching FOX News than watch CNN or watch MSNBC. So, more Democrats watch FOX News than watch CNN or MSNBC. We have more Hispanics watching FOX News. We have more Asians watching FOX News than watch CNN or MSNBC. So, the position of the channel is very strong and doing very well. And this is really important — it's a credit to Suzanne Scott and all of her team there. They've done a tremendous job at running the business and building this business….this is a hard business to run. And I think, you know, Suzanne Scott has done a tremendous job.”

Q: Morgan Stanley/Ben Swinburne -- “I wanted to ask you about the Dominion lawsuits. Is there anything you can share, with the audience on that situation?”

A: Lachlan Murdoch -- “I think the update is a short update that goes to court in April. So, we'll all be waiting for that. I think fundamentally what I’ll just say about it is that a news organization has an obligation, and it is an obligation, to report news fulsomely, wholesomely and without fear or favor. And that's what FOX News has always done, and that's what FOX News will always do. And I think a lot of the noise that you hear about this case is actually not about the law and it's not about journalism. And it's really about the politics, and that's unfortunately more reflective of this sort of polarized society that we live in today.”

iHM's Pittman, Yee To Talk Marketing At '23 NAB show

iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will sit down at the 2023 NAB Show with iHeart and Premiere Networks personality Angela Yee for "Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing with Bob Pittman," a live podcast conversation open to all NAB Show attendees on April 16 at 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Pittman heads the leading audio company in America by reach, delivering industry-leading audio content, programming and personalities to a quarter of a billion listeners every month across broadcast radio, streaming digital radio and podcasting. Yee is an influencer and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated "Way Up with Angela Yee" broadcast radio show and the “Lip Service” podcast. 

Bringing their diverse experiences to the table, Pittman and Yee will discuss ways that the smartest marketers in radio can cut through the noise, time after time – and together they will break down the math and magic of marketing.

"Bob and Angela are powerhouses in the world of audio because they are both dynamic, forward-looking thinkers who know how to connect with audiences," said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. "This is a great opportunity to hear these industry leaders in conversation, sharing valuable marketing insights and professional wisdom - and undoubtedly some fantastic stories from their remarkable careers."

Bob Pittman
Pittman began his career in audio at age 15 as an on-air radio announcer in his native Mississippi. He went on to become the co-founder and programmer who led the team that created MTV, and he subsequently served as CEO of MTV Networks, AOL Networks, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate and Time Warner Enterprises. Pittman also has served as COO of America Online and AOL Time Warner. He is a founding member of the New York-based Pilot Group investment firm and co-founder of Casa Dragones tequila.

In addition to being an inductee into the Advertising Hall of Fame, the Cable Hall of Fame and the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, Pittman is one of Advertising Age's "50 Pioneers and Visionaries of TV" and "10 Marketers Who Changed American Culture." He received the International Radio and Television Society's Gold Medal, the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award and a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award. Pittman was also recognized in Life magazine's "Five Original Thinkers of the '80s" and as the eighth of Life magazine's "50 Most Influential Boomers."

Angela Yee
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Yee has been on air for nearly two decades interviewing top entertainers and newsmakers including President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, Dave Chapelle, 50 Cent, Issa Rae, Cardi B, Jay-Z, Eminem and Nas. She launched her radio career at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, where she served as co-host on Shade 45's "Cipha Sounds Effect" morning show and her own radio shows, "Lip Service" and "The Morning After with Angela Yee." Moving on from SiruisXM, Yee became co-host with DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha God of the Radio Hall of Fame show "The Breakfast Club" on New York City's Power 105.1. The No. 1 radio program in The Source-s "Power 30" issue for five years in a row, the show has become the bullhorn for modern culture and a top-rated contemporary hip-hop/R&B morning show.

Yee is the recipient of two Gracie Awards, a Spirit of Detroit Award, a WEEN Mission Award, a Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Award, a Vice-Chancellor's Achievement Award for AFUWI, a 2020 Airblazer Award from Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) and a Talentmasters Morning Show Bootcamp award.

Wake-Up Call: Ukranian Defense Of Bakhmut Holds

Russia's first missile blitz on Ukrainian cities in weeks was met with defiance and disgust over the targeting of civilians, while Ukrainian forces defending the eastern town of Bakhmut continued to thwart Russian attempts to break through. The pre-dawn barrage on Thursday killed at least nine civilians and cut electricity supplies in several cities, but there was relief that the risk of a catastrophic meltdown at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was averted as power was restored after a temporary disconnection from the Ukrainian grid.

