Saturday, April 29, 2023

April 30 Radio History

➦In 1908....actress Eve Arden was born Eunice Quedens in Mill Valley Calif. She won an Emmy for her star-making turn as “Our Miss Brooks”, which she introduced on CBS Radio in 1948 and on CBS-TV in 1952.  It continued  weekly on television through 1956 and on radio through 1957.  She died from arteriosclerotic heart disease Nov 12, 1990 at age 82.

➦In 1917...Beatrice Ruth Wain born in the Bronx (Died at age 100 – August 19, 2017).  She was a Big Band-era singer and radio personality.

Bea Wain had a number of hits with Larry Clinton and his Orchestra. After her marriage she and her husband became involved in radio, helming a show titled "Mr. and Mrs. Music". Wain made her debut on radio at age six as a "featured performer" on the NBC Children's Hour. As an adult, she sang regularly on The Larry Clinton Show (NBC 1938), Monday Merry-Go-Round (NBC Blue 1941-1942), Starlight Serenade (Mutual 1944) and Your Hit Parade.

She was married to radio announcer André Baruch. They were married for 53 years. Baruch died in 1991.

Following her musical career, the couple worked as a husband-and-wife disc jockey team in New York on WMCA, where they were billed as "Mr. and Mrs. Music". In 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where for nine years they had a top-rated daily four-hour talk show from 2 PM to 6 PM on WPBR before relocating to Beverly Hills. During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of Your Hit Parade, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings.

➦In 1938...Historic CBS Columbia Square Studios Dedicated. Click Here for the full story on this, and all the CBS studios in California.

Report: Newsmax Wants Tucker

Newsmax, wants Tucker Carlson  to be more than just the face of the network, and it's putting on a full-court press to land him.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... the news channel is doing everything it can to sweeten the deal for Tucker to come on board -- including floating the idea of letting him program the whole channel, not just his own show.

Tucker Carlson
That could be a pretty enticing deal point ... in addition to having his own primetime show, Tucker would have a say over what shows lead into and out of his show, which can be key in achieving bigger TV ratings.

While sources stress Newsmax hasn't formally offered Tucker a job -- he can't have formal discussions due to his current Fox News contract -- we're told the network execs have made it clear to people around him, they would basically give him a big say in rebranding their channel.

Carlson himself left little in the way of clues for his next move in a video posted to Twitter this week. In the video, shot from his home in Florida he railed against the cable news industry he spent his career in.

“The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are,” he said. “In five years, we won’t even remember that we had them – trust me as someone who’s participated.”

“See you soon,” he concluded. 

The clip has drawn 75 million views since it was posted Wednesday night. Carlson did not respond to Mediaite’s request for comment on whether he has decided on a next move.

NBA Phoenix Suns Drop Diamond For New TV Deal

The NBA's Phoenix Suns and WNBA's Phoenix Mercury announced a new television and streaming rights deal for their basketball games on Friday, over the objection of the bankrupt U.S. sports broadcaster that currently televises Suns regular-season games.

Reuters reports the Suns and Mercury in a statement from the teams' owner said they would deliver all locally broadcast games to television and online streaming through a partnership with Gray Television Inc  and video technology startup Kiswe.

The deal would increase the teams' ability to reach customers who had cut their cable subscriptions, potentially allowing it to reach three times as many fans for each game, Suns and Mercury owner Mat Ishbia said.

"Cord cutters, cable subscribers, fans with an antenna – everyone will be able to watch Suns and Mercury games," Ishbia said in a statement.

The Phoenix Suns current television broadcast partner Diamond Sports Group and its Bally Sports said it would oppose the deal.

"The Phoenix Suns breached our contract and violated bankruptcy law, and Diamond Sports Group will pursue all remedies against any parties that attempt to exercise control over our property interests while we reorganize," Diamond Sports said in a statement.

U.S. bankruptcy law protects debtors from having their contracts modified or terminated without their consent. Diamond has said it will continue to broadcast all games under its existing contracts and make all required payments to NBA teams during its bankruptcy.

Diamond, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI.O), televises games for nearly half of all teams in the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Hockey League under the Bally Sports brand.

Diamond filed for Chapter 11 protection in March with a proposal to cut $8 billion in debt.

Diamond Sports Group Is Not Happy

Mere hours after the announcement that the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury had reached a deal to put all of their regular season games on local broadcast channels owned by Gray Television and on a local streaming platform, Diamond Sports Group has weighed in with its opinion, according to The Streamable.

DSG is the company that owns the Bally Sports brand and is responsible for operating its cluster of 19 regional sports networks (RSNs). The Suns and Mercury both broadcast their games on Bally Sports Arizona, and their games stream on the direct-to-consumer (DTC) service Bally Sports+. DSG is currently in bankruptcy court, attempting to restructure its $8 billion debt in a way that serves its creditors fairly.

