Saturday, August 12, 2023

Radio History: August 13

➦In 1919
...Alpha Rex Emmanuel Humbard born (Died at age 88 – September 21, 2007). He was a pioneering radio and TV evangelist whose Cathedral of Tomorrow show was aired on over 600 stations at the peak of its popularity.

➦In 1952...the original version of Hound Dog was recorded by Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. It was the first hit for songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also wrote Kansas City for Wilbert Harrison, On Broadway for The Drifters, and Stand By Me for Ben E. King. Four years later, Hound Dog got the attention of the world when it was recorded by Elvis Presley.

➦In 1966…The controversy over John Lennon's "more popular than Jesus" comments had been growing since late July. A public bonfire was on this day organised by the radio station KLUE in Longview, Texas.

The following day, the KLUE broadcast tower was struck by lightning, damaging much of their equipment and sending the news director to the hospital.

➦In 1959...Daniel Bonaduce born. The son of veteran TV writer/producer Joseph Bonaduce (The Dick Van Dyke Show, One Day at a Time, and others), he became famous as a child actor of the 1970s on the TV sitcom The Partridge Family. He co-starred as Danny Partridge, the wisecracking, redheaded middle son of the singing family band (headed by Shirley Jones), and he was the fictional pop group's bass guitar player.

Danny Bonaduce - 2007
Since then, Bonaduce has starred in several other TV series, including the VH1 reality show Breaking Bonaduce in 2005, radio shows in Los Angeles and Philadelphia and has been hosting a morning talk/music show at Seattle radio station KZOK-FM since November 14, 2011.

In the late 1980s, Bonaduce had become an on-air radio personality. He worked an overnight shift at Philadelphia's WEGX-FM. From 1994 to 1996, Bonaduce hosted his own radio show, The Danny Bonaduce Show on The Loop WLUP in Chicago. Between 1996 and 1998, Bonaduce hosted a morning radio show in Detroit on WKQI with comedian and Last Comic Standing winner John Heffron.

Bonaduce was part of The Adam Carolla Show in 2007. In 2008 he was given a daily one-hour solo spot known as Broadcasting Bonaduce, which was broadcast locally on the L.A.-based KLSX station. In February 2009, it was announced that the station had changed its format from talk to Top 40, and the removal of Broadcasting Bonaduce from the KLSX schedule was confirmed.

On October 31, 2011, it was announced by Seattle radio station 102.5 KZOK that Bonaduce would be co-hosting their morning-drive show beginning on November 14, 2011. Bonaduce came to Seattle from a radio stint at 94 WYSP in Philadelphia, following a format change from classic rock to all sports radio in September 2011.

Bonaduce is an ordained minister; he was ordained online in order to perform a wedding ceremony as part of a 94WYSP radio promotion in early 2011. In June 2023, Bonaduce announced that he would be undergoing hydrocephalus-related surgery after experiencing difficulty walking and maintaining his balance.

➦In 1986...KRE-AM in Berkeley CA changes call letters to KBLX (now KVTO). The station began in Berkeley in 1922 as KRE, the former call-sign of a marine radio station aboard a World War I merchant marine steamship, Florence H., destroyed in an April 17, 1918, explosion at Quiberon Bay, France.  Later programming was simulcast on KRE-FM and there were occasional AM/FM stereo broadcasts, including some classical music programming. KRE's call letters changed to KPAT in 1963, then back to KRE in 1972. The call letters KBLX were adopted in 1986, then changed to KBFN in 1989 and back to KBLX in 1990. The current call letters, KVTO, were adopted in 1994.

The station is currently owned by Phuong Pham, through licensee Pham Radio Communication LLC and air a Chinese fromat.

➦In 1986...NYC TV Personality (Officer) Joe Bolton died. He started his broadcast career in 1927 as a staff announcer for WOR in Newark, NJ. He was the announcer for DuMont Television Network's talent show Doorway to Fame in 1947, but he left DuMont for WPIX on May 15, 1948 to be a news announcer and weatherman.

Hell In Paradise As Death Toll Rises

The death toll from the Maui wildfire climbed to 80 Friday as Maui fire crews battled blazes still scorching parts of the island and rescue workers searched for about 1,000 people reported missing as questions began to swirl about Hawaii's emergency warning system.

USATODAY reports confirmed deaths from the inferno that erupted Tuesday − fueled by winds from Hurricane Dora and exacerbated by overly dry vegetation from the ongoing drought − now officially make the Maui natural disaster the worst that Hawaii has seen since becoming a state in 1959.

There is still no end in sight. Cadaver-sniffing dogs were brought in Friday to assist the search for the dead, Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. said.

The death toll of 80 surpasses the state’s deadliest previous largest natural disaster, a 1960 tsunami that killed 61 people. An even deadlier tsunami in 1946, prior to Hawaii's statehood, killed more than 150 on the Big Island. The 1946 tsunami prompted the development of the territory-wide emergency system that includes sirens, which are sounded monthly to test their readiness.

