Saturday, April 8, 2023

April 9 Radio History

➦In 1860...Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville invented the phonautogram to record sound.

Its  earliest known device for recording sound. Previously, tracings had been obtained of the sound-producing vibratory motions of tuning forks and other objects by physical contact with them, but not of actual sound waves as they propagated through air or other media. It transcribed sound waves as undulations or other deviations in a line traced on smoke-blackened paper or glass. Intended solely as a laboratory instrument for the study of acoustics, it could be used to visually study and measure the amplitude envelopes and waveforms of speech and other sounds, or to determine the frequency of a given musical pitch by comparison with a simultaneously recorded reference frequency.

Apparently, it did not occur to anyone before the 1870s that the recordings, called phonautograms, contained enough information about the sound that they could, in theory, be used to recreate it. Because the phonautogram tracing was an insubstantial two-dimensional line, direct physical playback was impossible in any case.

➦In 1950…Bob Hope began his long association with NBC-TV. Hope's career in broadcasting began on radio in 1934. His first regular series for NBC Radio was the Woodbury Soap Hour in 1937, on a 26-week contract. A year later, The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope began, and Hope signed a ten-year contract with the show's sponsor, Lever Brothers.

Bob Hope

He hired eight writers and paid them out of his salary of $2,500 a week. The original staff included Mel Shavelson, Norman Panama, Jack Rose, Sherwood Schwartz, and Schwartz's brother Al. The writing staff eventually grew to fifteen. The show became the top radio program in the country. Regulars on the series included Jerry Colonna and Barbara Jo Allen as spinster Vera Vague. Hope continued his lucrative career in radio through to the 1950s, when radio's popularity began being overshadowed by the upstart television medium

His first appearance on television came in 1932 during a test transmission from an experimental CBS studio in New York.

➦In 1973...Pat St. John started at WPLJ 95.5 FM, NYC.

St. John was born in Detroit and was raised on the music of Motown. In early 1969, at the age of 18, he landed his first gig as a radio personality on Windsor's CKLW, where he also worked for CKLW's 20/20 news doing newscasts one day a week, and part-time booth announcing on CKLW-TV Channel 9. In late 1970 he moved across the border to WKNR and was then hired in early 1972 at the ABC-owned album-oriented rock (AOR) station WRIF until 1973.

In April 1973, St. John began an almost 15-year stint at New York's WPLJ.

For most of his years at WPLJ he was rated by Arbitron as the most listened to afternoon radio personality in America. He survived the station's transition from AOR to top 40 in 1983, and during that era, continued his Arbitron ratings success with that same ranking.

He left WPLJ in 1987, and returned to his rock roots on WNEW 102.7 FM, which had been WPLJ's rival during its AOR years. He became the station's program director in the early 1990s while continuing his mid-day show until being asked to do morning-drive (which he did from 1994 through 1996) and then moved to afternoons where then followed Scott Muni who moved to mid-days). Pat remained with the station until it switched to a hot talk format in 1998.

Today, St. John works for SiriusXM's 60's Gold channel, based in San Diego.

➦In 1996...WWRL, WNEW Radio and TV NYC personality Sandy Becker died.

Christians Celebrate The Resurrection


Easter 2023

Easter is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.  It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus Christ, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter celebrates Jesus' resurrection from the dead, which is one of the chief tenets of the Christian faith.  The resurrection established Jesus as the Son of God and is cited as proof that God will righteously judge the world. Apostle Paul writes that, for those who trust in Jesus's death and resurrection, "death is swallowed up in victory." The First Epistle of Peter declares that God has given believers "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Christian theology holds that, through faith in the working of God, those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation, and can hope to be physically resurrected to dwell with him in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Milwaukee Radio: Morning Host Shaun Ridder Out At iHM's WMIL-FM

"Ridder, Scott and Shannen," the morning show at Milwaukee country radio station WMIL-FM (106.1), is now "Scott & Shannen."

Shaun "Ridder" Ridderbush is no longer on the show, according to The Milwaukee Sentinel, citing ongoing layoffs at WMIL's parent company, iHeartMedia, for Ridder's exit.

Shaun Ridder
In an email, Ridder confirmed that he was "let go" April 3 but the station didn't make it official until a couple of days later. "I have not even began to think," Ridder said of his future plans.

Scott Dolphin and Shannen Oesterreich are still listed as hosts of the show — which, as "Ridder, Scott and Shannen," is nominated for large-market on-air personality of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, being given out May 11.

Ridder joined WMIL's morning show in 2017, after spending three years as imaging director and afternoon host at the station. He joined the show after longtime personality Karen Dalessandro retired. (Dalessandro un-retired soon after and joined then-all-country station WKTI-FM, and later worked at WKLH-FM before leaving Milwaukee for good for a gig at a radio station in Phoenix.)

In addition to his radio gig, Ridder has a YouTube channel dedicated to kayak bass fishing called "Return2Wild with Shaun Ridder."

SiriusXM: Kellie Pickler Exits Middays On The Highway

Kellie Pickler has exited her position as the midday on-air personality at SiriusXM's The Highway. The role will be taken over by Macie Banks, a member of the morning show led by Storme Warren.

