Saturday, September 30, 2023

Radio History: October 1

➦In 1909...Everett H. Sloane born in NYC (Died – August 6, 1965). He was a character actor who worked in radio, theatre, films and television. He was also a songwriter and theatre director.

Sloane's radio work led him to be hired by Orson Welles to become part of his Mercury Theatre. Sloane recorded one program with The Mercury Theatre on the Air and became a regular player when the show was picked up by a sponsor and became The Campbell Playhouse

In the 1940s, Sloane was a frequent guest star on the radio theater series Inner Sanctum Mysteries and The Shadow, and was in The Mysterious Traveler episode "Survival of the Fittest" with Kermit Murdock.

Reportedly depressed over the onset of blindness, Sloane committed suicide in 1965 at age 55.

WJZ - 1922

➤In 1921...WJZ Radio signed-on. WJZ is now WABC in New York City. The original Westinghouse Electric Corporation, whose broadcasting division is a predecessor to the current broadcasting unit of CBS Corporation, launched WJZ in 1921, and was located originally in Newark, New Jersey.

WJZ was sold in 1923 to the Radio Corporation of America, who moved its operations to New York City, and on January 1, 1927, WJZ became the flagship station for the NBC Blue Network.

NBC Blue would become the American Broadcasting Company in 1942.  In 1953, ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, and changed the call letters of their New York area stations to WABC.  Today, the WJZ call sign is assigned to 1300 AM in Baltimore.  It is owned by Entercom and airs  CBS Sports Radio.

➦In 1922...“The Radio Digest,” a daily news program got started on WBAY in New York City, which is now WFAN 660 AM.

➦In 1942…'People Are Funny' host Art Baker was replaced by Art Linkletter on the NBC Radio Network.  Linkletter remained with the show on radio until 1960 and hosted a TV version of the program on CBS from 1954 to 1960.

➦In 1952...'This Is Your Life' which aired on NBC radio from 1948 to 1952 began airing on NBC TV (until 1961).  Each show began with Edwards surprising some unsuspecting person. The show would then be present their life story, complete with friends and relatives.

➦In 1975...Seattle radio station KOL changed its call letters to KMPS,surrendering forever the three-letter call that had served the Puget Sound well for nearly 50 years. While the modern incarnation of 1300 AM uses KOL as its ID, the official call sign is KKOL.

➦In 1979...the RKO Radio Network began operation.

The newscasts, aimed at a young adult audience, had a conversational, high-energy style developed by co-founders Vice President and News Director Dave Cooke, and Vice President of Programming Jo Interrante.

RKO was popular from the start, signing up hundreds of affiliates coast to coast. Its base was the RKO General-owned radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other large markets. RKO initially purchased downlink satellite dishes for its affiliates, creating the nation's first satellite-delivered commercial radio network.

The original network, which fed newscasts at :50 repeated at :00, became known as RKO 1 when RKO 2 debuted on September 1, 1981. RKO 2 fed newscasts at :20 repeated at :30 and was aimed at an older audience. Both networks offered sportscasts, music, public affairs programming and closed-circuit affiliate feeds of news and sports correspondent reports and news-maker actualities.

The networks were home to three groundbreaking long-form programs. NightTime America with Bob Dearborn was the first live, daily, satellite-delivered music show in radio history. Dearborn produced and hosted the five-hour adult contemporary show from January 9, 1981 until 1984.

January 9, 1981 was also the premier of America Overnight, a six-hour interview and call-in show hosted by Eric Tracey in Los Angeles and Ed Busch from Dallas. It was the first national talk show delivered by satellite. It also marked the first time a network offered simultaneous overnight programs.

Dick Bartley created, produced and hosted the first live national oldies radio show, Solid Gold Saturday Night.

➦In 1982...First CD players are sold in Japan

➦In 2003...Rush Limbaugh, host of the nationally syndicated conservative talk show,  resigned from ESPN over comments about black quarterback, Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Julie Andrews is 88
  • Actor-singer Julie Andrews is 88. 
  • Saxophonist Jerry Martini of Sly and the Family Stone is 80. 
  • Jazz bassist Dave Holland is 77. 
  • Actor Yvette Freeman (“ER”) is 73. 
  • Actor Randy Quaid is 73. 
  • Singer Howard Hewett of Shalamar is 68. 
  • Drummer Tim O’Reagan of The Jayhawks is 65. 
  • Singer Youssou N’Dour is 64. 
  • Actor Esai Morales (“NYPD Blue”) is 61. 
  • Actor Christopher Titus (“Titus”) is 59. 
  • Model-actor Cindy Margolis is 58. 
  • Singer-guitarist Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra is 55. 
  • Actor Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover”) is 54. 
  • Actor Sherri Saum (“The Fosters”) is 49. 
  • Actor Katie Aselton (“Legion,” “The League”) is 45. 
  • Actor Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy” ″Everwood”) is 43. 
  • Actor Carly Hughes (“American Housewife”) is 41. 
  • Comedian Beck Bennett (“Saturday Night Live”) is 39. 
  • Actor Jurnee Smollett (“Underground,” ″Wanda At Large”) is 37. 
  • Actor Brie Larson (“Lessons in Chemistry,” “Captain Marvel”) is 34. 
  • Singer Jade Bird is 26. 
  • Actor Priah Ferguson (“Stranger Things”) is 17. 
  • Actor Jack Stanton (“The Mick”) is 15.

