Saturday, July 22, 2023

Radio History: July 23

➦In 1912...Jackson Beck born (Died at age 92 – July 28, 2004). He was an announcer and actor best known as the announcer on radio's The Adventures of Superman and the voice of Bluto in the Famous era Popeye theatrical shorts.

Jackson Beck
Beck's early radio experience included work at WINS and WHN, both in New York City. Beginning in 1931, he worked with Myrt and Marge, among other roles. In 1934, he was the announcer for The Adventures of Babe Ruth on the radio. In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's The Adventures of Superman; it was Beck who intoned the familiar prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." He also had recurring roles, voicing an occasional tough guy and also portraying Beany Martin, the Daily Planet's teenage copy boy. On Superman episodes featuring Batman, he played Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for The March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942 to 1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948 to 1950, starred in the dramatic anthology Brownstone Theater on Mutual, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

Beck also co-starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

➦In 1937...Robert Wilbur Morgan born (Died  – May 22, 1998). He was a Top40 radio personality best known for his work at several stations in Los Angeles, California, in particular KHJ-AM.

Morgan also did morning drive at KMPC-AM, KIQQ-FM and KMGG-FM, and finished his career at KRTH-FM, where he retired for health reasons in 1997. He died from lung cancer on May 22, 1998.

As a youth growing up in Galion, Ohio, Morgan's interest was piqued while listening to his favorite DJs on Cleveland's top forty giant KYW which would eventually lead to his first on-air job was at Wooster College in 1955 on WWST & WWST-FM, for an initial salary of $1 per hour.

In 1959 Morgan moved from college radio to KACY Port Hueneme, California where he hosted the over night show called Kegler's Spare Time with Bob Morgan live from the Wagon Wheel Bowl before moving on to a succession of brief stints beginning in 1961 at KTEE Carmel as the second half of a two-man classical music announcer on KTEE with Bob Elliott, a Marine Corps Heavyweight Champion who later went on to radio fame as "K.O. Bailey," then a short time later as the morning drive DJ and mid-day board op for the Arthur Godfrey Show at KMBY, Monterey, then a jump to KOMY Watsonville, then back to KMBY Monterey followed in 1962 at "K-MAKE", KMAK, Fresno where he first worked with program director Ron Jacobs. This was followed in 1963 by an eight-month stay at KROY Sacramento before finally landing his first major-market job in 1964 at KEWB, San Francisco. It was here that he met and worked with his lifelong friend "The Real" Don Steele.

On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programmer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status almost overnight when they joined the staff of 93KHJ-AM, Los Angeles. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station.

It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973.

Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery. It was also during this time that Morgan co-produced and narrated the 48-hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969, a definitive on-air encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. It was the first-ever "rock-umentary" aired worldwide as a definitive history of the Rock & Roll genre—a "rockumentary," as producers Drake and Gene Chenault would call it—that would stretch from the early 1950s to 1989.

In 1970 Morgan made a surprise move from Los Angeles to WIND Radio Chicago where he remained in the morning slot until finally being enticed back to his KHJ morning show in 1972.

Until his departure from KHJ in October 1970, Morgan had commanded unparalleled radio ratings in Los Angeles. Morgan's return to his former time slot in L.A., which saw a significant spike upward for KHJ until he departed just a year later.

Robert W Morgan
In 1973, Morgan and Steele walked out of KHJ and joined Bill Drake six months later at KIQQ-FM, Los Angeles. The ratings were sub-par, though, causing Morgan to leave the morning slot a year and a half later for weekends and fill-in slots at the prestigious KMPC Los Angeles. He stayed at KMPC until 1984. After a short stint at KMGG, Morgan returned to KMPC.

Morgan was heard in 1973 on Saturday night segments of the long-running NBC Radio program Monitor, an attempt to freshen that program's image. While with KMGG, he was at one time heard as a substitute host of American Top 40. During the mid to late 70s, Morgan also did his own one-hour radio weekly special highlighting one artist or group per show. "Robert W. Morgan's Special of the Week" was often played on radio stations that also carried Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as the same company, Watermark, distributed both.

The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101, where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer. According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two-packs-a-day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years."

In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.

He died from cancer May 22, 1998 at age 60. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame the following year.

➦In 1940..John Donald Imus Jr. born.  Imus was radio personality, television show host, recording artist, and author. He is known for his radio show Imus in the Morning which aired on various stations and digital platforms nationwide until 2018. A former railroad brakeman and miner, Imus attended broadcasting school in the 1960s and secured his first radio job in 1968 at KUTY in Palmdale, California. Three years later, he landed the morning spot at WNBC in New York City before his firing in 1977.

Don Imus 1970
Imus was born in Riverside, California, the son of Frances E. and John Donald Imus, Sr., and the older brother of former talk show host Fred Imus.

He served in the Marine Corps as a bugler from 1957 to 1960.

Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis. In 1966, Imus enrolled at the Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood after seeing a newspaper advert; he was thrown out for being "uncooperative", but studied enough to obtain a broadcasting license as required by the FCC.

After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.

After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California. His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.

After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC 660 AM, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label (This Honky's Nuts, an album of his stand up comedy act at the Manhattan nightclub "Jimmy's".  There was also a 1973 RCA Victor single, "Son of Checkers," issued by Imus. The single reached #123 in the Record World survey.

