Saturday, August 19, 2023

Radio History: August 20

Alan Reed
➦In 1907
...Actor and voice artist Alan Reed born Herbert Theodore Bergman (Died  from a heart attack at age 69 – June 14, 1977).  He was best known as the original voice of Fred Flintstone on ABC-TV cartoon series The Flintstones and various spinoff series. He also appeared in many films, including Days of Glory, The Tarnished Angels, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Viva Zapata! (as Pancho Villa), and Nob Hill, and various television series.

As early as 1930, Reed (billed as Teddy Bergman) co-starred with Herbert Polesie in Henry and George, a CBS program that featured "minute dramas, popular laugh makers ... interspersed with dance music selections."

Reed's radio work included having two roles in Valiant Lady, the role of Solomon Levy on Abie's Irish Rose, as the "Allen's Alley" resident poet Falstaff Openshaw on Fred Allen's NBC radio show, and later on his own five-minute show, Falstaff's Fables, on ABC, as Officer Clancey and other occasional roles on the NBC radio show Duffy's Tavern, as Shrevey the driver on several years of The Shadow, as Chester Riley's boss on the NBC radio show The Life of Riley, as Italian immigrant Pasquale in Life with Luigi on CBS radio, various supporting roles on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, and as Lt. Walter Levinson in several episodes of Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Reed was "heard regularly on the Crime Doctor series," and "was the original Daddy to Fanny Brice on Baby Snooks." Billed as Teddy Bergman, he had the title role on Joe Palooka.

Billed as Teddy Bergman, Reed appeared on Broadway in Double Dummy (1936), and A House in the Country (1937),  and Love's Old Sweet Song (1940).

➦In 1908...veteran golden-voiced announcer André Baruch born in France (Died at age 83  – September 15, 1991).  He was a film narrator, radio announcer, news commentator, talk show host, disc jockey and sportscaster.

Andre Baruch
Baruch began his career as a pianist for NBC Radio. He got into the wrong line of applicants; he had entered the announcers' line and was hired on the spot.

After World War II, Baruch and his wife worked as a husband-and-wife disc jockey team in New York on WMCA, where they were billed as Mr. and Mrs. Music. Their show was later presented on the ABC and NBC networks.

Baruch was an announcer for such programs as The American Album of Familiar Music, The Fred Waring Show, The Kate Smith Show, The Shadow, Your Hit Parade and The United States Steel Hour.

Fulfilling a 20-year dream, in 1954 he was named to the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast team, for whom he worked for two years on WMGM radio and WOR-TV.

In 1973, Baruch and Wain moved to Palm Beach, Florida where they did a top-rated daily four-hour talk show on WPBR 1340 AM. Baruch was the host of the show and ran the control board.

After nine years, Baruch and Wain relocated to Beverly Hills, California. During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of Your Hit Parade, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings.

1920 Front-Page Ad for 8MK Radio

➦In 1920...WWJ owned by The Detroit News inaugurated daily broadcasts from a studio established in the newspaper's headquarters building, located at the corner of Lafayette and 2nd Avenues. These initial broadcasts, by what was then called the "Detroit News Radiophone", were sent under an amateur station license operating with the call sign "8MK"

The person most responsible for establishing the Detroit News Radiophone service was the newspaper's vice-president and managing director, William E. Scripps. The Scripps family had a long history of interest in radio developments.

SoCal Hunkers Down As Hilary Threatens

With Hurricane Hilary fast bearing down on the region, officials issued a tropical storm warning for a swath of Southern California Friday night — meaning tropical storm-force winds are expected in the region within the next 36 hours.

With Hurricane Hilary fast bearing down on the region and rain already beginning to fall in Southern California’s desert areas, officials on Saturday are urging residents and visitors on Catalina Island and those living in portions of San Bernardino County to evacuate.National Weather Service forecasters’ warning of lashing winds, intense rain and harrowing conditions along the beaches prompted Los Angeles County officials to advise people on Catalina Island, particularly those with medical conditions or those who might be in need of help during a natural disaster, to evacuate on the Catalina Express. The county noted there could be prolonged utility outages on the island.

Flood concerns also prompted San Bernardino County sheriff‘s officials to issue an evacuation warning for the Oak Glen, Forest Falls, Mountain Home Village, Angelus Oaks and Northeast Yucaipa regions Saturday morning.

The storm has prompted officials to cancel events and issue dire alerts, particularly as the system moves across southwestern California on Sunday and Monday. The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning at 8 p.m. Friday for the area from the California-Mexico border to Point Mugu and for Catalina Island.

Hilary is expected to remain at hurricane strength along the Baja California coastline Saturday, with authorities there bracing for damage.

“Please prepare, please take this seriously,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “We are not used to hurricane preparation, but it’s another example of climate change. So we have to be prepared for climate events that we are not used to. Stay safe.”

The National Weather Service on Friday issued an unprecedented tropical storm watch for Southern California.

Maui Morgues Running Out of Body Bags

Lahaina lays in ashes following the firestorm that swept the town

Maui authorities are dramatically underplaying the number of people known to have died in the inferno that ripped through Lahaina last week - with locals telling that the actual death toll is at least 480 - 500 and that morgues had run out of body bags.

The figure is quadruple that of the official number of 111 - and some of the relatives of the victims have been left to uncover the remains of their loved ones themselves due to the glacial progress of the search and recovery operation. 