  • In 1984..Walter Alston, American Baseball Hall of Fame manager (World Series 1955, 59, 63, 65; Brooklyn/LA Dodgers), dies from heart attack complications at 72
  • In 1992..Harry Ray, American soul singer (Ray, Goodman, Brown), dies of a stroke at 45
  • In 2002..Walter Annenberg, American publisher (Triangle-TV Guide) and philanthropist, dies at 94
  • In 2004..Bruce Palmer, Canadian bassist (Buffalo Springfield), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • In 2008..Nick Reynolds, American folk singer, tenor guitarist, and bongo player (The Kingston Trio, 1957-67 - "Tom Dooley"; "M.T.A."), dies from respiratory disease at 75
  • In 2013..Tom Clancy, American author (Rainbow Six, The Hunt for Red October), dies aged 66

Supreme Court To Decide Case Restricting Content On Platforms

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide the legality of Republican-backed state laws in Texas and Florida that constrain the ability of social media companies to curb content on their platforms that these businesses deem objectionable.

Reuters reports the justices took up two cases involving challenges by technology industry groups who argued that these 2021 laws restricting the content-moderation practices of large social media platforms violate the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protections for freedom of speech. Lower courts split on the issue, striking down key provisions of Florida's law while upholding the Texas measure.

The industry challengers to the laws are NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), industry groups whose members include Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Alphabet Inc's Google, which owns YouTube, as well as TikTok and X, formerly called Twitter.

CCIA President Matt Schruers called the court's decision to tackle the case encouraging. "It is high time that the Supreme Court resolves whether governments can force websites to publish dangerous content. Telling private websites they must give equal treatment to extremist hate isn't just unwise, it is unconstitutional, and we look forward to demonstrating that to the court," Schruers said.

Supporters of the laws have argued that social media platforms have engaged in impermissible censorship and have silenced conservative voices in particular. Advocates of content moderation have argued for the need to stop misinformation and the amplification of extremist causes.

President Joe Biden's administration had told the justices in a court filing that the cases merited review because the state laws burdened the rights of the companies.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday has also agreed to clarify the time period for which plaintiffs can recover damages over copyright claims in a case involving a Miami music producer who sued Warner Music's Atlantic Records label after hip-hop artist Flo Rida made use of a 1980s song that he claims he owns. The justices took up an appeal by two music publishing companies - Warner Music's Warner Chappell as well as Artist Publishing Group - of a lower court's ruling that defendants in copyright infringement cases can be held liable for actions that occurred prior to the three-year statute of limitations for filing such litigation, according to Reuters.

FCC, FEMA Plans Nationwide Alert Test

A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is expected next week.

In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the national test will be administered at approximately 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 4. It will consist of two portions that will test WEA and EAS capabilities.

The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones, the FEMA website read. This will be the third nationwide test, but the second test for all cellular devices.

The messaging will be displayed in either English or Spanish, depending on the language settings of the phone. The EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. This will be the seventh nationwide EAS test.

FEMA and the FCC are coordinating with EAS participants, wireless providers, emergency managers, and others to prepare for this national test to minimize confusion and to maximize the public safety value of the test.

“The purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level,” the website read. “In case the Oct. 4 test is postponed due to widespread severe weather or other significant events, the backup testing date is Oct. 11.”

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour To Celebrate the Holidays

iHeartMedia will celebrate the holiday season across the nation with its annual “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One” – the season’s iconic live music event, which captures the music and holiday spirit on iHeartRadio stations across America.

Sjuporting the holiday celebration are artists:  Olivia Rodrigo, Usher, Nicki Minaj, SZA, Niall Horan, OneRepublic, AJR, Sabrina Carpenter, Miguel, Jelly Roll, Big Time Rush, NCT DREAM, Flo Rida and more. This year, “The 2023 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One” will stop in Tampa, Florida; Dallas/Fort Worth; Los Angeles; Chicago; Detroit; New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Atlanta; and Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

“Our annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball lineup is one of our most anticipated of the year, and we’re excited to finally share who will be joining us on the road this season,” said Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. “This event always showcases the best in pop music and gives our listeners the chance to celebrate the holiday season alongside their favorite artists. We’re thrilled with this year’s artists and we can’t wait to see them put on a great show.”

iHeartMedia and ABC also announced today a new multi-year agreement for ABC to become the exclusive television broadcast partner for the iconic event. iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour stops will be part of the exclusive network special, airing Dec. 21 at (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST/PST). The special will be available on demand and on Hulu the following day.

“The biggest holiday music event in America is coming to ABC for the first time,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia. “Viewers will have a front row seat to experience this multi city tour as it rolls across the country.”

The 2023 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One Schedule Includes the Following:

Urban One to Challenge Delisting Procedure

Urban One, Inc. has received a letter from the Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC notifying the Company that Nasdaq has initiated a process that could result in the delisting of the Company’s securities from Nasdaq as a result of the Company not being in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule. The rule requires listed companies to timely file all required periodic financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company states it intends to timely request a hearing before a Nasdaq Hearings Panel. The hearing request will automatically stay any suspension or delisting action through October 20, 2023. In connection with the hearing request the Company will request that the stay be extended through the hearing and the expiration of any additional extension period granted by the Hearings Panel following the hearing. In that regard, pursuant to the Nasdaq Listing Rules, the Hearings Panel may grant an additional extension period through March 26, 2023. 

The Staff Determination was issued because the Company has not filed its Quarterly Reports.

