Saturday, November 11, 2023

Radio History: November 12

➦In 1917...Singer Jo Stafford was born in Coalinga Calif.

Jo Stafford  1948
With her mother's encouragement, Stafford originally planned to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child, taking private lessons from Foster Rucker, an announcer on California radio station KNX.  Because of the Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her older sisters Christine and Pauline in a popular vocal group the Stafford Sisters. The two older Staffords were already part of a trio with an unrelated third member when the act got a big booking at Long Beach's West Coast Theater. Pauline was too ill to perform, and Jo was drafted in to take her place so they could keep the engagement. She asked her glee club teacher for a week's absence from school, saying her mother needed her at home, and this was granted. The performance was a success, and Jo became a permanent member of the group.

The Staffords' first radio appearance was on Los Angeles station KHJ as part of The Happy Go Lucky Hour when Jo was 16, a role they secured after hopefuls at the audition were asked if they had their own musical accompanist. Christine Stafford said that Jo played piano, and the sisters were hired, though she had not previously given a public piano performance.  The Staffords were subsequently heard on KNX's The Singing Crockett Family of Kentucky, and California Melodies, a network radio show aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System. While Stafford worked on The Jack Oakie Show, she met John Huddleston—a backing singer on the program, and they were married in October 1937.  The couple divorced in 1943.

The sisters found work in the film industry as backup vocalists, and immediately after graduating from high school, Jo worked on film soundtracks. She died July 16 2008 at age 90.

➦In 1931…In London, the Abbey Road recording studios opened.

It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, which owned it until Universal Music took control of part of EMI in 2013.

Abbey Road Studios is most notable as being the 1960s' venue for innovative recording techniques adopted by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Hollies, among others. One of its earliest world-famous-artist clients was Paul Robeson, who recorded there in December 1931 and went on to record many of his best-known songs there.

In 2009, the studio came under threat of sale to property developers. However, the British Government protected the site, granting it English Heritage Grade II listed status in 2010, thereby preserving the building from any major alterations.

Originally a nine-bedroom Georgian townhouse built in 1831.  In 1929, the Gramophone Company acquired the premises and converted it into studios. Pathé filmed the opening of the studios in November 1931 when Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in recording sessions of his music.

The Gramophone Company merged with Columbia Graphophone Company to form Electric and Musical Industries (EMI) in 1931, and the studios later became known as EMI Recording Studios.

In 1958, Studio Two at Abbey Road became a center for rock and roll music when Cliff Richard and the Drifters (later Cliff Richard and the Shadows) recorded "Move It" there, and later pop music material.

The studio was renamed Abbey Road Studios in 1970 after the Beatles album had made it famous.

➦In 1947...KPO-AM San Francisco changed its call sign to KNBC. (Today the station is KNBR)

KNBR began life on April 17, 1922, as KPO, a 100-watt station owned by the Hale Brothers department store. In 1925, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper bought half-interest in the operation.  Originally located in the Hale store at Market and 5th (now the site of Nordstrom), its horizontal wire antenna on the roof was so efficient it immediately attracted the attention of audiences all over the Pacific Coast.

We Salute Those Who Served: Veterans Day 2023

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

Vietnam Era Vets Are The Largest Veterans Group In The U-S

by Katharina Buchholz, Statista

Today marks Veterans Day and military men and women who served in Vietnam are still the largest group of vets in the U.S. Even when counting both Gulf War periods together, like is done in some statistics, veterans of these wars only surpassed the number of Vietnam vets currently living in the United States in 2016.

The Department of Veteran Affairs has also projected the future development of veteran populations in the U.S. The smallest group to date, WWII veterans, are expected to lose its last members in 2045. By that time fewer than 400 veterans of the Korean War are expected to remain alive.

Infographic: Vietnam Veterans are the Largest Veteran Group in the U.S. | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Boston Radio: Rich Shertenlieb Turned Down Beasley Contract Offer

Rich Shertenlieb Turned Down New Beasley Contract

Cohost Fred Toucher said he found out that his on-air prtner Rich Shertenlieb was done at WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub while driving home after Thursday’s show.

“We do the show, we have the meeting after the show,” he said. “I’m in my car driving back, and I get a call that yesterday was Rich’s last show on the station. I assumed Rich was going to be here; we all assumed Rich was going to be here.”

The Boston Globe reports Shertenlieb provided a statement via email Friday, saying it wasn’t his decision to leave the show so suddenly.

“I’ve got nothing but gratitude for the 98.5 The Sports Hub listeners that have shared their mornings with us,’’ he wrote. “My thanks to the listeners, and to each member of the Toucher & Rich show and the team at the station. To the T&R team, I’ve appreciated your efforts and waking up early every day and sharing all the fun we’ve had together. You’re an incredible group of guys.

“There’s a lot to say and a lot more fun to have, and when we connect again every day, my commitment to you will be the same as it’s always been, to have a great time together.

