Saturday, October 14, 2023

Radio History: October 15

➦In 1909...Radio, TV news anchor Robert Trout was born Robert Albert Blondheim (Died at age 91 November 14, 2000). He is best remembered for his radio work before and during World War II for CBS News. He was regarded by some as the "Iron Man of Radio" for his ability to ad lib while on the air, as well as for his stamina, composure, and elocution.

Robert Trout
Trout was born in Washington, D.C.; he added the Trout name early in his radio career. He entered broadcasting in 1931 as an announcer at WJSV, an independent station in Alexandria, VA. In the summer of 1932 WJSV was acquired by CBS, bringing Trout into the CBS fold. (WJSV is now WFED 1500 AM in Washington, D.C.) He was the man who used the on-air label "fireside chat" in reference to radio broadcasts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression and World War II.

Trout was behind the microphone for many of broadcasting's firsts. He was the first to report on live congressional hearings from Capitol Hill, first to transmit from a flying airplane and, by some definitions, the first to broadcast a daily news program, creating the news anchorman role.

It was Bob Trout in the mid-1930s who passed on to a then-new CBS executive, Edward R. Murrow, the value of addressing the radio audience intimately, as if the announcer was talking to one person. Trout played a key role in Murrow's development as a broadcaster, and the two would remain colleagues until Murrow departed the network in 1961, and friends until Murrow's death in 1965.

On Sunday night, March 13, 1938, after Adolf Hitler's Germany had annexed Austria in the Anschluss, Trout hosted a shortwave "roundup" of reaction from multiple cities in Europe—the first such multi-point live broadcast on network radio. The broadcast included reports from correspondent William L. Shirer in London (on the annexation, which he had witnessed firsthand in Vienna) and Murrow, who filled in for Shirer in Vienna so that Shirer could report without Austrian censorship.

The special gave Trout the distinction of being one of broadcasting's first true "anchormen" (in the sense of handing off the air to someone else as if it were a baton). It became the inspiration for the CBS World News Roundup, a forerunner of television's CBS Evening News, which began later in 1938 and to this day continues to air each weekday morning and evening on the CBS Radio Network.

Trout anchored the network's live early morning coverage of the June 6, 1944 Normandy invasion on D-Day by the allied forces and was behind the microphone when the bulletins announcing the end of World War II in Europe, and later Japan, came over the air.

One overlooked aspect of Trout's career was his annual appearance on bandleader Guy Lombardo's New Year's Eve specials on CBS-TV. From 1955 through 1961, Trout would report from Times Square during the broadcast, and count down the final seconds to midnight (Eastern Standard Time) for the start of the new year.

Trout remained at CBS through the early 1970s. He later worked for ABC, serving mostly as a correspondent based in Madrid, where he lived for most of the last two decades of his life.

In 1914...ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) was founded

In 1935...In Seattle, radio station KCPB became KIRO, as new owner Saul Haas increased the power to 500 watts on 650 kc.  Now with 50,000 watts at 710 kHz, and with sister stations on the FM and TV spectrums, the KIRO call letters are among the best known and most revered on the West Coast.

The “PCB” stood for “Pacific Coast Biscuits,” flagship product of Seattle’s Centennial Flour Mills. The station began broadcasting on April 27, 1927, as KPCB on 650 kilocycles. Its founder was Moritz Thomsen of the Pacific Coast Biscuit Company (hence the call sign KPCB) and it was powered at 100 watts. Among its announcers was Chet Huntley, later of television's Huntley-Brinkley Report.

In 1935, Saul Haas's Queen City Broadcasting Company took over the station. Queen City increased the power to 500 watts.  Haas, who was well connected in liberal politics and the business community, wanted a simple, pronounceable, and recognizable call sign for his new station. He chose KIRO, which is usually pronounced like the capital of Egypt, "Cairo."

In 1937, KIRO was assigned the AM 710 frequency and was granted an increase in power to 1,000 watts. Soon after, KIRO acquired the Seattle CBS Radio Network affiliation rights from KOL AM 1300. Known as "The Friendly Station," KIRO personalities broke from the formal announcing style that was commonplace during the early days of radio. KIRO carried CBS's dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio."

On June 29, 1941, a new, 50,000-watt transmitter on Maury Island became operational. From the 1930s through the 1950s, KIRO recorded countless hours of CBS programming for time-delayed rebroadcast to its Pacific Time Zone listeners. These electrical transcriptions are, in many cases, the only recordings made of World War II-era news coverage over the CBS Network. The discs were donated to the University of Washington in the early 1960s and are now held at the National Archives as the Milo Ryan Phonoarchive Collection.

From 500 watts, KIRO ultimately beat every other station in the Northwest and, with permission from the FCC, went to 50,000 watts during the summer of 1941. To accomplish the boost, KIRO built a glamorous new transmitter building and antenna array on Vashon/Maury Island.

When the U.S. entered World War II later that year, the government froze all pending power boosts for radio stations, leaving KIRO the only 50,000-watt powerhouse west of the Twin Cities and north of San Francisco for the next five years. The nighttime signal went as far as Alaska and northern California.

In 1951...."I Love Lucy" turns 72. The beloved TV sitcom debuted on CBS in 1951. Airing for six seasons, "I Love Lucy" was an immediate sensation, finishing four seasons as the top-rated program in primetime.