S-C Radio: Rob Brown Moving To Mornings on The Fan Upstate

Audacy has announced new weekday programming for The Fan Upstate (97.7 FM / 97.1 FM) in Greenville. The current midday show, “The Rob Brown Show,” will move to morning drive and be heard weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET. The station will also begin airing CBS Sports Radio’s “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET. Both changes are effective October 2.

“‘The Rob Brown Show’ has been a winner in middays for The Fan Upstate and will be even better in morning drive,” said Steve Sinicropi, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Greenville-Spartanburg. “Rob and Lonzo deliver an engaging, fast-paced sports talk show and are fresh off winning the best sports show in South Carolina for the second time. We’re equally as excited to debut Bill Reiter and his highly popular program to middays to carry listeners through their day. Upstate sports fans will love this new lineup and the quality sports radio content it will deliver.”

“It has been an incredible honor to be a voice in what I consider one of America's best sports markets. To be allowed to move our show to the morning drive and reach even more sports fans across The Upstate is something I don't take for granted, said Brown. “We have always had one goal: to keep listeners entertained and up-to-date on the sports stories they care about from our community, region and country. We will give everything we have to ensure Upstate sports fans start their morning with some audio caffeine and tremendous discussions about the topics they're passionate about.”

Brown has hosted “The Rob Brown Show” for the last three years on The Fan Upstate. He has also served as the on-air play-by-play host for the Byrnes High School Rebels since 2019. This year, “The Rob Brown Show” won “Best Sports Show” at the annual State Television and Radio (STAR) Awards presented by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association (SCBA).

đź“»Listeners can tune in to The Fan Upstate on air in the Upstate on 97.7 FM in Greenville, 97.1 in Spartanburg, and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via X, Facebook and Instagram.

Toby Keith Awarded Country Icon Honors

Country performer Toby Keith

Country's Toby Keith isn't letting his fight against stomach cancer slow him down.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, the 62-year-old Keith performed at the inaugural People's Choice Country Awards, where he was also honored with the “Country Icon” Award, awarded to him by Blake Shelton. After accepting the award, Keith performed his song “Don’t Let the Old Man In.”

"I'm working my way back into performing shape," Keith said earlier on the awards' red carpet.

The Tennessean reports Keith announced his cancer diagnosis in June of 2022, saying he had been receiving radiation, chemotherapy and surgery for six months. "I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later," he said via Instagram. "I can’t wait."

In November of 2022, Keith was awarded the 2022 BMI Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards, an event celebrating the songwriters and music publishers behind the 50 most-performed country songs of the year.

In June, he hosted a live auction as part of the 19th annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic weekend. His two-day hometown charity event raises funds for the Toby Keith Foundation's OK Kids Korral, a free lodging service for children and their families who are seeking cancer treatment in Oklahoma City.

"I'm feeling pretty good. ... I'm about another eight weeks from my last scan. So, I expect next time I look for that tumor to be even less — and I've only got one that's shown up," Keith told The Oklahoman in an exclusive interview this past June.

In September, it was announced that Keith would never stop writing songs. His latest album, 'Songwriter' is a collection of 13 originally written hits from his career. The new album will be available Nov. 3.

Aerosmith Cancels Rest Of '23 Tour Dates

Fans will now have to wait until 2024 for Aerosmith’s Peace Out: The Farewell Tour.

The rock band announced on Friday that the remainder of the North American leg of the tour has been canceled until next year, due to frontman Steven Tyler still recovering from his vocal cord trauma.

The group shared the news on their Facebook page, writing:

Tyler, 75, even penned an emotional note to his fans at the end of the post, writing: “I am heartbroken to not be out there with Aerosmith, my brothers and the incredible Black Crowes, rocking with the best fans in the world. I promise we will be back as soon as we can!”

SiriusXM Radio: Billy Joel Channel Returns

Sirius XM radio announced Friday that The Billy Joel Channel is back through Oct. 28 leading up to the Nov. 3 release of "Billy Joel — The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2." The Billy Joel Channel is available on channel 105 and the Sirius XM app.

The Hicksville native will host shows featuring some of his favorite recordings by other artists and he'll also talk about the writing and meaning of his own songs. Don Henley, Garth Brooks, Chazz Palminteri, Lorraine Bracco, Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel and Mike DelGiudice are among the guest DJs on tap.

The channel will also play Joel's albums in their entirety starting with "Piano Man" Friday at 9 p.m. Other albums on the schedule include "River of Dreams" (1 a.m. Sunday), "52nd Street" (1 p.m. Sunday), "The Stranger" (5 p.m. Monday), "An Innocent Man" (9 p.m. Tuesday), "Streetlife Serenade" (4 a.m. Wednesday), "Glass Houses" (11 p.m. Oct. 6) and "The Bridge" (4 a.m. Oct. 8).

Joel will also serve as "BJ the DJ" when he hosts shows including "Artists I Wish I'd Seen" (6 p.m. Tuesday), "Songs I Wish I'd Written" (2 a.m. Thursday), "Billy's Favorite Keyboard Players" (6 a.m. Oct. 7).

Several specials are also on the bill including "The Stranger Fantasy Concert" (6 a.m. Saturday, 5 a.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Oct. 6), "The New York State of Mind Special" (9 a.m. Sunday, 12 p.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Oct. 6), "The Around the World Special" (10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Wednesday), an encore of SiriusXM's "Billy Joel: An Evening of Questions and Answers" from 2019 (2 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Oct. 6) and "Billy Joel A to Z" (midnight Oct. 8).