Many fire survivors in this week's conflagration said in interviews that they didn’t hear any sirens or receive a warning that gave them enough time to prepare, realizing they were in danger only when they saw flames or heard explosions nearby.

Radio stations in Maui are using their shows to spread important information and broadcast the concerns of those in need following the deadly wildfires. KHNL's Daryl Huff reports.

Radio stations on Maui are now airing County of Maui updates on the Lahaina wildfire incident at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Radio updates will supplement information posted on the county’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages.Maui radio stations include the following:

  • Pacific Media Group on KPOA FM 92.9 (west side) / FM 93.5; KJKS FM 99.3 (west side) / FM 99.9 FM; KJMD FM 107.1 (west side) / FM 98.3; KHLI FM 101.7 (west side) / FM 92.5; KMVI AM 900 / FM 102.5; and KNUI AM 550 / FM 106.1
  • KAOI Radio Group on 1110 AM / 96.7 FM
  • KPMW FM 105.5
  • Akaku’s KAKU 88.5

AG's Trick Called A 'Sham'..CNN Pundit: A 'Debacle'

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel in the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, signaling a wider probe of President Joe Biden's son ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

USATODAY reports Garland announced Friday that he is elevating David Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware who has led the Hunter Biden investigation for five years, to special counsel status.

Garland, delivering a surprise statement from the Justice Department headquarters, said Weiss informed him on Tuesday that "his investigation had reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel" and asked for the appointment.

"Upon considering his request, as well as the extraordinary circumstances relating to this matter, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint him as special counsel," Garland said.

The move marks a significant turn in the Justice Department's ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden, whose plea deal with prosecutors to resolve tax evasion and gun charges unraveled in court last month.

Shortly after the special counsel appointment, prosecutors filed a motion stating that the two sides are at an "impasse" and that the government expects the matter to go to trial. The Justice Department is seeking to move the case to either a federal court in Washington or California, which prosecutors argue would be the appropriate venues for the alleged crimes.

After news broke that Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss to be the special counsel in the ongoing Department of Justice’s Hunter Biden probe, former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Shan Wu trashed the decision as a "debacle."

Wu argued the move reveals that Garland is paranoid of looking political and slammed the AG for poorly managing the investigating into the president’s son, claiming it implies there’s a connection between the president and his son's behavior. 

Judge Tries To Muzzle Trump

A judge barred Donald Trump from publicizing sensitive evidence in the criminal case alleging that he conspired to undo his 2020 election loss, saying his presidential campaign doesn’t mean he should get special treatment.

“He’s a criminal defendant. He is going to have restrictions like every single other defendant,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said Friday during a hearing where prosecutors sparred with Trump’s lawyers over how much information the former president and his legal team can access and potentially publicly expose, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The existence of a political campaign is not going to have any impact on my decision,” Chutkan said. “I intend to keep politics out of this.”

The judge interrupted Trump’s lawyer, John Lauro, when he said the Justice Department’s goal was to interfere with Trump’s ability to run for president.

“I’m not going to accept that,” she said. “I have seen no evidence that this is politically motivated.”

Friday’s hearing focused on rules for how evidence turned over to Trump, known as discovery, could be accessed and publicized.

Four hours after the hearing ended, she issued a five-page protective order. Such orders are commonplace in criminal cases and typically draw little attention.

In her order, Chutkan declined to grant prosecutors’ request for a broad order that would bar the defense from disclosing or disseminating any discovery evidence.

She also rejected a request from Trump’s lawyers that they be allowed to share sensitive evidence, like grand jury transcripts and witness interviews, with consultants and volunteer attorneys. She instead limited disclosure to people Trump has formally employed to assist on the case, saying letting volunteer attorneys see sensitive evidence could lead to unauthorized disclosure of the materials.

Kevin Brown Returns To Orioles Broadcast Booth

Kevin Brown finally returned to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network on Friday night, hours after the Orioles’ lead play-by-play broadcaster asked fans to “disregard the distracting noise of the past few days” — noise that stemmed from his absence from television and led to “Free Kevin Brown” chants at Camden Yards.

Brown appeared on the MASN airwaves for the first time since July 23 to provide play-by-play as Baltimore faced the Seattle Mariners at 10:10 p.m. E.T. at T-Mobile Park.

Brown made no mention of his prolonged absence or the controversy surrounding it in the opening segment of the broadcast alongside analyst Brad Brach.

Brown had called the series against the Philadelphia Phillies from July 24 to July 26 on the radio, but his absence on television stemmed from factual comments made ahead of the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays, a source with direct knowledge of the decision said.

A senior Orioles official told The Baltimore Banner this week that Brown would return in the near future but declined to offer the ballclub’s perspective on why Brown was off the airwaves. A report from the website Awful Announcing first linked Brown’s comment — in which he accurately said “the Orioles have won more games against [the Rays] this season than the last two combined” — as the reason Brown was off air.