In 1960...The Beatles (minus Pete Best) and two members of Rory Storm’s Hurricanes (Ringo Starr and Lou Walters) recorded a version of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ in a Hamburg recording studio. The track, which was cut onto a 78-rpm disc, marked the first session that included John, Paul, George, and Ringo together. Two years later, the group would hire Ringo permanently.

In 1971...singer Rick Nelson was booed off the stage when he didn’t stick to all oldies at the seventh Annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival show at Madison Square Garden, New York. He tried to slip in some of his new material and the crowd did not approve.

The negative reaction inspired Nelson to write his last top-40 entry, Garden Party, which, ironically, was his biggest hit in years.

In 1973...The US Supreme Court upholds a 1971 FCC directive that bans radio stations from airing songs that glorified drugs.

Activist Hedge Fund Eyes News Corp


Starboard Value, the activist hedge fund run by Jeffrey Smith, has bought shares of News Corp, according to Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, a move that could presage new calls from investors for changes to Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. News Corp declined to comment and Starboard did not respond to a request for comment."

News Corp's shares are up 14% year-to-date but have underperformed some peers like New York Times Co (NYT.N). Its bets to boost digital revenue and subscriptions have yet to fully pay off.

Starboard, which has pushed for changes at companies ranging from Salesforce (CRM.N) to Darden Restaurants (DRI.N), would struggle to shake up News Corp without Murdoch's consent. The Murdoch family trust controls 39% of the company's voting shares, a set-up several investors said they object to.

Smith will present investment ideas at two conferences next week, including the 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investment Summit.

Irenic Capital Management, another activist hedge fund last year pushed News Corp to spin off its real estate websites and Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

Sources told Reuters in January that News Corp was in talks to sell its stake in Move, operator of the website, to CoStar Group Inc (CSGP.O) for about $3 billion. CoStar, owner of, said in February the deal talks ended unsuccessfully.

Starboard began building a stake in News Corp over the summer, before Murdoch, 92, announced on Sept 21 that he would step down as chairman, leaving his son Lachlan as sole chair, the sources said.

TV Cable Ratings: MSNBC Losing Viewers

MSNBC — which has been slammed for refusing to refer to Hamas attackers as terrorists during its coverage — has lost 33% of its primetime viewers since the deadly attack on Israel.

The Ny Post reports the cable news channel — home to anchors Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Joy Reid — saw its total viewer figures plunge 24% for the four days between Oct. 7 and 10, compared to the same period the previous week.

Meanwhile, rival Fox News has gotten a 42% jolt in total viewers, and even ratings-challenged CNN saw a 17% spike as new boss Mark Thompson took the reins this week.

Fox handily won in primetime over the four-day period, averaging 2.1 million, according to Nielsen. MSNBC came in second with 960,000 and CNN logged 760,000 viewers.

Graphic Courtesy of RoadMN (w/permission)

MSNBC has drawn intense criticism over its coverage of Hamas’ attack on Israel, which killed more than 1,200, including 25 Americans.

The network has run a joint death toll graphic that lumps the casualties together, unlike other networks that separate the number of Israelis killed from those in Gaza.

NewsNation host Dan Abrams singled out MSNBC anchors Ayman Mohyeldin, Mehdi Hasan, and Ali Velshi for saying the Hamas assault was the result of “failed policies” by Israel and the US.

“Right. It’s Israel’s fault. It’s the United States fault,” Abrams said mockingly on Monday. “The policies that somehow justify or even explain the slaughter, rapes, and kidnapping of innocent civilians.”

“And that ridiculous commentary set the tone for much of MSNBC’s coverage throughout the weekend, where many hosts seemed determined to say, ‘Well, what about the Palestinians?’”

MSNBC Benches Muslim Pundits

Meanwhile, MSNBC has quietly taken three of its Muslim broadcasters out of the anchor’s chair since Hamas’s attack on Israel last Saturday amid America’s wave of sympathy for Israeli terror victims.

The network did not air a scheduled Thursday night episode of The Mehdi Hasan Show on the streaming platform Peacock. MSNBC also reversed a plan for Ayman Mohyeldin to fill in this week on the network for host Joy Reid’s 7 p.m. show on Thursday and Friday. Mohyeldin, an Egyptian-American journalist and veteran NBC News correspondent covered the conflict from Gaza for two years. In 2021, he aggressively questioned Israeli leaders on strikes on the territory. 

Two network sources with knowledge of the plans told Semafor that the network also plans to have Alicia Menendez fill in this upcoming weekend for Ali Velshi, a third Muslim-American host who on Sunday interviewed a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority.

AP News Removes Activist Reporter

A reporter for the Associated Press based in Gaza has a social media history of blasting Israel as an oppressive, apartheid regime, leading to criticism that he can't objectively cover the conflict.

An extensive report from HonestReporting, a media watchdog, laid out Issam Adwan's extensive past of shredding Israel, including calling it an "apartheid" regime, saying it would be a triumph if it was "overthrown," and comparing the Jewish state to the Nazis. Adwan has been reporting this week for the AP from Gaza after Israel declared war on Hamas following the Palestinian terror group's brutal attack Saturday.

Issam Adwan
In one now-deleted post on X, formerly known as Twitter, exactly one year ago, he wrote, the "Palestinian revolt against the Israeli oppression will be a triumph" and "every colonial system will be overthrown. Meanwhile, you should reflect on what you did to contribute to it."

In another, he states, "It's simple to identify which side you take… Supporting colonialism and apartheid is never ok to the human common sense."