On Tuesday, Maui mayor Richard Bissen said just 25 per cent of the stricken town had been searched, although he expected that figure to increase to 85 per cent by Saturday. But photos taken on Wednesday showed hundreds of cars and vehicles still unsearched - with just a handful marked with an orange X to show they'd been looked at. 

Refrigerated trailers used as temporary morgues

Local Allisen Medina, 24, says the slow recovery process has led to family members being left to find the charred corpses of their loved ones themselves, including a friend of hers who lost four family members.

FCC Promises Support For Maui

The Federal Communications Commission its pledging its support to Hawaii following the Maui wildfires, which destroyed countless homes and killed more than 100 people.

On Friday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel issued the following statement, providing a public update on the agency’s efforts to support local disaster and recovery efforts:
“The agency has staff on the ground in Maui assessing the impact on communications services and infrastructure to help local, state and federal authorities to identify how to best support restoration and emergency response.

“We have been issuing daily public communications status reports that track the restoration progress, with 17 out of 21 cell sites now restored, the Maui 911 call center now functional, and broadcasters continuing to operate and share important community updates and news. Also, over 10,000 cable and wireline subscribers have had service restored, but more work remains.”

According to RadioWorld,  Rosenworcel listed all the ways the agency is working to support impacted communities — which include deploying FCC staff to Hawaii to determine the impact to public safety and emergency alerting capabilities, enabling wireless providers to deploy temporary microwave stations to the affected area to support wireless service, and monitoring the operational status of communications infrastructure on Maui and coordinating with government partners to support their restoration efforts.

The chairwoman said the FCC is also allowing the County of Maui to use additional frequencies to support public safety communications, as well as performing remote High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) scans to determine and share the operational status of AM stations that support public safety communications.

Additionally, filing and regulatory deadlines for licensees and applicants on Hawaii have been extended “so they can focus on the response,” said the FCC.

40 MPH Winds Fan Canadian Wildfires

Daily Mail Composite 8/18/23

Canadian wildfires which have already forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and even jumped a lake amid gale-force winds are continuing to spread at an alarming rate with no signs of stopping. 

Hundreds of fires classed as currently 'out of control' - mostly larger than 1,000 hectares in scope - are raging across the North American nation, official trackers show. 

The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS) indicates that while hundreds of blazes which broke out over the past 24 hours are now 'under control', at least double the number have ignited to replace them.

Trump To Skip First Republican Debate

In the 2016 campaign for the White House, former President Donald Trump turned the Republican primary debates into live TV events that attracted record audiences to Fox and CNN.

But like a star walking away from a hit TV show, The L-A Times reports Trump is skipping the first debate of the 2024 Republican primary season airing Aug. 23 from Milwaukee on Fox News, according to multiple reports.

The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, said Trump could counterprogram the debate by giving an interview with ousted former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. Trump’s campaign has not confirmed that plan.

Trump, who has a wide lead in the polls over his competition for the nomination, has suggested he will not participate in Fox’s telecast.

Trump, Carlson

Fox News has not commented on Trump’s status or whether it might take legal action against Carlson, who is still being paid by the network after being taken off the air on April 24. The network in June sent a cease-and-desist letter to Carlson, saying his online programs on X are a breach of the contract that pays him more than $15 million a year and runs through 2024.

Philly Radio: Cord Gets Wake-Up Duty, Now WMGK To Fill Middays

Beasley Media Group’s 102.9 WMGK-FM has turned to a familiar face to replace recently retired morning show host John DeBella.

The Philly Business Journal reports the classic rock station has tapped midday host Matt Cord to take the reins beginning on Sept. 5, when he will be joined by DeBella producer and co-host Steve Vassalotti. The show will be called the "Matt Cord Show with Steve Vassalotti" and air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.

A Beasley spokeswoman said the company will be announcing a midday replacement for Cord in the near future. Andre Gardner, the afternoon drive host and resident Beatles fanatic for the past 21 years, signed a multiyear contract extension with Beasley in April.

Cord took over middays at WMGK in January 2020. He has had a 30-year career in local radio, serving as morning show host at Beasley-owned adult contemporary station 95.7 BEN-FM as well as spending an additional 20 years split between working on the air doing evenings and afternoons on WMMR-FM. He was the afternoon drive host at Y-100. Cord began his career at Long Island’s WBLI-FM in 1988.

Vassalotti and Cord
He has served as the in-arena announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers for 23 seasons. As a young boy, Cord worked as an official ball boy for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1975-78.

“It goes without saying John DeBella is a tough act to follow,” Cord said in a statement. “I’m excited to have Steve as my co-host as our friendship goes back to his intern days.”

Vassalotti joined DeBella’s show in 2017 as a part-time board operator and rose to the role of full-time producer and co-host.

WMGK Program Director Bill Weston said in a statement that naming Cord as the new morning show host was “one of the most obvious hires I’ve made. Having Matt’s market experience and music knowledge plus his easy-going nature with the added producing chops and additional perspective that Steve brings to the conversation is just a terrific pairing.”

DeBella, one of the most enduring and successful voices in Philadelphia radio, told his listeners on May 11 that he planned to retire after more than four decades on the air. His last show was on June 30.

WMGK was Philadelphia’s highest-rated radio station in the May, June and July books.

Millennials’ Daily Time Online Peaks

Millennials around the world are still spending plenty of time with various media, such as social media, streaming TV, and podcasts. However, their “time spent online has long passed its peak,” according to a report from GWI.