“It was not my decision to not say goodbye on the radio, nor was it my plan to leave the program and station this soon, but just know that I’ll be announcing my plans in the near future. But for today, know that I TRULY LOVE YOU ALL and appreciate you sharing your time with me and the guys, and I can’t wait to share what’s next.”

Beasley Media Group, The Sports Hub’s parent company, provided a brief statement, saying, “We value Rich’s contributions to the show over the years. Beasley offered to renew his contract for multiple years on terms better than his existing contract. He never accepted. We wish him the best.”

Mike Thomas, one of the executives who put together the original Sports Hub lineup in 2009, is now in charge of WEEI as senior vice president and market manager for parent company Audacy Boston. When asked if he would consider bringing Shertenlieb to WEEI, he replied, “No comment.”

In the past, Toucher and Shertenlieb had negotiated contracts together. But this year, they did it separately. Their deals were set to expire at the end of the year, but Toucher signed a multiyear extension last month. Neither Shertenlieb’s name nor the name of the show was mentioned in the press release announcing Toucher’s new deal.

Tension plagued the show over the past several months, spilling onto the airwaves and social media. During a meeting with management in May, Shertenlieb accused Toucher of creating a hostile work environment.

Toucher had dealt with throat problems in the previous months, requiring serious treatment and a leave of absence. While he was absent, he posted on social media that Shertenlieb and others show personnel hadn’t checked in to see how he was doing, which he later acknowledged was untrue. Shertenlieb was not on the show when Toucher apologized, having taken a sick day.

Boston Radio: Who Will Replace Rich Shertenlieb?

The bombshell breakup of the top sports talk radio morning show in the region has left “Toucher and Rich” fans wondering who will take over for longtime 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb, according to The Boston Herald.

Following Friday’s announcement from host Fred Toucher that Shertenlieb is leaving the morning show, loyal listeners to Boston’s number one sports talk radio station had a few replacement names at the top of their wish list.

Rob “Hardy” Poole, who’s on the midday 98.5 show “Zolak and Bertrand,” has been floated for months as the new morning co-host while rumors swirled about Shertenlieb’s future.

“At this point, you have to bet heavy on Hardy replacing Rich,” Boston Radio Watch posted after Toucher revealed that Shertenlieb was departing the show.

“I hope it’s Hardy. Love his production,” another person posted on X (formerly Twitter). “He deserves more than to be third chair on another show. I think of everyone currently at the station, Hardy would be best.”

Another 98.5 name being tossed around as a replacement for Shertenlieb is Jim Murray of “Felger and Mazz.”

“Big Jim” Murray has been the third chair of the most popular afternoon drive radio show for years, creating hilarious bits and parodies.

But listeners questioned whether Murray would agree to switching to the morning show, which starts at 6 a.m.

Another name being mentioned on Friday was rising 98.5 star Kendra Middleton, who has been making regular appearances on the morning show.

Also, fans on Friday speculated about Shertenlieb’s future, wondering whether he would head to the less popular Boston sports radio station WEEI, He also knows his music, so listeners thought he may head to a classic rock station like WZLX, speculates The Herald.

Shertenlieb on Friday said he’ll be announcing his plans soon.

List: America’s Top Christmas Songs 2023

P1 Media Group's annual Christmas Music Research has been released.

The company surveyed radio listeners nationwide likely to listen to an all-Christmas music radio station during the holiday season. It tested the appeal of the 40 most-played and 40 most-streamed Christmas songs from the 2022 Holiday Season, a total of 60 unique songs, thanks to Luminate's holiday charts.

Key Findings:
  • "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms is America's #1 research Christmas song, reclaiming the #1 position it has held for six of the last seven years. "Christmas music's appeal remains as strong as ever amongst American radio listeners who listen to All Christmas stations 'frequently' or 'sometimes' and personally enjoy Christmas music on a local radio station during the holiday season," said P1 Media Group Partner and co-founder Ken Benson. "As we often see, there is much to learn when we compare radio airplay to on-demand streaming data, even with holiday music. Understanding streaming data can help broaden the appeal of your station."The Holiday Classics rule the Top 20, including two versions of "Jingle Bell Rock," "Holly Jolly Christmas," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
  • 2022's #1 Stream and Airplay song "Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You," ranked #26 in total appeal this holiday season, albeit it trails this year's #1 song by less than three percentage points. Mariah's classic ranks #1 with 18-24s.
  • Kelly Clarkson's "Underneath the Tree" from 2010 and Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me" 2014 are the two highest-testing original Christmas songs from the 2000s, ranking #11 and #29, respectively. Both songs scored much higher this year.
  • Christmas songs tested considerably higher this year, with 50 of the top 60 Christmas songs testing with an appeal score of 75 or higher on a 100-point scale.
  • More say Christmas Music should begin on Thanksgiving last year...23% Early November...20% Beginning of December...27% Thanksgiving (21% in 2022)...19% mid-November 12% mid-December
  • The most surprising finding in the study is that 60% (48% in 2022) say Christmas music programming should stop on New Year's Eve.13% on December 26th...17% Christmas Day...7% December 27th...3% some other time

This list includes the 16 Christmas songs from the Top 40 most-streamed that didn't make the Top 40 most-played airplay chart. The research suggests that these 16 songs test well enough to be considered for airplay.

