Saturday, September 16, 2023

Radio History: September 17

➦In 1931...RCA Victor unveiled an early version 33 1/3 rpm long-playing or "LP" record.

RCA Victor introduced "Program Transcription" discs, as Victor called them, played at 33 1⁄3 rpm and used a somewhat finer and more closely spaced groove than typical 78s. They were to be played with a special "Chromium Orange" chrome-plated steel needle. The 10-inch discs, mostly used for popular and light classical music, were normally pressed in shellac, but the 12-inch discs, mostly used for "serious" classical music, were normally pressed in Victor's new vinyl-based Victrolac compound, which provided a much quieter playing surface. They could hold up to 15 minutes per side. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, was the first 12-inch recording issued.

Unfortunately for Victor, it was downhill from there. Many of the subsequent issues were not new recordings but simply dubs made from existing 78 rpm record sets. The dubs were audibly inferior to the original 78s. Two-speed turntables with the 33 1⁄3 rpm speed were included only on expensive high-end machines, which sold in small numbers, and people were not buying many records of any kind at the time. Overall record sales in the US had crashed from a high of 105.6 million records sold in 1921 to 5.5 million in 1933, because of competition from radio and the effects of the Great Depression.  The failure of the new product left RCA Victor with a low opinion of the prospects for any sort of long-playing record, influencing product development decisions during the coming decade.

The new format to lie dormant for years until Columbia revived it in 1948.

Kate Smith

➦In 1936..the Kate Smith Hour began a decade-long run on CBS radio network. It was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.

Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

➦In 1937...Yvonne Daniels born in Jacksonville, FL (Died of breast cancer- June 21, 1991).

Yvonne Daniels
She started her broadcasting career in 1956 working at WOBS in Jacksonville, she soon moved to East St. Louis IL amd worked at WBBR. In the mid 60s Daniels moved to Chicago, where she had stints at WYNR and WCFL (hosting an overnight jazz show before the station flipped to Top40).

On June 9 1973, she became the first female DJ on blowtorch 89 WLS working overnights and fill-in.

In 1982, she left to do morning drive for WVON before moving to afternoons in 1984 when WVON changed it’s calls to WGCI. She stayed until 1989 when she became morning drive host at jazz station WNUA.

In late '91, Chicago's Dearborn Street Bridge was renamed Yvonne Daniels Way in her honor. In 1995, she was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

➦In 1967...The Who performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  Drummer Keith Moon rigged his drum set to explode at the conclusion of "My Generation".  He rigged the normal amount of explosives used at other concerts, and didn't tell the rest of the group.  The result of the stunt was a massive explosion on stage.  One of Moon's drum cymbals shattered, causing cuts to Moon's leg and arms was cut.  Guitarist Pete Townshend was closest to the blast, had his hair singed.

➦In 1976...Jay Thomas aired first show on WXLO NYC, now ESPN Sports WEPN 98.7 FM.

Disney Sees Linear TV As "No-Growth Business"

Bob Iger’s vision for the future of Disney is quite clear by now. 

The entertainment side of Disney is to be led by its streaming platforms Disney+ and Hulu, as well as by the new ESPN standalone streaming service that Disney plans to offer by 2025 or 2026.

The Tramer reports that doesn't leave much room in the budget for Disney’s linear channels, which is why Bloomberg is reporting that the company has had preliminary talks with Nexstar, the largest owner of local broadcast stations in the country, regarding a sale of ABC. There hasn’t been a discussion of price yet, but Nexstar would reportedly be interested if the numbers line up.

Weather Channel owner Byron Allen of Allen Media Group has also thrown his hat into the ring. Another report from Bloomberg states that Allen has made a $10 billion bid for ABC, FX, and National Geographic. Allen was also an active bidder for BET when Paramount was considering selling that brand earlier this year, so it’s clear he’s got acquisition on the brain these days.

In a statement, Disney said that while it’s keeping its options open regarding its broadcast and cable channels, it has made “no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property.”

Despite that statement, ABC audiences should think of a sale of the network by Disney as highly probable. When word of the possible sale of Disney-owned TV channels first arose in July, it was due to comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger, who said that linear TV was a “no-growth business” and that Disney’s TV assets were not necessarily “core” to the business.

Disney Chief Information Officer Departs

Disney’s chief information officer has left the company, the second C-level executive to leave in under three months as Chief Executive Bob Iger remakes the entertainment giant.

Diane Jurgens left the company earlier this month after three years in the role, according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter. Disney announced in June that Christine McCarthy, its chief financial officer, was leaving to take a medical absence.

Diane Jurgans
Jurgens joined Disney in October of 2020 under then-CEO Bob Chapek and was responsible for Disney’s enterprise technology organization globally. She was hired by McCarthy, according to people familiar with the matter.

Jurgens told colleagues she was leaving Disney “to pursue new adventures,” according to a farewell email sent to colleagues in late August.

“As you can imagine, it was a hard decision,” Jurgens wrote. “This company is a special place and working with this team has been a highlight of my career.”

Iger returned as CEO of Disney in November, replacing Chapek, whom he had chosen to succeed him. The day after Disney announced Iger was returning, the company announced the departure of Kareem Daniel, Chapek’s top lieutenant, who was responsible for deciding how Disney’s TV shows and movies would be shown—in theaters, TV or on streaming.

Since then, Iger has dismantled Daniel’s division, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, as part of his effort to give more authority to creative executives like studio chiefs.