The report indicates that daily time spent online by Millennials (born 1983-1996) has been on a steady decline from a peak of 7 hours and 36 minutes in 2017, with the average now sitting at 6 hours and 48 minutes this year. It’s worth noting that time spent online is calculated as a combination of time spent with mobiles, PCs, laptops, and tablets, and appears to exclude connected TVs, which have grown substantially in usage in recent years.

In fact, the decline in Millennials’ time online over the past few years owes exclusively to a big drop in PC/laptop/tablet time, which has fallen from more than 4 hours (4:05) in 2015 to less than 3 hours (2:55) this year.

By contrast, time spent online via mobile continues to grow, up from just over 3 hours in 2015 (3:02) to almost 4 hours (3:53) this year.

Sage Steele Was ‘Scared’ To Work At ESPN After Suspension

Sage Steele appeared on The Megyn Kelly Show Thursday in her first interview since settling a lawsuit with ESPN and parent company Disney for violating Steele’s right to free speech.

Awful Announcing reports Steele joined The Megyn Kelly Show on SiriusXM for a wide-ranging interview that naturally focused on her turbulent breakup with ESPN. Steele’s lawsuit settlement closed a lengthy legal battle with ESPN and Disney which had been ongoing since April 2022, when she alleged her contract was breached and free speech rights were violated.

The longtime SportsCenter anchor sued ESPN after she was suspended for criticizing the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate during a Sept. 2021 appearance on Jay Cutler’s podcast. During the interview with Cutler, Steele called ESPN’s policy “sick and scary,” admitting she reluctantly got vaccinated to keep her job. She also questioned former President Barack Obama identifying as Black when he was raised by his white mother.

ESPN has claimed Steele was never officially suspended, although she was sidelined by the company shortly after her conversation with Cutler. Steele returned to anchoring the noon SportsCenter in Oct. 2021, following a sidelining that she categorizes as a suspension, and a bout with COVID. According to Steele, she was scared to go back.

“I was mad, but more than anything, I was devastated because I had been such a good soldier, such a good employee for 17 years and proud of it,” Steele told Kelly. “I was scared to go back to work when I got off of my suspension. I was so scared. Because I had been made to believe that everybody hated me. And you don’t just walk back in and work, you walk back in and you have to perform on live national television in front of millions of people.”

'White Noise' Podcasts Are Costing Spotify Green

Spotify is reportedly missing out on $38 million in annual profits because its users can’t stop listening to “white noise” podcasts that are less lucrative for the company.

“White noise” podcasts, which feature calm and relaxing sounds such as falling rain, crashing waves or just plain static, generated a whopping three million daily consumption hours on Spotify as of January, according to an internal document obtained by Bloomberg.

The podcasts are purportedly so popular that Spotify considered nixing them from the streaming service entirely and redirecting users to music from the likes of Drake or Ed Sheeran and other “comparable programming” that is more cost-effective from a revenue perspective.

Spotify’s annual gross profit would increase by an estimated $38 million if the company removed “white noise” from its “talk” section, blocked future uploads and nudged users toward other audio content, according to an internal analysis, reports The NY Post.

Ultimately, the company decided not to follow through on the move. For now, white noise is still available on the platform in podcast form.

“The proposal in question did not come to fruition — we continue to have white noise podcasts on our platform,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement.

Bloomberg noted that the podcasts were “inadvertently boosted by Spotify’s own algorithmic push for “talk” content (versus music)” – at the expense of the company’s bottom line. The outlet previously reported that white noise podcast “hosts” could earn $18,000 per month in ad revenue.

Spotify shares have surged more than 60% since January. The stock is still up for the year even after dismal second-quarter results that came in well below Wall Street’s expectations.

The music streamer reported a larger-than-expected net loss of $333.4 million or $1.71 a share. That was an increase compared with a year-ago loss of $138 million or 94 cents a share.

The Rise (and Fall) of Hip-Hop's Fortunes


by Katharina Buchholz, Statista

50 years ago on Aug. 11, 1973, a teenage DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy threw a party in the rec room of a Bronx apartment building during which Herc debuted his spinning and sampling technique - an event that is today considered the birth of hip-hop.

From humble and DIY roots, hip-hop has turned into big business in the decades since and has minted three billionaire rappers. Out of these, two - Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs - have current net worths of $1 billion or more - based on information on the Substack blog of former Forbes writer Zack O'Malley Greenburg, who has chronicled the fortunes of hip-hop's wealthiest since 2011. While Jay-Z branched out into other markets with his clothing line Rocawear as early as 1999 and today has a wide-ranging business portfolio, Sean "Diddy" Combs draws his wealth and considerable cash flow from spirit deals and media company Revolt.

Infographic: The Rise (and Fall) of Hip-Hop's Fortunes | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Getting rich has been almost as central to hip-hop's message as keeping it real. Yet, some of hip-hop's biggest names have seen their fortunes dwindle. Dr. Dre, born Andre Young, might have been the first self-proclaimed hip-hop billionaire, but according to O'Malley Greenburg, his fortune - boosted in 2014 by the sale of headphones brand Beats to Apple - peaked at $800 million in 2019, when the last list of hip-hop's richest was published on Forbes. Since then, Young's spending has surpassed his income according to the report and divorce proceedings showed a net worth of only $400 million in 2022 (with another $50 million payment still due at the time).