Kellie Pickler
Banks was the one to share the news, doing so on The Highway's social media accounts on March 31. According to A Taste of Country, Banks will continue on the morning show and also take over the midday slot from 12-4pm ET. She began her new role on Monday, April 3. Banks initially joined SiriusXM on The Storme Warren Show in October 2021.

Pickler exits after holding the midday position for over a year. She joined SiriusXM The Highway in February 2022. Neither she nor the channel have officially commented on the nature of her departure, but the change comes after the death of her husband, songwriter and producer Kyle Jacob

Jacobs reportedly died by suicide — he was found at the couple's home in Nashville on Friday, February 17. He was 49.

Richmond Radio: Dominique Da Diva Takes Middays At WCDX

Radio One Richmond has added veteran Urban One air personality Dominique Da Diva to take over middays on WCDX-FM (iPower 92.1-104.1).

The Richmond native began her career in her hometown, and for over a decade has been heard all over the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia area. She'll continue in her current role as co-host of Reach Media's syndicated "The Quicksilva Show" and host of her podcast "Diva Unfiltered." She's appeared on cable television shows Love and Marriage: DC and TV One's Unsung.

"I'm confident Dominique will be a perfect fit for the Richmond team. She's an amazing talent with a passion for the culture and I'm excited about what she will bring to middays for WCDX," said Radio One VP of Programming Kashon Powell.

"I am extremely excited to welcome such a dynamic and engaging talent, in Dominique, to our team," added Radio One Richmond Operations Manager Mathew Myers. "She has made Richmond proud with all of her accomplishments in the entertainment industry, so it's a slam dunk to bring this star talent's voice back home."

"Being back on air in my hometown is such a full circle moment for me," said Dominique. "Now, thirteen years later, I get to come back and put on for the city in an even bigger way. Thank you, Kashon Powell and Matt Myers, for this amazing opportunity. Thank you, Richmond, for always supporting me and my career. I look forward to entertaining, informing and engaging with all of you on air and in the community."

April 8 Radio History

➦In 1961
…The BBC banned the Top 40 hit 'A Hundred Pounds of Clay' by Gene McDaniels. The ban arose because the censors interpreted the song as suggesting women were created simply to be sexual beings, and the BBC felt something that was considered blasphemous should not air to avoid controversy.

➦In 1981...Radio personality Larry "Snortin" Norton completed a publicity stunt. Norton spent 20-plus days on the air at WGRQ-FM in Buffalo.

Larry Norton

Norton launched his virtually sleepless quest March 19, grabbing only two hours of shut-eye per night to break the record. Norton officially ended with 484 hours on the air, shattering the previous listing in the Guinness Book of World Records of 367 hours.

➦In 1985…John Frederick Coots died at age 78 (Born - May 2, 1897). He was a songwriter, who composed over 700 popular songs and over a dozen Broadway shows. In 1934, Coots wrote the melody with his then chief collaborator, lyricist Haven Gillespie, for the biggest hit for them both "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town." The song became one of the biggest sellers in American history.

In 1934, when Gillespie brought him the lyrics to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", Coots came up with the skeleton of the music in just ten minutes. Coots took the song to his publisher, Leo Feist Inc., who liked it but thought it was "a kids' song" and didn't expect too much from it.  Coots offered the song to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show that November and it became an instant hit. The morning after the radio show there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music and by Christmas sales had passed 400,000.

➦In 1987...WFIL 560 AM, Philadelphia ended it's run as "Famous 56".  Capturing The True Sound Of Famous 56! Click Here To Listen.

In February 1964, Triangle moved the WFIL stations to a new state-of-the-art broadcast center at the corner of City Line and Monument Avenues in Philadelphia, from which WPVI continued to broadcast.

Starting on September 18, 1966, WFIL began playing "Top 40" rock and roll. It quickly became the most successful non-RKO "Boss Radio" formatted station, known locally as "The Pop Music Explosion".

Friday, April 7, 2023

Report Puts The Squeeze On Lemon And He Is Pissed

CNN’s Don Lemon is reportedly weighing a possible lawsuit over a bombshell expose in Variety that alleged he has a history of threatening and demeaning female colleagues such as Soledad O’Brien, Kyra Phillips and Nancy Grace, reports The NY Post..

The embattled “CNN This Morning” co-host, who recently got into hot water over making sexist on-air comments, is “apoplectic” about Variety’s report and has “consulted attorneys about a possible lawsuit” against the entertainment publication, Insider reported Wednesday.

A source close to Lemon said that he’s outwardly “playing it cool,” and that CNN’s defense of the anchor in the press shows that they are “standing behind him.”

“They’ve known for years,” added a second media source, referring to CNN. “Lemon is not going to sue because then they’d have to depose people and more stuff could come out.”

Variety reported Wednesday that Lemon — who sparked outrage in February when he declared that 51-year-old GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley was not “in her prime” — engaged in disrespectful, “diva-like” behavior often directed at his female co-workers.

The report alleged that the 57-year-old Lemon allegedly called a female producer fat to her face, accused O’Brien of not being black, and sent Phillips a menacing text message because he was jealous in 2008.