Rochester NY Radio: Line-Up Changes At iHM's WAIO

On Friday, WAIO 95.1 FM, an iHeartMedia station known as Radio 95.1, announced that Brother Wease, whose real name is Alan Levin, will move out of the 6 to 9 a.m. timeslot to host a show from 9 a.m. to noon also featuring his wife, Doreen, John DiTullio and Dale Budziszewski, aka Dale Buda.

Wease said he requested the change for a lot of reasons, reports The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. “I’ve been getting up at 4:30 in the morning for work for 38 years,” he said after Friday’s broadcast. So, he was ready for something new — but he suspects that others are, too.

Starting Monday, Sept. 18, Brother Wease will move to the 9 a.m. to noon timeslot on WAIO-FM, Radio 95.1. It is one of a number of changes the iHeart station is making to its lineup.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered every facet of life, including the morning commute to work and, by extension, morning radio, he said. “I said, ‘I would love to see what we could do later.’”

He said he feels “very badly that people who have woken up with me for many, many years. But at the same time, I have many friends and acquaintances that used to listen to my show after 9 a.m., because I used to go to 11. So, I feel bad for the morning people, but at least I didn’t retire.”

'It’s really huge to me.':Brother Wease to be inducted into national Radio Hall of Fame

If he had, he said he would have done a podcast with his wife, who has a master’s degree in optical engineering from the University of Rochester and once worked for Eastman Kodak.

“She’s actually quite good” as a broadcaster, he said, and has joined him on the air many times over the years dating back to his days as a morning show host on WCMF-FM (96.5). “She’ll take a lot of hate, but none of it means anything. People say Show A is so much better than Show B. But it’s just people talking. You like who you like.”

The 6 to 9 a.m. time period on Radio 95.1 will be filled by nationally syndicated “Rover’s Morning Glory,” which previously aired on the station from 2 to 7 p.m.

Morris To Country Music: Getting The Hell Out

Grammy winner Maren Morris released two new songs — “The Tree” and “Get the Hell Out of Here” — on Friday (Sept. 15). With them, she also shared the nuanced emotions behind her decision to leave country music and her feelings about the socio-political divide that has deepened over the past several years, reports Billboard.

“These two songs are incredibly key to my next step because they express a very righteously angry and liberating phase of my life these last couple of years, but also how my navigation is finally pointing towards the future, whatever that may be or sound like,” she said in a statement. “Honoring where I’ve been and what I’ve achieved in country music, but also freely moving forward.”

On “The Tree,” she sings, “The rot at the roots is the root of the problem/ But you want to blame it on me.” She adds on “Get the Hell Out of Here”: “I hung around longer than anyone should/ You’ve broken my heart more than anyone could.”

She went into detail about her decision in an interview with The Los Angeles Times, sharing that the growing sociopolitical divide within country music — and the right-leaning views of some of the genre’s artists and fans — has been an ongoing challenge and barrier.

MI Radio: Morgan Murphy To Acquire 5 Radio, 3 TV Stations

Morgan Murphy Media said it is buying three TV stations and five radio stations in Michigan from Marks Media Group.

The TV stations involved in the deal are WBKB Alpena, Mich.; WBUP Ishpeming/Marquette, Mich. and WBKP Calumet-Marquette, Mich, according to NextTV.

The radio stations involved in the sale are Houghton Community Broadcasting Corp.’s country “K-Bear 102” WHKB, classic hits “97.7 The Wolf” WOLV, and hot AC “99.3 The Lift” WCCY, and its corresponding FM translator W257CZ, all of which are licensed to Houghton, MI. Morgan Murphy Media also picks up the construction permit for WHBS (96.3).

In Iron River, MI, the company adds Iron River Community Broadcasting Corp.’s classic rock WIKB (99.1) and classic country WFER (1220), and its FM translator W250CQ at 97.9, in Iron River, MI.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The transaction follows the death of Marks Media founder Stephen A. Marks last year.

“I believe Morgan Murphy Media will carry on our family legacy in Michigan and build upon our service to the local communities, which were so important to Steve,” said Mary Marks, who became the CEO following the passing of her husband.

After the acquisition, Morgan Murphy Media will operate in eight TV markets and four radio clusters serving communities in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. 

TV Ratings: Great Numbers For Amazon's TNF

The Philadelphia Eagles’ 34-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings averaged 15.05 million viewers on Amazon’s Prime Video and local broadcast outlets in the teams’ home markets, according to Nielsen. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that’s the largest audience, by about 2 million viewers, since the weeknight NFL showcase moved to Prime Video last year and up 15.5 percent from the previous high mark: 13.03 million for the opener last year.

And, per a customized report that integrates first-party streaming data with Nielsen’s national panel figures, the game averaged 16.6 million viewers across all platforms (including Twitch and NFL digital properties) and inclusive of computer and mobile devices.

TNF averaged about 9.6 million viewers last season in Nielsen’s ratings, somewhat below prior years when telecasts aired on Fox and the NFL Network (with the latter having a handful of exclusive contests). 

Amazon’s own figures for the games, which combine proprietary data with the Nielsen numbers, were somewhat higher, but the ad business for the games is determined by the Nielsen figures.

Nielsen had planned to incorporate some first-party data into Thursday Night Football‘s national ratings this season, but delayed implementing the combined numbers after criticism from other NFL broadcasters and an industry trade group, as well as the fact that the plan had yet to receive approval from the Media Rating Council, a regulatory body that accredits media measurement companies.