A bigger rise and fall was that of Kanye West, who first appeared among hip-hop's richest at a net worth of just $240 million estimated by Forbes in 2019 - the same year the list declared Jay-Z hip-hop's first actual billionaire. This might have enticed West to finally open his books to Forbes reporters, which subsequently estimated his net worth at $1.3 billion in 2020. Yet, O'Malley Greenburg reports in 2022 that, due to the "premature end" of West's deal with Adidas in the throws of an antisemitism scandal, his net worth had decreased to $500 million.

Denver Radio: KS 107.5 Beats & Sneaks Collects 500+ Soles

Audacy Denver collected and distributed over 500 pairs of kid’s sneakers in partnership with Soles4Souls and the Denver Dream Center in KQKS KS107.5’s inaugural “Beats and Sneaks.”

“Beats and Sneaks” was a summer-long collection drive, running June 19 through August 12, in partnership with The Sharpest Rides and Culture Street. The campaign culminated with a distribution event at the Aztlan Recreation Center, where over 500 kids received a new pair of sneakers and enjoyed games, contests and lunch on location. Custom artist sneakers for Latto and Cardi B were created by local artist Breanna Berry and put up for auction to help contribute to the campaign.

“This is the connection between radio and community engagement…getting out and connecting with our listeners and showing them that we care about our community,” said DJ Buck, Regional Vice President of Rhythmic, Audacy; Brand Manager, KS107.5.”

Radio History: August 19

➦In 1903...Francis Hamilton "Fran" Striker born (Died from injuries suffered in a car accident – September 4, 1962).  He was a writer for radio and comics, best known for creating The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon characters.

Fran Striker
Born in Buffalo, NY, Striker attended Lafayette High School and the University of Buffalo. He dropped out of college and soon joined the staff of radio station WEBR (now WDCZ 970 AM Buffalo), working as an announcer. In 1929, he moved to WTAM in Cleveland, Ohio, where he served as announcer and continuity writer and wrote his first radio drama script, a biography of Stephen Foster. Lured back to WEBR as station manager, Striker wrote material ranging from skits to half-hour mysteries and Western scripts.

Striker soon began a long association with station owner George W. Trendle and radio station WXYZ in Detroit, which was trying to make a name for itself as a producer of radio drama, creating and writing the early series.

Late in 1932, Striker began working on The Lone Ranger; his earliest scripts were largely reworked from his earlier series Covered Wagon Days. A letter from Trendle dated Monday, January 30, 1933, clearly gives Striker credit for creating the character. However, by 1934 Striker was pressured by Trendle to sign over his rights to the Lone Ranger, and Trendle claimed credit as the creator. This sparked a long-term controversy over the creation of The Lone Ranger, extending as far as a 1960 television appearance by Striker on To Tell the Truth, which mentioned his role in the character's creation.

The actual first trial episodes of The Lone Ranger were broadcast on WEBR in Buffalo prior to the official premiere on WXYZ. When the Lone Ranger series began to gain popularity, Trendle convinced Striker to move to WXYZ, where he eventually became head of WXYZ's script department.

Striker was extremely prolific. In addition to writing 156 Lone Ranger scripts a year, he wrote The Green Hornet (built around the Lone Ranger's descendant, Britt Reid) and a short-lived series, Ned Jordan Secret Agent.

Striker was 59 when he died in a 1962 car accident. He was posthumously inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1998.

➦In 1929…"Amos 'n' Andy," the WMAQ Chicago radio comedy program starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, heard in Chicago and then in syndication since March 1928, made its network debut on NBC Radio Blue Network.

Under a special arrangement, Amos 'n' Andy debuted coast-to-coast November 28, 1929, on NBC's Pacific Orange Network and continued on the Blue. WMAQ was then an affiliate of CBS and its general manager tried, to no avail, to interest that network in picking up the show.  At the same time, the serial's central characters — Amos, Andy and the Kingfish — relocated from Chicago to Harlem. The program was so popular by 1930 that NBC's orders were to only interrupt the broadcast for matters of national importance and SOS calls. Correll and Gosden were making a combined salary of $100,000, which they split three ways to include announcer Bill Hay, who was with them when they started doing radio.

The program stayed on the air until November 1960.

➦In 1955...1010WINS in NYC, one of the first stations in the United States to play rock and roll/Top40 music full time, announced it will not air white cover versions of R&B (DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's)

Friday, August 18, 2023

Philly Radio: 102.9 WMGK-FM Announces New Morning Show

The Matt Cord Show w/Steve starts Sept 5 (Matt on roght)

Beasley Media Group’s 102.9 WMGK-FM announces long time Philadelphia personality, Matt Cord has been named as the new host of the station’s new morning show, the Matt Cord Show with Steve Vassalotti. The show will debut on Tuesday, September 5th, and air weekdays from 6am to 10am.

The radio veteran, who recently served as the Midday Host at the station, will be joined by former John DeBella Show Producer and Co-host, Steve Vassalotti. 

Matt Cord brings a universally likable approach to radio and stream listening with his friendly, positive, and enthusiastic approach to life and a mutual love for the classic rock artists and songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s. His passions also extend to local sports, especially the Philadelphia 76ers, where he has served as the in-arena voice for over two decades. 

In addition to working at WMGK, Cord’s experience includes working as the Morning Host on WBEN-FM, Afternoon Personality of the former Y100 and Afternoon and Evening Talent on WMMR-FM.   

“I’m honored and grateful for the opportunity to host mornings on ‘MGK,” said Cord. “It goes without saying John DeBella is a tough act to follow. I’m excited to have Steve as my co-host as our friendship goes back to his intern days.” 