He also told an Israeli in 2019, "Don't listen to the lies they told you about us. They're spreading lies and fear to continue with the apartheid system which [separates] us of different races and religions."

At another point last year, he compared Israel to Nazis, calling it a "racist regime that is so similar to the Nazis."

HonestReporting also shared a screenshot of him resharing a post by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, accusing Israeli forces of being "involved in a systematic campaign to poison water wells of indigenous Palestinians as part of 1948 ethnic cleansing." 

Fox News Digital reports Adwan has posted several AP dispatches from Gaza as it comes under bombardment since Israel declared war on Hamas. The terrorist organization launched a surprise attack on Saturday against Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and taking at least 150 hostages. The gruesome violence perpetrated by Hamas has left much of the world appalled, but pockets of supporters have continued to support Palestinian "resistance" to Israel.

Reuters Videographer Killed In Southern Lebanon

A Reuters news videographer has been killed while working in southern Lebanon, Reuters said in a statement on Friday.

"We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah (right), has been killed," the statement said.

Issam was part of a Reuters crew in southern Lebanon who was providing a live video signal. "We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region, and supporting Issam’s family and colleagues," Reuters said.

Reuters said it is working with authorities in the region to obtain more information on the strike that killed Abdallah and to support his family and colleagues.

Reuters journalists Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh were also injured and are seeking medical care, Reuters said.

Overall, at least 11 journalists — nine Palestinian, one Lebanese and one Israeli — have been confirmed dead this week, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least one Israeli journalist has been reported missing, and many others have been injured.

D/FW Radio: KTCK, NHL Stars Renew Long-Time Deal

Dallas Stars President and Chief Executive Officer Brad Alberts, in conjunction with the Vice President and Market Manager of Cumulus Media, Dallas/Fort Worth Dan Bennett, announced today a five-year radio broadcast rights extension between the Dallas Stars and Sportsradio KTCK 96.7 FM / 1310 AM The Ticket. The extended agreement will run through the 2028-29 NHL season.

Since 2009, The Ticket has served as the radio home for Dallas Stars hockey, broadcasting all regular season and postseason contests. Additionally, the station also broadcasts pregame, intermission and postgame programming, providing Metroplex sports fans with the most complete Stars coverage on the radio.

“Entering the final year of our current five-year agreement, it was imperative for us to continue our partnership with The Ticket,” said Alberts. “For the past 14 years, The Ticket has provided listeners in the Metroplex with a unique platform to follow their favorite hockey team with exclusive interviews with Dallas Stars coaches, players and personalities in addition to wall-to-wall coverage on game days. We’re thrilled to continue this longstanding partnership with our flagship station.”

The Stars broadcasts on The Ticket feature the duo of play-by-play announcer Josh Bogorad and color analyst Daryl “Razor” Reaugh. Bogorad is in his 11th season with the Stars broadcast team and his sixth as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster. Since becoming the Stars’ play-by-play broadcaster, Bogorad was voted the 2020 Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association and won the 2022 Lone Star Sports EMMY in the Play-by-Play category. Reaugh is in his 27th season on Stars radio broadcasts and his 25th as the team’s color analyst. Named by the Sports Business Journal as one of the 2017 Regional Sports Networks Power Players, Reaugh has won 12 Lone Star Emmy awards as a color analyst.

Bruce LeVine and Owen Newkirk will continue to co-host Dallas’ pregame, intermission and postgame radio shows.

“The Ticket’s partnership with the Dallas Stars goes back to 2009, and we are extremely excited that this partnership will extend to 2029 making it a 20-year run with one of the NHL’s premier franchises,” said Bennett.

Chicago TV: WGN Meteorologist Announces Retirement

Tom Skilling

Tom Skilling, the longtime WGN-TV chief meteorologist, announced his retirement Thursday during the evening news, reports The Chicago Tribune.

An always sunny presence, whatever the weather in Chicago, Skilling delivered a stormy fall forecast and then hit loyal viewers with the news that he’s reaching the end of a prodigious weathercasting career.

“I’ve watched people do this before and there’s no formula for this,” Skilling said. “I’m going to retire at the end of February, after a marvelous 45 years at this incredible television station.”

Skilling, 71, who started at WGN-Ch. 9 on Aug. 13, 1978, has been a familiar and congenial presence on the Chicago airwaves for decades, expertly and calmly navigating the city’s often unpredictable weather situations for generations of TV viewers.

On Thursday, he discussed the decision with a montage of clips tracing his career in the background, from a fresh-faced and hirsute rookie weatherman delivering a forecast in a Channel 9 blazer to a beloved personality hamming it up with Bozo, the station’s longtime star clown.

“It’s been a great career,” Skilling said.

An expert meteorologist, Skilling brought both authority and amiability to his forecasts, explaining the science behind the weather with graphics, details and a genuine enthusiasm.

After a Skilling forecast, viewers not only knew when they needed a raincoat, but why.

An Aurora native, Skilling started his broadcasting career as a 14-year-old high school student at WKKD Radio in his hometown. He studied meteorology and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while continuing to work in radio and television. After stops in Madison and Milwaukee, where he was a meteorologist at WITI-TV, he landed at WGN, where Skilling became synonymous with Chicago weather for more than four decades.

“Tom Skilling is a Chicago institution,” Paul Rennie, WGN-TV vice president and general manager, said in the news release. “There isn’t another meteorologist in the history of the city, or the country for that matter, who has been more impactful doing what he does.”