Third Republican Debate Expected In November

The third Republican presidential primary debate will be held in Miami in early November, sources familiar with the event tell CNN.

NBC News and Salem Media are in talks to host the Miami debate, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The third debate will follow the first 2024 GOP gathering in Milwaukee last month and the second debate scheduled to take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on September 27 to air on FOC Business and Univision.

The debates could play an increasingly crucial role as Republican candidates vie to be seen by primary voters as the party's top alternative to former President Donald Trump.

Trump, who has maintained a large lead in national and early-state primary polls, skipped the first debate and told former Fox News and NBC host Megyn Kelly that while he would participate in potential general election debates with President Joe Biden, he is unlikely to debate his GOP rivals.

"I don't see it," Trump told Kelly in an interview released Thursday. "Why would I do it?"

Still, the debates represent the best opportunities for Trump's Republican opponents - including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who would be on home turf in the third showdown - to reach a national audience.

Philly Radio: KYW to Present Live Town Hall on Public Education

A recent Pennsylvania court ruling is turning up the pressure for increasing funding after it found state support for schools is unconstitutional. This year’s state budget saw a historic boost to school money that advocates say will make a big difference in giving students the necessary resources. But decades of mounting issues continue to plague city schools. Too many buildings have issues with lead, asbestos and faulty HVAC systems. Far too many students are below grade level in reading and math – a reality that worsened during the pandemic. And the trauma of the city’s gun violence crisis continues to take a toll on children in their formative years.

As the 2023-24 school year begins, KYW Newsradio (103.9 FM / 1060 AM) is hosting a special live broadcast event on September 18 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. ET with key stakeholders to discuss the state of public education in Philadelphia. Broadcast live from Audacy’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, the event will be moderated by KYW Newsradio Morning Anchor Ian Bush with questions from KYW Newsradio Education Reporter Mike DeNardo, City Hall Bureau Chief Pat Loeb and Reporter Shara Dae Howard. Panelists will include Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan.

“We stand at a pivotal moment for public education in Philadelphia. While the recent court decision is poised to be a gamechanger for schools, the systemic challenges that have plagued our schools for decades won’t be easily solved,” said Kevin McCorry, News Director, KYW Newsradio. “We’re proud to leverage our platform to bring together a panel with diverse viewpoints to discuss critical issues including deteriorating infrastructure, academic disparities, and gun violence. The future of our city depends on the quality of education we provide to our students and conversations like these can kick start action.”

­čô╗Listeners can tune in to the event on KYW Newsradio (103.9 FM and 1060 AM) in Philadelphia and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via X, Facebook and Instagram.

FOX Business Host Charles Payne Supports "Rigorous Education"

FOX Business Network host Charles Payne hosted a fundraiser Thursday to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, and shared his motivation on Fox News Friday.

During FOX & Friends, Charles Payne shared that while there are programs to help African American youth in the city, they don’t often start funneling students into workforce programs until later stages of their education.

Payne's comments on African-American education begins at the 4:14 Mark:

According to Payne, "I've got a lot of plans... right now, I think blacks are six, maybe six or seven black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Now, there's a lot of programs out there, to get young black men and women and girls into the into the workforce. The problem is most of them start like a 12th grade and they're really watered down and they don't mean anything. 

"But if you go to New York City public school and you're in black kid, you probably will be reading at a ninth grade level. So me trying to help you in 12th grade is ridiculous. I would like to find a way to nurture young talent at the very beginning. First of all, I'm pushing really hard for more rigorous education."

70 Canadian Newspapers To Cease Publishing

Canada's Metroland Media Group has sought bankruptcy protection and will cease print publication of more than 70 weekly community newspapers, a move that will mean a loss of 605 jobs, the company said on Friday.

Reuters reports Metroland Media Group is the sister company of the Toronto Star and publishes papers across Ontario, the most populous of Canada's 10 provinces. It is owned by Nordstar Capital.

Metroland said the 605 jobs represented about 60% of its total workforce. It blamed the decision on unsustainable financial losses stemming from what it called the changing preferences of consumers and advertisers.

The media industry continues to face existential challenges, largely because digital tech giants have used their dominant positions to take the vast majority of the advertising revenue," it said in a statement.

Canada earlier this month unveiled draft rules for a law to compel internet giants such as Facebook and Google to pay news outlets.

Metroland Media Group will move to a digital-only model and stop printing advertising flyers.

"Fraiser" Reboot Debuts In October

Paramount Plus’ reboot of the comedy Frasier will premiere with two episodes on October 12, which will then be broadcast on Paramount Global-owned broadcast network CBS on Oct. 17.

The move comes as broadcast networks struggle for original programming amid the strikes by unions representing writers and actors. 

The broadcast will also provide promotion for Paramount Plus at a time when media companies are looking to boost the profitability of their streaming services.

The original Frasier premiered on NBC 30 years ago and ran until 2004. The series won 37 Emmy Awards, the record for a comedy.

Kelsey Grammer reprises the role he created on Cheers then carried on in a spinoff. 

The first two episodes of the new series are directed by James Burrows, who is best known for his work as co-creator, executive producer and director of Cheers, as well as the original series Frasier, and Will & Grace. 

The new 10-episode series finds Frasier Crane in Boston with his son Freddy, played by Jack Cutmore-Scott.  Grammar also sings a new version of the show’s theme song Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs.

The original series is available to stream on Paramount Plus and Pluto TV.