Steve Vassalotti joined The John DeBella Show in 2017 as a part-time board operator and has risen to the role of full-time producer and co-host.  His familiar voice and existing relationship with the WMGK morning audience will make the new morning program transition effortless. “I’m excited to be teaming up with my friend, and someone I consider one of the smoothest air-talents around. And it’s nice to continue the tradition of balding morning hosts here at MGK,” quips Vassalotti. 

“This is one of the most obvious hires I’ve made,” said WMGK Program Director Bill Weston. ”Having Matt’s market experience and music knowledge plus his easy-going nature with the added producing chops and additional perspective that Steve brings to the conversation is just a terrific pairing.”

Fox News Regaining Lost Viewers

Over the past month, Fox News has regained a significant chunk of the viewers it lost after firing star host Tucker Carlson in April — thanks to a new prime-time lineup designed to capitalize on the existing loyalties of the network’s fans.

The Washington Post reports the top-rated cable-news station saw a sharp drop in viewership in spring, when the fill-in hosts who replaced Carlson at 8 p.m. averaged just 1.49 million total viewers in their first four weeks, less than half of the number that typically tuned in to his show.

But it wasn’t just at 8 p.m.: The network’s entire prime-time lineup was hurting. In the four weeks before Carlson’s exit, Fox averaged 2.6 million viewers in prime time; in the four weeks after, Fox averaged just 1.6 million — still at the top in cable news but down 39 percent.

So far, though, the early results of a new prime-time roster launched July 17 seem promising for Fox, according to Nielsen ratings. Since installing Jesse Watters in Carlson’s old slot and replacing Laura Ingraham with Greg Gutfeld at 10 p.m., Fox has averaged 2.2 million total viewers in prime time, compared with the 1.6 million viewers in the previous four weeks.

Graphics Courtesy of RoadMN

The new prime-time hosts are both familiar Fox veterans, Watters having previously hosted a 7 p.m. show and Gutfeld having found ratings success with a late-night comedy show on the network.

“Jesse Watters Primetime” has done particularly well, averaging 2.4 million viewers, an approximately 60 percent jump over the performance of the temporary hosts who occupied the 8 p.m. hour over the previous four weeks.

Yet Watters still significantly trails Carlson, who brought in an average 3.3 million viewers a night in his last full month on Fox.

Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox News parent company Fox Corp., has said he is “pleased” with the early returns. In an earnings report call with Wall Street analysts last week, he added that Fox is “confident that our deep bench of talent will continue to set the standard for all news services as we move towards the 2024 presidential election.”

He also dismissed speculation that Carlson’s ouster would leave a permanent wound. “Fox News’s leadership position was never at risk,” he said.

Philly TV: ABC6 To Add Mid-Morning Newscast

Action News members (from left) Karen Rogers, Alicia Vitarelli,
Nydia Han and Alyana Gomez
6abc and two other ABC-owned television stations will be launching 10 a.m. newscasts this fall, with Tamron Hall’s talk show moving from mornings to the 2 p.m. time slot previously occupied by the "Rachael Ray Show."

The Philly Business Journal reports the changes, which will also be implemented in New York City and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, will take effect in Philadelphia on Sept. 11. ABC officials said Hall’s show achieved “record-breaking” Season 4 ratings at 10 a.m. and the move to 2 p.m. aligns with when the program airs on other ABC-owned stations.

Tamron Hall
For 6abc (WPVI-TV), the “Action News at 10 a.m.” newscast will be anchored by Alicia Vitarelli, Alyana Gomez and Nydia Han, with meteorologist Karen Rogers expanding her duties.

The 10 a.m. newscast joins Action News weekday newscasts at 4 a.m. (to 7 a.m.), 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. The future of the 10 p.m. newscast is unknown with The CW moving from Channel 57 to Channel 17 in Philly, where 6abc airs at 10 p.m.

Chad Matthews, president of ABC Owned Television Stations, said in a statement that Hall had an “exceptional year” and the addition of the 10 a.m. local newscasts will allow the stations to “dig even deeper into the topics and events that showcase our local communities and the issues most impacting them,” as well as extend and expand upon breaking news and topics being discussed on "Good Morning America" and "Live with Kelly and Mark." The View airs at 11 a.m.

There are eight owned ABC stations: WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno.

6abc has been the top-rated newscast in Philadelphia for the past 45 years. It remains so despite the December retirement of longtime news anchor Jim Gardner. He was replaced by Brian Tadd at 6pm and Rick Williams at 11pm.

6ABC is owned and operated by ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co.

CRS360 Webinar To Explore Increasing Popularity of Country Music

Country Radio Seminar is ready the August installment of its webinar series CRS360 focusing on the current growth of the Country music industry.

“Moment-Us: Leveraging Country’s Growth” is scheduled for Wednesday, August 23rd, at 2p ET and will offer a mid-year analysis of the notable surge in the popularity of Country music in 2023.

With the recent cross-genre appeal of artists like Luke Combs and Jelly Roll, moderator Chuck Aly from Country Aircheck will lead a panel of experts including Bruce Logan from WIRK/West Palm Beach, FL, Marc Dennis from CAA, and Rachel Whitney from Spotify. Together, they will explore the driving factors, effective strategies, and potential future opportunities for Country music’s continued growth.

The webinar is free, but registration is mandatory for those interested in attending. The CRS360 series has become an essential resource for industry professionals seeking insights and knowledge, with recordings of past webinars available on the CRS360 website.