“The Phoenix Suns breached our contract and violated bankruptcy law, and Diamond Sports Group will pursue all remedies against any parties that attempt to exercise control over our property interests while we reorganize,” Diamond Sports said in a statement. “This is an improper effort by the Suns to change their broadcasting partner without permitting Diamond to exercise our contractual rights.”

Shell's Gamble Cost Him $43-MILLION

Hadley Gamble, Jeff Shell

Ousted NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is losing a massive payday after being fired for cause following a sexual harassment complaint from CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble, parent company Comcast revealed in a Friday SEC filing.

The Ny Post reports Shell forfeited vested and unvested stock options with an “estimated fair value of $43.3 million as of the termination date,” the company’s filing said.

The fired executive “did not receive any supplemental payments or benefits in connection with his termination.”

“He will receive only his accrued but unpaid base salary and vacation time, vested employee benefits and reimbursement for any unreimbursed business expenses in accordance with his employment agreement,” the filing said.

Shell led the Comcast subsidiary since 2020 and was chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment from 2013 to 2019. As head of NBCUniversal, Shell oversaw the company's studios, networks, theme parks and the Peacock streaming service.

In the federal filing on Friday, the compensation committee for Comcast’s board said Shell continued to build on progress at Peacock, which has been a major focal point for company officials of late.

Shell was was in line to receive a bonus of over $16.5 million in stock had he reached the "maximum level of performance."

"In 2022, when Mr. Shell led NBCUniversal, it continued its momentum in Peacock, which more than doubled its paying subscribers to over 20 million, and our theme parks performed exceptionally well, generating Adjusted EBITDA of $2.7 billion in 2022, the filing said. "NBCUniversal also innovated with new pay windows for early viewing opportunities to better monetize our media content and intellectual property. NBCUniversal’s financial performance was strong in 2022, with its revenue increasing by 14.2% to $39.2 billion and its Adjusted EBITDA increasing by 4.9% to $6.0 billion."

CNBC Anchor Had Relationship With Big Bucks Trump Backer

NY Post 4/29/23
CNBC reporter Hadley Gamble had a romantic relationship with billionaire Tom Barrack that was exposed to her coworkers way back in 2020 — after the prominent Trump backer accidentally loafed on camera while she was filming her show, The NY Post is reporting.

Gamble’s affair with Barrack surfaced after revelations regarding her “inappropriate relationship” with ousted NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell – who was fired last Sunday after an internal investigation after “a complaint of inappropriate conduct.”

In behind-the-scenes video from the summer of 2020 obtained by The Post, a pink dress-clad Gamble can be seen preparing for a live shot on the set of her CNBC International show “Capital Connection” when a man casually walks into the frame.

The nine-second video was taken in Bodrum, Turkey, where Gamble was preparing to host the show remotely from a ritzy hotel suite.

The man, who was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and appeared to be barefoot, lingers in the shot for several seconds while Gamble frantically attempts to get his attention and shoo him away.

Eventually, Gamble turns around to get his attention and then smiles sheepishly into the camera as the man exits the room. Three sources identified the man in the background of the video as Barrack.

CNN Commentator Skewers Teacher's Union Chief

CNN senior political commentator Scott Jennings accused American Federation of Teachers union boss Randi Weingarten of having “no remorse” for the damage done by lengthy pandemic-era school closures during a heated discussion Thursday night.

Jennings pilloried Weingarten, an influential union leader and Biden administration ally, a day after she defended her involvement in the controversial school lockdowns during a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill.

“We don’t know each other, but speaking on behalf of millions of American parents — I have four at home, I had to teach them at home, my wife had to teach them at home — I am stunned at what you have said this week about your claiming to have wanted to reopen schools,” Jennings said during the segment.

The Jennings comments start at the 2:30 mark...

“I think you’ll find that most parents believe you were the tip of the spear of school closures,” Jennings continued.

“There are numerous statements you made over the summer of ’20 scaring people to death about the possibility of opening schools, and I hear no remorse whatsoever about the generational damage that’s been done to these kids. I have two kids with learning differences.”

Indy Radio: WJJK Promotes Laura Steele To PM Drive

Laura Steele
Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Laura Steele as On-Air Host, Afternoon Drive, for Indianapolis Classic Hits station 104.5 WJJK-FM. Steele can be heard on the station Monday through Friday from 3:00pm-7:00pm beginning Monday, May 1st. She moves to the afternoon timeslot from evenings on 104.5 WJJK.

Prior to joining Cumulus Indianapolis in 2016, Steele was an on-air talent on Rock radio stations in markets including Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Nashville, and the San Francisco Bay Area. An Indianapolis native, Steele is a voice for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and the emcee for Colts’ pre-game events. Paving the way as the first female voice on the public address team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Steele is now known for her work with WTHR-TV during the month of May as an Indy 500 correspondent.