"Imus...In The Morning...In The Evening" aired nationally in the fall of 1973, part of NBC Radio's attempt to revive "Monitor", it's long-running weekend magazine. The Saturday night segment rotated popular hosts Imus, Wolfman Jack, and Robert W. Morgan

Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK.

In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good." Although Stern's show aired later in the day, Imus and Stern often made brief appearances on each other's shows, giving the audience an occasional glimpse of an on-and-off-air rivalry that continued for many years.

During this period, Imus was best known for character Billy Sol Hargis, a radio evangelist whose name was a cross between infamous real-life radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and real-life Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes. As Hargis, Imus touted on-air the merits of the "First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship".

Imus was also the utility announcer for Geraldo Rivera's monthly TV series Good Night, America, which aired as a recurring segment of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment program, and he was one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of the VH-1 cable network in 1985.

In 1988, WNBC radio was sold to Emmis Broadcasting; on October 7, 1988, WNBC permanently signed off the air and Emmis' WFAN was moved from 1050 AM to WNBC's former spot, 660 AM. Imus in the Morning remained at 660 AM among WFAN's sports programs with his music and comedy bits as the staples of the program and the beginnings of a political forum.

The radio show became nationally syndicated in 1993, and began simulcasting on MSNBC in 1996. He wore his signature cowboy hat during his broadcasts.

Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year 1990, 1992 and 1997 and one for Network Syndicated Personality (1994).

Imus retired in March 2018 and died December 27, 2019.

Dick Biondi
➦In 1963...Former Chicago personality Dick Biondi ended his self-imposed exile from radio and joined KRLA 1110 AM in Pasadena, Calif. Both KRLA and KFWB were neck and neck in the overall radio ratings in Los Angeles.

The KRLA line-up is Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quillin and Bob Hudson.  We lost Biondi in June 2023 at age 90.

➦In 1963...New York City is the nation’s largest radio market and competition is fierce. Most of the larger stations were owned by corporations - WOR - RKO, WABC-ABC, WNBC-NBC, WCBS-CBS, WINS-Group W (Westinghouse), WHN-Storer, WNEW-Metropolitan. Each is 50,000 watts and all have rather good signals. There’s another competitor - this one’s only 5,000 watts and is family owned and operated - WMCA 570 AM  - which was owned by the Straus family.

R.I.P.: Ron Sexton, Longtime Member of The Bob & Tom Show

RIP..Comedian, Broadcaster Ron Sexton

Officials from The Bob & Tom Show have confirmed that Ron Sexton, 52, also known as “Donnie Baker”, a longtime ensemble cast member, died Friday while on tour in Ohio with his stand-up comedy show.

Sexton was known by millions of listeners for the comedic characters he played on-air including; Donnie Baker, Kenny Tarmac Floyd the Trucker and his spot-on celebrity impersonations.

The comedian was in the news in early January after a reported affair became violent outside a Portland, Indiana bar. Court documents detailed that Sexton told police the shooter was the husband of the woman he was having relations with. That man is facing charges of attempted murder and unlawful carrying of a handgun.

Tom Griswold, Host of the nationally syndicated morning radio show, "The Bob & Tom Show":

 "We are sad to confirm that Ron Sexton, longtime member of the ensemble cast of "The Bob & Tom Show", died Friday, July 21st, in Ohio while on tour with his stand-up comedy show. Ron was known by millions of listeners of "The Bob & Tom Show" for the indelible comedic characters he played on-air, including Donnie Baker, Kenny Tarmac, and Floyd the Trucker, as well as his spot-on celebrity impersonations.

Ron was a much-loved colleague and friend, and we will miss him greatly. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He made many, many people happy during his more than 20 years with "The Bob & Tom Show," and we will remember him with love and gratitude."

Diamond Sports Sues Its Parent Company Sinclair

Diamond Sports Group, the struggling subsidiary of Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group that owns regional sports networks, has entered a legal fight with Sinclair as part of Diamond’s bankruptcy case.

The Baltimore Sun reports Diamond Sports, which is independently managed, filed a lawsuit under seal Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Diamond, a subsidiary Sinclair created to hold the 19 sports networks it acquired from The Walt Disney Co., filed for bankruptcy reorganization in March, burdened by more than $8 billion in debt.

The lawsuit accuses Sinclair of receiving about $1.5 billion as a result of alleged misconduct, including fraudulent transfers of assets, unlawful distributions and payments, breaches of contracts, unjust enrichment and breaches of fiduciary duties.

Diamond operates Bally
“The defendants believe the allegations in this lawsuit are without merit and intend to vigorously defend against plaintiffs’ claims,” Sinclair said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.

Diamond is challenging a series of transactions between Sinclair and Diamond that occurred after Sinclair acquired the former Fox Sports regional sports networks from Disney for $10.6 billion in 2019.

“Diamond Sports Group is seeking to vindicate its rights and protect the value of the Diamond bankruptcy estate, including by recovering value from Sinclair Broadcast Group that was improperly transferred from Diamond prior to its filing for bankruptcy in March 2023,” a spokesperson for Diamond said in a statement.