CRS Executive Director RJ Curtis said, “This edition of CRS360 will provide a platform for experts to dissect this growth, share insights, and inspire collaborative efforts that will shape the genre’s future trajectory.”

Mad Dog Radio Welcomes The Beadle & Decker Show

SiriusXM has announced the launch of a brand-new daily show on its acclaimed Mad Dog Sports Radio channel. Starting Tuesday, August 22, popular media personality Michelle Beadle and former major leaguer Cody Decker will host Beadle & Decker every weekday in the channel’s noon-3pm ET/9 am – noon PT timeslot.

Mad Dog Sports Radio is SiriusXM’s exclusive all-sports talk channel and is available to listeners nationwide in their cars (channel 82) and on the SXM App.

“I’ve been an avid listener to Mad Dog Sports Radio for so long that getting the opportunity to join the lineup and talk all sports, everyday, is as good as it gets,” said Beadle. “Cody is ok, too.”

“’Mad Dog’ is a name that’s been registering on the sports landscape Richter Scale for years. I’ve been a listener and fan since day one on SiriusXM,” said Decker. “Having the chance to share the airwaves with a daily lineup like this, not to mention to work with a cohost the caliber of Michelle, is something I had only dreamed of. After all these years, she FINALLY gets to work with a complete professional like me.”

Teens Turning To YouTube Before TV

Teens are tuning into YouTube and they’re watching the ads, reports NextTV citing a new report from Precise TV.

In its first report on teen behavior, Precise TV, working with research agency Giraffe Insights, found that 85% of those in the 13- to 15-year-old age bracket and 78% of 16- to 17-year-olds said they watched YouTube recently. 

That compares to the 57% of 13-to-17-year-olds who said they watched video on demand and 43% who watched broadcast TV.

Those teens are responding to the advertising they see on YouTube, according to the Precise Advertiser Report: Teens & Youth (PARTY for short).

8/18 WAKE-UP CALL: Trump Wants Election Trial In 3 Years

Donald Trump’s lawyers on Thursday proposed a 2026 start to his federal trial on charges he tried to steal the last election, part of a strategy to combat a "blank check" of investigations spending and postpone his four pending criminal cases until after his presidential bid. Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith proposed to start the trial Jan. 2, which his team said would allow five months for Trump to review the evidence and debate pretrial motions. The trial is projected to last four to six weeks, which would carry it through the early presidential caucuses and primaries. But Trump’s lawyers argued the government has had years and tens of millions of dollars to build a case with 11.5 million pages of documents and interviews with hundreds of witnesses.

It's not the first time the former president will answer to criminal charges in a courtroom.
➤TRUMP GRAND JURORS OUTED ONLINE: The names, addresses, phone numbers and images of people supposed to be members of the Atlanta grand jury that indicted Donald Trump and 18 of his associates this week have been posted on a number of websites, including at least one extremist site that often displays violent rhetoric. In a statement, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said it was aware of the posts and is ready to respond to credible threats. In Georgia, the names of grand jury members are revealed. Meanwhile, lawyers for Trump asked a federal judge to delay until April 2026 his trial over federal charges related to his efforts to delay certification of the election on January 6th, 2020. Federal prosecutors want the trial to begin in January 2024.
  • Trump has canceled a press conference he had announced for Monday, at which he promised to present a “CONCLUSIVE report” on election fraud in Georgia that would completely exonerate him. He cited advice from his lawyers for the cancelation.

➤TEXAS WOMAN CHARGED WITH THREATENING TRUMP JUDGE: A Texas woman was charged with threatening the federal judge assigned to Donald Trump’s election subversion case. Abigail Jo Shry made death threats against U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan and anyone who went after the former president, according to a federal agent’s affidavit, which also said she admitted calling the judge’s Washington, D.C., chambers. Judges assigned to Trump’s four criminal cases have faced national scrutiny that most jurists aren’t used to. Court records show Shry was appointed a public defender. The federal public defender’s office in Houston didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

➤POLL..TRUMP CHARGES 'SERIOUS': A majority of Americans say the charges handed up by a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury this week - alleging a 'criminal enterprise' to overturn the 2020 election - are serious, according to a new poll, as former President Donald Trump ramps up his legal and political battle in advance of his latest arrest. The poll, taken by ABC News / Ipsos, reflects national sentiments on Trump's fourth indictment, as his lawyers consider whether to try to move the case to federal court. It found a near majority, 47 per cent, called the case 'serious,' while another 16 per cent called it 'somewhat serious.' That left 10 per cent who called the case 'not too serious' and 15 per cent who called it 'not serious at all.'

The Pat McAfee Show Launches Sept 7 on ESPN Platforms

The Pat McAfee Show, the highly successful and innovative weekday sports talk and discussion program, launches on ESPN platforms on Thursday, Sept. 7 – the same day the 2023 NFL season kicks off, as part of ESPN’s robust weekday studio lineup. 

Led by Pat McAfee – former NFL player and one of the most successful voices in sports media, the show will be simulcast from noon – 2 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN on YouTube and ESPN+, with the final 2-3 p.m. hour airing on ESPN on YouTube and ESPN+.

The Pat McAfee Show joins ESPN’s well-established personality-packed weekday lineup featuring the leading pundits in the industry. 

Mike Greenberg kicks off each morning hosting Get Up at 8 a.m., followed by First Take featuring Stephen A. Smith from 10 a.m. to noon. After The Pat McAfee Show, SportsCenter returns for the 2 p.m. time slot with NBA Today at 3 p.m., then NFL Live from 4-5 p.m., Around the Horn airing at 5 p.m., and Pardon the Interruption at 5:30 p.m. The 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter wraps up the daily lineup, Monday through Friday.