In a thread on X, formerly called Twitter, Brown wrote: “Unfortunately, recent media reports have mischaracterized my relationship with my adopted hometown Orioles. The fact is that I have a wonderful relationship with the organization, and our ownership and front office has fully supported me since 2019 when I first came aboard.

“I ask that everyone disregard the distracting noise of the past few days. I have worked closely with O’s SVP Greg Bader for the past four years, and [Orioles chairman and CEO] John Angelos and I have a solid dialogue based on mutual respect. We are all good here in Birdland!”

Brown added that “there is no place in baseball I’d rather be now and for the long haul.”

How Swifties Boosted The L-A Economy by $320M

When Dallas resident Adriana Akhtar planned a recent Los Angeles trip with her family to see Taylor Swift perform as part of the artist’s ballyhooed “Eras Tour,” she wasn’t necessarily thinking about boosting the local economy. 

But over the course of four days, Akhtar, 47, did just that: She estimates her family spent about $35,000 on luxury accommodations, meals at some of the city’s hottest restaurants and transportation within the area — and that figure doesn’t even include a five-figure shopping splurge. In short, her Taylor trip became an L.A. vacation done to the max.

And Akhtar makes the point that she was hardly alone. “Rodeo Drive was overrun with moms and daughters in town for Taylor Swift,” she told MarketWatch

Add up all that spending by so many Swifties over the course of Swift’s sold-out, six-show run at SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood and you have a $320 million boost to the city, according to a detailed report from the California Center for Jobs & the Economy. The Los Angeles engagement concluded Wednesday night, which also marked the end of the first leg of the “Eras Tour.”

Notably, the $320 million doesn’t include the bulk of the money spent on tickets and merchandise, since that’s channeled to Swift, officials with the center told MarketWatch. But if that was added to the mix, the total would be $490 million — or nearly a half-billion dollars. The $320 million does, however, encompass everything from hotel stays and restaurant visits to sales taxes generated.

It’s been estimated that 420,000 people attended the Swift shows in Los Angeles. Many of those traveled from out of town — just like Akhtar. And befitting the joyous mood of the concerts, they clearly came to have a good time and spend, spend, spend, said Robert Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, which runs the center.

FTX Founder Ordered Jailed For Media Leak

SBF Headed To Jail
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX and a major contributor to the Democratic party, was ordered to jail on Friday after a federal judge in New York revoked his bail, in a dramatic twist less than two months before the case was set to go to trial.

The NYTimes reports Bankman-Fried, 31, had been under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, Calif., since he was arrested in December on fraud charges stemming from FTX’s implosion. But at Friday’s hearing, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan said that arrangement would have to end, after prosecutors argued that Mr. Bankman-Fried had given documents to the media to intimidate a witness in the case.  

'Climate-Anxiety' Fueled by Social Media and MSM

Climate change therapists are exploding in popularity
as Gen Z descends into "eco-anxiety"

"Right now is a time to be celebrating progress in the fight against climate change."

This week, American scientists made a historical breakthrough in reproducing nuclear fusion — a reaction with the potential to unlock cheap, clean and unlimited energy, according to Rikki Schlott, writing for The NY Post.

But, she writes climate catastrophizers are so paralyzed by their worries that they might not even notice.

So-called “eco-anxiety” is an issue so prevalent that PBS Newshour recently hosted climate psychology therapist Leslie Davenport to discuss how to fight it.

Democrats, Media Turning Zoomers Into Doomers

A poll found that 34% of youths fear being a mass shooting victim

The Biden era is turning America’s youngest voters, the “zoomers,” into doomers. They’re depressed and fearful — and their confidence in the nation’s institutions, from the police to the Supreme Court, is weakening. So is their support for Joe Biden. the NY Post recently reported.

Only 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 approve of Biden’s job performance, according to a new poll by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

They’ve created a mentality of despair among young Americans, who look on as crime soars but hear nothing but a drumbeat from liberal media outlets about how bad the cops are.

As a result, 48% of the zoomers polled by IOP say they have felt unsafe in the past month — in shopping malls (16%), on public transportation (15%), in their neighborhoods (13%) and on their college campuses (21%).

Vanna White Replaced On 'Wheel'..At Least For Now

Vanna White will reportedly miss a few upcoming episodes of “Wheel of Fortune” as the iconic letter-turner allegedly continues her contract negotiations.

Puck News reported Friday that White, 66, apparently got COVID-19 in late July while “Wheel” was filming its annual “Teachers Week,” which is scheduled to air in October.

That’s when producers apparently called up “Teacher of the Year” recipient Bridgette Donald-Blue to replace White at the letter board for the week’s worth of episodes.

White’s absence from the show will be her first in nearly 30 years. It also comes at a time when she’s reportedly in tense contract negations, hoping to score her first raise in allegedly 18 years.