In 2008, while working as co-anchor of CNN’s “Live From,” Lemon was passed over for Phillips to cover the aftermath of the Iraq invasion.  Enraged, he allegedly vented his jealousy by ripping up pictures and leaving them on Phillips’ desk, two sources who worked at CNN at the time told the outlet.

CNN conducted an investigation into the text, removed Lemon from his co-anchoring duties alongside Phillips, and demoted him to weekends, according to Variety.

Gutfeld! Marks Anniversary With Double Digit Ratings Gains

Gutfeld! hit its two-year anniversary this week, continuing to bring in strong ratings for Fox News, just as host Greg Gutfeld announced a new book declaring himself the “king of late night.”

Mediaite reports Gutfeld!, which was conceived as a conservative iteration of the liberal late night shows that air on broadcast networks, has been a major hit for Fox News in the ratings.

The show replaced news program Fox News @ Night in April 2021, and has made double-digit gains on Fox since, with a 44 percent boost in total viewers and a 25 percent gain in the key 25-54 age demographic.

Since its debut, Gutfeld! has averaged 1.9 million total viewers and 332,000 in the key demo. That audience has only grown from the debut: its first episode brought in about 1.7 million viewers total and 318,000 demo viewers — a strong showing that topped all of cable news at 11 p.m.

In November of last year, Gutfeld also brought in 2.5 million viewers, putting him at the top of the late-night game.

Mediaite notes his show airs at 11 p.m., earlier than the late night competition, and simultaneously across the country, meaning it airs at 8 p.m. on the West Coast, giving him a timeslot advantage on his rivals.

And despite Gutfeld’s claim to the throne of late night, he currently ranks second behind current king Stephen Colbert. That said, he has managed to eek out some wins over Colbert in overall viewers and in the 25-54 demo, an audience that is only growing.

Gutfeld consistently beats MSNBC and CNN in both total viewers and in the key 25-54 demo in his time slot, and Fox News has regularly touted the show’s success, even airing a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year.

Sean Hannity Apologizes to More Than 500 Stations

Sean Hannity had to make an apology this week: The conservative talk host on Thursday fell on a sword for the hundreds of stations that carry “The Sean Hannity Show,” which had unwittingly broadcast a big radio no-no – silence – the day before.

The Wrap reports the host opened his three-hour midday talk block Thursday with a broad apology for “several minutes” of radio silence fed during the first hour of Wednesday’s show to more than 500 affiliates and streaming services. Hannity seemed genuinely embarrassed by the gaffe, which he said was caused by equipment.

“It was not a left-wing conspiracy that did it,” Hannity said. “It was from the overheating of some critical broadcast equipment.”

Hannity said his team was taking measures to address the hot-spot in the New York City studio facility and make sure it didn’t flare up again. He directly addressed the radio affiliates and streaming feeds after forcing them to scramble on Wednesday.

“I certainly hope you will accept our humble apology here,” Hannity said. “We’ve got an obligation to get it right for you.”

“The Sean Hannity Show” has been the highest-rated commercial radio talk program since the death of fellow conservative Rush Limbaugh. The show has been syndicated through ABC Radio Network, now owned by Citadel Broadcasting, since Sept. 10, 2001, and joined dozens of Clear Channel stations through a separate agreement in 2008.

The show is now co-managed by ABC Radio Networks and Premiere Radio Networks, a division of Clear Channel.

Ex-Fox Producer Subpoenaed by Smartmatic In New Fox Lawsuit

Abby Grossberg, the former Fox News producer who alleges she was coerced into giving misleading testimony in Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit about Fox’s handling of election fraud claims, has been subpoenaed in a separate voting technology company lawsuit against the cable news network.

According to NBC News, a subpoena dated Monday, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, Smartmatic Inc. directs Abby Grossberg to produce extensive documentation and records of communications regarding the claims aired on Fox regarding the 2020 presidential election. The subpoena specifically cites potential evidence and correspondence related to Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as well as the Trump Campaign and the Trump Organization. 

Abby Grossberg
Smartmatic is pursuing a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox in New York Supreme Court. Allies of former President Donald Trump — like Giuliani — alleged on Fox News that Dominion and Smartmatic were linked and involved in potential election fraud, even though they are two separate companies with no partnerships. 

Allegations against Dominion and Smartmatic have been repeatedly debunked and shown to be without basis in fact. Smartmatic’s only involvement in the 2020 presidential election was to provide voting technology and software to Los Angeles County.

On March 31, the judge in the Dominion lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware, ordered that the case go to trial and ruled that claims about election fraud aired on Fox were false. “The evidence developed in this civil proceeding” establishes that it “is CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” The bolding, capitalization and italics were in the ruling.

Grossberg's attorney Parisis Filippatos told NBC News that his client intends to comply fully with the Smartmatic subpoena, and said it directs Grossberg “to produce documentary evidence regarding the alleged malice of Fox News, which is in her possession.” Her attorneys also noted that though Grossberg had already provided documents and communications to Fox News while she was still employed there, they do “not appear to have been provided to the Delaware Superior Court prior to its decision on March 31.”