L-A Radio: Ex-DJ Rodney Bingenheimer Sued For Sexual Assault

Kari Krome
Kari Krome — a songwriter and co-founder of the 1970s all-female punk group the Runaways — has filed a lawsuit against the estate of the Runaways’ late manager Kim Fowley and the former KROQ DJ and nightclub owner Rodney Bingenheimer. She alleges that the men sexually assaulted her in the 1970s, starting when she was 13.

Krome, whose legal name is Carrie Mitchell, “is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual battery, assault, and molestation,” say court documents obtained by The L-A Times.

When she was “approximately 13 and 14 and 15 years old, Defendant Rodney Bingenheimer and Defendant Kim Fowley used their roles, status, and power as adults, as well as their connections to and work in the music industry to gain access to manipulate, exploit, and sexually assault” her, the documents say.

According to the lawsuit, the sexual abuse began after Krome met Bingenheimer, who was 28, at his nightclub, Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, on the Sunset Strip. She claims that he began grooming her and eventually began sexually assaulting her.

Seattle Radio: NFL Seahawks, KIRO Extend Broadcast Deal

The Seattle Seahawks have announced a multi-year extension with Bonneville Seattle Media Group to continue with Seattle Sports 710 AM and KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM as the official flagship radio broadcast partners of the Seahawks.

The announcement was made by Seahawks Executive Vice President/General Manager John Schneider on Seattle Sports' final edition of "The John Schneider Show" with Wyman & Bob.

Per the agreement, Seattle Sports and KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM will continue to broadcast all Seahawks games, including pregame, play-by-play and postgame coverage. Radio coverage will also remain available for fans in the Seattle market on the Seattle Sports, KIRO Newsradio and Seahawks mobile apps. In addition, the partnership includes special programming, joint community service projects and exclusive web content.

"We are thrilled to continue our incredible, long-standing relationship with Seattle Sports 710 and KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM as our official flagship radio broadcast partners," said Chuck Arnold, President, Seattle Seahawks and First & Goal Inc. "Since our inception in 1976, the 12s have enjoyed the most exciting moments in Seahawks history on the radio with Bonneville Seattle. Together, we are proud to continue to grow and expand our offerings to bring the best, most exclusive Seahawks programming to our fans in the region for years to come."

Amazon: Much More Than An Online Store

by Felix Richter, Statista

In keeping with the theme of this earnings season – low expectations surpassed – Amazon reported better-than-expected results on Thursday. The e-commerce giant that had struggled to live up to expectations in 2022, reported a net profit of $3.2 billion on net sales of $127 billion for the first three months of 2023, beating analyst expectations on the top and bottom line.

“There’s a lot to like about how our teams are delivering for customers, particularly amidst an uncertain economy,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO, pointing towards robust advertising growth, improved cost efficiency in the company’s vast fulfillment network and record fast delivery speeds for Prime members. While there was in fact a lot to like in the results, investors do have a tendency to focus on the negatives and so it was a comment made by CFO Brian Osavsky on the company’s earnings call that turned an initial 10-percent pop in Amazon’s share price into a three-percent decline by late Thursday evening and Friday morning.

"As expected, customers continue to evaluate ways to optimize their cloud spending in response to these tough economic conditions in the first quarter," Olsavsky had told analysts, warning that April figures pointed towards AWS-Amazon Web Service revenue growth rates about 500 basis points below Q1 growth. In the first quarter Amazon had seen 16 percent growth in its AWS segment, which was already down from 29 percent growth in the full year 2022.
Infographic: Amazon: Not Just an Online Store | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

As the chart shows, AWS is Amazon’s third biggest operating segment in terms of sales, but because it’s by far the most profitable part of the company’s vast operations, investors tend to look at its performance particularly closely. The chart also illustrates that the world’s most popular online retailer has expanded its business considerably over the past few years. While its core “online stores” business, i.e. first-party e-commerce sales recognized on a gross revenue basis, accounted for 64 percent of sales in Q1 2017, it amounted to just 40 percent of total sales in the latest quarter.

Youngstown Radio: It's Alice Cooper Day At WYFM

WYFM's Fast Freddie and Sandra Miller

Cumulus Media
announces that Classic Rock station Y-103/WYFM-FM will help the Mahoning County Commissioners celebrate “Alice Cooper Day” in Youngstown, OH, on Saturday, April 29th.

Prior to Cooper’s sold-out show at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Mahoning County
Commissioners will present Cooper with a proclamation in honor of his sold-out concert and his long musical history of rocking the Youngstown area since the start of his career more than 50 years ago. Y-103 on-air personalities Fast Freddie and Sandra Miller will be on hand Saturday to dedicate and present to Cooper a custom-painted trash can in honor of his career. The trash can was painted by artist Keith Sturgeon, whose work is known and collected by celebrities in the automotive customizing and hotrod world, including comedian and car buff Jay Leno.

In a previous interview with Y-103 Afternoon Host Fast Freddie, Cooper – known as the architect of “shock rock” - explained his popularity in gritty industrial towns like Youngstown, stating: “The Midwest is the hard rock capital. We’re from Detroit. All around the mid-section of America, the audience wants hard rock. They don’t put up with ‘gosh, I hope you like us.’ They want to be shaken.”