Ukraine said its air defenses shot down many drones and missiles during the wave of attacks, but said the Russian forces also fired six Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles, which they have no way to stop. Moscow confirmed it had used hypersonic Kinzhal - Russian for dagger - missiles in Thursday's attack. The mass strikes on targets far from the front were the first such wave since mid-February, breaking a lull in the air campaign against Ukraine's civil infrastructure that Russia launched five months ago.

The missiles killed villagers in the western Lviv region, and closer to the frontline in the central Dnipro region, while Russian artillery also killed at least three people in the northeastern city of Kharkiv. Moscow says such hits are intended to reduce Ukraine's ability to fight. Kyiv says the air strikes have no military purpose and aim to harm and intimidate civilians, a war crime.

On the battlefield, the week has seen an apparent shift as Ukraine has decided to fight on in Bakhmut, a town that has borne the brunt of a Russian winter offensive in the bloodiest fighting of the war. Moscow says Bakhmut is important as a step to securing the surrounding Donbas region, a major war aim. The West says the ruined city has little value and Russian forces are sacrificing lives to give Putin his only victory since sending hundreds of thousands of reservists into battle at the end of last year.

➤JOE'S GOT PLANS TO SPEND YOUR MONEY: President Joe Biden’s spending blueprint touted his ideas to shrink the budget deficit but couldn’t erase the harsh arithmetic of government debt: It’s going to get worse. His record so far is partially a mirage rather than a signal of a strong balance sheet: the $1.7 trillion reduction in the annual deficit under Biden is relative to extraordinary one-time costs of the pandemic, and many of his legislative accomplishments have expanded the shortfall.

The proposals include:
  • A 28% corporate income tax, which reverses a tax cut made during the Trump years.
  • A “billionaire minimum tax” of 25% on households with a net worth of more than $100 million.
  • A top tax rate of 39.6% on individuals making more than $400,000 a year and couples earning more than $450,000. That’s another reversal of a Trump-era tax break.
  • An elimination of tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
  • An increase in the capital gains tax rate for those with incomes above a million dollars a year.
The proposal is something of an opening salvo. Budget Director Shalanda Young called it “the start of a healthy dialogue.”

The budget Biden unveiled Thursday would trim $3 trillion from deficits over the next decade — but has little chance of being adopted by Congress. And the president’s own budget projections would see the deficit increasing next year, from $1.6 trillion to $1.8 trillion. The gross federal debt would swell from $33 trillion this year to $51 trillion after a decade. His administration has jabbed Republicans for having not yet disclosed their own plan as calls grow for bipartisan action to address the gaps. 

Joe Biden's budget text was heavy on words such as 'equity', 'transgender' and 'queer', but less focused on topics such as 'border', 'opioids' and 'fentanyl'. 'Equity', a key focus, was mentioned in the context of racial equity, equal access to healthcare, and equity for veterans. The language audit by Fox News has sparked criticism from some conservatives that Biden continues to be led by the most progressive elements of his White House cabinet. 

➤JOBLESS CLAIMS JUMP: Initial jobless claims saw the biggest week-to-week increase since early October. The proxy for layoffs grew by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 last week, the Labor Department said. Despite the jump, worker filings for unemployment benefits remained historically low, as demand for labor outpaces the number of job hunters. Meanwhile, more employed people might soon enjoy on-site daycare, thanks to new government incentives and companies’ desire to attract and retain talent. Fewer than 6% of employers offer it at or near their workplaces, according to a recent survey. Working parents feel the sting of the daycare-worker shortage that became acute during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Local Radio Freedom Act

U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and John Barrasso (R-WY) led their colleagues Thursday in introducing the bipartisan Local Radio Freedom Act, which states that Congress should not impose new taxes or fees on locally owned radio stations.

“Granite Staters regularly tune in to their local radio station to catch up on the news around the state, listen to music and stories, and get weather and emergency alerts,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting listeners and broadcasters alike. We will keep working to ensure that our local radio stations are able to continue providing vital information and entertainment to communities across our country.”

“People across Wyoming depend on local radio stations for timely information, news, and programming that have a direct impact on their lives,” said Senator Barrasso. “For more than 80 years, radio stations and the recording industry have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship: free airplay for free promotion. If forced to pay a performance royalty, broadcasters will have to make cuts to important programing in order to make ends meet. I’m proud to join Senator Hassan in reintroducing our bipartisan legislation to block any new performance tax on broadcasters across the country.”

"America's hometown broadcasters are grateful for the strong support of the LRFA in Congress, and we thank Sens. Hassan and Barrasso for leading the charge on this issue in the Senate," said National Association of Broadcasters’ President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. "A new job-crushing performance fee on local radio stations would hurt stations' ability to provide their free, essential service in communities across the country. We appreciate the more than 150 members of Congress that have already signed onto this critical resolution this year and stood alongside broadcast radio and our tens of millions of listeners."