Radio History: September 16

➦In 1914...Allen Albert Funt born (Died at age 84 – September 5, 1999). He was a radio, TV producer, director, writer and personality best known as the creator and host of Candid Camera from the 1940s to 1980s, as either a regular television show or a television series of specials. Its most notable run was from 1960 to 1967 on CBS.

Allen Funt
Trained in commercial art, Funt worked for an advertising agency in their art department, but he eventually moved to its radio department. Among his first jobs for radio, he wrote for Truth or Consequences and assisted US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with her radio commentaries.

Drafted into the military during World War II and stationed in Oklahoma, Funt served in the Army Signal Corps, eventually making radio shows. He began his signature program on ABC Radio as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947, and it ran until September 23, 1948. The program was revived on CBS June 6 – August 29, 1950.

He soon experimented with a visual version by doing a series of theatrical short films also known as Candid Microphone. These film shorts served as a springboard for his entrance into television on August 10, 1948. The show ran on all three major TV networks and in syndication while hosted by Allen Funt until he was sidelined by a stroke in 1993. The syndicated version of Candid Camera was broadcast from 1974 to 1979; his co-hosts included, at various times, John Bartholomew Tucker, Phyllis George and Jo Ann Pflug.

Andy Russell
➦In 1919....Singer and radio personality Andy Russell born (Died  – April 16, 1992). He sold 8 million records in the 1940s singing in a romantic, baritone voice and in his trademark bilingual English and Spanish style. He had chart-busters, such as "B├ęsame Mucho", "Amor", and "What a Diff'rence a Day Made". He made personal appearances and performed on radio programs, most notably Your Hit Parade, in several movies, and on television. During this initial phase of his career, his popularity in the United States rivaled that of crooners Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

By 1944, he had become a well enough regarded pop vocalist to be invited to perform on radio programs.

On November 9, he debuted on his own radio show on the "Blue" network, or NBC, called The Andy Russell Show, which broadcast out of Hollywood.  He was the host and featured vocalist. In addition, he would invite guests to appear on his program, such as Dinah Shore and Johnny Mercer.

On Sunday nights over CBS radio, Russell was also a featured vocalist on the Old Gold Show, which was the name of the cigarette company that sponsored the program.

with Groucho
Next up was an invitation to appear as a vocalist on The Jackie Gleason - Les Tremayne Show on NBC radio. Unlike his eponymous show which was broadcast from Los Angeles, California, it was necessary for Russell to take the train out to the East Coast, as this show originated from New York. It was reported that during the trip, he got sick because he had never been on a train before.

Also, in addition to duties as a vocalist, Russell played straight man to Jackie Gleason, the legendary comic and performer who would later be the star of the classic television program The Honeymooners. He would do this later in a motion picture with Groucho Marx, too.

From September 3, 1945 to May 27, 1946, Russell appeared on the CBS radio comedy show, The Joan Davis Show, which originated out of New York City.  Finally, and most notably, starting on April 26, 1946, Russell began to appear as featured vocalist on the pop music radio program Your Hit Parade. This popular program aired on Saturdays, 9:00-9:30 pm on NBC radio and was broadcast out of New York City.

After five months in New York, he was so popular that Lucky Strike cigarettes, the sponsor of the show, agreed to pay for the show to be broadcast out of its Los Angeles studios in order to appease Russell who was homesick. The shows from Hollywood began on September 21, 1946. He stayed on the program for 2 seasons, which led to huge popularity for the singer.

➦In 1919...Lawrence "Larry" Dobkin born (Died at age 83 – October 28, 2002).  He was a prolific performer during the Golden Age of Radio. His voice was used to narrate the classic western Broken Arrow (1950). His film performances include Never Fear (1949), Sweet Smell of Success (1957) and North by Northwest (1959). He announced the landmark television series Naked City (1958–1963), closing each episode with the statement, "There are eight million stories in the naked city, and this has been one of them."

Dobkin w/Vincent Price
A former child actor, Dobkin began working in radio to pay for his studies at the Yale University School of Drama. He understudied on Broadway before serving with a radio propaganda unit of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. When he returned to network radio he was one of five actors who played the detective Ellery Queen in The Adventures of Ellery Queen.  In The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe (1950–1951), Dobkin played detective Archie Goodwin opposite Sydney Greenstreet's Nero Wolfe.

While playing Louie, The Saint's cab-driving sidekick on NBC Radio in 1951, he was asked to step into the lead role of Simon Templar to replace Tom Conway for a single episode — making Dobkin one of the few actors to portray Leslie Charteris' literary creation.

His other radio work included Escape (1947–1954), Gunsmoke (1952–1961), Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (1956–1960), and the anthology series Lux Radio Theater. "The few of us who are left," Dobkin said of his radio days not long before he died, "keep telling each other that we never had it so good."

➦In 1928...WGL changed call letters to WOV in New York (now WADO 1280 AM).

This station was launched as WGL on January 30, 1927, and was owned by the International Broadcasting Corporation. WGL president Colonel Lewis Landes stated on the inaugural broadcast,

"The International Broadcasting Corporation's aim is to adhere to truth, to be free of partisanship, religious or political."

WGL was the first station to protest the frequency allocations of the Federal Radio Commission in May 1927. WGL was authorized to move to 1170 AM, but wanted to go to 720, occupied by WOR.