Hip-Hop Fans Stream, Rockers Buy

by Florian Zandt, Statista

The groundwork for what was about to become hip-hop was first laid by DJ Kool Herc on August 11, 1973, at a house party. 50 years on, the genre is still as popular as ever, as is evidenced by our chart based on data from Luminate. According to the entertainment industry data company's most recent U.S. Year-End Music Report, R&B and hip-hop had market shares of 28.7 percent and 28 percent in audio and video streaming, respectively, in 2022. In terms of album sales, they're beaten by a genre that's been around for a couple of decades longer.

Luminate data shows that 45.4 percent of the market share in physical album sales belongs to rock music, although the definition of what and what doesn't constitute rock is murky at best. Country music, a style many foreigners traditionally associate with United States culture, mostly has market shares in the single digits. The exception is digital song sales, where tracks by artists like Morgan Wallen or Carrie Underwood make up 12.4 percent of the total market volume.
Infographic: Hip-Hop Fans Stream, Rockers Buy | Statista
You will find more infographics at Statista

Overall, the U.S. music market has been shrinking in volume in 2022 in most segments. While vinyl LP sales are up, digital and physical album and track sales are down, the latter by 25 percent, compared to 2021. Streaming, of course, is the big winner in this regard. On-demand song streams, for example, increased in volume by 22.6 percent to a total of 3.4 trillion. Worldwide revenue from recorded music grew to $26.2 billion in 2022, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), $17.5 billion of which were generated in the streaming segment.

Philly Radio: WMGK Helping Habitat for Humanity Today

Beasley Media Group’s Classic Rock 102.9 WMGK-FM & Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia are teaming up today to help families in need of affordable housing.

The 5th Annual Gimme Shelter event will take place on Saturday, August 12th, from 11am – 3pm at the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore located at 3111 W. Allegheny Avenue, in Philadelphia. WMGK’s Matt Cord, Steve Vassalotti, Andre Gardner, and Tony Harris will be broadcasting live from the donation site.

Listeners are encouraged to drop off new and/or gently used home goods, hardware, and construction materials. All donated items benefit the non-profit organization’s mission of helping to build and repair homes for individuals and families in need in Philadelphia. All on-site donors will receive a pair of tickets to MGK’s Big Gig and a commemorative Gimme Shelter t-shirt (while supplies last) courtesy of our friends at MJ Corp.

Accepted items include tools, hardware, electrical, lumber, plumbing, roofing, doors, windows, appliances, furniture, and more.

In addition, listeners can make a monetary donation or schedule a pickup with their local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. For more information or to donate, head to

Radio History: August 12

Thomas A Edison

➦In 1877
...Thomas A Edison gave the first public demonstration of his invention:  the phonograph.

The phonograph, also called gramophone,  is a device introduced in 1877 for the recording and reproduction of sound recordings. The sound vibration waveforms are preserved in the form of a groove engraved into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc. As the recorded surface rotates, a playback stylus traces the waveforms and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves.

While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison's phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds. Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory made several improvements in the 1880s, including the use of wax-coated cardboard cylinders, and a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a "zig zag" pattern across the record.

In the 1890s, Emile Berliner initiated the transition from phonograph cylinders to flat discs with a spiral groove running from the periphery to near the center. Other improvements were made throughout the years, including modifications to the turntable and its drive system, the stylus or needle, and the sound and equalization systems.

The disc phonograph record was the dominant audio recording format throughout most of the 20th century. From the mid-1980s, phonograph use declined sharply because of the rise of the compact disc and other digital recording formats. While no longer mass-market items, modest numbers of phonographs and phonograph records continue to be produced in the second decade of the 21st century.

➦In 1925...KMA-AM in Shenandoah IA begins radio transmissions

The station was founded by seed salesman Earl May.  May and Henry A. Field of Shenandoah were rivals in the seed business. In 1925 Field of Field's Nursery founded radio station KFNF while May founded KMA. While both stations offered farm news; the two were to become most competitive by offering live productions of hillbilly music. According to KMA's website more than a million people traveled to small town Shenandoah to hear the music.

May built the station headquarters and Mayfair Auditorium (demolished in 1964 due to its being declared structurally unsafe by the Iowa State Fire Marshal) across the street from the nursery business. Between music sets, May would pitch his seeds and tell nostalgic stories. In 1926 May won the third annual Radio Digest Gold Cup Award, after being voted the "World's Most Popular Radio Announcer" by over 452,000 people throughout the United States.

The KMA shows which were broadcast in the afternoons were called the "KMA Country School" and according to the format emanated from the fictional KMA District No. 9 school with the shows beginning with the ringing of a school bell.

The most famous celebrities in KMA's history were the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil. In their early teen years, the brothers and their parents would appear on KMA to sing as "The Everly Family", but by 1952, they were discovered by a talent agent, and made their way to fame in Hollywood with such hit songs as "Wake Up, Little Susie".