Thanking viewers and colleagues on Thursday’s broadcast, Skilling said knowing when to retire was among the toughest decisions he had to make.

Taylor Swift Stands Among The Greats of Past and Present

by Anna Fleck, Statista

Love her or hate her, there’s no doubt that Taylor Swift has a pretty serious reach: in the past, she’s prompted a jump in U.S. voter registration, she’s thought to have directly impacted local economies with ‘tourflation’ and has sold out millions of tickets in her latest ‘Eras’ tour across five continents. She’s made especially big waves this year, with her new concert movie having already brought in record revenue in pre-sale tickets before its debut weekend.

Infographic: Taylor Swift Stands Among The Greats of Past and Present | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

The chart shows how Swift has now become one of the most successful female artists in terms of both album sales and digital single sales. Data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) highlights how in terms of album sales, Swift ranks fifth out of all female artists whose music is consumed in the U.S., behind that of musical Greats such as Mariah Carey and Madonna. In terms of digital single sales, which tends to lean towards musicians who have released the bulk of their music more recently, Swift ranks only second after Rihanna. 

Given the popularity of streaming, RIAA began including streaming equivalents in its calculation of digital single sales in 2013 and for albums in 2016.

Radio History: October 14

In 1934..."Lux Radio Theater" premiered.

Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS Radio (1935-54), and NBC Radio (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.

Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934, on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922–24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show's fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors. Anthony appeared as Garrick from the premiere 1934 episode until June 30, 1935. Garrick was portrayed by Albert Hayes from July 29, 1935 to May 25, 1936, when the show moved to the West Coast.

Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.

Lux Radio Theatre strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie's stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.

➦In 1939...BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) formed

In 1943...RCA (Radio Corporation of America) sold the NBC Blue Radio Network to Edward Noble for $8 million dollars. It was renamed ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.

Although RCA was identified as the creator of the network, NBC was actually owned 50% by RCA, 30% by General Electric, and 20% by Westinghouse. The network officially was launched at 8:00 Eastern time on the evening of Monday, November 15, 1926.

"The most pretentious broadcasting program ever presented, featuring among others, world famed stars never before heard on the air, will mark the Introduction of the National Broadcasting Company to the public Monday night," the press noted, with "a four hour radio performance by noted stars of opera, stage and concert hall".  The broadcast was made simultaneously on WEAF and WJZ. Some of NBC's programming was broadcast that evening on WEEI (Boston) WLIT (Philadelphia), WRC (Washington), WDAF (Kansas City), and WWJ (Detroit)., noted by the different background color. NBC Blue would utilize this logo until their 1943 sale.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Mediabase Acquires All Access Music Group

Mediabase, a division of iHeartMedia’s RCS software subsidiary, has acquired’s download and distribution service from Joel Denver. This strategic move consolidates AllAccess’s services within Mediabase, simplifying the process for users in search of music downloads and airplay data. announced they were folding July 14th of this year and they stopped most of the site’s and organizations’ production as of August 15th. Today this was announced.

By harnessing the collective strengths of both platforms, Mediabase will elevate user experiences and accessibility, solidifying its position as the leader of airplay data. This acquisition exemplifies Mediabase’s unwavering dedication to innovation and digital media convenience.

Joel Denver
Mediabase President and CEO Philippe Generali stated, Through this integration, Mediabase offers a seamless user experience by providing downloads of broadcast-quality content from our label partners. The power of these collective platforms promises to redefine how industry professionals access and leverage media assets.

Joel Denver, President/Publisher and the visionary behind All Access expressed his satisfaction with this segment transition to Mediabase, stating, I’m elated that Mediabase has acquired All Access. My deepest thanks to the All Access staff for their many years of service, and to Philippe Generali and his Mediabase team for their genuine enthusiasm and passion for our industry-leading digital music distribution service, All Access Downloads.

This acquisition marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of the media industry, ushering in a new era of convenience and streamlining the workflow for music professionals. Mediabase’s commitment to innovation and digital media convenience will position it at the forefront of the industry, empowering users with enhanced tools and resources.

Greg Ashlock To Head iHeartMedia’s Influencer Network

Greg Ashlock is relinquishing his role as CEO of iHeartMedia's Multiplatform Group to head the iHeart Influencer Network. iHeartMedia President, CFO and COO Richard Bressler assumes Multiplatform Group CEO duties during the interim. Ashlock was named CEO of the Multiplatform Group when it was formed in February, 2021. Previously, he served as President of iHeartMedia Markets Group West Division. iHeartMedia Markets Group includes the company's more than 860 radio stations in over 160 markets. This group also oversees Premiere Networks, the Total Traffic and Weather Network and BIN.

Greg Ashlock
Previously, Ashlock was President of iHeartMedia West. In addition to overseeing the Southwest Division, Ashlock oversaw Denver, Western Great Lakes and Omaha Regions. Before that, Ashlock was one of iHeartMedia's Executive Vice Presidents of Operations and Market President of the company's group in Los Angeles.

iHeartMedia shared the news in the following internal memo:

As we look at the advertising marketplace, influencers are the highest growth new category for advertising spend, expected to grow to $26 billion next year in the U.S. As a talent-first company built around the most important influencers in the world, iHeart sits at the center of that universe - and this enables us to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Greg Ashlock, CEO of our Multi-Platform Group, has a strong passion for our influencer position and has approached us to lead our efforts in this space - focusing specifically on creating innovative cross-platform partnerships between our influencers, marketers and brands. As much as we hate to lose Greg as the CEO of the Multi-Platform Group, we are certain he is the best choice to lead this important new growth area for our company. Effective immediately, Greg will begin transitioning into this new fully-dedicated role as President, iHeart Influencer Network, reporting directly to us. Rich will become interim CEO of the Multi-Platform Group in addition to his other responsibilities as our President, COO and CFO, and Greg's current reports will report directly to Rich.

