Saturday, October 28, 2023

Radio History: October 29

In 1957...Bobby Helms was in Nashville to record “Jingle Bell Rock” for Decca Records. It made it into the Billboard Top Ten pop singles both this year and next, and has been a radio staple at Christmastime every year since.

In 1975....Bandleader John Scott Trotter, who was musical director for Bing Crosby on radio, and George Goebel on TV, succumbed to cancer at age 67.  He also conducted the sound track for almost all the Charlie Brown TV specials.

In 1995...Howard Stern’s “Miss America” book was in stores.  Lawyers for the actual Miss America pageant were not happy.

In 2003…According to the results of a Nielsen study, a third of the sales of "Beatles 1" were to fans aged 19 to 24, skewing the band's fan base even younger than it had been previously.

➦In 2005...Radio programmer Julian Breen, former Assistant PD at 77WABC NYC and PD at KFRC San Francisco, died.

Julian Breen
Following success at WABC New York and KYA San Francisco, Julian was largely responsible for developing two radio formats.

First, “Back Seat Music,” established at WPEN in 1975.  It was Julian's belief that people cherished most the music that was popular at the time that they lost their virginity.  He could never quite back it up with research, but didn’t let that stop him.

He also developed the Magic format that was launched at WMGK and cloned nationally.  “It was beautiful music for people who didn’t feel old,” Julian said.

Kate Jackson is 75

  • Guitarist Denny Laine (Wings, Moody Blues) is 79. 
  • Singer-actor Melba Moore is 78. 
  • Actor Richard Dreyfuss is 76. 
  • Actor Kate Jackson is 75. 
  • Actor Dan Castellaneta (“The Simpsons”) is 66. 
  • Singer Randy Jackson of The Jacksons is 62. 
  • Drummer Peter Timmins of Cowboy Junkies is 58. 
  • Actor Joely Fisher (“Ellen”) is 56. 
  • Rapper Paris is 56. 
  • Actor Grayson McCouch (“Gotham”) is 55. 
  • Singer SA Martinez of 311 is 54. 
  • Actor Winona Ryder is 52. 
  • Actor Tracee Ellis Ross (“black-ish”) is 51. 
  • Actor Gabrielle Union is 51. 
  • Actor Trevor Lissauer (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) is 50. 
  • Actor Milena Govich (“Law & Order”) is 47. 
  • Actor Jon Abrahams (“Meet the Parents”) is 46. 
  • Actor Brendan Fehr (“CSI: Miami,” ″Roswell”) is 46. 
  • Actor Ben Foster (“Six Feet Under”) is 43. 
  • Bassist Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend is 39. 
  • Actor Janet Montgomery (“New Amsterdam”) is 38. 
  • Actor India Eisley (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) is 30.
  • In 1911..Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-American publisher (St Louis Post-Dispatch, NY World) and Democratic politician whose bequest founded the Columbia School of Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize, dies at 64
  • In 1957..Louis B. Mayer, American film producer and creator of the star system (MGM), dies at 71
  • In 1971..Duane Allman, American rock guitarist (The Allman Brothers Band), dies in a motorcycle accident at 24
  • In 1987..Woody Herman, American jazz clarinetist and composer (Thundering Herd), dies at 74
  • In 2004..Vaughn Meader, American comedian and musician, dies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 68 (b. 1936)

'The Long And Winding Road' Ends Thursday

The long and winding road of the Beatles catalog is coming to an end with the release of what is being billed as the last Beatles song.

On Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. EDT, the double A-side single “Now and Then”/”Love Me Do” will be released on streaming platforms. Its physical releases – vinyl variants, cassette – arrive Nov. 3.

Leading to the unveiling, a 12-minute movie written and directed by British filmmaker Oliver Murray about the making of the song will drop at 3:30 p.m. EDT Nov. 1 on The Beatles’ YouTube channel, according to USAToday.

“Now and Then,” which originated in the late 1970s from a vocal and piano demo by John Lennon recorded at his home in the Dakota Building in New York, is part of a reissue package of The Beatles’ “1962-1966” (aka “The Red Album”) and “1967-1970” (aka “The Blue Album”). The UK single version of “Love Me Do” – the band’s inaugural single in 1962 – is the first track on the 2023 edition of “1962-1966,” while the newly crafted “Now and Then” will appear on “1967-1970.” Both collections’ tracklists have been expanded as well as mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos. The “Red” and “Blue” releases will also be available as 4-CD and 6-LP sets.

In June, Paul McCartney ignited a debate when he told the BBC that artificial intelligence was used to extract Lennon’s voice from the original recording and separate it from the piano on the demo

The discovery was made by Peter Jackson during his making of 2021’s “The Beatles: Get Back.” Jackson was "able to extricate John's voice from a ropey little bit of cassette and a piano," McCartney told BBC radio. "He could separate them with AI; he'd tell the machine 'That’s a voice, this is a guitar, lose the guitar.’"

Some backlash followed McCartney's announcement over the use of AI on the song, with fans thinking the technology was used to mimic Lennon's voice. But on an episode of the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, Starr clarified the track does not use artificially created vocals of Lennon, who was killed in 1980, and the band would "never" use AI to fake Lennon's voice.

He added vocals from lead guitarist Harrison, recorded before he died in 2001, will also appear on the farewell record. "It's the final track you'll ever hear with the four lads. And that's a fact," Starr said at the time.

Taylor Swift Is A Billionaire

Taylor Swift has done something rare in this day and age: become a billionaire almost exclusively from music., reports USAToday.

Between the ongoing international Eras Tour, several weeks of her blockbuster tour film and the re-release of a nine-year-old album, "1989," plus two decades of popularity, Swift, 33, has officially earned the title of billionaire, according to analysis from Bloomberg, released Thursday.

