Saturday, September 23, 2023

Radio History: September 24

➦In 1933...Radio's first dramatic "Roses and Drums" show, was heard on WABC 880 AM (then a CBS station) in New York City. It was heard until 1936 and was originally an anthology program drawing its material from American history.


➦In 1934...Radio personality Pat O'Day born Paul W. Berg (died August 4, 2020 at age 85). He is probably best known as the afternoon drive personality at Seattle's KJR 950 AM in the 1960s, he would eventually become program director and general manager. He owned KYYX 96.5 FM 96.5 Radio in Seattle in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. The frequency is now occupied by KJAQ.

Starting in 1967, O'Day served as race announcer and commentator during Seafair for various radio and TV stations, most recently KIRO TV. The television station, however, announced it was parting ways with O'Day in 2013 and he would not return to broadcast the race. He set the Guinness world record for water skiing non-stop (around Lake Washington) for 4 hours 52 minutes, in 1959.

He is responsible for bringing the Seattle music scene to national prominence.

➦In 1935...CKLW Windsor-Detroit lost its CBS affiliation to WJR Detroit, and hooked up with the Mutual network instead. When the CBC debuted a year later CKLW became an affiliate, but also remained connected to Mutual.

➦In 1942...Glenn Miller ended his Moonlight Serenade radio show on the CBS Radio Network. Miller (March 1, 1904 - presumably December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best known "Big Bands". Miller's signature recordings include, "In the Mood", "Tuxedo Junction", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Moonlight Serenade", "Little Brown Jug", and "Pennsylvania 6-5000". While traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's plane disappeared in bad weather. His body was never found. Miller's recordings are still familiar refrains, even to generations born decades after Miller disappeared.

➦In 1948...U-S citizen Mildred Gillars, known as "Axis Sally" pleaded innocent to charges of treason. She was convicted and wound up serving 12 years behind bars for being a Nazi wartime radio propagandist.

Millard Gillars
In 1934 she had moved to Dresden, Germany, to study music, later being employed as a teacher of English at the Berlitz School of Languages in Berlin. In 1940 she obtained work as an announcer with the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (RRG), German State Radio.

By 1941, as the U.S. State Department was advising American nationals to return home, Gillars chose to stay in Germany after her fiancé, Paul Karlson, a naturalized German citizen, said that he would never marry her if she returned to the United States. Shortly afterwards, Karlson was sent to the Eastern Front, where he died in action.

Until 1942 Gillars' broadcasts were largely apolitical. This changed when Max Otto Koischwitz, the program director in the USA Zone at the RRG, cast Gillars in a new show called Home Sweet Home.

Soon she acquired several names among her GI listeners, including Berlin Bitch, Berlin Babe, Olga, and Sally, but the one that became most common was "Axis Sally".

7 Million To Feel Effects of Ophelia

Tropical Storm Ophelia nearly reached hurricane strength Friday before making its final approach along the North Carolina coastline.

Tropical Storm Warnings covered 7 million along the eastern seaboard and Hurricane Watches were issued as the storm started to bear down on communities east of Interstate 95.

Heavy rainfall, gusty winds and coastal flooding are expected to impact communities from the Tar Heel State through the Delmarva Peninsula during the next 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Warnings stretch from near Cape Fear, North Carolina, north through all of coastal North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland to southern Delaware, including Albemarle and Pamlico sounds in North Carolina and parts of Chesapeake Bay.

A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are expected in the warning area within 36 hours. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge and coastal flooding.

While the cyclone is expected to remain below hurricane strength a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the coast of North Carolina from north of Surf City to Ocracoke Inlet.

More than 7 million residents are under some type of tropical weather alert from North Carolina to the Delmarva Peninsula.

RTDNA: Trust In Local News Is Good, But Not Excellent

Most U.S. local news consumers want journalists to ask tough, but respectful, questions of candidates and regularly fact check those running for office. 

This was one of many key takeaways from a fact-finding research project on trust in elections coverage, commissioned by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and conducted by Magid. The findings were released publicly for the first time Thursday at RTDNA23 in Minneapolis.

According to the study, 62 percent of local news viewers and listeners say it is “very important” that local sources and journalists “ask tough, but respectful questions to get answers,” and 61 percent said it is very important they fact-check those candidates. Fifty-eight percent of the local news audience said it was very important those outlets have regular fact-checking segments.

“In our highly polarized society, Americans need to rely on their trusted local sources of news to get the facts about candidates, campaigns and other political issues,” said RTDNA President and CEO Dan Shelley. “These findings offer a clear roadmap to ensure local reporters and news managers are providing voters with the information they crave to make critical decisions in the voting booth.”

The goal of the study was to better understand how newsrooms can build and maintain trust in their communities as they enter the 2024 election cycle, as they cover races and issues at the local, state and federal levels. RTDNA hopes newsrooms will review the data and incorporate it into their best practices, and RTDNA will work over the coming months to share training information and materials. 

David Portnoy Exposes WaPo Reporter

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy called out a Washington Post reporter for the way she handled an upcoming "hit piece" story against him in an exclusive interview Thursday on "Jesse Watters Primetime."

Portnoy posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, Wednesday of a recorded phone conversation he had with Washington Post reporter Emily Heil. 

Heil, who covers national food news and trends for the Post, reportedly sent emails to several advertisers associated with Portnoy’s upcoming One Bite Pizza Festival in Brooklyn, New York, asking them about Portnoy’s "history of misogynistic comments and other problematic behavior."