Bob and Rich"

TV Ratings: MLB Playoffs Viewing Dips

Major League Baseball enjoyed a resurgent regular season, with overall linear TV viewership up 26% through the first three months of the 2023 campaign and full-season ballpark attendance enjoying its biggest year-over-year spike ever (9.6%) to over 70.7 million ticket buyers. 

Meanwhile, the league also said that MLB.TV enjoyed its most streamed season in its 21-year history, with engagement increasing 9% to 12.7 billion viewing minutes and the number of users up 14%. 

But, according to NextTV,  the resurgence, fueled by the new “pitch-clock” rules, baseball experts speculate, has not carried into the post-season, which this year returned a relatively new format that started last season. 

Total viewing across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 for last week's MLB "wild card round" was down 18%, according to Nielsen data, with four two-game sweeps averaging 2.25 million viewers vs. 2.73 million last season. 

Meanwhile, through Tuesday, the four MLB Division Series on TBS, truTV, Fox and FS1 are collectively down 15% in viewership, averaging 2.78 million viewers vs. 3.28 million for the comparable first 10 games of the 2022 divisional round, according to Nielsen data compiled by Sports Media Watch. 

Three of the four divisional-round series have already ended in three-game sweeps, with the only competitive matchup, the still-going series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves, scoring the largest TV audience, 4.05 million viewers, up 19% over Turner's comparable audience in 2022. 

Sports media pundits don't expect the news to get any better for the upcoming American and National League championship series, not to mention the World Series.

10/13 WAKE-UP CALL: 1.1M Israeli Civilians Told Get Out Of Gaza Now

Israel's military on Friday called for all civilians of Gaza City, more than 1 million people, to relocate south within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks near the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground invasion. "Now is a time for war," Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday as Israeli warplanes continued pounding Gaza in retaliation for the weekend attacks by Hamas militants that killed more than 1,300 Israelis, mostly civilians.

The Israeli military said it would operate "significantly" in Gaza City in the coming days and civilians would only be able to return when another announcement was made. "Civilians of Gaza City, evacuate south for your own safety and the safety of your families and distance yourself from Hamas terrorists who are using you as human shields," the military said in a statement. "Hamas terrorists are hiding in Gaza City inside tunnels underneath houses and inside buildings populated with innocent Gazan civilians."

➤GETTING OUT IS A STRUGGLE: People are struggling to leave Israel as most major airlines pause flights. Some Israelis, tourists and foreign workers are so desperate that they are resorting to renting private jets. The U.S. said today that it will charter flights from Israel to Europe, beginning tomorrow, to help evacuate Americans who don’t have commercial airline tickets. Meanwhile, international pressure is building on Egypt to open its border to a potential exodus of two million Gazans. Israel has warned people to leave and has cut off food, fuel and water in Gaza. Hamas has said that it is reluctant to allow an evacuation because it could mean permanent exile for those Palestinians. According to U.S. and Arab officials, discussions between the U.S. and Egypt have focused solely around securing safe passage for the 500 to 600 Americans in Gaza.

Rep. Cory Mills is on his way back to Capitol Hill to help his party select a new House speaker after shuttling 77 Americans out of Israel via neighboring Jordan during a two-day visit. On Tuesday, Mills (R-Fla.) read a NY Post report highlighting the plight of Silver Prout, an American trapped in Israel with a California-based church group who had been on a Holy Land tour when the Hamas terror group attacked the Jewish state on Oct. 7. The account was one of several Mills had heard of US citizens stuck in a war zone after major airlines grounded flights to and from Israel. “I just immediately left DC and I just decided within an hour’s notice that I couldn’t sit there and do nothing anymore,” Mills said. “… I campaigned on the fact that I wanted to be a statesman who acts – and not a politician who talks.”

➤BILLIONAIRE QUITS HARVARD BOARD: Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer and his wife are resigning their posts on the executive board of Harvard’s Kennedy School in protest of school President Claudine Gay’s belated lukewarm response to the student letter blaming Israel for the massacre committed by Hamas terrorists on Saturday. Ofer, the shipping and chemicals magnate whose net worth was valued by Forbes at $14 billion as of Thursday, said that he and his wife were quitting the board, according to the Hebrew-language news site TheMarker. Ofer and his wife, Batia, who is also a member of the executive board, said they resigned “in protest of the shocking and insensitive response by the president of the university, who did not condemn the letter by student organizations who blamed Israel for the massacres.” Gay has come under fire from Harvard alums including former school president Larry Summers, who decried the “delayed” statement from her office in response to the student letter.