For the entire lineup, go to

Fargo Radio: Jeff Left Retires At WDAY

Jeff Left
WDAY Radio Personality Jeff Left has retired from the radio industry after 50 years of service in stations across the country.

Jeff Left started his career in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was 17 years old. Starting as a cleaner at 92.3 The Rock, Jeff had his first on-air opportunity reading traffic reports to listeners.

"I wasn't afraid or nothing. 'I-35 backed up 10 minutes', and I'm just reading it. I said to myself, 'Is this it? This is fun!" shared Jeff about his first live-reads.

Jeff Left then traveled the country, working at stations in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo. He ended his 50 years in the business by returning to WDAY Radio for the second time, working in sales, production, and as an on-air personality with Bonnie & Friends.

"I'm lucky enough to have 27 advertising awards, I've been published 23 times nationally..." said Jeff, "...I thought it was time, and so that is why I decided to retire."

According to a posting at the WDAY website, beginning Monday, October 2, Jace Denman will join Bonnie & Friends as Bonnie's new co-host. Denman is the current radio play-by-play voice of the MSUM Dragons. Sports director James McCarty will also join the show providing sports commentary throughout the morning. WDAY news reporter Ty Schonert and chief meteorologist Dean Wysocki will continue to provide live news and weather coverage.

Radio History: September 30

➦In 1912...Singer Kenny Baker born  (Died from a heart attack at age 72  – August 10, 1985). He was a singer and actor who first gained notice as the featured singer on radio's The Jack Benny Program during the 1930s.

At the height of his radio fame, and after leaving the Benny show in 1939 (succeeded by Dennis Day, whose tenor voice was very similar to Baker's), he appeared in 17 film musicals, including Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937), At the Circus (1939), and The Harvey Girls (1946).

Baker returned to radio as a regular performer on Fred Allen's Texaco Star Theater program (1940–1942). He was also heard on Blue Ribbon Town (1943–1944) and Glamour Manor (1945–1947). He had his own programs, the Kenny Baker Show (1954) and Sincerely—Kenny Baker (1946). The latter was syndicated by the Frederick W. Ziv Company via electrical transcription.

➦In Lamont Johnson was born in Stockton Calif. When he was 16, Johnson began his career in radio, eventually playing the role of Tarzan in a popular syndicated series in 1951.He also worked as a newscaster and a disc jockey Johnson was also one of several actors to play Archie Goodwin in The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe, opposite Sydney Greenstreet on NBC Radio. He then turned to films and television, first as an actor, then as a director.

He became an active member of the Los Angeles radio acting pool.

"The National Farm and Home Hour"

➦In 1929…“The National Farm and Home Hour" started airing as a variety show which was broadcast in various formats from 1928 to 1958. Aimed at listeners in rural America, it was known as "the farmer's bulletin board" and was produced by the United States Department of Agriculture with contributions from, and the cooperation of, various farm organizations (among them the American Farm Bureau, 4-H Club, Farmers Union, Future Farmers of America and the National Grange). Raymond Edward Johnson and, later, Don Ameche appeared in dramatic sketches in the role of the Forest Ranger.

With live coverage of livestock expositions, harvest festivals and "the most spectacular happenings in agricultural America," the program offered tips to farmers, music and news, plus advice from agencies and government officials.

The series first aired on Pittsburgh's KDKA (1928-29), moving to the Blue Network (later ABC) from September 30, 1929 to March 17, 1945, usually heard Monday through Saturday at 12:30 (Eastern). Under the sponsorship of Allis-Chalmers, it continued on NBC as a 30-minute show on Saturdays at noon (Eastern) from September 15, 1945 to January 25, 1958; in its final three years (1955-58), it would be incorporated into the Saturday lineup of NBC's weekend anthology Monitor.

➦In 1930…The radio anthology series "Death Valley Days," created.  It also begin airing on TV in 1952.  The series featuring true accounts of the American Old West, particularly the Death Valley country of southeastern California. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945. From 1952 to 1970, it became a syndicated television series, with reruns (updated with new narrations) continuing through August 1, 1975. The radio and television versions combined to make the show "one of the longest-running western programs in broadcast history."

The series was sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company (20 Mule Team Borax, Boraxo) and hosted by Stanley Andrews ("The Old Ranger") (1952–1964), Ronald Reagan (1964–1965), Rosemary DeCamp (1965), Robert Taylor (1966–1969), and Dale Robertson (1969–1970). With the death of Dale Robertson in 2013, all former Death Valley Days hosts are now deceased. Hosting the series was Reagan's final work as an actor; he left the series to run in 1966 for governor of California.

➦In 1933...WLS (then 870 AM)  radio in Chicago's popular program The National Barn Dance went national with a move to NBC radio.

National Barn Dance was founded by Edgar L. Bill. To him goes the credit for arranging to have a program of "down-home" tunes broadcast from radio station WLS, of which Bill was then director. Having lived on a farm, he knew how people loved the familiar sound and informal spirit of old-fashioned barn dance music. The first broadcast was an impromptu sustaining program. An avalanche of telephone calls and letters indicated a definite demand from the public for this type of broadcast, and National Barn Dance was born. It first aired on WLS on April 19, 1924 and NBC expanded the program's coverage in 1942, adding it to the schedules of international shortwave stations. In 1946 it switched to the ABC Radio Network and aired until 1952 on Saturday nights from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

George D. Hay (a.k.a. The Solemn Ole Judge) has always claimed that he started the WLS Barn Dance when he worked for them as an announcer, but research is showing that this was a falsehood of documented history and that his claim was to help him get a job as the first director of WSM Radio c. 1925 Nashville, Tennessee. 