Grossberg worked at Fox News from 2019 to March 24. She was fired after filing suit against Fox alleging that she was coerced into giving misleading testimony in a deposition in Dominion’s $1.6 billion libel suit and that she was being made a scapegoat for the network’s election coverage. Fox says she was fired for divulging privileged information.

4/7 WAKE-UP CALL: Biden Puts Blame On Trump For Afghan Pullout

President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday released a summary of classified reports that mostly blamed the chaotic August 2021 U.S. pullout from Afghanistan on his predecessor, Donald Trump, for failing to plan for the withdrawal he had agreed on with the Taliban. The Democratic administration's summary, drawn from top-secret State Department and Pentagon reviews sent to Congress, ignited angry reactions from Republican lawmakers who have demanded the documents for their own investigation of the pullout.

Report: FS1 Would Like More Of Craig Carton

Craig Carton’s future on WFAN afternoons is in question. And it will be Carton who decides if he stays or goes, according to The NY Post's Andrew Marchand

Carton started a new FS1 TV show in September, and the cable network is looking to own his exclusive rights, according to Post sources. This will leave the 54-year-old Carton with a decision between where seemingly his heart is: on radio with WFAN, the station that gave him a second chance after his imprisonment, or with a multimillion-dollar TV offer he can’t refuse. 

Though one factor is FS1 believing Carton, without FAN, would rate better on TV, there is also the feasibility of Carton being able to do both shows. 

“The Carton Show” on FS1 airs from 7-9:30 a.m., and “Carton & Roberts” on FAN is from 2-6:30 p.m. Both are daily. 

Carton’s radio contract runs out later in the year, but FAN would want to start the fall book in September, knowing he is returning. If not, the station would find a new partner to team with Evan Roberts.

Pandora Loses Anti-Trust Fight

A Los Angeles federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Pandora Media's antitrust case against a group of comedians who earlier sued the internet radio station for copyright infringement, including Lewis Black, members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and the estates of Robin Williams and George Carlin.

Reuters reports Pandora, which is owned by SiriusXM, had claimed the comedians conspired with performing rights organizations Spoken Giants LLC and Word Collections Inc to monopolize comedy copyrights and inflate royalty rates.

Spoken Giants CEO Jim King said in a statement Thursday that the company was pleased with the decision.

The comedians' attorney Richard Busch said Thursday that Pandora's allegations "were clearly meant to intimidate my clients and their families, and put Word Collections out of business."

The comedians first sued Pandora last year, arguing they have not received a "fraction of a penny" from Pandora for streaming their material, and asked for millions of dollars each in damages.

The ongoing lawsuits said Pandora's licenses to the comedians' sound recordings do not include their underlying content. While companies like Pandora often negotiate music licenses with performing-rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI, the comedians said these groups do not license "literary works" like spoken-word comedy.

Pandora countersued, claiming the comedians, Word Collections and Spoken Giants operated as a comedy cartel to charge artificially high streaming royalty rates. Pandora also argued that if the comedians won their case, it and other streaming services might have to remove comedy entirely.

U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi said Wednesday that Pandora had not shown the comedians and groups had enough power to corner the comedy market.

Twitter's Musk: NPR Labeling May Not Have Been Accurate

Twitter CEO Elon Musk said the platform's recent labeling of NPR as "state-affiliated media" might not have been accurate during a series of email exchanges that provided a glimpse into the billionaire's thought process on decisions that reverberate far beyond the social network.

Regardless, as of late Thursday, the designation remained, reports Georgia Public Broadcasting.

On Wednesday, press freedom advocates and the network itself were taken aback to see that Twitter had placed NPR in the same category as government-aligned propaganda outlets in China and Russia — despite the network's federal support, in the form of competitive grants, accounting for about 1% of its annual operating budget.

In one email exchange, Musk appeared to be unclear about the difference between public media and state-controlled media when he decided to affix a state-affiliated media label on NPR's account.

"Well, then we should fix it," Musk wrote in an email on Wednesday to this reporter, when told that government support represents about 1% of NPR's finances.

Musk added: "What's the breakdown of NPR annual funding?"

In response, NPR provided Musk publicly available documentation of the network's finances showing that nearly 40% of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships and 31% from fees for programming paid by local public radio stations.

Amid the conflicting remarks, in a Thursday email, Musk restated his interest in applying "any given rule fairly to all," and he said the label for NPR's account is still being evaluated.

John Lansing, NPR's president and chief executive, said in a statement that he was "disturbed" that Twitter has flagged the network as a state-affiliated news organization. "It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way," Lansing said in a statement.

NAB Appoints Josh Miely As VP/Content Design

The National Association of Broadcasters has announced the promotion of Josh Miely to vice president of Content Design and Development within the organization's Global Connections and Events department – the team that produces NAB Show. Miely will assume the role on April 27 and report to NAB Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Global Connections and Events Chris Brown.

In his new role, Miely will lead the design, development and delivery of content programming for NAB Show events. He will also support content and program development efforts for virtual events on NAB Amplify as well as NAB’s regional and community-based events.

Josh Miely
"Josh is an expert in crafting educational opportunities featuring newsmakers, thought leaders and gamechangers tackling the top-of-mind issues of the day,” said Brown. “With his dynamic personality and keen understanding of the ongoing evolution of content, Josh will help us continue delivering best-in-class programming that offers the NAB Show community insight into the future of media and entertainment."