Swift's U.S. concerts added $4.3 billion to the country’s gross domestic product this year, Bloomberg estimates.

Bloomberg says its analysis is conservative and "based only on assets and earnings that could be confirmed or traced from publicly disclosed figures." Still, the analysis took into account the estimated value of Swift's music catalog and five homes, and earnings from music sales, concert tickets, streaming deals and merchandise.

Here's how her earnings stack up:

  • An estimated $400 million off of music released since 2019, starting with "Lover"
  • $370 million from ticket sales a merchandise
  • $120 million from Spotify and YouTube
  • $110 million value of homes
  • $80 million in royalties from music sales

K-C Radio: After Rehab, Talker Scott Parks Returns to KMBZ

Scott Parks, the co-host of the “Dana & Parks” radio show on KMBZ, revealed on Thursday why he had been absent from the radio program for a month. 

Addicted to alcohol for much of his adult life, Parks told The Star just before he returned to the air that a family trauma led him to break his sobriety. 

He was in rehab locally for 30 days. "When that happens, you’re basically left with a couple of choices. One is either get better and go to a rehab facility — which I did. Or you can die. And I chose to go to a rehab facility for the last month.” 

Parks said he was in rehab from Sept. 25 to Oct. 25, and announced that news at the top of the show, which he co-hosts with Dana Wright from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. 

“It is the elephant in the room,” Parks told The Kansas City Star

At the beginning of Thursday’s show, he told listeners, “I have made no secret over the years that I have struggled, and was in recovery, for alcohol, and had actually been sober for three years. It was a point of pride with me.” 

He said that in late July, “a trauma hit my family,” which he did not detail. He began drinking again. “I have also heard it said that your disease is waiting out in the parking lot doing push-ups, waiting for you to come outside,” he said. 

“That’s not true. Your disease is in the parking lot doing push-ups, squats and burpees, and he brought his friends and he’s pissed.” 

He said he relapsed in late July, and his addiction to alcohol “crushed me, put me on the floor, put its foot on my neck and refused to let me get back up.” 

It was Wright, he said, who first noticed his relapse and confronted him and, in spite of Parks’ anger and protest, called Parks’ brother. On the talk show, which discusses and debates current events, the two are friendly foils to each other — Wright expressing liberal viewpoints to Parks’ more conservative. 

Nashville Radio: Talker Michael DelGiorno Joining WLAC

iHeartMedia Nashville has announced talk vet Michael DelGiorno will join Talkradio 98.3 & 1510 WLAC, effective November 6th, 2023 as part of a new multiyear deal. 

Delgiorno’s “Your Morning Show,” which features insightful analysis of daily news and life, from a non-partisan, conservative perspective, will also soon be broadcast weekdays from 5AM to 8AM on News Radio 1000 KTOK, Oklahoma City  and 1300 The Patriot, Tulsa’s Real Talk.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael, a true broadcasting legend, to iHeartMedia Nashville,” said Dan Endom, President, iHeartMedia Nashville. “Michael’s extensive knowledge of the airwaves coupled with his innate ability to connect with audiences will elevate our programming to new heights.”

Michael DelGiorno previously served as longtime host of Nashville SuperTalk 99.7 WWTN. He also worked in radio in New Orleans, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Kansas City, Oklahoma City and as a Station Operations Manager in Tulsa. DelGiorno attended Louisiana State University.

WI Radio: WOMT's Damon Ryan Hanging-Up His Headhones

A long-time area radio personality will be heard a little less on the airwaves, although he’s not dropping the mic completely.

Damon Ryan, a 50-year veteran news reporter and the voice of WOMT News, will complete his final broadcast Nov. 7, the same day he was hired by Seehafer Broadcasting 46 years ago in 1977.

Although he’s retiring from full-time duties and the morning news show, Ryan will continue to broadcast high school sports, including football, basketball and hockey, with Seehafer Broadcasting, according to a news release.

After graduating from high school, Ryan went on to the Illinois Valley Community College and earned an associate of arts degree before “taking the plunge” to taking radio/TV courses at the Institute of Broadcasting in Chicago.

Ryan began his long career at WGSY in Peru, Illinois, WNAM-AM in Neenah and WMKC-FM in Oshkosh.

In 1977, he got a call from the late Don Seehafer to come to WOMT. He worked with radio host Lee Douglas for 35 years, and as part of the morning Lee and Damon Show for 12 years.

Israeli Military Can't Guarantee Journalists' Safety

Israel's military has told international news organizations Reuters and Agence France Presse that it cannot guarantee the safety of their journalists operating in the Gaza Strip, under Israeli bombardment and siege for almost three weeks

Gaza, a Palestinian enclave run by the militant group Hamas, has been under bombardment since Oct. 7 when Hamas gunmen burst through the Gaza border into Israel and killed some 1,400 people. Gaza's health ministry says around 7,000 people have been killed by Israeli strikes.

The Israel Defense Forces wrote to Reuters and AFP this week after they had sought assurances that their journalists in Gaza would not be targeted by Israeli strikes.

"The IDF is targeting all Hamas military activity throughout Gaza," the IDF letter said, adding that Hamas deliberately put military operations "in the vicinity of journalists and civilians".

The IDF also noted that its high-intensity strikes on Hamas targets could cause damage to surrounding buildings and that Hamas rockets could also misfire and kill people inside Gaza.

"Under these circumstances, we cannot guarantee your employees' safety, and strongly urge you to take all necessary measures for their safety," the IDF letter concluded.

Hamas did not immediately comment when asked about the IDF’s allegation that it put military operations near where journalists in Gaza are known to be based.