The complaint alleges that the transactions were unfair to Diamond and designed to benefit Sinclair. They include a management services agreement between the Sinclair Television Group subsidiary and Diamond as well as a transaction in November 2020 in which Bally’s Corp. acquired naming rights to the regional sports networks.

Besides Sinclair Broadcast Group, Diamond’s lawsuit names as defendants Sinclair Television; David D. Smith, Sinclair’s executive chairman; Christopher S. Ripley, Sinclair president and CEO; other executives; and Bally’s Corp.

Buffalo Radio: Summer Heats Up With CHR Hot 98.9 FM

Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) announces that it has launched Hot 98.9, Buffalo’s Hit Music (WBBF-AM), a new CHR-formatted radio station and the next generation of audio entertainment in Buffalo, NY. 

The station debuted on Friday, July 14, 2023, and plays the most hit music on Buffalo radio – always playing 10 great songs in a row – with fewer disruptions and always the biggest hits. Hot 98.9 debuted on Friday, July 14, 2023, and was previously programmed as Classic Hip-Hop station, "98.9 The Vibe."

Hot 98.9 is programmed locally by Joe Siragusa, Operations Manager, Cumulus Buffalo, as the station’s newly named Program Director. Siragusa will also continue in his role as Program Director of Cumulus-Buffalo sister stations, Alternative Rocker 103.3 The Edge (WEDG-FM) and Classic Hits 104.1 (WHTT-FM).

Jim Riley, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Buffalo-Erie, said: “When our competition dropped Contemporary Hits, we saw a big opportunity. In Buffalo, this format has a huge following and Cumulus has had tremendous success in the Hits format in other markets with a simple formula. We’re promising the audience 10 great songs in a row every time and eliminating the clutter.”

Joe Siragusa, Program Director, Hot 98.9, commented: “We’re so excited to bring a true Top 40 station back to Buffalo! The new Hot 98.9 is focused on playing today’s biggest hits with a straightforward, no-nonsense approach.”

đŸ“»Listeners can tune in to Hot 98.9 on-air, streaming online and through the upcoming Hot 98.9 app, and on their smart speaker.

Wichita Radio: Greg Williams Promoted To KEYN Brand Manager

Audacy has promoted Greg Williams to Brand Manager of 103.7 KEYN (KEYN-FM) in Witchita. In this role, Williams will oversee the station's content strategy, talent, operations, and branding. He will continue to serve as Brand Manager of sister station Power 93.5 (KDGS-FM).

Greg Williams
“I am beyond thrilled for Greg to lead the way for KEYN in addition to his role at KDGS,” said Becky Domyan, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Wichita. “Greg has had an incredible track record of success and KDGS on so many fronts. He will do a tremendous job continuing to grow and accelerate the iconic KEYN!”

“I want to thank Jeff Sottolano, Dave Richards, Chris Ebbott and Becky Domyan for believing in me,” said Williams. “To my wife, family, the greater Wichita community and many industry peers, thank you for your continued support. This is another milestone in my 23 years as an employee at Audacy. Finally, I want to give honor and glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's time to go to work!”

Williams has served as Brand Manager and Morning Show Host at KDGS-FM since 2000. Other career stops include KLEO-AM and KKRD-FM in Wichita and KCBQ-FM in San Diego.

đŸ“»Listeners can tune in to 103.7 KEYN (KEYN-FM) in Wichita on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Fresno Radio: 93.7 Kiss Country Launches New Morning Show

Cumulus Media  announces that it has appointed Kris Daniels and Joe Castelan as On-Air Hosts, Mornings, on 93.7 Kiss Country KSKS-FM in Fresno, CA. 

Daniels and Castelan will debut on “The New Kiss Country Morning Show with Kris and Joe” on Monday, July 24th, and can be heard weekdays from 5:00am-10:00am.

Kris Daniels
93.7 Kiss Country’s longtime Morning Host, Jody Jo Mize, moves to afternoons on the station and will debut as Host, Afternoon Drive, from 3:00pm-7:00pm on Monday, July 24th. Mize anchored Mornings on 93.7 Kiss Country from 2000 through 2008, and hosted Nights on the station prior to that.

Kris Daniels brings over 20 years of radio experience to 93.7 Kiss Country, and has been heard on-air in markets including Fresno, Las Vegas, NV, Louisville, KY, and Bakersfield, CA. She was previously Executive Network Producer and On-Air Talent for Audacy and Director of Music and Programming for Radio Disney/Radio Disney Country in Los Angeles. Daniels was also the Program Director and Morning Host of 107.9 Coyote Country/KCYE-FM in Las Vegas.

Joe Castelan began his broadcasting career as Promotions Coordinator at Cumulus Fresno and was most recently Promotions Director and Morning Host for Cumulus Media’s Kat Country 103/KATM-FM in Stockton-Modesto, CA. He holds a B.A. degree in Mass Communications and Journalism, Broadcast Journalism & Public Relations from California State University-Fresno.

Joe Castelan
Patty Hixson, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Fresno, said: "I'm thrilled to have Kris and Joe on our new morning show at KISS Country - celebrating 31 years as a leader in the Country music format! I know they will take us to new heights and our audience will love them."