With the high visibility KMA operated on a slogan of "Keep Millions Advised", which was adopted in early 1926, after sorting through a reported 4,000 suggestions.  KFNF was to operate on "Keep Friendly, Never Frown."

The county school shows were discontinued in the 1950s and the station continued to offer its farm show and farm housewife shows until the late 1990s; the current format revolves around ABC Radio news at the top of each hour, with some agricultural news, regional high school sports and their "Elephant Shop" where listeners can buy, sell, trade or give away personal property on the air.

➤READ MORE: About KMA from radio veteran Marlin R Taylor: Click Here

The 920 AM frequency formerly occupied by KFNF is now KYFR, a Christian radio station owned by Family Radio.

➦In 1937…Comedian Red Skelton made his radio debut on NBC Radio Network's "Rudy Vallee Show."

➦In 1977...Cousin Brucie Morrow did last show at WNBC 660 AM NYC (now WFAN).

➦In 2001..XM Satellite Radio began broadcasting program content.

Friday, August 11, 2023

NYC Radio: WFAN, NFL Giants Expand Partnership

The Giants and WFAN today announced an extension to their play-by-play partnership. WFAN will continue as the flagship station of the team, airing all pre- regular and postseason games. The two also announced expanded programming for the 2023 season, including the launch of a new weekly preview show called “Big Blue Kickoff Live” airing on Saturday mornings during the regular season.

In addition, all three WFAN daily shows will broadcast live from Giants Training Camp on Monday, August 14th beginning at 6:00 a.m. ET. “Boomer & Gio,” “Brandon Tierney & Sal Licata” and “Evan & Tiki” will kick off the Giants Training Camp Special with interviews from players, coaches, front office members, and legends.

“WFAN is proud to grow our long-standing partnership with the New York Football Giants,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President Audacy New York. “More opportunities for fans to connect with Big Blue is our commitment, one that goes beyond Sunday and extends year round.” 

“Big Blue Kickoff Live” will air live every Saturday morning on WFAN from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET during the regular season and break down all things Big Blue with player and coach interviews. Hosted by’s John Schmeelk and WFAN’s Shaun Morash, the show will take calls and scan social media to hear directly from Giants fans. Fans can also tune into Big Blue Kickoff Live exclusively on Giants digital platforms throughout the week.

“We are thrilled to add more Giants programming on WFAN this season, highlighted by our new Saturday morning preview show,” Giants SVP Marketing & Brand Strategy Nilay Shah said. “With new and improved integration between WFAN and our digital platforms, we will be able to provide our fans with the best coverage on all things Big Blue.”

Also new for the 2023 season will be “Giants Daily Update,” a quick hit for fans to hear the latest news and buzz from the Quest Diagnostics Training Center as the team prepares for each game.

WFAN and the Audacy app will continue to be the home for all New York Giants game broadcasts. Schmeelk and Jonathan Casillas, former Giants linebacker and nine-year NFL veteran, will serve as pregame and postgame hosts, while Bob Papa and Carl Banks continue in their roles on the game broadcast with Howard Cross on the sidelines.

📻Listeners can tune in to WFAN-FM/AM in New York on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Local Rights For NBA, NHL, MLB Games Up For Grabs

Broadcast station owners including E.W. Scripps Co., Gray Television, Nexstar Media Group and Sinclair have been in discussions with leagues and teams about potential deals to carry games on free over-the-air channels, according to people familiar with the matter, as long-held media rights for teams on regional sports networks unravel.

CNBC reports regional sports networks have owned almost all local sports rights for decades, but their viability is in doubt after tens of millions of Americans have been canceling cable TV in recent years. A shift to a model revolving around broadcast stations and direct-to-consumer streaming would upend the business that saw teams and leagues reap hefty fees. It would also boost broadcast station owners leverage in carriage negotiations — and potentially accelerate cord-cutting.

The discussions come soon after Diamond Sports Group, which owns the largest portfolio of RSNs, filed for bankruptcy protection and stopped paying rights fees for some of the teams on its channels. Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns a slate of networks, said it would exit the business by year-end, putting another handful of teams on the table.

The leagues and teams began contingency planning in March when Diamond filed for bankruptcy, the people said.

Broadcasters are viewing the opportunity to carry local NBA, NHL and MLB games as an unexpected pathway to boost the fees they receive from pay TV operators like Comcast, Charter or DirecTV for the right to carry their stations.

Broadcast companies typically tie all of their stations together when they renegotiate contracts with pay TV carriers. That makes local sports unusually valuable.

If companies like Gray or Nexstar can land sports rights in several markets, they can likely use those rights as leverage to boost fees for all of their stations. If pay TV operators push back on price increases, the station groups can threaten to black out the games. Leagues typically want to avoid local blackouts which disappoint sports fans.

That dynamic has led distributors, which have also shown interest in short-term deals to carry games, to express concern to the leagues about more games going to local broadcast stations being provided free to viewers with a TV antenna and no paid package, the people said. They fear local sports moving to broadcasting could further accelerate cord-cutting.