Miely joined NAB in June 2007 and has held a variety of roles in the Radio and Industry Affairs departments, including most recently as director of Member Experience, Industry Affairs. In this role, Miely developed in-person conference education for broadcasters at NAB Show, NAB Show New York and online educational offerings such as webinars and The NAB Podcast, for which he served as the longtime host and producer.

Previously, Miely worked in promotions, production and sales for radio stations in Ohio and Maryland, as well as an on-air personality. He holds a B.Sc. in Communications from Ohio University.

April 7 Radio History

➦In 1897...Walter Winchell born (Died at age 74 from cancer – February 20, 1972). He was a newspaper and radio gossip commentator.

Walter Winchell
Winchell found embarrassing stories about famous people by exploiting his exceptionally wide circle of contacts, and trading gossip, sometimes in return for his silence. His uniquely outspoken style made him both feared and admired, and his column was syndicated worldwide. In the 1930s, he attacked the appeasers of Nazism, and later aligned with Joseph McCarthy in his campaign against communists. He damaged the reputations of Charles Lindbergh and Josephine Baker as well as other individuals who had earned his enmity.

However, the McCarthy connection in time made him deeply unfashionable, his talents did not adapt well for television, and his career ended in humiliation.

He made his radio debut over WABC in New York, a CBS affiliate, on May 12, 1930. The show, entitled Saks on Broadway, was a 15-minute feature that provided business news about Broadway. He switched to WJZ (later renamed WABC) and the NBC Blue (later ABC Radio) in 1932 for the Jergens Journal.

He coined the intro: “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea.”  Later his star would brighten for a new generation when he narrated the TV series The Untouchables.

➦In 1908...Percy Faith was born (Died at age 67 – February 9, 1976),  He was a Canadian bandleader, orchestrator, composer and conductor, known for his lush arrangements of pop and Christmas standards. He is often credited with popularizing the "easy listening" or "mood music" format. Faith became a staple of American popular music in the 1950s and continued well into the 1960s. Though his professional orchestra-leading career began at the height of the swing era, Faith refined and rethought orchestration techniques, including use of large string sections, to soften and fill out the brass-dominated popular music of the 1940s.

Faith was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He was the oldest of eight children. His parents, Abraham Faith and Minnie, née Rottenberg, were Jewish. He played violin and piano as a child, and played in theatres and at Massey Hall. After his hands were badly burned in a fire, he turned to conducting, and his live orchestras used the new medium of radio broadcasting.

Beginning with defunct stations CKNC and CKCL, Faith was a staple of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's live-music broadcasting from 1933 to 1940, when he resettled in Chicago. In the early 1940s, Faith was orchestra leader for the Carnation Contented program on NBC. From 1948-1949 he also served as the orchestra leader on the CBS radio network program The Coca-Cola Hour (also called The Pause That Refreshes). The orchestral accordionist John Serry Sr. collaborated with Faith in these broadcasts.

In 1945, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He made many recordings for Voice of America. After working briefly for Decca Records, he worked for Mitch Miller at Columbia Records, where he turned out dozens of albums and provided arrangements for many of the pop singers of the 1950s, including Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis for Mathis's 1958 Christmas album titled Merry Christmas, and Guy Mitchell for whom Faith wrote Mitchell's number-one single, "My Heart Cries for You".

His most famous and remembered recordings are "Delicado" (1952), "The Song from Moulin Rouge" (1953) and "Theme from A Summer Place" (1960), which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1961.

➦In 1927...Herbert E. Ives and Frank Gray of Bell Telephone Laboratories gave the first dramatic demonstration of mechanical television.The live picture and voice of then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover were transmitted over telephone lines from Washington, D.C. to New York. The reflected-light television system included both small and large viewing screens. The small receiver had a two-inch-wide by 2.5-inch-high screen. The large receiver had a screen 24 inches wide by 30 inches high. Both sets were capable of reproducing reasonably accurate, monochromatic moving images. Along with the pictures, the sets also received synchronized sound.

The system transmitted images over two paths: first, a copper wire link from Washington to New York City, then a radio link from Whippany, New Jersey. Comparing the two transmission methods, viewers noted no difference in quality.

In 1928, WRGB (then W2XB) was started as the world's first television station. It broadcast from the General Electric facility in Schenectady, NY. It was popularly known as "WGY Television".

➦In 1956…64 years ago today, the first regularly-scheduled, nationally-broadcast rock ‘n’ roll radio show premiered on the CBS Radio Network.

The reputation of disc jockey Alan Freed may have been sullied somewhat by the payola scandal that ran rampant through the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s, but if there’s one thing that’s never been in question, it’s that the man appreciated the merits of rock ‘n’ roll and was one of the genre’s major proponents as it was taking off around America in the ‘50s.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Country Artist Drops All Anheuser-Busch Products

Country singer-songwriter Travis Tritt announced on Twitter that he would be removing Anheuser-Busch products from his tour hospitality rider amid pushback the company is receiving after beer giant Bud Light celebrated transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney in a new promotion, according to Fox News Digital.