When WOR was awarded the 710 frequency, both stations went to court, with WOR eventually winning the case. Finally in June 1927, WGL moved to 1020 AM and shared time with Paterson station, WODA.

In August 1927, studio manager Charles Isaacson announced one of the city's first attempts at local news coverage. WGL was organizing listeners to volunteer as radio reporters and call the station with breaking news stories.

On September 16, 1928, WGL changed calls to WOV and was sold to Sicilian-born importer John Iraci. The WGL call sign was then picked up by a Fort Wayne station, which uses them to this very day.

➦In 2011...Philly/NYC Radio News Anchor John "Jack" O'Rourke died.   He was known to thousands of listeners for nearly 20 years as a Newsradio KYW 1060 sportscaster.

He had also been with the station in the late 1960s as a news anchor and City Hall Bureau Chief, before joining NBC News in 1969, where he anchored newscasts on WNBC 660 AM and the NBC Radio Network.  He remained there for 20 years in a variety of positions, including Executive Producer of Sports from 1983 to 1989.

While with NBC News, he received a George Foster Peabody Award, a major journalism prize.

➦In 2011...Citadel Broadcasting merged with Cumulus Media.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Disney, Nexstar Hold Preliminary Talks On ABC Sale

Walt Disney Co. has held exploratory talks about selling its ABC network and TV stations to local broadcaster Nexstar Media Group Inc., according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the discussions.

The talks are preliminary and haven’t involved a specific valuation, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions aren’t public. Nexstar would only be interested at the right price.

Media mogul Byron Allen, who owns a string of TV outlets, has also had discussions with Disney about an acquisition of the network and its stations, according to another person, who was familiar with his involvement.

Disney, in a statement, said that while it’s still considering a variety of strategic options for its traditional TV businesses, the company has made “no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property.” Nexstar declined to comment.

Tom Carter, Nexstar’s former president and now an adviser to its CEO and board, told investors at a Bank of America Securities conference Wednesday that the company is interested in acquiring assets from legacy media owners like Disney that are looking to restructure. Nexstar could acquire the ABC outlets with possibly only a few divestitures to stay within limits on broadcast station ownership, he said.

The adviser added that there are some complications to a sale. ESPN, Disney’s sports network, shares many of its telecasts with ABC. “If you were to buy the ABC complex, how would that work going forward?” he said. “There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered there.”

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said in July that he is considering divesting traditional TV networks like ABC. Broadcast and cable channels have been losing viewers to streaming services such as Disney+ and Hulu.

Megyn Kelly Pressed Donald Trump On Classified Document

Megyn Kelly in a recorded interview released Thursday she pressed former President Donald Trump over his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House and questioned why Trump would not comply with a subpoena for the sensitive materials.

Kelly interviewed Trump on her SiriusXM show, where she zeroed in on the criminal case over Trump’s handling and retention of classified materials. Trump faces two obstruction charges after the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused him and his co-conspirators of attempting to delete surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago property.

In January 2017, Kelly left Fox for NBC News, an ill fit where she was taken off the air following an uproar when she suggested that it was OK for white people to wear blackface on Halloween. NBC and Kelly negotiated a divorce agreement in January 2019, in the second year of a three-year contract.

Kelly went into business for herself, starting a podcast in September 2020. A year later, SiriusXM picked up her show, and video began being shown on YouTube.  SiriusXM last week announced it had signed Kelly to a deal that extends through the 2024 election and beyond.

She has built her show into one of the highest-ranked in Chartable's list of news podcasts. She has also had 2024 presidential candidates Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Chris Christie and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on her show.

Some of her questions to Trump in the interview airing Thursday were friendly, like when she said, “Can you believe they never put (former first lady Melania Trump) on the cover of Vogue? They put (White House press secretary) Karine Jean-Pierre there.”

She challenged Trump at a number of points, such as why he didn't end birthright citizenship when he was president and why he didn't remove COVID-era medical adviser Anthony Fauci, a villain to many conservatives, from his job.

Borrell Forecasts 4.4% Growth In Local Advertising for 2024

U.S. local advertising will grow a healthy 4.4% in 2024, to $157.1 billion, according to Borrell Associates. While demand for digital formats drive much of the growth, Borrell also noted that traditional forms of media appear to be stabilizing. On top of that, Borrell’s recent Business Barometer showed a strong uptick in optimism about the holiday shopping season and about the economy in general.

“I wouldn’t exactly call it a return to traditional media,” said Corey Elliott, Borrell’s chief forecaster, “but there does seem to be renewed interest in it. That may be because local businesses are gaining more marketing experience and see the possibilities beyond simple, inexpensive digital campaigns.”

Borrell released its 2024 forecasts Friday (Sept. 15) for all U.S. markets. Digital advertising formats are forecast to grow 6.0%, lower than this year’s projected 7.1%, while non-digital advertising formats are forecast to grow 0.4%, after a decline of 4.9% this year.

Here are the highlights:Digital video and audio formats, forecast to grow 9.3% and 7.7%, respectively
  • Local broadcast TV, up 9%
  • Paid Search Listings Sites, growing 8%
  • Out of Home, up 3.4%
  • Direct Mail, up 1.7%
  • Cinema advertising, up 2%
The moderation in declines for some traditional forms of media included newspapers, cable and radio. 

Borrell is forecasting a 4% decline in print newspaper advertising in 2024, coming off a 7.8% decline this year. Cable advertising’s decline slows from 5.6% this year to a forecast 3.2% next year, and radio’s decline slows from 2.8% this year to 2.3% in 2024.