Andy Winford, Program Director, KSKS-FM, said: “Kris is a phenomenal talent whose reputation precedes her, and I couldn't be happier to be able to add someone of her caliber. Joe started here and after some quality time with our sister station in Stockton, has developed quickly into a top-notch talent. I can't wait to see these two take over the market!"

Kris Daniels commented: "To be able to come home, be with family, and do mornings on the legendary Kiss Country is truly an honor!"

Joe Castelan remarked: "It is truly a privilege to be back in my hometown at the original station where I got my start. It's pretty surreal.”

ESPN Held Talks with NBA, MLB About Partnerships

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN has held discussions with major sports leagues about selling them a minority stake in the network, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

ESPN held talks with the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing an internal matter. Network officials raised the idea in negotiations with the NBA over renewing its media rights, one person said.

The sports broadcaster has also held talks with the National Football League about becoming a minority investor, according to CNBC, which first reported the discussions earlier Friday.

The talks follow the disclosure last week by Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger that he is looking for a strategic partner for ESPN and and that other broadcast businesses — channels like ABC and NatGeo — may no longer be core assets.

Spotify Plans to Raise Prices

Spotify Technology plans to raise its monthly subscription price in the U.S. by $1, a long-awaited change by the audio giant as it pushes to become consistently profitable, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

Under the planned change, expected to be announced next week, the cost of Spotify’s ad-free premium plan is likely to increase to $10.99 a month in the U.S. from $9.99, people familiar with the matter said. Other price increases are likely to roll out in dozens of markets globally in the coming months.

Spotify is by far the largest music streaming service by subscriptions globally, but has been a holdout among competitors, including Apple, Amazon and YouTube, that have raised their prices in established markets. 

The move by Spotify is likely to spur further price increases by its rivals. “It breaks the dam,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, who called the increase overdue.

Fox News: Mr. X Says Hunter Biden 'Willfully' Evaded Taxes

Joseph Ziegler told Fox News on Friday night that he felt Hunter Biden should have been criminally prosecuted for tax evasion, arguing that the businessman was willful in his avoidance. 

Ziegler was known as 'Mr X' until he testified publicly before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday alongside his boss, Gary Shapley. Ziegler and Shapley were part of the team investigating Hunter Biden's tax affairs, and both felt that the controversial businessman was not prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

Ziegler said that he felt there was no chance of a fair charging decision until there were independent people appointed to oversee the case, in Washington DC. 'If there are other charges that are viewed outside the District of Delaware. David Weiss is going to run into the same problem again and again,' he said, referring to the U.S. attorney for Delaware, who Ziegler said was blocked from pursuing charges. 

Weiss has denied that he was restricted, but Shapley and Ziegler said he was. 'And that's why we need to have an independent attorney assigned who has authority, who can go in there, bring the proper charges, so that there can be some faith restored in our justice system,' Ziegler said.

NM Radio: KKOB Honored With 9 Excellance Nominations

Cumulus Media announces that Cumulus Albuquerque was honored by the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (NMBA) Excellence in Broadcasting Awards today, bringing home nine of the NMBA’s annual awards for broadcasters. Cumulus Albuquerque’s 96.3 News Radio KKOB received seven awards, including Station of the Year for the second consecutive year. In addition, Cumulus Albuquerque’s KNML The Sports Animal (Sports/Talk) and 92.3 KRST-FM (Country) were each recognized for excellence with an award.

Jeff Berry, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Albuquerque, said “I am so proud of our team in Albuquerque. It’s wonderful that the broadcasting community hears and recognizes what I get to see every day. A staff of professionals that are committed to bringing their ‘A’ game to our fans, listeners and communities in the Albuquerque and surrounding markets.”

John Summers, News Director, 96.3 News Radio KKOB, said: “It's the hard work and dedication to factual journalism that brings success. Each knows and understands just how important their work is in relaying details correctly and concepts honestly. The bottom line is simple. They love what they do. And it shows.”

Cumulus Albuquerque radio stations were honored with the following NMBA Excellence in Broadcasting Awards for 2023:

Fox News Personalities Urge Trump to Debate

Fox News personalities Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, John Roberts and Piers Morgan have all come out in agreement: In their opinion, Donald Trump should absolutely participate in the first Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2024 cycle, which will be held next month in Milwaukee — and broadcast on their very own Fox News.

The Washington Post reports the former president has refused to commit to the Aug. 23 debate, and he indicated as recently as Sunday that he’s leaning against it. (“When you have a big lead, you don’t do it,” he told interviewer Maria Bartiromo.) So in the meantime, various hosts on Fox have taken it upon themselves to use the network’s airwaves to try to make the case to the man himself.

“If you’re watching, Donald, come on!” Morgan, who hosts a show on the Fox Nation streaming platform, said in an appearance on Fox News last week. “Get on that stage and show us what you’re made of. If you want to be president again, you’ve got to come out and face the debate music. … You know you want to secretly.”

While Morgan and other Fox personalities have argued that Trump’s participation is an essential part of the democratic process, it also seems clear that a Republican debate without Trump is much less likely to attract a significant viewing audience, given his standing in the party and massive lead in the polls.