Portnoy said Heil is invited to the One Bite Pizza Festival, and she can "confess" her sins to him and get some pizza.

Amazon To Start Putting Ads in Prime Video

Amazon says it will start showing ads on Prime Video in early 2024, and that it is introducing a new, pricier ad-free option.

In a post on its site, Amazon said it will begin showing ads in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada early in the year, and in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in 2024.

Amazon Prime Video with ads will cost $14.99 a month, and the ad-free option will cost $17.98 per month in the U.S. It said it will announce prices for the ad-free option in other countries later on.

NBC News reports the company said it aims "to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers," and that it's introducing ads so that it can continue investing in content and increasing that investment.

The Seattle-based company also said Prime members will get an email explaining how they can sign up for the ad-free option.

Amazon is following in the footsteps of its streaming video peers as those companies grapple with continued losses and mounting debts in their streaming divisions.

In August, Disney said it would raise the price of Disney+ and Hulu without commercials. Starting Oct. 12, ad-free Disney+ will rise to $13.99 per month from $10.99, and Hulu without ads to $17.99 per month from $14.99.

Disney also announced a $19.99 Disney+ and Hulu bundle.

NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service raised prices in August, as a monthly premium subscription went to $5.99 from $4.99 and the price of its ad-free tier went to $11.99 from $9.99.

Netflix’s standard plan without commercials is $15.49 per month, and the ad-free version of Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max is $15.99 per month.

Triton Digital Releases the August 2023 U.S. Podcast Ranker

Triton Digital®, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio, podcast, and broadcast radio industries, announced Friday the release of its August 2023 reporting period (July 31, 2023 – September 3, 2023), U.S. Podcast Ranker, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.

Yet again, SiriusXM Podcast Network remained in the #1 spot on the Top Sales Networks Report for the month of August, with 53.4M Average Weekly Downloads and 14.0M Average Weekly Users. Wondery came in again at #2 with 36.4M Average Weekly Downloads and 8.7M Average Weekly Users, followed by NPR again at #3 with 31.8M Average Weekly Downloads and 6.4M Average Weekly Users.

For this reporting period, the top three podcasts based on downloads included NPR News Now (NPR) again at #1, Crime Junkie (audiochuck) again at #2, and Dateline NBC (NBCUniversal News Group) again at #3.

For listeners, the top three podcasts included Crime Junkie (audiochuck) again at #1, Dateline NBC (NBCUniversal News Group) again at #2, and Up First (NPR) climbing to #3.

There were three debuts for this reporting period, including Over My Dead Body (Wondery) for both listeners and downloads, Prosecuting Donald Trump (NBCUniversal News Group) for downloads, and H3 Podcast (The Roost Podcast Network) for listeners.

Rick Cordella To Head Sports Division For NBC Universal

Comcast's NBCUniversal on Friday appointed veteran executive Rick Cordella as president of its sports division.

Cordella will take charge of NBC Sports' platforms including NBC Olympics, Golf Channel and oversee sports on the company's streaming platform Peacock, home to Sunday Night Football and NASCAR.

He was most recently president of programming for NBC Sports and Peacock Sports. In the role, he led NBCUniversal's sports programming strategy across broadcast, cable and streaming and oversaw sports betting and sports fantasy.

He previously served as general manager at, a fantasy sports and news company and joined NBC after its acquisition of AllStar Stats, Rotoworld's parent company, in 2006.

The IRS Knows If You Made Money Reselling Tix for Eras Tour

If you cashed in this summer by reselling tickets to Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” or Lionel Messi’s first games in a bubblegum-pink jersey, brace yourself to pay taxes. 

The Wall Street Journal reports a new law requires ticketing platforms like Ticketmaster and StubHub to give the Internal Revenue Service information on users who sold more than $600 worth of tickets this year. 

The new requirements are taking hold amid a banner year for live events in which Swifties, soccer buffs and members of Beyoncé’s BeyHive paid sky-high prices for a chance to see their favorite stars in the flesh. That drove huge markups in the secondary ticket market—and delivered hefty profits to anyone hawking hot tickets.

The average price for Taylor Swift tickets sold in the U.S. on StubHub was $1,095, with the best seats going for thousands of dollars, according to the company, which operates an online market for people to resell and buy tickets. Averages for Beyoncé and Harry Styles clocked in at $380 and $400, respectively. After Lionel Messi joined Major League Soccer, the price of tickets to Inter Miami CF matches shot up to $255 apiece, from $30. 

There was an unusually high number of fan ticket resellers this year, StubHub said. Fan sellers, as opposed to professional ticket brokers, have accounted for about 70% of U.S. “Eras Tour” ticket orders—double the proportion of what the company normally sees.

Murdoch Family Trust: The Real Battle Will Be Over Succession

When Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of media titan Rupert Murdoch, was named the sole chairman of News Corp and Fox Corp on Thursday, the announcement put to rest immediate questions about who will run a sprawling media empire that includes some of the most powerful brands in the world.

Reuters reports the executive transition, however, does not settle another potential power play that could occur upon Rupert Murdoch’s death, as framed by a document called the Murdoch Family Trust.