Fox Anchor Thinks Trump Looks 'Rattled'

Fox News Channel’s Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz says the avalanche of legal woes has begun to take a toll on former President Donald Trump. For the first time since the indictments started dropping, Donald Trump seems rattled. In public,” Kurtz writes in a story published Thursday. “Not ‘sources close to the former president say he’s upset,’ but genuinely angry and frustrated.”

Forbes reports Kurtz noted that Trump’s usual reaction to attacks or challenges is bravado. But lately, he’s been playing the victim.

Kurtz pointed to Trump’s appearance in New Hampshire Tuesday, where Trump told supporters "I’m sorry, I won’t be able to go to Iowa today, I won’t be able to go to New Hampshire today, because I’m sitting in a courtroom on bull——, because his attorney general charged me with something."

It was at the rally in New Hampshire that Trump attacked the Fulton County District Attorney expected to file charges against him over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential vote in Georgia. "They say that she was after a certain gang,” Trump said of Fani Willis, making a remarkably personal unsubstantiated claim that “she ended up having an affair with the head of the gang or a gang member. And this is a person that wants to indict me.

"That is an extremely serious charge – one that could lead to indictment,” Kurtz said.

News Corp Swings to Loss

News Corp said it swung to a loss in the latest quarter, due in part to a revenue decline and a sharp drop in profitability at its book-publishing unit.

The New York-based media company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers and news organizations in the U.K. and Australia, said revenue fell 9% to $2.43 billion for the quarter ended June 30, hurt by foreign-currency fluctuations and the fact that the year-earlier quarter comprised one extra week.

The company lost $8 million, or one cent a share, which it said was also partly caused by higher restructuring charges. That compared with a profit of $110 million, or 19 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter, boosted by a $149 million tax benefit. 

Robert Thompson
Chief Executive Robert Thomson said the company’s Dow Jones unit, which beyond the Journal also publishes Barron’s and MarketWatch, reported its highest profitability since it became part of News Corp.  Segment earnings at Dow Jones increased 25% to $133 million, while revenue fell 3.4%.

News Corp calculates segment earnings as revenue less operating and administrative expenses. Segment earnings exclude expenses such as interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and restructuring charges, and other items.

The Journal averaged 3.406 million digital subscriptions in the period, an increase of 107,000 from the previous quarter. Including the print edition, the Journal averaged 3.966 million subscriptions. Total average subscriptions to all Dow Jones consumer products reached 5.242 million, an increase of 125,000 from the previous quarter. 

During a call with investors to discuss the company’s results, Thomson said the company was in active negotiations with relevant companies in the artificial-intelligence field to address the impact of generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence that can create various types of content including text, images and audio.

News Corp’s news-media segment, which includes the Sun, the New York Post and the Times in the U.K., posted a 9.2% revenue decline and a 36% increase in segment earnings, driven by cost-saving initiatives.

Advertising revenue across all units fell 11% to $424 million.  

The company said revenue was down 13% at its book-publishing unit, HarperCollins Publishers, where segment earnings fell 66%. News Corp said the decline reflected “lower book sales due to lower consumer demand industry-wide.”

St. Louis Radio: Kevin Slaten Set To Return to KFNS

Kevin Slaten
It has been seven years since Kevin Slaten, the bad boy of sports-talk radio across much of its three decades in the market, last hosted a show in that format on a St. Louis station.

But, according to Dan Ceaser at,  the outspoken broadcaster, who uses George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” in the introduction to his show and is known for his stinging critiques of the area’s teams and athletes, is about to reappear. He’s set to return to KFNS 590 AM next week for his sixth stint with the station. Some of his previous stays ended by his choice, others did not. But he vows to be as tough-talking as usual and still is energized at age 69.

“I’m excited to be back,” Slaten said this week, adding that he was interested in returning because “I like” the job. “I’m happy to hold people accountable, that’s what we do. And people can hold me accountable as well. To me that’s the way it always should be and always will be. If people aren’t ready, here we come anyway. If I were (Missouri football coach) Eli Drinkwitz or (Cardinals manager) Oli Marmol, I would be on my toes.”

Beginning Monday he’s heading to KFNS’ noon-2 p.m. weekday slot, which currently is occupied by Nate Lucas and Bob Ramsey. Lucas will be paired with Slaten and produce the show, then Ramsey and Lucas will be on from 2-3 p.m. (Lucas sometimes is the solo host there now). Slaten and Ramsey were among the original hosts when the all-sports format debuted locally in 1992, on KGLD (later KASP) 1380 AM.

His last stay at 590 ended when he elected to leave, on his own, in a change of management structure. Another KFNS stint concluded when he was ousted after making comments in 2012 about racial voting patterns in the presidential election won by Barack Obama. An additional run there ended in 2008 when he was fired following a confrontation with Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, who didn’t know he was on the air and thought he and Slaten were having a private conversation. Slaten sued over his dismissal and eventually reached a settlement with Big League Broadcasting, which owned the station then.