"I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider. I know many other artists who are doing the same," Tritt wrote on Twitter Wednesday evening.

Hours later, the multi-platinum-selling artist shared a second tweet that included a photo of Ru Paul’s Drag Race show teaming up with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey company

"All the Jack Daniels drinkers should take note," he wrote.

Tritt also responded to a user who asked for a clear list of Anheuser-Busch products.

"Here they are," the singer wrote, with a photo of various beer brands including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, Michelob Light, Rolling Rock, Busch, Natural Ice, O’Douls, Red Hook, and more.

Tritt is the latest figure to vocalize opposition to Bud Light’s polarizing promotion — a celebration of Mulvaney’s "365 Days of Girlhood" — which has been met with significant backlash on social media. Several users speculated the announcement was an April Fool’s joke with how poorly it was received.

On Monday, singer Kid Rock used several Bud Light cases for target practice, sharing a video on social media of him using a rifle on their products.

In the video, Rock turns to the camera and shouts, "F--- Bud Light and f--- Anheuser-Busch!"

The video swiftly went viral.

Mulvaney, born a biological male, revealed the "365 Days of Girlhood" campaign over the weekend and said the beer company sent packs of Bud Light featuring her face on them. The trans activist described the cans as her "most prized possession" on Instagram. She also shared a video of her drinking a Bud Light beer in a bathtub.

Reports: CNN's Don Lemon Is Quite the Cad

It turns out Don Lemon’s recent sexist remarks weren’t out of character for the CNN anchor.

According to a bombshell report by Variety, Lemon allegedly has a long history of workplace misogyny and was constantly engaged in “diva-like” behavior toward his female colleagues.

The 57-year-old allegedly once called a female producer fat to her face and was pulled off-air in 2008 due to his “provocative antics” while co-anchoring “Live From” with Kyra Phillips.

In fact, sources alleged to the outlet that Lemon even sent Phillips threatening text messages after she was given a highly coveted assignment over him.

“Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it,” read the alleged message sent from an anonymous number that was reportedly traced back to Lemon.

However, a spokesperson for Lemon told The New York Post that he never sent those messages. (Despite CNN removing Lemon from co-anchoring with Phillips following an internal investigation.)

“Don says the incident never occurred and that he was never notified of any investigation,” the rep told The Post. “CNN cannot corroborate the alleged events from 15 years ago.”

Around the same time, Lemon got into hot water with journalist Nancy Grace after mocking her on air.

TV Ratings: March Madness..Men Record Low, Women Record High

Viewership for CBS’ coverage of Saturday’s prime-time men’s Final Four game was the lowest since 2003 but still was the highest ranked prime-time program last week.

Eventual national champion Connecticut’s 72-59 victory over Miami averaged 12.854 million viewers, according to The L-A Times citing live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday. The audience was the smallest for a prime-time national semifinal since 2003 when CBS’ coverage of eventual national champion Syracuse’s 95-84 victory over Texas averaged 12.57 million viewers in a telecast affected by coverage of the Iraq War.

Viewership was down 27.2% from the 17.663 million average for last year’s prime-time semifinal, the TBS, TNT and truTV simulcast of the final game of Mike Krzyzewski’s 42-season career as Duke’s men’s basketball coach, the most-watched national semifinal game since 2017.

ESPN’s coverage of Iowa’s 77-73 victory over previously undefeated South Carolina Friday in a women’s Final Four game led the week’s cable programs and was 13th overall, averaging 5.175 million viewers, to make it ESPN’s third most-viewed women’s college basketball game on record.

LSU’s 102-85 victory over Iowa Sunday afternoon in the championship game on ABC averaged 9.9 million viewers, with the biggest audience of all women’s college basketball games on record.

“Young Sheldon” on CBS led the nonsports programs between March 27 and Sunday — and was the only other program with more than 7 million viewers — averaging 7.129 million viewers. Each of its 16 episodes during the 2022-23 prime-time television season has been its week’s top ranked comedy.

Viewership for “60 Minutes,” which aired an interview with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), finished fourth averaging 6.985 million, down from the previous week’s first place average of 9.291 million viewers.

CBS finished first for the eighth time in 10 weeks, averaging 5.62 million viewers. It aired each of the week’s top four programs and seven of the top 10. The only times CBS has not finished first in the last 10 weeks were the weeks of Feb. 6-13, when Fox aired Super Bowl LVII, and March 6-12 when ABC aired the Oscars.

NBC was second for the third consecutive week, averaging 3.45 million viewers. “Chicago Fire” was its ratings leader for the second consecutive week, averaging 6.844 million viewers, finishing fifth for the second consecutive week. ABC was third among the broadcast networks for the third consecutive week, averaging 3.31 million viewers. “American Idol” topped its ratings for the sixth time in the seven weeks it has aired this season, finishing 16th, averaging 5.057 million viewers. The only interruption to the streak was the week that ABC aired the Oscars.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of the Connecticut-Miami men’s prime-time Final Four game and the 29-minute “bridge” show preceding it; five CBS scripted programs, its news magazine “60 Minutes,” its presentation of the CMT Music Awards and alternative series “Survivor”; four NBC scripted programs and the two editions of its singing competition “The Voice”; ESPN’s coverage of the Iowa-South Carolina women’s Final Four game; and three ABC programs — its singing competition, “American Idol,” alternative program “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and the police drama “The Rookie.”