Rupert Murdoch
The Reno, Nevada-based trust lays out a scenario through which a potential takeover could occur. It is the vehicle through which the elder Murdoch controls News Corp and Fox Corp, through a roughly 40% stake in voting shares of each company. Murdoch also holds a small amount of shares of the companies outside of the trust.

Upon Rupert’s death, News Corp and Fox Corp voting shares will be transferred from Murdoch to his four oldest children – Prudence, Elisabeth, Lachlan and James – creating a scenario in which three of the children could out-vote a fourth, potentially setting up a battle over the future of the companies, even as Lachlan Murdoch runs Fox Corp and is the sole chair of News Corp.

This tension would likely play out over the future of Fox News, one of the most polarizing properties in the Murdoch empire, and an influential force in U.S. politics, particularly among Republicans who prize Fox's conservative-leaning audience.

“It’s not like a real succession scenario right now, this minute,” said Enders. “It’s more in the future I’d say.”

Radio History: September 23

➦In 1949...Bruce Springsteen born in Long Branch, NJ. He received critical acclaim for his early 1970s albums and attained worldwide fame upon the release of Born to Run in 1975.

During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics and lengthy, energetic stage performances, earning the nickname "The Boss". He has recorded both rock albums and folk-oriented works, and his lyrics often address the experiences and struggles of working-class Americans.

Springsteen has sold more than 135 million records worldwide and more than 64 million records in the U-S, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists.

Eddy Arnold does a live radio show on WGNS in Murfreesboro, TN (circa 1955)

➦In 1950…"The Eddy Arnold Show" debuted on network radio (NBC). In 1934, at age 16, Arnold made his debut on WTJS-AM in Jackson, TN. In 1938, he was hired by WMPS-AM in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was one of its most popular performers. He soon left WMPS for KWK-AM in St. Louis, Missouri, followed briefly by a spot at WHAS-AM in Louisville, Kentucky.

He performed for WSM-AM on the Grand Ole Opry during 1943 as a solo artist. In 1944, Arnold signed a contract with RCA Victor, and with manager Colonel Tom Parker, who would later manage Elvis Presley. Arnold's first single was little noticed, but the next, "Each Minute Seems a Million Years", scored number five on the country charts in 1945. Its success began a decade of unprecedented chart performance; Arnold's next 57 singles all ranked in the top 10, including 19 number-one successes.

Arnold began working for television in the early 1950s, hosting The Eddy Arnold Show. The summer program was broadcast successively by all three television networks, replacing the Perry Como and Dinah Shore programs.

➦In 1956...Mickey Dolenz began his television career in NBC’s “Circus Boy” series. He became a star ten years later when he was hired for the "drummer" role in NBC's The Monkees.

➦In 1968...Harry Harrison does first morning show at 77WABC NYC.

Friday, September 22, 2023

What's Next For Fox and News Corp?

Rupert Murdoch will step down as chair of Fox and News Corp in November and serve as chairman emeritus of each.

His eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, will transition from co-chair to sole chair of News Corp and will continue as Fox’s executive chair and CEO, the companies said. 

Reuters reports the 92-year-old media baron’s exit comes at a key moment for both Fox, on guard against cable cord-cutting and the growth of streaming, and News Corp, which is seeking digital growth amid a fierce battle for subscribers and online-ad dollars. Starting with one newspaper in Australia seven decades ago, the senior Murdoch built a media empire that revolutionized news and entertainment and made him one of the world’s most influential and controversial tycoons. He bought the WSJ’s parent, Dow Jones, in 2007.

 Lachlan Murdoch, eldest son of media titan Rupert Murdoch, was named sole chairman of News Corp and will continue as chair and chief executive of Fox Corp, the companies said on Thursday, settling for now the issue of succession in one of the world’s most powerful media empires.

The younger Murdoch will preside over influential news brands such as the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and the Sun – in Australia, the United States and UK – as well as Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment and others.

Lachlan Murdoch
Lachlan Murdoch, 52, is the third-oldest of Rupert Murdoch’s six children. Born in London to Murdoch and his second wife, Anna, he grew up steeped in the media business. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp’s “Dynasties” program, he said that every morning, before catching the school bus, he and his siblings would read the morning papers - The New York Post, The New York Times, the Daily News and the Wall Street Journal - with his father flagging stories of interest, ordering: “Read that.”

A rivalry between Lachlan and his younger brother, James, played out from an early age, where even family Monopoly games “were intense and everybody was prepared to cheat,” according to one published account.

The sale of Fox’s entertainment assets to Walt Disney in 2019, in a $71-billion transaction, shrank the size of the Murdochs’ once-vast media holdings. The newly constituted Fox was reduced to a handful of assets, including the Fox broadcast network, Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Business, with Lachlan Murdoch serving as its executive chair and chief executive officer.

Brother James Murdoch left Fox with the close of the Disney transaction.

Podcast: Winning with Local Radio in the Age of Streaming

Holland Cooke, is a globally recognized radio consultant, author, and talk radio host, with a keen eye on the future trends of media.

During this espisode,  Cooke emphasizes the need for traditional local radio to adapt to the evolving media landscape. He highlights that the role of local radio varies based on the market's characteristics and advises stations to focus on unique and curated music programming to attract and retain listeners. Furthermore, he underscores the enduring value of local news delivery in an era of digital information, suggesting that providing timely, relevant, and distinct local news content remains a significant selling point for radio stations.

Holland also provides valuable tips for enhancing information content and delivery, making local content far more engaging and informative for the audience.