Cooper added: “When those bands from Detroit come to town, we come to rock, not babysit you. New York’s got its own thing, the South’s got its own thing, L.A.’s got its own thing, but the Midwest is hard rock meat-and-potato rock and roll.”

R.I.P.: Jack Parnell, Influential WHBQ Memphis DJ

Jack Parnell
Jack Parnell, a Memphis rock 'n' roll deejay and longtime voice artist whose resonant pipes thrilled listeners and inspired generations of broadcast professionals, is being remembered as a pop-culture hero in the era when the Baby Boom was addicted to the sonic boom of Top Forty radio, TV dance parties and inescapable commercial jingles.

He was 84-years-old according to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

Parnell's voice — a golden, persuasive baritone that was ideal for radio, a magnet for listeners and the envy of his peers — was his calling card and chief selling point in a career that basically lasted his entire adult life. "The best advertising is word of mouth…YOUR words and JACK PARNELL's mouth!" proclaims the banner on Parnell's website, promoting the voiceover talent business that followed his radio days.

"He had his face up on billboards, and if you were a kid back then, everybody knew who Jack Parnell was," said Parnell's son, actor Chris Parnell, a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member who has followed in his father's footsteps — or voiceprint — as a voice performer on such projects as "Hotel Transylvania" and "Family Guy."

“He had the most recognizable voice I ever heard in my life,” said longtime Memphis radio personality Ron Olson, who said he idolized Parnell when the disc jockey was part of the WHBQ-AM 56 stable of stars that included Elvis pal George Klein.

“It was pure sugar" Olson said of Parnell's voice. "It had resonance and clarity and crispness and authority.”

April 29 Radio History

➦In 1903...singer Frank Parker was born (Died at age 95 – January 10, 1999). Parker debuted on radio as a substitute singer on The Eveready Hour, and he was a regular on radio and television in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s with personalities including Jack Benny, George Burns and Arthur Godfrey.

Frank Parker
An October 30, 1930, newspaper listing shows Parker singing on the Van Heusen Program on WABC in New York City. Also, in the early 1930s, he was a featured singer with Donald Voorhees and his orchestra on the Bond Sunshine Program on WEAF in New York City.

Beginning September 14, 1935, he had his own program, That Atlantic Family on Tour, with Frank Parker, which was heard on 36 CBS stations.

In September and October 1936, Parker and Ramona were featured on a 15-minute weekly program on WEAF in New York City and WMAQ in Chicago. Beginning June 30, 1937, In the early 1940s, he sang with Andre Kostelanetz on broadcasts over WABC in New York City. He was the featured male singer on Your Home Front Reporter, which was broadcast on CBS in 1943.

➦In 1940...The radio show "Young Dr Malone" moved to the CBS Radio Network.

It was an American soap opera which began on the NBC Blue Network on November 20, 1939.

The producer was Betty Corday who later was a co-creator with husband Ted Corday of NBC-TV  Daytime's Days of Our Lives.

The radio program ended on November 25, 1960, known as "the last day of radio soap opera" because CBS cancelled several other series on that day, including Ma Perkins, The Second Mrs. Burton and The Right to Happiness.

➦In 1953...Coke Time with Eddie Fisher began a run on NBC-TV and Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS).

Coke Time with Eddie Fisher aired NBC on Wednesday nights in early prime time from 1953 to 1957. The program was aired from 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesdays and Fridays, and was not seen during the summer months. A radio edition, recorded from previous TV soundtracks, was also heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 P.M. Eastern Time over the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1953 through 1955).

➦In 1963...KRE 1400 AM in Berkeley CA changed call letters to KPAT.

KRE - 1922
The Maxwell Electric Company put KRE on the air on March 11, 1922, with studios and transmitter at the Claremont Resort Hotel. In May of that year, KRE was sold to the Berkeley Daily Gazette. It was bought in January 1927 by the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, which moved the studios and built a new transmitter. In January 1930, the Chapel of the Chimes (an Oakland funeral home) bought KRE. Ownership passed in December 1936 to Central California Broadcasters, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chapel of the Chimes.