Sactown Radio: Charlie O Mallonee Named Assistant PD At KIFM-AM

Audacy elevates Charlie O Mallonee to Assistant Brand Manager of ESPN 1320 (KIFM-AM) in Sacramento. In this role, Charlie O will support the station's content strategy, talent, operations, and branding. He previously served as a Producer for the station since 2019.

Charlie O Mallonee
“Charlie O’s experience as a producer and deep understanding of our station's content has been instrumental in KIFM’s success,” said Stacey Kauffman, Regional President, Audacy Sacramento. “With this new role, Charlie O will continue to elevate our content strategy, support our talented team, streamline operations and reinforce our distinctive branding. We are confident that his passion and dedication will help take ESPN 1320 to the next level.”

“I am really proud to have been a part of the ESPN 1320/Audacy Sacramento team for the past four years,” said Charlie O. “I want to thank Stacey Kauffman and Aaron Roberts for giving me the opportunity to take on these added responsibilities during this exciting time of growth in the world of audio. Together with ‘D-Lo & KC,’ Jesse Tapia and James Ham, we are proving every day that ESPN 1320 is Sacramento's sports leader!”

Charlie O joined ESPN 1320 as a producer in March 2019. Before that, he was a reporter and podcast host for Sports Radio Service in San Francisco. He has also hosted shows in Monterey and Salinas, CA, and handled play-by-play duties for the San Jose Bees, San Jose Lasers and San Jose State Spartans.

đŸ“»Listeners can tune in to ESPN 1320 (KIFM-AM) in Sacramento on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Bipartisan KOSA To Get Senate Committee Consideration

The Senate Commerce Committee will move to advance bipartisan piece of legislation to protect minors online by requiring additional privacy controls for teenagers and parents.

The Washington Examiner reports Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have announced that the Kids Online Safety Act will be considered for markup on July 27. The bill would implement several safeguards to protect children and teenagers online, a priority for members of Congress who have said that social media is having detrimental effects on teenagers' mental health.

"This is a huge victory for the dozens of parents and victims of social media that have been relentlessly pushing their representatives on Capitol Hill to protect kids online," the two senators said in a statement.

The legislation would require platforms to take steps to prevent a defined set of harms to minors, including the promotion of suicide, substance abuse, sexual exploitation, and drug or alcohol use.

The legislation would also mandate social media companies to implement controls for users, including options for limiting screen time, restricting addictive features, and limiting access to user profiles. The management tools would be set by default to the strictest settings for users younger than 16. Companies would also have to give parents the tools to manage their children's time on the platform.

The latest version of KOSA strips away the need for websites to verify a user's age before giving them access, a policy that tech and privacy advocates have warned against.

States have passed similar bills in the last few months. Gov. Spencer Cox (R-UT) passed a pair of bills in March that would require age verification for teenagers on social media and ban features that encourage addictive behavior.

SiriusXM Airs ‘Totally Tony’ Throughout the Weekend

SiriusXM is honoring the legacy of Tony Bennett with Totally Tony on its 40s Junction channel throughout this weekend. Subscribers can listen to channel 71 on radios and the SiriusXM App from Saturday (July 22) through Sunday (July 23) to hear Tony’s classics and more.

Legendary crooner Tony Bennett, best known for his dedication to the American songbook and producing standards such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” passed away Friday (July 21) at 96 — just two weeks before his birthday.

The singer died in his hometown of New York, according to multiple reports. There was no specific cause, but Bennett had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

Broadcasters Foundation Holds Media Mixer for Young Professionals

 BFOA Talent Ambassador Angela Yee with Tim McCarthy

More than 150 broadcasters from CEO’s to those just entering the business turned out for The Broadcasters Foundation of America first Media Mixer last at the New York City studios of iHeart Media. The event was hosted by nationally syndicated radio air personality Angela Yee, who was named Talent Ambassador for the charity that provides aid to broadcasters in acute need from illness, accident, or a disaster.

The Media Mixer gave up-and-coming professionals in broadcasting the opportunity to network with talent, managers, and executives and brought awareness of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to those that are new to the industry.

“We are delighted with the large turnout of young professionals to last night’s event,” stated Tim McCarthy, President of the Broadcasters Foundation. “We want to hold similar events in other markets. I want to thank members of our Board, industry leaders, and the talent who made themselves available to young professionals who are just beginning their broadcasting careers. A special thank you to Angela Yee for hosting the event and for taking on the role of Talent Ambassador.”

“I’m honored to be the Talent Ambassador for the Broadcasters Foundation,” said Yee. “Their mission is vital to those in our industry who have been hit by tragic circumstances. We need to make sure that everyone in the broadcast industry is aware of the Foundation’s charitable purpose.”

Radio History: July 22

➦In 1932...'The Father of AM' Reginald Fessenden died at age 65. The broadcasting inventor, engineer, had 300 radio patents.  

Until the early-1930s, it was generally accepted that another early radio pioneer, Lee de Forest, who conducted a series of test broadcasts beginning in 1907, and who was widely quoted promoting the potential of organized radio broadcasting, was the first person to transmit music and entertainment by radio. De Forest's first entertainment broadcast occurred in February 1907, when he transmitted electronic telharmonium music from his laboratory station in New York City.