The test list was compiled from the most-played Christmas songs on American radio in 2022 and the most-streamed Christmas songs in America in 2022, according to Luminate. The full results are available HERE.

Disney Plots The Future Of Its Traditional Networks

Disney is examining whether its future should include fewer television networks, reports The Wall Street Journal.

After Chief Executive Bob Iger said last summer that some of Disney’s TV networks, which include ABC, FX and National Geographic, might not be core to the company, executives set out to determine which channels have long-term value and which are expendable.

As part of the review, the company has explored potential sales and discussed putting some of its TV networks into A+E Networks, its joint venture with Hearst, according to people familiar with the matter.

Disney’s traditional TV networks were once cash cows but are suffering from viewership declines as streaming replaces the cable bundle. The company is exploring whether it can cut staff, programming and marketing costs enough to retain all of its TV networks.

Its stable of TV networks includes ABC—which airs hits such as “The Golden Bachelor”—and eight local television stations, the Disney Channel, Freeform, National Geographic and FX, home to the American Horror Story franchise.

So far, the executives’ work has identified ABC, Disney Channel and FX as the channels with the most value to Disney, people involved in the process said, because they all produce content that is popular on Disney’s streaming platforms Disney+ and Hulu. Other assets including cable networks Freeform and the National Geographic channel are less critical to Disney’s future, the review found.

Newsnation To Air Fourth Republican Presidential Primary Debate

NewsNation, the fastest-growing network in primetime cable news, has announced that it will host the fourth Republican presidential primary debate of the 2024 election cycle on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023, from 8-10 p.m. ET.

The debate will air live across the United States exclusively on Nexstar Media Group, Inc.’s, national cable news network, NewsNation, and will be simulcast in the country’s Eastern and Central time zones on Nexstar’s broadcast television network, The CW.  Viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones will be able to watch the debate live on NewsNation or see an encore presentation on their local CW television affiliate from 7-9 p.m. MT and 8-10 p.m. PT.  The debate will be livestreamed on NewsNation’s website,, and on Rumble.

The debate will be moderated by Megyn Kelly, host of The Megyn Kelly Show on SiriusXM, Elizabeth Vargas, the Peabody award-winning anchor of NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas Reports, and Eliana Johnson, Editor-in-Chief of The Washington Free Beacon.  Ms. Kelly moderated five GOP primary debates, including the first GOP primary debate in the 2016 election cycle, which was watched by 24 million viewers.  It remains the most watched Presidential primary debate in history.

The December 6th debate will take place at the University of Alabama in the Frank Moody Music Building, located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Additionally, a live audio broadcast of the event will be available on SiriusXM Triumph channel 111.

“All of us at NewsNation are incredibly honored to be hosting a presidential primary debate and to be part of what will be another historic election season,” said Sean Compton, Nexstar’s President of Networks. “We are also extremely pleased to have the opportunity to introduce more Americans to NewsNation, a 24-hour national news network committed to delivering outstanding journalism and first-rate political coverage and analysis.” 

Michael Corn, President of News at NewsNation added, “NewsNation’s mission is to provide fair and unbiased news coverage, and that’s the way we will approach this important debate. We take this responsibility very seriously and are proud to help inform and educate voters and to contribute to the democratic process.”

According to Nielsen, NewsNation continues to outpace FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC as the fastest-growing network in primetime cable news. The network has consistently been named one of the country’s most reliable and balanced cable news outlets by Ad Fontes.

Memphis Radio: WYMX Raises $640K+ For Ronald McDonald House

Cumulus Media announces that Memphis Rock radio station 98.1 The Max (WXMX-FM) has raised over $640,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis through its 33rd Annual Radiothon. 

The record-breaking amount was raised by the station’s generous listeners and Ronald McDonald House partners in less than 12 hours on Friday, November 3rd. 98.1 The Max on-air personalities interviewed past and present families at the Ronald McDonald House each hour, as well as community leaders who help raise awareness of the House. This is the largest annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis.

Morgan D. Bohannon, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Memphis, said: “Local partnerships like the one we have with Ronald McDonald House are important and rewarding. Having a local team that can experience the House and interact with the families brings out the passion for this cherished institution and the listeners of the Mid-South obviously respond.”

Danni Bruns, Program Director, 98.1 The Max, and Operations Manager, Cumulus Memphis, commented: “Another year of the right team working for the right mission only means the best outcome. Thanks to our listeners we call family, for keeping the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis families together for another year."