On June 11, 1972, KRE commemorated its fiftieth anniversary with a huge celebration. In an unusual event, the FCC gave permission to KPAT to revert to its previous three-letter call sign.  However, today the call letters are KVTO 1400 AM and is airing a Chinese format. Licensed to Berkeley, California, USA, the station serves the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tommy James is 76

  • Actor Keith Baxter is 90. 
  • Singer Bob Miranda of The Happenings is 81. 
  • Country singer Duane Allen of The Oak Ridge Boys is 80. 
  • Singer Tommy James is 76. 
  • Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is 69. 
  • Actor Kate Mulgrew (“Orange Is the New Black,” ″Star Trek: Voyager”) is 68. 
  • Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is 66. 
  • Actor Michelle Pfeiffer is 65. 
  • Actor Eve Plumb (“The Brady Bunch”) is 65. 
  • Country singer Stephanie Bentley is 60. 
  • Actor Vincent Ventresca (TV’s “The Invisible Man,” “Boston Common”) is 57. 
  • Singer Carnie Wilson of Wilson Phillips is 55. 
  • Actor Paul Adelstein (“Private Practice”) is 54. 
  • Actor Uma Thurman is 53. Rapper Master P is 53. 
  • Actor Darby Stanchfield (“Scandal”) is 52. 
  • Country singer James Bonamy is 51. 
  • Singer Erica Campbell of Mary Mary is 51. 
  • Bassist Mike Hogan of The Cranberries is 50. 
  • Actor Tyler Labine (“New Amsterdam”) is 45. 
  • Actor Megan Boone (“The Blacklist”) is 40. 
  • Actor Zane Carney (“Dave’s World”) is 38. 
  • Singer Amy Heidemann of Karmin is 37. Singer Foxes is 34. 
  • Actor Grace Kaufman (“Man with a Plan”) is 21.
  • In 1980..Alfred Hitchcock, English film director (Psycho; The Birds; Rear Window; Vertigo), dies of renal failure at 80
  • In 2014..Paul Goddard, American rock bassist (Atlanta Rhythm Section - "So In To You"), dies of cancer at 68

Friday, April 28, 2023

Losers Of The Month: Bud Light, Fox News

In the first days after Tucker Carlson’s firing at Fox News, the network has seen a sharp drop in its ratings in the 8 p.m. ET hour that had been home to top-rated Tucker Carlson Tonight. On Wednesday night, Fox’s fill-in show at 8, Fox News Tonight, delivered a total audience of 1.332 million viewers, which dropped Fox into second place behind MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, which took first place with 1.377 million viewers.

According to Mark Joyella at Forbes, For Fox News, which has dominated cable news as the most-watched network for years, the early ratings data are concerning, and will put added pressure on the network to select a permanent relacement for Carlson. Each of the shows in FNC’s prime time lineup until this week had held a firm grip on first place, so slipping behind MSNBC at 8 p.m. is noteworthy, but so is the trend: last Friday—Carlson’s last night—he drew a total audience of 2.65 million viewers. That number largely held on Monday night (2.59 million viewers), but was cut to 1.7 million viewers on Tuesday and then 1.3 million viewers Wednesday—just 50% of Carlson’s audience from five days earlier.

Cartoons courtesy of Guy Varvel

Fox News also lost among adults 25-54, the key demographic valued by advertisers. On Wednesday night, Fox News Tonight drew 124,000 viewers, which put Fox in third place behind All In with Chris Hayes (first place with 167,000 viewers) and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 (second place with 139,000 viewers). For MSNBC, Wednesday night’s ratings represented All In’s first win among total viewers since February 2021 and the first time it won in the key demo since January 2019. It was the first time the show had ever won both total viewers and viewers 25-54.

The 8 p.m. win helped push MSNBC to an overall win in the key demo across prime time, delivering an average audience of 153,000 viewers, ahead of Fox News (146,000 viewers) and CNN (125,000 viewers). Fox News still won prime time overall in terms of total viewers with 1.494 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (1.343 million viewers) and CNN (566,000 viewers). Newsmax, the conservative network that has filled its prime time hours covering Carlson’s ouster at Fox, climbed to 418,000 viewers in prime. Newsmax’s 8 p.m. show, hosted by former Fox News host Eric Bolling drew a total audience of 510,000 viewers and suggested that some conservative viewers angered by Carlson’s firing may have sampled Newsmax.

FREE: Jacobs Media To Present Techsurvey 2023 Results

Jacobs Media will present its Techsurvey 2023 results in a free webinar on Wednesday, May 10 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific. This year’s annual study, Radio in the Post-Pandemic Era, yielded more than 30,000 participants from 434 participating stations. It explores how core radio listeners are using broadcast radio and digital audio and video amidst their temporary and permanently changed new media behaviors.
In the biggest study of broadcast radio listeners worldwide, Techsurvey 2023 uncovers how programmers and markets can “meet the audience where they are.” The study focuses on the content and distribution outlets that matter – by gender, age, and the only study that shows their formats of preference.

Jacobs Media’s commercial radio Techsurveys started in 2004, providing trendable data that provide a narrative around changing media habits and what they mean to broadcasters and media executives.

The chart shows a seven-year trend of diminishing “regular radios” in homes, juxtaposed with their purchase of smart speakers and access of mobile apps designed by their favorite stations. As Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs notes, “They’re still listening to radio, but they’re increasingly using different devices to do so.”

Jacobs also notes, “This year’s study addresses the continued relevance of AM radio, how station fans time-shift listening to their favorite personality shows, how they’re using QR codes to access content, and why TikTok’s growth may be overshadowed by its foreign ownership. We hope you can join our free webinar Wednesday, May 10 as we reveal these important insights and more. Bring the entire staff along.”