Other Info-bombs Holland Drops:
  • Adaptation is Key: Traditional Local radio must adapt to the evolving media landscape to retain its audience and boost revenue.
  • Local Info Holds Value: Despite the digital information era, local info remains a vital asset for ANY format to maintain its audience's trust and interest.
  • Music Stations' Unique Value: Radio stations focusing on music should differentiate by crafting outstanding playlists and delivering engaging, non-music content between songs to stand out and retain listeners
  • Resourceful Collaborations: Radio stations are encouraged to explore resourceful collaborations, particularly with other media outlets.
Lastly, the advice to "make your work count twice" underscores the significance of creating content that can be repurposed across various platforms, thereby maximizing its impact and value in an increasingly competitive media landscape. Overall, Holland Cooke's insights and recommendations revolve around adapting, delivering high-quality local content, and finding innovative ways to promote and excel in today's ever-evolving media environment.

Report: Disney To 'Quiet The Noise' In Culture Wars

Walt Disney Bob Iger told investors the company will "quiet the noise" in a culture war that has pitted social conservatives against the global media and entertainment conglomerate, according to Reuters citing an analyst's note on Wednesday.

Iger’s brief statement, included in an analyst report from Needham media analyst Laura Martin, was part of an investors’ presentation on Tuesday at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, in which the CEO also announced Disney will double its investment in theme parks and cruise ships over the next decade.

Disney is struggling to make its streaming business profitable, improve the quality of its films, position its flagship sports brand, ESPN, to stream directly to consumers, and potentially shed its television networks. In its most recent quarter, the company beat Wall Street's profit expectations but fell short on revenue.

The entertainment company was thrust at the center of the nation’s culture wars in 2022, when it publicly criticized Florida legislation restricting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. Governor Ron DeSantis responded by campaigning against “woke Disney,” and working with the state legislature to strip it of self-governing authority over the parks.

Florida and Disney are locked in a legal battle over the formation of the Central Florida Oversight District board, which assumed oversight of development in the nearly 25,000 acres (100 square kilometers) of property in and around Disney’s theme parks.

It is unclear how much of the $60 billion in new investment in parks will be spent in Florida, where Disney faces increased competition from rivals such as Universal Orlando Resort. Iger previously said the company planned to spend $17 billion in investment at Walt Disney World over the next 10 years.

R.I.P.: Burt Sherwood, Radio Career Spanned 70-Years

 Burt Sherwood, whose long career in radio spanned over 70 years including on-air work as a WMCA/New York "Good Guy" in the station's Top 40 days died peacefully in hospice care in Sarasota, FL Thursday.

Burt Sherwood (1928-2013)
He celebrated his 95th birthday this past May. 

Sherwood's career included roles as General Manager of Country WMAQ-AM 670 in Chicago and as a WMCA/New York “Good Guy” in its Top 40 era.  Other stops: AM radio station in New Haven, Conn., where Sherwood held GM duties. He’s also been the GM of WMEE in Fort Wayne, Ind.; and WIBG-AM in Philadelphia.

Sherwood’s arrival at WMAQ came in June 1977. And, it came after Bob Pittman, today the Chairman/CEO of iHeartMedia, and GM Charlie Warner exited as Program Manager of WMAQ and WKQX-FM to take on similar duties at “66 WNBC.”

According to Radio+TV Business Report, Sherwood’s arrival as WMAQ GM was concurrent to the naming of Bill Hennes as Program Director; both had arrived from former Top 40 WIBG, “Wibbage,” which fought WFIL for years and had recently found international fame by being featured in the film Rocky. They both left NBC Radio-owned WMAQ in April 1981 to establish a consultancy. This led Sherwood and Hennes to become radio station owners, with the 1982 purchase of WRJZ in Knoxville. By the mid-1980s, Sherwood served as a media broker, for Chapman Associates.

Sherwood remained active as a broker through the 1990s. In May 1992 he served as a broker on the sale of WCNN-AM 680 and WALR-FM 104.7 in Atlanta from Ring Radio Inc. to Midwestern Broadcasting Co. The buyer was headed by Lew Dickey Sr. 

9/22 WAKE-UP CALL: Media Icon Steps Away

Rupert Murdoch will step down as chair of Fox and News Corp in November and serve as chairman emeritus of each. His eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, will transition from co-chair to sole chair of News Corp and will continue as Fox’s executive chair and CEO, the companies said. The 92-year-old media baron’s exit comes at a key moment for both Fox, on guard against cable cord-cutting and the growth of streaming, and News Corp, which is seeking digital growth amid a fierce battle for subscribers and online-ad dollars. 

Starting with one newspaper in Australia seven decades ago, the senior Murdoch built a media empire that revolutionized news and entertainment and made him one of the world’s most influential and controversial tycoons. He bought the WSJ’s parent, Dow Jones, in 2007.

🚍NY BUS CRASH KILLS 2: A charter bus carrying high school marching band members on their way to summer camp crashed off Interstate 84 northwest of New York City, killing two adults and injuring multiple students, police said. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at least five people remain in critical condition. Speaking at a Thursday evening press conference, officials said there were 44 people onboard the bus when a front tire failed. The bus careened off the highway, down a 50-foot embankment and came to rest on its side in bushes and trees, the governor said. "There's a lot of families who need some love tonight," Hochul said. "Today was a day of terror for 44 passengers on a private coach line."