The show regularly featured Gene Autry, Red Foley, The Three Little Maids, Jenny Lou Carson, Eddie Dean, Lulu Belle and Scotty, Pat Buttram, George Gobel, The Williams Brothers (featuring future crooner Andy Williams), Arkansas Woodchopper, The DeZurik Sisters and the Hoosier Hot Shots. Other guests included Smiley Burnette, Eddie Peabody and Joe Kelly, best remembered today as the host and moderator of NBC's Quiz Kids. The announcer was Jack Holden and it was once sponsored by Alka-Seltzer.

ABC made two moves that ultimately led to National Barn Dance's slow demise. The first was the cancellation of the network broadcast in 1952. After a few years, audiences finally began to wane, and the program ceased live performances after 1957. The show continued to air on WLS until 1959 when ABC bought the station and changed the format to Top 40 rock and roll, canceling National Barn Dance outright. The show moved to Chicago's WGN-AM, with Orion Samuelson as the show's host, until it finally left the air in 1968.

➦In 1935…The police drama series "The Adventures of Dick Tracy" went national on the Mutual Radio Network after being heard on CBS four times a week earlier that year. The radio show ended on the ABC Network in 1948.

➦In 1940...The radio serial “Captain Midnight” went coast to coast on Mutual. Sponsored by the Skelly Oil Company, the Captain Midnight radio program was the creation of radio scripters Wilfred G. Moore and Robert M. Burtt, who had previously scored a success for Skelly with their boy pilot adventure serial The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen.

Developed at the Blackett, Sample and Hummert advertising agency in Chicago, Captain Midnight began as a syndicated show in 1938, airing through the spring of 1940 on a few Midwest stations, including Chicago's WGN. In 1940, Ovaltine, a product of The Wander Company, took over sponsorship. With Pierre Andre as announcer, the series was then heard nationally on the Mutual Radio Network where it remained until 1942. It moved to the Merchandise Mart and the NBC Blue Network in September 1942. When the U.S. Government broke up the NBC Red and Blue Networks, Ovaltine moved the series back to Mutual, beginning September 1945, where it remained until December 1949.

➦In 1950...WSM Radio's "Grand Ole Opry" was first broadcast on television.

Ryman Theater
The Grand Ole Opry started as the WSM Barn Dance in the new fifth-floor radio studio of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company in downtown Nashville on November 28, 1925.

On October 18, 1925, management began a program featuring "Dr. Humphrey Bate and his string quartet of old-time musicians." On November 2, WSM hired long-time announcer and program director George D. "Judge" Hay, an enterprising pioneer from the National Barn Dance program at WLS in Chicago, who was also named the most popular radio announcer in America as a result of his radio work with both WLS and WMC in Memphis, Tennessee.

Hay launched the WSM Barn Dance with 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson on November 28, 1925, which is celebrated as the birth date of the Grand Ole Opry.

On December 10, 1927 the phrase 'Grand Ole Opry' was first uttered on-air. That night Barn Dance followed the NBC Red Network's Music Appreciation Hour, a program of classical music and selections from Grand Opera presented by classical conductor Walter Damrosch. That night, Damrosch remarked that “there is no place in the classics for realism,” In response, Opry presenter George Hay said:

"Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'."

Hay then introduced DeFord Bailey, the man he had dubbed the "Harmonica Wizard", saying

"For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on, we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'."

Bailey then stepped up to the mic to play "The Pan American Blues", his song inspired by the Pan American, an L&N Railroad express/passenger train.

➦In 1951...the Red Skelton Show debuted on NBC-TV (almost 10 years to the day after Red first got his own radio show). It was a TV comedy/variety show that, from 1951 to 1971, was an entertainment staple and an institution to a generation of viewers. It was second to Gunsmoke (1955–1975) and third to The Ed Sullivan Show (1948–1971) in the ratings during that time. In the decade prior to hosting the show, Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton had a successful career as a radio and motion pictures star.

Although his television series is largely associated with CBS, where it appeared for more than sixteen years, it actually began and ended on NBC. During its run, the program received three Emmy Awards, for Skelton as best comedian and the program as best comedy show during its initial season, and an award for comedy writing in 1961. In 1959 Skelton also received a Golden Globe for Best TV Show.

➦In 1996...Radio Personality Charlie Greer died.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Bally Sports Looking To Cut Fees To Continue Operations

Bankrupt broadcaster Diamond Sports, the nation’s largest regional sports network, has made a take-it-or-leave-it offer to cut rights fees to the NHL and NBA in a last-ditch bid to avoid liquidation, The NYPost is reporting.

The Sinclair subsidiary, which declared bankruptcy in March with $9 billion in debt, owns the broadcast rights to 15 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams as both leagues prepare to open their seasons next month.

Diamond proposed cutting the fees to both leagues by up to 20% ahead of a bankruptcy court-imposed Sept. 30 deadline, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Diamond pays NBA teams about $600 million a year in broadcast rights, which could amount to as much as a $120 million discount. Contract details with the NHL were not available

The NBA and NHL are leaning toward accepting the haircut, which would allow Diamond to survive for another year, the source said.

“This is a reorganization that will become a liquidation,” another source said.