To join the webinar, you MUST click the link to register:

CBS News Radio Layoffs Includes Two Veterans

CBS News has let go of at least two CBS News Radio correspondents, including Steve Dorsey and Steve Futterman, according to TV Newser.

Dorsey (right) has been CBS News Radio’s Washington bureau chief/executive editor and a CBS News correspondent, joining the network roughly a decade ago and covering a wide range of stories over that period. He broke news about American diplomats mysteriously injured in Cuba that triggered U.S. action and Congressional oversight. He was injured covering the Baltimore riots following Freddie Gray’s death, and traveled across the country for CBS News to report on 2016 and 2020 Presidential campaigns. Dorsey also reported on his pen pal relationship with jailed “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli.

In addition to his work for CBS News Radio, Dorsey occasionally contributed reporting for TV, including CBS Weekend News, CBS Saturday Morning, and CBS Newspath. Prior to joining CBS News Washington, he was a freelance foreign correspondent in Turkey, Russia and Australia.

Futterman (left) has been a CBS News Radio West Coast correspondent based out of Los Angeles. He joined the company back in 1998, and has covered a wide variety of stories over the years, including Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, former President George H.W. Bush’s state funeral, the Prince Harry-Megan Markle royal wedding and numerous Presidential election campaigns. Prior to CBS, Futterman worked for NBC Radio and has also done work for NPR, CBC, and BBC, covering stories such as the first Gulf War, the 1989 China Protests, Presidential elections and Olympics.

“We are thankful for the many contributions Steve Futterman and Steve Dorsey have made to CBS News Radio and sincerely wish them the very best,” a CBS News spokesperson said in a statement.

CNN Keeps Reassigning On-Air Roles

John King, CNN’s man at the magic wall, is leaving his daily program “Inside Politics” for a new role at the network.

The L-A Times reports CNN announced Thursday that King’s daily program will be taken over by Dana Bash, a chief political correspondent who also co-anchors the Sunday program “State of the Union.” Bash will retain her Sunday role.

King and Bash are ex-spouses. They were married from 2008 to 2012 and have a son.

King, 59, has anchored “Inside Politics” since 2014. He is best known to viewers for maneuvering the touch-screen electoral map known as the “magic wall” during CNN’s election coverage.

The handoff of “Inside Politics” is the latest tweak to the CNN lineup under chairman Chris Licht. The network recently revamped its daytime lineup with “CNN News Central.”

The network on Monday cut ties with “CNN This Morning” co-host Don Lemon, who was fired after a 17-year run at the network.

CNN has been in a state of turmoil over the past year, facing budget cuts and declining profits as its ratings have declined.

Head Of The BBC Resigns

BBC Chairman Richard Sharp resigned on Friday after an independent report found he had breached public appointment rules by not disclosing a potential conflict of interest in his role in securing a $1 million loan for the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, reports CNBC.

His exit comes at a time of heightened political scrutiny of the British public broadcaster. A high-profile row with highly paid presenter Gary Lineker over neutrality dominated headlines in Britain last month.

Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker who became BBC chairman in 2021, had been under pressure since February when a committee of lawmakers said he had made “significant errors of judgement” in failing to declare his involvement in the loan.

Sharp said he had agreed to stay on until the end of June to give the government time to find a successor to lead the broadcaster, funded by a license fee paid by TV-watching households.

The investigation, initiated by the public appointments watchdog, examined the way in which Sharp was selected by the government to chair the corporation in 2021.

Specifically, it looked at whether Sharp fully disclosed details of his role in facilitating an 800,000 pound ($1 million) loan for Johnson before he was named chairman.

The report found that, while he had breached the government’s code for public appointments, that breach did not necessarily invalidate his appointment. Sharp said he believed the breach had been “inadvertent and not material”.

But he also said staying until the end of his four-year term would be a distraction from the broadcaster’s “good work”.

The report mentions Johnson’s Downing Street office as having recommended Sharp as “a strong candidate” for the role, which attracted 23 applications.

4/28 WAKE-UP CALL: U-S Economy Cools During 1Q

The U.S. economy cooled in the first quarter amid still-high inflation and rising interest rates. GDP, a measure of the value of all the goods and services produced in the country, rose at an inflation- and seasonally-adjusted 1.1% annual rate from January to March, the Commerce Department said. That’s down from 2.6% growth in the fourth quarter. While solid consumer spending propelled the economy to its third straight quarter of growth, businesses drew down inventories and pulled back on equipment purchases, and housing remained weak.

Businesses pulled back sharply, drawing down inventories, cutting equipment purchases and reducing housing investment. Many economists expect the economy to slow even more as the year progresses, predicting a recession in the second half of the year as the Federal Reserve continues its campaign to cool the economy and lower inflation.  “Both CEOs and consumers are looking around the corner and not expecting good things in the six to nine months ahead,” said Erik Lundh, principal economist at the Conference Board, adding that there is evidence that an economic slowdown started at the end of last year.