4/6 Wake-Up Call: Trump's Upside to Indictment

Online donations to Donald Trump's 2024 presidential campaign have topped $12 million since news of his looming indictment broke a week ago, according to The NYTimes. About one-third of those donors had never before given money to Trump. His political associates reportedly think that the fact that he is facing criminal charges could help him with his base but is unlikely to draw support from moderate suburban and independent voters. And here’s a fact check: That Trump mugshot which has been viewed 783,000 times on Twitter is a fake, Newsweek has confirmed. No mugshot was taken when the former president was arraigned on Tuesday, although he was fingerprinted.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is also trying to enlist donors who have supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, by presenting the former president’s rising poll numbers as an unstoppable force in the race for the US Republican nomination.  An elaborate three-page memo from longtime Trump pollster John McLaughlin containing color-coded graphics was attached to an email sent by the campaign on Wednesday — a day after Trump was arraigned in a New York courtroom on charges that he falsified business records to conceal a payment of hush money to an adult-film actress. Like others in the former president’s circle, the campaign tried to present the candidate’s legal troubles as beneficial to his latest quest for the White House, while simultaneously denouncing the prosecution by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.  The memo, which was seen by Bloomberg News and reported earlier by Politico, presents Trump’s “fantastic trends” as he has pulled away from DeSantis in voter surveys.

 ➤MELANIA SAID TO BE IN DENIAL: Melania Trump “lives in an ivory tower of denial,” said a friend of the former first lady — who was absent as her husband made his first public comments after becoming the first commander-in-chief in US history to be arraigned on criminal charges.  Former President Donald Trump delivered a defiant speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday following the arraignment where he thanked his family for their support. But Melania, 52, was nowhere to be seen as Trump decried the charges stemming from payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep quiet about purported extramarital affairs. Former Melania aide and best friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff — who previously revealed the former first lady privately referred to Daniels as “the porn hooker” — told Page Six, “Melania lives in an ivory tower of denial.” Wolkoff, a former senior Vogue staffer who was Melania’s advisor until 2018, said of the former first lady’s absence at Mar-a-Lago’s ballroom, “I never expected to see her there. Her silence is deliberate, it is her weapon of choice and her protective armor.”

➤A KENNEDY TO CHALLENGE BIDEN: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (left), a scion of one of America’s foremost political dynasties who has emerged as a prominent anti-vaccine activist in recent years, will challenge Joe Biden for president in 2024. Kennedy, 69, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, listing a Los Angeles address and a Democratic Party affiliation. He had been running a low-profile exploratory committee and spoke in the early-primary state of New Hampshire last month.  He is the son of Robert F. Kennedy, the former US attorney general and New York senator who was assassinated in 1968 during his own campaign for president.

➤US-RUSSIAN RELATIONS IN 'DEEP CRISIS': Russian President Vladimir Putin said relations between the US and Russia are “experiencing a deep crisis,” as he sought to blame Washington for his invasion of neighboring Ukraine.French President Emmanuel Macron said on a visit to China that the Asian country can play a “major role” in Ukraine while adding that he opposes moves to decouple from the world’s second-biggest economy. NATO foreign ministers held a second day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday, focusing on threats and spending after Finland became the 31st member.  President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was visiting Poland, one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies, to discuss defense and economic cooperation.

REPORT DETAILS ABUSE BY BALTIMORE PRIESTS: More than 150 Catholic priests and clergymen associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore are accused of abusing at least 600 children from the 1940s through 2002 in a report released by the Maryland attorney general’s office. The accusation is based on hundreds of thousands of documents obtained through church records and interviews with victims and witnesses. Most of the accused are dead and the statute of limitations prevents enforcement of most of the cases. The Maryland Legislature passed a bill yesterday to end the statute of limitations for child abuse cases. Baltimore Archbishop William Lori apologized to the victims yesterday and said that radical reforms have transformed the Archdiocese since the crimes occurred.

Chicago Radio: Molly Cruz Named Brand Manager At B96

Audacy names Molly Cruz as new Brand Manager of B96 (WBBM-FM) in Chicago, effective immediately. In this role, Cruz will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station. Cruz will replace Todd Cavanah, who recently announced his resignation.

“Molly brings a mix of both Midwest roots with deep experiences and success across top 40 and CHR stations,” said Rachel Williamson, Regional President, Audacy Chicago. “We look forward to her leading the next chapter of B96’s iconic brand, and collaborating with our talent.

Molly Cruz
“B96 is one of America's longest running and most important CHRs,” said Greg Solk, Vice President of Programming and Operations, Audacy Chicago. “Building on Todd's excellence is a big-time challenge, and Molly is ready to meet that challenge. We are excited to welcome her home to work closely with Erik Bradley and our superstar morning show, ‘The Morning Mess.'”