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis offers children with pediatric cancer and other catastrophic illnesses undergoing treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and their families a nurturing, family-centered residential community. The House fosters an environment of hope through support services and child-centered activities that encourage children to be children and keep families together near the care they need, always free of charge. Near the care they need with the family they love. Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis has served 10,718 families from all 50 states and 51 countries since opening in 1991.

Radio History: November 11

➦In 1928...WGL-AM, Fort Wayne, IN signed-on. The station, now 1250 on the AM dial, was the first to broadcast in the city of Fort Wayne. Chester Keen and Lauer Auto founded what was originally called WCWK when it signed on in 1921. Keen bought the Lauer interests in WCWK in 1925. That same year, WOWO was established by the Main Auto Supply Co., with studios above Main Auto's downtown factory.

In 1928, Keen sold WCWK to WOWO owner Fred Zieg, and the call letters were changed to WGL (What God Loves), taking a callsign previously used by the current WADO in New York City.

WOWO and WGL were owned by the Zieg family until WOWO's sale to Westinghouse in 1936. Westinghouse sold WGL to the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation in 1945. On September 24, 1947, the station's power was increased from 250 W to 1,000 Watts.

Subsequently it was purchased by the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. The call letters of WGL were reinterpreted as Wayne's Great Lady, referring to Helene Foelliger, who had markedly improved circulation of the News-Sentinel since becoming publisher less than a decade earlier, when she became the youngest, as well as one of the first female, publishers of a major newspaper. William Kunkle, publisher of the morning Journal-Gazette, followed by establishing WKJG (William Kunkle Journal-Gazette) in 1947, but while WKJG established a television station in 1953, WGL had no television license.

In March 2014, Adams Radio Group, LLC entered an agreement to purchase Summit City's cluster (which includes WGL). Days later, Adams announced they would purchase Oasis Radio Group's stations. To meet ownership limits, Adams will retain WNHT, WGL and WXKE, as well as acquiring Oasis Radio Group's WJFX and WBTU, while selling off WHPP to Fort Wayne Catholic Radio, and selling WGL-FM to Calvary Radio Network. WLYV and two translators (on 96.9 FM and 103.3 FM) will also be acquired by Adams. The transaction, at a price of $6.4 million, was consummated on June 2, 2014. As a result, Adams plans on massive format restructuring. WGL flipped to Fox Sports Radio programming on June 3 after "American Pie" by Don McLean bought a close to WGL and WGL-FM's oldies format.

➦In 1928...WOL-AM, Washington, D.C., signed-on. The station now at 1450 AM is owned by Urban One.

➦In 1928...WMT-AM in Cedar Rapids IA begins radio transmissions

➦In 1928...KXO-AM in El Centro CA signed-on

➦In 1930...NBC made first broadcast from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.

In a major move in 1931, RCA signed crucial leases with the new Rockefeller Center management that resulted in it becoming the lead tenant of what was to become in 1933 its corporate headquarters, the RCA Building, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Under the terms of the lease arrangement, this included studios for NBC and theaters for the RCA-owned RKO Pictures. The deal was arranged through the Center's founder and financier, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with the chairman of GE, Owen D. Young, and the president of RCA, David Sarnoff.

In 1934...WOC-AM in Davenport Iowa splits from WHO-WOC.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Boston Radio: Toucher Officially Departs Sports Hub Morning Show

“Toucher and Rich,” the highly-rated, humor-focused WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub program that served as the morning bedrock for the radio station’s rapid rise to ratings success, is no more.

The Boston Globe reports co-host Fred Toucher announced at the top of Friday’s show at 6 a.m. that co-host Rich Shertenlieb was no longer part of the program and that Thursday had been his last day.

The end of the show is not a surprise – there had been tension between Toucher and Shertenlieb, longtime friends and radio partners who first worked together in Atlanta before coming to the Boston market at WBCN in 2006 – for months. But the abruptness is stunning.

Toucher signed a multiyear contract extension last month. In the past, Toucher and Shertenlieb had negotiated contracts together. But this time, they did it separately, and neither Shertenlieb’s name nor the name of the show were mentioned in the press release announcing Toucher’s new deal.

Tension plagued the show over the past several months, spilling onto the airwaves and social media. During a meeting with station and parent company Beasley Media management in May, Shertenlieb accused Toucher of creating a hostile work environment.

Toucher had dealt with voice and throat problems in the previous months, requiring serious treatment and a leave of absence. While he was absent, Toucher posted on social media that Shertenlieb and others show personnel hadn’t checked in to see how he was doing, which he later acknowledged was untrue upon returning to the show. Shertenlieb was not on the show when Toucher apologized, having taken a sick day.