💸INFLATION FIGHT HURTING AMERICANS: U.S. consumers are only now beginning to feel the full effects of the Fed’s higher-for-longer interest rates. The central bank’s campaign to cool inflation is taking its toll on households that need to borrow money—especially for major purchases such as homes and cars—or rely on credit-card debt. More Americans have turned to payday and other short-term loans, which tend to carry superhigh interest rates; at the same time, traditional loans are harder to get. Not everyone is suffering: Some locked in low mortgage rates or saved more during Covid-19. Also, wage gains surpassed inflation this summer, and price increases have slowed more than expected. And the job market is in solid shape, despite slowed growth this summer and layoffs in some rate-sensitive industries.

HEALTH COVERAGE RESTORED TO HALF A MILLION AMERICANS: A half million Americans are getting back their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage after bureaucratic errors accidentally struck them off the rolls. They were among the families who received additional benefits during the Covid-19 crisis. These benefits were funded by the federal government but administered by the states. After the emergency funding lapsed, about 30 states accidentally struck off many who were still eligible for the regular programs based on their low incomes. The errors are now being fixed.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky ended a visit to Washington D.C. by receiving $325 million more in military aid from President Joe Biden. The Ukrainian leader spent yesterday lobbying members of Congress to authorize additional military and humanitarian aid to help the nation in its fight against the Russian invasion. In an emotional speech, Zelensky thanked Americans, who he said have saved millions of lives in Ukraine and kept most of the country out of Russian hands.

Rochester NY Radio: Personality Terry Clifford Signing Off Friday

One of Rochester’s most enduring radio personalities, Terry Clifford, is signing off the air Friday for the final time.

Clifford, co-host of the “Bee Morning Coffee Club” on WBEE 92.5-FM, will retire after 37 years on the country station, reports The Democrat & Chonicle.

However, her radio career spans more than 40 years, including a stint on WBEE’s predecessor, rock station WMJQ, “Magic 92.”

Clifford studied psychology, communications and journalism at St. John Fisher University. After graduating in 1981, she started her professional career at WGVA 1240 AM in Geneva.

Terry Clifford
In 2015, she moved to middays on WBEE, but in 2022 she returned to the morning show, which airs from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“It’s strange to think that when I was hired at (WMJQ), I was newly married, living in an apartment and so honored to be part of the Rochester Radio community,” she wrote on the WBEE website. “So much has changed, 2 kids (Mark and Marley), 2 houses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 3 hamsters and 1 sweet above ground pool!  However, one thing remains steadfast to this day, I am today even more honored to be a part of this community, Radio and at large.”

When asked what he thinks she’ll enjoy the most about retirement, he said, “Probably spending time with my dad,” Doug Mandelaro.

And then he joked about how Mandelaro might have to adjust to being around Clifford’s trademark loud voice and laugh full-time.

“I’d like to yell at you Mark, but it’s so true,” Clifford said. “You know it, and I know it, but whatever. It is what it is.”

Shreveport Radio: Nina Montgomery New Q97.3, Lite Rock 100.7 FM PD

Cumulus Media
 has announced that it has promoted Nina Montgomery to Program Director of the company’s two Adult Contemporary stations in Shreveport, Hot AC-formatted Q 97.3 FM Today’s Best Music Mix (KQHN-FM) and AC-formatted Lite Rock 100.7 FM (KRMD-AM). 

She will continue to serve Cumulus Shreveport as Program Director of the top-rated Urban AC station Magic 102.9 The Classic Soul Station/KVMA-FM, a position she has held for over 14 years, and as Midday On-Air Host for Magic 102.9 The Classic Soul Station.

Nina Montgomery
Tish Boden, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Shreveport, said: "I am so excited about this deserved and earned promotion for Nina. Nina taking on these additional leadership roles as Program Director for Q 97.3 FM and Lite Rock 100.7 is a win for Cumulus Shreveport. She has done a phenomenal job programming Magic 102.9 FM for over 14 years. Nina is a proven leader in the Shreveport Market."

Kenny Smoov, Vice President, Urban Formats, Cumulus Media, commented: "Nina is a hardworking and creative programmer that deserves a chance to spread her wings and tenacity to a new challenge and format! I know she will fly high! #GoGetEmNina.”

Nina Montgomery remarked: "I am thrilled for this opportunity to work closely with such a great group of talent. My gratitude to the leadership team at Cumulus Media for entrusting me with these phenomenal brands. From working closely with our sales team, to finding creative ways to generate revenue, to playing the music that speaks to our target audience, each day will bring new opportunities. As we grow our reach and solidify a stronghold in our community, we will make great radio and have fun doing it!"

📻Cumulus Media owns and operates five popular radio stations in Shreveport, including: The Big Station 99.7/KMJJ-FM (Urban), Magic 102.9 The Classic Soul Station/KVMA-FM (Urban AC), Country 101.1/KRMD-FM (Country), Q 97.3 Today’s Best Music Mix/KQHN-FM (Hot AC), and Lite Rock 100.7/KRMD-AM (AC).

Knoxville TN Radio: Matt Cooper Named PD for WCYQ

SummitMedia LLC welcomes new Program Director and afternoon talent Matt Cooper to 100.3 The Wolf (WCYQ).