Russia attacked cities in a wide arc across Ukraine early on Friday, from the capital, Kyiv, through central and southern regions and at least 12 people were killed, according to media and officials. The attacks come as Ukrainian forces are expected to soon launch an offensive with new military equipment, including tanks, from its Western allies after Russian forces made little headway in a winter offensive. Air raid sirens sounded around the capital in the first attack against the city in nearly two months and Ukraine’s air force intercepted 11 cruise missiles and two unmanned aerial vehicles over Kyiv, according to the Kyiv City Administration. There were no immediate reports of any missiles hitting targets in Kyiv but fragments from intercepted missiles or drones damaged power lines and a road in one neighborhood. No casualties were reported.

But in Uman, around 134 miles south of Kyiv, two cruise missiles hit a nine-story residential building, killing three people and wounding eight, said regional Governor Ihor Taburets.

➤REPORT..UKRAINE USED DRONE TO TRY AND KILL PUTIN: Ukraine purportedly attempted to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin with a killer drone — but it crashed short of its high-profile target, a report claims. Unidentified sources claimed that the Ukrainian secret service launched a UJ-22 drone loaded with C4 explosives on Sunday, the German newspaper Bild reported. The drone was allegedly intended to target the Rudnevo Industrial Park, where Putin was expected to visit either Sunday or Monday. Instead, the outlet said, it exploded about 12 miles away, on the outskirts of Voroskogo. Photos published by Bild purportedly show the wreckage of the device in a wooded area.

SiriusXM Radio Revenue Slips 2%

SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz‘s predictions last year that the first two quarters of 2023 would be “softer” proved right, as the audio entertainment company reported that revenues and subscribers edged lower in Q1.

Billboard reports SiriusXM reported revenues of $2.14 billion for the quarter ending March 31, marking a 2% drop, as revenue from subscribers and advertisers both fell between 1% and 2% compared with a year ago.

Still, those modest moves downward were better than the company had predicted for the start of the year, and executives raised their full-year guidance for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, debt and appreciation (EBITDA) to $2.75 billion from $2.7 billion. They also raised their free cash flow guidance to $1.1 billion from $1.05 billion for the year.

Jennifer Witz
“We outperformed our initial financial expectations, putting us in a strong position to increase our full-year guidance,” Witz said on a call discussing earnings. “We intend to make prudent decisions to remain a very profitable business that continues to serve as a primary audio subscription service to certain audio segments while being complimentary to others.”

The company’s cost-cutting campaign — which has impacted its real estate footprint, workforce and marketing spend — helped allow for continued investment in tech improvements Witz says will improve future growth. Costs related to the new product launches, expected later this year, reached $68 million in the quarter, up 15% from a year ago.

However, the 17% reduction in sales and marketing spend, combined with lower numbers of customers starting trial subscriptions late last year, contributed to 347,000 fewer SiriusXM self-pay subscribers for the quarter. The company ended the quarter with 7.2 million trial users, compared to 6.9 million a year ago.  Self-pay subscribers of Pandora Plus and Premium tiers increased by 7,000 from the previous quarter, but the total number of subscribers edged 2% lower, to 6.2 million in the first quarter from a year ago.

MusicWatch Blog: SiriusXM Is Due More Respect

While most analysts look at the financials, MusicWatch studies the consumer landscape for audio. Using consumer surveys, According to blogger Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch is continually taking the pulse of audio listeners in the United States. From that perspective you would conclude that Sirius is well positioned to grow its subscriber base, and to compete with the big dogs of audio streaming.

Russ Cripnick
"Our research shows a recovery in Sirius listening hours, thanks to people getting back into cars post-COVID, or at least post the worst of COVID. Broadcast radio remains the leading mode of listening in vehicles. Sirius provides an alternative to broadcast radio for its audience, but it is time to stop thinking of satellite radio as just that," according to Crupnick in a post on the RAIN website.

Crupnick writes "conversation about Sirius shifting from a purely satellite based service to a blended option including streaming misses the point. Sirius is already a capable competitor to the major music streaming services. MusicWatch estimated that Sirius has over 60 million listeners, or nearly two listeners for every subscriber. Similar to services such as Spotify or AppleMusic, there is the person who subscribes, and others who share the account- through using the same vehicle, or riding in it. 

"An estimated 25 million stream Sirius using the SXM app. To put that into perspective, the 25 million SXM streamers represent about the same audience who listen to YouTube Music (the paid version with 26 million listeners), Amazon Music Unlimited (25 million), SoundCloud (21 million) and more than Tidal, Napster and Qobuz combined."

Amazon Surges Back Inc. reported surging growth as it rebounded from stagnant sales after a postpandemic slowdown, with stronger-than-expected performances in its cloud-computing and advertising businesses that were greeted warmly by investors.