The partnership, by any radio measure, was an incredible success. Toucher and Shertenlieb became The Sports Hub’s morning program upon its debut in August 2009. The Sports Hub soon overtook its established competition, WEEI.

TV Ratings: Third Republican Debate Slumps

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis Wednesday Evening

Nielsen viewing data for the two-hour live Republican presidential primary debate event Wednesday hosted by NBC News drew an average of 7.51 million total viewers across NBC, NBC News Now,, Peacock, Sky News, Universo, and Noticias Telemundo’s social platforms, according to TV Newser.

Out of the 7.51 million, 6.86 million watched the proceedings on the NBC broadcast network; and out of that 6.86 million total, just 1.31 million Adults 25-54 demo watched.

Roughly 9.5 million people watched the second debate of the 2024 election cycle (co-hosted by Fox Business and Univision) across Fox News Media and Univision linear and streaming platforms on September 27 (1.82 million on FBN, 6.69 million on Fox News, 813,000 on Univision). Previously, 12.8 million people watched the first debate of the 2024 election cycle across Fox News Media linear and streaming platforms on August 23 (11.09 million on Fox News, 1.7 million on FBN) — the most-watched non-sports telecast of 2023 to-date.

For comparison purposes, that means there was about a -26% decrease in total viewers from the FBN-Univision GOP debate, and a -46% decrease in total viewers relative to the Fox News GOP debate, the first of the 2024 cycle.

Reasons for the drop-off in viewership may be three-fold: 1) Debate fatigue. 2) Conservatives/GOP voters are increasingly sticking to Fox News and other right-leaning media outlets for their news content over broadcast and the non-Fox cable news outlets. It’s why Fox News-hosted GOP primary debates have captured more viewers than GOP debates hosted by the broadcast networks over the past decade, despite the discrepancy in reach. 3) The debate was going up against the Country Music Awards on ABC, an event that draws a heavily conservative/Republican audience.

Edison Research, NPR Update the State Of the Spoken Word Format

Spoken word audio listening time and audience size attain record highs in the U.S. according to The Spoken Word Audio Report 2023 released from NPR and Edison Research today. The fifth iteration of the annual report places special focus on listening locations and explores spoken word audio consumption at home, at work, in-car, and other locations. 

The findings were presented in a webinar hosted by National Public Media (NPM) VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick and are available now at

Key findings from the report include:

iHM Promotes Angel Jarquin As SVP/Programming for Pacific Area

iHeartMedia announced Thursday Angel “Visa” Jarquin has been named Senior Vice President of Programming of the Pacific Area. 

The iHeartMedia Pacific Area includes stations in Fresno, Riverside, Monterey, Modesto, Stockton, Bakersfield and Spokane.

Angel “Visa” Jarquin
In his new role as Senior VP of Programming, Jarquin will be responsible for the oversight of programming and promotions across all Pacific Area iHeartMedia stations. He will report to Steve Darnell, President for the iHeartMedia Pacific Area.

“Angel has a successful track record programming some of the most dynamic station brands in the market. His creativity, leadership and background on-air make him perfectly positioned to lead our station programming to connect with listeners throughout the Pacific Area,” said Steve Darnell in making the announcement.

A longtime media veteran, Jarquin has been with iHeartMedia for more than 19 years, including on-air on B95 Fresno’s Hip Hop and Hits (KBOS) and 102.5 The Central Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station (KDON). He most recently, and will continue to serve as, the Program Director for B95 Fresno’s Hip Hop and Hits (KBOS), 103.7 The Beat, Fresno’s #1 for Throwbacks (KFBT) and 106.1 Bakersfield’s Alternative (KRAB).

“I am beyond excited and honored to help lead our talented on-air teams to continue to deliver great content and conversations across all of our Pacific Area stations and platforms. Thank you to Steve Darnell and Jeff Hurley for the trust and opportunity in this new chapter in my career with iHeartMedia,” said Angel “Visa” Jarquin, Senior VP of Programming, iHeartMedia Pacific Area.

SiriusXM Targeting Millennials, Younger Demos

SiriusXM announced Wednesday that it will launch a revamped app and a newly priced streaming plan as it pushes to attract younger customers.

The company will launch the offerings on Dec.14, first on streaming, and later in car interfaces. It will price the new plan at $9.99 per month.

“Our growth audience is millennials and younger, who are willing to pay for an experience,” CEO Jennifer Witz said during an event Wednesday where the company unveiled the new services.

The satellite radio company, home to big-name hosts like Howard Stern and Andy Cohen, is hoping its new app interface will make the millennial and younger generations, many of whom are used to Spotify or Apple Music, feel right at home. The move comes as Sirius looks for a jolt to pull it out of stagnant sales and a 20% decline in its share price this year.

Jennifer Witz
Listeners will now have “always-on” curation and a personalized library featuring four new stations on the app landing page: Music, Talk & Podcasts, Sports, and For You. The app will also bring features like enhanced search, improved podcast listening and greater content discovery, the company said in a press release.