FOX News Reporter: War Has Entered A New Phase

 The war between Israel and Hamas has entered the “next phase,” Fox News reporter Trey Yingst reported from Southern Israel on Friday evening local time.

“I cannot confirm a ground invasion has begun but a new phase has begun,” he reported live on air.“

Tonight there will be Israeli forces inside the Gaza strip” whether or not it is a full ground invasion, he added.

He stressed, “We have not seen anything like this,” adding that Friday evening is “unlike any other night we have covered."

He said a source inside Gaza told him that “Gaza tonight is alone” and the millions of “innocent bystanders” there feel “terrified.”

Yingst added that Israel’s military said it is increasing air strikes and continuing with plan to completely destroy Hamas. 

Mark Regev, a senior advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu also told Fox, "We are beefing up the pressure on Hamas. Hamas is feeling Israel's might.”

24 Journalists Now Reported To Have Died, More Feared

At least 24 journalists are among the more than 6,000 people who have been killed in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, according to the latest tally released Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In addition to the steep toll the fighting has meant for civilians in the region, the conflict in Gaza has resulted in the deadliest stretch for journalists in Israel and the occupied territories since the committee began tracking journalist deaths in 1992, the organization's emergencies director, Lucy Westcott, told NPR.

Of the two dozen journalists who have died, 20 were Palestinian, three were Israeli and one was Lebanese. At least eight other journalists have been reported injured, while three others are believed missing or detained, according to the CPJ.

The last time journalists faced such heightened danger in Israel was during the Second Intifada of the early 2000s when more than 4,300 people died over more than four years of fighting. The CPJ documented the deaths of 13 journalists during that time — a number now surpassed by the latest hostilities.

The committee's latest tally is most likely an undercount, as CPJ officials say they are also investigating at least 100 additional reports of journalists killed, missing, detained or threatened. Among those cases are reports of damage done to journalists' offices and homes, Westcott said.

"Based on preliminary reporting, we've also estimated that 48 media facilities in Gaza have been hit or destroyed," she said.

The Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that sparked the conflict in Gaza resulted in more than 1,400 Israeli deaths and an estimated 5,000 injuries. Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in the days since the attack have killed more than 7,000, according to Palestinian officials.

R.I.P.: Actor Richard Moll, Played 'Bull' On 'Night Court'

Richard Moll (1943-2023)

Richard Moll, who played bald-headed bailiff Aristotle Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon on the NBC sitcom “Night Court,” died Thursday, a family spokesman said on Friday.

The 80-year-old passed away peacefully at his home in Big Bear Lake, California, according to The Wrap.

The 6’8″ actor rose to fame on the courtroom comedy, which starred Harry Anderson and John Larroquette and ran from 1984 to 1992. He did not appear in the recent Peacock reboot.

After “Night Court,” he landed a recurring role on the NBC sitcom starring Cindy Williams. He also guested on “Babylon 5,” “Anger Management,” “Cold Case,” “Smallville,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and “7th Heaven.”

He lent his impressively deep voice to several animated shows as the voice of Harvey Dent/Two-Face on the ’90s Fox series “The Adventures of Batman & Robin” and Scorpion on “Spider-Man: The Animated Series.” He also voiced the bodyguard to the title character of the syndicated series “Mighty Max,” which ran from 1993 to 1994

His films include 1986’s “The Dungeonmaster” and “House,” the 1999 indie “But I’m a Cheerleader,” 2001 sci-fi comedy “Evolution” and “Scary Movie 2” in 2002, as well as the 1994 live-action feature “The Flintstones,”  the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy “Jingle All the Way” (1996), and the 1998 direct-to-video sequel, “Caspar Meets Wendy.”

Many of his “Night Court” co-stars preceded him in death: Harry Anderson died at 65 in 2018 and Markie Post passed away in 2021 at the age of 70.

Radio History: October 28

In 1922...WEAF in New York broadcast the first collegiate football game heard over a widespread radio network.  Princeton played the University of Chicago at Stagg Field in the Windy City. The broadcast was carried on phone lines to New York City, where the network transmission began.

In 1940...comedian Henry Morgan‘s radio career took a turn for the better as he debuted ‘Here’s Morgan,’ a nightly 15-minute strip on Mutual's WOR NYC.  He began his radio career as a page at New York City station WMCA in 1932, after which he held a number of obscure radio jobs, including announcing.

He strenuously objected to the professional name "Morgan". What was wrong with his own name, Henry van Ost, Jr.? he asked. Too exotic, too unpronounceable, he was told. "What about the successful announcers Harry von Zell or Westbrook Van Voorhis?" he countered. But it was no use, and the bosses finally told Henry he could take the job or leave it.

Thus began a long history of Henry's having arguments with executives.

In 1945...CHUM launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station.

On May 27, 1957, at 6 AM, owner Allan Waters switched the station to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it also built a new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power to its current 50,000 watts (DA-2) around the clock.

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario. By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes". Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored. Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY.

He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. Nelson was Morning Host for more than 20-years on CHUM.

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950s and '60's, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

In 1946....Sky King debuted on ABC radio.  The radio seriedswas based on a story by Roy Winsor, the brainchild of Robert Morris Burtt and Wilfred Gibbs Moore, who also created Captain Midnight. Several actors played the part of Sky, including Earl Nightingale and John Reed King.

"Radio premiums" were offered to listeners, as was the case with many radio shows of the day. For example, the Sky King Secret Signalscope was used on November 2, 1947, in the "Mountain Detour" episode. Listeners were advised to get their own for only 15 cents and the inner seal from a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, which was produced by the sponsor, Derby Foods. The Signalscope included a glow-in-the-dark signaling device, whistle, magnifying glass, and Sky King's private code. With the Signalscope, one could also see around corners and trees.