Indy Radio: Two New Shows Launching on The Fan

Starting Monday, August 21st 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan will have a new midday show and a new morning show. The new midday show will be called “Query & Company!“.

Query & Company will air weekdays from 12PM-3PM on 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan.

Jake Query will take the main chair while others will fill in to co-host for the time being until a permanent co-host is decided upon.

Jake Query is an Indianapolis native, graduate of North Central High School and a recent graduate of Indiana University. Jake has been a TV sports reporter and anchor for WRTV, part of the IndyCar Radio Network since 2007 and a long time Indianapolis sports radio host, Jake has  spent the last two years as co-host of the Kevin & Query Show on The Fan’s morning show.

Also,  beginning on August 21st, Kevin Bowen will be joined on the morning show from 7AM-10AM by Andy Sweeney full-time moving forward. The new morning show will be called “The Wake Up Call With KB and Andy“.

For the past 13 years Andy has been the host of The Take with Andy Sweeney as well as the Program Director on ESPN Louisville. Andy grew up in and graduated from high school in Jeffersonville, living most recently in Sellersberg. Andy made sure his Louisville station was a Colts affiliate and is thrilled to be able to cover the team up close. Andy and his wife have two dogs and will be welcoming their first child this fall.

'Backstage Country' Announce August Guests Hosts

Beasley Media Group, LLC and Key Networks announce that Shawn Parr, host of Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country, welcomes an all-star lineup of guest hosts to the nationally syndicated Country music show in the month of August. .

Shawn Parr’s guest hosts in August include these Country artists:
  • Week of August 7th – Brett Young
  • Week of August 14th – Russell Dickerson
  • Week of August 21st – Jon Pardi
  • Week of August 28th – Parmalee
John Reynolds, Vice President of Music & Entertainment, Beasley Media Group, said: “Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country gives listeners a weekly peak “behind the curtain” of an artist’s life. With this lineup, the stories will be super compelling, entertaining and fun each week.”

Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country, is heard on over 80 U.S. radio stations and in 27 of the top 50 DMA markets. Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country affiliates include Beasley Media Group stations WKLB-FM, Boston, MA; WXTU-FM in Philadelphia, PA; WQYK-FM in Tampa, FL; KCYE-FM, Las Vegas, NV; WSOC-FM, Charlotte, NC; WKXC-FM, Augusta, GA; and WKML-FM, Fayetteville, NC.

Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country is available in multiple dayparts on a market-exclusive basis from Key Networks. The four-hour localized Country music entertainment program offers Country stations and their listeners unmatched access to Nashville’s biggest Country music stars, rising stars, and new artists, and showcases the best of Country music in a highly entertaining and PPM-friendly format. Paired with Parr’s trademark warmth, wit, and love for Country music, Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country is available to stations Monday-Friday via FTP delivery. The show is customized to air anywhere in a station’s lineup between 6am-Midnight – Mornings, Middays, Afternoons or Nights.

To bring Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country and Nashville’s hottest Country stars to your market, visit: or contact Dennis Green, Chief Operating Officer, Key Networks, at 844.KEY.NETS or For advertisers and sponsors, contact Jason Wilberding, President of Sales, Key Networks, at

8/11 WAKE-UP CALL: 'Paradise Lost' Fire Deaths Surge To 55

Maui's wildfires have killed at least 55 people, a toll expected to rise, and unleashed destruction on the resort town of Lahaina that will take many years and billions of dollars to rebuild, Hawaiian officials said on Thursday. 

Governor Josh Green said the inferno that reduced much of Lahaina to smoldering ruins was the worst natural disaster in the state's history, turning thousands of people homeless and leveling as many as 1,000 buildings. "It's going to take many years to rebuild Lahaina," Green said told a news conference, as officials began to map out a plan to shelter the newly homeless in hotels and tourist rental properties. "It will be a new Lahaina that Maui builds in its own image with its own values," Green said of the city that draws 2 million tourists each year, or about 80% of the island's visitors.

The fast-moving inferno, which started on Tuesday, spread from the brush outside of town and ravaged the historic city of Lahaina that was once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Daily Mail Composite 8/11/23
➤CELEBS ARE PROPERTRY OWNERS: Oprah owns nearly 2,000 acres of land on Maui and has spent the last 15 years living on the island part-time. It's unclear if her home or land was damaged. She is yet to make a statement. Bezos' fiancée Lauren Sanchez posted on Instagram that the fires were 'breaking her heart', but he is yet to offer a statement. With a net worth of $162billion, he is the third richest man in the world. Bezos owns a $78million property on Maui's southwest shore. A source close to the couple tells they are 'devastated' by the disaster. 'They have been on the phone with locals and local officials since yesterday. They will be making donations to help the community,' they said.