➤HAMAS HAS DETAILED MAPS: Hamas militants who flooded into southern Israel from Gaza on Saturday carried detailed maps of the towns and military bases that they targeted. Some carried tactical guides identifying weak spots on Israeli army armored vehicles. Israeli civilians, soldiers and emergency personnel recovered the documents, seen by WSJ, from the attack sites or bodies of dead Hamas fighters. The detailed information, written in Arabic, indicates that Hamas had planned to attack civilian population centers and take hostages, not just target military installations. The documents also show the scale of Hamas’s intelligence-gathering and planning. More than 1,300 Israelis were killed in the assault. As much of the country’s military gathers in the south for a major ground offensive in Gaza, fears of a second front at the northern border are growing. A conflict with Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon would stretch Israel’s army and air defenses, military experts say.

➤SCALISE DROPS SPEAKER'S BID: Rep. Steve Scalise withdrew from contention for House speaker late Thursday, after clinching the Republican Party’s nomination but failing to win over a stubborn bloc of critics who stood between him and the gavel, the latest dramatic turn in the party’s leadership fight. The party has been trying to move quickly to fill the absence created by the ouster of Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) that was engineered by Republican rebels, but the intraparty divisions on display last week have only grown deeper. Scalise, the House majority leader, narrowly won the party’s speaker nomination Wednesday over Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) in a 113-99 tally, a margin that did little to convince many Jordan supporters to unify behind Scalise.

➤DeSANTIS AMPS-UP CRITICISM OF TRUMP: Ron DeSantis began a two-day New Hampshire swing Thursday by displaying a revamped campaign style that includes amped-up criticism of Donald Trump. DeSantis focused on Trump's comments Wednesday criticizing the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netahnyahu and his government over the war with Hamas, and describing Hezbollah militants as "very smart." 

"Now is not the time to be attacking our ally," DeSantis told supporters at the New Hampshire State House. Several Republicans noted that, after the 2020 election, Trump attacked Netanyahu for hailing Biden as the president-elect. "It’s clear he’s angry at Netanyahu for recognizing Trump lost in 2020," said a statement from Never Back Down, a pro-DeSantis political action committee. "Trump puts himself first.

D-C Radio: DC 101 Tweaks Line-Up

iHeartMedia Washington D.C.’s WWDC DC101, D.C.’s Alternative Rock Station, has announced Mike Jones has been named Afternoon Host and Tamo has been named Midday Host, Music Director and Assistant Program Director.

Mike Jones
As Afternoon Host, Mike Jones will be responsible for hosting “The Afternoon Adventure” from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. As Midday Host, Tamo will be responsible for hosting “It’s Tamo Time” following “Elliot in the Morning.” As Music Director and Assistant Program Director, Tamo will be responsible for day-to-day programming operations as well as music programming and content. They will both report to Dustin Matthews, Director of Rock Programming for iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.

“For nearly 50 years, the success of DC101 has been rooted in larger-than-life personalities who are passionate about the music and put the audience first,” said Dustin Matthews, Director of Rock Programming. “Mike Jones and Tamo are two shining examples of that legacy, uniquely connecting to the DMV through the music, lifestyle and certainly humor. I’m thrilled to watch them grow in their new roles as part of the ongoing evolution of this iconic brand.”

Mike Jones has been with DC101 for 17 years as the Night Host, Midday Host and working with “Elliot in the Morning.” He has also worked at WHFS in Baltimore, 92.3 K-Rock in New York City and SiriusXM.

“I’ve held the title of the Midday Princess for a long time and now I’m excited to be the leader of ‘The Afternoon Adventure’ on DC101,” said Mike Jones. “Thanks to Dustin Matthews, Aaron Hyland, Jeff Kapugi, my mom, the Big Man upstairs and everyone for this opportunity!”

Tamo has been with DC101 since 2020 as the Night Host. Her previous stops include Midday Host on KYSR/Los Angeles, Music Director/Assistant Program Director/Midday Host on WEND-FM/Charlotte and Music Director/Afternoons on WRXL-FM/Richmond.

““It’s Tamo Time!” sees the sun!” said Tamo. “Beyond excited to follow the best morning show in radio, ‘EITM,’ and to join forces with Dustin Matthews on the programming side to bring his vision of making the mighty DC101 even more of a behemoth!”

Seattle Radio: Christine Malovetz Travels To The End

Audacy has named Christine Malovetz as Regional Vice President of Alternative and Program Director of KNDD 107.7 The End in Seattle. 

She will succeed RVP of Alternative John Allers, who has become increasingly busy elsewhere in the company, most recently taking on the relaunch and programming of KITS (Live 105) in San Francisco.

The news was shared in a staff memo from Audacy Seattle SVP/Market Manager Jack Hutchison, 

Christine Malovetz
Let me start by expressing a very big thank you to John Allers for all of his hard work and focus around 107.7 The End over these past few years.  John worked with the entire End team to get us to a much better place.  John will continue his role with the company in a number of our markets and as most of you know, see through our huge recommitment to San Francisco with the relaunch of Live 105.

With that, I am very excited to announce our new Program Director for 107.7 The End.  

Please join me in welcoming Christine Malovetz (copied here).   Christine has a rich history in the format that began at her hometown station, WBRU in Providence. Her journey then included stops in Philadelphia (Y100) and Chicago (Q101) before landing in New York to join Audacy in 2018. Christine added Regional Vice President alternative programming duties in 2020, and currently oversees WDZH/Detroit, WRXL/Richmond and WINS-FM HD2/New York....and now 107.7 The End! In addition, this January she was appointed to Vice President, Alternative Programming and Operations. 