The first widely publicized information about Fessenden's early broadcasts did not appear until 1932, when an article prepared by former Fessenden associate Samuel M. Kintner, "Pittsburgh's Contributions to Radio", appeared in the December 1932 issue of The Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers.

This reviewed information included in a January 29, 1932 letter sent by Fessenden to Kintner. (Fessenden subsequently died five months before Kintner's article appeared). In this account, Fessenden reported that on the evening of December 24, 1906 (Christmas Eve), he had made the first of two radio broadcasts of music and entertainment to a general audience, using the alternator-transmitter at Brant Rock. 

Fessenden remembered producing a short program that included a phonograph record of Ombra mai fu (Largo) by George Frideric Handel, followed by Fessenden playing Adolphe Adam's carol O Holy Night on the violin and singing Adore and be Still by Gounod, and closing with a biblical passage: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will" (Luke 2:14). 

He also stated that a second short program was broadcast on December 31 (New Year's Eve). 

The intended audience for both of these transmissions was primarily shipboard radio operators along the Atlantic seaboard. Fessenden claimed that the two programs had been widely publicized in advance, and the Christmas Eve broadcast had been heard "as far down" as Norfolk, Virginia, while the New Year Eve's broadcast had reached listeners in the West Indies.

➦In 1968...WIBC 93.1 FM Indianapolis became WNAP, but Naptown listeners didn't feel The Wrath of the Buzzard for a few more years. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

D/FW Radio: Kemp, McDowell Video Makes It Official: Goodbye Ticket

Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp

Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp, hosts of The Hang Zone, have made their exit from The Ticket official.

Kemp and McDowell confirmed their exit from the radio station in a YouTube video on Thursday.

“Dan and Jake no longer work at The Ticket, and that is correct,” McDowell said. “We didn’t resign. They didn’t fire us, we just both said we’re not at a resolution.”

A spokesperson for The Ticket told The Dallas Morning News that McDowell and Kemp resigned on Monday.

However, an on-air discussion on Wednesday amongst some radio hosts at The Ticket suggested there was still a chance of McDowell and Kemp returning to the radio station. McDowell and Kemp made it clear in their video that they and The Ticket have agreed to go their separate ways.

“A lot of headlines are like ‘Dan and Jake resigned from The Ticket,’ which is technically true-not true — the only thing is our contracts were expired,” McDowell said. “We were trying to come to an agreement. We believed, in our opinion, the offer from Cumulus was not something we wanted to take. Cumulus believed that they were not willing to offer more...

“They said ‘well, then please resign,’ and so then we did. But it also felt weird that we were writing the email because the contract was already up previously.”

McDowell said he and Kemp worked a week past their contract’s expiration date of July 1.

“Personally, I am not pissed. I’m not mad at Cumulus,” McDowell said. “It’s fine. That’s their thing, their evaluation of the situation and our evaluation of the situation is that we felt like it was fine to move on, they felt like it was fine to move on from us and here we are.”

McDowell started his career at The Ticket in 1999, according to The Ticket’s website. McDowell co-hosted BaD Radio with Bob Sturm until 2020, when Sturm moved to late afternoons.

Kemp joined the station in 2006, according to The Ticket’s website. He served as the producer of BaD Radio, Barrett Sports Media reported. Kemp began hosting a show with McDowell in the noon to 3 p.m. slot after Sturm’s move to late afternoons.

Providence Radio: Bekah Berger Joins PRO-FM Morning Show

Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Bekah Berger as Co-Host, Mornings, on heritage Top 40 radio station in Providence, RI, 92 PRO-FM/WPRO-FM. Berger moves to 92 PRO-FM from Cumulus sister station, Hot 106/WWKX-FM (Rhythmic Contemporary), where she co-hosted “The Hot Morning Show with Bekah and Mike D.” She joins longtime 92 PRO-FM Morning Host, Giovanni, and Jay Buff, 92 PRO-FM Morning Show Producer, on-air beginning Monday, July 31st. The dynamic new on-air team can be heard weekday mornings from 6:00am-10:00am.

Bekah Berger
Berger started her career in 2007 as an intern in the WPRO newsroom and served the station as a call screener for “The Buddy Cianci Show.” In 2008, she was named Promotions Director for the station, hosted a weekend show called “This Week in Entertainment With Bekah Berger,” and was Producer for “The Gene Valicenti Show.” In 2022, she moved to Hot 106 as Promotions Director and Midday Host for that station and became Co-Host of the Hot 106 Morning Show in 2016.

Mary Ellen Kachinske, Director of Music Programming/Operations Manager, Cumulus Providence, said: “This is an exciting evolution for the “Giovanni in the Morning Show” and for 92 PRO-FM. Bekah brings a wealth of relatability and star power to Southern New England listeners and we can’t wait for her to join Gio and Jay.”

Berger commented: “Growing up in Rhode Island, 92 PRO-FM has always been part of my radio presets. I’ve spent my career admiring my fellow Cumulus colleagues, but now being able to work alongside them every morning and being part of such an iconic brand is a dream come true.”

R.I.P.: Tony Bennett, Iconic Crooner & Grammy Winner

Tony Bennett (1926-2023)

96-year-old Tony Bennett, a singer whose melodic clarity, jazz-influenced phrasing, audience-embracing persona and warm, deceptively simple interpretations of musical standards helped spread the American songbook around the world and won him generations of fans, died on Friday in New York City.