Cooper comes to Knoxville from Summit’s Louisville, Ken., cluster, where he was the Assistant Program Director, Music Director, and afternoon personality on Q103.1 (WQNU) for three years. Before that, he was the evening host on Country station WUBE in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Matt Cooper
“I’m so excited to be part of this great team in Knoxville. This is such a cool city, and I can’t wait to get out and explore. Thank you so much to SummitMedia for this opportunity. I’m ready to get started,” Cooper said.

Cooper brings over 15 years of programming and on-air experience for top-rated radio stations.

“Matt has been an incredible asset in Louisville and comes to Knoxville ready to make an impact. He is consumer-focused and results-driven. His talent and drive make him a great fit to lead the team,” said Randy Chase, Executive Vice President of Programming.

Cooper joins Hanah May weekday afternoons from 3 to 7 p.m. on 100.3 The Wolf.

NAB Show New York Launching New Broadcast Content Summit

NAB Show New York has announced it will  introduce the new Broadcast Content Summit, offering customized tracks for television and radio. Produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), this exclusive conference scheduled for Thursday, October 26, is tailored for content creators, programmers, talent and station managers.

The Summit features a wide array of industry thought leaders and experts providing in-depth strategies and solutions as well as key networking opportunities. Attendees will learn how to expand their audience reach, decode audience preferences for content and engagement, master recruitment strategies, optimize operational efficiencies, hone content preservation and repurposing skills and gain invaluable insights into the cutting-edge trends and technologies shaping the television and radio landscape, including Artificial Intelligence.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt will host a special one-on-one conversation with CBS Hall of Fame sportscaster and broadcasting legend James Brown. The discussion will include Brown’s insights into the state of the broadcasting industry, his multi-award-winning career and how he developed his approach to TV and radio broadcasting, mentoring, charity work and much more.

The Broadcast Content Summit rounds out a two-day lineup of programming dedicated to broadcasters. On Wednesday, October 25, the Radio Insights Executive Seminar will explore the topics that are top of mind for radio’s C-suite and top decision-makers.

Nashville Radio: ACM Honors Program Vet Charlie Cook

Cumulus Media announces that Country radio executive Charlie Cook, VP, Country, for the company, has been honored by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) with the ACM Service Award. 

Cook was presented with the award by former ACM Award winner Chris Janson at the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors, dubbed the “Country Music industry’s favorite night” and honoring some of the top talent in Country Music. 

Charlie Cook
The star-studded awards show was held on Wednesday, August 23rd at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and was nationally televised on FOX on Monday, September 18th from 8:00pm-10:00pm ET/PT. The 16th Annual ACM Honors program is now available on demand on Hulu.

In addition to his role as VP, Country, for Cumulus Media, Cook is Programming Operations Manager for Cumulus Nashville’s five-station cluster, and is Program Director for WSM-FM and WKDF-FM. He is former Chairman, President, and Radio Committee Chair of the Academy of Country Music’s Board of Directors and continues to serve as the longest-serving ACM Board Member in ACM history. Cook was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2011.

Cook began his Country radio career in 1972 at WSDS in Ypsilanti, Mich. In the '70s, Cook spent time at KLAK in Denver, Wheeling's WWVA and WHN in New York. He was named "DJ of the Year" by Billboard in 1977. In 1980, he joined KHJ in Los Angeles, flipping the station to Country. Cook then went to KLAC before joining McVay Media in 1983 as SVP of Country Programming, where he consulted more than 40 Country stations over the next 12 years. In 1996, Cook joined Cumulus Media’s Westwood One as VP Programming/Formats, and in 2006 he joined Cumulus as VP Programming for the company's 67 Country stations.

NYC Radio: Alfonse D'Amato Joins 77WABC At Contributor

John Catsimatidis, owner of 77WABC and Red Apple Media, has announced that former U.S. Senator from New York state, Alfonse D’Amato, has joined the leading talk station as a regular contributor. D’Amato will provide insights from his years of political service across 77WABC’s talk programs, including Cats & Cosby, the afternoon drive show co-hosted by Catsimatidis and award-winning journalist Rita Cosby.

“Senator D’Amato is one of the smartest, most common sense, and knowledgeable people I know,” stated Catsimatidis. “From his many years in the U.S. Senate, Al has a deep understanding of the underpinnings of politics -- local, national, and global – and will help 77WABC listeners discern the truth about what’s really going on in Washington and the world.”

“I am pleased to be part of the greatest news/talk programming in the nation,” Sen. D’Amato said. “77WABC is a station whose people call it the way it is and aren't wed to a political party but are wed to doing what's right in America.”

Radio History: September 22

➦In 1899
...Lee DeForest sought employment with Marconi. Lee DeForest de Forest (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. He named himself the "Father of Radio," with this famous quote, "I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite."

Lee de Forest
In 1906 de Forest invented the Audion, the first triode vacuum tube and the first electrical device which could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger. The Audion, and vacuum tubes developed from it, founded the field of electronics and dominated it for forty years, making radio broadcasting, television, and long-distance telephone service possible, among many other applications. For this reason de Forest has been called one of the fathers of the "electronic age".

He is also credited with one of the principal inventions that brought sound to motion pictures.

De Forest was a charter member of the Institute of Radio Engineers. DeVry University was originally named De Forest Training School by its founder Dr. Herman A. De Vry, who was a friend and colleague of de Forest.

➦In 1899...Hanley Stafford born (Died September 9, 1968) He was an actor principally on radio.