The premiums were innovative, such as the Sky King Spy-Detecto Writer, which had a "decoder" (cipher disk), magnifying glass, measuring scale, and printing mechanism in a single package slightly over two inches long. Other notable premiums were the Magni-Glo Writing Ring, which had a luminous element, a secret compartment, a magnifier, and a ballpoint pen, all in the crown piece of a "fits any finger" ring.

The radio show continued until 1954, broadcasting simultaneously with the first portion of the television version.

In 1950...Jack Benny's radio program on CBS made the transitioned to CBS Television where it stayed until 1964 before moving to NBC-TV for its final year. His weekly radio show ran from 1932 to 1955.

In 1953...Red Barber resigned after 14 seasons as the radio voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Prior to the 1953 World Series, Barber was selected by Gillette, which sponsored the Series broadcasts, to call the games on NBC along with Mel Allen. Barber wanted a larger fee than was offered by Gillette, however, and when Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley refused to back him, Barber declined to work the Series and Vin Scully partnered with Allen on the telecasts instead.

As Barber later related in his 1968 autobiography, Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat, he was rankled by O'Malley's lack of support, and this – along with a dispute over the renewal of Barber's $50,000 a year contract – led to his departure from the Dodgers' booth later that October, when he joined Mel Allen on the New York Yankees broadcast team.

In 1961...While working as a clerk at a record store in Liverpool, England, Brian Epstein was first asked by a customer for a copy of "My Bonnie", the new single by a group called The Beatles.

Friday, October 27, 2023

R.I.P.: Kevin Karlson, Morning Host At Classic Rock WZLX Boston

Kevin Karlson 1964-2023

Kevin Karlson, a longtime morning show host on Boston classic rock100.7 WZLX-FM, died in his sleep overnight, the station announced Friday morning. He was 59.

Karlson had been a co-host of WZLX’s morning show since 2005, along with Pete McKenzie, Heather Ford, and since 2019, producer Kenny Young. Karlson, McKenzie, and Ford previously hosted the morning show for WPDH-FM in New York before decamping for WZLX as a unit in 2005.

In a statement, WZLX paid homage to Karlson:

"The bond between radio hosts and their audience is special, and Kevin understood and cherished this connection deeply. It is in this spirit of community and togetherness that we invite you to participate in honoring his memory. We believe that your stories will not only offer comfort to those who were touched by Kevin but will also serve as a reminder of the joy, humor, and camaraderie that he brought into the lives of his listeners. During this time of reflection and remembrance, let us unite as a community and draw strength from one another. We extend our deepest condolences to Kevin’s family, friends, and all who had the privilege of sharing their mornings with him on 100.7 WZLX. May Kevin Karlson’s soul find eternal peace, and may his memory continue to brighten our lives."

Cumulus Media Reports 3Q Revenue Drop

Cumulus Media Inc. today announced operating results for the three and nine months ended Septemver 30, 2023.

Mary Berner
Mary G. Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media, said, “Third quarter revenue and Adjusted EBITDA finished in line with expectations with results reflecting the continued dichotomy between local and national business lines. Despite the challenging environment, we maximized performance by continuing to focus on areas we can control, including growing each of our digital businesses, reducing costs, and improving our balance sheet through non-core asset sales and debt reduction. These actions have further improved the Company’s revenue growth profile, operating leverage, financial flexibility, and strategic optionality and, collectively, position us to rebound when the advertising environment improves.”

Berner continued, “While we are continuing to see weakness in national markets, as companies are starting to set their 2024 marketing budgets, we are seeing some initial indications from key national advertisers in several categories that sentiment is improving for next year. That tone, combined with the anticipation of a robust political spending cycle, gives us cautious optimism that we may be seeing the
early signs of a market recovery.”

Q3 Performance Summary:

  • Posted total net revenue of $207.4 million, a decline of 11% year-over-year
  • Generated digital revenue of $37.2 million, an increase of 7% year-over-year – representing 18% of total revenue, with growth across streaming, podcasting, and digital marketing services
  • Recorded third quarter net income of $2.7 million compared to $8.5 million in Q3 2022 and third quarter Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $26.9 million compared to $46.6 million in Q3 2022
  • Retired $5.2 million face value of term loans at an average purchase price of 83.5% of par
  • Reported total debt of $675.8 million at September 30, 2023, and net debt(1) of $592.9 million
  • Completed the sale of WDRQ-FM for $10.0 million of gross proceeds

740 iHM Stations to Simultaneously Premiere 'Now and Then'

In conjunction with Thursday’s Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe announcement in London, iHeartMedia announced it will World Premiere across its broadcast stations nationwide the last Beatles song “Now And Then,” written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later. “Now And Then” will broadcast on more than 740 iHeartRadio stations across the U.S. on November 2, 2023 at 10 a.m. ET.

The double A-side single pairs the last Beatles song with the first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do,” a truly fitting full-circle counterpart to “Now And Then.” Both songs are mixed in stereo and Dolby AtmosÒ, and the release features original cover art by renowned artist Ed Ruscha.

“Through the years, The Beatles have always counted on radio to connect with their fans,” said Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. “We are proud that iHeart is part of this momentous release, sharing this special moment in music history from the world’s greatest band.”

Fans can tune-in to iHeartRadio Classic Rock, Classic Hits, CHR, Country, AC, Hot AC, News / Talk, Sports and more stations on November 2 at 10 a.m. ET to hear the last Beatles song “Now And Then.” iHeartRadio Classic Rock Stations will continue to broadcast the single every hour throughout the day.