“The current app only put our radio on the phone,” Chief Product and Technology Officer Joe Inzerillo told CNBC. “This new app will offer more which will then be mirrored in the car.”

SiriusXM has shed subscribers recently, as it reported a loss of 94,000 satellite radio subscribers in the third quarter.

11/10 WAKE-UP CALL: Israel OKs Four Hour War Pauses

In a crucial breakthrough for the global effort to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, Israel has agreed to daily four-hour pauses in fighting across northern Gaza, the White House said Thursday. U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Israelis had committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance starting Thursday. Israel also was opening a second corridor for civilians to flee the areas being pounded by Israel's military campaign aimed at wiping out Hamas after the brutal Oct. 7 attack on border communities, with a coastal road joining the territory’s main north-south highway, he said. By Thursday night, though, there was still no sign the fighting had stopped or confirmation of such plans from Israel,Reuters reported.

➤ISRAELI TROOPS ADVANCE IN GAZA CITY:  Israeli troops advanced toward the heart of Gaza City. The military said it was closing in on Hamas’s intelligence and operational hub, which sits near the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, as well as kindergartens and mosques, and includes a war room for directing fighting, a large training ground and munitions factories. The militant group couldn’t be reached for comment. Israeli officials also said 80,000 northern Gaza residents traveled south Thursday, the largest movement so far in the five days since a humanitarian corridor was opened. The U.S. and other allies have pressed Israel to allow more humanitarian aid and safe passage to trapped civilians. The White House said that Israel had agreed to daily four-hour pauses in its bombardment of northern Gaza. The U.S. and Israel have rejected calls for a cease-fire. Separately, the Israel-Hamas war has undercut Ukraine’s push for a high-level summit to bolster support for its fight with Russia, Western diplomats said.

➤ISRAEL NOT SEEKING OCCUPATION: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday his country does not seek to conquer, occupy or govern Gaza after its war against Hamas but a "credible force" would be needed to enter the Palestinian enclave if necessary to prevent the emergence of militant threats. Netanyahu's comments this week suggesting that Israel would be responsible for Gaza security indefinitely drew pushback from the United States, Israel's main ally. Washington has said it would oppose Israeli post-war occupation of Gaza, where Israel has waged a bombing campaign to destroy the enclave's Hamas rulers after militants rampaged through southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7 in an attack that Israel says killed 1,400 people. Speaking to U.S. television's Fox News on Thursday, Netanyahu said: "We don't seek to conquer Gaza, we don't seek to occupy Gaza, and we don't seek to govern Gaza."

➤DEFECTIVE DRONE FAILED TO EXPLODE: A defective drone in Iraq may have helped keep America from being dragged deeper into a widening Middle East conflict. The drone, which was launched at the Erbil air base by an Iranian-backed militia before sunrise on Oct. 26, penetrated U.S. air defenses and crashed into the second floor of the barracks housing American troops at about 5 a.m, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter. But the device laden with explosives failed to detonate and in the end only one service member suffered a concussion from the impact, said the officials, who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely about the attack. The U.S. had got lucky, they added, as the drone could have caused carnage had it exploded. The incident was among at least 40 separate drone and rocket attacks that have been launched at U.S. forces by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria over the past three weeks in response to American support for Israel in the Gaza war, according to Pentagon data and the two U.S. officials.

➤MEDIA SEES ATROCITIES: The Israeli consulate in New York City held a screening on Thursday night of the footage from the October 7 terror attack - one of 75 screenings held so far to demonstrate the brutality of the onslaught. The screening comes amid calls from anti-Israel critics for 'proof' that innocent civilians were murdered and raped at the hands of Hamas. Gal Gadot, the Wonder Woman actress, held a screening of the film in Los Angeles on Wednesday night - which sparked wild fights outside the venue, the Museum of Tolerance. 

The Israeli actress was not at the screening, but multiple people were detained after brawls outside between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel factions. At the screening no photos or videos were allowed or distributed. Around 20 journalists were present. The film has been screened in an effort to counter the skepticism expressed by some, who have claimed the October 7 attack was 'fake news' and defended Hamas as 'freedom fighters'. 

➤WAPO CAVES..PULLS POLITICAL CARTOON: A political cartoon titled 'Human Shields', which depicted a Hamas terrorist strapped to women and children questioning civilian deaths caused by Israel, was removed by the Washington Post after backlash from readers. The cartoon was published online and in the newspaper's Wednesday print edition on November 8. Drawn by cartoonist Michael Ramirez, the caricature was sharply criticized by some who saw it as a discriminatory portrayal of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, although it is unclear if Haniyeh was the intended subject.