His publicist, Sylvia Weiner, announced his death, reports The NY Times.

In February 2021, his wife, Susan Bennett, told AARP The Magazine that Bennett learned he had Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. He continued to perform and record despite his illness; his last public performance was in August of that year, when he appeared with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall in a show titled “One Last Time.”

Bennett’s career of more than 70 years was remarkable not only for its longevity, but also for its consistency. In hundreds of concerts and club dates and more than 150 recordings, he devoted himself to preserving the classic American popular song, as written by Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hammerstein and others.

From his initial success as a jazzy crooner who wowed audiences at the Paramount in Times Square in the early 1950s, through his late-in-life duets with younger singers gleaned from a range of genres and generations — most notably Lady Gaga, with whom he recorded albums in 2014 and 2021 and toured in 2015  — he was an active promoter of both songwriting and entertaining as timeless, noble pursuits.

Bennett amassed many accolades throughout his career, including 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. He was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree, and was the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York. Bennett has sold more than 50 million records worldwide.

In February 2021, it was revealed that Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016. Due to the slow progression of his illness, he continued to record, tour, and perform until his retirement from concerts due to physical challenges, which was announced after his final performances on August 3 and 5, 2021, at Radio City Music Hall.

7/21 WAKE-UP CALL: Ukraine Using Cluster Bombs

Ukraine is using the U.S.-provided cluster bombs but promised not to launch them on Russian soil. After reports that Ukraine had started using the controversial munitions to blast Russian troops out of fortified positions along the war's front lines, the Ukrainian military pledged to employ the bombs exclusively in areas where Russian troops are amassed in occupied Ukrainian territory. President Joe Biden's decision this month to provide Ukrainian troops with the weapons — which are banned by more than 100 nations for the threat they present to civilians — ignited condemnation from some NATO allies and even fellow Democrats in Congress.

➤NEW POLL HAS DeSANTIS TIED WITH RAMASWAMY: New national polling conducted by Kaplan Strategies shows businessman Vivek Ramaswamy tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.  "While DeSantis remains a top-tier candidate amongst non-Trump choices, he now shares this status with Ramaswamy. The reactions of these camps in the face of this new dynamic are anticipated with interest," Kaplan released Thursday. "Despite DeSantis' favorable rating of 59 percent amongst GOP voters, Kaplan suggests that Ramaswamy may have the potential for a higher ceiling, as he is less well-known amongst Republican voters, with a 27 percent uncertain rate." 

➤RFK JR. TESTIFIES: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has promoted a number of conspiracy theories in the course of his long-shot campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Thursday told lawmakers he was the victim of censorship by social media and members of his party while defending himself against charges of antisemitism. “Antisemitism, racism—these are the most appalling, disgusting words applied to me to silence me, because people don’t want me to have that conversation about the war, about groceries, about inflation, about the war on the middle class in this country that we need to be having,” Kennedy said at a hearing convened by House Republicans.  The 69-year-old environmental lawyer also addressed his stance on vaccines, saying that contrary to how critics have labeled him, “I have never been antivax.”  Last week, he drew wide accusations of antisemitism and racism with comments asserting that the virus was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people” while sparing Chinese people and Ashkenazi Jews.

Detroit Radio: Cumulus Media Promotes Ann Thomas, Mike Wheeler

  • Thomas Is The First Female Program Director in WJR’s 101-Year History
  • Mike Wheeler Rises to Operations Manager for Cumulus Detroit/Ann Arbor

Cumulus Media announces that it has promoted Ann Thomas to Program Director for legendary Detroit News/Talk station WJR 760AM. The move establishes Thomas as the first female Program Director in the station’s 101-year history. She rises from her previous role as Assistant Program Director and Executive Producer for WJR.

Ann Thomas
Thomas has built a successful career of over 40 years in broadcasting – all at WJR. She started at WJR as an intern in 1982 and was then hired full-time as Producer of a WJR program called “The Other Side of the News.” She went on to become a WJR News Reporter and Anchor, winning several Associated Press, United Press International, and Detroit Press Club awards for Breaking News and Auto Negotiations. In 1999, Thomas was named Executive Producer of the “Paul W. Smith Show,” earning multiple “Best Morning Show” awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, including in 2022 and 2023. Thomas also produced the WJR-MSU tailgate shows for 15 years from 2006-2021. She has also hosted several WJR shows including “The Healthy Woman Show,” “Opportunity Detroit,” “The WJR Gardening Show,” and “Women Who Lead,” which Thomas launched 11 years ago to highlight Michigan women from all walks of life doing great things in the community.

In 2019, Thomas was inducted into the Michigan Business Women’s Hall of Fame and was the 2014 recipient of the Michigan Business and Professional Association’s Women and Leadership in the Workplace Award. She also received the prestigious “Diamond” award from the Association for Women in Communications and was honored by Toastmasters District 28 with its Communications & Leadership Award. She has helped WJR raise millions for a myriad of local charitable organizations.