“The Beatles changed music and global culture forever,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia. “It’s only fitting that we celebrate the last Beatles song release by sharing it with millions of fans simultaneously on the day it’s released.”

Fans can also listen to all The Beatles songs on the iHeartRadio app by searching “The Beatles” to hear their favorites.

Comcast Sees Investment In Live Sports Paying Off

Comcast Corp. saw Peacock subscribers jump nearly 80% year over year in the third quarter with revenue from the platform growing 64% as the media giant continues to battle its competitors in the streaming wars, according to The Philly Business Journal.

Peacock added 4 million subscribers in the three-month period ending Sept. 30, according to third quarter results released Thursday. The spike pushed Philadelphia-based Comcast to lower its projected losses from the streaming service from $3 billion to $2.8 billion for the full year after bringing in revenue totaling $830 million in the quarter. Comcast officials attributed the influx of new users and revenue to a growing number of live sporting events available on the NBCUniversal streaming platform, along with cutting Peacock out of its Xfinity bundle in June and converting those customers to paid subscribers.

Despite the promising Peacock numbers, Comcast stock was trading down more than 6% early Thursday afternoon at $40 per share with the market focused on the company's loss of another 18,000 broadband customers in the quarter. The company reported total revenue of $30.1 billion in 3Q but saw advertising revenue slip 11% year over year in what it attributed to a drop in political ads.

Brand-building Now Accounts for 61% of Podcast Advertising

IAB has released a follow up to its earlier podcast study, which found that U.S. podcast ad revenues grew at a rate more than double the total digital advertising market overall.

Part two of the study, titled U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study 2023: Drivers, Strategies, and Tactics for Growth, reveals the drivers, strategies, and tactics propelling podcast ad revenues, and shows where the market is heading.

“The growing interest we’re seeing in podcasting among larger, brand awareness advertisers demonstrates the medium’s evolution to deliver on a range of buyer’s KPIs,” said Matt Shapo, Digital Audio and Video Director, Media Center, IAB. “Podcasting continues to be a remarkably agile channel that enables advertisers to reach an expanding user base, adopt new functionalities and solutions, and develop new content with creators.”

Key Findings
  • The report shows that podcasting can deliver on buyers’ KPIs across the funnel: the majority of podcast advertising is used for brand-building, which encompasses 61% of total ad revenues — up 13% in the last 2 years.
  • For brand marketers, there’s a lot to like. For example, podcasting usage of brand safety and suitability solutions has nearly doubled since last year, with 69% of publishers using brand safety solutions and 62% using brand suitability solutions, including contextual transcript analysis. As the report also shows, buyers are continuing to expand their range of measurement solutions commonly used with other digital channels for their podcast campaigns.
  • Another key finding in the IAB study is that dynamic ad insertion (DAI) now represents more than 90% of ad revenues as its share has nearly doubled in the last three years.
“For marketers who need to respond fast to trends and update messaging on the fly — but need a brand-safe and brand-suitable solution — podcasting is a proven winner.” said David Cohen, CEO, IAB. “There’s still real growth ahead.”

NBC Moderators Announced For GOP Debate

Republicans and conservatives were left appalled after NBC News picked Kristen Welker and Lester Holt to co-moderate next month’s third Republican primary debate.

The NY Post reports Welker, the moderator of “Meet The Press,” and Holt, the face of “NBC Nightly News,” will be joined by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt for the Nov. 8 showdown at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.

Welker, who moderated the second and final debate of the 2020 presidential campaign between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, comes from a family with a long history of donating to Democratic politicians — and was once caught on live TV during the 2016 Democratic nomination battle giving Hillary Clinton’s communications director a heads-up about the questions she planned to ask.

“Lester Holt, Kristen Welker, and Hugh Hewitt to moderate third GOP debate – so I don’t understand WHY would Republicans want an entire panel of liberal moderators as if there are no other journalists. Biased questions don’t help voters,” former Maryland lieutenant governor hopeful Gordana Schifanelli said on X Thursday.

“Absolute insanity,” said Tom Bevan, co-founder of RealClearPolitics, of the choice of moderators.

10/27 WAKE-UP CALL: Maine Shooting Suspect Remains At-Large

Authorities were on the hunt for an armed and dangerous suspect wanted for murder after two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that left at least 18 people dead and 13 injured. Maine State Police worked through the night alongside local officers and the FBI to find Robert Card, 40 years old, their sole named suspect. By midafternoon Thursday, shelter-in-place orders remained in effect. Card received inpatient psychiatric care this past summer after he started hearing voices, according to his sister-in-law. The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting of 2023 so far, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group.

Some patients injured in mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night that left 18 people dead and 13 injured are in critical condition, the CEO of Central Maine Healthcare said in a Thursday evening press conference.  Maine Representative Jared Golden, a Democrat, said during the press conference that the shootings have moved him to change his stance on an assault weapons ban. Republican Senator Susan Collins, who voted against expanding the assault weapons ban, said she has not changed her stance given the recent shooting in Lewiston.

➤U-S JETS STRIKE AT TARGETS IN SYRIA: Two U.S. fighter jets struck weapons and ammunition facilities in Syria on Friday in retaliation for attacks on U.S. forces by Iranian-backed militia as concerns grew that the Israel-Hamas conflict may spread in the Middle East. U.S. President Joe Biden ordered strikes on the two facilities used by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and militia groups that it backs, the Pentagon said, warning the U.S. will take additional measures if attacks by Iran's proxies continue.