➤JUDGE..COUNTRY DROWNING IN MASS SHOOTINGS: A federal magistrate judge Thursday denied bail for Cornell University student Patrick Dai after noting that violent antisemitic threats he allegedly made and his apparent struggles with mental health issues reminded her of the profiles of some past mass shooters. "This country is drowning in mass shootings," said U.S. Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks said in federal court in Syracuse Thursday. Some mass shooters have utilized online threats and communications before their crimes, Wiley Dancks said. "It was not unlike what was happening here," she said. Dai, 21, is accused of posting online a series of threats that included plans to attack a kosher dining hall at Cornell and to murder and behead Jewish people and students. The postings came from someone using online monikers that included "hamas soldier." Dai admitted to the threats in a seven-hour interview with the FBI, prosecutors say.

➤JOE MANCHIN WON'T RUN FOR RE-ELECTION:  The West Virginia Democrat’s decision is expected to hurt his party’s effort to hold on to the Senate, which they currently control 51-49. The Mountain State is considered one of Republicans’ top pickup opportunities, along with Montana and Ohio, and Manchin was seen as the only Democrat with a shot at retaining the seat. The centrist senator from a solidly Republican state has been a pivotal deal maker and considered becoming an independent, citing increasing frustration with both parties.

L-A Radio: Matt Wheeler Jois KIIS-FM As Imaging Director

iHeartMedia Los Angeles has announced Matt Wheeler has been named Director of Imaging for 102.7 KIIS FM, Los Angeles’ #1 Hit Music Station & Home of Ryan Seacrest.

As Director of Imaging, Matt Wheeler is responsible for producing audio, writing scripts, managing and archiving audio assets and collaborating with members of other teams to ensure the highest level of quality possible is delivered on a consistent basis. Matt reports to Beata Murphy, Program Director for iHeartMedia’s KIIS FM in Los Angeles.

“We are excited to have Matt join the KIIS Family,” said Beata Murphy, Program Director for KIIS FM. “We ran a very extensive search to find our newest family member, and Matt stood out during the interviews and gave us some brilliant examples of his work. We are thrilled to have him on the team.”

Liberty Media’s John Malone Talks Streaming Bundles

Today, consumers are cutting the cable cord, but also juggling streaming services, creating a fragmented and confusing experience — and perhaps generating a need for a streaming bundle.

“It could certainly happen if one was focused on one type of demographic and the other, another type of demographic,” Liberty Media Chairman John Malone told CNBC’s David Faber in an interview that aired Thursday. “A Disney+ together with Max might be a pretty decent combination. You might also see sports-related or focused bundles.”

Malone, known in the industry as the “cable cowboy,” is on the board of Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of Max. He has previously talked about a future of streaming bundles. But the idea has taken on more urgency of late as media companies try to reach profitability with their direct-to-consumer offerings.

Sports streaming, as Malone noted, is a major piece of the puzzle. Streaming platforms such as YouTube TV, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Amazon Prime have made the jump and paid the price to stream big-name sports, such as NFL Football. But, exclusive deals keep certain games walled off from those who don’t subscribe to the right streaming service.

News Corp Reports Slight Revenue Uptick

News Corp reported slightly higher revenue for the latest quarter, as growth at Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones and book publisher HarperCollins offset declines at its real-estate and video businesses.

The New York-based media company, which also owns news organizations in the U.K. and Australia, said revenue rose 0.8% to $2.5 billion, as only two of its five operating groups reported revenue gains.

The company earned $30 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $40 million, or 7 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. News Corp attributed the decline in part to non-cash impairment charges of $21 million in the U.K.

RI, MA Radio: Public Radio Plans To Merge

Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio have announced plans to merge, creating an innovative and dynamic regional public media organization to best serve and support the communities of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.

Dave Laverty
Pending federal and state regulatory approval, the unification of these trusted and respected institutions—with deep histories of informing, educating, entertaining, and engaging the public—will allow their combined teams of nearly 100 to collaborate, including the most talented reporters and storytellers in the region, accelerating their capacity to seamlessly deliver fresh, relevant content to existing and expanded audiences.

Between the two organizations, they boast a number of awards and distinctions, including Emmys, Telly Awards, and recognition from the Public Media Journalists Association and Edward R. Murrow Awards. “We have believed for quite some time that our amazing organizations will be stronger and achieve even greater impact together,” said Dave Laverty, chair of the Rhode Island PBS Foundation Board. “By combining resources and talent, we can build on our respective traditions of trust and integrity to meet audiences where they are, across platforms, to deliver rich programming that is meaningful, accessible, and inclusive. By working together, we will create an opportunity to bring a more powerful and necessary public media voice to serve our community.”

Apple To $25M DOJ Discrimination Settlement

Apple will pay $25 million in back pay and civil penalties to settle a matter over the company’s hiring practices under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.

Apple has agreed to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and establish an $18.25 million fund for back pay to eligible discrimination victims, the DOJ said in a release.