Twin Cities Radio: KFAN, NHL Wild Extend Broadcast Agreement

The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild and iHeartMedia Minneapolis have announced a five-year partnership extension through the 2027-28 season to broadcast all preseason, regular season and Stanley Cup Playoff games on KFAN 100.3 FM, the Twin Cities Sports Leader. KFAN 100.3 is currently in its 13th season as the official radio flagship home of the Minnesota Wild.

“KFAN 100.3 and iHeartMedia have been fantastic partners for the last 12 seasons, providing the State of Hockey with engaging and extensive coverage of our team,” said Matt Majka, Chief Executive Officer of Minnesota Sports and Entertainment. “We’re thrilled Wild fans will continue to enjoy the tremendous programming KFAN 100.3 provides for another five years.”

Canada News Industry Body Backs Google's Concerns

A Canadian news industry body on Thursday lent support to some of Google's concerns about a new law that aims to make large internet companies share advertising revenue with news publishers in the country.

Reuters reports Alphabet's Google has made a "good faith articulation of legitimate concerns" that the Canadian government should address while finalizing rules to implement the law, said News Media Canada (NMC), which represents Canada's top newspapers, including the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

"We are in agreement with many of the issues they have raised," NMC Chief Executive Officer Paul Deegan said in a statement first reported by the Globe.

The Online News Act, part of a global trend to make internet giants pay for news, passed the Canadian parliament in June and the government is finalizing rules that are expected to be released by a Dec. 19 deadline.

Canada tried addressing tech companies' concerns about the law in draft rules released in September, but Google and Meta Platforms META.O were not convinced.

Google has raised concerns about the law establishing links to news stories as the basis of payment and said the proposed regulations did not address problems like imposing potentially uncapped liability on the company and limits on how it can support the news industry.

"We are aligned that there should be a firm ceiling, rather than a floor on financial liability," Deegan said in the statement.

NMC also agrees with Google that eligible news publishers must have an online presence and that non-monetary measures such as training and product can be part of the remuneration, Deegan said.

Budget Crunch? Voted Most Likely to Go...

 Seven paid video and audio streaming services are among the most common items within U.S. household budgets, but MediaPost reports five are also among the top 10 items most likely to be cut if finances get tight.

Disney+, Apple TV+ and Netflix led the top 10 “most likely to cut” list among 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed by Vivint. Hulu and Spotify ranked sixth and seventh, and Amazon Prime (inclusive of the Amazon Prime Video service) ranked eighth.

The most popular subscription services were Amazon Prime (52%), Netflix (50%), Hulu (34%) and Spotify (29%), Disney+ (28%), Max (21%) and Apple TV+. Each cost between $13 and $18 monthly, with the exception of Apple TV+, at a reported $24.

In addition, more than a quarter (28%) of respondents reported spending an average $73 per month on video games, 9% pay for Ninentendo Switch Online ($12) and 8% for PlayStation Plus ($22).

Vivint, a security and smart-home systems company, probed Americans’ overall spending habits and priorities and where such systems fit in. The survey, conducted through Connect in June, had a 3% margin of error at a 95% confidence level, and was representative of the general U.S. adult population.

One semi-positive for streamers (if not for security systems): Asked what they would be unwilling to give up to afford home security, specifically, more than 90% said they would not give up Nintendo Switch Online, Max, Spotify, or Netflix, and just one in 10 said they’d be willing to give up Hulu, Disney+, or Apple TV+. 

R.I.P.: Rudolph Isley, Founding Member Of The Isley Brothers

Rudolph Isley, singer, songwriter and founding member of the influential rhythm and blues band the Isley Brothers, whose hits included "Shout", "Fight the Power", and "That Lady", died on Wednesday at age 84 at his home in Chicago, the family said in a statement.

"Heaven has gained another angel....we know he's in a better place. Forever in our hearts," the family statement read.

The cause of death was not disclosed, according to Reuters.

Rudolph Isley, originally of Cincinnati, began a singing in church with his brothers Ronald, O'Kelly and younger brother Vernon, who died as a teenager in a traffic accident. Later members included brothers Marvin and Ernie and brother-in-law Chris Jasper.

While he sang harmony and at times lead vocals for the group, Rudolph Isley also co-wrote songs including their 1959 breakthrough hit "Shout," a gospel-style call-and-response song built around the words "You know you make me wanna shout!"

Among other hits by the band include "Twist and Shout", later covered by the Beatles, and "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)", covered by singer Rod Stewart.

Rudolph Isley left the group in the late 1980s to become a Christian minister, but at times still sang with the group.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

Radio History: October 13


Bruce Morrow
In 1935...Bruce Morrow (born Bruce Meyerowitz) known to many listeners as Cousin Brucie was born.

Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer."

Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on powerhouse 77WABC. Morrow's returned to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the Baby Boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast at the onset of the British Invasion.

"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors like Thom McAn shoes, local clothing outlets in the New York and New Jersey areas, and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.

He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC 660 AM; after three years there, he left the airwaves to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of stations, which included WALL; WKGL, now WRRV, in Middletown, New York; WJJB, later WCZX, in Poughkeepsie, New York; WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts; WOCB in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts; WRAN (now dark) New Jersey 1510 in Randolph, New Jersey; and television station WATL Atlanta. The group later purchased WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut.