Mike Wheeler
Concurrent with Thomas’ appointment, Cumulus Media has also promoted Mike Wheeler, former WJR Program Director, to Operations Manager, Cumulus Detroit/Ann Arbor. In the newly created position, Wheeler will manage operations for Cumulus Media’s four Detroit stations and four Ann Arbor stations. A Detroit native, Wheeler’s deep broadcasting experience includes more than 20 years in regional roles with Clear Channel Communications/iHeart Media in Toledo, OH; St. Louis, MO; Atlanta, GA; and Hartford/New Haven, CT.

Steve Finateri, Regional Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Detroit/Ann Arbor, said: “Ann Thomas is the heart and soul of WJR and has been deserving of this move for a very long time. Her fingerprints are already all over this heritage, award-winning radio station, but we are all excited to see what the future holds with Ann in the driver’s seat!”

NYC Radio: WFAN's Barber & Roberts To Continue SNY Simulcast

SNY has announced  WFAN on SNY will continue.  WFAN’s “Evan & Tiki” will make its SNY television debut on Monday, July 24. The exclusive simulcast will be live on SNY Monday through Friday from 4:00-6:00 PM.

“We are happy to bring ‘Evan & Tiki’ to SNY,” said Steve Raab, President of SNY. “Our partnership with WFAN has not only enhanced our daily line up, but it has elevated New York sports news and programming for a very loyal and passionate fan base.”

“The debut of ‘Evan & Tiki’ is the next chapter in our tremendous partnership with SNY,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Together we will bring the very best in sports audio and video to New York fans daily, which is exactly what they have come to expect from WFAN on SNY.”

The “Evan & Tiki”” simulcast will be in the lead-off position for SNY’s unparalleled nightly sports and entertainment programming block which includes Baseball Night in New York, live exclusive games including York Mets games, and Honda SportsNite.

Denver Radio: DJ Buck Brand Manager of KS 107.5

Audacy has named DJ Buck Brand Manager of KS 107.5 (KQKS-FM) in Denver. In this role, DJ Buck will oversee the station's content strategy, talent, operations, and branding. He will continue to serve as Brand Manager and Morning Show Host for Hot 93.7 (WZMX-FM) in Hartford.

“We are delighted to name DJ Buck the next brand manager of KS 107.5,” said Micah Goldberg, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Denver. “With his exceptional experience and deep-rooted passion for Hip-Hop and Rhythmic music, DJ Buck is undoubtedly the perfect choice to lead the station to new heights. As a veteran in the radio industry and his regional oversight of our company’s rhythmic format, we are confident that DJ Buck will bring unparalleled creativity and innovation to KS 107.5.”

DJ Buck
“After getting to know the brand and the market, I see nothing but potential and a bright future for KS 107.5,” said DJ Buck. “I’m excited to dig in and work more closely with the Denver team.”

DJ Buck started in the music business as a local record store manager for Skippy Whites. He was also responsible for bringing Hip-Hop to Rhode Island College's WXIN. He worked at various college radio stations, landing him at Hot 106 WWKX, where he eventually became the station's Program Director. After five years, he took the job in Hartford at WZMX, where he has made his home for the last 22 years. DJ Buck has been recognized with various awards, including The NAACP Award for being one of the state's most influential African American men, 100 Men of Color, and various radio industry awards.

đŸ“»Listeners can tune in to KS 107.5 (KQKS-FM) in Denver on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

NAB Applauds FCC For Resolving FM6 Issue

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to permit a limited number of low power television (LPTV) stations operating on TV channel 6 (TV6) to maintain their existing analog FM radio services (FM6 operations).  The operations are only permitted on an ancillary or supplementary basis subject to specific operational rules and requirements.

The FM6 or so-called “Franken FM” stations have emerged as an interesting issue in the transition to NextGen TV/ATSC 3.0 broadcasts, with the NAB and others backing the idea that some of these FM6 stations should be allowed to continue operations.

The practice apparently began in the 1980s, and at one time about 30 such stations were operating, aiming to reach listeners whose radios could pick up Channel 6 audio spectrum just below the licensed FM dial.

Some broadcasters felt it was a dubious or illegal practice; but looking back on it in issuing her statement today, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sounded approving: “Ultimately this led to more broadcast services to more people in the community.”

But after the 2021 LPTV digital transition, newly digital stations that had been providing FM6 service were no longer able to reach analog radio audiences through these TV transmissions.

However, 13 stations remained on the air under special temporary authority, subject to a set of rules laid out by the FCC for this situation. Among other things they had to convert to ATSC 3.0 digital; provide at least one video stream on the ATSC 3.0 portion; operate on a non-interference basis; and provide audio and video coverage to similar populations.

Those 13 are grandfathered in as ancillary or supplementary services. They are KBKF, San Jose, Calif. (whose STA request appears to have set the precedent for this group); WMTO, Norfolk, Va.; KXDP, Denver, Colo.; WTBS, Atlanta, Ga.; WRME, Chicago, Ill.; KZNO, Big Bear Lake, Calif.; KEFM, Sacramento, Calif.; WEYS, Miami, Fla.; WDCN, Fairfax, Va.; KRPE, San Diego, Calif.; KGHD, Las Vegas, Nev.; WPGF, Memphis, Tenn.; and WNYZ, New York, N.Y. Most if not all of them operate on a commercial basis.