Eras Tour Could Become Highest Grosser Of All Time

Taylor Swift’s era-defining “Eras” tour is flying like a jet stream, high above the music scene — by billions of dollars.

CNN reports the tour could gross $2.2 billion in North American ticket sales alone, according to August survey data from research firm QuestionPro provided to CNN exclusively. That unprecedented total represents primary ticket sales for the US shows that Swift just concluded in Los Angeles, plus a second North American leg coming next year.

The estimated totals are the latest example of the incredible demand for entertainment and experiences that has helped boost the economy, and more specifically, is a staggering show of Swift’s star power and influence on local US economies.

The average price of pre-sale and first sale tickets was $455.78, and Swift has 68 shows total in North America. The survey did not take into account whether respondents bought one ticket or multiple tickets.

The average attendance per show was 72,459, accounting for closed off areas and floor seats, according to QuestionPro data.

That comes to $2.2 billion — and that would make “Eras” the highest-grossing tour ever. Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour was the previous record holder, grossing over $887 million from 2018 to 2023, according to Larry Miller, director of the music business program at New York University Steinhardt.

Oliver Anthony Says He's Turned Down $8M Offers

Oliver Anthony

Viral singing sensation Oliver Anthony said he'd never had any interest in being famous, turned down seven-figure offers from stunned music industry reps and lamented the divided state of the internet in a Facebook posting on Thursday, according to Fox News Digital.

Anthony's song "Rich Men North of Richmond" exploded into a viral hit this month after he recorded it on his Virginia farmland, and the red-bearded, high school dropout described himself on Facebook as "just some idiot and his guitar" who couldn't have imagined he'd become so well-known. 

His song, which has been viewed more than 17 million times on YouTube as of Thursday afternoon, serves as both a screed against Washington greed and a lament for working-class ills like suicide, despair, high taxation, and working long hours for "bulls--- pay." It's won a host of conservative fans online, while some progressives have decried it as right-wing agitprop. 

Atlanta Radio: Eric Baker New Director of Sales For Audacy Cluster

Audacy Atlanta has hired Eric Baker as Director of Sales for the market.

“We are thrilled to welcome Eric Baker to the Audacy Atlanta team as our new Director of Sales,” said Rick Caffey, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Atlanta. “With his extensive background in sales management, we are confident that Eric's expertise will drive our market growth to new heights. His strategic vision and proven leadership will undoubtedly contribute to our continued success in delivering top-tier content and engagement to our valued listeners and partners.”

Eric Baker
"It’s with great enthusiasm that I embark on this new journey as the Director of Sales at Audacy Atlanta," said Baker. "I’m thrilled to collaborate with industry veterans like Rick Caffey, Doug Abernethy and Reggie Rouse, whose expertise I greatly respect. My 16 years at Radio One have been invaluable, and I can’t wait to bring that experience to the dynamic team at Audacy Atlanta, working together to deliver results and achieve remarkable success for our clients while continuing to positively impact the Atlanta community!”

Baker joins Audacy with over a decade of sales management experience. He most recently served as General Sales Manager for Radio One’s KBFB-FM and KZMJ-FM in Dallas, where he led all revenue-generating initiatives. Other previous roles include General Sales Manager for KMJQ-FM, KBXX-FM and KROI-FM in Houston, and Local Sales Manager/Digital Sales Manager for KBFB-FM and KSOC-FM in Dallas.

Big D & Bubba Reach 100 Affiliates Milestone

Bicoastal Media KRWQ-FM in Medford OR selects Big D & Bubba for mornings beginning this week.

“Big D and Bubba bring the next level of radio excellence and engagement to the market, says KRWQ General Manager, George Feola. “I’m excited to have the team on board with legacy Q100.3 personality Bryce Burtner anchoring afternoons. It will be epic!”

Big D & Bubba are heard nationally in 100 domestic markets including Nashville, Baton Rouge, Columbus, Wilkes Barre, Reno, Medford and internationally via the American Forces Radio Network. Big D and Bubba have solidified their place in the hearts of millions of listeners around the world.

Big D comments, “It is humbling to be trusted with the morning show on 100 stations and multiple ownership groups.” Bubba adds, “I’m so excited and energized by adding Medford to the family, even my coffee is jealous!!”

Since its inception in 1999, “Big D and Bubba” has continued to redefine the country radio landscape, offering a blend of humor, relatability, and engaging content that resonates with listeners of all ages. The Nashville based show’s unique relationships with Country music’s biggest stars, who also listen to the show locally on WKDF 103.3 Country, and genuine connection with their audience has fostered an incredible sense of community among fans and affiliate stations alike.

“Big D & Bubba partnered with Compass Media Networks in 2013 with 45 affiliates. The steady rise to 100 is something in which we take a lot of pride.” says Adam Wilbur, Vice President Affiliate Sales and Operations, Compass Media Networks.

For more information visit Call Doug Ingold to affiliate (310) 904-3864 or email

Entravision To Air NFL In Spanish

Entravision Communications Corporation has announced it will bring listeners the most extensive Spanish language radio broadcast coverage of the NFL for the 2023-24 season. For the 9th consecutive season, Entravision will broadcast 51 prime NFL games in Spanish across its US owned-and-operated radio stations and in key markets through affiliate partnerships that include Latino Media Network.