CNBC reports Apple was accused of not advertising positions that it wanted to fill through a federal program called Permanent Labor Certification Program or PERM, which allows U.S. companies to recruit workers who can become permanent U.S. residents after completing a number of requirements.

ESPN’s MNF Attracted More than 14.5M Viewers

ESPN’s Monday Night Football featuring Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets (November 6, 8:15 p.m. ET) delivered a MNF’s Week 9 multi-year viewership high, while driving nearly a 40% audience increase year-over-year.

The Chargers-Jets audience of 14,532,000 viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL+) is up 38% year-over-year (Ravens-Saints) and MNF’s highest Week 9 game since 2019. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli (ESPN2) delivered an audience of 1,028,000 viewers, the alternate telecasts 24th consecutive episode with more than a one million viewers.

Across all of television, Monday Night Football was the most-watched telecast of the night overall and across all key demos.

Monday Night Football Up 14% Year-Over-Year

Season-to-date, Monday Night Football is averaging 15.4 million, up 14% inclusive of all linear games (11 games vs. 10 games), despite the Week 3 presentation of two games vs. last season’s singular game in the same week. Excluding this year’s Week 3, Monday Night Football would be up 21% year-over-year, averaging 16.3 million viewers.

In Week 3 this season, Monday Night Football had two games, with staggered kick off times on ABC and ESPN (7:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.). In 2022 Week 3, Monday Night Football had Cowboys-Giants on ABC and ESPN. In both seasons’ Week 2, Monday Night Football had two games with staggered start times.

SuiteRadio: Reaches 0 to 60 Milestone

SuiteRadio has announced its programs are being heard on 62 broadcast radio signals across 29 states in the USA.  

It’s been radio at the speed of light,” said COO Patrick Fant. “Our affiliates wanted shows that they could plug into their already well-programmed operation.  SuiteRadio fit the bill with easy-to-access, high-quality programming that integrates seamlessly into the daily schedule.”  

Rowdy Yates, Chief Talent Officer for SuiteRadio added, “Most operators have at least 1 daypart that could use more muscle behind it.  Once programmers realize the ease and flexibility of our content, and how most of it can be used in a variety of musical genres and dayparts, it really becomes a no brainer.”

About us:  Houston-based SuiteRadio offers high-end programming for radio syndication to give the local broadcaster what they need to win.  SuiteRadio provides station operators with a full line of personality-driven daypart programs including The Rowdy Ride Home, The Todd Newton Show, The Dan Gallo Show and Outlaw Radio, The Otis Advisory and Smokin’ & Toastin’ for talk radio-and a full complement of content for weekends coming in 2024.  More at

Next Generation Programming for Broadcast: Contact Jim Jones for demos and available business plans for our full line of programming:   Direct:  (240) 883-2006 

Chicago Radio: “Round Trip” Celebrates 100th Episode on WLS-AM

Colleen Kelly

Cumulus Media
 announces that Chicago News/Talk radio station 890 WLS-AM’s resident weekend travel show, “Round Trip With Colleen Kelly,” which airs on Sundays from 6:00pm-7:00pm, will be celebrating its 100th episode on Sunday, November 12, 2023, in a special program that will air at 1:00pm. 

The program is hosted by travel expert, Colleen Kelly, Host, Creator, and Executive Producer of the popular Emmy-nominated PBS series, “Family Travel With Colleen Kelly,” and digital contributor to National Geographic. The series is also co-hosted and produced by Megan Kudla, Travel Producer, Writer, and Production Manager, as well as technically produced and edited by Lane Thoelcke, Board Operator and Producer at 890 WLS-AM. “Round Trip With Colleen Kelly” covers exploration, cuisine, and culture, along with travel tips and the newest travel supplies.

For the past two years, Kelly has taken listeners on the road and overseas to destinations near and far. Along the way, Kelly has shared insider travel information with the help of experts from around the world, highlighting both well-known and beloved travel sites, as well as hidden gems and small businesses. “Round Trip With Colleen Kelly” is destination listening at its best for all travel enthusiasts, delighting listeners with a passion for travel - from armchair travelers to world travelers.

Radio History: November 10

Kate Smith

➦In 1938...32-year-old Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America' on her CBS radio network show. Smith was a major star of radio. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (1935–36), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).

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

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

"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.

Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside.

In 1938, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation Russian immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer." (In her first broadcast of the song, Kate Smith sang "that we're far from there" rather than "for a land so fair".)

➦In 1950...a radio comedy series 'The Magnificent Montague' starring Monty Woolley debuted on NBC. It may rank as radio’s last original sitcom. Ironically, its final airing was exactly one year later, as TV continued to steal the radio audience.

➦In 1956...Billboard magazine's DJ survey reveals that Elvis Presley is the country's number one male artist on both the pop and country charts.

➦In 1966...British newspapers break the news that the Beatles were ending their live concerts.