Twin Cities Radio: NBA Timberwolves Exit WCCO

The Minnesota Timberwolves games won't be airing on their longtime flagship WCCO Radio this season, and it wasn't immediately clear where the games will be heard, according to The Star-Tribune.

"We appreciated our partnership with WCCO and the radio broadcast opportunities we were able to accomplish with them," team spokeswoman Sara Perez wrote in a statement. "However, we are looking forward to announcing a new radio broadcast partnership in the weeks to come."

In a letter to radio staff, WCCO market manager and senior vice president Jeff Gonsales wrote the station worked hard to keep the NBA team and "offered more than what we delivered from our previous contract."

He said Timberwolves Chief Operating Officer Ryan Tanke told WCCO that the team is going to use a "super nontraditional" route for its broadcast partnership in a "one-year trial."

WCCO Radio program director Brad Lane confirmed the Timberwolves won't be on the station this season, but said he didn't know what the team's plans are for audio.

Wolves games have aired on WCCO since 2011.

Knoxville Radio: FCC Judge Rules WJBE Owner Can Keep License

An FCC judge rejected an effort by the agency to strip the license of "Jammin" 99.7 FM/1040 WJBE, ending a lengthy wait to learn the fate of Knoxville's only Black-owned radio station.

The FCC’s enforcement bureau initiated a license revocation hearing against the station in March 2022 alleging that its owner, Joe Armstrong, a former state representative, had breached ownership regulations because of his 2016 conviction for filing a false income tax return. Additionally, FCC enforcers said he failed to disclose the conviction in two separate license renewal applications.

The station, owned in the 1960s and '70s by James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," has been a cultural touchpoint for Black radio listeners in East Tennessee for generations.

After the ruling Thursday, Armstong told Knox News that his beloved community helped him get through the grueling process.

Joe Armstrong
"I am amazed at how much love and support I received from the people right here in Knoxville," he said. "All the churches, clergy, elected officials, and our everyday listeners from age 8 to 80 made this all happen. I owe thanks to my family and all who volunteered their time at the station, and to my employees at the station who showed up not even knowing if they will have a job or not."

Armstrong said he was grateful the FCC judge ruled in his favor.

In 2012, Armstrong took ownership and breathed new life into the radio station. Today, WJBE airs a diverse range of content, including popular music, nationally syndicated talk shows, community news and church services.

Armstrong fully served his sentence that included three years of probation, six months of house arrest and 300 hours of community service. He also was fined $40,000 and directed to make restitution payments totaling approximately $100,000. Following his conviction, he retired from his position in the state House of Representatives.

Still, the FCC raised concerns about his ability to adhere to its regulations.

9/15 WAKE-UP CALL: U-A-W Strikes

Thousands of members of the United Auto Workers went on strike at three U.S. assembly plants of General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, after the union and the automakers failed to reach a deal on a new labor contract Thursday night.  The facilities are GM’s midsize truck and full-size van plant in Wentzville, Missouri; Ford’s Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV plant in Wayne, Michigan; and Stellantis’ Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator plant in Toledo, Ohio. For Ford, UAW President Shawn Fain said only workers in paint and final assembly will be on strike. “We got to do what we got to do to get our share of economic and social justice in this this strike,” 

Fain said outside the Ford facility in Wayne, minutes after the strike began. “We’re going to be out here until we get our share of economic justice. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes.” The selected plants produce highly profitable vehicles for the automakers that largely continue to be in high-demand. About 12,700 workers – 5,800 at Stellantis, 3,600 at GM and 3,300 at Ford – will be on strike at the plants in total, the union said. The UAW represents about 146,000 workers across Ford, GM and Stellantis.

HUNTER INDICTED:  Hunter Biden was indicted on gun charges related to his firearm purchase in 2018. Republicans will likely use the case to attack President Biden, who is running for reelection, though their presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is facing two federal criminal cases and local ones in Georgia and New York. Federal prosecutors accused the junior Biden of knowingly lying about his drug addiction when he purchased a pistol and possessing it illegally. The White House has denied involvement. Hunter Biden’s legal team didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, and the Justice Department declined to comment. A plea deal that also covered federal tax charges against him fell apart this summer. Biden faces up to 25 years in prison after being indicted on three felony charges for lying about his crack cocaine addiction when buying a gun. CNN's Paula Reid (pictured left) spoke about how deflated those closest to Hunter were at the announcement. 'I got the sense that it's just pretty dark and gloomy over there, they feel defeated,' Reid said. She said Hunter is also feeling 'despair' over his huge legal fees.

➤BIDEN LOSES WAPO SUPPORTER: Prominent Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who is favored by President Biden and has been supportive of his presidency, has called on the 80-year-old commander-in-chief to drop out of the 2024 race. In the opinion piece, bluntly titled “President Biden should not run again in 2024,” Ignatius asserts that Biden’s age “isn’t just a Fox News trope.” In fact, he argues, “it’s been the subject of dinner-table conversations across America this summer.”

The eminent commentator, who has written for the paper under seven different presidential administrations, cites a recent Associated Press-NORC poll, which found that more than three-quarters of the American public (77%) — including a notable 69% of Democrats — think Biden is too old to be effective for four more years. 