“I’m filled with gratitude and excitement about the opportunity that lies ahead,” said Cruz. “It's a dream come true to be a part of a brand that has been a source of inspiration since my childhood days growing up in the Chicago suburbs. The opportunity to grow within Audacy, join the B96 family and lead this world-famous brand is an unbelievable honor. I'm thrilled to begin this new chapter and look forward to bringing fresh, fun, and innovative ideas to the B96 brand. This is a full-circle moment that I will be eternally grateful for!"

Twitter Flags NPR As 'State-Affiliated' Media

Twitter added a "state-affiliated media" tag to NPR's main account on Tuesday, applying the same label to the nonprofit media company that Twitter uses to designate official state mouthpieces and propaganda outlets in countries such as Russia and China.

NPR operates independently of the U.S. government. And while federal money is important to the overall public media system, NPR gets less than 1% of its annual budget, on average, from federal sources.

Some background: Twitter started using the label in the pre-Elon Musk days of 2020 for transparency, defining state-affiliated media as “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content.” Up until Tuesday night, its policy explicitly said that state-funded media operating with editorial independence, like the BBC and…NPR did not fall into the category. But, like a newly dumped ex cleansing their grid, Twitter seems to have deleted all mentions of NPR from the policy.

Elon Musk
Why now?
According to The Morning Brew...Twitter, which has no PR department, hasn’t said why it started lumping NPR in with news sites notorious for spreading government propaganda, like China Daily and Russia Today. But Musk tweeted, “Seems accurate” in response to a tweet about the new label.

Whatever Twitter’s reasons, NPR’s chief communications officer told the NYT that less than 1% of the org’s yearly operating budget comes from government-funded grants. Most of the organization’s funding comes from individual and business donations. Other media orgs that receive substantial government funding, like Voice of America and the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes, don’t have the label, the Washington Post noted.

The Murdochs Could Testify At Defamation Trial

Fox Corp executives Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch can be called to testify at this month's defamation trial over a $1.6 billion lawsuit claiming the media company lied about voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a judge said on Wednesday.

Reuters reports Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old chair of Fox Corp, and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, its CEO, were not on the list of witnesses that Fox intends to make available for the trial, in a case brought by Dominion Voting Systems.

"If Dominion wants to bring them live, they need to do a trial subpoena and I would not quash it and I would compel them to come," said Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis.

Davis said Fox board member Paul Ryan, a former Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, could also be issued a trial subpoena.

Hulu Chief To Run Disney's D2Conumer Streaming

Walt Disney Co. named Joe Earley as president of its direct-to-consumer business, a critical role that includes responsibility for the company’s flagship Disney+ and Hulu streaming services.

Bloomberg reports he’ll report to Dana Walden and Alan Bergman, the co-chairmen of Disney’s entertainment division, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Earley succeeds Michael Paull, who will leave Disney after six years.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger, who rejoined Disney in November with a mandate to improve returns, has been restructuring the company, restoring authority to creative executives, while also reducing costs. The initiatives are expected to save Disney $5.5 billion, in part through the elimination of 7,000 positions.

Russia Says It Will Ignore Hype Around Arrest of WSJ Journalist

Evan Gershkovich
Moscow will ignore a letter from media groups urging the release of a U.S. reporter accused of spying because they have not shown the same regard for a Russian pro-war blogger killed by a bomb, Reuters reports Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on Wednesday.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg last week and remanded in custody for two months in a closed court hearing, to protests from the United States, the European Union and his employer and fellow journalists.

Cox Media Group Promotes Two In Sales

Cox Media Group has announced Andrea Clay has been named the new National Sales Manager for CMG Radio and Wes Halliwell has been named the new Integrated Sales Manager for CMG Orlando Radio.

Clay brings over 10 years of experience in the media industry, most recently serving as the National Sales Manager at Beasley Media Group.

As National Sales Manager, Andrea will be responsible for working with clients and delivering revenue growth in the Atlanta, Athens, and Jacksonville markets. She will report to Jodi Rainey, Vice President of National Sales for CMG Radio.

Andrea Clay
“We are thrilled to have Andrea join our team,” said Rainey. “Her expertise and leadership will be instrumental in driving growth and innovation across our national sales efforts.”
Andrea has a proven track record of success in the media industry, having worked in at CBS Radio before joining Beasley Media Group in 2014. During her tenure at Beasley, she was responsible for driving national sales growth across multiple markets and identifying custom solutions to advertising needs.

“I am honored to join the team at CMG and look forward to contributing to the company’s continued success,” said Clay. “I am excited to work with CMG’s talented national sales team and partner to deliver results for our clients.”

In his new role, Halliwell will focus on sales efforts for CMG Orlando Radio’s portfolio of stations, including WMMO-FM, WCFB-FM, WDBO-FM/AM, WOEX-FM, and WWKA-FM. 

Wes Halliwell
He will be responsible for driving revenue growth through the development and implementation of integrated sales strategies that leverage the strengths of each station, our digital assets, and local events.

“I am thrilled to have Wes move into this new role,” said Ashley Williams, Director of Sales, CMG Orlando Radio. “He has a deep level of trust and respect with our team and clients. His experience and knowledge will push our team to make us better!”

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to work with our sales team, clients, and partners in this new role,” said Halliwell. “We have developed a tremendous team culture here at CMG Orlando and I couldn’t be more blessed to continue my career growth within our CMG family.”