Hanley Stafford
He is remembered best for playing Lancelot Higgins on The Baby Snooks Show. Stafford also assumed the role of Mr. Dithers, the boss of Dagwood Bumstead on the Blondie radio program. He is commemorated by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After emigrating to the US in his twenties he became active in radio acting, appearing in show on KFWB, L-A. Beginning in 1937 he became widely known as Lancelot Higgins (“Daddy”) in Fannie Brice’s radio skit, ‘Baby Snooks,’ and as Dagwood’s boss Mr.Dithers on the radio version of the comic strip ‘Blondie.’

Stafford emigrated from England to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1911. He enlisted in the 43rd Battalion of the Canadian Scottish Infantry in 1915, was wounded in the Third Battle of Yprès in 1916 and returned to England in 1918. Until 1924 he toured Canada in drama productions and landed in Los Angeles that year. He played in stock for eight years and then in tent shows. He was appearing on KFWB radio in Los Angeles by April 1932 then went to Phoenix to manage a stock company, the Delmas-Lawless Players, before returning to Los Angeles to resume stage and radio work the following August.

➦In 1927...NBC Radio's sportscaster Graham McNamee called the famous “Long count” championship fight in which Jack Dempsey lost the heavyweight boxing title to Gene Tunney. He was featured on the cover of the October 3, 1927 issue of Time magazine

➦In 1943...singer Kate Smith ended her War Bond radio appeal. She had been on the air for 13 continuous hours and collected $39 million in bond pledges.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Detroit Radio: WXYT-FM Teams Costa & Jansen For New Morning Show

Audacy has announced a new weekday morning show for 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM), the flagship radio station of the Detroit Lions. 

The station has elevated Jim Costa to new morning show host alongside current morning show co-host Jon Jansen. “Costa & Jansen” will be heard weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET beginning in February 2024, following the conclusion of the Lions season.

Jon Jansen
“I'm thrilled that Jim Costa will be the next co-host of the 97.1 The Ticket morning show,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Detroit. “Jim has spent the last few years building a great relationship with his listeners. We look forward to the talents of Jim Costa and Jon Jansen entertaining and informing the Detroit sports audience and can't wait to see how the show evolves in 2024.”

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Costa. “My whole career, I've chased the chance to build a show on 97.1 The Ticket. I grew up listening to this station and rooting for these teams. To start the conversation in Detroit every morning is special. Jon Jansen and I are a good contrast; we play off each other well, and I'm excited for the show we will create along with Heather and the entire morning show crew.”

Costa joined 97.1 The Ticket in February 2021. Most recently, Costa hosted nights, weekends, and primetime fill-ins. Additionally, he served as the studio host for the Detroit Lions, Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers. Costa also co-hosts the popular sports betting podcast “Cash The Ticket” with afternoon drive host Mike Valenti. Before joining the station, he hosted afternoons in Grand Rapids with the “Big Drew and Jim” show for five years. Costa succeeds Mike Stoney, who recently announced he will step down from his role in early 2024.

Jim Costa
“Jim is a hard worker, is always prepared, and has a great passion for Detroit sports,” said Jansen. “He'll be a great addition to our team in the morning, and I'm looking forward to working with him.”

Jansen is an 11-year NFL veteran offensive tackle, University of Michigan football captain and national champion, and 2011 Michigan Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Throughout his playing career, he worked with and in the media in many different capacities, including writing articles for the Washington Times and Detroit Free Press and co-hosting the Monday Night Live show on Comcast cable. After retiring from the NFL, Jansen spent three years with the Big Ten Network, where he co-hosted studio shows, sideline reported at games, and served as a color analyst from the booth. 

He currently serves as a co-host of the “Michigan Football Tailgate” pre-game show and a color analyst of the games. Jansen also works within the Athletic Department on various projects, including his top-rated podcast, “In the Trenches.” In addition to his duties at Michigan, he continued his broadcasting career with Sirius XM as a host of shows on the ESPNU and Big Ten channels. He joined 97.1 The Ticket in 2020.

📻Listeners can tune in to 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM) in Detroit on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via X, Facebook and Instagram.

Rupert Murdoch Stepping Down As Chair of Fox

Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chair of Fox and News Corp after building a media empire over seven decades that revolutionized news and entertainment and made him one of the world’s most influential and controversial tycoons.

The Wall Street Journal reports Murdoch, 92 years old, will exit his roles atop each company as of November, when they hold annual meetings, the companies said. He will be appointed Chairman Emeritus of each company. His eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, who has served as co-chair of News Corp, will become sole chair of that company and will continue as Fox Corp. FOX -2.31%decrease; red down pointing triangle Executive Chair and CEO.

“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles,” Rupert Murdoch wrote in a memo to staff.

His decision to step back solidifies Lachlan Murdoch as his successor. He called Lachlan a “passionate, principled leader” who can take the companies into the future.

Murdoch is one of a handful of media barons, along with the likes of John Malone, Ted Turner and Sumner Redstone, who shaped the modern era of media. He has wielded influence in political and financial capitals, earning credit from his boosters and blame from his critics. Murdoch has remained active in his later years, pursuing big deals to reshape his companies.