In 1982, Morrow returned to the DJ role with New York's WCBS 101.1 FM. Initially, he filled in for Jack Spector every third Saturday evening for the Saturday Night Sock Hop program. Following Spector's resignation in 1985, Morrow took over the show and renamed it the Saturday Night Dance Party. The station also added his nationally syndicated show Cruisin' America. In 1986, he took on the Wednesday evening slot, where he hosted The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown. In 1991, the Wednesday show became The Yearbook, focusing on music from a year between 1955 and 1979. Cousin Brucie was also the "breakfast presenter" on Atlantic 252 from 1992 to 1996.

When Cruisin' America ended its run in December 1992, Morrow continued hosting a WCBS show called Cruising with the Cuz Monday evenings until the end of 1993. After that show ended, he hosted the Saturday night and Wednesday night shows there until the station's change to the adult hits format called Jack FM on June 3, 2005. Shortly thereafter, he signed a multi-year deal to host oldies programming and a weekly talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Morrow recently hosted programs for Sirius XM satellite radio, on the '60s on 6 channel. Today Cousin Brucie is hosting a Saturday evening oldies show on former Musicradio 77WABC in NYC.

➦In 1963...the term 'Beatlemania' was coined, as The Beatles made their first major TV appearance from the London Palladium. The BBC had an audience of 15 million tuned in. Thousands of delirious fans jammed the streets outside the theater to voice their support of the Fab Four. A few months later, Beatlemania would sweep the U.S. as well.

In 1967...CBS Radio Network canceled "House Party". Art Linkletter discusses his years in radio.

Sponsored by General Electric, the 25-minute House Party premiered on CBS Radio on January 15, 1945, and ran weekdays at 4 p.m., three days a week, through January 10, 1947. Following a break, it then ran weekdays at 3:30 p.m. from December 1, 1947 to December 31, 1948. It continued to be sponsored by General Electric even as it switched to ABC Radio, where it ran for 30 minutes in the same timeslot from January 3 to July 1, 1949. ABC then aired it as a 25-minute sustained-advertising program weekdays at noon from September 19 to December 30, 1949.

The show returned to CBS Radio only days later, making its longest continued run from January 2, 1950 to October 13, 1967 as a 30-minute show running weekdays at various times. Sponsors included Pillsbury from 1950 to 1952, and Lever Brothers from 1952 to 1956. During its first season, the soundtrack from the TV show was run immediately on radio following the telecast.

In 1974...Ed Sullivan died from esophagal cancer at the age of 73 (Born September 28, 1901). He was a TV personality, impresario, sports and entertainment reporter, and syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate. He is principally remembered as the creator and host of the television variety program The Toast of the Town, later popularly—and, eventually, officially—renamed The Ed Sullivan Show. Broadcast for 23 years from 1948 to 1971, it set a record as the longest-running variety show in US broadcast history. "It was, by almost any measure, the last great TV show," said television critic David Hinckley. "It's one of our fondest, dearest pop culture memories."

Thursday, October 12, 2023

TV Cable Ratings: Fox News Leads In Total Day Viewers

  • FNC Leads Cable News Across the Board During Weekend Breaking News Coverage of Hamas Attacks in Israel
  • “Gutfeld!” Tops All Late-Night Broadcast Shows with Viewers in First Week Back Following Writers Strike
Woke news broadcaster MSNBC lost 33 percent of its primetime viewers during its coverage of the Israel Hamas war.  The outlet's viewer figures were down 24 percent overall for the four days between October 7 and 10 which saw the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas terrorists.  By comparison the shocking events saw a leap in Fox News's audience, up 42 percent, and in CNN's coverage, which saw a 17 percent rise in viewers, reports The US Daily Mail.   

'These numbers tell you a lot about MSNBC, which excels at Trump-era liberal therapy but can’t match others during global historic events' Puck media reporter Dylan Byers wrote

During the week of October 2 - 8, FOX News Channel (FNC) led all of cable with total day viewers. Additionally, FNC swept the cable news competition with total day viewers for the 138th consecutive week. In primetime (8-11 PM/ET), FNC earned 2,046,000 viewers and 231,000 in the 25-54 demo commanding all of cable with viewers. In total day (6 AM-6 AM/ET), FNC dominated all of cable television, securing 1,297,000 viewers and 155,000 in the 25-54 demo with 67 of the top 100 cable news telecasts. FNC also led CNN and MSNBC across total day and primetime viewers and demo during breaking news coverage of Hamas attacks in Israel.

At 10 PM/ET, the king of late-night Greg Gutfeld notably delivered 2,062,000 viewers and 302,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, leading cable news in the younger demo. Gutfeld! topped all late-night broadcast shows including CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (1,984,000 P2+), ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! (1,625,000 P2+) and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (1,329,000 P2+) with viewers in the show’s first week back after the writers’ strike. FNC’s news hour FOX News @ Night with Trace Gallagher at 11 PM/ET delivered 1,106,000 viewers and 164,000 with A25-54.

The Five was the most-watched program in cable news for the week, averaging 2,832,000 viewers and 280,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 6 PM/ET, Special Report with Bret Baier secured 2,021,000 viewers and 208,000 with A25-54. The Ingraham Angle won the 7 PM/ET hour with viewers and A25-54, averaging 2,138,000 viewers and 227,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 8 PM/ET, Jesse Watters Primetime was the most-watched program in primetime, delivering 2,597,000 viewers and 244,000 in the 25-54 demo. Cable news’ longest-running host Sean Hannity’s eponymous Hannity saw 2,366,000 viewers and 252,000 with A25-54.