American forces in Iraq and Syria were attacked three times on Thursday, according to Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. "We're tracking that there were three attacks today, so it's now at 19 attacks, and again, we'll continue to update those numbers as new information comes in," Ryder said Thursday evening. Since Oct. 17, there have been 19 attacks against American personnel in Iraq and Syria, including the three on Thursday, by a mix of one-way attack drones and rockets, the Department of Defense said. Though specific groups responsible for the attacks were not named, Ryder said they "are affiliated with Iran." At least 21 service members have been injured in the attacks, but all have returned to duty, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. One U.S. civilian contractor died after experiencing a cardiac incident while sheltering from the attacks.

➤GROUND ATTACK CLOSER: Western allies urged caution as Israel moved closer to a ground invasion. The Israeli military on Thursday made its biggest incursion into Gaza during its war with Hamas. A spokesman for the IDF said the hourslong raid—which didn’t go farther than about a kilometer, or less than a mile into Gaza—was part of preparations for “the next stages of fighting.” Inside Israel, there is broad support for a full-scale invasion. Decision makers are grappling with how the timing of a ground assault could impact hostages, troop morale and the Israeli economy. U.S. and European officials are urging caution in an effort to minimize a prolonged urban war that could result in even more casualties and a turbulent future for Gaza, U.S. and foreign officials said. The United Nations has called for a cease-fire to allow for the delivery of aid to ease an escalating humanitarian crisis inside Gaza.

Radio: The Leading Media Destination For Affluent Consumers

Affluent Americans wield immense purchasing power across every category. Higher-end brands have traditionally invested in print and TV properties that cover interests that are synonymous with wealth: travel, finance, fine dining, home decorating, as well as sports such as tennis and golf. But how do radio’s most affluent genres stack up? Katz's new analysis of MRI-Simmons data finds that AM/FM radio offers marketers numerous options to engage with this important and influential segment.

Katz examined the media behavior of wealthy Americans to understand how media fits into their lifestyle, looking particularly at their radio formats, magazines, TV stations, and newspapers of choice. Wealth was determined by evaluating net worth, as opposed to the traditional metric of annual income. Net worth is often considered a better indicator of spending power, as it incorporates all the owned assets of the individual's household (including financial accounts, home value, and possessions), not only a regular paycheck.

Radio Formats Rival Upscale Media Brands

Looking at a list made up of 25 of the top 50 highest household net worth properties, it is clear that many commercial radio formats attract consumers who are as affluent as some of the most well-known, upscale media brands. In fact, radio’s most affluent formats, All News, Classical, and News/Talk stations engage audiences that are wealthier than every measured TV, magazine and newspaper property. Those listeners have an average net worth higher than even Kiplinger's, the Golf Channel, and The Atlantic. All Talk listeners edge out Conde Nast Traveler readers, Sports listeners beat the readers of Golf Magazine, and listeners to Adult Album Alternative music stations rival readers of the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon’s Profit Triples said profit tripled to nearly $10 billion from July to September as strong sales in its cloud-computing, advertising and retail units helped the company continue its rebound from postpandemic lows.

The Wall Street Journal reports Chief Executive Andy Jassy said the company would reap tens of billions of dollars in revenue in the next several years as customers turn to generative AI opportunities available within its cloud-computing business, known as Amazon Web Services, or AWS. Business customers are likely to be less cautious with their spending, he said. 

The company’s revenue increased by 13% to $143.1 billion for its third quarter, beating Wall Street expectations. Profit was $9.9 billion, more than triple the result from the same period last year. Amazon signaled net sales would be between $160 billion to $167 billion in its fourth quarter. Its shares rose by more than 5% in after-hours trading Thursday.

Most-Watched ESPN NBA Opening Night in 11 Years

ESPN had its most-watched NBA opening night in 11 years and its second-most watched opening night ever, according to Nielsen. Viewership for the season-opening doubleheader was up 80 percent from last year. The first two games of the season on ESPN generated an average audience of 2,756,000 viewers, up from 1,532,000 viewers in 2022.

The Boston Celtics victory over the New York Knicks averaged 2,552,000 viewers, peaking with 4,351,000 viewers at 9:45 p.m. ET. It was the most-watched ESPN season-opening early game since 2012 and up 76 percent from last year’s early game (New York Knicks vs. Memphis Grizzlies).

The nightcap, which featured the debut of Victor Wembanyama, averaged nearly three million viewers (2,989,000) as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs. It peaked with 3,903,000 viewers at 10 p.m. ET. It was up 83 percent vs last year’s comparable game (Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns) and is the most-watched season-opening ESPN late game since 2012. Excluding Christmas Day, it is the most-watched San Antonio Spurs or Dallas Mavericks regular season game ever on ESPN.

The NBA on ESPN was the most-watched primetime programming across all of television – broadcast and cable – for October 25 amongst people under 50, adults 18-34, adults 25-54, males 18-34, males 18-49 and males 25-54.

CBS Scores Huge Ratings With Sunday NFL Telecasts

The NFL continued to be a ratings juggernaut for networks carrying live games last week, with CBS the latest to enjoy a huge audience for its football telecasts. 

CBS's October 22 late-afternoon NFL game window — mostly featuring the Los Angeles Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs game — averaged 24.38 million viewers to lead all live sports events during the week of October 16-22, according to Nielsen numbers published by SportsMedia Watch. The audience was CBS’s biggest for an NFL football regular season game in more than a decade, according to the publication. The network’s early Sunday NFL window was the third most-watched live sports event with 15.68 million viewers. 

NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecast featuring the Miami Dolphins-Philadelphia Eagles finished second with 20.61 million viewers.

On the college football field, Fox’s October 21 Ohio State-Penn State game drew nearly 10 million viewers, making it the seventh most-watched regular season college football game in the network’s history and the third most-watched game of the college football season, according to Fox Sports. 