NAB CEO Talks Broadcast Priorities During Members-Only Town Hall

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) hosted a virtual town hall today to provide updates on NAB’s policy priorities for the rest of the year and answer member questions. NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt and Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs April Carty-Sipp discussed the association’s advocacy efforts, educational initiatives and innovation projects.

LeGeyt discussed his recent testimony at a House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on the state of the video marketplace. He explained how NAB is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to refresh the record in its 2014 proceeding on the regulatory framework for virtual multichannel video programming distributors.

“We now have a major disruption underway and those audiences are migrating from cable and satellite over to the virtual MVPDs, and that’s having an impact on local broadcasters,” said LeGeyt. “What we’re asking the FCC to do is to reopen a proceeding that has been dormant for the last nine years that takes a look at whether those rules of the road that apply to the cable and satellite services ought to be extended to virtual MVPDs.”

LeGeyt also answered questions regarding the ongoing Depend on AM Radio campaign and the status of the AM Radio For Every Vehicle Act, which now has more than 190 House and Senate cosponsors.

Kansas City Radio: Cumulus Flips KCJK To Hip-Hop

Cumulus Media announces that it has launched Power 105.1/KCJK-FM, the new destination radio station for Kansas City’s Hip Hop and R&B fans. 

The all-new Power 105.1 replaces Cumulus Kansas City’s 107.3/KMJK-FM, a Hip Hop and R&B station that evolved from its Urban Adult Contemporary format after Cumulus Media acquired the station in 2004. KCJK-FM was previously programmed as Rock-formatted 105.1 The X.

Power 105.1 is home to the biggest names in Hip Hop including Drake, Meghan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Lil Durk, along with hits from R&B superstars like Beyoncé, Sza, Usher, and Chris Brown. Heritage local Kansas City personalities host each Power 105.1 daypart, including:
  • The Shay Moore Morning Show, 5:00am-10:00am
  • Ivani Bing Middays, 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Boogie D Afternoons, 3:00pm-7:00pm
  • Jess Live at Night, 7:00pm-Midnight
Donna Baker, Regional Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Media, said: “The opportunity to best serve the entire KC community with our dominant cluster of stations is now in place. This change combines the incredible reach of the KCJK 100,000-watt signal with the biggest genre in modern popular music–Hip Hop and R&B. Congratulations to Operations Manager Jim Fox and Program Director Boogie D, along with our incredible lineup of beloved local personalities.”

Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby, Program Director, Power 105.1, commented: “I’m very excited for Kansas City! Power 105.1 is designed to represent the culture of Hip Hop and R&B and this great Kansas City community. We are KCMO AND KCK. We are here for the community we serve, and we are here to win! Thank you to the Cumulus leadership team for making this dream a reality. KC, Let’s Go!”

Kenny Smoov, Vice President, Urban Formats, Cumulus Media, added: “Our Kansas City team is excited to bring championship level Hip Hop and R&B content on-air, online, and in these KC streets. Let’s Power UP!!!”

Mick Jagger: Charity May Get Rolling Stones Catalog

As more and more artists sell their vast catalogs of music, one legendary band’s frontman said they will not be following the crowd.

ABC News reported that Bruce Springsteen sold his for a reported $500 million to Sony in 2021. Justin Bieber sold his music for $200 million. So did Neil Young, Justin Timberlake and John Legend, making millions upon millions of dollars.

But the Rolling Stones aren’t going to, at least according to Mick Jagger. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jagger was asked if the band would sell its post-1971 catalog.

He said no.

“The children don’t need $500 million to live well. Come on,” he said, suggesting that the music library could go to a charity.

The Rolling Stones announce release date for their new album and unveil lead single, 'Angry'

US Weekly reported that Jagger owns only the Stones’ music from after 1971, since the band’s former accountant Allan Klein has the copyrights for earlier tunes including “Paint It Black” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” When Klein and the Stones split, Klein kept ownership of the music while Jagger and Keith Richards got royalties. Klein died in 2009 and his company, ABKCO Music & Records, retained the rights.

Jagger, 80, is the father of eight children: Karis, 52; Jade, 51; Elizabeth, 39; Georgia May, 31; James 38, Gabriel, 25; Lucas, 24; and Deveraux, 6, People magazine reported.

The Rolling Stones, despite being in their 70s and 80s, are still producing music. They are releasing their first new album in nearly 20 years next month, Sky News reported. They recently released the lead single, “Angry.”

9/29 WAKE-UP CALL: First Biden Impeachment Hearing Held

House Republicans worked to establish a basis to impeach President Joe Biden even as witnesses they invited said there lacked evidence the president benefited financially from foreign business dealings of his son Hunter Biden in exchange for steering U.S. foreign policy. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, opened Republicans’ first impeachment inquiry hearing Thursday accusing "the Bidens and their associates" of creating 20 shell companies that raked in more than $20 million, including when Biden was vice president. “What were the Bidens selling to make all this money?” Comer said. “Joe Biden himself.”

Yet all three witnesses, including a constitutional lawyer and forensics expert, brought in by Republicans during the six-hour hearing told lawmakers the committee does not have evidence of an impeachable offense - that Joe Biden received payments and was bribed. The witnesses instead urged the committee to open an impeachment inquiry to keep digging.