The Wall Street Journal reports Amazon’s first-quarter sales increased 9% from a year earlier to $127.4 billion, beating Wall Street projections. It posted $3.2 billion in profit for the period, almost 50% higher than analysts expected.

Amazon has made efforts in recent months to reduce costs and focus on profitability. The company said it would finish laying off roughly 9,000 corporate employees by the end of this month after cutting about 18,000 workers in an earlier round of layoffs. Affected units have included cloud-computing unit AWS, advertising, streaming-unit Twitch and other areas. Amazon’s job reductions also have targeted unprofitable divisions such as its devices business and the company has shut down certain projects.

In March, it disclosed it had paused construction on a large corporate real-estate project near Washington, D.C., known as HQ2. On Wednesday, the company said it was winding down its health-focused Halo division and discontinuing products that include its fitness tracker. 

From the fourth quarter through the first quarter, Amazon reduced its global head count by 10% to roughly 1.46 million employees.

Comcast In No Hurry To Name New NBCUniversal CEO

Comcast Corp. President Mike Cavanagh will oversee NBCUniversal for the foreseeable future after the departure of NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell earlier this week left a gap at one of the media conglomerate's top leadership positions.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports executives at Philadelphia-based Comcast shed some light for the first time publicly on what transition plans will look like at the top of its media business on the company's first quarter earnings call with analysts Thursday morning. Cavanagh, who was named Comcast Corp.'s president in October, will remain in the position while also stepping in to oversee NBCUniversal.

Matt Cavanaugh
When asked if his role as both president of Comcast Corp. and head of NBCUniversal was a permanent solution, Cavanagh said "think of me as being here for awhile" and said the current setup is "quite sustainable."

"I would put no timetable at all, no time pressure to do anything other than make sure the business is hum, which that's what we're doing right now and that's what I see continuing," Cavanagh said. "And maybe someday we'll think there's a better way to approach it."

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said on the call that Shell's departure, which followed an investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble, is "obviously a tough moment."

Cavanagh reiterated the experience at the top levels of NBCUniversal and how his preexisting role kept him close to all of Comcast's businesses as keys to the transition.

"As president I was already overseeing all of this and close to the people that run the NBC businesses and the cable businesses and the corporate areas," Cavanagh said. "I think what's really important to understand is that we've got high-quality operators and leaders in all of the seats around the company: Philadelphia, LA, New York, Orlando and so forth."

Cavanagh started as CFO at Comcast in 2015 and was named president in October, the third in Comcast's history and the first outside of the Roberts family. 

Lawmaker Rips FCC For Inaction On Tegna Deal

The leadership of the FCC is facing a possible reshuffling as a powerful Democratic senator threatened to hold up a key confirmation if the agency didn’t vote on a stalled cable deal, sources told The NY Post.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez railed ob the Senate floor about the FCC jeopardizing the offer by Soo Kim’s Standard General to buy Tegna, the owner of 64 television stations, “through, in essence, inaction.”

Kim, a Korean-American who grew up in Queens, agreed to pay $8.6 billion in February 2022 for the media company. The deal would make Kim the largest minority owner of a broadcast station group in the country.

“We need the FCC Commissioners to commit to increasing diversity in media ownership not just in words but with actions,” Menendez said in his speech on April 24.

“I, for one, will not support nominees for the FCC if they are unwilling to support diversity.”

The agency has been in chaos for nearly two years as President Biden tried to push through Gigi Sohn to fill the fifth seat on the partisan board.

Last month, she was forced to withdraw after Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not support Biden’s overly progressive nominee.

Ed Sheerhan Uses Guitar During Trial Testimony

Ed Sheeran played the chord progression to his hit song "Thinking Out Loud" and sang a few of the words on the witness stand in Manhattan federal court on Thursday during a trial over whether he copied Marvin Gaye's classic "Let's Get it On," reports Reuters.

Testifying as the first witness in his own defense, the British singer-songwriter described his process for writing the song about everlasting love in 2014, shortly after he began a new romantic relationship and after his grandfather died.

"I draw inspiration a lot from things in my life and family," said Sheeran, who is being sued by heirs of songwriter Ed Townsend, Gaye's co-writer on the 1973 song. The heirs are seeking a share of profits from "Thinking Out Loud."

Sheeran said his friend and collaborator Amy Wadge started strumming the chords for the song during a visit to his home in England, and that they collaborated on the lyrics.

On the stand, he sang the phrase "I'm singing out now," which he said he sang during his songwriting session with Wadge. He said the phrase sounded like, "I'm thinking out loud," which ultimately became the title.

"When I write vocal melodies, it's like phonetics," Sheeran said.

He then picked up a guitar from behind the witness stand, played the chord progression to the song, and sang the opening words: "When your legs don't work like they used to."

Lawyers for the heirs earlier this week displayed a video of Sheeran transitioning seamlessly between "Thinking Out Loud and "Let's Get it On" in a live performance they said amounted to a confession that he had ripped off the song.