Judge: Biden Admin's 'Irate' Messages To Social Media Were Threats

A federal appeals court on Thursday appeared skeptical of the Biden administration's bid to reverse a court order sharply limiting its ability to ask social media companies to remove content that it considers to be misinformation.

Reuters reports Daniel Tenny, a lawyer with the Department of Justice, told a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that U.S. officials never forced social media companies to remove posts about COVID-19, the 2020 election and other topics, as Louisiana and Missouri claimed in a lawsuit. Instead, he said, the government had informed the companies of certain posts that spread harmful misinformation.

But Circuit Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod said that "irate" messages from officials taking social media companies to task for not removing certain posts quickly enough suggested "a very close working relationship" between the government and the companies.

"It's like a supervisor complaining about a worker," she said.

Circuit Judge Don Willett said public statements by Biden officials suggesting that social media companies could face antitrust enforcement, or lose immunity from certain lawsuits under federal law, could be seen as threats.

"That's a really nice social media platform you got there - it would be a shame if something happened to it," Willett said, describing what he saw as the statements' tone.

Elrod and Willett, along with the third member of the panel, Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement, were all appointed by Republican presidents.

Tenny countered that the social media companies mentioned in the lawsuit, including Meta Platform's Facebook, Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube and Twitter, now known as X Corp, regularly refused government requests to remove content.

Disney Wants Leagues as ESPN Partners, But Are They Interested?

It’s clear to the four major U.S. professional sports leagues that Disney’s ESPN is potentially interested in them taking an equity stake in the network. What isn’t yet clear to CNBC is why the leagues would do it.

The National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball have both questioned a partnership with ESPN if Disney’s goal is to mitigate or replace payments to leagues for sports broadcast rights with equity in ESPN, according to people familiar with the talks.

Disney executives and league officials agree that strategic partnership discussions are in the pure “idea” phase and may not amount to anything, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Talks have had few specifics, said the people, but may heat up as ESPN attempts to reach a rights renewal deal with the NBA. Disney’s exclusive negotiating window with the NBA ends April 2024.

Disney is considering ways to save cash as it tries to shore up its balance sheet. The media giant’s streaming division continues to lose money — with $512 million lost in its most recent quarter — and the company would like to pay down its $44.5 billion in debt. Disney also likely owes at least $9.2 billion to Comcast for its minority stake in Hulu.

Pittsburgh Radio: Paul Alexnder Joins KDKA As PM Drive News Anchor

Wednesday was Melinda Roeder’s last day as KDKA Radio’s afternoon news anchor before oving on to become news director at WTAJ-TV in Altoona-Johnstown.

She told the Post-Gazette in an interview earlier this week that she didn’t know who would be replacing her but hoped that “whoever takes over my microphone truly appreciates the position.”

Roeder got her wish Thursday when KDKA Radio owner Audacy Pittsburgh announced that Paul Alexander, who has worked on and off at both KDKA-TV and KDKA Radio in various capacities for the last 25 years, will take over afternoon anchoring duties in the neWest Deer native Melinda Roeder during her time working at WGCL-TV in Atlanta.

Paul Alexander
His first day at KDKA Radio in that role will be Aug. 28.

The 62-year-old Forest Hills native was barely a month into his new gig as a public information officer in the Allegheny County executive’s office’s economic development department before he was lured back to his old stomping grounds at KDKA Radio.

Enticing him to step into the station’s afternoon anchor chair was a best-case scenario for Michael Spacciapolli, Audacy Pittsburgh’s senior vice president and market manager. He said to expect Alexander to pop up throughout Audacy Pittsburgh’s programming slate, including back at The Fan and on other KDKA Radio shows.

“Paul will have a very positive influence on the newsroom,” Spacciapolli said. “Through his time in this business, this is a great fit for him right now with the sources he has and his depth of knowledge of the city. It’s a great fit for us and the listeners to really add some personality to our news.”

ESPN Radio Lands Chris Carlin For Middays

Nothing official from ESPN, however details continue to emerge about the latest iteration of ESPN Radio’s national lineup.

The NY Post first reported Tuesday that a morning show with Chris Canty, Evan Cohen and Michelle Smallmon will replace the program previously fronted by Keyshawn, Jay Williams and Max Kellerman.

Now, The Post has learned that Chris Carlin and Joe Fortenbaugh will be paired from noon to 3 p.m. Carlin, who once was the producer of the iconic “Mike & the Mad Dog” show in WFAN afternoon drive, and also later hosted in that spot, had most recently been hosting with Canty at 3:00 p.m.

Fortenbaugh, a contributor to ESPN’s “Daily Wager” gambling program, had been hosting radio with Amber Wilson at 7:00 p.m.

The afternoon drive, from 3-7 p.m., will now feature a tandem of Harry Douglas and Freddie Coleman. Douglas, the former NFL receiver for the Falcons and Titans, had previously been hosting with Jason Fitz in middays.