Streaming: Top Revenue Source For Songwriters, Composers

Streaming became the largest source of income for composers and songwriters in 2022 and helped boost their collections by more than a quarter to 10.83 billion euros ($11.44 billion), a report showed on Thursday.

Digital royalty collections surged nearly 34% to 4.2 billion euros in 2022 as more consumers turned to music and video subscription services, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) said in the report.

After a boom during the pandemic, streaming collections have doubled from their pre-COVID levels and account for 35% of total collections for music creators, surpassing TV and radio.

Royalties from the live and public performance sector - including concerts, exhibitions and theatres - rose by 69.9% to 2.68 billion euros in 2022, but remained below 2019 levels of around 7.9% after collapsing during the pandemic.

The report said live entertainment has continued its rebound in 2023 on the back of pent-up demand and could grow past pre-pandemic levels.

It warned, however, that the outlook beyond 2023 was uncertain because of concerns over consumer spending and tightening touring budgets of artists.

Earlier this week, music-streaming giant Spotify (SPOT.N) reported a rise of 26% in the number of its monthly active users to 574 million in the third quarter, beating its own guidance and analysts' forecast of 565.7 million.

Taylor Swift Fuels Universal Music Group's 3Q Revenue

Cultural phenomenon Taylor Swift helped fuel revenue at Universal Music Group (UMG.AS) in the third quarter, the world's largest record label said on Thursday.

With the release of "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)," Swift became the first woman to have four albums in the Top 10 charts at the same time, and the first artist since the Beatles to have songs from three separate albums simultaneously in the Top 10.

"Astonishing, I suppose, is an understatement when it comes to describing Taylor's breathtaking talent, popularity and career," Universal Music Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge said during the investor call, adding that Swift's "1989 (Taylor's Version)" will be released on Friday.

Reuters reports Grainge touted Universal's efforts to improve the economics of streaming and promote the responsible use of artificial intelligence. He held up the new "artist-centric" deal signed with French music streaming service Deezer as one that rewards the artists who attract and engage fans by boosting their song streams while depriving "noise" of royalties.

Universal Music and a number of its artists also partnered with YouTube on a Music AI Incubator, to explore how to use the technology to enhance artist creativity."Unlike past instances when new technology was released into the world and the music community was left to figure out how to develop a business model that would protect artists' rights and compensation, here, thanks to our close relationship with YouTube, we're collaborating on opportunities and solutions," Grainge said.

The top sellers for the quarter included Taylor Swift, Seventeen, Morgan Wallen, Olivia Rodrigo and King & Prince.

Grand Rapids Radio: Brian Vander Ark Joins WLAV-FM For PM Drive

Brian Vander Ark Joins WLAV-FM

Cumulus Media
announces that it has appointed Brian Vander Ark as On-Air Host, Afternoons, for Classic Rock station 97 LAV/WLAV-FM in Grand Rapids, MI. 

Vander Ark, a native of West Michigan, is best known as lead singer and songwriter of Rock band, The Verve Pipe. He debuts on 97 LAV in Afternoon Drive on Monday, October 30th and can be heard Monday through Friday from 3:00pm-7:00pm.

Vander Ark began his music career as a guitarist for the band His Boy Elroy and moved on to start the band Johnny with an Eye with his brother, Brad Vander Ark. In 1992, he disbanded Johnny with an Eye to form The Verve Pipe with Brad, drummer Donny Brown and guitarist Brian Stout. The band recorded two independent albums, I've Suffered A Head Injury and Pop Smear. The Verve Pipe's major label debut, Villains, featured the Vander Ark-penned single “The Freshmen", the group's highest-charting single and one of the most successful multi-format tracks of 1997. "Never Let You Down," the lead single from the band's 2001 album, Underneath, was one of the Top 50 Most Played songs for Adult Top 40 and Modern A/C radio in 2001.

Americans Following The News Less Closely

A new Pew Research Center analysis of surveys from 2016 to 2022 finds that a declining share of Americans say they have been following the news closely.

Key findings include:

  • The share of U.S. adults who say they follow the news all or most of the time fell from 51% in 2016 to 38% in 2022, the last time we asked this question.
  • A rising share of Americans say they follow the news only "now and then." While 12% of adults said this in 2016, that figure increased to 19% by 2022. And while 5% said in 2016 that they hardly ever follow the news, 9% said the same last year.
  • In 2016, 57% of Republicans and independents who lean Rep­­ublican said they followed the news all or most of the time. In the 2022 survey, 37% said the same, a decrease of 20 percentage points. By comparison, the share of Democrats and Democratic leaners who say this dropped by only 7 points, from 49% to 42%.

ESPN Fiscal Year with Best Overall Viewership Since 2019

ESPN’s 2022-23 fiscal year (October – September) saw the network deliver its best overall viewership in four years (2018-19 fiscal year) and its highest viewership in the key persons 18-49 demo in the same time period. In both overall and persons 18-49, ESPN was up in each of the four quarters as well, maintaining steady success throughout the entire year. The linear success is one arm of the company’s fiscal year success, as ESPN+ and ESPN Digital each saw double digit percentage growth in key categories and ESPN Social saw a remarkable 25% growth in engagements.

ESPN’s total day audience was up 2% for the fiscal year, with each quarter up 1%, 4%, 4%, and 2%, respectively. The network averaged 721,000 viewers throughout the year, with nearly 40% of the audience in persons 18-49 demo. That same key sales demo is up 5% for the year, with each quarter up 4%, 5%, 7% and 3%.