Murdoch is stepping back at an important moment for both wings of his media empire, as they confront fundamental challenges in the media landscape. Fox, a relatively small player in an entertainment industry now dominated by titans, is wrestling with the profound implications of cable cord-cutting and the growth of streaming. News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal, Times of London and other publications, is trying to find the right formula for digital growth amid a fierce battle for subscribers and online-ad dollars.

TV Ratings: Yellowstone Is Smart Move For CBS

The prolonged WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have begun to force the broadcast networks into some serious decision-making. 

On Monday, for example, Disney-ABC announced that 10 additional Monday Night Football games, originally set for exclusive cablecasting on ESPN, will now be shared with ABC. 

For its part, Paramount Global only has Sunday afternoon NFL access for CBS. But the conglomerate does have the untapped, seemingly limitless potential to tap into, reports NextTV. 

On Sunday, the premiere episode of Sheridan's seminal series, Yellowstone -- which originally debuted on the Paramount Network back on June 20, 2018 -- generated 6.6 million viewers for CBS. 

The 8 p.m. installment benefited from a particularly strong lead-in, with a 60 Minutes episode featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy generating 11.4 million viewers.  

The network will soon up the Yellowstone burn rate, with plans to air two episodes of the show each Sunday starting this week. But with 46 more episodes of Yellowstone in the can, CBS should be able to keep this up through the 2023-24 TV season, should labor unrest persist. 

There are clearly plenty of viewers who still haven't seen the remarkable show, evidenced by CBS' solid Sunday-night performance. 

Meanwhile, Yellowstone spinoffs --1883 and 1923 -- are also available for broadcast runs, as are the prolific creator's non-Yellowstone efforts for Paramount (Mayor of Kingstown, Tulsa King and the Lioness among them). 


With Nielsen live plus same day data for the week of Sept. 11, 2023 officially in, Fox News remained in its usual position as the top-rated cable news network in total viewers and among Adults 25-54.

For the week, FNC averaged 1.75 million viewers and 191,000 Adults 25-54 in primetime,  +13% and +10% respectively, from what the network averaged the previous week (the week of Sept. 4). The 1.75 million total primetime viewer average is No. 2 on all of basic cable, and the 191,000 A25-54 primetime viewer average is No. 6 on all of basic cable.

So, who actually finished ahead of Fox News this past week? Well, with college football and Monday Night Football back on the air, ESPN earned the No. 1 ranking both in total viewers and among adults 25-54 this past week, in primetime and in total day as well. The network averaged 2.745 million total viewers in primetime, 1.27 million A25-54 viewers in primetime, 1.12 million total viewers in total day and 537,000 A25-54 viewers in total day.

There's More SiriusXM Listening in Newer Cars

When it comes to audio content and audio listening device, Edison Research believes there coud be a chicken-and-egg discussion – do you seek out a device to play the type of audio that you want to hear, or do you go to the most convenient device and choose from available audio? 

Whichever way those arguments shake out, we can show you that Share of Ear® confirms a link between newer car models and time spent with satellite radio.The graphic below shows the percent of daily in-car audio consumption to SiriusXM by those who primarily drive or ride in older model year cars, versus newer model year cars.

For those who primarily drive or ride in model year cars 2010 and older, 5% of their daily in-car listening time is with SiriusXM. For those who drive or ride in model year cars 2019 and newer, the listening to SiriusXM is over four times that much – 22%. The data in between, for model years 2011-2018, follows the pattern of newer models = more listening.

Newer autos have newer in-dash systems equipped with satellite receivers, and many new car acquisitions in the U.S. come with a complimentary trial of SiriusXM, so it stands to reason that SiriusXM sees bigger shares in newer vehicles. Last week we talked about the dominance of linear audio in-car, and it looks like SiriusXM is taking advantage of the linear-positive in-car audio environment.

Amazon Unveils Updated Alexa Devices Inc on Wednesday unveiled a slate of new and refreshed devices and updated its Alexa voice assistant with generative artificial intelligence to attract users to the unprofitable product as competition grows from chatbots like Google's Bard.

Alexa will converse more naturally, losing its robotic tone of nearly a decade, and answer questions like the start time for football games and recipe ideas. It will also be able to compose and recite poems, Amazon showed at the company's annual product launch in Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon introduced Alexa in 2014, but has not found a consistent means to make it profitable, instead driving shoppers toward the company's website for more purchases. Typically accessed through speakers or enabled televisions, the service provides spoken answers to user queries, like the local weather, and can serve as a hub to control home appliances.

R.I.P.: James 'Moby' Carney, Former Altanta Country Radio Personality

James 'Moby' Carney (1964-2023)

James “Moby” Carney, a popular Atlanta country music radio morning host in the 1990s and 2000s, died Wednesday at age 69 after a battle with cancer, his family announced.

The long-time Roswell resident and inductee into the Country Radio Hall of Fame and the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame was a dominant force on Kicks 101.5 (WKHX-FM) from 1991 to 2012, according to

“He was the hardest working DJ you’d ever meet,” said Deborah Richards, his long-time newswoman at Kicks. “He lived, drank, ate and slept that show. He was laser-focused.”

She said Moby never talked down to his audience. “We used to call our listeners the neighbors,” she said. “Moby was your neighbor. He spoke with them from humble beginnings.”

Moby was in radio for more than 40 years, going back to his small hometown of Crossville, Tennessee, with blue-collar parents. He picked up the nickname Moby when he was 12 when he almost drowned in a lake and someone said he looked like Moby Dick splashing around in the water.