➤BIDEN'S LATEST WHOPPER: Biden, at 80, the nation's oldest-ever president, was speaking at Prince George Community College in Maryland Thursday for an economic address he meant to contrast what he calls 'Bidenomics' with the police of predecessor Donald Trump. At one point, however, the president turned his speech to a common theme, that Democracy is 'under attack' when he suddenly discussed his time at the University of Pennsylvania. 'We got to fight for it,' Biden said. ''I taught at the University of Pennsylvania for four years and I used to teach political theory. And folks, you always hear, every generation has to fight for democracy.' His claim about teaching there has no basis in reality. 

Fox News Adds Lawrence Jones To FOX & Friends Couch

Lawrence Jones

FOX News Channel (FNC) has named Lawrence Jones as a co-host of the network’s FOX & Friends franchise. 

Beginning Monday, September 18th, Jones will join co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade from 6-9 AM/ET on weekday mornings and will also continue in his role as the franchise’s enterprise reporter. The announcement was made on Thursday morning’s program with Doocy, Earhardt and Kilmeade as well as Will Cain, Rachel Campos-Duffy and Pete Hegseth who co-host FOX & Friends Weekend (Saturdays & Sundays 6-10 AM/ET), senior meteorologist Janice Dean and Todd Piro & Carley Shimkus who helm FOX & Friends First (weekday mornings 5-6 AM/ET).

Jones’ weekend program Lawrence Jones Cross Country will be sunset, and One Nation with Brian Kilmeade will now air at 9 PM/ET on Saturday evenings.

In commenting on the announcement, FNC’s senior vice president of morning programming Gavin Hadden said, “Lawrence has his finger on the pulse of what matters to communities across America and his insight has proved invaluable to the FOX & Friends audience. We look forward to welcoming him to our family as he wakes up America alongside our star co-hosts each morning.”

Jones added, “I am honored to become a part of the cable news legacy FOX News has created with FOX & Friends, the very show where I made my first ever national television appearance. It is truly a privilege to inform our audience every day and I can’t wait to do so each morning.”

At 30 years old, Jones is the youngest Black co-host in cable news. He joined FNC in 2018 and quickly made his mark with his in-depth reporting on the impact of national issues on local communities. In 2021, he was named FOX & Friends’ enterprise reporter where he showcases a multitude of local and national stories, spotlighting issues that resonate with everyday Americans and interviewing newsmakers across the political and cultural spectrum.

Fox News' Bret Baier To Sit Down With Saudi Crown Prince

Crown Prince Mohanned bin Salman

FOX News Channel’s (FNC) chief political anchor Bret Baier will present an exclusive interview with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Special Report September 20th at 6 PM/ET. This is bin Salman’s first interview with a major American news network since 2019.

The pre-taped no-holds-barred interview will cover a range of topics about the future of the kingdom and relations with the United States. Baier will anchor Special Report from Saudi Arabia on September 19th and 20th and present a behind-the-scenes look at the kingdom, conducting adjacent interviews with Saudi officials, including Minister of Economy & Planning Faisal Alibrahim; Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal; Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb; Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman; and Diriyah Gate Development Authority CEO Jerry Inzerillo. These interviews will air on Special Report prior to the exclusive sit down with the crown prince.

Throughout his tenure with the network, Baier has covered every major political event for FNC, including most recently at the first Republican primary presidential debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which he co-moderated alongside Martha MacCallum. The debate delivered nearly 13 million viewers and was the most-watched non-sports cable telecast of the year. His nightly news program Special Report has averaged 2.1 million viewers year-to-date, ranking as a top five show in cable news.

Cox Enterprises To Push For Digital Subs

The new leader of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wants to increase the publication’s digital subscribers more than eightfold by the end of 2026, an ambitious goal he aims to reach through expanded local-news coverage and new products, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“In the last five-to-10 years, we’ve just focused on Atlanta,” said Andrew Morse, a former CNN digital executive who took over as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s new president and publisher in January. He said the publication plans to hire about 100 people in the coming years and place editorial staff in Georgia cities such as Macon, Savannah, Columbus, Augusta and Athens, where it determined that local coverage has eroded. 

The publication is also planning to add products dedicated to sports, Black culture, Southern cooking and politics, including new video and audio features—most of which would be available exclusively to subscribers. 

Could Fubo Be In Your Future?

When the recent standoff between Disney and the cable giant Charter left him among nearly 15 million cable subscribers without ESPN and many other channels, contsumers took matters into their own hands.

Nearly 500,000 downloaded FuboTV, a streaming service that offers channels including ESPN, according to Sensor Tower, an analytics firm.

As cord cutting accelerates across the country, with millions of Americans dropping their traditional cable-TV packages each year, it threatens to upend the pay-TV bundle, a linchpin of the media industry for decades. That became clear when Charter, in its war of words with Disney, declared that parts of the cable bundle were “broken.”

But, The NY Times reports the resolution between the two companies this week signaled that the bundle is probably not going anywhere. It’s just adjusting for new viewing habits, with cable companies aiming to sell new packages that include streaming services.

As part of the deal, Disney+, a streaming service that includes many of Disney’s biggest shows and movies, will now be offered to Charter’s TV customers.

“We very much can look back at this Disney-Charter deal as an opening salvo of a broader re-bundling,” MoffettNathanson, an influential research firm, said in a note on Monday.

For more than a half-century, the cable-TV bundle was one of the best businesses in the history of media. TV giants like Disney were paid twice: first by cable distributors, which shelled out billions every year to have channels like ESPN available for their subscribers, and then by advertisers, which opened their wallets to promote products alongside the hottest shows.