Entravision will begin with the NFL Kickoff game on Thursday, September 7th, featuring a match-up between the Detroit Lions and the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Radio coverage continues across the expanded 18-week NFL season, including all Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games, and will continue through the postseason, including the AFC Championship, NFC Championship, and, for the very first time, culminating with Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on February 11, 2024. Super Bowl LVIII will be played at Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders.

Entravision's game day broadcasts include a pre-game show, followed by the live game broadcast and post-game analysis. In addition, Sunday broadcasts start with a 30-minute signature analysis show, Pase Completo, prior to the pre-game show, featuring veteran multi-sport announcer Ricardo Celis and game analyst Tony Nuñez. The Pase Completo program will also be streamed live on Facebook Live.

Detroit Radio: Several Stations Now Airing Catholic Programs

Motor City Catholics stuck in rush hour traffic can now tune in to Illinois-based Relevant Radio, which earlier this year purchased an AM and four associated FM radio frequencies from Family Life Radio.

The $3.1 million deal, announced in December 2022 and finalized in February, sees Relevant Radio — home to popular programming such as “The Patrick Madrid Show” and “Family Rosary Across America” — take over WUFL-AM 1030, based in Sterling Heights, as well as 94.1 FM in Holly, 94.3 FM in Detroit, 103.1 FM in Rochester, and 104.7 FM in Detroit.

Fr. Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Relevant Radio and host of “Family Rosary Across America,” told Detroit Catholic the radio ministry has been trying to break into the Detroit market for years.

“We like to say we’re using mass media to move the masses to the Mass,” Fr. Hoffman quipped. “We like traffic jams and big cities, and Detroit is a big motor city. In the past year and a half, we've gotten into a couple of big markets, and Detroit was the biggest market we were not in.”

Radio History: August 18

➦In 1900...Walter O'Keefe born  (Died – June 26, 1983).  He was a songwriter, actor, syndicated columnist, Broadway composer, radio legend, screenwriter, musical arranger and TV host.

Walter O'Keefe
O'Keefe was born in Hartford, CT, he began as a vaudeville performer in the Midwest for several years. In 1925, he went to New York City and became a Broadway performer. By 1937, he wrote a syndicated humor column and filled-in for such radio personalities as Walter Winchell, Edgar Bergen, Don McNeill and Garry Moore. He became the long-time master of ceremonies of the NBC show Double or Nothing and was a regular on that network's Monitor series.

O'Keefe also worked in television, presiding over talk shows and quiz shows for the CBS network. Producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman hired him for their game show Two for the Money. When the show's usual host Herb Shriner had other commitments during the summer of 1954, O'Keefe took over for three months. He was the host for the first Emmy Awards ceremony, held on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of radio. He died in Torrance, California of congestive heart failure at the age of 82.

➦In 1927...Theodore H. Epp (January 27, 1907 - October 13, 1985) started his 'Back to Bible Broadcasts on radio. The broadcasts were heard worldwide on 800 stations in eight languages, until 1985.

➦In 1937...FCC issued first FM construction permit. W1XOJ/W43B/WGTR, Paxton, Mass. (Yankee Network) W1XOJ went on the air May 27, 1939, with 2000 watts on 43.0 MHz. On July 24, 1939, W1XOJ began operating on a schedule of 16 hours a day on the air (8 a.m. to midnight). Broadcasting magazine on Aug. 1, 1939, listed this as one of the four FM stations "in actual operation."

John Sherpard
W1XOJ was the result of a partnership between Yankee Network owner John Shepard and FM inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong to explore the potential of inter-city FM networking. Programs were fed from the Yankee studios in Boston to Asnebumskit, and were picked up from there at stations on Mount Washington, N.H. and in Meriden, Connecticut. Other programs were picked up at Meriden from Armstrong's W2XMN in Alpine, N.J. and carried through Asnebumskit to Mount Washington.

In 1941, W1XOJ became commercial outlet W43B, with 300 kW ERP (50 Kw TPO) on 44.3, as a sister to Boston's WNAC and WAAB. Two years later, Yankee moved WAAB to Worcester to escape the FCC's new anti-duopoly rule. While WAAB and W43B were nominally sister stations, they were never operated jointly (W43B was treated as a "Boston" station and operated from Yankee's Boston studios), and Yankee soon sold WAAB to new owners.

Edwin H Armstrong
W43B eventually took new calls WGTR, moving to the new FM band on 103.1 and then on 99.1. In October 1948, the Yankee Network moved its FM operations to Boston, on the new WNAC-FM 98.5. WGTR's license was transferred to Eastern Radio, which apparently operated the station with “Transit Radio”, providing programming heard in city buses. The 1951 Broadcasting Yearbook shows WGTR once again under the ownership of the Yankee Network, but operating from the same 34 Mechanic Street address as WAAB, by then under Olin Company ownership.

WGTR faded from the scene completely within a year or two, as WAAB flirted with television. By 1961, WAAB was in the hands of Waterman Broadcasting, and when its new FM signal signed on that fall, it was as a simulcast of the full-service AM station. The simulcast lasted until 1967, when WAAB-FM split off from the AM with a stereo beautiful music format. In 1969, WAAB-FM became WAAF, adopting a freeform rock format at 107.3 FM that later evolved into album rock.

A power increase in 1970, to 16.5 kW at 780 feet above average terrain, gave WAAF a commanding signal that could be heard across most of Massachusetts, as well as large portions of eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and southern Vermont.

➦In 1961...Dan Daniel started at Top40 WMCA 570 AM.