Additional TV Success:ESPN maintained its historical position as the 1 sports network (average audience) and this year No. 3 on cable, trailing two news networks.
ESPN maintained its viewership year-over-year in primetime in both overall viewership and persons 18-49.
Across ESPN networks, the company increased its already industry-leading share of sports viewership, finishing this year at 31.5%. This marks an increase over the previous two fiscal years.

Audacy Names Vemireddy As Regional Promotions Director

Audacy Austin has named Manimala (Momo) Vemireddy as Regional Promotions Director. In this role, Momo will work closely with market and brand leadership and regional promotions leads on the ideation, implementation and management of all market events, promotions and contesting initiatives and support similar initiatives within the region (Dallas, Houston and New Orleans).

Momo Vemireddy
"Momo has all the mojo going as far as being connected promotionally in Austin," said Bob Mackay, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Austin. "She loves live music and being out with the brands, which made her the perfect choice to work alongside our Vice President of Programming Nikki Nite, to help elevate the Audacy Austin marketing efforts."

"I am beyond stoked to be starting as the Regional Promotions Director at Audacy in Austin," said Momo. "I can’t wait to work with my team and continue to bring my endless love of Austin radio, music and events to life."

An Austin native, Manimala (Momo) Vemireddy has been on the city's radio airwaves and radio marketing scene since 2017. Despite being a roadrunner at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she would make her way to Austin practically every week to catch live music. One way or another, she returned to her favorite city permanently and has been a professional in the Austin music industry ever since.

Radio History: October 27

In 1920...Westinghouse's radio station in East Pittsburgh, KDKA was issued the first-ever commercial radio license.  But it would be another week before it took to the air .. with the Harding-Cox election returns Nov. 2.   The audience was approximately 1,000 people.

KDKA's roots began with the efforts of Westinghouse employee Frank Conrad who operated KDKA's predecessor 75 watt 8XK from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg from 1916. Conrad, who had supervised the manufacturing of military receivers during WWI, broadcast phonograph music and communicated with other amateur radio operators via 8YK. On September 29, 1920, the Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh began advertising amateur wireless sets for $10, which could be used to listen to Conrad’s broadcasts.

Westinghouse vice president and Conrad’s supervisor, Harry P. Davis, saw the advertisement and recognized the economic potential of radio.  Instead of it being limited as a hobby to scientific experimenters, radio could be marketed to a mainstream audience. Consequently, Davis asked Conrad to build a 100-watt transmitter, which would air programming intended to create widespread demand for Westinghouse receivers.

The KDKA call sign was assigned sequentially from a list maintained for the use of US-registry maritime stations, and on November 2, 1920, KDKA broadcast the US presidential election returns from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company "East Pittsburgh Works" in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.

According to, the first voice and music signals heard over radio waves were transmitted in December 1906 from Brant Rock, Massachusetts (just south of Boston), when Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden produced about an hour of talk and music for technical observers and any radio amateurs who might be listening. Many other one-off experiments took place in the next few years, but none led to continuing scheduled services. On the West Coast of the United States, for example, Charles (“Doc”) Herrold began operating a wireless transmitter in conjunction with his radio school in San Jose, California, about 1908. Herrold was soon providing regularly scheduled voice and music programs to a small local audience of amateur radio operators in what may have been the first such continuing service in the world.

The radio hobby grew during the decade before World War I, and the ability to “listen in” with earphones (as there were no loudspeakers) and occasionally hear voices and music seemed almost magical. Nevertheless, very few people heard these early broadcasts—most people merely heard about them—in part because the only available receivers were those handmade by radio enthusiasts, the majority of them men and boys.

Among these early receivers were crystal sets, which used a tiny piece of galena (lead sulfide) called a “cat’s whisker” to detect radio signals. Although popular, inexpensive, and easy to make, crystal sets were a challenge to tune in to a station. Such experiments were scattered, and so there was little demand for manufactured receivers. (Plug-in radio receivers, which, through the use of loudspeakers, allowed for radio to become a “communal experience,” would not become widespread until after 1927.) Early broadcasters in the United States, such as Herrold, would continue until early 1917, when federal government restrictions forced most radio transmitters off the air for the rest of World War I, stalling the growth of the medium.

After the war, renewed interest in radio broadcasts grew out of experimenters’ efforts, though such broadcasts were neither officially authorized nor licensed by government agencies, as would become the practice in most countries by the late 1920s.

Westinghouse application for license

Another early station appeared in Canada when station XWA (now CFCF) in Montreal began transmitting experimentally in September 1919 and on a regular schedule the next year. (The first commercially sponsored stations in Canada appeared in 1922.)

Broadcasting got an important boost in the huge American market when about 30 radio stations took to the air in different cities in 1920–21. Most of these developed out of amateur operations, each dedicated to a different purpose. “Doc” Herrold returned to the air in 1921, but he soon had to sell his station for lack of operating funds. The University of Wisconsin’s WHA began as a physics department transmitter, but as early as 1917 it was sending wireless telegraph agricultural market reports by Morse Code to Wisconsin farmers. WHA, the first American educational outlet, probably began voice broadcasts in early 1921, though several other universities soon initiated stations with similar aims. 

KDKA in Pittsburgh, most often cited as the first radio outlet in the United States, had begun as the amateur station 8XK in 1916, but it was forced off the air in World War I. It reappeared on November 2, 1920, as a “commercial” voice-and-music service operated by the Westinghouse electrical manufacturer to help sell the company’s radio receivers. Westinghouse added other stations in different cities over the next two years, and General Electric and the newly formed Radio Corporation of America (RCA) soon entered the radio business as well. Detroit’s amateur operation 8MK (which debuted on August 20, 1920) soon became WWJ, the first station to be owned by a newspaper (The Detroit News).