➤NO TRIAL DELAY FOR TRUMP: A New York court on Thursday rejected Donald Trump's request to delay a civil trial, after a judge ruled Trump committed fraud for years while building his real estate empire. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ruled Tuesday that Trump committed fraud in overstating the value and misstating the square-footage of properties for bank loans. He scheduled a non-jury trial to begin Monday to determine penalties, with state Attorney General Letitia James seeking $250 million. Trump argued at the state appeals court that Engoron failed to follow rulings that would have narrowed the allegations at the heart of the lawsuit. But the appeals court turned aside that challenge.

🛢OIL COULD HIT $100 A BARREL: Some analysts say oil prices could soon hit $100 a barrel, but U.S. shale companies aren’t rushing to drill more. Unlike past years when frackers flooded the market with crude and alleviated pressure, oil prices might remain elevated until someone else adds production or demand ebbs. Constrained by investor payouts, inflation and interest rates, frackers want to keep spending down. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Russia have raked in billions of dollars in extra oil revenues in recent months, after their production cuts sent crude prices soaring. The cutbacks were a risky strategy, both financially and politically, but they appear to be paying off for the two OPEC+ members.

➤GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IMMINENT: It appears almost certain now that the federal government will be shut down on Monday for lack of a budget. House Republicans have so far refused to act on a short-term measure passed by the Senate to keep the government open while a full budget is worked out. That means there will be no way to pay government employees or the military. Some critical functions might keep running, at least for a while. The holdup is caused by a relatively small group of House Republicans who refuse to act without substantial cuts to some programs, notably U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Black Adults Critical of How Blacks Are Covered In The News

Among Black readers, 63% say news about Black people is often more negative than it is about other groups. Moreover, 57% feel the news only covers certain segments within Black communities, according to MediaPost citing a study released this week by Pew Research Center. 

In addition, 50% say important information is often missing from stories, and 43% say coverage largely stereotypes Black people.  

And Black Americans do not have high hopes that things will get better. While 40% say improvement is somewhat likely, 38% feel it is not too/not very likely.  

Do not think these views are influenced by politics: While 59% of Democrats (or those who lean that way) say coverage is often negative, 55% agree with that on the Republican side. Similarly, 50% of Democrats or leaners feel stories are often missing important information, and here they are slightly outvoted by Republican leaners: 53% think so.  

Second GOP Debate Attracts 9.5M Viewers

9.5 million viewers watched the second Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, with viewership spread across three networks, Fox Business (1.817 million viewers), Fox News Channel (6.693 million viewers) and Univision (813,000 viewers), according to Forbes

Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, the debate outperformed all other programs on the broadcast and cable news networks. On Fox Business, the debate delivered the network’s highest-rated telecast since 2016.

Among viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by advertisers, the debate drew nearly 2 million viewers, with Fox News drawing the largest single audience (1.212 million viewers). Fox Business drew 411,000 viewers in the key demo, and Univision delivered an audience of 265,000 viewers.

Across prime time, Fox News drew 4.5 million viewers, well ahead of the cable news competition, with all of the networks focusing heavily on the GOP debate. MSNBC was second overall with 1.593 million viewers, followed by Fox Business (1.033 million viewers), and CNN with 687,000 viewers.

In the key demo, Fox News was first between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, with 748,000 viewers, followed by Fox Business (217,000 viewers), MSNBC (147,000 viewers), and CNN (127,000 viewers).

Audacy Bolsters Reach of BetQL Network’s 'You Better You Bet'

Audacy has announced a series of content distribution partnerships to bolster the reach of "You Better You Bet," the No. 1 sports betting live show and podcast in the U.S. The show, starring co-hosts Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley, is heard on BetQL Network, Audacy’s network of sports betting content heard across its broadcast portfolio and digital platforms.

The Company has partnered with Stadium, an interactive sports network, to bring "You Better You Bet" to audiences nationwide via Stadium’s portfolio, and Stadium affiliates YouTubeTV, The Roku Channel, FuboTV, Amazon, Samsung TV Plus, Tubi and more. "You Better You Bet" airs on Stadium weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

Audacy has also announced a deal with SiriusXM to air You Better You Bet on Sirius channel 217, XM channel 205 and on the SiriusXM app. The show will be heard weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET beginning October 2.

Clear Channel To Pay $26M To Resolve Chinese Bribe Allegations

A subsidiary of San Antonio-based billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. will pay about $26 million to settle allegations that it provided gift cards, golf clubs, vases and other expensive gives to Chinese government officials to obtain outdoor advertising contracts.

San Antonio News-Express reports Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings on Thursday agreed to the payment — $16.4 million related to the benefits it received from the alleged improper payments, almost $3.8 million in interest and a $6 million penalty — under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company submitted a settlement offer to the SEC to resolve allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act without admitting or denying the commission’s findings. The law generally makes it illegal for people or companies to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.

From at least 2012 through 2017, the SEC found the company’s majority-owned Chinese subsidiary — Clear Media Ltd. — bribed Chinese government officials to obtain concession contracts required to sell advertising services to public and private sector clients for display on bus shelters, street furniture and billboards.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Expansion by PAU Raises $135m

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced Thursday it will break ground next month on a 50,000 square-foot expansion project, which will allow the Museum to better serve its next 14 million visitors from across the country and around the world.

Designed by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), the expansion will integrate the iconic original building designed by I.M.

Pei with the urban Cleveland lakefront, while increasing the size of the Museum by one third. With $135 million raised towards the capital campaign, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will begin construction this Fall. 