Read the full resolution below:

CRS Pop-Up Session To Explore AI

Country Radio Seminar (CRS) has expanded its agenda for CRS 2023 next week with a new pop-up session called "Let's Chat: GPT, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of On-Air Talent." The roundtable discussion is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, at 8am CT and will delve into the pressing issue of AI DJs and their potential impact on live personalities. The panel will feature an array of industry thought leaders offering valuable insights into the future of radio.

"We hear it all the time: 'That should be a panel at CRS,'" explained CRS 2023 Agenda Chair Joey Tack. "Right now, there's no hotter topic than the introduction of A.I. DJs and what they mean for their human counterparts. Here's an opportunity to discuss this fast-moving technology in an honest, lively, first-of-its-kind discussion at CRS 2023. Bring your questions and thoughts, and we'll supply the caffeine."

The subject of artificial intelligence, ChatGPT, and its place in radio is now gaining traction and being debated. Products from companies such as Spotify and Futuri Media already offer artificial intelligence DJs.

This roundtable will address many questions about this technology, including:

Country's AOB Present Annual Pre-CRS Seminar

Country Radio Specialists Mike O’Malley, Becky Brenner, and Kenny Jay are excited to finalize their 29th annual Pre-CRS Seminar Monday, March 13, 2023, at Nashville’s Omni Hotel from 8:30-11:30 am.

Shane Profitt
As the digital space evolves, where should you focus? Stevie Escoto of Girlilla Marketing will share how she enthusiastically keeps fans engaged with her diverse client roster, from Maddie & Tae to Darius Rucker. Taska Rockett-King has been building the WYCT Pensacola brand from the start, first from the sales department, and has since added a cluster digital focus with ADX Digital to help promote her radio portfolio and client brands.

“Non-Traditional Revenue and Integration is always a hot topic, and we’ve tapped two of the best to inspire you to create and implement wins,” says A&O&B Partner Kenny Jay.

Ben Hutto is the Director of Brand Partnerships and Sponsorships for Triple 8 Management and will share his wins and processes for securing partnerships for artists including Ford, Pizza Hut, EA Sports, Stanley, and more. WQLK, Richmond, IN Market Manager Amy Dillon will share strategies to ensure promotional wins for both programming and sales.

Stevie Escoto, Girlilla Marketing; Taska Rockett-King, ADX Digital/WYCT Pensacola; Ben Hutto, Triple 8 Management; Amy Dillon WQLK, Richmond, IN

Guests will also enjoy a performance from BMLG Nashville newcomer Shane Profitt at 10am.

The A&O&B Pre-CRS Seminar is free; you do not need to be registered for CRS to attend and is open to all music industry professionals. RSVP for a detailed itinerary to Kenny Jay


Michele Martin New Host For 'All Things' Considered'

Michele Martin

NPR's Michel Martin, the long-time weekend host of All Things Considered and co-host of the Consider This podcast, is moving to weekday mornings to become a host of Morning Edition.

Martin, who joined NPR in 2006 and soon launched the acclaimed talk show Tell Me More, is known for conducting thoughtful and heartfelt interviews.

"We all have things that we think we're particularly good at and interested in," Martin said in an interview. "I'm just looking forward to adding my secret sauce."

Disney Reconsiders Producing Content For Others

Bob Iger

Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger Thursday said the studio may resume making films and television shows for its rivals, marking a departure from recent years, when its production resources were harnessed to launch and grow its marquee Disney+ steaming service.

Reuters reports Iger told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco that streaming services have traditionally relied on a volume of fresh content to attract subscribers. 

He said he hopes to embrace a more curated HBO-like approach of making a few high-quality shows built around its major brands, as he works to lift Disney+ to a profit."As we look to reduce the content that we're creating for our own platforms, there probably are opportunities to license to third parties," Iger said. "For a while, that was something we couldn't possibly do because we were so favoring our own streaming platforms. But if we get to a point where we need less content for these platforms, and we still have the capacity of producing that content, why not use it to grow revenue?"

Indy Journalist Matt Taibbi Rips Twitter

Journalist Matt Taibbi eviscerated Twitter and other social and mainstream media outlets during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, saying their collusion with the federal government over “disinformation” had created “a form of digital McCarthyism” in the 21st century, reports The NY Post.

“Effectively, news media became an arm of a state-sponsored thought-policing system,” Taibbi, 53, told members of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government in his opening statement.

“We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation ‘requests’ from every corner of government: the FBI, DHS, HHS, DOD, the Global Engagement Center at State, even the CIA.”