The bundle was also good for the cable providers, which steadily added subscribers: At the peak of traditional cable in 2012, more than 100 million Americans paid for the bundle.

That era is gone. Now, about five million people abandon cable TV every year — leaving about 75 million Americans in the traditional TV ecosystem, according to analyst estimates.

Most analysts believe that 40 million to 60 million Americans will continue to subscribe to some form of traditional cable in the years to come. The sharp falloff, however, is shifting the ground under media companies and distributors alike.

Windsor Radio: Big 8's Rosalie Trombley To Be Honored

The City of Windsor, Ontario has announced plans to debut the anticipated statue of Rosalie Trombley this Sunday, as part of a day of celebration centeredd around the former Big 8 CKLW music director.

According to Windsor CTV News, the statue at the corner of Riverside Drive East and McDougall Street when it’s unveiled at 10:30 a.m. on September 17 - the day before Trombley would’ve turned 84.

Also on the 17th is the annual Open Streets Windsor event to take over the core – this year dubbed “The Big 8 Kilometer Edition” for a bit of theming around Trombley. Also that day, the Capitol Theatre will screen the documentary “Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8.”

“Mom would be humbled by all this,” said Tim Trombley, Rosalie’s son. “But this is a way of the City of Windsor, St. Clair College, and Bell Media to really immortalize her.”

Rosalie Trombley, known affectionately as ‘The Girl with the Golden Ear’, picked the tunes at The Big 8 from the late 60s through to the 80s.

She garnered a reputation for being able to pick a hit song and has been credited with helping many major musical acts take their careers to the next level.

“I often think about … how hard she must have worked. How respected she must have been to get where she did,” said Lisa Williams, co-host of The Morning Drive with Mike and Lisa on AM800 CKLW. “She no doubt paved the way and opened many doors for women in radio, so thank you, Rosalie.”

Rosalie Trombley died in November of 2021 at the age of 82.

Radio History: September 15

➦In 1907...John Wesley "Jack" Bailey Jr. born in Hampton, Iowa (Died from cancer at age 72 in Santa Monica, CA– February 1, 1980).  He was an actor and daytime game show host.

Jack Bailey
Bailey is best remembered as the host of Queen for a Day, a daytime game show which first aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1945 and later moved to television, where it ran locally in the Los Angeles area from 1948 through 1955, on the NBC Television network from January 3, 1956 to September 2, 1960, and on the ABC network from September 5, 1960 to October 2, 1964. Each episode started with a different introduction (some of which were parodies of other popular shows of the time period), but inevitably the opening would resolve when Bailey pointed to the camera (and the audience) and loudly asked, "Would you like to be Queen for a Day?" as the live audience, mostly women, cheered.

He was an announcer for several radio programs, including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Duffy's Tavern, and Meet the Missus.

His other work in television included appearances in episodes of The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mister Ed, Green Acres, I Dream of Jeannie, Gunsmoke, and Ironside, plus narration for the Walt Disney organization. He had a small part in the Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life and he also toured the country in musical stage productions, such as Hello Dolly, The Sound of Music, and The Music Man.

Bailey was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one for his radio career, at 1708 Vine Street, and one for his work in television, at 6411 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

➦In 1907...Announcer Jimmy Wallington was born in Rochester NY (Died at age 65 – December 22, 1972). After playing small roles in a few Hollywood films, he was the announcer for several popular radio shows in the 1940s and 1950s.

Jimmy Wallington
For his work on radio, Wallington has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6660 Hollywood Blvd.

He was the announcer for several popular radio shows in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, including Texaco Star Theatre with Fred Allen (1941–44) and Texaco Town with Eddie Cantor. As with most announcers, Wallington would announce the program's star, then read the sponsor's commercials. In addition, he was often given comedy lines. When radio shows moved to television, he continued as a television announcer in the 1950s.

After years as a radio announcer, he became a TV star in California doing Life Insurance and other commercials. He ended his professional radio career as a Voice of America radio announcer in the Worldwide English service.

Blondie, Dagwood
➦In 1908...Penny Singleton born Mariana Dorothy McNulty (Died at age 95 – November 12, 2003). During her 60-year career, she appeared as the comic-strip heroine Blondie Bumstead in a series of 28 motion pictures from 1938 until 1950 and the popular Blondie radio program from 1939 until 1950. Singleton also provided the voice of Jane Jetson in the animated series The Jetsons from 1962–1963 and 1985–1987.

She was cast opposite Arthur Lake (as Dagwood) in the feature film Blondie in 1938. They repeated their roles on a radio comedy beginning in 1939 and in guest appearances on other radio shows. As Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead, they proved so popular that a succession of 27 sequels was made from 1938 until 1950, with the radio show ending the same year. Singleton's husband Robert Sparks produced 12 of these sequels. Also in 1950, she had her own program, The Penny Singleton Show, on NBC radio

➦In 1915...John Conte  born (Died at age 90 – September 4, 2006).  Conte entered broadcasting with a job at KFAC in Los Angeles. Two years later, he had become a network announcer. One of his first regular roles was on The Grape Nuts Program (1937-1938) with George Burns and Gracie Allen. Conte was host for Screen Test and Master of ceremonies for the Maxwell House program that featured Fanny Brice and Frank Morgan He was also the announcer for Silver Theater. It Happened in Hollywood and The Screen Guild Show.  Conte, who ended up a CA TV station owner.

➦In 1934...the Mutual Broadcast System was formed.