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame addition, designed by PAU under the leadership of Vishaan Chakrabarti, takes cues from the visual language of Pei’s original 1995 signature glass pyramid while preserving its distinct identity as a Cleveland landmark and activating the surrounding streetscape and lakefront.

Radio History: September 29

➦In 1907...Gene Autry born (Died at age 91  – October 2, 1998). He was nicknamed The Singing Cowboy. Autry was the owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

Autry was the owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films, and between 1950 and 1956 hosted The Gene Autry Show television series. During the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre's development after Jimmie Rodgers. 

Gene Autry
His singing cowboy films were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience.  In addition to his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again", and his hit "At Mail Call Today", Autry is still remembered for his Christmas holiday songs, most especially his biggest hit "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as well as "Frosty the Snowman", "Here Comes Santa Claus", and "Up on the House Top".

Autry is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars in all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for film, television, music, radio, and live performance.

From 1940 to 1956, Autry had a huge hit with a weekly show on CBS Radio, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch. His horse, Champion, also had a CBS-TV and Mutual radio series, The Adventures of Champion. In response to his many young radio listeners aspiring to emulate him, Autry created the Cowboy Code, or Ten Cowboy Commandments. These tenets promoting an ethical, moral, and patriotic lifestyle that appealed to youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts, which developed similar doctrines. The Cowboy Code consisted of rules that were "a natural progression of Gene's philosophies going back to his first Melody Ranch programs—and early pictures."

He also sold several radio stations he owned, including KSFO in San Francisco, KMPC in Los Angeles, KOGO in San Diego, and other stations in the Golden West radio network.

➦In 1920...Joseph Horne Company's department stores sell radios that are already equipped with headphones and a button for tuning. In The Pittsburgh Sun the price is stated to be $10 or equivalent to over a hundred dollars today.

Radio receiver circa 1920

In 1920 the tuned radio frequency receiver (TRF) had a major improvement. The local oscillator and audio amplifier that were invented around that time were milestone improvements for the radio receiver.  The radio receiver became simpler and cheaper than before because the loud speaker could now be integrated with the chassis of radio.

➦In 1926...NBC incorporated. NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States.  The network started programming Nov. 15 with 24 stations.

In 1923, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) acquired control of WJZ in Newark, New Jersey, from Westinghouse, and moved the station to New York City. The same year, RCA obtained a license for station WRC in Washington, D.C., and attempted to transmit audio between WJZ and WRC via low-quality telegraph lines, in an attempt to make a network comparable to that operated by American Telephone & Telegraph.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

D-C Radio: Paul Jaxon Gets BIG Morning Gig

iHeartMedia Washington, D.C. today announced that Jaxon has been named Morning Show Host for BIG 100, Washington’s Classic Rock & Home of the Washington Commanders, effective Friday, October 6th. Jaxon will report to Dustin Matthews, Director of Rock Programming for iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.

“I’ve been a Jaxon fan for years, so I’m thrilled to welcome him to the iHeartMedia D.C. team!” said Matthews. “And as an avid football fan, he’s the perfect match to join forces with the Washington Commanders. Jaxon brings a unique ability to engage our audience with storytelling and expert analysis about music and sports. I can’t wait for him to rock the Nation’s Capital with us every morning on the mighty BIG 100!”

Jaxon joins the Washington, D.C. market from Philadelphia, PA, where he last served as the afternoon host on WMMR-FM. He has been in the radio industry for three decades and previously hosted morning shows in Boston, Denver, and Salt Lake City.

“I’m beyond thrilled to join the BIG 100 family!” said Jaxon. “Huge thanks to Brad Hardin, James Howard, Dustin Matthews and Jeff Kapugi for helping me find the perfect spot on iHeart’s roster of stellar talent. I look forward to waking up DC every morning, and I’m super excited about our relationship with the Washington Commanders. This is going to be fun, BIG fun!”

TV News Ratings: Fox Returns To The Top, ABC News Wins The Season

Fox News Channel found its way back to the top spot of the cable ratings charts, ending a two-week run at the top by football-powered ESPN.

Fox News averaged 1.7 million viewers in primetime for the week of September 18-24 to top all cable networks, according to Nielsen numbers supplied by Fox News. ESPN finished second with 1.5 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.2 million watchers.

HGTV pulled into fourth with 864,000 viewers, while Hallmark Channel settled into fifth place with 734,000 viewers. TBS and TLC tied for sixth with 649,000 viewers, followed by INSP (637,000 viewers), Food Network (570,000) and USA Network (535,000).

Fox News’s average of 1 million total-day viewers was enough to secure sole possession of first place after tyinh ESPN for first place on the chart last week. MSNBC was second with 801,000 viewers, followed by ESPN (704,000), HGTV (442,000) and CNN (419,000), according to TV News citing Nielsen data.

Bruce Springsteen Ill, Touring Canceled

Bruce Springsteen is following doctor’s orders and taking more time off from touring.

The rocker, 74, released a statement to X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday, in which he said he’s continuing to “recover steadily from peptic ulcer disease over the past few weeks and will continue treatment through the rest of the year on doctor’s advice.”

“With this in mind, and out of an abundance of caution, all remaining 2023 tour dates for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will be postponed until 2024,” the statement continued.

CNN reports Springsteen had previously canceled several shows with the E Street Band last month and earlier this month.

Wednesday’s statement said that those shows, along with the concerts that were to be held during the rest of this year, will have rescheduled dates to be announced next week, “all taking place at their originally scheduled venues.”